Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Angels in your Home ..

I blather and dabble in blogging.  When Laynie was alive, I felt and knew God was leading me to write.  Now, as she has passed away, I'm don't feel like I'm in His pocket like I used to be.  And when I blog I feel I blather and babble, ANYWAY  (what was I saying about babbling?)....

I decided that my facebook friends were becoming a little too, well, diverse (for lack of better term) and I decided to do a "Cleansing".  I thought that if I knew at least 2 pertinent things about the person I was potentially "cleansing", that I would keep them. 

After 2 days of working through my friends list  (oh my computer is sooo slow) I voted close to 33 people off my island.  Now, in my defense, I did not know 2 things about these people.  But, when I got to the letter M, I started having friend deletion remorse.  Because a TON of people had found me off of Laynie's page, and I figure if they work that hard to find me, they should get to keep me  (ahem).   So, to keep from babbling here, to make a long story short, I posted another post and said something like, if you are past the letter M, and I don't know 2 things about you, you better speak now or forever hold your peace.   Look who wrote me and how precious this family is..... (This is why I won't do any more cleansings, because who KNOWS how many more Melissa Kitchens there are out there reading my stuff??? and I don't even know... for the love of reading!)

Listen to this precious story.....

Hello Lolly,
I realized after your status the other day that you probably have no clue who I am or why I'm on your friends list on FB. My name is Melissa Kitchens (I'm sure FB told you that lol) and I am a 25yr old mother of 2 special needs children. I was pregnant when I first learned of your journey with Laynie, through the Children's Miracle Network and then further through your blog and radio airings. I have a son who will be 6 in February, who has Autism and SPD but is the most loving, amazing child. He has conquered so much in his short lifetime already, and taught me alot about love. I also have a daughter who will be 1 this week. She was born with multiple birth defects and we are still in the diagnosing phase. As in, every time we see the doctors at Vanderbilt Children's she comes home with a new diagnosis. :):) I've become used to it in the last year. It no longer affects us when they tell us something she may not be able to do, or something she's going to endure. Because I believe as you have so constantly written, God is good- all the time. I have to trust in Him and I know that while she is my child, she is HIS child first.
When I was pregnant with her and found out at my routine Ultrasound that she had health concerns, I read where you wrote about Laynie and the scripture "She is fearfully and wonderfully made" from Psalms. It has held fast to my heart. Brooke has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, microcephaly, VUR, a duplicated Renal system with shared arteries and free floating ureters, a heart murmur, Laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia with secondary GERD, absent acoustic reflexes in her ears, and she failed her vision screening at our last visit. She has Cranio, but we have opted to not do surgery as her brain and skull stopped growing months ago. We have been in Physical therapy and hope to add independent mobility to our list of accomplishments.

With her original assessments, we were told she wouldn't be able to maintain an upright position, eat normal food, self feed, become vocal, crawl, walk, and would probably be mentally retarded. That if the pressure in her brain didn't regulate that it could lead to a short life. It seems every time they say she won't be able to do something, she proves them wrong. With every step forward I repeat, God is good. After months of physical therapy, she can sit up, pull up, and crawl. She still cannot roll over, but seems content to skip it. She dislikes babyfood and will eat anything you fine mash for her, often feeding herself with her fingers. It takes an hour, and she wears more than she ever gets into her mouth, but she's doing it. She now signs "more" and "daddy" and babbles, even if she has no words. She is no longer cathed but able to wear a diaper and go as all babies go. Her joints dislocate constantly and we often hear "clicks" and "clunks" as she pops her little joints back into place, but she just keeps going. When we took her back to the doctor who did her original assessment, he told us that all he could say was this, "You know, I didn't do this. You didn't do this. GOD did this."

In between the various therapists that almost live in our home for both children and doctors visits, I find much that makes me think of your journey and Laynie. The stories you've shared and the faith your family has shown. You've been an inspiration to me, and to my family. I've shared your faith as an example many times. Looking at pics of my daughter, you would never imagine she has so much going on in her tiny little body. Often I've found when I've tried to share her story I have people say "oh, but she looks just fine. She doesn't look sick," and they are uninterested in the point I've tried to express. I know you are probably wondering why in the world I've emailed you this, but I wanted to share a little of our story. And I've also wanted to tell you how much of God's light shines through you. Even if it is halfway across the US on facebook. Thank you, for being you and sharing things so openly.

~Melissa Kitchens

You're choked up, aren't you?  I know I sure was.  Here is just one family, someone I haven't even met, and she read my stuff about Laynie, and let it resonate in her family.  I felt like I was reading our story, reading hers.  That's how God works.  God. IS. Good. 

