Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

As of last night around 11:00, my house was officially clean and back to normal (that is, if it's ever normal around here). The Christmas decorations are put away, new toys have found a home, old toys have been stored, and the dust that collected during the holidays (or should I say the entire month of December) has been cleaned! It feels good to have things clean and fresh, but it always makes me a little sad that it's all over.'s hard to stay sad when I think about all the great memories we made this year. It truly was a great Christmas!

We started our celebrations on Friday, the 19th. We had our annual "Big Family" Christmas at my parent's house. This is the time when all 4 of the Baddley children, their spouses, their children, and Nana and Doo Daddy get to celebrate together. This year my OLDest sister, Tracey, and her husband Steve were unable to make it (they had a company party in OKC that night), but the rest of the clan was there. We had a terrific time exchanging gifts with the ones we knew we wouldn't see during another part of the holidays, EATING, and talking a ton! If anything can be said for the Baddleys...WE CAN TALK!
Those in attendance: My brother, Tommy, his wife Amy, and their son Griffin; My sister Tracey's children: Steven, Steven's girlfriend (who has since become is fiance'- YEA!) Barbara, and Todd; My sister Tina, her husband Kirk, and their sons Joshua and John Thomas; Myself, my husband Rusty :), and our daughters Karson and Campbell! And of course...the patriarchs of the whole crew...Mom and Dad (aka - Nana and Doo Daddy).

I'm so mad at myself...I didn't take a single picture that night. Boo.

Our next celebration started on Chrismas Eve. My sister, Tina's family, and mine alternate every other year spending "real" Christmas with our family and our in-laws. This year was a year for our family, so we met our parents at their church for their Christmas Eve service. It was a very special time. Campbell didn't last long, so Rus spent most of the service in the foyer with her. She kept wanting to "talk" through the sermon. It was so sweet, but a little disturbing to those around us. The sermon was about anticipating the joy - how appropriate! Our hearts are still so tender right now after losing Mar, that the service was extra emotional for us...and that's okay.

After church we headed back to Nana and Doo Daddy's for some yummy snacks and fellowship. We got the children bathed and in their PRECIOUS matching jammies that Nana bought them, put out cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer, and then scooted them off to bed. Santa (or should I say the 4 elves) got to work! Thankfully Rus had already put together the bike Santa was bringing for Karson, so we didn't have hours of work ahead of us! We were still up til nearly 1:30. Oh! I almost forgot...We added something new to Santa's repertoire this year...we made boot prints out of baby powder coming from the fire place (it looked like ashes)! So cute, and the kids thought it was so funny the next morning!

Christmas morning started as late as we could hold the children off...7:30 (but I did have to wake Campbell up - bless her soul). We let them come downstairs all together and the festivities began. They discovered all that Santa had brought them with MUCH delight, and then spent quite a bit of time opening their gifts from each other, Nana and Doo Daddy, and Mom and Dad. We had to take a breakfast break after the "children's portion" of the morning and re-fuel. After a YUMMY breakfast of biscuits, bacon, cinnamon rolls, garlic cheese grits, and fruit - wow!, the children got to play with their presents while the adults opened their gifts. What a blessing! After it was all over, we were on "joy overload".

We all rested for a little while, and then started up the cooking for Christmas night. My brother and his family came over and we had a yummy dinner and fun time with them. My parents had given each of the grandchildren his/her own fleece blanket as one of their gifts, and we all got tickled watching all of them wander around with them. Those blankets were totally multi-purpose - they were turned into forts, capes, skirts, lovies, trampoline partners, and other assorted things. I don't think Nana expected quite the amount of joy they would bring! By the time we went to bed that night, we were EXHAUSTED! Thankfully everyone slept well and woke up rested.

The day after Christmas, Teen and I were able to stay at Mom and Dad's and help take down ALL of the Christmas decorations. With Mom's MS, this is always such a huge task for her. The kids played so sweetly (even little Miss Campbell crawled around happily) while we worked. Not only were we able to help Mom out, but we got to spend fun time together talking and working side by side. I know these are the times that always make the best memories. By the time we all went home, my heart was completely FULL!!!

Those in attendance: Nana, Doo Daddy, Teen, Kirk, Joshua, John Thomas, Tommy, Amy, Griffin, Rusty, Melissa, Karson, and Campbell - fun times!!!

Look! Santa brought Karson a bike! She was showing us her mad driving skillz. That's John Thomas following behind on his new big wheel!

Campbell says, "Oooooh!!! Look! Santa put these yummy wagon wheels in my stocking!"

Sticking with the "Baddley girl tradition" of trying on all new pairs of's Big Girl in her new and very cute rain boots!

This precious hat came courtesy of Nana and Doo Daddy. Now that is some cute!

Karson took this picture of us after we had finished the Presents Extravaganza of '08! As you can see, we dressed for the occasion!


Our final celebration took place on Saturday with the Zumwalts. On years that we are not with them for "real" Christmas, we usually try to celebrate before, but with Rus's job change, the timing just wouldn't work out this year (we're missing those days off work for Winter Break). We had a fabulous time, nonetheless!

I must say that I married into one of the funniest families on the planet! These people are comedic from the oldest to the youngest. It's so fun to watch (and participate with) them all together! It's also somewhat comforting to know that the next generation will carry on - the kids are hilarious too!!! We had some moments of side-splitting laughter and fun! We all opened MORE presents and so enjoyed spending time together!

Those in attendance - Jerry and Martha (aka- Rus's parents, aka- Ma and PaPaw); Rus's brother Rob, his wife Leigh Anne, their children Parker and Bella, Rus, Melissa, Karson, and Campbell

Here are the girls in front of Ma's Christmas tree!

*I have 2 more pictures I want to post...but my computer is taking forever! I will have to post them tomorrow.

That about sums it up! It was a VERY Merry Christmas, indeed! We anticipate 2009 with great joy!

Thank you God for the blessings of this year - the gift of new life, the triumphs, the struggles, the sad endings, the changes, the new beginnings, the loss of precious life, the nearness of treasured family and friends, and most of all, for the gift that is YOU!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bring on Christmas!!!!

First of all, thank you for all of the sweet comments and prayers for my family concerning my grandmother. We all made it there and home safely - thank you, Lord! The service was beautiful and so celebratory of an extraordinary life. Our emotions are still high, but we are so grateful for the life she led.

Now that we are all home...Christmas is upon us! We have already celebrated 1 "Christmas" - we have several more to go...we can't wait! I thought you might like to see how the girls looked in their Christmas dresses at church this morning.

*Note - I always try to make things even between them...including the number of pictures I post! Campbell is getting more and more difficult to photograph these days due to her increasing mobility. The only shots we got of her were "action shots", so I had to post both! :)

Here's our big girl! We didn't even have to have a discussion over bows this morning...I think it was an early Christmas gift! :)
And she's off! Look at that grin...she is definitely up to something!
We finally got her to sit still for a minute...even if it was backwards! (She did have shoes on prior to the photography session. By this point, we were "picking our battles")

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My sweet grandmother, Mar

After a really tough battle with Alzheimer's, my sweet grandmother opened her eyes this morning, and then went home to be with the Lord.

