when my friends come to visit...

it seems that EVERYONE of millie's friends also wanted to come and hang out. which isn't that unusual. her friends do enjoy movie nights over here. and popcorn. and an occasional dinner.

but i think the big draw this weekend might have been one of our house guests. seems that he is real popular with the high school kids. 

but mostly the hale brothers are real popular with us. i was friends with all three of the hale kids back in the day. mike and i were the same age and in youth group together. we went to different high schools but ended up doing a lot of things at each other's school and having a lot of the same friends. we ended up both going to furman (i think he was stalking me.) he introduced me to adam. so i have him to thank/curse for that. mostly thank.

tony and i were 4 years apart in age (me being older) but he and i had acting and the love of theater in common. their older sister kim and i took a summer class at fsu together one summer just for funzies. i spent so much time at their house that their parents, mike and rita, could have claimed me on their tax return. there was also that one time that i decorated their BRAND NEW CAR with toothpaste. in case you are unaware (as i was) toothpaste will eat through the paint on a BRAND NEW CAR thus leaving a permanent happy face drawing on the hood of your parents' brand new car. they didn't seem too upset. they were those kind of people. i think they laughed about it and gave me an ice cream sandwich.

tony likes to come to town to relive his high school memories. most of which consist of being beat up by his high school bully and mike and i laughing at his hopes and dreams of being taller than us and/or famous. both he achieved handily. and i bet his high school bully regrets picking on tony. well, in between drunken stupors i bet he regrets it. don't you s.r.? see i even know his name. but won't out him here. he wasn't my bully. that was john macdonald. you can only out your own bullies on your blog. 

it is quite fun to traverse tallahassee with tony in tow. as he get recognized very frequently and i end up taking a lot of cell phone photos of he and our waiter. he and the bartender. he and the girl at the candy store counter. i like being "friend of famous people." i could get used to it. it will also get your free drinks. take that high school bully.

mostly i like being friend of the hale family. i am used to that. they are HILARIOUS. and it was my friendship with them while i was in high school that made me believe that i was funny (maybe they oversold that issue with me because i do find myself quite amusing) and that i was worth listening to. the hales are always good listeners. and good laughers. that is a great combination. 

plus, they gave me some of the family furniture. maxx's beds were mike and tony's beds growing up. i hope tony becomes even more famous because those things are going on ebay the minute that happens...

what i am doing today...

is cleaning my house. exciting.

it seems that if one doesn't clean their house because of the busyness of the last few weeks of school. and then it becomes summer. and for the sake of our story let's say that one still doesn't clean. instead one piles stuff up in the living room. and the family room. and every other room. then for funnies let's add in that one goes on a cruise. and comes home for four days and add to those piles and the piles grow larger and angrier. then just to really spice it up one more notch, one goes on a college tour and comes home again late in the evening. and here is the HIGHLIGHT of the whole story... one receives a phone call from one's famous friend and his brother because they want to come and visit and stay for a few days. starting the day after one arrives home from said college tour. well then, one has to spend a day unpinning those huge and angry piles. risking one's life in the process. and going to the grocery after first evaluating the hollow nature of one's refrigerator. and then one has to spend an eternity vacuuming up dog hair. and mopping the freshly vacuumed doghairless floors. so that might be what i am doing today. if any of that above story actually pertained to my life.

but since one usually has ONLY ONE famous friend it is no trouble at all. well, it isn't the famous part that makes him "no trouble at all" it is the fact that he and his brother are great friends. fun friends. and i know it will be an awesome weekend full of stories, laughter, and memories. and maybe photos. just so that you all will believe that i actually have one famous friend to my name...

i'm a celebrity...

but you all knew that already. and i am only a celebrity for one day. tonight is my performance as ms. darbus in young actors high school musical “celebrity edition”

too bad tickets are sold out because i know that my TENS of blog readers would be rushing the box office today. i am sure that is my LEGION of fans that have sold out the show. of course at $50 a ticket most of my family and friends said that they had seen my act and it really wasn’t worth $50 to them (i am sure they meant that i was PRICELESS).

i have another funeral to go to today. a 28 year old boy that i used to babysit. and his mother taught me third grade and each of my children she taught in 2nd grade. very sad. he had a massive heart attack. pray for his family. especially his twin brother who he still lived with and worked with and who gave him cpr while he was waiting for the ambulance to come. 

i tend to think of my job as parent being “done” one day. though i am coming more and more to realize that though the job description changes there are certain realities that never change. the idea that any day could be their last day here on earth is a reality that i must cling to every day. and a reality that i must give thanks for even though one of the worst things i could imagine would be them preceding me to heaven. i must be prepared to know that God in His mercy and love may take one of them or all three of them at any time to be with Him. and that them going onto be with Him though it would seem a tragedy would actually be a TRIUMPH for the one chosen to go to His side...

Death can be so inconvenient. 

You try to live and love. It comes and interrupts. . 

And what do I know? What do I know? 

But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, 

and from what I know of Him, that must be pretty good. 

Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, 

and from what I know of Him, that must be very good.

