Sunday, June 30, 2013

Generation Gap

I've been feeling the generation gap at work this past week.  We have a couple of young employee' right out of college.... that the difference in our ages is so obvious right now.  Actually on Friday I thought I might pull my hair out. 

I was trying to work with a new loan officer trainee Friday and I wanted to scream.  This has definitely been a learning experience for me because I look at him and think to do I make sure my kids don't act like this at their first job.  When I first started at FCS 12 years ago I would never had said or done some of the things that was said and done on Friday.  I was trying to explain the concept of treating customers the way you want to be treated and just because you might be able to get away with charging a fee doesn't mean it is always the right thing to do.  Completely went over his head.  Still wanted to argue with me about why I wasn't charging a fee for a loan renewal.  I had to get an edge to my voice and tell him because we hadn't in the past and I wasn't going to now.  He dropped it with me but then told another employee later that when He is the one doing the loans He will charge a fee.  Grrr. 

The icing on the cake though was when Pam, our front desk person was at lunch.  I was on the phone with an employee in another office trying to walk her though the steps for a particular loan she was getting ready.  I knew the customer was there, but they were going to have to wait.  The new employee stood at my office door and waved the customers check at me.  HE WAVED A PIECE OF PAPER AT ME!!!!  It is a good thing that my door way isn't within reach of my desk because he might not have left my office with an arm. 

Another thing that was said was in reference to a plant in our office.  Yes, it is big, it is ugly and it has been there since the beginning of time.  Pam waters and cares for it every Friday.  This new employee announced to Pam that the plant would not be going to Joplin.  Seriously.....what makes someone think when they are new someplace they can make a declaration like that?  What in the world has happened to respect?  What has happened to young people starting a job knowing they are the low man and they have to work and earn the right to make comments like that? 

Jay has been dealing with a similar situation this weekend due to some first year teachers.  They would all be about the same age and again they have no respect for others.  That has started to be an ongoing problem the last few years with Jay and his student teachers.  Last years student teacher made a comment to Jay during contest season that was unbelievable.  Of course Jay and Lyle handled it by throwing him to the wolves (the Freshmen class) to put him in his place.  I don't really have an option like that and it is harder when you are a woman dealing with a slightly cocky man. 

So I'm trying to turn this into a learning opportunity for myself as a parent.  I will not have my son starting a job and treating anyone the way Jay and I have seen these young adults treat their co-workers.  I know there are plenty of young kids who don't act like this.....and I'm also looking to those parents as examples.  It isn't easy, but I am determined that no one will ever want to scream at Cade for the things I wanted to scream about on Friday.  He is going to know better. 

County Fair

Our County Fair was May 31 and June 1.  There was a local radio station that was going to give the two most involved kids a belt buckle and they would be interviewed on the radio.  So that meant Jay was determined to make Cade the most involved kid there.  On Friday they have an Achievement Day and they have little judging activities that kids can do.  I think Cade did about all of those.  He also had cattle, pigs, chickens, a power point presentation and a decorated cake.  He was one busy little guy....which that meant Jay was an extremely busy guy and Papa Jim was a busy grandpa.  Thank goodness Jim was able to help because Jay is so busy with the actual fair he'd never be able to get everything done without Papa Jim's help. 

Poor Papa Jim didn't have the best day.  Jay is in charge of the chicken show so he needed help running to our house to get Cade's chickens.  He doesn't like to take the chickens early in the morning with the other livestock.  Papa Jim drove Jay's truck to pick them up....and he got a speeding ticket.  The insurance on Jay's truck is due the end of May and I honestly don't remember seeing the new insurance cards.  Papa Jim was frantically digging through the dash looking for them.  Since he had some that had expired a few days earlier the Highway Patrol let him off.  He said they were probably sitting in the mail.  Whew.  Then when Papa Jim and Memo were leaving the sale that night he backed into a friend's car.  At least Memo was laughing about it when she called to tell us about it Sunday morning.

