Search my blog!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin and a Book 2010

This year's Pumpkin and a Book is in the books! And guess what?......

WE WON!!!!!

By "we", of course I mean Carlie's 3rd grade class!

This year the class chose the book "The Old Willis Place". If you've never read it, you should! It is a great read....even for adults! It's definitely not a book for little children.

The book is about an old estate that is said to be haunted by the ghost of Miss Lillian Willis who died in the parlor of the house. She left the estate to the county. The county hires caretaker after caretaker to live in a trailer on the property behind the house. The story starts with a new caretaker, Mr. Morrison and his 12 year old daughter, Lissa, moving onto the property.

The story is told from the perspective of a young girl named Diana who lives on the property with her brother Georgie. You learn that Diana and Georgie are orphans who live in a small shed in the woods.......but that's not all........

Of course I'm not going to spoil the story! You'll have to read it!!!

The class voted to do a pumpkin to look like "Georgie". We narrowed it down to doing Georgie from a scene where he comes running out of the woods wearing nothing but a loincloth, with red and yellow mud from the creek as war paint on his face and body. He had wild tangled dirty hair, with leaves, mud, and hawk feathers sticking out. We also created his bear, Alfie, out of two small pumpkins and foam sheets.

Here's a look.....

We used two pumpkins for each of the characters. For Georgie (the boy) we mixed a few colors to come up with his pale skin tone, and the war paint colors. The kids painted the war paint on him with their fingers. I cut the loincloth our of a suede fabric scrap I had already. For Alfie (the stuffed bear), we used two small pumpkins, and traced his arms and legs, and ears out of brown foam sheets. We used a toothpick dipped in white paint to make "stitching" around his "seams". Everything is held together with hot glue!

A view of Georgie's hair. Lawd, we spent most of ourtime on this wig! It was originally a girl's long curly white Halloween costume wig. I cut it off to look like a long haired boy. But we took this wig out on the playground and scrubbed it in 3 different types of dirt! We teased it with a comb to make tangles. Then we stuck hay, grass, sticks, and fallen leaves all in it! To top it off we added real chicken feathers to the top!!

His face was drawn by hand. Googly eyes. And to give him some dimension we used crinkled up newspaper molded in the shape of a nose and painted it.

We were all very proud of our creation! When the secretary announced the winners over the PA system, our class yelled so loud and so long, they could be heard outside! Then the teacher had to call another teacher to find out who else placed. The class had yelled through the entire 3rd grade announcement!

Pumpkin and a Book is always our favorite contest! We had a great time working on it!

Oh, and our school auctions these pumpkins off at our Fall Festival! The festival was last night. Carlie was determined to have it. So we bid on him. And WE WON!!!

So Georgie is coming home today to live with us! And Carlie says we are making his sister "Diana" over Fall Break.....which starts TODAY!!!!

WooHoo!!!!!!!! No school for 9 days!!!! I love it!

Happy Fall Y'all!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Little Girl Lost

Today there was laughter in my house. Giggles and deep belly laughs. My silly girl had us all laughing.

I cooked a big lunch today. The whole time I was cooking dinner, Carlie was helping in the kitchen. She was laughing and making up jokes. She was dancing and being silly. And every once in awhile she would hug me and say "I love you, mama!"

Today was the best day.

You see, we haven't had many.....actually we haven't had ANY days like today. Not in the last 2 weeks, anyway.....

Carlie started 3rd grade this year. It didn't take long for her to start falling behind on her schoolwork. She wasn't finishing assignments on time. Her teacher began sending several worksheets home each day that Carlie didn't complete for classwork. Worksheets that added to our already frustrating homework workload!

When Carlie was a few years old, maybe 2 or 3, my sister in law (who has a Early Childhood degree) noticed how Carlie would "hyperfocus" on activities sometimes. Especially activities that involves creativity or imaginative play.

As Carlie got older she had trouble completing many tasks at once. If I said, take your dirty clothes down stairs, get the basket and your shoes, and bring them back up to your room. She may take the dirty clothes downstairs, but I'd find her playing or doing something else rather than completing the instructions I gave.

We've always had to call her name several times before we can jar her from whatever currently holds her attention.

We've known for years that Carlie has ADHD tendencies. I guess we hoped it would "get better" or maybe we were just in denial....

But as third grade started it became evident that we had to do something.

So.....we took her to our family doctor who then diagnosed her with ADHD. He put her on a prescription medication. Vyvanse 30mg daily. She takes it once in the morning and that's it. It time releases over 12 hours.

The improvement at school was noticeable immediately. She began staying in her seat and paying attention the very first day. She is doing a better job of completing her assignments on time, and she doesn't cry and fuss over her homework anymore either.

We were thrilled with the progress, and were prepared for the usual side effects. They too, were noticeable immediately.

