This picture doesn't really have anything to do with this post, but I love these boys so much...I just wanted to share their beauty with my reading masses.
Been a while, eh? I can't for the life of me be that devoted daily blogger. I don't see how all of you do it! Since we last spoke, lots has happened. We've had a birthday (Keith), a massive spend the night camp out with 14 other boys, done a 3 day training in The Seven Habits (life changing), done a 5 day training on Math Investigations (loved it), worked in my classroom along the way, prayed LOTS for Gigi and Grandadddy as they were on a mission trip in Costa Rica, read to my boys, read to myself...you get the picture.
Over the course of my absence, I have learned some things. I thought that I'd share them with you today.
#1 - I wouldn't trade my family for ANYTHING. I have the best husband, children, parents, brother, sis-in-law, nieces, and extended family in the world. Sorry readers...it's true. #2 - I am really close with my mother. I always knew it...I have never said, "I'm not close to Sue." But having her gone for 9 days made me realize...my Mom is one of my best friends. She is NEVER allowed to go on a mission trip, ever again. Period. #3 - I have decided to celebrate the "sacred ordinary." Saturday, I was out running errands listening to Dr. Dobson on the radio. He had a guest who was fabulous. She is a mom and has written a book that yes, I stopped @ Lifeway and bought. She was talking about finding what is wonderful in your children and clinging to it. She talked about having a teenage daughter who was a hormonal, raging mess. She said that it helped her to remember her chubby 3-year old hand rubbing her face saying, "I love you bunch, Mommy." She talked about finding beauty and joy in the "sacred, ordinary things." Well, Steven Covey turned my life around during my 7 Habits training, so I put it to good use. In my new, awesome Franklin Covey binder, I have listed just a select few of the "Sacred, Ordinary" things that I love so much. I won't share them today...but I will one day. You'll love them too...I promise. #4 - Laughter is priceless. I have laughed a lot lately. Sometimes to keep from crying. I heart laughing. I'm really good at it. I like to make people laugh probably more than I like to laugh myself. Laughter is great. #5 - 3 boys are FABULOUS. 14 boys...that is not fabulous. That is borderline mania. Good thing that 10 year old birthday parties only come around once. #6 - I only thought my boys ate a lot. They are growing, and so are their appetites. They are lean boys, but I am in awe at the amount of food they require on a daily basis. I need to take a day and journal what all they eat, and share it. I just may do that. #7 - I probably love the sport of golf. Were it not for our new Wii, I would never have known. I am obsessed with playing golf on the Wii. I told my Dad, if it weren't for the blazing hot sun, I could TOTALLY see myself as an avid golfer. Maybe I can be a winter golfer. #8 - There is nothing funnier than watching my 3 sons play the Wii. Oh, the laughter it has brought to our house. Back to #4. #9 - Shawn Martin is one good Daddy. He has ON HIS OWN established a new system where the boys have to earn Wii/Playstation time by reading to or with him. He is reading The Boxcar Children with Keith. I love to listen. #10 - My parents, while amazing, extreme blessings, have a twisted side. They brought everyone treasures back from Costa Rica. While I am appreciative, I am also disgusted, and frankly, angry. They brought the boys flutes. Hand carved flutes. 3 of them. I can only imagine their maniacal, evil laughter as they chose them. I was honestly frightened at the maddening looks of sheer joy and elation when they handed them over to my guys. Do you know what 3 flutes sound like, played at the loudest volume possible, in the highest pitch? I do. And it isn't pretty. These flutes are certainly NOT a sacred, ordinary memory that I will cling to. Something tells me that Harold and Sue are adding this little episode to their catalog of special memories. I must talk to them about that.
We had a great week at the beach. What did we do, you say? Here's a brief recap of some highlights.
We ate at Lambert's. Caught some throwed rolls. Waited in 150 degree heat for what seemed like an eternity while Griffin made werewolf noises the whole time.
We accumulated a nice shell collection. Daddy and Keith and Zack got some really nice ones from a sandbar and we all collected a few each day. Now they have a new home in an old jar in our guest bathroom. Picture to come later.
