Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye Fred

Today has been an emotional rollercoaster ( of sorts - maybe that was a little dramatic ) for me.

First there was the pomerian that showed up in our house a couple weeks ago.
Then it left.... it was meant to be. Long story.... ( I have copied and pasted this part of the story from my preschool blog )

My dad passed away Friday the 18th. The funeral was Monday the 21st.

On Tuesday the 22nd , Danielle and I are out shopping and Randy says to " Hurry home, he has a surprise for me." I called my mom and she said the same thing. So we hurry home. Geneviette ( the four year old grandbaby ) is at the fence with her arms stretched out as far as they will go yelling " Don't look ! It's a puppy and it's for Christmas!"

Seems the neighbor heard about our plight with the pomeranian and thought we really wanted a dog. Some elderly people around the block had a dog they couldnt take care of and thought we would make a good home. Lydia said " God has blessed you with this dog." I think Randy was so shocked he didnt know what to say... and how do you argue with God ?

So.. meet Fred. Fred is here to stay and fits in our home so well. He is great with
Geneviette which hopefully means he will be great when preschool starts. I have already emailed our environmental rating scale observer about the implications of having a dog in the home with the kids. We will make it work.

I love Fred already.

Today : The end of the story.

I had not been by to thank the elderly couple that gave the dog to us ( through neighbors ) and I was taking Fred to the vet and decided today was the right time. I rang the door bell and no one came. As I got to the truck this little old lady opened the door and sweetly called " FREEEDDDIEEE" . I took Fred to her and quickly realized how much she loved Fred. She invited me in and we talked about how much she misses him. She said every day she has gotten up and ached missing this little dog. ( Understandingly so- cute and precious as he is .) I asked her did she want him back and she cried and said " Yes.. I do" I choked back the tears knowing what I needed to do and said " I will go home and get all his stuff and bring it back to you." She said ' I thought this morning I heard him in the hall way when I woke up, I thought my daughter had brought him home to me. My daughter passed away two years ago today." I am getting really choked up. Having just lost my dad , I know the pain she must be feeliing. I again said " Well, I will go home and get his stuff and you wont be missing him anymore." She said "I dreamed my Debbie had brought him back to me." I said... " Who? What did you say?" She replied " My daughter that passed away two years ago, her name was Debbie." I said ' Do you know what my name is?" She said " no mam" I said , " My name is Debbie and it looks like Debbie has brought your little dog back to you just when you needed it most." At this point my tears are flowing and I hugged her and came home to get his stuff. By the time I made it back to her house, the tears were gone. I took the kennel in with all the accessories we had bought him . including his stylish new red parka for Christmas. I unloaded it all in his spot in her house. I took his dish to the sink and got him water and filled his food bowl. I hugged her again and told her if she ever feels again like she cant take care of him to call. We can help out or take him back.. what ever is needed. I think Fred is an angel. Or maybe my friend Dana was right when she said that my daddy has already charmed an angel and thought I needed Fred for a few days. I think Fred came to me when I needed him most and I think I took him back when his really mommy needed him more.

Who would think on THE day TWO years ago the she lost her daughter DEBBIE, that I would stop by to say thank you....

Somehow I think I havent seen the last of Fred.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I just finished putting up the Christmas tree after the boxes were on the porch for a full week. I have decided that we are becoming the red neck family that stores stuff on the porch. Have you ever driven by a house and the front of it had boxes, old cars and goats? Did you wonder how they got to that point? Let me tell you... one Christmas box at a time.

Putting up the tree has always been a tradition for Danielle and I the day after Thanksgiving. Since she isn't here, I figured I might as well break them all and I am just now getting around to decorating a little. Another thing we always did was each kid put their own Christmas ornaments on, which in some way symbolized the year. When Addam and Danielle got married I gave them their ornaments for their first Christmas tree away from home. But.. that is another blog for another day. :)

As I put the ornaments on the tree tonight it was like a trip down memory lane.

There was the ornament from Nashville Tenn . I took Randy there for his birthday the year before we got married. Yes, the year before. What a sinner.

Then there is the bride and groom with 2002 on it. We always confuse the year. So glad once a year to confirm it and be sure.

There were several ornaments from old daycare children. Several were from Skyler Ames- such a beautiful girl.. then and now. I even had a few " teacher ornaments" from kids that might should have been retired or broken when they left, just to assure no children like them come along behind.

I have ornaments that hung on my tree as a child. Some my mother had made....some that I just remember.

There are homemade ones that Scott, Randy's son made. He died in a car crash before we were married. I wonder what his life would be like now, if he had lived? I wonder would he have liked me or if I would have been the mean evil step mother...

SHINY! After the kids ornaments were gone the tree was a little bare so of course I bought new ones that are huge and sparkly.

I wonder how much the little Ronald McDonald ornaments are that I got when I was 16 and worked at McDonalds?

There are several from Hawaii and our trips there and one that Addam and Lauren sent to us.

This year I have a few from Geneviette that were bought last year and the first one from preschool she made TODAY! I am SO excited. NO one.. will be getting these ornaments.. until I am dead.

Take notice.

My Christmas tree isnt anything like the ones I saw yesterday on the tour of homes with friends but then again.. they havent lived my life . I would bet a few of them would trade their fancy tree's for all the memories I have on mine.

My Christmas memory tree.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Family Reunion

I have hardly slowed down since I came home from the family reunion and there wasn't a lot of time to blog while there but I wish I had taken the time. Blogging when emotions are raw and pure are good for the soul. Well, as long as those emotions are not angry and directed toward someone else . Or before your exhusbands funeral when you are hurt and confused.. not good then either.

One of the things that stood out to me over and over again while at our festivities were the looks on my aunts and uncles faces. I remember as a kid lots of laughter and fun. I think maybe I got my " funny side" from the Prince family. My moms family is an " easy to smile" family. This trip as I looked around the room I didnt see as much laughter and smiles. My moms brothers and sisters are all in thier 60 -80's now. I saw an older generation looking and remembering and maybe even a look of sadness. Was it a look that seemed to whisper " This may be the last time I am here"? Was it a look that said " Times have changed"? Several times I wanted to ask " what are you thinking about ?" but I didnt want to break their silence and wasn't sure I could handle the answer I got. Sadness...

Seeing Geneviette with our family really made my heart smile. I think kids " now days" ( I guess using that term I put myself in a definate age bracket ) do not know their extended families as they should. Sometimes it is important to know where you are from to know the direction you are headed.

Speaking of..

I am so glad I got to see Dale. Dale is my cousin , formally known as Jimmy Dale. :) He is one of the people that has proven that a person can over come what they are dealt in life. He is professional, accomplished, handsome and kind... most of all kind. I was worried about Dale when this reunion was planned. I will just leave it at this - even a family that tends to be close minded can show love and compassion and respect when need be.

The food... My aunts are great cooks and such proud cooks. There was a cake the first day that had a tag on it called " the ugly cake". It might have been ugly but yum-o was it good. The second day I scanned the table looking for my favorite and said " My favorite cake is gone- the ugly cake." My sister in law looked and me and said " Debbie, I think that was the cake that was covered in ants yesterday and Brenda handpicked them out." hmm... I confirmed that it indeed was. Brenda didnt want to hurt Aunt Carolyn's feelings, so she didnt remove it from the table " and got MOST of the ants out." Yep... me.. the ant eater. Thanks for the heads up cousin! :)

The reunion itself was held in the Biscoe Community Building. This old building is where most of my aunt and uncles and my mom went to grade school. Next door to that was the Baptist Church where my mom and dad were married. I felt like I was standing on sacred ground... so full of stories and memories and where my story began.

Another vivid memory I have is of my aunts and uncles ( 9 of them ) standing around the piano singing old gospel songs. Aunt Rosey started playing and then Aunt Gerl joined in and then my mom. As I type this I feel a lump coming up in my throat. I know it was a high point for my mom. As they sang my Uncle WO broke down and cried. They put their arms around him and continued to sing. What a testimony of faith.. and love.

