Sunday, September 30, 2007

Comment of the Week # 3

The Comment of The Week was in response to this post. The award goes to The Diaper Diaries and honestly, the award goes to her daughter for the great quote below...

"Great questions. I have to say I was flipping channels and came across Days Of Our Lives which I haven't watched since high school (which was, let's just say, a while ago, or more accurately-Marlena as the devil ago). I swear I could have started watching again without missing much.

I did notice Patch was back.

My daughter was in the room and said, "Why is there a pirate on this show? Is he going to say Argh?"

I have to say we could use a few more pirates on daytime TV. ;>)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Your Cell Phone Could Save A Child

If you own a cell phone, take a minute to read this.

Sign up for Amber Alerts on your cell.

The text message you receive while you are out running that errand or stuck in traffic could save the life of a child.

Go now.

Thank you-

Friday, September 28, 2007

A little list that we all could do without.

I hate lists, but when you're in a writing funk, a list can be your best friend.

Your very best friend.

So here is what I have been doing this week while not on my soapbox. In list form...

1. Trying to reach the troop leader, a responsible Girl Scout representative, anyone in brown or green with a vest full of patches.

2. Painting sea life on my daughter's walls. It is turning out to be so cool that I may just move in there. I am using glow-in-the-dark paint to highlight the jellyfish and I even painted a school of fish that only show up in the dark. She calls it "the secret school of fish."

Next on the painting list- a sea turtle

3. Trying not to melt from the sweltering heat. And isn't it almost October? Sweet mercy.

4. Planning a lesson for my 4 and 5 year olds' Sunday School class. I am loving teaching them!

5. Looking for clothes in all the wrong places for a pair of scarecrows I plan to put on the porch. Right now they are dressed and painted but I am going to make them my own by repainting their faces and dressing them in some fine, thrift shop apparel. (I have made one before and it was so fun.)

6. Did I mention I love anything remotely crafty?

Y'all have a fun weekend. Crafty or not crafty!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thirteen things I wish I could put on my refrigerator

1. My daughter's smile.

2. The feeling I get when I see her do the right thing when she doesn't know I am looking.

3. Her spontaneous hugs.

4. A Fall day outside when we find leaves or just decide to dig in the dirt.

5. The moment we released a butterfly after watching it grow as a caterpillar and form a chrysalis.

6. The look on her face when her Daddy comes home from work.

7. The moments she tells me how much she loves Jesus.

8. The peacefulness of her sleeping.

9. The sounds of giggles as she plays with her sweet friends.

10. The scent of her soft, baby hair after a bath.

11. The overwhelming, drowning joy just moments after her birth.

12. Every card, every drawing, every Play-doh sculpture she has ever made.

13. The humble gratefulness to God for giving me just a moment with one of His precious children.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Stuff I Don't Understand: Boring Edition

Other than the fact that I am in a bit of a writing funk and am a bit loopy from sinus medication, I really have no other excuse for this pitiful post.

Except that I am, in fact, very strange.

But most of you have figured that out by now.

Here are a few world-changing, life-enriching issues that have kept me up at night. (Not really. I blame blogging and HGTV for that.)

1. Why is it that my my make-up bottle promises to reverse the years and turn back time, but it always seems to take me back to when I was in high school or last month when a hormonal surge caused my face to become a photo-op for Proactiv Solution?

2. Why hasn't the school playground run out of sand? It seems that all of it has ended up in my car. How does the sand spontaneously replenish beneath the swings but will no one will spontaneously vacuum it out of the backseat of my car?

3. Why must children automatically turn their shoes upside down after taking them off? Is it like the "bread will always fall butter side down" theory? Does gravity make a Nike shoe tip instantly and spill sand and small pebbles into my car or my living room floor?

4. Why is it that my cat will spend all of her waking hours grooming herself but she will not even attempt to cover the awful prize she has left in her litter box?

5. Why must the Brady family fight the DiMera family all on their own? Hasn't the Salem Police Department ever heard of the FBI?

I'm just sayin.'

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bullies don't get invited to birthday parties.

A follow-up to this post.