I wrote her back and asked her if I could share this, and she replied:

I felt that you did need to know that you have been heard, and that you allow God to be heard through you. I don't mind if you share her story. She's doing remarkably well, and I feel blessed beyond anything I could imagine that she is having a considerably more "normal" life than they thought she would.

I can't complain about seeing all the doctors, and the issues she has going on. I know that there are children who face much, much worse, and I wish people were more aware of this so that they wouldn't take their children for granted. When I was pregnant with my daughter, someone asked what if our second child wasn't normal either. We just smiled and replied "we don't know what normal is, so I'm pretty sure God will show us what to do again." We aren't able to have anymore children, but I'm pretty sure I have 2 angels living in my house right now. :)


Melissa Kitchens, I will never cleanse you from my friends, because now we are BFF's.  I've never met you, or held your sweet babies (and they would love me, for I am SUPER LOLLY), but we are sisters in Christ, and we know, that children are a Gift from God, only given to us for safekeeping.  He doesn't promise they will stay forever, whether it be 100 years or 100 days,  children are a GIFT. 

Thanks for reminding me that again, and Melissa Kitchens, you are a gift too.  Special moms get the special babies, and you must be extra special.

God is good, All The Time. 

Look at these sweet little cupcake cookies.   

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Musings

I love Thanksgiving.  It's the holiday that you just eat and laugh and sleep.  No worrying about the perfect present, no rushed "Christmas 500" (what I call the house to house travels over Christmas), just family, friends and food. 

The Three F's. 

This year, however, was just weird.  First off, Kip isn't here.  So one of the biggest Thanksgiving day lovers is in South Africa.  Of course, we always miss Laynie every single day, but it seems more intense at holidays.  She was such a bright little light, and everything she looked at, caused me to look at it through her pure, precious eyes, and it gave me new sight into things long taken for granted. 

One thing I take for granted is the health of my friends.  I expect all of my friends to live to be 100.  Gary Keck scared us earlier this year, with a heart attack, or heart something and aged us all about 10 years.  Then thanksgiving day, my phone rang and it was a fellow classmate, calling to tell me that one of our precious members, had died.   I sat in my chair, in shock.  We are only 50.  We aren't supposed to die yet.  Losing another classmate, Mark Gibson, early in 2010 from an aneurysm still resonates within me.  Facebook is a wonderful tool, that gives you the false sense of security that all is well in our world. 

What I remembered as I sat in shock on Thanksgiving, was that every single day we live is a gift.  All the people that we surround ourselves with, are gifts.  Life is a fleeting, passing thing, and the only thing that is important is loving God, loving others, and being the best person we can be. 

Life is a gift.

When I get too self important, too self involved, I take a step back from myself and look at the big picture.  If I were to die today, what imprint would I leave?  Would people say "Oh my cow, she was funny, she wrote the funniest status updates on facebook ever", or would they say  "She was God's right hand, and I know with utter certainty, she is sitting beside him right now, entertaining him.with all her stories."

That is my hope.   That is my hope for you.

Kermit was a Christian.  Kermit loved the Lord.  Kermit was the gentlest soul I know.  He was a quiet, funny guy.  But a stinker... right in the midst of chaos, Kermit would be sitting there smiling at you with dimples and looking like he was innocent as could be.  Someone described him as "Golden" on my page.  I like that.  Kermit was "Golden".

Best friends til the end.

Live life full out.  But live it for God, and it will be the most fulfilled you will ever be. 

Rest in peace, sweet friend...I will see you again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mountains and Friends

SO MY WEEKEND!   Last weekend-  November 10-13, I flew to South Carolina to surprise my longtime bestie, Melba Pulliam.
We laughed over this picture, after I dug it up to surprise her, because we had our pics made by a professional photographer (she had moved out of state and was visiting) and we totally look like we coordinated outfits and are posed like we are dating.  Man, pics have come a looooong way  (praise be to GOD). 

Anyway, her little sister Michele texted me in July to see if I would head to the mountains with them in November on Melba's 50th bday, and of COURSE I said,  You betcha. 

Melba has an uncanny knack of, even though it might be months between visits on the phone  (facebook has helped this dilemna) she would instinctively know when something was going down and never FAIL to call me during a crisis.   And weirdly enough, it worked that way for me to her too.  Always had that inner sense of something being up....  deep, soul sisters to the core... that is us.

