An overdue confession

So, as a member of the Girl Scouts’ North Hills Service Unit team, my job this year was to organize Milk & Cookies with the Mayor. This is one of the events that kicks off Cookie Season.

In planning the festivities, I decided it would be fun to hold a dessert bake-off that featured Girl Scout cookies. We had three judges: Pamela Smith of KATV, Brittney Johnson of KARK and Jennifer Christman of the Democrat-Gazette.

(A big thanks to them!)

Now, I like to cook, and I do a decent job of it.

But baking? Not my thing.

Nonetheless, I asked my daughter what she would like to bake.

Tootie loves this year’s re-introduced Lemon Coolers — known now as Savannah Smiles — and wanted to use those in whatever we made.

We ended up modifying a recipe for lemon bars by using a muffin pan and the Savannah Smiles as decoration. We dubbed our creation “Brownie Smiles,” since the cookies are smile-shaped.

“Brownie Smiles” did not win in the bakeoff, but one of the television stations offered a closeup of our cute little desserts in that evening’s newscast.

Hubs all but fell off the sofa laughing.


Well, here’s what the TV audience didn’t see.

It took Hubs 20 minutes to free the Brownie Smiles from their pan. Note the mutilated Brownie Smile on the left.


Whatever would I do without him?

And so I offer a big thank-you to my husband, for ensuring that Tootie did have a dessert to contribute to the bakeoff.


This Morning Saturday

A big thanks to Mollie (Girl Scout Ambassador) and Hannah (Girl Scout Senior) for participating in this morning’s KTHV broadcast. They did so, so well!

And bear in mind, we had to be at the station at 7 a.m. On a Saturday.

They were poised and gracious.

I couldn’t find the coding so that I could embed the video on here, but if you follow this link, you’ll be able to see our portion of the show.


My girl (Scouts) are growing up … and watch for us on This Morning Saturday

Last night’s troop meeting proved to be one of our most interesting ones.

We are learning about India for World Thinking Day, which is when we honor our sister Girl Scouts in other countries.

In my Service Unit, we do this by holding a festival.

At this event, each troop sets up a booth representing a country and its scouts. The girls are given “passports” when they arrive, and spend a couple of hours making “souvenirs” or trying new foods at the various booths.

Anyway, last night I called upon my Zumba fanaticism to show the girls some smooth Bollywood dance moves. (Please, God, If any parents saw me galumphing across the room in my skirt, I pray that you will banish any lingering visions from their minds.)

The girls seemed to enjoy themselves, although I’m sure they were mocking me out of earshot.

Each time we wrap up a meeting, we either sing a few Girl Scout songs or play a game before forming our Friendship Circle.

Last night, the girls begged for Little Sally Walker. Never heard of it?

Little Sally Walker, walking down the street


She didn’t know what to do, so she stopped in front of me

Hey girl, do that thing, do that thing and switch


Hey girl, do that thing, do that thing and switch

The way it’s played:

The girls stand in a circle. Little Sally, meanwhile, skips around the inside before choosing a victim. When she stops in front of someone, she performs a dance move. Both girls then switch places and the second one must perform the same move. And so on.

Two of my shyer girls usually want to sit this one out. Last night, however, both slipped into the circle, and really got into the game.

There is no greater reward for a troop leader than to witness blossoming confidence in her girls.

And now for “This Morning Saturday”  on Channel 11 —

I’ll be on tomorrow (7:25 a.m.) with a couple of older girls from other troops to talk about our 100th Anniversary, cookie season and this weekend’s Milk and Cookies with the Mayor.

And Sunday, we’ll be honored to have Brittney Johnson from KARK, Pamela Smith from KATV and Jennifer Christman from the Democrat-Gazette (and B-98.5’s Thursday-morning radio show) on hand to serve as judges in a dessert bakeoff at Milk and Cookies with the Mayor.

So yeah, busy weekend ahead!

Cookie season begins on Jan. 14, so get ready to place those orders. We use our cookie profits for many things. Our troop used it to participate in Service Unit events, to make a donation to the Pulaski County Humane Society and to help send some of our girls to camp — and that’s just the beginning of a very long list…

Summer camp 2011.


Here, I'm making S'mores with Tootie at Troop Core Camp.

Working at the Argenta Community Garden.

Making a new friend at the Humane Society.


Horseback riding ...

One of my favorite photos!

My sole bit of advice for 2012

If anyone were to ask me what makes for a good marriage and a happy family, it is this:

A sense of humor. A sense of the ridiculous. An ability to see the funny in everyday life, even when events conspire against you.

I am so grateful that I found a guy who loves to tell stories on himself. Who loves to tease. Who loves to laugh and whistle and sing random bits of songs.

(Note: When we were dating, I used to try to analyze the man based on what he was humming. I eventually learned that what sprang from the voice box came from what the man had most recently heard on the radio. Pity I didn’t figure this out earlier. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how lyrics applied to me or our relationship.)


I love that Hubs and I have the same twisted sense of humor.

I love that my kids are growing up with laughter.

Because even in our darkest times, Hubs and I can find a glimmer of hope in just a few self-deprecating jokes. It’s what we do, people. We are pros at finding the hilarious, even when it’s hiding in a pile of despair.


If you’re not yet married: Find a significant other who can laugh at himself or herself.

If you are: Find common ground in your shared sense of humor.

And if you have children: Teach them that laughter is a vital part of living.

And that there is no greater gift you can give them.