Jan 31, 2011

5 Very Unimportant Things.

Here are five very (un)important things I did this weekend...

1. Ended my sweets fast!!!! Oh yes, I did. Hallelujah and pass the plate of Twinkies! My fast was supposed to end on Sunday. My fast ended on Saturday night. Do I feel bad about this? Why no, I do not at all, but thank you for asking. Because on Saturday night my fast ended with my mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies. And I washed them down with a coke float. And God said, "It is good."

Oh and ya know those people that say if you stay away from sweets for a period of time you really do lose the taste for them? Well, they're right! After about 15 days I started getting a lot more cravings for things like fruit. Or salad. Some days I would even satisfy my sweet teeth by sipping on water or Crystal Light. I also would find there were some days I didn't want to drive my car I just wanted to take my submarine to work. And once, about 12 days in to my fast, I wanted sweets really badly but instead I went outside and spent time in nature; I petted a lamb who was sipping water from a crystal stream out behind my house. It spoke to me and calmed my fears. Later that evening, instead of ice cream, I craved a bowl of nuggets....nuggets of wisdom, that is. And I digested the nuggets and they made me full of creativity, not negativity.

Yeah...those people are big fat liars.

Its was 21 days and I wanted to eat ice cream from the container and throw an apple in someones face. So Praise God!

2. On Saturday night I played dominoes with my family and unfortunately the Attorney General was there. Which is a lot like playing dominoes with Stalin. Only rumor has it, Stalin would occasionally lay the rule book down.

3. I watched Ramona and Beezus. I cried. Do you want to know why I cried? Then watch Ramona and Beezus and then spend five minutes with Remi Hope and you will see my future flash before your eyes.

Sunday morning in the middle of our Sunday School teachers lesson a guy in our class had to leave early, so as he snuck out of the back door ever so quietly he opened the door up right as you heard another Sunday School teacher coming down the hall yelling, "REEEEMMMMMIIIIIIII!" And as the adults in my Sunday school class began to laugh at my pain, all I could think about was Ramona and Beezus and how all of this would be fair if I could just get the kid in a movie where her in-ability to behave would pay me millions.

4. I was leading worship at church this Sunday and as I was on the stage, right smack dab in the middle of a song, I forgot about how uncomfortable my shoes were and I quit worrying about how my hair looked and I just worshipped. And suddenly, everything else took a backseat to the fact that at that moment I was giving glory where it was most deservedly due. And everything in my world felt right, even my shoes, because I was satisfying Him. And something about that makes you feel like all is right with the world.

5. Sunday night I attempted to play dominoes again, this time with some couple friends. And, of course, the Attorney General was there. And I wondered to myself during the game, "Did Eva Braun ever play dominoes with Hitler? And if so, did she make him follow up a double in Mexican train?" Doubtful.

Jan 27, 2011

Circus Freak.

Good Lord.

Ya know what I want? I want to send my children to a school that does nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. I want my kids to go, learn, come home.

I don't want them going to a Planetarium or something cool like that because then I have to go and drive or Remi will malfunction and dry heave.

I don't want them to have a sock-hop during the year because then I will have to buy an adorable sock-hop outfit and a bow that is 12x larger than anyone elses.

I don't want them going to farm or a farmer's market because I already know about vegetables and they don't eat them.

See how good schools are inconvenient for me?

But the school we send Remi to (and will soon send the Rockstar) happens to be a good one. A really good one. Sock-hops, Breakfasts' with Santa, Planetariums and all.

But now they have gone too far. Too far. Now they are planning something that will require me - ME - to be crafty or ingenious or both at the same time and I don't have it in me. I just don't. So I am calling on those of you who know a little something about glue guns and sequins to help a girl out.

In three weeks Remi will be involved in a circus. Oh, yeah, you read that right. And because the office probably thought it would be funny to see my face when they sent home this paper, they sent us home with a sheet where we had to go ahead and sign up what it was our child was going to be. AHEAD OF TIME!! I don't know what she's going to be. I have to go home and check Amazon.com and see what I can buy before I can tell you that. But nooooo, they wouldn't hear of it. Had to sign her up for something right then. So Remi is going to be a lion or a lion tamer.

And before you think, "Melissa, there are a million lion costumes that you can just purchase," you would be right. But I'm thinking there are going to be half a dozen other kids in lion costumes, most will be boys, so I'd prefer she be a lion tamer. Besides, lion tamers normally wear stuff with sequins or bling of some sort and I'm all about that. But that's where my creativity ends. I know I want bling. Done.

See how short-sighted I am?

So please help me. I could really use some ideas. But mainly I could use someone saying the Lord woke them up in the middle of the night and told them exactly how to sketch out a pattern for my little lion tamer and the outfit is in the mail.

But if that doesn't happen, ideas would be appreciated.

Think bling. GO!

Jan 26, 2011

Don't Tweet Me On This.

Here is the statistic:

19% of children between the ages of 2-5 can operate smart phone apps.

9% can tie their shoes.

Am I shocked at this? Yes. But only because I can barely operate smart phone apps. Not because I am one of those mothers who am going to raise my children like we live on Little House, because we don't. And I ask you, are you doing them any favors by making them pump their own water? Seriously?

Besides, I have an iPad. I got one for Christmas. Three days after having it my daughter showed me where the volume button was and how to turn the dadgum thing off.

She can't tie her shoes.

My son knows how to touch the app to come on. He knows how to drag the pictures and he knows how to quit a game when he's tired of it.

He just learned how to run without falling down.

What is wrong with this picture? Or is there anything wrong with it? Is our fear that technology is going to take over our world really going to stop technology from taking over our world? No. I do feel like, however, that we can do something about it taking over our home.

Last year the AG and I had the brilliant, positively ingenious, idea to write a list of resolutions down FOR EACH OTHER. (Hello? Divorce Attorney, line 1.) So we tried it and to some degree, a very tiny small degree, it worked. Granted, nothing he asked me to do have I done - but I did ask him to not open his laptop until our children are tucked away and asleep at night. When daddy comes home from work I want him to be home. from. work. I want the kids to know they are top priority. And by cracky, if the man didn't do it! For I would wager 360 out of 365 days the laptop never even came out of his briefcase until the kids were asleep and he had spent some time with me. Oh sure, there were the occasional fires to put out - but more times than not - when he came home, he was all ours.