Mrs. Johnson's third grade class knew all about Johnny.

He had picked on Susie, had a few of his bully friends beat up Bobby, and he had threatened the entire Kindergarten class. Nobody liked Johnny. He was just plain mean.

Johnny went to another school across town. The kids in Mrs. Johnson's class heard that Johnny and a group of mean kids had vandalized the neighborhood. In fact, they were pretty sure that Johnny had stocked an entire arsenal of dirt clods and slingshots in his own backyard. No one really had proof, but everyone just knew.

One day, Billy, a little boy in Mrs. Johnson's class, had a birthday party. It was supposed to be the best birthday party ever with balloons and prizes, a jumpy castle and Happy Meals for all. All of the kids in Mrs. Johnson's class were invited. Everyone was so excited.

Then Johnny showed up.

The kids were shocked.

But then they learned that Billy had invited Johnny.

Invited Johnny?

When Billy's friends asked why Johnny had been invited, this is what Billy said...

"Everyone in our class is so nice and Johnny is so mean. I want Johnny to see what it is like to be nice, to not be a bully. He should be at a party where everyone is allowed to play with all the toys and everyone gets a goody bag at the end. Just because Johnny doesn't have parties like that, doesn't mean I shouldn't invite him.

Johnny might learn something about being nice. And while he is here, we can ask him about all the dirt clods and slingshots he has hidden in his yard, and about the time we all heard he and his friends spray painted the neighborhood with graffiti."

One brave little girl stood up in the middle of the play area and said...

"Do you seriously think just because you invite Johnny to this party that he will act nice and learn how not to be a bully?

What makes you think he doesn't have a few dirt clods in his pocket right now? And what if a kid in our class decides to beat up Johnny at this party? What will Johnny do then? Will he use his bully power to get other kids in his neighborhood to come and beat up the kids at our school?

And what about us, Billy?

We are your friends.

Don't we matter to you?

What were you thinking, Billy?"

Then Billy said,"I don't know. All I cared about was the really cool presents."

So Mrs. Johnson's entire third grade class decided to be nice to Johnny at the birthday party. Everyone was on their best behavior. Billy gave Johnny the best seat at the party and let Johnny have the first piece of birthday cake. Even though Johnny said hurtful things to the other children at the party and lied about the dirt clods, he was allowed to be first in line at the jumpy castle and he was given the very best goody bag when it was time to leave.

Other classes heard about the birthday party and how Johnny had been invited, even treated like a guest of honor. They began to think that maybe, just maybe Johnny was not so bad. If Billy had invited him to his party and the entire class had been so kind to Johnny, then maybe Johnny was actually their friend. Maybe Johnny wasn't a bully after all.

And all the while, Johnny had gone back home across town, goody bag in hand, and returned to all of his mean, little bully friends. He and his friends were just as mean as they were before.

And they all had a good laugh about the birthday party while they made new dirt clods and slingshots in Johnny's backyard.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Freedom of Speech?

Whether you are reading this blog, the paper, watching Fox News, CNN or reading the Washington Post...

Whether you are listening to Talk Radio, a sermon, or the speech of a president- any president...

Remember that Freedom of Speech must come with responsibility.

As the listener of the speaker, you must also use responsibility.

You have a responsibility to consider the facts, all of them.

Consider the source.

Consider the motive.

And consider this-

That freedom is not guaranteed, only protected.

That freedom, like life, can be taken in an instant.

And that it is the lives of those protecting our freedoms that we must consider.

What will you choose to do with your freedoms?

How will you remember those who stand ready at this very moment to protect them?

How will you thank those brave ones?

Consider their freedoms.

Consider the overwhelming responsibility they shoulder each and ever day...

For you.

For me.

For our children.

For the people who love them.

For the people who hate them.

These brave ones stand ready to protect them all.

I ask you this-

Where is their Freedom of Speech?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Comment of the Week #2

The Comment Of The Week goes to...

Shannon @ Idylwild for her comment to this post.

"Oh, hon-eee. I dated Bud, too, only his name was (I am not making this up) Tater and the truck was green."

