Monday, December 30, 2013

Reflections of the Holidays

Reflections of the holiday season in no particular order or importance:

1. Thanksgiving weekend we built a barn for the cows in three and half days.

2. We had an ice storm that kept me home for 7 days. The school missed five days of classes. I watched  numerous Christmas movies, piddled around the house, and did mini-projects. I did ride the tractor to the farm, and Rick did go get Mindi and the kids on the tractor so that they could come here to sled behind the mule on the ice.

3. Rickie had a medical procedure that kept him in home for two days. Rick F. fell on the ice and broke a couple of ribs in his back.

4. My boys did not come home during the holidays. This was a revelation to me on how God feels when we do not make time for Him. (Greg and Lisa went to Singapore to be with Chad and Tara.)

5. We did not buy presents for each other to exchange Christmas eve. This is major. We each bought two gift cards for prizes for the different games or activities throughout the night. A favorite was "Deal or No Deal."At one point, I thought this was a little sad not picking out the gift for that special person. However, it really turned out great. We had many laughs playing the games. Also, we did do a white elephant exchange.

6. Because of the ice storm, Santa was running behind. This is the first year since Justin was a toddler, that Santa did not come in the house with presents and for us to take pictures with him. This year he dropped the presents off, rang the doorbell, and left a note.

7. I got two nice lumps of coal for Christmas.

8. I went with Rick to his daughters' Christmas. We watched the grandchildren as they opened their presents. The excitement of children at Christmas warms my heart. The girls gave Rick and I retro lawn chairs that each of our families had while we were young growing up.

9. Because of my retirement, I had more time at home day and night, to enjoy my Christmas decorations.

10. I played with my DSLR camera and am trying to learn the different settings and lens.

11. Merry Joelle, our shelf on the elf, came for a visit during the holidays.

12. The birth of Christ, the reason for the season, was magnified more this Christmas than years past to me through our church services, no presents, and Diana and my visits to different people. Rick and I went to the Christmas Eve service, which was powerful. Bro. Jerry Scott portrayed a shepherd and told the story from the birth to the resurrection of Jesus.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Joelle, Joelle, Joelle

Everyday was a new adventure with JOELLE.These are a few more of her days in the Streetman house.

Rick had to go to Chicago for a business trip. 

She thought we needed to make some sugar  cookies.

Christmas Eve - She wanted to hear the story of why we celebrate  the season.

Merry Christmas 2013

Rickie,  Marilyn, Abby and Merry Joelle

Monday, December 16, 2013

Joelle Meets Jesus

Joelle met baby Jesus, so she could experience the true Magic of Christmas.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Two weeks ago on our way to Sunday lunch, Cali told me that she called and left her Christmas list with Santa Claus. Then she told me about "Sparky", her elf on the shelf, that brought Christmas magic to her house. WOW! I wanted to be included in this Christmas magic. So Mindi dialed Santa for me, and I got to leave my Christmas wish on his voicemail. I told Santa that I really would like an elf so that I could experience this magic.
Thursday night I got my Christmas wish - our elf just appeared while we were feeding cows. What a great surprise!
The first thing you have to do is name your elf. I wanted Rick to have some input, but I did not like his suggestion for a name - Manis. The end of both our names - Streetman and Davis. It wasn't girlie or cute enough for this special elf. So I did the normal thing. I started googling elf names. There were many cute names, but none that Rick and I could agree on. He was pretty closed-minded, since I did not like Manis. However, soon as I saw Noel, I knew I had the name -Joelle. Rick's middle name is Joel, so Joelle was perfect; and Rick even liked the idea. I did read that an elf is supposed to have two names. That is where Merry came in (Merry for Marilyn).
I can't wait to see what mischief Joelle will be getting in during this holiday season. She has already taken a ride on the Christmas Musical train.

Left Santa - Scoggins Santa /Right Sanat - Streetman Santa

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow Days - Four Great days (Make that Six)

Every teacher and student lives to hear the words "snow day". First is the anticipation of whether the bad weather is really going to happen; and then if the roads are going to bad enough to close schools. Thursday, the sleet did come through and the message came that Gunter schools would close on Friday. YEA!!!! Wait a minute. I DON'T WORK.  It doesn't matter.  Well it really did; I was stuck at home. So it was  "snow days" for me.
I love my Christmas Decorations.
Day one - I cooked cherry cheese braid, cinnamon rolls, and cherry crisps. I watched 10 hours of movies - "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood, two Hallmark Christmas chick flicks, and "Thelma and Louise". This is the most tv I have ever watched in one day.
The Bobcat
Day two - I cooked an apple cake with a Carmel frosting. Rick was home so I rode the tractor with him out to the farm to crack ice. The highlight was a rabbit, a bobcat, and her kittens. We watched another movie, "The Bucket List"; and I had a lot of iPad time with Candy Crush and Spider.
Day three - I make two batches of Jalapeno Jelly and sugar cookies. Rick went and got Mindi, Cali, and Cade on the tractor. He pulled them in the pasture on a sled behind the mule. I watched a Hallmark Christmas movie; and then we watched football.
Sledding fun
Day four - Rick went to work. I cleaned all the sock drawers, and threw away at least 50 single socks that the dryer ate the match. The rest of the day I watched Christmas movies, read, and played with my camera.