Now, that I could do the same. Sometimes the iPad takes up more time than reading to them or playing with them. My greatest fear is that my daughter will go to register for wedding gifts someday and she'll register only at Comp USA because she has no idea what a vacuum is.

The Today Show told the story of a family that went on a technology fast. Throughout the day they could have their computers or cell phones, even their Nintendo DSi's. But come the afternoon when they were all home together it was board games and puzzles, reading books and taking walks together. Their fast lasted five days. Five days! Chances are, they mutually decided to end the fast by tweeting it to each other.

It makes me think about our homes today. I spoke with someone the other day who doesn't have email or even Internet connection at their home. And I wonder just how practical that is. But hey, if it works for them...

But trying to teach Remi and Rocco to grow corn and carry their books to school in a leather strap might not be the route we need to go. I don't care if the play their DS as long as it never takes precedence over the Word. Who cares if they quote Shrek and Donkey, as long as they can also quote Scripture. And on that note, I better go. Because I have much - much - MUCH - work to do with them. Perhaps I should start texting them a scripture every day? You're right. Let's first teach them to tie their shoes and run in place.

What is it like at your house?

Jan 25, 2011

Black and Blue and Nuts All Over. (Bachelor Recap)

Oh, for pete's sake.

Do I really have to recap this episode?

"Of course you do, Melissa. We hang on every word. You are the reason that ABC has had a network re surge. If not you, who?"

I hear ya. I hear ya. But even your kind words cannot kindle a flame inside of me for this particular episode. Last nights episode of The Bachelor was that episode where every girl says the same thing, every girl cries the same cry and every speech he gives is the same speech he just gave.

*Note to all the naysayers who say things like, "You're just no noticing this, Melissa? I knew this and I've only seen one episode and I watched it while changing my pantyhose on a flight to Denver." They are NOT all the same. On some shows girls get in catfights. On some shows you can tell there is really nothing but complete awkwardness between him and his date (I l-o-v-e those). And sometimes, if we're really lucky, a girl leaves without being asked and everyone is in shock and awe and we at home have to pause our DVR and refill our Dr. Pepper glasses and ask what went wrong. So there.

But none of that was the case on last night's show. So I'm going to make this short and sweet. Hang on.

He went on a date with Her-Dad-Owns-A-Car-Lot. It went well. He said he felt like he had known her forever. They made out. She's in love.

He went on a group date. Dr. Drew was there. Dr. Drew should have stayed longer, because group dates are nothing but nests' of crazy. The Dentist Cried and made a scene. Bachelor fell for it by reassuring her with forehead kisses, but then got kinda mad at her; chose to give rose to Food Critic who desperately needs a haircut.

30th Birthday finally got her alone date because the producers of the show couldn't stand to listen to her whine another minute. She woke up with a black eye because one of her split personalities decided to try and kill her. Unfortunately, they lost. 30th Birthday and The Bachelor repelled off a roof which has now bonded them for life. He said he could imagine a life with her and her daughter. They made out. She's in love.

The cocktail party went fine until he surprised Emily with a picnic basket in front of all the other women. That's because Emily is precious and doesn't beat herself up in her sleep. All the other girls went loco and decided that openly crying seemed to be the best way to handle the situation.

He ended up sending home three women who were commonly referred to as She-Looks-Like-Amy-Adams, Ugly-Pink-Shoes and Bartender. Strangely, these were three women who didn't openly cry over Emily's picnic basket. Leading me to believe he appreciates a woman who cries in public and openly demonstrates aggressive behavior. (Thank God I didn't meet him in my 20's, we'd be married today.)

The night ended with a champagne toast and his vow that those women were there because he truly wanted to get to know them better. Until next week. When he sends home three more, who mark my words will be My-Bootie-Isn't-Petite-Enough, Dorothy From Oz and Sportscaster. Unless he repels down a building with them, then its anybodies guess.

Predictions anyone?

Jan 24, 2011

Weekends Are Like "Must See TV" But Without the TV.

Normally on Mondays I write some ridiculous drivel about how terrible my weekend was and how the kids got on my nerves.

But not today.

I mean, those two things did happen - make no mistake - I'm just not going to blog about them. I think its safe to say you know me well enough by now to know that when the weekend rolls around it looks absolutely no different than say a Tuesday morning or a Thursday night. Except that on Thursday nights 30 Rock comes on. So actually, the weekend feels just like a Wednesday afternoon with no good T.V.

We passed a stomach bug around our house like a pair of dice. Finally one of us rolled double two's and we were able to pass it off to some other poor sucker. But as soon as we were bug-free, Rocco picked up the "crud." If you live in Texas then you know what the "crud" is: its a scratchy throat, a nagging cough, a runny nose and triple sneezes. Its kind of like a "cold" but with a southern twist. If you talk to anyone I go to church with or that is in my family and you say, "Rocco has the crud," they know exactly what you're talking about.

So we spent most of our weekend inside. Except for the AG who had the unenviable task of walking the woods all around our house looking for Jessie, our dog of almost 13 years. Sweet Jessie. She was nowhere to be found. And before you think that maybe she was picked up by the pound, she wasn't. Jessie is quite old (17 to be exact) and never leaves home. Her ears aren't what they used to be, neither are her eyes, and our heart tells us that she probably wandered into the woods and "laid down for a nap and ended up in heaven." (Remi's words. Perfect.)

I know you all must think that either Rocco never says anything or that he never says anything funny, since I am always telling you Remi stories. But the truth is, that little boy is so sweet and he hasn't really gotten to the age of showing his personality. When he does I'll be sure and let you know. Until then, I'll let you get your Monday off to a good start by telling you....

Last night Remi was playing a game where she gets us to look the other way while she slaps a sticker on our forehead. It's a fun game that I love to play over and over and over and over. (not.) The trick is getting us to turn our heads. For instance, she can say to her daddy, "Look daddy, Rocco is getting some applesauce" and chances are he won't turn around because, really, who cares about that? But if she were to say, "Look daddy! Catherine Zeta Jones just walked in," you can bet the man would look. So when it was her turn to get me to look away, what do you think her little 4 year old brain came up with? Can't think? Let me tell you, she said, "Look momma! There's some cake!"

Yep, she did.

And dadgum it if I didn't fall for it.

Made ya look!

Jan 21, 2011

I Know You're Just Devastated.

