Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas--It's OURS now, so GET OVER IT!!!!

This week I was watching a news show on tv about how many people are in an uproar about the word Christmas. It always irritates me. It seems like there is a different group each year wanting to celebrate their own little 'holiday' in December. Halloween was suddenly not enough! And, whatever you do don't use the word 'Christmas' because it might offend a non-Christian. It's like a bunch of people woke up one day and realized that the word Christmas had Christ's name in it and we can't have that!!!!! I mean, it isn't like we haven't already commercialized it beyond recognition anyway. But, the more I thought about it the angrier I got and I had to take a chill pill and settle down for a moment.

This is what I came to realize. This will come as a shock to my husband who has been telling me this for over 13 years. Winter Solstice was a pagan holiday. I know that much but little more about it since I'm NOT A PAGAN!!!!! Christians decided that "we" needed a holiday to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Which is true and I am WAY cool with that decision. I totally understand that Jesus was more than likely born in the summer even it not hot in the desert most of the time? My argument has always been 'it doesn't really matter when Jesus birthday actually is, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were not born on Monday (and yes I actually looked it up) but we are more than happy to take a Monday off each year to celebrate. Not to mention, George and Abe DO NOT share the same birthday!!!! BUT, December 25th is the day set aside to celebrate Jesus' birthday.' I have always thought that EVERYBODY should just accept that and be cool with it.

When the chill pill started taking effect, I began to wonder why we as Christians were just sitting around and letting this happen without really much of a fight. I then had a thought (yes it did hurt because it doesn't happen that often)"Bless their hearts!!" The pagans and all those who are offended by the word Christmas--bless their hearts, their poor misguided little hearts. All they are doing is trying to take back what was originally theirs to begin with. We, after all, had taken it away from them so long ago.

This brought to my mind something that happened a few years back (totally unrelated to Christmas). We were playing in a playoff game in a land far far away. The team's mascot was the Indian. Of course, their call to battle was the 'Tomahawk Chop.' You would expect nothing less of any self respecting Indian team. But, what they hadn't realized until that night was their team/fans were not the only was all charged up by the "Chop." Their band started playing the "Chop" and our band fired it up as well. But, of course, if you're going to do it (especially in Indian territory)...You have to do it right! So each time the Indians would start pounding their war drums, our band would do it too, only with more veracity and ummph! Each time it was louder and louder and louder. Until finally, their band just quit playing it altogether. They tried an elevator music version of Tomahawk Chop over the PA system but we were all thinking who brought that mess out here!!!! Not that it mattered since we now had the band playing, the fans singing, and the football team charging down the field. We couldn't hear anything other than ours! At that moment, one of our fans stood up and yelled, "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT! TAKE THEIR STUFF AND BREAK IT OFF IN 'EM!!!"

So, really the pagan folk are just upset that Christians took Winter Solstice and BROKE IT OFF IN 'EM! Oh yeah! Whoop! Whoop! It's ours now! Get over it!!! We won that football game on that very cold November night. Just like so many years ago, when we took Winter Solstice and made it forevermore our Christmas! Now, it is our job to not let them take it back from us in the last seconds of the 4th quarter!!! Go FIGHT WIN!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where's My KEYS!?!?!?!?!

Now that deer season is in full swing, I don't get to see John much but I have constant quality time with my children of whom I love and treasure each moment that I have. But, sometimes I feel the need for a little "me" time. I've been feeling a little stressed lately; not really anything that I can put my finger on as a cause but it is there nonetheless.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling particularly good. I got up and assisted the kids in getting dressed for church. One acquired a little more assistance as he usually fights it every step of the way; not that he doesn't like going to church....he just doesn't care for putting clothes on for ANYTHING!!! John got dressed and announced as he was heading out the door that he had to be at church early for choir practice . I said, "Wait! Take the kids with you."

He said, "Are you not going to Sunday School?" I told him that I thought I would just stay home. He inquired as to why I was not going to Sunday School. I told him, "I'm just staying home today." He asked, "Are you coming for church?"

"Nope." I said, "Just consider it my 'deer hunting' day." He kissed me called me a 'sinner' and headed out the door. I went back to bed and just lay there. It was so peaceful. The birds were chirping right outside my window. No noise. No children playing well together only to suddenly turn into a WWF match. Total and complete blissful peace. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Two hours later, everybody returned. It was a good afternoon. John went hunting...of course. The kids and I had a relatively good afternoon just relaxing. Moriah and I studied her AWANA scriptures so that she could finish her 2nd book. Luke pestered as much as he possibly could just like normal. All was well.

John came home, changed, and headed off for choir practice....again! About 5 o'clock, I got up and started getting things together for evening services which is AWANA. We all were dressed and ready to go.

"Where are my keys?" I couldn't find them anywhere. The only thing that I could think of was that John had carried them off with him. I tried to call him; but like a decent person he didn't have his cell phone turned on in the church. Darn him! The first message I left near as I remember was something like..."I need my keys do you know where they are?" The second, a little more intense. By the third, "KEYS! Need 'em! NOW!" I was steamed!!! I had looked everywhere I could think of that made sense (my first mistake, thinking that anything would make sense).

We couldn't miss AWANA and everybody that we know was at the church. I found myself getting ever close to the edge (tick tick tick tick). I said, "Come on ya'll. We're walking to church." SURPRISE!!!! No complaining (right now). We walked out the front door. The air was crisp and cool but the sun was shining. It was beautiful. We only live like a 1/2 mile from the church. If the neighbors can walk to the smoke shop and get their cigarettes; we can walk to church. It was good for us, er, it was good for ME to work off the irritation and no children were harmed in the process.

We cut through the Sonic parking lot. There were several people enjoying their evening meal. We rounded the corner to the main "drag" through town. I saw a couple walking toward us on the opposite side of the road. I could tell little more about these people from this distance other than there were 2 of them. I turned to make sure my daughter was behind me; she smiled that gentle smile she has and giggled a little. I looked down at the curly headed little boy that had me by the hand. I got this overwhelming feeling of poverty. I almost cried. We have 3 vehicles, a house, warm clothes, and plenty of food; yet we were walking to town. Not walking around the track; not walking at the park; WE were walking to town. We are SO uneleivably blessed beyond words and yet, I felt poor. And, redneck!!! I felt extremely redneck! We are so blessed and yet, uh well, actually we are redneck. I just felt it a little more right then. So, there I am walking down the highway with 2 children in tow. All I needed were a couple of bags, a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth, and a fly on the end of Luke's snot infested nose and an episode of Feed the Children was in the making.

