Friday, February 26, 2010

Furry Friday - February 26

Cooper Johnson,
this weeks's Furry Friday Feature.
Momma and Daddy have ALWAYS had Scotties. They got their first puppy 2 weeks after they got married. It happened to be a male Scottish Terrier named Nosey. (Ever see that old Disney movie about a skunk named Nosey? Momma always wanted to name a dog that!) He was their first baby. They did not go looking for a Scottie, that is just the ad they saw in the paper. And that was all she wrote - they are Scottie people. And now we are all in LOVE with terriers, but I guess you already knew that. . .
Throughout my life, our family has always had a dog. Momma has always said it is the best way to teach a child about compassion. Our pets have always been hugely important to our lives. After Nosey, we had Oliver. Then we had Bailey (I found him at North Georgia my Freshman year). After Bales, Momma said she did not want another dog. Period. And being the good listeners that we are, one week before Christmas 2003, Daddy got Cooper. David, baby Jessa, and I were at Ft. Stewart. So we all met on the street next to their house and ambushed, I mean delivered Cooper to her. Daddy put a bow on his neck. It was perfect. OK, so we thought it was perfect. Momma, uh, she cried and cussed us a little at first.

But of course, she loves him dearly. He and Jessa were born about a week apart, so we always know how old he is. He is a crazy, quirky dog, for sure, but he is so precious, too. He is awesome for Mom since she is alone a lot. He barks ferociously. If you heard him without seeing him, you would think he weighed 150 lbs! He is tough. And he is very protective of his Momma.

He loves to cuddle and is a big lap dog. BUT he gets really nervous around large groups of people and especially children. Momma and I have discussed why he has become this way AT LENGTH. We have pretty much decided that he is so accustomed to it being just the 2 of them that he does not know how to handle it any other way.

But when J and S were smaller, well, he was all over them!
They were more predictable then - less grabby and chasey.
With Jessa - I love their crazy eyes looking toward each other.
With baby Spencer.

But would you just look at that face?
He is just the sweetest thing:

And I still love that booger to pieces. He and I are tight. When he was a puppy, I was always on the floor with baby Jessa when we were at Momma's. So he assumed I was sitting on the floor to play with him. And whenever I visit even now, he sleeps with me! I love it! (Of course, Dunk wants to sleep with Mom, so it is only fair.)

He is a Momma's boy kind of dog, but in a pinch, he'll take me!

Oh and when he sleeps with me, he likes to spoon. Such a romantic!

And he and Dunken LOVE each other so much. If dogs could man hug, they so would. They get so happy to see each other and SO depressed when they are first separated.

Even though he is the biggest of all of our dogs, he is the most unassuming. If they want to go out, he will step back and wait before he heads out. If they want his food, he always backs off and lets them have it.

He is just precious.
Our Cooper.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Post Office

I grew up hearing about this old game that people used to play called "Post Office." I actually have no clue what type of game this was, but in my head, I always lumped it in with games like Spin the Bottle. Anyway. It does not matter that I do not know what the heck that I am talking about because that old childhood game is NOT what this post is about. (Thank goodness, huh?)

Well, the post office thing that is going on around here is quite different. It all started when I bought several boxes of Christmas Cards for the kiddos. They both completed their cards and handed them out to their classmates. Of course, there were many cards and envelopes left over. Well, Spencer has kept them all and has become quite the letter and card writer.

It cracks me up, but his solution to everything now is to write a letter. He makes cards from scratch like this one:
He is too cute because he always writes "To" and "From" many times not in the correct spots. He is so funny because when he writes something, he writes "to" first, but not necessarily in the first spot. Does that make sense? Like when he writes May's name, lots of times he writes the M first, the A second, and the Y third. Now when you look at it, it looks like this:

He writes me notes ALL the time now. It is so sweet and precious. Most moms will know what I am talking about. When your child first says the words, "I love you, Mommy!" It is a magical. special moment. And every time you hear the sweet voice of your baby telling you that they love you, it is like music. It is absolutely priceless. Especially as they grow older and you get some "You ruined my life"s thrown in there!! But when they start writing you notes, it is just as special.
My heart melts every time I see this:

Now, my Jessa makes me cards or writes me notes here and there, too.
Here is a recent one that she gave me:

But with her, it is not a common practice. With Spencer, well, these days, he is all over it. He will go and sit at his table and draw, write, or color. And then he will come to me and ask for an envelope. (and he says is is pronounced "ahn-velope", not "in-velope") And he gets it all ready to go.

