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Month: May 2009

Darla Stories – Disney Edition

Darla Stories – Disney Edition

Really and truly I tried not to embarrass any members of my family on our Disney vacation. Things went along pretty well, all things considered, until the very last night.

And I promise, I thought they said “Children, bring your parents.”

Rumor has it they said, “Parents, bring your children.”

And then I think they meant for you to drop them off.

I missed that part.

Which may explain why I was the only parent in the hula demonstration lesson/performance at the O’hana Restaurant at the Polynesian Resort on the last night of our vacation.

In my defense, there was a man next to me. When I pointed this out to Bill he said…”yes, but did you notice he was carrying a baby?”

Whatever.

Now I did see Bill and Caroline DYING laughing on the side while Savannah and I did, what in my opinion was one rockin’ hula dance… and it did cross my mind towards the end of the show that all I could see were the tops of the other dancers heads (by the end the baby carrying guy was nowhere to be seen), but I didn’t think that much about it. As you can see by this picture I was concentrating very intently on the lesson the guy in the Hawaiian shirt was giving.


But, for my extraordinary efforts, they gave me a floral lei and the whole restaurant clapped.

Thank you…Thankyouverymuch.

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Everybody needs an Ames

Everybody needs an Ames

Or at least a friend like Amy (Ames for short) has been to me.

I met Amy at a neighborhood babysitting co-op meeting. I don’t think the co-op ever formed, but a friendship between Amy and I did and I’ll be forever grateful.

I have been so blessed with unbelieveably close friends from growing up and college but when I moved to Houston I didn’t know a soul. I’ve made lot of friends here, but Amy will always be one of the best. She has personified friendship to me in more ways than I could ever count or repay.

I will never, ever forget the day when she called and asked me if I wanted to meet her at the pool. I told her I’d love to, but the thought of lugging a 9 month old, a 2 year old and a 5 year old to the pool (read: 2 out of the 3 couldn’t swim and the one that could needed to be supervised very closely but was too big for the baby pool). She said OK and hung up. About 15 minutes later she showed up at my front door with…I kid you not…a swimsuit with a built in safety ring for Brittany and “boat float” for Savannah…and always being a stickler for detail, she even brought a swim diaper. I opened my door and she said … “Come on…we’ll make it work.” And make it work we did. We had a great time and after that, I realized it wasn’t quite as hard as I originally thought.

But that’s just the start. When Savannah was 3 months old and diagnosed with RSV, the nurse told me to count how many times her sides were contracting per minute as she breathed. I could barely think straight, much less count, so I loaded up the baby and went to Amy’s house for her to count. After Amy’s diagnosis we were off to Texas Childrens Hospital for oxygen.

When I was asked to bring Valentine’s cookies for Caroline’s pre-k Valentines party and Brittany and Savannah were little bitty…Amy showed up again. With homemade cookie dough for me to bake.

And when I was at that same preschool and they needed a volunteer for something Amy leaned over and said…you CANNOT volunteer for that. I heeded her advice and was so glad she “convinced” me that job was not a good idea.

Amy has helped me rearrange my furniture, hang my pictures, pick paint colors, driven carpools with me, lended an ear or a hand…whichever was needed at the time. She’s done it all.

When Caroline went to kindergarten….it was Amy’s house I instinctively drove to and cried because my baby had just gone to school. She reminded me there were still lots of people at home…and Jacob wasn’t even thought about at that point!

And when that same baby went to middle school and the first morning of school didn’t go like I had planned, it was off to Amy’s house again. Only this time she lived in a new neighborhood. Even though it was only about a minute from her old house, it was in a different neighborhood with a different elementary school and even a different zip code. She wasn’t home but I got her on the phone and she talked me through the middle school blues.

When she moved, I realized her new next door neighbor was my friend Lori. I told Lori she wasn’t just getting a new neighbor, she would be getting a new friend. And I must have been right because Lori hosted a “going away” luncheon for Amy last week.

Today the movers came and are moving Amy and her family to a new town. Although it’s only about an hour away, that’s about 59 minutes more than I wish it would take to get there.

But make no mistake…the day Caroline goes to high school (which seeing how she has 6 days of her 7th grade year and 8th grade to go – it’s coming fast!), I’m going to be heading out I-10 West to see Amy. Because it just wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t.

Amy and her husband are living their dream and I’m so excited for them. They bought a business in a smaller town and are moving closer to be part of the community. And Amy…Bellville isn’t just getting a new neighbor, they are getting a new friend too.

And the weirdest thing…after I went and told Amy “bye” today, I got back in my car. As I drove off, the radio announcer said…”when you have a good friend, you keep them.” And then he quoted the verse….”a good friend sticks closer than a brother.” WEIRD – it was like it was scripted for that exact moment. I like the Message version of that same verse (Proverbs 18:24) which says…”Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”

Ames, you’ve been like family to me.

I’m gonna miss ya!

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Stimulating the Economy…

Stimulating the Economy…

Or stimulating my brain…however you want to look at it.

According to trendhunters.com….and I’m all about hunting a trend…McDonald’s is bringing back their $1 for any size drink special this summer. For the whole summer!!

And as much as I love Sonic ice and their year round 2-4 happy hour, I also love the perfectly blended Diet Coke concoction at McDonalds. And this is true…I spoke with a Coke executive a few years ago and he confirmed my hunch that McDonalds has a special Diet Coke and Coke formulation. No one else in the industry can get the same blend that McDonalds does. And in my opinion, it is the perfect combination of syrup and carbonation. (That little bit of trivia was free for the taking today.)

