Friday, February 27, 2009

My History Teachers Would Be So Proud!

Last Saturday we went to Nashville, Tennessee for a show choir competition. (We won Grand Champions!) Since I have previously posted pics about the show choir here, I'll move on to our trip home.

I never was a history buff in school. It was one of my least favorite subjects. I just saw it as a subject that I had to memorized dates and names just to get me through the next test, and then all would be forgotten. Since I have grown older, I wish I had listened more. But, I did retain a bit of what we learned about back then. I just wish my history classes could have been more "hands on". It would have made it much more interesting to me. I found out just how interesting history can be when we stopped in Franklin, Tennessee on our way home. I challenge you to follow the links and learn more about the Battle of Franklin in the Civil War. This is very interesting stuff, and to actually walk the land where it happened was a bit surreal.

On the way home we stopped in Franklin, Tennessee at the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. It was a very humbling experience to see the plots sectioned off by the states in which the men served. Several sections would state how many "unknowns" were buried there.

We walked further down to the old Carnton House. It served as a makeshift hospital/morgue during the battle of Franklin, which is believed to be the bloodiest 5 hours of the Civil War. The floors of this home are still stained with the blood of the soldiers who were
treated here.

There were rocking chairs on the front porch and 2 of them were rocking ever so slightly...with no breeze blowing. Eeerie!!!

After leaving the Carnton House we ventured a few blocks away to the Carter House. This home was caught in the crossfire of the Battle of Franklin. Look closely at the picture and you can still see the bullet holes in the side of the house. During the battle, the Carter family took refuge in their basement while the fighting raged above them. Read more about this battle here.
(Son, Jordan w/friend, Joshua)

These cannons were on display in the back yard of the Carter House.

This is history the way I like to learn it. I learned more doing this than in all my years of school. So the next time you take an out-of-town trip, check out a few of the historical sites along the way. You will be glad you did!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Memories: Letters To My Children #2

Welcome to installment #2 of Monday Memories: Letters to My Children. If you want to know more about how this posting got started read here. Feel free to grab my button on the left sidebar and link up your own letters. This letter is addressed to Chase (now 17). The boys would give me a hard time about going to bed. Their dad worked nights, so I had it all on my own. Sometimes it was a bit much for me to handle. I am not ashamed to say that I spanked my children. That is the way that my husband and I chose to punish our kids. We are not bad people because we raised our children this way. And, I must say that they have never been in any kind of serious trouble. They are bright kids who have turned out pretty good, if I say so myself! And now, without further ado I present my next letter:

January 29, 1994 12:00 midnight

Dear Chase,
You did it again. I had to spank you to get you to behave and go to sleep. I don't enjoy spanking and screaming at you, but I get tired of the same ol' stuff every night. You were calling Justin a "doodie head" and "butt hole." I warned you about a spanking,but you continued immediately thereafter. When you finally hushed I heard your routine of night phrases, "Night, night, Momma."

Me: Night. Night
You: Love you, too.
Me: Love you, too.
You: See you in the morning.
Me: Okay.

It's so sweet and makes me feel so bad when you do that after I have spanked you. But I love you so much. I long for the night when I can put you and Justin to bed and not have to return to the room to re-cover either of you up or get Mickey or Barney for you (because you have conveniently thrown them in the floor).

You are at that stage where you can say the cutest things. Sometimes you ask me a question and your daddy or Justin answers. You say, "I talkin' (to) Momma!" You also tell me you are a "Precious Heart, and Mommy's Dardin' (Darlin') and Snuggle Bunkin". One day you and Justin were pretending to be a clock. You were lying on your back saying, "Tick Tock, Tick Tock" while Justin was pulling you around in a circle. Your dad and I really got a kick out of that.

I went into the bathroom today to find you sitting on your potty completely naked except for your daddy's Atlanta Braves cap. That would have made a cute picture. And, you always holler for us to "Way Fo me!" when we get out of the car or something. And you love gum, but you ALWAYS swallow it about 5 minutes after you get it.

You are so precious to me. When I was pregnant with you I wondered how I could love another child the way I loved Justin. You showed me how. You both are the most special gifts in my life. I'm sure this baby boy I'm expecting will be right in there too. When he gets here I'm gonna be sure to take time out for you and Justin too. I've heard that the middle child is the neglected one. But that is not going to be the case here. I will love all of my boys and do the best I can to give them equal time.

