Friday, December 27, 2013


Long into a good family game of Apples to Apples with an aunt and the grandparents...

It was Little Bean's turn to flip the green card...

The green card was 'AWKWARD'...

Little Bean began to read the red cards that had been given to her- cards that each player felt 'matched' the green card word...

"Swingers. What's swingers?" she demanded.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'm Disappointed in Phil Robertson

By now, I'm sure you're fully aware of the Duck Dynasty show, it's goofy antics, and the bearded men who made the show popular. I doubt you've missed the whole hullabaloo about Phil Robertson's recent remarks in GQ. You may or may not be as familiar with my opinion and you may not care. Fair enough. But, I feel as if I must put it out there and I've decided to honor that feeling.

I fully believe that Mr. Robertson is entitled to his opinion and he is as entitled to share his opinion as I am mine. That said, I'm seriously disappointed. I'm not so much surprised, but very disappointed. The show has been surprisingly popular and Duck Dynasty merchandise and the men of the show seem to be everywhere one looks lately. This put Mr. Robertson in a unique position to go forth and share the word of Jesus Christ, as he felt moved to do.

As a fellow Christian, I understand why Mr. Robertson felt so moved to share his love of Jesus. It is, after all, the greatest commandment that Jesus gave us- to love our God with all of our heart, mind, and soul. What Phil Robertson seems to have missed is the second greatest commandment Jesus gave us- to love your neighbor as yourself. Mr. Robertson had a unique opportunity to reach countless people through his popularity and share the love that Jesus taught us and instead he chose to share a message of vile hate.

I'm not surprised. All too often, followers of Christianity choose to spread hate and intolerance instead of love. I'm disappointed, and I feel that disappointment deep in my soul. If we were to read the Bible and follow the Old Testament, we'd be burning our houses down when we found mold. We'd be sacrificing animals. Women wouldn't be allowed in church very often. Men, would not be allowed to lie with other men, and women with other women. Dear people, we DON'T follow the laws of the Old Testament. Jesus took all of that away from us and His commandments were simple:

Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”    

LOVE. The greatest commandments are about love. Sadly, Mr. Robertson missed a golden opportunity to share that love and in spreading his message of hate he has likely sent more people running  away from Christianity.  

So, my thoughts for Mr. Robertson are these:

Dear Mr. Roberston, my heart hurts today because of your message. You now have an opportunity to open your heart and your mouth to try to right the wrong, to mitigate some of the damage. I can only watch this story unfold like everyone else and see if you decide to share love and hope this Christmas season, or if you continue to use your popularity to spew hate.

As for me and my house, we will share love. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mother of the Year

Countdown Socks are a December tradition now in our family. Every night in December (with the exception of the nights we spent in the recliners with the virus from hell) we take down a numbered sock from the line and the kids get some little trinket or treat to mark the passage of days until Christmas.

If we're pressed for time (or feeling particularly lazy), we just stuff the treats in the sock. But on a good night, we hold a scavenger hunt! We use a lot of Christmas songs for clues, but Rough Stuff is a displaced elf with a photographic memory and she can sing every Christmas song ever. She can land the clues from a Christmas song much, much faster than I can type them up and hide them.

So, we've moved on to movie themes. Tonight's theme was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The clues worked through several movie scenes- from the fried pussycat, to Clark's rant about wanting his boss brought from his happy holiday slumber- and led to shouts of "shitter's full!"


I think I've got Mother of the Year wrapped up tight.    

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving -Keepin' It Real

Our littlest child came home with a request from school last Monday- a photo of our Thanksgiving traditions.


I realized we have never taken a single photo of our Thanksgiving celebration. Ever. Not one. Because, um...our Thanksgiving is not picture pretty. There are no pretty plates (we are not washing all those plates on a holiday!), no shiny chargers, no beautiful tablecloth. We do not light candles and serve wine or even dress nice for dinner. Nope. None of that here.

Now, please understand- I'm not against any of those things. They just haven't been a part of our Thanksgiving history. This little school project really got me to thinking about what Thanksgiving means in our family and what traditions we hold near to our hearts. I decided that this year, I would document the whole thing in photos. And, because I'm the open book that I am, I am going to share the whole beautiful mess with you in blurry photos.

This is what we do on Thanksgiving:

We pull out the recipes. Many of the dishes we make every year, without fail, come from recipes that were handed down from family and friends. We pull out the recipes, read the cards, and then proceed to add and dump ingredients until the dish no longer quite resembles the original- because that is how our mothers and grandmothers did it and we learned from them.  

We all gather in the kitchen. Holidays are a time to be together. We cook together.

And we make messes together. What? There was no Miracle Whip on your floor and walls on Thanksgiving? Maybe you were doing it wrong.  

Everyone helps. (And yes, we label our Ritz crackers so the kids don't eat them before they can get crushed and sprinkled on the casserole.)

We pass on the traditions. 

We lounge. A lot. 

We tell stories- like the one about my grandma making the mashed potatoes in the Wear-Ever ricer one year (just like these girls are doing) and then storing them on the back porch (no room in the fridge). The mashed potatoes spoiled before they were put on the table and several of us had a bite before the disaster had been declared.        

We boil things over on the stove. (Some years we do much worse- someone cuts their thumb peeling potatoes and needs stitches before dinner, or steps on the hot oven rack after removing it from the oven to fit a turkey, or a boiled over pie starts a small oven fire.) What? Not at your house? You're doing it wrong.  

We teach the kids. 

We mortify our vegetarian children with the turkey carcass.  

That's what we do. We all participate. We prepare a huge feast. We say grace. We eat. We share what we are all thankful for. We lounge. Then, we spread the Black Friday ads out on the family room floor and the kids start making Christmas wish lists. We stay up late and watch Christmas movies, and then we sleep right through the Black Friday sales.

It may not be picture pretty, but I wouldn't change a minute of it.