Archives for September 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Carefree

Ribbons and curls

Summer '09 190

Laces and twirls

Summer '09 191

These are the dreams

Summer '09 192

Of sweet little girls.

Summer '09 193

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I filled my Word Quotient

The proverbial “they” say that on average women speak roughly 20,000-25,000 words per day while men speak anywhere from 8,000-12,000 per day.

Thus the importance for women to have good girl friends.  Our husbands – they’re great.  But, you know, we ladies need to have time to talk incessantly without the recipient of our conversation glazing over and slipping into a coma.

Thus the reason I love “rendezvous” weekends with my college girlfriends.  I am blessed beyond measure to have friendships with ladies who are likeminded, funny, fashionable (they helped me out with my wardrobe this weekend) and who, no matter how long or how far apart we’ve been, can always fall right back into the same fun, loving friendship that dominated our years at Baylor.

I love these ladies.

I am positive that we fulfilled our daily talking quotient this weekend and we likely banked a few hundred thousand words.  We talked from morning to the wee hours of the night, fully enjoying one another’s company.  It felt as if time hadn’t passed by at all. 

Never mind that between the five of us, we have 14 children. FOURTEEN.   That actually gives us more to talk about! Yeah!  I’ve known these women since I was 18.  We shared so many dreams and hopes back in our college days and it’s so fun to see many of those dreams and hopes being realized and lived out daily.  These relationships are unique and special and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Jillian, we missed you so much.  There was a piece of our group noticably missing.  hopefully it will work out next year...

Jillian, we missed you so much. There was a piece of our group noticably missing. Hopefully it will work out next year...

Upon returning home from my lovely weekend of movies, pedicures, massages, shopping and talking, I had a minor panic attack at all that needed to be accomplished in my sweet little home.  First off, apparently the house threw up while I was gone.  So, you know, I’ve got to deal with that.

Secondly, Tia started preschool yesterday and since I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave everything until the last minute, I was up half the night Sunday night searching for all the forms and information that I needed to give the school so she could officially start.

But doesn’t she look precious?

Summer '09 183

I’m finally able to sit down and do a bit of writing today and that’s a good thing because I am behind on several projects.

So today I will be hunkering down, trying to piece the house back together and tap, tap, tapping away on my trusty computer in the hopes of making a dent in the long To-Do list sitting on my desk. 

Put up a post on my blog? Check!

Photographic evidence that gymnastics was a good idea

Yesterday, I looked out the window and caught Tia like this:

Summer '09 177

Summer '09 178


So today, I took her here:

Summer '09 179

To do stuff like this:

Summer '09 181

I spent many years coaching gymnastics at the competitive level in a gym that has produced two Olympians.  I don’t have high aspirations for my child to become an Olympic gymnast, primarily because I’m pretty she’ll outgrow most Olympians by the time she’s in 4th grade. 

But for now?  Gymnastics is a great outlet for her unending energy and her constant desire to climb up, flip over and jump off of anything she sees.  I’d sign her up everyday if I could afford it. She had a blast.

I’m off for a few days dear internets.  I’m headed to Texas for a little R & R with some dear friends.  Enjoy your weekends.  Hug your babies tomorrow and if you see someone in the armed forces, let them know that you appreciate them for their service to our country.

We have not forgotten!

A Party in the Heavenlies

I don’t usually post twice in one day, and I certainly don’t have time to be doing this right now, but I can’t resist.  Sloan accepted Jesus as his Savior today.  And my heart is filled with all measure of joy.

When Sloan got off the school bus this morning, I could immediately tell we were in for a rough afternoon.  He was just grouchy.  And it took no time at all for him to end up in his room where he proceeded to throw a lovely little tantrum.

By the time lunch was over and the little kids were in bed, I was fried.  I was completely done and fed up and I still had to discipline my very angry boy.  After Sloan and I both calmed down, we sat to talk about his behavior.  Sloan told me he was sorry and that he wished he would act better and he didn’t know why he did that.

“I know I shouldn’t yell and scream. Why do I do that?”

