Category Archives: Thoughts on motherhood

Summer Week One (Or, That Time I Was Photographed Naked)

Well, it’s here! Summer. I love summer! I’ve always loved summer. My daughter’s middle name is Summer. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful word to describe her lovely little face! Summer makes the worst parts of teaching bearable…well, that and helping shape young minds and all…However, this week has been…ummmmm….long.

It started with fighting. The boys have a newfound love of wrestling, and this has truly brought a fun level of creativity to the fights. They’ve yet to discover the dramatization that occurs when a ‘professional’ wrestler choke holds his opponent. The same reaction doesn’t occur when a six year old non actor places the choke hold on his four year old brother. 

I thought the kids needed bonding time after their blood inducing wrestling match, so we pulled out the Headbands game. This is always risky. Baby boy cheated nonstop. Bubba lost his temper and yelled inappropriate things. Sissy…well, she can’t handle losing. Everyone was ‘disciplined’ at one point, and old school tactics, like using soap to clean mouths, may have been employed. 

After wrestling, board games, and tons of swimming I decided to torture myself by entering Target with three kids. The Target dressing room we found ourselves in was clearly created with a teeny tiny sixteen year old in mind, not three kids and a sweaty Mama with a handful of spandex. I handed the kids my phone with a kid game pulled up. I thought this would distract them long enough for me to try on fifty swimsuits. As I tried in vain to pull up a neon orange swimsuit with the word FIRECRACKER printed across the front, I heard muffled giggles. For one solitary moment I felt joy because my sweet babies were finally having fun together. One. Solitary. Moment. 

I glanced to my left and froze in horror. The phone’s camera was pointed straight up at me. Yep. The camera. I screamed and grabbed my phone, quickly deleting without even peeking at the atrocity that had been recorded. We had a discussion, discipline was carefully doled out. This photo was accidentally taken in the aftermath.  We left Target without a swimsuit. 

I’m not sure I will survive this summer. If I don’t, all three of my readers can explain to the world that my kids killed me with their shenanigans. 


Oh crap, sister can spell.

I’m annoyed at my child’s education. Not the lack of education, but the speed at which she is becoming educated. It is really messing up my life. For example, I used to tell my kids to go to bed, and it was inevitable that one of them would say, “But it’s not bedtime.” To which I would respond, “Yes it is.”

That was it. They believed me. Mama said it’s bedtime, therefore it is bedtime.

Not anymore. I say, “Go to bed.”

Someone says, “But it’s not bedtime.”

I say, “Yes it is.”

“No mam, it is not. It is 7:28 and we read at 7:30. Then, we read for 30 minutes. THEN, we go to bed at 8:00!”

Well….thank you Sister Mathematician.

Like most mamas, I need my kids to go to bed early. This is my survival, my sanity. My time to eat all of their Valentine’s Day candy.

It took me forever to get my husband to realize that if he wanted to talk about doing anything even remotely fun without our kids he would have to spell the fun. He used to just say, “Hey you want to eat some candy or ice cream when they go to bed?” Of course, they would start crying, “I want ice cream! I want candy!”

This started many fights. I would storm off, angry because my candy eating was ruined & the kids would never go to sleep with thoughts of mama & daddy eating candy racing through their minds. So, like most men, he finally learned! He started spelling, “Hey, you want C-A-N-D-Y and P-O-P-C-O-R-N?”

This worked for a while. Until recently. Now we spell and suddenly sissy becomes an annoying episode of Seasme Street…

“What did y’all spell? I know. ‘c’ ‘a’ ‘n’ ‘d’ ‘y’…..’can’ ‘dy’…CANDY! Bubba, daddy is talking about candy! We get candy! Yay! Candy!!”

(I guess we will have to resort to Pig Latin, surely that will not be covered by Kindergarten Common Core Standards?)

