Mama at a Mission

A wildlife management area was the third grade destination for the class field trip. Fishing, wildlife, sack lunch, recreation- a Britton’s paradise. Unfortunately for her, I was super pregnant last year at this time and unwilling unable to chaperon her field trip.
In true Britton style, she has not let me forget it for the past 12 months. “Remember the field trip, the one you wouldn’t go on?” Notice that through her glasses, I wouldn’t go. Drive that knife in a little deeper, sista.
Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that I was not about to miss her 4th grade field trip. Not a chance. Thankfully sweet Mary stayed home to watch little Raynes and a sick Kenley while I ventured out.

Having been born and raised in this town, I am not sure how it’s possible that I have never been to the Appalachee-Spanish living history museum, where we walk back in time to a 17th century settlement. There are volunteers scattered throughout, dressed in costume, demonstrating what life was like centuries ago. It was cool playing tourist in my own town.

Britton took this photo. ‘Atta, girl!

I do love an old wooden cross.

Don’t you just love this age? When you are confident that you have the answers.

Eventually my attention span wore off and I began distracting my 9 year old.

Britton was so happy to have me there, even if I couldn’t stay the entire time. She said to me, “it’s better to come for a little while than to not come at all” as she held my hand, patted my arm, and walked alongside me.

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


The Music Man

Lots of music around our home these days… Britton was introduced to the recorder in her music class last year and has been carrying it to school ever since. Mind you, she only has class a few times a week, but my girl wants to be prepared.

Bathroom Makeover – Take 2

With a 14 year old house, we have been noticing some wear and tear on the ol’ bathroom cabinets lately. Last weekend we repainted the master bathroom vanity.  I spent a good 2 hours on Pinterest searching for the ‘perfect’ color for an updated vanity. Didn’t want a builders white, nothing too crazy, but enough color to snazz it up a bit. I tried calling my Color Expert, Courtney, but never could reach her.  Sadly, we both know the Sherwin Williams color names by heart and can discuss ‘Tradewind’, ‘Kilm Beige’ and ‘Sea Salt’ like they are old friends. This makes her husband, Chad, laugh when he hears us speaking Sherwin Williams-eugse over the long distance phone.

The broken chair has to go- the seat has all but fallen out requiring a pillow to keep my fanny from falling through. Watch out One Kings Lane- I’ve got my eye on you.

I  finally made an executive decision and settled on Benjamin Moore’s ‘Rockport Grey.’ Monday morning Courtney finally called me back- I explained to her that I needed her guidance earlier that weekend to help me choose a color. Before I could finish my sentence, she said, “there is a great color by Benjamin Moore called Rockport Grey. 

I kid you not.

Of all the thousands and thousands of colors out there, she would say the exact color that we had just painted. Thirty years of being best friends, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me so. As I often tell my girls, great minds think alike!

Mary and her Lamb

For the past couple years, Kenley has chosen Ballet as her one “after school activity”. With the anticipation she had leading up to last spring’s ballet recital, my gal decided she had had enough of the stage for a while.  After much, and I mean much, deliberation, she decided to give piano a try. The only stipulation is, is that she is to have no recital. Period.

In just a bit we will be heading to my Aunt’s house for Kenley’s second lesson. Kenley hopes to impress her teacher, Mr. Lawrance, with her rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  My grandfather was a concert violinist and Dean of the School of Music at Florida State University, so my cousins and I are all hoping that his gifted musical gene will pass onto one of us.
With a Type A personality that loves routine and perfection, piano might just be a good fit for my first grade girl.
Here’s hoping, at least.

Lessons from Clothes

Lessons from Clothes PIN
Often times when driving down the road in my safe, reliable car, wearing some new outfit, thinking about what I’m going to cook for dinner that night, it’s easy to loose sight that there are, in fact, many less fortunate that live only miles from our home. Amongst us, might be a more fitting word. Not in another country, not some other place, right here in our own town.
Our church held their second annual Clothing Connection last weekend. Church members {and other wonderful people like Angela, Nana, Gan and Gannon} donated almost 9,000 articles of clothing, shoes and handbags. The event was to be held from 8:00 am until 12 noon. By 10:30 am almost all the clothes were gone.

I wasn’t sure if I should be elated or saddened by that.

Here my girls get to go “back to school” shopping with a new pair of shoes, several new outfits and shiny new school supplies each year. It’s just a given to them.  And my heart is torn when I see these children come into our fellowship hall, thrilled to get my girl’s old, silver glittery Target tennis shoes. I probably have the wrong attitude about the whole thing. I should be happy that we are able to help other people. And I am. But the over riding feeling is sadness with a dose of humbleness in there as well.

“There but for the grace of  God, go I.”

It was Mike’s first time helping-  he later told me that when he walked into Moor Hall and saw the people and all the clothing that he had to take a moment to gather himself.

It was a tremendous amount of work for those ladies on this committee- an entire 40+ hour week of just setting up the clothes alone. But goodness, how they must get paid back ten fold when they see the folks coming in by the dozens thrilled to get some ol’ Haystack khaki slacks or a men’s XL button down shirt.

A young boy, named Bruce, came to ‘shop’, with his Mama and two younger brothers. He is one of seven children and is in the second grade. As we walked down the tables, me holding up a t-shirt asking him how he liked it and would he wear it {hey, I am a Mom after all}, he was rather quiet. Every article I held up, he gently nodded his head yes, he would like it. And yes, nod, he would wear it. So I would place the item in his plastic grocery bag that he held open. After some time, I could tell that he, like most boys, was less than thrilled to be shopping on a Saturday morning, although very grateful nonetheless. After about 15 minutes of me asking, him nodding, and putting clothing in his bag, he looked up and me and quietly asked, “do you have any books?”
As a Mama to an avid reader myself, my heart just melted.  I wanted to hold up my finger, say ‘be right back’ and quickly drive home to throw some children’s books into a bag, and race back to bring them to Bruce. Unfortunately, while we had coats, pajamas, men’s suits, children and infant clothing, women’s clothing, shoes and even bathing suits… we were short on children’s books.
I wish I had gotten Bruce’s address so I could bring him some books.

Kenley helping her Sassy

While I didn’t do much- helped a little on Friday and Saturday is all, I gotta be honest… I do it for selfish reasons. Because it makes me feel good.
I know I make a lot of mistakes at this whole parenting thing. A lot. But hopefully, I am doing something right by teaching my children that is a good thing to skip a birthday party, every now and then, to give back to our community by reaching out and helping those amongst us.