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Two Down, One To Go

Today was the Homecoming parade.

Chicky donned dress #2, a lovely yellow-green beaded gown, and her fancy shoes and headed out.

Rooster joined his band mates while I followed Chicky around and took pictures of her with the friends she’s grown up with.

The Homecoming attendants sparkled in their sequins, and the guys looked debonair in their tuxes.

Most of the candidates rode in convertibles.  Chicky and her escort were no exception…

The kids smiled and waved as they rode down “Main Street.”  Parents and friends hollered for them to glance their way so they could get photographs.  Some of the candidates threw candy.

All enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

It was a fabulous afternoon, and I left the parade pumped with adrenaline.

Chicky breathed a sigh of relief when the parade was over.  The game is tomorrow, and she’ll be wearing her prom dress, which fits her like a glove, from the Spring…along with her beaded silver sandals (no more 4-inch heels).

Two events down…one to go.  It will be a little sad to see the week end.

Mrs. AuburnChick, You Should Be a Teacher

Those were the words a student spoke to me on Tuesday when I subbed in his classroom.

Can I tell you just how much it warmed my heart to hear him say this to me?

You see, I subbed for a teacher for four days in a row.

The teacher’s classroom was large, bright, and cheery, with lots of things hanging on the walls.  She has a reading corner that contains a couch, bean bags, magazines, and books.

I had so much fun as the kids and I talked about each day’s journal question and the Word of the Day. I made good use of the large white board and colorful expo markers.

I was in my element.

The students quickly picked up on my enthusiasm, and we had a great time each day.

When the student gave me the compliment, I’ll admit that I smiled but then raised my eyebrow suspiciously.

“Are you saying this to butter me up?” I asked.  You never know…sometimes people say things they know you want to hear.

“No,” he said.  “You’re fun and a good sub.”

Bestill my beating heart.

I have such a heart for these students and for education.  I’ll admit to frustration at not being able to find a permanent teaching position; however, I know that God is preparing me through all of the different situations I face as a sub.

Still, the compliment continues to ring melodiously in my soul.

Unexpected Kindness

Chicky did a little something unexpected today.

She performed a random act of kindness…

Toward me…her Mama.

It came in the form of this…

She had a doctor appointment in the middle of the day, so she checked herself out (after I gave the front office the official “Ok”), got herself there and back, and returned to make a surprise visit to the classroom I was subbing in.

When she entered, it was a little dark.  We were finishing up a movie.

As she drew near, I made out two cups…one in each hand.

She handed me one with the explanation that she had gotten a craving for it as she passed by but, not wanting me to get mad at her for spending money, bought another to appease me.

Now, as a mom, I know better.

I think she had a flash of thoughtfulness.

She knows how much I love a good Triple Chocolate Chip Frappuccino, and I think she wanted to make me smile.

She did.

I smiled all the way through the rest of that period, during my Planning, and into lunch, when she came home and we ate together.

You know how much we’ve struggled.  Times like this give me hope that one day we’ll be close again.

I treasure every moment.

One Down, Two to Go

Today was Day #1 of Homecoming festivities.

The school has a special shin-dig for homecoming candidates.  The girls are escorted by their male counterparts, walk across a stage, and then under the swords of the ROTC as their names are announced…

The theme this year has to do with pirates and the Caribbean (hence the ship)

The candidates leave class early to get ready, with the girls gathering in one or two teachers’ classrooms.

This was the first year Chicky has been on the Homecoming court, and what an experience it was!  I was subbing but had Planning that period (thank you, Lord), so I got to witness a room full of girls all helping each other get ready for the show.  They chatted excitedly.

Several moms showed up, hairbrushes in hand, and helped their daughters tease their hair to proper heights.

Chicky was nervous.  She worried about tripping in her 4″ heels.

I was nervous too.  I didn’t want her to twist an ankle or knee, nor did I want her to be embarrassed by falling down.

She allowed me to snap a photo before she left the classroom…

I walked to the cafeteria, where all of the candidates and their escorts were waiting, took pictures of Chicky with a male soccer player (her escort and a candidate for Homecoming King), and reminded him, several times, not to let her fall.  He assured me that he would take care of her, and then I went out to sit with the other parents in the bleachers.

I prayed…a lot…and breathed…a little.

And I waited…


And then her name was called.  I hardly remember her going up the stairs, across the stage, and back down the stairs…that’s how nervous I was.

All I know is that she smiled a gorgeous smile that I knew was one of relief.  The guy hammed it up a bit, and we all got a chuckle.

Before I knew it, the party was over.  I caught up with the Mr., who was armed with the camcorder…ever the proud dad.

