Friday, September 19, 2014

Boots and The "Athletic" Calf

Yesterday, I met Holly for lunch after her clinical rotation at the hospital.

I needed to run by the mall and pick up some jeans for Clark, so we decided to have lunch at Cheddar's, which is right across the street from our mall. We had such a fun time. We got right in without waiting, even tho it was 12:30, and we were seated at a table right by a couple who had the CUTEST blond-headed Downsy girl. Holly could barely even function while we sat there because STALKER.

The other thing that happened there was that I had one of the best salads of my life. I got an Asian salad that was huge and ah-may-zing. I ordered it without mangos, because ain't nobody got time for that, and man...it was so good! It's in my Top 10 of salads.

I'm starting to talk like my Grandma Ellen, maysherestinpeace. She always talked more about her food than anything else.

After lunch, we went over to the mall. Holly had some Dillard's gift-cards she was dying to use and she wanted a pair of boots. She picked out a pair that she really liked, and after getting a different size and modeling them while wearing her white scrubs, she decided she would just "think about it."

We went down to American Eagle, where I chose 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of khakis and 1 pair of blue pants for Clark. Holly picked out a shirt for him. It took less than 5 minutes and we were done.

Boy shopping. It's soooo different.

I was just sure I would be bringing everything back, because shopping with Logan or Clark = your.worst.nightmare. BUT in a moment of good fortune, he liked everything and it all fit.

That has NEVER happened.

After we were done at AE, we went back to Dillard's. Holly found a sales lady and asked her to check the balances on all of her gift-cards. It turned out to be more than what she thought, so she said, "I might have enough money to try on those OTHER boots."

She had kind of liked these other boots, but they were more expensive. Plus, she was concerned that they didn't have a zipper and she would have to pull them on. We couldn't find the first sales girl, so we had this young guy helping us and bless his heart. He didn't really have a clue about shoes. Holly tried on one pair of boots and she didn't really like them as much as she thought she would. She said they felt a little tight, and made several comments about being worried she was going to "zip up her flesh" in the zipper. And THEN she tried on the boots without the zipper.

I have never laughed so hard.

First of all, you need to know that Holly is perfectly proportioned. She is tall and beautiful, and WHY DESIGNERS DON'T MAKE BOOTS TO FIT OVER THE NORMAL WOMAN'S CALVES, I DO NOT KNOW. This is America, people.

Anyway, she was trying to be all cool, but she is dressed all in white like the Good Humor Man, and she is tall and blonde. She stands out all on her own in this shoe department. She has pulled her scrub pants up to her knees, and she is hopping around, trying to pull these boots on with all of her might and they.will.not.go.on.

And then the shoe-guy says, "I think we have some boots for the more...uhhh...ATHLETIC CALF."

And that's how Marty lost it.

LOST.IT.

I don't know...it just hit me funny. Because, haven't you heard of athletic cut shirts? They make it sound like only the guys who are really buff can wear this cut of shirt. Everyone else has to wear the "classic cut" shirt...you know, for the Pillsbury Doughboy in all of us!

I laughed and laughed and laughed. I had tears streaming down my face. The shoe-guy did not know what to think and other women in the store were just staring at us. I didn't even currrrr.

I intend to use the heck out of that phrase for the rest of my life. Or, for as long as I can remember it.

I need an athletic cut recliner...an athletic cut seat on a plane...an athletic cut parking space...an athletic cut chair at choir practice...athletic cut skinny jeans...athletic cut yoga pants...

In the spirit of the song from Titanic, this phrase could go on and on.

And it shall.

And then, last night at choir, Holly asked me about my watch...how much it cost and all of that. I bought it last year after Christmas, with two gift-cards I'd received. I said, "why do you ask?" She said, "forget the boots...I may just get a watch!"

Hoping and praying all of you out there have a good weekend, and may all of your boots fit over your calves.

"A joyful heart is good medicine..." Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Joshua's Thoughts on Italy

This semester at Therapeutic Recreation, they started a new series on Wednesdays called "Around the World." The FRIENDS divided up into two groups and each group spent some time learning about another country. Joshua's group chose "Japan." They got computer time and learned about the culture. Part of the series is that the group then had to present it to all of the other FRIENDS, and teach them all about Japan. They did some Japanese art-work during their art time.

Joshua has already decided that he wants his group to choose England as the next country to study, because he wants to "learn more about the land of Harry Potter."

So there's that.

This week, the other group taught the rest of the FRIENDS about Italy. Their hands-on project was to cook an Italian lunch. Everyone had a different job. Some grated the cheese, some cut up stuff for salad, some made the sauce.

This morning, on our drive to Little Rock, I asked Joshua to tell me what he learned about Italy. He said, "a LOT." And I said, "like what?"

He said, "well, one...the Sistine Chapel." I asked him what that was and he said, "some painted church or something."

He said, "and, two, the Colosseum." I asked him, "what's the Colosseum?" He said, "it's a place where the Romans had games and crucifixions...stuff like that."

(OHMYWORD)

He talked about a lot of their culture being B.C. He explained to me that that meant it was "before Christ."

(slow blink)

He said there was a lot of pasta in Italy, and a lot of sauce. And lots and lots of cheese.

He said that they watched a video about Italy, and some of the buildings and ruins in the pictures were from 70 A.D.

He said, "yep, A.D. That was after they killed our Lord and Savior."

He also said, "we learned it takes 15 HOURS to get to Italy on a plane. Whew! It takes 15 MINUTES for us to get to Wal-Mart. I'll just take my chances at Wal-Mart. It's more closer."

