Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Big Reveal

We went back to Aggieland for the football game this weekend and we had the opportunity to take our friends' 12-year-old son. We had a great time and even got to meet A&M's Heisman winner, John David Crow! He was so gracious!

At some point, DJ asks Jacob if he has any idea what he wants to be when he grows up. Jacob has no idea, but this started us on the conversation of "what did you think you wanted to be when you were 12?" DJ's answer was an aeronautical engineer graduating from A&M. My answer was a teacher.   
This started us talking about how I always heard that I would change my mind by the time I got to college and maybe even multiple times while I was there, but I never did. In fact, my dad especially always said I needed to be a principal or professor. This always frustrated me and I would tell him that it's okay if I don't make a lot of money, I'm going to do what God has called me to do. I was and still am passionate about kids, so that was that! 
My dad also said I needed to get my Master's degree, but I always said that I was done with school after I finished my first degree at Texas A&M. It's funny how things change and sometimes your parents are right.  
I now have 2 Masters Degrees and dream to finish my doctorate possibly at some point. It's funny how God works. :) 
This brings me to my big news I have been waiting to share. I apologize for leaving you hanging for so long. I thought I was going to be allowed to share sooner.  
I have been asked to teach a class (as an adjunct instructor) at Hardin-Simmons University! (I know crazy!!!) I will begin teaching an undergraduate class in Early Childhood Education. It is an evening class once a week, so I will continue to teach 3rd grade during the day.  
I am honestly so humbled and honored by this opportunity. It has been a little crazy to be the one choosing a textbook and writing a syllabus, but I am so excited.  Thanks for being excited with me as I start this new chapter.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fun Randomness

I still can't share my big news publicly yet... sorry to leave you hanging, I thought I would be "allowed" to share by now.

So instead this week I will share some of my favorite pictures on pinterest lately.

Built in dog bed 

I love the large A and I have been wanting to redo our home office.  This would be fun.  

I really like the lantern and vintage mailbox.  via holly mathis interiors

We (along with others) are bringing breakfast for our college students during Sunday school this week.  This sounds good...

We need to redo a couple of bathrooms... we will probably do something a little more functional, but wouldn't this be fun? 

And lastly, I love this dresser and the fun fall pumpkins and gourds that have been painted, but my only question is... how  long do painted pumpkins last?  Someone told me that painted pumpkins get rotten much faster than regular ones.  True?  Anyone know?

One more thing... we went to see the new movie Courageous this week and I have to tell you it was life changing!  It is an amazing movie that everyone needs to see.  We also saw Seven Days in Utopia recently, which was also a movie I would highly recommend.  The fun thing about the second movie is that it was filmed in the small town of Utopia, Texas (and Fredericksburg).  Utopia is about an hour from where my mom lived when I was in college, Medina Lake (just outside San Antonio).  I drove through Utpoia many times on my way to or from Garner State Park or Laity Lodge Youth Camp (where I worked for 5 summers).  It is so fun to watch a movie completely set in location where I spent a lot of time as I was growing up.  It is also incredible to see movies that clearly use Scripture and have story lines so glorifying to the Lord.

Both movies would be great for the whole family.

Have a great weekend y'all! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Formating Issues!

Sorry about the formating issues in my blog lately! I promise that I actually have paragraphs and what-not, but for some reason these are not showing up once I publish. I will work on this problem! I know that it makes it very difficult to read. :(

Life as we know it...

It has been a busy time in this Gililland household, but some might say, "Isn't it always?!?"
It may take a few blog posts to get you updated...we'll see... or I will just give you the super short synopsis.

These past few weeks have been difficult and exciting in many different ways. Some of the reasons I cannot share just yet, but I promise to share soon.

Here is the synopsis of what I CAN tell you...
In the past month or so...

DJ's dad was placed in ICU due to sepsis (a blood infection). He is now in a long term hospital recovering from this serious infection, making lots of improvements and ready to head home in the near future.

I have spent 2 weekends in San Antonio for various reasons. My time there has been filled with drama and difficulties, but this time also makes me so thankful for my husband and his leadership. It makes me realize how thankful I am that Christ is the center of our marriage because without Him, we would be lost.

