Wednesday, July 23, 2014


My father-in-law asked Emma today what was different about my blog.  He obviously didn't want to risk guessing correctly and winning the Corgi.

So, here is a before picture from my blog:

And now the new and improved pictures:

I finally pulled the trigger on a new camera!  I got a Cannon Rebel DSLR and read the instructions on the way to Little Rock for our state tournament this weekend.  I had a few learning curves, like remembering to change from portrait to sports mode, but I'm getting there.  I'm loving having shots of my kids in action, and they look up close.

Emma is obsessed with the camera and wants to use it all the time.  She took these pictures:

Selfies don't work as well with a real camera.  She wants one for her birthday.  Uh, I was thinking about a new Barbie.

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Experiment

I'm going to see if you can notice anything different.

Have you figured it out?  The winner gets Popsicle.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Facts of Life

I just saw that Tootie and Blair are having a "Fact of Life" reunion on Good Morning America this week.  I never missed that show!  The theme song - "You take the good, You take the bad, You take them both and there you have the Facts of Life..." is always stuck in my head.  Now it's stuck in yours, too.  Your welcome. 

Its was a "Facts of Life" week around here.  We had good and bad, but we didn't have Mrs. Garrett to come and fix the bad.  We had me.  I'm not sure if I'm as good as Mrs. G.

We'll start with the good, because that's how the song goes, and I'm a stickler about rules.

It's all I've got.

Both kids placed in the Fayetteville Athletic Club Tournament this weekend.  I'll tell you about Will's games in a different post because that kid did so well that he deserves his special page on my blog.  Just hold your horses!  Emma did great, too.  This picture is after she won her first match.  All she wanted was a picture with her brother, then a Coke.

On the way home, we had the bad.  Emma was trying to say something, and kept getting stuck on the word.  She started crying and got herself completely worked up.  Fortunately we were almost home, so we could sit outside and talk.  She told me she's tired of having Apraxia and feels like she doesn't fit in.  I'm telling you, hearing those words is like having nails driven in my heart.  But, when your child is crying, you can't act like you are hurting.  One of our house rules has been that we don't feel sorry about Emma's disability.  Pity parties don't help anyone.  We don't hide that she has Apraxia, because you can't.  We don't sugar-coat it, because what good will that do?  It is what it is, and we confront it head on.

Emma and I talked about the fitting in part first.  All the kids in her grade love her, look up to her, and want to be friends with her.  She said, "But I get bullied."  She was referring to the day on the bus when the boys in another grade teased her.  I reminded her that Hayden, from her class, stood up to those boys and defended her, at the expense of being bullied himself.  That shows how much her friends care for her.

Then Emma said, "Why did God give me Apraxia?"  Way to hit me with the deep questions.  We've talked before about people who have speech problems.  Emma and I have watch Gabby Giffords, we've seen clips of "The King's Speech," and we've talked about how they think Moses had a speech problem.  I told her God could have chosen ANYONE to speak for Him, but he wanted Moses, with his speech problem, to do His talking.  Emma and I talked about how she has so many talents, and that I know she's going to do wonderful things - I just can't narrow down what it will be.  I think God gave her Apraxia because he needs her to inspire other children. 

She seemed to understand what I was talking about.  We snuggled on the swing for a little while, then went inside and read some books.  There are no rules, or right and wrong ways to handle a child with a disability.  One minute everything is fine, then the next you are paddling upstream trying to figure out what to do.  It's like when she was little and in intensive therapy. She would make progress, then stall for months, and Kevin and I would have to start making big decisions. 

I don't know why she has Apraxia, but another thing I told her is true - I wouldn't take it away from her if I could.  She isn't defined by her disability, but the way she talks, the way the disability has shaped her - it's made Emma into the wonderful little girl that I love.  That's the fact.

And, this little girl came in second place in her tournament.  BAM!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

High Fashion

By now you have probably figured out that Will couldn't care less about what he wears - if the Polo shirt/khaki shorts/tall, black athletic socks/Sperry combination of last spring didn't convince you, I don't know what will.  I still want to bang my head on concrete when I think about that one.

Today we were leaving for tennis and he had on a white t-shirt, and black shorts that had white and red trim.  Not bad, right?  Well, he went for royal blue tall socks and a teal cap for the win.  Yes, I did make him change.  All that was missing from that outfit was a squirting flower and red nose.

Then we came home and the new CWD Kids catalog was in the mail.  I told Will I had found his perfect "First Day of School Outfit."

Will said the only way it could get better is if they had a shirt with a teddy bear on it. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Your Weekly Dose of Random

Emma decided she needed this shirt when we were in Academy.  She had no idea that "wicked" meant "very," and thought she needed to wear it with her old witches hat from Halloween.  Nice look.

She also tried to sell me on this, but I couldn't bring myself to buy something called "Hot Buns."  I'm still not 100% sure the government is tracking everything we do, and they might think I'm purchasing porn.

I saw this on Pinterest - pour cornbread batter into your waffle iron.  We put chili on top and it was soooooo good.  The problem is, you will have big buns instead of hot buns.

And since I'm on the subject of buns. 

It's kind of like Where's Waldo at our house with the Dee's.  Since she has 5 of them, they are always turning up in different places, and in different poses. 