I regret to inform you that this blog has been shut down until Monday.
This is due to the stomach bug that has hit both of my children
and the sad fact that my dog has been missing for three days.
(I'm far more upset by the dog.)
If you have any questions or concerns feel free
to take them up with her...
but I can tell you right now, she won't care.
Love, Melissa

Jan 19, 2011

I DO NOT Heart Sacrifice.

I enjoyed all of your comments from Monday's post on my fasting sweets. Well, I enjoyed some of them. I quite honestly despised Laurel who said she hadn't ever fasted, didn't have any plans to fast and would be happy to double her sweets-eating for over the next three weeks. Be gone, Laurel!

Just kidding.

She wasn't the only one who broke my heart. My sweet friend Dana so elegantly wrote that she was eating chocolate while typing her comment. Is rudeness like that even allowed on the Internet? I think that is called "cyber-bullying" Dana!

And there were those of you who praised my spiritual strength. (I could barely type that phrase without laughing. Me? Spiritual strength? Check with me when this is over.)
Katy (Katy, how funny that you put Hebrews 10:24-25 on your last post because I am allll about that. Spur me on, won't you?)...
Amanda (Oh. And dear Amanda, I may not be the Pioneer Woman - not even sorta close - but promise me that if I ever come to Columbus you and your bff will at least take me to Chili's. I mean, c'mon.)...
Andrea (How is Operation Wedding weigh-loss going? Are you following my plan? Don't!!)
and Missy (Missy, could your blog family picture be any cuter? Seriously. Work on that for me, will ya?) actually encouraged me! (Make a note, Laurel.)

And then there was Crazy Sister (who I knew instantly that I liked when she posted about the terrible flooding in Australia and whether or not she should cut her hair all in the same post) made me laugh when she told me she hoped it "proved worthwhile for me by the end." You and me both, sister. You and me both. And then there was Andi (Mexican casserole is not off limits to me, so thank you for that recipe on your blog) who reminded me that I would grow from this and it wouldn't be in dress sizes. We shall see Andi, I have never known my dress sizes to obey anything I've ever told them. Ever.

And you're right, Marlene. The fact that you are actually doing the Daniel Fast whole-hog meant I did NOT want to hear from you. Next time, I would appreciate you following the rules. It makes me feel better about myself.

But now a word to MBush, Dysfunctional Mom , my friend Kim Little and sweet Lindsey who thought, in their precious good-natured hearts, that they were actually going to suggest a healthy alternative for me. Yes, I know golden raisins are yummy and of course I suppose I could get my grocer to grind up some peanuts and make my own peanut butter. But have y'all just recently started reading my blog? I mean, did y'all just start reading it yesterday? Because if you knew me - at all - you would know that I can't possibly eat any of these things for fear that they would, in fact, satisfy me therefore causing me to quit my bellyaching and incessant whining and focus my attention on something other than me. And if you knew me - really knew me - you would know.........that ain't gonna happen.


Then what fun would it be every night at my house around 8:15 when I start whining and saying, "I just want one Chips Ahoy. One Oreo. Please? AG, just give me one bite of ice cream and I promise I won't say another word the rest of the night. Please? Just one bite. Just one M&M. Just one. Fine, I'll just open up my mouth and you shoot in some Hershey's syrup. That's more like a drink, anyway. Please? Why not? You know what? Don't answer that. I loooooathe you."

And you want me to eat raisins?

Pastor Chip Ingram says that sacrifice is "forgoing something valued for the sake of something having a more pressing claim."

That is the kind of sacrifice I am identifying with. I make jokes all the time and sometimes I know its hard to tell when I'm serious (my lovelies, I hope you know if your name is listed here, I love you. I don't despise you. Even you, Laurel and Dana.) But I could easily sacrifice reality television - even though I love it and know its terrible for the soul. I could even sacrifice People magazine and the occasional pedicure.

But sacrificing sweets is sacrificing something that has become bigger to me than it needs to be. Its setting aside something that has had a front row seat for far too long. In order to let that that has been sitting on the back row move to its rightful spot.

I, like the friend I mentioned, hope it proves worthwhile in the end. But even if no fireworks go off. Even if Billy Graham never calls me to ask me how I did it. And even if on day 31 if I wake up and still don't look like Halle Berry, I can still rest in the knowledge that for once I said "no" to chocolate and "yes" to obedience. "No" to what I want and "yes" to what He wants. "No" to my pleasure and "yes" to His gain.

Though looking like Halle Berry never hurt anyone, Lord. Just sayin'.

Jan 18, 2011

Its Amazing What A Little Underworld Can Teach You. (Bachelor Recap)

Thank you to my girlfriends, whom I watch The Bachelor with every week as they take a two hour show and make it 14 1/2 hours long. But it takes us a while to comment on every word, broach, dress, pair of shoes, hair clip, extension and comment. Can you imagine? We're exhausted by the end of the evening. And this week was no different.

Mainly its hard keeping up with the names. Oh, the names. Names of women we want to kill. Names of women we want to leave. Names of women who have between 2 to 8 seconds total of air time. Names of women who aren't long for this world because they say things like: "I'm starting to really feel something special with you and it's hard sharing you with 14 other women." (Note to bachelorettes: Watch the show before you come on it. Sharing him with 14 other women is....well...what the entire series is about.)

In order to solve our name dilemna we have come up with a fool-proof plan. Its called the "Let's-call-them-by-what-they-do-or-how-they-act-or-what-they-say-or-horrific-outfits-they-wear." And its working out good. I've you've been watching the show then you know exactly who the following are:


Ugly Pink Shoes.

Old-Woman Real Estate.

30th Birthday.





Petite Behind.




And Emily. (Who we know by her actual name because, well, look at her! We all readily confessed that even as secure as we are in our heterosexuality even we would give her a rose just to keep her around and listen to her talk!)

Nothing super suprising happened during the first part of tonights episode. It was chocked full of girls in spandex, cheezy action sequences, playing chicken in the pool and 30th Birthday. Awww, 30th Birthday: the most unoriginal nutjob since last seasons unorginal nutjob. If I decided to go on the Bachelorette and be the villian I would play it soooooo differently. I wouldn't look at the camera and say things like, "I wish the other women would die. I just want to run away with him. They can go on home now. Poor little girls. I'm a woman." I would look right into that camera and say, "I know exactly who I am in Christ, so tomorrow night at the cocktail party - I'm wearing overalls!" And then I would do it.