There was other singing. My cousin Little Bill - now we call him Bill. :) did an acapella version of Beaulah Land. You could see Bills love for the Lord as he sang. After his song was over he boldly told anyone that he would love to explain what this song means to him if they would like to hear it. Then.. three of my cousins did " Bobby Sue." Yes, they did.

Sunday the Prince family filled the little Methodist Church in Brassfield. There were flowers at the front in honor of my grandparents. They would have been so proud. Randy and I did special music. I almost broke down as I looked out and my cousin was wiping a tear from her eyes. Why was she crying? Did she too realize this might be the last time we are all together? My mom has cancer- ovarian. Her mom has had breast cancer for 15 years. Times like these are precious. As we left the church we drove past my dad who was walking down the gravel road past my grandparents old house to my aunts. Dad told Randy about having to bury a baby that mom miscarried at the corner of that old house . He said he put it in a coffee can and dug the hole. As he said it tears streamed down his face. So many things, So many... make us who we are today. So many things that we rarely talk about.

Even the prayers were different there. They prayed for the farmers and the land.

Sometimes I think I would love to live there.. where life is slower. Where kids still know what cotton fields are and say yes mam and no mam. Where the neighbors share a garden and put vegetables up for the winter... Where a shoe tree ( a tree with shoes from the grandkids nailed all the way to the top ) is acceptable yard decor. Ok, maybe not that... but I do think it was a better time.

It was good to see everyone and be reminded that families still do cherish the things that are important. Family.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Julie and Julia

Tonight Randy and I went to the late show ( gasp ) to see Julie and Julia with our neighbors. We were running a little late and asked them to save us seats. Turns out the 9:10 show in Siloam is not an attraction. There were 6 of us in the theatre.

The movie was ok. I guess it just wasn't my kind of movie. What is my kind of movie? I love LOVE stories, the kind that make you want to grab your hubby's hand or go home and make a baby. Well, I have yet to see a movie that made me want to make a baby and hopefully at my age there wont be one. :)

This is a synopsis, I took of the apple site:
Meryl Streep is Julia Child and Amy Adams is Julie Powell in writer-director Nora Ephron’s adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell’s Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme. Based on two true stories, Julie & Julia intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends…until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

I too believe that anything is possible with butter but with this new weight watchers thing Randy and I are doing AGAIN, I doubt I will be tasting any for a LONG time....

Anyway, the thing that intrigued me about this movie was the blogging. Julie decided to blog about her experience reading Julia child's cookbook and taking one year to cook everything in it.

I blog.

Incase you didnt know.

This is a therapy of sorts for me. I was just mentioning to someone that last year my blogging had a life of it's own. This year it is almost non existent . Is that because I have become more private? Doubt that. Is it because my life since my SLOW DOWN has become dull and boring? Maybe..

There were so many times in the movie that I was reminded of myself . ( Other than when Julia Child's said.. I love to eat and I am growing right in front of you. ) Like the time that she was about to blog about her and her husbands fight. IF.. Randy and I ever fought I would NEVER do that. Of course, we dont. So it isnt an issue. Just sayin.... Then there was the time that she had a melt down as she typed... like i said, my blog is therapy.

I wanted to look back on some of the OLD post I made and see if they are still relevant today... well, tonight.

July 26, 2008- Sometimes they are heart breaking.

My mom
My heart is in my throat as I type. You know that feeling?

We went by this morning to see mom and dad. Mom was sitting in the living-room in the dark . She wasn't watching TV or reading or anything. Dad had ran to the bank. Mom looked so sad. I immediatly knew she wasn't doing well at all.

Mom said her stomach is hurting so bad. The first thing my mind reels to is that this is how it all started. She had stomach problems and went through doctor after doctor and no one knew what was wrong. Finally Dr Hill ran a test that showed an indicator of Cancer. Cancer....

JUne 23, 2008 - In love...

Randy ends up coming out to pool. It is time to go for supper. He takes ones look at me ( my swimsuit is cut almost the naval – I know gross ) and says wow. He always has a way of making me forget I am fat.

Apri 27, 2008- Girls friends!

As I went out I grabbed a bottle of wine and two glasses. I am SURE she knew I was ready to spew. It is unlike me to drink …. We sat on her front porch and discussed men. Mine. hers. a couple other peoples. Why does life have to be so complicated?

We will laugh.. We will surely cry.. But we will most surely have the best summer of our life. The summer of wine. And oh yeah.. we will blog each time we sit on the porch and whine.. I mean. Wine. Till next time

December 20, 2007 - Political Tell that Curtis guy on Facebook to kiss my playdoh covered hiney! :)
joining the campaign
I have decided to join the campaign. Sitting back on my duff and not doing or saying anything and letting the things that really bug me mount up is not solving the problem. We live in a free country . I can exercise my rights and speak up against the "real problems" of the world. ( Seems I cut off some. It was about twist ties. Don't you just HATE those? ) Today - I want to come out of the closet as a twist tie hater

October 12, 2007- Spiritual
I guess this is just the part that I pray... God please protect my children. I dont know why tonight I seem so sad and over whelmed with missing them but place your hand over thier hearts and lives. Help them make the right decisions and help me accept those....

And... help me stop crying. Black mascara running down the face is NOT attractive on a 41 year old woman.

So, here is my blog in honor of the blog on the movie tonight . I can only hope that mine would be picked up and published . The world can learn a lot from me , right?

So, there ya have it blogger readers. I love it. I used to love to read. Now , I dont have time. But I do have 10 minutes to jot down my thoughts so generations from now my kids will say " oh my goodness, I never knew mom.... ________" ( fill in the blank)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Watch out for the Birds!

So, I have been stressing all week about this trip to Hawaii. I mean, lately there have been two planes with birds stuck in the engine. Then, I watched this movie about a man and woman on a plane that was hijacked. I know all of that is crazy and doesnt happen that often, but that wasn't what was stressing me anyway. It was getting on the plane and buckling my seat belt. All summer ( or all my life, you choose ) I have tried to lose weight -mainly due to events like yesterday. I mean on stage I can hide behind my voice or my confidence. On a plane there is nothing to hide behind.. it is just me... my body. It doesnt even matter how" pretty my eyes are, what a great smile I have or how beautiful my voice is" ... Those plane seats are made for skinny people. Who ever engineered them did not have chubby people in mind. I had anxiety as I loaded the plane hoping that a forgiving soul was sitting next to me. I was in the window seat. I sit down and stowed away my bag... and thought.. is it going to fasten. If it doesn't can I please just not bellow loudly?

It did. Buckle.


At one point the stewardess said.... please make sure you safety belts are securely fastened. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This thing is so securely fastened that I am not sure I will be able to get back out of it. I made it through the flight to Denver. There was a man ,much smaller, sitting next to me and he was quiet. I didnt even ( believe it or not ) spark conversation. I knew if anything came out of my mouth, it would be.. sorry you are the unlucky one that share this seat with me... ugh...

The next flight wasnt too bad. On a 777 the seats are bigger. THANK THE LORD! I was comfortable and so was the man next to me. I even sparked a conversation with him . He and the Colorado Swim Team that surrounded us got little rest. I watched two teenage boys read a girls issue of Cosmopolitan. They giggled and pointed and stared. Oh.. to be a teenager again and think the stuff in those magazines really does work. I had already decided not to eat much... remember the last plane ride... so I just got a snack box. It said ACTIVE so I figured it ws healthy. It was so healthy in fact that you didnt want to eat it. The movies shown were the soloist and Star Trek. It wasnt a bad plane ride, I did afterall fit in the seat belt.

The first night in Hawaii with the kids and Geneviette was good .We took the grand dog to the dog park. It was interesting . There was a park for dogs 35 pounds and under and then a park for the bigger dogs. They all just ran and played . There was even a drinking fountain for them. You have to wonder what the dogs were thinking as they ran about playing , humping and growling at each other.

