Insta-Wednesday: The One with the Stories

I took a walk this morning because I live in Florida and February in Florida is a little slice of heaven. Cool in the mornings. Hot in the afternoons. Each day begs to be enjoyed, to be taken in and relished.

So I relished.

Screenshot 2014-02-24 21.17.39

I’m preparing to launch my new website next week. That will mean the official end of this website, and no kidding, I get emotional just thinking about it. I started going over my final post in my head today and got all misty-eyed, which made me want to eat Nutella in an effort to self-soothe.

Nutella is more than liquid crack. It is medication for the soul. 



I’ve seen several ads on Facebook this last month for a website called My Social Book, which takes all your Facebook activity in the course of a year and compiles it into a book. I’ve ordered two of the books so far, and I have to say I LOVE them. It’s like having a yearbook for each year I spent on Facebook. All the funny status updates, comments, birthday wishes and photos shared are bound together, and it left me misty-eyed.

Pregnancy hormones are no joke, you guys.

The Social Book from my first year on Facebook really gave me a bit of nostalgia for my blogging days of yore. The days when I had a plethora of hysterical stories to share of life parenting surviving young children. I miss telling those funny stories. Thank goodness we’re having another baby because BLOG FODDER!

My voice won’t change in the new site, but I am looking forward to the inspiration that comes with a fresh slate. Perhaps I will write less frequently, and most of the funny stories I have on the kids will have to be kept to myself, but there will still be plenty of life to share, plenty of laughs to laugh, and a lot of inspiration to soak in.

I’m excited. And I’m sad. I’m conflicted.

I want Nutella.

Here are a few photos from my morning walk. I sincerely hope you appreciate the close up of the bumble bee, because I had to get right on top of him to get that shot, and I am terrified of bees. I imagine that any neighbor who saw me taking these pictures must have assumed me crazy because I jumped and leaped and yelped every time a bee left his perch and flew at me. I was like the bee paparazzi, and they seemed entirely put out by me.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow and Friday, and next week we’ll roll out the red carpet in a new place.

Sad Panda

Happy Dance






The forgotten one

wedding1As the kids went through the usual nighttime routine last night, Sloan looked at me over his toothbrush.

“Hey, Mom,” he gurgled. “What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Oh, not much, babe,” I answered. “Tomorrow is just another day.”

As I said these words, I had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. What could it be? It’s been a doozy of a few days. I can’t share publicly what’s gone on behind the scenes because my children would die ten thousand terrible deaths if I shared everything that ever happened ’round these parts.

All I can say is motherhood is NOT for the faint of heart.

And also, thank heavens for wine and mindless chick flicks, because I might not have survived otherwise.

“So we’re not doing anything?” Sloan asked.

“No. Not really anything at all. All I really need to do is get my oil changed, but other than that it’s just…”

My anniversary. That’s the thing I was forgetting. Thirteen years ago, I said ‘I Do’ to my studly stud of a man. Thirteen years of making babies, raising babies, moving, growing, laughing, learning, and navigating this awesome adventure called life.

Life is so different now than it was thirteen years ago. If someone would have told me what I’d be doing in the year 2013, I’d have laughed at them. Out loud. Right in the face.

Before you think I’m a terrible person for forgetting, I should tell you that Lee and I were talking last night about something that was concerning me and he leaned forward and looked at me with his serious Lee-face.

“What have I been telling you for the last fourteen years that we’ve been married?”

Me: “Uh…we’ve only been married for thirteen years.”

Year thirteen has been a doozy and I think we’re both ready for it to be over, but if I had to ride out a storm, I’d want to do it alongside this guy.


1999: Rocking the short overalls and a hottie on my arm.

1999: Rocking the short overalls and a hottie on my arm.


I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be on this journey with for all sixty years, four months and twenty-two days…plus.


I am blessed.

Read more of our story here.

In case I forget to say it later…Happy Anniversary, Babe!

A Repost, Because Summer is Crazy

This is, hands down, the craziest summer I’ve experienced thus far as a mother. We are moving from one thing to the next at break neck speed, and it’s all this Mama can do to keep from hyperventilating at ALL THE INSANITY!

See there? See the caps lock? INSANITY!

Today I’m packing Sloan up for his week long adventure to Washington DC and New York. My parents have told each of the kids that they will take them whereever they want to go for a week long trip when they turn ten (in the Continental United States – yes, that had to be defined because a certain child had big ideas about traipsing about Europe for her trip).

