Saturday, December 15, 2012

You Don't Impress Me Much

I thought I had penned this before but I can't find it so I will recreate it to the best of my recollection.

When my daughter was in first grade, we lived in Southwest Arkansas and it was the year the Arkansas quarter came out.  There was a big dedication service at Crater of Diamonds State Park. We had several family members that came down for  the ceremony and I took Moriah out of school for a little history in the making and  diamond digging fun!

I have this thing about getting my picture made with governors. I have a picture of me with Bill Clinton (several times), Jim Guy Tucker, and Mike Huckabee. While each picture was not that big of a deal to the governor, I have a story that made it special to me. I corrected Bill Clinton for mispronouncing my name once and told him it was OK to wash his hands before he shook mine another time when he sneezed right before my turn to pose with him. Jim Guy Tucker was mauled by reporters in Washington DC immediately following my picture with him to discuss the pardoning of some criminals in Arkansas by the acting governor while Jim Guy was attending Bill Clinton's inauguration.  The  photo op  with Mike Huckabee was fairly uneventful with the exception of John and  I had taken an awesome group of young ladies to the state capitol to page for our local senator and representative. So, I guess I was due for an over the top Gubernatorial Photo!

At the Quarter Dedication, Governor Mike Huckabee was one of  many speakers. Since I had already had my picture made with him,  I really didn't have an interest  in that. But, I thought I might try to force this tradition upon my  6 year old daughter. There were people crowding around him like he was some sort of celebrity and he had an  entourage of security. Oh please!!!!!

I took Moriah up there in the midst of the crowd. I told her that I couldn't get to him with all of the people. I said, "You can get  up there. Just walk in between these guys' legs, tug on his pants leg, and tell him you want your picture made with him and then they will let me through with the camera to get the picture!"  

We had the perfect plan! She weaved her little body through men in black suits and reached the intended destination. Step 1 complete! She tugged on his pant leg. STEP 2!!!!! He looked down at her and with a smile on his face he knelt down and asked her if she had a question for him. YES! SUCCESS!!!! Or, so I thought.....

Much to my horror this is where the plan went awry. Not really but it brought about embarrassment that I was  not prepared for at the moment. My precious baby girl looked him right in the face. Her eyes grew larger than life and shone blue for the whole world to see. She turned to look at me as I stood there holding my camera ready to capture the moment for all posterity. The air grew silent and everyone in this mob of people seemed focused on this little girl who had fought through the forest of persons more than twice her size to get to the governor. With a tone of fear in her little voice she screamed, "I DON'T WANT MY PICTURE MADE WITH HIM!!!!!!!!!"  

Silence abounds as I'm fairly certain that I was sweating like a woman of questionable character in church. Laughter broke out...first it was his security, followed by several members of the crowd, and finally Gov. Huckabee. At this point, it was OK for his "yes" man to snicker as well. I managed to get a nervous giggle out and pretty memorable picture that has a story indeed.

Monday, October 22, 2012

God Never Fails

As I sit here in my den  trying to figure out how to start this post, tears come to eyes for I'm at a loss for  words. I know that comes as a shock to most  of you. But, every once in a blue moon, it happens.  Even though it  is on rare occasion, this occurs for different reasons. Perhaps the one today, is  the  overwhelming humility I feel at the wise words of my 7 year old son.

Since kindergarten, Luke has struggled with school. He appears to have vast knowledge but for whatever reason will not perform up to what we believe he  is capable. Kindergarten was frustrating both for his teacher and us. We had a very hard year that year. We were in the middle of  building a new home. While that brought unbelievable stress on our family, it was nothing in comparison to what came next. My dad was unexpectedly taken from us at the  age of 86. By unexpectedly, I mean he was in seemingly good health, came down with bronchitis that turned into pneumonia, and after a difficult 3  1/2 weeks of hospitalization, he went to be with the Lord. This was a great shock to all of us. While conferencing  with the wonderful teacher (Mrs. Fallen) that Luke had been blessed with that year, I assured her that if given a year that we were  not building a new home and suffering the loss of a grandparent, I knew Luke would excel. He came around  and did okay for her at the end of the school year and we felt good about him going on to first grade.

