Friday, March 28, 2014

Favorite Fridays~Eureka!!!

Even though I have been writing about my "favorite things" that I'll miss about Wisconsin when we move to Nevada, today I've decided to write about one of our favorite card games. I can't take credit for this game; we learned it from my mom who learned it from a friend of hers.  But, I think it's a game that everyone should know about because it enables ANYONE to play.  There's no speed involved, no strategy, and that makes it easier for those who are younger, older, or may have a disability which prevents them from performing well in other games.  

Eureka~the rules:

  • You need two full decks of cards with the jokers removed.
  • One deck of cards is the deck used to "call" the cards; the other deck is dealt out into piles according to the number of players until ALL CARDS ARE DEALT.  (A player or two may end up with more cards than the others; but that doesn't matter.)
  • The person who is calling the cards may or may not also choose to play.
  • The CALLER flips over the first card on the top of the "call" deck, and calls out the first card; for example:
  • The Queen of Hearts!
  • Whoever has the Queen of Hearts will say, "I got it" or "Woot woot" or "Boo-yah"  (you can choose to tailor your response to your own personality.)
  • Then the Queen of Hearts is thrown into the center to start the discard pile.
  • The CALLER will continue to flip the cards in the calling deck over and will continue to call out the card that is flipped.  The PLAYERS will continue to shout out when their card has been called and will throw their cards into the discard pile.
  • The first PLAYER who runs out of cards (because the caller has called out all of his or her cards) will shout EUREKA!!!!

That is where the game may normally stop.  However, our family (and other friends have contributed to the fun "Hefty Rules" of the game) we've made up some other additional fun "antics" for Eureka.  We continue to call out all the cards until everyone has thrown all of their cards in. 

When a player has only one card left, and no one has called EUREKA yet, we start a drum roll on the table. (It adds to the excitement of waiting for that first person to go out.)  If we have a LOT of players, or if someone may be sensitive to loud noises, we may only drum roll using our pointer fingers to muffle the noise.

Once the first person goes out, we then start chanting "SECOND PLACE", until the next player goes out, and so on and so forth.

We also will say that the LAST person to go our wins a NAP.  (That was added by my friend Jessica T...I think she really wanted a nap...)  Needless to say, the parents are always holding out hope that they will be the last one out.

We call the Ace of Spades the "Prettiest Card in the Deck".  Have you ever noticed that before?  The Ace of Spades is always a little fancier than the rest.  So, when we have all the players dealt out, Evie will say, "Who has the prettiest card in the deck?"  As you can tell, it doesn't matter if we know what cards everyone has, because, again, there isn't any strategy to the game; it is, quite literally, the luck of the draw.

Well, that's the game we know and love called Eureka.  It is definitely one of our favorite things.  I'm so glad my mom's friend taught her to play it, and glad my mom taught us.  We even play it over FACETIME!  It just takes a wee bit more coordinating, but when you have the hang of it, it's no trouble at all. 

I'm hoping this gives all of you a great new idea for playing on those rainy days, snowy days, and every day in between!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Thankful Thursday

Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are.  We take things for granted like being "healthy enough".  We don't have to be in the best health in order to "be healthy enough" to enjoy time with family, take vacations, and try new things.  
We have confidence in the promises of our Father in Heaven that someday we won't have to "hope" for health, for sunny skies, for freedom from fear or pain...we are promised all of these things in Heaven.  
So for now, we will appreciate the sun when it shines, we will take advantage of the days when we don't have pain, and we will celebrate the future victory we have over the grave...because his promises are true, and his love endures forever.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WAGR Wednesday~When Dry Mouth Attacks!

It's WAGR Wednesday!  I thought I'd discuss today something that you may or may not experience, but if you do, it's good to know about it!  Dry mouth.  It can happen for a number of different reasons; side effect of chemotherapy, side effect of medication...but regardless of why it happens, it's important to identify it early and to make some changes that can reduce the effects of dry mouth.