Then today... at 4 am my phone rang. A store called to tell me they were looking for a dress I had ordered. YAY! Then I couldnt go back to sleep. I tried to read. I got a drink. I felt my way through Danielle's dark house ( which is very nice ) to the bathroom downstairs. I was afraid if I used the one upstairs I would wake her and Justin up. I went back to bed. The phone rang again... it was Randy. He couldn't find the dentist office I made him apppt. at. Ok OK OK. I will get up.

I go downstairs.

Danielle's dog, Tigger, comes running downstairs with a kotex in his mouth. I chase him around for a while trying to quietly laugh.. Geneviette is up by now chasing him too and saying " Mia, what's he got..." I finally get it and take it back to my suitcase. Geneviette leaves the door open again and here we go again.... chasing the grand dog around the house trying to catch him and get my personals. Danielle is up by now. After it is all over she comes downstairs and is laughing. She said she asked Justin did he know what is going on down there he said " yeah... You mom is trying to take Tigger's Kotex."

Not sure what is better.... the seat belt or the kotex. ( This story in some wierd way reminded me of a friend , a lap top , a new son in law, and some panties...)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Brother

My brother can be a lot of things:

Funny - but not really

He is also very:

handy - he can fix anything
tender hearted - though you wouldnt know if you didnt know to look for the lip quiver

But tonight, we were in Mazzios eating . Keith had driven in straight from work in Tulsa at the air base. He had on his uniform still. I have often wondered why he tends to keep his uniform on. He will wear it to the barber shop. He showed up at Danielle's wedding in it.

Tonight an older lady walked by the table this conversation took place.
" I see you have an honored guest here tonight. Thank you sir for all you do for us. I appreciate you."

Then she progressed to tell us a story about her husband and Thanked my brother again before she left.

He has been to Afghanistan , Iraq and Saudi Arabia. He has 7 more years and he will retire from active duty and civilian service.

During that conversation my brother was quieter than usual and quite humble. I realized how good he probably felt when people approach him like this. He doesn't get a lot of pats on the back..... but these makes up for many.

I think he was proud to be a solider.
I know he was.

I am proud to be his sister.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I cant sleep,,,

Tomorrow is our day off. We are in Mountain Home Arkansas for two days. We have a concert on Saturday morning so, it was just too far to drive all the way back to Siloam and back again. I had planned to sleep in. I was so excited about that fact that I fell asleep really early. Now, here I am up at 3 am and cant go back to sleep. Not to mention the hotel Smoke alarm is dinging. Randy is sleeping like a baby so I decided to grab a little quiet reflection time.

The mall concert was a lot of fun. Many of my friends from ASU came to watch . They had the concert in a store front. I wasnt concerned at all that I have gained so much weight and was doing the TWIST on a huge stage and so "out there". I think when you are round - as Beth says_ you have to twist a little harder so the kids can actually see you go around...So, by the time I get all that done I am exhausted. Then I have to sing a solo of " This little light of mine" and I am so out of breath I feel like I am going to pass out. I am too OLD and out of shape to be a childrens rockstar!

I wish the hotel smoke alarm would stop dinging.

I had a little boy heckle me today. Well, not really heckle. He was very funny. When I sang " can you point your finger at your nose" he put his finger IN his nose. Next was point at your mouth. Well, you know where this is going.... Sometimes when you have done the concert 50 times already, it can get a little routine. So, I actually appreciated this little boy for making me smile today. As I entertained him, he entertained me.

I wish the hotel smoke alarm would stop dinging....

Why do men think it is ok to pass gas in small places? And exactly how do they do that in their sleep? I mean , what would the world be like if women went around - Oh , ok we will say it- farting at leisure? Can you imagine? Randy and I are cooped up in the truck sometimes for hours. You would think he could hold it or roll down the window to warn me or something , but no. Loud as Gabriels horn it rips and the smell is horrid. Sometimes I have one of those little Cracker Barrel car deodorizers and I smell it.... sometimes I just pout. Why do they do that? I know, you wondered what Randy and I did while we spend some much time in the car. He farts and I play with my IPHONE.

I wish the hotel smoke alarm would stop dinging.. and that Randy would stop farting.

I am going to try to go back to bed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Motel 6 and my New Phone I sit in Barnes and Noble syncing my new IPhone to my MAC. After a huge turn of events, I was forced to purchase a new phone today. Let 's start from the beginning.

Yesterday I worked in the preschool for a while. Randy had a doctors appt and Beth needed to go to the doctor also , so I volunteered to hang out with my best buds until everyone was back. The day was wonderful. We talked about all the things that they have been doing while I was gone. We read books and did circle time. The kids told me all about the fun they were having with Mrs. Beth. MANY MANY times, they called me Mrs. Beth. At first I felt a little betrayed but then I thought you know.....I want them to love her. This is a good sign. So, I just answered to whatever they wanted to call me.

FInally TWO HOURS later than we planned to leave - We were all packed. I am an organizer. Randy is not. If we want to leave by 10 you should plan for 8. No matter what time he gets started he will be late. Mark that down somewhere.. he will be late. So , we get in seat belt all buckled and RWRR.. RWRR.. The truck would not start. We had to move the cars around so we could jump it. We went to Walmart and sat..... and sat... only to find out they did not have a battery to fit. We drive to Harrison. We sat.. and sat.. and YES!!! THEY HAVE ONE! So, finally about 7 pm we are headed to Jonesboro.

We stopped somewhere near Bortia to eat a very late supper. It was ok but the surrounding conversations were wonderful. There was a table of traditional pentecostals there. She was on the phone explaining who her friend is.. " You know, she has long hair." mmmm kkk... Think about that one. They are at a tent revival ( her words) and the long hair is supposed to make her stand out. I mean at that table there were three people that had hair to their waist. ( OK, maybe I have had a bad day and my recollections are really mean.....)

Randy finally pulls in to a motel 6. We have not stayed in one all summer. It has been a good summer. We walk in and there are two queen beds. The room is so small the beds are pushed against the wall. I quickly decided to claim one bed and let Randy have the other. I mean.... He deserves a little punishment for such crappy taste right?

After checking my email ( SURPRISE THEY DID HAVE WIFI YOU COULD BUY) I plugged in my phone to charge. Randy went to get ice in the container. We wont call it a ice bucket , we will call it a butter tub. I fell asleep . I tossed and turned all night. I dont remember the dreams but I am sure they were just a preview of my morning.

I woke up and started getting around.... I am generally a morning person and happy. I picked up my phone and felt the water drip from it.... NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOO I am sure in slow motion this exploded from my mouth. Thankfully I am not a cusser or I am totally sure it would have been an expletive morning. Randy had no compassion for my poor dead phone at all. Did he understand this was my friend? Did he understand this is how I have kept sane this month? Obviously not, or he would have had his kid gloves on. Let's just say, it was a quiet drive. I am thinking I have three concerts with cheerful kids today and all I want to do is kill Randy and get a new phone.

As I sang... I did it myself.. it makes me happy.... in the back of my mind i was adding up the hours until I get to deliver Randy to the hotel and find an AT &T.

And that I did..

But first.

I did see on Facebook that everyone said my phone my dry out. I put it on the front of the truck during our last concert.

I forgot until I was halfway to Jonesboro to get a new phone. Randy didnt even complain about my forgetfullness. I think he knew better.

He is alseep. I am happy.

The Jonesboro Library called today and said they would love to put us up in a bed and breakfast tomorrow night. I gratefully accepted. I am trying to decide if I will tell Randy or not.... maybe... not.

I will close now and get to know my new traveling friend a little better.

