One Very Special Pre-Christmas Gift.

Several months ago, at the urging of a friend, I joined a group called Mom Bloggers Club and I almost immediately started getting friend requests from other moms in this group. Every member of this free website gets their own home page and then other moms can leave them comments at the bottom of their page.

I received a comment from one lady (who ended up being a certain Denene Millner of My Brown Baby fame) who complimented me on the photos I had on my blog, which (of course) made me very, very happy. We went on to write back-and-forth a few times and then started commenting on each other’s blogs.

It wasn’t too long after we first “met” that I was back on Mom Blogger’s Club one night and I read a little more of Denene’s biography that she had listed on her MBC page. And that’s when I thought “geez Louise…this lady is famous!” I even wrote her a silly note on Twitter saying “I can’t believe I have a new friend who is so famous!” And she (being the sweet, humble person that she is) soon wrote me back saying “I am sooooooooooo not famous.”

Several months then passed and it is now this past Saturday when I went in to my eye doctor’s office for my official one week check-up from my eye surgery (of which I am happy to report that I still have 20/15 vision!!) I was in the waiting room for a bit and took some time to browse through the magazines and ended up picking up this copy of Parenting magazine:


I flipped through it and was shocked at how many parts of the magazine don’t apply to me at all anymore. I no longer need to read articles on “What will your baby be like?” or “Clever uses for an empty wipes box” or even “Which baby sling is the best to use while nursing your baby?” Those types of articles just aren’t needed around The Arthur Clan any longer.

And then I got to this page:


Ugh…school fundraisers. One of my biggest pet peeves. I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE school fundraisers. I rarely let my kids participate (unless it’s for a charity) and my sisters and I have an agreement that my kids won’t ask them to buy anything and their kids won’t ask me to buy anything. It works out great for us.

So, I was eager to see what this parenting expert would say. And was pleased that she felt very similar to me and had come up with a terrific solution for her family.


And then I just happened to glance up to see who the expert was….and there was my dear friend, Denene Millner’s, lovely face staring back at me.

Yep! She’s the writer of “Reality Check” in the national parenting magazine that you can find in any doctor’s office across the nation. And under her name it says “Mom of two, stepmom of one, and former editor at Parenting. She’s the author of ten books.”


Sorry Denene, but you are soooooooooooo wrong. For this middle-of-nowhere, country gal who has never met anyone even remotely famous… are my personal famous person from here on out. I saw you in a magazine! You are soooooooooooooo completely famous! 🙂

And now here’s the best part about Denene….because, whether she is famous or not, she is a completely generous, loving, giving person and our family was blessed to receive an early Christmas gift from her two days before the big day this year.

Because…I won one of her My Brown Baby giveaways. And it was a BIG one! And not only did I win her giveaway, but she sent me way more than I was even supposed to get as a prize. So. Completely. Awesome.

This particular giveaway was of a huge set of multicultural children’s literature. And, let me tell you, I was beyond excited when I found out that I had won because I have been a huge fan of children’s literature since my teaching days way back before we had children. As a matter of fact, I’m fairly certain that we owned more children’s literature before we had kids than most families own in their entire lifetimes. I collected children’s books like they were gold…I absolutely loved them and I still do to this day.

Not only did she send me a huge collection of literature…but many of the books were signed by the author and the illustrator, who are an extremely talented wife and husband team. I have never owned a signed book before so this little fact made me literally giddy with joy.


Quite a few of the books were geared towards girls so Weslea confiscated all of them and hid them in her room (after bragging to her brothers about all the books that were “hers.”)


And Weston grabbed up the new dinosaur book before anyone else could even look at it and it’s been hiding in his bed for him to read every night since then.


The rest of the books were put in my bedroom for me to drool over. There is no way that the kids are coming anywhere near those signed books without written authorization from me. No dirty paws, no food, no drinks, nada! Absolutely nothing is going near those books that could even possibly ruin them in any way, shape or form.

We are going to sit down and read every single one of them together though just as soon as the craziness of the holidays is over. And what a joy that will be!

Thank you so very much Denene. You have made my four children (and their crazy mama) just about as happy as a person can be.