Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 - Best of Texifornia

If you only read 4 of my posts this year...
these would be the ones. 

Most Meaningful

Most Informative


Best Gardening Post

5 Best Photos Of the Year...

What, no birds?  -  January
(Sadly, this neighborhood cat 
got run over later in the year)

Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush - April

 Garden Flowers - April 

Rainbow - November

Texas Clouds - November

Linking Up With

Linky Here - 2012 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On Receiving

Last year Christmas came on a Sunday...and sitting in Church that Christmas listening to our pastor's sermon I was touched by the way children receive gifts. Yes, I know sometimes they can be greedy, and seem ungrateful, and they can be all too transparent when they don't like a gift. But I was struck by something else about their receiving I hadn't thought of before.

Our pastor talked about how the Shepherds came to Jesus with gift in their hands like the wisemen who came later. He went on to say how we tend to have trouble receiving when we don't have anything to give back:  There's that awkward feeling when we are given a gift, and don't have one to give in return. But when we come to Jesus that's how we come...empty handed. And that's how he takes us.

As he spoke, I noticed the children sitting in the pew in front of me, and my own children beside me, and I thought of how they accept gifts. They accept them freely without any expectation that they should have anything to give back.  And I was reminded of the verse that said that if you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to become like a child.

"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "
- Matthew 18: 2-4, NIV

That is the only way we can come to him, like a child.  Even the best we have could not "pay him back" for the gift he we come with nothing but gratitude in our hands...gratitude and repentance and trust.   And we receive the costly gift of salvation...and all the other numerous gifts He loves to give his children.

Merry Christmas! 

Shared on Throwback Thursday

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Great Giveaways for Texifornians, Texans and Californians.

These prizes how winnings that would appeal to people from California or Texas or both!

Box Seats for Lexas Theater in Dallas (12/22)

Authentic Game Ball Autographed by Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus  Ware (12/24)

$2,200 in Prizes from Businesses in Bastrop, TX (12/25)

16 Prizes including Ad Space on California and Texas Blogs (12/25)

Book:  What a Texas Girl Wants (12/25)

36 Prizes Including Ad Space on California and Texas Blogs (12/30)

If you have a giveaway with special appeal to Californians or Texans, let me know about it...though I'm not posting anything Christmas Eve until Dec 26.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

15% Off Texifornia Souvenirs

Use Coupon code LASTCHANCE12for 15% off everything at My Texifornia Zazzle shop (excluding stamps*)!  Ends Dec 15.

This coupons is also good at 
My Scribbleprints Shop

*On stamps, it only counts for 10% off on the net sale price, which is the price of the stamps minus the regular cost of postage. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

This is Wherever Wednesday

Welcome to This is Wherever Wednesday!  At Wherever Wednesday we share those little moments that really show the character of the places we live.   It started on Budget Blond and, after an intermission, restarted last month here.

Here's a few highlights last month's posts:
  • Nana of Nana's Notes, who is spending her first year living "Up North, Minnesota" shared a whole bunch of TIUP (This is Up North) moments including school getting out November 5 for the beginning of hunting season, and being able to drive around town without ever seeing a stoplight. 
  • Whit of Whitticims shared about two weeks of life without power after Sandy hit Long Island.
  • Michelle of Simply Complicated shared a moving post about how living in Guatamal has changed her view of what's normal.
You can see all the other posts from last month here.  Thanks to all who gave this party such a great send-off!

And now it's time to party again!  Leave your posts on the linky below and share the "this is Texas, Nebraska, New York, Costa Rica, Germany, London, wherever" moments in your life!   If you're still a little uncertain what that means, this post over at Budget Blond will help you out. Remember to link back to This is Wherever somewhere in your post or sidebar so that others can find us and join in too!

Reminder:  Please link to your specific post, not your main blog!  Thanks!

(Oh, and just a quick note...I decided reverse ordering the posts was too confusing, so from now on, last posts will go at the end, not the beginning).

California ...through Texas eyes.

This Sunday at the park I met up with a mom about my age, and her 6 year old son and 18 month baby girl.  Her son talked about hunting with his dad, and "how he wanted to get a gun, at least a BB gun."   It was definately a "This is Texas" moment. 