Upon returning home if my bon voyage friends would like to have an intervention and try to break my addiction to my phone you may try... but i doubt you would be successful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Concerts and Conditions

I am waking up in the nice luxurious Comfort Inn in Little Rock. OK, maybe not luxurious but WAY Better than the hotels Randy picks out.  We spent four days at my friend Gwyns home and now we are in Little Rock. We came in for a concert last night.  The concert was PHENOMENAL.  I loved it! The Celtic women  have voices like angels.   In my younger days I would have loved to be part of a group like that. Now , I will just settle for being a children's musician... No fancy long dresses for me  or ALL TELL arena performances. Instead I get a bright shirt, tight capris ( a result of last years tour ) and flip flops!   And venues, well we did play the Lonoke library and in a backyard with the beautiful backdrop of a barbed wire fence and a walnut tree. Sounds beautiful and natural I know, but let 40 three year olds loose with walnuts on the ground and see how comfortable you feel... 

Randy has a sleeping problem.  I mean a serious one. I think he has caught that bug that a  lot of older people get.  You know, the one where you wake up with the chickens and get breakfast and watch the news.  Then all day long you talk about " I just dont know how people stay in bed so late.."   This morning at 6 am Randy woke up.  " Deb, go get breakfast with me."  I let him go on down there, but since I was awake I got dressed and went on down.  Homemade waffles with pecans. Yummy.   ( Remember the tight Capris?)   As I walked in he was talking to an older woman.  No doubt discussing how  "young'ns" stay in bed so late.  Randy says " well, there is my beautiful wife. Wow, she is up, I cant believe it!" I smile and get my breakast.  Randy needed a buddy eater.  We eat and talk about how we hate that all that is on the news lately is Micheal Jackson. Yes, he was a music icon.  Yes, he died.   Farrah Faucett died the same day.... she was working to protect the rights of privacy of our medical records. Something that I have no doubt Micheal is going to wish he had.  Ok, back to the story.  We come back upstairs to our room and Randy checks his email and then lies back down on the bed.

 " I am just gonna rest my eyes".  Well, as I type this, he has been resting them for about an hour and a half. I mean, why not just sleep in.... ugh....   Ever since I met Randy one of the things I admired about him was his respect for older people. I am actually quite surprised me married me and not an older woman.  Randy has aspired to be an old man for a long time. I think he has arrived.  :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

A little Rest Never Did Anyone Harm

I am really slacking on my blogging this summer. Dana, I think I need a counseling session.  Does my  lack of blogging mean there is nothing exciting going on , or that I have accepted my fate as a traveling kids musician and staying at low rate hotels?  

Our traveling this year has been really minimized.  We havent been away at night as much as we were last year .  I think we have only been in  a hotel three nights so far this year.   The hotels we have stayed in havent been too bad, as a matter of fact only one had numbers.   It was a Super 8. I have dealt with this promptly though.  I say.. if you stop at a Super 8... 8 minutes is all you get.  Motel 6..  you get six minutes.  Needless to say, the hotel we stayed at last was a suite with a king size bed and a huge flat screen TV.  I am learning to bargain !

Over all our tour this year has been successful. I have not been on stage with tags hanging from my arms or anything.  My favorite part this year has been when Randy asks " Am I cool or what?" and  this little 7 year old girl stuck her finger in her throat like.. dont make me gag! I thought I would fall out! 

I actually have notes at home I had to blog, if I find it I may have more to add.

Right now, we are in Texas. We came for Randy's sister's 50th Birthday Bash. It was a surprise party.  We have spent a lot of time hanging out by the pool and sight seeing.  We will head home tomorrow.

I miss my life in Siloam , but I cant deny I have a great one where ever I am.

Yes, that is me in the top.  Can someone PLEASE start First Place when  I come back. I look like a mix between a fat mexican or chinese lady!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whew... Let's catch up.

A week ago today I got together with a group of friends to celebrate my departure on the KIDDOS whirlwind tour of Arkansas and Mississippi. I thought I was clever making little goodie bags with leftover travel amenities from our tour last year.  I even stuck a little condom ( can I say that on here?) with a blue pill attached.  I was really really disappointed that I was the youngest one on the room and had to explain to the others that it was a joke " viagra".  Then Jeannie says.... I dont have to use those.. yet. Thanks Jeannie for the encouragement!  Now, I am considering whether that sexy gray hair was really worth it .I mean,  if I like the LOOK of an older man, I could always get a younger man and  dye  him gray... :)  Naw... let's not think that way.  Let's be honest. I would totally miss the overalls and the washboard playing .  I doubt I could even handle a younger man. Let me continue.

So, it seems the joke was on me.   The girls had brought presents as well. I got many nice things to use while " on the road".  I got many different kind of warming massage oil.   I almost used that this week while I was down in my back. I thought it would make the fact that I had to walk hunched over a little more sexy than icy hot. Atleast I would smell good.... and it would keep warming the sore areas of my back for quite a while . One testimony ( weird choice of words) was that it got so hot she had to find a bath tub quickly to get it off.  Hmm.. who would have admitted to having that experience?  Then there was the whistle for the security guard if I have to be outside stealing the internet. Then the bra.... I dont even know what to say. I got birthday cake candles for romantic evenings and a timer... 5 minutes buddy, you snooze - you lose.  What a FUN FUN time this was.   We laughed and laughed.  Thanks Brenda for hostessing  in your home.

Then.... what was next? 

We have had four concerts so far this year.  We had two in Bentonville , one in Clarksville and one here in Siloam The one in Siloam had over 400 kids and I was a little nervous... I mean, these are people that "know me".  I think it went well. Danielle came and made a video but unless you can crop videos from the waist aint happening.

When I took Danielle to the airport we went shopping. I got a few new outfits. If you remember last year., this is my therapy for the summer. I DESERVE a few outfits  a week for having to do the stupid hula in front of 400 people every day and then laying my head down in a motel 6.  I got the cutest outfit. SO cute in fact that I wore it out when I got home to go out for my anniversary.   I got a lot of compliments on it.  As Randy and I sat listening to music he gently reached back and rubbed my leg.  Instead of getting a little  umm.... warm ( without the warming oil) all I could think was... what is that hitting my leg?  Low and behold he gets up and goes to the restroom and like a 16 year old I was checking out my leg.  The SECURITY TAG was still there . Are you kidding me? Was everyone saying I looked so cute and secretly laughing at the white button on the lower edge of my cute new black pants?  As we quickly went home and I undressed I heard the tag CLUNK as it hit the floor.  Why didnt I hear that when I put them on?  

As I got undressed I heard Randy say... Deb, I am fading fast...  are you coming to bed?  Five minutes later I heard him snore and knew the anniversary celebration was officially over. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Visiting Randy's Church

Ok, now - let me get this straight. I am not making fun of Randy's church, it is just everytime I go I come back befuzzled.... and more confused.   Here are my questions  this time.

1.   Why would you go to a church service where you dont understand 3/4 of what the bishop is saying?  Do you get anything from it? How?  I mean, I didnt know whether to sit, stand or give peace.

2.  If you KNEW you were going to kneel in church would you take the large #7 circles off your shoes and the TJ MAXX 19.99 price tag?  ( Yes, I was already lost and wandering at this point.)

3   Is it ok that the kids behind you goes to get his " Lord's Supper" complete with wine and comes back saying " MAN, that wine was STRONGER than the last time.. whew...".  

4.  Why do they have confirmation? What does it mean?  Arent they confirmed when they accept Christ? or.... how do they do that?

5.   Is that spaghetti I smell cooking in the kitchen?

6.  Why does the Bishop get every drop of wine out of the goblet? Is he that thirsty or just doesnt want to wash it?

7.  I noticed they took up two collections.  The first one was regular and the second was a special one for something.  The second basket was almost as full as the first.  Maybe we should try that pass the plate two times thing....

8.  Why did I wear this purple sweater by boobage keeps wanting to bust out ?

Yep... that was pretty much all my thoughts for the service. They even prayed in Spanish.  Maybe I should have went to my own church...

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Hotel Story

I think maybe I have been traveling way too much the past two months.  Much of that has been due to trainings and meetings.   This past  week was my last trip before school is out.  Sounds great huh? Well, there is only 4 more days of school left so ...