Hat tip to Shannon. John Deere Cap tip to Tater. :>)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Blueberry French Toast Bake

Updated to add-
Visit this website to purchase the entire cookbook with this recipe and many others like it. Thanks, Nancy for the link!

Fall is in the air and when it is, I love to have something warm and yummy for breakfast.

This morning I made this casserole for us and I wanted to share the recipe with you. It is from an awesome regional cookbook I have. Take the time to make the syrup. It is soooo worth it.

Blueberry French Toast Bake

one large loaf French bread, cubed
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/3 cup maple-flavored syrup
cinnamon to taste

Brown Sugar Syrup

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
salt to taste

To prepare the French Toast-

Sprinkle half of the bread cubes in a greased 2 quart baking dish. Add cream cheese cubes and blueberries. Top with remaining bread cubes.
Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Pour over the layers in the baking dish and press down lightly to saturate bread with liquid. Combine butter and syrup in a bowl, mix well. Pour over the layers and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Cover and chill at least 2 hours. (Overnight is great!) Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

To prepare Syrup-
Combine brown sugar, cream and corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until smooth, stirring to blend well. Do not boil. Serve with French toast.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kid Nation?

I know I am opening a can of worms, here, but I have to ask.

What do you think about Kid Nation?

If you are not familiar with the new reality show, go here to find out.

Personally, I find it cruel. Sure, it makes for good ratings and sure, kids are tougher and smarter than we acknowledge.

But, in a day when adult issues are forcing some of our kids to grow up faster than they should, we have to draw the line somewhere.

Let them be kids! Give them opportunities to shine as kids. That's what makes them so special.

Here's an idea. How about adults acting like adults. Hmmm....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monarch Migration

Last Fall we observed an abundance of Monarchs migrating through our area. After searching the web, I found this great site where you can help track their migration.

Once you have a sighting, you can log it on the website. It is so amazing to see God's creatures traveling miles and miles to one safe and warm haven in Mexico.

You can also link to other migration sites like the whooping crane. Even if none of these creatures migrate through your area, you still will enjoy sharing their journey.

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This One Is For The Moms

The original, unedited post was published January 10, 2007. I wanted to share this again because lately, I feel like we all need a little encouragement.

Let me give you a peek inside my world.

Before I had a child, I had a much cleaner house. I ate right, at least on occasion, and I sometimes even went for a walk and broke a sweat. Now, most of my sweating is a side effect of the anti-depressant I take or the pre-menopause that I am convinced I have begun. Yes, I am only 36 years old. Since having a child, I have much more fatigue, anxiety, brain fogs, and cellulite and much less fashion sense.

Ain't life just grand?

I would never, ever, in a 100 million years, ever go back to those former days if it meant that I would not be a mother. I absolutely adore my daughter and I am thankful for motherhood. Every night, when I tip toe in her room and look at her sweet face there nestled on her pillow and snuggled against her bunny, I say "thank you" to God above that He allowed me, undeserving me, to be her mama. I kiss my little girl's forehead and smell her sweet breath, thinking on the scent of her baby's breath, and the image of her resting peacefully in her crib. I pause and consider that these moments are fleeting, like a train leaving the station right there before my eyes.

I just wish I could be perfect.

Everyone has room for improvement, but I have room for an extreme makeover. From my organization skills to my culinary choices, the networks could do an entire mini-series on me.

I used to really beat myself up. Some days, I still do, but for the most part, I have decided that God made me the way I am. He certainly wants me to strive to be my best, but He wants me to be my best for Him, not for everyone else, and definitely not for am image that is plastered on TV, magazines and movies.

I've decided that I do have gifts and abilities that are worth sharing. I can remove stains that would make most people run away screaming. I have the insane ability to memorize phone numbers. In spite of the brain fogs, my mind is a steel trap when it comes to mothering memories and entire episodes of Seinfeld.

Go ahead. Quiz me.

I can make a chicken salad that my husband loves, an awesome pan of biscuits without measuring and I can create just about any casserole your heart desires with a vegetable, grated cheese, Hellman's mayonnaise, a can of cream of something soup and a pack of Ritz crackers. Look out, Rachael Ray.

