Monday, April 30, 2007

Terry is coming home...

...but not as we had hoped.

His 17 year old daughter Kalynn died in a car accident this morning.

I am stunned.

What can I do to help? Is there any such thing at a time like this??

The thing that keeps running through my mind is... why, why?

Terry, Kathy and the rest of Kalynn's family are in my prayers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I needed this today.

Open this link and put your name in the blank on the upper left when it prompts. I promise it will make you feel better!!!:)

Click here to feel good!!!!

(When you are finished, click the back arrow to return.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shelby's essay

Shelby did a "coming of age" essay for English, and I really like it. I am turning this post over to Shelby.


I climbed into the car and turned to look at my mom.

“I’ve decided that this summer I’m going to reinvent myself,” I stated. She was giving me a ride home from school on the last day of eighth grade.

My mom laughed and said, “I think you’re wonderful just the way you are.”

What my mother didn’t understand was that I had a pretty rough experience in middle school. Middle school is a time when many girls begin to feel insecure, and I was no exception. Despite being a straight A student and my family’s assurance that I was talented and pretty, I felt inferior to 199% of the other eight grade girls. At that time I felt that being thin and wearing just the right clothes was much more important than being a good student or winning gold medals at national baton twirling contests.

To be perfectly honest, I was the fat kid with glasses, braces, and a complexion that closely resembled a pizza, at least that is how I pictured myself. My feelings were reinforced by the teasing that I dealt with everyday. The teasing brought me down so low that I thought I would never come back up, even though everyone else could see my potential.

I made up my mind that I was not going to spend my high school years feeling like an outcast. My resolve was bolstered by the fact that I had recently been chosen for drum-line as a freshman, which was at least something that was well respected among my peers.

Within the first week of my summer break, I began an exercise regimen which consisted of one hundred sit-ups and twenty pushups every night. I cut out junk food, but I continued to eat a healthy three meals a day. I wanted to lose weight but I didn’t want to starve myself as I had seen so many others do. This approach helped me to realize that losing weight not only made me look better, but it also made me feel better.

Finally my long awaited day of freedom arrived. June 20, 2005 my braces were removed after two and a half long years of orthodontia. For the first time in my life, I was told that I had gorgeous pearly white teeth, and to my amazement it was true.

A few weeks later, I left for summer camp where I increased my activity, continued to lose weight, and obtained a marvelous sun tan. My self esteem grew during those weeks through making new friends. It was not so much because of my change in appearance, but I was more outgoing because of my increased self-confidence.

The next significant change came shortly after my return from camp. It was time for my annual vision exam, and I decided that I wanted contacts.

“Mom, can I get contacts?” I asked my mother.

“I don’t think you’re ready for contacts. Why don’t you just get glasses like you usually do?” my mom responded.

“I really want contacts though. Please can I get them?” I pleaded.

“Ok, if you really want them that bad,” my mom told me.

I was so excited. I had wanted contacts for so long, and I was finally able to get them. People could actually see that my eyes were a clear sky blue. I felt like I didn’t need to hide behind my large glasses and I could show everyone my new stance on life through my eyes.

That same day, my mom took me over to our regular hair salon to get my hair streaked and styled for the first time. When Patty, my stylist, was finished I looked at my hair in amazement. I felt as if my hair was another new beginning to add to my expanding series of achievements, and it helped me feel even better about my changing self.

Then we made a trip to Wal-Mart and bought my very first hair straightener. I now know that having straight hair has nothing to do with being popular or “cool”, but at the time I associated straight hair with being pretty.

The following week, I did something I had never done in my life. I went on a shopping spree! I tried to shy away from labels because I didn’t want to turn into a popular girl clone, but I did want to look nice to begin high school. I bought a variety of clothes that made me feel like I was sophisticated. I also bought the first skirt I had worn since I was a child. I loved to put on my new clothes and feel like I had truly changed my image, when in fact what I had done was change my persona.

All of these physical changes helped my self confidence rise a little more. I felt as if I could finally be accepted just because I looked different. The truth was, I was still very insecure and I needed confirmation from my peers to know that I had changed, whether physically or mentally.

The most influential change came when I started band camp at the end of that summer. On the first day, everyone was surprised at my new look. I thought it was a bad surprise, because of past experiences, but I found out that everyone loved it.

“Wow, Shelby, you look amazing,” my friend Hillary told me.

“Do you really think so?” I asked.

“Yeah! You look great. Not that you didn’t before, but now you look even better,” my friend Jammy told me.

Then as the days went by, the demands of band camp helped me to lose the rest of my excess weight, but it was there that I learned that the important things about making friends is teamwork, reliability, and being genuine. After all that work trying to change my image, I learned that I had made many new friends even though I was sweaty, with no makeup, and I could wear my hair in a messy bun on the top of my head and no one minded.

I won’t lie, I am happy about the changes I made in my appearance, but what makes me proud is the change in my attitude and the way I look at life. I found that to be happy in life, you have to first be happy with yourself.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Photos

What better way to celebrate Easter than fun, food and family? Here is Shelby and Arthur turning "Easter" into "Feaster."

As every year with this Polish gang, we had the traditional fare of Golumbki, Pierogi, Kielbasa and Kapusta in addition to the ham, Easter eggs, cake, pie....etc...etc...
We had most of the usual cast of characters for Easter dinner, but we MISSED YOU Terry, Jimmy and Tiff, Chris, Lesley and crew! (and anybody else who wishes they were here!)

I like to think we've brought a little bit of Poland to Oklahoma! :)