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A Lion’s Club Christmas…

  • December 15, 2010 9:06 pm

Tonight, my Lion husband hosted our family at the Lion’s Club Christmas Party–a tradition three years in the running for our household.  I always hold my breath as we trudge into the old building with our three hoodlums, hoping we survive without too much crazy.  I’m not knocking the Event-it’s a great event that my kids honestly now look forward to every year.  It’s just that some social events are more difficult to contain than others.  This one has wooden floors, folding chairs and close quarters.  All three can be elements for disaster in the hands of a nine, seven, and four year old.  But, to our kids’ credit, they are getting easier and I almost see the glimmer at the end of the tunner.  No actual light, but a glimmer.

There are two things I love about this event.  One, I love talking with Decatur Community Members, and hearing them say “to enjoy the kids while they are young.”  It’s easy to roll my eyes at that, and wish for calm, but I take that advice to heart, reminding myself that Moms in the Trenches do need to take the time to embrace the Crazy Love our children give to us so freely every single day.  Looking through someone else’s eyes, I can see my children for the Free Spirits they are, and appreciate that moment.  A quick moment.  Before they need to sit and be still.  Secondly, I love watching our children build friendships.  I love setting up the kids’ table and sitting back while our children talk, laugh and play with eachother–even asking eachother about past years’ dinners.  Tonight they were referenced as “Future Lions,” which made them giggle, but made me wonder.  They will be grown someday?  Is that even possible?  For me, it’s hard to see past the messy, loud, energetic conversation of the kid table.  A picture perfect, messy moment.  I guess someday it will be more refined and orderly.  Surely not.  I don’t know that I will know how to function without digging through my purse for pens, or quietly discussing intensive seating arrangements for best friends.

Ok, so there are three things.  Twice we’ve caught Santa driving through the streets of Decatur on a Firetruck as we were leaving.  The kids piled up on the corner of the Lion’s Club and waited patiently to give Santa a high five or a hug, and to eagerly accept a waiting Candy Cane.  Then, we waved Santa on as he walked from house to house checking on all those kids on the “nice” list.  On the way home, I listened to conversation about friends, dinner, Lions, Santa, and the beautiful lights on the Courthouse…

Does it get any better than that?

Happy Halloween!

  • October 31, 2010 8:29 pm

If I didn’t know better, I would have thought we were on a hidden camera TV show tonight.  We were beyond dysfunctional, and now that the evening is over, I can laugh about it.

First, the costumes.  We had major costume malfunctions going on left and right at the Scroggins house.  I had two X Wing Fighter Pilots (for you Star Wars Fans out there), and those costumes came with straps and Velcro that took a Master’s degree to figure out (literally.)  Secondly, there was a helmet issue.  The masterful packers of the online costume store very productively packed two right sides to the X Wing helmet, instead of a left and right side.  Being that my husband is a great problem solver, we made due with the helmet, but it was tense for a good thirty minutes.  While the Star Wars Costume dilemma was occurring, I was frantically trying to make up a witch, with JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT of glitter.  Not too much, and not too little.  The Pressure.  Once we finally were dressed and headed out the door, it took a minute to snag a picture.  WHEN will my children quietly stand and pose for a picture?  You’d think I have beat them down enough by now that they would be trained, but nope-my husband and I are still doing everything but dancing like a monkey to get them to not only LOOK at the camera, but also have a pleasant look on their face at the same time.  I snapped as many as I could, and hoped for the best.  As we loaded the car, spooky fingernails popped off the Witch, an X Wing Pilot’s belt unvelcroed, and I dang near dropped my fancy Fall Punch all over the driveway.

Whew.

We made it to Grandma House #1 for Tricks and Treats, OOOS and AAHHHS, and talked a couple kids off a ledge when Grandma wasn’t quite sure the difference in a Storm Trooper and an X Wing Pilot, or a Vampire and a Witch.  Assured they looked fantastic, we went on to Grandma House #2, and the same routine for Tricks and Treats.  Back in the car, we finally headed to our Halloween Destination just in time to make the rounds with all the Crew for even more Treats-no tricks this time. 

They were off before we even closed the door to the truck.  The older kids literally sprinted from house to house, frantically filling their buckets to near overflowing with candy.  We managed to reign them in at a house or two, much to their dismay.  Apparently, it’s super cool to be on  your own WITHOUT parents during the Tricks and Treats.  Really?  But I thought we were such fun parents!

After a quick breeze by a Trunk or Treat, we settled down to cheer on the Rangers, and the kids gazed at their stash…a successful night despite the Crazy it started with.  Now, Go Rangers!

I’m beat!

Battle of the Big Sandy

  • October 10, 2010 9:15 pm

Friday night was the Battle of the Big Sandy, where the football teams from Bridgeport and Decatur met on the Football Field to compete for bragging rights.  It’s been a small town rivalry for as long as I can remember, and probably even long before that.  It’s one of those moments that defines life in these Small Towns, and it’s one of those traditions that makes me feel so lucky to live here.

