Stuff to know

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Well after getting all the information taken care of car wreck wise,
 Rollercoaster started complaining about pain down the length of her arm and also her neck hurting.

Needless to say it was ambulance time.
So they came quickly and checked both girls out.
It was decided that she should go to the hospital to get checked out

Happy Mouth pipes up, as she is eyeing ambulance man up and down , that her neck also hurts. convenient  So they both get neck braced and put into the ambulance as I follow behind.

Living in  Po Dunk as we do--- it is 22 miles to the nearest hospital.
So on the long ride I think who should I call and tell but then I receive a peace
as if God is whispering-"I am taking care of them"

So I relax and decide to just meet Mr. Rogers at the hospital.
 As am filling out the paperwork  , cute ambulance man (barley-22 tops) comes out and tells me they are both doing well and will call me back shortly.

He then adds- "I spoke with your daughter about her mission trip to Africa. Tanzania is a great place . I am planning on doing medical mission soon. I will keep y'all in my thoughts July 11th-right?"

I stand there wowed, but not surprised that Happy Mouth can manipulate this in depth of a conversation while wearing a neck brace staring at the ceiling of an ambulance.

What can I say ---the girl got skills.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dare to Dream

After seeing that both girls were in one piece and hugging them until they were blue, Happy Mouth conducted herself in a very mature manner. 

She had already given the officer her license, registration and insurance. She had checked on the other  people in cars that were involved and had called her dad and a towing company!!!
WOW  I   was  impressed!!
 Not bad for a 17 year old!!

Now   if she could just put her dish in the dishwasher................

Oh dare to dream!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet Embrace

"Mom, we're okay-but we were in a car wreck"

Words that will stop you on a dime. 
They were uttered to me over the phone by Rollercoaster about 10 after 3. 

My eyes got wide and my heart beat faster but I was grateful that I was  listening to her voice and not that of a police officer.

"Where are you?" I managed to say.
 "Hwy 31-- just past Stockton road"

"I am on my way"  I click the receiver , stand up moving quickly and tell Forrest "Get your shoes your sisters have been in a car wreck"

She immediately goes into automatic pilot.
She grabs shoes, yells at the dog to "get in the house"
I put on a pair of flip flops that I realize later have pink zebras on them and are a size too small.

We race to the car and head to the accident scene, which is 9 miles away

9 long miles.

 As soon as we pass the bridge I ask Forrest to call Mr. Rogers and let him know.(Have to get out of AT&T dead zones first)
She obeys, relays info and tells him that "Yeah mom is good, she is breathing:"

Forrest and I randomly  pour out praise to God for His protection and pray for any and all involved.

I see the lights now and pull up to see both Happy Mouth and  Rollercoaster both standing with the officer.

There are 2 other cars and everyone seems to be in good condition,

I park next to a row of mailboxes  and walk to the girls.

A sweeter embrace I have never known

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stranger Acts of Kindness

I have a confession.

A hidden pleasure,  a tiny little indulgence.

I enjoy going out  and speaking to random strangers. 
Simply exchanging common pleasantries
 and perhaps savoring their kindness. 

Okay , not the juicy little tidbit you were hoping for- but it' s piece of the puzzle called sanity.

Whether the situation is professional, spontaneous or obligatory-

The simple exchange of good manners in a lexical fashion always puts a bit of sunshine into my contented but weary soul.

What might you ask would cause me to be so satisfied with such such a simple exchange ?

One word:  TEENAGERS

With  2 of them and a "tweener" following close behind....and  brace yourself  .....all female

I yearn for common interaction that does not involve  shoulders shrugs or panic voice  inflections.

By now I feel I should have obtained your sympathy and all tequila donations.

Let me elaborate a bit on how these random kindnesses of the outside world affect me.

You see kindness costs nothing, yet it produces enormous rewards.

A soft spoken word,
 a smile-
 heck a facial expression that does not involve an eye roll
and I just get tingly all over!!!

To hear a "Hello, May I help you?" or "What can I get you?"     


What can you get ME?
Did I hear that right? (insert tingly feeling here)

"Why yes, yes you can help me."  I gush like a school girl flirting with the quarterback.

I pour out my kindnesses now with "Thank yous" and "How thoughtful"  and before you know it

My cup spilleth over and I have plenty to share.

