Friday, April 28, 2017

Are you from Tennessee?

Most of you have heard the pick up line, “Are you from Tennessee, because you’re the only ten I see.” Back when Matt and I first started talking, Nick (Matt’s brother) who was 10 at the time thought his big brother could use a little help with the ladies. So, he helped him out by giving him some pick up lines.

A few of them went a little something like this.

  •  Do you have a bandaid? I scraped my knee when I fell for you. 

  • If I could rearrange the alphabet I would put “U” and “I” together.
  • Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?
  • Do you have a map? Because I got lost in your eyes.

I mean those are pretty good for a 10 year old, right? I was impressed when I heard them. Although, I’m sure some of you are wondering: did Matt actually take Nick’s advice? Well, I can’t tell you just yet.

Here are a few more.

  • If you were a chicken, you’d be impeccable.
  • Did your license get taken away for driving all these guys crazy?

Here are a couple that are going around our church:

  • I didn't know angels flew this low.
  • I put the stud in Bible study.

  • Is it hot in here or is that the Holy Spirit burning inside of you?

And then there’s the one my husband made up:

“Do you have a Bible to go with that modesty?” umm… yeah… at least he didn’t try that on me. Although, he didn’t have a chance. Nick used all the good ones. I guess Matt didn’t do too bad, we did get married didn’t we?

What are some pick up lines you've used or have been used to get you?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On The Road Again!

Our family has been on deputation for one year and four months. So, needless to say, we have  spent quite a bit of time on the road, in hotels, and eating at fast food restaurants. We've learned quite a bit during all of this time. 

  •  When your toddler is abnormally whiny and complains about her belly a lot, don't take that moment to stop at Popeye's for dinner. The result is a puddle of puke in the order line and then hubby ordering some popcorn shrimp because he felt bad about the mess we left for them. Side note: your child getting shots can result in the same thing, so don't take that time to go to Dollar Tree with them. 
  • Don't wait until you absolutely have to go to the bathroom before you say so. It never fails that once you say it, you enter the land of nothingness. There are no exits, no rest stops, no stops. The same goes for when you're hungry, FYI.
  • Always bring diaper disposal bags, grocery bags, or even ziploc bags with you. Having no way to tie up a dirty diaper can really make your trip interesting when you're in that land of nothingness. 
  • It's probably not the wisest... or nicest move to give your toddler ice cream when you make the mid day stop. It's actually kind of cruel to completely sugar them up and then strap them back in to a car seat for four more hours. 
  • Just because you told your hubby three times what you are making for dinner when you get home, does not mean he won't ask again as he pulls into the driveway. Maybe I should start giving a different answer every time and see if it sparks a memory. 😏
  • Sometimes there just aren't enough activity bags in the world to keep you and the kids occupied in the hotel room. I recommend knowing where the nice parks are, or the indoor playgrounds if it's raining. Chik-fil-a saw us a lot over this last winter. 
  • Counting calories, carbs, or any other type of diet is near impossible. I did manage to lose my baby weight after both kids, but let me tell you, ordering a salad at Subway while your hubby orders your favorite sandwich has got to be considered torture. It's just not right
  • Missionary kids can sleep anywhere...

  • except for their own bed, of course.

  • Coffee is key to survival! You can travel eight hours, arrive just in time for a meeting, change both kids during the last twenty minutes of the drive (er, I mean.. I wouldn't do that 😏), set up the display table, drop your screaming son off at the nursery, run sing a special, go calm down your screaming son in the nursery, go teach the kid's class, go back and get your screaming son from the nursery, find replacement clothes for the toddler accident, make sure your toddler isn't the one running the platform after the service, clean up the display table, load your kids and ten bags back into the van, oh and smile while you're doing it all because you tend to look like you hate the world if you're not careful (WHEW, I'm tired just thinking of it). But you can do it all because you had a cup of coffee on the way, and you are going to get another one to drink once the kids are in bed. Yes, I drink coffee before bed. Don't Judge me!
     All in all, it's been a fun experience, and actually the most important lesson we've learned is to just roll with it and laugh it off.

