Friday, March 31, 2017

Raising a Sour Patch Kid

   First they’re sour, then they’re sweet. Whoever came up with that slogan had toddlers. I mean one minute they are rotten as can be and they hate the world, then the next minute they are cuddled up in your lap, loving on you. I speak from experience. My little sour patch kid turned two years old today

     You know, I would really like to know who came up with the term “terrible twos”, because are one year olds really that good?  If you have a good one year old, then that’s a blessing for you; but in my experience, “terrible twos” started way too early.
      Go through this scenario with me. You’re standing in the foyer after church, and all of the sudden the lights go out. What is your first thought? Well, if you have a child, it’s usually a prayer of “please don’t be my kid”. Then the lights come back on and there’s your toddler, standing in the chair next to the light switch…..and the fire alarm. Now you run, run very fast because those little hands are quick as lightning.
     Now, if you’ve never had this happen to you, well la-de-da, aren’t you just perfect? No, I’m just kidding. Sort of. But yes, this did happen … at a meeting on deputation. Talk about embarrassing. Don’t worry, folks, my husband made it to her before she pulled the fire alarm, and she was dealt with. Hopefully to the point of never touching a light switch or even a fire alarm again, but she is two now, so we’ll see what happens.

     I’m sure you’re wondering, though, why I call her my sour patch kid, because so far there is no sweetness. Well, a couple of nights ago we were in the van traveling to the next stop, and it was night, but she hadn’t fallen asleep yet. So, like all good moms I gave her a cookie to help her settle down. Don’t judge me. So then she started asking me to hold her hand, and to do so is possible in the van, but painful after about thirty seconds, so I said “no”.  Then the sour came out and she asked over, and over, and over again. I’m sitting there thinking, “I just gave you a cookie at 10:00 at night. Be happy, kid”.  This whole time she had not taken a bite of that cookie. Then she finally switches from “hold hand?” to “Pray? Pray? Pray? Pray?”.  Now, at first I thought she was still trying to get me to hold her hand because we hold hands when we pray, but who am I to tell my kid “no, we are not going to pray for that cookie”?  So, I took her hand, and we prayed.  Then came the sweet. She gave me the most adorable “Thank You” and proceeded to eat her cookie. Lesson learned.

     People tell me that three is even worse than two. I sure hope not, because I think we’d be going from sour patch kid to warhead. What about you? Do you have a sour patch kid, and at what age do they become just a plain old jolly rancher?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Motherhood isn't for Wimps

I have twenty-eight years of experience at being a mother. That fact shocks me. Not just that I have a kid that old, (hi, Matt!), but that I've survived motherhood for that long. Anyone who has children knows that being a mother is not for the faint of heart. And if motherhood in general is tough, try being mother to the children of Indiana Jones.

My husband is a leader with a strong personality, and all of our boys seem to have inherited his stubbornness and his independent streak. There have been times in my motherhood career that I've felt like I was just barely able to withstand the onslaught of bulldozers known as our sons. (In all honesty, Stephanie, you've done a little bulldozing over the years too).

Here's a short list of some things I've experienced, living in a household full of alpha males.

*I purchase five dozen eggs per week.

*I use the phrase "that's inappropriate" on a regular basis. Every. Day.

*My furniture regularly gets rearranged--meaning it gets shoved out of the way for wrestling matches and Krav Maga demonstrations.

*I have formerly live animals stuffed and mounted on my walls.

*We don't watch movies unless someone is shot or something blows up. Preferably in the first five minutes.

*I ask the question, "What is that smell?" on a regular basis. Every. Day.

*When the boys are cooking, pancakes and sausage patties are always the same size as the pan they're cooked in.

*Someone always asks, "What's for dinner?", usually before 9:00 a.m.

*I have to continually remind them that they don't live in a guys' dorm.

*Like all strong men, they're all babies when they're sick.

On the plus side, I never have to take out the garbage. Although I may have to ask three times before someone else does.