Though I know it's not just a Texas moment, as I tell the boy how  my dad bought me a BB gun when I was little, but I was all into Bambi and wasn't interested at the time.  He had guns and wore a cowboy hat, but he was Californian born and raised.

Later we meet up with the boy again on the swings and somehow it comes up that I'm from California.

"California?  It's hot there isn't it" he asks.

"Yep, sometimes," I say, "But it can be cold too.  When we went out in August last year, it was cold at the beach." 

He was a little surprised about that...probably as surprised as I was to hear a Texan talk about how hot California is.  I mean, compared to Texas in summer, Califonria heat is nothing.  

A few minutes later he says, "I know they don't have a lot of cars out there, in California." 

"Sure they do," I answer.  "Just as many as here." 

"Do they ride horses?" he asked.

"Yes, but probably not as much as out here." 

"Oh, well I've never been to California.  I'm a Texan." 

I'm sure if you had asked me about Texas when I was 6, what I would have said something just as sketchy and far-fetched about it.  I probably wouldn't have said "I'm a Californian" though.  I don't think I even thought of myself as Californian until I left. 

There's a difference between saying, "I'm from California" and "I'm a Californian."  The first is just about where you live, the second takes ownership.  It says, this isn't just the place I occupy--it's who I am (or part of it anyways).  Its why I can still think of myself as "Californian" even though I've been out here over 10 years and don't have plans to move back.  It's why my mom still calls herself a New Englander, even though she hasn't lived in New England since her teens.  It's why I'll probably never be able to say, "I'm a Texan" no matter how long I live here.

But you don't have to be born someplace to have that kind of ownership.  Some people who move to Texas really do become Texans...they own it.  Like how we became "mountainers" when we moved to the California mountains.  We didn't move there because we had to...we FOUGHT to get there.  We had been longing for that place with every vacation trip we took there, and when we got there it was home.  It still is home.  And I still miss it.   

(And I miss my Dad.)

Masons Mama Blog

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Link to Me....

When I first made original site over at, I made all sorts of banners for it.   But I haven't put one on my sidebar with code for people to grab!   Silly, silly, silly! 

OK, OF COURSE anyone is welcomed to grab any of these to use to link to from my site, and there's actually MORE that say "Texifornian" (and other fun phrases like "stranded in Texas" or "Stranded in California." You can find by clicking here. You are welcomed to use those however you like. 

If you are a Texan, Californian, or Texifornian and want to exchange links, let me know!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Monkey Stitch: A Review

Every year since he was 5, I have bought my middle child a shirt with his age on it.  And every year I've bought it from the same place...Monkey Stitch

So, why do I keep coming back? Well, for one thing, my kiddo loves the shirts! I keep thinking he'll grow out of the idea of wanting his age on a shirt, but every year he wants another one.   He'd wear them every day if I let him. 

And the shirts are really good quality.   Here's a close up of his 5 shirt after a year of use, and roughly 60 trips through the washing machine.

I don't baby it.  It's been washed at all temps, right side out, no special treatment at all.  And other than the normal wear on the fabric you'ld expect, it's just like I got it--not a seem loose!  Every single shirt I've bought from Monkey Stitch has held up this well!

She's been very flexible about working with me on designs, too.  There actually weren't any "number" shirts listed at Monkey Stitch shop when I bought my first tww there, only "Initial Shirts"... but she was happy to make one for me anyways.  She's always worked with me to get the fabric and fabric patterns I wanted too.  

Here's some more items I love from her shop....

Sale- Christmas Ribbon Bow Bib Ready to Ship - torilynn817 Sale- Christmas Ribbon Tree Shirt Ready to Ship - torilynn817 Navy Dot Argyle Tie Bib Ready to Ship - torilynn817
Sale- Christmas Bow Tie Oneise Ready to Ship - torilynn817 Rainbow Stripe Bib Ready to Ship - torilynn817 Sale- Modern Christmas Ornament Shirt Ready to Ship - torilynn817

NOTE:  I received a discount on the last shirt I bought from Monkey Stitch  in exchange for this review.  All the other shirts I bought previously I bought at full price without any conpensation.