So we talked a little about sin and how our sin separates us from God.  Then I explained to him that God gave us all forgiveness through his death on the cross, and when we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and believe that He rose again and accepts us as we are, we can have eternal life.

We also talked about how we can pray and ask God to help us behave in a way that honors Him and in the way that we know is right.

After all this, Sloan asked me how he could ask Jesus into his heart, and he and I prayed together.  And, I mean to tell you, the heavens themselves cracked open and splayed forth a song of praise within my heart.

I’ve prayed for a long time that my children would know God and that they would desire to grow in faith.  I’ve also prayed that either Lee or I would be the ones to lead them to salvation.  I wanted to be the one to rejoice with my child in that moment.  I’m so grateful for this experience today.

Now, I realize that he’s only six and that there will be plenty more tantrums and discipline issues to come.  I don’t expect him to fully understand this decision.  But, I do believe that this is the start of his walk in his Christian faith.  This is the moment when he grasped it with the faith of a child.  As he matures, he will have to learn to make the faith that Lee and I impart to him his own.

But for now, I rejoice in the knowledge that my deepest longing for my child has come to fruition.  It’s a beautiful moment.

For the Love of Money – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about our desire to better teach our children how to handle money.  Last night we had the opportunity to reward Sloan for his patience and great attitude in working and saving his money.

For two weeks now, Sloan has done little chores around the house to earn extra dollars.  He’s cleaned baseboards, taken out the trash, watered the flowers, cleaned the bathroom and a whole host of other household tasks.

Each time he got paid, he raced to his wallet and carefully counted out his earnings.  The coveted toy cost $25.00, so he had to do quite a bit of work. 

During this time, Sloan had a great attitude.  He didn’t complain, he didn’t whine and beg for more money faster.  He was brilliant.  So Lee and I decided to help him out in his goal. 

When he reached $20.00, we told him to take out three dollars and set it aside for savings.  Then we had him give us two dollars to give to the church.  We then gave him the last ten dollars he needed and we packed up last night and headed to the store where he got his beloved Star Wars doodad.

(He says it’s called a Nancho Fighter.  I’m pretty sure that’s not right, but whatever it is, he’s very proud.)

Summer '09 176

Not to be left out, Tia has been saving money herself.  Because she tends to, ahem, lose focus in just about any task she’s given, she didn’t earn quite the same amount as Sloan.  But she did have ten dollars to spend, so after taking out a dollar for the church and two dollars for savings, we gave her enough to buy a princess jewelry set, of which she is equally proud.

Summer '09 174

This was a very fun way to help the kids learn money management.  It also gave us a chance to teach them of God’s blessings on those who are good stewards of their finances.  It was a good lesson for both kids and for Lee and I as well.

It was also good for my house as I now have clean baseboards for the first time in, well, a really long time.  So, you know…Mama got a bonus too.

Three Ring Circus

I just ran downstairs after hearing my daughter screech, “MOOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYY!” only to find her dangling from the top of the door jam in the basement.

How did she get up there? I couldn’t tell you.  But however she managed to get up, she couldn’t figure out how to come back down.  And there she dangled, like a wild little monkey, screaming for help.

So I’m taking her in today to sign her up for gymnastics.  I’ve thought about it for awhile, but this solidified for me the need to channel her energy, bravery and athleticism in a more productive way.

Or I will most definately die young of heart failure…


Sloan went to bed with a rash all over his legs last night.  It was little red dots all up his legs.  I assume he is having a reaction to something, though I can’t imagine what it would be. 

This morning when he was getting dressed, I noticed the rash was still there.  “I wonder what that’s from?” I said. 

“It’s because I’m allergic to racoons,” Sloan replied. 

“Really?  How do you know?” I asked. 

Sloan shrugged.  “These are just things I know, mom.  I’m just that smart.”

So, you know – he’s having an allergic reaction to racoons.  Why didn’t I think of that?


While driving down to Arkansas, Lee turned into man-driver extraordinaire.  Normally Lee is a fairly calm man-driver.  Like any self respecting male, he does like to get to his destination without the hassle of those pesky pit stops, but he handles the occasional need for a bathroom break with great aplomb, patiently pulling over and waiting.

