Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Home for Tux

Have you ever had the chance to meet our giant dog? If so, then you most likely have said the words, "That is the biggest dog I have ever seen" or "He's such a sweet dog, but he's so dang big". Never had the pleasure of coming face to face with him? Sit at our kitchen table, and you would.

We got our giant dog as a birthday gift for Philip three years ago. He wasn't so much of a giant back then, but more of this cute little puppy that was just too hard to resist.

And now, ironically, because of Philip, , the giant dog had to go. Philip's asthma has continued to get worse with more and more days when he needs his rescue inhaler to help him control his breathing. Nothing is worse than watching your little boy have trouble getting enough air and struggle to breathe.

Along with a giant dog comes a lot of giant dog hairs and giant pet danders (whatever those things are). His doctor recommended we find a new home for him.

So after three years, our giant dog is gone. He has a new home in Luthersville now with a new family. Hopefully he will be happy. And his new family will love him and take good care of him and be able to afford to feed him.

As for Philip, it is still too soon to tell if he is getting better. He has had a runny nose lately, and any kind of respiratory/sinus drainage aggrevates his asthma symptoms. But hopefully, soon, we will be able to see an end to the coughing and breathing struggles.

Farewell, giant dog. Happy trails!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Perfect Pianist

Many many years ago, on our 2nd wedding anniversary, Donny gave me a piano. Madilyn was just a tiny little baby (and the cutest sweetest little thing you could ever imagine). As a child, I had taken six years of lessons, but over the teenage years, gave up the desire to be talented (except to perfect the talent of flirting with boys) and I hadn't touched a keyboard in years. Motherhood had once again prompted a desire to explore any god-given talents I might have, so I had mentioned to Donny that I would love to have a piano in the house to try and relearn how to play.

That was back in the day when he listened to me, and loved to surprise me with gifts. Not so much now. He still listens, occasionally, but he won't buy me anything without my prior approval.

Over the next couple of years, I toyed around with my piano, but when we bought our first house in Memphis, there simply was not room in the house for it. 1400 square feet can only go so far with a family of four, and eventually five.

So, my piano sat nestled in the corner of the garage for years. We thought about selling it many times. But I just couldn't bring myself to let it go.

Then we moved here, and it has had a permanent residence in the basement since, untouched, collecting dust, wasting space. Kind of sad, more like wasting the piano, not the space.

So now Madilyn has expressed an interest in playing. She is a music lover and so who am I to deny her the opportunity to develop a talent.

Many discussions were had on how to rearrange the house most effectively and efficiently to fit it on the main floor, out of the basement. After some rearranging, we had a place for it.

Then came the fun - getting it from the basement to the upstairs. Ever moved a piano? Then you know what I am talking about. I won't go into any details, but Martha tried to help, and the old lady just about got stuck in the mud, but she finally pulled and tugged her way up the back hill and delivered my piano right up to the front door. And after this night, I think Donny cursed the day he ever cared enough about me to buy the piano to begin with.

So now it sits in the front dining room, and it compliments the room quite well.

And Madilyn, well, she is a natural. Who knew she was actually learning stuff in music class at school? She already knew the names of the notes on the staff, how to count time. All I had to teach her to get started was the names of the keys on the piano. She has been playing every day this week, and I have to make her get off of it once I have taken all the noise I can handle for one day. I'm really proud of her and am looking forward to watching her learn to play and listening to the beautiful music she is going to make.

Yes, I failed to mention that she is playing from her recorder book. Kind of funny, right? But hey, notes are on the same place on a graph for the piano as the recorder, so it's all good! At least until I can get her a beginner book to teach her from. Lessons will start soon. I thought I would teach her at first, but she knows a lot more than I thought she did, so she will be ready for lessons a lot sooner than later!
As for the piano, well, it needs a little work. Ten years of nonuse, stuffed in corners has done a number on it. The tuner guy is coming in a week, and hopefully after a $200 pitch raise the piano will be in good-enough working shape. At least for us it will have to be!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Far We Have Come

You may remember a time not so long ago when Donny and I both had a moment of lapse in judgement and granted our only daughter the wish of her dreams - a sleepover. Not just with one friend, but two.

Since that time, there have been many sleepovers and we have come to enjoy them, except for the whole sibling rivalry that only a good sleepover can stir up.

For Madilyn's birthday she, like most girls her age, wanted to have a sleepover.

Okay, sure. Why not. You only turn 11 once in your life, and I better enjoy her while she still wants to hang out at home. As fast as time flies, it won't be long before being at home will be the last place she wants to be.

