S-p-e-l-l-i-n-g  B-e-e

Yesterday I went to the school to watch Sydney in the spelling bee. It was a full circle moment watching her compete because – don’t be jealous – I hold the title of 1983 Walker County Spelling Bee Queen of the World. The Queen of the World may be a little exaggerated but I’ve never won any other individual competition in my life and so I hold to my one glory tightly and like to relive it in my mind when I’m feeling unfabulous. Which is more often than I care to admit.

I will never forget the feeling of winning the County competition and my elementary principle going on and on about how proud he was of me.  This came in handy for me later when I threw a rock at a mean boy who kept hitting me with his umbrella while we were walking home from school one day.  He took off running after he’d whacked me on the legs and I picked up a rock and threw it as hard as I could not ever believing it would actually hit him.  Not only did it hit him, it stuck in his head.  I didn’t realize how bad it was.  All I knew is that he stinkin’ deserved it and I was glad he was crying. (Who was the mean one?)  I ran home and never breathed a word about it to my parents.  The next day the boy’s twelve foot tall daddy showed up in my classroom door and yelled at the teacher, “WHO THREW THE ROCK THAT HIT MY BOY??!!”  I peed my pants.  Like really, I did.  And then I had to take the long walk of shame to the principal’s office trying to hide my dampness while my dad assured the stupid mean boy’s dad that he would pay for the stitches.  The only thing that saved my reputation with the principal that day was that I was Spelling Bee Queen of the World.  He comforted me, said he was sure I was only defending myself and so I shouldn’t worry about it any more.  Can you spell r-e-l-i-e-f?

Unfortunately, Sydney misspelled the word “talons” (poor baby)  and didn’t win today so at least for this year the legacy will not live on.   More importantly, I really hope she doesn’t cause harm to anyone in the near future but just in case her principal is our church choir director so maybe she’ll find some favor without a prestigious title.

When I went on to the state spelling bee I ended up getting out on the word ‘lasagna’.  Totally missed the ‘g’.  Who knew? If the mini-conversation we had on my Facebook is any indication, Syd and I aren’t the only ones scarred for life.  It seems like everyone is traumatized by the word they missed in their Bee’s.

Are you?


We May Be a Little Obsessed with Details

The other day I was reading how Melanie had to make a Literary Pumpkin for her daughter’s library and I think I left a comment something to the effect of, “Glad we don’t have an overzealous librarian”.   Don’t get me wrong, I love a good school project just like you do. (You do, right?)  I mean, my friend Tammy and I had a blast building our kids’ solar system after church on Sunday night when it was due the next morning. (We made an ‘A’ by the way.)

Unfortunately, the assignment for the vegetable character came at a time when I had to be out of town for the weekend leaving Luke to help Sydney create this beauty.  Please note the dry cleaning hanging on the side of the vehicle.  It seems Sydney is a stickler for details.  Thankfully it was impossible for her to recreate the french fries under the seats or the football gear stowed in the cargo hold.



Just when I was feeling really relieved in not having to fashion a book character from a pumpkin, Sydney brought home a note.  For a school project.  And no, we didn’t have to decorate a pumpkin but build an entire house.  AN ENTIRE COLONIAL HOME.  Using at least 4 materials.  True to the period.  Albeit not required but worth 80 extra reading points.  For Sydney, the points were irrelevant.  She just danced all over the house in glee singing, “I LOVE SCHOOL PROJECTS!”

I’m checking her birth certificate to confirm her mother’s name.  She can’t possibly belong to me.  But whether she’s mine or not, I am reminded once again today I am her ‘One‘ and so she and I are building a house. And I’m going to be happy about it.  I LOVE SCHOOL PROJECTS!

True to the construction methods of the early settlers, our home’s base is made from a Little Debbie box.  (Can you sense the excitement!)



Syndey asked, “Mom, what details can I include that will make my house more authentic?”  What?  How did you even know that word? We spent half the night googling houses so she could decide that it needed a table and chairs.


