Friday, April 3, 2015

Suit for Jack $6.25, Experience of being a Legislative Page....priceless read correctly.  A hand tailored suit that perfectly fit Jack.....for $6.25.

Six dollars and 25 cents for that snazzy suit, that fit like it was made just for him!  (I love thrift stores!!!)

And you're probably wondering what he is doing there in front of the Alabama State House....dressed up looking like he belongs there or something!  Well....he actually DID belong there, because he was selected to be a legislative page!!!

Yes...a page.  No....I didn't know what it would entail.  I just knew that when he went to Montgomery for the 4th grade field trip to the State Capitol and saw the legislative session in progress, he told me then, that once he turned 12 he wanted to apply to become a page.  And that's exactly what he did.  

Now...if you know me at all...then you know that no trip with us is uneventful...ever.   

So here's the rundown:

  • When they tell you to report to the 5th floor lobby at 12:30, and you have a 2.5 hour should give yourself a little extra time.  But this is me we're talking about it here....and that's just not how I roll. 
  • When the paperwork tells you that you can park for free at the Cramton Bowl parking lot and walk to the State sure that said 12 year old child has shoes on that a)not only fit his foot two days prior, but that b)still fit his feet the day of the trip.  Because that's not a short walk, and blisters don't feel good.  At all. 
  • You should be prepared when the Speaker of the House says, in his very-smooth-yet-commanding-voice, "We have a special guest with us today...." and calls out your name and asks that everyone please acknowledge your presence. ...and they all look up at you from the House floor and clap (!!)....ummm...yea....that one took me off guard.  Glad I had changed from my traveling clothes at a rest stop and later thrown some make-up on in the bathroom after I got Jack situated on the 5th floor! #truestory 
  • There is constant movement on the House floor.  The Representatives are not all sitting there quietly(like I assumed they would)....and between them walking around and the pages moving to-and-fro delivering looks like a colony of ants in motion!!!

  • Jack said that sometimes it was very hard to read their writing....and he needed to be sure he was delivering the messages to the proper Representatives!

  • This pictures shows Jack standing right next to Representative Joe Faust for whom he was paging. 

  • He even made a few friends in the process!  They had to help each other out a few times!

  • I could tell by the look on Jack's face, in this next picture, that he wasn't sure he was delivering to the right person...

  • When the Governor made a surprise appearance at the legislative session, Jack wasted no time in getting to him for a hand shake/photo op.  
  • When shaking the Governor's hand, Jack quickly reminded him of when they had met previously at a local restaurant a few years back! (I can't make this stuff up).
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures blisters on my child can do amazing prompt someone who failed parallel parking in her driver's test many moons not only parallel park successfully a couple of steps away from the entrance to the building, but do it on the first try.  #highfive #blistershurt #yesheisalwaysacharacter  #proudofhismom

  • And I know you're going to be shocked...but we were actually AHEAD OF I was able to snap a few "must have pics" of my very grown up baby boy. 

  • When sitting in a committee meeting on day two, the main speaker introduced Jack, and tried to catch him off guard and asked him if he'd like to say a few words to the group!!!  Ha!  Those that know Jack, can probably understand when I tell you that he did look startled for a moment, (as the room burst into laughter), but then quickly thanked them all for having him there.  As we were leaving that day, he told me how badly he wanted to get up and put in his two cents about the subject they were discussing!!! Can you imagine if he had???
  • Day 3 was a little more challenging for I wasn't able to score a parking spot quite as close.  And....after dropping him off, finding a spot, walking quickly to get there in a timely manner, I realized, in the bathroom on the 6th floor....that I had in fact, FORGOTTEN my deodorant.  No, I'm not kidding.  Yes, I know this is a personal subject, but it's one that can cause me excessive anxiety just THINKING about having forgotten it....then add to that list, the fact that typically on legislative session days the elevators are shoulder to shoulder full of people.  I stood in that bathroom, looking out the window at my parked van, contemplating should I, or shouldn't I create more perspiration by walking to it to get the forgotten deodorant.  But a girl's gotta' do what a girl's gotta' do.  And when telling Jack this story later on..on the ride home, he cut me off quickly and says, "You don't even need to tell me...I already know that you walked back to the van to get the deodorant!!  I know YOU, mom!!!"  Sigh....he was right.  Hey at least I didn't stink!!!!
  • And while Jack has so many different stories and memories of our past three days, one of his "highlights" he said, was Ms. Ernestine.....
But don't let that sweet smile of hers fool you, because I snapped a picture of her doing what she did best...give orders!!! Ha!  She was a pistol!!

  • When it was all said and done, I couldn't believe it was actually over....and before we could even get to the van, Jack was letting me know that he wanted to do it again, and even told Ms. Ernestine he would see her next year!!  LOL

I would like to extend a special thank you to Representative Joe Faust for allowing Jack to be his page, and introducing him to so many people.  Representative Faust is a fine Christian man, and I am thankful to know that we have someone like him representing us.  

All in all, it was a wonderful, enlightening, educational experience.  One that I'm sure Jack will never forget. 

