Thursday, May 22, 2008

A little Friday humor for ya!

Remember "Voices That Care"? I do!
This is a pretty hysterical twist on it...
but in case you were wondering what those that
participated have been up to, here you go!
(Click on the mulletard below to see the video - thanks LOTD!)
Happy Friday, everybody!

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails!

The following is an email I received from Hayden's teacher yesterday:
"Today during PE Hayden was running behind someone and a rock flew up. Hayden says that it went into his mouth and he swallowed it. I told him that it would come out later when he sat down on the toilet. Hayden was worried but seems to be fine now. He is playing and doing math centers. I am not sure what he swallowed. I wanted you to know what happened at PE. Please send a reply so that I know you read this email."
When I stopped laughing, I composed myself enough to email her back and let her know that she had made my day with this story! I'm reminded of a day (way back when today's fashions were first in style) and I was playing outside in my neighbors yard. Yeah, we used to play outside all day long. You weren't allowed in the house unless you were eating or sleeping. Nevertheless, I happened upon a patch of wild mushrooms in the yard and joked with my friends about eating them. I didn't...but for some bizarre reason unbeknownst to myself, I went back to the house and announced that I had consumed the wild mushrooms in the yard. Sigh...perhaps it was a cry for attention; perhaps I was just bored and wanted to see how much she would believe. Regardless, I'm sorry I did it. No sooner did the words leave my mouth, my mom was administering Ipecac syrup by the spoonfuls and I was in misery in no time!
If she weren’t so concerned about the possibly poisonous mushrooms that I didn’t eat, she might could have been concerned about the eating disorder I could have developed from it all…but I guess she was smarter than that, huh? I learned my lesson…I never lied about eating potentially poisonous mushrooms again…ever!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Losing Game!

