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Friday, February 27, 2009


Some moms make their kids memorize their phone number, street address, maybe scripture.... Me? I make my kids memorize the past presidents of the United States of America. (I think my kids know their phone number.... Maybe. Surely they know our address. Hmmm?) Anyway, I have a love for American history. My undergrad degree is history and political science, and I just think it's important to know certain things--our presidents being one of them. (The Preamble, Gettysburg Address, certain portions of the Declaration of Independence being a few others, but we'll work on those later.... They're just 4 and 5 years old. We've got time.)

Belle has memorized Washington through Lincoln--that's 16, and she's working on the others. Estella Dru almost has the first 16 down, and when she does, I'll put her video here, too. And for anyone who make think this weird, you should probably also know that when Belle was two, she could name almost every member of W's presidential cabinet. I know. I have some issues. Don't judge me.

But here is Belle with the first 16. If it sounds like a chant, it's because we learned them as a 'cheer,' complete with hand motions and jumps. I think it's so cute that between Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan she says, "This one's hard, Mama. I can do this." A girl after my own heart....

Can YOU name them, too?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boy Job

So… last night, I was coming home from a women’s event in Rogers. It was around 8:30 pm. Dark. Road construction to my left and right. I was unfamiliar with the area but not too concerned because of the two knowledgeable, alert navigators riding with me. (I won’t divulge their identities, but one name starts with an ‘E’ and the other with a ‘K’—both names consist of four letters each.) Not far from our departure point, one of said navigators advises me rather harshly to make a left-hand turn. I did so, and seconds later, the glow of flashing blue lights appears in my rear view mirror. Great. The navigators tell me to pull over, and not long after, Mr. Policeman cautiously approaches my window and explains that he pulled me over after I rolled right through a stop sign without stopping. Awesome. He then asks to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance. I hand him my driver’s license, my registration, and what I believe to be proof of insurance until he informs me that it isn’t current. And in my mind, I’m already yelling at Matt Slaughter. Ok, so yeah, I should probably know where that is, but c’mon! That is a boy job. Can I get an amen?

So, Mr. Policeman walks back to his car with lights still flashing, and we wait like a band of shameful drug smugglers for the verdict. Ticket? Or no ticket? I should have prayed, but I was so mad at Matt that I didn’t even think about talking to Jesus—apparently another mistake. In my defense, I never once saw a stop sign and neither did my alert navigators. Again, there was a lot of road construction, so I’m guessing the sign was in a weird spot… or invisible… I didn’t go back to check.

When Mr. Policeman gets back to the car, he informs me that he is giving me a citation for running the stop sign but not for failing to show proof of insurance, which tells me that if I could have given him proof of insurance, maybe, just maybe, he’d have let me off with a warning. Stink! And ok, it’s not all Matt’s fault, but still… boy job!

Moral of the story? Ladies, go find an envelope, place inside your vehicle registration and CURRENT proof of insurance. Seal it. With a sharpie, write on envelope, "HAND THIS TO POLICE OFFICER IN THE EVENT OF INVISIBLE STOP SIGN." 'Being prepared' doesn't have to be just for boy scouts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The True Story

Several have been asking exactly how I injured my hand. Apparently people are confused over the true version of events versus Matt's version of events. I feel I must take a moment and set the record straight.

Last Tuesday, I was doing all I could to make it out the door in time for Bible study. I got up early, got the girls out the door for school around 8 am, then proceeded to attempt to get Jeb and I both ready to go by 8:45 am. I got ready as fast as I could while Jeb, who was recovering from an ear infection, followed me around with outstretched arms, crying, "Mama" for over 30 minutes. Since it was my Bible study group's turn to bring snacks, I quickly cut up some coffee cake, stuck it in the warmer, then ran out to start the Jeep. (It was a frigid morning.) I hurried back in, put on Jeb's shoes, decided I forgot my Bible, couldn't find my Bible, went on a search for my Bible.. all the while, Jeb is following me, crying, "Mama!" I grabbed the coffee cake out of the warmer, picked up Jeb, his bag, his sippy, his jacket, my Bible (that had been hiding in the couch cushion), and opened the garage to put Jeb in the car.

My PLAN: strap in baby, come back for coffee cake, make it to church by 8:50 am. But as I opened the door leading to the garage, I realized that I had forgotten to open the garage door. I panicked. Carbon monoxide poisoning! I quickly hit the button and opened the garage door, still standing at the top step, and wondered, "Is it ok to put him in the car now? Will he die? Didn't I see this once in a movie? Maybe I should wait a few minutes. But I was supposed to be there at 8:45 and it's 8:46! I hate being late. What if the ladies at Bible study are hungry and waiting for food to arrive? What if I'm the only one who remembered to bring snacks? Surely there's enough fresh air in here by now. I bet it's safe to put him in. But what if all the poison is trapped in the car! I read once that carbon monoxide is odorless. How can I be sure? Do they make carbon monoxide detectors for cars?" (You think I'm kidding, but again, this is all true.)

