Friday, August 31, 2007

Gut wrenching

Our friend Kyle sent this to The Potter Place today, and I was moved to tears. Oh, how many times have I been this girl ..

Monday, August 27, 2007

A little something for your Monday night enjoyment

This is so stinkin' awesome I could watch it over and over and never tire of it. Talk about TALENT. I don't know what kind of job this kind of entertainment would land a person, but it sure is fun to watch. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I've been doing a lot of reminiscing and reflecting lately. I hope my vast numbers of readers (all both of you) will forgive me as I relive the events leading up to the first anniversary of my mother's homegoing.

It was one year ago today that I made the agonizing drive to Little Rock in anticipation of the meeting in which my mom and dad would be given the news that we were looking at not only an esophagectomy but also metastatic bone cancer. It does not seem possible that an entire year has passed since that day.

This time last year I was camped out on the recliner in Mom's hospital room in what would prove to be our last bunking party. She coughed and struggled to breathe so much through night that I became very worried and traipsed to the nurses' station in my PJ's several times for assistance. Even though I got little or no sleep, I felt honored that she wanted me to stay. I remember pulling my chair as close to her bed as I could and holding her hand as we both tried desperately to rest.

I remember watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" and laughing just like we had not a care in the world. After Dr. Bravo delivered the tragic news earlier that day, neither of us ever spoke the word "cancer" in our conversations with each other. Perhaps we were in denial, but I'm so very thankful that I have a night of laughter to remember and not one of tears.

There were certainly enough of those to follow.

One down, 35 to go

We survived the first week of school. I had really good intentions of posting first-day photos of the kids in their new outfits, but, folks, the reality of getting myself and three youngsters up at 6 a.m., getting to school on time AND snapping a few photos along the way proved more than I could pull off. The bell rang at 8:15 a.m., and if memory serves me right, I believe we scooted in the door at 8:16, earning my two oldest a tardy slip on their first day of the new school year.

The late arrival wasn't entirely my fault. Hubs came down several days earlier with the same fever virus that Sarah had two weeks earlier. He had taken off sick on Monday and was sweating and shivering on the sofa watching TV when somewhere around 8 a.m. he decided that it might be nice to see the girls off on their first day of school. He pried himself off the sofa and slowly managed to clothe himself as I herded the children out to the car and began buckling them in. I watched the clock as several minutes passed (desperately willing myself NOT to honk the horn and thus add MORE stress to the morning). Finally at 8:06, he ambled out to join us. With all of us finally in the car, I took off in haste toward school only to realize that in the morning traffic, the drive was going to take considerably longer than it had when I mapped it out a few days earlier.

I should have known the first morning could not possibly go smoothly. Nothing else leading up to the start of the school year had.

Just a little background for your reading pleasure:

We decided in late May to enroll the kids in a private school this year. When we went to check it out, we were told there was a dress code, but no real specifics were given. When I asked for a handbook, we were told that they were in the process of being revised and that we would get one in the mail in just a few weeks. Sarah's kindergarten teacher just happened to be working in her room that day (the students were already out for summer), and we spent a few minutes visiting with her. Sarah happened to be wearing a skort that day that hit several inches above her knees (remember that little detail; it will be important later), so I asked the teacher if that sort of outfit would be appropriate for school. "Sure" she answered.

Throughout the summer, the girls and I shopped for skirts, dresses and skorts, and I was feeling pretty good about the condition of their wardrobe.

And then, the first week of August, THE REVISED HANDBOOK made its appearance in my mailbox. And right there, second paragraph on page 20, were the words that started my back-to-school excitement on a rapid downward spiral. "In grades K-3, girls' dresses and skirts must reach the top of their knees. The top of their knees? This was seriously news to me. No one had bothered to mention this small bit of information, and of all the skirts and dresses we had acquired through the summer, only two or three were going to work.

The next paragraph brought more surprises as I read about the shoe requirements. The no sandals rule sent both girls into a tizzy. Tennis shoes could be worn if they were all white (i.e., Keds). "You mean we have to wear TENNIS SHOES with our DRESSES???" they protested in unison.

Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until Sunday afternoon (as in less than 24 hours before the start of school) to go purchase white tennies for the girls. Rachel and I headed off for Shoe Carnival, and so sure was I of their correct sizes, I didn't even have her try on her shoes. We grabbed boxes off the shelf, and I did a cursory glance inside each to determine that the contents were the right size and style, and off to the registers we went.

Later that evening after kids were in bed, I began laying out their outfits for the next morning. After clean socks and underwear had been placed atop each girl's dress, I got out their new white Keds(which STILL had not been tried on, if you can believe it) and did a double take. Inside Rachel's box were TWO right shoes. It was after 9 p.m., and I did the only thing I knew to do: Grab my keys and head to Wal-Mart.

"Oh, faithful Wally-World, how many times hath thou saved me? Please don't fail me now," I thought as I sped off for the second time that day in search of white tennis shoes. I was shocked as I pulled into the parking lot at the sheer volume of cars at that hour. Throngs of families crowded the school supply aisles, frantically filling their carts with pencils and crayons. That sight quickly erased any trace of self-condemnation for my own procrastination. At least we took care of the school supplies several weeks earlier.

