Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas in Georgia

According to the weather guy on tv (and of course they know EVERYthing, right?), no snow has fallen on Christmas day in the state of Georgia in any living person's lifetime. My brother-in-law argues with that intensely. Who is right? I don't know, but that statement no longer can be made. It snowed in Georgia on Christmas Day 2010. Today, my children played in it.
Herbie decided to save Morgan from Mesa....or was she trying to help Mesa get even with Morgan?

Run Jared, Run! She's making snowballs!

She's so pretty when she smiles.

And here is Little Blue Eyes...isn't he a cutie?

We hope your family had as pleasant a Christmas Day as ours, whether it was white or not!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacation

by Marianna Bailey

I got to visit my family for Thanksgiving. There was a time in my life where that didn't mean a lot, it just "was". That time was a LONG time ago though, and now whenever I can visit with my family, it means a great deal to me. We even did the un-imagineable: we let Ryan go too! He drives almost 2 hours to our house just to get into my car and ride another 5 hours (or more if we count the stops along the way). I didn't hear any complaining though....

We got to TN and stopped by Walmart to pick up a few things we needed (like pants that FIT and ingredients for food the next day). Strangely enough, every one of us went in a different direction! I got what I needed and headed towards the others. I walked through the aisle with Hallmark Cards in it, and met a guy who talked in a low voice to a girl who was already there. She started yelling at him, saying something like "I told you not to come over here near me!" I thought she just didn't want him to see she was picking out a card for him, so I kept on moving - not my business. All the sudden there are store employees with radios racing around me and voices over the intercom system and then EMTs and who knows who all...that same guy and girl had gotten in a fight. One of them pulled a knife and the girl ended up in the floor bleeding. Seriously....never try to get a sneak peak of a girl when she's shopping for you!

The next day we go to Catherine & Dave's house for dinner. Mama had baked a pea picking cake, and that is among my favorite cakes. We had sampled the frosting before leaving for Catherine's, so we KNEW it was good. Lee carried the cake with her...I guess they thought it was in danger otherwise. Lee was put in charge of taking care of the cake...and would be held responsible. Not long after Lee left, I left with my family and arrived at Catherine's before Mama did. The cake was vulnerable! Lee and I had a playful scuffle-- I won --and the cake was marked.

The dinner was fabulous...the company was fabulous-er. matter what they might think! And all the little cousins got to know each other over a terrific pile of leaves.

Even Uncle Bob (Dave's brother) thought the leaf pile was awesome.

I must admit, not everybody was happy the whole time...

...but the majority had a blast.

All in all, we had great food,...

... great fun,...

...great family,...

...great presents,...

...great music, .....

...great memories...

...and great reminders...

Thanks to great parents who created this great family.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bragging on Morgan

My Morgan is a sweet boy. He loves everybody,...even people he doesn't particular enjoy being around, he loves them too! I don't understand that. I haven't learned how to yet! Anyway, Morgan has a very hard time reading. He is an ADD kid with some ADHD tendencies. This makes it super hard for him and he knows it. He is painfully aware of his struggles and that he is behind a lot of kids his age, but he still tries very hard. This makes it sting me even more when insensitive people feel the need to embarrass him about it or confront me about it. (Just a hint,...I don't advise doing that. My tolerance quota is full.)

Morgan is a cub scout, and we use cub scout activities to enhance schooling for him. There is a lot reading and writing involved in scouts, which gives him lots of practice time while HE thinks he's just doing fun stuff. Today we had a moment together that seemed perfect for working on his Faith In God award, the religious award offered by our church to cub scouts. Morgan only has 2 more things to finish and he'll receive it. One of those requirements is to write a poem about something Heavenly Father created. I talked to Morgan about what a poem is and how you pull one out of your heart. I told him it didn't have to rhyme and that if he'd just tell me the words, I would be his scribe and write it for him. He closed his eyes and in just a moment, he spoke these words....bringing tears to his mothers eyes....

I love nature,
And nature loves me.
The trees give me shade;
That makes me happy.
The ground lets me run
As much as I can.
When I hear the birds sing,
I think about Heavenly Father:
He made them...
And He made me.