And at some point during all this hesitation, I lost my footing and fell off the top step onto the concrete floor of the garage. Yes, I was still holding Jeb, but being the brave, utterly selfless mommy that I am, I kept him from hitting the ground by taking all the impact of the fall in my hand. (Ok, "utterly selfless" is a little much. It was total instinct.) I collected myself off the floor and brought Jeb inside where I called Matt. He came home and took me to the ER. Thankfully nothing is broken, but there is a possibility of torn ligaments. At some point, I am supposed to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Awesome. It is still painful, but manageable. I have had several negative encounters with stairs over the past couple of years, and I'm thinking I should just steer clear of them all together. Evil, evil stairs!

But that is the true story. If you hear otherwise, please disregard. Matt thinks he is quite hilarious with his version. So if he tells you something different, don't laugh! It will only serve to encourage him. Below is a picture of the sign my witty husband created and attached to our back door. In addition, he has the girls trained to say, "Mama, watch your step" every time I go into the garage. If I didn't love him so much, he'd be in a lot of trouble.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a thought...

(So, my hand is not much better. Awesome. Not writing is really getting to me. I thought I would pull something out of the archives I wrote not so long ago. It's nothing fancy or very formal. It just seems fitting. Sorry... it's sort of long.

Also, Lynlee is doing better. Praise the Lord. She is out of ICU and hopefully won't have to stay in Children's much longer. Thanks for your prayers

A thought occurred to me the other day. These days we’re living in are scary and uncertain. I hear it every day from the news to friends to the internet… the economic crisis, the plunge of morality, sickness, and death. People predict doom and gloom to my left and right. So, why am I not panicking? Fear fills the hearts of so many, and while I am certainly concerned, I’m not fearful.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my days of frustration. Three kids. A husband. Responsibilities. Guilt from every angle. Never feeling good enough. Smart enough. Pretty enough. My inability to meet the expectations of others. These are my constant struggles. But always, at the end of the day, I can take a deep breath and know it’s all ok.

And this is the thought that occurred to me.

When I was around eight months pregnant with Jeb, I went in for my twice weekly NST (non-stress test). During these NSTs, the nurse would hook me up to a machine and monitor Jeb’s heartbeat for usually thirty minutes since he was considered a high risk pregnancy. On this particular visit, the NST machine could not detect a heartbeat. The nurse had me drink cold drink water, move side to side, walk the halls, and still, no detectable heartbeat. I could see the growing concern in her face and hear the anxious whispers outside the door when she stepped out to advise my doctor. They whispered a long time. Too long.

Finally my doctor walked in and calmly told me that I was being moved upstairs to the hospital’s maternity floor for an ultrasound. I was to go immediately.

I knew I needed to call Matt and tried to come up with the easiest way to tell him, “They can’t find a heartbeat.” I couldn’t think of any. He hurried to the hospital, terrified. But when he got there… when he saw me, he was confused to say the least. To his utter shock, I was completely calm. Absolutely no panic. No fear. Actually, a little put out with all the fuss. 100% certain everything was going to be fine.

See, with all the machines and testing and looks of fear and anxiousness and concern, I had one big thing going for me. I could feel him moving inside of me. And though the professionals were telling me there was no heartbeat, a kick here and a flip-flop there told me different. He was moving. I didn’t care that a machine said his little heart wasn’t beating. I knew better. I could feel him.

And I think that’s how those of us who know God make it through hard times. When everyone else is falling apart, fearing the uncertainty of the future, finding death and destruction around every corner, living a life without hope, we don’t have to. When Grandma died and I felt my world crash down all around me, had I not felt Him inside, I believe I’d still be curled up in a ball in the corner of a some dark room. Or when post partum depression threatened to take over my life, robbing me of the joy of my sweet babies, had I not felt Him inside, I would have never completely fought my way out of that terrifying pit.

I know the sorrows and fears of this life are many. And I pray I can steer clear of as many as possible. But when they do come, how incredible is it that we don’t have to panic. We don’t have to be afraid. Even when others are screaming, "It's time to be scared!" and turning on the sirens, we just have to be still, close our eyes, and just feel Him move.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Prayers for Lynlee

Last night our sweet niece, Lynlee, was flown to Children's Hospital after an acute asthma attack. Matt was able to see her before the plane left and said she was literally struggling for every breath. As you may know, Sarah (Lynlee's mom), just gave birth to Baby Owen less than 2 weeks ago. As mothers we know how difficult those first few months of a newborn's life can be... lack of sleep, constant feeding... and now a sick little girl. I can't imagine what Sarah and Pat are going through. Currently, Lynlee is still in ICU at Children's with hopes of moving to a 'regular' room tomorrow. Please pray for Sarah, Pat, Lynlee, and Owen. I know they would sincerely appreciate it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Let There Be Cake... Everywhere

If you are wondering why I have said so little about my sweet boy's birthday... why I have been so elusive lately... there is a simple reason. I fell out the back door and possibly tore some stuff up in my hand. Awesome, right? At this moment I am typing with one finger. Not ideal as you can imagine. Please know I have much to say and will do so as soon as my jacked up hand is feeling better. Until then, enjoy these pictures of Jeb's little party we threw with family last night. And for a walk down memory lane, click here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Baby Boy is One Today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Owen's Birthday

I woke up this morning thinking about my day. Get girls to school. Bible study. Lay Jeb down for a nap. A normal day. Instead it went something like... Get girls to school. Take Jeb to doctor (bad ear infection). No Bible study. Hurry to hospital where sweet Baby Owen was making his grand debut. I love surprises.. well, not the ear infection surprise, but definitely Baby Owen's birthday surprise 15 days early.