Back in the shoe department, I quickly located Rachel's size, but it was in a wide width. There is NOTHING wide about that child, including her feet, so I kept looking. The only other possibility was a pair that looked to be a half-size too small. Into the cart the wide pair went. And just to make it up to her, I picked up a bottle of "Love's Baby Soft" for the girls, their first bottle of "real" perfume.

The following morning when they finally tried their shoes on for the first time, Rachel's wides were much too big for her. Sarah's were much too large for her as well. R ended up wearing the pair I bought for S, and S fished out a pair from the depths of their closet which might have been white when they were brand new but had since turned a lovely shade of dingy gray-brown. But they fit, hallelujah.

The girls might have looked slightly thrown together in their cute little dresses and tennis shoes, but I have to tell you, they smelled heavenly!

Friday, August 17, 2007

I couldn't resist

I've NEVER in my own personal blogging history ever posted twice in the same day, much less twice in the same hour. After I foud this, however, I knew MUST share. This is SO where I'm at these days ...

The girl's got it all figured out

Late this afternoon, Rachel and I were walking to the mailbox together. I was checking out the flower beds and wondering if I should water then or wait until later. She was going on about her most recent score on Dance, Dance Revolution when I winked at her and said, "You know, really cool people call it DDR ..."

"What?" she asked, looking at me in confusion.

"DDR for Dance, Dance Revolution," I replied. "You go to school and tell the kids you made that kind of score on DDR, and they'll think you're just the coolest," I said, sure she could hear the kidding in my voice.

"Mom," she chided me, "I'm not in-stres-ted in livin' the cool way, I'm in-stres-ted in livin' God's way!"

Oh, that girl sure knows how to make her mama proud ...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's too hot to live ...

Somebody just take a gun and shoot me. One of us (I think it was me, but I'm much too ashamed to admit it) thought it would be Oh! So! Fun! to escape to Branson once more for the weekend and hit the parks in one last roller coaster fling before school starts back next week.

And what I'm really too embarrassed to admit publicly is that I actually tried to talk my family into camping out one night before we checked into Big Cedar on Friday.

What was I smoking?

It is hotter than Hades in Arkansas right now, y'all, and Missouri is not a whole lot better. It passed tolerable about a month ago.

The past three times we've traveled, I have forgotten some essential component necessary for the Baby Bears to keep from hurting each other watch movies in the back seat. The first time it was the stash of movies. The second time it was the power supply. The third time it was the player itself. I groveled all the way to Branson, a 90-mile exercise in humility, and promised the kids up and down that I would never as long as I live ever, under any circumstances, pull out of the driveway on a trip longer than 50 miles without first testing the player to make certain, you know, that ALL the parts and pieces were along for the ride.

They were quick to forgive because they understand all too well that their Mama is probably the most scatter-brained Mama west of the Mississippi.

Anyway, Hubs and the Cubs were all too eager to talk me out of my hair-brained camping notion, and so were understandably thrilled when I announced last week after watching the local weatherman forecast 100+ temperatures that maybe camping out in a tent wasn't the brightest idea after all.

So, we spent Thursday night in the sanctity of our own beds and air conditioning and took off early Friday morning to experience three full days of humidity-induced madness.

My brother and his sweet little family joined us there, and my sister-in-law and I competed with each other to see who could slather the most sunscreen on our offspring the fastest. I really wanted to share some pictures of the Sweat-Fest, but, alas, in my obsession to make certain that we had a functional DVD player (and movies) for the trip, the camera didn't make it along.

When did I get so middle aged and forgetful??

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Commitment to Healthy Living

It was my privilege today to volunteer at the Speaking of Women's Health conference at the beautiful John Q. Hammons Covention Center in Rogers. The morning started early when my alarm went off at 4:30 (gasp ... until this morning, I wasn't aware that such an hour existed on Saturday mornings!), and I was tempted to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. I'm so glad I didn't ...

Speaking of Women’s Health is a non-profit foundation whose goal is Saving Lives Through Education. They strive to educate women in a variety of ways, including educational conferences like the one I was a part of today, and to provide up-to-date information from credible experts in a fun and entertaining way so that women can better care for themselves and for their families.

One of the things that impressed me the most was the number of mothers and daughters (and daughters-in-law) that attended together. What a positive example we set when we show our daughters that taking care of ourselves mind, body, soul and spirit and working toward wholeness is important. We can't adequately care for others if we neglect ourselves.

At each SWH conference, attendees are encouraged to take a pledge for better health. Big changes come from small steps in the right direction, so with that in mind, I am pledging to drink more water and exercise daily.

So, let me pose the same question to you: What's your change going to be? Lurkers, come out of the closet, and share your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Summer Fun

Mom Judy -- that's my mother outlaw as I like to call her -- and I took the three munchkins across the state line to the Oklahoma Aquarium on Sunday. With temperatures creeping toward 100 and the humidity at unbearable, it was a great day for some indoor, air conditioned entertainment. Aside from some minor squabbling fist fighting and eyeball clawing in the back seat on the way home, I think a good time was had by all.