Monday, December 25, 2006

Dear Peter,

Today was a wonderful Christmas. I really enjoyed most of the whole weekend. :-)

My sister, BIL, and youngest nephew spent the weekend with us. This was the first time that they have done that since they have been married. :-) We spent the weekend eating, laughing, and playing Chicken Foot. :-) I loved it. Not just that it was fun, but just the "bonding". At least, I felt it.

I have never really been able to spend quality time with my sister and her husband. My brother visits, and they like a lot of the same movies, music, etc... they have the same sense of humor. But, I had never really felt like I had been able to spend time to "get to know him" and just have fun. It really meant a lot to me. :-) (So, when you're reading this Laslo, I hope you had just as much fun.)

This year was the first year we had the "Advent Wreath". I really enjoyed lighting the candles each week, and bringing the focus back around to Jesus. Last night the youngest nephew got to get in on the lighting of the candles. Our tradition of reading Luke 2 was carried on with my sister reading it this year. That was really nice. My brother continued his tradition of reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas", this time with the youngest nephew as well. It was so nice to see the "young, innocent, wide-eyed excitement of a child. :-)

Today we finished the Advent Wreath with a family prayer. I really appreciate Laslo leading us in such a beautiful prayer. :-)

And last, but not least, the food and the PRESENTS! Yes, the oldest nephew got the digital camera he wanted. :-) His favorite gift of them all. :-) And Santa did not disappoint "little one". He did bring the Buckaroo game. :-)

Yes, we did have our disagreements, and the kids did argue and throw fits. After all, we are a family. :-) But, all in all it was the nicest Christmas I can remember in a LONG time. I really hope we can do it again next year. :-)

By the way, I am visiting Laslo and Queen B in May. It would be great if I could come a day or two early, so we can play games and just relax before we have to go to the seminars. You up for it? :-)

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Wendy Darling

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dear Peter,

Wow! You're hearing from me two days in a row. That must be some kind of record. :-) I made a cake for the people who really helped make yesterday possible (see blog below)by buying most of the gifts. :-) I thought I would share the photos. I was pretty proud of it. I really like decorating cakes, and one day I DO plan to take the Wilton Cake Decorating class. I still have a lot to learn. Maybe some time next year. :-) Hope you like them. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dear Peter,

I was going to write to you about the wonderful, blessed day we had yesterday, but Cleggy did it for me. And once more, he did it better than I could. So, I am going to refer you to his blog to read all of the details. :-) To the right is Santa and his youngest helper. :-)

Merry Christmas!!!

Wendy Darling

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dear Peter,

Sorry it has been so long since I have written.

Tonight I wanted to tell you about my favorite time of the year. Yep, CHRISTMAS!! :-) I have been busy the last couple of weeks, but it hasn't been the "hectic, chaotic" busy. I haven't been running around like a chicken with my head cut off worrying about buying gifts. My goal for the Christmas has been simple, "relax, and make sure the kiddos know the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas." :-)

We have made lots of memories, and thanks to my new digital camera I have documented them all. :-) The first thing was to make Advent chains, stressing the birth of Christ. We read books about the birth of Jesus, and a book about "The Best Thing About Christmas, Jesus." See a pattern here? :-)

The commercialism of Christmas has always bothered me. I think the show "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" pretty much sums up how I feel about Christmas. I think it does for most people. We can't get bogged down in the presents, expense, time, etc... We can't get so bogged down that we don't ENJOY it, get so stressed we wish it would "hurry up and be over", and forget the REAL reason to celebrate Christmas.

I have just taken a laid back approach, and let the kids have fun. We have made ornaments, handmade gifts and ginger snaps; and have plans to make gingerbread men, assorted cookies, and cards. :-) Each time bringing it back around to Jesus. We are singing Christmas Carols, they rode in the parade together, and we talk about why it is important to GIVE to others rather than ask for what we "want". :-) The nephew participated in a Christmas play at church this evening that was about this very thing. I have to admit, when they sang "We bring our gifts, You bring Your presents" I cried. I usually only cry when I hear "Mary Did You Know", or "Silent Night". Maybe it was the song, maybe it was the pride of hearing/seeing my nephew as part of it, maybe both. I don't know, but it touched me. :-)

I have enjoyed this year so much. I love the smells, the lights, the music, and the holiday shows (Frosty, It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol...)and I love watching them with the kids. They make it "magical". But most of all I love the look on the kids faces when we talk about Jesus's birth, and when I ask them "Why we celebrate" it is like music to hear them say "Jesus".

We are creating new traditions, such as the Advent Wreath, which again stress Jesus. I can't help it. I just love it. It is such a great opportunity to share Jesus, especially with children. :-)

I have two special Christmas Memories to share with you. The first was when my nephew was about 4 or 5. We read "Little House on the Prairie". The one where Laura and Mary got tin cups for Christmas. It really taught him that Christmas isn't about getting "things", but spending time with family. He LOVED it. So, that year we got him a tin cup, a new shiny penny, a peppermint stick and I made him a heart shaped cookie with white sugar on it. We put them all in his stocking. As soon as he opened it he yelled, "It's just like Laura's!" It was awesome.

The second is from my childhood. I was about 11 or 12, I think. My sister and I had asked for a stereo and typewriter. That was all we asked for. We were sure we would get it, not realizing the cost, of course. We were kids. A couple of weeks before Christmas our mom sat us down and tried to explain to us that we would not be getting the stereo and typewriter. She did not want us to be disappointed, so she wanted to go ahead and tell us. I thought she was just saying that because she wanted us to be surprised. After all, that is all we asked for, so that is all we were expecting. I even told her that. She tried her best to make us understand, but after all we were kids. Stupid selfish kids I might add. (At least on my part)

Christmas morning we did indeed awake to a stereo, a typewriter and a Kenny Rogers album. We loved them all, and used the stereo for many years. Unfortunately, it was also many years before I found out just how hard it was for our parents to get those gifts. Daddy put in A LOT of overtime, and worked odd jobs. They did that because they did not want us to be disappointed and because they loved us that much. I wish I had had the maturity back then to truly appreciate all that they went through for us. I will always remember that Christmas.

So, to conclude,let me wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dear Peter,

Just in case it hasn't aired in Neverland yet, let me fill you in.....



Wendy Darling

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dear Peter,

Days 4 and 5 were pretty much "low key" compared to the first three days of vacation. We left the hotel about 8:30 that morning to drive into Oklahoma City. Now, the directions said we were a little over an hour away, from Oklahoma City. We were supposed to meet the nephew's sister and her family for lunch at Pizza Hut in Del City at 11:30 am. We reached Oklahoma City with no problems. Then came the task of looking for 290 to get to Del City. This is where the problems began. Just to insert a little warning here, if you ever need to find 290 in Oklahoma City don't bother, because IT DOES NOT EXIST. Somehow a little elf changed my 4 to a 9. We were supposed to get on 240. I am still blaming it on the elf.

We got half way to Tulsa and pulled over to called his sister for directions. They had no clue where we were. We knew we were on Route 66, and we weren't supposed to be. Oh well, Mom wanted to see Route 66 anyway. So, we turn around and drove back to Oklahoma City. After a few more wrong turns we finally get back on 44 and find 240. Within 15 minutes we are at the Pizza Hut, and guess what time it was... 11:30! :-)

We had a great lunch and enjoyed a nice ride home. We went to the lake close to our hotel to look at the ducks. We went to a grocery store and bought things for sandwiches. We had an early supper, we were all in bed at 8:00 pm, and got up early for breakfast and to head home.

Our plan was to come home back through Witchita Falls and then to Weatherford, Corsicana, Athens and home. We woke up to rain. LOTS of rain. It rained all the way to Witchita Falls where it was raining harder. We called our sister for a "weather report" in Weatherford and Corsicana. She got on the "net" and reported that they too had lots of rain. So, we cut that entire part of the trip and went home the same way we had come up. I was disappointed, but the vacation had been so wonderful we just couldn't be upset for long. We stopped back by Mary's of Puddin' Hill, and stopped at a neat Mexican Food Restraraunt for lunch. Took us about 9 hours to get home, and it rained most of the way, but we sang just as much on the way home as we had on the way up. Mom never wants to hear the "Gas song" again, I am sure. :-)

As soon as we made it home we unloaded, put things away, started laundry, and went out for dinner. We were tired, but so rested and relaxed. It was great!!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our vacation as much as we enjoyed going. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Peter,

To me day 3 of the vacation was THE BEST. :-) We left Witchita Falls about 8:00 am and drove into Oklahoma. We stopped at the Visitors Information Center to walk a bit, take care of business, pick up some more info about the things we wanted to see, and let the nephew by a t-shirt. This was just after paying the toll. Oklahoma has A LOT of tolls. I don't know how the people who live there afford to travel.

Anyway, we drove on into Lawton and our first stop was the Ft. Sill Museum. Now, I don't know why this did not occur to me sooner, but we actually had to go through a security check point. Not that we minded at all, it's just that it didn't occur to me that we would, even though I knew it was an operating military base. So, after going through security we made our way to the museum. Along the way we passed tanks, rockets, old guns that are on display, the barracks, and the officer housing. It was really neat to see all of that up close, and to hear the tanks and gunfire up close. This is where the army practices there shooting.

The museum was really great. We learned a lot about the original post, Geronimo, the Buffalo Soldiers, ect... David bought some souveniers for his friends, and we watched a 20 minute film about the history of the museum. It was very informative. The lady in the museum told us about the chapel on the base. It is the original chapel, and is the one they still use today. They also have a bell, and if you visit the museum you are supposed to go ring the bell. So, I have a really neat picture of the nephew ringing the bell.