In spite of all of these incredible, somebody-call-Guiness talents, I still feel a little down some days. Perhaps it is because I eat peanut butter from the jar or I forget to keep my eyebrows tweezed, or it's because my laundry appears to reproduce overnight. (Maybe this is a reason we are supposed to keep things separate.)

Yes, I am an average, under dressed, overweight mother of one. I have a lot of room for improvement, but I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, as saggy and acne-ridden that it is. Acne in my thirties. Who would have guessed?

When I am dead and gone and my husband has buried me after following the written instructions for my funeral that I have left for him in a special file in the filing cabinet, including songs and what to wear (for me and for him, yes, I'll still be picking out his tie), I hope my epitaph may read:

"Here lies Melanie. She never climbed Mt. Everest or took part in extreme sports. She never fit into her size 4 jeans again. She had no desire to travel to exotic parts of the world or launch into outer space. Her house was clean, but lived in. Her hair was combed, but her roots were visible. Her waist, well we don't know where it went.

But, her husband remembers her kisses and the smell of her perfume. As a wife, she tried her best to honor him, to support and share his dreams, and to always treat him like the man that he is. She made him lunch, not everyday, but now and then. When she did, she included a note on a napkin or a lipstick kiss. She may not have kept her college figure, but she always dressed and acted like a lady.

Her daughter remembers her hugs and the smell of Noxema on her face when she tip toed in her room to kiss her forehead. She pretended to be asleep sometimes, snuggling her bunny and feeling her mama's loving eyes watching over her. As a mother, Melanie told her daughter about Jesus and manners. She told her and showed her how to give to others. Her daughter can remember the murals on her bedroom walls, the times her mama sent cupcakes to school, went on field trips, and made crafts with the class. She remembers her Mama staying up late at night with her when she was sick, giving her yucky-tasting medicine and singing to her in the darkness.

Here lies, Melanie. She wasn't anything out of the ordinary. She was just a mom, just a wife, but she was special to those who loved her and to those she loved."

I hope you feel special today. You are special to many people around you.

Have an incredible, ordinary day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You Might Be A Redneck's Girlfriend

When we went on our last road trip, we rented an SUV. Compared to my Mommy Camry, I felt like I was driving a tank. Let me tell ya. It was COO-WEL.

Yes, M'am. That was a niiiiice truck.

So now I've got the fevah for a new vehicle. I was feeling a little warm and clammy before, thinking about a new mini-van or a small SUV, but after driving a Chevy on I-75 alongside the diesels and the hummers, I am completely febrile for a new car.

Somebody give me a Tylenol.

All of the gas- guzzling, ozone-depleting, all-terrainness reminded me of a guy I dated in college, before I met my husband. I will call him "Bud."

My hubs loves to tease me about Bud because Bud was the typical redneck.

Bud spoke reaaallly slowwwwllyy. He was a real gentleman. He opened doors for ladies and even for women who didn't act like ladies. He loved his mama. But most of all, Bud loved his truck.

And Bud had a niiicce truck.

It was a red Nissan, always sparkling clean. You could picture a dog (probably a hunting dog) riding in this truck with his tongue hanging out, barking at people in BMW's at red lights. Bud didn't have a dog, but if he had, I am sure it would have gone out with us.

We only dated for a few months. Most of the time we would see a movie or go out for dinner. After dinner, we would always go shining for deer. If you don't know what that is, let me explain...

Shining for deer is illegal when used for hunting. I am not sure if it is allowed for cruising, or for taking your girlfriend out on a date. It is also not the kindest or most humane activity in the world. Shining for deer is taking a flood light or other bright light and riding along the edge of the woods, looking for deer.

I.E. Deer in the headlight

Now that you are beginning to have a mental image of us out blinding Bambi with a huge flashlight, let me add one more image.

Sometimes a truck with a bench seat does not have a cup holder, and even if it did, come on people, a redneck gentleman with a southern girl by his side? Seated on a bench seat out shining for deer? Now why would you even need a cup holder?!

Because I was the cup holder.