So, do any of you have any travelling tips for me??

Monday, April 24, 2017

I Feel Very Secure

So I flew to Atlanta this weekend to speak at a ladies luncheon. It's been a few years since I had to fly anywhere, but there's nothing to it, right? In fact, the hardest part of getting ready for the trip was trying to fit everything into one carry-on. I like to have choices when I'm traveling, so I tend to overpack. A little. Okay, a lot. But I still managed to close the suitcase so it was all good.

I brought my laptop with me, but in the interest of consolidating, I left the case at home, and put it in a sleeve inside my carry-on, making sure to pack it near the top since I knew I had to pull it out when I went through security.

Ah, security.

I mess it up every time.

I've had problems getting through security ever since I didn't pay attention to their 3-1-1 policy regarding liquids, cremes and gels. It takes a lot of product to make me look like me, and it's really hard to get everything into one quart-sized bag. After a less than pleasant encounter with a TSA agent a few years ago, I've managed to whittle things down to one quart bag.

What is it about the security part that never goes smoothly? I think part of it is putting all my things into those bins. They're a good idea in theory, but I'm always surprised at how many bins it takes to get all my stuff through. Even with only one carry-on, I still had a bin for my laptop, and another for my purse and jacket, and another for my shoes and the five dollars in change that the TSA agent told me to take out of my purse to make things easier. What can I say? I don't like to dig for exact change.

At any rate, I piled things into my multple bins and then (oh, joy!) headed for the full body scan. I always end up in those for some reason. And since I'm always wearing a skirt that comes down past my knees, I also always get the added luxury of a pat down. When I finally got through all the indignities, I went over and pulled my bins toward me and started regathering my things. My laptop went back into the suitcase, my shoes went back on my feet, and my change went ... I scooped up the change and realized I had no place to put it. I looked around for my purse, and was disturbed to realize it had been pulled aside.

"We're going to have to go through this by hand," one agent said.

She pulled it over to a side counter and she and another agent studied the x-ray images they'd taken of the purse.

"Look, right there," one of them murmured, pointing at the screen. "See that? That's a serrated edge."

I was a little confused since I don't usually carry a steak knife in my purse. I moved a little closer, and the TSA agent reared back like I'd tried to invade her personal space.

"Would you step to the other side of the counter, please?" She indicated the space across from her, and as I moved there, she added, "And don't try to grab your bag."

I had no intention of trying to grab anything away from her. I saw the video of the guy being dragged off the United Flight and I was determined that something like that not happen to me. I tried to smile disarmingly. It didn't seem to help.

"Before I get started," the business-like TSA agent said, "Is there anything sharp in your bag?"

Was this a trick question? They'd just claimed to see a steak knife in there. When I told them I didn't think so, they started going through the bag. Slowly. They were extremely thorough. She pulled out pens and laid them in another bin. Then a pouch with bandaids and ibuprofen. Then she pulled out a small purple coin purse. And my stomach knotted.

See, that little purple bag is always in my purse. I'm so used to having it that I never thought to take it out. But I don't carry my change in it. For one thing, I'd need a much bigger bag for my change.

Did I mention before that I'm married to Indiana Jones? And that he and all our boys are Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense) instructors? And that, as the only female in the group, I might have picked up a few interesting items that I carry with me?

The first item she went after was my lock pick set. She pulled that out and set it aside without making eye contact.

Then she pulled out two of these. I didn't consider them weapons so much as tools, but I'm pretty sure that "serrated edge" was what gave me away.

I really started to worry when she found my credit card knife. After all, the other items weren't technically weapons. Bt this was definitely a concealed weapon. Right there in my little purple change purse.

Did I mention my concealed carry permit was in the purple bag too? I think that almost sealed the deal right there, and I wondered if my friend would forgive me for not showing up at her luncheon because I was in jail on weapons charges.

With each new find the TSA agent moved more slowly and more thoroughly through my belongings. 