But it was the second half that got a little odd mainly becuase Fangs did something pretty shockingly, commendable. She left. Not becuase he let her go. Not even because she necassarily wanted to go. But because (as she put it), "Although I'm here because I really want to fall in love, I don't want to take the place of a wonderful women who really needs to."

And y'all....she took her fangs out to say it.

To which Brad said, "You don't have to take your fangs out." And I declared to my fellow-watchers that whenever you're watching a show and the statement, "you don't have to take your fangs out" is uttered, you know you have just hit an all-time low. And perhaps we have; but tonight Fangs left with a little bit of dignity and alot of us thinking that maybe, just maybe, they teach manners in the underworld. You never know.

She not only left Brad to be devoured by hot-blooded women, she took her fangs out to do it.

And that, my lovelies, is your re-cap for the week.

Jan 17, 2011

Dear Lord, I Wish I Was A Lutheran. They Would Never Allow This.

Every year our pastor calls a fast for our church.

You don't have to do it. You won't be kicked out if you decide that you are going to eat tacos come hell or high water. It's not that strict. But he does call a corporate fast of everyone in the church who is willing. Its called a Daniel Fast. You can read more about what it is here. I myself am not wild about it as I do not personally know this Daniel character and find it a bit pushy for him to tell me what I can and cannot eat (but then again I've felt this way about every Weight Watchers leader I ever had and don't even get me started on that operator I talked to at Nutrisystem.)

But anyway, as I was saying, he calls a fast. Did I mention our pastor is a man?

I find that fasting is easier for men.

It's especially easier for men of God.

But I am a woman.

A woman of issues.

So when our pastor called this corporate fast I asked myself, "Self, do you want to go on the Daniel Fast?" And surprisingly my self told me "no." Which I found odd because usually I am just dying to go on 21 day fasts. However, instead of going on the Daniel Fast, the AG and I decided to fast something that was, indeed, a sacrifice for us. To be honest, I'm not sure what he's fasting - nor do I care. The man is so disciplined it makes me want to hurl, so I'm sure he's doing something wonderful like fasting exercise or fasting organizing his socks by colors or fasting color coding his Bible. Whatever. Who cares. All I'm concerned about during this fast is me. Me. Me. Me.

Because I'm fasting sweets.

"Awww please, Melissa. 21 days without sweets. Oh, boo-hoo. Poor, poor you. How ever will you make it?"

I hear you. I know you're saying those things. I don't care. You can smirk and mimic all day long but I will have you know that sweets are a food group to me. They are right under the food groups: Mashed Potato's, Chocolate Milk and Chicken Tenders. Me giving up sweets is like me giving up bathing: I do it every day, come rain or shine, whether I need it or not and sometimes I do it twice.

Sweets are not something I partake in on Christmas or New Years or the 4th of July because we are meeting up with friends at the lake, sweets are something that I wash my food down with. When some people say they have a "sweet tooth" I reply "well, I have sweet teeth."

First of all, let me say that I am not a good faster. I never have been. But on a serious note there are some things that I would like to see God reveal Himself in this coming year and so I took this fast seriously. I could have given up Chik-fil-A; it would have been hard but I would have been just fine. I could have given up green beans and broccoli, don't think I didn't try. But instead I prayed about what to give up and for a non-faster, giving up sweets was a good (and difficult) place for me to start.

So there are no cookies that I snack on while putting them into my kids lunchboxes. No cake when I go to friends birthday parties or showers (of which I have been to just last week........and nearly diiiiiiiieeeed). There are no Cokes or Dr. Pepper when I have a hankerin'. No ice cream during The Bachelor. There is no chocolate milk in the mornings with the kiddos. No Lucky Charms or Pop-Tarts when I'm in a hurry.

There is also no joy on my face.
No peace in my heart.
No respite for my weary soul.

So here's hoping to goodness God grants me those things before long or I might kill a member of my family and blame it on my pastor.

Oh, I'm kidding of course. There was a little joy on my face yesterday when The AG walked in from Wal-Mart and laid a bag of Chips Ahoy down in front of me. But he said it looked more like the Joker after all that acid had burnt his face than it did a really pleasant smile. So he quickly removed the bag of cookies and lived to see another day. So see? Its going well.

So for those of you who are doing the Daniel Fast or have done the Daniel Fast, I don't want to hear from you. I don't want to hear about your lament and your sorrow, I've got enough problems of my own. I want to hear from those of you who have always looked at sweets as I have - a food group all their own. Any ideas on what I might find enjoyable during this fast if it can't be Reese's? Apparently there's something out there called fruit, but I thought it only grew in the summer.

Heading in to week 2. Wish me luck. Wish my family even more.

Jan 13, 2011

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Turns Us In.

Sometimes I think I shouldn't tell you all Remi stories, because a.) you'll be just like all my family who just laughs and laughs and says things like, "Oh that Remi, she is an original" or b.) you will have us turned in to the authorities.

Either way I'm telling this one because maybe - just maybe - you will start to recognize my pain and perhaps instill me with some wisdom that, up to this point, God is withholding from me out of the pure-de joy He finds in my suffering. (You may find it sacrilegious to write things like that, I disagree. Even while typing those words I could hear Him laughing. Its true.)

So, before we go any further, let's go ahead and do those things that good Christians do before they talk bad about someone. Or at least good Christians in the South do this, good Northern Christians seem much more sure about themselves in these situations. So here we go:

*All of the following statements are true. Please don't take them out of context as they were not written that way.

1. The Attorney General and I love "brown people." We have many friends who are brown.

2. The AG and I believe that most brown people are funnier than us and can, without question, keep a better beat.

3. The AG and I are friends with several brown families that we serve alongside at our church, love with all our heart, and would trade their kids for our kids in a heartbeat.

4. We have some of the best neighbors in the world. They are brown.

5. The AG and I were not raised to believe in separation, racism, favorites or I'm-better-than-you philosophies in any way.

6. The AG and I hope that we are teaching our kids the same. Though we can't be sure.

Last night as the AG was working a lady he works with walked in to his office and said, "You won't believe the text I just got." Without hesitation the AG threw his hand on his forehead and said, "Nooooooooooooooooo.....its Remi, isn't it?"

We've learned to always know the answer is "yes."