We then made our way into the Wichita Mountains. Our destination, Meers Store; home of the 7" Longhorn Burger. Mom and I split one, but the "men" had their own, and finished it. These burgers are served on 9", tin pie plates, just to emphasis how big these suckers are.

After a very filling meal we drove into the mountains and the wildlife refuge. We saw some buffalo very close to the road. It was awesome to see them that close. We also saw hundreds of prairie dogs. Everywhere you looked there were prairie dogs. We drove into the Holy City of the Witchita's. This is a city built out of stone, and they perform the Passion Play every Easter. It is so cool!! The chapel has paintings of the 12 disciples on the wall, and angels painted everywhere, including the ceiling. Dave laid on the floor to get pictures of the ceiling. :-) After we left the gift shop we continued driving through the mountains, and then made our "treck" up Mt. Scott.

I have to brag on my brother here. The man does NOT like heights, but he drove over half a mile to the top of this mountain, and stopped twice along the way to allow me to take pictures. That's love for your family!!! They trip down was a lot easier. :-)

We then went to our hotel. We decided to just get fast food and call it an early night that night. This day was the most fun day, in my opinion. We laughed so hard that day, learned so much, and the weather was gorgeous. This is one of those days that you had to be there to really understand just how great it was.

Next time, days 4 and 5. That entry will be much shorter. :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dear Peter,

Well, here are the details of day number 2 of our vacation. For the “cliff notes” version I encourage you to read “Cleggy’s” blog at the “White Horse”. :-) Wish I had written those instead. :-)

Ok, so the second day we woke up around 6:00 and got dressed. We put our things together, and ate a so-so continental breakfast at the hotel. We checked out and were on our way at about 8:00 am. I believe it was that day that dear nephew learned to sing “Witchdoctor”. :-)

In no time at all we were in Gainesville. We saw a sign for an outlet store and decided to check it out. It looked pretty cool, but did not open until 10:00 am. They had a huge pond out front, with lots of ducks. It was such a pretty sight that I had to “break in” my camera by taking some pictures. After all, I had a gig scan disk in the camera. It wasn’t like I was wasting film. :-)

It seemed that as soon as I opened my door the “northern” that we had been hearing about decided to hit. The wind was blowing so hard I had trouble putting my sweater, and it felt like the temperature dropped 30 degrees in a matter minutes, literally. I got my pictures, and we decided to drive around the historic downtown area and wait for the mall to open. I remembered that there was a neat train museum, and interesting courthouse/town square to occupy our time.

Turned out we picked the wrong weekend for that. The very next day they were having a “celebration of the depot”, so the museum was closed to prepare for the day. We decided to drive around and sightsee. It was really neat. Lots of big old houses, neat courthouse, lots of old businesses… We even found a pharmacy with an old fashioned soda fountain inside. We decided to wait for it to open. Dave and I got out and walked around the square “window shopping” and taking pictures. I am sure people looked at us and thought “hmph… tourist”, but I didn’t care. :-)

The pharmacy opened and we went inside. It was worth the wait. This place had the old counter, bar stools, Coke memorabilia, and old draft machine, 45s hanging on the wall, etc… It was cool!! We decided to order “dreamcicles”. Vanilla ice cream with orange soda. They were good. :-) Then, we were off to the mall.

Our first stop was the information center where we got a map of all of the stores in the “mall”. We immediately decided on 4 stores we wanted to go to. Turns out 2 of them had closed down, one being the toy store that the nephew desperately wanted to go to, and the other being the Bible store he desperately wanted to go to. Guess it was not his day. We went to the last two stores that did exist, and did a little shopping. It was disappointing, but it was a nice mall, and we had nice, cool weather to walk in.

Back in the car, more singing and laughing, we stopped at a Dairy Queen for lunch. We then made our way into Wichita Falls. Let me interject here how much MapQuest sucks!! The hotel was no where near the directions they gave. Thank God for cell phones! After calling the hotel for directions we arrive at the hotel in about 15 minutes. Good news, the hotel is in the same parking lot as a mall! :-) We decide to go into said mall and look around. We go into a couple of stores, look over the directory to locate a toy store. Finding none we head on to the hotel to check in, only to discover that directly behind our hotel is a Toys R Us. The nephew is bouncing off the walls at this point. Unfortunately, he was down to about $10 left of the days “spending allowance”. I make a deal with him later, and he does get to go to Toys R Us, so for those of you who were disappointed for him, don’t be too upset. :-)

We check into the hotel, eat at Denny’s, and head in for the night. Other than the hotel beds being too small, it was much better than the hotel the night before. We all rest pretty well, and David and I both enjoyed playing the Deal or No Deal game he bought at Toys R Us. :-) So, the day was very relaxing, fun (you just had to be in the car to experience and hear that stuff) :-) and “uneventful”. But we loved it.

More next time
Wendy Darling… “Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting tang walla-walla bing bang”…..:-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dear Peter,

We made it back from vacation! :-) It was wonderful, and I will tell you all about it. :-)

On Tuesday I rented a Ford Taurus from the car rental company in Rusk. It was raining on Tuesday, so we took our time packing and set everything in the school room. When the rain “let up” I ran outside to open the trunk. I was very pleased to find it had such a large trunk. We loaded everything we could into it. The only things left to be packed were the things we would need in the morning, such as toiletries. :-)

We left Wednesday morning at about 7:30 am. (In my head I was singing “We’re Gonna Make It After All…”) With a quick stop by the local donut shop we headed out. Our destination was Denton, TX. About a 3 hour drive, maybe. We were prepared. We all had drinks, donuts, the nephew had the DVD player in the backseat, and we were well stocked with CDs in the front. My dear brother made 3 awesome travel CDs. He really put a lot of time and thought into the music he put on these. By the time we returned home our nephew had learned some new songs that we sang when we were his age. :-) More about that later….

Our first stop was in Greenville, TX. We stopped at the Audie Murphy/Cotton Museum. if you ever get to Texas I highly recommend a stop here. We learned so much, and it was such a neat experience. Of course, the nephew was ready to leave before we were, but we still enjoyed it. I learned a lot about Audie Murphy that I did not know. I never knew he was a successful songwriter.

As the sign at the museum says we also learned about cotton, “from plant to fabric”. The “homeschool teacher” in me took over, and a lesson was “taught”. Maybe not learned as completely as I would have liked, but it was taught. :-)

We then drove to Mary of Puddin’ Hill. It is a candy store. HEAVEN!! We sampled fruit cake, fudge, peanut brittle and cranberry butter. It was fantastic. I bought 1 piece of toffee candy, for $1.23, and I enjoyed it. :-) If you ever get to go there I encourage it. They do have sugar-free candy as well. :-) We got to watch them make candy through the “viewing window”. They even have a picture of “Lucy and Ethel” in the famous “candy wrapping scene”. It is so neat. They also had a carrousel and doll house made completely out of chocolate. (see pic above) COOL!!

After leaving Greenville we were on our way to Denton. Around lunch time we decided to stop at a grocery in the next town and find a park to eat lunch. We stopped and purchased pimento cheese, chips, rolls, dip and drinks. We asked the cashier about a park, but she only knew of one, in the opposite direction we were headed. We figured there had to at least be a roadside park/rest area up ahead so we journeyed on, keeping a close eye out for somewhere to enjoy our lunch. A few miles down the road we saw a sign for two parks, in the same direction. We tried to find the first one, following the signs. We ended up on some dirt road. After a few miles we realized that even if we did find the park we didn’t want to eat there. So, we made our way back to the “main road” and turned to go to the other park. We are so glad we did. We ended up at a big picnic/park area. The kind that people rent for large functions. There was a gazebo, pond, ducks, etc… It was NICE. There was even a small house/office. NO ONE else was there. To make ourselves feel better (okay, make me feel better) Dave went to the office and asked if we could picnic there. They were very nice and said yes. So, we unpacked our “stuff” and enjoyed a nice picnic.

It was so nice not being on a “schedule”. We just relaxed and enjoyed every moment. And took LOTS of pictures. Have I mentioned how much I love my digital camera? There was only one “scary moment”, and that was when the nephew dropped my camera. My heart went in my throat!! It is fine, so don’t worry. But, that was a very scary time for me.

We then got back on the road and went on to Denton. Turns out that MapQuest is not very good at giving directions. It gave us the directions for the where the hotel used to be, two years ago. Thank God for cell phones. :-) I called the hotel and got the right directions. We got back on the road and were soon at the hotel. :-) We checked in, put out things in the hotel, rested and then went to a book store. It was pretty cool.

We went back to the hotel. I took the nephew to the pool. We ordered pizza for dinner. Dave and the nephew went to the exercise room and enjoyed that for awhile. Mom and I took our showers. They came back to the room and took there showers, and then it was time for bed and TV. You would think this was really late in the day by now wouldn’t you? NOPE, it was about 8:00 pm. I fell asleep halfway through MythBusters. :-)

When we were little one of the things we loved about vacation was staying up past our bedtime. On this whole vacation we never stayed up passed 9:30 pm. And that was only on one night. :-) Man, I am old, but well rested. :-) So, I went to sleep with the sounds of the day(laughter, music, singing songs such as The Purple People Eater, The Partridge Family, Disco Duck, etc…) playing in my head. It was a great start to a great vacation.