She even found and confiscated this. A pocketknife concealed as a key on my keyring. Both agents gave me the evil eye and then sent my other belongings back through the x-ray machine one more time. When I was finally cleared and weapons-free, I headed to my gate, mourning the loss of my gadgets. Obviously if I had remembered what was in the purple bag, I would have left it at home. And they were all really for self-defense as I have no intention of hijacking a plane. Still, the way the TSA agents looked at me made me feel like a criminal.

Do you think it would have helped if I'd told them I was just a pastor's wife on the way to a church ladies luncheon?

Friday, April 21, 2017

If it Walks Like a One-Legged Duck...

     When you think of a woman in ministry, do you think of a woman who can get up and speak in front of any age group? Her words just flowing with eloquence and wisdom? Well, I'm here to tell you, we're not all like that. In fact, some of us have an incredibly hard time speaking in front of people.

     There are a few signs of a nervous speaker:
  • The thirty second testimony - She can sum up every single important fact of her life in thirty seconds or less. It's possible, trust me. 😁
  • Shaky knees - while it may look as though she is breaking out her groovy moves on stage, she's not.  She just simply can't control the shaking. Now, if her hands are in the air like she just don't care, then that's another story. 
  • The glazed over look - She started the story she was telling, and then came the "um's" and the "uh's" as her eyes glazed over. That simply means that all words have flown out of her head and now her brain is screaming "speak words, woman, words"! Just smile and nod politely and eventually she'll find some words to say. They may have absolutely nothing to do with what she was previously saying, but at least it will be something.
  • The back wall stare - If you're wondering if she is actually looking at any of you, no, she's not. Don't take it personally, though. She looks at the back wall because looking at faces may lead to thoughts of  "why does that lady look angry? Did I say something wrong?" and then she will end up back at "the glazed over look".
  • The voice quiver - She just told a story about a one-legged duck and for some reason her voice was quivering as if it was the saddest story she'd ever told. While some may cry over a one-legged duck, she is not one of them. When your nervous, your emotions are already heightened, so that one-legged duck hobbling along in life is just going to tear you up. 

     When we started deputation, I did not have a lot of speaking experience. I usually took the assistant role in classes, as opposed to teaching. I knew that would need to change, but I wasn't eager to make that happen. My first time teaching was a complete bust. I was supposed to fill a half hour to forty five minutes of a kids class, but after fifteen excruciatingly long minutes I had completely run out of things to say! Thankfully my husband was back there as well and he jumped in and saved the day for me. I only did slightly better the second time... or slightly worse. We were in VBS at our home church and my husband wanted me to teach the lessons to get more practice. The first day, I panicked in the middle of my lesson. I over heated and every word I had ever learned left my head. Again, my husband took over and I went out and got sick. Now, I would like to clarify that part of that had to do with the fact that I was eight months pregnant, but still it wasn't all that. 

   I am happy to report that the Lord has brought me a long way. I still do the "back wall stare" quite often, but the "glazed over look" doesn't generally happen anymore, and I try to make the "voice quiver" happen only in actual appropriate quiver moments. So how about you? What's your nervous tell? 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Perfect Pastor's Wife