The last trip was to Jonesboro Arkansas.  That was A LONG drive.   Once there I pulled into the Holiday Inn there where the conference was being held.  I ran a lot of errands to  get ready for the next day ( pedicure, shopping...) and decided to hang out in my room the rest of the night until the next day at 11:00 when I would have to leave to pick up the meal we were having catered.  

It was relaxing.

I did something I do when I just want to laze around and not be rushed.   Around 9 am , I put hot curlers in my hair and washed my face and did my whole makeup regime.   I took special care to make sure it looked just right.  This was the first executive board meeting of the Arkansas Family Childcare Association. I needed to look " together" .  As I finished my paperwork and glanced at the clock I thought " I am going to take a quick soak in the tub, just to freshen up."  I ran the tub with water and got my clothes laid out and ready.   As I  began to relax in the tub,  I decided I needed a little more hot water.  As I reached to turn it on, I must have hit the shower button.

Yep... I got soaked , rollers and all.

I had to get out of the tub, take the rollers out , take the makeup off, get a quick shower and start over.  I had 20 minutes to get out the door.

I am so glad my traveling days are over for a bit.  
Atleast the next time I go out I will be chaperoned.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gearing up for the Motel 6 Tour

Yes, it is that time again.  Ugh...

Randy seriously thinks I am going to play this washboard.  Does anyone remember Lulu on Hee Haw? I will NOT be playing this washboard.

He has the truck ready for all our equipment.   He is excited. HE... is excited.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zippity Doo Da Zippity A

My Oh My what a wonderful day...

Seriously, here I sit in my hotel room in Little Rock waiting for a meeting to start TOMORROW.  I am such a moron.  I have been so busy lately that my calendar has really taken a beating.  When I checked in the hotel and the nice clerk said " Ms Mays, your reservation isnt until tomorrow, " I should have known I had made a tragic mistake. She was right, I have arrived a day early.  What to do?

A couple friends suggested a SPA day.  See, the idea is to relieve stress. I am sure my arrival on  the early day is a master plan of the Lord.  He is looking out for me and knew I needed to chill out.  The funny thing is, as I was about 10 miles out of  Siloam, I realized I had left my books at home. I had planned to make a study sheet for a final next week.  I didnt want to turn around.  So, I cant even do do that.  The Lord again.... So, back to the SPA  day, the idea is to reduce the stress and the thought of a stranger manipulating fat on my body causes me the utmost stress.  I am sure I have a few kinks in there that could be worked out --- but nada.  :)

So, I am back to what to do? 

Zoo...?  No, kinda cloudy outside.
Shopping?  No, too much stuff already.
Children's Museum? maybe....
Read?  Me, You and Us - Social/emotional learning in preschool, sound fun?
Work on a presentation I have coming up? Might be a good idea
TV?  Not into that...
Sleep - once I am up , I am up

So many possibilities.  

Thank you Lord for forcing me to slow down today. I know I have needed this.  I keep saying , if I can just make it to August...  Obviously, you know that I couldn't.  I don't know what you have in store for me today, but whatever it is, I am sure it will be a blessing.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reggio Round TWO!

Reggio Round TWO!

Today I returned to the school that embraces the Reggio Emelia style of teaching .  This time I had Randy in tow.   I knew the day would be full of adventure as we pulled in and I couldnt drag him away from the fence that the peacocks were strutting around in.    Other surprises met us  before we even got to the door.   There were two little guys sitting outside by the garden documenting " something" on their little clipboards.   As we went in we were told to " have fun" and that we did.  I took off to the purple room - my favorite.   The children were outside and one of the teachers was doing an assessment on a child.   I had taken all this in  ( the room ) when I visited last time, so this time , I was watching Randy, and his expressions- trying to read what he thought.   He barely made it in the room and was started as two little girls and one boy were in the bathroom ( two on the potty) and having a conversation.  He said " Does she know they are in here...?" - he whispered.  Yes.. I reply, she does.  Randy is still getting a grip on who comes to inspect us for what ... and he sometimes gets the standards a little confused.  The only clear cut inspector that comes for us now days is the water heater man, and well - it is the water heater man.  As Randy was taking it all in, he would ask me questions.  Mostly they were" We can't do that can we?"  And for the most part  he pointed out safety issues - It was hard to explain to him that they were NAEYC accredited ( not ECCRS ) and in another state
 ( which had different height requirements for equipment.)  

After we left and drove away we were reflecting on our observations.   Of course, he said where are their music instruments?  That is an important part of our life .  Each room had two or three instruments  but they usually were just mixed among the materials and you didnt hear singing.  Not the teacher. Not the kids... 

Then he asked, " Where were the books?"  We have books in almost every center... or maybe even every center.  Hmmm.. I didnt notice. Where were the books? I know they had some because I saw two of the teachers reading one during group time.  

Then was the kicker question. " Did you see any children smiling and having fun?"  What is so " sally stop the street car " about that one is- I asked the same question on my first trip.   I thought maybe I was being too critical or just not seeing it   the way I should.  I did ask a couple colleagues on the last trip what they thought and they said the children were more focused.  

So, at 3 , 4 , and 5 years old - do I want focus or happy?


The teachers were not mean at all.... they were encouraging.  

We are not mean and encouraging but you hear happy all over the place in our house.

Do our kids focus?

Can you focus and be happy?

Fast foward - we are headed back for the training tonight.  I am excited . Randy- reluctant but a team player.

The  Atelierista  who was there was supposed to be the only true one  in the states at this point.  The lady from Italy ( dont remember her name right now and too tired to google it!) came over here and  worked with her for a year.   An Atelierista is an artist that facilitates the curriculum development through different art mediums.  ( That was my own very weak definition.)  

 Here was the structure of the workshop.  She talked about materials and how you should think " outside the box " when offering materials to the children.   She challenged us to take 1 inch squares of paper to manipulate as many ways as we could.  We did.  

Then, she talked about making things out of found objects.  We each were to take something off the table and go through some questions from an artist ... like what was this originally?  Where did it come from?   What is it made of?  I had a piece of orange vinyl that was embossed.  I had no idea what it was.  I thought it looked a but like a reflector.  I took my scissors and cut slits and before I knew it I created a chinese lantern.  Now, as I think back, it is really cool the thought process that got me there.  Reflector, light, lantern.  I guess that is somewhat how kids think.   

Randy made something out of corrugated cardboard. It also had styrofoam packing peanuts. He broke the rule... she said one material; :)   He also made a small purse out of my leftover scraps.  Not only did he get in touch with his feminine side, but called it his stimulus package . It was about the size of a matchbox.  

As we finished Jennifer walked around and stopped to take a close up of my lantern and ask me about it  . Randy, I think was offended as she walked away, he moved his little cardboard creation a little closer to mine.  

When they asked for sharing I was a little nervous as I was the novice in the room but I did speak up. She asked for our reflections or thoughts.  I said , "  As an adult , I struggled with what I thought this was .. and where it came from.  I would imagine as a child, that thought process is a little more difficult as they dont have as many experiences to draw  on.  As the teacher in the room, I think this would create a great opportunity for language.  You could help GUIDE ( WRONG WORD) the children .  You could ask what they thought it was...? etc"  So, I got shot down.   She said she wants to caution us about " guiding the children"  in any way.   GREAT JOB DEBBIE, opening your mouth. You KNEW to sit there an listen.  As she talked , the rest of the time, these are the things that went through my head.

1.  Is it so wrong to talk to the kids and create a language rich classroom?
2.  If I dont teach them language , who will?
3.   Why did I use the work GUIDE, that wasnt really what I meant.
4.   It is hot in here?
5.  Did I really just pay 100.00 to tear paper, create a chinese lantern and be told that language isnt important?
6.  I would rather be listening to Natasha Crosby teach anything else right now.

So, I left discouraged.

I love the open ended materials. I love creating a sense of wonder. I love not " fixing everything" for the kids...


I also love the sounds of giggles and games. I love the long conversations and exchanges I have with the kids each day. I love our music and the bands the kids create.  