Day two next time…. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope things are going well in Neverland. :-) Remember awhile back when I quoted the Mary Tyler Moore theme? (insert song.... "we're gonna make it after all") :-)

Well, looks like we ARE going to make it. Vacation is 2 days away!! I have informed my family that I will not be 100% convinced until we pull out of the driveway Wednesday morning, but I am 98% there. :-)

I go to rent the car tomorrow. All hotel rooms are booked. Money is in the bank. Packing list is made, and has been triple checked. Road trip snacks have been purchased, and others will be made tonight and tomorrow. CDs for the road trip are being made, others have been picked out, and everyone has chosen the outfits that need to be packed for tomorrow. The itinerary and all brochures, maps and confirmations have been placed in a vacation folder. Substitutes for the nursery and my classes have been booked.

OK, does the word "anal" come to your mind? I know, but this is the first vacation we have had in so long, and I just want to make sure that nothing goes wrong, and we have a wonderful time. :-) We're really going to get there this time. Can you tell I'm excited!! :-)

Talk to you when we get back. :-)
Wendy Darling

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well. How is the weather in Neverland? It is finally cooling off in East Texas. We are praying for a REAL fall and winter. :-)

I just had to tell you about a new singer that I have "discovered". Ok, so I heard about him from "FlyLady", but this guy is AWESOME, and I really wanted to share him with you. His name is Eric Dodge

Ok, first of all THE MAN CAN SING!! He really has a great "country" sound, but he also sings broadway. It's amazing. :-) Personally, I think he's better than Tim McGraw. Actually, I'll go as far as ranking him with George Strait. (You know me, Peter, if I rank him with George he has to really be something) :-) I encourage you to go to his website and listen to the songs there. I really like "What a Concept", "The Other Kid", and "This is the Moment". I LOVE the song "When I Was Your Age." To get to this song click on the "Good Things Utah" link. You get to watch the video of when he sang it on TV. Oh, did I mention how very good looking he is? :-) He also seems to be very genuine...humble. Can't go wrong there. :-)

When I first listened to the song, "When I was Your Age", I had to laugh. How many times did we hear those same sentiments from our parents and grandparents. How much "easier" we had things then they did. Now, I find myself saying those very same things to my nephews. I played the song for my 10 year old nephew. He didn't "get it". Oh, but he will one day. Just like the song says... :-)

Listening to this song brought back so many memories of my childhood. The "modern" things we had to make our life "easier". I mean, after all we had color TV! We got 6 channels!! If I remember correctly we got the three major networks, PBS, and two stations on UHF. In Houston they were channels 26 and 39. I remember 39, because that was the station Underdog came on. :-) We had electric typewriters. How much easier could life get? And those huge console stereos. Portable record players! :-) Almost every home had at least one telephone. Most people didn't even have party lines anymore. :-) We had small cassette tapes as opposed to those bulky old 8 tracks. How much better could life get?!

When comparing the kids of today with my generation sometimes I wonder how we survived without all of the "neccesities" of today. Cell phones,computers, internet, hundreds of channels on the TV, etc...It's like an entirely different world. Then again, maybe we had it better. But, that's a "blog entry" for another day. :-)

I encourage you to listen to Eric's song, and think about your childhood. Check out some of his other songs, and then purchase the CD. I don't think you will be disappointed. I really see this young man making it BIG very soon. :-)

Tell Tink and the Lost Boys that I said, "Hello".

Wendy Darling

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dear Peter,

Tonight I had the best date I have had in years. Ok, so it is the only date I have had in years. Still, it was wonderful.

My date was very handsome, and polite. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, is almost as tall as I am, and 10 years old. Yes, my dear nephew and I went out on a "date". We went to a very nice restaraunt here in town. OK, normally I wouldn't take children to this place, but it was a special night and I thought I would take a chance that he has matured. He has been well behaved for the last few days, and is really trying to do better. He did not disappoint me. We had a very nice time, and he used his table manners. I only had to remind him twice to put his napkin in his lap. :-)

Even after my letter about exercising I decided tonight we would share a dessert. I RARELY order a dessert, but we decided to have one. We shared a slice of Chocolate Earthquake Cake. And you know what? I loved it and didn't feel a bit guilty about eating it. I am broke, but I don't care. It was the best $23 I ever spent. We dressed up, went out and made a nice memory. I even got a picture of us before we left so I can put it in the scrapbook. Hey, I'm a scrapbooker. :-) Just thought I would share my evening.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dear Peter,

Well, after all these years I have decided that I do like exercising. Provided of course that it is in my own home and I pick the music. :-)

About three weeks ago I began to use this "pedal machine" given to us by our dear sister and her dear husband. I didn't think I would accomplish much, but it was moving and that was progress. I made a "cleaning CD" that has now become my exercise music. 63 minutes of music to be tortured by.... I mean to get healthy to.

I am now up 2.2 miles a day, with my legs. Then I do floor exercises for about 10 minutes and then a 0.5 a mile with my arms. After 3 weeks I have discovered that I do have more energy, I wake up faster, and I am able to walk more during the day. Ok, so when do the smaller size clothes come, because I need a pair of jeans and I don't want to spend $64 for a pair my size.

You may be wondering "what took me so long to come around". Well, I have always had valid reasons for not exercising. One, I do not want to do it anywhere but at home. I did not have the right kind of equipment. I am physically unable to do it right, and if I can't do it right I don't want to do it at all. My main reason, "I have no time". Believe me, with my schedule this is a VERY valid reason. I usually don't have time to eat much less exercise. How did I suddenly "find the time" you may ask? I get up at 5:45 am. Yep, you read it right 5:45 AM. I literally hop out of bed, make my bed (for FlyLady), and go straight to the torture device, uh... exercise machine. It is ready and waiting for me, because I set everything up before I went to bed the night before. I put on my headphones and start pedaling. I don't even think about it, so I can't talk myself out of it.

I exercise until around 7:30 am. I take a shower, dress to my shoes, eat breakfast, and then dear nephew and I begin his school work between 8:30 am and 9:00 am. Which would be about now, so I am off to teach.

Tell Tink and the Lost Boys I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement. A little Pixey Dust wouldn't hurt either. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dear Peter,
I have been reliving a childhood. I say "a childhood", because the one I am reliving is not mine. It is my nephew's. I am reliving it through the little girl that I babysit. It occured to me the other day while we were watching TV. She was eating her cereal while I was attempting to pull away the wayward hair from her face. Then,I heard the familiar song... "Hey it's Franklin, coming over to play..." I instantly smiled, and that warm, fuzzy feeling came over me. It has been a long time since a child has watched the NOGGIN shows here.

Watching Little Bear and Franklin gave me that same feeling I used to get when I watched Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's. Maybe I am just being overly sensitive, because I swear I almost cried. To be young again, with no cares in the world except "what will I play today", "Do I watch Franklin or Blue's Clue's", and "Just how much can I get away with before Aunt Wendy has had enough and makes me stand in the corner for 3 minutes?"

It also made me long for the days of when my nephew was that age. I could do nothing wrong in his eyes at the time. Now, everything I say is an argument. He used to cuddle up with me to watch those shows. Now he is "too old for that". Everyday was an adventure with something new and exciting to learn. Now he is 10 going on 40, and already "knows everything". I didn't know the adults were the ones who got the "pains" when kids got "growing pains".

Does this make any sense? I don't know. I wish they could stay little just awhile longer.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Okay, I got tagged by Princess Ladybug. Here are my answers...

"10 years ago..."

I was working at the local "alternative school", still under the delusion that I wanted to teach public school. My older nephew was 2 months old, and we were taking every opportunity to enjoy spending time him. We had not, yet, met Princess Ladybug, but we did write and had become friends.

"5 years ago..."

I was engaged to be married; actually I called it off in July of 2001 so I guess I wasn't engaged anymore. I was homeschooling my nephew, and was the Children's Director at our church, and taught Sunday school.

"one year ago..."

I was still homeschooling my nephew, as well as a young lady in high school, and babysitting a two year old girl. I was teaching 2 classes at our homeschool group, was just elected Secretary of said homeschool group, and voted in to work in the church nursery.

"5 songs I know all the words to..."

Count your Blessings - Rosemary Clooney
Amarillo by Morning- George Strait (actually, I know most George Strait songs)
Just about every song in High School Musical
The theme to Hanna Montana
The theme to Franklin
Too many to name, actually...

"5 snacks I love and wish I could eat"
Cheese Dip and tortilla chips
Milk Shakes
Hostess Cupcakes

"5 places I'd run away to..."

The mountains in Colorado
Tour around Texas
Disney Land

"5 things I'd never wear..."
Tube Tops
Mini skirts
Stiletto heels

"5 favorite TV shows..."
Alton Brown
Zack and Cody - with my nephew
Franklin - with little girl I babysit
Paula Dean
Fox and Friends

"5 greatest joys..."
My Faith
My Family
My Friends
Listening to good music

"5 favorite toys...."
My scrapbooking "stuff"
Exercise "pedaling" machine

Okay, I can only think of four. I don't have many "toys".

"Tag Five People..."
The White Horse
Laslo's Semi-boring Adventures
Queen B Experiences Life
what if this is as good as it gets?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dear Peter,

This "assignment" was given to me by FlyLady. ( I am supposed to write 37 lessons that I have learned in my 37 years of life. ( One lesson for every year old you are) :-) I chanllenge everyone who reads this "letter" to do the same. Here are my lessons that I have learned, in no particular order.

