Wednesday, March 31, 2010

8 Long Years

Eight long years ago today, my mom died suddenly. She was fine one day and gone 2 weeks later. She felt sick on Friday, but she was well enough to work all day. She felt enough worse the next day that they took her to the ER. She died after a quick decent downhill 2 weeks later. SHOCKED! That is how we all felt.

I could not believe the call I got from my sister that Sunday morning that the doctors had found a mass in her abdomen. My first thought was "not both of us". After all it had been less than 2 years since Jeremy had lost his dad to cancer.

This couldn't happen to both of us, could it? Yes, it could and it did. His dad was 43 and we were 23 when Darrel died. We were 25 when my mama died at the age of 51. That is too young. We were old enough to realize that we had been blessed with good parents, but too young to ask all the questions we have thought of since. They never got to be grandparents and that would have been so fun. For the longest time I couldn't even mention my mother to my children. It was, and sometimes still is, too painful. I miss her so much.

Two good things came out of it though. My sister and I are stronger and closer than we might have been otherwise and I am a better Christian. Definitely not what I aspire to be, but better than I was when she died. At her funeral and visitation I was amazed at how many times I heard "She was such a good Christian lady." I grew up going to church and she taught children's classes my entire life since my sister and I were two of just a handful of children there. I was baptized when I was 13. I knew she was a Christian, but I didn't really understand what a good impression she made on so many people. Not just church members, but her clients in the beauty shop, friends from numerous types of churches, all kinds of people. I realized then that I owed it to her to do better. When you live away from family and are on your own, you can go to church or not. I never lived a wild life, but I didn't attend church regularly. My mama's death made me want to be better. It was one thing I could do for her, even though she isn't here anymore.

It would have been very easy to skip church tonight. The weather was beautiful and the kids wanted to go back out and play after I fed them supper. I have a lot to do since we are leaving to visit Tennessee on Friday. It would have been easy to decide to stay home, but we went anyway. Guess what the lesson in the auditorium class was? "The Virtuous Woman". This was part of mama's eulogy.

I love you so much Mama!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our First MOPS Meeting

Jack and I attended our first MOPS meeting today. We dropped Mady off at school, went to the cleaners, swung by Starbucks, and headed over to the church where the MOPS meeting was being held. I have never been to a meeting before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. We signed in and a super nice woman, Meghan, showed us around. I walked Jack to his class and hoped he had a good time. He was sad, since it was a new place with new people. I hated to leave him; I know strange people in a new place is scary. I knew he would be fine in a few minutes. The kids had a lesson, decorated swords, made crowns, had a snack, and then played a while.
Meanwhile I went into where our meeting was Meghan introduced me to another woman and she showed me around and talked to me about the MOPS group. They usually have refreshments and today they had prepared breakfast burritos. Yummy! We just ate and talked for probably 30 minutes. Then one of the members got up and talked a bit about her personal struggles in her life right now. It was interesting and made me think again how we don't have to look far to see someone who has it worse. Then we divided up into 3 groups. My group had some really nice girls in it. I was probably the oldest and my kids were by far the oldest. There were just 4 in our group. We went to a room and planted tomato seeds and talked about how we could do this with our children and lessons we could teach them from this. Then we moved to another room where a personal trainer from the Pavilion talked to us about a form of exercise where you pick 4 exercises, and you do each for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. It was good, but let's just say jumping isn't a good idea after you have had 2 kids. Then we went to the kitchen and another lady talked to us about meal planning and nutrition. I really enjoyed it all. Everyone was really friendly. Then when I went to pick up Jack he had had a really good time. As we were walking to the car he said he had fun and could we come here again?. So I think we will go to the next meeting too.
They meet every two weeks from September till August. So I think I can handle that. There are only 2 more meetings before they break for the summer. We both had a good time and I think we'll do it again!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Madalynn's Birthday Tea Party

February was a busy month! This was due mainly to the fact that my daughter requested a "tea party birthday party at home".
I began asking what she wanted to do for her birthday back in early January. She first said she wanted to have it at Bounce U...again. I discouraged this because we had it there last year. (Little did I know that the little friend of hers that shares her birthday would say the same thing except his parents wouldn't discourage it!) So the next time I asked she said she wanted to do it at our house. I kept asking hoping she would change her mind. She didn't.
So I began about a month before her birthday. I am glad I did. We ended up having record snowfall and a few bouts of sickness, so it made it hard to get out and about without children. I looked at the calendar and decided that between Saturday the 13th and Saturday the 20th that the 20th would be a better date. (We have 3 kids at church with birthdays on the 17th and 18th and they were all born the same year. So it is definitely something to think about.) I checked the church schedule and the Kentucky basketball schedule. (We are in Big Blue country you know!) I decided on the 20th and decided we would have it from 11 to 1 pm. That way we could all go home and nap!
I looked online for ideas. I wanted to have real teacups for the girls to drink out of and ended up getting some cute little Corell cups, twelve of them at Goodwill.They had cute little flowers on them that closely matched the colors of her party. So I paid $3 for the cups I needed for her party. This way I wouldn't have to worry about anyone breaking theirs and they could take them home when we were finished. I paid a girl from church to make her cake since I had what I wanted pictured in my mind and knew she could do it. I asked a teenage friend from church to come and help with the little girls. The girls are at an age that up until this point parents stay at the parties, but I don't know when they get to an age where parents just drop them off and then pick them up. You hate to ask "So are you staying or going?" So I thought I would need extra hands. I also asked my friend, Joni to come and she graciously came and helped me too. We sent out the prettiest invitations and invited each girl to dress up for the tea party. They all looked so pretty in their dresses!
I gave them a necklace and earrings when they came in the door. We applied makeup and did their nails too. We got a delayed start because so many people were having trouble finding our house. Ironworks Road has many parts in many counties and even changes from a Road to a Pike and from just Ironworks to Old Ironworks. So this gave the girls plenty to time to play and run up and down the stairs. :) I let the girls choose where they wanted to sit and had placecards for them.
We had our tea, (raspberry); and our tea sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese). We also had chips, marshmallows, M&Ms, mints, and pickles. We played "Pin the Crown on the Princess" to give Joni time to wash teacups. (We had two cheaters who peered under their of them was Madalynn!)We also had cake, custom made to match the tablecloth and napkins and "rainbow shermin". We opened presents and then it was time for everyone to go home.
The girls all got to take home their goodie bags with their tea cups, lifesavers, M&Ms, lip balm, playdoh, and a candy bracelet.
When it was all said and done, I think everyone had a great time; Madalynn, all the girls and even all the moms that ended up staying! We had a good visit and I feel like we all got to know each other better. I was very pleased with all the details and how everything turned out. I survived our first "at home" party. Yeah!!!