First grade, a new year, a new start. I prayed that Luke's new teacher would be a good one. God answered that  prayer as was revealed to us at the Open House/Meet the Teacher Night when it was announced that Luke had been assigned to Mrs. Goodwin's class. We were still not finished with our house for various reasons but planned on being it by Christmas. Luke's year started off slow and he was not looking forward to moving into the  new house. He was 2 years old when we moved to Perryville and the house we lived in, wretched as it was, was home to him. He had no real memories of home before this. Then, again unexpectedly, John's dad became ill. He was hospitalized several times in that year and left us in March.  Another year, another grandfather. This poor child, I can't even imagine what was going through his little mind. But again, much to the  frustration of everyone involved, Luke struggled with getting his classwork done. His grades were not good. Toward the end of the year, he stepped up and did really well with the help of a very special person (Michelle Stell, you know who you are), to whom we are very thankful. He recently told me "Some of my friends in  my class didn't pass 1st grade. I almost didn't pass 1st grade but I pulled it out in the end." :-)

We moved in our new house in December. He has gotten used to it, seems to be home to him. Both grandmothers seem to be doing fairly well. School starts and we are excited about 2nd grade. A new year and new challenges. This is the first year that students change classrooms for different subjects. Let's see how it goes.

School starts and immediately he begins his yearly struggles. Long gone is the excuse of turmoil and upheaval. Everything appears on the surface  to be a-ok. Yet, the same reports are coming from school. He isn't doing his work at school. He is frustrated and exhibiting disappointment with himself . He shows anxiety about anything to do with schoolwork. As a mother, I am so concerned on so many levels.

Then, one day he tells me, "Mom, I love Sunday School." Though not surprised that he would have this attitude toward Sunday School with his amazing teacher, Mrs. Lucy,  I say "Really? Why do you love  Sunday School so much?" He says so sincerely, "Because nothing we do is graded and God NEVER fails anyone!"

Wow! How true! He is 7.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


I've recently been accused of things that I have never before been accused my face anyway.  And in one particular instance not to my face but to my facebook.  LOL.
I have a job to do and I take it very seriously.  I am a Stay At Home Mom.  My duties primarily consist of paying bills and taking care of my kids (and other duties as the need arises). I am a busy person.
I have the responsibility entrusted on me to pay bills for my family in what may very well be the worst economy since the Great Depression.  I do all of this so my family will have a home to live, water to drink and bathe, electricity to do practically everything, and food to eat.  I do this! I do this with one income brought in by a very hard working husband that goes to work sick or hurting or whatever he needs to do to support his family.  God has blessed me with an amazing man of God who is an awesome husband and father.  He is the primary financial provider and I pay the bills with a tight budget that leaves little or no extra left for extravagance. Together, we try to raise our children with Godly moral values and teach them responsibility.
I have spent most of the Summer with my family.  My kids were not in day care or pawned off on someone else while I went out on adventures with friends, spent money we didn't have or just stayed home by myself and did nothing.
We have attended church as a family, kept an amazing group of preschoolers, done VBS, been to church camp, packed bags for other camps, spent countless hours in prayer for my family as well as others, and been a shoulder to cry on when feelings were hurt by words or actions of others. I apologize if your job or lifestyle does not allow this.
I went to work with my husband.  Contrary to what you may believe, not all teachers are off for 3 months in the summer. It is unfortunate that your husband's job does not welcome volunteer work.
We spent time at an amusement park where I watched my awesome baby daddy teach our son to a wave pool, experienced that first roller coaster ride with one who after years of waiting was finally tall enough, and encourage them to overcome fears of water slides. We floated in the lazy river and rode (or attempted) the waves on a boogie board.  Again, how sad if your life does not allow this type of family fun to happen. 
I attended a baseball game and radio station with some pretty cool Cub Scouts.  I experienced Jump Zone and Discovery with a group of awesome kids.  We went to the zoo and rode the train and carousel.  We went over the river and/or through the woods to grandmother's house(s). We played with friends, laughed, went for walks, or stayed home and relaxed.  We shopped because even grocery shopping is an adventure even though not as fun as clothes shopping.....for us girls anyway.  We watched Olympics.  We went to eat, ordered completely off the Dollar Menu, and fed a family of four for $13(this is unbelievable fun). I apologize if you don't get to do such things with your hectic schedule.
I have non-stop laundry.  Is it all done and put into it's appropriate place? No. Does it have an appropriate place? Yes.  Does it ever make it there? Rarely. Is my house in order?  No. Let  she who is without dust, cast the first stone.  I have adventures to go on and things to do.  Some day you'll wish that you had.
If you tried to call me at any point during this time and I didn't answer my phone, I apologize for that as well.  I keep the ringer off on my phone most of the time.  How would it make you feel if I was talking to you, my phone rang, and I answered it because you were not important enough to me to carry on a conversation with me?  If it is an emergency, keep calling until I answer. If you wanted to ask me something, leave a message.  If you left a message and I didn't call back, leave another one.  Text me.  If you text me with "let me know if you need anything,"  I will assume that if I don't need anything, I don't need to text you back.  My mother is the only person who has a right to interrupt my conversation with another.  All others can wait. 
If you have a problem with me or my family, feel free to come to me.  Having said that, be prepared to face my thunder cookies.  It is not necessary to lie about my family to make yours look better.  If you choose to do so, please don't take offense when I choose to defend the ones that God has blessed me with.  And, while I welcome any and all sincere heartfelt prayers for my family, don't call me unforgiving when I go into defensive stance against evils brought upon my family by others.  I am a mother and shame on you if you wouldn't do the same.  God gets angry and He hurts when His children hurt.  Am I better than he?  Certainly not.  I'm sorry if you view me as unforgiving.
No, actually I'm not sorry.  I apologize if you have been offended by any of my actions or any of my choices in protecting my family.  I apologize that you do not appreciate the "worn out" feeling that never leaves a true stay at home mom who never rests because there is always one more sock to wash, one more errand to run, or one more prayer to prayed. I do not apologize for any of the time I spent with my family.  I do feel sorry for you if you are not rewarded with a career like mine or you chose not to take advantage of it when you had the chance.  I am not an unemployed housewife. I am mother.  Hear me roar.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Just Rolling With The Flow, Firecracker!

