Monday, November 12, 2012

Candy Cigarettes and a Famous Encounter

Do you guys remember candy cigarettes?  I remember two different kinds from my childhood.

The first and favorite ones I remember were actually pink, bubble gum sticks wrapped in white paper.  On the end of each "cigarette" was a white, powdery substance.  If you blew on the cigarette, the white powder (which was some form of powdered sugar) would flow into the air.  Once you were done "puffing" your cigarette, you would unwrap the thing and chew it just till it was old enough to grab another.

The second kind I remember were just the white, thin sugar sticks.  These you had to be a little more creative with while you pretended to smoke.  The poor design just led to not pretending at all and just gobbling up the sticks.

Sorry, I grew up in the south.  I rode my bike to the country store and bought a lot of candy.  I am not ashamed.

Anyway, tonight, as I rummaged through Jesse's Halloween candy, I found a little cardboard candy box that was unfamiliar.  The box had an Avengers theme.  I opened the little box, and low and behold, inside were the white, second rated candy cigarettes!  Except, they were not labeled, no...they were just called "candy sticks."  They tasted just like they used to though.

Boy, that really took me back.  All of the sudden, I'm riding down the road on my bike, one hand on the wheel and my candy cigarette in the other.  I was a model kid, that's for sure.

I am so behind on this blog, and I choose to talk about candy cigarettes.  I do not plan these things.  I am sorry.  I am just so thankful that I never felt the need to smoke the real ones, and more so that my daughter doesn't even know what a cigarette is.


We met someone!  We met someone on a Monday night in the city!  I drove Jesse all the way into town to meet my friend Heather and her darling son, Miles (Jesse's buddy), and we met her!  We were so excited.

Guess who?


Guess who was at the Little Shop of Stories signing her new Christmas themed Charlie book?

You got it!  It was the one and only Pioneer Woman!  She was so fabulous in person.  She is just like she is on her cooking show and exactly how she is on her blog.  She's the real deal, and she looked beautiful.

Jesse was thrilled to meet her.  She watches her on the Food Network with me and has always loved her first Charlie book.  She couldn't wait to get the new Charlie Christmas book and meet her in person.

Jesse wrote her a letter while we were waiting in traffic to see her.  She was so thrilled to give it to her.

We waited a long time for this opportunity.  I believe we got home around 11:00 that night.  It was so worth it.

But I have to say, being there with Heather and Miles topped it all.

Thank you Heather for hanging in there with us after our long day of work, and for reading stories to our sweet, patient kids while I nervously awaited seeing Ree in person.

I had so much to say to The Pioneer Woman.  Like, "I love your photography!"  "I dream about your mashed potatoes."  "I think your blog is fabulous, funny, and incredibly entertaining."  Or even, "Can I please visit the Ranch some day?"  But, all I said walking up to her with Jesse was, "She loves Charlie."

That's all I said.  That's it.  After all that time, that's all I said.  I'm such a goober.

If I could talk to her tonight, I would ask her if she remembers those candy cigarettes.  She would say "Yes!" We would talk about it for hours, and she and Heather and I would be best friends forever.

It's a fun thought anyway.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just a few Fall Pics

We took the kids up North again.  We didn't have a plan.  We just knew our days were limited to do so.  North Georgia is so beautiful.  I love our state.

I love these kids.



I'm glad we took time out to do it again.

Love you kids so much.  Loved this beautiful, Fall North Georgia day.

Here's to a great week.  Enjoy it all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Ball

Fall ball has been here for a while actually, and I haven't had time to share, but here it is.


Jesse is playing T-ball.  Her league is the most laid back league on the planet.  She doesn't really resemble a baseball player to me.  I feel like I should tell her to "Fill 'er up!"  Maybe it is all the blue, but it sure reminds me of a full-service gas station back home.  I miss those stations by the way.

She has Jonah's expressions.  She hits the T more than the ball.  She's the only girl on her team.  Heck, none of that slows this chick down.  She's rockin' it.

Gosh, that face kills me.  I love it.


"Hey buddy, my helmet may be pink, and my Mama doesn't have time to remove the Adidas sticker across the front, and I might even be wearing my old soccer socks, but you listen to me and you listen good.  My team is going to crush you.  Fear me.  I'm your worst nightmare."

"Ha ha!  That kid is scared to death.  Eat my dust bad boy."

"Rockin in my soccer socks...lalala."

"Do you all see me?"

"It's like nothing can slow me down."

"But, this red head, now I'll just sit here for a minute."

"Well, till I'm needed on the field."

"That was an awesome game coach, but you really need to work on your defense."

All these pictures were from her first game.

And I know the game medal is just a rotational thing, but...


she did scoop up a grounder and throw it to first like a pro.


And Grandmommy was there to see the whole thing.

And then we moved on to big boy here.  Just look at him.  Dang it.  Dang it.  Dang it.  Can I say that?