Because you see, the lady the AG works with is the mother of Remi's dance teacher. The AG knew Remi was at dance class and, well, the mans not an idiot.

"My daughter just asked Remi who her best friend at school was. And Remi replied, 'I love allllllll the brown kids because I love me some chocolate.'"



Our teaching moment came later that evening when Remi got home from dance class. Lick the dining room table, Remi. Does it taste like chocolate?
Lick your jacket, Remi. Does it taste like chocolate?
Lick daddy's arm, Remi. Does it taste like vanilla?
Lick your brother's hand, Remi. Does it taste like vanilla?

Our point (and believe it or not, we did have one) was to show Remi that just because you are brown doesn't make you chocolate. But she firmly believes that she loves chocolate and she loves brown people and only God could have been so creative as to give them such a wonderful color. I kind of agree.

But her reasoning is so completely politically incorrect in the year 2011 that I'm afraid we are going to be turned in to the authorities, thrown in some kind of Parental Prison for Imbeciles and made to live out our days licking grey steel bars and repeating, "No sir, these do not taste like hamburger."

She means well. We think.

Jan 12, 2011

In Respone To Your Replies...Or Something Like That.

So this is the first time I've done this, though it probably won't be the last.

Oh who knows, I can't be sure. It might be. I'm not really one to get on a "kick" and do anything over and over out of repetition (i.e. health-kick, cleaning-kick, health food-kick, etc.)

But when I started my blog back up a the first of the year I really thought about how important it is to make friends on this blog. I mean, I need friends. You need friends. All God's children need friends. And its not like we're going to be having sleepovers or anything - but if we can get to know each other just a touch, celebrate anniversaries, cry over kiddos, share excitement over The Bachelor, then maybe writing this blog while my kids wrestle on my head and wipe boogers on my screen won't be in complete vain. Don'tchathink?

So although I didn't reply to every single person please don't be mad at me. First of all, I can't stand for people to be mad at me; I completely and totally obsess over things like that until I start to question myself and why my parents raised me like they did. But secondly....oh wait, there aren't two things to say there - just the one. Which was, "don't be mad at me."

So here we go. Here are just a few things I would say to each of you if you were, say, standing two people in front of me at the Post Office:

Dana and Vicki, thank you for missing me. Thanks for leaving a comment several days ago and welcoming me back to bloggytown, it was (as always) good to hear from you. And Marlene you said that you were very close to finding out my zip code and coming down here to find me and I don't doubt it. I would do the same for you!

Now, imagine I was getting groceries in the express aisle and I noticed that you had more than 10 items in your cart. Would I say something? Not if you were...Amy, who may be the only person in the world who really loves my Bachelor recaps and that is enough for me. So thanks, Amy, for getting a kick out of my Bachelor theatrics. They are just for you! And Brad.

Let's imagine I'm driving down the road and I pull up to a red light next to the Anonymous commenter who asked who The AG was. I would roll down my window, look you straight in the eye and say, "Who is the AG? Who is the AG? You don't know who the AG is? Where have you been girlfriend? He is just the most attractive, strong, disciplined, funny, brilliant man you'll ever meet. And I was lucky enough to marry him. What's that? You want to know why I call him the AG? Oh, well, it stands for Attorney General because he is an attorney and he is a man of very strong discipline. I am not an attorney and I don't have a disciplined bone in my body. And yet we go together like Oreo's and milk." (Guess who's the Oreo's?)

Pretend I'm shopping at Barnes and Noble and suddenly I bump right into.....alllllll of you who wrote to tell how moved you were at what the AG had given me for Christmas. This was special for me because so many of you have been readers of my blog for some time and so you know all about Elisha. It did my heart good to know that you were just as happy for me as I was. It was good to hear from Givinya DeElba who has been reading my blog since God was a boy and was just thrilled for me! To adorable Genie Marie who it was good to hear from. To sweet, precious Sissy who has been an encouragement to me through miscarriages and adoptions and who very soon (God willing) will receive the same kind of encouragement from me when she brings a little one home. And Tennessee Maria, who would be a friend of mine but she has lost so much weight that I'm considering banning her....unless she shares her secrets. You look great! Email me some tips.

And of course if I went to Sonic for a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper with Vanilla in it and I pulled up next to Rachel I would say, "Rachel, why do you only want my curling iron if it comes with burnt skin attached to it? Because some would say that is kind of sick and stalkeresque...but I would say it is freakin' awesome!! So thanks, Rachel." And then I would wave bye to her, roll up my window, lock my doors and whisper a silent prayer of thanks to God because I have asked him for yeeeeeaaarrrs for a stalker.

And last but not least, if I ever find myself at Chik-fil-A with these women I might - I repeat, might - give them one of my nuggets because they shared such great soup recipes with me:

  • Kim Neely who gave me a recipe with cabbage in it and I still love her.
  • Marlyn Erskine. Marlyn, you had me at "bacon."
  • Kat Beyer who gave me two recipes. Please go look at all of the craftiness that Kat has and then question how not one single atom of it found its way into my body. (Kat, I want a play house like the one you made your niece. Badly.)
  • Paula Manley, who is an old college friend and still reads my blog. Which just goes to prove that I wasn't the obnoxious blonde in college that my husband leads me to believe I was. Was I, Paula?
  • My Tennessee lovelies, Debbie Hobgood and Ashley Jones.
  • And those of you who suggested that I simply check out The Pioneer Woman. Which I did. Love. It. Thank you!!

So there are some of my thoughts to a few of my friends, old ones and new ones. Thank you, my lovelies, for sharing life with me on this blog. If I do ever bump into you, I promise you can have a nugget. And that's saying a lot!

Jan 11, 2011

Mazel Tov! (A Bachelor Recap)

I watched last nights Bachelor with some friends. Its a good thing we're not drinkin' buddies or we would just now be waking up wondering where our keys were.

Mainly because never before in the history of the series has one word been uttered so much: birthday.

Which is ironic to me since every single week they tell us that this is "the most shocking Bachelor ever" or "nothing compares to what you see here tonight" or "for the first time we are allowing cameras in to the hot air balloon" - and then last night, they actually could have said "for the first time in the Bachelor series will you hear a word used more often and in more rapid pace than ever before. Call your friends and family and gather around the television because this, America, is about to get real." But they didn't!