Since we love our new home and we did not want to go to jail for turning it and the entire mountain into a giant charcoal grill, we decided to make a trek to the Rock and enjoy "Pops on the River."  We arrived a few hours before the show to procure an excellent parking spot that would ensure a speedy departure in the impending mass exodus.  We ooh'd, we ahh'd, it was moving.  Indeed, the fireworks were spectacular.  Then, we walked back to our parking spot.

Once we arrived at our vehicle, traffic was already backed up worse than a man with the intestional fortitude to eat an entire five pound block of cheese without an Exlax to be found.  We loaded our gear and prepared to get on the road.  The nice man in the enormous SUV had already gotten into the flow (guess he brought his own laxative).  He was leaving a car length space. Is this not the universal sign for "Come on in, Buddy!"?

That's what we thought too!  But, contraire mon fraire, it is NOT!  John pulled up into the open slot and Enormous SUV Guy lunged forward and showed his displeasure with us.  He said, "You could've asked if I would let you in, you didn't have to just shoot in there like that. You could've asked first."  John, being the natural smart mouth that he is, responded, " I get in?" ESUV Guy, "WHAT?" John, "Ok, can I get in?"

He just sits there glaring at us.  I was smiling the whole time because that's how I roll.  Hard to be intimidated in such a ridiculous situation.  Meanwhile, the parking lot is emptying, kids on bikes, and little old ladies on Hoverounds are passing us. Then, we all knew it would happen eventually, the cars behind him started honking.  After all, it was late and everybody wanted out of Downtown Little Rock as quickly as possible.

At that very moment, a moment I believe he meant to be intense, my 7 year old (who we have begun to call The Shizz for obvious reasons) raised up out of his booster seat in the back and exclaims loudly, "DUDE, you're holding up traffic!!!!" A sister was mortified, a dad goes with the flow, and a mom just keeps on smiling...cause that's how we roll!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Not Kid Approved!

Took my kids to McDonald's today on a trip home from an orthodontist appointment for my daughter. We were facing time constraints so it was the drive-thru for us.