As the approaching couple neared, I realized that it was the retired band director (the one before John) and his wife. I at this point no longer perceived walking as appearing impoverished but rather as a sign of how little the salary of a band director must be in this town. He said, "Are you out getting your exercise?" I responded, "Well actually, I think John made off with our keys and we are walking to church." They acted like they wanted to help in some way. I told them, "We are fine. The walk is doing us good."

We crossed the highway, cut through another parking lot, and what do you know. There is the church just one block away. I said, "See that wasn't that bad." Luke said, "My leds hut." I won't translate because I know that you understood that too.

Thankfully, John was there and he gave us a ride home after AWANA. He did NOT however have any knowledge as to the whereabouts of the keys. We got home and searched for a few hours. I got up the next morning and searched some more but to no avail. Where were they? I knew they hadn't got up and walked off....or at least I didn't think they did.

I asked Luke several times where they were and I got his standard answer. "I don't know. They must be somewhere." That's cute. But, when the taunting and harassment started it was about to get the best of me. It was obvious that he was the culprit. He knew where they were the whole time; I just know that he did. He crawled into the cabinet on the Lazy Susan and opened up the toaster oven and excitedly said, "Mom!!!! (pause) No keys in here!" This was followed by evil laughter. Keep it up Lil' Man, it's gonna be more than your leds hutting.

I decided to take a break and call the dealership to ask about a new key for the Toyota. Oh! Did I mention that the lost keys contained the only key we have to our main vehicle?! I explained my dilemma to the nice parts man. He was very helpful and encouraging. He began to spout out all kinds of information that I did NOT want to hear. I began to feel like I was making a Master Card commercial. "Computer Chip key $85, Computer to replace the old one because it can't be reprogrammed for a new key without the old one $282, Towing charge to get the keyless vehicle 30 miles to the nearest dealer probably around $100...." Ok! Where's the priceless part? That's the part I can afford!!!! I guess that would be where I piped in and told him, "You've been so helpful. Thank you very much. I think I will go look for my keys some more now." He wished me luck with a chuckle and we hung up.

I called John and asked what his plans for the evening were. He said, "I don't know. I thought I might come home and look for some keys. Is that what you had in mind?" We are so on the same page sometimes it's just scary!!!

I thoroughly cleaned several rooms during my search. Still no keys but at least half the house is in order. John arrived home. I assigned Moriah the task of taking care of Luke (which consisted of watching TV with him) because I knew that if she helped us look for keys we would just have to look there again. When I am looking for something, I trust no one until I've seen for myself (actually that applies to other things as well, like, uh, gossip!!!). I asked John to get his flashlight and search in all of the air vents because the covers are often removed and redistributed through the house so I'm sure that there are things lurking in the depths. There, everyone has their purpose set before them.

I began the nastiest part of my day...digging through the trash. Thankfully, it was only one bag. But, when I reached the bottom of the bag and no keys, I had that feeling like the 2nd place finisher on Fear Factor. "You mean, I went through all of THAT and didn't win. ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!" I returned to the inside of the house and continued my room by room search. I searched the bathrooms all the while praying that the bodacious bundle that I call 'my keys' would have been too large to be flushed. I searched the hallway closets. I searched our bedroom. I found things under the bed that I had forgotten that we owned. I found things under the bed that were no longer identifiable. Until, wouldn't you know it. There in the corner of the room behind the dresser lay....MY KEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Funny, isn't it...How they are always the last place you look? I realize that even if it was the first place I looked, if I found them, it would STILL be the last place that I looked because I wouldn't need to look anymore. Duh! Technically, that was my only motivation for continuing the search. If I didn't find them, I knew they "must be somewhere!" I'm pretty sure that God was giving me a lesson in patience otherwise the "last place I looked" would NOT have been TWEN-TEE FOUR HOURS LATER!!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Did I See That Right?

I had an experience the other day that was UNBELIEVABLE. You know those annoying people that no matter what subject you are discussing, it has happened to them or someone they know. I'm in deep fear that I may either be one of those people or I am quickly becoming one. If you've read even just one of my stories you know that I am well on my way to levels of insanity that would test the skills of the most talented psychological examiner. But, THIS (the event of which I speak)was just too much....sad happens way too often.

Monday, my kids and I set off on a journey over the river and through the woods to Grandma's (and Grandpa's)house A.K.A. Nana and Papa. Moriah had a dentist appointment on Tuesday. We went the night before so that the kids could visit and then we wouldn't have to get up so early in the morning to go to the appointment. But, that is really irrelevant to this story. So......

We were traveling through Danville on Highway 10. For those of you who aren't familiar with the area, Highway 10 while no interstate is the main highway going through the town and is no stranger to speeders, tired or late-to-work shift workers, 18 wheelers, log trucks, and other potentially dangerous traffic.

Normally, if not stopping for gas, we would just bebop on through and not give it a second thought. The kids are in the backseat watching a movie. I'm listening to Tamara's Favorites. We all seem to be content. I see something on the sidewalk that caught my attention. I tapped my brakes but went on because I thought I was seeing things. I looked in my side mirror and saw a couple pulling out of Dollar General parking lot. They stopped and looked and then pulled out behind me. I turned around and went back.

NO ONE WAS STOPPING!!!! What is the deal? Did I see that right or was I dreaming?

Now that I have you all wondering....IT was a baby girl about 15 or 18 months old toddling down this relatively busy highway and NO ADULT anywhere around. When I got back to where the child was, she was standing in front of Dollar General playing in some flower pot dirt. Still, no one around. There was a little girl in the store trying to open the door for the child and I questioned her "Is this your little sister?" The little girl shook her head 'no.' "Is she with you?" I asked to which she also answered by shaking her head 'no.'

By this time, I had the little girl by the hand and she was trying to pull away from me. Bless her little heart, she didn't realize that I had the 'Great Escape Artist' in my SUV. It really wasn't a big challenge to keep hold of this little hand. Which is odd? Since she was BY her-SELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I asked the people in Dollar General to make sure that she did not belong to someone in the store. No one claimed any knowledge of who this child was. I was in an out-of-body experience mode at this point. I couldn't believe this. I told the people there that I noticed a family at the car wash (2 blocks down) when I was turning around. I would take her there.