I didn't realize that Evie was experiencing dry mouth until I found her in the living room one day and her mouth was bleeding. At the time, she was a toddler, unsteady on her feet, and didn't have verbal speech yet, I assumed she had fallen and hit her mouth.  However, when I took her to the dentist, he found that her teeth were immobile, and they did not appear to have been damaged in anyway.  He said, however, that she had a tear on her upper gum, and that it looked like the result of dry mouth. 
You know how, when the skin on your hands is dry, you can get cuts on them very easily?  It's the same with dry mouth, and dry eyes.  
Evie had dry mouth for, potentially, a couple of reasons.  1) She had chemotherapy.  2) She was on a blood pressure medication which could cause dry mouth.  Obviously we couldn't change the fact she'd had chemo, but if one of her medications had a potential side effect of dry mouth, maybe we could switch medications.

I, personally, have experienced dry mouth due to an increase in some medication to prevent migraines.  I have to say it was quite unpleasant.  It's not a dry sensation which can be eliminated by drinking water.  I could actually still feel the dryness of my mouth even WHILE having the water in my mouth.  The feeling is like have sores in your mouth (which often do develop from dry mouth); and anything that would touch the inside of my mouth made it hurt.
There's a product line that I started using for myself and Evie called Biotine. It's found in the same area where you would find toothpaste.  There's pastes, mouthwashes, and gels to help eliminate the effects of dry mouth.  I also have used a product called MI Paste which is for purchase, I believe, only in dental offices. 
Eventually, I was able to decrease my migraine medication, and Evie was switched off the medication which was causing her dry mouth.  It's important to try to eliminate what is causing dry mouth if possible, or to remain vigilant in treating it because when dry mouth is left un-treated there are other conditions which occur like tooth decay.  Since the mouth uses saliva to clean itself, a lack of saliva production can lead to a greater amount of decay.

So, while dry mouth isn't the worst condition one can experience, it is uncomfortable, and can lead to further complications.  Staying on top of the situation and treating it with over the counter products like the mouth gel that Evie and I used can help relieve the discomfort and prevent the other dental effects which can occur.

Thanks for taking the time today to read more about some of the things that our loved ones with WAGR Syndrome may experience; the good, the bad, and the somewhere in between. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Favorite Fridays~Our Schools

Evie's teacher helping her make wool into a ball on a field trip.

I just had Evie's last IEP in this school district.  That was a really hard thing to do considering I'd always imagined her graduating from here; having walked the halls and sat in the desks of the schools that I'd been working in these past few years.

I know a good school can be hard to find, and I know that a good school for a student with special needs can be even harder.  I'm convinced that in this school district, Evie would have been blessed to have been educated in every school; from the Early Learning Center all the way to the High School.

I appreciated the schools, the teachers, the teacher's aides, and the staff even before I started working in the district.  However, once I started working in the schools; sitting in the classrooms with students, participating in some of the problem-solving and planning that is required to best serve the students; that's when I fell in love with the school district.  I started to see how complicated a single day can be for students and staff; and how hard the employees work to make the day be as seamless as possible for each student.
A great school isn't a school that is without problems or challenges.  A great school is reflective and evaluative and constantly strives to be better.  A great school is a school that is aware of it's strengths AND weaknesses, and will soar with it's strengths and continue to improve in it's areas of weakness.  The schools here are definitely GREAT schools.
We haven't gone these 6 years here without an issue at school.  But, whenever we DID have an issue, I knew that I could call or e-mail and I would get a prompt response and a slew of people who wanted to help fix whatever was wrong.
One area that I see as a strength here in our schools is how they include the children with special needs and nurture and grow the relationships of the "typical" children with those of the children with special needs.  
As a parent of a child who has a number of disabilities, my greatest fear isn't that she won't get a job, or won't go to greatest fear is that she won't have friends.  
However, the first reaction Evie had to me telling her that we are moving to Reno was, "Oh...oh no...I will miss my friends so much."  That made my heart swell and my eyes WELL with tears.  Her first thoughts were of her FRIENDS.  Hallelujah, thank you, Lord...
Then I had to tell her teachers...
That was heart-breaking, because I got to hear things like, "Her smile in the morning reminds me of why I became a teacher," "She is our ray of sunshine," and "We like look for an excuse to visit with Evie."  It was not going to be easy on them to hear that she's not just not moving on to the next school in the district, she's actually moving hundreds of miles away.