The dip cup holder.

I'm just helpful like that.

Yes, dip cup. We're not talking French Onion. We're talking about the carcinogenic kind- Skoal.

So you can see why Bud did not end up being The One. My Prince. My Knight In Red Shining Armor With Chrome Hubcaps. I mean, with all of that romance, a girl can only take so much!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If the mothers ruled the world...

Fox wouldn't have to edit out the foul words of an Emmy winner, or cut away from her speech on stage.

Troops and their mothers would not be used for anti-war propaganda.

No one would dishonor the life's work of a General.

But wait...

Mothers can "rule the world" because

it is the hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world.

Who or what rocks the cradle of your children?

Comment of the Week

Sometimes the comments are so much better than the blog material.

Today is the first Sunday I will award "Comment Of The Week."

Kudos to Steffj89 for her great comment to this post.

"We live far enough out in the country that my hubby gave me snake shooting I am not 100% sure where or when I will have call to use do ya trap one in your house while ya go get the gun? and chances are if i am seeing one in the yard if the guns not on me I am too far away from him anyway.

The result of the snake shooting practice...if it had been a live snake rather than a garden hose it would have had time to eat a village before *I* actually shot it. I did ok with the rifle, but the pistol i am supposed to use??? i couldnt hit the tree 4 feet in front of me and its about 2 ft around....LOLOL" Steff

Steff, I sure hope you have a blog. If not, please start one. You are a hoot! :>)

Friday, September 14, 2007

She shall bruise his head with her mop handle

Just when you think all is calm at the pond, you find a snake in your living room while your husband is at work.

Yep. A snake. It was a baby snake, but that doesn't really make the situation any better, unless you take into account that his little reptilian mouth was too small to bite my pinky toe.

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention in some previous posts- The pond out back? Um, it has been home to water moccasins.

I decided to identify the snake before killing it. One needs to know the odds of a venomous bite or, you know, death before one tries to remove a creature that may or may not be deadly. Sadly enough, I am learning about the patterns of snakes.

Stripes- good.

Blotches- sometimes good, sometimes very, very bad.

Diamonds- bad

Bands and Cross bands- Depends on the colors. Red and yellow could be friendly or deadly. So, you are supposed to remember this-

"Red touches yellow will kill a fellow."

It's like a sick, little nursery rhyme that you never want to read to your kids.

This snake had blotches. In order to determine whether he was a harmless water snake or a deadly water moccasin, I was supposed to look at the shape of his head and his eyes. I am no snake expert, but it is my opinion that if you are close enough to a snake to decide whether his eyes are oval or round or hazel with flecks of gold, you are too close.

The possibility that it was deadly was enough ID for me. I grabbed the broom, and in one quick tactical maneuver-like motion, I swooshed it (that's a real snake expert term) near the door and away from furniture to prevent the snake from evading me in a secret snake hide-out. After swooshing, I commenced to smooshing. (more snake expert talk)

Pretty much, I beat the thing to death with the mop handle. It wasn't until I hit it with a Biblical head-crushing jab on its creepy little head, that it died. There it lay, dead as a doornail, right there in the foyer.

After disposing of the remains in the big green garbage can (my version of the East River), I got on the Internet and ID'd the dead critter- A water snake. Poor, harmless, dumb as dirt to slither into this girl's house snake.

May it rest in peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thirteen Things You Will Never See On TV

1. Britney hosting Thanksgiving dinner with Martha Stewart.

2. Billy Graham Crusades bloopers and outtakes.

3. The Barbara Walters/Apprentice Special

4. Vera Wang on What Not To Wear

5. The Project Runway Last Minute Costume Making Challenge

6. Dateline Investigates: Lost Socks In The Dryer

7. PBS Special: Methane Gas- How Chili Cook-offs Contribute to Global Warming

8. Rock, Paper, Scissors- America Chooses Their Next US President

9. Extreme Home Makeover- The White House

10. Dancing With The Stars- Chicken Dance Edition

11. A commercial for air

12. Special Offer: Gallon of Gasoline- Buy One Get One Free

13. Made For TV Movie- Webster's Dictionary

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm so glad she doesn't want anyone to feel left out.