Marjorie Elaine Chitty Ferrell Shumate, "Mar", was a lady of class. She was tiny in stature, but she made up for it with spunk! Until she got sick, she was one of those ladies who NEVER acted her age. And she was sassy. She drove around in a little Mercedes, wore cute clothes, and exercised daily. More importantly, she was a godly woman. I am so proud to be part of her heritage, and hope to honor her legacy.

Mar was never really the "typical" grandmother. Now don't get me wrong, she was awesome...just not "typical". She didn't have gray hair. She didn't wear grandma clothes. She didn't send bad gifts on birthdays or holidays. I just never remember her acting like a typical grandmother.

You must know that Mar was a true Southern lady. She had an accent as thick as any Southerner you've ever met. I can hear it in my head even as I type this. I LOVED to answer the phone and hear, "Hello Darlin' ". That was always her greeting. I can only guess that she greeted many heavenly friends this morning with that exact phrase!

In the Summer of 1997, Rus ended up playing pro ball for a team in Meridian, MS...which happened to be the hometown of one Mrs. Marjorie Shumate. What are the chances? Anyway, it was so fun to hear about my Mar from Rus. She took him to church with her and showed him off to all of her friends. She told me later that they all thought he was cute! She also made him brownies!!!! Now, remember, I told you that Mar was not the "typical" grandmother. This includes the fact that I never in my life remember her making me any sort of baked goods...but she made Rus brownies! During that Summer I traveled to Meridian with Rus's parents to watch him play. I stayed at Mar's house for a whole week. This is one of my most special and cherished memories of her. It is the only time in my life that I spent time completely alone with her (without my mom or my siblings). We had so many special talks during that week. I am so thankful for that time that only God could have planned for us.

When my mom called to give me the news this morning, I broke down. Mar has been getting progressively worse for the past 5 or 6 years. She has basically been in a coma-like state for many months. Because of the progression of the disease, babies being born, finances being tight, etc., I haven't been to see her in a long time. I regret this. I regret that my children never got to meet such an amazing woman, and that I never got to introduce her to 2 of my biggest blessings. I regret that I didn't get to say goodbye.

What I do not regret is that she is no longer suffering. I do not regret the fact that she is alert, awake, and no longer confused as to where she is and who people are. I do not regret the fact that she got to see my grandaddy for the 1st time in 28 years. I do not regret the fact that she is in Heaven with Jesus. I WILL SEE HER AGAIN! Oh, how I can't wait!

Tonight, my heart is heavy. I'm hurting especially for my mom. She has been preparing for this for years, but no one is ever ready to lose their mother. She and my dad are already on their way to Mississippi. My siblings and I will go in a few days. The funeral is planned for Monday. It all seems so final...yet so chaotic at the same time.

Lord, give us comfort in this time of grief. Help us to rejoice over her new body and remember that we will be reunited someday soon.

Mar, you will be missed. I love you so much. Thank you for the blessing of your life. You were truly one of a kind.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This past Saturday night was our Sunday School Christmas party. Our friends Pat and Jennifer are the teachers of our class, and they always go above and beyond to make it fun. This year's theme was "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". We ate good food, gave "bad" gifts, and wore UGLY sweaters. It was a contest to see who could find the ugliest! There would be a female winner and a male winner. Well...

I am SO proud to announce that The Zumwalts took home BOTH prizes! When you look at the picture, I think you will agree that the prize was well deserved. Those are some UGLY sweaters! Can you believe people actually used to think that was cute?

I should have gotten a full length shot...this just doesn't give the sweaters justice! 'bout those turtle necks???? Nice.

In other Christmas news, Karson's Christmas party at dance class was tonight. Her class did a little dance from the Nutcracker, and then they had treats. Fun times! We came home on a MAJOR sugar high...'tis the season! Here are a few pics...

Performing the "doll" dance

Group shot! Look at those arms. Wow Karson. Didn't your Mommy teach you anything?

"Hurry up Mommy! My arms are VERY tired!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm so technologically advanced...NOT!!!

It's my blog, so I can brag if I want to.

Look at me!!!! I figured out how to make my blog cute and festive for Christmas! It only took me over an hour to figure it out (and believe me, this should not have taken an hour).

It's the little things in life, people. The little things! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Catching Up!

Wow! It's been a while...where does the time go? I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I LOVE this time of year!!! We already have our tree up and Christmas songs are playing in my car...Tis the Season!

Since I'm totally lame, and can't think of a creative thing to blog about, I thought I would just document what's been going on and post a few pics. goes!
1. Our anniversary was AWESOME! Rus had a great day planned for us. We started out the day at the spa! We had a couples massage, couples pedicures, and couples manicures! He was such a trooper to do all of this with me - it made it so much more fun! After our morning of relaxation, we went shopping for a new entertainment center (we got a new flat screen TV)...we STILL haven't found what we are looking for! We ended the day going to eat at Bone Fish (so yummy) and then to a movie. I can't remember the last time we had a date like that! It was a great day, and very special occasion to celebrate!

2. The girls have been so sweet lately. Campbell is crawling everywhere, and Karson is loving the fact that she is getting easier to play with! Many days I will find them in Karson's room playing with the pretend food or reading stories together. It blesses my heart every time! I'm so glad that (so far) they are so happy together. The other night I put them in the tub for a bath. I had to run to my room for something and told Karson to watch Campbell for a sec. When I came back, they were playing so sweetly with Karson's bath toys - I had to get a picture!
Rub a Dub Dub...2 girls in a tub!

3. We had a great Thanksgiving Break. It was so great to all be at home together and hang out with the family. Campbell was sick for part of it, but we think she's turned the corner - thank you, Lord! Now that it is officially the Christmas season, we've started talking a lot about the Christmas Story. Tonight, I gave Karson the "Christmas Test". You know, the one where you make sure your child doesn't answer the question, "What is Christmas about?" with the answer, "PRESENTS!!!! SANTA!!!!! TOYS!!!!!". Thankfully...she passed! I asked the BIG question, and her sweet reply was, "It's Jesus' Birthday!". While I was busy patting myself on the back for being such a terrific, Christian, Godly mother to my children (and so humble, I might add), she asked to see the Toys-R-Us ad from the paper this morning. Wow. The Lord knew I needed a little reality check. :)

4. A Few other pics that I just thought were fun...

My smart girl...she wrote a story! This was a about a loud hippopotamus! If you look closely, you can find those words in her own invented spelling! It's so fun to watch her learning!!!

Campbell's hair is growing like crazy! We love to "style" it right after she gets out of the bathtub. I had to get a pic! Paci, anyone?

May the joy of this blessed Season surround you! Have a great week!

Friday, November 14, 2008

10 Years!!!!

10 years ago today I married the love of my life.

We have a fun weekend planned to celebrate! I will be sure to post details after it's over!

Happy Anniversary Rus!

I love you more than ever.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I've been waiting to post my Halloween pictures until after everyone else's had been out there for a few days. I wanted to make sure that my children were "ooohed and aaaahhed" over appropriately....Actually, I'm just late...but it sounded good!

We had a GREAT time last Friday! Karson got to wear her costume to school, so our festivities began early in the day. We went trick-or-treating at Aunt Tracey's (a tradition since Karson's 1st Halloween) and then went to the church for our Fall Festival. For the first time, Karson figured out about the "CANDY, I WANT TO GET MORE CANDY", so it was extra fun to see her get excited about it!