Unless, of course, we decide at the last minute to leave at 5:30 pm for a five and a half hour drive.  It is then, and only then, that Lee turns into man-driver extraordinaire.  The stops are few and far between.  He does not deny anyone a bathroom break, of course, but he actually clapped his hands this trip. 

As in, “Okay Tia, you gotta go fast baby.  Go, go, go!” clap, clap, clap.

It was a race against the clock and you know what? Lee beat the clock.  He won.  We made excellent time.  All because we powered through and did not stop unless the need was dire.

What a man!


At one of the (very short) stops we made there were a group of Army soldiers, all decked out in their fatigues.  This fascinated Sloan and he immeditaely proclaimed, in that fantastically boisterous voice of his, “Mom, look! Army guys! Hey Army guys!”

One of the men turned and waved back at Sloan who then gave him two thumbs up and said, “Don’t worry – I’m being good.”


Finally, as I type this post, Tia and Landon are in the other room tormenting each other.  I hear them.  I know it’s happening.  But I’m ignoring it.  The screams aren’t blood curdling…yet.


On the way home from our trip yesterday, Lee and I were discussing our dreams for our family.  Places we want to go, things we want to do with the kids, etc…And we realized that it’s going to go by fast.  This phase really doesn’t last long.

So although I may feel like I am the ringmaster in the three ring circus, I’m trying not to rush this motherhood thing.  Ten years will go by fast.  And when it does, I will no longer have a chubby little baby, slobbering on my hair as he hangs on my neck while I try and do some work.

The house will be quiet all day long.  It sounds glorious…but it also sounds a little boring.

And now I’m off because the volume has escalated.  It sounds like they are beating each other. 

Let the show begin!!!

Happy Labor Day

We’ve been in Arkansas all weekend eating our way through my mother-in-law’s kitchen.  I’m pretty sure I’ve put on a few pounds in the last 5 days.  We are headed home this afternoon and will be back into the grind tomorrow – until Thursday when I go to Texas for a girl’s weekend away! 

My fabulously talented sister-in-law, Becke’, took some amazing pictures of us the other day.  You can see some of them here.

In the meantime, enjoy your day off, eating lots of meat, enjoy some much needed family time, watch some TV, be as lazy as you can possibly be.

Because you deserve it!

The President’s Address to our Children

*update –Well that certainly got a little crazy yesterday, didn’t it?  I had no idea I was opening such a large can of worms, but I am thankful to all of you who were supportive in your comments and who provided encouragement throughout the day.  I’d also like to thank the last commenter, Katie, who gave a great example of how to respectfully disagree with someone.  Well done! 

Katie, I understand your point and would agree with you that there are probably a lot of children who don’t have the benefit of supportive and involved parents.  But that does not mean, in my opinion, that the address should be broadcast directly into the classrooms.  There are still ways that you could help ensure that all students have the opportunity to see the broadcast, without subjecting everyone to it.  For example, schools could open up their buildings in the evenings and offer to show the broadcast to families together. 

The fact of the matter is that parents have the right to know what’s going on and what’s being said in their children’s classrooms.  No elected official should be allowed to take that right from us.

And as an update, I have heard from Sloan’s school.  The broadcast will be made available to grades 3-5 only, so Lee and I feel comfortable sending Sloan to school on Tuesday.  We will likely watch the broadcast on our own and we will decide whether or not we think Sloan needs to see it.

Thanks all for the colorful conversation yesterday! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. 

I posted a status update on Facebook that got people talking yesterday and I wanted to expound on it more here.  It has to do with my reluctance and discomfort with President Obama’s September 8 address to students.  The President of the United States is going to be broadcast directly to students in the classrooms. 

I had more than one person respond or email me asking me why in the world I would be uncomfortable with the President’s address to students.  And my response is, why shouldn’t I be?  Even if the President speaking to my child was a man I had personally voted for, I would still be vigilant about wanting to know what would be said to my child before, during and after such a broadcast.

