Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mother Daughter Daughter Trip. Let's be SPONTANEOUS!!

This year, on the first weekend of October, I was smack dab in the middle of an art retreat!  For that reason, I didn't go on my annual jaunt with my cousins, Cherry and Sissy.  I loved having the retreat, and if I had it to do over again, I'd choose it every time.  Buuuutttt.... I really missed going to Canton too!  So....
I called mom and Staci and we made a very impromptu decision to hit to interstate and go take us an adventure.  After all... my word this year IS "Explore"!!
After swinging by Posado's in Shreveport on the way out, we made it finally to our hotel in LIndale, TX.  I'm talking we didn't even leave West Funroe until around 6:30, and it is a 4 hour trip.

The next morning, at the crack of dawn, we went down to have breakfast in the hotel lobby.   Mom runs into her college roommate!  How bout that for coincidence?!
Would you LOOK at what their waffle iron made?!  Very cool!
So, then, we were off to the market.  I snapped a few pics of things that I knew I could go home and make or that inspired me.
Todd sent me a  few pics via text too.  It was 50's day, and I'd left the girls' outfits all laid out and ready to go.  The scarf was supposed to be tied in Ellie's hair, but hey.. they got close.  She was NOT happy that she didn't have a poodle skirt.  I mean, like N.O.T. happy!!
"I'll be the ONLY girl at school not in a poodle skirt".  Like I believe that. AND like I can just drum up a kids' size six poodle skirt!
If you follow me on FB or Instagram, you know that every time I am out of town, Todd decides to do something funny with their daily #grovesgirls pic!  Today, it was this.
Meanwhile, back at Canton Trade Days...
We stopped by #queenofthetrailerpark to say hi.  She was always so willing to donate things to the Shake 4 Jake event.  All i had to do was call her and ask!
Oh YESS!  I am MAKING this!!
It was fun having only the three amigos on this really fast, last-minute trip!
JinJin on her scooter kept us howling.
I have this kid at MMPT who is 18 or so and has cerebral palsy.  THIS IS HIS JAM!  Everybody know the next line of this song?!
If I'm just being honest, I don't think there was anything we didn't EAT!
Corn on a stick!
Chicken salad!  Peanut brittle.  Corndogs... this place is a hot spot for quickie food.  And we were all hurting from head to toe by mid afternoon, such that we just wanted to sit.  And when you sit at the food court, well,.... you know!
I bought this sweet shirt for KK's baby boy.
And us girls laughed til I'm pretty sure these two peed on themselves.
(But if they get a doctor's prescription and bring me an insurance card, I can help them with that!  haha)
TOLD ya!
My cousin, Cherry, has a difficult time telling her birds apart.  She bought a whole pumpkin kit one year for my Aunt Bonnie that turned out to look exactly like a PEACOCK instead of a turkey.  And so, I sent her this one so she could identify the species for me.
Todd tells me I should start wearing my car key FOB around my neck.  I just got a new vehicle, and I've locked the fob in the car no fewer than 4 times already!  The dang car is too fancy schmancy!  If you leave the fob in the car, it'd automatically lock on you.  We have since remedied it by taking it back to the dealership and having them dismantle that feature!  I just don't like taking my keys in at work or the house.  Then I find that all I do is LOSE them!  I sent him this pic of all these crystally key holders and asked him if he really wanted to see me in this all day long.
Seriously, we laughed our heads off.  That is pretty much the norm when we are all together.
And I guess that is what it is all about!
Don't negate the importance of taking these spontaneous trips with those you love.  We went on a Wednesday night, took the day off Thursday, shopped all day, and hightailed it back to Monroe in time for work on Friday!  Lots of memories made!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas canvas class... the jolly snowman.

