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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Out for the summer

Friday was the last day of school for the Slaughter sisters. Sigh.

We have lots of activities planned for the summer, and I am hoping Belle and E Dru don't kill one another before school starts again in the fall. Those two can fight with the best of 'em. And so far, Jeb isn't enjoying sharing Mommy's attention with his big sisters. Things may get interesting between now and August.

Here is Drusy going to her field day. They were able to get wet outside. Here she is with her bag full of towels and sunscreen.

Belle's field day was at the park. Here she is with Katie and a mouth full of pizza.

Jeb at Belle's field day, saying 'hello' to the Thompsons' new puppy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Happy Birthday, Grandma (Me-maw). Hope you heard the girls sing to you this morning. We miss you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's Project: Girls' Dresser

Matt and I completed the girls' dresser project today. I had given them an old dresser of mine last year. (And when I say old, I mean, I bought it from Wal-Mart in '98 old.) The drawers finally became completely non-functional, and the girls couldn't even open them. I just could not bring myself to pay $200-something for a new dresser, so Matt and I set out to make this one work.

We threw out the old drawers and made new swinging ones with a fabric back. Inside are nice, big storage crates for their stuff. So, for around $25 (as opposed to $200-something) the girls have a new, super cute place for their stuff... with doors they can open.

High five, Husband.



Monday, May 25, 2009

Jeb Escape

What I have learned today.

1.) Our windows need new screens.
2.) Matt needs supervision supervising our son.
3.) Raising a boy is going to present challenges.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Basketball Princess

Anyone who knew me in jr. high or high school knows I lived and breathed basketball. I was a bona fide wind suit wearing, Nike clad, basketball toting, 1990-something scrunchie haired, scarce on the make up, Umbro obsessed tomboy. I know--hard to believe I was ever athletic. But it's true. I think I was always a pink-loving girl at heart, but it took years for me to come out of the closet. Clearly, today, I am out in full force. My wind suit days are far, far behind me. Far.

I think, back then, I thought I was much better than I actually was. I was ok. Maybe good. Far from great. But still... I could hang. That being said, I have high hopes for my girls and their basketball playing futures. Granted, they still sometimes say they want to be cheerleaders. On those rare occasions, I smile, nod, then silently pray the pom pom demon out of them. (Kidding. Sort of.) Anyway, this week Belle's first experience with organized basketball was attending Shiloh's basketball camp. And I wish I could tell you my kindergartener burned up the court. Sigh. Between cartwheels and dance moves, she did pretty well. I was a bit mortified when, on one occasion, she opted for 'granny' shots rather than the proper shooting technique they had JUST SHOWN her. But all in all, she was awesome and really enjoyed herself. A pink-loving princess can only go so far at her first go at the game, right?

In her words, she came away with "three sheets of paper and a medal." That's right. She medaled. She won it for Knock Out. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds way cool. And the 'three sheets of paper' were a certificate of participation, Camper of the Day award, and Knock Out champion certificate. She is so proud.

Here is a video of one of her first shooting sessions with Coach H. She does fine on the first three shots, and then pulls out the granny. You'll be happy to know I bit my lip and didn't yell from the bleachers. I did, however, tell Coach W to promptly beat her the next time she did it. I don't think they took me seriously. But I was.

Who says a baller can't be a princess, too? She doesn't need a pair of Umbros to rock it out. I think a crown will do just fine. Still.. we're gonna have to do something about those cartwheels.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Giraffe Pool Reminder


I saw one of these DECEITFUL things today and just had to re-post this post from last year. DO NOT PURCHASE A GIRAFFE POOL for your children!!! I realize summer is here and with it, the need to buy the kids a pool of some sort--and upon first glance the giraffe pool appears to be a potential load of water fun. DO NOT BE DECEIVED!!!! See post below.


Giraffe Pool

Ummmm... can you say discrepancy? We bought this pool for the girls at Target last weekend. Looks like fun, huh? Pretty big. There's like four kids playing it in. Maybe looks like four more could easily fit.

Notice the large giraffe head towering above the little girl, spewing out a geyser of water. (Her arms are even up in the air!!) Well, either that child is an elf or my children are giants because Belle and Dru literally have to lay down as low as they can get underneath the giraffe to get a trinkle of water on them. There is absolutely no spewing. And there's no way two more kids could even fit in this itty bitty thing.