Last weekend I was in charge of the Love Out Loud conference at our church, for which I have been making preparations for about 6 months. Our church provided the host site for about 300 ladies from all over Texas. The SBTC brought in many great speakers and we were truly blessed by what the Lord did throughout the weekend.

We were responsible for organizing/preparing food, greeters, registration etc. I took off half a day last Thursday and all day Friday. I spent Thursday and Friday getting last minute preparations finished and then welcomed the ladies Friday evening. The event began with a dinner for the speakers. Our dinner team did an amazing job preparing an fabulous meal and the ladies said that they were truly spoiled. While the speakers enjoyed supper, the registration team and greeters took their places welcoming the rest of the ladies as they arrived. The snack team did a fantastic job providing all kinds of hospitality to the ladies throughout the weekend. The room set-up team made sure all of the break-out sessions were in order and the Saturday lunch team took care of serving boxed lunches to the ladies that day. It was such a neat opportunity to see the body of Christ at work.

Overall the conference, was a huge success, but not because of me. Just before the event began, many of my preparations were sent into a frenzy with last minute changes. I felt a little overwhelmed by the chaos this caused (mostly only in my mind) but the Lord showed me that it is not about me at all. Instead, He received all the Glory, even when I might have seemed slightly like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off (hopefully not). However, despite the last minute changes, the Lord did a major work in the hearts of many women and He even let me have a small glimpse of what He did through the weekend.

On Thursday, just as my sub arrived so that I could leave for the conference, a camera crew arrived with balloons and another 3 foot check. I had received another STAR Teacher Grant from the Abilene Education Foundation. Two years ago I was blessed to receive a grant to add some much-needed technology to my classroom. This year, AEF blessed my students again by providing another grant so that I could add a document camera to the classroom technology. It should arrive this week, and I am super excited. Another exciting opportunity presented itself this week and I will share about this soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What to do When You've Ruined the Laundry by Washing a Crayon

Tonight I went to remove the clothes from the dryer and found out that I had ruined the whole load because I had a green crayon in the pocket of my jeans. Right now you are probably thinking one of three things:

1. Why in the world did you have a green crayon in your pocket?!?! You don't even have kids!!!
2. Oh man... I've done that!
3. Oh no! Did you get all the stains out of your clothes?

Here's how the drama played out...

We have one of our college students staying with us this week and she needed to do a little laundry. I went to empty the dryer so she could put her load in and found a little surprise. As I pulled each piece of clothing from the dryer, I quickly realized that our entire load was probably ruined. The crayon had melted onto each and every article of clothing leaving greasy, green freckles everywhere.

We quickly relinquished the idea of ever salvaging the laundry. I was pretty frustrated with myself, but also knew that I had to get the dryer clean because I could handle ruining our clothes, but I had to make sure the green crayon would not ruin our college student's clothes too. I became engrossed in removing all the debris from the dryer. If you haven't ever had this problem, you would be amazed at the the way a crayon gets into every nook and cranny inside the dryer and leaves stains all over the drum of the dryer.

I began trying to wipe down the inside of the dryer. First I tried Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Counter Top Spray, and then I tried vinegar. So far very little results.

Our next thought was to google the problem. We found many suggestions, including WD-40, Dawn, Shout Advanced, and dish detergent. One post particularly convinced us we need to try Dawn Power Dissolver. Google quickly told us that Wal-Mart carries this but none of the Wal-Marts in our area had any in stock. All other searches revealed that this product is often difficult to find in many stores. I could order it online, but didn't want to wait that long. So off we went to HEB, knowing this would probably be the only other place we had any chance of finding this product in Abilene.

As I walked down the cleaning aisle I picked up some Oxi-Clean Max Force and Shout Advanced, just in case. Then I went to look for the Dawn Power Dissolver. Once again, my local HEB saved the day! (I love HEB, but that's a post for another day.)

Finally, we headed home to begin the investigation. DJ set to work using the Dawn Power Dissolver on the dryer and it worked magically! It only left a little discoloration on the back of the dryer, but we think this was from our jeans and had nothing to do with the crayon at all.

I began testing the laundry with the 3 products and soon discovered that Oxi- Clean Max Force has amazing powers. All three products were able to remove some of the stains, but the Oxi-Clean seemed to have the strongest power to remove the biggest, deepest stains. I let the stain remover set on the stain for a few minutes and then scrubbed the stains by hand using hot water. Most of the stains came completely out. Finally, I put all the laundry back into the washing machine for another wash and I was amazed to find that all of the stains had disappeared!

