June 12, 2007

Back to Business as Usual


Tex-Mex and Geographical Woes
I should have saved my money and cooked it myself... "hindsight is 20/20" (as my mom always says). We ate out nasty Mexican food yesterday on our day off. I wonder why we don't learn our lesson. Each time we have tried to find good Mexican food in Arkansas, we've been dismally disappointed. We go home burping up a reminder of why we shouldn't spend money on Mexican food anywhere north of the Texas border. Texarkana's Mexican food doesn't count, either. Sorry guys. Nothing personal. Of course, this experience only makes missing home a little worse. I don't know how some of these other Texas ex-pats can go so many years living out of state... but I'm melting down at this point. It is nearing two years and I'm loosing my resolve. I'm going to start crying for mommy here shortly - just like Paris Hilton. A six month stint across the border is about as much as I can handle. It would make it infinitely easier if I could go home to visit for a week or two. I went home five times last year. This year, we haven't been able to afford any trips home since Christmas. We've just been hoping that the promotion would come through and we could show this place our tail-lights.

Other Important Stuff
I have a few morsels to share with you that couldn't wait for their own post. You can thank me later.

Here ya go:

Thursday Challenge this week is for photos with the theme: "PEOPLE" (Crowds, People Relaxing, People Rushing, Individuals: happy, sad, pensive,...). Everyone can join in the fun. I'm sure you have a perfect photo to share with us. Just click over and see what everyone turned in this past week to get ideas.

It may be too late (registration was supposed to be by yesterday), but maybe they will make an exception for you if you are in the Dallas area and really want to go. To where? To the World Premiere Showing of the Documentary: "Taking a Stand in Texas, The Battle for Home School Freedom!" This documentary will eventually be released to the public and to television networks for those of you who can't make it. "You will get to see the lead attorney in the historic class action suit which finally defined homeschooling as legal in Texas – as well as the surprise witness whose testimony helped to win the case." If you want to try and go, call toll free 888.200.4903. The Premiere will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 15, in Dallas, Texas, at the Hall of State at the Fair Park.

Have some Bible experts at your house? Test their skills at this online Bible quiz site. Beware, it is addictive!

Ever wondered what your HEBREW birthday was? Convert your birthday to the Hebrew calendar with this nifty Hebrew date-converter.

Speaking of conversion calculators. Here's a nifty Unit Conversion Guide you might want to bookmark!

Kris has done a smash-up job on the Carnival of Homeschooling for this week. Stop over at her place to read all the entries.

It can eat battery acid, dissolve a tooth, and clean your clothes. But do you REALLY believe that Coke is bad for you? Not just coke (all cokes... er... sodas for you Northern folk). Pop, whatever. Check out this health information about carbonated beverages. It might make you think twice before you pop the top.

... as IF you needed more reasons to homeschool... here are a few: Teachers stage fake gun attack on kids - by USA Today... and "Lawsuit over Brokeback Mountain in Class" - by ABC News.

King Herod's tomb found? Read about it at the Biblical Archaeology Society.

Anyone out there wish they could plant a flower garden but can't? We apartment homeschoolers really enjoyed this budding website. You can click away as you create your very own virtual flower garden. Here's a tip: If you like your creation and want to save it, just push your "Print Screen" button at the very top right corner of your keyboard. You can then open "Paint" and paste what you saved in there to create a bitmap image. Then you can save it as your desktop image and gaze on your flowers any time you want!

Carpe Diem
I'm back to school and business as usual today. Still waiting on the Lord to provide deliverance from the funk and our exile. Hoping to go home to the promise land... now (Texas) and again (Heaven) one day when we go home to meet our Lord. I hope you are happy and home... and that the Lord's face is shining on you today. Thanks for your comments and emails. You are a treasure to me.

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groovyoldlady said...

Wait. You mean Taco Bell food isn't really Mexican?


Sprittibee said...

:) Nope, sorry. Taco Bell doesn't count. LOL

Gwendolyn said...

I really feel for you everytime you write about being homesick for Texas. I don't think I could live anywhere else. I don't think people in other states really understand that. Have you had any luck finding a decent steak?
BTW: I could ship you some fajitas on dry ice. :)

Sprittibee said...

Awww. You are so sweet. That's the nicest thing anyone has ever offered to do for me. :) hahaha. I tell you what, though... if you do eat fajitas, say a prayer for me to get back soon. I'm looking forward to eating breakfast tacos at my favorite little hole-in-the-wall soon. I better not talk about it now, though... or I might cry.

I don't eat steak a lot. I am extreeeeemely picky about my steak. More so than I am with Mexican, I guess. My favorite steak that I have eaten out was at this ritzy steakhouse in Houston... I had this amazing butterflied steak that was dripping with garlic and butter. My husband makes a mean brisket, too. We have not cooked on our grill since two years ago in Texas (it is in storage with the other half of our belongings).

Ugh. Please Lord, have mercy on us!

MrsDianna said...

I so understand your frustrations being away from home. I grew up in North Texas (McKinney area). I know where everything is there; I had my home-school group that was amazing, and friends! Last March my husband had a job relocation to West Texas. It was horrible and 8 months is all I could take of it! So my dh found another job in Southeast Texas last October. I am trying to adjust and it is so much better than West Texas. However I am 2 hours from Houston where it seems all the home-school event/groups are. I have driven back to "home" which is a 4 hour drive each way with 6 kids several times, a few times even by myself for a day, hey I was desperate! But gas is high and money is tight so here is where I will be for another weekend. I think I could get use to this area if I could find some friends/home-schoolers, and true Mexican food. This stuff there calling Mexican food is truly dog food. I guess I will have to drive back to the Dallas area to find some decent food. I would not know where to go in Houston for good food, thrift stores or anything else? I have only driven to and from Bush Intercontinental once or twice. We did go to the movie theater in The Woodlands two weekends ago and it was double the price that we pay at Cinemark in McKinney!
I really want to love it down here because it is 4 hours from my m-i-l, but as a mom in general I need an outlet, a homeschool group would do me some good!
Sorry for the rant, I do feel your pain Heather!