The fair went really well this year.  They fair board worked really hard this past year building some permanent buildings for the animals.  It was really nice to have an actual arena for the cattle shows and the sale.  It also made the clean up go much faster.  I couldn't believe how early Jay got home Saturday evening. 

Jay and Cade getting Bonnie and Clyde ready.  Showing the pigs were definitely Cade's favorite activity.  He loves those pigs.  The pigs didn't do as well as we had hoped - but judging is just one man's opinion.  Last week Clyde won Reserve Grand at the Polk County Fair so you just never know. 

This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it.  I don't know what happened between the two of them but Camryn looks like she is telling him what she thinks.  It's a good thing he didn't get too close or she might have whacked him with the pig stick.  These two will more than likely be involved in the same things over the years so I'm sure we will have more pictures of them together.  Wouldn't it be funny if they got married????  I'd have to blow this up and have it hanging in the church. 

This was my favorite picture of the day.  Got them both in the same shot.

The chickens that caused Jim to get a speeding ticket.  Also two days earlier I opened up our electric bill.  Normally our bill is right around $100.  This time it was $175.   I was running around in my head how in the world it could be so high.  Then it dawned on me....IT WAS THE CHICKENS!!!  Jay had been standing there silently while I was processing it all just waiting for me to figure it out.  They are lucky it was almost fair time by the time the bill came in.  In one moth those chickens used almost as much electricity as the 4 of us and the entire house!!!

But of course when I saw this I knew the extra $75 was worth it.  Cade won Grand Champion. 

This is Cade's cake.  He got a blue ribbon on it and it gets to go to Ozark Empire.  Janella did a great job with him.  I think he decorated this on his third class.  It is a Styrofoam block and the icing is hard as a rock.  It's been stored on our computer cabinet since the first part of April. 

Jay's plan of having Cade be the most active participant paid off.  Cade won a belt buckle and he was interviewed on the radio last week.  We were very proud of him! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Disposing of Chickens

For anyone who doesn't know us this post will sound like we are the most backwoods people you would ever meet. For those who know us, Jay in particular, you'll understand how this is just another day in the life....

Jay and Cade are raising 20+ chickens for the Gold Buckle Gala at the Ozark Empire Fair in a few weeks. Normally we raise them in the spring for our county fair which means it is cooler. We don't loose many chickens. This time has even different because it is hotter and these over fed chickens can't handle it. Two have died in the last two days of a heart attack. 

Dead chickens mean we have a dilemma.  What do we do with them. If we throw them in our woods Charlie and Rocky (our neighbors dog who spends more time at our house) will get a
taste for chicken. That would be disastrous for Jay and Cade's project. 

When the first one died yesterday Jay pulverized it with his gun. He wanted to see what these hollow point bullets would do. Problem solved. Then there was another dead one they decided to dump it somewhere else.

Cade loaded up in the back of the truck with the dead chicken. Jay told him that he'd yell at him when it was time to throw the chicken out. Jay went a few feet and realized Cade was standing so he yelled at him to sit down. Cade threw the chicken out... They hadn't made it out of our yard yet.

Cade got the chicken again and they headed down the road. Jay looked in his mirror and Cade's arm was sticking straight out of the truck, holding the chicken by the legs as they were driving down the road. Cade doesn't understand covert operations yet. They dumped the chicken and then headed back to the house. As soon as they got back to the house Jay got concerned about where he left it. He was afraid it might have been in a neighbors walking path. Also, it wouldn't take much thinking to figure out who was  responsible. So they went back and picked up the poor chicken again. Jay then drove to a more secluded spot and got rid of it. 

I didn't know any of this was going on. I was in the house with Camryn wondering what in the world was taking them so long to feed. I never dreamed they were tossing a dead chicken from the back of the truck. I asked Jay if that was what we were coming chickening. 

There is never a dull moment here. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We bought a van. Eek!!

We finally did it last night. We bought a van. A Chrysler Town and Country to be exact. I look at it and think "oh my I drive a van" but when I get in it and we aren't all touching I love it. When your dream car goes from being a Mustang to a van you know you've reached that point in life where comfort overrides looking cool. Much like using a seat cushion at a ballgame. I haven't crossed that line yet but I do see it in my near future. Especially when I think in 9 years I will just be starting to sit on the same hard bleachers all over again. 

