Monday, September 26, 2011

Retail Therapy

This past weekend my sister Allison came to town and we were able to spend some quality time together as sisters and friends. We went to Galveston on Friday night since Allison had not been to the beach with my little beach baby Natalie. We spent about 2 hours on the beach just playing in the sand and running with the waves. On Saturday, Allison and I went out and did what her and I do best... we went shopping. Her and I have got to get our shopping "fix" in when we see each other. For me shopping is where I go to de-stress if you will. I find that walking up and down the mall isles really allows me to get that much needed "me time". Allison and I love to go and look at stuff that we would not usually look at when together. This time was no different.

We went to Market Street in The Woodlands which is like a very "ritzy" outdoor shopping venue. There we went to several upscale stores and shops and basically determined we were not skinny enough or rich enough for them. We found one store that specialized in Pajamas and they sold their sets for $110 each!!! We were both thinking "Now c'mon, really... they are just PJs." We began to feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. They owners would look at us and basically laugh. We saw Ferrari's, Porche, and even a Lamborghini. Nonetheless, we survived that part of our shopping without any damage to our bank accounts.

On Saturday night we went to Chuys and had a great dinner together before we came home and watched OU and LSU win. (Of course this is always a tradition with the Davis Family as well) On Sunday, Allison got to go to church with us at Mims Baptist Church and then come home to a wonderful lunch where we put her on the spot about her thoughts on the church service (She approved so all is well!!!) Before she left we spent a few hours just talking and catching up. It was such a wonderful weekend!

It is always fun to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the week and just walk down a street or sit around the living room and fellowship with someone you love and I could not have asked for anyone better to do this very same thing with this past weekend. Allison Klingsick, thank you so much for coming to visit! We had a blast and cannot wait til next time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My little TEXAN!!!!!

I think my little toddler is turning into such a little girl. She is talking all the time now. She will talk in sentences and say "Daddy, do you want to sit?" or she might say "Oxford did a shake shake shake". She is growing up right before my eyes. The other day we were going out to eat and then out to get ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery (My favorite) and she said "Mommy loves Ice Cream." She would scream this while we were walking to the store. I have to admit... it was a little embarassing. People would look at me and laugh and some looked as if I was addicited to drugs or something.

The best thus far had to have been on that same night when we were walking at the mall. We were about to leave the store and go to our car and there were some manikins by the exit. She looked at them, waved and said "By YALL". Chris and I looked at each other and laughed. I guess that means she is officially a TEXAN!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Next Step on My Musical Journey

On May 27, 2011 when my husband and I found out we were going to be moving to Houston, I never imagined I would end up where I did. Approximately one month after we got the final word that we WERE IN FACT moving to Houston from OKC, I was offered a job teaching elementary music at Booker Elementary in Spring. Again, if you would have asked me where I thought I would be back in May, I would have said teaching band at a Middle School or High School... but that was not the case.

As the weeks continued to pass and I had not heard from the countless band jobs I had interviewed for, I began to wonder if I should spread myself further and apply at elementary schools as well. After all, I had taught middle school band AND elementary music my entire career so I feel comfortable doing so. Of course, in my heart I still wanted to land a band job. The band jobs came and went and I was left near the end of June without a job. I went in to interivew for this job and right off the bat I got a good vibe and that this one might be THE ONE even thought it was NOT band. The interview went extremely well and I ended up getting a call back with the job offer not but 2 hours after the interview. This was defintely a GOD THING!

Since being at Booker, I have had to adjust several things. I have mentioned this before but... I HAVE TO SPEAK SPANISH EVERY DAY. My poor kindergarteners barely know what to do unless I model it for them. (Yall would laugh so hard if you saw my dancing and crazy movements I do with them) My limited amount of spanish makes for several moments of laughing and trying to understand what I am saying. I love that class and hate it at the same time. It is kinda like playing the cherades with your class day in and day out. Thanks to Allison and some of the Spanish speaking teachers in the building, I am learning and I getting better. Now they only laugh once every 5 minutes instead of 2!!!!