The moral of this story?
1. Check your pockets EVERY TIME before you do laundry.
2. Don't allow green crayons to end up in your dryer.
3. But if you do, Dawn Power Dissolver, Oxi-Clean Max Force (and HEB) can save the day!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


If you haven't heard of Pinterest yet I have to share it with you; However, I have to warn you that it can be addictive.

Pinterest is a way to organize things you find on the internet, especially images. I used to find myself bookmarking different blog posts that I wanted to remember or go back to later, but Pinterest creates an easy way for me to organize all of my ideas in one place. It allows me to create boards categorizing all of my different pins so that I easily find it when I need it.

The possibilities are endless... I have boards with recipe ideas, tips for my home, decorating ideas, products I love, teaching inspiration etc. etc. You can make it whatever you want.
I am planning to redo one of our guest bedrooms into a home office with a daybed for guests, but I want it to be organized and still feel welcoming to guests. So I created a board where I keep ideas of things I want to remember as I recreate this room.
This image is from and when I click on the picture it will take me back to the original website where I borrowed the image.

Here is a pallet daybed idea I also liked for the room.

When you first go to Pinterest, you will need to request an invite. After a few days you will receive an email and you can start pinning.
You can also follow other people, so you get ideas from them too!
You can see my boards here!
Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I wish I spent more time blogging about my students so that I could document it forever to look back and remember sweet anecdotes & funny moments. Instead I worry about confidentiality and laws and such. This is my attempt to do better without revealing the "who" of my stories.

My school holds the Newcomer Center for my district. Abilene is one location where the International Rescue Comittee relocates refugees from mostly war-torn countries. I've had students walk into my classroom shortly after leaving refugee camps where they witnessed horrific things, like the murder of their own father. These students show up in my room (usually part-way through the year) and I have the distinct privledge of helping them learn to speak English and learn to read among many other things. Today I held the joy of explaining chocolate syrup and sprinkles and watching them take their first bite of ice cream topped with these mysterious substances. So fun!

I also adored my time teaching 2 students to play aggravation (which is very similar to "sorry"). I laughed so hard as one boy, with thick African accent, told another boy, "I send you home! Wait _____ (insert name) I send you home!!!" I can't do this story justice, but just imagine us cracking up as they learn the game and then master the concept of sending their opponent back to start... with a vengeance!

I also had the privilege of heading to the ballpark to watch the bats crack against the ball.

What a privilege it is to take part in their lives. I love watching these kids grow up and pray daily for their future stories. It has been a great school year and I'm not quite ready to let this group go.

But just as I feel this way, I sit in the ballpark talking to kiddos and parents who told me they are excited to possibly have me next year. Praise the Lord for opportunities to see Him at work and get a glimpse of excitement for a new year.
Happy Summer y'all!

(p.s. I wrote all this from the tiny keyboard of my phone so hopefully I was able to make sense! ;) if not please ignore this post!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

What a week it has been so far ... and it's only Monday!
On Saturday night, after our garage sale, we had the college students over for BBQ. The house started feeling really hot, but we thought it was because we had been in and out all day and our house was full of people. We realized when everyone left that the AC was not working. So we went to bed with the windows open and tried to get some sleep. Around 3:30, I woke up sick as a dog, whatever that means. After it was all over I was completely dehydrated, achy, and had fever for another 24 plus hours. Dr. Munton called in a prescription of phenergan and the nausea finally went away. Sunday was the fourth Mother's Day without my sweet Mama and one full year after the miscarriage of our first baby. I spent the day sleeping in a hot, hot house. On Monday, I was supposed to take my class on field trip to the zoo, but realized that was not going to be possible. Thankfully I found a sub at the last possible hour and spent another day in bed with a terrible dehydration headache. Around 3:00 DJ called Dr. Munton again and he had me come in to his office. Instead of going to my graduation rehearsal, I spent the afternoon getting IV fluids, but oh how much better I feel! The AC man came tonight and $75 dollars later replaced the fuse on the unit. Seriously!? Now we are just waiting to hear from our insurance about our roof. The roofers already came and said the hail demolished it, so we'll just find out what insurance says. We are taking it one day at time, trusting the Lord, and finding the joy in the many blessings we do have. The trials make the good times so much sweeter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The TRUE meaning of Easter

My friend, Amanda, just shared this video (along with a few others) and I thought it was too good not to share.