How beautiful that is, in more ways than one.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I don't do halloween much. It's not that I don't like it, its just pointless to me. The end result is hyper children in my house and annoying children in the community. Yeah, bah humbug. I'm going to blame Mesa who was terrified of halloween activities when she was little and we couldn't talk her out of it for YEARS. So we abandoned all halloween until she promised me she was a big girl and could handle it (I think she was 12? haha)

Well this year, something got into me. I'm sure it was viral. I just couldn't help myself. I actually decorated my car and did trunk or treat at the church. I even went as far as to irritate the children by insisting that if they wanted some of MY candy, they would perform SOME kind of trick for me first! It was great!

But I made one mistake,....

I let the kids talk me into stopping by the herb shop to "spook Mrs. Linda."

This little alien won 1st place in the costume contest for his age group!

She loved it that I had dressed up too,....and asked me to dress up for work the next day. I started not to,...but then my conscience nagged me and I did it. Thank goodness I did! She "dropped by" that day to see if I had!

I had to come back and edit this in. I realized it might not be easy to figure out what Mesa was. She had a coffin built just for her (seriously, they measured her and built it for her!) and this was her in position at the YSA spook alley at the church halloween festival.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Mother / Daughter Story

Yesterday, I wrote and illustrated a story. I'd like to share that with you now.

A Mother / Daughter Story

Once upon a time, a mother and daughter had a happy afternoon outside with a camera....

The fun seemed to wane a bit, and the daughter got a sneaky thought in her mind...

Mothers have super powers, and this mother detected the sneaky thought. The daughter had been warned over her whole life, and the time had come for her punishment to be more than a threat....

Mom began to eat daughters face!

Who knew daughter face tasted soooo goood?

The faceless daughter was suddenly quieted, and the mom reveled in a moment of sweet satisfaction...

What joy comes from parenthood! Now where are my boys?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


My ears:
All better, thanks to vinegar (of all things)! It took 3 days once I learned the trick, and now I'm back to normal. WHEW! Thank goodness of that!

My blood pressure:
Well, it turns out that my bp isn't as high as it seemed. My monitor wasn't working right. It might need new batteries, I don't know. I have a different monitor now and it seems to agree with every other monitor and doctor/paramedic that has checked my bp lately. So that means 130'ish over 90'ish is where I am. Still not perfect, but not as deadly as it was seeming. The other symptoms I was having along with that .... DEHYDRATION! Now that's a crazy one, right? It just never dawned on me that in my enjoyment of other drinks, I had neglected water so badly. So now I'm drinking water with the occasional taste of something else. It let my pulse rate go down from 146 bpm to 80 bpm and my kidneys quit screaming in pain and my color has normalized. Insane that I even got in this position,...but I'm out now and much much better. Still not taking bp meds though!

My weight:
I'm down 18 pounds now :) WOOHOO!

Manti and Girlfriend:
He's still in love.

Mesa's "love life":
She's got an interest, of course its yet another long-distance thing so it won't be too intense yet I don't think. He's a nice kid who actually cares what I think, so he can hang around a little while longer.

Tommy's health:
His heart is doing very well. The doctor is proud of its current performance. His back is a degenerative condition, so it is steadily degenerating as expected. That means pain, but he's a tough guy and is hanging in there as usual. His knee isn't doing great though. Remember he had surgery on it back in 1994? He was told it likely would have to be done again in 15-20 years. We're in that time period now. It popped last night and he says it really hurts right now. I'm not interested in any more doctors or surgeries or recovery periods. I say he isn't allowed new pain right now. He's trying to listen.

My sanity:
I'm working on getting that back. I've been beading lately, and have made up lots of little things. Linda (my boss at work) fell in love with some jewelry I beaded and she had me put it up for sale at the herb shop. So if you are in Carrollton, stop in and see it for yourself! Or watch the herb shop's blog to see the announcement that will go up there soon.

So,... did I miss anything you wanted to know about?

Friday, October 8, 2010


It's raining or pouring at all times, isn't it?

I ended up pleading with a doctor friend to get some relief for my ears. I figured 3 weeks was too long to suffer and my hearing loss might become permanent. So I tossed out pride and asked for his help. He was great. He looked at my ears, explained to me (in English) what he saw, and gave me a prescription for pain drops, but told me how to use vinegar and water to take care of my problem. It was the most amazing recovery too! I was totally impressed,...