So what about you? Are you surviving motherhood or appreciating your mother and all she put up with from you?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Why Are We Laughing?

Welcome to Laughing Out Loud in the Ministry! I'm Jill, and I created this blog with my daughter, Stephanie, and my daughter-in-law, Kylee. I'm a pastor's wife, church secretary, public speaker, sometimes writer and matriarch of a not-so-normal ministry family.

Stephanie:  What is a "normal" ministry family anyway? Is there such a thing?

Kylee:  Homeschoolers, table manners and side parts, no ankles showing and everyone plays an instrument. That's a normal ministry family.

Jill:   Well we do have table manners. At least, the female family members do ... at least, the adult female family members do.

Stephanie:  Then we are so not normal. We don't fall into any of those categories. Except homeschoolers, but we're a special breed of homeschoolers.

Kylee:  Mom can play the tambourine, too. Does that count?

Jill:  By normal I meant most people think of pastors' families as very pious and serious. I've had lots of people tell me how surprised they are that I have a sense of humor once they find out I'm a pastor's wife.

Stephanie:  Surprised you have a sense of humor? Wow. You do have one, twisted as it may be. Like the time you told us that you and dad were aliens and then you would "beep" talk at each other until we cried.

Kylee:  I can play the armpit straw ...

Jill:  Okay, well I think we've established how not normal we are. To continue introducing myself, Ahem! I am married to a man who is not only an excellent preacher, but also an NRA instructor and a black belt in Krav Maga. The man loves adventure so much I call him the original Indiana Jones (before Harrison Ford made the part famous). Indy and I have raised six children, five boys and one girl, all of whom share their parents' love of ministry and their dad's zest for adventure.

Stephanie:  Speaking of "zest for adventure", I'm Stephanie, the daughter. Right now my adventure is traveling around the country on deputation with my husband and two children. Why is that an adventure? I hoped you'd ask. Because my kids are eight months and almost two. That would be fifteen and a half months apart, if you're doing the math.

Jill:  Which you should be able to do since you were homeschooled.

Kylee:  As long as x = 5, right, Mom?

Stephanie:  Traveling with children that young means that every time we leave for a meeting or a month of meetings, we move. Everything goes. It means potty training is going ... well I don't really want to talk about it. It also means I have no idea when a two year old and an eight month old are supposed to go to bed every night.

Jill:  So you're saying you're not normal either? I mean, I know you're not. I was just clarifying.

Stephanie:  Normal people know when their kids should go to bed.

Jill:  I knew when my kids were supposed to go to bed; I just never got them there on time.

Stephanie:  Oh, and I forgot to mention that we are on deputation because we are going to Brazil as missionaries. That's kind of an important fact in the "getting to know me" department. Learning Portuguese faster than my toddlers pick it up, now that's where the real adventure begins. 

Jill:  Kylee's turn for an introduction!

Kylee:  Sorry I haven't said anything for a while. I almost started a fire in my kitchen! No big deal.

Stephanie:  Blogging and cooking is like texting and driving. They don't mix well.

Jill:  My cooking doesn't go well even when I'm not doing something else.

Kylee:  Okay, I'm Kylee. (Obviously.) I am a multi-tasking Ninja, balancing life's roles as wife, mommy, professional diaper changer and Assistant Pastor's secretary. I like long walks on the beach ... just kidding. No one has time for that! I have been married to my husband, Matthew, for almost six years and we have three beautiful daughters ages four, two and eleven months.

Stephanie:  She may not have time for walks on the beach, but that's because she forgot to mention she also has a diy home decor business on the side.

Jill:  Our crazy ministry family is part of the reason why we titled this blog Laughing Out Loud in the Ministry. The other part of the reason is this: serving in ministry is hard. And lonely. And sometimes very discouraging. But the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. With that in mind, we often find ourselves laughing through life as we serve Jesus. We hope you'll drop in occasionally and laugh with us.