The main source of my chaos...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Kiki!

My plan had been to have two children close together and then wait about 10 years and have two more close together.  So, when Hunter was barely 4 and Haley Rae was barely 2, I was completely surprised that baby #3 was on the way.  When I told Willard, he asked me what Momar thought, assuming I had already told her.  I said, "I'm not going to tell her about this one".  The next day, he called and asked me again what she said.  I said, "I told you... I' m not telling her.  She's going to kill me".  A few minutes later, she called and said, "Willard told me to call you.  He said you have something to tell me?".  I said, "Ummm, no?  I don't know what he's talking about."  I did eventually break it to her, and while she might not have jumped for joy immediately, she actually warmed up to the idea before me.  It didn't take long for us to both be excited though.  How can you not be excited about a new baby???

Karlie Suzanne Garnett was born on Good Friday of 1997.  She wasn't due until April 15, but decided to make appearance almost 3 weeks early.  She weighed 9 pounds and 1 ounce, so no telling how big she would have been if she'd stayed in there.  When we got to the hospital that morning, me and Willard were still trying to pick a name.  Nothing was jumping out at us.  I knew I wanted to name her after my side of the family because Hunter and Haley were named after Willard's side.  It wasn't until after she was born that I decided on Karlie.  Hunter wasn't able to say my dad's name clearly, so Papa Charlie sounded like "Papa Karlie".  And that's how she became Karlie Suzanne.

There is no doubt that Karlie is the most compassionate person in our family.  You hear the phrase "she wouldn't kill a fly"... well, that's literally the truth for Karlie.  If she sees an ant in the sunroom, she gets a dustpan and catches it, then puts it outside.  If I hit a bird while driving, she nearly melts down.  She has a special affinity for old people and homeless people.  If she sees an elderly person putting out their own garbage, or working in their garden, she will BEG me to stop and help them.  She's so excited that the youth group at church is starting to visit the nursing home.  Haley came in one day a few months ago complaining that she had to give "some homeless guy" $9.00 because Karlie threw a fit.  I said "why $9?".  She said "That's all I had!".  Karlie forced her to give every penny to the guy!  Sweet girl.  She asked me over the weekend to think of a career for her that required no math skills and no college.  I named off a few, but I believe she's decided on calling out Bingo numbers at the nursing home.  :)  The funny thing is, I can totally see her doing that and being completely content. 

She's also a softie when it comes to Yuri and Gigi.  If they do something bad and I try to discipline them when Karlie is around, I hear this - "Ohhhh my goodness gracious!  Come here you sweet angel.  Mommy is soooo mean!  Let Kiki hold you!".   Sigh.  Why do I even bother. 

Happy Birthday Sweet Karlie Sue!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dear lady at Academy...

I need to publicly apologize to the sweet girl who ran the cash register at the customer service desk at Academy Sports.  I'm sure when she waved me over to her lane to checkout, she had NO idea what was about to hit her.

I took Yuri and Gigi to buy cleats and gloves for tee-ball.  Yuri is playing for the first time, and Gigi thinks she is too.  I've tried to explain the "bat girl" concept to her, but I don't think she gets it. 

We did pretty well during the shopping phase.  Yuri wanted pink cleats, but they didn't have any, so she settled for some that I told her look just like Haley Rae's.  Gigi wanted "boy shoes", of course.  (She's completely into all things boy-related... Superman, dinosaurs, etc.).  I got her the ugliest, clunkiest pair of cleats she could find, just to keep the peace. 

After we finished shopping and took two trips to the potty, our quick trip into Academy had turned into 45 minutes and $132.00, but we were finally ready to check out. 

I got in line behind a couple of other people, but then the girl at the service desk waved us over to her lane.  Sucker. 

Yuri started the "conversation"... and she said all this without ever drawing a breath...

"Uh, ma'am, how much is this?  how about this?  do you like these shoes?  what's your name?  what's your mama's name? do you know baby Sutton?  do you work at Wal-Mart too? My mama bought me some gummies.  Gigi's favorite color is green, but my mama said the green ones are too spiiiicy.  do you have some chocolate?  what does that button do?  what's that sound? what happened to your finger?  you got a boo-boo?......."  and so on...  (thank goodness she didn't blurt out that her daddy pees in the grass - that actually happened a few weeks ago)

All the while, Gigi is in the background saying "something stinks.  something stinks. something stinks. something stinks".   

As we're leaving, the cashier says goodbye to Yuri and Gigi. Yuri yells out, "Byeeee!  I LOVE YOU!!" And Gigi yells out "Byeeee!  I WILL MISS YOU!!"

People all around us are smiling and I can tell by the looks on their faces what those smiles meant.  Half of them looked at me and thought - "Aw, they're so sweet.  You're very blessed".  The other half looked at me and thought - "Aw, they're cute.  BUT HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND, WOMAN!?!?" 