The little girl was still a little reluctant to go with me. I knelt down, tickled her a little bit, smiled at her, and said, "Where did you come from Baby Girl?" Scary thing. She let me pick her right up at that point.

I left my kids. Yeah! I know. I wasn't thinking straight. Moriah was freaking out a bit like me and Luke was asleep. I told Moriah I'd be right back. I walked down to the laundromat. I learned in that trek that I DO NOT spend enough time on my Wii Fit.

I got there and the lady looked over at me and said something to the man with her. There were several little children running around as they were loading their car. He came over to me, not slowly, but on the other hand, not running to me in a panic and falling down on the ground in sheer terror either. I asked "Is this your child?" He said "Yes." I'm not sure he spoke English. I don't know a lot of Spanish but Dora has helped me some. I looked at him and with a confused tone said, "La Nina?" He said, "Ci." I immediately went back into my comfort zone and said, "This is your daughter?" He said, "Yes." The little girl reached out for him and it appeared that she knew who he was. I then got my old out of shape second wind and let loose with a rant that probably sounded a lot like you would think someone speaking a different language would sound like to you when they are VERY upset!!!

I said to him, "She was walking down the highway BY HER SELF!!!!!" She was in DOLLAR GENERAL parking lot, TWO blocks away, BY HER SELF!!!!" Rinse and repeat. Several times!!!!! He just looked at me very bewildered and said, "Thank you." The little girl gave me a sweet little smile and waved 'bye' to me. I said to her "Bye Bye Baby Girl." The mother continued loading her car and just looked at the little girl and smiled and patted her on the head.

I turned and walked away. As I walked back to Dollar General, TWO blocks away, where I had left my own two children, the very unfit tired old lady in me took over again. I thought to myself, 'Thank you?' Thank you for what? For yelling at me that I let my baby walk away and I was loading my clean clothes in my car and not even noticing that one of my children was walking down a highway by themselves...OR...thank you for bringing her back....or, maybe....thank you for not calling the cops.

A lady leaving Dollar General stopped and asked me if her family was at the laundromat. I said I guess so. They took her. She told me that the cashier in Dollar General said that she thought she had noticed the little girl out playing in the laundromat parking lot with some other children when she came to work just a few minutes before. I told this lady that I know that your kids can get away from you (Lord knows how well I know that) but that it was just really scary to see that.

I stuck my head in Dollar General and told the cashier that she was with the family at the laundromat. She asked if they were looking for her. I said, "NO. They weren't. They were loading their car. I guess they would have noticed at some point that they were missing something."

I got back in with my kids and started down the road. I noticed as we were driving by that the "Parents of the Year" had left said laundromat. I guess so. Hurry, before anyone else comes up carrying one of our kids and we end up in jail.

Am I being too hard on them? I would normally, because of my experience(s) with Luke, say yes. But each (and EVERY)time that my child got out of my sight, I was running around like a madman cut loose from the chain trying to find my baby. And, furthermore, I'm not sure that when Luke was THAT age that I ever let him walk. Some of you, know that to be a fact!

So, anyway, short story long....because that's what I do! I called almost everybody I know freaking out about it. Then, I called the Sheriff's office. I tried to explain to them what had happened and that I was pretty confident because of the way the baby responded to the man that he was indeed her father but I thought they should be aware of the situation in case that anyone else reported it. The lady I was reporting this to asked if I spoke with the family. I said, "I spoke with the father and I wasn't really nice to him but I'm not sure that he spoke English." She asked for my name and thanked me for calling. She probably thought I was some raving lunatic for not reporting it first.

I see now that I should have, especially since I noticed on the trip home that the Fire Station and EMS was right next to Dollar General and it would have been a shorter trek for me. But, I was not exactly thinking really straight at the moment. I drive a lot and the sight of baby toddling down the side of the highway just through me for a loop. I know I did the right things but not in the right order. Someone told me, "next time..." NEXT TIME! Really! I hope there isn't a next time for this!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Important!

WOW! It has been so long since I posted anything on here but here is a very cute Lukeism. Not that he hasn't done 10x this everyday but this one was a little special to me.

Last night, Moriah and I were working on some of her homework for Language. She had to write sentences and identify the common and proper nouns. Since she had missed class that day, we had a mini-refresher course on the subject. I was trying to explain to her that proper nouns were specific names of people, places, or things. I feel no "such as" is necessary; we all know what proper nouns are, right?

Luke chose to be ever-present during our mini-refresher course. This is good. I may not have to have this mini-course again! Yeah, right, whatever!!!

When I explained that people's names were proper nouns I used the example of girl=common noun, Moriah=proper noun. I reminded her that proper nouns needed to be capitalized because they are important.

Luke piped up and said, "Like my name, LUKE FULTZ!"

I said, "You are SO right Luke. Your name is very important."

He looks over at me with the sweetest look on his face and says, "Yeah, my name's important 'cause it's in the bible."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Voting Age in Perry County

I took the kids with me yesterday to vote in the primary. It was mostly local races and I really didn't know any of the candidates but keeping with the democratic spirit I voted any way. I figure if I let God lead me I won't vote for the wrong person. But yesterday, He provided me with a little extra help.

I pulled into the polling place and rolled down the windows in the SUV so that the kids would not suffocate in the oven. It was 90 degrees outside. I should have taken them in with me but it would be embarrassing to be asked to leave.

I was next in line to vote when I heard screams coming from the distant. I turned to my vehicle only to see Moriah sitting in the "way back" and Luke in his car seat. This can only mean one thing...............she moves faster than sound! I ran to see what was wrong. "I pretend hit him." ??????????????? My response? I said nothing. How do you pretend hit someone and make them wail loud enough for the whole town to hear. People were staring as they filed in robbing me of my "next" status. She stayed in the vehicle and I could hear her crying but not loudly. I felt really bad for just a second and then I realized that she was only "pretend" crying. So, I went on.

I took Luke in with me. I had lost my place in line. ARGGHHHH!!!! All of the ladies working the election were making over Luke's curls. He acted shy but I knew he was soaking all of it in.

As my time approached, I had to let him walk. He was very careful not to throw a fit in front of these nice ladies that had given him their utmost attention. I walked over to my voting machine and begin the process.