My child is six years old.  It is my job to be his advocate.  It’s my duty to ensure that what he’s being fed at school matches with the morals, values and worldview that we share as a family.  And, if what he hears doesn’t match with our viewpoint, then it’s my job to help him process the new information he’s received and filter it through the lens of his developing worldview.

And I don’t agree with the idea that by doing this we are brainwashing our child.  We are protecting our child.  We do not expect or hope that Sloan will be so sheltered that as he grows he’s unable to respect, hear or appreciate different viewpoints and opinions.  On the contrary, we hope that by helping him establish and solidify his own worldview, he’ll better be able to understand and respect the differing views of others.

Obviously, if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that we are conservative.  Some would say extremely so.  These conservative views are built upon our worldview, which has been established upon Biblical principles, which we believe wholeheartedly and passionately. 

That being said, I have no problem at all with my child being encouraged to enjoy learning and education.  I don’t see anything wrong with him setting goals and having dreams about his future.  I want him to be excited about learning and education.  I DO have a problem, however, with the President of the United States being live-streamed into my child’s classroom without me knowing what exactly he’s going to say, or how any discussion before or after will take place.

I have already called Sloan’s school and spoken with the Prinicpal’s assistant about my concerns and was informed that at this point, they aren’t sure if they are required to show the address by the school board, but if they are, parents likely won’t be asked to join.  But, we have the option of having Sloan leave the classroom if we want.

I’m not sure it will be necessary for Sloan to leave the classroom, but Lee and I will be spending some time researching this over the weekend and praying about what we should do.  I was told that teachers would be encouraged not to discuss the address – at least at the kindergarten level, but how  would I know? 

I take issue with this for several reason, the biggest being that I don’t think it’s the President’s business to show up directly in the classroom.  If he wants to speak directly to students, great.  I think he should do it.  But I think it should be done in the evening, on a national broadcast, when parents and children can sit down together and watch.  Because, in my opinion, education should start in the home.

Now, the fact of the matter is, I don’t agree with President Obama on a lot of levels and on many issues.  I feel like he’s trying to take our country down a path that’s unhealthy and over-governed.  I don’t want my President involved in every aspect of my life and I certainly don’t want him coming into the classroom, talking to my child when I’m not there.  While I want my children to learn about civics and about how democracy works, political science, I don’t want them being schooled in politics at school. 

Finally, I’ve read the press release to teachers, encouraging them to talk with their students. I certainly don’t have a problem with teachers helping children focus on their dreams and goals in education, but I don’t think our children need to be told the story of Obama’s upbringing, his background and so on and so forth. While Obama deserves our respect as our elected leader, he does not need to be placed on so high of a pedestal that our children think of him as a super hero. He deserves our respect, certainly, but not our worship.  Is his story inspirational?  Sure.  But we need to be careful on how much we elevate a fallible man. 

So we’ll see what we decide about Tuesday.  I imagine we’ll send Sloan to school and allow him to see the broadcast.  I am trusting that the teachers at the kindergarten level won’t being facilitating any kind of political discussion.  And I will watch the broadcast at home so that later, in the safety of our home, Lee and I can openly discuss with Sloan his dreams, goals and passions for his education.

I realize that there are many who don’t agree with my concern on this matter and I’m okay with that.  I’m glad we can have differing opinions and I don’t stand in judgement on those who choose to think differently.  But I do take my job as Sloan’s mother seriously, and I have to do what I feel is best for MY child.  And each of you has to do what you feel is best for your children.  We all share that responsilibity and acountability.  And that’s something I know we can agree on.

Wordless Wednesday – The Season is Changing

The season is changing.  It’s crisp and cool outside, beautiful and refreshing.  But I’m not going to lie – I’m mourning summer’s end.  Today, I’m really wishing I was back here:

Dragon Cay, Middle Caicos

Dragon Cay, Middle Caicos

On the plus side, I bought a rockin’ pair of jeans yesterday for very cheap and I’m enjoying wearing those today.  But I’d rather be in my bathing suit with crystal blue waters lapping around my ankles. 

But that’s just me…

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