Some of you might recognize Pam from my art retreat earlier this year.  She is the chick in the lime green, right beside the girl in the foreground in the lime green. 
 Pam called me a few weeks ago and wanted to know if I'd be wiling to come to her church and conduct an art class for her women's group.  It is a church that is out in the country, and I would have TOTALLY gotten lost had I not followed her the whole way there.
 I took three different options.  Each one of them was based on a very simple circle shape.
 The ladies could choose between a snowman, an ornament, or a Santa face.
 Because I was the single teacher of the class, teaching 14 women, who chose three different subjects for their paintings, I had to take along step-by-step instructions for drawing and painting the cute subjects.  That way, I was available to walk around and help each one of them as they came to a point where they needed help or just got stuck.
 I LOVE to hear people in the beginning sounding all doubtful and all that they will be able to complete the project.  Trust me... they could've been a bit intimidating!  They were pretty cute!
 I asked Emery at the studio to make my samples since I was pretty jam packed with meetings and coaching clients all week long.  OH!  And of course, my sweet patients!
So here was the first option... this one will be offered at mojoystudio over the next couple of weeks.
 This was another option.  I am offering this class next Tuesday night.  Today, there were already 8 signed up, so this class is filling up fast!!  If you are interested, better go to and get registered!!  It will be at 6:00pm and will only cost $25.  It is a 16x20 canvas, so it is what I'd call a great deal!
 And finally, this will also be a class on a Tuesday night in the next three nights.  The dates have been set, and can be found on the website.
 So, as the evening progressed, the snowman snobs isolated themselves to a table in the back of the room!  ha.   Actually, I think they just enjoyed working together step-by-step and staying on task together.  See the directions on the table?!
 They were busy little bees.  And are you ready to see a few finished products?!
 Look at what these three elementary teachers ended up producing!!   There were stencils made to use for the JOY.  And would you believe that a charger (you know... the kind that sits under plates on a fancy tables cape?) was used to start both of these projects?!
 In fact, it was actually used for all three of these subjects!!
 I enjoyed working with these ladies... women of all ages who are bound by their love of God and friendship!
 Miss Gail was a ROCKSTAR!
 Tada... More snowmen! I LOVE how his little twiggy arms are toward the sky!  See how one of the ladies below wrote "Praise!" in the star?!
 And Miss Pam, the hostess with the mostest, painted "Hallelujah!" .
 Jill ventured on out on her own and changed the colors so it'd work better in her daughter's room at Christmas.
 These sisters surprisingly chose different subjects for their paintings.  I think they both did an excellent job though on their canvases!  Don't you?!
 There's always that one!  ha.  This was a teenager, who I think just felt a need to exercise her independence.  And so I let her!
 And finally the pastor's wife finished up her masterpiece!
If you would like to be led in painting any of the above paintings, (with the exception of the black star one), just go to and click on the canvas that lights your fire.  Each class is a special price of $25 because I want everyone to have the opportunity to paint one to use in their decorating and to be able to say they did it all by themselves!  I mean, come on... did you see even ONE painting in this blog that wasn't great?!  This class, full of all different types/ ages/ styles/ etc of women, worked relatively independently on their paintings, and  they were ALL really awesome! OH!  They'd make a really great gift too!!  Come to one for yourself and come to the next one and give as a gift!!  Just sign up through the website so we'll have a headcount.  And bring a friend!!  The more the merrier!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here's what's up.

Thank you to all of you who responded via the blog comments and to those of you who purchased a sticker to contribute to Sam's medical fund.

He is doing well so far.  He started chemo yesterday. He tolerated it well.  He has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma Stage 4.   He had numerous tumors in his abdomen, bones, and spine.  This was not the news we had hoped to hear.  However, we stand in faith that it is something that we cannot control and just continue to BELIEVE that God is in control.  If you want to follow his story, his mom is providing updates on Facebook on a page called "Praying for Sam".

I don't really feel that I can keep talking about more things that are going on in my life after typing something like this.  NOTHING compares in significance to our loved ones' in pain or suffering... most definitely when we are talking about a kid. So... with that, I'll be back to blogging land tomorrow.  Hug your kiddos.  Hug your family!  Be grateful.  I know I am!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Believing again.

I don't have a picture to accompany this post today.  However, let me just let you in on a little situation in our life right now.  Our family is again facing that horrible, horrible thing called pediatric cancer.  My cousin, Drew, and his wife, Jennifer, are at St. Jude's with their two-year-old son, Sam.  Tuesday, (11/11), they took Sam to the hospital because he was clearly not acting right and was just not himself. That evening, a CT scan was done, and the next morning, their pediatrician was sitting at the bedside with them, explaining that a tumor had been seen in his abdomen.  They felt a firmness in his belly.  Sound familiar?  At this point, they did not have a name.  Nor even a determination of whether it was cancerous or benign.   Soon thereafter, there was a strong suspicion of cancer, and a private plane was arranged for little Sam and his son to fly to St. Jude.  His mom and a whole caravan of extended family were not far behind!

Today, they are sitting and waiting... waiting for a diagnosis.  Waiting for a staging.  Waiting for treatment ideas.  And after talking to Drew's mom, my cousin, Cherry (you've seen her in my Canton pics!), it sounds like the options may be very scary.  Soooo... as was the case with Jake, I try to keep people VERY updated and aware of EXACTLY what needs to be addressed in prayers.