No more buns.  I planted a Hollyhock last year and it did nothing.  This year it is making up for lost time and has over-grown its spot.  I can't do anything about it until the weather cools off, so now the front of my house looks like it has been taken over.

And then there are my hydrangeas.  They bloomed like crazy for the last two years.  They decided to take a break this year.  I think the Hollyhocks intimidated them. 

Tomorrow I'll see if I can be random with other plants and body parts.  This could get good, and the government might really want to keep an eye on me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Rip-Roarin' 4th

I hope that everyone had a great 4th of July weekend.  Here are the Harvey Holiday stats:

*number of people at our house on July 3rd - 17
*number of children in our van to go see fireworks - 5
*number of "Poopy Puppy" fireworks shot off - 2
*number of times Emma asked to light a firework - 10,000
*number of mosquito bites of Will and Emma - 6,000
*number of times I sharked my kitchen floor - 3

I don't know about you, but that spells success for us.

We started on the 3rd with having both sides of the family over for pizza, then we piled all the kids and my brother (Justin, I'm being very nice and not counting you as a kid) in our van and went to see the fireworks that Fayetteville shoots off.  We have sat in the same spot for 20 years - I'm talking BC, before children.  It's just a given that we go do this.

But, 20 years ago we just watched the fireworks, we didn't record them on our phones.  Yeah.  On the way over, Emma actually asked if they had wifi there.  A part of me started crying.

This is an absolutely terrible picture, but I hope you can make out Will squeezing himself into a "tot spot" chair in the bottom right corner.  Kevin started singing, "Big Guy in a Little Coat."  That dates us - if you don't know what I'm talking about, just forget about it and chalk it up to old people humor.

But everyone can appreciate Will in this picture.  We were trying to get a shot of the kids enjoying the show, and of course he can't be normal for a minute.

On the way home, my brother took one for the team and rode in the back.  What you can't see is 3 little girls in the way back singing, "Roar" at the top of their lungs.  Will and Elliot were so happy with the entertainment. 

The next day we had a 4th of July party at my parent's - that's right folks, the van full of chil'uns was just pregame for us.  We went back for more.


Emma thought she should be the party entertainment.  Anytime you do TWO Skip-Its and dance like Ernest T. Bass, it's like Caesar's Palace.  Don't be jealous about missing our party.

We invited my old neighbor and BFF who has twin boys Emma's age.  They are boy scouts with Elliot, so everyone had fun.

Oh yeah, one of them was Batman.  I showed this picture to Kevin and said, "One of these things is not like the other.." and he said, "Yeah, it's Will."  Seriously - look how tall he is.  For the record, he was a very good sport and was the lighter of the fireworks.  YOU HEARD ME!  We let that kid use fire.  I hope we don't regret that decision. 

Trying to keep all of them contained while we shot fireworks in the street was like trying to control a crazy mob.

Exhibit A

And I have it on film.

The biggest hits of the night were the parachutes, the Poopy Puppy, and some huge rocket that Will bought.  It orbited the moon, then embedded itself in the neighbor's yard.  My brother had to go on a re-con mission when the sun came up the next morning.

So now we've set things on fire, partied and sang.  It's time to calm down and for me to write the four papers I have due between now and August 6.  Would you rather do that or ride in our van and hear "Roar?"

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Consequences of the Schlitterbahn

Kevin and I decided to take the kids to Kansas City on Friday to the mother of all water parks, The Schlitterbahn.  Before we even left, an unanimous decision was made that Emma was NOT allowed to say the name.  We worked for a while and tweaked it to "Skitterbaum."  MUCH BETTER!!!

The morning we left, Will showed up in our bedroom at 4 in the morning and said, "I can't sleep - I'm too excited.  Should I go watch TV or something."  Yes, baby, yes.  Because I'm not getting up at 4, even for the Skitter-de-baum.  Let me add that I can't get this kid up for anything.  Kevin thinks that the night before school starts, we should tell him we're going to the water park, then we'll just hand him his backpack and lunch, and push him out the door.

Well, back to the Schlittering Bahn, it was very fun.  Emma was like a jet-propelled rocket on her tube, and we had the hardest time keeping up with her.  I want everyone to know that I was a big girl and did the scary-high water slides.  I screamed the whole way down, but I did them.  Emma and Will did every ride except for the boogie boards.  Em was waiting in line, and we saw two kids lose their suits trying to fight the wave machine.  One girl was a teenager in a bikini.  Emma just looked at me very seriously and said, "I think I have changed my mind about this ride."

There are no pictures to show from the trip except for this:

The lifeproof box failed.  Kevin has taken his phone in the pool - he even filmed us scallop hunting under water.  The Bahn of Schlitter proved too much.

It was also too much for a little girl who went 100 miles an hour there, and didn't want to go home.

When we got to he house, Kevin, Will and I did "1-2-3-NOT IT" to see who got to wake up Emma.  Will lost, but ran inside without completing his mission.  That's because he knows waking up Emma is like messing with a feral cat.  It wasn't pretty for anyone.  But guess what?  We turned our one day passes into two days, and we get to go up again before school starts!  We can Schlitter our Buns one more time!