When Sloan returns we’ll have a few days at home before we leave for Kanakuk, St. Louis and Conway, Arkansas for two weeks. When we come home we’ll have a week and a half before school starts. Seriously, I feel like I can’t breathe when I try to think about all of it at once.

So while I go bury my face in a paper bag, I’m going to leave you with a repost, because I needed to laugh today, and maybe you did too. Happy Friday, friends! May your weekend be fun, restful and free of panic attacks.



Originally published June 11, 2011


I was on the phone last week, pacing the driveway.  It was a beautiful day and the kids were all napping or resting.  I just needed some air.  As I spoke with my friend, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.  I turned in time to see Sloan marching by with a twelve foot ladder tucked snuggly under his arm.  He didn’t even glance my way as he walked past, his face cool and nonchalant.  As if carrying around a ladder was normal.

I swear, if that kid had a stuffed tiger I would be living with Calvin and Hobbes.

“Um…I think I should probably hang up,” I said to my friend as Sloan set the ladder down next to the corner of the house and popped it open.  He looked up at the roof, his hand shading his eyes slightly.  I managed to reach him just as he stepped on the third rung, the ladder wobbling precariously on the slanted driveway.

“Whatcha doin’?”  I asked, grabbing hold of the base of the ladder.

“Oh, hey Mom,” Sloan said, still playing cool.  “I’m checking out the bird’s nest up here.”

I looked up and sure enough, there was a nest just underneath the roof.

“Can I?” he asked, looking down at me with his penetrating blue eyes.  Then he grinned.  Stinker.

“Yes,” I replied.  “Be careful.”

So up he climbed to the top rung and he peered over the side of the nest.

“There’s a baby bird in there!” he screeched.  Seriously screeched.  My ears are still ringing.  “It’s so cute!  Aw, Mom come see the baby bird!”

So we switched places and I climbed the ladder with him holding it steady.  Inside the nest was a tiny, newly hatched baby, it’s beak pointed upward, waiting for nourishment.

“Can I see it again?” Sloan yelled, shaking the ladder for effect.  Nice.

He climbed back up and looked in again.  “This is so freakin’ cool!” he yelled again.  To which I reminded him that I was only a few feet below and he didn’t need to scream.  Then he reached for the bird.

“Don’t touch it,” I cautioned.  “If the Mama bird comes back and smells you on her baby, she’ll leave him and he’ll die.”

With one last look and a wave, we pulled the ladder back down and headed on with our day.

Fast forward to this afternoon when we’re driving home from church.  Sloan pipes up from the backseat.  “Hey Mom.  I don’t care if it dies, so when we get home can I get the ladder out and pick up the baby bird and keep it?  I’ll get it worms and I’ll take care of it.  Can I raise the baby bird?”

“No,” I said.  “It’s Mama would be sad.  And we really don’t know how to raise a baby bird.  It’s better if we leave it alone.”

“But I can take good care of it,” came the anticipated protest.

“Hey Buddy,” Lee said, glancing into the mirror.  “You don’t need to try and raise that baby bird.”


“Well,” Lee said, and he paused.  “It would be like a bear coming to our house and seeing you and saying ‘I want to take that little boy home and raise him.’  Bears don’t know how to raise little boys.  That bear wouldn’t know how to feed you – he’d probably just give you raw meat or raw fish, like he eats.  And if he tried to hug you or give you a kiss, he’d probably claw your face off or bite off your head with his sharp teeth.  Bears aren’t meant to take care of little boys just like little boys aren’t meant to take care of baby birds.”

This is the part where I begin clutching my sides, I’m laughing so hard.

“And bee’s should take care of bee’s, wight?”  Tia chimes in.

“Right,” Lee replies.  “Bears take care of bears, bee’s take care of bee’s, bird’s take care of bird’s–”

“And people take care of people!”  Sloan interrupts.

“That’s right!”  Lee pumps his fist in the air.  “Homosapiens take care of Homosapiens.”

“Yeah!” Sloan yelled, pumping his fist in the air victoriously. “Wait…what’s a Home-sapien?”

And THAT, folks, is what happens when Daddy decides to explain.

The End.

Throwback Thursday: A repost with added pictures to make it totally random

Between end of the year craziness (Yes, we’re still in school because apparently Florida hates children) and a tropical depression that has settled on top of us (it’s like a cruel joke to have to get up and out to school on a day when it’s dark and steadily raining – I think Mother Nature is mad at Florida…probably for hating kids), I just don’t have any decent blog posts in me. 