 I loved my "snow days", even though every day can be a snow day for me. It was special with the white covering and so very Christmasy. Thank you, God, for this Christmas gift. ( I did have to edit this that it ended up being 6 days being iced in.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My unused toy - Thanksgiving Day

I am still a "wanta-be" photographer. So Thanksgiving Day, I got out my nifty-fifty lens that I have had, but have not used. Abby was my first model. Then we went to Di's for our Thanksgiving meal. Here I found my next models - Justin, Keelie, Jenna, Glory, and Jonah. Even Ferg cooperated and was a good sport while I played with my camera. About fifty percent were good, the others were blurry. Later, I found the focus ring on my new lens.

Abby Rose

Jenna, Jonah, and Glory

Ferg's beautiful family!

Beauty starts with the parents in this family.

Music - The Beat Goes ON

We have been to some great concerts since my March blog about the concerts that we have attended. Rick is concerned that we will not remember all the concerts that we have attended - with good reason. So here is our list:

  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Merle Haggard
  • Kenny Rogers - Sounded better than ever!
  • Jersey Boys - Every bit as good as the first time we saw this show.
  • Alabama
  • John Fogerty - We were up close and personal - right in front of a speaker. 

Thanksgiving 2013 - The Cow Barn

Streetman and Co. decided to use this holiday weekend to build a cow barn out at the farm. Streetman and Co. forgets that I am not as strong as he would like for me to be. So the third day we called in the reserves for Streetman and Co. - Mindi, Cade, and Cali.
Day 1 - The Beginning

Streetman and Co. - CEO and BOSS
Almost Finished

The Reserves - Mindi, Cade, and Cali

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ditzy Dolls - On The Road Again

Early in June we took another girls' trip. On this trip, we visited four more states a - Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota and Canada. We saw so many beautiful sites. 

One day we had breakfast in Minnesota, lunch in Wisconsin, and dinner in Michigan. However, the highlight of the day was Chocolate Almond Wine Bread in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Just a few highlights.... I got to have dinner with my son, Greg, and Lisa's mother in Brainerd, Minnesota.

We were at Judy Garland's birthplace on her birthday. We had cupcakes.
We were in Bob Dylan's home town. One day we crashed 4 weddings and fire. 

Wisconsin -- Apostle Island Cruise; saw the sea caves

I couldn't get over how large Lake Superior is; we followed it for miles and miles! 
We did the North Shore Drive along Old Highway Scenic 16

Itasca State Park -- Minnesota's oldest state park
32,000 acres and over 100 lakes.
The beginning of the Mississippi River.

I am now to five states left on my bucket list - Ohio, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska.

(Some of this was copied from my sister's site).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Retirement - Part 1

It has been four months since I have written a post, so you might say I am A LITTLE behind. The post that has stopped my writing is this post - the one about my retirement. It has been a bittersweet process to get me mentally where I am today. Last year at this time was the talk of the RIF at school and process of reducing the number of teachers. From the very beginning I said I was not leaving that I loved my job. By December I had changed my mind and decided to take the money, and let some teachers that needed a job keep theirs. God gave me a peace about this that it was my time to retire. However, I still was in denial and could not or would not talk about me not coming back to work.
May was the hardest month ever in my working career. I had to go through and either pack up, throw away, pass on, or leave behind 35 years of teaching memories. My heart was very heavy during this time. Then on May 31at about 2:00 I turned my keys in. I was no longer employed by Gunter ISD.
I was very busy during the summer so not much thought was really given about my retirement, except on Fridays I was no longer counting down how many weeks were left until I went back to school. Then it was the first day of Teacher Inservice. It seemed as a dark cloud hung over my head all day. It passed until the Friday of the first week of school. This cloud soon dissipated!
I have had many things going on to occupy my time, so I am now like all the other "retired" people that say they do not know how they had time to work.
(I am going to post this even thought it is not finished. At least by getting this much out there, I can continue with my blogging.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day - another busy day

We have been busy as usual. Any one who knows Rick, knows that being busy is an understatement for Rick Streetman. He truly is the "Energized Bunny."  Mother's Day was no exception. We did church and a quick lunch - then the work began. We had heifers in the corral to take to Decateur to the sale. However, as we ran them down the chute they broke out. Next on the list was to mow and weed eat. I mowed with BAD BOY and Rick weed-eated. Then he finished painting the pipe and cable fence. After this we went to Tractor Supply to get some panels for the corral. We then went to the farm and started welding the place the cows broke out, then we welded the panels in. Next it was time to finish our yard work - watering and a little weeding. After almost 8 hours of work we got to sit down. He made the comment that his butt was dragging. I wanted to laugh at him, but I didn't out loud. I am so fortunate to have someone that is not LAZY and is so willing to work.

