My Big Fat Tacky Thanksgiving

Antler headband and white Christmas tree

Every family has their special talent; we do tacky well, and we're kind of proud of it. We planned on being in Vermont yesterday with friends, but the plague took over our house and we were in containment mode. I'm one of those people who like to have a house full on the holidays.  It doesn't always work out that way for us (maybe it's my cooking), but we always invite lots of random people, family, and friends.  Usually a few show up, like my mom.  On a really grand holiday, we may even have a few others sitting around our table. This Thanksgiving, it was just the four us. Last … [Read more...]

A Few Things Every Parent Should Know

Parenting Advice

Things you must know about parenting: Children multiply like Gremlins. The more you feed them, the more you get. One minute you are queen (or king) of your castle and then next minute you are reduced to scrubbing Kool-Aid out of the carpet. Some days, alone time translates as twenty seconds in the bathroom.  On. A. Good. Day. Your children will try to kill you.  It really is accidental.  All those matchbox cars lined up on the stairs...they had no idea what a few toys would do to you.  They are so very sorry you ended up in the hospital.  In traction. Understand, … [Read more...]

Movie Night: Pass the Popcorn – Santa Paws 2 Movie Review


My kids love movie night.  Grab a blanket and pass the popcorn please.  When we snuggle in tight, it's family movie night. The hard part is finding something good to watch, something we haven't seen a hundred times.  It takes longer to pick the movie than it does to watch the movie. My son likes anything with larger than life creatures, preferably ones with fangs.  My daughter likes animal movies.  If the sweet little critters are talking, she's all set for an hour and a half. I like the popcorn. Recently we watched the Disney movie Santa Paws 2.  I don't think I've ever seen part … [Read more...]

American Girls

American Girl Doll Event

My mom, my daughter, and I went to an American Girl Doll fashion show this weekend.  We had so much fun. What could be better than girls, dolls and fashion? Girls, doll, fashion, and Grandmas!  That's what's better. This event was a fundraiser for Upstate New York's Cerebral Palsy, so it was fun for a good cause. The room was so pretty, so much nicer than my pictures show.  I apologize for all the blurry, grainy pictures.  I know everyone apologizes for lousy photos, but I have been trying to take better pictures lately.  Unfortunately, my camera is dying a slow, painful death and I will … [Read more...]

What I Did in 31 Days

Old house in field - Fall

October was weird for me. I blog day-to-day, about life and the stuff that is stuck in my head.  October was different.  I told stories everyday and wrote about one topic - Living by Faith. Since I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of blogger, I thought I would hate writing on a specific topic, but I surprised myself.  I actually enjoyed the discipline of it all. Discipline leads to accomplishment.  Shocking, I know. During those 31 days, I lived life.  I thought about writing the ordinary things, only my thoughts never made it to paper, so they are gone, lost in the … [Read more...]

Halloween – More Than Candy

Kids on Halloween

We have a Halloween tradition in our family.  It's all hands on deck and full parental participation for the night. Our kids look forward to it all year long.  My son thinks of trick-or-treating as a highly classified reconnaissance mission to rid our entire town of candy.  He hits up every house and every business. You sell screwdrivers? He does not care.  I hope you have a bowl of candy alongside the screws. The kind library lady gets a visit, along with CVS, the local dollar store and drug store. Every year a rumor circulates that a man on the looooong street running … [Read more...]

Ghosts of Halloween Past

halloween costumes

First things first:  I am praying for all those affected by Sandy and I hope you are too. I know what it is like to live through a hurricane.  I know it changes life, forever for some people.  Even simple tasks can be difficult after a giant storm. The hard work of cleanup and rebuilding does not just blow over when the newscasters find something new to discuss.  It is long, hard work.  My thoughts are with you all and my prayers are for you. Since today is Halloween, I am sharing some ghosts from Halloweens past.  We love any excuse to be goofy. This year my son made his own … [Read more...]

Celebrated With A Romantic Deer

15th, crystal anniversary

Last Thursday was our "crystal" anniversary - 15 years.  It's a huge milestone and I am sure you are all tired of hearing about it, but I cannot let it go just yet.  I told you FringeMan wanted to celebrate 15 years with tall, cold glasses of Crystal Light, but I wanted more, something to commemorate this special day. I went in search of the perfect FringeMan gift.  It couldn't just be a new screwdriver (unless it had our anniversary or my face etched in the handle) or box of ammunition (always an appropriate gift for my mister).  I wanted special. That's when I searched Etsy.  I know it's … [Read more...]

No Fear in Love

no fear in love Bible verse printable.

My birthday in mid-February marked the beginning of the roller-coaster of love. By the end of the month FringeMan, in his casual and laid-back way, dragged me into a jewelry store to determine which shape diamond I would want if at any time in the near future he may be in the market for buying diamonds. I stood at the jewelry case looking in at little rocks throwing prisms of light in every direction. While there sparkles captivated my being, my hands began to sweat and my heart beat out the rhythm of a tribal chant. I felt as if I were about to be thrown in the pot of boiling water and … [Read more...]


first day of school jc

I snoozed my alarm clock three times this morning. I should be more ashamed than I am, but I have always been honest with you here.  I never once pretended to like mornings.  Before 10 a.m., I am no better than a sluggard with sand her eyes. Today is day three of back-to-school.  If it were not for the grace of God working through my bladder, my daughter would be late for school.  Not my son.  He is the responsible one who remembers to set his alarm clock.  Unfortunately, his mama forgets sometimes.  Today was one of those times.It was five o'clock, even the sun had enough sense to … [Read more...]

