Birthdays and Rooftops

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First of all, HOW did we go from the picture on the left to the one on the right so quickly?

I feel like I have truly stepped into my role as Miss Ladybug's chaperone to her busy social schedule this fall.  Last weekend Ladybug and I had a full itinerary attending the birthday parties of two of her friends.  The first was a simple tea party for one of her best friends, Miss E, at Miss E's house.  It was just L, Miss E, and their friends P and S.  Miss E's mom has some crazy-awesome cake-dessert baking and decorating talents, and the girls had fun doing things like decorating cupcakes and playing while we moms got a chance to chat.  It was a very nice morning and lacked so much of the chaos that can happen at big parties - not that I hate big parties.

Saturday morning we did a little running around with Bart which included him renting a pressure washer to clean our shutters, fence, and whatever he felt the need to blast with water.  When we arrived home, he got started while I tried to get a little rest before the next birthday party.  About an hour before we were set to leave, Bart asked me if I wanted to hold the ladder for him while he cleaned the second story shutters.  I had walked out earlier and took note of how everything near Bart (including Bart) was wet and of the wind the force from the pressure washer created.  I had no desire to do that to my hair right before leaving the house, so I told him to wait until the next day, when I had time.  L and I were soon leaving, and Bart was supposed to be finishing what he was doing.

L had a good time at her friend Mr. B's Mario party, even though she is afraid of heights and wouldn't get on the inflatable slide.  We enjoyed a nice evening with friends before returning home.  Bart was sitting on his recliner when we got home, and I asked how he was.  That was when he confessed to having decided to climb up on the roof while no one else was home, getting scared (because Ladybug gets her fear of heights honestly), and just sitting, all wet and cold on the roof for around forty-five minutes until a neighbor came outside, and he could ask for help.

I'm a horrible wife, but had I been the one to discover Bart, I wouldn't have helped him down until I could take several incriminating pictures of him with my good camera.  I mean, seriously... How many times do I get such a golden opportunity?  It.never.happens.

In the world of good news, Arkansas finally won a football game this weekend, so B and L were both happy campers.  OU is 4-0 going into the Red River Rivalry.  Texas isn't good, but they always show up for this game, so I imagine at some point Saturday Ladybug will be telling me that I need to stop yelling at the TV.

I think I'm going to have buy stock in Spray and Wash and OxyClean, because Ladybug can't come home from Tuesday Morning Bible Study without a thick layer of dirt covering her entire body.  It's like she and her friends are playing the pigs that the Prodigal Son had to sleep with when he ran out of money.  For some reason she gets dirtier on Tuesdays than Monday and Wednesday, when she is at school... at church.  It's baffling, but I'm thankful that we go to a church that has such a great women's ministry.  Tuesday mornings are precious to me, and Ladybug enjoys getting to play more with her friends.  It's win-win for us.  It's worth the dirt.  Just remember, we have someone who can readily play the part of Pig-Pen in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Yes, I made her take a picture.

Restless Vacation & Black Dogs

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Over the past three and a half years I have learned a great many things.  I've learned how to get most stains out of little clothes, and I've learned to Hot Dog Dance.  I've learned that Play-Doh almost always makes the world a better place, and I've learned that once you're a mom a family vacation means anything BUT rest.  I'm not saying that vacations aren't fun, but don't expect them to be restful.  I think that's why I'm reluctant to commit to taking more than just a weekend vacation with Ladybug now.

Last weekend we took a little trip to Kansas City.  We took Ladybug to a farm to ride a pony, went to Legoland, a Crayola store, and capped off the weekend with a Royals game.  It was a fun weekend even though the Royals lost.  Just about nothing makes me happier than seeing my people happy.  My house is still a mess, because I haven't been home much except today.  I'm finally starting to feel rested, but I'm very thankful that I got to spend such a great time away with my people.  It didn't hurt that we got out of town during Bikes, Blues, and BBQ either.  That is always a plus.

Doesn't she look grown up on Penny the Pony?

Our favorite part of LegoLand was the Star Wars exhibit!

My people.  They make me happy.

I will say that taking trips without a suitcase full of diapers or pull-ups as well as soppy cups or bottles was very nice.  Of course I had to trade that for the joys of taking a three-and-a-half year old to public restrooms.  1). We don't like toilets with automatic flushers.  2).  We REALLY don't like loud hand dryers.  They're scary and cause super-shy bladder.   3).  Would it cause the apocalypse if places could put a little step-stool somewhere so that moms don't have hold their kids up so they can wash their hands?  Or possibly have a few kid-height sinks?  I mean really, how hard would it be to make public restrooms more kid-friendly?  Thank goodness there's hand-sanitizer.

Today is National Black Dog Day, and I want to talk about my Black Dog, Dory Gale.  She was the dog no one wanted, the puppy dumped on the side of the road with her chocolate sister.  She was the dog who had such horrible separation anxiety that she would wet herself anytime she was left alone without Lucy.  Now, she's my car-line buddy, who is ready to leave for school before Ladybug is.  She's my cuddle bug who loves to curl up on my legs and feet.  She can't control her licker, but her kisses are awfully sweet.  She is the epitome of a good dog, man, woman, child's best friend. One of the best decisions we've ever made was to make the trip to Kansas City to adopt her almost six years ago.

