Thursday, February 24, 2011


As evident by my blog picture, I LOVE daffodils! A big 16x20 of the same picture hangs above my mantle. Mid-February, every single year, I begin the "daffodil watch"...just waiting for the first droopy pop of yellow. It's not spring that I'm waiting for. Fall is my all-time favorite season. It's the daffodils.

You'll see them growing in random fields with a naked spot in the center, the only reminder of the old home place. Sometimes there is still a weathered house with the daffodils standing true, the hands that planted them...long gone. Just last week we traveled the rural roads of Chilton and Perry counties to visit our daughter at the one hundred and seventy-five year old women's college that she attends. All along the way were patches of daffodils. Some were peeking out from behind old logs, others were gracing the fence row, all were a gentle reminder that we were not the first to pass this way. Maybe that's what the daffodils whisper to me, that someone before me cherished them too.

Braden came running back into the house this morning after I thought he had left for school. I was just about to fuss at him for slamming the glass door. He greeted me with the same charming smile he had as a four year old little boy and a single yellow daffodil. He gets it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Memory Lane

Almost eleven years ago I took a seven year old little girl to her first violin lesson. It happened to be on her birthday. We painted her fingernails and she picked out her favorite sun-dress. It was a beautiful print with over-sized garden vegetables in primary colors. She wore a big red bow in her chestnut hair. I will never forget the feeling of just knowing that this day really was something special. What I did not know was that we were meeting the woman who would have as much to do with shaping Anna's future and character as her daddy and I ever would.

Eighty-one year old Mrs. Johnson greeted us with a heavy, German accent. Walking into her music room was like stepping into another dimension, a different era. Her wavy hair was coiffed into a style straight from the 1940's and her make-up was beautifully coordinated to her outfit. She quickly sized Anna up as "the cherub". The twinkle those bright blue eyes told us that the afternoon's pampering had paid off with a favorable first impression. For the next seven years the student mimicked the teacher.

This evening I have the privilege of introducing my youngest daughter to this remarkable woman. From past experience we know that this is no ordinary day. Again I spent the afternoon preparing one of my little ones for one of the most important meetings of her life and a day that I hope she will never forget. Mrs. Johnson will teach her so much more than music, she will invest almost a century's worth of wisdom into yet another pupil who will insure that her legacy continues long after she's gone.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It Feels Good to be Mama

Today was a normal Saturday. Seven people with seven different agendas. I was up at dawn to take Braden to sell doughnuts for the youth group. Then we headed to the grandparents to get Amberly. She spent her first night away from home since her adoption. She was so obviously spoiled rotten by the time I picked her up that I seriously considered a no return policy, for the weekend at least! We had to stop by Piggly Wiggly to buy Popsicles with the $5.00 bribe that Nana gave her so she would leave. When we finally made it home, Shawn and I decided to sneak away for a couple of hours for a mid-day date. The little ones seemed in good spirits and Jana's home for the weekend so it seemed right. WRONG. We were in Walmart when we got the call that Nana and Papa's "little angel" had broken the door frame because she was mad at Anna, her least favorite sister since Jana left for college (misplaced separation anxiety). Our two hour date ends all too soon with the promise of two very upset sisters and a little boy who's behavior spiraled out of control. Once everyone was settled I sat down for a minute at the computer. I felt a weight on my arm and almost shrugged it off when I looked down and noticed that Christian had climbed up beside me and fallen asleep. Sometimes you just need Mama.

I'm really thankful to be that today. For all of them. For the college student who has decided that she LOVES for me to take her to school instead of driving herself. For the senior who wants to be independent more than anything but still lays her head on my chest to hear my heartbeat when all's not right with her world. For the almost teenager who couldn't sell a single box of donuts until I demonstrated how he should approach a "would be doughnut buyer" by waltzing into the ethnic barbershop and startling them into buying a questions asked. For the anxious little girl who is finally getting her feet wet. For the little boy who mercifully doesn't remember all of the bad things that would have made him anxious. It feels good to be Mama.