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Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Whilrwind Weekend and Weather

What a whirlwind weekend we had!  My Saturday started off with another Texas certification test.  I have been studying and studying for this test!  The test took 2 1/2 hours and it was HARD!  I barely knew how to spell my own name after the test!  I'm thankful it's over and praying I don't have to take that test ever again!

Somehow, I managed to find my suburban and drive myself to meet up with my family at a concert.  But, on the way, I remembered a coupon for Steinmart that expired that day.  So, I quickly found a parking spot and much to my delight found a new jacket.  Originally the jacket was $69 but with my coupon I got it for $7.  Woo hoo!  I was so excited. 

I met up with my family a few minutes later for a quick chicken sandwich and then on to the concert. We enjoyed praising the One who is so worthy of our praise and then grabbed some dessert with friends after the concert.  We headed home after dessert, where my pillow awaited.  I was exhausted and ready for some sleep.

Sunday morning, Mr. Incredible woke up sick, so the girls and I headed to Elevate, our children's ministry for 1st and 2nd graders, without my man.  We were blessed with 5 children this Sunday.  We taught them a new song about Jesus being the only way.  I love this new song and the children did too.  What a blessing to teach with my this!

We took Chili's to Go home for lunch, watched the Baylor Lady Bears beat A&M, just barely, and then took a wonderful nap.  And then... we registered our daughter in university dorm housing for next year.  {Sob!}

No, she still hasn't made her final decision, so she will have a dorm assignment at two different universities for now, but that's okay.  She is hoping to make her final decision in the next three weeks. 

Still in denial that Rachel will actually be going off to college in August, I somehow found the time to clean out my pantry and refrigerator~anything to keep the tears from falling at the realization.  Anyone want a can of tomatoes that expired in 2009??? Me, neither.  Where was that can hiding?  Anyway, my pantry feels so much better, better organized, and space to walk around which leaves this momma very happy.

Our temperatures this weekend were in the 70's.  It almost felt like spring was in the air.  But, guess what????  We are expecting a little glorious snow!  And I can hardly wait!!!!  I see you northerners rolling your eyes.  You have probably seen way more snow days than you care to count but snow is a rarity here and our dry land is begging for moisture.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and wearing my snowflake pajamas tonight.  I hope we wake up in the morning to a fresh blanket of glorious snow. 

And this forecast leaves me giddy with excitement! 

My Girls

"You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name." Psalm 61:5. 
  Oh, what a blessed inheritance! 

If My People....

...who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14.

I am an educator in the state of Texas.  I love teaching; it's a ministry I am blessed to be a part of.  But, this heart of mine is a bit concerned about having a job next year.  Have you seen the news?  Some of the headlines recently have been, "Texas Legislature Proposes Draconian Education Cuts," "Public Education in Texas Faces Massive Cuts." 

Talk to any teacher in the state of Texas and you will more than likely hear uncertainty in their voice.  The rumors of cutting teachers and increasing class sizes make even seasoned teachers shutter.  There is even talk of cutting pre-K programs and cutting funding for Colleges and Universities.  A friend of mine who has been blessed to teach for the past 27 years explained that she has never seen proposed cuts like these. 

I teach high school computer classes.  My classes are not even required by the state of Texas anymore.  Do they not realize technology is the wave of the future?  Yes, our local district requires a technology course, but the state of Texas does not.  Today, we all received an email stating that we are having a district wide meeting to discuss our local budget cuts this Thursday.  We are all on edge.  While I know that our administration will work tirelessly to help our faculty keep our positions, the news must be extremely disconcerting to them.  I don't envy their positions in the least.

In reality, none of us know what the future holds, whether you are an educator in the state of Texas or not, but one thing is for certain: we know who holds our future.  How does this world make it without God?!  I'll never understand.

So, even though my instinct is to worry and fret about the news and the possible budget cuts, the Holy Spirit reminds me that my Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hillsides and nothing is too difficult for Him.  I'm choosing to trust in the One who is so very trustworthy.  He is the Faithful One! 

Which reminds me of the verse that I typed at the beginning of my post.  "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14. And the Texas Education system certainly needs healing. Will you join me in praying?

Somedays You Win Some...

...and some days you lose some! This past weekend Hannah's team played in another tournament.  The girls won Thursday night.  By Friday, three of the girls were sick and we were hopeful that they would make a quick recovery for Saturday's games.