I love you, Chase.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Secret World...Or Maybe Not!!

I blog in secret. I've mentioned it briefly in my household, but I have never directly led any of my family to A Groovy Kind Of Life. I don't know why. It may be for fear they might criticize some of my writing or wonder why I would divulge such personal information to strangers. Well, I say that you are NOT strangers! We may not know each other personally...but we know each other, personally...if you get what I'm sayin'. We know about each other's family. We may know each other's menu plan for the week. We may know that someone has been up all night with a sick child. We may know about each others' fondest memories. We may know about the loss of one's unborn child. We may know about the recent birthday of a child, or how someone is coping through the holidays after the death of a loved one. We may know what each other is currently reading. And, we may know of just the everyday to-do list that someone has posted. Blogging is like my own secret world that I rarely share with those people that I see everyday. Sort of an escape, if you will. I feel that we, as bloggers, know that we can open up to each other for support in whatever situations we may be going through. This is not to mean that we neglect our other friends. They are there for support, also. But sometimes it is just easier to pour our hearts out to our bloggy friends than to tell those closest to us. It's like, we bloggers are more in tune to our thoughts and feelings, and we can respond in kind. That's just the way it seems to me.

There are times when these two worlds cross. My best friend doesn't blog. (At least not that I know of!). And she is the exception to the comment about sharing things with our friends versus our bloggy friends (I can talk to her about anything). She knows where to find my blog posts, which I love. Sometimes we don't get to talk as often as I would like, but she can check my blog and see my current state of mind. Recently, my two worlds crossed again. I was searching for blogs in my area, and I found someone that I work with! Who would've thought?!! It was a pleasant surprise to know that I have a fellow co-worker and a fellow blogger in one! Now, she knows my secret because I commmented her blog and started following her. She commented back at how she was surprised that I was a blogger, too. It's a nice to find these little surprises in blogger land. Like I said before, it's a secret world....maybe not for everyone. Some may publicize that they have a blog, but I only briefly mention it from time to time and see if I get a bite. I will gladly welcome anyone who wants to come read and comment my blog. Comments and followers are validation for bloggers like me. So now, since you're reading me some validation below...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And That's All That Matters

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like you CANNOT get ANYTHING accomplished?!! Today has been one of those days for me. I went into work this morning hoping to get caught up on a few things. But the day seemed to fly by, and people I work with kept calling me needing help with various things. So after lunch I decided that I was finally going to block everything out, and just get some things done. Once I was getting started good, the tornado sirens started going off in the area. Since I work at an elementary school, I had to jump into action and help out with anything I could. By this time, it was about time for the kids to be going home, and parents were calling and coming in to get their kids. It was a little crazy! So, after the tornado warning was over, I wrapped up a few things and headed for home. I stopped by the grocery store because I had decided that I was NOT going to cook a "real" meal. I opted for frozen pizzas for my boys and steamed shrimp for my hubby. And I decided to eat the leftover half of the Italian sub that I had gotten at Arby's for lunch. Then, I came home and laid down on the couch to relax a bit. Around 5:00 p.m. I remembered that Jordan needed a tux shirt and a black bow tie for district band competition TOMORROW!! Fortunately, Justin had had to do the same thing in high school. I went and dug out his tux shirt from underneath a pile of clothes in his room. I guess the last time he wore it was when he was in high school...2 years ago! It was in decent shape. I put it in a sink full of detergent and bleach. Then, I tried to find the bow tie. I looked half-heartedly for it. I decided that I would just go buy one instead of subjecting myself to hours of searching. But there was one problem. The only store around that sells bow ties closed at 5:30. I called around to a few more places, but no one around here sells bow ties! I then proceeded to go back to Justin's room and go through everything, in hopes of finding the one and only bow tie that we have ever owned. No luck. There was one other solution playing in the back of my mind. I called one of Justin's friends (who was in band with him) to see if he possibly still had his bow tie. My attempt was successful! Justin's friend, Dustin, is bringing the bow tie to us when he leaves his girlfriend's house tonight. So, a potential problem was diverted, but it took up so much of my time. I was able to start a load of clothes to washing. And, I definitely took time out to watch American Idol. Of course, I CAN'T miss that!!! So, what all this boils down to is that I didn't get the things done at work that I had hoped to. I got hardly anything done in my house. son will have a tux shirt with a black bow tie when he goes with the band to district competition tomorrow. And that's all that matters. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Memories: Letters To My Children

