Suz: Oh my goodness, you just HAD to bring up College Station, didn’t you? How my heart LONGS for some of my favorite places! Thank you for not making me pick just one, but I must say even choosing 3 is very difficult. I’ve narrowed it down to places that are specific to Bryan/College Station. I love Wings ‘n More, Rudy’s, Cici’s and Los Cucos but they aren’t exclusive to College Station, so I won’t count those in my 3. The first place we LOVE is a little Mexican food restaurant in Bryan called Ponce's Mi Pueblito When we lived there it was this quaint little place that not many knew of. I think it has grown in popularity, but it is the most authentic food I’ve had, other than in Uvalde or Mexico itself. My next favorite is Layne’s Chicken Fingers. There is something about the way they fry that is different; light batter, always crispy, always fresh. But, the secret is most definitely in the sauce. Layne’s secret sauce is unknown and although I’ve attempted to duplicate it I can never get it even close to the original. I always get a small dinner with an iced tea. Richard and I love Asian food, so my last favorite place is Pho John’s Vietnamese Noodle Bowl. This is where I chose to eat when we visited a couple of weeks ago. I always get: 1 order of egg rolls (the ones in rice paper, not fried), a glass of water, hot tea, and a glass of iced milk coffee (a miniature coffee pot that brews into a cup below it. The cup has Eagle Brand milk in the bottom of it, so the coffee brews fresh into the milk. You stir it up and pour it over ice! HEAVEN!!!), and a small bowl of steak pho (which is flank steak strips in a bowling broth with rice noodles and all sorts of goodies in it)!
First, to all who participated and made my first Q&A a success, THANK YOU! I had so much fun with this and I'm hoping you all will answer the questions I've asked of you in my answers. Below you will find my attempt to answer your questions as well as I can.
Steph: This one is SOOO hard for me! As you probably know, I’m a music junkie! I have so many songs that make me smile and put me in a good mood. Instead of narrowing it down to one, I am going to say that pretty much any song from James Taylor: Greatest Hits, Eva Cassidy, The Sound of Music soundtrack or Mamma Mia soundtrack will make me smile every time. Right now, I also LOVE ThirdDay’s “BornAgain,” and Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” And here’s one random one: Salt ‘n Pepa’s Shoop. I LOVE that song and can sing every word! Wow, what a throw back, huh?
Janet: Great question! Sometimes I’m just not sure! HA! Just kidding. Actually, when I was at A&M, I started as a Pre-law student looking to get my bachelor’s in Psychology and move on to law school. That changed pretty quickly (the law part), but soon I was in upper-level classes for my Psychology degree and not sure exactly what I wanted to do. For a long while I was certain I wanted to do something in child psychology, specifically working in an ER with children involved in trauma. God had other plans. The funny thing is, I SWORE I would never be a teacher. My mother is a teacher and I’ve seen the hours and hard work she has put in and I didn’t want any part of it. When I was about a semester away from graduating, I had really sought out God’s direction. I knew I couldn’t really get a job after school if I only had a bachelor’s in Psychology. I needed more. So, after some urging and listening, I enrolled in a new post-baccalaureate program in which I could finish my undergraduate degree in Psych while pursuing my Masters degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. During grad school I was also required to have an internship where I was THE teacher. I had no student teaching and very few observation hours and was all of a sudden looking for a REAL job, teaching. It was SO scary. Not to mention, I was planning our wedding, as well. My first job was teaching 7th grade Language Arts in Marlin, Texas. It was a difficult year: I was finishing grad school, driving 50-minutes one way to work with some interesting carpoolers, and planning my wedding long distance. After that first year, I was able to get a job in Bryan teaching 6th-grade Language Arts at Jane Long Middle School, where at first I thought I would literally not survive the semester, but by the end of my three years I was crying at the thought of leaving. It was the BEST thing that could have happened to me as far as teaching goes. I learned more in those three years than I believe I will learn in my entire career teaching and I made lifelong friends who helped me survive the very tough days at a tough school (one of whom is now my sister-in-law, but that’s another story). And now I’ve been in Childress going on four years, and I love teaching high school!
Trey: You crack me up! My favorite James Taylor songs are (and this was VERY hard, nearly impossible…in fact I had to list 4 because I just couldn’t make it 2): Something in the Way She Moves, Carolina in My Mind, How Sweet It Is (because it reminds me of Richard SO much) and Handy Man. What are yours? My two favorite places to eat in Childress are Thai Kitchen and Subway. I love your last question. I actually took some time and thought about it, and here’s what I came up with: Because they weren’t born into this world, you might think they didn’t have bellybuttons. But, the Bible says man was made in the image of God Himself. And we, being men/women, all have bellybuttons, so does that mean God, when he created Adam and Eve, gave them bellybuttons? Hmm…interesting! I do have to say that IF Adam and Eve DID have bellybuttons, and you asked them before the fall they might say, “Well, I’m not sure what you’re talking about! Do I?” And after the fall, I think Eve would have said, “yes, and I’m so ashamed I can’t find a fig leaf big enough to cover it up!”
Kierstyn: Great question! Yes, we have thought about adoption and it certainly is something we are willing to consider if that is how we are led by God. Right now we have taken a “break” from anything except praying and trying on our own every month. We are really wanting God to lead us to our answer and through faith and prayer we believe we will be parents some day soon. As far as the specifics of adoption, we both agree we would like to adopt domestically if possible, and we would like a newborn baby and an open to partially open adoption (this means we could still have contact with the baby’s biological parents). I really feel a deep desire to mother a child from birth, so this is really important to me. I’ve made contacts with others (mostly through blogging) about their adoption stories and that has helped us tremendously. Right now, we’re waiting and claiming God’s Word and promise that we will be parents, and whatever ways he wants that to unfold.