I pretty much love the way I do what I do right now.  I have evolved so much in the past ten years.  Maybe ten years from now I will be ready for Reggio,




Thursday, April 9, 2009

Am I really 43?

Yesterday was my birthday.   I did get to get away and have a little "me" time.  I went to another FCC home in Farmington for some mentoring and then came the BIG decision to get my hair colored.  Yeah.... that is normally how I approach most BIG decisions -  driving down the road, probably on my cell phone and I think.... I need a change.  About the only thing I seem to be able to control in my life lately is my hair color, so off I went. 

Jessica-  what do you want to do today.
Me- I am radical.   I turn 43 today and it will never get more appropriate to do something wild with my hair so lets do it... blonde highlights.
Jessica-  Are you sure?

So.... 2 hours later I walk out and look in the mirror and think you know.. maybe a tattoo would have been a better way to show my  rebellion for my  lifestyle stress lately.  Atleast then I could put it on my  butt or someplace that on one else has to look at.

It looks kinda "skunkish..."

I walk in the house.  None of the kids even notice it, or atleast they had the manners not to say anything.

Debbie- Well, Randy, what do you think?
Randy- Well.......  uh.... it is... nice.
Debbie- You are LYING.

So, I lived with it for a day. I made it BIG.I made it small.  I made it short.I made it tall.  ( that was for you Dana.)   

Tonight , I came out of the grocery store with it pouring down rain.  It looked pretty trashy by the time I got home. I know, I dont get stuck in the rain much but in Randy's church they throw water..... what if I get caught in the line of water flinging off palm branches and have to leave church looking like I an in the next edition of Jerry Springer?  

So, I have already spent the first two days of my forty- third year of my life looking like two totally different people.   For a brief second I thought how cool it would be to have an alter personality. Then , when people make me mad, I could be rude. I could say no, I dont have time. I have to go watch Nascar... or something...  

But instead, I will continue to say " yes , I will".  I will continue to wear my hair the same way I have for years.   I will be the old faithful Debbie, ready to give everyone exactly what they expect including my hair style and hair color...    

( I am seriously thinking about that butt tattoo though.. I could totally carry that off.  If I didnt have to show someone else my butt, that might be an option.  Hmm.. I probably couldn't even do that.  I would feel guilty and sad for the tatooer .   Maybe I will just get a few of those temporary tattoos that you get wet and stick on and wear off with a few baths.  I think I will get spider man or something.  Boy, I am a rebel.  I am excited . I will get one while in Mississippi this weekend, I bet they have good tattoo vending machines.   )  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Squirrel Sage Continues

So, last year Randy was working on the house and a squirrel went in a hole he was patching.   For days, he would go out there and just look at the hole trying to figure out how to get the squirrel to come out.  One morning when I went out there, he had a two by four propped up to the hole and peanuts stationed at intervals down the board.  I said Randy, what are you doing? He replied as serious as could be " trying to get the squirrel to come out."  My friends laughed and laughed about Randy's antics to get that squirrel out of the house.  

Now, fast forward this year.   

Randy put up a squirrel feeder ,I mean.. a bird feeder.   Every time we looked out there was a gymnast squirrel hanging from the feeder enjoying his birdie goods.  He would walk out there and make a loud noise, he would stare out the window until finally he put a trap out there. He had peanuts all in  the trap.   Every few minutes he would get up to peer out the window.  " Look Debbie, he is almost in there..."  " See... he wants those peanuts."  When the squirrel finally went in he was as excited as a little boy waiting on the ice cream truck.   He took it to the park and let it out.  

So... here is my thought.  The squirrel either was totally ticked that Randy did that back and came back to haunt him.. OR... one of the other 100 squirrels in our yard decided to play the next trick.   

Last night at 7 pm Randy came in from the store and said "Debbie, come here, look!"  As I walked into the kitchen, I saw it.  The squirrels little tail was prancing around my bathroom as though it belonged there. IN THE BATHROOM !   It was a small squirrel.  I am thinking probably the baby of the one that Randy trapped the other day and took to the park.   As it noticed us watching it ran under the counter.  

Randy promptly closed the door and went to get his trap.  After putting his trap in the room he realized the squirrel could squeeze under the door so he went outside and got stepping stones and put along the bottom of the door.   All night-- it stayed like this.

At 8:15 animal control came in to pick up the squirrel.   He took the cage he brought into the bathroom and closed the door.  I really wanted to take pictures of this --- but I didnt get to.  Randy said " just go outside and take them through the window. There are steps there already."  I am thinking I must have missed Randy standing on steps outside peering through the window to catch a glimpse of the squirrel. That too, would have been a kodak moment.  ( I know.. I am mean.)   

Ten minutes later the animal control guy came out of the bathroom with the squirrel in the cage. The kids couldnt see it. I didnt ask him to uncover it so they could see.  I mean, I think the squirrel was ok, but what if it wasn't.   

That is how our morning started off in preschool.

I dont know if the kids learned anything but I did.

1.   I NEVER use the upstairs restroom. NEVER.  I will now make MORE trips up there to clean  it.  Goodness know the man in the house doesnt.

2.   I want to redecorate the upstairs bathroom. It is done in lighthouses from Randy's house when we got married.  It never bothered me because I didnt go up there. Now, it does..

3. Always keep a chip in the camera ready for squirrel watching ... or watchers.  :)

4.  The animal control guy says if it happens again to use peanut butter. Boy ,do we have spoiled squirrels.  They no longer want peanuts ,they prefer it processed into peanut butter? I wonder if it matters if it is creamy or crunchy?

All in  a days work.

I can wait to wake up each day now to see what squirrel adventure awaits us next! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is This a Sign of a Heart Attack?

Ok, I never thought in my life what I would google "signs of a heart attack, woman" and try to self diagnose whether I am having little signs of heart problems or just anxiety, or maybe even just a french  fry stuck in my throat. But.. I did.

Life is too busy right now. Here are my thoughts on everything I have going on.

I have been given 25,000 to start a state wide association.   What in heavens name made me think I would want to do this?  I realized in the nomination process  that I was going to be in the middle of several wonderful professional women like myself.. ( haha)  that will probably be going through menopause or PMS'ing at the same time.   Women can be emotional.  Can I deal with this when I have so much going on?  

College hours.   I am finishing my degree mainly for myself so I wont have to explain anymore that I do not have one.  Why?  Who cares? If they keep me this busy as uneducated as I am, what will happen when I actually have credentials?  Why do I need to study ancient art to be a great preschool teacher and why did all the artist like nudity so much. I totally could have been a model back then, they did like well rounded girls.... well, you know what I mean.  Arkansas history - I didnt realize I grew up in a place that was so pivotal in the civil rights movement.  Pschology -  I wont do spell check - s0.... see, how much trouble I am in ? I have been in this class for 10 weeks and STILL cant even spell the name of the class.

Concert. Yes, we have 64 of them so far.  That's all I am sayin.

Arkansas Childrens Week -  I am coordinating efforts for the Siloam Springs area. It is going to be very cool and fun .  There will be two large events - one hosted by family childcare providers and one by Arkansas Better Chance providers.  I hope we have clowns and I hope I am not one of them.

There are so many conferences that I need to be at in the next 3 months it is CRAZY.  One is this weekend.  I am the president, so I have to be there. I am teaching a session on FCC so, if I dont show up it will be noticed.   Can I just be irresponsible once?  

I went on a study tour last week. I am thinking of changing curriculum models to Reggio Emelia.  To be totally honest, I am not sure I have the energy right now.  I put so much time into the classroom now, I am not sure I can give more.  The Reggio Emelia style would require much documentation.  

Documentation - that is what I need ---one more thing to keep up with.

Taxes.... I havent even thought about them yet.  Ugh....

So,  I am pretty sure the quirks I have been feeling are anxiety...  If not, I did meet with an advisor last week to get insurance coverage for heart attacks.   No, there is not anything I can give up at this point. but soon.... I will. 

