Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wild as We Want To Be

What started out as an innocent trip for post-dinner ice cream spiraled quickly downhill.

I should have seen it as the omen that it was when we loaded up Calvin in his boxer shorts, Ruby in hot pink spandex bike shorts and Silas with no shoes.

2 minutes into the trip, Ruby told a hiney joke. I could hear her in the back seat, reveling in Calvin's hysterical laughter. I could tell it was just a matter of time before she upped the ante. She upped it, alright. She started her joke and then dropped her tone to a loud whisper for "bottom". Homegirl has the market cornered on potty humor. And it's win-win for Calvin, who gets to belly-laugh and then immediately tattle.

Up in the front of our sexy mini van, Cory and I listened to Alanis Morisette, circa Jagged Little Pill. Took me right back. Took us both back. I wonder about Alanis - if she's happy in the world somewhere. I hope so, because I like her. Her Forgiven lyrics are pure genius.

A few minutes later, Calvin shouts from the back seat, "Ruby's pretending to smoke!" I say, "Ruby?" she responds, "I'm pretending to smoke! With this sucker stick!"

"We don't pretend to smoke, yada yada, put the sucker stick down."

Then Cory says to me, real quiet-like, "I always used to pretend to smoke." and I say, "Oh yeah, me too. We would secretly buy those candy cigarettes."

Candy cigarettes! Whose brilliant idea were those?

Ice cream went off mostly without a hitch.

Then I had to grab grape tomatoes at the grocery store and I'm just gonna put it out there: I bought a 4-pack of Wild Berry wine coolers. On sale.

Here's the thing about me and drinking: I do it, once in a while. I was raised with the mentality that if someone smoked or drank a beer, they were not going to Heaven. It probably wasn't worded exactly that way, but that's how I processed it.

So I never smoked (at least not for real) and I never drank. Ever. And I went about my merry way, thinking that people who did those things needed Jesus and being so proud of myself that I was strong enough to resist. And all the while, I could have been concerning myself with things like my own personal greed or selfishness or - duh - pride.

Then I grew up and I started to dig around for the truth about things and I started to love Jesus more and I started to have a margarita, once in a while.

I'm so controversial.

Back at the home-front, I picked beans and bedtime for Calvin and Ruby turned into running in the sprinkler just for the heck of it. No soup for you, bedtime! When it's 87 degrees at 8:30, you probably just need to run in the sprinkler one more time.

The evening of our undoing ended with two naked kids running willy nilly through the house, in hot pursuit of pajamas, to the tune of Ruby's newest song, involving a rocket potty, whatever that is.

Come thou, Sunday.


  1. My Prince and I have had that exact candy cigarette conversation, also. In fact, we've purchased them for our kids (shh, don't tell my mom! I wasn't allowed to pretend to smoke and she'd kill me if she knew I was aiding and abetting my young impressionables!)...but they're pc entitled "candy sticks" today...and (no shocker!) they immediately do the same thing with them as we did when we were kids. And who doesn't love a bottom joke every now and again? Especially when it incites a belly laugh! Now THAT is funny!

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  2. Well rats! Your jokester, Ruby, just spoiled my thoughts that life would include a lot less potty talk if God had given me at least one girl. With 3 boys, I hear more potty jokes than I'd like to even though they are technically banned. : )

  3. My son picked up a box of those candy cigarettes at the beach last week. I started in with the exact same response and stopped short when I remembered how I 'smoked' those candies when I was a kid too. Please, if it's the worst thing he ever 'smokes' I'll be happy!

    I have to agree with you FPFG, I processed the entire smoking/drinking thing from my early church years in much the same way. Thank God He delivered me from that attitude. Imagine my surprise to learn that I can actually drink an occasional glass of wine and still love Jesus:)

  4. I just read this whole post. outloud. to my husband. Girl you make me laugh and I seriously love you for it!! :)

  5. Such a cute post. What is it with kids and potty humour, eh?
    Glad you pursued getting to know Jesus (and not just 'cus the occaisional margarita tastes yummy). Oh, and I kinda share your Alanis love. Her song "Simple Together" was a favourite for a long time. I had the Jagged Little Pill cd while my sister had 'Nsynch....that still pretty much sums up how different our personalities are.