Alana: Your questions are so fun!! We LoVe, LoVe, LoVe board games, so this one is a little hard for me. We have three we really love: Balderdash, Cranium, and Apples to Apples! Are you guys board game players? If so, we definitely need to get a group together to play! What are your favorites?
The last book I read I actually just finished last night. It is called “What to Do When Faith Seems Weak and Victory Lost,” by Kenneth Hagin. It was really interesting, and definitely stretched me to the limits of my comfort zone. Another book I recently finished was the first in a series called “Brides of Gallatin County.” There are three book sin the series, and the first is called “A Promise to Believe In.” They are by Tracie Peterson. Lastly, my favorite magazine is a tie between two TOTALLY different reads: People and Real Simple. A few years ago I got a subscription to Real Simple for Christmas. It is AMAZING! And People I’m just kind of ashamed to say I even read. I don’t subscribe to it (anymore…hee hee)!
“Will”: Hmm, the favorite principal one is hard. I’ll have to get back to you on that one…(wink, wink). As much as I would LOVE to see my pups in heaven because they make me so happy, I MUST say that no, dogs do not go to heaven (despite what a cartoon movie might say). And I’m pretty sure once I’m there, I won’t need cute puppies to make me happy!!! What a day that will be! As far as whether Judas Iscariot is in heaven, I must say I liked this question because it made me go back into my Bible and do some research on the Internet to figure out what I thought about it. Honestly, I had never even given it a thought. And again, in all honesty, I’m not sure what I think even after doing my own research. On one hand, Judas was fulfilling the will of God, after all, if Judas hadn’t betrayed Jesus and given him over to the Roman soldiers, his role in God’s sacrificial plan wouldn’t have come to fruition (at least not in this way). So, the question is really did Judas have a choice in the matter? Did he have free will or was He so ingrained in God’s plan he couldn’t have made another choice? I’m not sure, but I would love to hear thoughts. My gut reaction was that yes, Judas was in heaven because he did repent of his betrayal. But was he repentant to Jesus, or for his actions? I love these kinds of debates because in the end, does it really matter? Not really. Some day I will find out for sure, and until then, it is fun to debate the different sides of the matter!
Francesca: You know the ONLY Mamma Mia number I would even consider entertaining with at a talent show would be Souper Trouper because I wouldn’t even consider doing it without my backup singers in our fancy outfits!
Donna: I LOVE this question but it is certainly hard! I have two, Charleston, South Carolina, and Chicago, Illinois. I must say though, if I had the choice, I think I would go to Chicago. Hopefully that will happen one of these days! And when it happens, you are MOST CERTAINLY going with me! Where would you go?
Deb: Great question. This answer is multi-faceted. First, in some way God always gives me reminders that He is always there. He is with me on the mountaintop and in the valleys. This happens in different ways but usually through the lyrics of a song, an thought-provoking post on a blog I read or have found, a timely email from a friend, etc…Also, a good old-fashioned cry always makes me feel better. Some days, I just go home, go to my bed, put my head in my pillow and SOB and pray and yell. It sounds crazy, I know, but I always feel better afterwards. Talking to Richard and my mom makes me feel better almost always. My puppies makes me very happy. Riding my horse is one of the most cathartic things I can do when I’m feeling really down. Being outside, and knowing he is in charge and I don’t have to make any decision except to sit on his back and let him go where he wants is a great feeling. But most of all, I can say that praying and talking to God like He is my best friend makes me feel happy in the best way. I might still have sadness in my heart, but there is a happiness, really a joy, that is indescribable when you are feeling down and blue. I remember God’s promises and speak them aloud and I remember that sadness is not what He wants for my life. I also have to constantly remind myself that 95% of the time, my sadness is because of hormones and nothing more. My mother always says, “This too shall pass,” and when I keep that in mind, I know that I have to hold on for the roller coaster until it evens out (and it will) and I’ll be okay. Oh, and watching funny movies always helps, too! I stay away from movies that have to do with babies, or mothering most of the time, and try to find movies I know will make me laugh! Laughter is SO good for the soul!
R A and L D: Only my mother would think to ask this question! ☺ And I love it! I think my VERY first pair of cowgirl boots were just plain brown. But, soon after I got some red ones, and then some pearly pinkish/purple ones. Correct me if I’m wrong on that, but I’m pretty sure that was it. I might have had a grey pair in there somewhere? Maybe? You know I come by my memory naturally, so…
The Waldrons: Oooh…good question. Inspiration comes from many places for me, I think. I am inspired by people and their actions, especially when someone accomplishes something against all odds! I am also deeply inspired by authors who present information in a way I’ve never thought of or considered before. A couple of examples are Beth Moore and Donald Miller. I am inspired by the people of the Bible and their faithfulness; this specifically includes Hannah, Abraham, Job, Esther, and Noah. Each of these people were faced with immense physical, emotional and/or spiritual challenges and through their FAITH, were able to receive the blessings God had for them. I am inspired by MANY of the blogs I read for various reasons, but especially those who are either struggling with infertility or have lost children. I’m also really inspired by music, as many are.
As far as my favorite curriculum director goes, I can say you are my favorite curriculum director I’ve ever worked with in Childress. ☺