"Mommy, I feel sorry for the juice box."


"No one wants a juice box anymore. Everyone wants a CapriSun. If someone has a juice box and their friends all have a CapriSun, the one with the juice box says, 'Ah, Man! I gotta juice box."

"It's Ok. There are still some kids who like the juice box. I think the preschoolers still drink them.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The day that changed everything.

September 11.

A day that changed so many lives forever.

We all know where we were that day, but I want to ask you this- Where are you today?

Today could be the day that changes your life for eternity. Watch this and search your heart.


Monday, September 10, 2007

For Amy

After a battle with leukemia, Amy passed away today. Her faith and love for her Lord were apparent on her blog.

Take a moment to stop by her blog and leave some kind words for her husband.

With deepest sympathy,

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Now I will just speak into my shoe phone.

Here's a question for you fellow bloggers-

Do you ever feel like you are living a double life? Like you live in two different worlds- the blog world and the real world?

I have a few friends and family members who read my blog, but most of them never comment. I don't know if it is because they save those comments for emails or if they feel like they are not part of that "life" or maybe they just haven't figured out yet how to log on to Google. (Hey, friends and family- I can tell when you visit the blog. My site meter shows it. Just a little bloggy agent tool we geeky bloggers use.)

Most of my friends don't read my blog. Most don't even know about it because, well, why should they? They all lead normal, respectable lives and do productive things like cut the grass and take out the trash while I'm inside sitting under dim lighting trying to adjust my template.

Then there's that moment. That moment when I am talking to a friend about something that happened and I know I've already written a post on it, so what I really want to say is,"Hey. Read my blog. I just wrote about that."

But I don't say that because I know she would give me "that look." The look that says,"What on earth are you talking about? You have a what? Isn't that like a website? And what makes you think your life is interesting enough that anyone would want to read about it?"

So I let the moment pass and say nothing. I've decided not to bring that particular friend "to the other side." She may just go there and figure out just how weird I really am or she may just go there and never return.

Some days I am a blogger and some days I am just the old, offline me.

It's like a James Bond movie, only I don't look nearly as smart as those James Bond girls.


How about you?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Newman goes global

I told y'all it was not my imagination.

Here's why you never got your TV Guide.


Friday, September 07, 2007

But she did not cry for help.

Yesterday I was running errands, purchasing paint for our home office, browsing a teacher's supply store in search of Sunday School supplies. Basic, mundane tasks we all do. It was just another extraordinary day.

When I'd finished everything I needed to do, I had a little time to waste before picking up my daughter from school. So I decided to stop at TJ Maxx to fill the time. As I passed the children's clothing on my way to housewares, I saw a little girl weaving in and out of the clothing racks. She couldn't have been more than three years old.

"Where's her mom?" immediately came to mind and I stood there looking for a woman or anyone who seemed like they would "match." We've all done this. We see a child wandering around or playing with something in a store and our eyes start to scan the area, searching for the grown-up to whom they belong. Most of the time, we find the grown-up and then we hear,"Get back over here. I can't see you."

Only this time I couldn't find the "match." The little girl kept wandering through the racks, past the baby clothes, and on into another department. I looked around. Still no grown-up. Not able to find an employee closeby without taking my eyes off the lost girl, I knelt down and asked the girl, "Sweetie, where's your mommy?"

"I don't know," she said.

"We need to find her," I said.


"What's your name?"

"muttered words"

"What, honey?"

"muttered words"

Still no grown-up. No one had noticed that I- a complete stranger- had stopped to talk to a small child who does not belong to me.

"Let's find your mommy. We need to find a person who works here."


Then, the absolute worst thing happened.

She followed me.

I didn't take her hand because I did not want her to really trust me. I had wished that she would scream, "Stranger! I want my mommy!" I wished that she would have stood there, frozen in that spot in the aisle, refusing to go anywhere with a person she did not know, a person who (this time) had her best interests at heart, a person who was in fact someone's mommy, but not hers.