Having been a pastor's wife for many years, I've learned a few things about what's expected from a pastor's family. In case your church is looking for a new pastor, I thought the following checklist might be relevant so that you know you're getting the best pastor's wife possible.
  • She should be meek. She can cause a lot of trouble if she doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut.
  • She should be a leader. Someone has to head up the flower committee and the kitchen committee.
  • She should be gentle. No one likes a bossy pastor's wife. Make sure she knows how to communicate with suggestions instead of orders.
  • The pastor's wife should be musically inclined. She ought to be able to play at least one instrument, piano and/or organ preferably. A guitar-playing pastor's wife indicates a hippie background. She should also be able to sing, but she should sing alto. She can't take the spotlight from others by getting all the good solo spots in the choir.
  • A pastor's wife needs to have a spirit of absolution. She should be able to give an understanding nod and a smile when people tell her they're laying out of Sunday services in order to go to a family picnic.
  • She should be an adequate cook, but not a great one. She should be able to bring something to a church fellowship that will be tasty, but won't bump Miss Trudie's tuna casserole from the most requested dish list. 
  • She ought to have a teachable spirit, so that she can graciously accept any self-improvement suggestions that come her way.
  • She needs to be an intercessor who can pass on to the pastor any problems you tell her about some of the pastor's sermons. Or campaigns. Or aftershave. 
  • She should be able to teach children and keep them entertained without resorting to discipline so that she doesn't offend their parents.
  • It's important that she dress well, but not be the best-dressed lady at church. 
  • She should be able to teach her children to be the best behaved at church, while instilling in them a humble spirit so that they don't realize they're the best behaved children at church.
  • She should be willing and able to fill in at the last minute for any Sunday School teacher, junior church worker or nursery worker that doesn't show up.
  • She should know not to correct anyone else's children.
  • She should be willing to stand by and listen while others correct her children, and have a grateful attitude for their help.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you a start in the right direction when you look for the perfect pastor's wife. Got any requirements you'd like to add?

Monday, April 17, 2017

t’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…

I bet you thought I was going to say superman, huh?
 Well, it’s just me. Although, sometimes I feel like I am a superhero, trying to save the world, one child crisis at a time. 
I believe women were born to multi-task … some are better at it than others. I would like to think that I’m okay at it because God saw fit to make me the mommy of not one, not two, but three little girls (so far). Each of my daughters have very different personalities, which can make for some very interesting moments.

Olivia turned one and she is such a sweet baby but she has a bit of a temper. The other day she was wanting a cookie, I told her no. She did not like my answer, so what did she do? She got up on both of her knees, threw her head forward and headbutted the floor. She ended up with a good size bruise, Then she did it again! She has been teething nonstop for the past 3 months. Seven teeth later, and she is finally getting happier. I’m hoping this temper is just a phase, and it will soon pass. Fingers crossed.

Talia is two and a half, and she is a little ball of energy. She is always on the go and loves to climb on everything! I like to call her happy feet, because she stays so busy. When she finally settles down, she always wants her back to be rubbed. The other night I spent an hour and a half rubbing her back and she still wouldn’t fall asleep. Little weasel. We are also potty training and, well… that’s a process.

Stella is four, going on fourteen. She doesn’t hesitate to tell me I’m doing something wrong. I mean, she does have more life experience, doesn’t she? I was helping her build something once, and she said, “ No mom, that’s not how we do that”, or “You’re not doing it right”. Oh, well excuse me! She is a very chatty little girl. Her mouth is like a business-it runs from the time the light turn on all the way to closing time. She can be helpful (when she wants to be), and loves to be in charge!

Most days, I feel like we have it all together: we are on schedule and the chores are getting done. The girls are sharing, and obeying. Plus, they are clean, fed and happy! I count those as successful days. At the end of the day I feel like Supermom. Then, BOOM, I go from superhero to superZERO overnight. The sink is full of dishes, the baby wants to be held, laundry needs folding, all while I’m trying to make lunch and break up an argument. Everything that could possibly goes wrong, does. It never fails. 

I also have those moments when all three of the girls cry at the same time. I call it synchronized crying. Personally, I think they do it on purpose; they have it all planned out. They plan a pow wow in the middle of the night and schedule when to ruffle mom’s feathers.

I remember asking Stella one time, “Why are you crying?” Her response: “I don’t even know!”

My mom used to say “Be careful, one day you will have a kid that acts just like you or even worse.“ Well mom, you were right! Yes, i did just say my mom was right.

We all have ‘interesting’ days at home with our children, but make the most of the good times. If they are having a good time, join in and don’t sweat the small stuff. 

The moments I feel most heroic are not the ones where everything gets done on my list (that is a bonus, though). It’s when i see my little girls happy and healthy! 

It helps when Stella gives me a little bit of encouragement: “Your the best Mom ever!” 