1.  Scans will show a SINGLE tumor.  (NOT an additional tumor that would indicate advanced staging.)
2.  Calmness and peace for the family as they wait.  (We've been there.  NOTHING can describe to you for you to even IMAGINE the feeling in the gut when this actually happens to a child in your family.)
3.  TOTAL confidence in any decision that needs to be made by his parents.  I have been made aware of some of the options for treatment, IF anything is seen, and the options are NOT good.  SO... I revert to prayer request number one!!
4.  COMPLETE thanksgiving and rejoicing for Sam's sweet life.  Gratitude for St. Jude.  Appreciation and LOVE for his family and so, so, so many friends who are travelling this journey with them.

I know some may be curious of the relationship between Jake and Sam.  Here it is...
JinJin and Bonnie are sisters.  Drew is Bonnie's grandson.  So, Staci and Drew are second cousins.  As far as I have ever understood, hepatoblastoma is a very, very rare tumor and one that happens rather spontaneously.  There is a possible link to Jake's tumor and color cancer in the family.  We never could find that correlation.  Neuroblastoma, which is a tentative diagnosis for Sam, is the most common solid tumor in children.  (Remember Stanton, Emma Grace, Madelyn, and lots of our other little buddies)  As far as I know, there is no correlation.  Cancer just is.  It is a mutation of cells.  It sucks.   And until it is symptomatic, there would be no way to know it is present nor any reason to go looking for it!

I will certainly be doing my part to help this family.  All I can do is offer prayer, love and support.  Pops has created 300 "Believe" stickers, like the ones we used for Jake's fight.  If you'd like to have me mail you one to use on your car or workspace or whatever, please go to and click on the button provided to have one mailed to you.  I am asking for $5.50 for a $5 donation to go directly to the family and .50 will cover the postage.  I appreciate your help and concern and COVET your prayers for sweet Sam!  If you want to follow his story on Facebook, go LIKE Praying for Sam.  Also, they are using the #samstrong in all the media otherwise.

Thanks for praying and believing!


Saturday, November 8, 2014


I have no idea what this book is about.  I just saw it on my Instagram feed and thought it looked neat. I have been buying books lately like a mad woman!  And I have no idea when I think I'll find the time to read them!  But I love having them.  Anybody else have this sickness?!
Now this one.... yeah.  I read it weekly!!  I am currently running a mastermind group with all businesswomen this go round.  We are studying these laws.  And they have been great!!  This is one of my favorite John Maxwell books.  I have been thinking about hosting an online mastermind group where you get a code to call in and be a part of the study.  I used this book to work with my own company, and then again with two local businesses, and I think the principles taught in this book are profound and can affect change in anyone's life... if they are ready to do the work.  Let me know in the comments if you would be interested in a weekly call in group.  Or you can email me at
I swear... this is ME!!!
A random "groves girls" photo.  I think this is so my girls' personalities.  Ellie all cool and aloof in her tweenage get up.  Gabbi Girl, holding a PB&J, in her Rainbow Dash sweater!
I'm guessing this was taken on a Monday!  That is Gabs's dance day, and I try to make it easy on DeeDee by already having her in a bun!
Of course, this is very much Gabs too!!  In her happy place with her animal asleep right on top of her.  This baby is an animal freak!!
And here we have the coffee cups that I suppose Todd the Bod buys at Sam's.  It is what we drink coffee out of every morning.  Sorry for you conservationists.  It just is what it is.  He even buys the little disposable lids.   I L.O.V.E. my morning coffee.  I'd venture to say that making it and sipping it is one of my favorite times of the day.
This is a new book I am reading and learning about.  One of my favorite things to teach about is people's individual strengths, so they can feel empowered and energized in their work and life.  This book seems to be more spiritual in nature, but still very much reminds us that we are each fearfully and wonderfully and UNIQUELY made, and we should relish our differences!!
Ok.  Did I just see where they photocopied a photo onto a fabric leaf?!  What the WHAT?!
Hmmmm... I like it!!  And did I mention that I will be in Seattle this coming weekend?!  I just found out myself yesterday!  There was a course that I wanted to attend there, but Todd never would get it scheduled.  I finally figured he just didn't really want me to go.  Well, I got home and saw my itinerary on the counter!  SO..,. if you are in Seattle,  HOLLA!
Enjoying randomness!!  It is how my mind actually works best.  OH.  I also started Christmas decorating today.  Talk about a lot os STUFF!!  That's ok.  I have help.  We should get it knocked out in about a week.  I'm not even kidding!!  Have a great Sunday!