:: cue dark clouds, stage left, roll in boys! ::

And then my feelings were hurt. Not a little hurt, a BIG hurt. I couldn't help but notice that my entire head throbbed during that emotional drama too. Something told me to check my blood pressure, which I HATE to do because it's always 135/95-ish. Wellllll.... good news and bad news. Good news is, it wasn't 135/95! Bad news is, it was 162/105. One hour and 3 aspirin later, it was 161/109. Last night, we went to a missionary farewell party and it was held at my doctor friends house. So Tommy took advantage of an opportunity to tell him my ears were tremendously better, and my bp was starting to rage. Doc says "let me call something in for you," so I shrug and say ok. Today I'm at the store picking up Tommy's refills, and thought to ask about mine getting called in. It wasn't ready (of course) so I asked what was the name of it. The girl tells me its Lysinopril (is that spelled right?) and I froze in my place. I don't know that I have the courage to take that. Tommy (who handles a LOT of pain on a constant basis) couldn't tolerate the body aches and pains that were a side effect of that drug. Someone else I know (John) takes it also, and he tells me he hurts when taking it too, but that he has to take it so he just deals with it.

People,....I am SUPER WIMP! So now I have a Rx waiting for me to pick up and I'm too scared to do it. Yet if I don't,.... well let's just say that an hour ago, my bp was 159/104. Top it off with a headache on the right side of my head, and some throbbing muscle aches in my left arm from time to time (hasn't started tonight, but I had that last night).

Like I said,... rain-pour-rain-pour-rain-pour-AAAHHHHHH!!!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Ears

For 3 weeks now, my ears have been bothering me. I don't remember ever having an ear infection before. If I did, it was when I was younger than my memory reaches to. Let me speak for those little ones who suffer from them: THEY HURT!

I broke down and went to the doctor, forked out money I needed for other things, and here it is 3 weeks later and my ears STILL HURT!

I give up. I just need new ears.
So if you try to call me and I don't answer, or if I do answer but don't make sense, or if you expected me to call and I didn't,.... it's because I'm virtually deaf and can't hear well enough to understand the noises around me. :( I'm sorry! Maybe Santa will hear my cries and bring me new ears for Christmas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morgan Turns 9

If you've been in Carroll County lately, you have undoubtedly heard the countdown. First, it was counting down full moons till September. Then it was counting down weeks till September 21st, and then it was counting down "sleeps" till Morgan's birthday,....and of course he has to do it repeatedly and at the top of his excited little lungs!

Yesterday was the day. He wanted a birthday party, but all his friends were in school, so we made a deal. On this birthday, we had a family celebration with cake, candles and presents. My kids had dirt and worms...

Today was cub scout day, and Wanda let ME plan out the activities. So I planned a day of Morgan Favorites. We picked up some cupcakes for snacks. Look at cute!

While the boys were eating cupcakes, Wanda passed out sheets of paper that had a secret coded message on them. She talked about ways to communicate and then they tried to figure out the code. When they finished, they could make up their own. Next was a magic show. Imagine me with my stage face on. (Wanda took pictures of that, so I don't have any pics to show yet.) I performed the famous magic wands with tassels (the one where you pull one tassel down and the tassel on the other side appears to be attached, so you in effect are pulling a tassel from a separate magic wand.) I also had a box, dropped a puffball into it, closed the box and the ball vanished. But when the boys said the magic words (please and thank you), the puffball magically reappeared inside. Then I read their minds. They chose a picture on a cube, put the cube inside my little box, and I guess (correctly, I might add) the image on the top of the cube. It took me a minute to be able to hear their thoughts,...lots of noise going on in their heads! I also had a magic red foam ball that I tucked into my hand, blew on it, had the boys say the magic words (please and thank you) and when I opened my hand, there were 2 balls there. So after the show, I showed my secrets and the boys each performed the tricks to each other ----even Jared who refuses to believe he has to wait till he's 8 to be a cub scout.

After magic, I pulled out spongebob silly bands and let the boys choose some. Morgan GAVE presents instead of expecting any. Next, Manti and Mesa taught them how to play some "indian games" outside. The boys found out they were harder than they expected,..which was GREAT! And lastly, one of the boys had brought a bug cage with a caterpillar in it. The kids had planted some things outside the school where we meet, so Wanda walked them out to the butterfly bush and they released the caterpillar there.

Lots of achievements for all the boys, lots of smiles, lots of fun, and Morgan was most thrilled.