I didn't know any of these people but I knew which ones had actually asked me to vote for them. I carefully touched the boxes of the candidates that I believed that I needed to vote for. Luke comes up beside me and with that little pudgy finger reaches up and votes for some lady. I told him no. The election official asked me if I needed to change anything I could do it at the end. I told her that I believed that it was OK.

I figured since I don't know any of them anyway. Luke's guess was as good as mine. And, children seem to have a 6th sense about people. Maybe Luke was using his gift of discernment. I let it be.

In that particular race, the lady that Luke voted for won with 68% of the votes. Way to go Luke!!! Perhaps I should take him with me in November. I am really going to need some extra help on the presidential race.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wonder what that Farmer Did?

I remember as a kid having the See'n'say that played the farm animal noises. It was as big as a bicycle tire and had a pull-string. It was tons of fun!
I went to buy Luke one and couldn't believe how small it was. It has more animal sounds and plays 2 songs (Old McDonald and Farmer's in the Dell). Not to mention, it has a handle that you pull instead of the string.
For a year or two, it laid in the toy box not being touched. However, it has recently been rediscovered.
Last night as I sat watching TV, Luke walks up to me with the sweetest little smile on his face, flinging curls around everywhere as he danced to the music of his See'N'Say. He sat down beside me and sang "The Farmer's in the jail. The Farmer's in the jail. Hi-Ho the Dairy-O. The Farmer's in the jail."
Wonder what happened there?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rambling--Another Kid-Raising Philosophy

I was visiting with some old high school chums a while back. We were discussing our kids, life, and how we were definitely not getting any younger. Someone brought up the "G" word. Is anybody from our class a grandparent? I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and we were a pro-lific young class. It was inevitable that at our age someone was going to be a grandparent. We knew of one for sure. We also knew of several that had grandchildren by stepkids that they had helped raise.

I shared with them an email that I received some 5 years ago with pictures attached of our classmates new grandbaby. I sat in front of the computer and cried for 30 minutes because it couldn't be possible that we were old enough for GRANDKIDS!!!!! Then, several days after that mind-boggling revelation I received an email from another classmate informing me that she was expecting her third child. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! We are not too old!!!

During our visit, one of our classmates joined in the grandparent conversation. This girl was (in high school) a very quiet girl who never said a whole lot and when she did it wasn't loud or outrageous. She was, back in the day, in a group of girls that got married the week before we graduated from high school. Her husband was in the military, she moved to Greenland right after graduation and started having babies. Now, it's not like she had a gaggle but she had 2 pretty close together.

On this day, she added some ingredients to the conversation that left the rest of us trying to find something to neutralize the topic and get back to the 'good ol' days' talk we were sharing. She started out by saying, "I put my girls on birth control when they became teenagers." Dang! That was bold to come right out and say in public for everybody to hear...don't ya' think?

A few faltered away and began talking to other people. She didn't stop, she was on a roll. I can understand that to an extent. But, also when people are intrigued by what I am saying, if only for a moment, I tend to talk louder. I am the center of attention and that doesn't happen often so I must make the most of it. Such was the case with my friend.

"I told my girls since they were little bitty," she continued, "that I didn't intend on being a grandmother at 35 and I didn't care if I had to chop up birth control pills and put it in their oatmeal and orange juice. I was NOT going to be a grandmother at 35." Again, Dang! Not just 'Dang!', but can you imagine the horror of being told at 5 or 6 that your breakfast had been spiked with some sort of drug. I know it is the most important meal of the day; but, Flintstone chewable birth control seems a bit much.

At this point, she pretty much lost her audience. But, did this cause her rantings to cease? Not at all. In fact, she chose to focus her ramblings loudly to the one person in the group who was cursed with the gift of making great eye contact even though they were somewhere in the tropics in their happy place! That would be me! She kept on going! I couldn't tell you exactly what she was saying because I was on the beach (in my head) basking in the sun.

This had to stop. The Caribbean beat that was soothing me was turning into Mayan war drums and it was busting up my happiness. I said to her, "You know how I took care of that? I insured that I would not be a grandmother at 35 by having my children at the ages of 29 and 37. Kinda hard to be a granny when you don't have kids yet!"

We brought a few people back into the conversation and got off of this topic. It's amazing how 20 something years will change a person. Just a mention of that type of thing in high school would have embarrassed the fire out of this girl. Now, she was embarrassing everyone around her .

Did Sarah have to Deal with People like this?

When I was in school I had a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth. In other words, when I had something to say...I said it. But, it wasn't just me, all of my friends had this problem. I remember in 7th grade; we were assigned the task of writing a paper about our career plans after school. One of my backup plans was to be a radio disc jockey. One of my good friends piped up, "you certainly have a big enough mouth for it." My response was "you must be going to be a belly dancer then." We never had to guess what our friends were thinking, we always knew. Perhaps that is why after 20 plus years we are all still friends.

However, over the years, I have learned to restrain my self somewhat. I have learned to refrain from expressing myself fully and immediately since most people that I come in contact with I haven't known all of my life. But, sometimes I have to just let it go. I take it for as long as I can, red-faced and about to bust, until no amount of imodium could hold back the explosion. This baby is going to blow.

My mother didn't want to start her family until after she graduated from college; she did so at the age of 35. She gave birth to 3 beautiful children; the last one (moi) born 2 weeks before she turned 43. While my mother did an awesome job with my brother and I (our sister, her first born, passed away at 6 weeks old), this is not a path that I would have chosen for myself. But, God had other plans for me. And, his plan is always PERFECT! I had my first child at age 29 and my second at THIRTY-SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!! I repeat! I would not have chosen this plan for myself; but, I have come to trust that He knew what he was doing.

Having said that. What is with people who think there "God-given" plan is more perfect than yours??????

Not too long ago, I was sitting around with a few friends. Each of us were at different points in our lives. One was in her twenties and expecting her second child; another was 35--her youngest was entering 5th grade and the oldest a senior in high school, while her husband was 20 years her elder; and me. We were discussing our children and where we would be in 10 years.