Do you remember something you lost that was really valuable to you? Loved ones aside, of course. Do you remember how attached you were to this particular ‘thing’? Do you recall what it represented to you? Do you think back to it often?
I lost my wedding ring. Actually my wedding set. My engagement ring and the jacket were connected together to prevent wear and tear on the prongs holding the solitaire in place. Accompany me on the journey I’ve been on since Wednesday, May 14th, 2008.
I’m a creature of habit. I operate by routine. You can usually set your clock by me. I have a pattern in place for getting ready in the morning and a similar (yet reversed) pattern for when I get off work and get home. So, Wednesday afternoon consisted of wrapping up some loose ends followed by dinner, bathing the kids and bedtime. Whoo-hoo! Another evening wrapped up nicely. If only I’d known what the next three days would hold….sigh.
Thursday, May 15th, 2008 I awoke Thursday morning to find that my ring was missing. I was pretty sure I remembered returning it to its hiding place the night before, but it wasn’t there…immediately, my mind started racing, trying to rehash my steps throughout the day and all I could come up with was removing it in the car to put lotion on, laying it in my lap, forgetting to put it back on and then getting out of the car. That means, it could be in only about 30 places. Great!
So, most of my day Thursday was spent in tears…while searching frantically and understanding that everyday that went by was going to make it harder to find. I took Thursday evening to dissect the house and car (again) to ensure that I hadn’t left any stone un-turned.
Friday, May 16th, 2008 After much searching of my house, car, desk at work & numerous parking lots within a 30 mile radius I determined that the time had come for me to place an ad in the paper. I live in Anniston, AL and I spend most of my days in Gadsden, AL because it’s my territory. It’s only about 30 miles North of Anniston, but when you’re searching for your lost wedding ring, it’s heartbreaking to know that your coverage area is that large. So, I decided to place the ad in The Anniston Star (where I work) and I opted to include The Gadsden Times as well because they can reach an audience that The Star cannot. It’s a shot in the dark because the odds of someone finding it are slim…then banking on their honesty in today’s society….not good odds, huh?
I had all kinds of folks convey their sympathies to me in the form of “Good luck! I hope someone honest finds it or you’ll never see it again” or “I’m sorry you lost something so valuable to you – I know it was pretty expensive.” Anyone with sense knows that it’s not about the dollar amount that the ring appraised for. It’s about all that the ring represents. It represented the fussin’ and the fightin’; the wailin’ and the cryin’; the laughing and the babies! All of it seemed to be erasing with the disappearance of my ring like the picture of Marty McFly’s family in Back to the Future!
Saturday, May 17th, 2008 Saturday proved to be a busy day before I even got out of bed! We headed off to the hubby’s company “fun day” at the local Nascar racetrack where the kids had an absolute blast. After that, we had to be at the T-Ball party by 4:00 pm. We made it to Party Central and as we were entertained by the kids playing I mentioned to my husband that I’d been absentmindedly adjusting my ring with my pinky finger all day…out of habit. I received that look from him. You know, that look that is so sorrowful and says, “I know, Jenn. But, I’m afraid we’re probably never going to see that ring again.” It broke my heart a little. I don’t like to disappoint and by losing the ring in the first place, I had already managed to do so. Accidental as it was, I was absolutely sick over it.
Saturday night, upon our return home, I received a phone call on my cell phone from a gentleman that claimed to have found a ring that may match my description in the ad placed in the paper. After I finished screaming into the phone, I gave the gentleman an in-depth description of my ring and he followed it with the sweetest words I’ve heard in a while, “Yes, ma’am. I’m pretty sure this is your ring here.”
On the drive up, the hubby and I discussed the odds of someone finding the ring and being honest enough not to pawn it! Or the odds of that person actually picking up the paper to try and locate a lost and found ad. We were both betting that all odds were against me finding it. Upon arriving at the gentleman’s home, I was greeted not only with my ring, but by the most wonderful man. His name is Darryl Brown and he is the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Gadsden. But, that’s not the weird part. By my calculations (based on where he found the ring) I lost it around lunchtime on Wednesday in a strip mall parking lot. Included in this strip mall is a Subway. He and his wife eat at Subway every Wednesday afternoon. So, my ring only laid in the parking lot a couple of hours. He told us how he was planning to run a “Found” ad in the paper to see if someone might see it. I forced him $100 for his honesty and he begrudgingly accepted and indicated that he’d use it as a sermon piece.
I was so blown away by all these circumstances. It’s just too hard to accept as coincidental. You just can’t write this stuff. I’m still having a little trouble wrapping my head around it all. Nevertheless, my ring is back – a little battered and bruised – but back. I’m grateful that someone of good moral fiber happened upon my lost ring and not someone that would have skipped Subway and gone next door to the Jewelry and Pawn Shop. I recognize how lucky I am to have been reunited with my it – loose diamonds and all. My faith has been restored…which may have been just what the Dr. was ordering for me.
Eerie, huh?

Sanity...Who Decides?

Most are probably familiar with the case of Lauren Burk - the 18 year old freshman at Auburn University that was killed in March. Her body, found on Hwy. 147 was suffering from a gunshot wound that she later died from. As an Auburn alumni, I'm more than familiar with Hwy. 147. It's a rural "cow-town" road that is adapting to change as each incoming freshman class approaches "the lovliest village on the plains".
When this story broke it hit a little too close to home.
Now that Courtney Lockhart has been indicted on three capital murder charges, you would think that the family of Lauren Burk might be able to finally take a breath. The loss of a child is something no one ever asks for...nor should they have to encounter. This bright young girl was headed toward great things in her life. Maybe she was into art, athletics, music or reading. I bet she was a great friend. Mostly, I bet her parents were proud to call her their daughter...and this senseless act took that right away from them.
I have to ask myself how I might handle something like this and of course I'm left speechless. I don't think anyone can answer how they would respond. However, I am intrigued by the report that Lockhart's defense attorneys are preparing an insanity defense. WHAT?!!!!!!!! Why? I'm no judge here...or a jury for that matter...but I'd be willing to bet my stimulus check on the fact that he knew full well what he was doing. He forced her to remove her clothes before he robbed her; he was also indicted on a charge of robbing a business in his hometown of Smiths Station. Sorry, but this doesn't scream insane to screams repeat offender. Lock his butt up before he does it again!!!!!! Please!!!!!
This does make me question the whole 'insanity plea' thing. My opinion (not that anyone asked): If you murder someone, you belong behind bars. If the reason you did it is because you're INSANE, that's just one more reason for you to be locked up. You are a danger to others and a detriment to society. It's common sense, folks. I understand due process, blah, blah, blah. But, I challenge anyone to bear the loss of a child to a cold-blooded killer and try to find it in themselves to be okay with that person wandering around FREE all because their attorneys came up with a dang good "insanity defense".
I'm all for forgiveness and I would trust in God to help me with that, but there has to be a line drawn. Your thoughts?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Unsung Heroes!