I had a small moment last night after we got home where I might have had a mini hyperventilation moment. Not only did we buy a van we now have a car payment again. Breathe, breathe...Dave Ramsey would tell us we were dumb. Of course though if he had to crawl in on his knees to put an unruly toddler in her seat time after time he might see where we are
coming from. 

You might wonder why a van. If money were no object Jay would buy the biggest Suburban he could find. Since money is an issue that obviously couldn't happen. Since I'm going back to driving again in a few months we couldn't do a SUV's gas mileage. We looked at some of the crossovers...we sat in a Dodge Journey for about 3 seconds and decided we couldn't do it. The van was essentially the same price as the crossovers so we went with more room. So friends that is how we ended up with a van.

 What made me decide on this particular van was a vision I believe was sent directly from God (seriously!). We found this one in Springfield and it was black with black interior. I found some online Saturday night that all had light camel interior. We were thinking about looking at those. While I was waiting for church Sunday morning I had a flashback to our churches New Years Eve 2011 party. You know the one where an entire pot of chili tipped over in the floorboard of the car. After church I told Jay that the black interior was the only thing that would work for us. 

It dawned on me last night while we were doing the paperwork that if I drive this as long as my car (praying for a few years longer!!) Cade will be grown. Jay told me to shut up and that he wasn't talking to me anymore. 

Poor Cade was a trooper. He had to watch Camryn for about 2 hours while we did everything. When we were filling out the paperwork Camryn kept running across the showroom to the office we were in. I'm sure the entire place was ready to see us go. She also refused to wear her shoes. I don't know what the problem is with these particular sandals but she won't keep them on. We didn't fight it. Her feet were black by the end of the night. So to recap...we had a running, screaming toddler with feet as black as the asphalt outside trying to be controlled by a stressed out 11 year old. Cade said he deserved something big by the time we were done. We told him he did get something big...a van!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kids and Church

Taking your kids to church (and making sure they have a personal relationship with God) is the most important thing we need to do as parents. I’m not sure why so many people don’t feel that responsibility anymore. You have this little mind that is 100% YOUR responsibility to help shape it in the right direction. How can you not take your kids to church? It is so important…..and I will also admit it is also one of the most exhausting things I do as a parent.

I usually leave church looking and feeling like I ran a marathon. Yesterday’s experience was especially trying. Camryn got away from us during the singing and made it all the way to the piano bench. When I got to her she screamed all the way back to our pew that she wanted to “play the plano.” Part of me was tempted to let her do it. We were minus our piano player yesterday and her playing while we sang wouldn’t have sounded any worse than we already did. I gave her two peanut butter crackers to get her to be quiet. She took a bite out of each of them and then ran both down the front of my dress. I had peanut butter tracks right down the middle of my chest. Then she shoved both crackers in her mouth and tried to talk to me during the prayer time (mouth full). Then right after that we moved into the communion mediation and she spit out her mouthful of crackers onto the floor. I spent the meditation picking up soggy crackers so the guys wouldn’t track through them during communion.

So I completely understand taking your child to church is hard. But even as worn out, sweaty and dirty I am after church I know why I do it. Our church right now is on the decline. We can’t seem to get any new families with kids to make a commitment. It makes me sad. I’m sad for our church, but I’m sad for these families who don’t feel the same responsibility that we do. I’m sad that those parents don’t feel the need to pass on how great a relationship with God is to their kids. And it concerns me…..are we raising a whole new generation that won’t know Christ? What can we do to fix it? Jay and I are at a loss with what to do at church right now. Cade was completely heartbroken yesterday because our Youth Minister is gone, his best friend has moved and another friend has quit coming. Any ideas of what has maybe worked at your church??

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So it’s been awhile since I posted anything on the blog. I know everyone always says life is crazy and they run out of time…which is true, but not only has life been crazy I’ve been a little crazy to.