But I have pictures and I have an old blog post that still makes me laugh…and cringe. Pictures first:

Remember when Landon looked like this?


Yesterday I went to his end of the year preschool program where they had those babies in caps and gowns and I almost died from the cute. This is my Landon now:


At one point the preschool director got up and started talking about how we only have 13 years left with these kids at home and how quickly that time will go and I briefly envisioned throwing a shoe at her, but I refrained because that would be inappropriate.

But for real.

To make this post just a little more random and to not tie it together at all, I’m going to leave you with a post that I originally published in October 2010. I wrote this after a rather unfortunate incident that occurred upon cleaning out my minivan.

Not hot.


Saturday night found Lee and I in the minivan, kids in tow, heading out to the mattress store to purchase two new mattresses.  Never mind that the kids desperately needed them.  Never mind that Tia’s mattress was so cheap that is was literally falling apart and becoming a potential hazard.  Never mind  that both mattresses had been peed on so many times they could be deemed a health code violation.  Never mind any of those things.  The fact is simply this:

I went out on Saturday evening to buy mattresses and thought it was fun.

Hi, my name is Kelli and I am a  bona fide minivan mom.

Ah, but we haven’t even got to the best part of the story.  What?  Surely you know there would be more to this story than the fact that I had a hoot buying twin mattresses on a Saturday night, right?  A hoot!

It was the incident that occurred when we returned home that sent my world aspinnin’.  It started simple.  We came home so Lee could drop the kids and I off and return to the mattress store to pick up our most exciting purchases.  We had to remove the car seats and fold down the back seats and clean up a bit.  And it was during this event that I began to question my entire identity.

The title of my blog is Minivans Are Hot.  With the operative word being Hot.   I know, I know…Minivan and Hot together in a sentence is an oxymoron.  And most days I would beg to differ and would launch into a diatribe about how it’s sexy to be a mom and how minivan moms have it goin’ on and I would work my hardest to convince you that I was right.  Until Saturday night…

What I found in the back seat of my minivan was anything but Hot.  Let’s start with what I found under the seat, shall we?  It was sticky…it was brown…it had flecks of leaves and dirt stuck to it.  What was that?!

From there I removed the kids car seats to find enough dried, crumbled food to feed a small pack of wild baboons.  It was sealed into the lining of the seat fabric and had to be scraped out with my fingernail.  *heave*  Don’t even get me started on what  I found in their seats.

But the piece de resitance came when I crawled into the way back and looked inside the cup holder.  It is here that I gasped, looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Gross!  This is why minivans are NOT. HOT.”  Then I clutched my chest with the gravity of my statement and fell in dramatic Disney Princess fashion onto the seat, the back of my hand against my forehead…

No I didn’t.  That last part didn’t happen – mostly because I wouldn’t want to lay on those seats for $100.  Maybe for $1000, though.

In the cup holder sat dried, crusted, molded bread.  It appears my children are stock piling food in the back seat of our minivan in the event that a giant meteor should come crashing down to earth and we need to seek shelter inside the car for a significant amount of time.  It also appears that they have eaten portions of a sandwich and then shoved the remaining portion in the cup holder and have, every day for who knows how long, been looking at this rotting sandwich and ignoring it.

It’s like I’m raising little cave people!

I promptly dug out the rot and marched to the trash can.  My husband, sensing my impending melt down went dashing for the Shop Vac in the basement.  Being the super hero that he is, he spent the next half hour sucking the muck out of our minivan while I went inside and lectured my children on the importance of throwing away rotten food.  I also tried to talk myself out of changing my blog title from Minivans Are Hot to Minivans Are A Place Where Horrors grow Beneathe the Seats and in the Cupholders While You Yourself Obliviously Drive From Here to There Thinking You Are Looking Fine When Really You Are Controlling a Moving Science Experiment.

But in typical Hero fashion, my man came inside just as I was certain that my entire online identity was going to have to be realtered and yelled “Ta-Da!”  I walked outside to see the seats clean (hey look!  The fabric’s grey…) The cup holders clean…er.  They still have a sticky substance that I can only assume will need to be chisled out at some point (probably just before we decide to sell the car).  And it smelled much more pleasant too.  It was actually quite nice in there.

I smiled at him and jumped into his arms.  Small birds flitted about our heads as he spun me around and when we kissed little animated hearts floated up into the dusky sky.

Alright…that last part didn’t happen either.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a cartoon.