I can't believe how warm the weather was (around 75 degrees). Campbell had the cutest little lamb costume that she was supposed to wear. I had a flashback to Halloween '04 when Karson was a bumblebee. It was a precious FLEECE costume, and because it was an unusually warm year, she spent the night crying because she was so hot. Needless to say, I did not want a repeat performance! We opted to wear a sweet little tutu that Cousin Bella gave us. I was very sad not to see her as a lamb, but she was a pretty cute little ballerina princess...and she didn't shed a tear, so it was well worth the wardrobe change!

We ended the night in the fellowship hall listening to great music and eating ice cream! Both girls were happy and tired. It was a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
The traditional, "stand by the front door" pose - Here's Karson as..."Sharpay" from HSM!!!
Our little ballerina princess! (She's saying "abracadabra")
Cams and Aunt Tracey - 1st Trick or Treat!

When we 1st arrived at the church, we ran into...Addi!!!! Oh, the love!!!!

Campbell found a friend too! This is Landrie (our friends Nick and Casie's daughter who is 2 months younger...and so cute!!!!)

Karson wanted her face painted 1st thing - we got a pink butterfly on one cheek and a purple flower on the other...lovely.

In other news...tonight is Election night. We were watching some of the coverage before Kars went to bed (because I became strangely obsessed with it today). She came over by me and asked who I voted for. I told her "McCain". She asked if he was winning, and I told her no. She then went over to Rus to ask who he voted for. When he replied, "McCain", she threw herself down on the floor and said, "But he's not winning!!!!". Then she popped up and exclaimed, "I know! Let's go vote again!".

Unfortunately, the polls were closed. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Karson!!!

***Update - Thanks Lauren, for helping me figure out how to change the date! Also, I've added pictures of the birthday fiesta!

Dear Karson,

5 years ago today, at 1:03 pm, you took your first breath in this world. And I became a mommy. Oh my goodness what a special day! I still remember seeing you for the very 1st time and bursting into tears because I already loved you so much. You have been a blessing from the moment you arrived, and it is so hard for me to believe that you are already 5! The years have gone by so fast, and yet there are so many things that are already foggy in my memory. This, I do have made me a better person.

You were a very easy baby. You slept through the night when you were 7 weeks old. You didn't spit up very much. You hardly ever cried. You were a happy baby. The only real "issue" we had was that you entered the stranger anxiety phase with a bang. It was hard to leave you in the nursery because you always cried. They always told us that you got over it quickly - thank goodness. Other than that, you were a 100% perfect baby - not that I'm biased or anything.

Now, I must say, that for the most part you have been a very easy child to raise... except when it came to POTTY TRAINING. Oh my goodness! Girlie, you nearly put me in the loony bin! We tried everything we knew to do. You just wouldn't do it. Your big trick was to "hold it" all day. By all day, I mean ALL DAY! We told you not to go pee pee in your big girl panties, so you didn't...but you wouldn't go on the potty either! It was a very drama filled time. I just knew you were going to start school in a diaper! Eventually, you decided to cooperate, and once you did it, we had 2 accidents. Isn't that amazing that I know how many accidents you had? Truly, 2!

We've also had our set of scares with you. About a week after your 3rd birthday was when we found the lumps under your chin and began the process of finding out what was wrong (microbacterial infection of the lymph nodes). You had 2 surgeries (one on November and one in April) to remove them. After that you stayed on some REALLY yucky antibiotics (3x a day) for over 4 months. You were such a trooper through it all, and never complained. I am still so thankful for all of the wonderful doctors that led us through that scary time. I'm even more thankful, looking back, that it was nothing more major than it was.

I worry about you, my sweet girl. You have done such a great job of starting school and being so brave this year. But you are still so painfully shy. Sometime it hurts my heart to watch you have to try new things. It makes you completely nervous and scared - to the point of tears many times. You are such a silly, crazy girl at home. I so wish that others could see this side of you. I feel that so many people that have met you are robbed from knowing the "real" you. I'm so proud of you and how hard you try to overcome your fears. I know it will only get better with time. Please know that you are constantly in my prayers. God will protect you and guide you. You need not be afraid.

Your 4th year of life has brought so many changes. You became a big sister, you started dance, and, you started big girl school...just to name a few. You have handled all of this amazingly well. Each day seems to bring something new for which I have to be proud. I depend on you much more than you probably realize. You truly are my helper at home and at preschool. I couldn't do it without you, and I never want to try!

It's hard to imagine that someone could love you more than I do. Oh, but baby girl, there is someone. Jesus loves you more than I could ever comprehend. I want so much for you to know Him in your heart. I want to share more of Him with you and teach you more about Him. My prayer for you this year is that you would come to know Him more. This will always be my prayer for you. That is the greatest gift I could ever give you.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. I love you more than you'll ever know. Thank you for blessing my life every day. You are truly one of my life's GREATEST gifts.

I love you so much,
For the "big 5" birthday party, we went to see High School Musical 3! Such fun! (Excuse the photography/editing skills - my picture WILL NOT rotate!)

Mommy wasn't all that sad that help was still needed for reading birthday cards!

Here's a pic of Daddy and Karson trying out one of her new Easy Bake Oven!

Being born around Halloween has its perks! Today was pajama day at preschool. Since Kars comes with me in the mornings, both girls got to sport their MATCHING (I know you're shocked) jammies! Cams wasn't much in the mood for a photo shoot after school.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Change - It Is A Comin'

Tomorrow will be Rus's last day as a teacher and coach. Wow. That seems so weird.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that some things we had been praying about were coming to fruition. This is it! Monday, October 27th, Rus will report to work at Samson Resources. It is an oil company based in Tulsa. This will be a HUGE change for him. We are excited, nervous, scared, anxious, and blessed to be beginning this new adventure. God has been in complete control of all of this, and we can't wait to see where He leads us.

A little background...

If you know Rus at all, you know how much he loves baseball. It is one of his GREAT passions. He played in high school, college, and professionally. He has always said that he felt coaching baseball was his calling. God has allowed him to impact so many lives while coaching this sport. At first, he was the coach that taught history; but gradually he became the history buff by morning and the baseball coach by afternoon! When he got his first teaching job (6th grade World History at Bartlesville Public Schools - wow), he was scared to death to enter the classroom. It was simply something he was doing so that he could coach. By last year, he had the entire school board in his room to watch him teach a lesson to his sophomore US History class using Web Streaming. Needless to say, "the coach that taught history" was impacting just as many lives off the field as he was on!

In his 10 years of teaching/coaching, we have been blessed with 2 beautiful daughters. Because we felt that God called me to stay at home with our girls, Rus took on more and more extra-duty roles at school in order to make this possible. Even during his off season, this kept him away from home many nights out of the week. By the time baseball season would role around, we were already used to being "without" him at home. As anyone could possibly see, this took its toll. It took his toll on him. On me. On the girls. On our marriage. On our family. Something had to give.

This past summer we began to pray that God would open doors and provide a way for us to be able to be together more as a family without it being a huge financial strain. We recognized the fact that for the past 4 years God had provided a way for us to make things work out financially and we gave Him praise for that. But we also prayed about the fact that in order to make things work out financially it was coming at a sacrifice to our time together. From there, we began to talk about the possibility of him leaving the field of education and coaching. I clearly remember staying up late one night talking about it and asking him how he felt about having to give up coaching. His reply was, "Honestly, it feels like cutting off my leg. I can't imagine life without it."