The Spanish speaking is all kicks and giggles but the main adjustment I have had to do is my ambitousness and dedication to making sure the kids are where they need to be. It became apparent to me shortly after Labor Day that these kids are not anywhere close to where they should be in the grades they are in. I would go over notes and rests and they looked at me like they had no idea. I would mention something about clefs or note names on the staff or even dynamics and blank stares from all... even the 5th graders. I would get frustrated in the lessons and begin to tell them to "step it up" and eventually a 5th grader came to me and said "Mrs. Davis all we did last year with our old music teacher is play the instruments. We never read any notes or anything." Come to find out, she had basically taught them by rote and that is all. So I sat there and had my panic attack and then tried to get back into the real world and focus on how far behind these kids are.

The past two weeks have been a real sturggle for me and my hard-core, "Must get to the goal" mentality but I have learned that sometimes you just have to LOVE on them. Now dont get me wrong... I loved on kids in previous jobs and positions but not like this. I have basically decided that my goal for this year will be to help them LOVE music the way I do. They may not be able to catch up to their grade level ability in music by May (Or June since I am in Texas now:) ) but they will love music. Sometimes that is all you need. "Love, Love, Love... All you need is Love".

I thank God each and every day for giving me this opportunity. It may not have been what I would have chosen or even thought I would get but here I am today and I am grateful. I hope I came make a difference in these kids lives and help them enjoy and love music. I ponder upon this song every morning during my commute:
Count your blessings, anme them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessins, name them one by one.
Count your MANY blessings see what GOD HAS DONE!

Thank you Lord for your continued blessings! It is going to be a great year!


This is my "back door" and our "TRIBES" agreements (school wide discipline)
This is my "Front door" and my upright piano!
This is the front of my room with my instruments and SMART BOARD!!!!
This is my desk and personal space. (I am not used to not having my own office yet but it will do!)
This the picture Katie Carmichael gave me! I LOVE IT!
Finally... BOTH of my degrees are framed and on the wall! I love it!
What time is it? MUSIC TIME!!!!
My school is a "NO EXCUSES" school and we encourage college from the 1st day of Pre-K. All of the teachers have to choose a different university to decorate thier room with and teach about that college EVERY TUESDAY! I love this program and think it is a genius idea for encouraging kids to go to college. UNFORTUNATELY, OU was already taken (By a Non-OU grad) so I had to decorate in UCO! I am an alumni though so that helps! Here is my wall of UCO!!!
This is my WALL OF CLOSETS! Seriously... so much storage I dont know what to do with it all! It is ALL FULL of instruments! It is AWESOME! (Notice the drums on the top!!!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Watch Football"

So every year at this time I gear myself up for Football season. I really do like football and I always have but since marrying Chris, I have taken on a little bit more football than I would prefer. You see Chris LOVES college football and basically watches it ALL DAY on Saturdays during Football Season. Of course he also watches college football on Thursday, Friday, and even Wednesday nights. He has a fantasy college team (several in fact) and he will keep a tally of his fantasy team score and all while watching the games. He will wake up on Saturday morning in time to watch "College Gameday" and stay up until the last game is over and with the possible addition of OU to the "Pac-whatever" I am sure we BOTH will be staying up later as the upcoming seasons approach.

Of course, how could I forget Pro Football. He has several fantasy teams for NFL as well and these games take up Sunday and Mondays. And I am left with Tuesdays (IF I AM LUCKY). Now a few years ago I would have said this made me mad and I felt like a "football widow" as a friend of mine used to call it. Now-a-days, I count it as a time to spend to myself on Saturdays. I enjoy laundry and shopping and whatever else I need to get done.

