Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Blog Linkage, Way Back When... (College Orientation)

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - My little sister, Bev turns 49 today, but we celebrated her birthday Sunday with the family.

Roxie is in charge of Aunt Bev's cake each year, but The Chick has not slowed down since arriving home from Guatemala. Her work schedule didn't permit her to bake and decorate the birthday cake, so I took it upon myself to make an absolutely gorgeous birthday cupcake cake.

I know it looks kind of like a colorful "9," but it is actually a flower. If I hadn't forgotten to put the big green leaf I had cut out beside the stem, everyone would have known it was a flower.

You might notice the runny icing, too. I'm working on a marshmallow creme icing, and I haven't found the right consistency yet, but I am still trying.

Also, I am the huge Winnie-the-Pooh fan, not Bev.

I tend to make cakes I would want to receive. I stay more motivated and interested in the process when it's all about ME!

Anyway, it wasn't the prettiest cake, but it was made with love, so in the end, I hope she liked it.

Bev is so lucky to have me gently guide her into her 50s. A lot of older sisters would probably just leave their younger siblings hangin', but not me.

No, siree.

I'm a giver!

Plus, I like messing with her whenever an opportunity arises.

I took just a couple of pics at the party because there will be major pictures taken next week during our 4th of July Celebration, and I just didn't want to bore you with too much US.

Roxie and Brad. I don't know why. They were just standing still, so I snapped it.

Roxie and Mikie. Sometimes they are too much alike.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I just wanted to give you a short list of upcoming Summer posts. The list will keep me honest, motivated and focused.


1. The 4th of July is quickly approaching. I'm going to have a lot to say about this holiday and the things we have planned to celebrate this year.

Remember last year's Slip 'n Slide? That's not on the agenda this year, but hopefully, what I have planned will be just as fun.

2. I'm going to post some pics and words from Roxie's Guatemala trip, and the impact it has made on her life.


How can pictures like this be posted without the stories behind them.

It's just taking some time getting everything ready.

3. The house is still scheduled for major renovation in August.

4. The weddings are approaching fast and furious, and while they are not "Summer" weddings, a lot of fun stuff is going to be happening in July and August in preparation for the big days.

5. We have a few days called "vacation" coming up, and there will be stories and pics from that, I hope.

These are just a few pics from our 2013 trips to Guntersville and the beach.

6. I'm working on two stories right now regarding my "season of life" with adult and "nearly" adult children. They are tentatively being called "I Will Survive... Or Die Trying" (Part One and Part Two).

Blog Linkage - Go, go, go to and read yesterday's post. Good, good stuff.

Way Back When...

I wrote a little story about Austin's college orientation in June of 2009, and I'll re-post it today in case that's a road you're about travel.

What can I say about yesterday's orientation? First, I had SEVEN MEETINGS. I just wanted to make that clear. SEVEN MEETINGS too many for a meeting-hating Mom.

The first hour was great. The Go Team (kind of like Ambassadors at Gardendale) put on an hour-long play/skit of all things freshmen will experience. It was funny, musical and very entertaining. It held my interest like a two year-old at a Wiggles concert. "This is going to be okay," I thought to myself. "This isn't going to be over my head or boring." I allowed myself to be lulled into a sense of false security.

Austin left and the next session (a/k/a meeting) was given by a woman and it was about parents. She called us "helicopter parents." You know... hovering. She even suggested we not call the kids all the time. I quickly tuned her out.

On to Session Three. Nine parents met with the adviser who will be handling our kid's schedule. He was very nice. He was very informative. I tried very hard to listen to every word that came out of his mouth, and then I heard, " after I go to registration with your child tomorrow, you can pick them up." What?

Not only am I NOT a meeting person... I am NOT an "ask questions at the meeting" person. I usually get very angry with the people who ask questions at the meeting because that means the meeting will last longer. But I felt my hand raise high over my head. "Yes," he acknowledged me.

"I never ask questions," I started. No one cared. "Why isn't the parent going with their child to registration?"

"Is there a particular reason you think you need to be there?" he responded, not unkindly, but maybe slightly irritated.

I know he did not expect me to go into the lengthy story of the day Austin was born, and what I physically and emotionally went through giving birth to him, but I wanted him to understand the FULL extent of our bond. That, and the fact if he messed up his schedule, Mike and I would have to PAY to change the classes next week.

"I think we'll be able to handle it," he said slightly smug.

You didn't have to be a brain surgeon to understand that these people were planning on treating these freshmen like "adults." Absurd!

Okay. I would not consider that session a success... Mainly, because I didn't get what I wanted. I needed to go to lunch before we had another meeting.

I mean session.

Lunch was okay. Because of my diabetes I couldn't eat the mashed potatoes or the mac and cheese or the homemade roll or the peach cobbler. That pretty much left chicken, carrots and green beans. Oh, and they didn't have a Diet Dr. Pepper so I had to have a Pepsi Zero. Just shoot me now!

After lunch, we had my favorite session. Austin decided he wanted to try the Communications Major Session. It was fascinating. I loved it. Austin loved it. I can totally see him doing something like this... if he wants to. I refuse to be a "helicopter." Austin was really pumped up about it, so I encouraged him. (Oh, by the way, I am now registered in Communications 101. I'll be with Austin Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 to 11:00. Not being a "helicopter." Just trying to expand myself... I want to be a better blogger, and this class should help.)

The next session was a student panel where six kids sat in front of us and answered all the questions we could think to ask. Mostly, they talked about how important it was for us, as parents, to give the freshmen freedom.

Session Six was an administrative panel where nine adults talked about all the things we, as parents, needed to know about the different departments at the school. I think I lost consciousness on Administrative Panel Member Number Four.

Then we went to our final session which was a reception. Sugar cookies and sweet, sweet red punch. I admit it. I took a sip of the punch. I have the red mustache to prove it.

And then Austin was in his final session of the day. Parents weren't allowed because it was just for the kids so they could ask questions they wouldn't ask in front of their parents. All I can say is Austin Faulkner better not have had his hand waving.

Out of the SEVEN MEETINGS, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed TWO of them. That is excellent for me. I consider yesterday a success.

To all of you out there who have sent children off to college, I admire how you pulled it off without being called a "helicopter." For those of you who still haven't experienced this monumental task, I would advise you to take your child, run to Montana, buy a farm and just keep everyone with you in a compound-like environment. I really think that's the only way to go.

NOTE - It has been FIVE years since that orientation day at Jacksonville. FIVE! Oh... my... goodness.

Five years after the fact, I still feel that Montana is the way to go, and if I had it to do over again, that's where The Faulkner Five would be right now!

ANOTHER NOTE - I would like it known that the "smug" adviser who wanted to register Austin without his Mom present messed his schedule up, and I was the one who caught it. (Can I get a shout-out from all the "helicopter moms" hovering out there!)

Also, Michael Jackson AND Farrah Fawcett both passed away during Austin's orientation.

To say I thought the world as I knew it was coming to an end would be a gross understatement, but I still attended each and every "meeting" I was supposed to attend that day... and lived to tell the tale!

I'm always surprised by my unbelievable inner strength!

I hope you have a glorious Tuesday. I hope your kiddos aren't college-age yet. Life is so much easier when the children are young... and not driving... and taking naps on a regular basis. I'll be back Friday with all kinds of good Summertime info!

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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