Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Didn't Mean to Keep you Hangin'

I just realized I neglected to post about my recent trip to Philly! Thanks for your patience....

For those of you who don't know me very well, I'm an "event" girl. By that, I mean that I live for the next exciting (and fun) outing, happening, gathering, gig -- you get the idea!
So, it was such a bright spot in my ordinary, hum-drum calendar to be able to fly to Philly to visit my dear, dear buddy -- Karen!
This is their awesome new house, which we had such fun decorating. It's located in a cool neighborhood with hills & big lots.

Here we are, tackling all 60+ miles of the King of Prussia Mall. We needed a GPS to find our way around that place!
Speaking of GPS, Philly was a confusing place to navigate! Karen literally needs her GPS to find her way to church -- and her husband is the pastor there! I laughed at that .... UNTIL I made the trek to church with her, and realized she wasn't exaggerating at all!

Everyone should be so blessed to have wonderful friends as I do! It was a great get-away, where we laughed, ate, shopped, ate again while laughing, and then slept in. All in all: PARADISE!

(insert "These are a Few of my Favorite Things" tract)

Isn't my Karen the most beautifulest of them all?! I was flattered when someone asked if we were sisters .... although Karen reacted by bursting into tears and running from the room. Hmmmm, wonder what that was about? She's just as pretty on the inside, and I love & miss her lots!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's an Annual Issue

It's officially Spring. You know how I know? It has nothing to do with the groundhog or the blooming flowers.

THE ICE CREAM TRUCK has emerged from its winter hibernation. And with it comes the booming, somewhat warbling, circus-sounding soundtrack, which draws children much like the Pied Piper did with rats. Irresistable. Yes, my friends, the children are like moths to the flame.

Amazingly, the kids are able to hear that magical tune playing from about six blocks away. In the distance, yet ever-so-slowly getting closer. Closer ..... closer ..... closer. Until it rounds the corner to our street.

Everyone aged 13 and under squeal with delight and run for their mommy's wallet. "ICE CREAM! MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!" (with the utmost fervor and urgency you might reserve for, say, a fire)

We have a few neighbors in the cul-de-sac that fork out the bills to their frozen-delight-desiring-kids without batting an eye. ME..... I have two words: TIMES FOUR!!! When you have 4 kids, everything adds up SO quickly. And of course, they all want the Pokemon Deluxe Pop which is perched on a light sabre stick and trimmed with edible gold leaf.

My young-unz cannot fathom why I'm not quite as excited as they are when Mr. Ice Cream (who may or may not be just out of prison) hits our block, touting overpriced dairy treats.

Yesterday, the guy hit our street twice in the same afternoon. There should be a limit, and I'm accordingly considering the filing of a restraining order.

My solution to this dilemma? I keep a box of fun popsicles and/or ice cream bars in the freezer, and they can have that when the neighbor kids are licking their Pokemon Pop. It's the next best thing, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Promotional DVD

Drum roll, please.

By popular demand and near rioting by the masses, I hereby present my very own, never-before-seen CHRISTIAN COMEDY PROMOTIONAL DVD! I guess you could call it the WORLD PREMIERE, and YOU'RE in on it! I do hope you enjoy it and get a sense of the sheer silliness that reigns supreme when I'm handed a microphone.

As Frank Sinatra would say,
Start spreading the news,
She's goofy today,
She wants to be a part of it,
Your girls' par-tay!

(And yes, I did just make that up off the cuff, "on the fly" as they say on the street)

My friend, Jill, is the talent behind the production of this DVD. If you're in the Wichita area, contact her to do an excellent job for you at very reasonable prices!

It Started as Any Ordinary Day......


A hand full of us were at the church for Worship Team practice, waiting for Tony to show up. He was always the early one, so that was definitely unusual. None of us could have imagined what his delay involved.

All at once, he burst through the sanctuary doors, sobbing. "Christi just called. There's been a terrible accident! I don't even know where they are -- somewhere between Pittsburg, KS & Kansas City". My blood ran cold. His daughter, Christi, was and is one of my dearest friends.

We all gathered around Tony and fervently prayed. As soon as we were finished, he headed for the door to go home, pick up his wife Sue, and pack a quick bag. I felt an overwhelming, urgent need to go with them. My dear friend was facing tragedy, although none of us had any idea of the extent.

The next thing I knew, I was in the back seat, headed towards Kansas City. We were in a constant state of prayer, holding our breath every time the cell phone rang. Words like "life flighted" were being used, and we knew it was bad. Really bad.

We were desperate to get to Christi, who had been taken to a hospital. Her son, Josiah (age 2 at the time), had been taken to a different hospital, over at Children's in KC. No word on the husband, Ian, who was driving, other than he had been bleeding from his ears. Not a good sign at all.

The miles stretched ahead in agony. Every single mile seemed to pass in slow motion.

Then we got the phone call we all dreaded and hoped not to receive. "Ian didn't make it." No words can express the blow those 4 little words carried. Raw sorrow. We knew that Christi's husband was gone before she even knew. And our desperation to get to her suddenly doubled.

Before we could get to Christi's hospital room, she had received the news. I can't imagine how alone she felt hearing those words that would forever change her life. Wondering how her little boy was faring over at Children's Hospital, with head injuries and possible broken bones.