SO, I flew in on Thursday and she and her girls drove up from Georgia to meet Michele and her fiance' for a weekend away.  I was the surprise guest.  What a BLAST.

Michele picked out paradise in the mountains and I was delighted with the view all the way, screaming to the girls  "GIRLS, are you LOOKING AT THIS... you better look at THIS, you may never see it again!"  The same crap my grandpa yelled at me, anytime we drove ANYWHERE!  "Laurie, are you looking?  You may never see this tree again".... so there I am spouting the same stuff to them...  But here's why....

Just beauty everywhere you look.

You know I freaked out over this one.
Our cabin was fantastic....up windy hills that would make a less stomach car sick.... we were all too enthralled with the view and each other to give it much thought....

But this was our home for the weekend...

and here was our view......

from this cool deck...

in these super cool chairs.

So you can see why I was so pumped about the whole thing.....

We caught up on Thursday night, found our way around the cabin and on Friday, set out for Asheville, North Carolina to see the beautiful Biltmore House.

Aren't they the sweetest cutie patooties you have ever laid eyes on?? Amanda and Holly, Melba's pride and joys...... Kinda look like their mama. 

WOW.   It was utterly spectacular.   As I walked through the house, I was taken into the novels I have read over the years of the 1900's and how royalty lived.  It really was just ding dang double donged amazing.

I couldn't even get the whole house in one frame to take a picture of it.   Notice the fountain in each picture (same fountain) and you'll get a small understanding how magnificent it is. 

I was speechless.  Beyond anything I had ever seen, I think this is even bigger than Oprah's pad.  It is just spectacular.

A good pic of all of us in the conservatory or plant brochure is at my mom's.  Short term memory blanks, what can I say.

This is my favorite though.  I think we could become a girl band and this could be our cover.

Melba's baby, Amanda and I attempted to do our best statue pose and I think we cracked a few people up, but no more than we cracked ourselves up. 

Here is a picture in the "Croquet" garden to get an understanding how massive it is, compare to our tiny little selves.  Holy Smokes.  And it looks warm... don't be fooled for a minute. 

Except for the "Snookie of the Carolinas" who got married that day.  Doesn't she just scream "Low Maintenance?"  (Ok, hear the sarcasm)  Check out some of her "Lovely" set up.... (just get ready)

Now she had the perfect setting.... absolute paradise.... BUT.....
Holly and Amanda admire the feather railing and sculptures.
Every wedding needs glass dealies and pink feathers... right?

And to borrow from Steel Magnolias  "It looked like the room threw up Pepto Bismol". 

And no wedding is complete without a white feather tree looking dealy. 

Now there's a marriage that is off to a good start.  (oh, i'm so bad)

My favorite picture that day was one I least suspected.  We were walking up and I snapped this picture.  Sometimes I amaze myself.    Kip would be proud of this one. 

We stayed in the mountains on Saturday and just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  We were just lazin' around, having a perfectly great day, when someone suggested We take a "walk" in the mountains. Just about killed ourselves.  They ain't called "Mountains" for nothing.

Melba takes a rest, even before we got started....

Amanda has to show off her guns and Non- tired self...

Then leads me up into the rocks for the "perfect shot" (I came out of this alive, with no broken bones...)

While Holly warms up her ears, and Michele poses on a rock.

Yep that's me in the purple.  Does it look like I might hurl at any moment?  That's work right there.

That's about as far as Michele got.  We were rolling.

Then Michele and Amanda decided it would be way fun to slide down the hills on trashcan lids.
It sounded fun... it really did.

But it was an epic fail.   Funny as crap, though.

We finished the evening with John Travolta in Saturday Night Live and Mamma Mia.    John Travolta was one fine young looking specimen, was he not??  Too bad the movie was soooooo lame.  And to think I LOVED that movie.  It was porn!  LOL.  I had no discretion button when I was 18, obviously.  WHOA.  And we all sat there and watched it.  For. The. Love.   Of course I thought Rocky was a masterpiece at that age, too.  Like I said... no discretion.

But Mamma Mia was fantastic, even though Pierce Brosnan can not sing one lick.  But we decided he's hot enough to pull it off. . .  Barely.   

Then unfortunately it was time to go home, but not before we ran by these sights....

I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to live there.

And the GORGEOUS site where "Dirty Dancing" was filmed.  WoW.

There is nothing like good friends, good food, good sangria (still need that recipe, Renee), good movies (somewhat), good football, good conversation, good weather, good mountain views and dandy wedding parties to spice up a good weekend.

