Filtering my humor

I see the funny side of life a lot. Things that others may not find funny strike a chord in me and I chuckle.

This tumor thing. It does not strike my 12 year old funny at all. No aspect of it feels funny to him. It could be that the black and white of what is funny is just extremely clear to him and none of the parts of his mom having a tumor in her head seem funny in the least. Still, I see the funny. And yet, I also see it through his eyes. This is not a time to be irreverent about his feelings. No, his feelings matter every bit as mine do. So, within the funny moments, where life is ridiculous ( like the bandage on my head that looks like pad being worn in the wrong place…), I also see that it is not ridiculous at all in one of my dear ones’ eyes. Perhaps that is why this particular blog has been silent. To mock that which is incredibly serious, even life and death, seems, well, it seems a little irreverent to him. And he matters. Will this prevent me from writing the silly? The outrageous? No. It simply will be a filter from which I look at life. It’s good to see things through anothers’ eyes and understand that they see it differently. My son is special with a capital S. He is extraordinary in his insights. I respect that. So in the last few weeks as we traversed the halls of the life and death of this thing called a brain tumor, I have seen it from his perspective a little more and mocked myself a little less. He’ll come around at some point. He has mischeif waiting to say something about how funky I smell, I’m sure of it.


The things my kids have done or said to me… Dubbed “Tumor Humor”

My oldest was in the middle of having a headache for 2 days in a row and was quite distraught so he got my attention and I gave him meds. He said “Now, Mom don’t go and peg me with those tumor thingies in me.” No need son. There is enough in this family!


When procrastination with homeschooling was busted, and I caught her on it, my daughter was trying to argue with what I said. “You said I could have a candy after doing a subject.”

“No, I said when your school work was DONE. I clearly remember that I said to do your LA and Math and then maybe you could have some candy”.

“Well, I did a subject…!” Yah, the shortest one ever.

While this whole thing was going down, I had been on the phone with a friend. I asked her if she heard me say what I had told my daughter.

She replied “Yup candy, after Math and LA.”

I said to my daughter,” don’t try and use this tumor and memory thing against me.” She harrumphed her way out of the room when she was no longer able to use my memory against me because I had a back up on the phone. I love having back up!! On a good day my daughter can use my lack of memory to work in her favor. Thanks K!!


I will continue to add to this blog post to help me remember the funny or mundane but important things in life that we are experiencing.

Don’t judge a family by a picture

I have a friend down the road who is a photographer. She’s very good. For as many years as she’s been posting her pictures I have wanted her to take our family pictures. Alas, we’ve always found a higher emergency for our money. However, this year, I am a working mom, Yo. I make a few pennies a month and thought I’d rub them together to get our pictures done…FINALLY! The date was solid and the pressure was on to SELL some TEA. Then three of my tea parties cancelled.

“Dude, I’m not waiting any longer!” I said to myself. The Reverend HATES pictures and so it’s like ripping off a band-aid. You just have to go for it or regret it every second you slowly pull. Ok, so not a clever word picture but whatever. I forget what I was trying to say.

The pressure was on, not only to sell some tea, but to also find some clothes to put our family into that didn’t clash horribly.

Have I said already how incredibly painful it is for our family to have our picture taken? NO? Well, then listen to this story because it’s only a snippet of what our lives are like when we try to get all of us smiling at the same time. I knew that if anyone could make us look happy it would be Kristen.

When I had booked our appointment, with the pretty photographer, we hoped for good weather. Then it was the coldest day ever in September, so we postponed for a later date. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather. In fact, I had bought a sweater for myself, on the coldest day, in anticipation that it could be cool on our evening adventure. But it wasn’t. Of course. It was HOT. H-O-T, hot. I nixed the sweater and hoped for the best. My shirt was the only thing that wasn’t matchy matchy with the rest of them. Sigh.

The other part of moving the date was that both of our daughters had dance starting that very night. What I had hoped would be a lot of prep time to get everyone looking spiffy turned out to be a scream into the finish line. My oldest daughter had 2 dance classes that night because they were trying her out to see in which she would fit. This one or the other? Can we say sweaty hair?