And next time, if there is a next time....I feel sure he will be POSITIVE his shoes fit well and are comfortable before we leave home.  

I'm just sayin'.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

I think it's safe to say......

that Jack is glad he isn't an only child. 

No really.  I'm serious. 

He is the fourth child, and has no concept of life without a constant companion.....or well....he didn't until last week.

First day of summer vacation, Memorial Day, and Destin was volunteering at work with his daddy....which left Jack at home with me and Karissa. 

It was a beautiful day, and we had tossed around a few ideas....maybe bowling with some free passes we had,  but it's no fun to bowl alone, and between an untimely pinched nerve in my neck and his sister's ongoing struggle with her shoulder and hips, he would have been literally bowling alone.  Not cool. 

So at the last minute I asked him if he would like to just go down to the pier and see if he could catch any which he agreed.  He loaded up his things....but it just didn't seem the same without Destin. 

Sophie thought she should get to come along since we didn't have Destin....and she thoroughly enjoyed the view, and the wind in her hair....and she even looked rather patriotic....well....sort of.

So Jack began setting out the crab baskets, baiting them with chicken legs....and after getting them all down in the water, he proceeded to walk to the end of the pier.....all by himself. 

I think that was a long walk......

But he was a good sport about it, and began fishing.....alone.

But it wasn't long before I could see from my view that somebody was missin' his older brother.......

He's killin' me here......

Ahem.  I'm getting too sappy these days....moving on. 

So then he decided to try his hand at throwing the cast net.  Now....I need to just go ahead and tell you that it appears that has become a lost art or talent.....or however that saying goes. 

No...really!  When Darwin was a kid.....he threw it all the time, and I would venture to say that he wasn't the only kid his age who would be out on the pier doing it!  But'd think I had a traveling road show the way people stop, watch, look, and ask questions about what exactly he is doing and what he is trying to catch!  ( DOES seem like I have a traveling road show when they all pile out of the van......but that's another story for another day.)

Those questioning folks are all very obviously not native to this area.....

And I'm not even gonna' is pretty cool to watch.  Especially when you have a handy dandy new camera that can catch multiple shots :) get ready.....there's gonna' be a few pictures. 

How cool is that???

Don't worry....I'm not quitting my day job being a stay at home mom to become a fast action sports photographer.....but I was rather impressed with the setting that allowed me to snap multiple consecutive pictures and actually capture the moment. 

I know....I'm easily impressed. 

But after only catching a few little bait fish, and spending all day alone....checking for crabs in the baskets

And tempting the scavengers  sea gulls who suddenly were his best friends while taking the bait out of the crab baskets.....he decided to call it a day. 

But the day wasn't a total loss....we got to witness several family outings.......
I guess Canadian Geese celebrate Memorial Day too??

And it WAS the official beginning of it would stand to reason that we could do the same thing two days in a row...only this time.....we were gonna' do it right.  With his very best friend in the whole world. 

That's right.  The next day Destin came along.  And thank goodness he did....not only was he good moral support, he got things rolling early!!!!  He caught a red fish! And even though he couldn't keep did give them some hope that things would be looking up that day!

Aren't my photography skills amazing?  Ummm......was I more concerned about snapping a pic of the fish from my phone than including my son's face???
Embarrassing really. 

Let's move on to that function on the fancy camera that snaps multiple shots, shall we?  Perhaps I won't cut off faces that way.

So Destin decided it was time to bring out the big guns...and by that...I mean the mack daddy cast net.  Very heavy, very big, and able to spread out and hopefully catch some mullet.

I get exhausted just watching them throw the cast net from my chair under the shade tree. 

I know....I's a tough life but somebody's gotta' supervise, and we definitely don't want mama out there showing off her cast net throwing skills...because....well....I have none. 

But Destin does.....and it paid off on the first throw.

Yep....he caught two mullet in that throw.  And for those of you that aren't local?  That means that whatever you had planned for dinner tonight or tomorrow just changed.....because that's some good eatin'. 

However...mullet doesn't freeze well.  At all.  Don't let anyone try to tell you that it does.  It gets strong and fishy tasting.  So it MUST be fixed right away.....and to be honest....fried is the way to go.  I am all about eating healthy and grilling fish....but mullet needs to go straight into some seasoned corn meal and into a fryer. 

Problem is....we gotta' have more than two.  You do the math.  That's only four fillets, and I gotta' feed those big ole' boys!!!

So back at it he went.  All.  Day.  Long.   Searching out the best place to see if the "mullet were running" (another locals term.) 

And he must have just gotten lucky on the first throw because he only caught two more the rest of the day.....but that was enough to warrant bringing them home.  So I bought some fish to go with it and Destin was the hero for dinner that night.

Fried Mullet, Cheese Grits, and Coleslaw....that my friends is what these southern folks would call a good dinner. 

And I think it's safe to say, that Jack will always be thankful that God didn't choose for him to be an only child.....because this is how I usually find them.  Together. 

Because they are best buds. 

I'm just sayin'.