Despite the cleanliness of my car, however, I couldn’t shake the fact that I had outwardly acknowledged the un-hotness of my minivan.  And so I’m here to retrain my mind.  And if any of you are having a hard time believeing that Minivans Are Hot like I am, then why don’t you join in with me as we repeat the mantra over and over.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are not, minivans are not…


Let’s try again.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Do you believe it?

A look back as the countdown looms

I am 34 years old. I can only say that for six more days. If anyone tries to say I’m 35 before next Tuesday I will kick him in the shins. Last week Lee said something about how my 36th birthday was coming up. I beat him for it.

The same day my mom sent me a text and said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to do a big spa trip when you turn 40 and I turn 65?” There were a few things wrong with that text – first, I AM ONLY 34! Can we not discuss 40 yet?



Also, I will only be 38 when she turns 65! *throws hands up in exasperation*

So, yeah. I’m about to officially be in my mid-thirties. An argument could probably be made for the fact that 34 is technically already the mid-thirties, but that’s not a conversation any of us need to have at this point. Because I don’t want to talk about it.

Crystal clear?

Now I can say there are some perks to aging, one of them being the benefit of laughing at pictures of yourself in years past. Enough time has gone by now for old pictures of me to be wildly hysterical, mainly because I grew up in the ’80’s and, you know…it was the ’80’s. So to commemorate me getting old(er), here are a few pictures from ages past and bygone styles.

You’re welcome.


1985: The partial mullet.

1985: The partial mullet.



1986: The Very Loud Button-Down


1987: Denim on Denim and feathered bangs.

1987: Denim on Denim and feathered bangs.

1988: Units belt, High tops with layered socks, Esprit Bag, Side Ponytail. I was ROCKING 5th grade.


1989: I discovered the crimping iron. Thank you, '80's, for so many wonderful and lasting styles.

1989: I discovered the crimping iron. Oh yes I did…


I blame this photo on a number of things: My parents, Jazz Dance and the '80's.

I blame this photo on a number of things: My parents, Jazz Dance and the ’80’s.


1991-ish with remnants of the '80's clinging on.

1991-ish with remnants of the ’80’s clinging on.


1991: The year of the Coolats, AKA 7th Grade, AKA The year I grew into my nose...

1992: The year of the Coolats (sp?), AKA 7th Grade, AKA The year I grew into my nose…


1995: Calming down a bit in the fashion department. Thankfully for all of us I couldn't find any pictures from 9th, which was a particularly tragic year of fashion for me. Think Sun-In meets short shorts meets way too much make up.

1995: Calming down a bit in the fashion department. Thankfully for all of us I couldn’t find any pictures from 9th grade, which was a particularly tragic year of fashion for me. Think Sun-In meets short shorts meets way too much make up.

I’m also missing several pictures that document those years when I fondly (read: obsessively) wore over-sized flannel shirts. I also had a deep love for overalls my senior year of high school, but then we all did. Don’t act like you didn’t wear them, too…

1999: Rocking the short overalls and a hottie on my arm.

1999: Rocking the short overalls and a hottie on my arm.


And, of course, there were about 6 years there when I wore babies. I actually miss those years...

And, of course, there were about 6 years there when I wore babies. I actually miss those years…


My current fashion of choice is yoga pants. I’m kind of kidding and kind of serious. I really love yoga pants. But I don’t want to get completely lost in the hole of my mid-thirties so I try to lose the yoga pants whenever possible and upgrade to something super fashionable…like a skort. And if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I might even put on a pair of skinny jeans.

But then I spend the day feeling like I’m slowly suffocating to death.

My kids are going to have a field day making fun of me some day…

Here’s to many more years of fashion, both good and bad.

Throwback Thursday


My brother and I at a costume party circa 1995

You’re welcome.

Come back tomorrow for a little chat about parenting – USA vs. FRANCE.


And next week is the final week I can claim to be in my early thirties. I have some plans on how to write my way into my mid-thirties. It’s better than drinking my way there, right?

Happy Thursday!

How KidzBop kept me cool

Last weekend, I snuck away for a few days to join four of my sweetest friends in Waco, Texas to celebrate Baylor’s Homecoming. Sixteen years ago, the five of us met. We were all so different, but we had the common factor of being far away from home and totally lost in a brand new world.

