My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Friday, November 29, 2013

On Pirates and Nuns (Retro Post, Sept 19, 2013)

Occasionally I write a post that never gets uploaded to the blog.  Why?  I don't know.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that very little of what I write actually gets posted the day I write it.  I usually save it and come back the next day and reread it.  If I still find it funny, true, and/or pertinent, I post.  If I sense that it is just a lot of words, I don't.  So, here's one that didn't make the initial cut, but is getting to debut two months later than it hoped.


So, today is national "Talk Like a Pirate" day.  Would I have known this if my daughter was not in Kindergarten?  No.  But, in honor of "Talk Like a Pirate" day, the local schools sent home a paper at the beginning of the week that said...

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Thurs., Sept 19th

Avast, me hearties!

On Thur., Sept 19th, everyone is welcome to dress like a Pirate.

We also encourage that everyone talk like a pirate from dawn til dusk.

For every good matey, a pirate hat will be given.

Now, my question is this:  What makes for a good matey?  Holding your desk mate hostage while forcing them to give you all their pencils, glue, and scissors?

"Congratulations!  You have behaved like a true pirate matey!  Now, for being such a good matey--if not a good friend--here's your pirate hat!"

I really have no idea what constitutes good behavior in a pirate.  I'll be interested to see if my big girl comes home with a hat.  Because I did, of course, send her to school dressed like a matey.  yip. ee.  I succumbed to peer pressure for her.  

Now, I have to wonder...why do we have national "Talk Like a Pirate" day?  And why do our public schools observe it?  Why not national "Talk Like a Saint" day?  We could all dress like Saint Peter, or the Pope, or Mother Teresa, and say kind things to our neighbors and share our glue sticks.  And being a good saint would mean that at lunch we sit by the boy with the oily hair that smells like he might not own soap, or on the playground we stop playing with our friends to join the little girl who's swinging by herself.

Just sharing the craziness that goes on inside this head.   Anyone out there relate?  Anyone?

Also, what exactly does "Avast, me hearties" mean?


And now I might add...big girl did come home that day with a pirate hat.  I did not ask how she was a good matey.  I'm not sure I want to know.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanks-Christmas, Everyone!!!

I type, sitting on the couch, under a Christmas blanket, with my left arm smashed against my side by the weight of my three-year-old.  She dons a blue and green Tinker Bell pajama shirt, white leggings, and a pink hairbow while she sucks her fingers and watches Tinker Bell fly away from a large hawk.  Big girl sits beside her in heart socks, a soft pink night gown, and her baby sister's zip-up hot pink hoodie that barely covers her elbows.  The Christmas tree lights shine bright against the darkening winter sky.  All is snug and right with the world.

Even though it isn't.

My man does homework on Thanksgiving, all day, emerging only for lunch.  His sister lies in a critical care unit receiving copious amounts of antibiotics to fight an infection that has spread throughout her body.  Her two-day-old, two-month-premature baby is several corridors away in the NICU.  A momma's heart hurts and Thanksgiving meal is understandably postponed.  My parents, siblings, and their families are together, hours away, helping each other through this first Thanksgiving after Dean's passing.

There are books to be read, papers to be written, tests to be taken and the never-ending interruptions of life.  There is a health to be given.  A heart to be healed.   A life to be written.  Holes to be filled.

And still I am thankful.  Thankful Dean is in heaven.  Thankful God has a plan for a little two pound baby boy who is lying protected by a plastic incubator.  Thankful for the doctors and nurses and medical equipment and knowledge that can see him through.  Thankful for the advances in medicine that have made my sister-in-law's situation a little less dire than it would have been even ten years ago.  Thankful for a man who works hard and studies hard and plays hard and loves hard because he knows his God-given role as provider, leader, protector and lover of three girls' souls.  Thankful for a peaceful day at home, a Thanksgiving "feast" as my sweet big girl called it, and time to snuggle on the couch, play games in the floor, and read books in bed.

But most of all, I am thankful for a little five-year-old princess who acknowledged last night that her true identity is a child of the King, accepted that she needs a Savior, believed that her King-Father sent One, his Son, to die and save her, and chose Him as her Lord because she knows He loves her and will only guide her in the way that is best for her.  So grateful for her kick-off to Thanks-Christmas.

When life is up-side-down and hard and painful and interrupted, thanksgiving--the act, not the day--makes it all right side up again.

All is right.


Sometimes His blessings come through raindrops.

The last-minute change of plans meant my man, my girls, and I would be enjoying Thanksgiving meal at home this year.  I had a bought a chicken to roast and contribute to the meal we had planned to eat with my mother-in-law.  So, I mentally dug through my cabinets to figure out what I could use as sides...

