White Christmas in Texas

The words “white Christmas” are not so rare for many folks, but when you add “in Texas” ears perk up.  That is, if you live anywhere in Texas but the Panhandle.  I have spent the last 53 Christmases in Texas and I believe today was the first one that was truly a white Christmas!  I mean, we’ve had Christmases here in East Texas where there was ice or snow left on the ground from a previous storm, but never a new snowstorm on Christmas Day.  So today wasn’t just a regular old Christmas, which is magical in itself, it was extra magical, because we had a white Christmas!  A real one!

Here’s proof:

My mom’s rosemary bush with a dusting of the white stuff. . .
An evening scene from my flower bed. . .my nativity flag gave it up. . .
My front porch has never seen a coating of snow!

It was only about an inch of accumulation, but for us Texans who had been turning on the air conditioning until a couple of days ago, it was a Christmas miracle!  

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too.  May the God Who sent His only Son to take away the sins of His people bless you and keep you.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6   



AT HOME MONDAY: Remember that lantana?

Remember that day when I showed you how I (or my mother) planted a special lantana flowering plant in my backyard and bordered it with old bicycle rims?  My sister who now lives in Indiana sent it to me as a get well gift after my hysterectomy in May.  It started life in a plastic hanging basket and almost died before I was able to rescue it from my porch where the floral delivery van left it.

The Texas summer sun will scorch anything green if it isn’t tended to pretty quickly, but thanks to my wonderful mother it was transplanted into a less severe environment in one corner of my backyard.  Here is how it looked the day we planted it.

And here is how it looks today after three months of 
braving the heat and three Boston terriers!

Look at the colors in those beautiful blossoms.  The grass and pink metal flamingo haven’t faired as well. . .How are your outdoor plants doing right now?  

In Texas we call these days the “dog days of summer,” but even the dogs hate it.  The weatherman says there is a cold front coming next weekend.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Tomorrow’s high?  The forecast is 100 degrees, and Labor Day is supposed to be the unofficial end of summer!  No one told Mother Nature, I guess.  I’ll just stay inside and take their word for it. . .

Stay cool!



TEACHER TUESDAY: Develop what?

This is that most wonderful part of year–the school year, that is–that warms the heart of many an educator:
the week of staff development before school starts.
Whether you have five days or just half a day without students,
you can bet your Smartboard that every minute will be
filled with engaging instruction–i.e., lectures on
district policy, campus policy and procedures, new technology, and those endless programs and laws otherwise known as
STARR (the Texas assessment instrument),
(I’m just kidding about the last one.)
With all those acronyms, no wonder we stay confused.  Then they expect us to actually remember what each one stands for and
what it means in the classroom!
For a brand new teacher, even one coming fresh from college, all the information crammed into those few days before school starts is enough to send him or her screaming back into college.
Thankfully, there are seasoned veterans willing to take the poor young things under their wings and at least help them 
flounder less conspicuously.
It’s exactly what I have always said:  “Staff development?  
What are we developing?”  
For me it was impatience.
Impatience to get out of all those blasted meetings
and into my own classroom where I could test the validity
and usefulness of all that staff development.
Happy week before, everybody!
Ap ril