Shaving Cream Wars

How to throw a low cost party you will never forget - Shaving Cream Wars

  Shaving Cream Wars - A Party Your Kids Will Never Forget   Warning: Heavy on photos.  Allow a moment to load. As the last day of summer vacation approached, I told FringeMan I wanted to do something special for the kids - summer's last hoorah. We decided on shaving cream wars.  So I baked a bunch of brownies, sent a plate over to the neighbors as sort of a "my kids are about to destroy the neighborhood and possibly your house, but can we still be friends" bribe. Only one other child showed up. What?  I am giving away brownies and shaving cream!!! So … [Read more...]

Love is Crystal Clear

FringeMan and I have a history of poorly celebrated anniversaries.  It does not diminish our love or the forever after pledge we made almost fifteen years ago, but it does make us really bad romantics. This lack of romance is mostly my fault.  You see, my husband's love language is camouflage and I married him during hunting season.  Why did I think I could compete with frost covered fallen leaves and black bear?   I was so naive.  The day we were married, FringeMan wore camo under his tuxedo jacket. Not really, but I am sure he thought of it.  He went away bear hunting the weekend … [Read more...]

Hello Monday – One Day at The Beach

Pensacola Beach at night

Hello Monday! I'm liking you today, mainly because I got to sleep in my own bed last night.  After three and half weeks on the road, there's nothing like home. Hello sand between my toes. We very unexpectedly spent twenty-four hours in Florida last week.  Most of those hours were at night. Our trip was sudden and extremely short, so we left the kids with my aunt in Atlanta.  After so many weeks traveling from place to place, they were pooped. Hello warm gulf water. I went to college in Florida and then spent another three years living there when my kids were teeny-tiny.  I had … [Read more...]

Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags over Georgia

For two years my son has dreamed of Six Flags - the excitement of the ride, the thrill of the coasters, the sound of a thousand screaming children. Yesterday his dream came true.  We arrived at Six Flags Over Atlanta before the park opened. It was a temperate one hundred degrees and the sun was shining.  Spirits were high as they waited on line for the first ride, Goliath. Even my baby rode.  This is the first time she has been tall enough to ride any of the" big kid" rides and nothing was going to stop her, not even her mom.  I may have paced a bit and prayed that the good … [Read more...]

Family Tree – DIY

Me & My Mother-in-Law

This weekend we attended a family reunion for my husband's side of the family.  We had tons of fun and ate the most amazing food all day long, but what really impressed me was that my husband's cousin came up with the idea of making a family tree.  She's a genius.  I looked all over facebook for a photo of her at the family reunion and I couldn't find a good one.  My mother-in-law commissioned me to take photos, but I had to use her 35mm disposable camera, so I don't have the photos from it. To be honest, I couldn't remember how to use the stupid thing.  I mean, film?  What's that?  How … [Read more...]

I’m Having a Baby: My Pregnancy Story

My Pregnancy Story

    I remember the year of my second pregnancy as the waddle and wail.  Showing at two and a half days into conception, I walked like a duck for a full forty weeks.  Near the end, I had to arch my upper half so far backwards that I feared I would never again remember how to walk fully upright. I was an anomaly – the hunchback in reverse. Crying on the table in the examining room, I repeatedly begged my doctor to induce me.  My baby had to be unhappy since she was folded into an envelope sealed with amniotic fluid; however, my doctor was hardened by the hormones of many … [Read more...]

Surviving: Hope Lives Here

Relay for Life

Many months ago I asked you to pray for my uncle, Wayne the Pain.  One night he woke up choking on blood, only to find out he had throat cancer.  It didn't make any sense.  He never smoked.  Why him? Unfortunately the question is more like Why not him?  Why not any of us? Cancer does not discriminate. It afflicts the young and old, the strong and fit, as well as the person who abuses his body.  I suspect each of us are touched by cancer in some way, whether you are a fighter, a survivor, a friend, or family member.  It's a disease that destroys, but in the midst of devastation, there's … [Read more...]

Lowering the Bar for Moms Everywhere

creative kids sandwich

Sometimes I think Martha Stewart and her perky little hand-stitched minions are the masterminds behind Pinterest. Once upon a time, like thirty years ago, it was perfectly sufficient to slap peanut butter and store-bought jelly on a slice of store-bought bread, throw it on a paper plate, pour a glass of milk and call your kid to lunch.  For dessert an unpeeled, uncut apple found its way into little Johnny's hand.  Kids grew and mother's did other motherly things free from guilt. Fast forward to the age of the internet, Martha Stewart Living, and Pinterest.  Now we, the offspring of … [Read more...]

Jealous of a Lizard’s Life

a boating closeup

The men in my family are outside setting cricket traps, because everybody wants to start a breeding program for crickets.  Don't they? I should have gone to agricultural school since I'm practically living on a farm.  Slippy the lizard is more pampered than me.  He gets his cage misted twice a day and suns himself under a UV light.  Hello people!  It's my job to lay in the sun and get misted. So this is what life comes to...being jealous of a long-tailed lizard.  I never would have thought it. For the record, I like Hot Shot the fish better than the lizard.  He's quite a social fish … [Read more...]

The Cost of Free

fish up close

I told you how doing a simple favor for my neighbor ended up with me spending a whole bunch of money.  I'm still confused by how love thy neighbor turned into buy my kids fish, but life is funny like that.  I just have to go with the flow until the flow ends up draining my bank account.  Then I have to set boundaries, because my kids would be terribly disappointed when there was nothing to eat in the house except for their pet fish, and they sure as heck wouldn't want me frying up their little swimmer friends for dinner. So after much arguing discussion between the children, two trips to … [Read more...]