Saturday morning arrived and all of the girls were ready to play.  Three were still not feeling quite up to par but they still courageously played ball anyway. And, don't get me started on the refs.  When  this momma hollers at the top of her lungs, "Are you going to call a foul?" and her husband looks at her like she has lost her mind then the refs must be some kind of HORRIBLE!

Despite the refs, and having 3 sick players, our girls won 38-28.  Hannah played the entire game, didn't sit out for even a minute, and ended the game with 21 points. 

And then we had 6 hours to wait until the championship game.  SIX hours!  Oiy!  We had fun hanging out at a nearby Dairy Queen and I even took a little nap in my rattlesnake-killing-suburban.  Finally, it was time for the championship game.  We matched up with the team that we beat 53-3 last year. 

As we watched the girls from the other team warm up, we only recognized one of them.  Were we playing their high school JV team?  We started the game with only 6 of our 7 players and still had three that were not feeling their best.  The whistle blew and it was game time.  From the beginning, the other team's coach had Hannah's number.  I don't remember how many times he hollered at his team to get #50! 

Most of the game looked like this:
They double teamed and triple-teamed our Hannah.  And it wasn't long before she had 4 fouls.  They tried to shut our baby girl down but she still managed to score 5 of our team's 15 points.    This next photo is not my finest, you can tell the game was starting to rattle me a bit.  It's really hard to watch your daughter being maliciously fouled on the court and the refs not calling much.  I really didn't want Hannah to get hurt!  But, look at her courage in the photo below.  Hannah in a sea of black jerseys:
Our team tried their best.
And Hannah kept trying to score some points for her team:

But, in the end, our girls lost 24-15.  To top it off, as our girls waited with broken hearts over losing to shake the other team's hands, the other coach continued celebrating with his team and kept our girls waiting.  It felt like three minutes that our girls waited to shake their hands and it was difficult to watch.  They beat our girls, the ones who have earned quite a reputation for winning, and it was hard to watch but as our coach says, "Tomorrow is another day." 

Still, I'd like a chance to meet up with this team again, without hometown refs, with all of our team, and without sickness.   Our girls play a different team tonight and I feel sorry for tonight's opponents because our girls are ready to play!

Super Excited!

Rachel was voted the Chamber of Commerce's Female Student of the Year!  Wow!!!! What an incredible honor.

Our family already knew about the award thanks to the wonderful Chamber Secretary....but we somehow managed to keep it a secret from Rachel.  She was so surprised and she cried.  The school counselor was so gracious in her presentation to Rachel.  The words that she chose, the things that she heart was filled to overflowing with gratitude.

It was a night to remember...a senior memory to cherish!

So I Was Ordering at Starbucks

last night.  I needed to purchase a book for Rachel at Barnes and Noble and thought I would use one of my Christmas gift cards.  I placed my order for a skinny-decaf-cinnamon-Dulce-latte (try to say that three times fast)...heavy on the skinny part because apparently the holidays are over and this girl doesn't want to resemble the Subway commercial.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  If you haven't seen it then watch this video:

Funny, right?  Sure, if it happens to someone else.  So, I went with the skinny latte.  A young guy who is probably Rachel's age took my order.  He looks at me and says, "May I help you "ma'am"?"  He accented the ma'am where everyone heard him. I though to myself, how nice that he has manners...all good Texans should. 

I placed my order in hopes that my skinny latte would not cause me to resemble the Subway commercial and as the young guy repeats my order back to me, he adds, "Is that correct "ma'am"?"  Again, heavy on the "ma'am."  I think my eye may have twitched just a little because he had referred to me as "ma'am" twice in less than a minute.  Young guy has manners but now the little dude is starting to get on my nerves a little bit.  How old does he think that I am?

I paid for my coffee and when the little punk hands me my receipt he exclaims, "Have a nice day, "ma'am!""  And I wanted to grab the little snot by his Hollister shirt and tell him that is enough is enough!  I am only 41 years old and I look much older today than I normally do because I had been up all night with this irritating cough and I didn't feel very good and could he please stop with the ma'am because he was making me feel older than dirt!

And then the barista looked at the young guy and asks, "Did she want that decaf?"  To which I, or ma'am~heavy on the accent, replies, "Yes, or I will be up all night!"