As the school year approached and doors began to close on other possibilities, we decided that God was leading us to stay where we were. Rus started the school year and began off-season with his boys just like always. In the meantime, my mom asked if it would be okay to write a letter to a man in her church that is a VP with Samson. She said she simply wanted to tell him about Rus and about what we had been praying about over the summer. We talked about it and told her it would be fine to write the letter. Since the school year had begun, we didn't really think much about it, and kind of put the thought out of our minds.

Well...a few weeks after the letter was sent, Rus got a call from Samson asking him to come in for an interview. I'll spare you the details from's pretty easy to figure out what happened. What I will tell you is that between that 1st interview and tomorrow there have been COUNTLESS prayers said and MANY hours spent trying to make the right decision. We are so humbled and blessed by God's grace for us. We are so grateful for His provision and wisdom. While this would never have been our timing, He knows best and we can't wait to see what this new adventure brings.

As a wife, I am incredibly grateful to be married to a man that would be willing to give up one of his great loves just for our family. As a mom, I am proud to parent with someone who puts his children first. Our girls don't realize it now, but they have an incredibly unselfish daddy who just did something amazing FOR THEM!

I know how scared I am to begin this new stage of life, so I can't even imagine how Rus is feeling. To start something completely new and foreign...well, that's just flat out BRAVE.

So, next Monday morning at 8 o'clock, when you're heading to work or fixing breakfast or driving your kids to school, please say a prayer for Rus. He will be entering Corporate America for the first time, and you know what? I think Corporate America will look a little bit better on Monday morning, due to a certain new employee at Samson Resources!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Turnip Reunion

The 2 years I spent at Kilgore College are 2 of the best years of my life. I learned so much about dance, discipline, life...and friendship. The dorm where we lived as Rangerettes was organized into suites. You had a room mate, and then shared a bathroom with another room...your suite mates. My freshman year I roomed with a very dear high school friend. We are still friends to this day, but we were NOT cut out to be roommates! :) My sophomore year I found myself living with 3 of the most precious girls on earth. We nick-named our suite "the turnips"(it makes sense to us). We only lived together as a "suite" for one year, but we formed a friendship that is one of my most treasured possessions. That was 13 years ago! Since then, we have gone through marriages, babies, jobs, moves,! I wouldn't trade them for anything.

About 5 years ago, we decided that we needed to start getting together once a year. We made a plan and have actually STUCK TO IT! We take turns going to each other's hometowns. The weekends we spend together go by way too fast, but are always such fun! Our husbands have grown to be friends, and our kids treat each other like cousins! This past weekend was our "Turnip Reunion 08". It took place in Longview, Texas home of Jana Cloonan Horne (and her precious family). Jana was my roommate. Our suite mates, Amy Mays Jeter and Colleen Mock Stapp joined us and fun was had by all. Our itinerary was:

Friday - arrive around 4ish; kids and dads hang out at the Hornes; girls go out for LONG dinner and LOTS of chatting (I don't think there were more than 5 seconds of silence).

Saturday - eat breakfast as a "gang" at the hotel; go to a nearby playground to let the kids play; eat lunch at Taco Bueno (thank you Rus and Kate); eat ice cream at Shake's (yum); split up for a little down time/rest - guys go golfing; meet up at the Horne's house for a FALL EXTRAVAGANZA!!! (cook-out, hayride, pumpkin carving, roasting marshmallows, costume parade, FUN!!!!!)

Sunday - eat breakfast as a "gang" at the hotel; hang out for a while; time to leave :(

Too quickly our time was over and it was time to go home. I must say that both of the girls did incredibly well in the car on the way there and back - thank you, Lord! We had an awesome time. Thank you, Horne family, for such a fun weekend!!! Here are a few pictures to recap!

These are the girl "turnip greens" (aka kids). They are quite a sassy bunch!!!

Here we are ready to go on the hayride (Jana, I'm sad you're not in this picture). From L to R - Colleen (holding Wilson), Amy (holding Kate), Me (holding Campbell), Jana's son Ryan, Colleen's daughter Madalyn, Karson's head/bow, Jana's son Will. That's Jana's precious husband, Justin driving the tractor! SO MUCH FUN!!!

Okay, so not much scenery, but isn't she cute?!!! This was half-way through our hay-ride when we stopped to "pick pumpkins". Campbell was a bit confused as to what we were doing!

ALL of the "turnip greens" in their Halloween costumes! L-R - Kate, Will, Wilson, Ryan, Madalyn, Karson, and Campbell. Do they look like a fun bunch, or what?!

Here we are, carving pumpkins. Jana was the QUEEN of cleaning them out!!! We tried to get Amy to get her hands dirty, but she was not having any part of it.

Here's how our pumpkins turned out! Karson was too funny - she stood behind "her" pumpkin for quite a while..."guarding it". I don't know what she thought was going to happen to it!

Jana was so sweet and gave Karson a "Build-a Bear" kit. Karson was insistant that we put it together AS SOON AS WE GOT HOME!!! didn't happen last night, but we (and by that, I mean 'I') put it together today. Colleen, I want you to send my a picture of Madalyn's...I know you don't have anything else to be doing! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Bible Scholar In Our Midst

Last night was "Open House" for Karson's Pre-K class. We had so much fun getting to go to her room and see all of the neat things she's been doing. We met some of her new friends and looked at her work on the bulletin board. Because of the system they have for drop off/pick-up, I never get to see her room. I now have a better picture of where my baby is everyday! It looked like such a happy place, and Mrs. Kendall said that Karson was doing great! Needless to say, we were VERY proud of our big girl!

Miss Jennifer was so sweet to keep Campbell last night so that we could focus all attention on K and her big girl class. I must say that once Karson found out that Campbell was staying at Miss Jennifer's, we had to bribe her to go with us. She wasn't too excited about missing out on her time with one of her FAVORITE ladies! I digress...

On the way to the school, Rus and I were chatting with Karson about her day. It was a Thursday, so it was a "double school" day. We have named Tuesdays and Thursdays "double school" days because Karson goes with me to preschool in the mornings (she is in the 4 year old class) and then goes to her Pre-K class in the afternoons. It really is a PERFECT arrangement.

Anyway, as we were chatting about her day, we were also listening to Bob and Larry! The song "Whole World In His Hands" came on. When it got to the part that says, "He's got the wind and the rain in His hands", Karson shouts from the back seat, "I know that story!"...and the following conversation occured.

Rus - Yes, the one when Jesus' friends were scared of the storm, and Jesus made the rainstop.

Karson - No, Daddy, the one with the whale!

Me - Jonah and the whale?

Karson - Yes!

Me - (Ever the annoying teacher) Tell us about it.

Karson - Well, Jonah got swallowed by a whale. God sent it to save him.

Rus - Why?

Karson - Because he disobeyed.

Me - That's right, God told him to go to Niniva and he didn't go. (Then I quickly turned to Rus and said under my breath, "is that right?")

Karson - Mmm hmm, so God made a storm come and dump him out of his boat and then He sent the whale to save him.

Rus - So did the whale eat him?