Instead, she followed me. She did not make a peep. She followed me all the way to the front of the store. All the way to the front of the store. Then she stood there with me in line at the registers until I could speak to a clerk.

Still no grown-up.

The clerks were extremely helpful and immediately took her hand. Before they did, I knelt down again to this little girl to tell her that these ladies work there, "see their badges?" and that it was OK for her to go with them to find her mommy.

Soon, the three of us deciphered the muttered words of a little girl to learn her name. Soon, an announcement was made over the store's intercom. I watched as a clerk walked around the store with a tiny, lost hand in her firm grip. Soon, a lost child and her mommy were reunited.

There was no search party.

There was no press conference.

Only the sounds of metal hangers sliding across clearance racks and the grateful sigh of a shopper who just happened to stop in the store to fill the time before picking up her own little girl.

While I wanted to stomp in a rage in the face of this mom who, for what seemed an eternity, did not know where her daughter was, I took a moment to pray. I thanked God that this little girl was safe and I asked Him to protect her. Then I drove to my own daughter's school and sat in car line. The end of a busy, mundane, task-filled day.

This morning I saw the news about a mom who left her child in her car all day while she was at work taking care of other people's children. She sobbed on camera as police interviewed her. The images were heartbreaking. It doesn't really matter what I feel about her or the mom who lost her child in the store; something is wrong.

Something is terribly wrong.

While I do not believe that "it takes a village" to raise a child, I do believe that the villagers should help each other. The women of the pioneer days and even my grandmother's days did it right. They helped each other with household chores, watching each other's children, and mentoring one another.

Moms, if you are overwhelmed, if you are doing too much, if you are trying to please everyone all the time, stop. Take a moment to prioritize. Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to ask a friend or a neighbor for help.

If you know someone who seems overwhelmed or exhausted, a mother or father who could use a helping hand, offer help. Offer to pick up their child from school or give them a ride to soccer practice, or plan a play date at your house so the mom can have some time to herself. Tell her you care about her and her children.

She may never ask you for help, but you can hear her cry. When you do, answer it.

A child's life may depend on it.

Edited To Add-

If you are a mom needing support and friendship of other moms, here are a few great organizations to check out. Search for a group near you. Meet moms just like you and give your kids a chance to make some new friends. We need each other, ladies!

MOMS(Moms Offering Moms Support)Club

MOPS- Mothers Of Preschoolers

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thirteen School Forms They Really Want You To Sign

It is the beginning of the school year and, as Nancy has mentioned, time for all of those tedious and often redundant school forms.

Here are a few forms that school officials really want to send home, but are too afraid to ask.


1. The "I Will Participate In All School Fundraisers With Enthusiasm And Pure Joy" Form

2. "I Will Not Complain, Pitch A Hissy Fit or Even Twitch When I Find Out Some Parent Sent Their Kid To School With Lice, Strep Throat, An Intestinal Ripping Virus Or Even Anthrax"

3. "I Will Not Hold Up The Car Line By Applying Lipstick Or Other Last Ditch Effort Cosmetic Enhancement"

4. "When It Is Time For Class Parties, I Will Sign Up For Something Other Than Plates And Napkins"

5. "I Will Not Purchase Mugs, Tacky Apple Decor Or Cookie Mix For Teachers' Gifts"

See Addendum

6. Addendum: "I Will Give Cash For Teachers' Gifts"

7. "I Will Smile Graciously When The PTA President Stands Up In A Meeting (In Her Naive Ambition) And Suggests That I Will Have To Purchase Even ONE MORE TUB OF COOKIE DOUGH"

Has she not seen my thighs?

8. "I Will Really Mean It When I Tell My Kid That The Bratty Girl Who Knocked Her Down On The Playground Probably Just Isn't Getting Enough Attention At Home And Just Needs To Learn How To Get Attention In A Postive Way"

Bless her mean, snot-nosed little heart.