School will be out.
Concerts will be concerting... :)
I will be hanging out in the lap of luxury at a motel 6 before we know it ! 

Ahh......   There goes that french fry feeling again !  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brandy is smart too

Today I asked Mykah one of my little girls to please get me the camera card on the living table  . She promptly returned with the card and I said " Wow, Mykah, that is it ! You are one smart little girl."   She replied " yeah... Mr Brandy helped me. He is a little smart too."  


Sunday, March 15, 2009

I had a baby!

I know... you didnt know I was expecting! I have been for a long time now.  It has been a dream for  several years  to unite all providers in the state of Arkansas that are licensed for family childcare.  Family Child Care means we are a licensed facility within the home.  Most of us have separate playrooms and look much like a center.  But the feeling is different.  When you walk in there is a different feel. It is a feeling that the child is in a home - a caring environment - the next best place to their own.   Over the past few years due to zoning and the economy, the number of FCC homes has went down. That makes me very sad. Then you hear crazy stories like the blue koolaide one this weekend. So, in order to unite all FCC homes and raise the level of quality for all the children we need to unify.  

I spent a weekend in KY brainstorming with a friend about what we would like to see. We were dreaming big.

All of this seemed insurmountable until last week.  Several of us sat down and called over 750 homes to invite them to a meeting in Little Rock.   I made a power point to help them see my vision.   The head of licensing for the state of Arkansas spoke.  The meeting was held at a library.  

Despite my dad having a heart attack and me passing the ball to a few good friends to carry on.
The projector not working for the power point.
And several unknowns-

Arkansas Family Child Care Association  was born.

March 7th
1:00 pm
Little Rock, Arkansas

We will skip the weight part....  :)

I cant wait to see what this year holds.   

This will be the semester I tell my grandkids about.  Nine college hours, working full time, dad almost died twice, mom had chemo every day AND I gave birth.

What a great week. I am woman , hear me roar!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Waiting Rooms

 I am now a waiting room expert and a practicing psychologist.  That is pretty funny considering I am taking psychology right now and I hate it!  ( speaking of... I am SURE I have something due today - mental note- catch up on classes. ) 

Somethings I have learned.

They really dont want you to stay in the CCU waiting room or else there would be couches instead of love seats.  Only 2 foot people can lay down on these things and be comfortable.

Inevitably there are four people named Debbie that every time the phone rings and someone answers we all  jump up.

People in here are generally honest. You can leave your lap top, iphone and wallet all in your little "area" and no one touches them.  But DONT leave your pillow... they disappear.

You think they are all your friends BUT you leave and go to Walmart and come back to find out that you look like Horton Hears a Who  and no one loved you enough to say " Hey ,Debbie, own a brush?"

Magazines really can stick around for a year or so.

You can make a game out of reading the closed captioning on the TV from different areas of the  room.  

Sleeping in clothes hasnt been that bad... saves laundry.

But most of all -

Having a good family  and friend support system makes all  the difference in the world....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just keep swimming

Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do? 
Marlin: No I don't wanna know. 
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim. 
Marlin: Dory, no singing. 
Dory: [continuing] Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim. 
Marlin: Now I'm stuck with that song... Now it's in my head. 
Dory: Sorry.

So, that is what you do , huh? When life gets your down you just swim swim swim....

Well, I am swimming.

Dad had a heart attack Thursday night. Through my life experiences I have learned not to over react and to stay calm.  I can pretty much control my emotions.  

Today, after a five hour training we stopped by the hospital to see my dad and pick up my mom.  The doctor had been in and said the whole back side of dads heart is dead.  Dead....  What exactly does that mean ?  Not long after that a few of mom and dads friends came in to visit . As I leaned against the wall it was like it was all a blur.  They were all laughing and talking about a squirrel that Randy is trying to catch and all I could see was my dad.  Ever once in a while I would see him smile and put his arms behind his head.  What other people didnt notice was he was breathing very slowly and intentionally out of the mouth.... trying to control the pain.  How can you live with half your heart dead?  How do you feel inside when someone tells you that? Scared... I am sure.  

I always thought I gained my tough skills from my mom.  I realized that I gained a few from my dad as well.   Dad laughs off his emotions... I do too.

Next week, I have school... which alone is overwhelming.
Class on Monday night.
Choir Wednesday.
A meeting on Thursday.
Saturday I am in Little Rock piloting the first ever Family Childcare Association.  Over 747 people from the state will be invited and I am "running the show."

Now, throw in the mix-

Mom has chemo every day next week.  She is worried about how to keep that going if/ when dad has surgery.
Dad will probably have a procedure early in the week that will determine what they do next.

How do I keep it all going... I feel like a crazy person.  Isn't this the part of my life that should be slowing down?

Just keep swimming.... just keep swimming...

I think I better get a life preserver handy...
Jesus be the center
Be my source be my light Jesus
Jesus be the center
Be my song Jesus

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in my sails
Be the reason that I live

Jesus Jesus
Jesus be my vision
Be my help
Be my guide Jesus

© 1999 Vineyard Songs 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Hulk Visits the Bathroom

I went into my bathroom downstairs the other day and this is what I saw!  Had the Hulk visited my bathroom and decided to use the potty?  Had the Jolly Green Giant taken a little wee wee and left evidence ?  


Of course not.

This is why I CRINGE when visitors stop by and say " Do you mind if I use your restroom?"  Of  course I dont! BUT, it is very probable that a little child has been using the handstamp and decided to go potty mid- stamp and thus tattoed the bowl.  Of course, I clean it but remember there are SIXTEEN kids here... It usually gets wiped down once during the day  and then a good sanitizing at the end of the day.  So, moral to the story is - if you come to my house you might want to empty your bladder well before arriving or be prepared to leave with green handprints on your tooshie!  Don't worry though, experience tells me that it wears off in a day or two.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mommy and Me Tea

Tonight was the perfect ending to a crazy week.  Instead of a Valentines party today we had a " Mommy and Me Tea" tonight. The children came in with moms, or grandmas and made cake in a mug.  I found this on this site . 

It was a lot of fun.  They came in and we had a cooking station set up in the kitchen and they made it together. It was fun to watch the children interact with their parents.

These kids love their moms so much.  The cool thing about family child care is that we are a real extension of that.  When it is nap time all 16 kids lay down and you hear " I love you all over the house".  I think that is they way most moms would want it. 

I can't tell you how much I love my job and how much I pray that I can be used in it to make a difference.  These little opportunities like this are a ministry to me.  I want these parents to be able to look at me and see something different.  I think God set me on this journey for a reason. I am blessed.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Crete, Frescoes and My Past Life

Today I am stuck in the house with an eye infection. It looks pretty nasty but honestly doesnt hurt too much. I decided if I have to stay inside , I might as well catch up on some school work. Well, actually I am working ahead on a research paper for Art. I decided to do my paper on something that I have a connection with. I chose to to the Art of the ancient Minoan period. No, I am not Minoan but I did live in Crete, Greece for a period of my life. I was 22 and had two children and loving life. Moving to a foreign country didn't really scare me, I love new adventures.

The art works that I am writing about are mainly the frescoes that were painted on the palace walls, such as Knossos and small iconic sculptures. As I am researching pictures of places that we visited as a family are there just as they are in my photo albums. As I look at the works of art the memories are as vibrant as the colors on the walls.

Knossos Palace - The main thing I remember is the frescoe of the dolphins on the wall and Allen.

Gounnira was a great place to explore , the low walls made it easy to see the structure of the city. Allen had Danielle is a little blue and red carrier and carried her all over. I had on a blue skirt and a white sweater.

We visited the beach where Paul ship wrecked . We had a picnic there and a family came over to take our picture.

There was a beach that was topless that we went to. We didnt know it until we had unloaded everything and headed through the beach with all our paraphanela . I remember Addam who was 3 at the time kept saying " daddy that lady doesnt have a top on,.." We left fairly quickly. I think Allen might have enjoyed that stop. I also remember the outdoor restroom there. It was a wood shack with a HOLE IN THE GROUND. You straddled the whole ... ummm. No.