Karson - No, he just swallowed him up. And Jonah stayed in the whale's tummy and it was VERY smelly in there.

Me - Did the whale finally spit him out?

Karson - Yep, and then Jonah was covered in WHALE SLOBBER!

You called it Miss Shelbi (Karson's Bible Story teacher). You knew that was the part that they would remember. I love it!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Life as we know's edition

I took Campbell BACK to the doctor today. She has a double ear infection. Poor girlie. I hate this for her, but at least it's something definite, and something that can be treated with antibiotics. Hopefully she'll be back to normal in no time.

In other news, Karson went to school today... WITHOUT A BOW IN HER HAIR. I was informed this morning that she did not want to wear a bow. I tried really hard not to show my disappointment. I even agreed without an argument. We discussed the specifics of this new arrangement and decided that she would still wear bows some days, and definitely to church. I'm going along with this, but I don't have to like it - right?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

They'll Hate Me...I Mean...Love Me For This Later!!!

Lately I've been all about the matching outfits. I've waited my entire life to have 2 children that I could dress alike. Am I weird? Don't answer that.

Here is a picture of the girls before church this morning. (Don't ask my why Karson is making that face...I think we're entering into the dreaded "I can't do a real smile" phase.)

I feel that it's my motherly duty to give them life experiences that they will be able to talk about with each other when they're older. You know, experiences like, "Remember when Mom used to dress us in matching outfits. Wow. Why did she do that? I hated having to wear matching stuff."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NUTTY - it's my favorite word!

Wow! How did life get so absolutely NUTTY?!!!! I have enough going on for about 15 posts, but I'm condensing them all into one. With that being said....WARNING...random thoughts ahead!

1. Preschool - Tomorrow will complete our 2nd full week, and things have not slowed down yet. I'm hoping they will soon. I feel like I am running at a constant sprint the entire time that I am there. I'm still needing to fill one teaching position, and I have another teacher that is pregnant and due next week (I need to find a sub for her while she's on maternity leave). This is TOTALLY stressing me out. Thankfully, my DEAR and PRECIOUS friend Shelbi has helped me out by filling in. I owe her big time. Thank you, Shelbi!!! Meanwhile, I'm also figuring out that there is no way possible to keep everyone happy...I don't like that. I'm a pleaser by nature. I don't like it when people are mad at me. It will get better...right?

2. Campbell - She is MUCH better!!! Thank you for your sweet comments and prayers. Little Miss Doodlebug is back to being our smiley, happy baby. She is babbling like crazy, and I am loving it!!! Today she was stuck on NANANANANANA. My mom was beaming (she is "Nana" to the grandchildren). Cams got to go to preschool for the 1st time on Tuesday, and she did so great. She took her naps and stayed on her eating schedule like she had done it a million times. I was so busy dealing with everything else going on that I only got to check on her once. :( I meant to take a picture of her first day, but I forgot that too! To make up for it, I took this one when we got home. Notice the return of the "1st Day of School Dresses" - we've got to wear them while they fit! They were watching a show together, and I thought they looked so sweet sitting there beside each other!

3. Karson - She had her first dance class on Monday night. It is a ballet/tap combo class, and she LOVED it!!! Her teacher's name is Miss Mary, and she is "very pretty" (that's what K told us after class). Kars's BEST friend, Addi, is in the class with her. These 2 were born 2 days apart, and have literally been together since then. This is the first year that they aren't in school together, so it was a glorious reunion Monday night when they got to see each other for dance. Kars keeps asking how many days it is until she gets to go back...I think she likes it! Here is one of the pictures I took Monday night. (They will both turn 5 at the end of October - how is that possible?)

4. Decisions - We have been thinking and praying about some major things for our family over the past few months. Some of those things are coming to a head this week. We would so appreciate your prayers. We are excited about how God is working and providing for us, but it is also scary to step out on faith. We just want to follow HIS plan for us.

5. Story - A quick Karson story! She has been practicing writing her name using both lower and upper case letters at school. Tonight she found a pad of sticky notes on my desk and asked if she could practice on them. I told her yes, and she proceeded to carefully write her name. After she finished, she peeled it off and began to stick it to her back. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was making a name tag (many times at church, the teachers stick their name tags on their backs). When I asked her why she needed a name tag, she whispered in my ear, "I'm making a name tag because Ma sometimes calls me Bella". ("Ma" is her grandmother, and Bella is her cousin). I nearly fell out of my chair. She is now asleep in her bed with her name tag still on...just in case someone might mistake her for someone else.

6. Rus's Birthday - This Friday, September 12th is Ruston Blake Zumwalt's 35th birthday. Happy Birthday, Rus!!!!!! I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you! I am so thankful and proud to call you my husband. I pray that this next year of life brings many blessings and much joy. I know one thing for sure, it will be FULL of new adventures!

If you're still reading, thanks for enduring my rambling! I'm hoping that life is going to calm down sometime soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Poor Baby!

Campbell is sick. Yuck! Bless my sweet baby's heart, she is miserable. She started acting fussy in the night on Saturday. By Sunday morning her nose was runny, but she was okay. By Sunday night she was running fever, and by Monday morning great green globs of nastiness were coming out of her nose and eyes (sorry for the description - just keeping it real). She missed her first day of preschool yesterday(my super, awesome mom came and stayed home with her), and I took her to the doctor after I picked up Kars. We waited for 2 HOURS in the waiting room (I think everyone else in Owasso is sick too) only to find out that our sweet baby has...a cold. Are you kidding me? I just knew she had a double ear infection, maybe strep throat, and was going to be dehydrated because she wasn't taking her bottles. But no, it was just a cold. And what do you do for a cold? Not much.

Regardless of what is officially wrong with her, this baby feels terrible. I just hate it for her. For the past 3 1/2 days she has had this pitiful look about her, and she won't let us put her down. Thankfully she seems to be turning the corner. Rus is going to stay home with her tomorrow, but I think after that we'll be in the clear. I guess I should be thankful she made it almost 7 months before she got anything. It's just hard to watch her feel so badly - especially when she can't tell you what to do to help her.

Monday night I had to finish cleaning up in the kitchen and she wasn't about to leave my side, so...that's how she ended up in the sink! Doesn't she look pitiful?

As you read above, Campbell missed her first day of preschool. But Mommy didn't! I'm too exhausted to write about the first week, but I'll be sure to document details later. Let's just say that being the director is busier, crazier, and harder than I ever thought it would be...but it's all coming together.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The "Thought You Saiders" - Take 2

Okay, this one had me rolling in the floor!!! Well, not literally, my kitchen floor REALLY needs to be mopped and I wasn't up for rolling on it this morning, but...this one did make me laugh outloud!

During breakfast this morning, Karson was watching The Disney Channel. Between shows, a commercial for "The Jonas Brothers - Living the Dream" came on. The announcer kept saying, "Living the Dream" over and over. After the commercial was over, Karson looked at me and said:

"Mom, they don't really live in a tree."

Should I be concerned about her hearing?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The "Thought You Saiders"

When I was a little girl, my sisters and I (and maybe Tommy too) used to love to read this book called Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Actually it was a series of books. Each chapter in the book was a story. One of our favorite stories was the "Thought You Saiders Cure". The children in the story are having a hard time hearing their parents. Their parents tell them something, and they always reply with "I thought you said...". The parents get so frustrated that they go to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to see if she has a cure. She gives them special medicine to give the children that will make them hear more clearly. We thought it was HILARIOUS!