So, are you sweating the small stuff?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Just Call Me "Bag Lady"

     If you've ever traveled with children, you know that it's not a simple task of throwing your things in a suitcase and getting out of Dodge. Before we had kids, that's exactly what I did. Everything we needed - clothes, toiletries, shoes - it all went into one suitcase, usually the night before the trip. Now, it's a multiple day and multiple bag process.

     To start with, there's the clothes bags. The suitcase for me and hubby and then the suitcase for the kids to share. But that's not all, there's also the garment bag for all the dress shirts, coats (thank goodness we won't need those much longer!), scarves, and ties. Then there are the suits that we hang in the back of the van (GASP! They're not in a bag!) because they will wrinkle in the garment bag.

     Next, there's the toiletry bag. Not much explanation needed there. It holds toiletries. Well, also my hairdryer and curling iron, the medicine bag, and my sour patch kid's bows. Which are in a little bag of their own, I must add.

     Then, we have the shoe bag. Yes, we have to have a bag just for shoes. When you have to bring church shoes (which for me means several pairs) and day shoes (also means I need several pairs) for four people, that adds up to a lot of shoes. So we have a shoe bag, which now that I think of it, broke on our last trip. Guess, I need to get another bag. 😊

     Moving on, there's also the Bible bag. This I picked up from when I was younger and my family was on deputation. There were eight of us, so we needed a bag for all the Bibles. Now, there are only two of us that have a Bible at the moment, but the Bible bag also holds any music books, devotionals, sermons, and notebooks that may be needed during the trip.

     Then, there are the multiple bags that one must have simply because they have children. The toy bag, pretty self explanatory. The activity bag that holds flashcards, stickers, and other miscellaneous things to entertain a two year old in a car or hotel room. The pac-n-play, which is in a bag, and the toddler cot, which also is transported in a bag, and the diaper bags. Yes, that is plural. The kids aren't always in the same nursery, so they each have a small backpack. Then there's a third, larger diaper bag that holds all the extra diapers and pull-ups that will be needed on the trip.  And, then the snack bag. Okay, if I'm being honest, there was a snack bag before there were children. You just can't travel without plenty of snack options.

     Lastly, there's the laptop bag and the deputation bags, which hold our display table items, prayer cards, and banner.
     If you include my purse in the count, that makes a grand total of twenty bags! Sometimes I feel like this when I walk into a church.

     Well, we're leaving on a trip in a couple of days so I need to go pack my bags. How many bags does it take you to get out of Dodge?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Guarding the Gate

One of the biggest problems I’ve had in raising five boys is dealing with girls. As you can see, my boys are reasonably attractive. And friendly. And relatively clueless when it comes to females.

 So far I’ve got one married and two more that have girlfriends. But if I weren’t the loving mother that I am, I could have auctioned them all off a long time ago.

When a guy wants to date a girl, he tries to impress the girl and assumes that he will be hated by the girl’s father. When girls were interested in my boys, it wasn’t that easy. I swear, sometimes I thought I'd have to beat them off with a stick!
*When I was teaching in a Christian school, Matt, who was single at the time, came home on a visit from college. He showed up at the school to see me, and the female portion of the student body was buzzing for the rest of the day. Two of my female students stayed after school was out because they were suddenly extremely interested in helping me change out the bulletin board in my classroom.

*I’ve received more than my fair share of homemade gifts – everything from cookies to bath salts – from well-meaning girls who tried to buy their way into my good graces.

I ate the cookies, but didn’t give up my boys.

 *Girls sometimes offered me assistance in my work, especially if they thought my boys would be around while they’re helping.

I accepted the help and sent my boys off on errands.

*I get occasional clumsy compliments. Such as, “You have beautiful eyes. I think (fill in a son’s name) gets his eyes from you.”

*I’ve had girls who had a collective crush on the boys. As in, I don’t think they really knew which boy was which … they’d take whichever one they could get.

As I said, most times my boys were clueless about all this. One of my sons was texting and talking with several different girls at a time. When I mentioned that at least one had a crush on him, he disagreed because they all said they just wanted to be friends. Sure they want to be friends … for as long as it took for my son to realize he was madly in love with them.