Oiy!  Just call me Mam maw!

A Recap from Last Night's Game

Thank you all for your prayers for Coach...his dad went on to glory yesterday morning.  While our hearts are saddened for the family we are rejoicing with Coach that his dad is no longer suffering.

Naturally, the loss had a big impact on the girls.  My Hannah nearly cried before the game telling me about seeing her coach crying in the teacher's lounge.  Her precious, tender heart was broken over the news for her coach.  Somehow, the girls managed to pull it together and play a little basketball, even though their hearts were with their coach who was making his way back to Austin.

We played the same girls that we creamed this past Saturday.  And the other team came ready to play....or should I say "assault."  It was ugly....check that...they were ugly.  We were glad for the halftime buzzer so our girls could rest a bit. The score at half was 14-11.  We were winning but just by a little bit.

They double teamed Hannah and tried to keep her from scoring, but she still managed to make 9 points, block 4 shots, and she even stole the ball and dribbled it down court and passed it to one of her friends.  That was fun to see!

Our girls managed to win 32-22.

After the game she sobbed in the car. She was frustrated with how she played and she missed her coach.  Her sister and I tried our best to encourage her but she wasn't having any of it.  I stopped by Sonic to buy her a "Fancy Dr. Pepper," which is Hannah's favorite in hopes that she would cheer up a bit.  It wasn't two seconds before our suburban was filled with Hannah's team mates and it wasn't long before Hannah's beautiful smile returned... and this momma's heart breathed a sigh of relief.  I'm so thankful for Hannah's friends.

Smiley Girls Photo Session....the Out Takes

Last evening's "What do You Get When You..." post looks like a sweet photo shoot.  Doesn't it?  Oh, my goodness gracious, you have no idea!  Rachel didn't have a great day and Hannah and I were on a mission to lift her spirits.  So, Hannah made some mustaches out of black construction paper and skewers, Rachel grabbed some boas and hats, we took Rachel's comforter off of her bed and placed it on the coach, the girls plugged in their IPhones, turned up the volume on a few favorite songs, and I grabbed my camera of course!

The smiles were few and far between at first....but it wasn't long before the giggles and smiles and belly laughs began. 

I love the final picture...but there are so many more out takes.  Wanna see a few?  This one was pretty good and it was a toss up between this one and the one I posted last night.  The natives are looking a little ornery, don't you think?

They finally let go and just went with it.  It was a blast!  I was laughing so hard, I shook the camera...yes it's blurry but I love it:

And then the natives took over and I lost all control.  So,what's a mom to do?  I quickly switched over to recording mode and captured this (please excuse my video ability):

Lifting Rachel's spirits?  Mission accomplished.  Did you hear her giggling?!
My girls are outrageously fun! I laugh out loud every time when I watch the part where Hannah realizes that I am video recording. That's all she needed to hear to get the party started.  Oh, my goodness these girls of mine...they are rays of Sonshine for sure!

What do You Get....

....when you grab your sister, your best friend in the whole world who has had a less than perfect day, you make fake mustaches out of black construction paper and skewers, grab a few boas just for fun, a birthday hat, tiara, and your mom the photographer?

You get Smiles...and giggles...and sides that hurt from laughing so hard!

I love the smiles on their beautiful faces.  What a gift from the Lord they are. 

And just for fun, I'm entering this in the I Heart Faces weekly challenge where there are already over 800 entries this week.  The theme is smile....I thought this picture fit in perfectly.  Happy 2nd birthday I Heart Faces!

Most Likely to....

....Succeed!  Our Rachel was voted, "Most Likely to Succeed," by her peers.  She and her friend, Sam.  How fun!  We thought it would be awesome to borrow my father-in-law's corvette for the picture and he graciously agreed.  I tell you, it was hard work to drive it to the school.  Really, the hard part was putting it back in the garage.  Ha!  Love that car! 

I thought you might want to see a few pictures.  Fun senior memories to cherish {sob!}

Can't wait to see all that God has in store for these precious lives! 
But, I'm still longing for time to just slow down a bit!

Where is Your Focus?

I read an article in USA Today over the Christmas break that talked about a woman who had lost her job a year ago and was living off of unemployment.  Unfortunately, in this day and age that is not unusual.  The part of the article that suck with me most was discovering that this woman was making more money a month living off of unemployment than I make in a month teaching school.  I have to admit that the article made me angry and left me flabbergasted.  I couldn't believe it!

