Monday, August 31, 2009


It's a long-ish story that I will tell another time but I haven't been able to post sooner because I was in Nashville all last week. In my preparation for our trip to Nashville I packed a suitcase I hadn't used since I packed for Camp Hunt in July. In the front pocket I found a letter that a camper graciously let me photocopy.

Why did I want to photocopy a letter from a camper? It epitomized one of the reasons I enjoy teenagers - Teenage Angst!

In order to protect the innocent I have marked out the names on the letter and I will use different names during the story. The girl camper will be Bernadette and the boy camper will be Sonny. So back in July when we were all at Camp Hunt I was sitting at dinner with Bernadette's counselor. Bernadette had received the letter from Sonny via a messenger. Isn't that how it's always done?! Either that or the warm fuzzy board.

This is what Sonny wrote Bernadette in case you can't read his handwriting (which he admits is not so great):


Hey; how are you? (semi-colon Sonny? really?) I wanted to write you a note to try to save all the awkwardness (I had to correct his spelling) of me just telling you. Ummm.....I really like you a lot but I don't want to ask you out in case you're not interested at all. I thought that if you were interested that you maybe you could just talk to me or something. I really didn't want to put you on the spot of anything and I really just want you to be happy. Well, hope to hear from you later.

Hope for the best,


P.S. I'm very sorry about my terrible handwriting but I try my best.

So Bernadette had come over to her counselor with this note because she was not at all interested in Sonny. I was stunned. I had to intervene (I always do anyway).

"Bernadette, this guy is amazing. Why don't you like him?"

"He's nice but he's not my type."

In other words, she didn't think he was hot. And he wasn't. But I admire this guy for many reasons that I will now list.

1. "Save the awkwardness" - YES! perfect Sonny. Isn't that the worst part? I totally agree. How considerate to write it in a note and save face!

2. "In case you're not interested" - He gives her an out in case she isn't interested! He's humble enough to admit that he knows she may not like him back. Sonny, you are so mature for 14.

3. "just talk to me" - Oh that rips out my heart. He just wants her to talk to him.

4. "I just want you to be happy" - There goes Sonny being all mature again. He obviously likes her enough to think about her happiness. BERNADETTE - he wants you to be happy! Date him!

But alas, she didn't care about my arguments on his behalf. She did make a good point in that I didn't even know Sonny. But I feel like I know him just from these few lines. I hope that he finds a girl that appreciates him for who he is. Unfortunately, since I don't know the kid and I blacked out his name on the note there is no way I will ever know.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I've been to Austin. I've been to San Francisco. And I can tell you, this car does not belong in Albany.

...And if it does belong in Albany it definitely doesn't belong in Colonie Center. More like Lark Street. But I'm glad it was at the mall since it made me smile. And it made me wonder what they are going to do in three months when they have to brush 6 inches of snow off the hood.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Jamison has always loved our pets, especially Tulip. And since he is a hugger, Tulip received a lot of affection from him...probably more than she wanted.

But all of that affection turned on him last Thursday. I was upstairs getting ready for the day while the kids were downstairs eating breakfast and watching tv. Before I really got started I hear Jamison crying. At first I'm not sure what kind of cry it is - is he just whining or is it serious? By the time I make it to the staircase he is halfway up the stairs and the right side of his face has blood streaking down in. So yeah, it was serious. Luckily, my tendency to pass out was overcome by my adrenaline.

I carried him into the kitchen and started to try to clean him up but he wouldn't let me touch his face. The whole time I'm asking him and Lily what happened. Lily was coloring so didn't see anything and Jamie kept saying that "Tulip bit me". I look at Tulip and she is doing the guilty cry and is obviously upset about something. So something happened between Tulip and Jamie. Most likely, he tried to pull her off the couch by her front paws and so she did what any reasonable dog would do to defend itself.

Since it's only 8:40 in the morning I call our family physician to see if there is an appointment NOW for Jamison. They tell me if I get there in 15 minutes I can have one. I think I got there in 7 minutes. Brian met us at the doctor's so that he could focus on Lily.

By the time I had gotten the kids buckled in the car Jamison was completely fine. He was still bleeding (a lot) and wouldn't let me clean him up but he was singing his songs the entire time in the car - ABC's, BINGO, Jesus Loves Me, & God Is So Good. So I knew whatever damage was done to him at least he wasn't in a lot of pain.