Miraculously, Christi had virtually escaped the accident without injury. A few cuts & bruises was all. I remember helping her get out of her hospital bed, and brushing away chards of glass that were left behind on the sheet. We made a quick trip to their apartment, so that Christi could shower off and hastily pack a bag, then we headed straight to Children's Hospital.

Christi held Josiah close & rocked him for a long time. All he wanted was his mommy. God's hand was on that little boy, protecting him from a more serious injury one would have expected. If you could see a picture of the wreckage, you wouldn't think anyone could have survived that accident.

It was a day that would change many lives forever. Including mine. Through it all, Christi has maintained a beautiful testimony for Christ. You can read her first hand account here. The moral of the story is: appreciate your loved ones now, as none of us are guaranteed another single breath.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wanted: Your Funniest Story

Hello friends! I hope you're all having a good week so far. After my last post, I'm happy to report that I've managed to NOT break any merchandise or make any major mishaps in the home decor arena. Yay, me!

I'm doing a "comedy gig" this coming Saturday morning, which includes mothers AND daughters of ALL ages. In other words, this girl needs to appeal to toddlers & um, mature women alike.

So, that's where YOU come in -- I'm looking for some fresh material. Do you have a hilarious story I could steal, I mean, that I might borrow? Please, please, please leave me a comment & share a funny moment that you yourself have experienced that would be sure to bring a smile to ladies of all ages.

I can't wait to see what you come up with! Thanks in advance!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Would be the Perverbial Bull in the China Shop

You have have noticed I haven't been blogging too often lately. The primary reason for that is that I've been .... are you ready ..... working!! Yes, like a real job!

I'm helping a local lady with her upscale custom home decor shop. And let me tell you, she has some COOL stuff. And yes, it's the same lady who has the boutique I wrote about recently.

Anyhoo, I had, shall we say, an off-week recently, which was mortifying at the time, but evokes a chuckle now. So, if you'd like a chuckle at my expense, by all means -- keep reading.

My first little mishap was when I placed my Suburban in reverse and promptly backed over a large plastic bin filled to the brim with the shop owner's fancy decorator feathers. And of course, this HAD to happen right in front of her! I had to hop out of my vehicle and pry the bin out from my undercarriage where it was wedged.

Yeah, it gets better.

A few days later, I accidentally put away a whole pile of merchandise that a customer had pain-stakingly selected the day before to be put aside and saved for her. Oops! My bad. I felt terrible, and this new boss isn't quick to say the three words I most longed to hear: "no big deal"!

THEN, while "on location" at a client's house I popped open the hatch of my boss' vehicle to unload boxes of decor when ..... CRASH! An avalanche of breakables descended upon me at an alarming rate. There was NO time to react. Words cannot express the anguish I felt as I heard fragile, expensive items hitting the pavement like asteroids crashing to earth.

THEN, the same day, I was decorating on top of the customer's kitchen cabinets when I went to step down onto the ladder, and the ladder seemingly jumped out from under my foot. I totally missed the ladder rung -- but honey, momentum was already in motion. Alexander Graham Bell was onto something with that gravity stuff. Thank the Good Lord that I managed to catch the next rung down on the ladder with my tippy tippy tippy toes and hung on for dear life like a doggone orangutan.

But ooooh, it stung like the dickens. And yes, it left an impressive bruise on the arch of my foot.

I'm happy to report that this week is going much, MUCH better. Heck, short of burning down the joint, it couldn't have gotten much worse! In spite of it all, I really am enjoying the work and feel like I'm also gaining valuable experience.

So do forgive me if my blog lacks a bit from time to time. The girl's busier than usual! But don't worry -- at this rate I'll have lots of mortifying/amusing work stories to share.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chuckle of the Day

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother's restroom stall. By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we are in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

''Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing?Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?''

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity. Cade continued: ''Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh, dat's a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh...Mommy! I'm trying to see in dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!'' I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming newborn when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting.

Trying to divert him, I said, ''Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some candy. We'll both have some!'' ''No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies... Oh! Mommy!'' He started to gag at this point. ''Uh - oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!! ''As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall... I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

''Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!' 'He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door. ''Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?' 'More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.' 'Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.'' He started pounding on the door. ''Mommy, don't you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!! '

I saw that my wait 'em out' plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud. My first thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands,I thought, I'd sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she no longer uses public restrooms)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Peep Show

Made ya look!

With Easter around the corner, I just couldn't resist posting this silly "peep show"! (sorry mom)

Tomorrow night our family will attend Good Friday service at our church. Then on Sat. we will dye eggs, make our annual bunny cake, and undoubtedly dominate the local Easter egg hunt. I pity da fool that gets in our way!!

I need to finish getting the kids' baskets filled & ready to hide. And of course, they each got a little something new to wear to church on Easter morning.

Funny memory -- I remember when I was around 8 years old, we went to visit my grandparents for Easter. I was so excited to wear my new Easter dress! However, while getting ready for church that morning, I discovered that I had no more clean underwear in my suitcase. I shared this with my mom, who made me wear my big brother's FRUIT OF THE LOOMS!!! So, while I was looking spiffy on the outside, I couldn't feel pretty all over, knowing my "brief little secret"!

What about you? What are your Easter traditions / plans?