1. There really is no sweeter sound than that of a child laughing.

2. It is better to keep your mouth shut and have others think you a fool than to speak and prove them right. (Thank you Bro. Doug)

3. You really can't roast marshmallows in a microwave.

4. The Great Commission really is the greatest commandment in the Bible, and the hardest to follow.

5. I'm not as dumb as I used to think . I learned how to use a computer! :-)

6. Doodlebops IS more annoying than the Wiggles.

7. Water really is good for you.

8. When you don't listen to the Lord, there WILL BE consequences.

9. There is no greater gift than family.

10. Always plant in the evening, and use Miracle Grow. (lesson from Papa).

11. Less is more.

12. ALWAYS check before passing on e-mails. (thank you, Dave)

13. Spell check is a good thing.

14. I can do anything for 15 minutes!

15. No matter how you cook it, liver still tastes bad.

16. There are no "coincidences", everything that happens is part of a master plan.

17. Time alone is not only nice, it is a neccessity.

18. The house will not fall down if company "drops by" and the floor is not vaccumed.

19. I don't have to eat the whole candy bar to be satisfied.

20. Be prepared!!

21. I do have good leadership skills, and I enjoy being a leader.

22. You must "stretch" and "grow" as a person or you will not be truly happy. (get out of your comfort zone)

23. If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.

24. Organization is key.

25. No matter how bad you think your life is, there is always someone worse off than you.

26. Mr. Snuffaluffagus is REAL!!!

27. Character is everything.

28. To survive in this life you MUST have a good sense of humor. Laugh at yourself.

29. Hobbies save your sanity.

30. I will NEVER be perfect, and that is OK.

31. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

32. Take advantage of "teachable moments".

33. Music really does make the world go 'round.

34. Live each day as if it really was your last.

35. ALWAYS take the opportunity to tell your loved ones that you love them. You may not get another chance.

36. Humility is not a weakness.

37. The older I get the more I realize I have to learn.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well. I have had a very rare, and much needed few days alone. No kids, Mom is in Dallas, and Dave and Jen work during the day. So, I did the house work early in the morning, and spent the day doing things that I have wanted to do for a long time. Stuff just for me. To relax, catch up on, etc...

One of the things I did was watch the movie The Outsiders. I read the book before I saw the movie. I LOVED the book, still do. It was the first book that ever made me cry while I was reading it. I saw the movie when it came out, and I enjoyed it, but to me it was never as good as the book. Recently Francis Ford Coppola went back and put in all of the stuff he edited from the movie, and re-released the DVD. My family bought me the DVD last Christmas, and last night I finally took the time to watch it. I have to say, “THANK YOU” to Mr. Coppola. THIS is the version that should have come out to begin with. It was so much truer to the book, and answered a lot of questions that arose for those who just saw the movie without reading the book.

This really showed the true personalities of each of the characters. Especially of Ponyboy, Soda Pop, and Darrell Curtis. I liked it so much that I spent today watching ALL of the special features, including watching the movie, again, with the cast commentary. I don't usually do that, but I really liked it. It gave me new insight that really made me appreciate the movie more. I understand, now, why Mr. Coppola filmed certain scenes the way he did, and the symbolism of certain events and the way things were shot. I never "got it" before, but I do now and I am very grateful for it. I even have new respect for the actors. I didn't always agree with the casting, and even last night I was saying that a couple of the people were cast wrong. I was totally comparing them to the way they were described in the book. They didn't "fit" physically. Now, that doesn't even matter to me. These actors are the characters. I don't care how they are described in the book. For example, Matt Dillon looks NOTHING like how his character, Dallas Winston, is described. But, now I will never think of "Dally" any other way except picturing Matt Dillon. Now, at this moment I only feel that one character could have been cast differently. I just never liked Tom Cruise as "Steve". I still don't. But, watching the new released version is like watching an entirely different movie, and it is 100% better than the original. I can't stress that enough.

For years my sister and I swore there was a scene at the end when Soda is having a "heart to heart" with Darry and Ponyboy, but it was never in the movie. I have no idea where we saw it. For awhile I thought that I dreamed it, but there it is. It is now in the movie, and it changes the dynamic of the whole thing. The whole story of the 3 brothers, who are trying their best to keep their family together, while still learning to "deal" with their respective "season" in life. It is so awesome, and moving. I love the way that the characters are supposed to be so "tough" and yet, underneath it all most of them are just scared little boys trying to survive.

Now, having given it all that "praise" I also stress that this is NOT a movie for kids. I wouldn't show it to anyone under 14, and that would only be AFTER we read the book together and that they are mature enough to handle it. It is more violent than I remembered. However, it is "timeless". This was supposed to take place in '67. But, the whole scenerio of "gangs", kids dividing over social and economic classes, clique's.... kids just trying to find a place to belong and be accepted, even it means being in a violent gang. It is relateable to kids of today.

I like to go back and watch the movies that came out when I was younger, and look at them now with “adult” eyes. I understand a lot more, and sometimes I think “Why on earth did I like that movie?” Some of them seem pretty stupid now, but some, like The Outsiders, I like A LOT better, because now I understand it more. I guess that is what happens when you grow up. 

Wendy Darling

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well. How are things in NeverLand? I am sorry I have not written in awhile. Things have been very busy here. One thing has happened that I would like to tell you about. I think my dear nephew is maturing. :-) Let me explain.

I had changed the rules about his PS1 playtime. It used to be after school and chores he could play for 1 hour. Well, he wasn't practicing his karate or
exercising, so I changed it to "1 minute of PS1 for 1 minute of exercise,
and he had to earn a minimum of 30 minutes before he could collect his
reward". Then, he got grounded from it.

Yesterday he was talking about this thing they do on Nickelodean "the go
healthy challenge"
He said he wanted to exercise more and eat healthier, which we have been
trying to do for quite sometime`. I told him about something I saw on TV. It was a boy about his age who figured up how much time he spent in front of the TV and game
systems (he had several). It was A LOT. He decided to sell his systems and
TV. He used the money to buy some exercise equipment and healthy snacks,
then he took the same time he WAS spending watching TV and playing games and
used that time to exercise. He lost weight, obviously. David liked the
idea and asked for permission to sell his PS1 and TV. I said, "Ok". He
put it on the radio for $30 and it sold this morning. I took him to the
store and he bought several kinds of fruit, veggies, and rice cakes. As
soon as we got home I helped him clean his veggies so they would be on hand,
and ready to eat. He had raw veggies, ranch dressing, chicken salad and
crackers for supper. When he got home from karate he ate a rice cake with
cream cheese. He has done very well for his first day. :-)

I am also trying very hard to eat healthier and move more. He is inspiring
me. :-)

Tell Tink and the Lost Boys that I said, "Hello".

Wendy Darling

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dear Peter,

Well today is Father's Day. I have really been thinking a lot about my daddy. As you know he passed away in 1984. And even though I AM biased I believe he was the best daddy in the world. :-)

I remember that his birthday was on June 19th. A lot of times Father's Day fell on his birthday. Every year we got him the same thing, a bottle of "Jade East" cologn. I haven't been able to find that scent in many years. I still remember how it smelled though. :-)

Daddy loved kids. He coached Little League Football, his favorite sport, and his team was undefeated all 3 years he coached. They were only scored against one time, and that was the game they played after we moved.

He showed his bravery by volunteering to go to Viet Nam, and by our Brownie Leader for 2 years when none of the mother's could/would volunteer. He always helped us sell our Girl Scout cookies.

He loved the Oilers and Astros (and anyone who played the Dallas Cowboys). He made great spagetti sauce and homemade donuts.

He coached Soccer for my brother, and attended most of our performances at school. He was a wonderful Santa Claus. He worked on Christmas Day, so he would wake us up at 4:00 am to watch us open our gifts. He was just as excited as we were. :-)

He had a really good sense of humor, loved music and played the drums. I remember how he used to call me "Wendy Susan" when I was in trouble, and that ISN'T my name. :-)

He taught us about respecting other people and yourself, generosity,a good work ethic, giving of our time, to always respect our elders and ALL veteran's, and to take care of your family,always.

I remember how he would take us to the Minor League baseball games during "kids week". He would take only one of each night, so we could have quality time together. I remember the night we won the car at the game. I remember he would buy us frozen yogurt in the little "batters helmets", and how we would give the batter a dollar after he hit a home run. I still love Kevin McReynolds.

After he died a song was released by Holly Dunn called "Daddy's Hands". I love this song!! Everytime I hear it, it reminds me of my Daddy. I will post the lyrics here, but all of the credit for these words go to Ms. Dunn.

I remember Daddy's hands
Folded silently in prayer
And reaching out to hold me
When I had a nightmare
You could read quite a story
In the callouses and lines
Years of work and worry
Had left their mark behind

I remember Daddy's hands
How they held my Mama tight
And patted my back
For something done right
There are things I've forgotten
That I loved about the man
But I'll always remember
The love in Daddy's hands

Daddy's hands
Were soft and kind when I was cryin'
Daddy's hands
Were hard as steel when I'd done wrong
Daddy's hands
Weren't always gentle but I'd come to understand
There was always love in Daddy's hands

I remember Daddy's hands
Working til they bled
Sacrificed unselfishly
Just to keep us all fed
If I could do things over
I'd live my life again
And never take for granted
The love in Daddy's hands

Daddy's hands
Were soft and kind when I was cryin'
Daddy's hands
Were hard as steel when I'd done wrong
Daddy's hands
Weren't always gentle but I'd come to understand
There was always love in Daddy's hands

Daddy's hands
Were soft and kind when I was cryin'
Daddy's hands
Were hard as steel when I'd done wrong
Daddy's hands
Weren't always gentle but I'd come to understand
There was always love ............ in Daddy's hands.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well today. :-) It is a beautiful morning here,and it is the first morning in several days that I have not woke up with a headache. WOO HOO!! :-)

I am also very excited, because we are one step closer going on vacation this fall. I spent most of the afternoon on Tuesday finding hotels in the areas we will be going. I found 3 great hotels that meet our needs, and I reserved them. :-) The car will be reserved soon, and our itinerary is planned. Now, it's just saving the money. :-) Ok, so that is the biggest part, but I believe we will be able to do it!! I am having faith! :-)

Tell the Lost Boys and Tink that I said, "Hello". :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dear Peter,

Sorry it has been a few days since I have written. :-) I thought that I would share with you the story I made up for the little girl that I babysit. It is very "rough". I made it up on the spur of the moment while trying to rock her to sleep. She loves it though. :-) I hope you enjoy it.