 However there are times when I am met with slightly less than an agreeable situation.
I just try to keep a positive edge about me-

For instance when I greet Happy Mouth with a cheerful "Good Morning", she walks straight  past me.

I simply restate my salutation with a bit more cheerfulness
 to which she responds "I SAID GOOD MORNING!!"

In your mind, I think. 
But I continue on with a smile and stay away from sharp objects.

I then proceed to wake Rollercoaster-

At this point I should state a disclaimer:
  To awaken Rollercoaster from her slumber is to sign up for death, it is not for the faint-hearted, You may deem the following inappropriate for small children

I tip toe up the stairs in order to not make a "sudden" noise - I made that mistake ONCE.

I peep in and see she is fully in LaLa land, mouth ajar, pillow embraced, her thick wild hair strewn across the sheets.......
Here Goes....

I lean over and gently rub her back (yes I have dared to touch the beast)

I offer  a "Good Morning Sweetie" in my best "your a good dog" voice I can manage without trembling.

Rollercoaster jerks violently on to her side and lets out a grunt.

Whew! That was close . My stellar reflexes have protected me from a good thwack in the face.

"It is a great day, sugar".I say.
 I must admit at this point I am playing Pollyanna with just a bit too much glee, but hey I have to get my kicks where I can.

"Mom, I AM Getting up!!  You don;t have to yell at me , okay?

Child 2- Mission Complete

My favorite though has to be waking the youngest.
Now I am a better mother to my youngest ,who is the ripe old age of 10, than I was to my older two.

 Not due to favoritism, but simply experience.
 Any REAL mama out there should admit the same. Practice makes perfect, not that I believe in perfectionism (but that's another story)

Life is just a great teacher.

So I have gotten in the habit of rubbing her arms gently and saying "This is the day the Lord has made for you to rejoice in!"
When I first began this she  loved it .
She would repeat it after me and begin to get up and ready.

Lately, Forrest is a bit slower to respond.
 So I have taken the liberty to add "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you."; including "get out of bed" I add under my breath.

So this morning I had my older two up Pollyanna style and began to get Forrest up with our usual mantra .
I coupled this with an encouraging tug back of the covers only to be greeted with an academy award performance for Sybil.

"I   AMMMMMMMMMMMMM UUUPPPPPP!"  she screams with the breath of a vulture and glazed eyes straight out of a Hitchcock movie.

She stomps to the bathroom and just before the door slams shut she utters
"I am up  ARE YOU HAPPY?"

Wow! Such thoughtfulness!  What a sweet way to start the day!! The kindness boat has come in!!

Happy Mouth is now telling me something about my failure to pick her up the right foundation color, as Rollercoaster reminds me "Pick me up by 4:00 today and please don't be late like last time"

Mr. Rogers feels the need to tell me we are out of coffee.

Screw coffee. I think just don't tell me we are out of rum.

I smile my best "Miss America" smile and wish them all a wonderful day.
 But my heart is not really in it , I am planning my next excursion with a random stranger and the pleasantries we will exchange.  

A bookstore?  Coffee shop?

No, no today I deserve a tall drink of iced tea refilled as many times as I need until my kindness bank  has interest to spare.

Who will the lucky waiter be?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Testosterone Tales

More often than not my husband Mr. Rogers, receives not only sympathy but lots of   "man-vites" from his less than estrogen filled male associates.

It is not uncommon for the whole family to go out to dinner or grocery shop and have observant bystanders shake their head in dismay or remark "All girls?" in a joking , but oh so fearful manner.

To which my husband will respond "Yeah, all girls, every one", and then shove a 12 pack in the cart.

One man asked him once "How do you do it man. I mean all the talking and drama?"

To which he responded " I took up hunting when the first one reached puberty- it helps to kill things....and keep it legal."

It's true.

 About the time Happy Mouth was diving head first into the teen years, Mr. Rogers was invited to go hunting.

Now living in the south you may stereotypically assume we all know how to fire a weapon-

 well I'm here to tell you assume away

 because you would be correct.

  (for my animal lovers out there -all I can say is we eat what we kill-and the circle goes on)

So for the past five or six years Mr. Rogers has hunted away twice a year with some friends;
 to which the only qualification needed for friendship is the required twenty-five word exchange.

I swear men are so weird ; what kind of lexical budget is that?

Anyway,  in addition to hunting, golf is always present
(and the actual means to our marriage-that's another story) and fishing has become the latest free time passion.

Why at a nearby lake just this morning he was casting away for hours.