I am definitely blessed, but I'm not sure my mind is completely intact either. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I bought this book for Hunter for Christmas, just because I saw it on the shelf and because I needed another small gift to "make things even".  I had no idea that it would completely change my outlook on "near-death" experiences. 

I read it last week (in one evening actually) and LOVED it.  It's about an almost 4-year-old little boy named Colton who has an emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.  While on the table, he has an experience that will blow you away.  I was skeptical at first, but the more I read the book, and the more I researched this family, the more I believed this little boy really did experience Heaven.  I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil it for everyone.  I just want to say that YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.

One thing I do want to mention, and hopefully this isn't spoiling anything, is how sure this little boy is about the way Jesus looks.  For years after the incident, his parents showed him dozens of pictures of Jesus and he would always point out what was wrong with it.  One day they showed him a picture of Jesus that a little girl named Akiane drew.  (Akiane was born into an atheist family, with no exposure to Christianity at all.  At age 4, she had a "vision" of Jesus.  A child prodigy, with an unbelievable gift of art, Akiane drew a picture of what she believes Jesus looks like.)  When Colton's dad showed him Akiane's picture of Jesus and asked what was wrong with this one, Colton said, "Nothing.  That's Him.".  Woooooow.  

Monday, March 21, 2011


So go ahead, call me a redneck.  It is what it is.  I love the beach, but if you ask me where my favorite place in the world is, it would be a close call between there and Bristol.  I've been to Talladega, Atlanta and Daytona too, and they're all great, but Bristol is the bomb. 

Some women envision the perfect weekend and it involves shopping malls and quaint little fru-fru restaurants that serve chicken salad on a piece of lettuce with strawberry pretzel salad on the side.  As for me, I envision race cars, rednecks, and footlong corndogs. 

We've been going to Bristol for 9 years now, twice a year.  We park in the same spot (that's because of Willard's OCD) which is approximately 2 miles from the track.  We walk up and down hills, through campgrounds, on gravel, on grass, on payment.  It's quite the hike, but it's so worth it. 

There's just something about the words "Gentleman, start your engines" that gives me goosebumps.  It's so loud you absolutely MUST wear earphones, and the smell of exhaust is so strong that I get lightheaded, but it's awesome. 

I tell my family that I want to be cremated when I die.  Sprinkle half my ashes on the beach, and mount the other half in Dale Jr.'s car so I can go to all the racetracks on the circuit.  I'm kidding... kinda. 

My favorite drivers have always been Junior, Bobby LaBonte, and Kevin Harvick.  I have a new guy to add to the list this year.  Trevor Bayne is such a good boy, with a good message.   I've heard him called the Tim Tebow of Nascar, which is definitely a compliment.  Between winning the Daytona 500 his rookie year and being compared to Tebow, he has a lot to live up to. 

Willard, bless his heart, isn't even a fan. He just goes along for the ride. He didn't watch over half of yesterday's race. He sat down at the concession area and people watched, while I texted him updates every so often. He pretends to root for Kyle Busch, but I think he only does that because he knows Kyle is my least favorite driver on the track. I mean, seriously, nobody roots for Kyle Busch. Yuck.  Every single race morning when I wake him up at 5 a.m., he offers me cash not to go.  "I'll give you $100 to skip the race... $200... $300...".  Silly boy, it's not about money.  It's about the experience, the atomsphere, the competition.  It's Bristol, baby! 

Friday, March 4, 2011


I hope this time tomorrow I can re-post this picture on my blog and announce to you that the team you see here are the State Champions. If there's ever been a group of young women and coaches who deserve it, you're looking at them.  They've worked for years for get to this specific game.  There have been other big games, all important in this journey, but this the ONE.  All the marbles. 

I've had several people say to me in the last couple days, "Well, they should just be proud to have made it this far. Madison Academy is supposed to be tough". Yes, they're tough. But so are we. I haven't specifically asked the players or the coaches, but I can nearly guarantee you that they didn't work this hard for so long to come in SECOND place. Yeah, they're proud to have made it this far, but they're not satisfied yet.

They BELIEVED they could win county back in 8th grade, and they did.  They BELIEVED they could win the county tournament this year, and they did.  They BELIEVED they could win Regionals, and they did.  They BELIEVED they could beat Sumter County in the state semis, and they did.  And guess what folks... they BELIEVE they can beat Madison Academy and take home the blue trophy.  I know I'm not alone when I say that I BELIEVE IT TOO! 

 TOGETHER we stand, TOGETHER we fall, TOGETHER we win, and winners take ALL.
Go LADY HAWKS!  You've got fans all over the world (literally!) rooting for you.  Get out there and play the way we all know you can, and let's send Mad Acad packing!