Princess Lacey and the Golden Waters

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Lacey. Lacey was a Princess. She had long, curly blonde hair, a pretty smile and beautiful blue eyes. Lacey lived in a big castle in a magic kingdom.

Lacey favorite thing to do everyday was to pick a huge bouquet of flowers from the meadow near the castle. Lacey would spend all day picking the flowers, because she wanted to give them to her mommy, the Queen. The only problem was the flowers would wilt and die before Lacey could give them to her mommy. This made Lacey very sad.

One day when Lacey was walking in the meadow, trying to figure out how she could keep the flowers pretty until she could get them to her mommy, she met a fairy and a leprechaun. The fairy and leprechaun asked Lacey, “Princess Lacey, why are you so sad?” Lacey said, “Each day I pick flowers for my mommy, but they wilt and are ugly by the time I get them home to her. I want to give my mommy a beautiful bouquet of flowers.”

The leprechaun told Princess Lacey, “You need to go to the land of the ‘Golden Waters’ beyond the rainbow. There you will find the most beautiful flowers, and they will last for many years.”

“How do I get there?” asked Princess Lacey.

“Wait until the next time there is a sun shower in the kingdom. Then, run outside and find the rainbow. Follow it to the end and you will be there.”

So, Princess Lacey waited for 3 days. Finally, a sun shower came to the kingdom. When it was over Princess Lacey ran outside, into the meadow, and looked up into the sky. There she saw the most beautiful rainbow she had ever seen. The fairy and the leprechaun were there. They said, “Follow us. We will take you to the end of the rainbow.”

Princess Lacey ran and ran. She followed the fairy and the leprechaun for what seemed like hours. Finally, she came to the end of the rainbow. It ended in the middle of a huge field, filled with many, many flowers. Princess Lacey saw the most beautiful flowers. They were such bright, beautiful colors. She had never seen flowers this beautiful.

“My mommy will love these flowers!” Said Princess Lacey.

Princess Lacey, the fairy and the leprechaun began to pick the biggest bouquet of flowers she had ever picked. When she was satisfied she put all of the flowers together, and tied the bouquet with the ribbon from her hair.

“Now,” said the leprechaun, “You must dip the flowers in the golden water.”

Princess Lacey looked at the pond that the leprechaun pointed to. She walked to the edge and looked inside. At the bottom of the pond were hundreds of gold coins. The sun shown on the water and made it looked like gold because of the many coins.

“That is why it is called the ‘Golden Waters’”, said Princess Lacey. “How wonderful!”

She dipped her bouquet into the water, and then began the long journey home. After she reached the castle she thanked her friends for helping her, and ran inside the castle.

“Mommy, Mommy come see what I have for you,” cried Princess Lacey.

The Queen came to see what Princess Lacey had brought for her. She was amazed at all of the bright, beautiful colors.

“I have never seen flowers like these. Thank you for such a wonderful gift,” said the Queen.

Princess Lacey and her Mommy put the flowers in a beautiful vase. The flowers stayed beautiful for many, many years, and brought great joy to all those who saw them.

The End.

Wendy Darling

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Dear Peter,

I am sorry it has been so long since I have written. We have had a lot going on, and I have a lot of things that I could write to you about. I think I will just stick with the latest news though.

I have been reminded a lot about my childhood lately, and it makes me ask the question, "Why are we so hardheaded as children?" Why don't we listen to adults and heed their warnings? Why must we learn things the hard way?

My dear nephew got his first REALLY bad sunburn this weekend. He went to the lake and got too much sun. Before he left I went over everything that I had put into his suitcase, stressing the white t-shirt that I included for him to wear when he went swimming. I stressed that he should wear the water shoes we bought for him that morning, and that he should wear his sunscreen, and reapply it when he should. Well, he chose to wear the shoes. No shirt, no sunscreen, and he has been crying since yesterday. His back looks like a lobster, and he feels every bit of it.

This begged me to ask the question, "Why didn't you listen to me? I told you this would happen!" Well, this statement immediately brought back the memory of me in the 6th grade when I wore a sundress to the Little League football games. It was one Saturday, sitting through 4 games. My mother told me not to wear it, but I insisted. Then, as the day wore on she told me to get in the shade. I resisted. I paid the price with the worst sunburn in history.

I seriously feel for my dear nephew, because I remember the pain. The pain so bad you can't sleep, so you just cry until you literally pass out from exhaustion.

Dr. Dobson calls hardheaded children "strong willed". I believe that God gave that characteristic to certain people for a reason. One day they will need that will to either resist a strong temptation, or to have more courage and determination then they ever thought they would need. I praise God for strong willed people, most of the time. However, sometimes we just need to listen and heed the warnings of those who have been there.

Of course, most of us as adults could do the same thing. I guess we never outgrow the hard headedness we have as children. We just gain wisdom from all of our mistakes. At least, I hope we do.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dear Peter,

Well, I started to post something totally different this evening, but decided against it. Let me just pose this question, "Why on earth do some women stay with men who they KNOW wants to harm/kill them"? I just don't understand. Okay as Monty Python would say, "Now for something completely different". Taking a cue from Cleggy I have decided to post the first story I have ever written, and hope to have published "someday". :-) Hope you enjoy it.


Once upon a time there was a little girl named Gwen. She was a very cute little girl. She had long brown hair that she wore in pigtails. She always wore green hair ribbons. Green was her favorite color, you see, and it didn’t matter to Gwen that the ribbons did not always match her outfit. She liked them anyway. She had deep green eyes and a little nose that turned up at the end.

Gwen was what some people would call chubby. She was a chubby baby and a chubby child. She wasn’t small or thin like most other 9 year olds. She didn’t run quite as fast as the other children but in every other respect she was just like everyone else. Sometimes people would say mean things to Gwen or her parents about Gwen being chubby. Things like, “you should diet,” or “you are too fat to play like other children play.” Some children who were very cruel would chant, “Fatty, Fatty, two by four you can’t fit through the door.” At times like these Gwen did not feel cute and she would feel sad about her body. Momma would tell her, “Gwen, God made us all different. You know that you eat healthy and exercise. You know that you can
do anything that other children can do. God is an artist and NO ONE should insult God’s artwork.” Momma always knew how to make Gwen feel better.

One-day Gwen’s daddy came home and said that because of his job the whole family was moving. Gwen hated the thought of leaving her friends but Momma and Daddy promised her she would make new friends.

On the day Gwen and her family arrived at their new home Gwen was excited to see that they lived near the school that Gwen would be attending. She was also happy to see that it had a playground and on the playground was a baseball diamond. Gwen loved to play baseball and hoped she would be able to make some friends soon so she could join a team.

The next morning Gwen was so nervous about beginning a new school, she almost didn’t feel like eating her favorite breakfast of cornflakes with fresh fruit. They lived close to the school so Gwen was able to walk to school with her Momma. Gwen was glad because she loved walking and was not able to at her old school because they lived too far away.

As Gwen and Momma approached the school Gwen could see a lot of children all about her age. She wondered which ones would be in her class. She saw a very nice looking red haired girl who was smiling and laughing with a group of other children. As Gwen and her Momma walked up to the front entrance of the school Gwen heard a low “Moo” sound and some children giggling. She turned to see a couple of boys and a girl with long blonde hair staring at her and whispering. Another girl who was with them was laughing with her mouth behind a book so that Gwen would not be able to see. But Gwen saw and heard the rude insults. “Oh, no” thought Gwen, “This is not going to be a good day.”

Gwen met the principal, a very nice man named Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson was kind of young to be a principal, Gwen thought but he had a very nice smile and was friendly. He was also a little chubby. He had a friendly, deep laugh and when he laughed his stomach shook a little. Mr. Johnson walked Gwen to her classroom and introduced her to her teacher, Mrs. Jimenez.

Mrs. Jimenez was a very pretty lady with short, reddish brown hair and a big smile. As she introduced Gwen to the class Gwen noticed that the boy who had made the rude noises when she first entered the school was sitting in the second row. She felt a pang in her stomach and thought for a moment she might want to go home. Then she noticed that the red haired girl with the nice smile was also in the room. Mrs. Jimenez told Gwen to take the seat next to the red haired girl. As she took her seat the girl leaned over and said, “Hi, my name is Cheri. Would you like to have lunch with me?” Gwen smiled and said, “Yes, thank you.” This might not be such a bad day after all.

After a morning of Science and Social Studies Gwen sat with Cheri at lunch and also met Sunny, Dinah, Arlene, Terry, Scott, and David. They had a nice time laughing and getting to know each other. David and Gwen talked about baseball, their favorite sport. She also noticed that the boy who had made the rude noises kept looking at her and whispering to some of his friends, including the girl with the long blonde hair. Cheri told Gwen their names were Tim and Tina. They were twins and were known for making fun of other children. Cheri and her friends did not hang out with them.