All of this is to tell you that last night after Natalie's bath, she kept saying "ball", "ball". I would ask her where her ball was and try to get her to tell me exactly what she wanted. She would not give me a clear answer. She began to fuss and cry and pointed to the living room and said "ball". Again, I thought maybe she wanted to play fetch with the dogs or something. Yeah no... She dragged me into the living room and said "Watch Ball". There sat daddy and Natalie Grace watching football together. It really was too cute.

I love you Chris and I am glad Natalie likes to watch football with you!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade Later

My family has always traveled to major cities for vacations to do mainly 2 things: attend MLB baseball games and visit skyscrapers and tall buildings. In fact, since I was born I have been to 28 major league baseball stadiums and countless skyscrapers. I have always been fascinated with both. This particular story and trip is one that I will NEVER forget.

When I was 16 my parents, my sister and I along with my Grandmother went on our usual summervacation consisting of tours of baseball stadiums and baseball games. This particular year we were traveling to New York City to make up a Yankees game we missed a few years back due to rain. We were all so excited because on this trip we were also going to be able to not only go up into the Empire State Building which we had done on previous trips but also go up into the World Trade Center observation deck as well.

We had determined that we like to go up into skyscrapers not only during the day but also at night. We had been to New York City before and been up to the Empire State Buildings observation deck many times and decided we wanted to see the city's skyline at night so we waited until dusk to make our way down to th World Trade Center. This was towards the end of our trip and we were coming from Wall Street and the stock exchange and on this night the traffic was very heavy. We finally got there around 8:40 or so and had to park and then make our way to the desk where observation tickets were sold. We purchased our tickets and began to look around the area of the exhibit called "A View from the Top of the World". This was an area that had shops and restaurants around the inside of the observation area. We wanted to go outside but by the time we made it to the elevator to take you outside, it was closed. We heard a worker say "I am sorry but the outside observation deck is closed for the night". I remember my sister and I BOTH crying and begging our dad to take outside. A very kind and friendly man named "Radalfo" came up from behind and said "Sir, allow me. I will take you outside."

Radalfo took us outside and allowed us to look around and see the city from the a very personal stand point. Radalfo showed each of the four sides and told us countless facts about New York and its' heritage. Finally after what seemed like only a few minutes someone else came out and told him it was time to go. He apologized so kindly to us and showed us the elevator. During the ride down to the gournd level, Radalfo shared some of his life story with us. I dont remember any other skyscraper elevator operator in all my years but him I will never forget.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001... I had made my way to my 8:00 Music Theory class and was early and waiting for the teacher to show up. I was talking with some friends about the previous weekends OU football game and out came my teacher in a panic. He said "The World Trade Center in New York has been hit. Class is cancelled." At first I did not believe him. I thought "I bet it wasnt HIT but just a bomb threat".
As I got up to make my way back to my dorm, I noticed the campus to be much more somber than usual, even for a Tuesday morning. As soon as I walked into my dorm lobby, there were screaming and crying and I knew something terrible had happened. I went up to the 8th floor where my room was and turned on the TV. Sure enough, I saw a terrible thing. President David Boren cancelled the rest of the classes that day and I pretty much watched coverage of the whole event the rest of the day. I saw things I hope I will never see again. I remember calling my mom and just crying with her saying "I hope Radalfo made it out alive".

Unfortuneatly, we never learned Radalfo's last name so I can not look up to see if he survived or not. But my family and I agree he more than likely did not since he had the attitude he did and treated us the way he did. I am sure he helped other escape before getting out himself. He just had that type of heart.

As the days, weeks and even months afterwards unfolded we saw the buildings fall and the countless lives that were effected by those terrorists attacks. I was not direclty affected but I felt the pain and agony that many felt as we saw the worst attack on American unfold. I did not lose my child or spouse or family member of any kind and I feel for those that did especially on an anniversary such as this one but even in the midst of tragedy, I am grateful. I am grateful for life and especially life eternal. Psalm 46:1- "god is our refuge and strenght, a very help in times of trouble". God is there with you even amidst tragedy. Give your heart to God and He will take care of you.
September 11, 2001... I will NEVER forget.