Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

House Hunting...again!

We found a potential house to move into. Since our landlord, Norm, is going down, we've decided to abandon ship or rather house. We found a possible place that is literally right around the corner. If everything works out, we'll move at the end of October. We are hoping to have a Foreclosure Fiesta where people can help us move. We will bribe them with Mexican treats such as: fajitas, margaritas, beer and queso. Who could resist? The house is so close that if we have enough people, we could do some sort of giant assembly line. That could be pretty sweet.

Tomorrow night at YoungLife, I am going to be in a skit where I play a weirdo Kindergarten teacher. I scoured the local thrift stores today until I found a couple of gems. In fact, both outfits are so great, that I had to buy two. Maybe it will have to be a reoccuring character. I thought about wearing one of these teacher ABC jumpers for my school picture but I think I will regret it later.

Life has gotten pretty busy lately with Office parties, YoungLife and college football. My school is really into after-school tutorials for the struggling kids. I am all for helping them but I don't like cutting into my Miss Hightower time. This is similar to Miss Lippy time except that I don't put paste on my face. We get paid to do it but it kinda sucks since it isn't something we do by choice. We are pretty much forced into it. I think I will be doing them twice a week. I am also trying to get an art club started one afternoon a week since our school doesn't have art. It's pretty lame. The kids have P.E., library, computer lab and then Science experiments and Science vocab. Instead of art or music, we have two extra Sciences. I just feel so bad for those kids who are only good at art. I feel the need to look out for them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today I figured out why I have been eating waffles for breakfast every morning for the last two months. I thought it was because of the delightful taste of the Eggo Nutri-Grain low-fat waffles with low fat syrup and spray butter. I don't think so anymore.

This morning I woke up to my roommate, Katie, crying. I was afraid someone had died and indeed someone had. My roommate, Sarah's cat was found dead on our front lawn. With the non-existance of kitty CSI, we were left to assume that she tried to go under the fence and choked herself with her collar. As a child I had numerous pets pass away in the prime of their youth. But I know this is really sad for Sarah. She is new to Houston and Bea (the cat) had been the only constant in her life for a while. She is also one of those people who gets really attached to her cats. Poor thing.

This morning Katie (thank God she's a nurse) donned gloves and wrapped the cat in a garbage bag and then dropped it into another as I held the second bag open. Then we put the dead cat in a cooler with ice. I am not sure what will happen to her as my experience with dead pets always resulted in my dad burying them in a field or our backyard.

After this ordeal, I went inside and ate my usual waffles. Then it hit me that it really isn't about the waffles. I need some kind of normalcy and stability during this crazy time in my life. I think this is why some people become anorexic. They want to control some part of a life that feels out of control. Luckily I am not anorexic, I am just eating waffles. I hope they don't stop making those waffles anytime soon. I need them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Hi blog readers- you random people who read my public thoughts,
I have recently remembered that I told people I would give Sarah updates on my blog. I have been doing decent at that but I think I will try to write them at the beginning of each post so that people who just want to know about Sarah and don't want to read as I blather on, can do just that.

Sarah update-
Last Friday Sarah had another allergic reaction to her chemo. The week before she had a reaction and they gave her lots of Benydryl. This time it was worse. She started to feel hot and couldn't breathe. They stopped the chemo and sent her to see her doctor. Sarah was scared about all this (who wouldn't be?) but the doctor said that some people just have a bad reaction to some of the other drugs that come along with the chemo. They are going to try to give Sarah another chemo that has different other drugs with it. It is actually more expensive but your insurance will only pay if you are allergic to the cheaper kind. So, I guess she'll be getting fancier chemo but it also means she will go a week longer since last week's didn't happen.

Her hair is still in tact so there has been no need to bust out Raquel. Despite all the preparations and build-up, I think it will be really hard on us all, especially Sarah, of course, when her hair does start to fall out. Thanks for your prayers for Sarah. She definitely needs them. I also found out that my friend, Keri (used to be Narramore) McDonald's father-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia. Stupid cancer! It feels like some sort of scary movie where a monster attacks people when they least expect it.

I read a good verse in Psalms today and I am too lazy right now to go find where it is. It said that God, "daily bears our burdens." That is a powerful statement to me. I have had to bear burdens for my friends and walk through hard stuff with them during different seasons of my life. Right now with Sarah is a prime example. But I can't say that I have born someone's burdens daily. And as a human, sometimes I break down and I can't do it. But God can take everyone's burdens at once and he does it every day. That is so amazing!

The house stuff is not looking good. Our landlord is financially strapped. It looked like some guy was going to buy the house and offer us a deal to move early. Well, after the inspection, the guy backed out. This leaves us with the great possibility that the bank will foreclose on the house and we will have to move, presumably without our deposit. This means we'll have to find a new place and pay a new deposit. This just sucks. I can't even really think about what's going to happen since my life seems to be one new thing (mostly crappy) after the next. We are looking for a new place to live. Please pray. I am trying to stop hating change and uncertainty but it would be easier to do if it would just stop happening so often. Oh well, God says he has my back or my burdens, right? Here's some more, big guy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lots o' school

Last night I went a high school volleyball game. As a Young Life leader, I am supposed to do "contact work." This means making contact with kids. I am always good at going to our weekly club meeting. I am not always as good at making time to see the kids outside of that. On Wednesday, we had a mini-Young Life meeting with some of our main kids. I was dreading the extra time commitment but when I got there, I totally remembered why I do this. The kids are so much fun. I had most of the girls in my cabin at camp. They were really excited to see me, which felt really good. One thing I have learned about myself is that I don't feel right if I am not doing some sort of volunteer work. I need these kids as much as they need me.