At recess Tim and Tina approached Gwen and her new friends and asked, “Who would like to play baseball?” Gwen and David said, “We would!” Tim began to laugh and said, “You’re too fat to play baseball.”

Gwen took the bat and said, “Watch me.” Teams were chosen and Gwen was placed on David’s team. Gwen had told David how much she liked baseball and that she was a good hitter. David decided to let Gwen bat fourth. The first three children all hit singles which put one child on each base. Then it was Gwen’s turn at bat.
Tim and some of his teammates began to make “moo” noises and yell things like “fatty!” Gwen did not let their insults bother her this time. She knew she could hit that ball and she was ready to prove to them that even a little chubby girl was good at something.

Tim pitched the ball and everyone watched as Gwen swung her bat and listened as the “crack” echoed in the schoolyard. Everyone tried to keep his or her eyes on it as it flew and was lost in the noonday sun. Gwen ran around the bases and made sure to touch each base as she rounded the diamond. Her entire team cheered and welcomed home each player as he touched home plate raising the score one more point. As Gwen came in she saw all the children, Mr. Johnson, and Mrs. Jimenez clapping and cheering for her. Even Tim, who looked stunned, had to clap at such a wonderful show of sportsmanship.

After being greeted by her teammates Gwen was met by Tim who apologized for his rude behavior that day. He said, “I just never knew a fat person could be like everyone else.” Gwen replied, “First of all, I prefer not to be called fat. People think of fat people as being lazy and unhealthy and I am neither of these. And second, you should never judge a person by their appearance. If you had talked to me instead of make fun of me you would have known I was good at baseball. God likes variety. That is why we are all different races, have different hair and eye color and why some people can walk and some are in wheelchairs. And also why some are short, tall, skinny, and chubby. God, the great potter made us all. He just used a little more clay on me.”

Many in the group, including Mr. Johnson who agreed that God used more clay on him as well, were very pleased with Gwen’s response and let her know by smiling and shaking their head in agreement. Tim said, “You’re right. I never thought about it that way. We are all different and yet we all have things we are good at. We do need to talk to each other and judge each other by what is on the inside instead of how we look.” He then put out his hand and asked, “Friends?” “Friends,” said Gwen.
And everyone cheered, letting Gwen know that today was indeed going to be a good day.

Tell Tink and the Lost Boys hello for me. :-)
Wendy Darling

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dear Peter,

This is another short one. Sorry. I am headed out of town today. I will be attending a Homeschool Book Fair/Conference this weekend. I am very excited. I always get a lot of great info/ideas at this conference. The best part is that my sister is going with me! :-) Did I mention that I am excited? Dear older nephew will get to attend on Saturday. It is his first one as well. I will let you know how it goes when I get back. Have a great weekend, and tell the Lost Boys I said to "play nice". :-)

Wendy Darling

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dear Peter,

This will be a short letter, because I am tired. Today was Jimmy's memorial service. I think it went really well. Just as Jimmy would have wanted it. The music went over really well. Several people commented on the songs as they came up and said, "Jimmy loved that song." "Jimmy would be so pleased." "That song is so appropriate." It made me feel good to know that I made the right choices.

The preacher gave a wonderful eulogy, and said many of the things that I was planning to say. I did speak. I was the second one, after his mother. I did really well relating how generous and thoughtful Jimmy was. How he was a man of integrity. I did really well until I quoted the song "When All Is Said and Done". I started crying. I got really angry with myself at first, because I really wanted to say something nice and meaningful. I thought that I had messed up, and it was a celebration service. Then, everyone else spoke. When the sherriff stood to speak and he cried as well I thought, "OK, I dont' feel bad anymore." It actually helped me. It was really great to see and hear about how many lives Jimmy touched and helped to change for the better.

All in all it was a wonderful service. I think Jimmy would have been very pleased.

Wendy Darling
Well, tomorrow is Jimmy's memorial service. My very good friend, Cheri, has driven from Houston to go with me. I have finished the music cd for the memorial service that Jimmy's mom asked me to put together. I think I made the choices Jimmy would have wanted.
My dear brother found a wonderful website for me to get the music from.
It is kind of like NAPSTER, but for Christian music. The songs that I chose are mostly upbeat, Southern Gospel. Jimmy really liked them all. They are:
Shoutin' Time
Singin' with the Saints
Wouldn't Take Nothin' for my Journey Now
Long Black Train
Death Ain't No Big Deal
Old Gospel Ship
This Train
Sweet Beulla Land
When All is Said and Done.

I still have to decide what I will say about Jimmy tomorrow. I have been trying to get some ideas together. I have not written anything down, so I thought that if I typed something out here it might help. I first met Jimmy my Junior year in high school. I would go into the station that he worked in to make a fool of myself over a boy. I guess Jimmy took pity on me, and gave me free cokes.
I met his Mom Vicky when I began working at the nursing home. We became friends and then Jimmy and I became friends. The more we talked the more we found we had a lot in common. That began a 15 year friendship. Although we lost touch several times we would always start talking again, and picked up as if no time had passed. We could tell each other anything, and we always had fun. In that time I had the chance to see Jimmy show his true character. He was the kind of guy who would give you his last dollar if he knew you needed it, and if he didn't have it he would be the one to start taking up a collection. Aside from being generous and thoughtful he was a person of integrity, he never judged anyone.
The last song that is on the cd has a verse that says, "Will they say I loved my family? That I was a faithful friend? That I lived to tell of God's own Son. When all is said and done." The answer is a most profound, "Yes".
WEndy Darling

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dear Peter,

This has been a very weird last few days. Let me explain. I found out Saturday that my dear friend, Jimmy passed away. You have probably read about this on some other blogs. Jimmy and I were very good friends for about 15 years. For about 2 of those years we were engaged to be married. Although I decided not to marry, for many reasons that I will not go into right now, I know Jimmy would have been a good husband.

Jimmy was the kind of man that would give you his last dollar if he knew you needed it. If he didn't have a dollar he would start the fundraiser to get it for you. He never judged anyone, and was always the first to volunteer to help. he was a gentleman. He always held doors open for me, and always complimented me. ANYTIME we needed help he always came. Even after I hurt him so badly by canceling the wedding, he would have come in a second if I had called. The greatest thing he said to me happened just the week before he died. I called to check on him, and we talked for a long time. Mostly about nothing. Before hanging up he said, "I am so glad that we can talk like "just friends" again. I have really missed that. That convinced me that everything was, finally, okay between us.

Jimmy has been sick for a very long time. Until yesterday I did not realize his heart problems stemmed back to his childhood. He never complained, or used his illnesses for excuses to not do anything. He was a hard worker and very diligent in all that he did.

He was a lot of fun to be around. He always made me laugh. Whether it was at the movies, which we both enjoyed watching, or sitting in a thunderstorm at Six Flags waiting for Reba McEntire to sing. He even paid my way to Las Vegas once and we had a ball! (Get your mind out of the gutter, Peter; it wasn't that kind of a trip!)

I am the kind of person who believes that if you have been saved then the Lord will keep his promise and let you into Heaven. I know Jimmy was a Christian, so I do not "mourn" his death. I celebrate it as the "passing on to his REAL home". To his "reward" if you will. I will miss him terribly, and yes, even be sad, but not mournful. Some people believe I am in "shock" because I have not cried. I find it hard to cry about. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because my faith is strong, so I do not feel the need for tears. At least, that is what I would like to believe. Maybe some people are right. Maybe I am in shock, and it will "hit me, someday". I don't know.

I had to come out of my comfort zone a lot yesterday. After hearing about Jimmy I knew I needed to go to stay with his Mom to help her out. I knew she would have a lot of people there, but I also knew there would be things she needed to do or talk about that she would not do with anyone else but me. So, I rearranged my schedule and I went. I did not want to go, but I knew I needed to. It was after my arrival that I found out Jimmy actually died in the house. NOW, anyone who knows me knows that I have repeatedly stated, "I will never KNOWINGLY stay in a house where someone died." I was forced to eat my words. It was very strange though, because at the same time that I felt "uncomfortable" I also had a great sense of comfort. I know I am not making sense, but try to stay with me.

I was left alone in the house several times. I did feel "anxious", or maybe just uncomfortable, but at the same time I had a sense that he was there. It was comforting in a way. I could hear his voice in my head, talking to me just as if he was there. I guess I have seen enough Montel Williams that I remember Sylvia Brown saying, "They are always with you." I always said, "I DON'T WANT THEM WITH ME!" It freaked me out to see those things in horror movies, or on TV. But, this was different. I still can't find the words to explain it.

Later that evening when it was time to go to bed I became "uneasy", perhaps even afraid. I finally decided to swallow my pride, and said to his mother, "I know I sound stupid, but I really don't want to sleep by myself." She said, "That's not stupid, because I really don't want to sleep by myself either." So, we started off sleeping in a full size bed. We went to sleep around 11:30 pm. At about 2:30 am I sat straight up in bed, fully awake. I don't know why. I don't remember dreaming, or hearing anything that would wake me up. The room was completely dark, and I didn't know where I was at first. When I remembered where I was I got up and turned on the bathroom light. Jimmy's mother was no longer in the room. I checked the clock and it said 2:30 am. I turned on the bedroom light as well and sat on the bed for what seemed like hours. I just sat and prayed. I knew I shouldn't be afraid, and I wasn't completely. I still had that weird sense of comfort. I checked the clock again, 3:00 am.