When the nurses come into the room I held him down while one nurse tried to hold his head so the other could clean him up. It became apparent that Tulip had gotten him on his eyelid, on his temple, and under his eye. The doctor came in and gave us some great news - they were just superficial wounds, there would be no stitches or glue (been there, done that), and there was no damage to his eye. She gave us an antibiotic and we were out the door.

I really didn't want to take pictures of his cuts because (I think) they are scary. But keep in mind that he was perfectly fine and actually tried to hug on Tulip again the minute we got home. This didn't slow him down or change his opinion about dogs whatsoever. Is that just testosterone? Or stupidity?

I took the next two pictures with my cell phone so they aren't very clear.

See? He's happy. I wouldn't be, but he was.

When I went into his room Friday morning to get him I gasped. His eye was completely swollen shut and it had bled during the night so there was dried blood all over the eye. It freaked Lily out. "Why is Jamie only looking at me with one eye? Wake up your other eye Jamison! Make him open it Mama!" Then she tried to pry the eye open with her fingers but luckily I was fast enough to stop her. See, he's happy again:

(notice Tulip in the background. She was very ashamed)

And now the problem. This wasn't the first time Tulip had bit Jamie. The first time he was sitting on my lap on the couch and she jumped up next to me. He lunged at her for a hug and she nipped him on his jaw. It scared her just as much as it scared him (and me). We got it to stop bleeding and put a band aid on it. No big deal, it was just one of those things. But then there were those few times that we separated them just in time. And then a few more.
And then this happened. So two instances within six months, a few close calls, and no telling when it could possibly happen again. Both of the times she bit Jamison he was the instigator and she never would have bitten him if he wasn't so rough. Imagine if you were 50lbs of a lazy basset and a 30lb boy came running at you full speed. I'd do whatever I needed to do as well.
But even the doctor said that if Tulip had meant to hurt him she could easily have blinded him if she had bitten a little harder. So do we risk our child's eye because we love our dog so much? Do we risk another child's safety because we love our dog so much? What if next time she got his lip? or his finger?
So we decided that since we couldn't give Jamison up we would have to give up Tulip. Jamie is a rough boy and despite our warnings to always be careful around the dog, we know without uncertainty, that he would still be rough with her.
Brian made all the arrangements because I couldn't handle it. Her foster mother picked her up today at 1:00. She stayed for about 45 minutes and at the end of the time said that if no one adopted her she would keep her since she seemed to be a sweet dog. And she is a sweet dog! Especially if there are no crazy two year old boys flinging their bodies on top of her in the middle of her nap.

So 9 years and one month after we adopted Tulip from a random dog shelter in Paragould, AR we had to give her up. Brian and I were married on June 24 and three weeks later we adopted Tulip. She has always been with us.
I took some pictures last night and this morning. I have tons of pictures of Tulip from when we were living in Arkansas, but none on digital. So these will have to do.
If I knew anyone would be interested I'd write all the crazy stories about her jumping in strangers cars, jumping out of ours at a drive through, jumping into the mailman's truck and freaking him out, etc... but I won't go on like I'm at a funeral. (too late?)

Her usual post in the mornings - waiting for the kids to drop some of their breakfast on the ground or just leave it unguarded.

We told the kids that Tulip went to go live with some doggie friends since she was old and lonely. There are two other bassets in the foster house, one named Rose. I was waiting for Lily to ask if Grrrmam would go live with some friends since she's old too but she never made the connection.
Jamie is looking at Tulip sadly in this picture because he didn't want to take the picture. He's been asking for her every 30 minutes so I'm hoping that within a month it will only be once a day. If you enlarge it you'll see how nicely he's healing.

And now she's gone. And I'd like to pretend that we never had a dog named Tulip and I was never in love with her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Slip N Slide

There isn't really a lot of commentary for this post because it's just a bunch of shots of a slip n slide. The main thing is that Lily never slipped down it, always walked down it and Jamison was either completely dressed or naked while using it. That just about covers it.

Jamie preferred flopping his body into the pool end more than anything else.

And then the clothes were just getting in the way.

Group shot of slip n slide fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I have seen this smallish mountain range in the Adirondacks my entire life. It is probably burned on my retinas so that even if I never go back I will always see it when I close my eyes.

This is the island that we went to every summer from the time I was three until I was seventeen. It's pretty pitiful but I love it.

