I’m Commandeering the Ruby Slippers

Halloween.  It’s supposed to be the day when all four of my children go beg for candy so mama can have plenty of Milk Duds to last for the next few weeks.  (No worries, I bought a couple of bags on the 50% rack at Walmart today.) Instead, my boys worked some of the carnival booths at our church’s Trunk or Treat.  The Girl was the only one to dress up this year and I’m not afraid to say it made me a little sad until I realized how much cash I saved by not having to put together four outfits.  

What my friend Jen and I didn’t know is that our girls (within a week of being the exact same age) planned and then manipulated us into making certain they both dressed as Dorothy. 


You’ll also be happy to know that after 16 years of ministry and 4 children Luke and I are finally legit as proven by the window paint on my Suburban. 


Jenny Chaplin ‘fessed up to the prank. Are you surprised?

Here are a few more of the adorable outfits…


Taegan and Maddy


Jenny Chaplin’s twins, Kirsten, and Jasmine


Boy Three. Typical PK.


I wasn’t responsible for the Gene Simmons face. These dudes – The Jakes – did it. Clearly, I would have chosen Ace Frehley.


 Lindsay – Randall and Jenny’s sweet baby girl.  (Y’all keep praying, please.)


Backing up to Friday night before Halloween,  a group of us took our kids to the Haunted Library hosted by the high school Band Boosters.  As the name suggests, the spook house was located in the building that used to be the….wait for it…. library

I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first.  The only scary thing about a library are the fines I typically owe for keeping my books way too long. It turns out, the Boosters and Band Kids absolutely outdid themselves.  There were 11 different rooms in the creepy basement of the building.  For anyone who knows me, you know I startle easily and am likely to scream with very little provocation.  I wasn’t keen on being chased by a bloody werewolf with a chainsaw until The Girl informed me she wanted to ‘see if she could be brave enough to make it through.’  I figured if my 7 year old could do it, so could I. 

We made our way behind our guide and when I sensed one of the spooks was getting ready to pounce into my personal space, I stroked The Girl’s head and loudly announced something to the effect of ‘Don’t worry, honey.  These spooks won’t try to scare you, will you spooks?”   So, yeah.  I totally used the child as a human shield.  I was really okay until we got to one room where the monsters apparently knew me.  Something about hearing, “Liiiisssaaa, Liiisssaaaa, we are going to get you Liisssaaaaaa” made me want my mother.  Who no doubt would have thrown me to the zombies the same way I did my own kid.  My intense instinct for self-preservation is definitely inherited.

What I loved most was the fact that we had some bona fide southern ghosts.  One of them kept saying, “We’ re gonna  kiiiilllll Y”ALLLLLLL”.  Classic.  I loved it so much I almost hugged the guy.  Except I think he had an eyeball hanging out of his head, so ewww, not so much.   The last stop was a girl in a coffin.  She was lying there very peacefully with her dracula fangs until I saw her peek and then whisper, “Hi Mrs. Lisa!!!”  She was one of my precious, darlin’ Bible Release students.  I don’t think we covered posing as the undead in class.  She aced it though.

After a ridiculously long but fun weekend, I am not afraid to say I am glad the festivities have come to a close.  Click those heels, Girl.  There truly is no place like home.

Why We Shouldn’t Be Allowed Out of the House

Because I’m fairly confident a great number of you have boys, perhaps you can feel this momma’s pain when I say our kids are jeans poor. And yes, we do hand-me-downs but by the time the pants make it to Boy Three, they are thread bare which may explain why my youngest typically looks like a poster child for Goodwill instead of a johnny-suit-wearing preacher’s kid.

{Okay, I interrupt this post to inform you that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Because I’m certain you haven’t figured that out yet.  I’ve always heard the term ‘johnny suit’ used to describe the shorts/jackets/knee sock number that moms with style and class put on their little children hence the reason I’ve never bought them for my kids.  I just googled it and apparently this is the new johnny suit.}

Y’all seriously can not imagine what it’s like to live in my head.

But I digress.

Luke and I went to the Big City to visit darlin’ church members and new parents Brent, Katie and doll baby Easton today.   We decided it would be a great idea to jeans shop since we would actually be in a town that consisted of more than a Walmart and Army Surplus store. 