She had NO appetite for the first few days. And I searched for ways to get her to eat, or to get calories in her body atleast. One night I was scrambling eggs and slicing a banana at MIDNIGHT! That's the other big symptom. She wasn't sleepy. The medication, being a stimulant, kept her up. But that night...she was hungry....and I was anxious for her to eat! She asked for eggs. So I scrambled two. I added a banana, sliced with toothpicks in them for "fun" eating. It worked....she ate every bite. The next day.....same ol' "I'm not hungry". :(

Like I said, at first those were our two BIG side effects. We kept hoping as she adjusted to medication that the side effects would ease. Those side effects have improved. She's not "normal", but much closer.

As the days turned into a couple of weeks, we began to notice our BIG side effect wasn't eating or sleeping. The big problem was how reserved Carlie had become. She doesn't laugh, or act silly. She doesn't run and jump into her daddy's arms every afternoon when he comes home. She doesn't stop to hug me every 20 minutes and say "I love you, mama!" Our once boisterous, spirited, loving little girl is now quiet and reserved.

It breaks my heart to pieces. My husband's too. Carlie's funny personality is one of our lifes' treasures. She is such a joy to be around. We miss her hugging us, and telling us silly jokes. We miss her asking probing questions that exhaust us. We miss her talking about random things that we never would've considered. We miss our precious little girl.

So we are at a crossroads. We are praying HARD for guidance. Do we take her off the meds and homeschool? It's a possibility. I'm a stay at home mom. Do we keep her in school on the meds and hope that her personality slowly comes back to us? Do we take her off the meds and keep her in public school with behavioral training. Or get her an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and keep her in public school. We see a psychologist in November and it's possible. Or go to private school for smaller classes? Or just try another medication?


We just want our girl back. It makes this even worse that we are the ones doing it! We're causing her to be hidden inside herself.....


Friday, January 29, 2010

Asking "Why?" when you already know the answer

It's so unfair to ask God 'Why?' because in Romans 8:28 we are promised "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". So we know that the answer to the question "Why?" is just that. God is doing it for our own good.

Remember when your parents told you that? "It's for your own good." Usually when my parents said that to me, it was because they were doing something, or making me do something that I did not particularly like, or agree with or even understand.

I draw that parallel to make myself understand the sudden death of a friend. An attempt to make some sense out of what seems senseless. In Isaiah 55:9 God tells us that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. So I never will understand his dying. Not this side of Heaven, anyway.

But my heart is broken. It's heavy and it hurts. Our friend leaves behind a wife and 5 children. Four girls and a boy. The youngest two, the boy and the girl are exactly my children's age. So his sudden death really hits home. I cannot imagine that kind of grief. I pray that I never have to know it. As a mother and wife, I can't imagine the desperation she feels as she longs for her husband who will never hold her again. Who will never again call her just to say "I love you". But she can't just grieve for him alone. She has to attempt to console 5 children, two of which are too young to understand. I can believe that she is greiving for her children as well. Knowing that their dad will never again coach their ball team or tuck them in at night. I can imagine that they continue to hope that this is all a bad dream, and any minute he will walk through the front door and hug them all. But he won't.

It's so hard to understand how this is for anyone's good. But I KNOW it is. It is just hard to see it through the pain. This man loved his GOD. He loved to worship. While most Baptist men quietly say AMEN throughout the sermon he shouted "Praise the Lord!" and "That's right!" along with his AMENs! He was a joy to know. People will come to know the Lord as their personal saviour because of this death. He impacted so many people. He taught Cam's Sunday school class. A few years ago he helped coach his baseball team too. He had a heart for children and teens. They will never forget him.

Neither will we. Britt and I talked to him at lenth just this past Sunday. He talked about how my kids were going to outgrow me soon and how Cam is just as thin as his son. How they keep getting taller, but no wider. We never thought that was the last we would hear his infectious laugh.

Our family, our church and our community are all devastated. It makes you take a long look at yourself. You become acutely aware of your own mortality. You hug your children and spouse, and tell them how much you love them before leaving the house. You read that second bedtime story. You stop what you are doing and answer the phone when your mom calls instead of waiting and calling her later.

And you always always always buckle your seatbelt! Everyone would much rather be at the hospital today instead of planning a funeral.

God bless,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Helping Haiti and Compassion

My heart just breaks for the people of Haiti. The people who have lost everything. Their spouse, their children, parents, homes. Today our pastor spoke about a woman on Fox News who was lying in the street being comforted by other women. The woman had lost her husband, and all five of her children. The poor woman was going out of her mind with grief!