Fifteen years ago, January 24, 1993, I started writing letters to my children. I got a plain old ordinary notebook and set forth to writing. Some days it was to one of them and some days it was to all of them. I knew that they couldn't read yet, but it was a great way to capture a moment in time of my feelings of motherhood and life. I got the idea from an article I read from a mother who started writing letters to her children. I have long since put away the notebook and stopped writing. Oh! How I wish I would have continued, because I look back now at the wonderful snapshots in time and long for those days when my children were small. My boys are now 20, 17, and almost 15, and they know about the notebook. They have read it and laughed at some of the things that they did and said.

So, that brings me to my next idea. I am going to use Mondays to chronicle my writings, starting with that first one on January 24, 1993. When I get to the end, I may pick up the notebook again and start in the present. After all, it's never too late to write letters to your children. I also think it is important to first put it in my own handwriting, a hard copy, if you will. There is just something much more personal about it that way. I need to transfer mine to a binder, as some of the ink is starting to fade and maybe laminate the pages to keep the spoilers of time away. So, won't you join me? All you need to get started is a sheet of notebook paper and a pen. You can pick out a lovely binder later.

I'm going to get us started by posting the first entry that I ever wrote. This will give you an idea of what I've been talking about. in mind that Justin (now 20) was 4 years old and Chase (now 17) was 2 years old, and I was pregnant.

Tuesday, January 24, 1993

Dear Justin, Chase, & ?,
I read an article the other day by a mother who began writing letters to her children, even before they were born. It seemed like a great idea. This way, you'll be able to know what life was like when you were children. So, here goes...
I love you all very much. You are the joys of my life. I get upset with you at times, but I love you always. The hardest part of the day is bedtime. I have to threaten you both before you will hush and go to sleep. It usually takes an hour for you two to get to sleep. You always want to sleep with me...and sometimes I let you. In the mornings I usually end up with at least one of you (usually Chase) who wondered into my room during the night. Nights it is hard to make you quit saying, "Good night! See you in the morning! I love you, too!" over and over.
Justin, in about 2 weeks you will be 5 years old, and I will be 25. Boy, where has the time gone? I remember the cold Winter day your daddy and I brought you home (or rather to your Maw Maw's and Paw Paw's). You were all bundled up with those big eyes shining. That was one of the happiest days of my life. It gave me that feeling I had as a little girl on Christmas morning when I had gotten a new doll. Only, I wasn't a little girl anymore, and you weren't a doll. You were my firstborn baby, born on my birthday. My birthday present. The best birthday present I ever got. I used to "sing" you to sleep with "Brahms Lullaby", "Rock-a-Bye-Baby", "Jesus Loves Me", and "Jesus Loves The Little Children". A few times through them and you would be asleep. It's been almost 5 years since then, and you're growing up. You'll be starting kindergarten in the Fall. You are such a smart boy. Sometimes I forget that you are only 4 years old. I hope you grow up and continue to use those "smarts" in all you do. I love you so very much. I always will.

I hope you will decide to join me in writing letters to your children. If you decide to post one, please grab the button on the sidebar and link back to me. Also, leave me a comment to let me know that you are participating. I may put up a "Mr. Linky" later if this idea takes off. I hope to hear from some of you soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Believe

I copied this from Between Loads of Laundry
. I have read it in an email forward before. It is absolutely beautiful. Please read it slowly and think about what it is telling us.

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
we understand that friends change.

I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.

Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe....
That it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I Believe.....
That you should always leave loved ones with
loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe....
That we are responsible for what
we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...
That my best friend and I can do anything, or nothing, and have the best time.

I Believe...
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you When you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe....
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had,
and what you've learned from them.....and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find
out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same
thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give, if
a friend cries out to will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe.....
That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in. I just did.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Best Birthday Present Ever!!

