Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gold Medal Posing

Darby and Roxy at Centenniel Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta - you can't see the thousands of people that were enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but trust me, they were there. We managed to miss the Coke museum and the CNN tour because I am dang cheap.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"He's in the Jailhouse Now"

I was remembering that line from the song in "O Brother Where Art Thou" when we went to the police precinct on Saturday. Our church had a community service day and a group of us provided meals to our police officers and firemen. Their stations are connected - the fire trucks and the police tank are in the same garage, they use the same fuel stations, etc.

I have toured the fire station a few times in my life, but I have never been to the police station. This place is not Hill Street Blues, but it does resemble Mayberry because it is a small unit. Every officer was so nice, every room was so tidy, and all the evidence was kind of interesting (stolen property, that is.) I saw where they give drunks their breathalyzer test. I learned that refusing to take the test, sober or not, means an automatic forfeiture of your license for one year with no exceptions.

The best part was the room with jail cells. For some reason, neither Darby or Roxy would go in it. Scott would not go in it, either. I stayed at the very back, cracking jokes about our friend from church who went in the cell and needed a "get out of jail free" card. It was a very enlightening tour and the officers were very nice. The firemen were cuter, although I am pretty sure that only the women noticed that detail...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Official Family Welcome

Approximately 600 plastic forks in the front yard + lots of chalk messages covering driveway= one very occupied Roxy. She pulled the forks, read the messages, and she still does not understand that middle school age kids do this to you because they "like" you. At least the front yard had been aerated this year...

Friday, April 24, 2009

So Many Pictures...

I was thinking about being in my parent's backyard today. My girls love playing in dirt, but we do not exactly have that kind of yard right now - we have woods. If I could, I would plop my girls down in my dad's garden and let them enjoy the sun and a garden hose...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Realities of Learning

My daughters are in the midst of much testing this week. I am ready for the paranoia to be over, because the way the schools prepare you for tests is pretty mind-numbing. I have had to be the bad guy for weeks, making the kids focus more on various subjects. Roxy, for example, has had to spend hours working on math flashcards. I bought her the flashcards and I would drill her on them nightly after dinner. I even packed flashcards in the car so she could work on them in transit. One day Roxy actually read the flashcard box, which advertised a "fun way to learn math!" Roxy said, "Fun? They must think that flashcards are fun if they put a little animal on it! There's nothing fun about little animals on flashcards! It's still math and nothing changes that. Whoever thought this was fun?" This is Roxy's first mature realization that people advertise things falsely. Who knows what her next rant will be?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I was looking through my pictures and realized that only in OKC can you run around downtown all day being safe, finding transportation that is clean and fun, and enjoying each other without drama. If only there was no wind...

Monday, April 20, 2009


I remember where I was in 1995 when the OKC bombing happened: sitting at my desk at Chesapeake interviewing an OC student for an internship position. I haven't visited the Memorial for years until our recent trip to Oklahoma. It was sad to have to explain to Roxy that the little chairs were because kids died there. The place is still beautiful.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Mother's Guilt: A Whole New Low

Let me start this article by noting that while I am not an expert on child development, I am a mother in the trenches and I have formed a few solid opinions. I believe that three year olds are more difficult than two year olds. I think that four and five year olds are at a great, enjoyable life stage. I believe that first grade is hard and that a lot on conditioning takes place in this year. I also believe that second and third grades are mostly wonderful. I think that fourth grade is a foreshadowing of life to come and that fifth grade is the beginning of a very trying time for your own child.

So now I find myself dealing with new struggles on a daily basis. I am digging in my heels, people. Mom will never lose to a 10 year old and I will not let the needs of my first grader make me look and feel incompetent. I am The Mom and I will not go quietly.

All of this makes the card that my sweet first grader wrote to me seem especially heart-wrenching. Forces are working against me, plunging me to new levels of guilt, low levels at that.
(The card, written in first grade spelling, says: Dear Mom, remember when you were 10. Well help Darby. Love, Roxy)

I'm considering giving a card to Roxy saying, "Remember to obey The Mom, because one day you will be 37."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Here are some recent pics of my dogwood tree from my front yard. I must say that I love, love, love spring in Georgia. We ate dinner on our deck last night, a wonderful meal of grilled shrimp and veggies and pasta salad, followed by cupcake pops made by Roxy and me. After dinner, Scott and I just sat watching the trees grow leaves and watching the girls play "Blind Man, Blind Man" on the trampoline. Life was good, pretty, and peaceful.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Real Women Wear Waders

Scott took his day off today ( be sure to praise him for this, because he mostly works his off days) and we ate breakfast at our favorite biscuit place where everyone is welcome, especially old men wearing leather chaps and riding their Harleys. After a fabulous biscuit, we headed out to a fishing hole in Bartow County. We knew we were in the right spot when we saw a pickup truck with Confederate stars-and-bars mounted on the front bumper and a state fair-looking guy wearing a Kid Rock concert t-shirt carrying a fishing pole.

