Sunday, November 30, 2008
While we were walking, I gave one of the Tiaras with Mom's picture to Linda Hammett. Linda and her motorcycle, Grace, are part of the Route Safety Crew in Dallas and in San Diego each year. Since I wasn't going to be in San Diego after all, I didn't want my Mom to miss the trip. So I asked Linda to take her. And I told Linda about how I hand them out to struggling walkers and tell them they don't have to walk alone -- that Mom will walk with them.
This is what I just got from Linda....
Well, I didn't have an opportunity to take but a few pictures --- but wanted to share part of your Mom's walk with you.
There were 2 very special ladies walking San Diego -- one was 74 with limited mobility and the other 70 and almost totally blind. On day 1 the first lady was struggling to my intersection, I took the picture your Mom off my motorcycle and gave it to her, told her your story about the picture.
She read the back and smiled -- then continued on. The Route Safety Crew "escorts" the last walker into camp and yes, she was the last walker on day 1. When she saw me, she gave me a big hug and the picture back "to share with someone else who might need the help".
Day 2, the visually impaired walker (with 2 assistants) came across my intersection. She was pretty bushed -- I offered her your Mom's picture with your explanation. She had one of her support crew read the back to her and off she went. Sure enough, at the end of Day 2, she had her support crew find me at camp and give me back "your Mom". So now your Mom will always be part of my "windshield gallery" for as long as I am on route safety crew.
Isn't that cool? And wouldn't Mom have LOVED that sunset???
Friday, November 28, 2008
As a consequence for her actions, April has to report to prison today. Possibly for 5 years. That's an awfully long time, especially when you have three kids -- the oldest of which is only 7.
Please pray for April, that the people she encounters will genuinely try to help her, rather than just lumping her in with everyone else. Please pray for her children who are going to be without their Mom in some very important years.
And please pray for her family, that they will be able to restore emotional and financial health to their household -- for this saga has cost them much on both fronts.
Because, you see, as much as I'm giving you a window into my life, I just can't share it all. I don't share info about my marriage, and I try to honor other people's feelings. As my kids get older, I want to honor their privacy. The growing-up years are hard enough without a Mom who shares the latest about your zits and dates and all that jazz.
I've read a few blogs where the writers have ranted and raved about this or that, going off on husbands and Moms and best friends and anyone else they can find to hurt. Naming names and baring all their dirty laundry.
I'm not like that. And I don't think you should be, either.
But there are some things that are just begging to be shared. Our number-one, most hilarious moment of the year just can't be shared here. This is good stuff -- the kind of story that would have Sam spewing Diet Coke all over her computer monitor or Kayren peeing in her pants. The kind of story that could very well turn viral and bounce from computer to computer.
But we can't share it. Because someone we love would be hurt.
So if you're cruising the blogsphere and come across some really great stuff written by some chick named Gertrude or Adelaide or Eveline..... it's probably me.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for...
My Heavenly Daddy.
An amazing husband who has become more to me than I ever could have imagined.
Abbie, the animal-lover. This child who has a heart as big as Dallas and genuinely cares for all of God's creatures, large and small.
Kaitlyn, the cartwheel-turner. A little bundle of boundless energy, determination and spirit.
That my Mom was around to wish me "Happy Birthday" for 36 years.
For a precious mother-in-law, Jacquie, who has always been more of a treasured friend than anything else.
For Pa, and the jet-ski I just know he's going to get us eventually!
For Milton, who was my mother's protector and best friend until the end.
For Granny Nelva, who has been my mentor and rock all my life.
For my Dad, who taught me that hard work was "just the way we do it." That we don't work hard for rewards. We just do it because it's what's right.
For A'Lise, who takes pleasure in spoiling the girls.
For M'Lys, who keeps me grounded.
For the women (and man) in my life who joined with me in taking a bold step against breast cancer -- this fight that means so much to me.