I love teaching at Sissy’s school. I get to walk down the hallway and see her cute little artwork. All the other mama-teachers get to see the cute little artwork as well. Parents who walk their kids into school get to see the cute little artwork.  Actually, pretty much everyone I know sees the cute little artwork.

I recently walked down the kindergarten section of the hallway and saw that Sissy’s teacher had changed out the display. Their new assignment was to write about Valentine’s Day. Everyone wrote words like, “Love” and “Friend” all phonetically spelled and hilarious of course.

Sister Speller had to take it to the next level. Apparently she thought the assignment was to make your parents look like weirdos.


I had to fight the urge to scribble at the bottom, “We really only barely kiss in front of the kids, I promise…We aren’t crazy making out….Really! Seriously!”

In all honesty, I am thrilled watching her spongy little brain soak up all of this knowledge! Her teacher is awesome, and Sissy is learning so much! She leaves little scraps of paper and notebooks all around the house with her sweet writing scrawled across them. I found this one yesterday:image

I’m assuming I left my Bible and a container of yogurt on the table. That or she was really confused during chapel this week.


His Favorite Hooker

My son loves hookers. There, I said it.

It started couple of years ago, when he asked Santa for a hooker. (I guess I should clarify, in case you weren’t one of the 10 people who read that post, hooker=clothes’ hanger)

He pulls all the hookers from his closet and plays with them. With his hookers, he can be Captain Hook, an armed ninja, or a giant crane! He can pick things up, hook his siblings, and drag trucks. The hooker possibilities are endless!

I feel you judging! Stop!

We think that four years old is a little too young for a ‘sit down’ about the true dangers of hookers, so we just enjoy the laughs. The two other kids also call these lovely plastic devices by Bubba’s inappropriate name.

I recently walked in on a truly memorable conversation. Sissy was teaching Baby Boy how to clean up. This is the hilariousness I was so blessed to overhear:

Sissy (speaking baby talk): Ok baby, I am going to cover the floor with hookers and teach you how to clean them all up!

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy (full of pride for having taught him a new word): Yes! Yay! Hookers! Now, we are going to pick them up and take them to Bubba’s room because Bubba LOVES hookers!

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy (throws hangers all over her floor): There. The hookers are everywhere! What do we do, baby?

Baby Boy: Hookers!

Sissy: Yes, we pick them up! Sissy doesn’t like hookers all over her room! So, pick up the black hooker.

Baby Boy: Black Hooker

Sissy: Yes! You are learning your colors! That’s the black hooker! Pick it up!

Baby Boy: Pick up hooker…

Sissy: Very good! Now take the hooker to Bubba’s room.

A few minutes later the hookers were all returned to their rightful owner. (My thoughts, “Oh my gosh! Am I raising a pimp?”)

Sissy found me in the kitchen and smiled brightly as she asked for a piece of tape. When I asked why, she told me she was making a surprise for Bubba.

I finished loading the dishwasher then walked to Bubba’s room to see the surprise…


Bubba walked in behind me and said, “Thank you, Sissy! How did you know that is my favorite hooker?”

Sissy beamed, “I just knew!”

Is it weird that this totally touched my heart? Gah, I love these unique little humans!😃


Treasure These Things

Little boys can be frustrating! They do really weird things like… take their clothes off when they walk in the house, pour their milk in the car cup holder without telling anybody, stick foreign objects up their little noses. (I’ve only heard of these things. My boys are angels.) But, oh my goodness, can’t they just melt your heart? Even when they are acting like wild animals, there is something sweet in their mischief.
The other day, the boys were in the bath tub, & I accidentally splashed Bubba with water. He cocked his head, smiled a crooked smile, & said, “Hey, watch it you crazy girl!” Now, a part of me stopped & thought… child, you have lost your mind; but an even bigger part of me thought it was just too adorably irresistible. I couldn’t get mad. It seemed so sweet & funny him calling me girl.