Am I complaining about my salary?  Absolutely not!  I am so thankful to be a teacher.  I adore my students, even my "blessing students," and feel extremely blessed to be doing what I love to do.  But, the fact that this woman makes more money a month doing nothing just proves to me how flawed the system is. 

So as I wrestled with my thoughts about this article this past Tuesday morning, one of my beautiful, smiling, happy, beautiful-on-the-inside-and-outside students came to class first period looking quite distraught.  I asked her what was wrong and she told me that their house had been robbed Monday afternoon.  The intruders took all of their new Christmas presents, their televisions, cameras,  all of the money that she had earned over the Christmas break, and event the new sheets and comforter off of their bed.... and her family was devastated. 

And my heart ached for her.  But, I wasn't alone.  The news quickly spread throughout the high school.  It wasn't long before I received an email explaining what had happened and that our campus would be secretly taking up money to give to the family.

On Friday afternoon, I received another email.  This email explained that our small campus, along with the help from some members from the community and a youth group collected $1155 for the family in 3 days!  Wow!  And my heart rejoiced.   I can't imagine all that the kindness and generosity from friends and faculty meant to that family but I know that it made a difference!

Romans 12:9-13 says,"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality."

I love that!  What a blessing to work with God's people who are "ready to help and always eager to practice hospitality!"  That is worth far more than anything money can buy! The Lord faithfully reminded me that no matter where I sit or stand, my future is in His hands...and I can think of no other place that I would rather be. Held in His very hands...what a humbling yet thrilling thought.

And if I am living in the palm of His very hands, then my focus needs to be on Him and not on all of the yuck. Yes, I can hate what is wrong but continue to hold on to what is good.  And I'd rather focus on the good any day.  Where is your focus? Where is my focus?  And once again, our hearts cry, "Come!  Lord, Jesus, come!" 

Fresh Grounded Faith

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love a good devotional book.  "Streams in the Desert," by Cowman is still one of my all time favorites.  Don't get me wrong, nothing replaces reading the Word but I so enjoy a good devotional book too.

My parents blessed me with an incredible one this year.  Jennifer Rotschild doesn't know me from Adam but she is one of my mentor's in the faith.  What an awesome testimony she has.  The Lord uses her in amazing ways to further His Kingdom.

Her newest devotional book is called, "Fresh Grounded Faith" and it comes with a two pack of coffee if you order her book here:  There is even a place to register for a Starbucks gift card.  Yum!
Jennifer will even autograph your book for you.  Mine is! If you would like to read an excerpt please click here.  I think you will really enjoy this book!  I am loving mine.  It is one of those devotion books that stays with you in your mind all day long.  Love that!  She also has a Fresh Grounded Faith conference that I would love to attend if she ever comes to Texas.

Like I said before, Jennifer has never heard of my little blog, I'm not getting paid to talk about her book, I just wanted you to know about it because I think it is incredible!  Coffee and a morning devotion...awesome!

A Song for 2011

Last Sunday during church, as my mind was reflecting on the beginning of a new year, the Lord reminded me of the song, "Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us."  That song was played at our wedding 20 years ago and I've always loved this hymn. The songs says, "Savior, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need Thy tender care."

So true.  "Much we need Thy tender care!"

As I reflected on the words to that song and the specialness of having that song played at our wedding as we started a new life together as husband and wife, it seemed only fitting to start the new year with this very song. 

And you know what?  I've already had opportunities to put it into practise today.  I won't go into major details.  The gist of it is that I unintentionally angered some parents by not recognizing their student's achievements on our school's website.  To be honest, I didn't even know about the achievements or they would most certainly have been recognized.

As hard as I work on our school's website, the comments really hurt my feelings.  Nearly in tears, I called my man to tell him about it and to let him know that I just wanted to go back to being a stay-at-home mom.  He sweetly listened to me and told me that if that's really what I wanted to do then he would support my decision but to not let a few comments keep me from doing what I'm suppose to be doing. 

I love my man.  And he knows me so well.  I really don't mean that I'm ready to stop is a ministry and I'm so thankful to have the great privilege of teaching and working with so many incredible people, I'm just having a week kind of day. 