For all of our support systems -- the friends and family who donated time and money to make that fight a reality.
For good shoes.
For Dr. Lisch, the man who keeps my feet moving in the right direction.
That my Christmas decorating is already done.
For Newk's Favorite Salad.
For J. Jill.
For Carla Sandusky, who's about as close to being a sister as a cousin can be.
For all my friends who leave me little blog comments.
For all those bracelets and all the time it took to make them.
That we live in a country where I can go all conservative on my blog without worrying about my safety.
Rainbows -- Granny's way of saying "Hi!" to the girls!
Friends who I can call at the drop of the hat for prayer.
A dear friend who holds me accountable.
Pictures of my girls.
That I can just open up six cans of "Sugary Sam" sweet potatoes, add butter and brown sugar and pass them off as "my own."
For Kelly, who encourages me to give the girls experiences I never could otherwise -- and realizes my need to do just that. For her long-standing, never-wavering friendship and love.
For Mary, the "neighbor across the street" that I've always longed for.
That our kids can go to an incredible school, with incredible teachers who love God and love our girls.
That Mom's sewing machine is still working after all these years!
For all of you!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Luckily, this year, I'm done unpacking, my emotions aren't such a roller coaster, and while Biggsy is still way busy at work, it's manageable. We borrowed a ladder this last weekend so he could put lights on the house. WAY too much work for one little string of lights.
Here are the girls with Sammy the Owl....
BUT... The Sidekicks came back in the first round of tournament play and won against that other team. That put our girls in the winners' bracket. They traded losses / wins with that team again last Saturday, coming on top in the final game and winning the tournament!!!
As for Mom, I'm just glad the season is over. My voice is finally recovering!
Abbie has worn this birthday hat every year since she turned 1!
This was our first trip to the Houston zoo. Wow!!! We highly recommend it!!! One of the coolest features was this tunnel going through the aquarium.
But she took this one, and it's kinda cute!
The petting zoo is always the favorite! I think my girls have petting zoo radar!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
My wife wisely tells me that I need to get over it. And that if I don’t like it, to do something about it. So I’m exercising my right to free speech (while I still can) to tell you how I plan to “redistribute” my hard earned dollars. Today I emptied a stack of catalogs out of the mailbox and happened to be looking at an interactive map (http://elections.foxnews.com/states_map/index.html ) that shows how the election turned out in the United States .
All the states are either blue for democrat or red for Republican. By clicking on a state you can see how the counties in each state voted. By entering a zip code you can see how that area voted. Out of curiosity I entered a zip code off the back of a catalog. Blue state, blue county - into the trash it went. Hmmm…I may be onto something here.
I’m choosing to spend my money in the areas of the country that didn’t vote for socialism, redistribution of wealth, erosion of civil rights and tossing out the Constitution of the United States of America .
Examples: I need a new coat: LL Bean – Freeport, ME (blue county in a blue state – trash) Cabelas – Sidney, NE (red county in a red state) My favorite microbrewery is New Belgium in Ft Collins, CO (blue county in a blue state) but I also like Shiner in Shiner, TX (red county in a red state). How about a little Bud Light… St Louis MO … 49% MCCain, 49% other dude … they went MCCain.
My daughter is having a birthday and Christmas is coming up: I have toy catalogs from VA (blue), MO (mostly red but still counting), MA (blue), VA (blue) & TX (Red) Howdy y’all!
Vacations: Colorado and New Mexico are out for weekend trips. Maybe we’ll check out Oklahoma this next year. I was planning on taking my family to Disney World in Dec 2009. ( Orlando , FL – blue county in a blue state) I’ll have to weigh my values against the promise I’ve made my daughter here….maybe I can talk her into Six Flags Over Texas.
Movies and the liberal media? Don’t get me started.
Obama had the largest political donations EVER. He has not published his donor list (or birth certificate, resume, college transcripts, bar exam…) but, Liberals gave him that money. I found a searchable website that gives names, amounts and to which party the donation was made. http://www.newsmeat.com/ And another site is http://www.followthemoney.org/ Be informed.