I wonder if Mary experienced those same moments with Jesus? I wonder if she placed her hand on his chest at night to make sure he was breathing? Did she worry about him making friends in carpentry school? Did she get frustrated when he spilled his grape juice and ruined his lovely white tunic? Did she lose her patience when Jesus and James used sticks as swords?

We know she and Joseph worried about Jesus. When Jesus stayed behind at the temple, Mary and Joseph “anxiously searched” for Jesus & finally found him, 3 days later! Yes, THREE days! Can you imagine? If you have ever lost a child, even for one minute, you know that terror. And then, when you find them doing something like playing in the clothes racks… Well, relief, love, and anger make for a fantastic scene in Target. (Again, just a story I’ve heard…not a personal experience.)

Surely, when Mary walked into the temple and saw Jesus teaching away with an audience, she felt all of those same feelings. She actually said, “Son, why have you treated us like this?” Jesus kind of did what Ryder did to me…”Hey crazy girl, I’m about my father’s business!(Not exactly in those words.)
The bible says they didn’t understand, but Mary “treasured these things in her heart.” I love that. Mary didn’t fully realize what was happening, but she knew something was up. Losing Jesus couldn’t have been pleasant. She was horrified! She didn’t mean treasure like a gold coin, but she treasured them… treasure as a verb. She locked it up in her heart to think and pray about.
We can do this. We can be like Mary. All the things we have to watch our children, our friends, & our family go through, all the changes we see in them, the good times and the bad, maybe…we should treasure these things in our hearts.

If they are little happy moments we can savor them and thank God for his blessings. If they are not so happy, and you are in a time of trouble, or you are just confused about life, treasure these things. Stop, capture the moment, hold it in your heart. Change is coming, and when it does, like Mary, you can pull out this moment, look at it closely, and see your savior was in the middle all along.


We Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday

Happy Birthday! I’m throwing you a huge party! Everyone will give each other lots & lots of gifts. You’ll love it!

The only bad thing… is that a bunch of your friends will not be happy. They won’t be satisfied. Their expectations won’t be met. They will feel let down. That’s just some people though…like 1.5 million or so…the rest will be fine.

Well…except for the other  people who will try so hard to please everyone else at the party that they totally forget it’s your party. Oh, and some friends will feel pressured to keep up, and will find themselves in a ‘tiny bit of trouble’ after your party.

Also, people will crash your party. Sorry. Dang Santa…& stupid Elves… Mamas will be tired. Daddys will be grumpy.

One more thing, answer if you get a call; and you WILL get calls. Lots & lots of calls. Your friends will need your help to get through your party. They will need money, sanity, patience… Not the whole time. Just like 22 hours. They will sleep the other two. You can rest then.

Aside from those things, and a million others, you are really gonna love this party, truly. Get ready for fun. It’s your big day…kinda.

I apologize in advance, I’m the worst of all! I love you so much though. Happy early birthday from my crazy family & me. We will really celebrate you this year & try super hard not to get too ridiculously consumed…Well, next year for sure!! Next year, we won’t lose our minds. Or least when the kids get bigger…Yes, when they grow up a little, we will tone it down! Only three presents each when they turn ten. We will really have it all together then…

Blog = Diarrhea

  • Blog: a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, experiences, and activities (AKA: online diary)

Sissy: What do I do on the blank pages of my new book?

Me: Well, it’s a diary. Do you know what that is?

Sissy: Yes mam, it’s when you poop a lot? But that’s weird?

Me: What? Ohhhhhh! Hahaha, you are thinking of diarrhea!

So, sissy has uncovered the true definition of a blog. It’s not pretty, but it’s often the truth:

  • blog: where you poop a lot


You Go, Beaux!

I recently googled, “Can I make my elf go away if my kids are bad?” I didn’t find the answers I sought. What I hoped to see,  was an article explaining the value of lessons learned when kids’ mythical creatures discipline them. I found no such information.