Here are some pictures from the hospital. Owen Patrick weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and looks just like his big sister. Mommy and Daddy are doing great. Sarah was a trooper even though she had to wait quite a while for her epidural. If there's one thing a woman should never have to wait on, it's an epidural.

We're so glad you're here, Owen!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

OKC Weekend

This weekend, Matt and I went to Oklahoma City to celebrate his birthday. It was 'sort of' a surprise. I took him to see one of his favorite pastors, Craig Groeschel, at Matt listens/watches Craig's podcast every week, but had never had the opportunity to see him in person. LifeChurch was awesome... simple and smart, and Craig's message was great as always. We had tons of fun WITHOUT the children. I missed them so much, but we really needed to be kiddo-less for a day or so. (I can't remember the last night I spent the night without them.)

We had great meals... one at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar restaurant in Bricktown (Matt's choice), and one at Cheescake Factory. It was a great time.
I had to be sneaky with these pictures so no one would know I was a big fat nerd/tourist. This is Matt right before the service started.

Craig speaking. (Oh, yeah... we were the front row geeks.)

Cheesecake Factory desserts. (Nope. Neither of them were cheesecake.)

To find out more about, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy

(Please pay close attention to E Dru's mouth. My children....)

Happy 29th, Matt!

29 Reasons Why I Have the Most Awesome Husband Ever.

1. He has, what he refers to as, "mad skills". And it's true. He can build me anything I want. Fix anything that needs fixing. You name it, and he can probably do it.

2. I can't remember the last time I heard him complain about anything.

3. He tells me I'm beautiful every time we talk on the phone.

4. If I cook, he almost always cleans the kitchen.

5. He puts the girls to bed every night and prays with them... which sometimes can take upwards of an hour.

6. He makes me laugh... mostly 'at' him instead of 'with' him, but still... that's laughing.

7. He's an incredible speaker.

8. He has always been a consistent provider for his family.

9. When he makes mistakes, he isn't afraid to admit them and say, "I'm sorry."

10. He takes the kids out by himself at least one night a week so I can write.

11. He puts up with my high maintenance-ness like a pro.

12. He loved my Grandma and always did anything she asked with a smile and happy heart.

13. He loves Grandpa and works hard for him every time we visit. He always asks, "What else do you need me to do while I'm here."

14. He is the best daddy in the world. The time he spends with the kids is meaningful and fun. I can already see a little of him in each of them.

15. He changed all three of our babies' first poopie hospital diapers. You know the ones I'm talking about...

16. If any of our babies wake up in the middle of the night, he gets up to check on them without ever waking me.

17. He is a hard worker in everything he does and people notice.

18. He is the best driver/navigator I know. (Except in Mobile, AL.)

19. He can't stand it when I cry.

20. He cried at the births of all our children.

21. He lets me sleep in every Saturday morning and takes the kids for doughnuts.

22. He has never betrayed my trust.

23. He sings horribly, but he still sings.

24. He corrals all of us on Sunday mornings and makes sure we get to church on time. His favorite thing to say is, "The Slaughter train is leaving in 5 minutes."

25. I never doubt for a second that he will accomplish his dream.

26. He is genuine to the core... no fronts, no disguises... what you see is what you get.

27. He finished a marathon last year with pretty much zero training and about seventeen oozing blisters.

28. He makes me want to be better.

29. He loves us.. me, Belle, Estella Dru, and Jeb... and is content being with us. He doesn't spend hours on the golf course, or hunting, or out with the guys... He's just here for us because he wants to be. What could be better than that?

Daddy and Jeb 2008

Dancing with Princess Estella summer 08

With Baby Jeb at 3 months old

Fishing with Belle at Memaw's 2005

Sharing the sadness of having to wear a pink cast. Belle 2005

The Matt I first met

With Jeb this fall

With Baby Jeb and Estella summer 08

Monday, February 2, 2009

200 Cookies

I am so proud of my girls.. and their daddy. Yesterday, Matt sat them down and talked to them about what it means to make a difference for someone who might be sad or discouraged. So, the girls sat down and wrote/colored over 30 little notes for our neighbors. We baked over 200 chocolate chip cookies and put them in bags with the notes, and the girls and Matt delivered them to every house on our street. It was such a small gesture, but hopefully it brought some smiles to faces who needed it... and maybe the girls were able to see the value in helping others. They have a great teacher. Matt, along with several awesome guys from our connection group, spent all afternoon yesterday cleaning up three yards and doing some serious work for people who weren't able to do it themselves. Again, a small gesture, but one that hopefully made a difference. I am just so thankful for a husband who leads our family with a huge heart that beats for others and always challenges us to do more.

Here are some pictures of them delivering cookies yesterday. Estella pushed her little shopping cart up and down the street. So cute.