If I buy something from a liberal, some of that money may go to Obama 2012, the DNC, the PLO, ACORN, the Karl Marx Appreciation Society or any other bunch of left wing boneheads. If I buy from conservatives maybe the GOP or the NRA get some money.
My guess is that conservatives have more disposable income than the college kids and the unemployed that elected him. But probably not as much as Oprah.
I’m just one guy and my small amount of cash doesn’t mean much. Together we can make a difference.
Be sure to let those blue companies know why they aren’t getting your business or they’ll blame their economic down turn on President Bush.
I’m still buying from Americans. I’m just choosing which Americans to buy from now.
If you agree with me, pass it on. If you don’t agree, come up with a better idea and pass that on.
God bless America !
Friday, November 21, 2008
She had another bone marrow transplant during the winter, and was 100% donor. That was a good thing, but she still struggled with her appetite and feeling better and all that jazz. She was able to start 1st grade this fall. But the germs at school were just too much for her, and they had to pull her out of school.
She's been struggling with anemia lately, and they did a biopsy yesterday just to rule out the leukemia.
It's back. She's relapsed. She doesn't know, and they aren't going to tell her until they have to. But her Mommy knows. And her heart is broken.
Please pray for this sweet family.
Right now they are trying to get her a trip to Disney World. Unfortunately "Make a Wish" turned down their wish this summer. So now Children's is trying to find another way to get her there.
Please pray with expectation that that will happen. That her family will have this chance to add Disney to their lifetime of memories -- for this child whose lifetime is going to be far too short. That even if Children's can't find a foundation to make this happen, there will be someone, somewhere with a heart big enough and pockets deep enough to see that this Princess gets to visit the Castle.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
You see, my arrival, oh-so-many years ago was perfectly timed to allow my mother to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I was a Turkey Baby. That's right. Born at 10:45 in the morning -- with plenty of time for Mom to ooh and aah over me before digging into a plate of turkey & dressing -- and knowing her, plenty of cranberry sauce. And don't forget the pie. She never passed up dessert.
At first thought, it might seem kind of cool to be born on Thanksgiving. It's a festive time of year. People are into celebrating.
Not so. Because what people are celebrating and being all festive about has nothing to do with birthday cake. (Which, I might add, is one of my absolutely favorite foods!)
My drama was compounded by the fact that, while I shared a birthday with my cousin Monty, my Granny Lloyd and cousin Marty shared their birthday on the very next day. So even if my birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving again, we celebrated Granny's. As an adult, I can see that that was the perfect way to do it. But as a kid -- not so much fun.
You know how kids get to wear a birthday crown at school on their birthdays?
Not me. We weren't in school.
Very few of my birthday parties were held on my actual birthday.
But oh, my sweet Mom tried hard. I remember one birthday when we were celebrating Thanksgiving with all the Lloyds down at the armory. This was one of those years when my birthday fell on Turkey Day. She bought me a birthday cake and invited Kevin Pruitt (I was madly in love with Kevin Pruitt that year.) to join us. And he did. And it helped. But it still wasn't like a real birthday.
And then there was the year I was "dating" Russ Mantzel -- as much as you can be "dating" a marine who's stationed at Camp Pendleton. (BTW -- this was the last "boyfriend" before the GREAT Biggsy!!!) That year Russ was supposed to come visit our family for Thanksgiving, but didn't make it. I remember Aunt Vell & Uncle Bob came in that year and stayed with us. But the most clear of the memories?? I got food poisoning at Thanksgiving Dinner and spent the entire night on the floor of my parent's bathroom talking to ralph on the porcelain phone. What a birthday. (That was the last year my Granny was with us. I wish I had a better memory!)