All of that to say...Karson had a "thought you said" moment this morning. We were cleaning up after breakfast, and I said, "I need to sweep the floor." She replied, "You're going to sleep until four?!" I immediately cracked up and we spent the morning giggling about it. She had another one about a week ago, and I am kicking myself for not writing it down.

My sister posted some totally precious things that John Thomas is saying lately. That post, along with our "thought you said" moment this morning made me realize that Karson has almost completely outgrown all of her baby girl sayings. She still says a few things in her own way. I refuse to correct her...and I will physically hurt anyone else who does! :) You might find these as funny as we do!

"Cafrume" (ka-froom) - you know, the stuff that makes you smell good! As in, "may I have a squirt of cafrume please?" She's all about Bath and Body Works Body Splash.

"Besgusting" (bee-skusting) - gross, terrible, rotten; "Those vegetables are besgusting!"

"Yukalalien" (yook-a-lay-lee-in) - the small guitar-like instrument often times played in Hawaii. "Mommy, look, I'm playing the yukalalien!"

***In totally non-related news, we bought new tap shoes and new ballet shoes this week! Karson's first dance class is September 8th! She is BEYOND excited. I'll be sure to post pictures. In the meantime, the wood floors at our house are prime tapping surfaces!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

6 Months Old!!!!

Marion Campbell turned 6 months old last week. I cannot believe it (that seems to be a theme lately). I took her to the doctor for her 6 month well check today, and since I was absent for her actual 1/2 birthday, I thought today was an appropriate day to blog about the past 6 months.

This child is hilarious! She is constantly smiling and "talking". These days her favorite spot is SITTING on a blanket in the living room. That's right, I said sitting. She's such a big girl! She loves being able to be upright without support. She plays with her toys, grabs everything (and everyone) that is nearby and puts all of the above in her mouth!

Her milestones since her 4 month blog post include:
June 13th - Upper GI scan at the hospital
June 17th - rolled over from back to tummy
June 30th - 1st cereal feeding
July 12th - 1st time in the swimming pool
July 22nd - 1st studio pictures (don't judge - I feel guilty enough)
July 23rd - sitting up for lengthy periods of time
August 7th - started reaching arms out to people
August 11th - 1st baby food feeding (peas - yum)

So many changes!!! We are having such a blast with her. She is truly a joy to be around, and a delight to all of us. For the past few days she has spent quite a bit of time saying, "mamamamamamamama". I LOVE IT!!! Rus insists she doesn't know what she's saying, but I beg to differ. I keep telling him that she knows exactly what she's saying! She has the biggest, open-mouthed grin, and she shares it quite freely. I don't think she's going to be as shy as her big sister. She's quite the social bug already.

For the past few weeks I have gone in to get her out of her crib in the mornings and found her on her tummy. I must say that there is nothing sweeter than to see her on her tummy with that little round bottom in the air. When she hears us come into the room, she pops her little head up and grins from ear to ear. Then the legs start kicking and she starts rubbing her head from side to side. It's such a funny little routine she does.

Campbell, you are precious! You are such a blessing to all of us. I don't know what we would do without you. I love you so much, Mommy

Here is our little doodlebug before we left for the doctor's office. This is one of the outfits that Karson wore when she was a baby. It's so sweet to see Campbell in it!

It was so nice outside tonight. We sat on the driveway while Karson rode her scooter, her tricycle, and her jeep. We posed Cams for this picture - she's not quite big enough to go for a ride yet!!!

****Just a note! My sister finally started a blog! Check her out and give her some love. She's linked in my side bar. Now if I can just convince my older sister to start one, we'll have all 4 of us doing this crazy thing! (Hint, hint, Tracey!!!!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Karson's 1st Day of School

***Before I start, let me say a huge thank you for all of the prayers we received during all of our travels. We are so glad to be reunited as a family and all under one roof again! Everything went very smoothly, and the girls did great. We give all the praise to God for protecting us and keeping everything under control. We're just glad those few weeks are OVER!!!

Today was Karson's 1st day of Pre-K.

That sentence seems unreal to me. It seems truly impossible for her to be old enough to go to school. Real school. Every day school. But she went. We drove up, we walked her to her room, and we left. It sounds so simple. But simple is a complete understatement for how I was feeling the entire time.

She is attending afternoon Pre-K, so we had the entire morning at home together. I tried to stay positive and cheery. I tried to spend good, quality time with her, without making her feel like I was hovering over her every move. I tried to not cry every time I looked at her. Thankfully Rus was able to come home in the middle of the day so that he would get to go with us to take her. As we drove up to the school my heart started to pound. Hold it together. I got out of the car and started to get Campbell out of her car seat. Hold it together. As I was unbuckling her seat, it was as if someone sucked the air out of me. It seemed so wrong. I should be unbuckling Karson out of a rear-facing seat. I should not be about to walk her into "big girl" school. Hold it together.

As the air came back into my lungs, we began to make the walk up to the door. Karson and I were talking about what a great time she was going to have and how many new friends she was going to make. Hold it together. We entered the building and found her room. The teachers had her class sitting in the hallway. (As a teacher, I couldn't help but smile at this. In my mind I was singing their praises because I could tell that they were going to teach them from day 1 how to enter the classroom. ROCK ON LADIES!!!). Mrs. Kendall and Mrs. Pearson greeted Kars with a smile and put a name tag on her dress. Hold it together. I helped Karson find a seat next to a friend. I leaned down to give her a hug and tell her how much I loved her. Hold it together. Rus gave her big hugs and we started down the hallway to leave. I could feel my chest tightening and the tears starting to fill my eyes, but I knew I had to give her one last smile. I turned back to look at her, and there she sat. She had those big blue eyes focused on us and gave me a grin. Hold it together.

We reached the door, and the air was once again sucked from my lungs. I tried to maintain some sort of composure until we reached the car, but as I was putting Campbell back in her seat, I could no longer keep it from coming. Out came the sobs. Rus immediately said, "You can't do that, because then I'll do it." Before leaving the parking lot, we both sat there and cried quietly. It was one of those moments as a parent when you just feel it in the deepest part of your heart that things have changed.

Her school day only lasts 2 1/2 hours. It's not the time that she's away from me. Her school building is only 4 miles from our house. It's not the distance that she's away from me. She will be going to school every day. It's not the days of the week that she's away from me. It's the fact that this is the beginning of letting go. It's the fact that next year she'll let go a little more and the next year a little more, and so on. This is what we raise them to do. I know that. I wouldn't want it to be any other way, but it's just so hard to do.

While talking (or should I say crying) to my mom today, she reminded me of the Bible verse that says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19. These are the times that I am treasuring. These are the times that I will ponder in my heart. Even way back when Jesus was born, Mary felt the ache of letting go. The Lord understands my heart. He feels the same way.

I picked her up at 3:30 and she was all smiles. She had an "awesome day". I wouldn't have traded that smile for anything. Not even keeping her home with me all to myself.

Tomorrow will be easier.

