"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind... We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith." -- Margaret D. Nadauld

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Little Christmas Cheer

In honor of Christmas landing on a Sunday this year, I thought I’d post
our family Christmas picture from 2005, the last time Christmas was
on Sunday.


Isn’t that hilarious?

This is one of our FAVORITE Christmas pictures of all time.

Buttercup was 13….
Need I say more?
You don’t need Captain Obvious to point out how excited she was to take a family picture that morning.

We went to church (we had the 1:00 time slot I believe)
and afterward we came home and got this shot.


Sure, it’s a prettier picture
but Buttercup and I love the first picture more
and we laugh about it every time we think about it or look at it.


We laugh at how silly it is.
How such a simple thing like taking a family picture can blow up into something huge.
And how we still loved each other even though we were mad and frustrated.

It’s a reminder of family bonds.
Of  compromise.
Of  forgiveness.
Of remembering that families are forever, even though they’re not always perfect.
(I’ve never met a perfect family, have you?)

And most importantly,
It’s a reminder that we love each other.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boom Juice!

Inigo and his best friend Bullseye were playing Wii Sports today and yelled something that sounded (to me) like, “BOOM JUICE!”

I said, “Boom juice? What’s that?”

Inigo said, “I didn’t say ‘Boom Juice’, but Bullseye, that sounds delicious! Do you want to go make some?”

The two boys are extremely creative, to say the least. Do you remember this:


The boys got together and made themselves tool belts out of copy paper, paper cups and a few staples. (circa July 2009)

The idea was 100% theirs and they had a blast with it. They filled their cups tool pockets with sticks and pine cones and rocks and anything else that can be imagined into weapons or… come to think of it … light sabers because Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were their heroes at the time.


These boys are two-peas-in-a-pod. Everyone needs a best friend like this. They rarely fight. They encourage each other to be their best.
They both have their individual strengths and weaknesses and where one boy is lacking in something, the other picks up the slack and either carries his friend or boosts his friend up to do better in that certain area.

I was curious what kind of concoction they would come up with.
What their vision of
would be…

I stayed away from the kitchen while they ‘cooked’. I listened from afar and was extremely curious when they asked me for a lemon zester and/or juicer. They wanted milk, but settled for some old Diet Coke that has been sitting in the pantry for a year.

I was offered many sips as they stirred and combined and created.
I politely declined each offer.
The whoops and hollers as they thought of a new ingredient to throw in was slightly contagious.
I started to get excited for them.

I will admit, I felt pretty cool when Bullseye said,
”You’re mom is pretty cool to let us do this! My mom would never let us do something like this!”
Of course I love Bullseye’s mom. She’s my morning walking partner and I know that she probably would let them create in the kitchen.

But it was a nice compliment anyway.

Finally, they talked me into having a sip.
It was incredibly sweet, with a touch of zing.
But the sweetness….
Oh, the sweetness!!
I felt my insulin levels rise considerably and knew a diabetic coma was only minutes away.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t too terribly awful.

When Bullseye’s dad came to pick him up, he had to have a taste too.
Only, he didn’t know what was in the cup when he put it up to his mouth.
His eyes opened wide.
His mouth puckered.
He said, “Oh, I wish I would have known….!”
He was a good sport! And laughed after a small gag….

Finally, I asked Inigo what was in their magic drink.
He told me what the exact recipe is.
Now, dear readers, don’t go taking their recipe so you can market it!
We’ll let them make their own money off their creations.

I give you
by Inigo and Bullseye

  1. A drinking cup filled 2/3 full of water
  2. Half a scoop of sugar
  3. The juice of a whole lemon, minus the seeds
  4. A peppermint candy, swirled through the water until all the red lines are gone
  5. Add 1/4 of cinnamon
    (Valerie: I don’t know whether it’s 1/4 cup, 1/4 tsp or 1/4 TBSP)
  6. Add about 2 TBSP of Diet Coke. Milk is another option if your mom lets you.
  7. Stir after each addition.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Merry…. Uh…

It seems that there is always something going on in our house… some sort of drama, both good and bad:

   * Last summer it was bona fide drama as Inigo and I practiced our singing and dance moves so we could be in our first musical.
   * Preparing for Buttercup’s wedding and reception.
   * Trying to find an affordable place to live in New Florin, while Max travels the long road between both places.