On my break, I poured out my heart to the Lord and told him all about it.  And you know what He reminded me?  You are already ahead of me.  That's right!  It was like He sang the song over me, "Savior like a Shepherd lead us.  Much we need thy tender care.  In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare: Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are; Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,Thou hast bought us, Thine we are."

And then in His awesome humor, he reminded me of a quote I've heard my daddy say many times before:

It's hard to soar like an eagle

When you are surrounded by turkeys!

(I found these pictures on google images~they are not mine)

Can anyone relate?  No, I'm not calling those parents turkeys, I'm not being mean, I'm just trying to keep things in perspective.  So, I missed some recognition on the school's website.  I didn't do it on purpose, and hopefully the parents will realize that.  But, if not I'm okay with that too.  Because, my Savior sang over me today!  I've got goosebumps.  Let me say it again, the King of kings and Lord of lords smiled down at me and sang over!  

What a Savior!  He put a song back in my His perfect timing.  There is no one like Him!!!!

If you are having a "turkey" kind of day, listen to Him singing over you today.  Oh, it brings joy and peace to your soul like no other.  If we will just stop....and listen.

Have I Told You that I'm a Bit Clumsy?

If you have read my blog from the beginning, you already know that I'm a bit clumsy.  If you are new to my blog, I'll put my pride on the floor and confess a little.  We all need a good laugh in January, right? 

Okay, here goes, I once fell through the attic retrieving my Christmas decorations because I became impatient with my husband for not getting them down on my time table and decided to do it myself while he was on a hunting trip with our girls.  My little exercise in "doing it myself" resulted in my falling though my kitchen ceiling.  Yes, I was dangling from two rafters over my kitchen my myself!  Stubborn much?  Yes, that's me but I'm learning....not really but it sounds good anyway.  What made that day even better was that my man hacked his arm with a new hatchet cleaning out a deer (sorry!  that made my stomach hurt a bit too) and I had to lower myself down from the attic and drive an hour and a half to take my man to the emergency room.  That was an expensive Christmas.

And what is it with clumsy-ness at Christmas time? 

What I didn't have time to tell you over this past Christmas break, is that I nearly fell to my death on my last photo shoot of 2010.  No, I'm not being dramatic!  Clumsy?  Yes!  So, if I am every blessed to photograph you and your family, please know "Clumsy" just might be my middle name.  And my parents were so hoping that I would outgrow that stage. (Do the words Cheeze-it Stomp mean anything to you Mom & Dad???)  Ha!!

Anyway, here is the story.  I was photographing my friend Tammy's bridal portrait at the historic convent.  We were so thrilled to get to shoot there.  I really was giddy with excitement.  A beautiful bride, incredible dress and being in an amazing was an ideal photo session.  My girls and their friend Asheley came along to help and to see the Convent.  Here are my helpers:  Asheley, my Rachel, and my Hannah:

We were setting up a photo much like this one, it may be actually be this one, and I was moving backwards, as I often do, to get the best shot.  I LOVE my prime lenses, but since they are prime, I become the zoom as I have to move my feet to find the best angle.  I kept stepping back and stepping back to make sure everything was framed perfectly when my girls hollered,"Momma, stop!!!! Don't take one more step backwards!!!" 

I stopped and looked down at my feet only to see my right foot on the very edge of this:

Want to see a close up?
This was a "dumb-waiter" at the convent.  It is a wide opening for sending food from floor to floor.  What you cannot see is that the floor below where we were shooting is the basement...the DARK basement that is padlocked and the only access is through a rickety ladder.  I looked at my girls and at the bride and muttered something like, "Wow!  That was close!" as my heart nearly came out of my chest.  Had the girls not told me to stop, I might still be down in the basement!  Note to self, while moving around for the best angle, look first!  Oiy!

We all breathed a sigh of relief, it could have been so awful, thanked the Lord, and then continued on with our photo shoot. 

 I am so thankful my girls went on this photo shoot with me for sure! 

Instead of being the last photo shoot of really could have been the last photo shoot ever. Gracious!

Happy 2011!

I always look forward to a new year ... fresh starts.... new beginnings.... but this year it's bittersweet. Our Rachel graduates in May {sob!}. But I know so well, the All Sufficient, Faithful One, will be with all of us every step of the way and that knowledge fills this momma's heart with joy and peace.
 Blessings to all of you in this new year!!