Oh! And then the next year Biggsy and I were dating and he tried so hard to make my birthday special. He threw a surprise party at my apartment. It was kind of a mess. For one, I found out about it and worked my tail off cleaning for days before -- that kind of got me all in a tizzy. For another, I worked all day that day and was whipped. AND..... looking back, I'm about 99% sure I must have had PMS. Not a good combination.
So you see, I have a bit of a birthday complex. I've had more of an un-birthday than a birthday all these years. Most people forget because they're all busy with getting ready for Turkey Day and all that jazz -- and that's understandable. For the rest of the entire country, it's the Thanksgiving holidays. But for me, it's my BIRTHDAY WEEK!!
And then I found this. And this is just WRONG.
E-Harmony is a Christian-based dating service. And believe it or not, it works! It's based on Christian principals. How do I know so much, considering Biggsy and I have been happily married for over 10 years?
My friends Debbie and Kevin met through E-Harmony. They are both amazing Christians who had a tremendous impact on my becoming who I am today. Debbie is truly filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Just about as soon as they met, Kevin brought Debbie to our small group Bible study. And from there on out, we were all a witness to the miracle God brought through their meeting on E-Harmony.
Those Christian principals that are woven into E-Harmony worked.
I'm not too familiar with the whole Gay & Lesbian thing. Frankly, it just baffles me that anyone would choose to go that route. BUT.... one thing I know for sure. Choosing that route is not a choice based on Christian principals. The Bible is very clear on that. There's no gray, muddy, what-do-you-think-that-verse-means stuff going on there. It's VERY clear.
If you have a business that's based on faith, you should be able to run it based on faith. This isn't discrimination against minority groups that God created -- this isn't discrimination against Chinese or Africans or other groups. This isn't refusing to sell milk or eggs or clothes to someone who's "batting for the other team." The simple fact of the matter is, E-Harmony is being asked to compromise what they do and their faith to cater to a group that's not following the Biblical principals E-Harmony adheres to. The fact that our government is allowed to force businesses to do just that is a clear example that we have REALLY screwed up.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
But I think that's a bit misleading. Sure.... Some of the people who claim you as friends might be a bit "iffy." And whoever knew they'd be waiters in restaurants that cater to the "over the rainbow" crowd. And what's up with Biggsy having a camouflage model for a friend? Or the chick he went to school with that's "looking for women?" (I know... I'm using all his friends for examples, but mine are so Normal!)
But that's neither here nor there. The danger in Facebook is the ability to complete embarrass your friends! People have been posting pictures and video of Biggsy for awhile now, and I've rather enjoyed it. Until this week. When pictures of me in Junior High! arrived on the Facebook front. YIKES!
And then there's the whole time factor. It just sucks you in! Before you know it you're tracking down your old boss or your first date or trying desperately to find someone who was uglier than you in Junior High, so you can post pictures of them!
And then there's the whole "oops!" factor. I don't recommend logging onto Facebook when your kids are underfoot and you can't really pay attention. You might end up "outing" a friends "looks natural but never has been" blonde hair. Or the fact that someone works in one of those "over the rainbow" bars!
I host a Cookie Exchange each December (this is the 9th Annual), and I invite everyone I know!
This year it's going to be Sunday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Here's the scoop: Bring at least 3 to 6 dozen cookies or pieces of homemade candy with each 1/2 dozen in a separate plastic bag. One bag of cookies will go into the "tasting party" and the others will go into the exchange.
You'll go home with the number of cookies you brought -- minus 1/2 dozen. Now... We're talking homemade cookies or candy here. If the only kind you know how to make is chocolate chip, then by all means, bring those. But let's try to have a good variety!
(Once you know what you're baking, please let me know, so I can update the Evite. It really helps make sure we have a diverse assortment of cookies!)
Please feel free to bring your cuddly babies, moms, aunts, sisters, friends, neighbors etc. -- just no toddlers / kids who are old enough to climb our stairs! If you have any questions, just give me a call.
Can't wait to see ya'll!