Anyway, back to the volleyball game. Six of the girls on varsity and two on JV, as well as the manager are regular Young Life kids. It was cool to see them play even though we lost. I had also forgotten that my girls aren't the only ones on the team. I also forget that there are white kids at their school since our Young Life group is almost exclusively black and Hispanic. Watching them play made me miss high school and high school sports. I even missed the smell of the gym. I think that makes me a little weird. Who was I kidding? Of course I was supposed to be a teacher- I even like the way schools smell. What a dork!

Life is better lately. I am not letting the big unchangeable stuff get me down so much. Even though that stuff hasn't changed and in some cases, has gotten worse, I can't let that affect my mood. I have been praying about it more too, which I know helps.

We found out that the buyer of our house has withdrawn his offer. This probably means our landlord is going down in the near future. We have started looking for a place to move and it is likely it will happen within the next month. I love change!

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Daily Grind

So, life is starting to fall into a routine- I guess. I finished my second week as a third grade teacher. I need to get more organized. There is so much paperwork and logistical stuff. I don't think I fully realized the magnitude of this part of teaching. I am not really letting it stress me out but I would have less work to do if I was more organized. Slowly I am getting organized. I think I could knock it all out if I would just stay at school late one day but I can't bear staying after 4:30pm. Hopefully I can get more organized this weekend but I will probably just hang out with my friends.

Today was go Texans day at my school. For those of you who don't know, the Texans are the local NFL team who are really stupid because they passed up their chance to get Vince Young, my favorite player ever. Because of their extreme stupidity, I am a Tennessee Titans fan and not a Texans fan. Needless to say, I did not dress in Texans' gear even though it meant I could have worn a t-shirt.

My car problems seem to be working themselves out after a series of daily phone calls to a woman named Javanna at Geico. It looks like I will be paying about $250 instead of $450. Yay.

The Office Season 3 came out on DVD and brightened my week quite a bit. I can't wait for Season 4 to begin! I am looking forward to having weekly Office parties. All Houston Office fans are invited.

I think life will make an upswing and I hope this happens soon. This weekend I was supposed to go to a concert with Sarah Sto-Gregor, but she doesn't feel up to it. I hate seeing her suffer and I hate that she can't do all the things she wants to do anymore. Please continue to pray for her.

Also I am doing a 67 mile bike ride on Sunday morning called the TOur de Pink. It raises money for breast cancer research and a bunch of us are riding in it in honor of Sarah. I haven't been on a bike in a month so I really don't know how it will go. I rode in the MS 150, which is 160 miles in two days under worse conditions. I didn't go to sleep until 4am, I had ridden a maximum of forty miles before that and I was riding a hybrid bike instead of a road bike. If I could finish that, I think I can do this. I have also been working out a lot but not on a bike. Pray that I survive all that time on the seat.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Curve balls 1004 and 1005

So, I have been feeling a lot like Job in the Bible lately. At the beginning of Job, The Devil tells God that Job has been faithful because his life is so easy. The Devil gets permission to start "testing" Job but he is forbidden to physically harm him. I feel like this. I am physically ok but everything around me seems to be chaotic and stressful. I don't like change and yet God keeps throwing curve balls at me, both big and small. The best friend getting breast cancer has obviously been the biggest and hardest one but other smaller ones keep coming. I thought the crazy DtS I led last summer would have been enough testing for me. Apparently it was only the beginning. So here's the latest:

The day Sarah found out that she really had cancer, she and I got in a car accident in the Target parking lot. Another woman and I simultaneously backed into each other. The damage on my car was minor and cosmetic. I wasn't going to get it fixed until Geico said they would pay for half. I went to a Geico place to get an estimate. There was a tiny scratch on the large part of the bumper. It would be about $300 more to fix it. I could barely see the scratch so I told them not to fix it. The estimate was for about $240. Then they told me to go to a certain car place. This guy from the car place came out with me to look at the car. I made sure to show him that I didn't want the big piece fixed. He said he understood. Yadda Yadda Yadda. I pick up my car and they say I don't owe anything even though I am expecting to pay half. Later they call me and say I do owe half, which comes out to over $450!!! I obviously freak out. I would never have gotten it fixed if I knew I had to pay that much. Apparently a second estimate was made that I was not aware of and they factored in the piece I told them I didn't want to fix. Now it is a huge mess. I really don't want to pay that money for something I didn't want fixed. I am trying to fight it but it is very annoying and complicated and stressful.

So, today we found out that we will probably have to move in the next few months. Our landlord is facing bankruptcy and is going to quickly sell our house. The new owner is making a fair offer of returning our deposit, giving us one month's rent as well as $1500 in moving expenses. The problem is that we don't want to move. We are happy where we are at and now we have to find a new place. Ugh!!! What next??? I don't know how much more of this I can take. I am actually not stressing about this house thing as much as I should. Maybe I am becoming more resiliant to change. Probably not. Maybe I am just numb.

On a brighter note, I am now the proud owner of two turtles. They will live in my classroom and I will keep you posted on their names.
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