And what colonial woman’s home would be complete without a peg for hanging her fashionable purse? (And our windows may be a tad out of square.  I blame it on the dull box cutter.  And the knife she was using.)


As we were discussing other things to include, Syd said, “Mom, the teacher told us that colonial families had CHAMBER POTS and that they actually POOPED in them and the kids, !THE KIDS! had to take them outside and dump them for their parents!  That is just so gross and WRONG! (Moment of silence) Mom, can my house have a chamber pot?”

Bless her.  She grew up with all brothers.

The jury is still out on the chamber pot.  Because, well, eww.   That is just so gross and wrong.

Next on the list is hot gluing all the junk Syd has gathered from the yard to the house and installing the central heat and air.  And plumbing.  I definitely think this house could use some plumbing.

Because I really don’t want to see what Miss Detail will come up with for a chamber pot.




The Birthday that Keeps On Giving

Sydney’s 9th birthday was this month.  I’m not sure how you do it around your house, but here it seems the birthdays just keep going on and on and on.  Take my girl for example:

1. This is Syd the night before her birthday.  The anticipation is high.  I miss the ability to get this excited over myself.

2. This is her on the way to school on The Big Day.  She is eating a Chicken Noodle Soup at Hand for her special breakfast. Please don’t judge.


3.  Party #1:  Syd and I baked brownies for her 3rd grade class the night before because – according to her – “they are so much more awesome than cupcakes.”  The highlight was the homemade icing.  Hopefully that made up for the Soup at Hand breakfast.

4.  Time for opening presents after school.  I will spare you all of the pics, but this one captures Syd and her present state of maturity.  I have to be out of town a lot and it now grieves her when I take the flat iron and good blow dryer.  We got her a black/white/pink adorable one and a matching dryer that I would like to keep for myself.  Guess what?  The hair care implements were her favorite thing.  It’s my legacy to her.

5.  I have no pics for point five but I took Sydney with me to a retreat I taught for my beloved Georgia home girls  in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Syd and I shopped during our breaks.  Her favorite purchase at the outlets?  A 1/2 pound block of chocolate fudge.  Have I used the word Legacy?

6.  The  Sleepover:  This is where I am coronated as Mom of the Year.  Syd invited four of her besties to spend the night this past Friday.  Please note the Braveheart facepaint on her friend, C.   I am very happy they were content with making friendship bracelets rather than insist on more face painting because there is a limit to my crazy and that would have pushed me right over it.


7.  After taking the previous picture I felt compelled to re-enter the room when I heard the phrase, “Be careful!  You might pull her out of socket!”  This is a little game we play called Medieval Torture and the girls loved it.  And no one came out of socket which is apparently how you win.

 8.  Killing several birds with one stone:  I had been out of town teaching for two weekends in a row prior to this one which also means I had missed Sawyer and Sam’s football games.  (Mom Fail.) So, it was absolutely necessary that the girls go to the football game which I’m certain is just exactly what Syd had envisioned for the night.  Thankfully my friend Carrie L. had the fabulous idea of hosting a post-game tailgate party.  This meant several things:  I got to attend my son’s ballgame.  I could have Syd’s cake and party food at said party.  I didn’t have to wreck my kitchen with all the festivities.  Win. Win. Win.  Wait.  Does Syd have her jacket on inside out?  I really believe she does.  Please look away from the girl in the inside out jacket until her mom can fix that.

 9. This picture has nothing to do with Sydney but I’m obsessed with it.  This must have been during a defense series because Sawyer is on the sideline. (Did you notice how I threw in the term, ‘series’ there? Don’t be impressed.  It’s the extent of my knowledge.)  What I have learned is that Sawyer is a  left guard on offense.  I’ve remember his position by telling myself he is not the deodorant (Right Guard).   Anyway, of all the people he could stand beside, he chose his dad aka Luke, Pastor by Day, Team Chaplain by Friday Night.  This is pure joy to me.


Syd’s birthday celebration has officially come to a close but never fear, Sam’s is in October so we get to do it all over again.

With 12 year old boys.

How do you do birthdays?

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