Let me tell you about the best birthday present that I ever got. It was on Feb. 7, 1989 (my 20th birthday). I had been married almost 2 years. I was pregnant, expecting my first son. I called in sick to work that day. I just needed a break. My husband and I went up to the mall and walked around a bit. Then we went to his grandparents to celebrate my birthday. While there, I started noticing a little trickling going on. I called my mom and his mom, and they both agreed that I should probably go to the hospital. Once there, they checked me and said that my water was breaking. So they kept me. We had a television in that room, and it seemed that every show we watched was about a baby. I remember one show in particular, Alf. Remember it WAS the eighties! Anyway, they finally ended up breaking my water all the way. I delivered a bright-eyed, 8 lb. baby boy. We named him Justin Riley. All the nurses kept going on and on about how alert he was. He had big beautiful eyes. I remember the feeling. It was like when I was a little girl and I got a new baby doll for Christmas. That's JUST what it felt like! I'll never forget it. Well, that baby turned 20 years old today, the exact age I was when I gave birth to him. He still has those big bright eyes (brown now) and he has long brown hair. He has turned into a nice young man. He wants to be a rock star. He plays the drums. He has a band with some of his friends. He still lives at home and attends the nearby community college. I love him so much. After all, he was/is the best birthday present ever.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Turning the Big 4 Oh

~Author Unknown

You know what this Saturday is? It's February the 7th, which also means that it's my birthday! I was born Feb. 7, 1969. This is 2009. So, that will make me 40. Wow. It didn't really hit me until my best friend from high school had her birthday in December. When I realized that this crazy, fun friend with whom I shared so many good times was turning 40, it just didn't seem right! I know we still feel 18...on the inside, anyway. We were "big-hair" friends of the 80's who worshiped Duran Duran. We went roller skating together. She and I spent several nights at each other's homes. And, here she was 40 years old! Well, I'll be hitting it wide open this Saturday. I'm not real sure how I feel about it. I guess such is the way of life. After all, isn't 40 the new 30?! I have had a decent life thus far. It hasn't always been easy. But 40 finds me with a marriage that has lasted 21 years, three teenage sons (who are basically good kids), a college degree, a good job, a few close friends, and a wonderful extended family in my in-laws. So, I guess 40 isn't all that bad. But I do have an out. See, my first son, Justin was born February 7, 1989... on my 20th birthday. So technically, since he took my birthday away, I am still 19. But, I guess that doesn't make a lot of sense since he will be 20 on Saturday. Having a 19 year-old mother when you are 20 just doesn't add up. Well, I tried, anyway. I'm just gonna be fabulous and 40. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Here's to the next 40 years...

Here's a little list that I have compiled. Even though it will be Saturday before I turn 40, I am already feeling the effects. So here are a few observations:


1. The reading glasses in the drug store don't look so dorky anymore.
2. You start caring less and less about almost everything.
3. When you gotta go, you better go right then!
4. You forget the names of your children when you are calling them. (Just like you made fun of your parents for doing!)
5. You hear ‘Get into the Groove’ on the oldies station and remember dancing to it when it first came out.
6. You fall asleep during movies.

Now, it's your turn! Help me celebrate my birthday by adding to my list. I look forward to your responses.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Missing My Moshy :*(

On Monday, January 26, 2009 my sweet little Shih Tsu, Marsh, came up missing. When I got up that morning, I let him go out to potty. He came back in sometime before I left for work. Kevin said that he was in the house when he left for work. But, Kevin had to come back by home to bring Justin a Sprite. It must have been during that time that Marsh went out without Kevin knowing. I came home from work in the afternoon, and my boys said that Marsh was gone. They hadn't seen him since they had gotten home from school. Marsh has stayed outside all day sometimes, but he always comes back. So, I think someone may have gotten him. We checked with the animal catcher all week, but they had not picked him up. We rode around the neighborhood, but there was no sign of him. Tomorrow will be a week that we have been without our sweet little dog. I miss him so much! He was always waiting in the kitchen when I got up early in the morning. He was always so happy to see me. If the door was ever open to my bedroom during the night, I would find him lying in the floor on my side of the bed when I got up. He was a happy, jolly little dog. He loved getting treats. He would stand on his hind legs and spin around for a treat. He and our other dog, Carnell the Chihuahua, would "talk" for us when we came in each day. They did this by howling in unison. It was so endearing. I know that Carnell misses him, too. I just hope that whoever got him is taking good care of him. I know that he wonders what happened to us. Hopefully, one day we will find out what happened to him. But, until then, we will just have to try to move on. Goodbye, Marsh. I love you. You are missed. :*(