We were eighteen, silly and over the course of four years we developed the kind of bonds that most people only pray for. By God’s grace, I can still say that those four women are some of my favorite people to be around. We’ve lived in different cities for twelve years now. We (currently) have sixteen children between the five of us. We’ve weathered heartache and loss and joys and sadness together. We’ve moved and grown and changed and we always come together without a moment’s hiccup.

We are knit.


This was then. I don't really have an explanation...

We made a pact our senior year of college to try and get together once a year. Moves and babies has made it difficult, but we’ve worked hard to keep that promise. In twelve years, we have had nine reunions. Not too shabby.

This was our first time to come back, all five of us together, to the place we met. And we proved that even though we are, ahem, a little older – we still got it.

Friday night after the Homecoming bonfire, a cover band lit up the stage with music from the ’80’s until now. Unable to resist the urge to dance, we pushed our way to the front of the stage and boogied like it was 1999 (again) and until it was way past our bedtimes. Us and the college kids. I kept wanting to tap the kids shimmeying next to me on the shoulder and ask them to guess my age.

I resisted – decided to blend in.

This is me...blending in.


We shook our groove thangs, lifted body surfers over our heads and sang along at the top of our lungs…just like the days of yore. I even knew the words to all the songs!


This girl right here has six kids. Would that we all looked that good after six kids...


I hereby apologize for every time I’ve bashed KidzBop and it’s fingernails on chalkboard singing. KidzBop kept me cool for just one night. (We’ll ignore the fact that I sang the cleaned up, watered down words to all the songs because that’s the only way I know them…thank you KidzBop.)

I came home refreshed, encouraged and remembering that every season of life brings miracles and grace. I also realized that I am immensely blessed to have dear, dear friends. I’m thankful that I still reap the blessings of my college days through those sweet friendships. What an honor.

Standing in our freshman dorm, sixteen years and sixteen kids after we first met...

So how’s everyone holding up after a long election day? My advice? Put on a little KidzBop and shake your groove thang. It feels good…

50 Years

Fifty years ago today, the course of our family history stepped onto a new and exciting path. Really, the journey toward this future began some time before June 10, 1962, but it is today that we remember and commemorate my grandfather, grandmother and the legacy that they left behind. Today is the anniversary of the church they started so many years ago.

It was scary. It was hard. It was beautiful and ugly and delicious all rolled together.


Lee and I have thought a lot about the legacy we want to leave to our children. Walking across the plains of Africa has shifted the course of that vision a bit, though, and once again we find ourselves reestablishing this idea of legacy. What are we doing now that will shape the futures of our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren?

We must not take lightly this responsibility we have to create a legacy for our kids. It’s daunting, really, to think that how we guide them doesn’t impact the short term. I don’t know if my grandparents realized the ultimate and forever impact they would have on future generations when they stepped onto the white sands of South Caicos in 1961 with their four young children. Did they know that fifty years later the Carribbean would still remember the family name?

Did they know that fifty years after that first dedication on June 10, 1962 there would be a service at Calvary Baptist Church to honor and remember their faithfulness and sacrifice?

Did they know that fifty years after leaving the United States their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would have traveled the world with the Gospel?

Did they understand the legacy they were creating by the faithful acting of leaving?

My grandfather did not get to see the long-term fruits of his labor. He died in 1973 at the age of 44. But his legacy did not end and it will not because his hands, his feet and his love continues to spread through the Carribbean and the world.

My grandfather wasn’t trying to be faithful to a future he would never see when he left with his family and established a lasting ministry in the Turks and Caicos islands and in the Bahamas. He was being faithful to the present he lived in and he took his family on the journey with him.

Is this how we create legacy? Is it as simple as being faithful to those things that stand before us – the messy, the beautiful, the ugly and the delicious? Is it living fully in the present that allows us to create a legacy for the future?

My grandparent’s journey wasn’t without trial or hardship and not every memory from those years is met with fondness and yearning. But the seed that was planted all those years ago continues to grow and I am so, so grateful and honored to be a part of that heritage – that legacy. I’m proud of my family and the legacy in which we all share.

Messy. Beautiful. Ugly and Delicious. It is our legacy and it continues to grow, not to our glory but to His.

All to His.


The steeple and bell at Calvary Baptist Church, South Caicos


So what about you? What kind of legacy do you hope to leave for your children and the generations that follow?

*Three years ago this month, I had the privilege of traveling to the Caicos islands with my mom to see and feel the legacy that was left for us first hand. Here are a couple of the posts from that trip:

Why I’m in Turks and Caicos 

Another Story from the Mission Field

I’m Coming Home Soon!

