This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Scene: the dinner table mid-dinner somewhere between threat and punishment number 11 all geared toward Samuel (4 years old).

Me: Sam! Sit UP, son. Have manners or leave my table.
Sam: (in a super sweet voice, just quiet enough to blend in with the other three conversations happening at my table) you are stupid.
Me: (eyes narrow, teeth clench, spanking hand revs up!)WHAT did you just say to me?
Sam: (in an even sweeter OH-how-I-love-you-voice)You are pretty. (followed by the smile of innocent)
Me: I do NOT think you just said that. I THINK you said a bad word, and if you do NOT stop talking like that you WILL find a bar of soap in your mouth.
Sam: (suddenly sober and straight faced) OK. sorry.
My husband: (crawls into his shirt so he can laugh hysterically for the entire conversation.)
Me: (heavy sighs directed at both of them.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't Ask if You Don't Want to Know

I often tell my children not to ask questions if they don't want to know the answers. Do I look cute? Well, I would change....
Do these jeans make my butt look fat? A little.
Do you think I am rude? Sometimes.
DON'T ASK if you don't want to know. This is a motto that could never be said enough. So, when the douche bags at Bank of America asked me what I thought of my last customer service experience, I told them:

Over a decade ago, Bank of America "shined" when money was taken out of my account by mistake (YOUR mistake, not mine) and my checks bounced. That happens. Computers get crazy. What is not OK is how little your bank was willing to do to help. I worked hard to let everyone I know how little I care for your style of banking.

Now, against our wishes, you acquired our loan when our original lender went out of business. My husband and I are full-time students. We have five small children, and I work part-time as a teacher. My husband has served as a firefighter and a city worker for the previous seven years. We do not pay bills late. We teach our children that integrity and character are a person's greatest assets. Our reward for choosing to live this way is your customer service. Super. My husband was laid off from the fire department. I called to see if there was any help you had to offer, and instead you made me speak to the most unhelpful person birthed in all of America. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager and was told there was nothing she could do. (Just so we are clear, that is why I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager.)

My favorite moment may have been when I explained our situation, and she repeatedly told me the only help she could offer me was 31% off of my bill. WOW!? I thought, really? Oh, wait, she followed that up EVERY time with, but you do not qualify for that. Hmmmm. Maybe I am not understanding. So, I repeated what she said to me, and she replied something along the lines of yes, that is what I can offer you, only you don't qualify. I asked how I would have qualified, and she said if only we had taken our loan out in January rather than April. I don't actually know what this means. Does the month of my application alter the level of need?

I don't mean to brag, but I am fairly educated, but I was not able to make sense of what she was offering me. She had no answers; how am I supposed to have answers? I am not a trained Bank of America employee, but clearly if she is the standard by which I have to appear successful, maybe I could be, even without training. Her final word on the matter was her willingness to help us make a payment plan for all of our late payments. Well, thanks, but remember when we don't have any? So you can pat yourselves on the back that you have yet again been unhelpful. You have AGAIN proven that you are the sort of company that cares more about the money and working the system in your favor than your customers. And, my parting words will be thank you for being consistent. I wish I could think of something more, but I was also raised to say nothing if the only thing you can think of is rotten.

The end.

Damn You Auto Correct

So, I firmly believe God saves really funny finds for the low times. I cannot say how many times I am laughing so hard I am crying as I read through this blog. It's a place for people to post funny accidental auto-corrects that happen on their iPhones. OH so inappropriate. This one may be my new favorite.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frugal MaGoo

That's my code name.

My friend Jessica Locke introduced me to the world of couponing on a whole new level. She invited me over for a one on one tutorial of how to work the neighborhood Walgreens for the best deals. There is some planning involved, but these crazy ladies make it a lot easier. Check out these websites for some smokin' deals:

Totally Target
Wild for Wags
Discount Queens
Frugal Coupon Living

These are my favorite. There are some repeat deals, but worth looking into. Now that The Man is nearing the receipt of his final paycheck, I am trying to do whatever I can to lessen our bills. Turns out, we paid as little as possible for several perks in our house. Since we are in contracts with several of them, I am trying to find other ways to cut corners. I am working on paying little or no money for toiletries, cleaning supplies, and medicine. I have done two shopping trips to Walgreens, and here is the damage I have done:

  • 2-packs Jello (what!? Can we have NO luxuries?!)
  • 1-9pack roll of toilet paper-Quilted Northern, the good stuff
  • 2- jars Jiff peanut butter
  • 1-pack floss
  • 2- Tilex bathroom cleaners
  • 1- 27 pack of Goody Ouchless Black rubberbands
  • 1-6oz tube of Colgate Total toothpaste
  • 2- 3-in-1 Purex laundry detergent-softener-dryer sheet (40 loads worth)
  • 1- 60 count pack of bobby pins
  • 1-18pk feminine hygiene products
  • 1-pack "special lotion" (WHAT!? CAN we have NO luxuries?!)
  • 1- Dove deodorant
  • 1-package of old school emery boards
  • 4- boxes of Kleenex
TOTAL= $43.88