I think sometimes we don't feel the hurt that we probably should feel for our neighbor. Or atleast I know I don't feel their hurt the way I should. Maybe because they are so far away. Since we don't have to see it firsthand, we turn a blind eye. Perhaps it's because they speak a different language and look different from ourselves. Lately God has really been working on me about having compassion for my neighbor. God wants us to care for all his people. Not just the English speaking world. Not just the United States or North America. But the entire population of the world was created in my God's image. The world in its entirety belongs to Him. We, as Christians are called to serve all God's people. ALL. OF. THEM.
I added Compassion's buttons to my blog. One where you can donate to Haiti's disaster relief. The other is about sponsoring a child. If you've never heard of Compassion you need to check them out. They are the real deal. MckMama is going to Kenya with them soon. Kelly from Kelly's Korner just got back from El Salvador. Pioneer Woman's husband Marlboro Man has been on mission with them. So has Big Mama and Boo Mama and Angie from Bring the Rain. You can also check up on Compassion at CharityWatch.Org . That should be enough sources for everyone to be satisfied! It definitely was for us. Here is a snippet about Compassion's integrity, taken from

Charity Navigator, an independent charity review group, has given Compassion its best rating eight years in a row. That places Compassion among the top 1 percent of the thousands of nonprofit charitable organizations it reviews. Compassion is also a good-standing member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

See? The real deal.

Britt and I have decided to sponsor a child. We've prayed about it for some time. But like I said, God has really been working on me about feeling the suffering of all His children. For instance, almost every morning I wake up thinking about Luke 12:48 " whom much is given, much will be required...." And our pastor is doing a sermon series on being a Selfless Servant. So......Britt and I are trying harder to be the hands and feet of God. We are praying about a child to sponsor. By looking at the Compassion site of children who need sponsors it seems that older boys are the ones who need a sponsor the most. You can choose to see the ones who have been waiting the longest. I did. There are 22 boys who have been waiting for 6 months or more!!! How sad is that?! These sweet faces from all over the world have been waiting for SIX MONTHS for someone to choose to take care of them! I wish I could sponsor them ALL!! We are praying that God will show us which one of these boys he wants us to support.
I know the economy is bad. Heaven knows we know how bad it is! We are in foodservice! You know what the first thing people stop doing in a rough economy?? They stop eating out and start cooking! But to sponsor one of those precious boys is well worth my $38 a month! Think about that $38 dollars. What do we waste $38 on? Going to the movies. For a family of 4, $38 is about what it costs just for movie tickets!!!! $38 is how much we spend on 1 breakfast and 1 lunch at McDonalds. (yes, we eat at McDonalds too!) **actually we go to church with the family that owns our local McDs, and we love them!**
What I'm saying is, for most families, you can find a way to cut $38 out of your budget. And if you go look at some of the blogs I mentioned earlier who have gone on these Compassion blogger trips, you will see your $38 at work!! Children without sponsors have NO chance of making it in this world. No education. No food. No clothing. Nothing. With our sponsorship these sweet children, God's children, can go to school, eat 3 healthy meals a day, and have clothing and shelter and most importantly hear about JESUS!! Matthew 25:40 says "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Go look at the Compassion site. And click through the links of the bloggers I mentioned. Ask yourself if you would help them if they lived next door to you, if they spoke your same language, and looked the same as you. Pray that God will open your hearts to these sweet babies that need our help.
I can't wait to share with you the child that Britt and I are sponsoring!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

That "Do something drastic" feeling?

Do you ever get the feeling to "do something drastic"?

Like....a daring new haircut, or rearrange a room, or get a tattoo?

Ok......maybe not the last one.

About once a year I get the feeling to do something drastic. To make a change. Get out of a rut. However you want to put it. That's how I feel right now!!!

Perhaps it's the unheard of frigid temperatures that have gripped the deep South, keeping me indoors, and driving me crazy!

Maybe it's the 15lbs I've gained since last Christmas.

It could be because it's Saturday and I just feel like it.

Whatever the reason, I've got the itch! The only problem is, I don't know what I want to do!

Oh, the list is a mile long of things I NEED to do......clean house, do laundry, set up my monogram machine, paint my toenails......but I feel like I need to do something drastic. Something to greatly improve my mood. I've been known to sit down in my stylists chair (she's done my hair for 15 years) and when she says "What are we doing?" I say "I don't care, just make me feel better than I did when I came in!!" And she does! So maybe I'll just go get a haircut. But, Britt hates my hair short though. And really, I love the length it is now. It's perfect for both curly and straight. So I guess that's out.....unless I can't come up with anything else!

I really want to take the furniture out of our guest room and turn it into a sewing room. No one ever sleeps in that bed, or even goes in there for that matter!! It is actually the dogs room. Sad, I know. We even refer to it as "Bentley's room". He sleeps in a playpen in there. My goal is to set all my sewing machines up......regular one, surger, and monogram, and buy a project/hobby/cutting table. I really want to start sewing again. I sewed alot for the kids when they were little, but just kind of stopped. My goal is to start making curtains and bedding.....first for myself....then perhaps as a side job!

I want to redo Carlie's room too. She got a new bed, but she needs paint, and bedding (why I need to do sewing room first!).

Maybe my mood will improve. Or maybe this feeling to do something radical will pass. I hope so, because it looks like I'm going to have to get a tattoo, since I can't think of anything else!