All in all, turning 9 wasn't too painful for me, but that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to 10!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jessica's Baptism

Manti may not be on a formal traditional mission, but he DOES act like one in a lot of ways. The following account will depict a very non-traditional mission story:

Manti used to work with some girl named Nikky. Nikky has a friend that has a daughter, and the two had moved from Alabama to Georgia and were staying with her while their house was being readied for them to move into. The daughter (Jessica) knew no one and her mom and Nikky both wanted to help her find some friends that were good influences. Nikky told Stephanie (the mom) about Manti, saying he was the straightest lace she ever met. So Nikky calls Manti and tells him about this family and says the daughter is shy, so would he mind texting her on the cell phone to break the ice and then meet and see if they can be friends.

Do you know Manti?

So the two started talking through text messages (thank goodness for unlimited texting!) and trying to figure out who the person on the other side of the line really was. The next day, Manti wanted to find some rocks to work with, and thought he would walk down the road and see what was laying along the sides. As he walked, he was also texting.... and a car drove by, slowed down, pulled over, and a woman jumped out. Next thing you know, Manti has met Jessica via Nikky and Manti has invited Jessica to go to a scout dinner with our family as well as a YSA family home evening. She said yes,... and its been a whirlwind ever since!

Short story shortened more, Jessica and Manti are "in love" and dating. It seemed to me that everything the two did together was church related! I don't know how that happened, but it did. There was one other scout meeting she went to with him, and she went on a "test hike" with me and Manti and Mesa, but other than that, every activity HAS been a church activity.

One night, at a FHE for the young singles, Jessica asked Manti what the Holy Spirit felt like. Manti lit up and ran to get the missionaries. He told her to ask them. She did, and the first discussion commenced. She committed to baptism that night. Since then, she has attended every single family home evening at our house, and the missionaries have been to most of them too. I assign her jobs for the meeting each time too, and the one time I didn't assign her anything, she was disappointed! She sits next to me in Relief Society on Sundays, and she's talked her boss into letting her have Sundays off. She asked me to be her teacher and show her how to do things... like cooking, beading, native stories and other things pertaining to our culture. She eats whatever cook, even if she doesn't want to, and she helps me clean up after dinner without fail. She takes the scraps out to the dog for me, even. She helps me with the boys when they get unruly and has opened up and told deep dark secrets she really never had to.

So the baptism was scheduled for Saturday, September 18th. Manti baptized her, and one of the missionaries confirmed her the next day. Her mother couldn't be there, so I helped her with getting baptismal clothes and getting changed and ready to rejoin the baptism meeting, and I took a few pictures too. I just unloaded my camera and thought I'd share this with you.



I have to admit, I was all smiles seeing these 2 kids do something so special, but then reality hit me that this is my baby who is baptizing this girl, and I had to cry a little.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Angry? Hurt? Appalled? Shocked?

Not sure what label to put on my feelings, but I did at least wait a few days to write about it so I cool down and write politely.

Last Tuesday, we held a taste-testing for a lot of our drinks and liquid supplements at the shop. It was a good day. Linda and I worked together and it went slow at first, so that let us enjoy talking and moving at a turtles pace. It was good too, because my ears were bothering me a lot that day (and that's a whole other saga of misery that resulted in my diagnosis of 2 ear infections at the same time! I'm still deaf by the way.) so I didn't have to let everybody see me pouring stuff into my ears all day.

At the end of the day, Linda and Herb were going to go out to eat with Linda's family at an assisted living place one of her sisters lives in. So I told her to go on and I would close the shop. No problem, right? ...ordinarily no. But on this particular day, a man and his family came in at 5:25pm. (We close at 5:30, mind you.) The man asks me what is good for kids who can't focus and pay attention at school. So I showed him. He asked me if that same stuff would make the kid stop telling people he was going to kill them with a gun. I told him nothing forces people to say or not say things, but it would help with focusing. Then he starts telling me how "bad" his 6 year old son is and that the reason for it is that he's jealous of his 4 year old sister (who is extremely smart according to dad). He tells me this kid has threatened his life and his brother's life and says how much he hates little sister. He tells me that he DOES own a gun and the kid knows it. I said I hope you keep it locked up! He said of course he does. He goes on and on telling me how he refuses to go BACK to jail for this kid and that if he doesn't change right away, then all he has to do is take his birth certificate and a change of clothes in to "the system" and he'll be THEIR problem then.