"...the LORD is a shelter right by your side..." Psalm 121:5

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Clark's Appointment...Good AND Fun!

I know I mainly talk about Joshua on the blog, but Jim and I do have 3 other children.

A fact they never let me forget..."YOU HAVE OTHER CHILDREN, MOM."

It's a fine line to walk in the blog-o-sphere when it comes to my kids...I want to protect their privacy on certain things, but I also want to chronicle our lives for our family.

Our youngest child, Clark, is 18 years old and a Senior in High School. He was born 12 1/2 weeks prematurely, and I wrote about it here.

When he was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer. I wrote about that here.

For the past 11 years (since he was declared "cancer free" at age 7), he has gone to Arkansas' Children's Hospital once a year for an oncology check-up...and today was that day.

As I pulled up in the parking lot, I got that nervous feeling.

And walking into the hospital and smelling that smell...I instantly felt that sick, butterfly-y feeling in my stomach. Ugh.

Will that ever go away?

We walked in and went straight to the Oncology clinic. There were several other "children" in the waiting room...all in various stages of cancer and treatment. Lots of littles with IV's...lots of little, bald heads.

Be still my heart.

We spent at least 45 minutes in the waiting room...before he had his vitals checked. Then we were put into ANOTHER waiting room...for 30 more minutes.

At least.

I'm not complaining. Clark is healthy and well. His girlfriend, Faith, was with him and she helped keep him distracted.

The doctor came in and he and Clark had ol' home week, discussing football, track, ACT scores and college choices.

Clark is doing well, but his doctor did not release him from the Oncology Clinic just yet. He said maybe one or two more years.

We are just so thankful. We have been going to ACH for 28 years. First, with Joshua, and then...for the past 16 years...with Clark. I can't say enough nice things about the people and professionals at ACH that God has used to minister to our family.

Not all of our appointments have been easy...not all of them have been fun.

But today?

Today was good...AND fun.

"I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:6

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Demi Moore Can Sing?

The other day on our way to Little Rock...after the conversation about what he's writing in his stories...how he's a big, fierce wolf and Aaron-the-add-on-brother is a fawn...Joshua looked at me and asked, "do you wanna build a snowman?"

And I just laughed, because that's code for "turn on the FROZEN cd."

There's a certain part on our trip when I usually start the FROZEN cd. I want him to get to hear all of his favorite songs, and I want to be pulling up at the Therapeutic Recreation Center when "Fixer Upper" comes on.

This particular day, I started the cd at a different time...because that's when he asked. As I pulled into the TR parking lot, "Let It Go" was just finishing, and Joshua was BELLOWING at the top of his lungs.

I never in a million years thought he would like the FROZEN movie or the songs. He has never been one for animation...even when he was little.

But, I ain't mad about it. I love FROZEN!

I parked the car and he started gathering up his backpack as the song was ending. He said, "I like this version 'more better' than Demi Moore's version."

Who knew she could sing? (wink!)

"Sing for joy in the Lord..." Psalm 33:1

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nine-Eleven

So, one day last week, our local meteorologist predicted rain and some storms...and I convinced Joshua to stay home from Therapeutic Recreation (TR) that day.

And I don't feel one bit bad about it.

I love that Joshua has a group of FRIENDS that love him and he loves them. I love that he can hang out with them and learn with them (and fuss with them).

I vowed a long time ago to do my best to give Joshua a good life. He is just so precious to our family, and he is dependent on others for a lot of things. He would be "fine" for us to just drag him around with us to all of our (and our other kids') activities.

And we have...and we do.

But I want for him to be more than "fine." I want for him to have opportunities and experiences that are ALL HIS.

Some days, the 35 minute drive to and from Little Rock gets a little taxing. But then I look over at those brown eyes and see that sweet smile...and, I don't know, my heart just melts and my attitude changes. Most days, anyway.

I know that Joshua would love to be able to jump in a car and do his own thing, but he can't. And, you know, as frustrated as I sometimes get? It takes a lot of patience on Joshua's part to constantly wait on someone else's schedule and timing to work things out for him.

He is just so sweet.

On Thursday, I knew his group of FRIENDS were supposed to "hike" at Pinnacle Mountain...and I am using the term "hike" loosely. They stay on the flat path that goes at the base of Pinnacle, because two of the FRIENDS are in wheelchairs and a couple of them use canes. Most of them have physical issues of one kind or another that make it difficult to walk on hilly, curvy, unfamiliar surfaces.

Anyway, it was raining and storming on Thursday morning, and I knew their plans would change to an indoor activity...so we just stayed home. We "hanged around" (Joshua's words) the house all morning, and it was glorious! I got a lot of writing done, and worked out in the garage. Then I asked Joshua, "what would you think about going to Kroger...and then maybe to Chick-Fil-A for lunch?"

Probably the fastest he's ever gotten ready.

The boy loves him some Chick.

In the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru line Joshua was looking at Facebook on his phone. He said, "I saw on Facebook that Marci is wearing her red, white and blue shirt to TR for 9/11."

I said, "I saw that."

Joshua said, "Darn-it (DAH-NET)...I'm not there."

I said, "Well, let's see...you're wearing a white shirt, and I'm wearing blue jeans, so we're kind of representing America." Then, I looked at myself, and looked at him and what he was wearing. "But I don't think either one of us is wearing any red."

Joshua looked me up and down, looked at himself up and down...and, then, I kid you not, raised up one leg of his shorts and looked...ummm...up them.

He said, "nope. Wearing blue undies."

"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." Luke 6:31