My 35 year old friend was sure that her life was set up perfectly. God has blessed her richly; but she was certain that I was being scourged because I am 40 with a toddler. She said, "In 7 years, my baby will graduate and be out of the house." ***My mother would have, of course, intervened at this point because my brother and I neither one were out of her house by the age of 18.*** I bit my tongue and said nothing. She went on, "I AM going to be FREE from kids at the age of 42 and I am going to GO OUT AND HAVE SOME FUN. While you, at age 42, will have a 4 year old, barely out of diapers and you will be tied down with kids until you are 55." Now, this is true. But, she was saying it like it was a bad thing. You know, like her perfect plan was better than mine. She went on and on and on and on and on; laughing all the way at the demise that I was facing while she will be out enjoying life with her friends.

I had turned the other cheek and when it got slapped, I was out of cheeks. There was nothing left but for Ol' Faithful to erupt. I took a deep breath and thought carefully to make sure that I didn't leave anything out of MY assessment of her life much like she had done me. She gave me the respect of expressing her true feelings and she deserved the same.

My oral presentation was something like a political campaign speech and went like this--

"When I graduated from high school, I went to college. While in college, I went out with my friends on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and had SOME FUN. When I graduated from college, I got a job. On Friday and Saturday nights, I went out with my friends; still enjoying life. I got married when I was 27. When you were the age that I was then you were at home with THREE kids; the youngest was 2 and the oldest was 9! Some of us chose to 'enjoy life' as you call it when we were young. I enjoyed life when I was a kid instead of raising babies when I was a teenager. Good luck, going out partying with your friends when your 40 something and too old to kick up the proverbial heels and enjoy life. While it is true that I will be at home with a 4 year old at the age of 42, he WILL....hopefully be out of diapers at that time. You on the other hand will have all of your kids out of the house and just in time for that 'old man' of yours to be back in diapers. And, let's not forget that by that time, your kids will have probably shot out a couple of grandkids and you will of course be left with the responsibility of caring for them while your daughters go out and 'have some fun.' While when I am 42, my oldest child will be at the perfect age to babysit her 4 year old brother while my husband and I go out for an occasional life enjoying experience."

That was all. I was done. In the words of Forrest Gump, 'That's all I got t' say 'bout that.'

She took a step back looked at me, cocked her head to the side and with a big ol' grin on her face said, "It's gonna be like that is it."

I said, "YEP! I guess it is!" We had a good laugh and we are still friends. She is still blessed with her perfect plan and I am still blessed with mine. I just wonder though...When Sarah gave birth to Isaac at such a perfect age, did she go through the same thing? I guess I'll ask her that when I am in that "Old Ladies with Babies" Club-Heaven Chapter.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


A few days ago my daughter was sitting in the floor beside me after a day of being semi-tortured by her little brother. She asked me "Do you remember when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade and I wanted you to have a baby?"

I looked at her with a smile on my face. "Yes I remember that. Are you rethinking that now?"

Her response was simple. "No, I'm not rethinking it. But, do you also remember that I wanted a baby sister?"

I paused for a moment. I remember the scenario well. She prayed for almost a year asking for a baby sister. She told everyone in the town where we were that I was going to have a baby girl. For almost a year, I had people coming up to me with congratulations. Some people even inquired as to how I knew that I was having a girl when I wasn't even showing yet. It got so annoying after a while, I had to threaten her. Another child was not in our plans.
After this year of prayer and meditation by my young daughter, I learned that I was pregnant at the age of 36. I was devastated. I would be 37 when this child was born. I was already tired and worn out and now I was starting over!!!! No more going out with my friends during the day or just being able to drop everything and go.....anywhere. I was very disappointed to say the least.
I knew without a doubt that this child had to be a girl. Moriah had already told everyone that she was having a baby sister and she had known that for over a year. It isn't often that you come across that kind of prophecy. But, it didn't matter to me. People would come up to me and ask if I wanted a boy or a girl. My response was always the same, "Moriah wants a sister, John wants a son, and it doesn't matter to me because I really didn't want either one." That was hard for some people to get. I was just being honest. I didn't want to be pregnant so it didn't really matter which flavor it was, I would be okay with it.
I also remember that moment in the doctor's office when it was obvious from the ultrasound that it was a brother we were a-having and not the long awaited sister. I remember the screams of "NO! NO! Change your mind! It's a girl!" that were heard throughout the doctor's office. Oddly enough, John and I were crying as well. John-tears of joy and well, I had been crying for months about the whole thing. But, as you know, I could not change my mind about the pregnancy or the gender. It was indeed a boy and a-coming he it or not.
But, some 3 years later, I have acquired a somewhat different attitude about the situation. On this particular day, I thought for a moment about how to respond to my distressed daughter. She was exhausted from hiding from her brother for fear of yet again having her hair yanked until her head flung back like a little Moriah Pez dispenser. I knew how she felt. It appears to bring him so much joy.

This is the response that I came up with--"I know that you are disappointed that you didn't get the little sister that you wanted. We don't always get exactly what we want but we get what God knows that we need. How cool is it that out of all the little girls on this earth that God could have sent Luke to live with, he sent him to be your little brother? Isn't that cool?"

"Yeah Mom." she said, "that is cool. But.......I STILL had rather had a sister." We laughed and went on with the rest of our blessed day.

This morning in church the thought of this conversation with her and the answer I had given came back to me. The preacher was defining the prefix "dis" as apart from or a negative or reversing force. That hit me in the face like a ton of bricks (which was evident by my swollen face that I tried to pass off as a sinus issue). I realized that while expressing my disappointment, I had neglected to see that I was proclaiming my apartness (is that a word?) from my appointment. God said to me at that moment: "While I could have entrusted that precious little boy to any mother in the world, it was YOUR appointment!"

How cool is that?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hymn of A Band Director's Kids!

I was on (another) trip from my parents' home to ours with my two children. Moriah was in the front seat with me and Luke safely strapped into the backseat. As we were leaving city limits and the speed limit increased, I sped up to set my speed control to the maximum limit of 55 (okay, I set it to 60 but that's usually allowed, right?).

I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my daughter was leaning over to my side of the car. "What are you doing?" I inquired. I was unaware at that particular time but that one question set the tone, if you will, for the rest of the trip.

"Uh, I was just checking that speed thingy and noticed that you are driving a little moderato."

'What?' I thought but didn't say anything. I didn't have time to respond. Out of the backseat came screams of laughter and joy. "ALLEGRO! Momma!!!"

