30 July 2013


Samantha Marie has turned 14.  In Arkansas, that means you can get your driver's permit.  Lucky for us, Samantha would rather be chauffeured.  At 14, Samantha is now the tallest of the five kids.  She has passed Rachel by about two inches and Charlotte is fast on her trail.  Samantha will be starting ninth grade, which means seminary.  She's made the commitment to go, even though mornings are not her favorite time of day.  She is on the school dance team and her favorite subject at school is science.  She likes English the least.  Samantha is a social creature - always with friends and out and about.  She loves to skateboard and roller skate and she's getting better all the time, despite her battle scars.  Samantha inherited her father's blunt wit -- she is quick to temper and quick to laugh.  She dances everywhere she goes.  Everywhere.
She wanted to go to Wild River Country for her birthday - a big water park down in Little Rock.  So that was her gift from us - a fun day out with friends!  She spent the day with her buds - Ashley, the blonde on the left and Emily, the brunette on the right.  They were there from open (10 am) til close (8 pm), but, Samantha called me at 6 and said, please come get us.  We're burnt and tired!  Mission accomplished.
This is the switchplate Samantha got from the young women's leaders at church for her birthday.  Isn't it awesome?!  She also got money from both sides of grandparents, and she plans on getting new trucks for her board - when I can get her to Little Rock and a proper board shop.
For her birthday proper we took her on a "date" for BBQ.  Just the folks and Samantha.  Funny story about Samantha - when she was about seven her grandparents (Jim and Jean) took her out for a big lunch and shopping.  They ate at Applebee's and Samantha had never been to an Applebees before.  Because, let's face it, we are a working poor family and we don't take all our children out to eat at places like Applebees.  If we go out, it's only the dollar m
enu at McDonald's.  We also like Tuesday nights at KFC - cause kids eat free on Tuesdays....but I digress.  Jim and Jean took Samantha to Applebees and proceeded to tell the waitress that Samantha was turning 7.  So what happens next?  A mob of well meaning, but, terrifying waitstaff descend on Samantha, singing and clapping.  She is presented with her own birthday cake and bursts into tears.  Poor girl.
So, we pull up to our BBQ place of choice - Whole Hog Café (very good food, casual and comfortable atmosphere, we all enjoyed it) and there are Happy Birthday balloons in bouquets outside.  Just inside there are streamers and more Happy Birthday balloons.  Samantha is now convinced that we have orchestrated some sort of mob to sing to her again and she refuses to go in the restaurant.  Come to find out, July 26 not just Samantha's birthday, but it's also Whole Hog's birthday - except the restaurant was only turning 6.  They even had complimentary cake and ice cream.  Happy Birthday to Samantha!  And no, we did not subject her to more singing.  Maybe next year.

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