Anyone who knows me knows that anxiety has always been a huge burden in my life. I had my worst round of it between our two embryo transfers. I got through it with a lot of prayer and a lot of common sense from Joyce Meyer. For the last two and half years I’ve handled it pretty well. Then this whole job thing happened and my sanity flew out the window. Looking back over my life I can see the times my anxiety has been the worst was when it was triggered by a major life event. So I’m definitely in that season of my life right now…battling the anxiety along with a 2 year old and an 11 year old.

I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining, because I’m not. I’m just writing it down so someday we can laugh about the time mom wanted to run away screaming. Ha ha ha……

Having a 2 year old and an 11 year has got really hard all of a sudden. Two kids on two completely different levels (with no buffer of another age in between) is rough right now. A two year old is intense. I forgot how intense they can be – especially one that has been forming complete sentences for months. I’m also finding out that a moody 11 year old is equally as intense. These pre-teen years are going to be a bit of a challenge. One minute he is my sweet little boy and the next he’s someone I want to lock away until he can act decently. When you add them both together with raised voices competing for my attention it gets a little crazy at times. Mostly it makes me want to run for my bed and hide under the covers…..but somehow they always find me….

All of this hit kind of a crescendo the past couple of weeks….my anxiety, intense kids…..and a sick two year old. Honestly my nerves were shot. The week of Camryn’s birthday she was sick with a bladder infection. We took her to the doctor on June 4th. They gave us a prescription and we got it filled. We went directly home and tried to give it to her. It was awful. Awful I say. I was so distraught I called the clinic back in tears. They told us to come in and they gave her a shot. I got home and had a mild panic attack because I realized they didn’t ask what she was allergic to. I know they have it down in her chart but most of the time they will ask as a double check. I had to call the clinic back to assure myself they did not give her penicillin. I did not need a repeat of the allergic reaction.

Camryn got along fine until last Monday. Actually on Sunday I had a feeling she was getting sick. Monday afternoon Stacy called and said Camryn had a fever and was miserable. The kids and I were leaving Tuesday evening for my mom’s so I called Camryn’s doctor yet again. Jay took her and she had an ear infection. I managed to work on Tuesday and Jay stayed home with both kids. Every time I talked to Jay he said Camryn was fine…..

He brought the kids to me after work and we took out for Oklahoma. Camryn immediately started crying. Cade, completely distraught, said “she’s been doing this all day.” Hmm that was not what her father told me. In that instance I tended to believe Cade over Jay. I was so desperate for her to sleep I stopped at Wal-Mart in Joplin and bought her new bottles. I even let her pick out the kind she wanted. Yes, I am a complete enabler. While we were in Wal-Mart Cade got in a snit. He kept telling me to turn around and go home. I told him it would be fine. Then he asked about running out of gas. I told him we wouldn’t run out of gas. Then he got really distraught and told me that a G6 was the most unsafe car on the market and we didn’t need to be driving it all the way to Oklahoma City. He said that they had watched something about how bad G6’s were that day and they have problems with their brake lights and oil, etc. I really couldn’t disagree with him because I had seen the same thing on the news that morning. I just told him it would be fine…..

We hit the road again and somewhere around Miami I about lost my mind again. I am not exaggerating at all….both of them were full blown sobbing for about 10 miles. And my stupid brakes were messing up again. I asked myself what in the hell I was doing. I thought about turning around but I gritted my teeth, told satan he would not steal my joy and drove on. People complain all the time about distracted driving and cell phone use. I am here to tell you that I have never been as distracted on a cell phone in my life as I was with two sobbing kids in my car. I almost took the Pike Pass lane at my first toll booth. Thankfully I got it over in time and into the right lane. Getting arrested for driving through a toll booth might have put a damper on things. I was also constantly switching out bottles for Camryn. One second she’d want milk, another it was water, then she’d want tea, etc. Cade was limited help because he was in the fetal position being drove crazy by her crying. I can’t really blame him…it is hard enough for an adult to handle the type of crying she had all day and night – can you imagine what it was like for him?