God blessed us with such a beautiful day to be outside.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Music to my Ears

      Hello, world. I am still alive. I have just been busy. There are several things that I need to write about to catch up, but I decided that I would catch up on the great music experiences that we have had the last month. It all started with the Broadway Musical - The Jersey Boys that we went to see while we were in Vegas. Rick and I have seen Frankie Valle in person, so I did not know what to expect to see a story about his life. It was great. A few times the language was a little rougher than I like, however, the reason the different songs were written was the highlight for me.
       Next we went to see a Chicago concert. It might make one of my top ten concerts of all times. The music was very loud, and your chest did vibrate. I love brass in a band - and Chicago has brass. After this we saw Terry Fator, who I have seen several times before. He and his dummies are so entertaining. While watching him and his dummies, you forget that he is only one man and is responsible for all the voices and songs.
      This weekend we went to see the Doobie Brothers. The song "I'd like to hear some Funkie Dixieland Pretty Mama, come and take me by the hand......" is still in my head. I am lucky that music is a huge part of my life, even though I have NO rhythm and cannot sing. I am blessed that music is something that Rick and I both share a passion for.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Charleston

The trip for Spring Break this year was to Charleston, South Carolina. I had been told by many it was great; and they were right. Charleston ranks up there in the top sites I have visited in the United States. It was another fun-packed trip by the girls. In the five days that we were there, we experienced all the following:

Four plantations – Boone Hall, Drayton Hall, The Charleston Tea Plantation, and Middleton Plantation
Six Historical homes
A 3 ½ walking historical tour of the city with Ed Gamball – Rainbow Row, Battery Park
The Market
Two Forts – Fort Moltrie and Fort Sumter
Two Museums – The Slave Museum and The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
The Angel Oak – two times
Two neighboring towns -  Beaufort and Sullivan Island
The bridge - Arthur Ravenal Bridge
Rainbow Row

Pineapple Fountain

Drayton Hall

Boone Plantation

Some our trips food is not important, but this one was different. We did have one good meal per day. I ate seafood at a well-known restaurant in the area every day. Another slight difference that got me in trouble was that I noticed that we did spend more time this trip looking for our personal things – keys, cameras, glasses, tickets, etc. 

As I always say, I am so blessed to have the opportunity to travel and to learn history. It is a shame that I just can’t remember all the wonderful details and facts I hear on each of our journeys. Also I am fortunate to travel with my sister and a good friend. What great memories.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

TCEA 2013

Here I am supposedly at my last TCEA conference in Austin. It is such a bittersweet  experience. I love technology. I love learning. I really love this conference.

Things I learned in my four days:

I am now a "Tweeter" and understand how it can be used for educational purposes.
I understand how "Pinterest" can be used for educational purposes.
I understand the difference in Dropbox and Evernotes; also when to use each one.
There is an "App" for everything.
Everything associated with Google is still wonderful.
Macs are still the best computer for me.

So as I say so often, ______ was no disappointment for me. This time it is TCEA 2013.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And the walls came down.....

Thirty years of memories, the house for junk and two SKUNKS disappeared in just five hours this past Saturday. No one would have guessed that this building could be totally destroyed and the land cleaned in this short period of time. (This picture is on my other camera.)

The only thing left at the end was the smell of the skunks. Rick knew all day that there was the very strong possibility that there might be a skunk under the building. I had my doubts. He and Peyton had been at it all morning. I joined them at lunch. Brandi and Cali came in the afternoon. We were on top of it, the girls and I pretended it was a dance floor, I hammered nails in ......
After the first hour. One wall gone!

The last thing Rick was going to do was drag the floor to the burn pile. The kids had all left. He told Abby and I to go into the house, just incase the skunk came out went he lifted it up. Sure enough, he was right - almost. When he raised the floor, one huge skunk ran towards the pasture; but that was not all. There was another large skunk that got caught in the edge. He then later got hurt. After a little manipulation, he finally got loose and limped away to find his companion. I still do not understand how we could work on destroying this for five hours and never get sprayed.
The End to a Junk Building

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Not Your Ordinary....Week

Many Sunday nights I sit down and can't think of too much to write about, so a blog does not get written.  In fact, my life seems to happen this way - an ordinary week with not much happening or many events happen, then I have trouble trying to write a post. Well this has been one of those weeks. So I will highlight my "not your ordinary week."