Because last night was Michelle's birthday and she mentioned it some 466 times. Whereupon my friends and I decided that we should drink every time she said the word...
"Today is my birthday..." "Mazel Tov!" (gulp)
"I can't believe I'm sharing him on my birthday..." "Mazel Tov!" (gulp)
"He's the only thing I want for my birthday..." "Mazel Tov!" (gulp)

Later we each had to take, like, twelve bathroom breaks but it was totally worth it because I had made my Church-Friendly Sangria and so even though we weren't doing anything wrong its kinda nice to feel like you are. Especially when your watching The Bachelor in your sweats, with your hair pulled back in a headband and no bra - while 20 women parade around in bikinis and enjoy private carnivals thrown in their honor.

Personally, I thought Brad made some pretty good decisions last night. He sent home Rachel and Melissa who fought more with each other than anything else. (Dear Producer, when a girl uses the overused phrase "I can't believe I'm crying, I never cry" - keep the cameras on her because she is going to be a faucet that no man can turn off.)

He also sent home Kelty which seems about right considering her past dating experience. She told the camera that "dating at work has never, ever worked out." (Dear Kelty, the reason dating at work is not working for you is because you are a Rockette; so its either because they are women or they are gay. I just feel like I shouldn't have had to point that out to you.)

His one on one dates were with Jackie and the dentist. I'm not sure what the dentists name is, we just call her 'the dentist', and you can spot her coming a mile away because her teeth are so white. He took her to a carnival and not once did I spot funnel cake all between her teeth, which means dentists' obviously know something we don't. (Of course she's a size 0, so what she probably knows is: don't eat funnel cakes. Whatevs.) And the last date went to Jackie who we felt like had just escaped from the musical cast of Glee. Meridith felt like at any moment she was going to bust out in "Don't' Stop Believin'" - which we agreed, would have rocked!

So there's my Bachelor Recap. And here's my Church Friendly Sangria. And by "church-friendly" I don't mean to take it to the next potluck. No one wants Sangria with their fried chicken and lasagna. So save it for the next time a group of girls get together for The Bachelor or................its your birthday! Mazel Tov! (gulp)

1 apple juice concentrate
1 limeade concentrate
1 white grape concentrate
1 cranberry concentrate
2 2-liters of DIET Sprite or 7-UP (has to be diet, I don't know why)
Mix together and then throw in one bag of frozen, mixed berries and thin slices of an orange - so it looks like you're fancy and you actually care.
Then viola'!

Jan 10, 2011

Mine Was Fine. And Yours?

Let me start by saying right up front that this is one of those blogs that at the end you will ask yourself "Why, Donna, why? Why did you waste precious moments reading that drivvle?" And you will think about what you could have done with that time, how you could have invested it. And you may even begin to fear that you will have to stand accountable to God one day for all the wasting that you did with it.

But maybe I'm overthinking it.

Because today's blog is about my weekend. And it was a whoooooooooooooole lotta nothin'. Mainly because my highlights were this: I burnt my head with a curling iron and I bought a new jogging suit.

See? Isn't there a hungry child out there who needs sponsoring right about now? Of course there is, but you're gonna keep reading aren't you? Because this blog is kinda like the scene of an accident: you can't look away.

Here are the ironics about my weekend: A. I have been using a curling iron since 1981. So it isn't like its a new art form I've just picked up. B. I don't jog.

I spent the majority of Friday going on an out of town shopping trip with my mom and my Granny. That is kind of like going on a bear hunt with a two spoons; you must be on guard at all times because at any moment you may be asked to do something you are pretty ill-equipped to do. Oh, I don't know, take the moment my mom pulled up beside two young men in a work truck, rolled down her window and asked them if they knew who she was.
"No, ma'am."
"Then why are you honking at me?"
"We were just being silly and honking our horn, we didn't mean...."
"Well, that's fine. I just wanted to make sure you knew that if you were tryin' to get lucky you were lookin' in the wrong car."


Or then there was the moment my Granny made me take her into her favorite dress shop and bring items of clothing to her while she sat in an overstuffed chair because she was "feeling dizzy." (Note to self: Granny is always feeling "dizzy." Or "lightheaded." Or "weak." Or "faint." There is a good chance she is faking.) I spent an hour chasing after sentences like, "Bring me something with flowers," or "do they have anything that goes with blue?"


Oh, and then I burnt my head with a curling iron and had to wear a Cars band-aid around on my head all weekend.

And then I bought a jogging suit.

And to think, all of the above happened on Friday. Which is probably why I spent Saturday and Sunday SLEEPING! Later in the week I may try to take up hot-rolling and exercise. Though I seriously doubt it.

So......how was yours?

Oh! And on another note: I am looking for a really good, rich, creamy, sinful soup recipe. I'd love for it to be some kind of enchilada or taco or mexican - but I'll take whatever, because its starting to get really cold here and apparently my family is completely over Campbells Chicken Noodle. Who knew! So email me your recipes (melissalee@consolidated.net) and the favorite may just get a prize. Seriously! I'm not kidding. Hope you like to curl your hair because there's a curling iron with your name on it!!

Jan 6, 2011

Put This In Your GPS and Smoke It.

Because yesterday's post brought many tears and heavy sighs, I thought it best to lighten the mood. Really, really lighten it.

And if you want to lighten the mood around here, who do we call on? You guessed it......my mom and my Granny.

So now you have been invited to eavesdrop on a conversation that I recently heard held between these two women. None of the following statements have been embellished in any way (as I was sitting on the couch laughing my head off at them for the entirety of the conversation) however, certain names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Granny: Annette, I wish you would tell me where their new house is.

Mom: I can tell you right where its at. Do you remember the Hall girl?

Granny: No, but I know her mother.

Mom: How do you know her mother if you don't even know who I'm talking about?

Granny: Because I don't know her as Hall I know her as Welch.

Mom: She didn't marry a Welch.

Granny: She did the first time!

Mom: Oh, that's right. Well, now she's a Hall. Do you know where she lives?

Granny: No, but I know where her mother lives.

Mom: Well, that ain't no help to anybody. Forget about her mother. (Sigh) Do you know where the Curtis' live?

Granny: Yes, but I don't think they are there anymore.

Mom: Where are they?

Granny: On Grove. They had to get away from her husband.

Mom: You remember you used to always say he was a skunk.

Granny: He is a skunk! I was right. Which is why she had to move away from him to Grove street.