A box of mac'n'cheese.  M'kay.  Eggs.  'Kay...will devil those.  A loaf of bread I had made this week.  Good.  And some fruit.  Awesome.   Chocolate Fudge Pie?  No.  No pie crust.  No time to make one.  Dessert might not happen.

I oiled up the chicken, stuffed it with lemons, thyme, rosemary, and parsley and slid it in the oven.  Boiled eggs for deviled eggs.  Chopped apples and oranges and tossed with candied cherries and marshmallows to make a fruit salad.  (Thanks, Granny Ingy for introducing us to this yumminess).  Poured apple pie filling in a square baker, topped with half a box of a yellow cake mix, sprinkled with cinnamon, and covered in butter for an Apple Crunch Cake.

The Chicken came out, the cake went in.  The mac'n'cheese was cooked, the eggs stuffed, the bread warmed, and the table set.  My girls helped squeeze lemons for lemonade and we poured it into wine glasses for a fancy touch.  We lit the candles and ate our Thanksgiving feast in pajama's.  I don't think I have ever had a better Thanksgiving meal.  And I'm certain we can't top this one.  Simplicity and special touches made this Thanksgiving one to be remembered.  Memories were made today.


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with praise.

In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


May this day be the beginning of a long season of thankfulness for all God has done for us.  Beginning with the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ our LORD!

Happy Thanks-Christmas everyone!

From one tired, blessed sister to another.


If you are interested in an easy, fool-proof roast chicken recipe, click below.  Seriously.  If I can do this, anyone can.  I can not cook chicken, ask my husband.  And, yet, this recipe comes out perfect.  Every time.  Friggin' delicious.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I love you, no matter what.

I just want to share this.  It seems important and maybe it isn't, but if it is, maybe it will help someone.

My baby girl, G, told me a little white lie this morning.  She is becoming quite proficient at telling little white lies, and even putting a bow on them afterwards:  "I prooooomise."  I have now learned that "I promise" means that she is lying.  And I send her to time out.

So, today again I put her in time out and went about cleaning the kitchen.  When the stove timer sounded the end of four minutes, I said, as always, "Come talk to me."  And here is how her time-out ended, how it always ends:

We sit in the kitchen floor and I ask, "Why did you have to sit in time out?"  When she answers, "I lied," or owns up to whatever the offense may be that day, then we discuss why the deed was indeed an offense.  I tell her how sad it makes me when she lies [or commits said offense] and ask what she should do, which always includes saying, "I'm sorry," and sometimes involves other means of making the wrong right again.  For example, today, she had to tell me the true story instead of the lie that landed her in time out.  After all of this, we cuddle-hug and I say, "I love you, no matter what."  And then she runs off to play.

And it hit me today that perhaps God wants to have this same exchange with me...for me to own my mistake, to say I'm sorry, to sit at His feet long enough for Him to tell me what I can do to right the wrong, and to pause a little longer to let Him love on me and speak words of encouragement to me. In short, to be still.

Instead, here's the drill.  I mess up every day.  All day every day, actually.  There are no time-outs, but there are certainly lots of conversations between God and me about what I did.  Most of our conversations are one-sided and end up going like this:

I know.  I messed  up.  Again.  I'm sorry.  I'm awful.  I don't know why you put up with me.  Ugh...

And off I go again.

And I think God is sitting there with His mouth open, waiting for me to be quiet long enough for Him to say something, but I prattle on about my wretchedness.  I forget that God not only chastens but also lifts my head.  After every single mistake, He offers a warm embrace and an "I love you, no matter what."  But I only hang around long enough for the discipline and run off while He sits there with His arms open to embrace and mouth open to speak love.

I want my kids to have such an assurance of love, to know that my love isn't tied to their performance.  I don't do a great job of this.  I freak out when little things go wrong, probably making them feel like I am angry at them or displeased with them for things that may not even be within their control.  My fear is that they will internalize this message:  "You must be good and chaos is bad and if you are part of the chaos you are bad and I will not love you."  That is probably one of my biggest parenting fears.  Because I struggle to remember that I am loved, no matter what.  Because, if I'm honest, I believe the chaos in my life makes God freak out.  I struggle to believe that He loves me in the chaos, even when I create the chaos.  Because He is always in control, right?  I struggle to remember that my chaos is still within His control...that my chaos has zero impact on His love.

I really don't want my kids to have these doubts.  I am desperate for my kids to know they are loved, no matter what.  So, to combat whatever craziness I contribute to the chaos of our lives, I make sure to tell them I love them when they actually mess up.  (And I'm working on my freak-out default.)

And, so, it occurred to me this morning that I have got to pause when I mess up.  Perhaps I actually need to sit in the kitchen floor and imagine Him sitting crossed-legged right in front of me.  I need to let Him remind me that He still loves me.

God is love.  He doesn't love us if we're good.  He just is love.  It is His nature to love.  He has no option but to love.