"No, no, NO Luke! You do not want her driving Allegro!"

I yell out "Presto!" She screams in dramatic terror as only she can do. I start to laugh. She asks if I am aware of how fast I am going. I said, "Yes. I have the speed control set on 60."

"SIXTY!!!!!!!!!!! It looked like 48 from over here."

"Uh! Yeah! That's what I meant....48. I'm going 48 miles per hour."

"You are not! You really ARE going 60, aren't you? That IS Allegro!!!"

Luke is getting all excited and yelling 'Allegro, allegro, Momma!'

"Mom," Moriah pipes in, "You should always drive Adagio!"

At this point, I'm thinking 'Layoff you little Staccato!' But instead, I answered with "If I drive adagio we will never make it home! Can I at least go Moderato?"

I thought we had reached the finale but apparently it was only a coda. When we came into a small town, without thinking of the consequences of my notes, I said in what I thought was a piano voice, "Is this adagio enough for ya'?" Oh no! I was flat wrong....mezzo forte!! She heard me!

She glances over at the speedometer and quirks, "Yes!"

As we reach the city limits on the opposite side of this town, I said in the most uncool smart aleck voice I could come up with, "Crescendo!" She says "What does that mean?" HAH!!! Something she didn't know. I realized at this point that it had nothing to do with speed. I had to act quickly so as to not appear like a total moron. I said, "It means to gradually get louder; like this..." as I reached over and turned the volume up on the radio to fortissimo.

She turned it down and began to tell me about a dream in which she had the night before. An interlude if you will. In this dream, she and her friends that live across the street were building party buses like Miley Cyrus has and when they finished they helped Luke and Baby Carly (from across the street) build little baby party buses. This drone went on for 25 miles. But, since we are cruising along at allegro, is it really that long??

We came to the next town, it seemed only natural to stay on the motif. I interrupted her dream sequence to say "Duh-min-u-end-O." She pauses for a moment and then says, "Mom!!! Diminuendo has nothing to do with speed! Do you know nothing about music?....." This was followed by a reprise of musical knowledge that made me feel like a complete and total drooling ritard and turned my whole evening into a deceptive cadence.

I learned valuable information from this evening though. The key to survival in our little Capriccio is (even though you might feel the need to on occasion) refrain from choking your children with a chord and never beat them; instead, keep harmony in your household by treating each precious little one like a fermata. Hold them. Fine (Fin-A).

Friday, February 22, 2008


I remember when I was in college and I had to take something called prerequisites. I thought: "what in the world is a prerequisite?" I dared not ask for fear of looking like a stupid freshman. I took the word into my internal memory and kept it in a file with other words such as syllabus that I was sure that I would only need for the next four years (or 6 but who's counting).
A prerequisite is a class that you must take in order to gain necessary knowledge for classes that you will take in the future. For example, I had to take College Algebra before I could take Agricultural Economics. I'm still trying to figure that one out! But, then again, I DID breeze through both of them with a 'D.' Hey! I passed! Layoff!!!
I'm not sure I figured out what prerequisite really meant until I had children. I'm constantly having flashbacks of things that I have gone through in my life that left me with a feeling of 'Why me?' only to be now left with a feeling of 'Eureka! Thanks God!' One such event came to me last night as I was reminiscing over the last 2 1/2 years and the many episodes of 'Revenge Nudity' (where all clothes and diapers are ripped off to make a point of control) and incidence of a little curly head leaning over the bath tub, staring down the drain because he's sure that Sally the Turtle is down there somewhere and the fear that he would somehow get blamed for her disappearance.
When I was employed by Children and Family Services, I had the pleasure of meeting and developing a friendship with a little boy. "Little Johnny" was your basic 7 year old, oldest sibling of a whole gaggle of kids. He came into my life one day as a result of a responsible adult who left he and his younger siblings alone with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey. Once the party got started, things got out of control due to an intoxicated toddler that the others were afraid was going to torch the place with the cigarette he was smoking. 9-1-1 was called by one of the children and the rest is history.
I had the honor of escorting "Little Johnny" to his doctor's appointments and parental visits. He was a delight to be around and never a dull moment was to be had. I was fresh out of college and still pretty proud of my little dark red sports car only to have it ripped apart by this child that I couldn't 'hit.' "Little Johnny" did everything from pushing all my buttons (both figuratively and literally) to taking off his seat belt and trying to jump out of the car going down the interstate. Thank God the speed limit was still just 55 then because another 10 or 15 miles an hour and I might have had to "push" him. Tee hee! Not really!!!!
After a few weeks, "Little Johnny" became the Dennis the Menace of our office and believe it or not some people actually hated him. I didn't particularly care for his behavior but I had a brand spanking new degree in "Human Development and Family Studies," tons and tons of prerequisites under my belt, and an undying belief that there was good in everyone (some of us just require a little deeper dig than most). The nearest I can describe as to how I felt about him is the character of "Little Nicky" from the Adam Sandler movie of the same name--while still the son of Satan he was more pitiful than the evil ones who had abused him all of his life.
One dreary day, I was scheduled to escort "Little Nicky, er, I mean, uh Johnny" to the pediatrician. Now, being a worker for DHS, I was not allowed to disclose to anyone who I was. It wasn't necessary because the office employees at the pediatric clinic knew and it wasn't really the business of anyone else. That worked really well for most children in the system but this Precious was a different story. He tried every bit of patience that I had but not before he had in some way annoyed every other adult in the waiting room. I was receiving glares that would bring the devil himself to his knees. I took it for as long as I could and then I announced to the entire waiting room with apparent despair in my voice, "HE IS NOT MINE, OK!"
A question from a mother whose child had been assaulted, "He's not yours?"
"No Ma'am. I am doing a favor for a friend who is at work." That was my standard answer because I did after all kind of like my supervisor (she was one of my bridesmaids) and she was at work. They didn't need to know that she wasn't the mother either.
The lady responded with, "You're a better friend than I am. I wouldn't put up with that."
I managed to get "Johnny" wrapped up in my arms preventing him from hitting anyone else and he couldn't throw anything. As he screamed for me to let go of him, I was headbutted and kicked. While I could have probably drawn Worker's Compensation, I refused to acknowledge getting beat down by a 7 year old. Those bruises were from running into the wall, yeah that's it! I managed to get one leg wrapped around him and explained to him while it was embarrassing to sit like this in the full-to-capacity waiting room, I was going to sit here and hold him until he calmed down. After about 5 minutes of intense pain for both of us, he settled down. Eventually, they called us back to the exam room. I'm sure that they put us in front of others just to get him out of there but I didn't care and neither did the other patients and their parents/guardians. "Johnny" and I got up from a seat and walked back together and he even took my hand and let me lead him back. *SHOCK!!!!*
Once the pediatrician came in the room, all of the calmness went out the window. The second he hopped up on the exam table it was like WWF. The doc handed him a tongue depressor....OK???? Does anybody else see this as a problem? I had no children at the time but I figured that handing this kid something that could easily be made into a shank was probably not the best idea. But, he was in the doctor's care now. ~smile~
The little boy took the tongue depressor and quickly slapped the doctor on both sides of his face like something straight out of the 'stooges' and screamed at him "ELVIS!!!!" OK! Minus the sideburns, he could have passed for the King....I guess! This invoked an unbelievably calm response from the doc of "Have you ever thought about maybe Elvis faked his death and he really still is alive?"
WHAT??????????? Where in the world did that come from? ", Doc, can't say that I ever gave that a pondering?" Still, I was impressed at his calmness. Apparently, this wasn't his first "Little Johnny." Although, the tongue depressor strategy still remains a mystery. I guess it worked at some point.
Later, the doctor caved. "Is there anything you can do to help me keep him still while I finish his physical exam?"
"Ooooohhhh! I don't know let me see. I haven't had much luck before." I walked over to the exam table and said softly to the child. "Do I need to hop up there on the table and give you a hug like I gave you in the waiting room?" He looked at me with the sweetest expression in those deep dark eyes and said, "Noooooooooooo." He laid down on the exam table and allowed the doctor to finish the exam. All was well, until the inevitable examination of the unmentionable area. "Johnny" grabbed his pants, threw his leg over to protect himself, and screamed "HEY MAN!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????" Thank the Lord and all things good this was the END of the exam.
We left the office that day, got in the car, and put on our seat belts. I said, "Look! I'm making a deal with you. From this point on, when you are with me, every time you break a rule, no matter where we are there will be a 5 minute time out." He agreed to the deal. For any infraction occurring while traveling down the road, we pulled over to the side of the road for 5 minutes. It took us 1 1/2 hours to drive 15 miles. I heard 'I'm sorry' more that day than I have the rest of my life combined. Each time, I explained to "Little Johnny" that if I let him off with less than the agreed to time of "5 minutes" then I would be a liar. "I will never lie to you!"
While other CFS workers hated even being in the room with this child, I never had another problem with him. They even called me a few times to calm him down. I think sometimes he just wanted a hug. I never gave him the "super hug" again after "that" day; but he was only 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though he was "Johnny the Barbarian," he still needed hugs! Something had happened to him in his short life that caused this behavior.
I still think of him regularly...especially, when I'm getting my lip busted and collar bone thrashed from head butting. Thank God for the curls that cushion the blows and another prerequisite on my life's transcript.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Calm in the Midst of the Storm