Never going to happen.

Since my boys are oblivious, and definitely in need of help, Kylee, Stephanie and I have worked out a system. When a girl shows up on the horizon, if we don’t approve of her, then I become the distant and forbidding mother. Stephanie plays the passive-aggressive sister, making barbed comments and occasional insults. And then Kylee slides up behind them and murmurs, “Get out! Get out while you still can!”

It’s not a subtle method, but it is effective.

It’s important to note that neither Kylee nor the two current girlfriends got my sons’ attention by giving their mother gifts.

It’s also important to note that, if we didn’t like the two current girlfriends, they wouldn’t be coming around anymore.

It's also important to note (for me anyway) that getting the guys to pose for pictures for the blog took longer than actually writing the post.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Kid Said What?

No matter how big or how small, kids have the most important things to say, don’t they?

Well, my daughter is no different. Her imagination and thought process with different things really amazes me. She loves to make us all laugh!

Here is a little insight from my 4 year old:

  • I’m the first one in the family, that means I’m the best kid ever. 
I agree that sometimes the first born child is the best. Look at my husband's family: he’s the oldest and he is the best. He’s the smartest, funniest, best looking ... too much? I would also have to disagree with my daughter's observation. For those of you who don’t know much about my family, I have an older sister. We both agree that I’m the best. (Love you, Kelli.)

  • (Making noises with her mouth) Hey, mom, I think my mouth is having a party!
Stella loves doing puzzles. They will keep her occupied for a very long time. However, when she does these puzzles she is usually making some type of noise. Most days I’m capable of “tuning out” the noise but this particular day it just wasn’t happening. I asked her to quiet down and she stopped what she was doing looked at me with a straight face and that was her reply.

  • When family gets dead, do we get a new baby? 
Following her line of thinking: if we want to have a new baby, someone in the family must die. Lately, she has been praying for a baby brother.

I wonder who I should buy life insurance for?

  • Momma, I bit my lip so I can’t talk for a little while.

  • Look, Mom, I’m a water bottle. 

  • We have to pass gas outside because it stinks when we do it inside.
Please teach that to your father.

  • I was trying to beat mom to her seat but she beat me.
That moment when your child physically hurts you ... I was holding my baby in my arms and I was about to sit down on the couch, when Stella came running in and leaned quickly over the arm of the couch. I’m sure you can picture what was about to happen; her forehead went right into the side of my head. It only hurt until it stopped.

  • I just turned on your lamp in your room so you wouldn’t be scared.
That’s code for, me and Talia are coming to sleep in your bed tonight.

  • You are the worst uncle, EVER!

    I know you’re probably thinking, “What a mean little girl to say something like that. “ Well, stay tuned because I think you will understand. Last week, Uncle Luke bought donut holes for his Sunday school class. Uncle Nick got the last two donut holes and was going to share them with my daughters. My girls were standing there, excitedly waiting for their donut. He made this whole production: he bent down, split it in half, held out a half for each of them, then ATE IT! Stella lost it!
I mean, can you blame her? You don’t tease a girl with a dessert, especially a chocolate donut!

Don’t feel too bad for them: they ended up getting a whole box of munchkins the next day. 

I’m never quite sure what she will come up with or what she will say next. What I do know is that she will always keep me guessing. Where does she come up with this stuff? Who has she been talking to? Where did she hear that from?

Kids are like mockingbirds. If you do it or say it, they will too.

How are your children making you laugh?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Why So Serious???

  So it's Friday, and some of you may be going to the store this weekend to get those last few things to get you through the weekend. If you're like me, you get into that zone of your mental checklist and you don't realize the look that's on your face for all to see. I'm very guilty of this. Honestly, I don't really think I'd want to run into myself in the grocery store.

 I may look something like this...
   The "Please don't talk to me because I have to get my groceries and get home" face.

This is the "my two year old has thrown the same can of vegetables out of the cart three times and I just want to go home now" face.

