TIny Chuckles

What do you get when you take a picture of a bearded David Copperfield, blow his hair out crazy like Barry Manilow in 1982, and put it in a fancy frame? You get a $179 painting of Jesus with blue eyes. The blue eyes are always a nice touch. Was there a single Jewish man 2000 years ago with blue eyes? I highly doubt this. I have recessive genes in my extended family for blue/green eyes and yet all four of mine are dark brown eyed babies.

Come on, people. Paint him for REALS.

It made me laugh, though.


For Granted

I have a whole bunch of posts I wrote on a private blog a long, long time before I started a public one. Some of them are better than others. All of them record life with my wee ones and I am so very thankful I wrote down as much as I did. Tonight, getting them all into bed was more like a wrestling smackdown than a scene from Little Women. It wasn’t a big deal, but I think maybe I should loosen up a little. It’s summertime now, for the love of wrinkles. As I got to thinking about the little darlings, I read back through some old stuff. I think on days when I don’t have original thoughts, I will post something from the archives. If you want to read it, great. If not, also great. Only YOU can control your eyeballs.

In light of the fact that tomorrow is Sunday,  the Lord’s Day, I’ll dredge up this one. I hope you are all kicking back somewhere and drinking in summer.


I just laid my youngest blessing down in her bed and paused to watch her sleep as the rain fell steadily outside against her window. She resides now in what was once Mama’s Boy’s room. I still have very vivid memories of rocking him to the sound of a similar rain. As I stood there, it occurred to me again how much I have…how blessed I am. It also occurred to me that it is very easy to love God with all of this around me, in my arms, in my face. Daily. If one of these children were taken from me suddenly, if my health were taken, or a friend, or a parent, what then? How much harder it would be to accept God’s decisions if I perceived that they were against me…if they disrupted the peace that I give Him credit for giving me. I take these things “for granted,” a phrase I’ve been thinking about for at least a week now. What is for granted? It indicates there is something that SHOULD be granted me…something I am owed. Is there anything in my life that I really deserved or earned? Anything I was owed? We come to expect things that come with a territory. If I am in my 20s and looking, I should be married. If I am married and financially stable, I should be able to conceive children. If I am young, I should be healthy. If my family is young, they should all be alive. The list goes on. We expect these things. We struggle when life takes a turn against the expectation…against what should be granted. Or so we think.

I now believe that nothing is truly for granted. Nothing is a given. Everything is a miracle on loan and nothing should cause me to leave Him if it were suddenly removed from me. This has made me think, because as I stated, it is easy to love Him on top of the blessings He has given me. It is easy to love Him alongside what I have. The trick is to love Him more than all of that. The trick is to be closer to the Giver than I am to the gifts. He has to be my ultimate relationship, because the ones He has given me here for my own comfort and strength are just on loan. They are granted me for now, but are not to be taken for granted.


Sometimes things sneak up on you. A pound or two becomes 20. A couple of pesky sunburns becomes the skin of a decomposing body.


You don’t get there overnight…which is really the problem. Of course if we could SEE ourselves rotting in the grave we would wear sunscreen. If we could envision how terribly painful it was going to be to try on bathing suits in TJMaxx, we would put down the poptart and pick up the banana. Surely I’m not the only one who lacks this type of vision.

Tonight I had one of those moments. I had Todd take a picture of it, and I need to tell you that his reaction to being asked to take the picture was actually funnier than the object he was photographing. He attached it to an email with the subject “Disgusting.”

This moment of clarity came as I was packing my beach attire tonight. I naturally reached for my brown leather flip flops and was about to throw them in the duffle bag when I turned them over and saw this:


The picture doesn’t really do it justice. It’s feathers. And stuff. And poop.  All stuck together.

Pretty bad.

There are so many things wrong with this picture that it’s hard to know exactly where to go with it. It’s hard to say what is worse…the fact that there are feathers and poop within a short walk of my back door  or the fact that I chose these particular flip flops to go into the chicken coop and  didn’t notice I had stepped in it. Or is it worse that I came in the house after that and almost packed them many months later in this condition.

Actually, probably the worst thing is that I had Todd take a picture and now I’m talking about it on the internet.

That’s messed up.


All jokes aside

Knock knock jokes wear me out.

What percentage of them are actually funny? And aren’t there just 14 that circulate the planet and have been doing so since 1941?

My youngest tries them out on me all the time.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?

Human who?
Human BEEEEE-ing.

I furrowed my brow and then forced up some canned laughter from a dark section of my brain.

hahahahahahaha. That was a good one, I said.

No it wasn’t. That was horrible. Human being? What does that even mean? At what point does it become lying? When do I become the mom who chuckles just enough so that Tone Deaf Tillie tries out for American Idol thinking she sings like an angel?

Fortunately Fox does not have a Knock Knock Joke reality show. I bet if they read this blog they’d produce one. But I wonder what their focus would be…kids telling terrible knock knock jokes about human beings and interrupting cows or the moms that enable them…

The Real Liars of Knock Knock Joke Households.

The thing about the chickens – Part 1

Today felt like the first time I have exhaled in 3 months. It was the first day my baby was not in preschool on a different schedule. This meant that I didn’t not have an extra dropoff at 8:45 and pick up at 12:45. This further meant we could eat breakfast and tidy up the family room and feed the chickens and suffer through Jillian Michaels and forget to throw the wet clothes into the dryer.

We could actually stop into the library branch and pay our fines. It’s hard to accumulate the kind of fines I paid today. It was all on Beloved’s card, but let’s be honest…it’s always the parent’s fault. All I will say about this topic is that it feels really good to be back in good standing with the public library system. There’s something very uncomfortable about having a librarian look down on you. To celebrate, we checked out 424 books and 1 DVD. Actually, just 14 books. Just enough to accrue some more fines when we forget to return them.

I will not do that again.


So, the chickens.  I know people are struggling to sleep at night as they wonder what precisely is our chicken update. It’s been a weird go of things lately. The morning I was scheduled to fly to New York, I went out to feed them and discovered a hen dead inside the coop. The others–being the smart, concerned animals they are–were stepping on their friend as they wandered from the coop into the run and back into the coop.  We took care of that one right as we were leaving for the airport and stapled down a couple of places in the coop. What happened exactly? Did they turn on it? Was it an accidental pecking? Does a Florida Python live in the coop and come out at night? Why did whatever killed it not eat it? It looked like an inside job, but couldn’t be.

I didn’t have time to think about it. I was flying to NYC where the only chickens are the ones who can’t jaywalk successfully.

Apparently we didn’t solve the problem, because that night another one turned up dead. This one was one of our favorites: Phantom. And she was a good layer also. Don’t let the name fool you.  My parents-in-law dealt with that death in our absence. The next night, another one disappeared. This one was just gone…and was still another beloved favored laying hen. Silver. The fat fluffy gray one.  Well, for the love of creamed corn. This had to stop.

The following night, my father in law set a live trap using cat food as bait. He anchored it down with tent stakes. We arrived in town late that same night. The next morning, an ugly, sinister beastly raccoon was pacing back and forth inside that cage. Oh, yeah, buddy. No chicken parmigiana for you last night, eh? Mama’s Boy tried to talk us into releasing it. No way. That thing had been eating my chickens.  I didn’t even sugarcoat my answer to him. Step off, boy. It’s shootin’ time.  I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the story. All I will say is that it made it a whole lot easier to do what was necessary when the beast lunged at me twice from  inside his cage. Game on, fella. Game on.

We haven’t had any more trouble with our chickens.

Well, except for the two roosters. And the water problem. And the fact that they are seriously too dumb to find the door to the coop.

Except for that.