Finally we hit Tulsa (2 hours into the drive) and she passed out. Oh I also forgot to mention the sun was in her eyes. The whole way. We got some blissful silence for about an hour…until we hit the last toll booth. Camryn woke up and asked for chicken nuggets. Why else would I be stopped handing someone money out the car window???? The last 30 minutes weren’t as bad as earlier, but she was not a happy camper.

Things were so-so until bed time. During the night I swear her fever got back to 104. I had to go to Walgreens at 12:30 and get Tylenol. I ended up visiting that Walgreens 4 times Wednesday…Tylenol, Benadryl for a bite that swelled up and had fever in it, drop off a new ear prescription, pick up the prescription. After Camryn puked in my mom’s car Wednesday morning we headed to urgent care. They thought the shot she had Monday didn’t take care of the ear infection so I had more liquid medicine to give her. I may have cried a little in the doctors office telling them I hadn’t slept in 3 days.

The rest of the trip was a lot of fun and the drive home was loads better than going. But things are still intense. By Sunday night I could feel my work anxiety coming back, but I wasn’t sure what was worse. The thought of going to work on Monday or staying with Camryn another day?

So I’ve been praying. A lot. I’m trying to work through this anxiety…but it is difficult. Once satan finds your weak spot he doesn’t let up easily. But I will get through it…..hopefully with my sanity still in tact.  If I could just get a full nights sleep I think that would make a huge difference.  I'm going on about 8 days of very little sleep.  Some of it is Camryn.....some of it is anxiety..... 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Camryn's Party-The Decorations.....

I've got so many pictures from Camryn's party that I've had to break them into three different posts.  The first one is the decorations.  I always love parties, but doing a Mickey/Minnie themed party was really fun and easy.  All you need are two different sized circles and an imagination and the possibilities are endless!

I will confess that the placemat idea came from Pinterest.  I used black wrapping paper, a dinner plate and a coaster to make them. 

The Mickey wreath with the 2 was one of my favorites.  I actually used the 2 in her 2 year old pictures.  She was upset when she saw it on the wreath because it was "stuck" and it was her 2. 
Doing the cake table is my favorite thing.  As usual Janella did a wonderful job on the cake.  This one ranks up there as one of my favorites that she's ever done for us. 

Camryn's Party-The Cake Pictures

When we would talk about Camryn's birthday all she would say is she wanted birthday cake.  When she saw her cake she kept saying "I need a fork."  We had a hard time holding her off so we could snap some pictures
She's pointing to a fork and wondering why no one is handing one to her
Cade found this mask at the party story and we couldn't resist.
Lawson wasn't feeling a cousin picture that day.

Finally someone got the poor girl a fork!

Camryn was more than pleased with her Birthday Cake!

Camryn's Birthday-The rest of the pictures

We had a "Hot Diggity Dog Bar" for the meal.  Of course Jay had to grill the dogs in his mouse ears.

I bought whistles to put in the kid's treat bags and of course I got Camryn one to.  Apparatnly not everyone thought the whistles were as funny as I did.  Camryn loved blowing on hers.  She'd put her whole body into it.  It made me laugh. 

We got Camryn the rocking horse.  She rode it for about 30 seconds and now she is terrified of it.  She will pet it and talk to it and about it but she will not sit on it. 
I love watching Jay assemble all of these pink and purple girly toys.
After we were done I was holding Camryn and she looked at this present mess and said "I want to see Santa."  That girl doesn't forget anything.  That's how our floor looked Christmas morning.
These last two were some of my favorites from that day.

I am so grateful for the chance to celebrate birthdays.  It was another great party and I'm so glad our families could be there to celebrate with us. 

Monday, June 3, 2013


Can't believe this little bit is 2. She is growing and changing so quickly. We took her to the zoo yesterday to celebrate. Will have several birthday, fair and zoo posts this week. 

Happy Birthday Camryn Lee. We love you!  And I'm glad I'm not as nauseous today as I was 2 years ago at this time :)