We had gone to my parents' home and spent the night for dentist appointments on the next day. We had a good trip with no significant out of the ordinary events; which in itself for our household could be some humourous situations. This day was filled with smiles, laughter, fun, and thankfulness like others but nothing to really blog about.
We went to the dental appointments and still nothing really to write home about. It was Luke's first experience at the dentist. He tried to escape several times. They were amazed at his abilities to open doors (as are we); especially the big heavy duty doors that are supposed be difficult for small children to open. He screamed during the appointment but this just made it easier for Dr. Willis to count his teeth. Nothing that really inspired me to write.
We left the office and headed back to my parents' to pack up. I had heard from other parents in the waiting room that there were thunderstorms headed for the area . I wasn't overly concerned. I was sure that we would be home by the time they hit. A weather bulletin came on the radio informing that a severe thunderstorm was to hit the area around 5:00. It was about 3:30. I thought to myself: I can pack, get out of town, and be halfway home before they hit here. Still, not overly concerned for our safety.
We got to my folks and I was packing our belongings, putting the car seat back, etc. It started raining. I told Moriah to get her things and get in because it was starting to rain. I got Luke loaded. I went back in the house to do the benediction and jump in and go. It was 4:10. I got in the vehicle. The wind was blowing and it was raining very hard by now. Moriah was extremely concerned but I told her to pray for our trip home and God would take care of us. But, before we left town, I had to stop and get gas. The rain was blowing sideways; I put my back to the rain and went on with my gas pumping. I had on a rain resistant wind suit; which I found out, means "difficult to keep pulled up on leather seats."
I was scanning the radio for weather reports not nearly concerned with the genre of music playing. We have traction control on our vehicle that has a little alarm that sounds and flashing warning lights when you start to slip followed by the vehicle grabbing a-hold of your car to stop the sliding. It is a very handy tool to have once you get used to the process. Every time this would happen (which was quite often in the first 30 minutes of our trip), Luke would say "I'm alright Momma. Are you okay?" I'm okay! Isn't that precious? Moriah, who is deathly afraid of storms, was watching 'Barbie as the Island Princess.' I was thinking to myself, 'Thank the Lord for headphones and tunnel vision.' I thought she didn't realize we were driving through a storm.
It still wasn't 5:00; the time in which the big storm was going to hit. I was driving 35 and 40 miles per hour. Police officers were pulled over and parked under awnings which made me wonder what they knew that I didn't. John calls me on the cell phone to tell me a tornado had touched down in Ola. I have to drive through Ola on the way home. While I appreciated the fact that he was keeping me informed about the wall cloud that was hovering over my vehicle, I expressed that this was a time that my hands needed to be at 10 and 2 and my knees did not need to be on the steering wheel so that I could hold the phone (I hate speakerphone and hands-free devices).
I see many things that should have scared the living daylights out of me. One particular event was the lightning that struck a tree right in front of me and I saw the specific tree catch on fire. I kept thinking to myself 'it doesn't usually rain during an actual tornado so I'm okay.' The rain stopped for a few minutes; a brief sigh of relief. Then, it came back blowing the other way. Again, a bit scary but I managed to convince myself that it was a different storm that had started. I said to Luke who had been silent for a while, "I'm okay, Luke! Are you okay?"
"No Momma! I'm not okay!" was the response. At this point, I started singing 'Faith is the Victory' and wishing that I knew all of the words. Those 4 seemed to help calm me down quite a bit so I just kept humming the song and filling in what words I did know. I could see the clouds over to the East and was so thankful that wasn't the way I was traveling. I was traveling on Highway 10 (if you know anything about how our highway system is set up in this country; you know that odd numbers run North and South while even numbered roads run East and West). I tell you this to let you know that the road had taken a slight curve to the South and I was about to turn and go East.
We arrived in Ola (where the tornado had allegedly touched down earlier). John called once more and asked where I was. He told me to pull over and sit for 20 minutes and the storm would be gone. What? I was 30 miles from home and I had driven in this the whole way (a usual 90 minute trip had already taken 2 hours and I had 30 more minutes to go). I wanted to be home. But, I listened. While we were at the Ola Mall (???), the employees there said that nothing had touched down there and they had been receiving calls all night about the damage to their town. They said that Atkins was hit pretty hard but nothing in Ola. Me, being totally geographically ignorant in the "way the crow flies" thought I had been concerned for nothing. We ate our snacks, drank our drinks, and came home.
I have to admit....John was right! We drove home to dry highways, no rain, and virtually no wind. We arrived in Perryville at about 7:20 (remember we left for our 90 minute trip home at 4:10). John said when I walked in the door, "you still have time to go vote before the polls close." I grabbed the doorknob to go; but I couldn't bring myself to walk out. John McCain and Mike Huckabee neither seemed very appealing to me at the moment; not to mention Romney, Hillary, and Obama! Yuck! So, I didn't vote!
In the days following, I watched the reports of the storm; all of the loss and devastation. I had driven the entire trip parallel to the storm. It was right beside me all the way. I was driving in to it! When the rain stopped and switched direction, was more than likely the "eye" passing over. While I was scared a bit, I never felt less than safe. It was a calmness of sorts that I can't explain with anything other than God's hand being over us. It was similar to the calmness I felt during the birth of Moriah. I am thankful for the blessing of ignorance shielding me from the seriousness of the situation.
Last night, Moriah's choir teacher at church told me about Moriah telling them Wednesday evening about how terrified she was driving home Tuesday. She had told them how she prayed that God would keep us safe and he did. I thought that she was back there in the back seat watching TV and was oblivious to our surroundings. What a little prayer warrior she is!
This past weekend, Luke broke one of my Precious Moments figurines. He gained access to it through the door of the curio cabinet that is absent of glass due to a faulty clubhouse that was built by 2 unlicensed contractors that pushed a winged-back chair directly into the cabinet and broke it. I packed the remainder of Precious Moments away and left the broken one (he just ripped the tail off of a lion--he's a ruthless kid) to be repaired. I discovered this morning that Luke had drawn on the walls of the livingroom for the 4th or 5th time. I cleaned it up and let him help me. I helped him rebuild the living room clubhouse that I swore would never be rebuilt. Right now, as I am writing this, a crash comes from his room. I go to see what it is (THIS TIME) discovering that he had thrown his lamp and shattered the bulb. I picked up the lamp, vacuumed up the glass, changed his diaper, cleaned his nose, hugged his neck, kissed him and came back to finish this story. Some things are not worth getting upset about. The "REAL" Precious Moments are much more valuable. If we had not been so richly blessed, nothing in our lives would ever get broken! How much more empty would we be?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Turning Into My!