A Journey through the Sands of Time

Island Gallery

Sing it out with Nicole Nordeman’s Legacy…

The best thing I’ve seen all year

Oh my dear friends. I am about to share something with you that will make your day. It might even make your week. Heck, IT COULD VERY WELL MAKE YOUR YEAR!

I stumbled across this while working on another post and it was so good I decided it deserved a post of its own. There is no reason to hide this glory under a bushel basket. No reason at all. So I halted what I was working on and started a new post just for all of you.

Folks, this song runs through my head all. the. time. Every time I’m scared, I start humming this. I listened to this cassette tape endlessly as a kid. I’d put it in my neon pink and green boom box and jam out and this song was one of my favorites.

Like an old friend or a warm, fuzzy blanket it washes away fear. This song has saved me over the years and now? NOW I HAVE THIS!

I feel like I found a gold nugget.

Watch it…watch it until the very end.

You. Are. Welcome.

Let’s all join together in a moment of reverent silence shall we?

Aren’t you glad you stopped by today? Does anybody else sing this song when they’re scared? Has anybody else heard this song?!

For one more piece of awesome, listen to this. There’s no video but this was my other favorite song on that cassette. You know you all wish you had been as cool as me…

Re-Post: How to Go from Reverent to Irreverent Without Even Really Trying

My daughter woke me up before 5:00 this morning. Rather than go back to sleep I decided to get up and do some writing. I will probably regret this decision around 2:00 today but for now I plan to get slightly lost in my characters. Here’s an old post for a bit of fun. This moment still makes me laugh.  This was originally posted in November of 2010. Happy Monday!


If ever you ask my seven year old to pray before a meal, I suggest you make sure you’re not starving. Because Sloan? He brings it when he prays. All I need is a tent and a white hanky and Glory, Hallelujah we’ve got a revival.

Landon and Tia, try as they might, have a very difficult time making it through one of Sloan’s prayers without sneaking a bite or four. Sloan has been known to pray up to five minutes or more. He thanks God for everything from his toys to the military. He prays for poor people and for everyone he can think of by name. He prays for his own attitude and, on any given day, could likely be heard praying that his sister’s attitude would change too.

Last night’s dinnertime prayer went something like this:

Dear Lord. You are the Creator. You created. Everything. God. You are our Lord. Thanks for being our Lord. And for being our Savior. Thank you for, um, the veterens (which he pronounces vechrins). Thank you that they protect us and keep us safe. Thank you for Mr. Nevil that he fought to protect our country. We are very glad for them. Thank you for the Army vechrins and the Navy and…um…the Air Force. And all of the people that serve. It’s just awesome that they do that for us. Give them glory, Lord.

We thank you for Jonri (our Compassion child), God. He is poor. But he’s not poor anymore because we can help him to not be poor. And thank you that he will get Christmas presents. We pray for all the poor people, God. We pray that they will have food. And toys.

Lord you are very great. God. Thank you for our family (lists everyone from grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins). Thank you for all my friends (lists as many as he can think of by name). And, God. I pray that I would have a good attitude. Thank you that I had a good day today and was nice and happy. And thank you that Tia was nice to me today and we could have a little fun.

*It’s at this point that Lee and I are trying not to crack up as Landon, with his head down and his eyes squinted open begins grabbing food and putting it in his mouth, then clasping his hands together again while he prays and chews. My grandmother would have told him he was going to choke for sneaking food during prayer.

We just thank you for everything you give us, Lord. And it is in your Holy, Powerful Name we pray…In Jesus Name.


It’s not hard to understand why Jesus commanded us to let the little children come to him. There is no holding back in the sincere prayers of a child. I am always blessed by Sloan’s prayers, no matter how lengthy they may be.

As soon as Sloan finished his prayer, we all echoed the Amen and picked up our forks to eat. But wait! Tia wanted to pray. So we bowed again. Her prayers are generally short, sweet and to the point.

Dear Wowrd. Fank you dat we have a gweat famiwy. And fank you dat you dive us dis food. And…well…amen.


Ah the reverence. I was momentarily tempted to pat myself on the back for raising such wonderful, thoughtful children.


Tia looked down at the pile of beef stew on her plate and wrinkled her nose.

Is dis poop?!”

And thus, the reverence of the moment was totally gone. Sloan cracked up and Landon looked with great disdain at his plate. It took several minutes to convince him that I did not, indeed, prepare poop for dinner.

We started off grand, though, didn’t we?