I know that we have all shed many tears, (many of her friends' moms told me their children cried when they said Evie was moving *insert sad-face here* ), and I know we'll shed many more.  I thank God that we were able to start our journey with Evie here though.  What a beautiful way to see the best in people; as they support, love and celebrate our special girl.
Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.  William Butler Yeats
Thank you, to all her teachers, therapists, aides and friends; thank you for lighting a fire in Evie, and a fire in the hearts of her friends...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WAGR Wednesday~Mirror, Mirror: Is it Vanity or Speech Therapy?

Since Evie was a toddler, mirrors have been our saving grace. 
Whenever I wanted to go shopping, I could just find a mirror for Evie to dance in front of, and I could take my time looking through clothes racks.  If we were at a grocery store, Evie would find her reflection in the tiny mirrored strips that lined some of the shelves; or the mirrored back drop in the produce sections.  I remember one holiday season walking through the mall and Evie would stop at each glass storefront and say, “Hi, how are you?” and wave to her reflection in the glass.

I love the doctor’s waiting rooms that have mirrors for the kids to play in.  Some of them are the convex or concave mirrors which give a fun-house effect.  Evie doesn’t care what kind of mirror it is, as long as she can chicken-dance and sing and talk to herself, she is a happy girl.

In the mirror, mirror on the wall, our children are the fairest of them all.

There’s definitely a consistent theme of our kids with WAGR loving mirrors and seeing themselves in mirrors.  Since that is the case, I say, why not use it to our advantage?

There’s a popular speech therapy method of using mirrors to provide visual feedback to patients as they rehearse the muscle sequencing required to produce the sounds necessary in speech.  If you type in “speech therapy mirrors,” to a search engine, you will find a wide variety of mirrors that are for sale which can assist in providing patients such feedback.  Personally, I’d start with a regular mirror.  Why pay a therapeutic price for something that may or may not work?  
I was particularly interested in an app that I found called VAST Autism 1- Core which is $4.99 in the Apple App Store.  I hadn't heard of it until searching specifically for "research speech therapy mirrors". Here is the article I found about VAST Autism 1-Core. 

I have Evie's IEP meeting tomorrow, so I think I'll bring this up at the meeting and see if there is any feedback from her speech therapist concerning this app in particular.  The company that created the VAST Autism 1-Core app also markets a few other speech therapy apps, and in other languages like Spanish and Portuguese. 

I'm quite fascinated with this idea right now.  You can also learn more about the company and their products by visiting

Another website which I encountered when researching for this particular post was .  There's a large volume of information on speech therapy methods and apps, but there's also information on a variety of other worthy apps.  I happened to see that they recommend one that I just recently put on Evie's iPad called Toca Doctor.  She loves zapping all the germs!!!  (What does this have to do with speech or mirrors?  Nothing, but it's just a fun connection. *insert smiley emojicon*).

So, I'm really glad to have Evie's IEP coming up tomorrow.  I can get some pretty instant feedback on these things I just discovered.  I'll be sure to add an "update" to this post when I have more to add about if and how this app or any other speech app helps with Evie's apraxia or stuttering.

In the meantime, encourage that "mirror-play"!  It seems to be an obsession that could be beneficial in the long run!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm Just Going to Rest My Eyes~Guest Blogging Day

As young girls, my cousins, sister and I would tease my grandma when we'd catch her falling asleep as she read stories to us or watched TV with us.  Grandma would say, "I was just resting my eyes." 

Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Unanswered Prayers


My GRE scores were abysmal, and the University of Minnesota didn't want me to come anywhere near their graduate program.
Should I retake the test?  Fork out more money even though I had a history of choking when it came to standardized tests?

UW Milwaukee had accepted me.  Not only accepted me, but also offered me a teaching assistant-ship which meant free tuition to school!  Why couldn't that have happened with U of M?  I didn't want to move as far away from home as Milwaukee was. 

I had prayed for it all to work out for the best.  Was this really best?

Unanswered prayers...
Had I not moved to Milwaukee I: 
Would not have reconnected with Jeff, fallen in love, and married him.
Would not have lived in the Madison area, let alone the Milwaukee area, where I've met some of my nearest and dearest friends.
Would never have had the perfect DNA make up to knit together Evie Jo.
Would never have heard of WAGR Syndrome, and would not have my amazing WAGR family.
My greatest tests of faith have come from unanswered prayers.

My most amazing blessings have come from unanswered prayers.

My life would not be what it is today without unanswered prayers.

Write Your Story On My Heart My Life
I know it's never really been mine
So do with it whatever You like
I don't know what Your plan is
But I know it's good, yeah...
Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won't You write Your story on my heart.

Publishing: © 2014 Word Music, LLC (ASCAP), Francesca Music (ASCAP) (All rights obo itself and Francesca Music adm. by Word Music, LLC) / Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Songs (ASCAP), D Soul Music (ASCAP) (All rights obo D Soul Music Adm. by Universal Music – Brentwood Benson) / 9T One Songs (ASCAP), Ariose Music (ASCAP) (Adm. at
Writer(s): Francesca Battistelli / David Arthur Garcia / Ben Glover
What are YOUR unanswered prayers???

Friday, March 14, 2014

Favorite Fridays~The Truth

For quite some time now, I have been attending a Bible study on Friday mornings at our church, New Hope.  While some Bible studies are focused on coffee and chatting, these studies are TOUGH; but in a good way.  They teach the Truth.  I have often left on Friday mornings emotionally drained from learning about God's love, God's grace, and God's sovereignty.

The Bible studies that New Hope's women use are called Precept Upon Precept because they are structured with the understanding that scripture does not contradict scripture, and that in order to understand God's Word, we need to study the Word in depth; from the root.  This can be a tedious process, and it does not go unnoticed by Satan-he loves to try to derail me when I'm in the midst of these studies.  While I will miss Fridays, Sundays and every day in between at New Hope when we move out West; right now I'm still focused on what I learn there. Our current study of the book of Daniel has shown me clearly how I am to deal with our struggles as a more mature Christian.

Let me set the stage for you:  Daniel, a youth still at the beginning of the book, is being groomed for a position in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. The king, with a pagan belief, hates Christianity so much that he has even been changing the names of people from Christian names to those related to a pagan belief.  Daniel and his four closest friends were raised Christian and held fast to that belief.  
But what has impressed me the most, and led me to some soul-searching is not just the fact that they hold to their faith in the midst of oppression under a pagan king; it's more the fact that, even in times of extreme pressure, Daniel shows his faithfulness to God in how he reacts to certain situations.  
Chapter 2 of Daniel is a great example of this, and could not have come at a better time for me.

King Nebuchadnezzar has dream and calls together all the sorcerers and magicians in the land to ask them to tell him what his dream was and explain his dream to him.  When they refuse to tell him his dream, claiming that he has asked something that no human could ever do, he becomes enraged.
This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.  Daniel 2: 12-13
So, literally, their are people hunting down Daniel and his friends with the intent to kill them.  Here is how Daniel reacts to this circumstance.
Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.   Daniel 2: 17-18
Now, while my first reaction to my day yesterday (learning the heat in my car was broken, knowing that Jeff needs to get his car fixed, knowing that we will be paying for our health insurance in full this month since it's through COBRA,  and trying to fill out loan paperwork through the bank so we can buy a house out West) FIRST reaction was to think, "put a shout out as a prayer request so people will pray."  However, the motive behind that reaction was NOT to get prayer on our behalf, it was, I think, to notify people of everything I had going on and POSSIBLY to gain sympathy.  (Sad, but I have to be honest about my heart's condition).  

