Sunday, June 5, 2011

Karen Makes It To High School

Front of Karen's High School

The Entryway of Karen's High School

Karen has made it to High School. Yeah, Karen.  I am very proud of you.  This year was really tough for you, I know that.  However, with perseverance, belief in yourself, improved self-esteem, love for yourself, teachers and friends, pride in your school you conquered the odds of succeeding after missing the previous year and the trauma that you went through. You became a tough cookie and found that there were a lot of people out there pulling for you whenever you needed that extra word of encouragement. You found you were not in this world alone and that your school, teachers and friends had your back.  Pat yourself on that back because you have just entered the next phase of your life. 

In High School you will expand your knowledge of the world around you in not only academics, but in friendship, faith in yourself and others, love for your school and mascot as a member of the theatre arts department and athletics.  You will make loads of friends here for the next four years. Many friends will come and go as you will soon discover the difference between friends and acquaintances. You will go after your potential and at times it will be tough to do as you will be bogged down with just developing your real interests, making new friends, discovering life and it's many challenges and joy, and learning to be a team player on the tennis court.  In High School you will go to dances, learn to work on that first job, one day drive to school and learn who Karen is and has become. And, if you and John continue to date and be the best of friends, you will both graduate together.
Karen and John
You will discover new interests, new friends, new ways to do things, nuances of life and love and just being a High School teenager that I hope you enjoy as you will no longer be able to repeat the excitement that only you can absorb and relish.

This isn't much because it is 4am in the morning when I'm writing this.  But, I wanted to congratulate you again. Karen, you came through a tough time in your life.  You were thrown in 3 different residences in the last year. I enrolled you in one of the toughest Junior High Schools here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where you fail if you have anything less than a C. Karen you did it. Karen, through your courage and hard work (your teachers and counselors noted that and was proud of you for that), you made it through. You came into this school a year behind and passed every class, including math.  You did this on your own because you had to do it to make it to High School. You are a winner. 

If you take this self-esteem and confidence you have into High School, you will succeed there as well.  It will be a tough transition. But, your Junior High's standards set you on the course for the higher standards required by your High School.  This High School is also a high performing high school.  It is a top High School in the area in which they expect a lot from their students. It is rated by Texas Education Agency as an exemplary campus, since the 1997-1998 school year, the school has received an exemplary rating based on data from the TAAS testing and PIEMS report. You will achieve your highest potential, if you follow through and apply yourself there like you did in Junior High.

Karen after missing 7th grade and making it through 8th grade a year behind your fellow students, I know you can achieve your High School diploma. You can and will do it.  You have the potential to do it. I am so very proud of the student and young woman you have become. Again, Congratulations on graduating onto High School. I love you so much! MUM

Monday, May 16, 2011

Being A Proud Mom

Karen and Jennifer in November 2010 at the Texas Ranger's Appreciation Night


I am such a proud Mother of my wonderful girls.  They are an absolute delight to have around.  There are times, however, that my temper can flare up and they get the feeling otherwise.  But, like all parents of teenagers, life can get a little trying at times. I simply just adore these two charming girls.  It is so fun to relive my teenage years through them as they develop friendships, discover boys, have tickle y tummies when they see certain boys, watch them shop from afar for the latest fashions, take them to their first hair stylist as they try out new styles and listen to them talk about friends, school and boys to each other, even though at times each can be the worse enemy to the other as their competitiveness sometimes get out of hand.  But, they are sisters and the biggest drama queens.

Karen and Jennifer made up as boyfriend/girlfriend.
They also BOTH have a great sense of humor, which has helped them conquer this last year of turmoil.  They have taken their sense of humor and applied to everyday life, to theatrics, school, friendship, sport and music.  They are a joy to have around. I love them so much and they at times keep me in stitches.

Both girls spent most of their 6th and 7th grade year being home schooled (which was a problem for Karen), but have excelled in junior high.  Karen will be attending 9th grade or high school next year and Jennifer will continue on into the 8th grade in PAP classes as she prepares herself for university when she graduates from high school.  Again, I am so proud of both of my girls.  They are charming girls and I love being their mom.

She is so comical when she launches into her summary of how the day went at school.  She gets super tickled talking about how her "boy" friend hugs her, looks into her eyes and loves to sit next to him at lunch.  She adores this boy and it's so wonderful to see my girl develop into this young woman who gets butterflies in her stomach whenever he looks at her.  And, whenever he just wants to hang and talk with his buddies, like all girls her age, she begins to worry that she might have said something that he didn't like and NOW he doesn't like her anymore.  Ah, the sweet times of being a teenager and discovering feelings that you never felt before.  Karen also can become the life of the 'party' as they say as she has familiar relationships with her teachers. She quips, giggles and with a wide smile whenever she meets up with one of her teachers that she loves makes those teachers feel they have known Karen as a friend for a lifetime.

Aside for the academic relationship, Karen and her teachers have forged bonds of respect and one of goodtimes. Her teachers love Karen as she loves them and both let each know how special they are to one another. For missing most of her 7th grade due to personal reasons, Karen has excelled through 8th grade and will be joining her friends next year as she becomes a freshman at high school.  Last week she attended her first tennis session for high school and she is looking forward to going to high school where she will not only be playing tennis, but will be part of the drama department.  She can't wait to move on.

By the way, Karen also LOVES the Irish actor Cillian Murphy and operates a very successful and internationally popular Cillian Murphy Tumblr Fan Account ( Talk about dedication!

Jennifer loves to do the unusual and has a quick mind.