Mom: Well, if you go by the old Curtis' house and you take that down to the end of the road...

Granny: By Marvelene's?

Mom: Yes, by Marvelene and Melvin's.

Granny: Marvelene don't live with Melvin anymore. Where have you been?

Mom: Apparently on Grove street!

Granny: Marveleve quit paying his bills and apparently he left. Cause he's a baby, ya know?

Mom: I do know. You tried to tell her that for a hundred years.

Granny: Yes, I did. I can spot skunks and babies. By the way, I made you some dinner tonight since you've been sick.

Mom: Mother, I haven't been sick for over a week.

Granny: Fine. Then don't eat it.

Mom: No, I'll eat it. A good pot of beans shouldn't ever go to waste.

Granny: Are you gonna tell me what to do once I get to the end of the road?

Mom: You turn left.

Granny: By the old Classic Chevrolet place?

Mom: Classic Chevrolet? I don't know, I just know that its down there on the left by the Morris' place.

Granny: They died 15 years ago, Annette!

Mom: All of 'em? The whole family? They all just died?

Granny: No, just the momma.

Mom: So none of them still live there?

Granny: Maybe the son, but he likes drugs.

Mom: Hmmm. I didn't know that. Well, turn left by the Morris' old place....

Granny: If your not gonna eat those beans give them to your brother. Even though he told me he'd come see me today and he chose to go to sleep. Bum!

Mom: Well, mom, he works a night shift. Give him a break.

Granny: I guess I'm never gonna get to see this house. You've been trying to tell me for 20 minutes.

Mom: Do you want me to just drive you there?

Granny: No, I don't have time.

Mom: What else do you have to do?

Granny: I have to defrost the freezer.

Mom: Oh, so you're swamped!

Granny: Very.


Why did I share this little scavenger hunt with you? I don't know. I guess I just felt like it was unfair of me to partake in all this hilarity and not share it with my friends. You are all very, very welcome.

If you should take away anything at all from this it would be this: when lost, find a GPS. And by "GPS" I mean, Granny's Personal Sayings. Imagine her voice on your GPS system, "You could turn right here but you might see that skunk selling drugs out of his dead mommas home. So I'd turn left."

They'd be flying off the shelves!

Jan 5, 2011

A Homecoming Christmas.

I may have mentioned on Monday about a little something special my husband did for me this Christmas. I just didn't tell you what it was. But I'm about to.

Because once in a while a husband really, really gets it right.

Not all the time, mind you. There was, as I have mentioned before, the "pancho" incident of 2004. There was the time he bought me a low-cal/low-fat cookbook for Mother's Day (Uh, hello? Offensive!) . And more times than not his gifts have come with batteries and the need for an electrical outlet.

But not this time, this time he did good.

Because this Christmas, my sweet Attorney General, made sure I spent Christmas with all my family. Every little one of them.

He brought Elisha to me.

Just before Christmas, because he is a kid at heart and can't stand for a good surprise to be held in for over 24 hours (and I love that about him) he grabbed my hand and drug me to the car. He said he wanted to show me something and just couldn't wait another minute. And with all the expectations in the world to see that a neighbor had bought a new car - or a new house was going up down the street - or someone close by was smoking some kind of special meat - I jumped in the car so he could take me to what he was so excited about.

Only he drove me to a cemetery.

And showed me the fresh dirt. Turned over and packed down. With the headstone we had created only 5 years ago that very month. And beneath it was our boy.

And within seconds my knees hit the earth that only moments before I had been standing on. And I began to cry. Because everyone, absolutely everyone, was now home.

I did not know he was doing this. I probably would have been a wreck had I known. The questions of the "how" and "when" and "will they" and "are they" would have haunted me every second, so wisely, he chose to leave me out of it. And do it himself. He made the calls, he made the arrangements and he took my hand and lead me out to where I finally felt peace - such peace.

To make it all the more sweeter Elisha isn't in a plot all by himself. He is sharing one, with my little brother Christopher; their two caskets barely make up the full length of one adult and so there, in the same sweet ground as my brother, lay my son. Behind him is my Pawpaw and to the left of him, my uncle Donald.

All of them are buried in a small, country cemetery less than 2 miles from my home with some of my family and some very special friends buried amongst them. And as I turned to leave that evening, holding my sweet husbands hand, I couldn't help but feel that somewhere in Tennessee there were ships burning.

Not that I don't love Tennessee, oh how I do. But finally, it felt as if I could burn the ships that were holding me down there. Because a year or two or three or a hundred can go by in another place, but until a mother has all her babies home, something just doesn't feel right.

And so that night, as we drove back home, I thought about the ships. And in my minds eye I watched them burn. And I thought to myself, "We're here now. We are all here. We are in Texas now, every one of us. I have both of my hands and both of my feet and all of my heart. Right here. In this Texas earth."

And then I kissed the AG. For a really long time.

Jan 4, 2011

Helloooooooooo Austin! (Bachelor Recap)

Let me start by saying that if you were to accept the Lord into your heart while reading this post - if your marriage were to be refreshed and changed - or if your misbehaving children were to wander into your bedroom with musings of regret and humility - then it was all because of the words I will have written here.

So prepare yourselves....this is gonna be deep!

Last night was episode one of The Bachelor, season 114. Perhaps you are one of the few who do not watch The Bachelor, or perhaps you are a male, but I find the Bachelor to be a lot like....Chinese takeout on Friday nights....Mary Higgins Clark novels.....any and all Hair magazines.....and the soundtrack to Miss Congeniality.......A GUILTY PLEASURE.

Should I be watching it? Maybe not.
Do I want a bunch of people to know I'm watching it? Heck no.
Do I enjoy every little second of it? Uh, yep.

And this season is going to prove be a good one, I just gotta feelin'. So even if you aren't a watcher of this particular show feel free to read my recaps as they are both enlightening and stunning in their wordplay - and chances are you'll feel just like you watched it.

This season finds us with Brad Womack. I did not watch the season three years ago that Brad starred on, so I do not have any preconceived ideas about Brad nor do I despise him like so many others.

Quite the contrary..............................me likey.

Brad oozes Texas charisma. He makes me hungry for barbecue just listenin' to him. And three times during the show I broke out into "Ocean Front Property." The man can't help it! But I also think he kinda reminds me of The AG a little; with his rugged good looks and those lines on his face that say "I've been thinking so hard about how to make myself less attractive but I can't think of any way to stop it and I made a million dollars just sittin' here stewin' on it." (That's what I imagine the AG sits around and does all day. Only I've yet to see the financial proof of it.)