My SECOND reaction was to post a status update to Facebook saying something like, "Satan really is trying to derail me" or "I really hate it when one thing after another happens and each one has $$$$ attached to it."  But then I realized, "Tammie, this is NOT a big deal.  God will provide, and you whining on Facebook will do nothing to help the situations." 
Thankfully, I refrained from these first reactions, because I would have felt really sheepish once I dove even deeper into Daniel 2.  You see, Daniel's prayer is answered and God reveals the meaning of the king's dream to Daniel!  Yay, God!!! 
So, if your life were in danger; IMMEDIATE danger, with your potential executioners just waiting for the time to come to kill you, and YOU were given the answer to the question that the king is so desperately seeking which will SAVE YOUR LIFE...what would you do?
I would run from my home and directly to the king's court so I could say, "Wait!  Stop the slaughter! I have the answer!  I have the answer!!!!"
But instead, Daniel takes the time to offer up to God a heart-felt prayer of thanks:
During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said:
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
Daniel 2: 19-23
Wow...our dinner prayer is often much shorter than that prayer.  I would be so pre-occupied with saving myself that I would never think about saying a prayer of thanksgiving BEFORE going to king and telling him the meaning of his dream.  I would go straight to the king's court and remember (maybe) to say a prayer of thanks to God later than night as I was falling asleep.

Can you see why I'll miss these Bible studies?  I hope to continue to order the materials and share my thoughts with my fellow Bible study attendees from across the miles, and I hope to stay true to that plan; but we never know what we will find when we get to our new home.  Perhaps there will be a Precept Upon Precept Bible Study in the area; perhaps not.  But I know that God is faithful; he'll be faithful to me just as he was to Daniel.  I just need to learn not to be such a reactor; so guided by my emotions that I forget who is ultimately in control and who has authored my days. 

New Hope; NOT just the title of Epsiode IV of Star Wars, but also a church based in the Word of God; founded on the Truth.  Just another of my favorite things.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WAGR Wednesday~Double Your Fun: Why Our Kids May Need a Longer, Stronger Dose of Antibiotics

There seems to be a recurrent theme in our WAGR support group regarding the length of time and strength of antibiotics that our children need to be on, as well as their amazing ability to catch EVERYTHING that's going around. 
Knock on wood, it seems that our own little zebra outgrew this tendency to catch everything around age 6 or 7; but those first few years, especially the ones after chemo were rough.
Evie seemed to have at least an ear infection, urinary tract infection or pneumonia every month for a while there; and that meant a LOT of antibiotics.  She quickly built up a tolerance to the antibiotics, so it seemed we had to go with the big guns; like augmentin, in order to kill the bacteria causing the infections.  Often, with her ear infections and UTIs, we would re-test/re-check for them before completing the first round of antibiotics to see if the infection had even cleared. There had been one too many times that we would finish the round of medication only to have a flare up again a few days later. 
For that reason, the doctors had to start just prescribing the medicine for a longer period of time!  So, rather than being on antibiotics for 7 days, it might be 14 days for Evie. 
What about stomach upset from antibiotics?  My best advice I can give you is to get a probiotic quickly and give it to your child the whole time you are giving the antibiotics.  We normally use a form of acidophilus called Floragen. 
Because antibiotics kill bacteria, it also kills the "good" bacteria that lines the stomach.  When that bacteria dies and is expelled, it can cause a sensitive, and very upset stomach. 
Typically the probiotics did the trick for us and we rarely had to switch or quit antibiotics because of any upset tummy issues.