When we drove the boat by the island we saw two families swimming and playing - just like we (Meeks and Knapps) used to. In fact there were even two little heads bobbing on the left side of the island (you can barely see them) and we used to swim there too. That weak looking birch tree on the right? Andy Knapp almost uprooted the thing one year by yanking branches off to start a fire. The sand that you see? Tamar Knapp lost a ring in that sand when she and Billy were dating and after hours of searching it was actually found. The sun that's shining on that island? It's to blame for my fear of sunburns. Very, very, very bad sunburns. Sunburns that will probably bring me skin cancer when I'm older.

And I got to show my 75 SPF sunblocked lathered kids that same island this year.

Our monthly attempt to get all four looking at one camera. Our monthly failure.

Pop: "Jamie wanna drive the boat?"
Jamie: "Yeth."
So Jamie drove the boat, honked the horn, pushed some buttons, and as we were driving at 15 mph shut the boat off and brought us to an abrupt stop. While Ruthie sat on Pop's lap for 15 minutes she never once touched any of the buttons. Jamie was on his lap for 37 seconds and he turns the boat off.

I wish I knew what they were talking about.

A moment of calm..kinda. Mom's definition of calm is different from mine and Kristen's.

Jamie liked when the boat went fast.

About halfway through the boat ride Maddie and Ruthie decided they wanted to JUMP INTO THE WATER. They were very, very desperate to get into the water. And they were not happy when Kris and I held them back. We would grab onto their life jacket straps and they would actually hit us so they could be free! and jump off the boat! and swim with the mermaids! and scare us!

And after that we thought the boat adventure was finished. But no. Later that night it down poured for about three hours. Billy noticed that the boat was kinda floating in the motor-end of the boat was extremely low in the water. Andy swam out to the boat and someone, some random two year old that I dare not mention, whilst playing with the boat switches on Pop's lap, turned off the motor that pumps water out of the boat when four inches of rain fall from the sky.
And so Andy proceeded to dump over 100 buckets of rainwater from the boat. And the next morning they dumped some more. And Jamison sat on the beach and watched it all asking "what those boys doing?" And the only thought in my head was - at least he didn't sink the thing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

What Did We Do At The Lake?

I have so many pictures from our week at the lake that I've divided them up into a couple of posts. A lot of these pictures look better if you click on them and make them larger. But I'm not telling you what to do. It's just a suggestion.

Last year was pretty chaotic trying to get all of us (there were 25 of us this year) on the road for church services so we decided to have our own services on the lawn this year. We rounded up our beach chairs and praised God on a beautiful sunny morning.

Since I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like I had to prepare for indoor activities for Jamison. This was one of the best things I've ever bought for this kid. It has an easy to use remote control and you can "lift off" the plane or bring it in for a landing. It stays on the track the whole time except for when he pried it off as it was trying to move.

The kids spent a lot of time running in and out of all our cabins. When they were in mom and dads there was always The Wiggles to help them get rid of some energy. Unfortunately for mom, she was usually trying to relax when the kids stampeded into her place.

I have no idea where she got the binoculars or what she was looking at. The binoculars would appear out of nowhere throughout the week and she never knew which end to look through.

On Monday Lily and I planned an obstacle course for the kids. She even created maps for Nathan and Emerson so they would know what order to run the obstacles. Here are her and Nathan starting off the race.

Obstacle # 2 - Hit the t-ball.

The final stretch - run up the hill and go down the slip n slide.

Next, it was Jamison and Emerson's turn. Jamie was clueless and I couldn't just let Emerson beat him! So I cheated and dragged him around the course.

Lily really wanted the last obstacle on the course to be for the competitors to sit in chairs and rest. I explained that "sitting" wasn't exactly an obstacle for most people so she could do it if she wanted to but I wasn't going to make it an official stop on the course. Nathan was so compliant with her instructions/demands.

I caught four of them sitting in birth order on the couch. Maddie Mostoller and Kristen's twins were missing.
Another of Lily's plans was a lemonade stand. She has been harassing me about a lemonade stand for MONTHS. She saw it on an episode of Max and Ruby and decided that since she and Ruby are soul mates that she must have a lemonade stand as well. I convinced her to wait until the lake because then I could just ask people to come and visit during the 15 minutes that I was sure it would not exceed.
On a side note I need to post something on Max and Ruby and how my children identify themselves by that show. It is very odd.

Brian inadvertently held up the lemonade stand while bringing Jamison up the hill. "No one move until I get my sugar free lemonade!"

The albino Whitt children with their Native American cousins. Obviously Brian and I are descendants of very northern European people. Kristen's kids take after a whole other race. You would never know that they have the same set of grandparents. This picture actually doesn't even do it justice.

More To Come!