Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quote of the Week

Stinky on not winning the costume contest last weekend at a Halloween event:

"A crown doesn't make you a king anymore than a trophy makes you a winner."


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Southern Jesus vs Jesus For the Rest of Us

Every so often I find a passive-aggressive post is just the fix I need. And because I know that just the people I'm addressing will read this, that makes it even better.

Living in a small southern town is challenging all in itself. Add being a foreign transplant in an interracial family, and well, you can fill in the blank. While there are some perks, mainly personal safety, there is a growing list of items that have me second guessing whether raising my kids here is the best for them. I've thought about this topic and thought some more and I think I'm getting closer to narrowing down the root problem of it all. Jesus.

Living here the past ten years has made me realize there are two Jesuses. There is southern Jesus for the upper-middle class white Republicans. They belong to the good ole boys network who will help them secure well-paying jobs and avoid paying parking tickets, attend one of the big four churches, follow the old testament to the T, influence local politics to their benefit, have their kids' mates handpicked before inception, then when the kids arrive have them attend homogenous private schools because they don't want them mixing they'll get a better education, believe what they watch on Fox News, have a second home at the beach but have never left the tri-state area, and live in a bubble their entire lives.

Then there's Jesus for the rest of us. Those of us who work hard for what we have, believe that God is the God of all, know that there is a new testament past the Gospel of John, attend church because we are commanded to do so, help the less fortunate because it is the right thing to do, travel as much as we can afford to, can actually locate Israel on a map, and are friends with at least one person who is not our third cousin twice removed. Extra points if said friend speaks English as a second language.

Now don't get your panties in a twist! I know that not everyone falls neatly into one of the these two categories, but you get my point. There is such division here that some days it drives me crazy. I cry when I watch the news. I cry even harder when I read the comments under news articles. I find more often that I have to explain what should be big kid issues to my six and seven year olds, thereby robbing them of their childhood innocence, while Ashleigh and Camdyn will still believe in Santa when they're 10!

Yet there's hope that fills my soul. In fact, I attend one of the big four churches and have had a Minister say from the pulpit, "No matter what the law says, the Bible says we are to treat everyone like they are our brother." regarding the Mexican flight from Alabama. Every ball season I watch families from different backgrounds (and schools) come together to cheer each other on. I have also seen a older black woman and an older white woman (they must have been school-aged children when the Klan was alive and well here) hold hands during a cancer walk laughing and crying together. This is my Jesus. Sadly though, southern Jesus always returns.

Just typing this has been lethargic. And now that I've calmed down some, I can also admit this is not a problem just in the southern states. That in fact most of America, dare I say the world, is like this. So moving won't necessarily fix anything. I need to work on how I react to things and how I can prepare but not scare the hell out of my children. But most of all, I need to remember that my Jesus is Jesus. Period. And no matter how much division there is in this town or the world, my Jesus will help me to have unity in my heart and in my life.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Written Quote of the Week

I just love finding Blinky's notes around the house. Apparently our Yorkie was giving her disciplinary problems last night.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Free Time Pumpkins

The dreaded stomach bug hit our home again. Poor Blinky was down for the count for several days. While she was resting, I tried to use the "extra time" at home to clean up and work on a few crafts.

I've always wanted to transform a Dollar Tree pumpkin into something nicer. Having seen these at a pumpkin patch a few days ago for more than I was willing to spend, I broke out the acrylic paints and got to work.

My before and after:

Cool, eh?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Quote of the Week

Regarding Parent / Teacher Conference Day:

Blinky: "Mom, Mrs. X said some Mommies will be happy about what I have to say and some Mommies won't."

Me: "Which one will I be?"

Blinky: "Ahhhh...remember, I don't get in trouble ALL the time, just some of the time."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Costumes

So my kids are gaga for the new Disney's Descendants and the video game Minecraft so of course Blinky and Stinky want to be Evie and Steve, respectively, for Halloween. Apparently so must a lot of other kids because these costumes are super expensive.

We did find a $20 version of Evie's dress at however it was sold out in all the major cities in Alabama. Luckily the DH had business in Atlanta, where a 4-6X was still available. We paid for it online and he was able to pick it up in store. It's a little snug in the arms so Blinky won't get a whole lot of use from it but she will have her Evie costume for Halloween, and I didn't have to fork over $60+ for it.
Evie from Descendants
Walmart's version
Stinky's costume actually consists of four separate pieces: a box head, pick-axe, sword and turquoise shirt.
Microsoft's version
I found an online tutorial for the pick-axe, sword and head. I opted to make the pick-axe and sword (see my awesome creations below) but ordered the head and shirt from amazon.

This project was very time consuming but I think it turned out quite nicely. Had I known it was a lot less intimidating than I thought, I might have attempted to make the head too.
Who do your little ones want to be for Halloween?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Love Notes in First Grade?

I think I was in 6th grade when I received my first love note. I corrected the typos in a red pen and promptly gave it back.

Yesterday Blinky informed me that a little boy in her class gave her a love note. Now she has had little boys in preschool pick flowers for her from the playground, which was more about the boys outdoing each other. She has also had boys at tennis intentionally miss a shot so she could get the point. That was cute. But this note was well thought out, very well drawn and emblazoned with the words, "I Love You Blinky!" What do first grade boys understand about love???

Much to my consternation, Blinky was a little too excited. I tried to explain to her that first grade is way to young to be worried about "liking boys" then enlisted my Mom to drive the point home. Upon hearing the commotion, Stinky ran over to get a look at the note. He absorbed it for a few minutes, commented that the kid misspelled "from" and went back to throwing his football. My boy.

Why are kids so fresh here in America? When I was in first grade, I thought all boys were gross and from another planet. Maybe I need to let Blinky listen to the First Lady's speech a lot earlier than I thought because I agree, "There is no boy, at this age, that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education." Amen to that!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

When Problems Work Themselves Out

Children are so different. Stinky goes on and on about his day but with Blinky, extracting information is like extracting teeth.

She's had a spell of  clip downs on her behavior chart for miscellaneous things. We're talking about it one afternoon and I ask her about the best part of her day. She answers, "lunch." Really, lunch? So of course I need to understand why. After several hours of gentle prodding its because she thinks her teacher is too strict. Hence the clip downs. Fair enough.

Last Friday, said teacher called out sick and Blinky's class was divvied up among the other first grade classes. Again, we're talking about her day and Blinky remarks, "Mrs. Sub-for-the-Day is the meanest teacher. I'm so glad I'm not in HER class! And I thought Mrs. X was bad!" Since then, we've not had any clip down issues.

Well, that problem worked itself out nicely.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Quotes of the Week

On playing tennis with the kids' tennis group this weekend:

Stinky: "Mom, those kids made you look like an amateur!"


Regarding flu shot consequences:

Doc: "Other than the shot, how was your day?"

Blinky: "Horrible! Everything is just horrible!"


And then this gem from one of my expat friends here at our kids' soccer game:

Friend: "Why do the white women here have so many babies?"

Cue a pregnant lady walking by on kid #5.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last week, you've no doubt heard about the path of destruction Hurricane Joaquin left in the central Bahamas and the Carolinas. It was a long weekend as we waited to hear from loved ones in the Bahamas that they were alive and well.

Sadly, it takes an injection of tragedy to remind us how fragile life is. Even more fleeting are material possessions. As I type this, my paternal grandmother's house on Long Island is half destroyed. And yet, it could have been worse.

I am so impressed with the relief efforts of several Bahamians and their American counterparts who almost immediately began distributing supplies to those most affected. For ways you can help, please visit: