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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


1) Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
2) Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
3) Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.
4) You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.
5) Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
6) Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
7) Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.
8) Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
9) Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.
10) Don't hold postmortems. Don't spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.
11)  Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
12) Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Today a co-worker said to me, "Hey, Bev, that's a beautiful smile. It makes me at ease." And at our office, there's lots to be tense about. These few words made me smile today and I thank God for giving me many things to smile about. Thank you, Arla, for forwarding me these 12 rules.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas-time Already?or Always?

In the past, I've been very slow to embrace the change of seasons, especially the onset of winter. This year, I had my "pity-party" early, around Labor Day, when my husband tried to decorate our home with fall decorations. I asked him to wait and he laughed, then I told him I was serious. He put away the decorations. The following weekend I told him I was ready now, he could go ahead. He loves decorating, and does a pretty good job of it, on a tight budget. My favorite time of year is summer, when I can swim and spend the long evenings outdoors. Winter has certainly set in, and it's been cold and windy here, even had frost and ice once or twice. There's been snow very low in the foothills and on the mountains, but none at our house, yet. I am looking forward to it, however, because it brings the neighbors out and everyone seems to show a Christmas spirit. Last time it snowed, I wondered how nice it would be for us to have the Christmas spirit all throughout the year, instead of only during the winter. I guess that could go on my list of things to do, starting with me. Times past, I have used the "winter-blues" excuse to procrastinate about the gift-shopping, but this year is record-breaking! I even beat Mark... I have already picked out, purchased and wrapped two gifts! I've also made plans to have a family photo taken (the three men I live with very much dislike the "family photo shoot" and the last time we did one was summer 2009 when at my parents re-commitment ceremony).
I'm feeling good, getting into the groove of winter-time and Christmas!!

Snowy scene from December 2008

Gus, not liking the bow!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Yesterday I heard two pieces of bad news, devastating to the families involved, two different friends of mine, in two different losses. I heard about these losses within 15 minutes of each, and I was still teary-eyed when I cried about the second. The first, a family suffered a miscarriage of their 5th child, 4 months into the pregnancy. We already knew he was a boy, their second boy. The family was just thrilled with the prospect of a new addition to their family. I was thrilled because they were all thrilled...but I also couldn't picture me attempting that. The mom is the same age as I am. I'm so sad for their loss, and I know they will move forward and accept God's plan because they seem to be a God-fearing, praying family. The second bit of news also involved a pregnancy, and that piece of it is good news, a new baby boy born early, weighing about 4 pounds. The mom suffered an aneurysm, I don't know the details, she was sick, her mom took her to the hospital, the baby was delivered, and then that young mother departed this life. This young woman's brother graduated high-school with my oldest son, and her sister is currently a senior at the same high school where my youngest is a junior. The heartbreak my friend and co-worker must be feeling is far beyond anything I can understand, but the sweetness of  God's grace can help them through. I will be praying for them all. Today I am thankful for all the blessings God has given, but also for the reminder that the God who gives all the blessings, is able to take away, and it is not for me to understand the reasons why, but when I trust in Him and believe that He is in control, I can have peace.
***Update, here is a photo of my friend's daughter's hand and baby's hand. So touching.***

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My favorite coffee mug

My favorite coffee mug. I have many mugs, some have special meaning because of who gave them to me, or where I bought them. This one is currently my favorite. My friend Nicci gave it to me a few years ago. When this mug is not in the right place, hanging on it's hook under the kitchen cabinet, I nearly panic until it is found! Silly, right?! Sometimes it is these little things that help me get centered. I really enjoy my morning cup of coffee, and since I went de-caf almost 2 years ago, I find simple pleasures in trying flavored creamers. Most recently, I have been using Pumpkin Spice creamer, and yesterday Mark bought me Sugar & Spice, and Gingerbread Latte!! I like them all!!
If ever I have a dog again, it would be Toto.

Dear Dorothy: Hate Oz, took the shoes, Find your own way home! Toto

The perfect cup of coffee.

Empenadas and Panama

There are a few people from Costa Rica who work in my office, and often we talk about the food from their country. I wanted to make empenadas, which I learned are also a food of Panama, where my brother is working now. One weekend I made this meal, and as often happens, Travis' friend Steve came over. I don't know how he knows, but on the rare occasions that I cook, he seems to be here, which I am happy about because he likes to eat whatever I cook. Travis does too! I'm happy when people like what I cook!
chicken filling


 Here is the final dish, served with chayotes, black beans, fried plantains, rice and tomatoes, and dipping sauce made with sour cream, lime juice and chili powder. I really enjoy creating a colorful meal, trying new things, and spending time in the kitchen... that is when I have the luxury of time. I don't like to be pressured or in a hurry, in fact when I am in a hurry I just cannot seem to cook. Today, I am so thankful for my husband, who is so efficient with time and a wonderful cook. He gets home from work before me, so he usually makes dinner during the week, and I try to cook on the weekends. We use the crock-pot, too, and hopefully someday the boys will cook for us. That's my next project!  And, who knows, maybe - just maybe, we can actually travel to Panama to visit Ricardo, and have empenadas in Panama!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last-minute Roadtrip!

In the motorhome, KFC in Chino Valley, AZ.

In the parking lot at KFC I saw this school bus. I snapped a photo, and the kids inside started yelling. I didn't know there were kids inside. Why were they inside a dark bus? Bagdad...,  a tiny town somewhere in Arizona.

Wade and Wyatt, our great-nephews.

Great-Auntie Fern and Wyatt.

First-Thanksgiving Saturday before Thanksgiving!

Bev, Wyatt and Fern.

Mark and the blue tunnel.

Maggie? Sadie?

Nolan, Troy and Jordan.

Clint, the camera bandit, caught in the act!

Happy Birthday, Justin and Travis!

Nolan, Travis, Troy, Jordan, Justin, Clint, Jarred
Jenna, Jessica, Jennifer Wade, Tammy and Wyatt.

Travis- Guitar man.

Mike, Marissa, Mark, Bev, John, Fern

A couple of long-haired hippies.

Marissa, Wade and Mike


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Been a band booster too long?

50 Signs You've Been In Band Too Long

Hilarious truisms that every band geek loves!

When you hear music and start marking time. 
When you walk behind someone and you're in step with them. 
When you try to guess the tempo of your favorite song.
When all your friends are in the band. 
When you don't mind changing clothes on a bus. 
When you point out key changes and dynamics while listening to the radio. 
When you've put more miles on the pit equipment than you have your car. 
When you like wearing your uniform. 
When people ask you about your social life and you say "Oh, you mean my trumpet?."
When you consider your drill book a fashion accessory. 
When it's fun to play the show backwards. 
When you practice your instrument more than you talk to your dog.
When being mauled by a drum is a normal part of life. 
When people worry when they see you without your instrument.
When you're eligible for free dinner points at the local fast food restaurants.
When band camp is fun. 
When you knock on peoples doors with the opening cadence. 
When someone says the word "Set" and you automatically put your head up.
When you remember flats and sharps more easily than your name. 
When you dress the lunch line, and urge others to do the same. 
When you can show up to practice in your pajamas and dripping wet hair and no one notices. 
When slides feel normal. 
When your instrument has a name and you give it a birthday party.
When you remember your instrument's birthday and forget your mom's. 
When making a line is the biggest accomplishment of your day. 
When jazz running no longer reminds you of ballet. 
When "armed guard" means a girl with a pole instead of a guy with a gun.
When you have more clothes in your band locker than in your closet. 
When your uniform can get up and walk to you. When black feathers become a fashion "do". 
When you see your section more than your family. 
When everyone wants to beat the other football team...and you want to beat the other band. 
When you dream about fund raising. When you think evening practices should last longer.
When you accidentally call your band director "Dad". 
When you can sight-read. When you can put on your uniform in less than 10 minutes. 
When reeds taste good. When fund-raising food becomes part of your daily diet. 
When you think your plume is alive. When marking time is your favorite form of exercise. 
When you have a neck strap/harness tan line. 
When you subconsciously start practicing with a pencil. 
When numbers past 8 aren't important. 
When you're more opinionated about your school's band than President Obama.
When you roll-step through the cafeteria so you don't spill your lunch.
When you'd rather practice than read the list. When letters past G aren't important. 
When playing in the rain is fun.
When you chew your food in rhythm.

How I know I've Been a Band Booster Too Long (besides the fact that I understand all of the above and I was never 'in' band))

1) I posted this note.
2) I watch marching band videos on youtube.
3) I feel guilty leaving the band room without at least one extra kid to drive home.
4) I blog about the marching band...and post pics.
5) I've decorated my bathroom in band gear/photos/musical decorations. wow, I think I might have a problem.

Awards ceremony at San G. A noble finish, band in 3rd place, but scores in division 3A were highest of ALL divisions 1A thru 5A. It was a very close call. Percussion took 2nd, Pageantry 3rd.


One last road show.

Exciting!!! almost field time!

Trumpets at San G warming up. That's Troy in the black stocking cap playing his horn.

Mr. S, Dave, Nathan, Sarah, Kassie, Bradley, Rudy, StevO, Bradley, Ashley, Christian (Seniors 2011 in a goofy pose).

Drumline...warming up at San G. Not so much wind during warm ups, but it picked  up during performance.

Pit and drumline warming up.

Shakos, plumes and jackets warming up. 

One of the many reasons I love living in Southern California, the beautiful sunsets. I was amazed again at the majesty of the Master Artist.

Almost to the field...for the final competition of this season. (Troy and Bradley).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tenacious... another word for stubborn, resulting in ACCOMPLISHED!!

Today was a very good day!! I received great news that I have been waiting on, working on for over 18 months. The official news that the band boosters group I helped create is 501(c)(3) IRS certified, non-profit organization!! Upon hearing this news, I cried, laughed, hollered and cried some more! Talk about a relief! This has been a project since May 2009, back and forth, this application, that fee, another application, another fee, jump through the hoops, call the IRS (have you ever done that?!) and now, time to celebrate!! I went to Starbucks on my way home from work today and celebrated with a Pumpkin Creamer Latte... no caffeine, and full of YUM! This news came via a message on my cell phone, during an hour in the day where a call from the music director normally would only mean bad news, or possibly an emergency, or a need for funds, since I am the treasurer. The director rarely calls me, even more odd to get a call from him during school and work hours. I was afraid to listen to the voicemail, I even considered for a moment to delay hearing it until later. But I'm glad I listened soon as I could. What a weight off my shoulders!! My mom used to say when I was in school that I was a procrastinator. Maybe when it came to school work, I was. But this project, and I have had help on it, has been more like a growth that just kept taking up worry-space in my brain. And now I'm free of that!! YIPEE-KI-OH-KI-AYYY!!!  now, time for dinny-din dinner.... Mark made Enchilada soup~!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Impelled By Love

"Impelled By Love, he goes again, to seek the lost and dying men, for in his heart there is a flame, of burning love for Jesus' name. He hears the bleating of the sheep, sees the little lambs to keep, he listen's to the sinner's plea, and says again, "Dear Lord, send me." His precious name he wants to bear, in answer to His loving care; and more like Jesus we would be, the pattern for eternity." (words Elizabeth Pate)

I wonder how many tears will be shed today in Richmond, Kentucky. They've already started here. The older I grow, the closer I become to my brother, and the more difficult it is to say goodbye. We'll still be in the same hemisphere, at least, and we have e-mail and phones.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bulldog Brigade Happenings

Warming up
 This year I promised myself I would actually get some good, close-up photos of Troy at band events. This past Saturday we went to Centennial high in Corona for the Circle City classic. It was a beautiful day, great weather, no rain. There was lots of parent-help, some new helpers, and the loyal boosters. This is one of my most favorite things to do, helping at band events. I just absolutely love it. The kids are so much fun to be around, and occasionally they might ask for something. This time, Troy even asked me to loosen his strap on his hat!! Those little things thrill me so!! In between polishing shoes and sewing on sequins, I snapped a few close-ups of Troy, my little soldier. These guys work so hard on performance day. They always have
take 5
 a run-through at the school before loading the bus, and then when they get to the performance school, dressed in  uniform, they have another run-through. It is sometimes hours before they get to eat again. But this day, the director decided after the awards ceremony the buses would go to Ontario Mills. Troy and I had Wetzel's Pretzel's for dinner. Their strawberry-lemonade is yummy!

almost ready

cutest baby on the planet

Sadie... look over here...
in the zone

Ok, the gloves. Nathan's gloves keep coming off. We tried velcro (didn't work).
We tried Electrical tape. (works!)


Tammy and band Moms ever.

Gus, Guardian of the trumpets.