Clearly, a year later, I am still bitter. I just can't stand the thought of any of you spending the $30-something on this piece of junk. And just an FYI: I sent Target AND the company a letter about it. To date, there has been no response. Curse you, Giraffe Pool!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend Update

This weekend, Estella Dru was able to go to Little Rock with Matt's parents (aka Gigi and G-Pops). Pat and Sarah had a wedding there on Saturday, and Gigi and G-Pops went to help with Lynlee and Baby Owen. E Dru had a ball going shopping and to the zoo.

Gigi let Drusy pick out her own outfit at a store. Ummm... thanks, Gigi. I'm really going to have to work on my youngest daughter's fashion sense.

Meanwhile, Matt, Belle, Jeb, and I went to visit Grandpa. He is doing better but still not getting around so great. He is using a walker which is quite frustrating for him. I am just glad he is back to normal as far as his mental functioning. He gave us a scare.

While there, I had to decorate the graves. I'm finding that lots of people have no idea what "Decoration Day" is, and when I tell them, they look at me funny. Just in case you don't know, where I'm from, each cemetery has a designated day for 'Decoration'. On that day, people visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried and bring flowers and do general upkeep on the graves. When I was little, I remember the cemeteries being full of people decked out in their Sunday best, just standing around the tombstones visiting. I don't know how it's done today since I always just leave flowers the day before, but we had to faithfully promise Grandma that when she was gone, we would make certain the graves were decorated on Decoration Day.

So, on Saturday, I trudged out into the cemetery where Grandma's mother and father are buried, along with three of her little brothers who died at birth, to leave flowers. Afterwards, we drove to the middle of nowhere to leave flowers on the grave of Grandma's nephew who died when he was two... I believe it was 1940-something. I took Belle with me, and even though Decoration Day for Grandma's cemetery is still another week away, she insisted that we leave flowers on Grandma's grave, too. I told her she could be in charge of finding some, and this is what she came up with. Watch.

Precious, precious, precious.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Near Bike Day Blunder

Conversation between Matt and Angela. 7:15 am, Thursday morning

Angela: Are you sure Estella's bike day isn't this week?

Matt: I'm sure. It's next week.

Angela: Ok. You're the one who sends out the newsletters. You should know.

Conversation over.

30 minutes later. Conversation between me and Estella Dru

Estella Dru: Mommy, my bike day is today.

Angela: No it isn't, Honey. It's next week.

Estella: No, Mommy. I know it's today.

Angela: No, Honey. Next week. Now out the door. (Pushing her into the garage.)

Phone rings. I answer. It is an organized, informed, with-it parent who confirms that today, in fact, is bike day.

Angela: Are you sure? I thought I read somewhere it's on the 14th.

Informed Parent: Today is the 14th.


Estella: See, I told you, Mommy. And you almost made me miss it.

Without that phone call, I would have had to slip into my World's Worst Mom t-shirt for who knows how long. E Dru would have arrived at school without her 'proper' clothing and most importantly, without her bike. So close to utter failure!!! I'm not sure I would have been able to recover from such a catastrophic blunder. Thank God for that phone call. And parents who pay attention.

Moral of the story? 1.) READ pertinent information sent home concerning your children and important dates. 2.) Do not trust your husband even if he is in charge of sending said information and has access to information at his fingertips. 3.) Don't discredit your 4 year old even if she uses the words 'today' and 'tomorrow' meaning any point in the past or future. 4.) Try to have some concept of the passage of time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Prayer

I mentioned in my last post that I am not eloquent in my prayers. I think maybe if I could write them out, they would be better. I would proof read. Use spell check. Use my thesaurus... a lot. But when it's just me and Him, and I open my mouth, I'm bumbly. I go here and there with my thoughts. I am not articulate. I swear I have attention deficit disorder. Sometimes I fall asleep while praying. Sometimes I start talking to Him about keeping my kids safe and suddenly I'm planning what I'm going to pack them for lunch the next day. When I finally remember I was praying, I apologize, and start again. I imagine if He ever rolls His eyes, He rolls His eyes at me a lot.

And most of the time I'm not passionate. I wish I were more passionate. I know people who are--people who open their mouths to pray and you swear you can feel the portals of Heaven open to take in their words. Goosebump prayers I like to call them. I don't think I've ever prayed a goosebump prayer. Even still, I think God is cool with how I talk to Him... like a daughter speaks to her dad, although I don't really know how that feels down here. I think I can imagine though.

There has been only two times in my life that I can remember when I sat down to pray and words would literally not come. The first time is when I knew Grandma would be dying soon, and the last was on Sunday when I thought I might lose Grandpa, too. I closed my eyes to pray, but after several minutes of nothing, I told Him, "Father, you're going to have to just feel this one. Wrap your hands around my heart and breathe it in because I can't come up with the words. You're just going to have to feel it." And I swear, I felt Him do exactly what I asked.