While Evie didn't complain of pain very much, I would realize she had a possible ear infection or UTI when she would become cranky and/or lethargic.  Neither were characteristic of her, and I started to recognize the signs.  Often, Evie would be unable to sleep at night, or just restless.  By morning she would have a fever.  I could take her in to see the doctor and her ears would look fine, but the next day, the symptoms wouldn't pass, and we'd go back in and get diagnosed with an ear infection.  It was almost as though her body would warn her ahead of time that something wasn't right.  

Another "scary" sign that an infection was on the way took place when we'd take her out of the bath tub.  She would begin to shiver and shake in an uncontrollable way.  We thought they were seizures at first.  But, after I shared the information on our wonderful WAGR listserve, I heard back from several parents that their child would do the same thing just before spiking a fever.  "I'll bet Evie is coming down with something and you'll find out that she has an ear infection or UTI in a couple days."  
Sure enough, those smart Gorilla moms and dads were right. 
Evie has also developed several staph infections.  She had one on her face that looked like chicken pox or acne, she has had one that developed after she was stung by a bee, and she had one that developed on her arm; and while we couldn't determine how it "got there," it was the week following us being at camp, so I think she may have been bit by a mosquito or scraped her arm a little and the staph infection developed around that opening in the skin.  Staph infections are nothing to mess around with.  They will be red/purple/white and blotchy, and often they are hot to the touch.  They are extremely painful for a "normal" person, but Evie never complained of pain with ANY of hers!  

Something to check out would be if the possible staph infection is growing and how quickly.  I did this with Evie's last infection because it was like it just popped up out of nowhere; so I took a marker and traced around the red blotch.  The next day, when I saw that the red area had grown beyond the border that I had traced, AND was raised up as though it were swollen, I was able to take Evie to urgent care having already documented that it was growing and changing.  That helped the doctor diagnose it and treat it more efficiently.

So, if you feel as though your child with WAGR is ALWAYS sick may be something that will pass with time.  If your child seems to always have a relapse of an ear infection, UTI or pneumonia, ask your doctor to increase the amount of time your child is on an antibiotic from the start of treatment, OR ask the doctor if you can schedule an appointment after being ON the antibiotic for a while, to check and make sure the infection is cleared up before quitting the antibiotic.  And, finally, don't think you're being too paranoid.  Hopefully you have a supportive clinic like the one we do here in town where they have no problem getting us in to have ears checked or to take a quick urine sample to ensure we aren't overlooking something. 

That pretty much sums up what I have to say about how we "double our pleasure and double our fun by having longer and stronger doses of antibiotics".  
  • What has your experience been with your child?  
  • Do the doctors ever resist your requests for such things?  
  • Have you ever been made to feel like the paranoid parent?  
Share your experiences here if you are comfortable, and be sure to watch for next week's WAGR Wednesday~Mirror, Mirror.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Get Behind Me, Satan! ~ Guest Blogging Day

Image by Tammie Hefty

I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and I create evil (calamity); I am the Lord, Who does all these things.  Isaiah 45:7 AMP
Do we believe it?  How do we rationalize what God has written here? We like to believe he makes peace, and we can buy into the idea of him ALLOWING bad things to happen in order that he turns them into good things and shows his power and might.  But, do we actually believe that he CREATES calamity?

Read More on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Mind is a Runaway Kite

Photo Courtesy of Darren Robertson/
There it goes again...
Give it an inch and it takes a mile...
My mind is a freight train barreling down a track toward eternity; never wanting to stop, gaining speed with every clickety-clack

The most dangerous times for me are those moments when I'm alone...I might be in the shower, or curling my hair, or working out.  Regardless of what I'm doing, my mind is always racing.