That’s just some of the drama that has happened in the last 6 months.

Last Tuesday the worst horrible drama hit our house:

Max was asked to resign from his job.

Even though we’re trying to remain positive about the situation, I will admit I get sick to my stomach when I think about it and think about the circumstances leading up to it.

You see, Max ended up being the pawn in a political game. Or, you could call him a SCAPEGOAT. Either way, he got the short end of the stick and was unfairly and horribly treated. He is taking the fall for a very BAD MAN - the former CEO of the hospital where he worked- who did some very BAD THINGS.

I’m not sure how much detail I can go into here on this blog. I’d love to tell the whole story… names, places, the whole kit-n-kaboodle, but I’m not sure if this is the appropriate time. Believe me, I’m not going into more detail to protect Max’s former employer. They don’t deserve the consideration. But I do it to preserve Max’s integrity. Also, I don’t want to hurt his former co-workers who are NOT the bad guys in this situation. They felt terrible that Max took the fall for the incompetent Management Company and Bad Man. (Oh, I wish I could name the management company!)

You know, forgiveness is HARD – very hard – when someone has walked up to a person you love and kicked them in the teeth and knocked their feet out from underneath them. This is something that I am going to struggle with for a very long time. I try not to call this company bad names, but every now and again the sailor in me comes out and I find myself calling them “Dirty {Fatherless-Sons-of Mothers}”. I’m so far from being a good person that sometimes I find I can’t control my anger and my resentment toward these people.

Max is a GOOD person. He is 110% HONEST in everything he does. He is so SMART! He is NICE. He trusts people. He doesn’t play political games and tells you exactly how things are. If you poll his employees, you’ll find that 99% of them respect him, like him and trust him. The remaining 1% are the people that are never happy and never like their job or their employers. Sure, he’s been known to make people mad. He’s the accountant that sometimes has to say no. But you’ll find that these people don’t stay mad for long. Ultimately, he’s able to make them see why he had to say no, or why he had to do what he did is in the best interest of the organization. They may not like the answer, but they understand it.

I’ve always wondered what kind of company or corporation fires their employees at Christmas time. Now I know. It’s the most heartless and cruel kind of company. I’ve always felt terrible for the people who have found themselves without a job in the “merriest” time of the year. Now I will forever feel the utmost empathy for them. And I pledge, that if we are blessed enough to have employment next year at this time, that we will do something to help out another family who has found themselves in our situation.

Don’t get me wrong. We are not destitute. We will have a Christmas. It will just be scaled down. Actually, it’s a good thing that I can’t Christmas shop anymore. We can focus more on the life of Jesus Christ. We can focus more on family and spending time together. We are getting away from the commercial aspects of the season and thinking more about the spiritual aspects. I look forward to Christmas Day and spending it playing games and spending quality time with my family instead of  being bogged down in wrapping paper and ribbon.

My family has been super supportive through all of this. I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to have our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at our house. I’ll be honest, I can’t afford to buy all that food now. But they have offered to step in and bring the food. We may not be able to eat our traditional Prime Rib dinner, but a ham dinner will be just as good. And the entertainment – singing Christmas carols around the piano – is FREE! We’ll have the BEST NIGHT EVER!

I don’t tell this story to inspire pity or to make you feel bad for us. I tell it because I need to. Because I need  you to know that we’re okay. And we’ll continue to be okay. Because we have each other.

I joke around that everyone who was so busy praying that Max would come home and that we wouldn’t have to move to New Florin prayed him right out of a job. Now they need to get busy praying that we’ll find new employment! SO GET BUSY, EVERYONE! Please?