I don't know what the future is going to hold for Grandpa. I can pray (and will pray) that while on this Earth, God will keep him healthy and whole just the way he kept Grandma. I can thank Him every single day that I was fortunate enough to be raised by two of the most genuinely honest, hard-working, precious people who LOVED ME as hard as anyone ever has and who took care of me with everything they had when they didn't have to. I can beg and plead for the desires of my heart, and still, I know, He may have other plans. And I'll be honest, I've already told Him that if He does, I'm going to be mad for a while, and I'm going to kick and scream and cry and pout. Loudly.

But when it all comes down, I know, however things go, He is the God I serve--the one and only God, and I. Trust. Him. My favorite song by Steven Curtis Chapman says, "Where else could I turn? Where else could I go? You have given me life. You have made me whole. You have rescued my soul. So where else could I go when I am found in You?" So even when I'm kicking and screaming when things don't go the way I think they should, His love is just not going to let me go. He's going to hold me the entire time I'm throwing my fit, all the while, whispering in my ear, "Trust me, Sweet Girl. Just trust me."

And I do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Update on Grandpa

After getting the ct scan results, the doctor now thinks Grandpa had a TIA. I didn't know what it was either. Google is a great thing. Here is a rundown via the American Heart Association website.

What is a TIA or transient ischemic attack?

A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke.

Most strokes aren't preceded by TIAs. However, of the people who've had one or more TIAs, more than a third will later have a stroke. In fact, a person who's had one or more TIAs is more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn't.

TIAs are important in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen. They can occur days, weeks or even months before a major stroke. In about half the cases, the stroke occurs within one year of the TIA.

What causes a transient ischemic attack?

TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain.

What are the symptoms of a TIA?

It's very important to recognize the warning signs of a TIA or stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
The short duration of these symptoms and lack of permanent brain injury is the main difference between TIA and stroke.

Grandpa goes back to the doctor tomorrow for more tests to determine if he has any arterial blockage. If he has a significant amount, he will need to undergo surgery to correct the problem.

I have much to say about all of this, but am so tired and honestly, don't feel much like writing tonight. I would like to say thank you again to everyone. The smallest gestures mean so much... especially to Grandpa. I am not prayer warrior--in fact, I probably send up the simplest prayers God ever hears, but I truly believe in the power of prayers and plead with you to pray for him. Specifically, please pray that Grandpa will not have to endure a stroke or suffer the mentally and physically debilitating symptoms that would follow. Pray for his continued recovery and that he might continue to live as he has with minimal assistance. God can do anything.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Waiting on ct scan

UPDATE Monday night, 9:22 pm. Grandpa had the ct scan and did very well all afternoon. The confusion hasn't returned, and we are hoping it doesn't. He still has very little mobility and can't be left alone. Tomorrow he goes back to the doctor for the ct results. I will try to keep updating. I am doing this from my iPhone which is not ideal. I so appreciate all of you who have sent encouraging words and prayers. I have the absolute best friends in the world. I am so grateful for all of you.


Back at hospital. The doctor thinks he had a stroke and sent us here for a scan. He is staying awake, talking more, and making more sense. The doctor asked him who is our president, and Grandpa said, "Do we have one?". He thought that was pretty funny. So we are waiting again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Difficult Mother's Day

UPDATE Monday 12:45 pm. I have been at Grandpa's about an hour. He hasn't said much. He's been asleep the whole time. Matt said he's slept all day. He is still confused and tried to put pants on over his head earlier today. He is barely walking with the help of a walker. We are taking him to the doctor at 2 pm. At this point we know something is wrong but don't know what. My mom and step dad are on their way from Alabama. Hopefully I will know more after seeing the doctor.


I was dreading today. Mother's Day is tough without Grandma. Very tough. But today started out so nice. My precious kids and their daddy woke up me early--Belle holding a Starbucks, Estella holding roses, Jeb holding a gift card, and Daddy holding Jeb. It was priceless. After church they got me take out at Madame Wu's (a restaurant whose former home was Russellville but moved here). SO YUMMY. I came home and got ready to work out and was just about to leave for the gym when my phone rang. And as soon as I saw the number, my heart sank. It was a friend from home saying Grandpa had not made it to church. When they went to check on him, he had fallen, was disoriented, but wouldn't let anyone take him to the hospital. My friend was worried, and so she called me. I immediately called him, but his phone was off the hook. I began packing bags. Matt got home and convinced me just to let him go. After a lengthy discussion, I relented and stayed here with the kids while he went alone.