I have to admit, there are times when I've come up with great ideas during one of these races.  
  • The pirate theme for WAGR Weekend.
  • The idea to buy season passes for Noah's Ark Waterpark.
  • Many topics about which to blog.
  • Ideas for Evie's birthday parties.
But, I also seem to incorporate thoughts about small worries of mine, and by the end of my "impromptu brainstorming session," I have created a nightmare that leaves my heart pounding with anxiety.
My mind is a runaway kite...
I may start off with a light breeze, and total control of the twine that ties the kite to me.  But, if I get a little lazy, I drop the holder around which the twine is twisted; and off goes the kite, soaring into the blue heavens above.  
How do I get it back?  
I run after it for a while in a vain attempt to real in my imagination and "un-do" all of the things I've imagined in my mind; but it's too late.  My brain has already "gone there" and now it has become part of my thoughts.  
What if?  
Could it be?  
How could I?  
The only way to reel in the kite is to actually let it go
Give it to God, Tammie.
The kite is gone; you let your mind race again.  The thoughts you had were only imagined, and are not part of reality.
Let the kite go.
Return to your home; and tie your mind down to the solid rock; the anchor...

He will hold you down and not let you be tossed about by the wind.

When you belong to God, you are tethered to HIM; you are no longer the one holding your own kite.


Let go, and let God.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Favorite Fridays~Summer Frolic

No doubt about it, one of my FAVORITIST things about Mt. Horeb is the Summer Frolic.

The first weekend of June (well, not last year, but that's not important), something magical happens in Mount Horeb.  First you see the banner go up over Main Street to serve as a reminder that the time has come~then up goes the banner that hangs on the Military Ridge Trail Bridge that passes over Springdale.  You start to hear names of bands that will be performing, and maybe you’re even start saving up some cash so you can play a card of BINGO or two.

It’s Summer Frolic.  The most wonderful time of the year…

Frolic takes place at Grundahl Park, and really, all over town.  There are parties at houses, games of croquet, parades, sales up town, and softball games in the ball diamonds.  I would ALWAYS overindulge on brats …but never so badly as the summer I was pregnant.  I think I actually went to the fairgrounds one morning to get one of the first brats served that day. 

Jeff and I got in the habit of throwing a Pre-Frolic party…usually as a good reason to bring our Hockey Section friends to Mount Horeb during a “warmer” month than we usually see during hockey season.  Even on the rainy years, we could always find a way to have fun~catching up with good friends has a way of making any weather endurable.

I’m not a huge carnival ride fan, but the Super Slide always proved a favorite for Evie, and the gal who runs the slide remembers her from year to year; which is charming considering the number of kids that poor gal must meet every day.  

Believe it or not, Frolic has even shown me some of the most encouraging sights of my life!  Last year, for example, right when we arrived at the midway, one of Evie’s dear friends from school joined us on the Ferris wheel, and after that, I was just ancillary!  Evie’s friends took her on ride after ride after ride.  They helped her on, and helped her off.  
Every ounce of me wanted to help, but every ounce of me knew I shouldn’t…she needed her friends, and her independence.

There are always GREAT bands to play in the music tent; every year~cover bands who would sing all of our favorites from the Beatles, to Poison, to Journey. 
There’s just something about dancing under the stars with a cool June wind blowing off the cornfields from the west while singing Sweet Child of Mine.  Nice.

Then there’s the Frolic Parade; the arduously long parade; the parade with every fire truck from every the city in Wisconsin.  Well, maybe not that many, but it feels pretty close!  Our house is a prime location for seating as we are just one house off of Main Street; however many times we’d sit by Jeff’s parent’s house with them as they lived closer to the Frolic grounds; and as Evie got older, we started sitting by her buddy Jack’s house too.  In other words, we’ve seen the Frolic Parade from all angles and at all points in time.  

And then it's over...we may decide to straggle on down to the fairgrounds for one last game of BINGO, or a spin on the Carousel, but Sunday marks the end of Frolic.  The carnies pack up their portable rides, the striped tents come down, and the whir of the generators that power it all quiets and finally fades into the humming of hungry flies and curious crickets.  Soon the excitement will rebuild just down the highway in Verona at Hometown Days~but for the time being, Mt. Horeb rests in the post~Frolic peacefulness of knowing that summer is well on it's way. 

I'm not sure if we'll make it to Frolic this year or not; but if last year was our last year, then it was certainly the best year...


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