Oh well! I don’t need Internet psychologists to tell me how to raise my kids! Bribery, threats, & the occasional shout aren’t beyond the scope of my parenting style. I’m sorry Yahoo Parenting, it doesn’t matter what your ‘experts’ say, when my child goes crazy in Walmart, I can’t calmly watch because it’s ‘normal.’ It’s not normal to lick the buggy or to throw punches while I’m browsing the shower gel aisle. I’m done!

So, after my useless online research, I marched straight into sissy’s room where Beaux the Elf sat. I yelled to him about all the ridiculous behaviors I had observed, while my children looked at me as if I were crazy. Sissy laughed and started telling Beaux to come back anyway. Bubba & Baby Boy didn’t seem to care.

Now, I’m sitting here on the couch fuming! I am truly tired of the wildness! Tomorrow, Beaux will be gone along with the presents! Here is Beaux’s obligatory explanation. (It rhymes of course.)

Your whining, crying, & meaness too, make me oh so mad at you.


You took off your diaper and pooped on the floor, is that chocolate or dirt? I don’t know anymore.


You’ve literally started climbing the walls. You don’t need three beds, you need three stalls.


“Give me, give me, give me… presents,” you say. So I can look at them for a second, then throw them away.


You’re driving me crazy so I must declare, LOOK under your tree…POOF,  it’s bare.

So, that’s the plan. Elf goes away & takes the presents with him. I’m just losing my mind! Are everyone else’s kids crazy? Are y’all thinking of running away? Do you buckle them in the car, shut the door, then stand outside taking deep breaths?

I fully intended to be prepared this year. I planned to keep the Christmas consumerism craziness away from my home. I was going to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. I’ve failed, I have failed miserably. Here are some pictures to prove it.

Climbing the walls
This child! The jumping, climbing, running…
I don’t even know? (Oh, I’m hoping, with a onesie snapped over his pants, he can’t take his diaper off!)
Unidentified substance
vaseline bandit
Crying because she wanted the Pink Playdoh from the goodie bags we made for her FRIENDS!! 😡😡

They are pretty cute though! And, SO much fun! 😊



Bye, Old Friend

Dear friend,
Once we were so close. We shared everything. (Well, everything I thought you would enjoy.) I gave you my best. I worked so hard at our relationship. When I awoke to the cries of a sick child, I had to take the time to let you know. If my house needed to be cleaned, you listened to my complaints. New book, new hair, new vehicle….you were the first to share my joy. Embarrassingly enough, I sometimes had moments recreated for you! If my children did something adorable, cute, or even stupid, I forced them to relive the moment for my camera. Then I proudly displayed the photo for you.

Oh we had good times, but something has changed. No, no, don’t worry. It’s not you it’s me. I realize I allowed you to control my moods. If we shared a happy moment, I was happy. If we saw something terrible, I felt terrible. I was jealous of your other friends, and I judged myself based on their accomplishments. So, dear Facebook, it is with great sadness that I pack my things; my feelings, my children, my marriage, my family, my friends, my life, and I move on.

I know what you’re thinking, she’ll be back. She can’t stay away. Unfortunately, you are probably right. But until then, I will enjoy my newfound freedom. I will put down my phone and live in the moment. I will endure the confused looks when I fail to realize my friend has given birth. I will laugh and pretend to know what everyone else is laughing at when the conversation moves to ‘that video of the parents who tell their kids they ate the Halloween candy.’ I’m sure it’s hilarious, but I have my own kids and I really did eat their Halloween candy so…
Anyway, I’ve made this breakup letter too long already. I will leave you with a quote from my new friend Jen. (By friend, I mean author whose books I’ve read.)
No one can pull this off. No one is pulling this off. The women who seem to ride this unicorn only display the best parts of their stories.”

Dear friend, I’m getting off the unicorn for now! My story isn’t always happy. Actually, it really sucks sometimes. (I don’t say that in an ungrateful way, I’m very blessed. But, I’m also a human.)

See you soon ole frand. (Probably later on tomorrow, when I ‘borrow’ my mama’s phone and hack her account.)