So, for anyone else out there who might need this today, allow me to pass on this message from our all-powerful always-in-control God, Who Is also our loving heavenly Father:

"I love you, no matter what."


And a dinner idea for you tonight....

I'm a big fan of any meal that only requires me to dirty ONE pot.  Or ONE pan.  Or ONE of anything.  Last night I tried a new potato chowder recipe and it is a one-pot wonder!  Awesomeness without all the dishes that awesomeness usually requires.

If you're interested:

Potato-Corn Chowder

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Teenage clothes, cholesterol, and Christmas

Here's some randomness for your day.

My baby girl, G, told me last night that we need to go shopping for teenage clothes.

This wishful-thinker was beaming with momentary pride, convinced that her daughter wanted to buy Christmas presents for a teenage child in need.  But, just to be sure, I asked with a smile, "Why?"

"So I'll have some when I'm a teenager in case they're all gone."

No words.  No thoughts even.  Just stunned blank.

But then again, I'm never speechless or without a whirlwind of thoughts for long.  When my thoughts came back to me, I started wondering if I should, in fact, let her buy "teenage clothes" now while she retains some hint of modesty and innocence.  But, then again, if she already sees a difference in her clothes and "teenage clothes," I'm not really sure I would, in fact, be any better off to let her shop now.  I think she is already lusting after sexy, before she even knows what it is.  This thought has only been confirmed by the clothes she compliments:

"I like her shirt" (that comes down to her belly button).


"That's a pretty dress," (that will only cover her cheeks if she doesn't sit down).

She is three, people.  Three.


In other news, my husband had his annual check-up this week and learned that he has high cholesterol.  His message to me, after his appointment:

"You're gonna have to change my diet.  Cholesterol is high.  Pretty high actually."

My loving wifey response:

"No honey.  YOU are gonna have to change your diet.  I am not the one that eats out every day."

And today, from my man:

"I just ordered grilled shrimp, steamed veggies, and rice.  What the heck???"

My ironic response:

"It's a good thing u r eating healthy for lunch bc this potato chowder [we're having for supper] is not healthy."

I'm such a good wife.


Despite my heartlessness, my man is good to me.  I was a wreck when he came home last night.  Tired is an understatement.  Who knew it took so long to recover from an appendectomy???  It was 5, the house was in its usual state of disarray, there was homework to be done, no supper fixed, not-quite-a-promise to put up the Christmas tree that was probably going to be broken, and I was on the verge of tears.  After working a full day, he jumped right in.  He declared all things possible and rode heard on big girl and her homework while baby girl and I picked up a bit.  I was given the green light on pizza and was placing an on-line order while he went into the loft for the tree and decorations.  After a long while, he returned inside.

"Houston, we have a problem..."  he began.  "We don't have a tree."


Sure enough, we threw our tree out last year.  We both have vague recollections of various conversations...should we donate it to Habitat...should we just throw it out...should we keep it and just keep stringing lights in all the places where the pre-lit strands have quit working???  It seems we chose option 1 or 2, but right now neither of us is sure which one.

So, homework was done, the house was picked up, and the pizza was almost ordered...and we closed the pizza page, put on shoes, and headed out.  We ate a slow dinner where we were waited on (ahhhhh) and bought a little tree at Lowe's.  We came home, put up the tree, and put down the girls.  At nine.  Two hours past bedtime.

And guess what.  We all survived.  We did more than survive.  We were revived.

And we finally have our tree up!  Perhaps it is a bit early by your calendars, but it is three weeks past due by mine.  Just get Halloween out of the way and I'm ready for a two-month-long Holy days season!

Happy Thanks-Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I had an appendectomy last Tuesday night. And I think the anesthesia has yet to wear off. 

This was me tonight: "Go. to. bed. Now." 

And my prayer, "Lord, please just let us [and by us I mean the girls] go to sleep quickly." 

Five mins and they were out. I think God knew I had nothing. 

And while they were drifting off, I saw this post by Glennon Doyle Melton on Facebook. I was so with her tonight....

File in the category of Be Careful What You Teach Your Kids:

Me: Amma. If you do not GET and KEEP your bottom in bed RIGHT NOW I'm cancelling your play date tomorrow.
Amma: But mom, remember. NOW is not about TOMORROW. Now is for now. Let's enjoy this moment. 
Me:(OMG FACE) See here's the thing, Amma. Mommy's only spiritual for like an hour a day. And bedtime is the opposite of that hour. GO. GO NOW AND AGAIN TOMORROW. ALL THE DAYS FOREVER- GO. TO. BED.

I've got a flipping Kindergarten Ekhart Tolle up in here.

And yes, they go to bed at 7:30. If you ever meet them, do NOT tell them that most kids don't. I've got a good thing going over here. Best luck with Whack a Mole tonight, Warriors. G

(Shared by Glennon Doyle Melton via Facebook)