We got skunked, but the day was incredible. No bugs, no kids, no fish - but the creek was crystal clear and I got to wear my waders.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter , Roxy Style

Roxy drew this picture last summer on our road trip to Georgia. I found it with my 2008 tax documents (please don't ask - moving is such a beast) and I had to smile at it. Let me translate: "My butt hurts" and "What?", but notice that bunny #2 is missing an ear.
Roxy learned this routine from her father who must have been channelling Bart Simpson. While her spelling has vastly improved, the humor will always remain...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Let's Call It Even

I am back to the real Franks world now. No more leisurely visits, no more birthday celebrations for Roxy, no more 850 mile drives in pounding wind. We had a wonderful Easter Sunday together, a great church service, and life is back to normal: homework, Mount Laundry, and getting even.

I managed to wreck my husband's NCAA championship game night without even knowing it. While I was in Oklahoma, my husband was pacing the house, twiddling his thumbs, and feeling so confused about what to do with his life. He actually decided to watch a ball game on TV - for the first time in years, I think. And wouldn't you know, but I had two movies recording at the same time - one on Lifetime and one on the Hallmark channel. It is a man's worst nightmare. Fortunately for me, Scott barely knows how to operate the TV remote, and he certainly does not know how to operate the DVR, so he could not override my recordings. Scott just gave up and went to bed instead of watching a sappy Nora Roberts movie. Poor guy.

So now that I am home, not everything is back to normal. For some unknown reason, Scott decided to tweak the settings on our computer to soup up the parental control features. It turns out that I can now check email, post to my blog, and that's about it. No Facebook, no game sites, no pleasant internet diversions. Scott also put my cell phone charger in an unknown location, so no cell phone service for me.

I think he got even.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reflections on Oklahoma

The girls and I are enjoying our stay in Oklahoma.  We have noticed many things this trip:

1.  We will never miss wind.  One day in Georgia we attempted to fly kites without real success.  Here, be prepared to say bye-bye to that kite because when it goes up, it keeps going up to heaven.

2.  All the roads in Georgia are better than the Oklahoma ones.  I don't know if rednecks know road construction better than Okies, but all the roads in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and even Arkansas are better than Oklahoma roads.  Get that stimulus money quick, OK.  You need it.

3.  It's official now - we have started adapting to our new environment.  The way things look here is so different from where we live now.  Oklahoma is about memories now.

4.  We really miss so many people, we cannot possibly put it into words.  This trip is maturing my daughters because now they have the knowledge of 'moving on', good and bad.

5.  Hideaway Pizza will always be my favorite, hands down.  You lucky people here in the sooner state should appreciate it and appreciate it often.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Death of a TV Show?

I like TV, much to my husband's disappointment. I'm not a fan of reality shows, I do not watch any version of CSI, and I gave up on soaps in college. However, I love cable stations and I will pretty much watch any movie on the Hallmark Channel, even though I know they are not worth the trouble. One thing I do like is watching people doing creative things on cable: cooking, cleaning, decorating, gardening, sewing, etc. I was saddened to see a new show on Bravo, the Not the Project Runway show. I saw the ad last night, and the show has an unmemorable name and it is hosted by Isaac Mizrahi, but all I can comprehend is that it is Not Project Runway. I have an attachment to Project Runway and I knew that the future of that show was in limbo because of a sale to Lifetime, followed by lawsuits and counter lawsuits. But how can they do this? As I was thinking about how disappointed I was, I realized that maybe my television should not be my best friend and it's time to get a life. Or a least a new book to read...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Darby the Happy Camper

Darby came home from an overnight field trip with her classmates. The camping experience was a good one and she does not seem to be permanently scarred from the two hour hike, the scraped knee, and the camp food. They played games, held snakes, told scary stories in the cabin, and hiked, hiked, hiked. I wish I had pictures, because the most remarkable thing was that Darby's hair wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be.

Darby said the orienteering portion of the trip was kind of boring. The kids are in the woods, each small group is given a compass, and they have to collect pieces of quotes at each location. Being the human equivalent of an encyclopedia, Darby already knew all the quotes. Who knew that memorizing random Chinese proverbs and Native American sayings could turn out to be a bore...