When Matt got to Grandpa's, my little brother was already there. They knew immediately something was not right. They loaded him up and took him to the ER. After a full exam, they sent him home, but he is still very altered. I spoke with him tonight on the phone, and he couldn't follow through with his thoughts. He was very hard to understand and didn't make a lot of sense. I am praying that the morning brings clarity, but I am worried. He is 87. 88 in September.

I can't even begin to put into words how hard it was for me to hear him that way. So I won't try. But it was hard. Uncontrollable crying hard. Today was hard, dang it. I miss Grandma so much it literally physically hurts, and to feel like Grandpa slipped away a little tonight.... Hard day. My prayer, again, is that the morning will be better. Please be better.

I would truly appreciate your prayers for him. This is a picture of me and him at homecoming... I think 1990. If you can't tell by the sash, just look at the hair. Oh, and you can't see, but yes, I was wearing white hose and white heels with my lacy, all white, three-tiered, homecoming dress. Don't be jealous. Other than the day Matt and I got married (and Grandpa wore a tux), this was the only other time he could remember wearing a jacket and tie. Wasn't he so handsome? You should have seen him in that tux.

Kate Austin Shopping Spree

The girls were able to go on their Kate Austin shopping spree today with the $101 they won from the KLRC contest. We ended up with 2 bracelets, a Hello Kitty necklace, pink heart ring, and three Webkins. They had so much fun, and the people at Kate Austin were very sweet and helpful. Here are some pictures of the sweet sisters and their loot.

My favorite find of the day--Big Sis/Lil Sis bracelets. So sweet.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jeb and Safety

Jeb and I went to Target this morning. Afterwards, we came home and ate lunch. At both locations, his life was in danger due to his utter disregard for safety precautions. At Target, I could NOT keep him seated in the shopping cart. (And before you say it, yes, he was buckled, but figured out how to wiggle out.) Once at home, he figured out how to climb up to the stove. Luckily, it wasn't hot, but still.... My girls would have never attempted such things! Is this what I have to look forward to? No. No, don't answer that. I'd rather live oblivious to my certain future.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Slaughter Sisters Win!

I have two very excited little girls this morning. The day before Belle's birthday, I thought it would be neat for Belle to hear her name on the radio. So, I went to KLRC's website (what she and Matt always listen to on the way to school) and added her name to the list of birthdays. While I was there, I saw the "More Beautiful You" contest where listeners were asked to send in a picture of their daughters or a special girl in the their life. They wanted you to tell in one sentence why she was so beautiful, and the winner would receive a $101 gift certificate to Kate Austin Jewelry. On a whim, I entered them, and this morning Matt got a phone call from Mark and Keri at the morning show saying Belle and E Dru had won. Drusy was still in bed, but both Belle and Matt got to talk on the radio. Belle is convinced she's a superstar. I am so proud of my girls.

Click here to see the winner page. Way to go, Slaughter Sisters!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Big Day Thursday

Yesterday was a big day for the Slaughter crew. It began with Estella Dru's K-4 Lovebug Program. She was such a cute little ladybug. They also gave out K-4 character traits. Each child was given a character trait that most accurately describes them in the classroom. Last year, Belle's was optimism, and yesterday, E Dru was given the trait of helpfulness. We are so proud of her.

Sweet lady bug.

Singing her heart out.

With Lowery and Catherine.

E Dru, Catherine, and Easton.

Also, yesterday, we had a birthday party for Belle with the little girls in her class and some others. It was a pink party. Pink everything. We had a pink party for her 3rd birthday, too. Hopefully, this will be the last. It can be a bit involved, but it was fun. The little girls had a ball.

Matt "entertaining" the girls. Oh yes. He was in pink, too.

Other than Daddy, this was the only boy allowed!

Belle is like her mommy and does not like birthday cake. Here are the girls holding up their cupcakes instead.

Happy little birthday girl.


Matt told them he wanted to see some fierce poses.

Belle fell belly first in a puddle of water.

I just had to post this one. Matt took, "Honey, make sure they're having fun" a little too far. What a great daddy.

I'm only posting these favor bags to pass on the idea. The little lady bugs were on sale at Hobby Lobby. Just sharing suggestions!

Same with the cupcakes. I made them, then got a 1/2 price bundle of fake daises at Hobby Lobby. They were adorable and super inexpensive.