Savings= $38.23

The only things on here that are purchases I would not normally have done were the Jello, which after two coupons, cost me $1 altogether and the Purex laundry detergent, which I got totally free. This is where my friend Amanda Volpa would say, "Bazinga."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Keep the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath is vital to my well-being. It's vital to yours as well or the Bible wouldn't tell you to be a part of it. Actually, it says to remember it. So, each Sunday, I relax, rest, remember, reflect, and usually I read. Today I am sort of doing all of those. Yesterday, my shuggah-mamma, Erin H. agreed to peruse the book store with me. Then, she bought me books and a desk-top Office quote of the day calendar. One of the books is by a favorite author, Rob Bell. This one is called Drops Like Stars. I started it when I got home today, and I finished it about an hour later just before I dozed for a nap. Also very sabbathy. Here is the best quote from the book (He is talking about pain and agony in everyday life and how that correlates with Jesus' sacrifice):

It's there, in the agony of those moments, that we get the first glimpses of just what it looks like for God to take all of our trauma and hurt and disappointment, all those fragments lying there on the ground, and turn them into something else, something new, something we never would have been able to create on our own.

It's in that place that we're reminded that true life comes when we're willing to admit that we've reached the end of ourselves, we've given up, we've let go, we're willing to die to all of our desires to figure it out and be in control. WE LOSE OUR LIFE, ONLY TO FIND IT.

The end.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Psalm 127

For anyone who doubts that reading your Bible is not worth the time, I have to disagree. Now, I know what you are thinking, "Of course reading the Bible is worth my time." But tomorrow morning you follow that up with, "UGH, I just don't have time to read my Bible." Sort of two different sentences, but sort of not.

We all have the same amount of time, really. It's what we put as our greatest priority that gets our resources, time, focus, and energy. I say all of this not to point fingers (although mocking IS one of my gifts), but to give you the opportunity to call me a loser to my face when, in a couple weeks, I say, "MAN, I have been having a hard time making time to read my Bible." You will know that, that translates to, "I am so awesome; reading the Bible isn't worth my time." (Insert long, stoopid faced sighing.) This morning, I am being honest with my cool level. It is low. Oh so low. So I read my Bible. Psalm 127 and laughed at how blunt God can be to let me know he is talking to me. Then I was encouraged, which is just what I was looking for.

Psalm 127 (The Message)

A Pilgrim Song of Solomon (to be fair not everyone agrees he wrote this.)
1-2 If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn't guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It's useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don't you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?

3-5 Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

I want God to be the lone builder of this establishment. Therefore, I must seek. He promises me peaceful sleep and reminds me my children are a true gift.
I am blessed; my quiver is bursting at the seems.

Now, I get to go encourage and love others. Also, I am going to remember to count my blessings. I should have plenty of time to do this because God is my protector, my provider, my God. I do not trust in him in vain.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Where do you stuff it when it is too big to fit anywhere inconspicuously?
So, suckiness is happening. My first reaction is a desperate need to have an answer to the questions.

Then, I said, "Lord help me not to need answers."
This is the toughest spot I have ever found myself in. God has equipped me to be a problem solver, a leader, a go-getter, a warrior, a take-no-crap-from-nobody girl. He has also created me just as he created everyone else: in need of Him alone.

So as I look around me, I am scrambling to find that sweet spot in the center of the scales. That place that I can remain without tipping the balance too far in my direction. That place that means I give over and give in so I can lean in to God and not on me. That place that seems impossible to see because I am clouded. I can only see immediate and worry. I want to see that place. I am afraid it isn't going to come in one sweeping movement though. It is likely to come in super small steps and be there long before I realize. That is usually how it works. I cannot do that; I can only be available for that.
So, I just get to do what I can to keep on that path. I just get to be obedient in the little things. This is where my scandalous friends would tell me to pull up my big girl panties and deal.

Well, I AM DOIN' IT! Don't watch though. I don't do well with an audience.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Meloncholy- My Man Got Laid Off Today. Big Sigh.

So many times when you go through tough times you hear people say really great encouraging words. You may even think them yourself. You may do a good job at keeping perspective. You may have great faith and confidence in what God has for you. And still, you can feel melancholy through it all.

It's good to remember that having strong faith in God's plans for you doesn't mean you have to be an annoying cheer leader or super bubbly all of the time. You don't have to have an incessant fake smile on your face.

You can be sad. You can grieve for what you have lost. You can need some time to just be. You can do all of this and still BE all of that up there. There is certainly a fine line between this behavior and really falling off the edge into depression. This melancholy is short lived; it's a healing process- not a check out.
So for now, I want to just be melancholy and wait for God to do what he is gonna do.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Conversations With Addison (the crazy one)

Addison: If Justin Beiber lived with us, and our house was really old and small, he would design my new room and I would love it.
Me: um. I feel weird.
Addison: swooon.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Storm by Lifehouse

how long have i been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
waters getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if i could just see you
everything would be alright
if i could see you
this darkness would turn into light

and i will walk on water
and you will catch me if i fall
and i will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright
I know everything is alright

i know you didn't bring me out here to drown
so why am i ten feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause i'm so used to living underneath the surface

if i could just see you
everything would be alright
if i'd see you
this darkness would turn into light

and i will walk on water
and you will catch me if i fall
and i will get lost into your eyes
I know everything will be alright

and i will walk on water
and you will catch me if i fall
and i will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and now everything is alright
everything's alright