I made a  quick visit to see if  he and Forrest needed lunch and I was taken in by the story of
the  8-10 pound bass that had  " gotten away."

As he told and retold the story over and over.. 

the fish got bigger and bigger

Forrest only agreed enthusiastically every time and added how "Awesome" dad was trying to reel him in.

"Well that's great," I say "When do y'all want to have lunch?"  

I am now being stared at like I am a Cyclops.

"I AM catching this fish, then I'll be in" he seethes.

Wow-- well that is just to obsessive for me ,
especially since all the fish he catches he throws back.

"Your sure?", I say.

I now back away slowly......                        very slowly....
in fear of bodily harm.

I may have to rename Mr. Rogers, Captain Ahab

 because he is certain to hunt down his Moby Dick in madness.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Mama's Day

Today is Mother's Day.

Which mean different things to different people.

To Hallmark it means a huge profit and the fantasy that children everywhere are spoiling their mama's rotten with joyful service and precsious confession of gratitude.

To those of us who live in Realityville it means something entirely different

Let me give you a few excerpts from various mothers I am friends with

 Has had to put on her disciplinarian cap lately and dealing with hitting, biting, wads of gum in hair, lost articles of clothing and lying. One would think that today would be a "break" for dear old mom.

Alas, it was not to be, as today MamaRice became the mother of a "felon". One of her four angels confessed to stealing his best friend and his best friend's brothers allowance. 

So much for the break.

But it is okay -just another opportunity God has provided my friend with using her "mama" skills to knock the life of crime right out of him.

That is one ricecake who will know the 8th and 9th Commandment by heart very soon.

Scorpion mama-
had to plan her own Mother's Day outing because the testosterone village she lives in can't pick a restaurant or wrap a gift with out an Act of Congress having a  unanimous vote.

  She daily wishes for scorpions in her shoes so she can get a free trip to the hospital where she will not have to make a decision while in a coma.

Stab-me-now mama-
has discovered lice in one of her children and is presently shampooing the entire family with $60 worth of rid.
 And as a bonus she will be doing approximately 42 loads of laundry.

 Her husband has wisely put away all sharp objects-
( I mean seriously if she checks out, he is stuck with laundry)

and last but certainly not least is

Sugar mama-
Who is still just naive enough to buy into the Hallmark card commercials while visions of sugar plums dance in her head. 

She downed 2 shots of vodka and finished off the kid's Easter candy as she cleared, washed and put away all the items she had laid out, marinated, chopped or peeled for her man to "cook" her dinner.

My day was pretty much like every other day.

 Not perfect, but good.

 Scheduled, but interrupted.

We headed for church.
 All was well     (hmmm... a clue here?)

I was sporting a spaghetti strap long dress that I had bought for my oldest to where to Africa (that story later)
We got to ride in the vehicle with air conditioning!
 ( I am so spoiled!!!)

About half way there , Rollercoaster starts crying.
Mumbling something about
 "not feeling well".               "my head hurts",            "I tried to tell you"-

So I ask " Do we need to go home, honey?"

"I don't know" she replies.

 balls in my court.
 I know she doesn't want to make everyone go home

"We will go home", I say.
So home we go. Church not to be today.
No worries. 

Rollercoaster takes 2 IB and heads to bed. 

In the meantime Forrest is now wanting to know if a friend can come over.
"No". I say "Everyone is at church (okay NOT everyone) and it's Mothers Day."
"So what?" she says" Does it have to be Mother's Day all day?"

"Yes." I smile" It does"

Happy Mouth who has not given me a gift or card does acknowledge me and say "Happy Mother's Day.
 I posted on your Facebook. "  

 I have been publicly acknowledged and praised and as a bonus- she is signing her name to the deal!!!
I looked it up, it's there-Oh yeah!!

Mr. Rogers then asked me if I want to go to Lowe's to buy a new toilet seat because ours is cracked.

Wow, what an offer!!
 And from the man who just gave me a card declaring I was his whole life.

 I guess that mean all- the good the bad and the crappy.

"Sure " I say, "How romantic"

Rollercoaster has emerged just in time to ask if we can by the new Harry Potter on DVD because
"That would be fun for Mothers Day" 

I smile

"Plus", she adds " I beat you in Rummy , remember? You owe me a movie?"

Sweet , sweet darling how you have the strengt  to collect with such searing pain in your head I will never know.