I having trouble embeding it so just click on the word video and it will take you directly to the website or you can go to Amanda's blog where the video is embeded already.

Hope you are having a blessed Easter weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Waiting Game

Well, it's official... I have finished my second Masters degree! Yesterday I had Orals, which is a culmination of everything I have learned. It is definitely a little intimidating to walk into a room of your professors knowing that they have 45 minutes or so to ask you questions about everything you've learned. I finished my Reading Specialist Masters this time last year and I had almost enough classes to finish both degrees, so I did. A few of the classes overlapped, but I wasn't sure if they were going to ask me questions from any of the overlap classes or not. It would have been nice to know that I did not need to study those classes again! Oh well! When I arrived they decided to only ask me questions from my gifted ed. classes (and not to repeat Reading or Research questions), so that cut my orals down to 30 minutes. The 30 minutes flew by very quickly and before I knew it I was done. I felt like I had done well, but the scary part is when they send you out of the room to talk about you and decide whether or not you passed. Last year this part took less than 5 minutes. This year I waited, and waited, and waited. At first I was confident, then I thought I must have failed, then I wanted to cry, and then I waited and waited some more. After 20 minutes, the guy who had Orals after me showed up and we chatted for another 10 minutes or so. Finally, one of my professors came out to see if HE was ready to start his Orals. At that moment I said, "Um... are you going to tell me if I passed or not???" At that moment I could see the realization on her face that they had forgotten about me! She swept me up in a big hug, apologized profusely, and told me that I PASSED! Praise the Lord! They said that when I walked out they all said that I passed and they signed all my paper work, but forgot to call me back into the room. Then they started chatting and simply forgot me. I told them not to worry because it was a great story. I am just relieved to be FINISHED!!! WHOOP!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Busy Time

I have so much to be doing, so naturally I am blogging instead! However, I have been absent from my blog for so long I thought I would tell you where I have been. I have spent the last few months diligently working on a literature review about ability grouping (that sounds like great reading doesn't it?!) After I finished 25 pages of research I completed an article on the same topic that I am actually submitting for publication to a real journal! (TEMPO is the official peer-reviewed journal of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). If it actually gets published I will definitely let you know!

After that I have been working on preparing for Orals for my 2nd Masters degree (I know I am crazy! I'm really not an over-achiever, it just somehow worked out that I had almost enough credits for 2 masters when I finished the 1st. So I thought, why not?) For this degree, my professor requires that I prepare a gargantuan binder (the binder by itself cost $30!).

The binder has all the competencies for gifted ed, with lots of info on each and then I had to write a 3 page synthesis for each competency. I finally finished that last night and now I have exactly one week to prepare for Orals! On that note, I better go study, but I plan to be back after April 7 showing you pictures of how I refinished my kitchen table.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crazy week

This has been a crazy week (as I'm sure you have experienced as well). On Monday we had the most beautiful, spring-like 75 degree day. Then Monday night we had rain, hail, thunder/lightning, crazy ice and then 6-10 inches of snow! We spent the rest of the week "camping out{" in our living room, cause that's what we do for fun - watching movies and snuggling. We ended up having FOUR days off of school because the roads were so bad. The roads had at least 6 inches of packed ice - I'm talking skating rink style. I have never in my life (that I recall) experienced wind chills in the negatives in Texas, but I finally experienced it this week. Wow! Rollie loved the snow so I thought I'd share a picture of his joy.

And just for fun here is a picture of DJ loving life. Our good friends had baby number 4 this week and they finally got a boy! Congratulations Tim and Kara!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Antique Vanity Redo


My grandmother has been holding onto her grandmother's bedroom suite. Originally my mom was going to refinish it, but when she passed away I inherited it. About 6-7 years ago I refinished the headboard of this set. Recently I noticed on different blogs how people had taken apart vanities to make two individual bedside tables. The vanity was in a little disrepair, so I asked DJ what he thought about helping to take this one apart. He had to do a little bit of work on the pieces including adding new bottoms to both tables and a fourth leg to each table because they each had only three legs.