Big girl posing with her back-pack! She was so ready to go!!!
Here's Campbell trying to look big like Sissy. Daddy's girl!Me and my girls! This was not an easy walk to take, but I wouldn't have let anyone else do it.Waiting outside her classroom. We talked about the sitting like a lady and not showing your panties...ummmmm...I think we need to have that talk again! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Life. has. been. crazy. I've never been one that likes to be going constantly. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to sit around and do nothing all the time, but non-stop activity is not my cup of tea. The schedule for our family has been the following:

July 28 - Rus to OKC for the All-State Game and Coach's Clinic
July 29 -31 - Melissa to Dallas to teach Allen HS and Lovejoy HS camps
Aug 1-2 - Melissa @ Beth Moore Simulcast (which totally ROCKED!)
Aug 3-11 - Rus to California to coach Area Code games
Aug 1, 4, 5 - Melissa teaching Owasso camp
Aug 5-6 - Melissa to Dallas to teach Haltom City HS camp
Aug 8-10 - Melissa to Austin to teach a leadership workshop

Woof! I got tired just typing that. I also almost burst into tears. You might notice that NONE of those items included our sweet girls. :( A huge thank you must go to our parents (specifically the moms) for helping us out while we are gone. We absolutely could not do this without Nana and Ma.

I'm sure it's normal for any mother to hate being away from her children. I just can't help but feel completely guilty about it. I feel like I'm missing out on Karson's last few days of being at home. She will start Pre-K on August 13th. I feel like Campbell is changing daily and I'm missing out on all of her sweet subtle daily changes - I won't even be home on her 6 month birthday. I feel like I'm not being a very good mother to them because I'm never home, and when I am, I'm so tired that all I want to do is sleep. I feel like I've been the worst wife ever, because the house is a mess, laundry has been piled up (I did get that taken care of tonight), and I haven't cooked in....years. Am I pitiful enough????

I must be grateful. God provided all of these opportunities for us to be able to use the talents HE gave us. It will definitely help us out financially, but I also must look at the fact that HE is providing us opportunities to touch lives. HE is broadening our territory and I so hope that we will get out of the way and let HIM be known to each girl I teach or each boy that Rus coaches.

This is but an ant-hill in the great landscape of time. I keep telling myself that it will all be over in a week. The girls will have a blast with their grandmothers, Rus will do a great job coaching, and I will enjoy getting to see people I never get to see. I just wish I didn't have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Guilt has always been one of the devil's favorite games to play with me. I refuse to let him win with that one.

If you have a few extra minutes, we would so appreciate being added to your prayers. Pray that all travel will be safe, that the girls will handle all of the changes in routine, and most importantly, that the LORD be glorified through this. Thanks so much!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Getting Even

Do you remember when we were blessed with MANY American flags on the 4th of July by our friends P and J? Well, we finally got them back!!! The month of August is a busy one for those 2! Both of their birthdays and their anniversary fall in this lovely Summer month. We decided to help them celebrate with a few "decorations"!

I must admit that although it was approximately 145 degrees outside when we "decorated", it was quite fun to be mischievous and sneaky!!! Neighborhood wars are such a treat!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Little Bits of Randomness

None of these things has any relationship to each other, but some of these pictures were just too funny not to post.

Today I heard Karson say, "I'm going to dress Campbell up like Mary." Huh? I rounded the corner and this is what I saw.

Oh! Mary, you know, the mother of Jesus! Just take Campbell out of that Mega Saucer, and she could fit perfectly in anyone's Nativity Scene. From our home to yours, "Merry Christmas" July!

Tonight I took Karson to get a snow cone from Todd (our precious nephew). The Lord was smiling on us, because just as we arrived at the park, the sun went behind the clouds and it was actually bearable for a few minutes! So I'm documenting it here...Mommy took Karson to the park on July 23 and played outside!!! You'll never guess what kind of snow cone she got! :) (BTW, excuse the lack of clothing - she was about to take a bath!)

Yesterday we went to have our family pictures taken. I can't wait to get them back. From what we saw of the proofs, I think they will be really sweet! I'll post some here when I get them.. In the meantime, here is a random cute pic of the girls. Look how Campbell has already learned the art of the "lean in".

Happy Wednesday! SYTYCD is on tonight!!!! Don't have the energy for a complete recap, but here are my favorites:

Dance - so predictable, but I have to go with Katee and Twitch's Contemporary - so fun!!!
Girl - Katee (she is amazing)
Guy - Will (I think that boy could do anything)

Rus's Favorite Dance - Chelsie and Joshua's Disco (his quote - "that's entertainment")

Rus's Favorite Girl - Cat :)

Rus's Favorite Guy - he refused to answer this one

Girl to go- Do I even have to say it? Please people, for the love....COMFORT
Guy to go- I'm thinking it's the end of the road for Crazy Mark.

Come on, play along and tell me your thoughts!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Talkin' Smack

Tonight we let Karson stay up a little later so we could play UNO. While we were getting ready to play, we were teasing her and telling her she was "going down". We're such nurturing parents. :) A few of her come backs cracked us up!

Daddy: "I'm going to kick your bootie."

Karson's Come Back: "I'm going to kick your bootie off!"

Daddy: "I'm going to kick your pants."

Karson's Come Back: "I'm going to kick your shirt!"

Needless to say, there was a lot of "kicking" going on at our house this evening. I'm sad to report that Daddy won 2 out of 3 games. What happened to girl power?

In totally unrelated news...For the past week Campbell has been humming. It is the sweetest thing ever. She purses her lips together and hums! We've nick-named her our Humming Baby. It's pretty much a constant hum as long as she's awake. LOVE IT!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hopefully they'll still be sparkly tomorrow.

Karson went to the dentist for the first time today. (Don't judge me. I know that I'm a horribly irresponsible mother who didn't take her child to the dentist until she was 4 1/2). Anywhoo...I was so proud of her. She was so nervous to go, so we pulled the old Barbie bribe on her if she promised to be brave. (Again, don't judge. I'm not above any form of bribery to better the health of my child's teeth). She did so great!!!

We went to the only pediatric dentist in Owasso, and he was great. I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone. Everyone was super sweet to us, and very friendly. The office building was a log cabin and the inside was decorated like a hunting lodge. There was a huge moose head in the waiting room. After a few minutes of waiting, we notice that his head was moving and his ears were twitching. Kars thought this was hilarious.

After we were called back, our hygienist told her all about the instruments and explained what they would be doing. Karson went for "a ride" in the special chair and it all got started. She got to pick what kind of tooth paste (polishing cream) she wanted. You'll never guess what they had. Chocolate chip cookie dough!!! She thought it was great. Lori (the hygienist) polished away, and Kars never even flinched. When Dr. Ahlert came in and gave the report that she had no cavities, I was so proud! (Is that weird?)

On the way home, I was complimenting her on how white and sparkly her teeth were. She then declared that she LOVED going to the dentist and couldn't wait to go back. Wow. After a few minutes she asked, "Mom, will my teeth still be sparkly and white tomorrow so that I can show Nana?"

I love that girl!

So You Think You Can Dance - A Recap!

Okay, so it's a wee bit past 1 o'clock in the morning, and I just finished watching one of my favorite summer time shows on the ole DVR. I have been a huge fan of "So You Think You Can Dance" since the first season. Now, I must confess, that up until tonight I have been a bit blah about this season so. I don't know what happened tonight, but it grabbed me! So much so, that in a "Boo Mama-esque" tradition, I would like to recap it. Just for grins.