If you haven't surprised an old friend in a while, I suggest you do it. 

 It is balm for the soul. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quakenadoes -- just another day in Rocklahoma

This has been a super fantastically funky year for weather here in Oklahoma. 

First we had Snowmaggedon.  It snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed.  It was awesome. 

Then we had tornado season.  We're used to that, expect that, but it still isn't very much fun.  Even spent some quality time in a very dismal, stinky, bug/snake infested cellar at the funeral home.  I took that tornado warning seriously.  Came out of that deal with black lung from the stench in that cellar.  Won't do that again.

THEN, we had a MICROBurst.  I had a yard filled with 5 inches of hail.  and no fence.  and a claim for a new roof.  and a broken mirror on kip's car.  It was CRAZY. 

Then we had the dog days of summer.   Like 61 days of 100+ degrees in a row.  61 days.  I didn't have to mow my back yard one time this summer.  No grass.  No rain.  Just heat, and more heat and even more heat.  Crazy.

All during this time we are suffering from the worst case of drought our state has ever known.  We are almost daily in a burn ban situation.  No rain.  No moisture.  Just heat and drought. 

THEN, when I am praising the LORD for fall FINALLY getting here (In November, mind you), we have an earthquake.  Not one, Not two, but THREE of those suckers in less than 3 days. 

I was heard at work telling people  "Give me a TORNADO ANYTIME over an earthquake... you can totally get out of the way, and have some warning".     Well.

Never say things like that out loud.  Use your filter at all times.  Because we had tornadoes IN NOVEMBER last night, and because the King of Earthquakes wasn't going to be outdone, we had a slight tremor DURING the tornado warning. 

Oh, and let's not forget the ASTEROID that will be zooming past earth today, and you can view it from Oklahoma at 5:38. 

That's enough to make a sane woman go screaming into the woods. 

Here's what I know....

(borrowed from Kim Winsett's facebook page.... and my holy bible)

And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. (Revelation 16:18 KJV)

So many people have written in their status today "Oh brother....", it makes me sad and anxious for them.  Understand there will be an end of time.  That has been preached at me since I was in diapers.  I used to stand in fear of it.  Now I stand in awe of it.  I stand in anticipation of it. 

Even if it's NOT the end of time.....don't you think you need to take a good look at where you are and who you are and SEE if today were the last day.... If the earth shook and the LORD appeared...WOULD YOU BE READY?  Could you say.... "I did EVERYTHING I could for you Lord, I am YOURS."

Makes me sad to realize that so many will be left behind.  It's not going to be from my lack of trying though.  Or my lack of sharing what I believe.   Will you join me?   Share your faith with one person today.  If you can't share your faith....share Laynie's story.  Share her life and tell someone that through a tiny life on earth, you saw God, and His goodness.   Use our story, until you get your own.

Matthew 24:
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

I'm not trying to be "Fatalistic Franny"  ....  I just want all my friends beside me when my Lord comes.

Because He IS coming. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Complete Me

You grow up believing in the fairy tale ending.  You know that "That someone" is going to love you completely, thoroughly and forever. 

Then reality rears its ugly head.

I'm working through CHAZOWN (pronounced Khaw-zone) with my lifegroup at church, and last night we had our first session. 

We were given the daunting task of reviewing our lives.  WHAT?  And first, put people or events that had affected (effected? I never remember) our lives significantly.  And we were supposed to write them down in chronological order, good and bad.   Hmm.

Then we replaced the "bad" things with a different color sticky note.

After that we took yet another color sticky note and wrote our life lessons from the "Bad" experiences, and some from the "Good" if you took any life experiences away from them.

THEN, we divided our notes (lives) into chapters, naming each chapter.


It hit me hard that my whole life has revolved around relationships with men.  My. Whole. Life.  From the time I was 14, I have loved someone.  And worked to make lives mesh and blend.

Instead of understanding and growing into me, I was hurry up and rushing around trying to be someone else to well....somebody else.

Which leaves me at the age of 50, going...... who in the cat hair, am I, really?

I have married friends and single friends.   Most of my married friends wish they were single, and all of my single friends wished they were married (except for a couple).   I have always longed for a marriage that "completes" me.

That's where I went wrong.

I didn't even know how to complete myself, much less, complete someone else.  And I've done it, ineptly and ridiculously for 34 years.  

Well, 32.  (the last 2 years have been on an uphill swing), and the reason that I have the courage to write this blog.   I have been single 2 years and I have to say, I have never been happier, and more free in my whole life. 