     Lately, I've noticed how unapproachable I tend to be. I mean, would you want to start a conversation with either of those people? I certainly wouldn't.  You know who I would want to walk up and talk to? 

       This guy! There's a face that is approachable! Happy and doesn't care who sees. 

     When I was younger, I used to think that as a pastor's family we lived in a fishbowl, and we had to be those perfect little goldfish.  As the years have gone by, I've really gotten to think about that, and it's not just people in ministry who live in a fishbowl. As Christians, we live in a fishbowl that the world views every day. Unfortunately, I think most people are viewing this guy. 

You've got the joy of the Lord in your heart. Everyone that meets you should be viewing this face in your fishbowl.

So, when you go out this weekend, remember that people are watching you wherever you go. And you can't be a witness to them when they're seeing a grouchy puffer fish in your fishbowl. No matter how many times your two year old throws the veggies out of the cart, smile! You're being watched. 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Power of Punctuation

Not only am I a homeschool mom, but I've also taught 6-12 grade English in a Christian school. Teaching the same language in six different classes every day has a way of etching the grammar and punctuation rules permanently into my brain.

It's to be expected that my children also excel in English to some extent, which is why little things like commas are so important.  I have six children, and I love them all equally. I think they know that, but occasionally they will compete with each other to try and get me to claim one as a favorite. My typical response would be, "You're my favorite Nick."

Nick will immediately declare that he heard a comma as in, "You're my favorite, Nick." The others will argue that there was no comma, and I was simply stating that, of all the Nicks that I know, he is my favorite Nick. About that time I'll turn to Joel and say, "You're my favorite Joel."

Joel, of course, assures me that he heard the comma, and that I shouldn't worry because he'll never let on to his siblings that he's really my favorite.

Naturally I would never dream of encouraging this competition. Or would I? One evening during a family game, I went to each of my children in turn and quietly whispered, "Don't tell anyone, but you're my favorite." It worked really well except that apparently I didn't whisper as quietly as I thought I did. Once they realized I was telling everyone the same thing that family night took an ugly turn.

At any rate, while the identity of my true favorite child may be in question, at least they're getting a good lesson in punctuation. I'll leave you with two thoughts that show you how truly important punctuation can be:

P.S. If you're reading this, you're my favorite.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Growing up my family had gone to church off and on but it wasn’t until my teen years that we became more faithful. I went to public school until the middle of my junior year in high school, and then I homeschooled the last year and a half. I had different ideas of what I thought I would be doing with my life, but being in the ministry was something I had never considered. 

Well, ta-da, here I am!

My husband went into full time ministry about a year and a half ago. Since then we have been working together side by side and we have been able to learn a lot about each other. One of the major things so far is how to deal with mistakes that we make, not just in the ministry but in life itself. 

So, how do we deal with our mistakes?

Laugh - we laugh with each other and at each other!

For example:

My husband can say things that are funny, and sometimes even do really good impressions. However, he can’t tell a joke to save his life.

One time, on a Wednesday night Matt was teaching in teen class. He was trying (key word) to tell a joke and as he was getting to the punch line he forgot what it was ... we all heard the crickets chirping. From the back of the class I couldn’t wait for the “joke” to be over. I held up my notebook with a giant, yet bold:  FAIL!

Where I like to fail him, he likes loves to mock me … He sits up straight, cocks his head, squints his eyes, he raises his eyebrows and his pitch and MOCKS. 

Something else we like to do is make each other repeat ourselves…especially when we are right.

Sometimes my husband doesn’t pay attention to what I say, and just responds “You’re right.” So I see how many times I can get him to ADMIT that I’m right. 

 The most I have gotten him to say it was about 4 times, before he caught on!

I really enjoy serving with my husband. It’s not always dandelions and roses, but we do make a great team!

My Father-in-law has said, “Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you deal with them that matters.” You have to learn to laugh or you won't have any fun.

** I was only failed 9 times during the writing of this blog**

So, what are some ways you have learned to “deal” with mistakes in your life?