Tuesday I was totally dressed, lunch made, then I let Abby out to find the most beautiful snow fall ever. The ground was totally covered with more to come. The roads weren't bad, so we did have school.

After I got to school, I had trouble with my eyes. I thought I had my contacts in backwards. When I got home, I took my contacts out immediately, only to realize that I had pink eye. After getting some medicine I counted this as a blessing. Others around me have had either the flu or the stomach bug, which made them extremely sick; and I just had an inconvenience.

Wednesday, I did not go to school because I knew I was contagious. I made the best out of this situation by going out to eat, getting concert tickets, and sewing on some sweatshirts. This was also a sad day in history for two reasons. First, this was the 16 year anniversary of Carl passing away. Second was the announcement that Hilltop Haven will be shutting it doors in 2 months.

The closing of Hilltop Haven is devastating to our community on many levels. At the current time, there are 100 patients that will have to be relocated and 125 employees that will be out of work. This is the biggest employer in our community. On a personal level, it has always been apart of our lives. When I was 5, I had a uncle that was in there that we visited. Then when I was in 4th grade, my mom went to work there. We would go visit. Then in the early 1980's, my grandmother was a patient in there  until she passed away. As a FHA sponsor, we went to the care home for various activities through the years. Then my mother started out in the Howard Apartments and eventually ended up in the care home.  Just like her mother this is where she finished out her life. Many families are being effected by the closing of this historical part of Gunter.

On a different note, the weather was beautiful this weekend. Rick had warned me that this was going to be a working weekend. So Saturday was the day that we emptied the storage building that has housed our "junk" and Christmas for over thirty years. The building has to be demolished before we can get electricity to the new building. Many treasures were either trashed, "Good Will"ed, or moved to the new building. I could write about several treasures, but I will share one that really excited me only because it is a God-thing.

This year as I decorated for Christmas, my village and Santa Claus collection found a new arrangement. As I was anticipating this arrangement one night, I got to thinking about this plastic Santa Claus that we had growing up. I had not thought of this Santa in years, but I was wondering when Mom had gotten rid of it. She was not a hoarder. In the building I had three of her last boxes of stuff that came from her apartment. As I went through the boxes, in the bottom of second one was this plastic Santa Claus that we decorated with for many years. It still has the rocks in it that kept if from turning over when placed on the bookshelf. I already know where it will be displayed next year as I decorate for Christmas.

We did get the building unloaded, and Rick even made a 4 X 8 foot closet/box in the new building to hold all the yard ornaments. The box was made out of the shelves in the old building so history was preserved. Even though they did not get displayed this year, they are well-taken care of until I can get them out next year.

After this week, I can handle an ordinary week.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December 2012

Rick and I in Chicago at the Blackstone Hotel

December just continued the holiday season with excitement. The week after the wedding Rick and I got to go to Chicago for a business/pleasure trip. His business - my pleasure. I wanted to see Chicago at Christmas. The weather was perfect for me to do the Hop-a-Bus city tours. We stayed at the historical Blackstone Hotel; and I went to the Chicago Art Institute. We also ate at some fun places with not your typical southern menus.

Macy's in Chicago
I turned in my resignation, because of the financial state of the school district. I now can't wait to see what God has in store for me in 2013. This will definitely be a new chapter in my life. 

We did all the usual - Christmas parties, Church Christmas cantata and services, Christmas lights with the grandchildren, Christmas crafts, lots of food events, and a visit from Santa.
Santa and the sisters

The unusual also happened this year - We had a white Christmas, in which Greg and Lisa made it to Gunter just in time. Even though Chad and Tara did not get to join us, we did get to skype several times plus all our normal phone calls and messages. 
A White Christmas
Greg's gift to Lisa

We did have to adjust for my MARRIED kids this year, but that is OK. I know that even though we were not together doing the normal family traditions, they each started their own traditions with their wives. The best gift I have is knowing that they are with someone they love. What more can a mom ask for!

Rick's gift to me was a new camera lens. Hopefully,  I will do even better posting pictures on here. I am determined to learn the different settings on my camera this next year.

As the year comes to an end, 2012 was life changing for our family - I gained two "drop-dead gorgeous" daughter-in-laws that makes my boys extremely happy. Rick is still keeping me happy, so I can say that we are truly Blessed. God has blessed us richly. My wish for whomever is reading this is that you can say the same.

May you have a very Blessed 2013!