Leukemia – a word that no mother should ever have to hear. Yet, this Mother’s Day weekend thousands of moms will be dealing with the effects that chemo, steroids and countless other medications have on a little body. And they’ll be most grateful for the day with their angels. I’m amazed at the strength it takes…absolutely amazed. The trials and tribulations that a child with Leukemia goes through are hard to imagine. But, more unimaginable has to be the love of a mother to that child. They have to be the silent warrior for their little one. They have to be the rock of the family. They have to be the one painting the rosy pictures while they quietly fall apart inside. Calhoun County held its 2008 Relay for Life event last night (into this morning) and we were once again able to boast success! We entered into this fundraising year with our sights set on $600,000 going toward Cancer funding and research! As of press time last night, we were sitting at $615,000 with donations still rolling in! I sit in awe of how it all comes together and I love the enthusiasm from all the teams that show up, camp out and raise money non-stop. It truly is a sight to behold! As great as all that is, however, the reason we’re there is for the survivors. The survivors are what it’s all about. To witness countless survivors approach the microphone and rattle off the number of years they have been a survivor is the most moving of experiences. And it drives home the fact that cancer funding and research are winning! Slowly but surely, we’re winning the battle against cancer! My best friends daughter is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia right now and there is nothing easy about it. I was honored to meet so many caregivers to the survivors who were so willing to share their story of how they never expected to hear the words Cancer or Leukemia, yet they mustered the strength to be strong and supportive to those loved ones in need. As a mother myself, my heart goes out to those mommies dealing with these mountainous issues. I hope for them a restful Mother’s Day filled with warm feelings and happy thoughts.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hallie!

My little princess is 3 years old today! Her party will take place on Sunday and she can't stop talking about princesses. She's so excited.
It seems like only yesterday that my baby girl came into this world. May 1, 2005 wasn't that long ago...and then again, it is. I think back to May 1, 2004 when my little Hallie bug was nothing but a thought in the far reaching corners of my mind. I can't imagine my life without her. She has such a zest for life and she truly will keep me young...if she doesn't kill me first, that is! I always said that I didn't want a little girl. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to relate to her...that I wouldn't be girly enough for her....that I wouldn't have a relationship with her like I do my little man. I was wrong and I'll be the very first one to say it. She is the fuel for the fire around this house and I wouldn't have it any other way. She's just girly enough to be picky yet she loves frogs, dogs, sports and rolling down a hill as much (if not more) than any little boy out there. She loves dressing up and painting her toenails. She hates hairbows and vegetables. She loves dessert and Mexican food. She hates when her shoes won't cooperate or her hair is messed up. She's outspoken and softhearted...and my favorite little girl!
She loves to learn new things...and will most assuredly insist on trying them herself on the first attempt. She's determined, independent, stubborn and persistent in everything she does. But, when it comes time to relax, she's the first one in my lap or curled up beside me watching a movie! She's my little princess and I'm so proud to be her mommy!
Happy Birthday, Hallie!