We watched as Grandaddy lost his glasses by a massive wave, then realized that he really is blind without them. They were new glasses. $400 glasses. We learned that when on vacation, if you are pretty much legally blind and without glasses...your trip isn't that fun. We watched Grandadddy and Gigi spend a whole day in Robertsdale waiting on some random place to make Grandaddy new glasses.
We ate lots and lots of popcorn shrimp. Daddy ate lots of raw oysters. We puked in our mouth a little each time Daddy ate them. We oooohed and aahhhed at The Original Oyster house when we realized that Daddy found not one, but 2 pearls in his oyster. The waitress verified that they are real, and that it is VERY rare to find 2 pearls in 1 oyster. We just laughed, bc hey - that's how we roll. Those pearls are in Mama's makeup bag just WAITING to be turned into a lovely little pendant. (at least 1 of them, anyway)
We dressed up like cows to get free food at Chick-fil-a. Seriously. Thursday was customer appreciation day, and if you came in dressed as a cow, you ate FREE. So we got black construction paper, scissors, and safety pins. We made spots and pinned them on our clothes, and our family of 10 (w/Uncle Chris' bunch) ate a TON of yummy Chick-fil-a for FREE!
We got really tan. And we heart it.
We laughed. A LOT.
We came in from the beach to watch the Michael Jackson memorial. At least I did. So did Shawn. And Chris and Amy. And Gigi. Who had the kids? I guess it was Grandaddy. Poor, blind Grandaddy. I loved every minute of the memorial. Paris Jackson...I love you. And Prince Michael I. And blanket. Your spontaneous words touched my heart, and hopefully quieted numerous haters. Who better to speak of your father's true character than you? Beautiful and touching. I am impressed and touched by you. And Jennifer Hudson...please come to my house and sing. I am begging you. You sang my FAVORITE MJ song. (besides Dirty Diana, but I don't think that would have been appropriate). You were radiant, and you are amazing. Mairah Carey, you are a hot mess, but at least you were conservative...for you. Brooke Shields...perfection. Your quote from The Little Prince wasn't lost on me. Spot on, my lady. You were a great friend. Al Sharpton, I even loved you. "Wasn't nothing strange about yo' Daddy...what yo' Daddy went through was strange." Yes. If by "what yo' Daddy went through" you mean Joe Jackson, the Mommy Dearest of fathers...I agree wholeheartedly. One last MJ note, and this is priceless...as soon as the service started and the 14k casket was being wheeled in to the choir singing, Gigi informs us all, "Well I think that is REALLY sacrilegious." I quickly informed her that they weren't singing about MJ as "The King" but that it was indeed a spiritual entitled "Soon and Very Soon." It was beautiful. The greatest entertainer of all time indeed. We mourned Michael Jackson, then went back down and busted some awesome cannonballs in his memory.
We rode go-carts, and Grandaddy almost killed a poor teenage worker. Seriously. And this was WITH his new glasses. If ONLY we had this on video...we would be rich.
The kids with Daddy, Grandaddy, and Uncle Chris went to a Mobile Bay Bears Game, Bass Pro Shop, and Ryan's Steakhouse. All 3 are yucky to me...all 3 were gold to them. To each his own. I was with Gigi and Duke at the Outlets.
We took our traditional beach pictures, and watched a wedding on the beach. Nice.
Lots and lots of other stuff. I'll probably remember/post it later. I'll leave you with this...Griffin just came in here and informed me that he didn't clean his room as I told him to, because he has decided that he needs his space. His exact words were, "I didn't clean it, Momtee. Yeah. I didn't. I just need my space, alright?"
Let me venture back...way back. Like 26 years back. My Mama was a teacher @ the Elementary School with Mrs. Waldrop. I prefer to call her Gabardine. Her name is Geraldine, but to me, she will forever be Gabardine. I heart Gabardine. Always have...always will. For as long as I can remember, I have been dear friends with Gabardine's daughter, Lisa.
When we were really little, we both had waist length hair that Gabardine and Sue forced us to wear in 2 ponytails. People thought we were sisters. Somewhere @ my Mom's house, I have photographic evidence to support this theory. Sadly, all the pictures I have here are after what I refer to as the "Dorothy Hammill incident" so you'll just have to take my word for it. The point I am trying to make is - we've been pals for a while.