The cookies coming so far include:
Sharon's Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Almond Glazed Sugar Cookies
Let me know if you're planning on joining us, and I'll get you directions!!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have both of the big trees up, as well as the Christmas card tree in the entryway.
And I'm about to start putting on the lights.
But don't tell anyone -- they might think I'm nuts.
(And they'd probably be right!)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
It's something that I certainly have a lot of practice at. Growing up, I wasn't exactly athletic and my goofy-looking phase lasted about 15 years. At least. I wasn't often the first picked and I wasn't always the last picked, but it kind of seemed that way.
I think that's why, any time I do anything I am so determined to involve anyone who might possibly want to be included. It doesn't matter if I'm planning a party or a dinner out or a ski trip, I'm all for including anyone and everyone.
That extends to doing the 3-Day. I would be so very happy if every single person I know wanted to walk with us. Not because they'd want to walk with me, but because they'd know they were wanted.
But today I'm struggling with this. I was passed over in favor of someone else. I don't get that decision at all, and I'm quite dumbfounded. AND my feelings are hurt. They are.
When does that stop? When I'm 80??
I try so hard to teach my kids to brush it off and not let it get to them. But it still gets to me....
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Last year I was blown away when a 3-Day fan brought a bowl of Tootsie Rolls with her to cheer on the walkers. None of that other stuff. Just Tootsie Rolls. And away from a cheering station where she would stand out. Suzi and I knew it had to be my Mom.
And it happened again this year. Even though I didn't walk all 60 miles, I did see a little girl with a bowl of Tootsie Rolls. None of that other stuff.
Yes, my Mom was there!
Monday, November 10, 2008
You couldn't read it in my pictures, but across the front windshield, we put, "We're pissed off at cancer!"
This is the survivor's circle with Allie and Stephanie on the left.
My job was to walk down this little chute and up onto the stage carrying the "Victories" flag. Here I am trying not to knock out the lighting as I go up on stage.
So I wrote to my Mom in the memory book. And then, as we waited, in came Cissa and Sherry (girls from the commercial), one of Steph's co-workers, and then Steph's Mom, sister and nephew. When it was our turn, we unplugged the headphones so we could all hear it and watched it together. And cried. And laughed a little. And mostly cried.
There's a 3-Day team called the Asphalt Angels, and as we were watching the video, one of their team members was standing on the back side of the tent. And the way the light was hitting everything, her sillouette was placed on the white wall of the tent -- just behind the little DVD player. So as we watched Stephanie talk about her cancer and her hope for a cure, there were angel wings right behind her.
How cool is that???
Since we weren't there to embarass ourselves with Karaoke on Friday, they had some really great entertainment take our place. This Chicka stole the show!
SUNDAY, November 9
Here are Allie & Stephanie carrying their flags into closing ceremonies.
Tracye. Sharon & Carla
Team Tiara Rocks!!!!
In 2006, when Lisa and I walked together we raised over $6000, and the DFW 3-Day raised over $6.3 million.
In 2007, we had 17 team members, but only 13 of us were able to walk. We raised over $38,000 and the DFW 3-Day raised over $6.5 million.
This year, we had 67 team members and about 50 of us walked. To date, we have raised over $118,000 and the DFW 3-Day has raised over $7.9 million.
And we're not done.
If you'd like to make a donation for this year, please go to our website and donate under the name of a team member who has not reached the $2200 mark.
If you'd like to join us next year, check out our 2009 Website. Click on "Join Team." Remember, to walk you have to raise $2300 next year. While we'll try to help you raise your funds if you need it, we learned this year that we just can't make any guarantees. You need to be open to fundraising if you're going to be a walker.
To crew, you don't have to raise any money. You just have to have the heart of a servant and love to make people happy!!! Crew rocks!
When you register by December 31 and enter the code name "Legacy" you save $35 on your registration fee!
Thank you for making it possible to do what we do!