I decided to read for awhile. I would sit, and read. Check the clock, 4:30 am. I decided to get dressed for the day. I washed up, changed, and sat on the bed again. I made the bed, got my things together, and sat some more. I checked the clock, 6:50 am. I sat on the bed. The next thing I knew Jimmy's mother was in the doorway asking me if I wanted to go to town for breakfast. I popped my eyes open (I had apparently gone to sleep), and said, "yes, ma'am". I then realized I had the worst headache! I don't know if it was the lack of sleep, the box fans blowing in my face, the heat from lack of air conditioning, or just the stress catching up with me. What I did know was that I could NOT do this again.

We went to eat, run some errands and go back home. My headache was not any better. Jimmy's mother encouraged me to go on home. After being assured that she would not be left alone I consented and called for a ride.

While waiting for my ride Jimmy's mother expressed her concern for Jimmy's memorial service. Her main objective is that she does not want this to be a sad, "dramatic" funeral. Jimmy would not have wanted that. He would have wanted people to remember him fondly, laugh, and share fun memories. A celebration of his life, not sorrow over his death. His mother wants to make sure that happens, because it is what Jimmy would have wanted. So, I want to grant his wishes, I'm just not quite sure how I will do it. His mother is going to ask everyone to stand and say something about Jimmy at his memorial service. No one is required to, but as a really good friend and ex fiancé I feel it will be expected. Problem is I am not sure what I want to say. I know what things I don't want to say. I am still milling the ideas around in my head. So, I am asking for advice. How do I share my memories of Jimmy without giving away too many of the memories I would like to keep to myself? I feel everyone will say a lot of the same things, unless they just share a personal story of how Jimmy helped them, or did or said something to make them smile.

I know that this has been a long, unorganized letter. But, I really don't feel that I can put my thoughts in words adequately. I feel it is coming out like a lot of "mumbo jumbo". I know I am not making sense. Do you have any thoughts that might help? Ask Tink and some of the Lost Boys too. I could use all the help I can get.

Wendy Darling

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well today. I had a great, but busy day. I had a scrapbooking party, and it went very well.

I know I have told you about my hobby of scrapbooking. It is really more of a passion. A "Mission" if you will... I feel that scrapbooking is so important. It is much more than just putting photos in an album. It is telling the stories behind the pictures. The history of the people in the pictures. Passing the heritage down for generations, and knowing that because I use very safe scrapbooking products that my older nephew's great, great, great grandchildren will be reading the words that I write today and it will look just as fresh as it does now. I want them to know about us.

A well known scrapbooking supply company puts it this way. " Your first car was a monstrous ’79 thunderbird. First pet? A goldfish named Frank. First date? It’s OK to talk about it. It was all real. It’s all part of who you are.

You see, the small stuff doesn’t just matter. The small stuff is everything. It’s part of your story. And you’re the only who can tell it."

I couldn't have said it better myself. :-) The saddest thing in the world is to look at a photo of someone you KNOW you are related to, and not know a thing about them. Not even their name. I have been in several antique stores in the last couple of years, and I have seen boxes of family photos for sale. The people put them in there because they don't know who the people are, so they don't want to be bothered. That is so sad to me!! Not to know your heritage, your people, where you came from...... It is so important for the future generations to know what we have experienced. Both the "ups" and the "downs", so they will know not only their family history, but will perhaps learn a lesson of how to get through the hard times. To know that Uncle "John" was a man of integrity, so they will strive to be like him. To see a photo and say, "I look like Grandma Michelle", or "I have Aunt Jennifer's eyes." For someone to love writing, or crafting, or reading and say, "I got that from... It is in my blood." It's about family, and loving the family that will not be here, until long after we are gone, enough to tell them about US.

Okay, I'll get off of my soap box now. :-) As you can see, I am very passionate about scrapbooking. I also find it relaxing, but this is the "bigger picture", so to speak. :-)

Please, tell Tink that I said, "Hello", and I will write again soon.

Wendy Darling

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well. Today was a really nice day, although it was HOT. We took dear older nephew and the little girl we babysit to the park this morning. We intentionally went early as to avoid the heat. We arrived about 9:30 am and stayed about 45 minutes. It wasn't too bad. It was actually really nice. There was a nice breeze, and it was so pretty. The kids played hard. We did not walk the walking trail like we used to. It is about a mile around, and I just can't do that anymore. Not yet. HOWEVER, we DID walk the tree line around the "meadow". It is about 1/4 of mile. I am so proud that we did that. I finished it!! :-) The kids loved running in the flowers (there was no high grass), and they even found a forgotten Easter Egg. I did make them throw away the candy inside, but allowed them to wash and clean the egg so they could keep it. (Hey, Dora the Explorer was on it. What else could I do?) :-) We made our way back to the playground equipment where they continued to slide and swing for a little longer.

We came home, ate lunch, did school and little girl went to sleep until she was picked up at 3:00 pm. By that time the temp was over 90 degrees with no breeze at all. Inside the van it was 105 degrees. Oh my goodness are we dreading the temps this summer! :-) It was so hot we decided to have sandwiches for supper so we didn't have to turn on the stove. Lunch tomorrow will be leftovers nuked in the microwave and sandwiches for supper. Wednesday night will probably be sandwiches for supper as well, but dear nephew will be eating a hot meal at church so everything will be fine. :-)

Well, that's all for the weather update. I hope the weather is a lot better in Neverland. We plan to go the park again on Wednesday morning about 8:00 am. Before it gets too hot. Dear older nephew will probably swim in the morning around 7:00 am, before school and before the heat gets too bad. :-) Wish I could join him.

Tell Tink and the Lost Boys I said to stay cool, and use their sunscreen! :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dear Peter,

This will be a short post. It is late and I need to get to bed. We have been planning our family vacation for October this year. I have to admit, at first I was skeptical, and did not want to get too excited for fear we would not be able to go, again. Something always seems to happen. But, I just can't help it. I am excited! I can't sleep, because I keep having this song run through my head. It is only part of the song, the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore show "You're gonna make it after all...." over and over and over.....

Dear older nephew has a karate tournament in Oklahoma, so we have decided to leave on the Wednesday before and take our time getting there. :-) We have poured over travel books, online maps, state maps, etc. and have planned a great vacation. Most of the places we are going are "off the beaten path", but great for kids. The best part, most have free admission. :-) It's just small stops here and there. Stops to visit a hands-on museum, or a store, or just to get a picture of a building we will be driving past. Nothing huge, fancy, or costly. But, it will be fun and we will be doing it TOGETHER; building memories. :-) We even have 3 of the restaurants we will eat at picked out, because we saw them in the travel guides! :-)

We get to actually rent a car and stay in HOTELS! :-) We are saving our pennies, literally, like crazy. (not to mention the dimes, nickels and quarters). We have most of it all planned. I just can't wait to get away. October doesn't seem very far away now. :-)

I have to get to bed now, so I will write again soon. Tell the Lost Boys and Tink that I said, "Hi". :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dear Peter,

Well, I must forego tonights letter, because I have been "tagged", again. So, I must answer these silly questions. :-) I will write soon.

Wendy Darling

Answer the following questions using only the song titles from a chosen musician/band.

Artist I chose: George Strait

Are you male or female? High Tone Woman

Describe yourself. She'll Leave You With A Smile

How do some people feel about you? Heaven's Missing An Angel

How do you feel about yourself? So Much Like My Dad

Describe your ex: All My Ex's Live In Texas

Describe your current significant other: That's Me (Every Chance I Get)

Describe where you want to be: Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind

Describe how you live: One Night At A Time

Describe how you love: "You Know Me Better Than That" :-)

What would you ask for if you had just one wish? Love Without End, Amen

Share a few words of wisdom: You Can't Make A Heart Love Somebody

Now say goodbye: Baby's Gotten Good At Goodbye

Monday, April 03, 2006

Dear Peter,

We are so blessed and do not even realize how much we are blessed everyday. That realization has been made very real to me all day. I have a dear friend who is in the hospital with a bad heart. He had a heart attack almost a week ago. (his 3rd) The doctors want to do a particular surgery, but it could be dangerous. He is not sure he wants to take the chance and have it. We are blessed that we do not have this life changing decision to make.

I have another friend who is spending a fortune just to make sure her young child, and herself, are safe from his "father". She is a nervous wreck, because in the end she has no idea what will happen. I am blessed that I do not have to deal with that uncertainty.

We have been dealing with a dryer that has been going out. We know we need a new one, but where would the money come from? Tonight my brother went to look at something behind the dryer. He moved it only a little and a spark flew out. How blessed we were that he was not close enough to be electrocuted. How blessed we are that the dryer did not cause a fire while we were using it today. How blessed we are that it happened so we knew to unplug it so it didn't cause a fire.

We complain that we are too tired to clean our home in the evening, but we are so blessed to have a beautiful home to clean. And we are blessed that we are able to move, see, hear, think, and have 2 beautiful children in our home to "chase after" and teach, even if our bones and joints ache at night. At least we can feel the pain.

Sometimes I complain that I have no time, because I am always preparing lesson plans, but I am so blessed to be able to homeschool 3 beautiful, bright children because their parents have trusted me to do so. And very blessed to be able to teach other children in our homeschool group. I am also blessed that most of my "work" is IN the home. I do have some flexibility that my sister and brother don't have because they work outside the home.

I know I complain that "I need a vacation", "I am too tired to cook","I hate to do the dishes", "I want....", etc... But, the truth is I am blessed beyond all understanding. I don't deserve anything at all, but by the Grace of God I am blessed, and have much to be thankful for. In all that has happened all I know is that no matter what little disappointments I may experience, no matter how "big" they may seem at the time, no matter how much I choose to "wallow" in self-pity, I have nothing at all to complain about, ever. Most of us don't. I love to sing the song "Count Your Blessings" to my nephew. Those words have never rang more true....Just thought that I would share that with you.