John tells the story of growing up with 5 kids in the backseat of a car with his mom driving down the road. Invariably, two or all three of his sisters would get into a fight. He explains it as "Mom would never take her eyes off the road and just start slapping at the backseat." He goes on to say that he and his brother would slither into the floor board or anything they could do to escape the flying phalanges.

Yesterday, Moriah, Luke, and I went to Greenwood to visit with my parents since Moriah had the day off from school. All was well until we loaded in the car to go home. It was starting to rain and it was hovering just above the freezing mark so time was of the essence to get home. We had just started out on our 1 1/2 hour trip when Luke decided that he want to yank on Moriah's seat belt. Bless her heart. She was sitting there, for once, not bothering anyone. When all of a sudden she begins to beg for mercy. Of course, this was funny to Luke who is right slap dab in the middle of the terrible twos (oh please Lord! Let it at LEAST be the middle).

I calmly said, "Luke, Baby, you are choking your sister. Please let go of her seat belt." The response of "NO!" rang out through our small tight quarters. I said with a little less calmness, "Luke! Let go!"

My little boy. He's so polite to everyone. He says 'please;' he says 'thank you;' he says 'excuse me' when he belches. At this particular moment though, his choice of words happened to be, "YOU SHUT UP, Momma!" WHAT??????????????????????????

You know when Bugs Bunny would do some despicable unthinkable act to Elmer Fudd and smoke would come out Elmer's ears? I never thought that was physically possible until that very moment. I could feel it. You could even smell the smoke in the car!!

I put my hand over the back of the seat. Moriah ducked. I start slapping at Luke's legs. Mostly to no avail since his car seat sides are higher than my arm. "Those words better never come out of your mouth again Little Boy." He DIDN'T cry; he didn't even try squirming to get out of the way. He sat there and looked at me as if some crazy had broken free from the chain and was running wild in the car. It was obvious that the several layers of clothes that he had on was shielding him and I was losing this battle. So, I stopped. I then explained that if he ever felt the need to use those words with me again I would pull over and take him out of the car in the freezing rain where my hand and his rear end would procede with a full contact debate. "You never tell Momma to shut up." At this point, Moriah was about to bust to get her 2 cents in so she outs with "or Dad!" I reminded her of the advantages of staying out of the conversation when Luke was getting in trouble. Well, not trouble so much, he didn't seem to care!

All was quiet for a few minutes. I was still flustered. I had to turn the heat down in the car. I glanced back to his car seat at him seated there just as sweet, innocent, and happy as can be. I said, "No telling how many times you've said that to us that we couldn't understand what you were saying." He busted out laughing!?! I had flashbacks of Sunday School and Shannon speaking of possible demon possession in her household. Moriah was sitting across from me with her finger over her mouth and her lips clenched tight to hold back her laughter. I looked at her with inquiry as to the humor of the situation. She quickly responded, "Nothing Mom! Nothing is funny at all!"