The quote is from Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love, which I just started reading. Yep, I haven’t even finished the book and I’m quoting it. 🙂 I’m truly responsible. 

Transformation in the Midst of a Heathen Land

About a month ago, while browsing the kindle store, I saw Crazy Love by Francis Chan as one of my recommendations. It had been there for forever…all red & simplistic. (I have no idea which of my previous purchases made Amazon think I wanted to read Christian non fiction.)  It was all I hated in the form of written word: inspirational, helpful, agenda filled, and ‘teachy’. But, for some reason, I bought it. I read it. I put it down. I cried.
I can’t adequately review this book. I will simply say that something about it spoke to me. It helped me see Jesus. It made me feel like a kid at the altar on the closing night of church camp. (Note: I specified kid…not teenager! Not my ugly, stupid teenage years. If you were at church camp with me that one year….well, you just shut your mouth!)

So, my mind was totally and completely wrecked. How could I put this book down and not run into the street looking for someone to feed. (The only people on my street who need to be fed are the two skinny women who run at 5 am.) I was just overcome with the desire to transform. I felt a sudden burden for everyone, every single sad piece of the human race.

I followed up Crazy Love with Not a Fan, then moved on to the much scarier Radical, and after that, sweet Jen Hatmaker’s  Seven. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to lose that feeling.

I began thinking of all the changes I had to make. I tore through my closet pulling down excess junk. Who was I? Beyoncé? Who needs that many purses? I haven’t even carried a purse in five years! And heels? The last time I wore heels I ended up prego. GONE! I ripped stuff down and shoved it in bags. My kids jumped on the bed all happy until I marched towards their rooms. They looked on with terror while I mumbled about homeless kids and grabbed toys from high and low. I put the kids in the car, and off we sped toward the extremely low income part of town.

I’m not 100% sure what I planned on doing. I almost stopped at a house where the door was partly opened. I guess I was going to just casually stroll in their home and ask if they wanted some clothes and stuff from my car? I’m not sure. Rationality won out, and I turned around. I ended up at Grace Place, a local battered women’s shelter & soup kitchen. They gladly took my donations while my three kids ran around the parking lot.

I spent the next few days in a kind of search mode. I was trying to find ways to serve. I was looking for someone to help. I was beginning to turn inward instead of keeping my focus on the one who had started this ‘transformation’. I kept feeling defeated as I shared my heart with others and walked away feeling like a weirdo. Feelings of Failure started seeping in. The heathens who call me mama saw me as a wounded animal and took the opportunity to pounce. Seriously, they were being so baaaaaaad!

[Setting: CVS parking lot, back of the car, Thursday afternoon]

[Characters: two heathens, one sick baby, and a bad parent]

Female Heathen: Mama, you know the worst thing to do ever?

Bad Parent: What?

Female Heathen: Not worshiping the Holy Spirit!

Male Heathen: Nuh uh, biting!

Female Heathen: NO!!!! Not worshiping the HOLY SPIRIT!!!!

Male Heathen: BITING!!!        

Female Heathen (With a Pentecostal quiver in her voice): NOT WORSHIPING THE HOLY SPIRIT!  

Male Heathen: BITING!!!!

In the blink of an eye, they were throwing kiddie punches while the baby screamed because of his thrush mouth. (thrush: one of the many disgustingly painful daycare sicknesses we have been plagued with the past four weeks.) 

Bad Parent (swatting crazily into the back seat): I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

We exited the vehicle out of breath and annoyed. I led my mean little duckies to the back so we could pick up the thrush medicine. For some unknown reason, Bubba pointed to a lady with a walker only three feet away and yelled, “Hey Sissy, look at that lady with that crazy thing.” I grabbed him and said how sorry I was. I pulled him to the next aisle where he said VERY loudly, “You are hurting my arm!” 