Single friends...... take a breath.   If I had listened to my friend Cyndi, about 8 years ago, I would be 8 years more on track, but OH NO...I have to learn everything the worst hardest ding dang way there is. 

So, here is what I know.  Or think I know.  And wish I had listened to before I wasted many years of backpedaling......

Allow yourself to be single.  Revel in the knowledge that you are completely and utterly self reliant.  Learn to embrace it.  Learn to love it.   It took you a bit of time to fall in love with someone, give yourself time to fall in love with you.

Find your bliss. 

Find yourself and trust in a relationship with you.  Isn't it so much easier to do things when you understand the rules and the objective and the players??   I've spent my whole life not even knowing who I am. 

The first question in Chazown is  "If money were no object, what would you do with your life?"   and I sat, numbly thinking....hmm.    Money has always been an object, for I raise kids and pay bills.  I work to live.  I live to work.  That question didn't even compute to me.  So sad... I didn't even know what I would do.  So instead of embarrassingly thinking a new boat would complete me, I just didn't even know. 

So, step one.  Hello Laura, meet Laura.

So, before I complete someone else, I'm going to learn how to complete myself.  With God leading the way.

And I dare all of you to do it too. 

And I bet it will make all of the difference.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So many things to love about it...

I have this picture in my bedroom, so I can see it every single day.  You may wonder, because I have so many awesome pictures to choose from, why I have chosen this one to be in my constant view. 

Because there are so many stinking things to love about it. 

Lacey had bought her these new pj's.  She was totally in love with them.  She would sit and stare at them for many many minutes, and it would take serious intervention to get her to be less enthralled with them.  She LOVED her jammies. 

Second..... what can't you not love about that little bald head?  Even after 2 years, she had very very little hair...Carl went to pluck a long weird stray one out of her head, and Lacey jumped in, yelling..."DAD, it took her 2 years to grow leave it alone!"  Maybe 20 little hairs cascaded from that bald head.... she totally rocked that bald look.

Third...that little buddha belly.  That was yogurt everyday at 4, and a huge bowl of cream of wheat every morning... along with lunch and dinner.  Kid was an eater....of just what she loved though.  Sometimes I wonder while she was looking at her pj's...if she may have thought..."Where in the love did THIS come from?"   I find myself thinking that about my own buddha belly almost daily.

Fourth, the fact that she is sitting pretty much independently.  Her dad has her in place on his lap, but for the most part she is set and secure and really thinking on the belly and hearts thing.

Wait, let me put it back in here again so I can finish.

Fifth....those little backwards feet.  How proud we were of her that she had them that far around, mostly on her own.  They were sweet and weird and squishy and we loved them so much.  Cutting toenails was never the funnest thing Lacey did (I never had to do it, because of my old stinky eyes), but she had some teeny tiny lil pigs....cutest feet ever.  Sandy Murphy will tell you those little feet were her favorite part of Laynie.  "Those sweet little feet"  she'd say.... Love you Sandy! 

Sixth and best of all... the icing on the cake for me....are her soft little rolly chunky arms.  Normally, Laynie would keep her hands close to her face, as a sense of security.  You knew she was totally relaxed and at peace when her little arms would rest in her lap.  You were granted the highest honor of total trust and relaxation when she assumed this arm position.  

In this picture, she is at her most peaceful, relaxed and I just love it. 

There's nothing about her that wasn't absolutely wonderful, and I miss her everyday and know that she is waiting for me and that will be a glorious day when my sweet girl comes runnin', runnin', runnin' to her Lolly.

One more time. 

You're smiling.   Admit it. 

Memories and Blessings

Today starts the Children's Miracle Network's annual Radiothon with KXY radio.  We've been involved with them since Laynie was selected in 2009.

In 2009, Lacey was interviewed by Bill & Dan, (with Laynie in tow) and made the sweetest radio spot, I have ever heard.   At the time of the interview, Laynie wasn't sick.  She had "beaten the odds" and was doing terrific.  When she got sick.... she got critically sick. 

In 2010, we had lost Laynie and Lacey and I both worked the radiothon, answering phones and fighting back memories of the year before.  All so precious, and bittersweet.

Then, in 2011.  Lacey works for Children's Miracle Network.  Lacey organized the Radiothon.  Do you see how amazing our God is?? 

I love how God works His plan for us. 