Everyone showed up to the game.  I’ve often wondered if Main Street Decatur and Bridgeport feel like ghost towns on the night of The Big Game.  This year, Wise Regional Health System delivered the Game Ball again to Center Field.  Wow.  The kids were in awe of the celebration around the start of the game.  Representatives from both police stations posted the Colors and stood at attention during the playing of our Star Spangled Banner.  The elementary schools competed in a canned food drive to benefit WARM.  The signs were bigger.  The cheerleaders seemed to yell louder.  The towns were present to cheer on their Team and their Town.

Sadly, as I paint this wonderful small town picture, I have to admit there were a few intense and less than perfect moments up in the Decatur Stands.  Because of the high attendance, the high school student body and season ticket holders had to compete for space.  Season ticket holders wanted to relax and watch the game.  Students wanted to stand and yell for their team.  A few ticket holders asked the students to sit, and students declined their request.  Opinions clashed.  Tempers soared.  Parents left, and students bristled.

A peacemaker by heart, I can honestly see both sides of this equation.  I understand the season ticket holder’s claim to his seat.  I am a season ticket holder myself, and had to peer around the student body to see specific plays in the game.  I understand that, as an adult, I should be respected and students should not disregard my requests lightly.  I get that.  So, students, shame on you for not respecting your elders.  That’s just bad manners.

But.

Elders, shame on you for not delighting in the excitement of this student body.  That’s bad manners, too.  This is Their Time.  This was the most crowded game of the year, and we were all there to support Our Team.  Think on this.  What if the stands were empty?  What if our school, our town, did not show up on Friday Nights to shout their school spirit with noise makers and REALLY annoying bells?  THAT would be a devastating story to tell, and it’s a story all too common out there in other high schools-and in other towns.  Towns were teachers and principals are pleading with students to attend pep rallies and games.  Towns were schools furnish school tshirts, and students never wear them.  Towns were School Spirit, and Town Pride are not celebrated on Friday Nights-or any other night.  It happens, but we are lucky.

Ultimately, the Decatur Administrative Staff handled the situation with great problem-solving skills, and I have to commend them for that.  Parents and students were re-routed to either “standing” or “sitting” seats, and the cheering progressed, less a few more grumbles here and there.  Bottom line, we were all there to cheer on the Eagles, and they needed it that night-falling to Bridgeport 38-48.  But, that’s ok, there are plenty of Battles in our future.

And, we are lucky.  We are blessed.  We live in Small Town Texas, where Friday Night lights up the fall, and Decatur can paint the town Blue.  And, not to mention, we’ve got spirit, yes we do.  We’ve got Spirit, how ’bout you?

Friday Night Lights

  • September 9, 2010 7:29 pm

It’s that time again.

The Scroggins Five will be sporting their Decatur Blue t-shirts to school tomorrow, and I imagine we might splurge on a few Eagle tattoos while we’re at it.  We plan to meet up with our fellow season-ticket holders to make a gameplan for the game.  Our kids are still a little high maintenance, and while some still sit in our laps, others are confined to the “fence” (you know what I’m talking about), and then there’s the older ones that think they are ready to wander.  We’ve got the buddy system already in place, but sometimes thos kids-they think they are smarter than the Moms!  Silly, isn’t it?

But we’re all excited.

We are excited about seeing friends that attend other elementaries this year.  We are excited about hearing the band play the Fight Song for the first time this Fall.  We are excited to see how the Football Team will perform…but most of all, we are just excited to walk through those stadium gates, under the stadium lights and continue the tradition of Our Small Town.

Go Eagles!

Cruise Nights on the Square THIS Saturday!

  • August 6, 2010 6:34 am

Don’t forget about Cruise Night this Saturday on the Decatur Square!  The fun starts at 4 pm, and the stores and resturants stay open late just for you!

Have a great weekend!  Just a few more left until those School Days!

Ok, last reunion post. Promise.

  • July 29, 2010 8:32 am

There are a lot of things I love about Reunion Week, namely the friends, the family, and the fun.  But one of my absolute most favorite things is the necessity of the lazy days that follow the late nights.  My kids have outgrown naptime, so for us all to cozy up on the couch in our pajamas at one in the afternoon to watch a movie gives me enough warm fuzzies to jumpstart the school year.  Pile on a late afternoon slumber party in my bed with all my little hoodlums…those warm fuzzies get me right on through to Halloween. 

And you know me, I do love a collection of warm fuzzies.

It’s Survival..

  • July 27, 2010 4:44 pm

Husband 1:  “I have so much to do.  I don’t know that I have time to come out tonight.  You guys have fun.”

Husband 2:  “It’s reunion.  That’s the only thing you HAVE to do this week.  Everything else waits until this week is over.”

Hope to see you out there!

It’s Reunion Time!

  • July 25, 2010 9:08 pm

The Wise County Reunion will be in full swing beginning tomorrow night, but there are still a schedule of events to maintain during the day.  Check the Learning Ladder website for camps, the Decatur Library website for storytime specifics on Tuesday (11 and 12:30), and of course the free lunch on Wednesday. 

If you’ve never come out to the Wise County Old Settler’s Reunion grounds, take a moment to read the article below–it’s an event worth trying at least once!