 Rest now, you brave young thing.

So one  toilet seat, Harry Potter  DVD  and a phone call to my mom, teaching her how to use her iPhone(such another story) and  I am satisfied with today.

I ate a delicious meal prepared by my man,
watched a movie with Rollercoaster,
 tucked in Forrest
 and waited up for Happy Mouth to make it home safely. 

Yes I will lie down in peace and joy tonight;
ever grateful that My God has thought enough of me to grant me such kindnesses as these 3.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Dating Saga

Okay so let me first clarify that Happy Mouth is only a junior and yet she is on her 2nd prom this year!

I gotta hand it to the girl; she has got a gift for having some great guy friends who possess 1920’s chivalry and a 2011 respect for independent women.

 And I have to admit on the mama end that the "friends" only part has been a great relief to me.

 We have had two dating experiences thus far.

And when I say "dating" think Walton's type courting.  We are very conservative and value our girls highly.  Mr. Rogers and I have gone through many ups and downs as we considered the dating rules.

At this point I have no doubt that someone is rolling their eyes, perhaps even making the gagging sign.

But let me just say two points of wisdom:

1. If YOU (the parent-the one in charge- the more experienced member of the equation) do not create a boundary, there will not be one.

2. Think where you were at 17- 'NOUGH SAID!!

So after consulting those with the same values, both parents of older children, as well as our own pier group we decided on a dating code. No Captain Jack Sparrow they are not "guidelines”, we must be loyal to the code.

We have several parents we know that do not allow their children to date at all.

 Neither boy nor girl. 

The thinking is simply that there is no point in dating anyone you would not consider for marriage.

 There is value in this thinking, and whether you agree or not or think abstinence is a ridiculous idea, consider it from a health or medical point of view.

15- to 19-Year-Old Women—In 2009, as in previous years, women aged 15–19 years had the highest rate of chlamydia compared with any other age or sex group (Figure 5, Table 10). Chlamydia rates for women in this age group increased 1.8%, from 3,269.5 cases per 100,000 population in 2008 to 3,329.3 cases in 2009.

  It goes on to state that " Estimates suggest that even though young people aged 15–24 years represent only 25% of the sexually experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new STDs.1"

What number of the 50% do you want your daughter to be?

 I value my child.                                               I want the best for her.

 "The best" would include a healthy mind and a protected heart; even at the sacrifice of an impulsive rockin' good time (sorry the sarcasm had to come in here somewhere).

This isn't preaching- it's FACT.

  Want to be realistic about stuff?   This is REALITY,

And while many of our friends have opted for the "no dating"; I struggle with one aspect of this. 

It's not the 'How can you expect a teenager to stay abstinent?" argument that is in play here.

 I believe purity is and honorable and attainable choice.

I have encouraged and supported it by allowing my daughter to date.

Under my guidelines,

Under my roof.

You see I do not want her to have absolutely no experience with dating as she leaves the shelter of our home into the world. 

I do not want her naive.

 I do not want her first dating experience to be God-knows -where with God-knows-who that expects God-knows-what.  

I want that child under my roof and under my love when life unfolds.

  Thus far she has had two boyfriends.

She broke the first ones heart and the second one broke her heart,

 I got to guide her through both.

  I was available for her to confide in,

Cry on,

and even get a butt-kickin’ in (No mean girls in the house.  Respect them enough to break up in person)

I want her prepared on how to treat others and how to be treated. 

I want her educated. 

With that said may I state that there are no perfect parents (at least not on this blog).

 I decided long ago that no matter how ugly the story, I would be honest when they asked any question of me.

So I know one day it will come that she will realize that I am advising her down a road I did not take myself.

Will she deem me hypocrite?   Maybe, but I think she will not.

I think she will see me honest,

 She will know the sins of the mother but she will also know the consequences they brought, both in body and soul.

 I realize that Happy Mouth is her own person.

 She will make her own choices and she will reap blessings or curses form them, just like everyone else.

She may choose differently than I wish her to.

 I know this.

I am not stupid.

 However that does not excuse me from giving her the facts and directing her into the path that is best for her,

 How do I know it’s the best?

Because it comes from the One who created her, who values and loves her even more than I.

 God knew long ago Happy Mouth's course.

He knows her future and has purposely chosen to love her no matter what

--and because He decided to love me, not only in Christ, but blessedly in making me her mother, I will do the same.