I remember Allen and I standing in the Aegean Sea and pushing Danielle underwater for her to swim to us. She was 6 months old.

Blue doors... everybody had them.

Hersonisos is where we lived. Our landlord was Greek. He spoke no english, which is why one day when my water heater went out I ended up with a chicken egg.

I was in a play called " God's favorite" and I got to wear a full length mink coat.

There were a lot of gypsies and the children stole flowers from graves at night and would come into town to sell them.

So many memories of my life starting out with Allen. We were so happy. Good times.

I want to go back one day. Although, I am not sure I can handle the memories. They were good. It hurts to think that he is no longer alive. He always said he wanted to go back to Greece. I hope one day in his honor I can take the kids back there.

For today, I will finish this paper ( maybe it wasnt a good idea to pick Greek Art) and maybe get the movie Mama Mia!

αντίο - good bye!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stupid Art Test

Today I had my first on-campus exam.   I studied all week. I took the little review sheet she gave us and diligently filled it in.   I was scheduled to be there at 5:00 p.m..  I left home a little early knowing that the area I had to wait in for my appointed time would SURELY be less distracting than home.  As I drove over there I recited the elements of art and the five reasons  I feel art exist. I ran pictures of the Mona Lisa through my head and the American Gothic and said the artist names over and over.  I am ready!

As I find a place to park that is in the boonies of parking areas, I take out my purse and realize as I start to walk to the building that my coach purse is cute but looks a little out of place along side  the  backpacks I see.   When I finally reach the door I am huffing ( reminder to get BACK ON THAT DIET!) and a little disoriented.  Where am I supposed to go?   I finally found a map on a wall and realized that I had to go to another building.  Here I go.... huffing again....

When I finally reach the testing center I have about 35 minutes before it is time for me to go in.   I make a quick stop in the restroom . That is when it all fell into place.  In the mirror, I see an old me looking back. I never have felt I looked so old.  As my eyes drift from my wrinkled face down I am horrified to remember that I have on a winnie the pooh shirt. SERIOUSLY! I put it on today because it is warm and the kids like it.  WHY did I not change before I left?  So, now I picture my fat huffing self carrying an expensive coach purse to class with a bright red walmart winnie the pooh shirt on.  Lovely.

The test itself wasn't too hard.
I am not sure how I did.
Do you think it was bad to use tattoos as an example of how culture has affected art?
I guess not, unless the instructor ( who I have not seen) is a tattoo queen.
If she is, then I am sure she is laughing right now as she makes red marks on my perfect paper.

I learned a lot today.
I was happy to get back home. 
I always feel young here.
Geneviette came over and we baked Valentines cookies.
She loved my shirt.

Going back to college is not necessarily as hard on the brain as it is on the ego...
Stupid Art Test !

Saturday, January 31, 2009


There are a few positive sides to being without power for several days.  The first one is that my mom and dad never lost power , so we stayed over there.  The that I got to spend a LOT of time with my mom.   We talked, watched TV and played dominos.  I think they really enjoyed us being there.  

Thank you Lord for slowing down my life a little so I could enjoy the good things.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Blazer

This week my moms tumor markers went up higher than they were when  she was diagnosed.   She has had to take chemo every day this week and get shots  for her bone marrow.  I guess getting so much chemo kills whatever is there, and this shot is supposed to help.   She looks really good though.  On days she looks so good and is up moving around it is easy to just remember her the way she has always been and overlook the fact that we might lose her one day.  

When I got up and called her to see what time she wanted me to pick her up to head to her appointment she told me she had an errand to run. She had bought Keith ( my brother) a blazer and wanted to exchange it.   " Mom, why did you buy Keith a blazer?"  ( He is NOT a blazer wearing type of guy.)  Mom's reply was " just in case he needs it for a special occasion."  Well, I know my mom well enough to know, she is planning for her funeral.  She wants to make sure that is one less thing that my brother has to do and she also - wants him to look nice.  I bawled and I bawled.  

Why was I so upset?

Mom says I cant sit still.   I am so much like her.  I mean, here she is planning people's wardrobe for her own funeral when she should just be enjoying life and taking care of herself.  There has to be a lesson in that somewhere for me.

Is she really THAT sick?   Does she sense something that we  don't know? Is she really about to go see the Lord?

When she did this.... I had to face the fact once again, that I might lose my mom and it might be sooner than I think. No matter how good she looks and how much she is getting around she is still very  sick. If it wasn't for that darn blazer I could continue to think and say " She is doing SO good " and avoid that possibility that she really isn't.

I wondered how my brother handled all of this. Did he realize what she was doing as he tried it on.  I called Pam. She said he came home and cried and cried.  He would stop and then start back again. It broke his heart.  

I can't imagine.

I am sure mom was right there making sure it fit just right and asking him did it feel ok.   All the while- he was choking back tears in his new blazer.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A few more good reasons

I could throw a hat on and not comb my hair.
I could mindlessly change channels as I sleep.
I could pass gas in front of family.
I could have the laundry fairy deliver my clothes.
I could have hot meals cooked for me and all the dishes done.
I could scratch like it is common.
I could only answer the phone when I think it is for me.
I could wake up at the crack of dawn to prove I am a man, then cat nap all day.

Oh... I think that is enough.

I hate to take out the garbage and fill the car up with gas.
I guess I will stay a woman.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I wanna come back as a man!

Ok, I dont believe in reincarnation, but IF I DID- I want to come back as a man.  Well, a husband to be exact!   

This was my day today:

Get up , get dressed ( make up and all incase you run into friends...) 
Go out to Addam's ( a man's ) condo to make sure it is clean before turning in the keys.
Run a few errands.
Got my hair cut.
Visited with mom and dad an hour and a half.
3 loads of laundry
Mid Year expenditure Report
Put about 30 Important deadlines type dates on my calendar
Finish up a grant Report
Do USDA Food Program Forms
Cook a weeks worth of chicken and fish ( new diet )
Make out next weeks menu
Make out Grocery List
Worked on Art Homework
Replied to a couple emails
Facebooked for relaxation.... for 5 minute increments
Went through QRS again to see what I still needed
Logged into Tapp and signed up for First Aid and CPR
Signed up for Arkansas Childrens Week Training
Made my to-do list for tomorrow
Talked to two friends on the phone but it was business talk !

I am TOTALLY SURE  I am forgetting something....

At 9:30 I sat down to watch part of the " SisterHood of the Traveling Pants".  As it went off, I decided I better get up and do the dishes that had accumulated all day.  As I stepped past Randy in the livingroom he said " I love you Honey..."

Well, I bet you do.

Randy's list today:

That was bunch of nothing.... then
Put a safety latch on the shower door for quality so the kids wont drink the shampoo. ( I know, stupid, that is a whole 'nother blog.) It took about 2 minutes. 

I would trade my list any day for his....

Oh.. to be the husband.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a few other reasons I want to be the man!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Addam - the daddy

Addam left this morning to go back to Hawaii. I know he was dreading it.  As I watched him with Geneviette these last six weeks , I realized what a great daddy he is.   He loves her with all his heart and she loves her daddy.  I taught her to put her little hands on his face and say " PPLLLLEASSEEEEE daddy, I love you."

  It may just be me, but it seems she has grown this month while he was here.  It make me really said to think how much she will grow before he sees her again in May.

This morning as he woke her up so we could drive him to the airport I heard him explaining to her again that he was leaving on a plane to go back to his house in Hawaii.   She would say " me too, me too ! "  I was headed in the room but had to turn and go out as the tears flowed  down my face.   

Geneviette and I didnt go in the airport with Addam . We said our goodbyes at the curb.  As we watched Addam walk through the doors Geneviette was saying " Bye Daddy, I love you."  Tears were streaming down my face.  Addam didnt look back.  I bet he was teary eyed too but from the back all I could see was my son, a wonderful daddy walking away.