One event down, two to go.

Maybe I’ll actually be able to breathe for the next two.

Spook-tacular Shopping Bags

Today I went to Target and picked up a few items.  For every two bags of M&M’s you purchase this week, you get a free, reusable shopping bag.

Although I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, these bags were simply too good to pass up (as were the M&M’s).  I didn’t get to use my bags at Target, but I did carry them to Publix, the next store I visited, and had a lot of fun watching the look on the cashier’s face as she bagged my groceries…

One neat thing you should know is that for every reusable bag you actually use at Target, you’ll get a $.05 credit on that shopping bill.  It will show up on your receipt as a Target coupon.

What a great way to encourage recycling!!

New Shoes for Chicky

Next week is Homecoming, and Chicky will be representing the girls’ soccer team.

Homecoming is a big deal around here…especially if you’re a girl.  “Tradition” dictates that female candidates wear three different dresses…one to the in-school Homecoming production, one to the parade, and a third to the game itself.

Many of the girls borrow dresses, and Chicky was no exception.  She borrowed two and will wear her prom dress (do you remember the blue beaded gown we had altered this past Spring?).  But, Chicky needed new shoes.

The girl she borrowed the dresses from is an inch taller than Chicky, and apparently she wore heels with the dresses.

So, Chicky and I went shoe shopping.

Surprisingly, we got along during this shopping trip.  We fight about almost everything on any given day, but Friday afternoon was different.  Rooster later reminded me that the reason we got along was because we’re girls…we love shoes.  “Duh” was his final commentary on the subject.  heehee

She tried on a couple different pairs before settling on this one…

They are actually more pewter in color, and there is a thick strap that gets wound around the ankle.

Thank goodness for that strap.  These are 4″ heels…ack!  Chicky is not a high-heel kind of girl, so she is nervous, but the strap gives added support.

She needed that extra height to make the dresses fit properly.

Fortunately, she’ll only need to walk around at the school shin-dig.  She’ll be riding in a convertible during the parade and will be able to give her tootsies a break.

For her prom dress, she’ll wear these flats…tres comfortable…

My Week in Pictures

I spent most of the week in bed, recovering from a cold.  So, I didn’t take too many pictures from the week.  I sincerely doubt that you would get much of a thrill from looking at kleenex boxes and used tissues.  Blech.

Here’s what I did manage to capture…

The beginnings of a new booga bag

The beginnings of a new booga bag

Spent $13.04 and saved $40.07

Spent $13.04 and saved $40.07

Shopping for a food pantry...31 jars of baby food...Spent $11.85 and saved $18.60

Shopping for a food pantry...31 jars of baby food...Spent $11.85 and saved $18.60

Pele decided to keep my company while I was sick...misery loves company...

Pele decided to keep me company while I was sick...misery loves company...

Test-driving the pillows for me...Mama, these are Purrrrfect for sleeping away a cold...

Test-driving the pillows for me..."Mama, these are Purrrrfect for sleeping away a cold..."

Dessert, Anyone?

I’ve been under the weather this week…thus, the lack of posts the past few days.

Despite being sick, I still managed to drag myself out to a couple of stores to take advantage of last week’s sales.

My favorite deal was the B1G1 on Weight Watcher’s frozen desserts.

During two separate trips, I picked up the following…

Trip #1 - Spent $23.43; Saved $45.11

Trip #2 - Spent $10.48; Saved $49.77

Did your eyes just bug out?

You should have seen Chicky’s when I brought home the first batch.

Her comment?

“Why would you bring such yummy desserts into this house?”

I had to chuckle.

Each dessert was on sale as a B1G1 for $2.59.  I used one Publix $2/5 stacked with one mfg $2/5.  Because I bought ten the first time, I was able to use two sets of coupons, saving $8.  In addition, I had a Buy 4, Get 1 Free (up to $2), so I saved an additional $2 the first day, taking my total on ten desserts to $.30 each!!  The dog food in that picture was free.

Yesterday was the last day of the sale, so Chicky and I ran back to the store.  This time, I was armed with four sets of coupons.  Chicky admitted to embarrassment as I stacked 20 boxes in my cart.  I didn’t have another Buy 4, Get 1 Free coupon, but I still saved a lot and wound up paying only $.50 per box.  The dog food and single jar of baby food were completely free.

You can imagine what my freezer looks like at the moment.  It’s dessert heaven, to say the least.  But, the portions are small, and they are absolutely delightful after a healthy dinner.

Travels With Chicky

I know I was bad this weekend…not blogging or anything.