So anyway…I felt it was my duty as an American looking for ways to stimulate the economy and keep myself caffeinated…to pass along this little bit of news.

You’re welcome.

PS After I wrote this and went to take advantage of this special summer offer (with exactly $1.07 with me) I found out that my McDonalds isn’t starting summer until June 1. So much for Memorial Day kicking off the summer season.

Recession Refreshments addthis_pub = ‘trendhunter’; addthis_logo = ‘http://www.trendhunter.com/images/TrendHunterLogo240x60w.gif’; addthis_logo_background = ‘000000’; addthis_brand = ‘Trend Hunter’; addthis_offset_left = 5; addthis_offset_top = -5; addthis_options = ‘favorites, stumbleupon, digg, delicious, google, myspace, facebook, fark, furl, reddit, newsvine, live, slashdot, myweb, email, twitter, more’; http://s7.addthis.com/js/152/addthis_widget.js

$1 Fountain Drinks This Summer at McDonalds


Recession Refreshments

http://d.yimg.com/ds/badge.jsBuzz up!

For summer 2009, McDonalds restaurants are continuing to give consumers a deal by offering any size soft drinks for $1, for the entire season.

This awesome deal comes on the heels of their free coffee promotion, which just ended.

It is common knowledge that companies who look after their customers during a recession see sales soar subsequently. No wonder McDonald’s continues to be a leader in their field.

For summer 2009 McDonalds restaurants is continuing to give consumers a deal by offering $1 any size soft drinks, for the entire season. (mcdonalds)

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Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs

Every now and then if I have something I really need advice on, I’ll address Bill as Solomon. I do this because I think he is one wise guy. And I mean that in a really good way. He is balanced and thoughtful and thinks before he acts…all things that aren’t really traits of mine.

And the other day, he said…”when the music stops I pick a chair and sit down.”

I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but I do remember that I said (very profoundly)…”HUH?”

I had no idea why he said that or what he meant.

He then explained…”I try not to worry about what might have been, what could have been or if things are exactly the way I want…I just take what comes.” Or, as he said, he “picks a chair and sits down.”

And I think it’s less about settling for the way things are and more about contentment in various circumstances.

And I’m thinking that is really great advice.

So here’s to a good game of musical chairs!

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Hometown Hero

Hometown Hero

Although I’ve lived in Texas a long time now, I’ll always be an Arkansan at heart. And this week when Kris Allen won the American Idol title, I was super excited. Rumor has it 38 million votes came from Arkansas, a state with only 8 million people living in it.

Those Arkansans are a loyal bunch I tell ya.

A Texas friend showed me this link because she liked Kris and his music…and the God he was singing about. I also liked it for those reasons but also because the video is of my hometown!! So, if you haven’t ever been to Little Rock or it’s been a long time…or you just like Kris and his music, I think you’ll like this video. I loved it!

http://img.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vidmg.photobucket.com/albums/0803/joart/KrisAllen-GodofThisCity.flv

Congrats Kris!!! You made Arkansas proud!

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She wore it well…

She wore it well…

Yes, I took the Air Head Hat Fan!

And one morning I told Bill and the kids I’d meet them at the Magical Express Bus Line in just a minute. And after they left I put on my air head hat fan and walked out to meet them.

And everyone had a good laugh, including Bill who didn’t ignore me this time.

And instead of carrying it around all day, I invited Piglet to try it out at the Pooh Character Breakfast (if you remember it was Piglet who witnessed Brittany’s Bang Debacle all those years ago).

I guess she didn’t remember the “unfortunate” event, because she kindly sported the air head hat fan.

And I thought she looked kind of cute, if I do say so myself.



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Best Buds…

Best Buds…

Bill has been known to act a little “Goofy” ….



And when he’s around Pluto…things can get crazy.


But, I kid you not, there is nothing this little guy would rather do than to than to load up in his dad’s briefcase everyday and head off to work with him…


Even we girls kind of think of him as our “American Idol” …



And so today, when Bill very unexpectedly came home from work early (after showing up for an off-site event only to find it had been cancelled), Jacob was thrilled.

The first thing he said was ….”Daddy, did your boss let you come home from work early today because he knew how much fun you had with your son at Disney World?”



And well, I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I’d ever heard.


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Renamed!

Renamed!

We are back!!! We had a great time at Disney World, despite a LOT of rain the last couple of days. Apparently Florida isn’t sunny ALL the time. The fine folks at Disney really do know how to show people a good time though.

Here’s the thing I realized about Disney. They are selling two things. Happiness and dreams coming true. And who doesn’t want either of those things?!? And they say things like “Have a magical day” and instead of saying “rides” they say “experiences.”

And we had some experiences. Seriously, the rides, the phenomenal shows, the character visits, the meals…all wonderful. Disney runs a tight ship because every show started exactly on time, our meals were served promptly, and all the buses were always there to take us where we wanted within minutes.

And about those buses….Disney doesn’t call them buses. Instead it is “Mickey’s Magical Express”. And that sounds like a lot more fun to ride than a bus. So from this point on, I am no longer running carpool, but rather “Mom’s Magical Express.”

Even Caroline, who can be a bit “grumpy” in the early morning, managed a smile when I called out of the car….”Have a magical day!” today as she walked into her middle school.

Now if only I had brought home some pixie dust to help me with this laundry!!!

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