I must add a few comments of my own before recapping each dance. First of all, I was QUITE ANGRY at the beginning of the show to find out that Jessica was not going to be on. Not that I loved her all that much, but the fact that Comfort was coming back made me mad. I thought we were finished having to suffer through her performances...yuck! Secondly, it made me laugh to here Lil' C's critiques. He is so articulate! I was pleasantly surprised! And third, I LOVED what Nigel had to say about making a mistake in a performance. It's so true. Every mistake you make lives with you forever, but it keeps you striving for the next time. I had never really thought about it quite like the way he put it.

Can you tell I'm truly missing dance?

1. Joshua and Courtney - Frankenstein Hip Hop & "Be Your Hero" Rumba it just me, or has Courtney gone down hill? I just didn't think she did very well tonight. I like both of these numbers, but I'm just not loving her. That little ren de jambe/whateverthatwas thing she did in the Hip Hop (you know, the one they replayed) was. bad.

2. Kherington and Mark - "Kick Back" 2 step & "Canned Heat" Jazz
Okay, let me start by saying that I was a HUGE Kherington fan at the beginning of the season. But now, she's reminding me of Natalie and Musa a few years ago. Remember how great Natalie was until they hit top 10 and she wasn't with Musa any more? I'm thinking K is kind of like that. She's lost a bit of her mojo (yep, I just said mojo). And, she danced the whole night looking down at the stage with her shoulders raised to her ears - it was bugging me. Anyway, I thought both of their dances were pretty bad. Mark is a bit odd, but I've always liked him. By the way, I love the song "Canned Heat". I know it's old school, but it always makes me think of Lindsay Bane and our field chair routine - which makes me smile. :)

3. Twitch and Comfort - "Open Arms" Waltz & "Forever" Hip Hop
I was so uncomfortable the entire time they were dancing the waltz I had to force myself to keep looking at the TV. It. Was. Awful. If I had to see Comfort's sickled feet and nasty dance hands one more time, I was going to puke. Other than that, it made me giggle to see those 2 trying so hard to be graceful. The Hip Hop was good - hello, what did you expect, but it didn't do much for me. I do love Twitch. He just has a cute, puppy dog face. AND, Mary Murphy saying "buck" is just wrong.

4. Gev and Chelsie - "These Arms of Mine" Contemporary & "The House is A Rockin" Jive
I LOVED the contemporary. That mowhawk lady scares me a bit, but she can choreograph! Chelsie is so versatile and fluent in all forms of dance. I have been surprised by her from the beginning and she's one of my faves! I'm not a big fan of anything ballroom, but the jive was okay. Gev was struggling a bit.

5. Katee and Will - "You're Rockin the Boat" Broadway & "Imagine" Pas de Deax
AMAZING!!!!!!! They are both stinkin incredible. I love the Broadway number. The drill team nerd in me immediately started thinking of how cute it would be as a team novelty or prop routine. Too cute. But the Pas de Deax...OH MY GOODNESS!!!! First of all, I love this version of the song. I was speechless - they were so good. What an amazing gift. They are also so humble - love that!

Okay, so I'm sure this is the most rambling, nonsensical bit of junk eyes are starting to droop and the screen is now very blurry! I must go to sleep. But before I leave, I'm suggesting to those of you who also watch, that we start posting our favorites each Wednesday - what fun!

My Favorites
Dance - Katee and Will's Pas de Deax
Girl - Katee
Guy - Will

Who Should Go?
Girl - Comfort - PLEASE!!!!!
Guy - ????? I don't know. I'm going to go with either Mark or Gev (neither of them are bad, but someone's gotta go)

What do you think?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm thinking it's time to get my roots done...

The following conversation took place tonight at the Zumwalt home:

Karson: "Hey Campbell, do you see this doll? Her name is Dora. She has brown hair like Mommy."

Mommy: "My hair is not the color of Dora's."

Karson: "Well, your pony tail is yellow, but up here (pointing to the top of my head) it's it's black!"


This seems to be a theme in my life. Perhaps it's because I am the world's worst about waiting too long to get my hair highlighted. In my own defense, it's usually a budget thing!

I remembered tonight about another incident similar to this one. Right before Karson was born, I was still teaching 3rd grade. I had read somewhere that it was not good to get your hair highlighted while you were pregnant (something about the chemicals or something). Anyway, I was about 8 months pregnant, and let me say, the roots were pretty bad. I had this sweet little Asian girl in my class, and one day during Social Studies she raised her hand. Now, you must read this and try to hear a very thick, 3rd grade, Asian accent:

"Mrs. Zumwalt, you going to da black."


I'm in a wedding at the end of August, so I'm needing to wait it out a bit longer. I want my highlight to be fresh for the wedding. In the mean time, if you see me and my hair is a bit "poofier" than normal, just know that I'm trying to hide my roots! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Blink

The girls and I are usually by ourselves for bath time. Because Campbell can't sit up yet (we are close), I've still been bathing her in her little tub in the kitchen. This creates quite a production at bath time. I wasn't feeling up to doing all of that by myself tonight, so I asked Kars if we could try putting Cams in the bathtub with her. Of course she was delighted! It actually went quite well, and Karson was a HUGE help. She got into the tub and began bathing without me even asking. After I finished bathing Campbell, I took her into her room to get her jammies on. While I was doing this, Karson kept us entertained with a play-by-play from the bathroom. ("I'm washing my arms. I'm pouring water over my hair..."). That sweet girl did her whole bath by herself - this is a first! I was so proud of her!

(Look at those rolls on Campbell's tummy - love it!)

In the past month Campbell has grown like crazy. She is now 5 months old - which blows my mind. She is rolling over from her back to her tummy, eating cereal, and trying to sit up by herself. The sitting up is hilarious. She usually sits in a tri-pod position (using her 2 arms to brace her), but sometimes she gets brave and decides to sit up further with no support from her arms. I had forgotten how cute this looked from when Karson did it. Why is it so funny to watch a little "round-bottomed" baby try to balance and then eventually start to crash over? Maybe those of us at the Zumwalt house are just easily amused!
The whole evening has made me quite sentimental and nostalgic. This is not unusual for me, but sometimes it hits harder than others. Tonight, it was as if God was saying to me, "Life is passing, don't blink or you'll miss it."

When I was a little girl, my mom used to sit and hold my hands. She would run her fingers over the "holes" (the little dimples where your fingers meet your hand). She told me that those holes would eventually go away as I grew bigger. Now, you must know that I was the little girl who never wanted to grow up. I would sit in my room or in the car and bend my fingers back trying to keep the holes from going away. Recently I told Karson about the holes in her hands and how that meant that she was Mommy's little girl. I explained that as she grew, the holes would go away. Now, she likes to tease me by stretching her fingers out to see if they will disappear (she must not be from the "I don't want to grow up" school of thought).
(Ignore my photography. I was trying my best to get as close as possible. I had to wait to take one of Campbell while she was sleeping. It looks like I turned her upside down!)

Time goes on. I'm sure one day Karson and Campbell will be sitting with their babies talking about the holes in their hands. It's the natural order of things. Sometimes I just wish it didn't have to go so fast.