When trying to describe Aggieland, there’s an often quoted phrase: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; and from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”  While that might be true in College Station, and for that matter, any number of schools, communities, clubs or organizations, it definitely exemplifies the phenomenon of the Wise County Old Settler’s Reunion.

Through the years, I have tried to describe our little “festival” to those “out-of-county” types.  I start with the history of the event, how it was founded in 1874 as an official reunion of Civil War Veterans and original Wise County pioneers.  I mention that the first year, the Wise County Messenger reported a successful day, with only the music as less than wonderful.  I paint a picture of a county picnic, a picnic that grew from one day, to three days, and eventually to a week of camping, conversation, and connection.  I emphasize the beginning of Tradition—tradition that has changed and evolved over the past 136 years, but tradition rooted deeply in the soils of these small towns.

I talk about the Midway, the Pavilion, the Queen’s Contest, and the absence of curfew.  I talk about the wrist bands, the carnival food, the nightly music, the water balloon fights, the dust, the heat, and the homemade ice cream.  I elaborate on the Family Reunions, Class Reunions, and nightly potlucks back at “Camp.”  And, it’s when I talk of Camp that I tend to lose people.  I see their eyebrows wrinkle, and their smiles fade.  Questions start flying.  “Did you say cabins?”  “Do you have air conditioning?” “What other times of year do people use this vacation property?” “How many people sleep in a cabin?”  “You stay up until when??”  And again, I describe the cabin village, how it’s not an RV Camp.  It’s an actual pseudo-town of screened-in camps built and maintained for use one week of the year—the hottest one at that.  These cabins are special.  They are unique.  They are decorated, judged, and awarded prizes and titles according to excellence in various areas of competion.  They are passed down to family members, held dear and precious to those who own them, and shared with those who may not be in the market (yet) for Reunion real estate.  In short, I try to define the essence of Reunion to the uninitiated.

They don’t get it.  Until or unless, they experience it.  Only then, can they appreciate the Wonder of Reunion.

And, they either fall in love, or run away.  There is no in-between.  No waivering.  No “on the fence.” Either they adapt to the new daily schedule of sleeping late, waking for lunch, falling into an afternoon nap, meeting up with friends and family for dinner, riding carnival rides, filling water balloons, having children “check in,” playing dominoes till dawn, and watching (or rather not watching) the time fly with friends. If, on the other hand, they do not adapt to this yearly hiatus from normal daily activity, they are aware of the hours ticking by, the sweat trickling down their neck, the dust sticking to their face, the children staying up way past their bedtime, the water balloons bursting at their feet, and the virtual money pit that is the Carnival.

But, somehow, the good outweighs the bad.  For Reunion Veterans, there isn’t any bad.  People plan vacation time around Reunion.  Weddings have been moved because of Reunion.  Newborn babies make appearances at Reunion.  Great-Grandmothers brave the heat of Reunion.  When I was in high school, I took my broken ribs, broken shoulder blade, and a stitched up body to Reunion.  Even car accidents can’t trump Tradition. 

And the kids.  Just imagine this week through their eyes. It’s the ultimate playground.  The rules are different during Reunion, if there are any rules at all.  It’s a time to play, to ride, to sing, to throw, and to make memories.  It’s a week of sleepovers.  Sleepovers OUTSIDE.  Sleepovers outside, with a carnival, and NO BEDTIME.  It’s a never-ending birthday party.  Games are endless, water balloons are plentiful, and the fun is incomparable.   

It’s Tradition.  It’s History. It’s one of those small-town events that makes every town in Wise county uniquely special, because “…from the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; and from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”   And, frankly, isn’t that the best part?  Aggie wisdom—who knew?

Girls Night on the Square & Movie Night!

  • July 6, 2010 7:34 pm

Thursday night is not only Girls Night on the Square with tons of shopping deals, but it’s also Family Movie Night featuring one of my most favorite movies, Grease!  Maybe these nice, cool evenings will hang on just a few more nights for you to meet up with the girls at 6, do a little shopping, and then meet up with the whole family at 8:30ish to snuggle on the courthouse lawn and sing along with this classic.  Definitely a smalltown must-do for the summer!

Chisholm Trail Days-this Saturday!

  • June 17, 2010 9:33 pm

This Saturday, June 19th, is Chisholm Trail Days in Decatur.  This is one of those perfect Hope Floats opportunities for you to grab your kids, head to the square, and celebrate life in a small town.  Check out the flyer on the Decatur Main Street Calendar, and look at a few of the events listed below to choose your own adventure for the day! 

Petting Zoo Fun Jump Train Rides

Pony Rides & Pony Pictures

Hay Rides Stagecoach Rides Carriage Rides

Kids Games & Activities Stick Horse Rodeo

Artisans, Western Handicraft s & Pioneer Vendors

 Cowboy Poetry Chuckwagon Exhibition

 Chisholm Trail Antique Tractor Exhibit

 CASA 5K 9AM

Lone Star Legacy Gunfighters 2:30 & 4:00

Home-made Ice Cream Contest 3 PM

Kids Stickhorse Rodeo 3 PM

Fiddle Competition 4 PM

Hamburger Supper 6 PM

Tommy Hooker Band & Street Dance 7-11 PM