Sometimes it is to a friend at school:

Sometimes it is to May (written in the correct order this time):

Many times it is to me:

And the contents look like this:

or this:

I absolutely love my sweet boy!
Oh, and the other day, he had a doctor's appointment to recheck his ears (he was getting over a double ear infection). He was a doll, so cooperative and sweet. And once we were home, he was seated at his work station with paper and markers. And he asked me how to spell Dr. Shaw, his pediatrician. I told him. And he made this:

We had to put it in an ahn-velope and mail it to her at her office.

So these days, around here, the mail is way more exciting than your usual bills or penny savers. At least not now that Spencer has become a man of letters.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Bay is going to speak to all the Kindergarten classes at Jessa's school this Friday. (I am certain it is a post in the making, so stay tuned!) But trying to coordinate the schedules of a very busy Army dude and 5 Kindergarten teachers has been challenging. I am the go-between since Bay has never met Mrs. K. There have been notes back and forth and phone calls.

Oh, and her school has this purple folder that goes back and forth everyday with papers, notes, newsletters.

So this morning, I wrote a note and put it in her purple folder. I needed to make sure Bay could bring a CD with pictures. Then this afternoon, when Jessa came home, there was a note in the purple folder from Mrs. K.

The first paragraph was all about the CD and pictures for the presentation.
Standard stuff.
Exactly what I expected.
Now the other paragraph.
That was where it got a little, um, funny.
Well, why don't I just let you read it for yourself:
I was shocked.

I ran into the den and said, "Jessa Lynn! Do you think that Mommy is having another baby?"
She had a rather sheepish grin on her face and said, "Well, no. But Mommy, can't we pretend?" I told her that we absolutely could pretend, but that it was best if we did that kind of pretending AT HOME. And that we did not share that with anyone at school or church or well, anyone outside of our immediate family.

Jessa has some interesting theories about babies. She thinks that David and I "got married" twice, so that is how we got 2 children. I am totally cool with my SIX year old thinking that is how it happens for now. Although, she did get confused when I told her we were going "on a date" for Valentine's. We went to a movie and dinner. But when we told her, she said, "Oh. So if y'all are going on a date, does that mean that you are going to have another child?" Uh, no. And I am not terribly comfortable with her downgrading the "thing" that has to happen to have a baby from "getting married" to "going on a date." But that is a problem for another day. . .

David is out of town, as usual, but when he called, I did congratulate him. He was pretty shocked, too. And if Jessa were correct about her little announcement, David would have quite a lot to say to a certain Urologist at Ft. Polk. . .

My Jessa needs to accept that this:
is the closest she is ever going to get to another baby in this family!

So now, tomorrow, I am going to send her purple folder back to school with a note explaining that I am most definitely NOT going to have another baby. And then I am going to have to make sure that everyone that may have heard her "announcement" gets the message.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Momma was born

Today is my Momma's birthday.
I am really really glad that she was born!!

She is such a great Momma to all of us. She always laughs when people talk about empty nest. She keeps saying that she'd love to know what that felt like. Yeah, we are sort of hard to shake. There are times that I have come back home when we were moving or had extended visits during deployments. And lately, if I come back, I bring lots of extra folks - kids, dogs, cats, FISH. But Momma takes it and us in stride.

Then there is Lucas. Man was she there for Lucas. She was the best, most supportive, most informed caregiver he could have asked for during his Lymphoma and his Stem Cell Transplant. Of course, she would not have had it any other way. Seriously, this woman was the captain of "Team Lucas," and she has this detailed notebook binder thing going on that encompasses every blood test, scan, etc. that was EVER done.

She always said that when we were born,
she knew her purpose in life: to be a mother,
our mother.

She was always there for us growing up. I know I have said things like this before, but it is true. The woman drove all over the state of Georgia to watch me be the manager for the basketball team. Yep, she put many a mile on that car to watch me hand out towels and fill water bottles. She never missed Lucas in a swim meet or tennis game. And she was always there at band competitions or track meets. And she volunteered so much at school that most people thought she was a paid employee!