Sprittibee said...

Mrs. Dianna -

That is sweet of your husband to change jobs because you didn't like it in West Texas.

It is amazing how different that Texas is in all of the areas across the state. You have the mountains, the prairies, the forests, the hills, the coastline and beaches... and the people are different everywhere you go. I am probably 80% city girl and 20% country girl... spending a large percentage of my time in Texas big cities rather than out in the country. All of my country time I owe to my grandparents who lived in central Texas - the heart-lands... bluebonnet country. I feel most at home in the inner part of Texas and in the Gulf Coast area (despite the lack of hills and trees I so love)... however I've spent quite a lot of time in the Dallas area as well (and lived there for a while, too).

You are right that there is a lot to do in McKinney. Been there. :) I know a wonderful preacher that lives there, too. Dallas and Houston both afford their inhabitants with an endless array of cuisine, entertainment, and convenience. You are going to have to give a lot of those things up if you move to the outskirts (smaller towns included).

If I were you, I would join every email list and homeschool group available so that you can find others with similar tastes. I have found most of my homeschool friends through church, email lists, or other homeschool events. I met all of the women I know in Arkansas through ONE email contact that I made with another lady on a curriculum e-list that I am on. I met most of my friends in Texas through a church-sponsored co-op that a church buddy invited me to join.

Having lived in Houston for a long stretch, I'm more than willing to give you any tips on good eating establishments. I know what you mean about far East Texas Mexican food. There are even pockets of bad Mexican food in the bigger cities. Some of those taquerías may be passing out 'Montesuma's Revenge' along with their runny, flavorless beans!

Have you prayed about the friend situation? I would take it to the Lord. I truly understand what it is like to feel so disconnected. It is hard when you are living far away from family and have few good friends. It is as hard on mom as it is on the tots. That is why I would get proactive about it and start praying, researching and reaching out! Before long, you might meet the best friend you have ever met... and be so thankful that you are exactly where God wanted you! We forget sometimes that we are in the 'center of His palm'. He has a purpose and reason for each season we find ourselves in and place He puts us.

Praying you'll find joy in your circumstance. :)

MrsDianna said...

Thanks much for the encouraging words*~* My husband is great and he was really unhappy in West Texas too, which helped. I was proud of myself for holding my tongue & keeping positive while there amidst the sand storms. That is until last July 4th we went back for a visit to the Dallas area and REMEMBERED life.
I sure have been praying and it is good to write out ones thoughts to better be able to see and get a second look at a situation. Which is why I so enjoy journaling each night.
I learned about the “SETHSA?” conference that seems to be a big thing in Houston. However I found out way too late to plan to attend this years!
My church is mostly older couples and the few that have kids don't home-school:-( I know God has a plan, and just recently I was praying to be let in on it so I could get my anxious feelings under-control. It seems others cities that have more shops and my favorite stores (hobby lobby) are an hour or more in each direction.
I don't hate it here or anything like that, just "miss" my friends and my old church. I guess all I need is time to settle into life here.
When you have time, I would appreciate any tips on good restaurants & thrift/antique shops in or around Houston/Beaumont.

Thanks again,
ps...My husband is planning on taking us to the Downtown Aquarium this summer!

Sherry said...

Well, now I will not be able to eat any Tex-Mex without thinking about you! I have it regularly and still don't get enough of it, so I can only imagine how awful it must be for you.

Here I am on the west side of Dallas wishing I was up towards McKinney so that I could be close to others using Worldviews of the Western World. I can't find anyone local. There's a hs group in my city, of course, but I really don't connect with them. Probably my fault for not putting out enough effort.

Mrs. Diana, do you know about the Texas HS Yahoo group? You might be able to find activities and ppl close enough to you. You'll find the group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TexHmEd/ .

Sprittibee said...

Mrs. Dianna - are you that close to Houston? You sound like you are in a very small town. That may be half of the trouble. I understand missing old friends and old churches quite well. I am not much for thrift or antique shops - since we mostly have very little to go around after payday. I stay away from shopping as much as I can. But I can steer you to some great food places in Houston. Just email me off-list.

Of course, many of the larger chains that you were used to in Dallas are all in Houston. Houston is known for being the Restaurant Capital of Texas! Check out my blog post about Houston. Then shoot me an email (sprittibee @ sbcglobal . net) and we can chat.

Sherry - you are too sweet. We eat plenty of Mexican food. I just have to cook most of it myself. :) I keep a lot of my recipes on my gatheringmanna.blogspot.com blog. I make enchiladas, tacos, Mexican casseroles, Chipotle's burritos from scratch at home, guacamole, soups, pico-de-gallo, and breakfast tacos. My husband can make hot sauce that matches any you might find at Papasitos. We aren't deprived... we just are whining because when we want to EAT OUT and take some time off from the labor in the kitchen - good Tex-Mex is nowhere to be found. They have an "El Chico" and an "On the Border" in Little Rock if we want to drive a bit... but even then, you have to pay 10-14% sales tax on top of your tipping and after you pay - you sit there thinking to yourself... man, this WASN'T WORTH IT.

Thanks for helping Mrs. Dianna with the link to that group. Email groups are not an option for homeschoolers... you just have to be plugged in these days. :)



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