I don’t know how many of you shop with your husbands on a regular basis.  Maybe you do and like it?  I don’t know.  I love hanging with Luke when we don’t have an agenda but when I’m on a mission he throws off my mojo.   Case in point:  We were in and out of Old Navy today in 9  minutes flat with nothing in a bag but 2 pairs of jeans and 2 packages of socks.  He practically drug me out of there because “We don’t have time to browse!  We have to get what we came for!  Jeans!  Only Jeans!”

It’s like I was sucked into a vortex of stereotype.

We went in the mall and headed towards Aeropostale because their jeans are cheap and fit the oldest boy well.  As we sprinted down the concourse, we passed a Journeyz store and stopped in to see if they had an Element t-shirt.  For those of you who don’t have a middle child dancing on the edge of rebellion, that is a brand of skateboards.  Yes, Boy Two is a skateboarder now and even though we have resisted encouraging him in this freaked-out sub-culture, he’s needed a little TLC lately so we decided to bless him in a totally unexpected way.  If you have a skateboarding child, please don’t be insulted by my remarks.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with skateboarding per se.   I just get a little concerned over the skulls and darkness and black fingernails and flat-billed hats and pre-occupation with death.  Not that my boy is doing any of that.  But only because we haven’t encouraged him and are closely monitoring his nail polish.  And also, you should know his Element shirt is a safe shade of aqua blue. 

The second one that is.

The first one was black.  The first one that we lost somewhere in the mall. 

Seems that in all that hurrying we were doing, one of us – one of us yet to be determined – laid down the bag with the Element shirt in it. 

So, what did we do?  We backtracked to all the places we had been but, of course, the shirt was nowhere to be found.  To the person who picked it up:  You are welcome.  I hope it matches your child’s fingernail polish. 

Luke, being the tenderhearted Dad he is, went back and bought another because he knew how happy it would make Two.  Really – how lame it would be for us to simply not give him a shirt because his parents are not only flirting with Alzheimer’s but dating it steadily?  Very. 

I’m still in a bad mood about it but I have to be careful because it is just as likely that I lost it as Luke.  Truth is, we are danged dangerous together.  Usually there is one high-functioning spouse in a relationship but Luke and I are two peas in a forgetful pod.  It’s nothing short of miraculous that we have kept up with the kids as well as we have. 

Now that I think of it, there have been a couple of blips.  As in the time I forgot my  toddler daughter in the car whilst it was in the parking lot of a restaurant.  Our group was mingling around waiting for a table so neither Luke nor I knew the other didn’t have her.  I figured that out while having a conversation in the foyer with THE COUNTY SHERIFF’S FATHER who wanted to see the baby girl.  Who was in the car.  Alone.  I may have totally lied about her whereabouts (Oh!  She’s around here somewhere!)  and then quickly run to the car only to cry my eyes out after realizing I had no business having another human under my care.

Remembering that suddenly puts the shirt thing in perspective. 

I feel better.   And now that I do, it might be a good idea for me to go check on my children.  It’s been awfully quiet for a while now.




A little over a week ago, Boy Three got his hand stomped in football practice. It swelled and appeared generally painful but since our youngest male child has a gift for milking injuries, we decided to just watch it a few days.

One day turned to three turned to five turned to a week and the hand wasn’t looking much better. Luke and I had been told the doc wouldn’t do anything for a finger so we buddy taped it and hoped it would miraculously heal. Something about getting it re-stomped in football practice 4 days per week seemed to hinder that from happening so Monday, I decided to sacrifice the co-pay and take him to the orthopedic office.

It was fractured. My heart AND his finger.

I did feel a little better when the doc suggested we keep buddy taping (taping the pinky to the next finger) because that proved that my internet diagnosis and subsequent medical treatment wasn’t too far off base from the guy with 8 years of highly specialized training. However, when I told him he wanted to keep playing football he came up with a plaster splint option to protect him from getting stomped again.

Because all good parents send their kids right back to the field with broken bones, right?

Dr. P. is a sports medicine guy so he didn’t look at us like we were abusive freak parents although I’m feeling the glare through the screen from some of you who may. No worries. Our son couldn’t love us more because he’s convinced that any kind of paraphernalia that makes you appear as though you are playing through some level of pain makes you incredibly cool.

So I’m wondering, am I the only mom who has ever put off a doctor’s visit only to find out the child should have been there forever before?

I’m totally hoping you say yes. If not, just leave your address in the comments so I’ll know on which doorsteps to leave my children.



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