Through gritted teeth and maybe tears I said, “Jesus wants you to have LOVE in your heart!!! You are just being so awful. Why? What’s wrong with you?” A lady walked by, looked a hole through me, and proceeded to softly tell her little girl to look away. I continued with my stinky attitude until we pulled in the driveway. We jumped out, got sissy ready for dance, jumped back in the car, and my husband dropped sissy and me off at her dance class. 

I sat in the back of the studio alone and took a deep breath. Pity with a side of guilt washed over me, and I sent this text to my husband.

IMG_7478 (2)

{It is embarrassing to look back at the pity party I was throwing! Goodness! How annoying! Also, I should probably explain  ‘grump fish,’ ‘lubs,’ and ‘you braveheart,’ but I think the back stories would take too long.} 

Maybe this is why I feel the need to write things down; It forces me to face my own foolishness, to review my day, and hope for change tomorrow!


I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes from my little non fiction book binge!

“In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.” ~Francis Chan

Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.” ~Francis Chan

“We are on a never-ending downward escalator. In order to grow, we have to turn around and sprint up the escalator, putting up with perturbed looks from everyone else who is gradually moving downward.” ~ Francis Chan

“What are you doing right now that requires faith?” ~Francis Chan

“Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth.” ~ Francis Chan

“Do not be fooled by the luxuries of this world; they cripple our faith. As Jesus explained, the right things have to die so the right things can live- we die to selfishness, greed, power, accumulation, prestige, and self-preservation, giving life to community, generosity, compassion, mercy, brotherhood, kindness, and love.” ~Jen Hatmaker

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come  after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25:34-36

The Middle

DSC_0039 Ok, ok, I know! We accidentally forgot to buckle you in the car today. I am just now getting your birthday together, and your party is Saturday. There are lots of times when your hair looks crazy. And, I think your teeth get brushed half as often as sissy’s. You’re not the oldest. You’re not the youngest. You are the middle.

The day you were born was literally magical to me. I remember the nurse putting your face up to mine. You opened your little mouth, and I smelled your sweet baby breath. My immediate thought was, ‘I could die right now and be happy.’ I044 couldn’t stop crying. When Sissy saw you and gave you kisses, oh my goodness! I just kept saying “I have babies,” over and over.

I would like to say it was all rainbows and butterflies after that, but it wasn’t! You were born with a busyness, and you hated sleep! I rarely put you down. There was a strange fear inside me, the fear of losing you.

Things got a little weird when I forced your daddy to move the baby swing to the garage. When he asked why, I told him it looked like a coffin. I couldn’t breathe. I would study your face until it seemed pale or blue; then I would snatch you up thinking something awful had happened.

I went to the doctor for my checkup, and she seemed to think I needed to see a counselor, so did my husband, and my mama. (Apparently I was being quite irrational!) I’m not really big on sharing feelings. (Well, except to complete strangers, aka blog readers. Oh, and facebook. And, various social media outlets. And…ok, I guess I am ok with sharing.) I just tend to say what people want to hear. So, when the counselor asked, “Did you have a difficult pregnancy or birthing experience?” I smiled and told her no. She asked me to describe it. I told her all about my pregnancy issues, hospital stays, fears, etc. She nodded and said, “It’s all going to be ok. Your baby is going to live.”

And live you have! With all your silliness! You are brilliant and hilarious. You make jokes and charm everyone. You are kind when others are mean. Sometimes you are so wild I want to scream, then you turn around and generously give away your last piece of candy.

You truly are our middle. Not just in the silly, typical, middle child way, but…. A true middle. The peacemaker. The unwavering one.

If you are ever feeling pitiful or left out just remember, the middle is necessary! The middle is awesome! Sometimes, the middle can be the best part! Without the middle, a seesaw is just a dumb board, an Oreo is just two plain old chocolate cookies, and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich is just bread…just bread! You keep us from being plain. Because of you, we are not just bread.middle2

I love you my sweet bubba bears…my amazing middle baby!