Wendy Darling

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dear Peter,

Hi! I hope you are doing well. I am fine, but I have been very
busy with school, work, illness of the kiddos,etc... It seems like I don't
have enough time.

I know that God gives us 24 in a day, but my 24 hours
doesn't seem to be "stretching" far enough. LOL... :-) There are so many
things going on, and events that are still scheduled to happen. I am
beginning to have to "pick and choose" which ones to do. I have a party
planned for April 22nd. I am planning a wedding anniversary gift for Dear
sister and brother in law.
That will take time and money, another thing that I can't seem to
stretch.... :-)

I could schedule the first weekend in May to work on the gift, because I
want to get it to them BEFORE their actual anniversary. However, that is
also the National Karate Tournament in Oklahoma. I am
pretty sure I can afford the gift, but I don't think I can afford to go to
Oklahoma. That following weekend is the ending program for our homeschool
group, however it is also the weekend for the homeschool book fair in
Arlington. My family and I REALLY want to attend. I have already made that
decision. I am skipping the ending program. So, that means IF I went to
Oklahoma I would have to fund the entire trip, probably including car
rental. (See what I mean?) :-)

Time is also working against me. We need to paint the school room. The red
just isn't doing it for us. I want to go with a pretty light blue. I am
hoping the light, cool shade will help dear older nephew focus more. (Hey,
I can
hope..) :-) And HE helped pick the color! Anyway, with all of the events
and money stuff I won't have
the $$ until the 3rd week in May. Problem is that between mine and
schedule "John" won't be able to paint until August! It's too hot in
and homeschool group starts in August.

Sorry to make this e-mail a "downer". I guess I just needed to vent a
little. :-) Tell Tink and the Lost Boys I said, "Hello". Gotta run.

Wendy Darling

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dear Peter,

How are you today? I hope you are well. I thought I would write and tell you about something I am excited about. I have discovered a new TV channel that I just LOVE! It is called American Life TV Network. This is what TV Land SHOULD be. (and was at one time.) My family recently "upgraded" our cable. I never knew this channel existed, but it is wonderful. This shows all of the old shows that I used to watch, and even some before my time. :-) Shows like "Chico and the Man", "Welcome Back Kotter", "77 Sunset Strip", "I'll Fly Away" and "Homefront", "OUr Gang". These are the shows the whole family could watch.

If you want to check it out go here: In my opinion the only thing that could make it better would be adding the old variety shows like "Sonny and Cher", "Donny and Marie" and "Hee Haw". :-)

OK, I know I sound crazy, but I love these old shows. I wish TV Land would follow suit and go back to the old lineups they had in the beginning. SOme of the shows now are ok. "Little House...", "Andy Griffith" and "Good Times" are cool, but I can only take so much "Cheers". What about "The Hardy Boys?" "Nancy Drew?" "The Waltons?" "Leave it to Beaver?" "Father Knows Best?" Where are these old shows?

If I ever get rich I would love to buy my own independent network. My "dream" channel if you will. I would show the above mentioned shows as well as the following...

1. I Married Joan

2. My Little Margie

3. Palmerstown, U.S.A.

4. Family

5. Call to Glory (I know it only lasted one season, but I really liked it)

6. Ozzie and Harriet

7. Burns and Allen

8. Sha Na Na

9. Mickey Mouse Club

10. The old Hanna Barberra Cartoons

There are so many more, but these were the first to come to me. How about you? If you could have your "Dream" channel which 10 would you put on there? List the ones that are not on TV now.
(i.e. "Cosby", "Happy Days", etc...) Go for the ones no one thinks of that we/you loved. :-)

I look forward to reading your list.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dear Peter,

I am foregoing your letter this evening because I have been "tagged" and now I have to answer some silly questions sent to me by a friend. I will talk to you soon. :-)

Wendy Darling

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was behind you?
Me in the mirror on the back of the door.

2. How much cash did you spend yesterday?
About $18.00 (my dinner plus tip).

3. What's a word that rhymes with mist?

4. Favorite planet, on which you would live, if you could?
Hey, I've been teaching about the Solar System long enough to know that I want to stay on Earth!

5. Who is the last person you kissed?
The little girl I baby-sit. She fell down and I "kissed her bo-bo on her forehead)

6. What is your favourite ring on your phone?
Fly Me to the Moon.

7. What is the last band shirt you wore?
Does Shaun Cassidy count? :-)

8. What do you think of yourself?
I'm okay. :-)I would be my friend.

9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing?

10. Night light or pitch black?
Night light, please.

11. What do you think about the (previous) person who took this?
"He Ain't Heavy, he's my brother." LOL... :-)

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Watching American Idol that I recorded earlier.

13. What did your last text message say that you received?
I don't get text messages.

14. Where is the nearest Valero?
About a block away, I think.

15. What's something that you say a lot?
I love you.

16. Who told you they loved you last?
My dear older nephew.

17. Last furry thing you touched?
teddy bear

18. How many drugs have you done in the past 3 days?
I took some advil 2 days ago.

19. Favourite age you have been so far?

20. Your worst enemy?

21. What is your current desktop picture?
nephew in his gi (he takes karate).

22. What was the last thing you said to someone?
After being asked, "what are you doing?" I replied, "Answering questions for my blog."

23. How do you like your eggs?
Don't really like them. BUT, if I HAVE to eat them I want them scrambled with cheese on them.

24. Do you like someone?
Sure, but not romantically :-)

25. The last song you listened to?
Surf City by the Beach Boys

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dear Peter,

How are you doing? I hope you are well. I am pondering a question this evening and I hope you can help me. What is it with boys not wanting to bathe? Seriously, you can hint, ask, tell and threaten a boy to take a bath/shower, and he will do everything in his power not to do it. Why!? I had to become the "meanie" today with my dear older nephew. He was told, told mind you, to take a shower and wash his hair. It smelled! Did we tell him that? No, we said, "It is time to take a shower, so go take it". I bet he barely stood under the water. Do boys think it is toxic? We then got rude and said, "You stink! Go take another shower, use soap and wash your hair!" He had the audasity to argue! We had to threaten to actually bathe him ourselves if he did not go back and wash. I guess the embarassment of this would have been too much, because he did go back and shower properly. "Mean Aunt Wendy"! I know we are not the only ones dealing with this. I know other people who have trouble getting boys to bathe properly. Maybe I don't understand because I am female. I don't know. All I know is that now I am "Mean Aunt Wendy", and he smells better and is resting comfortably. I guess I don't mind being known as mean as long as I get those results.

Tell the Lost Boys I said, "Hello", and don't forget to wash behind your ears.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

10 songs, old or new, that I am enjoying right now. (A task given to me by Princess Ladybug) :-)

Well, I have been digging out the "oldies but goodies" lately. SO, here are my 10 in no particular order.

1. Sweet Home Alabama -Lynyrd Skynyrd
2. Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree... Glenn Miller's Orchestra
3. Desperado- The Eagles
4. Third Rock from the Sun-Joe Diffy
5. Old Time Rock and Roll-Bob Seager
6. At Last-Etta James (THE ONLY GOOD VERSION)
7. Shadow Dancing-Andy Gibb
8. Dream Lover-Bobby Darren
9. Could I have this Dance- Anne Murray
10. Cocomo (sp?)-Beach Boys

As you can see I like a lot of different kinds of music. I could not pick just one absolute "favorite" song. There are WAY too many that I really enjoy for different reasons.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dear Peter,

I hope you are doing well. I thought I would write and tell you about something else that happened this weekend. As you know dear older nephew spent last week with his Mom in Dallas. I had the week to get some things done and relax, a little.

I also got in the mood to sew this weekend. That happens every once in a while. I pick it up, and put it down (unfinished) :-), a few times a year. This time I decided to go the EASY route, literally. I picked up a pattern for a really basic dress for girl size 3-8. It says EASY on the Simplicity pattern. I picked up some very pretty pastel pink and pastel green fabric for $1 a yard. I got the fusible web and headed home to make my creation. That is when I remembered why I don't like sewing.

First I have to wash the fabric, iron it, fold it and cut off the strings. Then we come to the pattern. WHY do they make patterns from tissue paper? You have to cut it out, iron it, pin it to the fabric exactly like it is on the picture and cut it out, praying you pinned it right. I can't remember what to do with the little points going "in" on the pattern. Am I supposed to cut those out or make them go up on the fabric? I can't remember, so I just cut straight across. I then read the directions, again, for the umpteenth time. Did I say the name of this pattern was EASY by SIMPLICITY? I managed to get the front and back sewn together at the shoulders and the fusible web ironed onto the collar pieces. I then tried for 1 hour to figure out what to do next. During this I realized I sewed one of the back pieces on backwards.

After awhile I decided, "I think I will just take piece #5, the front, which is in one piece and cut it twice. I will stitch the neckline and armholes to finish them off. Then I will just sew up the shoulders and seams and do the hem. Done, a cute little play dress for little girl I babysit. Good idea except that that is when I realized I did not have enough fabric. So, that is where it was left. A partially done green dress in a bag, 1 1/2 yard of pretty pink fabric in the bag, and the pattern, folded, in a bag. Then I took a nap. :-) I plan to go to Wal Mart tomorrow for more fabric. I will let you know if I ever finish this dress. :-)

Tell Tink and boys I said, "HI". BTW, have you seen Captain Hook lately?

Until next time,
Wendy Darling