(insert my dreaded sigh here)

So on the Friday night after her birthday, three of her little girlfriends came over for what was supposed to be a sleepover.

We went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel at the movies. Favorite part: The Chipettes singing and dancing to "All the Single Ladies". Those little rodents could move!

Now my wish for any sleepover would be sleeping. Why else is it called a sleepover? So about midnight, I settled them down (and after the candy surplus I had provided them with, this with no easy task!), and thought they would all be off in dreamland before long.

The next day, I was watching all of Madilyn's home videos they had recorded on her beloved new iPod during the night, and well, there was not any sleeping going on during that night. And who knew girls could act so wild and crazy? It was very interesting to see. I would post a video, but for some reason, one of the girls chose to not wear her pj pants, and I don't think her mother would appreciate me showing you the evidence of the immodesty.

So thanks girls for all the fun! And for provided Madilyn with the need to actually take a nap during the middle of a Saturday afternoon after you left. Miracles never cease!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Pea Pod gets an iPod

Remember how it is Madilyn's birthday? Well, there is only one thing that has been on her "list" - an iPod. She wanted one for Christmas, but Santa, well, he didn't come through for her.

Good thing she can always depend on her parents and grandparents!

I was lucky enough to capture the look of actual surprise on her face as she opened the gift to reveal the long-time coveted iPod

Next, I was tackled by a huge bear hug and showered with "Thank you, thank you, thank you"s.

And to share her excitement with all of you, here is her very first video she recorded on the nifty little thing

And not to toot my horn, but I made some dang fine cupcakes for her class at school.

They were so good that I had to come home and make another batch because them dang kids ate them all!

Happy birthday Madilyn! Hope your 11th was a memorable one.

Oh, but don't worry. The celebration is not over. Stay tuned later in the week to find out how we will wrap up this birthday week!

Double 1's

Can it really be that another year has already passed? Wasn't it just yesterday I was sharing Madilyn's fabulous 10th birthday with you? And now, now today, she is turning eleven?


Not sure how to take it. Just doesn't seem fair that she is no longer a baby. Wonder if that is why I dreamed about having a baby girl last night?

And no, that is not any kind of announcement. None of the sorts.

And don't even get me started on how I feel about the countdown to Middle School, just months away. I can hear the ticking of the clock, counting down the time to when I have to send my child, my only daughter, my innocent naive little girl into a school filled with raging hormones, rebellious teenagers, and semi-independent cell-phone carrying kids.

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

But enough of my self-despair.

This is Madilyn's day remember.

So back to her.

I will try to put my feelings about the whole 11 business aside, and focus on her for a minute.

So Happy Birthday to my girl. It has been a long year, filled with ups and downs, and some pretty serious scares. When I think about what "could have been" I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for her health and strength and well-being. She has amazed me with her personal strength and her ability to remain calm. I know that this is a spiritual gift to her from her Heavenly Father, one that will serve her well as she grows and matures and someday sprouts her own wings and flies away. To know her is to love her. She is sweet, funny, goofy, innocent, beautiful and divine.

When I think of Madilyn, I still imagine her as this little girl.

But she is growing up, and now today she is eleven years old.

Happy Birthday Mack, Mackie, Macoroni, Macaroon, or as I called you when you were a baby, Pooh. I love you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Did it Snow?

Yes, just enough.

Just enough to make us true southerners remember why we choose to live in the South.

Just enough for schools to be cancelled and give me yet another reason to be thankful I am no longer working.

Just enough to tease the kids into actually wanting to go outside at 8:30 in the morning, only to be right back in a few minutes later, and prove to me that they actually do have some common sense.

Just enough to get a full load of laundry wet and ready to be washed.

Just enough to watch my giant dog act crazy sniffing and snorting around the ground followed by a good laugh as he slips and slides across the ice.

Just enough to make one very small piece of what should be a snowman, only to realize that we just didn't get enough to complete him.

Just enough that now at lunchtime, it is almost already gone.

Just enough to remind me that everything covered in white is beautiful and peaceful, but instills a love of spring and green in my heart that much deeper.

Just enough to get a few classic snow shots of the kids on the one day a year we have white stuff.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Crimson Rose

Have you ever wondered why we bleed bright crimson red blood? Ever wonder why Alabama is often referred to as "God's Country"? Ever wonder why crimson red is the color of the rose that symbolizes love?

There can only be one answer to these question.

Alabama Football.

The Crimson Tide.

God loves us!

How fitting that our latest National Championship comes by way of the Rose Bowl stadium!

No doubt the angels are singing and chanting along with us all the classic Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer cause way to give 'um Hell Alabama!

Roll Tide~~~~~