My jaw is hanging open at this point. Am I hearing a father say that he'll throw his 6 year old out and let him become a foster kid if he makes dad mad once more? REALLY?

After the dad caught his breath, he told me not to tell him to pray for this kid, prayers haven't been helping so he's done with that. He said he will not deal with this from the boy anymore and that even his school counselor told dad to call the police on him if it happens again. Then he turns around to his 3 kids and tells one of the boys to get up and let the little sister have the chair to sit in. What???

Now where is mom, you might ask? Oh she was here,...on her cell phone. And guess how that conversation was going? She tells her friend about some weird cramps she had and how she'd gone to the doctor. She says she isn't pregnant, she has titanium clamps on, and she SURE doesn't want "no more kids"...she already has 6 and can't deal with these last 3 she has. She says this right in front of the kids. The oldest is 8.

The dad asked me about my kids, so I told him about Morgan and how Morgan has days that he can't keep his behavior under control and his mental focus is all over the place. I told him about the time I took all food away from Morgan and bought him some vegetable and fruit trays. I put them out on the table with bottles of water and told Morgan he could eat all day long if he wanted to, anytime of day, as much as he wanted, and nobody would touch his food but him, but that was the ONLY food he could have. He hated smelling other stuff cooking and knowing he couldn't have it, but the next day, that boy saw a change in himself as clearly as I did! He could behave! Diet makes such a difference in thinking and behavior for all people! I also told the dad about the time I gave Morgan hemp hearts (a grain, does not contain THC) and how the omega 3 in it helped that child pay attention and do fantastic work on anything he set out to do that day.

You would think the dad would be interested in this story, right? Well instead, he tells me that homeschooling "that kid" is out of the question, it just "ain't happenin'." Then he tells me he can't give this kid hemp hearts in his breakfast because he doesn't feed him breakfast, the school does. He only sees him at nights. So I gave him samples and said "try this over the weekend then." He took them and told me "God bless you"...... and thankfully he left.

How SHOULD I feel about that? I had so many emotions, I couldn't contain it. I stormed over to Kroger and picked up some supper for my family, and I made sure there were no nasty ingredients that would stir up my little ones. I fumed around that store trying to walk out the feelings I was having.... and I just couldn't. I went home and told Tommy. You know, I think I could have offered to adopt that child and that man would have signed the papers before leaving the shop. The state wouldn't have allowed that because our house is too small and so is my income, but one thing I can say,... that little boy wouldn't continue thinking the people he lives with hate him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hittin' on Me!

Today, Tommy had a heart catheter at the hospital to check on his heart and the arteries surrounding it,...but that's another story. THIS story happens on the way to the hospital. What a way to start a day :)

We had to be at the hospital at 12:30, and the potential to stay overnight was there, so I spent this morning getting a shower and packing a bag and getting the kids mentally prepared with what I expected of them while we were gone. I didn't spend it eating. I have to eat in semi-regular intervals or my blood sugar reminds me that I'm not perfect. So on the way in to town, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A for a sandwich. I got up to the counter and ordered my sandwich, and the man taking my order asked me for my name. Why did he need that? So I told him "I'm Marianna, why?Are you hitting on me?" He looked down and was instantly beet red without an answer to my question. So I said "Please say yes...its been a long time since someone hit on me." He was seriously struggling to get my receipt to print at this point. I said "Look, I have a really mean husband and he doesn't let people hit on me, so its been so long I'm starting to take it personally!" Finally, this man is able to take a breath and answer me. He says "That's probably why, because none of us want to receive the repercussions from him."

I guess I accept that,.... and its his loss,....he might have gotten a tip out of it if he'd just gone for it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I always hate it when people are overly dramatic. So why is it that I am Drama Queen of Queens? Don't ask me why I pick today to be whiny, I just did. It's ok if you decide to hit the X on your browser and wait for a different blog later. I won't mind. Just don't TELL me that's what you did ;)

Whine #1: Why is it the days I am scheduled to work are the mornings when I wake up after having just a couple hours of sleep? I would like an extra couple hours please!

Whine #2: Why can't I pick the people my kids choose to have to emotional ties to? I just "know" I could save them aches and pains if they would just do it MY way!