I drove Chicky and a teammate to South Carolina for more soccer games.  You might recall that I made this drive three weeks ago.

Before we left, though, I checked the mail and found this…

Free samples!  With coupons!!

We drove to Jacksonville on Friday after school, allowing the girls to attend all of their classes.  This is important because they take college classes and have a strict attendance policy.

The only bad thing about leaving in the afternoon is night driving, which I despise…

We pulled into Jacksonville around 10pm.

We were blessed in being able to stay with another teammate for the night…saving some $$ in the process.

What a lovely home.  The bed I slept in was heavenly!  I noticed this sign on one of the walls…

My personal favorite on the list?  The third thing from the bottom.

We rose early on Saturday and drove the rest of the way.  What beautiful weather we had too!

I think I’m a fairly patient driver…always considerate of my passengers’ needs (i.e. hunger, potty, etc.).  So, we stopped whenever the urge arose.

Because we travel so much, I have grown to appreciate certain things…non-greasy fast food, clean restrooms…you get my drift.

Boy, did we hit the lottery (minus the money) when we pulled over at a Goasis…located somewhere between Savannah and S.C.

The thing that drew me there was the price of gas, which I could see from the interstate – $2.21/gallon.

The girls went on into the bathroom, and I joined them after filling up.

Here’s what I saw when I entered…

Notice the low-level sink?  It’s perfect for the littlest hand-washers.

Chicky was coming out of the stall, and she said, “Just wait…it gets better.”

And it did…

Doesn’t that look like a bathroom in a hotel room?  Every stall had its own sink with enough counter space to set your purse on.  The walls were floor to ceiling, allowing for even more privacy.

Here’s another view…

It was simply AMAZING!  What a welcome respite from most of the places we typically stop.  There were several food establishments to choose from inside, along with hand-made yummies such as fudge!  I was a good girl and limited myself to the chocolate chip chocolate muffin which, I later discovered, had pudding in the middle.  YUM!

We arrived in Columbia, S.C. with plenty of time to spare, which allowed me to make a visit to Hook n Needle to purchase this…

It’s Noro Kureyon, and yes, the Mr. knew I would be purchasing it.  My plans are to make a booga bag with it…a gift for his grandmother for Christmas.

The girls waited patiently in the car, and then we headed to the hotel for some relaxation time before the game.  Unfortunately, the team lost both its games (one Saturday night and one Sunday morning), but considering that there were no subs available, the girls played well, only losing 2-5 against the two best teams in the league.

Although the games didn’t turn out our way, I have to say that if you’re ever traveling to Columbia, make sure you consider staying at the Hilton Garden Inn at Harbison.  It’s very nice and close to a lot of amenities.  Again, that’s the picky side of me coming out.  We stay in a lot of hotels in a lot of “interesting” areas.  I appreciate primo locations when I am blessed to stay there.

We wearily began our drive home after Sunday’s game…a LONG nine-hour drive.

On the way, I stopped and picked up newspapers from Columbia and Atlanta…

It’s very interesting to compare the coupon supplements from different papers.

We stopped many times on the way home.  Whatever the girls wanted, I tried to deliver.

I had to laugh when I came out of the bathroom and walked to the car during one stop.  Here’s what I saw…

Who knows what search prompted the girls to pull out their bags.  And then to leave them out?  Someone could have easily walked off with them.  But still, it was funny.

We finally pulled into town around 7:30pm, dropped off Soccer Teammate, picked up Rooster from church, and pulled into the driveway…

It was another weekend of traveling.  I know I’m going to miss these days when Chicky is out of college.

Quality Time with the Boy

This afternoon, I was reminded why I work part-time.

It’s Monday…the start of a new week.  It’s almost as if Mondays give people the opportunity to start afresh.

I picked up Rooster from school because Chicky had a babysitting job.

When we got home, Rooster decided to fill me in on his day.

And he talked…

And talked…

And talked…

Then, he did a little homework.

And then he talked some more.

At one point, I told him how much I enjoyed being home in the afternoons simply BECAUSE he was talking to me.

Some parents think that teenagers need us less because they are older and can do more for themselves.

However, that’s just when their brains are really kicking into gear.  It’s when they can truly identify with the world around them.

They “get” jokes and sarcasm.  Ok…well, they probably invented sarcasm.  But, when you throw a little of it back, in fun, of course, it’s entertaining.

I know that my money situation is not the best right now.  In fact, it downright stinks.

BUT, there’s just no amount of money that could compensate me for time I might lose out on by not being there.

It’s always a lovely day when I can spend quality time with the Boy.

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