She definitely is not of the mind that your job is finished when your kids turn 18. Nope. She was always at North Georgia with me for Parent's Weekends, making breakfast for my sorority sisters during Rush, or just to take me out to eat for a much needed break. And she was always at Valdosta, too - at fraternity cookouts, scrubbing the bathrooms of new apartments when Lucas moved (again!), or even hanging out at the bar where Lucas was the DJ. Yep, she was always there for us.

And when I think back on Momma and our childhood, I realize just how blessed Lucas and I were. We never doubted that we were special and loved. We always knew that we could count on her.

Momma was and is the best Mom ever. And of all the zillions of things that she taught us through the years, I think the greatest gift that she gave us was the gift of positive thinking. If I had a nickel for every time I heard her say, "Well, things are never so bad that they couldn't be worse," I'd be rich. But the truth is, I am rich because she raised us to be optimistic. We are glass half full people. She also would say, "You have the same pants to get glad in that you got mad in." Man are those words priceless. She taught us that happiness is a state of mind and a decision that we can make every day. This gift that she gave us can never be underestimated. This way of thinking impacts my life every day, every hour, every minute.

So happy birthday, Momma/May!

And thanks for just being YOU.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A new chapter

Kindergarten is way different than when I went. I have a few vivid memories. Like we tasted stuff with a blindfold once to decide if it was salty, sour, or sweet. I also remember these blow up letter things for each letter of the alphabet that came to visit us each week. And I liked it. My teacher was nice.
Fast forward 29 years, Jessa is doing geometry and fractions and sight words and computer lab. It makes my head spin. I mean, my unbiased opinion as her mother is that she is really smart. And I am a great judge, right? (hee-hee!) But I am in awe of all the stuff that they are doing - and that she is retaining.

She was the class librarian a few weeks ago. She got to bring a book and read it to the whole class. She practiced it all week. She even called and read it over the phone to May and Bay. She was so excited! She got to sit in the big chair and even use the microphone. I was so proud and impressed.
And recently, when we read stories at bedtime, she is reading to me and Spencer. It is incredible. I mean, I know that all kids learn to read and she is not unique in that. But she is MY first baby to learn how to read. So TO ME, she is remarkable and brilliant and incredible!
She is so proud of herself and doing such a fantastic job. And she loves it. She enjoys it. She wants to keep at it and get better.

I love nothing more than to be in her bed at night with both of them in my lap, listening to her sound out and "attack" words she does not know. I love watching how confidently she reads her "popcorn words" that she has learned so well. It is so special and so amazing.

Now, we have embarked on a new era. She has picked out her first chapter books. Yes, chapter books! We told Bay, and he asked, "What's a chapter book?" Oh Bay! Jessa could not believe that he was so behind the times! I picked out Junie B. Jones for her. I think she will LOVE those. She is not too keen on this series yet, but I think once we read it, it will win her over. She chose Ready Freddy. Her teacher's son reads them, so her teacher sometimes shares them with the class. She cannot get enough.
And they both hang on every word. They get so bummed when I tell them that is enough for now. I mean we cannot read all night, can we?!
I am so excited about this new chapter, chapter books, a kid who can read, oh my!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

His stomach is like an elephant

My boy.
The other night, he was in my bed with me. David was out of town, so he was just hanging out with me in my room.

And out of the clear blue, he said,
Momma, you know Mimi and Poppy's house?
Me - Yes.
S- Not their normal house, their other house.
Me- Yes (he was referring to their Adel farm house)
S- Do you remember that time that we were there with me and you and Mimi and Poppy and Jessa and May?
Me - Uh-huh (the last time was this summer - July)
S- Do you remember those cookies that Mimi made?
Me- Um, which cookies?
S- You know the peanut butter ones?
Me - Well, yes, I guess I do, why?
S- I want some. Do you know how to make them?
Me- Um, no, but I can ask Mimi.
S- OK! Good!

So, at his request, I called Mimi and she gave me the recipe. She did not even have to look it up.
Here is the recipe:

Mimi's Peanut Butter cookies
1 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy or creamy - we used half and half)
1 cup Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla

That's it! So we whipped some of those babies up.
(We baked at 350 for about 8-10 minutes)

They were good!

And just like he remembered!

And by the way, I cannot believe that he remembered that!
I guess it is true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach -
even when they are 4!