There's a stigma against adopting black dogs because people fear them.  According to, "Black animals altogether, are the least adoptable pets in shelters because of their color. All too often, black dogs are overlooked because of many stigmas such as; the color black is evil (the same stigma that cats have), black dogs do not show up as well in photographs as muti-colored or light colored dogs and black dogs look scary and intimidating because you cannot see their facial expressions as easily, etc. They are easily overlooked when people are searching for a new dog and the first to be euthanized in overcrowded conditions."

I have been loved by four black dogs:  Dorothy Gale, my childhood dog Jetta, my "niece Apache, and my in-laws' late dog Licorice.  They all have a very specific place in my heart, just as the red girl, Lucy.  They have all been blessings in my life.  Our family wouldn't be the same without our Dory Gale.  Don't let the color of the fur scare you from an awesome friendship.  Adopt a black puppy dog!

I love my car line buddy!

Football, A Closet Full of Tissue, and JOY

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Last week I started and stopped probably at least three blog posts.  You see, we made it through THREE whole days of school before Ladybug and I both came down with a rotten case of sinusitis.   I don't want to place blame anywhere, but we're all pretty sure Satan's Flowers were the cause.  L managed to run just enough fever to warrant staying home from school on Wednesday, and we were both snotty slugs from midweek on.  It even prevented us from our yearly visit to the county fair so L could ride the ponies again.  She wasn't told she missed anything, so there wasn't a big loss there, but we both hated for her to miss school.  There's a chance I hated it more.

Saturday was the return of college football.  Well, actually Thursday night was, but I really only like watching on Saturdays unless it's Bowl Season.  Any more than that, and I do actually grow tired of it.  I was thankful our Sunday School class always holds a fantasy football draft party for the guys, and they watch the first game together.  L and I had fun dancing together and playing Princess Party, something we haven't done in ages.

Back to Saturday, we signed up for a free trial of Sling so we could watch the Razorback game on TV.  Probably the only channel we truly miss after cutting down our cable last winter is ESPN U.  It was awesome watching the Razorbacks actually play well again.  The OU game was pay-per-view so we just kept up with the scores on our phones.  I'm just going to say, thank goodness they won!!!  After the way last season just fell apart, I wasn't holding my breath.  Alas though, I love football season!  I love fall!  I love the cooler weather!  At least I will love the cooler weather when it arrives later this week.

Sunday I was well enough to go to church, but L was still pretty snotty so Bart stayed home with her. We had a small group in Sunday School, but L's friends asked where she was.  I love that her friends miss her, even the young man who calls her his "girlfriend."  Thankfully at this age "girlfriend" has the Sheldon Cooper definition of "a girl who is a friend."

Labor Day for me just meant that I did my Monday chores with Bart at home for the most part.  Sometimes it takes a lot to make sure every Monday is Clean Sheet Monday.  All three of us went to Sam's and grocery shopping together and somehow ended up buy SEVENTEEN boxes of facial tissue.  After last week's nasal olympics, we needed another six-pack of Puffs with lotion, Bart needed some slim boxes for his truck, then he picked up three boxes of Puffs with Vicks because L loves them and three boxes of Kleenex with some sort of cooling sensation.  We got home and had two bags of groceries and three of facial tissue - I kid you not.  I've had to get creative on how to store it.  Ok, it's not as much creative as just shoved in random places in the upstairs linen closet.

Yesterday was a blessing to me, as it was the start of our new year on 4W Tuesday Morning Bible Study.  This semester most of us are doing a six-week study by Margaret Feinberg called "Fight Back With Joy."  Focusing on Joy has been a goal of mine this year and has carried me through some difficult days where otherwise I might have faltered.  I love this quote,

“The reason we can experience joy is because of God’s fierce love. Joy flows out of God’s affection for us.”
Excerpt From: Margaret Feinberg. “Fight Back with Joy (Bible Study).” iBooks.

I'm already seeing differences and "joy bombs" all over the place.  We're always being asked to scale  our level of joy from 1 to 10.  I'm going to be honest.  Tuesday morning it was around 2 at most.  L was not in the mood to get ready for church.  She whined, she cried, she spit medicine on me, she got in trouble.  Once we were finally out the door and on our way, we had a discussion about her attitude in the mornings.  Between that and really praying for God to expand my capacity for joy, for patience with L, and for L to have a change of attitude, she got around great and was the sweet girl I love so dearly.  Right now I'm at around an 8 in joy.  There are far too many blessings around to let circumstances and little things steal my joy.

I still try to remember each day to right down or at least tell myself, "This is the day The Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."  After all, if we count each day as the blessing that it is, it's far more difficult to be pessimistic about it.

Today I started bringing one dog to each car line.  Since Dory is my morning girl, she got AM duty.  I had to force Lucy in the car, but she enjoyed PM duty as soon as she realized I wasn't taking her to the vet, the groomer, or to be boarded.  It's good for them to know that L is somewhere safe while she's away from us.  Both also love to people-watch and be told how pretty they are.

Well, I should feed my child something for dinner, so I'll bid you adieu for now.  Just appreciate the outfit my child wore to school today.  I love that she enjoys fun things like her shirt!

I wanted to add this little pic of part of our sunset.  God knows what He's doing.  There's no doubt in my mind of that.  Take heart y'all!  The God who creates the sunset and the little ladybugs on my weeping willow tree is the same God who loves you!

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