Jennifer is my little quipster.  She is soooo good at quip comebacks. Wished I had her speed! She is so witty most of the time, yet she has that serious side that sometimes you can't break a smile or laugh out of her no matter what.  She loves to be in 'clicks' for acceptance and she tends to be with the smarter kids.  She excels through 7th grade, even though she missed most of the 6th grade, and is in accelerated classes.  Her report cards are filled with A's and B's and her reading is above average.  She has a great rapport with her science and math teacher, as well as her English teacher. Her science teacher really loves Jennifer as she told me herself.  And, her math teacher may scare Jennifer at times because of her personality, but Jennifer loves her a lot with her dance and slang in class.  Jennifer is an excellent actor and developer of story lines. Her understanding of putting together scenes, script and music is outstanding.  She loves to make small films everyday and her creatively gets high marks.  Jennifer hasn't been bitten by the 'boy' craziness like her sister has.  But, she does like several boys at school and periodically she'll come home and tell me about one or two that she likes or they like her.
Dressing up in a Victorian costume dress
Jennifer is my serious girl and she loves being in the Spanish Club and can't wait to go to university when she graduates. She has a lot of interest in Egypt and archaeology.  She loves to read about those subjects and has made some 5 minute 'films' about Egypt, 2012, aliens and the like. She is such a wonderful girl and it will be interesting when she falls for a boy at school. I can definitely relate to Jennifer, as I was more serious like her when going to school.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Salute To Mother's Day

Contrary to popular belief, Mother's Day was not conceived and fine-tuned in the boardroom of Hallmark. The earliest tributes to mothers date back to the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated this festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England this holiday was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday.

Julia Ward Howe

In the United States, and before the noted homemaker Anna Jarvis first proclaimed a day for Mother's, the social activist Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870, which she delivered at a Women’s Peace Conference in London. The proclamation was an antiwar reaction piece to the brutality of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.

The Proclamation put forth Howe's feminist belief that women had a social responsibility to shape their societies. By 1872 her ideas developed into Mother's Day for Peace, which provided the foundation for the present Mother’s Day celebration.
Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, was the woman responsible for giving the world Mother's Day. She first used the term "Mothering Day" to bring attention to poor health conditions in her community more than 160 years ago. She had founded Mothers' Day Work Clubs in five cities to improve sanitary and health conditions. The Mothers' Day Work Clubs also treated wounds, fed, and clothed both Union and Confederate soldiers with neutrality.

On May 12, 1907, two years after her mother's death, her daughter also named Anna held a memorial to her mother and thereafter embarked upon a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She lobbied prominent businessmen and politicians to support a national day honoring mothers.She succeeded in making this nationally recognized in 1914. The International Mother's Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate her accomplishment.
In 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday. Mother's Day has now become a major money spinner, with The National Retail Federation expecting a rise in Mother's Day spending this year.

The average celebrant will spend $140.73 on mom up from $126.90 last year. Consumers are expected to drop billions on restaurants, flowers, greeting cards and candy. Not surprisingly, this mass consumerism goes against the wishes of the day’s founder, Jarvis. "Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card," she said. Jarvis also once pointed out, "There is no connection between candy and this day."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Karen's New Photoshop Work

Photoshop by Karen

Boy, that Karen sure is getting good at putting together photoshop special effects. The following are pictures of my niece, Emma, looking quite pale. Followed by Jennifer's ginger look.

Karen's picture finalizes her Photoshop work.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Everyone has one....And I...well, I have my own, too. My own Don.

You know sometimes you don't realize how much people you don't even know help make it easier for you through some of the toughest times of your life. And, those people don't know themselves. Well, I just want to go on record to say that the Eagles are those people who I am talking about. And, Henley, is the one guy who I am talking about. Fell for his poetry and voice back in the 70s and have not forgotten him, since then. Yep, he's older since the above picture, but that was the Eagle I fell for back in the 70s. Still love him today--even his mouth and activism that most hate about him. I wish I had the courage to say some of the stuff he is so at ease to say. Boy, I loved it when he put out his own platters. Didn't like all his songs on those albums (The End Of The Innocence being an exception), but the few I did like stuck by me. Here's to you, Don. Love you guy and thanks for being there. Wish I knew you personally to let me you know how much you have pulled me through some tough times in my life.

And, to the Eagles. Love you guys. Your wonderful music and lyrics was the one positive constant in my life, besides my family. Without much of your timeless body of work, it would have been a much more trying time. I lost myself for about 17 years, but I'm back and you guys still shine in my heart and soul. Stay with me....I won't forget you guys.

PS: This is one picture that Don isn't wearing his field boots, but a nice pair of black cowboy boots. I've always wondered why and I guess I'll always wonder why; unless, some else knows why.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Girls and their dogs

Karen really loves her dog, Jinxie. And, Jinx is such a funny little sort. She loves to run in circles and yaps as she runs about. Jinxie is such a silly little dog.

Jinxie is also a con- and escape artist. She loves to escape under the small crack in the fence and will go to the front door and asks to be put in. She loves this playful little act. When she's not doing that, she loves to wrestle with one of the cats.

I wonder what Jinxie would look like, if she was groomed and shaved!

Claudia - The Hyper Dog

s little dog, Claudia, is so funny as well. Claudia loves everyone that comes to house and wants to be the center of attention. She doesn't like to wait for the guest to make her acquaintance--she makes the introduction or says hello first.

Jennifer was given Claudia when Claudia was about 6 weeks old. We were visiting the Animal Shelter when some good Samaritan came in with the puppy that she scooped up off of I-30. Jennifer immediately fell in love with her and without have skipping a beat, the puppy was given to Jennifer without having to go into the shelter. Claudia is so sweet.