So I'm not mad at Brad. In fact, I'm intrigued by his honesty and seeming humility. The man didn't have to come back on here! So if he closed himself off for three years and had to seek therapy why do that to yourself again if you don't really mean it? Sheesh.

Of course that is what I'm saying now. Check back with me in four weeks when I'm like, "Fool! You shoulda stayed home! Fool!" I tend to get overly involved.

So then there were the women.

Seriously? You expect me to believe that the producers and casting agents of this show have the mans best interest at heart when they allow a girl with FANGS on the show? Seriously?

For those of you who just read that sentence and don't watch - please don't disregard this show immediately. For your information they also have real life women:
- Like the one who has such a square, manly jawline I thought it was a Rubix cube.
- Or the one who said she didn't have "a petite behind," and was right.
- Or the girl who looked deadpan into the camera and said "I don't know why he didn't pick me, I have a fantastic personality." Deadpan. Dead. Pan.

But there were others that we need to pay attention to - and for good reason. Oh yes, sir. Children's Hospital Event Planner anyone? Anyone?

And then, of course, just like every horror movie has a girl who runs screaming with no pants on - and every teen angst drama has that one nerd who ends up the high school heartthrob - there was the one girl who started off the night by saying: "I didn't come here to make friends with a bunch of women."

Cue drama.

Insert water works.

Terrifying orchestral music hits its high-point, and....

Here we go.

Let the season begin!

Jan 3, 2011


Remember the last time you read about a celebrity death, only to find out three days later it was just a hoax?

Britney and Justin apparently were killed in a car crash in 2001.

Paris Hilton supposedly died while in jail in 2007.

Micheal Jackson died.....well, that one ends kinda sad.

But see? Just like the timeless graces of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton - I HAVE ARISEN!!!

I am not dead. It was all just a joke. I didn't pack up my blog and forget Blogger ever existed. I didn't throw my computer out the window over the holidays. And I didn't die in jail. I've been here, all along. I've just been really really really really lazy.

So let's do a little catching up, shall we?

I'll go first.


My health is fine. However, I seem to be aging quite aggressively and am finding that there are some things breaking down on me that were in fighting shape just a few short years ago. (Oh, who am I kidding? I wasn't in "fighting shape" even in junior high.) Namely, my lower back. What is up with that? My birthday was on December 1st and by 10am that morning my lower back had completely retired and bought a condo in Florida. All I remember was I woke up to the Happy Birthday song and 45 minutes later while putting a bow in my daughters hair, my back went out. I wasn't making the bow, mind you. I was just slipping it in her hair. And that my lovelies, is called ageing.


The Attorney General is in "fighting shape." No really, I can say that about him because he actually is. It both turns me on and disgusts' me at the same time. He has already typed up his set of goals for 2011 and printed them out so that he can look at them every morning and start the day with an enduring promise to himself to cross them off his list thereby giving himself a drive to accomplish those goals and a pride in doing so.(There are moments when I am stunned - purely stunned - that we are still married.)

The AG did good, reeeeaaaalll good, on his Christmas gift-giving this year. I like to think it is because it was the first year I actually typed up a Christmas Wish list and turned it in to him IN OCTOBER! (This stems from the Christmas debacle of 2006 when he waited until the night before Christmas to "go run some errands" and then I opened up what can only be described as a "pancho" on Christmas morning. Oh, it was horrible. So amazingly horrible.) So this year I wrote down what I wanted and he stuck to the list. Except for one thing: one very special, amazingly wonderful, totally shocking gift that he gave to me that made my Christmas one of the best. Ever. Unfortunately, it warrants a post all its on and shall be shared with you all later in the week.

Oh, and he bought me a Barry Manilow CD. I'm a FANILOW!!


My sweet Rocco is growing up, but just like I can tell when the weather is about to change thanks to my knees and lower back, I can also tell that the "terrible two's" are about to make a landing in my zip code. He is getting a little bossy and isn't' afraid to climb things, throw things or call me a "bonehead" at any given moment. He got a drum set for Christmas and although I was initially against it, I began to feel like they might be a healthy distraction from his increasing interest in "oobies." He is his fathers son.


And then there's Remi. Or as the AG now refers to her, Deniece the Menace. Or as our Children's Pastor at church calls her, Ramona Quimby. She hasn't slowed down one bit in the last three years and so to all of you who once wrote to me and told me sweet things like, "She'll grow out of it. She'll mature. She is just strong-willed, be persistent!" To you, I say, LIARS!!!!

She is sassy and beautiful and should really have a blog dedicated entirely to her. She has run off every babysitter that we've had, aside from family (though I will admit, we are really only down to two family members at this point who still have the energy.) And she has no filter at all. Last week my parents had a sweet family in our church come by for a late Christmas visit; they are some sweet friends of ours who just happen to be African American. Though I'm sure they know what their skin color is it doesn't hurt to have Remi run in the room, point to each of them one at a time and say, "You're brown - you're brown - you're brown - and you're brown. But that's okay because I looooooove chocolate!"

She makes me tired just typing about her.


If you've read my blog for any amount of time then you know The Bachelor comes on tonight and I am more than a little excited about it. The last time this series came on it was The Bachelorette with Ali and I had trouble giving my re-caps each week, and now I know why! She was in love with Roberto the whole time and it stunk!! So I'm hoping the return of Brad Womack gives us a little more spice to work with. But even if he doesn't a house full of women never disappoint. So check back here tomorrow for my Bachelor re-cap. And then check back on Wednesday when I try to make up for all the shallowness that Tuesday will bring by discussing the last book of Revelation. Fun? No?


I'm really sorry I've been away for so long. The Lord really convicted me about it and how so many of you find it hard to start your day without hearing what it is I have to say. Oh wait, I got that backward. The Lord was convicting me on how much crap I eat. That's what it was! My bad.

Anyway, I'm glad your still here reading this and I'm glad God has been faithful to me to allow me to still write down my musings on marriage and thoughts on friendship, my fears on motherhood and my battle with weight, my lack of motivation and my desire to change. And I'm glad you all are along for the ride. I've missed you!

Now.............you're turn!