I had forgotten about the new unimproved Happy Meal. It struck me as odd when my 6 year old yells at the speaker, "I'll have the large fries with that!" The nice young man handed me our food and as is customary, since they have automatic drink fillers now, I got out to take my son's Sprite in to chase it with Dr. Pepper.....because that's how he rolls. We call it an attempted suicide. You experienced folks like me will understand this. If you don't, google "suicide drink." So, anyhow, I get the prince's attempted suicide and return to the truck. It's back on the road for us! My son was whining about not getting what he ordered. I checked his sack and there were chicken nuggets, apple slices, and a very teeny tiny microscopic fry container with just a few fries. I assured him that is what he ordered because God forbid I order him anything with a hamburger patty on it!

All of a sudden, a package of sliced apples flies from the backseat and hits the windshield. My son says in a very discontent voice, "There is NOTHING happy about this MEAL!"

Sliced apples and dollhouse sized fries???? Really??? Mickey D............what WERE you thinking? Did Michelle Obama tell you that you were making kids fat? First, some McDonald's are not putting toys in their meals and now the smaller servings of fries. In my personal opinion, this will make kids fatter. We'll have to start ordering extra fries so they can get their little baby fixes fulfilled. And, no toy? Why is this? So, the kids will actually have to eat the food now instead of immediately playing with the toy, thus making them fatter. Doesn't seem like a good plan to me. Not KID approved!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Have Visual!

John was attending a band parent meeting and I had to go pick him up. Once we returned to the house, I went to the door and rang the doorbell but stood where I couldn't be seen through the glass on the door. I motioned for John to get back.

Inside the house, I hear both kids running to the door. I hear the lock on the door start to turn (but not completely unlocked) and could see Moriah looking out the window. Immediately the door was locked back. The glass is beveled in such a manner that she was not able to see me at the angle that I was but I moved over some more just for pure dramatic effect. I reached over and rang the doorbell again. I turned to look at John. He grinned really big and took off running around the house.

I could hear the kids talking. Moriah was telling Luke that they couldn't open the door because there was no one there. Luke of course wanted to open the door. He told her it was me. She kept telling him she couldn't see anyone. My phone rang. I was going to carry it on a little longer and not answer my phone. But, the wee one gets the smart idea to raise the shade on the window that I was standing in front of. Luke said, "I told you it was Mom!" My jig was up! I roared at them trying to scare them a little although the only one I scared was the dog. She growled at me AS she was running away....great guard dog.

I'm not sure what John was doing during this time. He may have already set his scheme into motion. I came in the house and turned the light on behind the house. John started shaking the patio door. Luke raised the blind but he wasn't there. Moriah calmly walked to all the doors in the house and locked them all with a smile on her face. John hung out in the dark for a little longer before finally using his key to come in. He thought I was still outside running around trying to scare the kids. Joke's on him, I was already in the house and on facebook before he got the door unlocked. We are so sadistic.

I explained to Moriah that I preferred that if the doorbell rings when just she and her brother are home to call me first. I praised her for 3 things: 1) not opening the door, 2) calling me, and 3) locking her dad outside after she let me in the house. :D


Friday, February 17, 2012

Lightnining McQueen Valentine Box

Ok, I am in no way a professional crafter (as is evident by the details of the box)but my son wanted a Lightning McQueen Valentine Box and a LMc Box he shall have.

Here's what we used:
Regular size shoebox (almost think a kids' size shoebox would work better)
Roll of Red Duct Tape
Roll of Silver or Gray Duct Tape
Lightning McQueen decals (I just printed ours from pix of Lightning McQueen online)
White piece of foam
Cube of Crafting or Floral Foam
Black piece of scrapbooking paper
Gray piece of scrapbooking paper
White paint pen
Black Sharpie, Ink Pen, or Marker
Glue (we just used a glue stick but a few of the decals began to peel after a few days)

Cut a wedge piece for the cab of the car and a small wedge for the spoiler.

We duct taped the entire box and I cut the end of the box to make the hood to put the valentines in.
I cut a white piece of foam to make the mouth and we drew a line with the black pen to make his smile. Cut a rectangular piece of foam for the windshield.

My favorite part of the entire project is the eyes. If you have a child with beautiful eyes like my boy's eyes, this was a really fun idea that he loved! I took a picture of him where his eyes were exceptional "bright" and zoomed in on the eyes. I cut out the irises and used them for Lightning McQueen's eyes. Beautiful...regardless of what the rest of the car looks like. We really enjoyed doing this project together. I did the cutting with help from a friend, he did the gluing, and we both worked on the duct tape.