Tune into KXY 96.1 for the next 3 days, and hear all the wonderful stories...and know Lacey is there, no doubt, in a nuclear meltdown, keeping it all together....  Hoping to hear from her at some point....chances are, that will only happen if someone doesn't show, but I can only hope.   Laynie's story never grows old.  Never.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Antics

I wish I had thought of this last night as I was scrolling through a hundred cute pictures.  I kept ooh'in and aah'in, and was just enthralled by the cuteness. 

I'm not a big Halloween fan.  My kids will tell you, I am a Bah Humbug Halloweenie.  Just don't see the point.  If I want candy, I'll go buy a bag.  I don't understand why you have to go get the bejeebers scared out of you at some houses to score some candy.  Another great mystery.

Here's probably why I don't adore Halloween.....

Now my brother looks jaunty in his pilot outfit, and our neighbor Sam looks pretty whacked as a torn up zombie pirate clown, but what did I try to prove??  I have on a 25cent Ben Franklin mask with yellow hair and a really big sweatshirt...  Wow.  I have to tell you, that was back in the day when you CREATED your own costume, you didn't go buy one  (except for quarter masks at Ben Franklins).  You can tell my brother and Sam were into it.  Brian scored mom's ace bandages and wrapped his pant legs and Sam just, well, got jiggy with his mom's white makeup and red lipstick.  Wow.

Now, about 20 years later.... this is what I did for my kids....
Not too bad, right?? 

Then 20 years later, Lacey had this one...

And all the sudden I'm interested in Halloween.   Funny how grandkids change your attitudes. 

Here's some of my favorites from my perusal through facebook last night....and if I missed you, please don't be sad.... By the time I thought of this all the posts were 100 pages in, and I could no more remember all the good ones for the man in the moon (due to my new improved short term memory loss) here they are.. in no particular order.....

The Stemmons family channeled their inner Winnie the Pooh, and did spectacular. 

Sara and Justen Chilcoat's twins, Avery & Kennedy rocked my socks off in their shark suits...and their "Water Wagon".... adorable...

Lawson, son of Haley & Daryl Bordeaux was totally in control of his candy bag... Good goin' sheriff!

My great niece's Makayla rocked her diva outfit..

Malia and Jonah were Ariel and Sebastian (Don't you just want to squeeze him??) ... kids of Free & Eric Jordan..

Paisley & Parker, kids of Amanda & Shawn Ramsey rocked their superhero capes...

Tegan was the cutest owl ever....daughter of Cale & Kaitlyn Young, granddaughter of Pidge, Janis Young

Rider & Sutton, Kelsey & Chad Bennett's dogs, Shelley Wall's granddogs rocked their OSU jerseys. (Rder being a linebacker, and Sutton more of a tight end, says their grandma)

Kannon, son of Kelli & Zach Foster was the sweetest puppy I've ever seen, and I especially love his cars candy pail...

Proudest grandpa award goes to Joe Smith, and his precious grands....just too cute for words... even has a place to take pictures.... Brilliant.
This little lady has held my heart from the time she was born and this was her first Halloween 4 years ago. (or was it 5?  I lose count, but she was the most precious Abby Cadabby to ever be seen)

and she still rocks my world as Little Bo Peep
who now is accompanied by her younger "sheep" aka Saylor Jae
And here they are with their cousin Lana...  daughters of Matt & Jessi Sutterfield...
Can I hear an adorable??

Now I wasn't disappointed in the adults joining in the Halloween parade, either....
It never takes much of an occasion to get my friend Becky Singleton rocking a hip outfit...Halloween is just another day at the office.....  Good job, Beck.

My cousins, Shannon & Mike win the "Hottest Couple" award ... 

I think Buffy stays  home way too much.  Good job, sister.

BUT the COSTUME award of the Year (Maybe the century) goes to my daughter, Hallie.  I would like to say that I came up with both of these marvelous ideas, but no....these are originals from her own brain.

Last year....
She was an aquarium (note the snorkel set by her head), and the Finding Nemo Happy meals toys hanging in the box on fishing line (of course), lit up by 2 flashlights that she taped inside the box.  It was a huge bit of brilliant.  Almost every single house we stopped at, either took a picture or yelled for other people to come and see.  It was almost like hauling a celebrity around.  Maddy went as GaGa, so we were too cool for school  (fish school that is)

Then this year, when I didn't think she could outdo the aquarium.....enter....

She was a facebook page....
and maybe wins the "Best use of popsicle sticks"  EVER!  Note how she makes it go into her pocket AND stick in her belt loop for stability.  Genius.

She urged her friends to write on her wall and she would "Use them" on her costume...

Kid had 12 notifications.  Not too bad for a costume.  

Too bad her mom didn't have facebook.