{sarah groves}

and that is so DANG easy to say when my three children are here in the house with me, two sleeping peacefully and one reading in the playroom right behind me. easy to say, lovely to sing along with in the song, but impossible to actually walk through, and knife splitting your guts open painful to endure... 

that is enough deep thinking for a celebrity like me.

i am off to do my hair and makeup.

oh, and summer BINGO is a huge hit! i should really homeschool my children (debbie, stop reading NOW). all i would have to do is give them a sheet of items to check off and they would be the busiest beavers ever! rosie has already gotten 10 stickers and she was up and doing her laundry and had stripped her bed to wash her sheets before me this morning AND had read for 30 minutes and done 30 minutes of wii fit. what a gal.

our day in the sun...

literally, we sat in the sun for quite a while on saturday afternoon waiting to see someone very special...

but it was worth it. 

early friday morning we got an invitation from the WHITE HOUSE to be president bush’s (yup, he even gets lower case letters too) “special friends” at furman university on saturday night. furman is where adam and i went to college (in case anyone didn’t know that we are proud purple paladins). 

it all began because i had emailed a friend of mine a little note about how w. was speaking at furman’s graduation and how some of the faculty was protesting and would NOT attend the graduation ceremony and how incredibly PROUD adam and i were that he was coming there. and next thing you know she has emailed that to her friend jeb (bush) and then the little email it is going on to the white house (and yes, there were NO CAPITALS in that email and how the secret service knows my literary proclivities) and then i received (i almost put “got” there, debbie, but i stopped myself) an email from the white house asking us if we wanted to attend graduation as “the president’s special friends”.

and to that i sent an email saying “HELL YEAH!”, just kidding, it said “hell, yeah (in all lower case), just kidding some more. but we did accept the kind offer.

so we packed up friday afternoon right after the kids came home from their last day of school and headed up to greenville, s.c.

the drive was great. it gave adam and i a chance to talk over a bunch of stuff and it gave the kids a chance to play their mario carts until their little fingers fell off. we arrived around midnight. slept pretty well, all in one hotel room. we may be the “president’s special friends” but he wasn’t footing the bill for the hotel room or the gas for the trip.

saturday we went downtown to pick up our parking pass at the hotel all the president’s people were staying in, and it was the hotel where adam and i had our second date. GET YOU HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER PEOPLE... we went to a dance in that hotel BEFORE it had been renovated SO beautifully. it is now the poinsett westin and it is FANCY! back then, they were doing all kinds of construction on it and we had a dance in the one ballroom that was finished. 

the kids swam at the hotel. and then we had to get ready because the WHITE HOUSE contact guy had told us to be there no later than 5 (so they could “manage our comfort level” which i think means in political speak, “so we can have the bomb dog sniff you all over”.)

Transient

we arrived at 4:30 (we are early birds when the president is involved) and they found our names on the v.i.p. list (which was a short list with the governor and all the state congress people, mayor, and other political figures in south carolina.... and the marshall family).

of course, every time we said that we were the marshalls, they thought we were u.s. MARSHALs. someone even asked adam if he was an undercover agent (he had on a dark suit, sunglasses, and the required short hair cut of the day).

we sat right behind the governor of south carolina.... here is his head... dina, do you recognize it? robyn, he sent his love to you and paul and the girls...

and here are the lookout guys, i think they are checking me out with those binoculars....

we were seated in a little section with chairs with names on them... mayor, senator, representative, chairman, governor, and adam, lea, millie, maxx, rosalea marshall. everyone was very nice to us and greeted us warmly... though they did ask “ummm and you are.....?”

and here is the president of furman university (david shi) motioning to the president as they walk in. i am fairly sure that he is saying, “and over here are some of our most distinguished graduates... adam and lea marshall, do you read her blog? it is quite entertaining, and LONG.”

and his speech was really great. here is a link to the whole text of it. it was very personal and about his family and faith and doing what is really important in life...

president bush’s speech at furman university

click here to see a really great you-tube video of the motocade of cars through greenville narrated in a lovely south carolina accent....

i especially like it in the you tube video when the kids says “ITS THE PRESIDENT” when on limo goes by and then says “ANOTHER PRESIDENT” when another limo goes by, oh i do miss south carolina...

anyway, the whole event was GREAT. the excitement in the stadium as the motorcade came into view was amazing. the whole stadium was charged with some kind of electricity. it made me so proud to be an american. it made me so much more aware of how i need to think about who i vote for in november. 

i like it when the cameras are aimed at me... or the governor, it was hard to tell who they wanted a photo of...


all in all, it was a wonderful experience. we woke up EARLY sunday morning and headed home because i was giving a “welcome back to tallahassee” party for meghan on sunday night (with MY blog stalker, eva). 

maybe v.i.p. stands for “very important party giver”...

today is my ONE day off before i leave tuesday morning REALLY EARLY for miami with millie’s youth choir group. we will be gone until saturday...

and then i come home and we will have a very important house guest from california staying with us for the weekend...

who likes juice...

and fears loose seals...

and joined the army, kind of....

anyone care to venture a guess?

from “special friend of the president” to miami choir tours to hosting hollywood stars...

that is how i roll.

and aren’t you lucky to be able (again, i almost said “get” but i stopped myself) to read all about it and live vicariously through my life...

Transient
Transient
Transient
Transient