I got our outfits all ready and clean. Big fat pat on the back for not scrambling last-minute to scrub a stain off of a shirt. Oh wait. I did that. I coiffed hair, put outfits on at the exact last-minute and then went like a madman to pick up my daughter. Somewhere in there I made chicken fingers and put them on a plate for her. She ate while I worked with her sweaty hair. The girl did NOT want it up. It would have been so lovely if I had been just given a chance. Nope. I love puberty. With a wave of the brush, I gave up and we whizzed out the door.  She ate while we drove and I hoped she didn’t have chicken cooties stuck in her teeth and that the sweat wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

We made it on time and family pictures commenced. First the group shots. Those started with a fun “I’m NOT going to smile!” Kristen then tried to get some individual shots. The boys were in fine form. All I had to do was yell out the word “Fart!” and they were all smiles and laughs. The girls? Well, let’s just say they didn’t kill each other.

The Reverend and I were getting cozy and kissing for the camera. Look Reverend, family pictures are FUN!!  Suddenly, we heard what we thought was “Get off my Sh** you Butt-head!” and realized, with great relief, that they were playing “Ship”. The name calling just became that much less horrifying.  We love drama. Super hard to get all serious and cozy with that kind of drama going on behind us. I could NOT stop from smiling.


Then, there was a sisterly moment, when the two of them were posing on a precarious ledge. One got a little “feisty” and they both fell backwards on the grass. I laughed, then realized one of them actually got a little hurt and was crying. I thought we were done for, for sure. Alas, we moved into other more serene (ha ha) poses.


We survived the Family Picture adventure that we had all dreaded. It had it’s ups and downs and it’s fair share of belligerent behavior but we made it. We even got to kiss each other more (The Reverend and I) than we’ve been able to kiss each other for…well, for too long. That part was down right enjoyable! And I was right! Kristen was able to make us look like a Loving family despite all the outtakes she had to sift through.


Oh wait, I know the “normal” pictures are around here somewhere…


Oh goodness, I guess there is no way to look normal after all

IMG_6383 IMG_6412

How about this?


There we go. A winner! Although I think the crazy, ill-behaved pictures suit us just fine! 🙂

And the awesome ending, as I was talking with Kristen, was when I noticed my daughter chewing something in the van. When asked what she was eating, she held it up triumphantly and declared `Chicken!` with a winning smile. Where was the smile beforehand I ask you? No where. But for a cold crusty who-knows-how-old piece of chicken…there it was.  For a moment I wondered just where had she gotten chicken and just how old was it? She’s been known to eat mysterious items. As I pondered where she had gotten it, I realized that it was from supper and she had found it on the seat…so much less awful. We live the life of Napolean Dynamite.  Tater tots in the pockets…yup. Been there.

That concludes our edition of Painful Picture taking  with the Reverend’s family.

And the end of the story really is in how God provided 4 more parties to help me earn what I needed to pay for the rest of the photo session. God knew I needed those family pictures as a great reminder of what HE had built and put together and provided the money for us to enjoy them.

Escape through the window

We’ve had the privilege of having the same sweet lady take care of our kids, for the most part, for the last seven years. She’s seen about everything and knows my children almost as well as I do. She loves them and cares for them when I am away and they are alive and healthy when I return. I consider it a huge success every time I return home to find my kids, and the babysitter, sleeping like babies and in one piece. The babysitter doesn’t sleep, of course…

The other night, almost seven years after she first started taking care of our wee ones, we came home to find her a little shaken up. She went on to tell us a story. But first, I tell mine.

As we were preparing to leave on our date, The Reverend and I were doing different things on the main floor when we heard a fierce grunting and groaning coming from Ninja Boy’s bedroom. I called out “What are you doing? Putting on really tight pants or something?” We’ve been through a tremendous growth spurt with all of them which would explain me asking him about tight pants. I didn’t get an answer but I was not alarmed by all the noises. Unusual sounds are just a part of our daily lives.

Ninja came to me with a huge smile on his face. “I can get IN the window but I can’t get out.”

Say what?

“What do you mean you can get in the window?” I asked, just a little alarmed at this point.

“I can’t get out of the window. But I can get in.” He replied like I was very slow. “I put the ladder on the window and I got in!” Huge smile.

“Which ladder?” Alarm is growing in my belly.

At this point, I go and investigate.

“The ladder from the trampoline.” The trampoline ladder is  small and he is not a huge 8 yr old. It is a main floor so it’s not very far from window to ground, relatively speaking, but for a small child it is a definite drop.

Sure enough, the ladder was under his window.

Grunts and groans are now fully explained.

He had to pull himself up and over the ledge a good bit and his feet would have dangled for a while. I’m certain that the neighbors would have probably been well entertained during this time had they the opportunity to look out of their windows.

After explaining that the trampoline ladder is for the trampoline and that he will not remove his screen ever again unless there is a fire he looked at me innocently. “But what if there IS a fire? Then I definitely have to remove that screen again. What IF?”