While Gabardine and Sue did their teacher stuff, Lisa and I roamed the halls of the school playing. *for the record, I am talking about Summertime and after school* We went in the kindergarten room and climbed in the loft. I actually got hung on a breaker box once, thankfully Lisa managed to dislodge me. We talked, we laughed, we sang. We were even majorettes for a few years. That alone deserves its own post. We shook our moneymakers, and batons to such lovely numbers as "Puttin' on the Ritz" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." Sue and Gabber pimped us out to half-time shows, Miss Merry Christmas pageants and any other place that would showcase us. We were their little show ponies, forced to gallop and trot on command. *Mom, before you have a heart attack, this is sarcasm. I am being funny*
I would go to Lisa's house to watch the Barbara Mandrell show. She would come to my house and we'd listen to my Dad's Merle Haggard cassette tapes. We grew up together. We loved John and Isabella on Days. I marveled at her collection of VHS tapes of Days episodes. I loved her brother, Lane, with his sweet smile and easy way with sarcasm. He was a boy after my own heart. I really loved her Granny Louise, with her red hair, red lips, and red nails. Granny Louise...I could dedicate 50 posts to her alone.
As we grew older, we remained friends. Lisa graduated the year before I did, and like any good Christian girl, she went to THE University. Of Alabama. Now, I had somewhere to go and spend the night "in college." Sometimes, in papasan chairs. I have eaten Guthries with her, tried on Gucci Go Go boots with her, taken her to the emergency room when she was burning up with fever, made fun of bouffant hair with her, almost to the point of causing 15 car pile ups, etc. We have laughed, we have cried, we have made memories that I will treasure for my lifetime.
I remember one night at her apartment in Tuscaloosa admiring her music box/globe collection. (Lisa, am I dreaming this, or did this really happen) I believe that she had either a globe or music box that played "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. Since then (or since I first dreamed this 15 years ago), whenever I heard that song, I thought of Lisa. "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."
Lisa became involved with the theatre (or is it theater) when she moved to Tuscaloosa. I always said that I would go and see her perform. When I heard that she was THE LEAD in The Sound of Music, I knew that I had to go. I am SO GLAD that I did.
I may be biased, but I am not exaggerating. Lisa Waldrop was MADE to be Maria. Her first scene, when she sang her first "The hills are alive..." took my breath away. I was sitting there beside my mom thinking, "Don't cry Amy...don't you DARE cry." I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was so happy for her, I was so proud of her. I was so touched that my friend was fulfilling a dream...and I was there to see it. She was phenomenal. She was fantastic. She was amazing. I'm not just saying this because she is my friend, but she was every bit as good, and I believe BETTER than the original. Every nuance, every ounce of her being WAS Maria. It was magic.
So, this post is dedicated to my pal Maria, I mean Lisa. I heart you, Lisa Waldrop. I wouldn't trade our childhoods for anything. Every Sour Cream and Onion Tato Skin, every milkshake @ Argo's, every reference to "Bran Flake," every laugh, every tear...I heart them all.
I am totally serious when I say this...remember the name. Lisa Waldrop. It will be in lights one day. There is NO REASON she shouldn't be on Broadway. None whatsoever. I knew she would be good...I had no idea she would be THAT GOOD. I look forward to seeing her again, stealing the show. As always, I'll be her #1 fan...sitting in the audience, wearing my floor length denim skirt, Garth Brooks shirt, black Reebok hi-tops with my air-horn and cow bell...beaming with pride. If you are totally lost...good. You should be. That picture of beauty was an inside joke...just for Maria, I mean Lisa.
Throughout our lives together, we've traveled many paths together. I am so happy that I can honestly say that the hills have been alive...with the sound of music.
Bravo, Lisa...Bravo. Or, as Granny Louise would say, "LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-Saaaaahhhhhhhhh...." I give you two thumbs up...2 bright, red thumbs up. You are one of my favorite things. And I heart you.
Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, I took the midnight train going anywhere...no I didn't, but I'll bet you are singing along. I'm Amy. I'm just your typical smart aleck. I'm sarcastic, brutally honest, and one of the funniest people that I know. I crack myself up on a regular basis so of course I want to share my magic with the Interweb masses. I've always wanted to be a writer and a comedian, but until those jobs kick off I spend my days being a teacher, a Mama to 3 fabulously awesome boys, and a wife to Shawn.