Whine #3: Why do I have to be so black and white oriented? Why is it that I can't let there be some gray areas in my life? Gray just drives me crazy and I don't know why. I'm tired of being crazy. I want to feel like I can be normal sometimes too. It's not fun being tense and stressed ALL the time.

Whine #4: Why is the "poorhouse" my destiny? I don't have to be rich,...really I don't! I don't dream of that at all, actually! I just want to stop worrying EVERYday of how to make ends meet. Yeah yeah, I know that when I figure something out, the relief it brings is a bittersweet I would never know otherwise, but GOOD GRIEF!!! Can I not find out what its like to NOT have the intense fear first? I just want to pay a few bills easily for a change and not have to sell blood or children to do it.

Whine #5: Where did all my energy go? Don't tell me its because I have 4 children and a disabled husband all living at home. Don't tell me its just stress. I know a few ladies who have more kids than I do, their ages are closer together than mine, and they STILL have make up on every day and their houses clean and their bills paid and a 1950's air around then. One of them gets up at dawn and even exercises before her children get up, so she can cook them breakfast and send them to school! I think I hate her.

Whine #6: How come when Tommy worked, he would come home to find dinner ready (or nearly so) and the house semi-straightened and his kids happy to see me. Lots of times I met him at the door with hugs and kisses.... and now that its ME working... none of that stuff happens? Sometimes Mesa cooks and sometimes she does some straightening up around the house,...and that's it.

Whine #7: I don't like cats. Yeah I know, giving Manti a kitten for his 18th birthday was my idea because Manti DOES like cats and wanted one,.... so why does the stupid thing have to live in my house? I'm the only one that gets bit by fleas when she picks them up. I'm the only one who ends up with cat hair in my dinner plate. I'm the only one that gets bothered by the litter box odors. I'm the only one who freaks out when she jumps up on the table, the kitchen counter or the stove (and I freak LOUDLY when she does). So why does the cat need to be in the house?

I guess that's enough whining,...nobody cares anyway, right?

On a happier note, I've lost 15 pounds! Can't see it, probably lost it from my bra instead of my belly,.... but its 15 pounds. I'll take it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The month of July has been especially challenging for me: Twilight Camp happened, a frantic house-cleaning party happened, the air conditioning has been GONE,... yeah, tough month. So as you can guess, yesterday was a tense day as well. It wasn't a "bad" day, just a tense one. I had one of those days at work where every customer (ok not EVERY customer, but a large percentage) had a million questions to ask, and the majority of those were the same questions over and over, just asked in different words each time it got re-asked. (Yes, the same person most of the time.) And it was one of those days where the phone barely rang till after lunch and then it wouldn't STOP ringing. At least half the calls were from people who felt they truly needed to speak to Linda and Linda only and one of them was even appalled that I was the one working yesterday. I got some smack talk for that guy if he ever calls back! Then after work, I go to Kroger and pick up some supper stuff, and as I'm getting in line, a voice over the speaker system says if you are paying with a debit card, either find a different form of payment or leave your groceries and go home. (They didn't say it quite that way, but that's what they meant.) Wellllll.... Tommy has lost his wallet and we can't find it anywhere. So he has no cash and no bank card. I gave him all the cash I had and gave him the checkbook before I left for work. So a debit card was all I had! I wanted to cry at that point...and slowly started back down the aisles putting groceries back up. As I was on my fourth item, the voice came back over the speaker and says "if you want to try running your debit card as a credit, it might work." That was my only choice if I didn't want to go to the Hellmart....which I really really didn't. I got back in line with what was left in my cart and ran my card as a credit. It worked. I got home and temporarily collapsed in my chair.

That's when Morgan came running in the house with a jar of water with a lid on it. He tells me he has a tadpole collection. ???? Have you seen where I live? There is a pond at the lower portion of our property, and there is a lake behind us on the neighbor's property. Morgan would have had to go through the woods for that though. Certain times of the year and under certain conditions, we DO have a LOT of small frogs that come out at night and hop around our yard and driveway, and poor Possum (the dog) commonly has a frog or two commit suicide in his water bucket. Could that be how Morgan found tadpoles? Suddenly Tommy started yelling to take them out. So I called Morgan closer so I could see.....