It hurts me through and through to see how tall and mature he is.  It's not just sports.  He's just as excited about rocks and minerals.  He loves his family.  Here he is with Aunt Kelly.  His smile alone defines the happiness in his heart.


That's it.  I can't handle anymore.  I love him more than words can say.

He's got a good heart.  I don't know what else a Mama could ask for.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pictures of Her

Here's a few pictures from late this afternoon.  Jonah and his Dad were playing baseball on a field just behind me.  Jesse was stuck with me and my big old camera.  She sighs through the first few clicks, then, she smiles when I get bit by a mosquito.

That's not very nice.


She looks so nice though.  I don't understand.


What is this?  Seriously?  Do you not know how badly I want a portrait of you my child?


And then she's back to the face I am used to.  You might see this as, "Sigh.  Please put your camera away woman."


I see the look she gives me when she can't have ice cream for dinner.

I see what's left of those big cheeks.

I see those sweet, baby blues.

I'm thankful to not see anything running from her nose.

I see what I'm going to long for in 10 years.

I see the child that was so excited about reading one Easter and one Valentine's story before bedtime tonight.

I see a child I love all the way to the moon..her moon.

I told her that tonight, and you know what she said?  She said, "I love you all the way to the Pumpkin Patch!"

I loved that.  We're back to October.   In her mind, the pumpkin patch is not very close, but it's just a 45 minute drive North.  Goodness, that's forever!

It's good to be back here.  Have a great week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Big Furlough Friday

I really hate that the playlist music is not playing on this space anymore.  I like music playing when I read my blog posts.  The music helps me feel the moment again, but the whole purpose of this blog was to publish it for the kids one day, and I'm pretty sure they haven't developed musical blog books.  It's a pity really.

On the bright side, someone is probably cheering that they do not have to turn the volume down.  Sigh.  Everybody needs a little Patty Griffin in their life, and I felt like it was my duty to let them know this.  Oh well.

Friday was a wonderful day last week.  I spent the day with the kids due to the furlough day in our county school system.  They didn't seem to mind that we didn't have huge plans.

We made the best of our time together I think and tried to make the day as big as we could.  Big = cleaning, going to buy dog food, and looking for some sort of filing system for all their school papers and such.  My poor kitchen table...I've lost it completely.  They have been in school such a short time, and I've already lost it...not that I really had it in the first place.

When Dad got home, well, it felt like a good, Mexican Friday night.  We kidnapped our neighbor and good friend, Bryson, and off we went.  We left with the kitchen table not much better than it was I'm afraid.

She was glowing when we returned from dinner, and the camera was calling my name.  Funny I say she was glowing, because she could have been covered in dirt and the camera still would have been calling my name.  It sounded good when I first thought it though.


Jonah was playing with Bryson in the back yard, and she was perched on a rock watching them.


Oh, this face.


She had bark on her hands.  I think it was bothering her for a minute.


Just until her Dad popped up and did something funny behind my back.


I have no idea what he did or said, but the result warmed my heart.

They played a little ball after dinner.  Hey Bryson!


This is a reason I love photography.  I may have never seen this face without the help of my camera.


Connection is such a satisfaction.


Oh yeah, and this is what the bloggers call, "Keeping it real."  She wants it all sometimes.

Eyes on the ball.



She doesn't connect with the ball that way yet.


Not yet.

Those eyes are connecting though.  What is she thinking?

"Mom, will you please put the camera down and swing with me for goodness sakes?"


She had lots to do and no time for my foolishness.

So, I put it down.  And, I pick it up again.  And, I put it down.  And, I pick it up again.

So far, it's working!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's all about Jesse

She had her first homework assignment this weekend.  She was super excited.


I'm sure if you have a child, you've completed the "All About Me" poster with him or her.  Jonah has done many of these.

She has always wanted one of her own, and well, she finally got the chance.

She wanted to do it herself.  "I need to do it myself!  But, I can't write much, so will you help me?"  She said something like that.  I let her write as much as she could, and her Dad and I helped guide her hand on the rest.

She has trouble with lower case n's, but she makes a mean 4 and a great upper J of course.

What makes you a star Jesse?  This one was hard, but we found a good answer I think.


Yep, that works.

Next was the question that has ever changing answers, "What do you want to be when you grow up Jesse?"   I was thinking she would say an artist (which is so, super cool), but she pulled this one out and oh, how suiting it was...a cupcake baker.

Jesse, you said I could work in your bakery one day.  Please don't forget!

I enjoyed this activity thoroughly today.  Yes, there were many distractions and millions of other things I needed to do, but seeing this smile...I tell you what, there's no better.


It's all about you Jesse.  I'm so proud of you, my little cupcake funny star.

We'll be there to guide your hand whenever you need us.  Just keep being brave enough to make the first stroke.  We love you kiddo...always and forever.