Later that evening, we walk in the door to find our precious friend, and babysitter, looking a little frazzled. Nothing abnormal about that, except that she hardly EVER gets frazzled,even with our little bunch.

She went on to tell me that earlier that evening she had gone in to check Ninja. He wasn’t in his room so she went to look for him. It is his routine to have his nightly excuse to have to use the washroom for a very extended length of time. Let’s just say that he’s a guy and it seems to come naturally. Even the reading material.

He wasn’t where she looked so she asked the older kids to look for him. Her alarm grew as they searched all over the house and called outside. She thought to herself that she had finally lost one of our kids. All these years with a clean record and she’d lost one. She is a very calm personality and it takes a bit to make her frantic but frantic she was. She was calling down the road and up the road and down the stairs. Ninja was no where.

A little while, and a few grey hairs later, Ninja appeared from seemingly nowhere.

A little freaked, our dear lady asked “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”

Perplexed by her unnatural shade of panic, he replied “In the bathroom…downstairs. The toilet is plugged and I had to use the downstairs bathroom” (see my earlier posts on low flow toilet drama)

Child found, all is right in the world.

Her heart  stopped its rapid pace and returned to normal, after a while.

I hate to say it, but I laughed a lot. At least someone else lost my child and not me…this time.

Pastor’s Kids are NORMAL

You know your Pastor’s Kids are “normal” when

1. They kick and scream on their way out of the church service

2. You have to carry them out kicking and screaming only after giving them “the Look”.

3. After having a potluck with red juice you cannot stop your kid from throwing things off the second level balcony

4. Your kid steals from the missionary kids

5. Your kid yells out “This is BORING.” or swears uncharacteristically at a bad time.

6. They have an insatiable desire to take communion because it’s food late in the service.

7. They offer to help in Nursery

8. They are willing to have company over at the blink of an eye.

9. They know all the lines to Veggie Tales songs and refuse to watch another one.

10. They feel free to run and give Daddy a hug up on stage.


I love being in ministry and hope to be in this with my family for many years. It has been the most crazy, rewarding, humbling and fun time ever.


Nothin’ Funny

**Disclaimer – you may find this too crude if you don’t like potty humor**


Don’t you find that sometimes you just can’t find anything funny about life because life has sucked the funny right out? Yah, me too.

Then my ever-lovin’ “low flow” toilet backs up again for the GA-zillionth time and there it is staring me in the face. When life gives me crap that I just can’t flush…I just laugh!

Seriously, whoever invented low flow toilets may have been thinking about the environment in the abstract but they have NOT met the bowels of my family. Any money we may have saved having the dastardly dumpsters of water, are being flushed down the toilet again and again and again…half the water and twice the flushing.

We should have thought it all through, before we bought, what we considered would be an economical and environmentally friendly toilet. Our family was not born to use low flow. We were not made to be environmentally friendly when it comes to flushing down what we got goin’ on.

that’s all.

So every time we have a “surprise”, every-other day occurrence, where the toilet is refusing the load, we laugh. We get out the tools of the trade, the disinfectant and laugh.

There may be nothin’ funny about a clogged toilet, but we’re going to laugh anyways. In fact, one of our children (who will remain nameless) has been dubbed the royal title as the “Crap Master”. Do not fear, it is taken with a great deal of pomp and circumstance. Or is it poop and circumstance? Ah well…

So when life is serious and you just can’t laugh. Just think of our chronically challenged toilet. If you think you got problems then just flush and plunge. Eventually the problem clears up.

Things could be worse. Or they could be funny. It just depends on the perspective.


Life is like a toilet

There are times when life just gets too serious. Way too serious.

That’s when I resort to potty humor. I’m not proud of it, but it’s what we do when times get tough around here. My parents taught me well that way, I guess. When tragedy struck, toilet humor emerged. In some ways, life is like a toilet. Crap happens.

I know some of you just don’t get why crass humor is ever right. I don’t think it’s always appropriate to talk about bodily functions but there are moments where it hits the spot.

Like last night. I had just about had enough of kids and their crazy fighting ways and was about to lose my sanity for the millionth time. Then, I joined in the mayhem. I let a joke rip. At least, I’ll call it a “joke”. They laughed, I laughed…they carried on and on and on and then I had to put my foot down and say the joke was definitely over.

I have a kid who has some obsessive behavior and one of those obsessions is the word “fart”. I don’t know why but there it is. I guess God has a sense of humor too because he placed this child into our family to teach me a lesson, I’m sure of it. There is such a thing as too much potty mouth.

I am thinking that He gets the last laugh.