These aren't actual pictures, but are a good representation of what he brought in..... and a picture of tadpoles at the bottom to compare with. What an ending to a stressful day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Last Monday, our scout crew took a canoe trip down a portion of the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. It was a great trip that I really enjoyed, but it had an end result that has been with me ever since: a sunburned chest. I was in the water, we stopped several times and I got INTO the water, so I didn't think there was anything wrong with me wearing a modest swimsuit. I did think to take sunscreen, but was distracted while packing the car and forgot to grab it. We had a bottle of sunTAN lotion in the car already, and it had an spf 5, beats nothing right? I slathered it on a couple times,... but spf 5 is not much different than spf-nothing. After the 14 mile canoe trip, my chest was fried.

Then Saturday was Mesa's 18th birthday and she wanted to go to Tanners Beach, a local state park with a lake. So we packed the spf 30 this time and went to the beach for a birthday swim. I REALLY slathered on the sunscreen this time and coated the kids with it too. Anywhere there was sunscreen,...there is burn. That's just wrong!

So my chest, which already peeled last week, is now flaking and still red and raw. My back is peeling now too. My face hasn't peeled yet, but around my forehead I suspect it will. I went from pasty white to quite dark in just hours. I would take pictures to show you,...but nobody REALLY wants to see my chest, they? It ain't purty!

Want to find out what I did to care for my sunburn? Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

100 Year Celebration

The Buchanan branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 100 years old. It is a church filled with so much history and sentimentality that when I learned they were celebrating today, I wanted to go. It was a very small celebration, after all,... the branch has always been sort of like that Amish Friendship Bread: you make the starter dough, then you divide it and give it to those you love so they have it as well,...but by doing so, your starter never becomes a loaf of bread to be eaten. It just continues to break off parts to become someone else's starter dough or a wonderful loaf of sweet tasting bread. Wasn't that a great analogy? I thought that one up by myself!

Ok, so today we drove out there. I felt like I should have been sitting in seats designated for "old timers" because even though I'm not a member, I attended there LONG before some of them ever heard of the place. It was a pioneer style theme and some of them even dressed the part. They decorated the parking lot with stations of interest and it was really interesting for me. The kids played games and there was music and of course,.... FOOD! Now I have to insert this note: Buchanan branch has never held ANY function without food, and I don't many just snacks, I mean MEALS! and you do NOT go home hungry! There is oftentimes more food at that branch for their activities than my WARD even considers assigning people to bring! By the way, my ward is one of those loaves of bread that came from the starter dough :)

So we got there and walked right into a sack race beginning. Morgan wanted in, so these wonderful amazing REAL Mormons handed my son a sack....even though he was a total stranger to them. Check him out:

And then race #2 appealed so much to Jared that he had to get into it....WITH his Morgan of course!

You'll never guess what happened next,....Manti couldn't resist!

So then we move along and come to where they are making ice cream in ziploc bags. I've heard of making butter in a ziplock bag, but NOT ice cream! Crazy! But it works! You mix the ingredients in a bag, zip it up, place that bag into a bag of salted ice and shake yourself silly. This was a kid activity, but look who ended up doing the shaking...

And there other cute things to see as well.

One of my Daddy's cousin read some of the history of the church, and as it turns out, she compiled eye witness accounts of the history from the time it started, and the sources are ALL my relatives except for one, and maybe Vera Kimball IS my relative, I don't know! But the other 3 definitely are (Lana, Aunt Maurice, and Thomasene for those of you who know those names).

We ate, like I told you we would, but the heat was so hard that I think I was heading towards heat exhaustion. Mesa was worried. She said my face was super red, and my entire head was throbbing, not like a headache, but like it was bobbing on top of my shoulders. It was HOT! But shortly after, they started playing music for us to enjoy. I sat down on a hay bale to listen, and look who ended up on the stage!!! This is Patriarch Bristol! WOW! I was surprised! No, he's not a resident of Buchanan. He's in Powder Springs!

So we had an enjoyable day. One of the things that made it nice was seeing the memorial that is placed in front of the building. The building is new, not the original one with all the history. It's sad that the old building is gone, but there are those who still remember and as long as ONE person remembers, it is not "dead and gone" and neither are those people who made it happen.

My grandparents came to this branch in 1939. My father is listed as one of the first missionaries sent from this branch. My family attended this branch for a period of time before we were divided and some of us sent to Carrollton, where I still attend. So this was a good day for me, and made me yearn for some of those days gone by. I wish Grandmaw and Paw could have been there,....and I hope they were allowed to watch and smile at the days events.