9. "I Will Not Give My Child Sugar, Caffeine, Or Any Other Legal Stimulant Just Before A Standardized Test"

10. "Our Family Will Only Take Vacations During Designated School Holidays"

11. "When I Eat Lunch With My Child At School, I Will Eat The School Lunch Provided And Savor The Culinary Creativity Of The Salisbury Steak For Years To Come"

12. "I Will Cry Tears Of Joy When My Child Asks For Help With Algebra"

13. "I Will Forever Praise The Educational Contributions Of The Criss Cross Applesauce-Bubbles In Your Mouth Method"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Therefore I live vicariously through my friends.

Y'all have to read about Nancy's Labor Day Weekend.

Hint: A woman named Paula, a cool "Dawg" and a not-always-tactful British guy.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Lesson in Dental Hygiene

"Mommy, the teacher has a brown tooth."

"A brown tooth?"

"Yeah, it's brown. Like a cavity."

"Maybe it is a filling. Some fillings can be dark and look brown."

"No. It's all yucky. It's a cavity. She said so."

"Really...Oh... Well, maybe she didn't get to go to the dentist when she was young."

"NO! It's not in her mouth! It's in a box in our classroom!"

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mom VS. Survivorman

Survivorman- Battling flesh-eating bacteria

Mom- Cleaning the family bathroom

Survivorman- Seven sleepless nights in the Rain Forest

Mom- Countless sleepless nights of ear infections, strep throat and worrying "Why hasn't she come home yet?"

Survivorman- Charred scorpions for dinner

Mom- Happy Meal leftovers

Survivorman- Days without basic hygiene

Mom- Days after bringing home baby- When did I last take a shower?

Survivorman- Making a shelter out of palm branches and 2 ft. of twine

Mom- Making a fort out of the couch, Daddy's chair and a really big quilt

Survivorman- Starting a fire with the wax from an old piece of chocolate, an old soda can, and a ray of sunlight

Mom- Putting out fires left and right

Survivorman- Looking for food in the jungle while evading cannibalistic natives

Mom- Grocery shopping with the kids

Survivorman- Trekking across snow and ice in Canada and giving his one leftover piece of Carabou carcass to the team of biting, growling sled dogs.

Mom- Hauling the kids in the van to the park and giving up her sweater to the kid who refused to wear his jacket because "It's not cold, Mom!"

Survivorman- Squashing bugs

Mom- Squashing bugs

Survivorman- Eating squashed bugs

Mom- Stopping kid from eating squashed bugs

Survivorman- *No food, no shelter, no fresh water, no tools... no camera crew.
One man - alone in the wild for seven days with only his wits and stamina to sustain him.

Mom- No food without cartoon characters, no juice without cellophane wrapped straws, no time to camera crew (thank goodness!)
One woman- alone, at home or in the mall, or the doctor's office or at school or in line at the DMV, for 18 years with only the advice of half-witted friends and neurotic relatives with good intentions and a cup of stale, cold coffee to sustain her.

*Quote from the Survivorman website

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shhh...Mum's the word.

Updated to add- Pictures to follow when it is all done. :>)

It feels like it's the middle of July, but according to my calendar, it is the 2ND of September. Therefore, I have begun decorating for my second favorite time of the year (nothing beats Jesus' Birthday!).

Yes, M'am. It is time for Fall.

I packed up the Summer pillows from the porch and put away the gardenia wreath from the door. Even the cushions in the wicker chairs are different. I will let y'all in on a little secret- OK. Come a little closer... those cushions on my porch that look brand new are just the same ones, only loosely covered with an old tablecloth and fabric remnants. I'm cheap.

And I am already scheming about what I'll use for Christmas cushions.

So the white wicker chairs and settee have new, ahem, cranberry cushions to match the wonderfully inexpensive mums I found at Home Depot.

Shameless plug- Home Depot has HUGE potted mums at the unbelievable price of $2.49! Hurry now while supplies last.

Plus, if the mums were not enough, I found some great deals on cute Fall Decor at JoAnn's Fabrics. Cute! Reusable! Cheap! Good Stuff, People!

So now we can sit on the porch next to the scarecrows and the fall leaves as we wipe the gallons of perspiration from our brows and swat the mosquitoes. Yeah. Fall may not be in the air, but it has arrived on my front porch.

It's a cornucopia of autumn whimsy.