  6. Sounds like such a fun household!!
    Laughter really is the best medicine!
    Enjoy that margarita! :)
    Have a great weekend with all your sweeties xo

    Deborah xo

  7. We bought candy sticks (aka candy cigarettes) a few months ago at dollar general! Difference other than what they are called? No more red tip! Remember that? That's how you knew you were "smoking" right! Lol!

  8. This spring I co- directed Grease and we got the students candy ciggs. You would have thought we were so cool as directors. I had to keep all the boxes with me and ration them out. The kids loved that they puffed sugar dust at least on the first puff. I was known as the cigg-lady.

    I used to pretend smoke too with sucker sticks. I also used to pretend they were braces on my teeth! What kid would want that?!

  9. I'm just going to put this out there:

    I love Jesus and I love red wine. I also had a margarita tonight. You think you're controversial?!

    Love the shaved heads of Silas and Calvin. I even love Ruby's humor. I'm sure it's not always fun, but she sounds like she's going to end up being a strong girl and THAT is good.

    Ahhhh..candy cigarettes! I loved them. When I was little we got the ones that puffed out white smoke..not sure how that worked, but MAN I loved them!

    I also used to straighten paper clips to make fake braces, wore my mom's eyeglasses that made the floor seem as if it were at my neck (she wore bifocals!) and regularly had my mom make me "casts" for my broken arm.

    I was a weird kid.

    Be careful what you wish for!! Minus the broken arm, I was the lucky recipient of the braces and poor eyesight!

    Love your skirt and apron..and I keep forgetting to mention that I LOVE Bethenny Frankel!!

    Have a wonderful night!



  10. When I was a kiddo if it wasn't candy cigarettes we'd pretend to smoke with stick pretzels.
    Your post made me smile, as usual! :)

  11. Took the kids to a magic store today and guess what they had? Candy cigarettes. The kids thought they were SO fantastic. They also had this keychain that made all gross body sounds. Oh my word. They begged and begged for the 6.99 keychain. I said NO STINKING way : ) I just couldn't stand those sounds. I said yes to the cigarettes though. They were actually LIGHTING notebook paper up in the spring and pretending to smoke. I would much prefer they pretend with some sugar they can eat when they are done. I know. I know. Fantastic mother, right? : ) PS I want some hot pink biker shorts just like that!

  12. We're on vacation, and went into an old general store today, and there they were...candy cigarettes. My Mom would never let us have any as a kid. I was slightly tempted to but some today, but thought that might be a bad example for my 2 & 3 year old sons :)

  13. You are controversial, I like it, because so am I. I never went to a bar or out clubbing, and still never will, but having a lovely margarita or corona with lime can just be a completely "I'm not an alcoholic" kind of way!

  14. i. love. your. family.

    alanis. holla!

    i pretended to smoke as a kid. i for real smoked for seven years. i still buy candy cigarettes.
    (i feel like people's pantywears get in knots about drinking because they are hung up on symptoms. symptoms of heart issues.
    it's not your badness that sends you to hell. it's your goodness that ain't good enough. some lost people are the most moral i know!
    doings/habits/whatever don't make us bad. we over-eat, drink too much, gossip, covet, and lack compassion because we ARE already bad.)
    enjoy your wine coolers! so thankful for the grace to be having a drink with you right. now.

    also, i adore you.

  15. I related to everything in this post! Candy cigarettes, check. Alanis Morisette, check (was listening to Jagged Little Pill just this week! And yes I do believe she's very happy - she just had a baby!). Potty humour, check - it runs amuck in our house unfortunately. Glass of wine, check. Had one tonight!

  16. Alanis's "That I Would Be Good" is my anthem. I cry almost everytime I hear it. I don't cry when I sing it karaoke, though. It's one of my better karaoke songs. Or used to be. Before this last batch of babies.

    Eh, wine coolers. I double dare you to write a blog post about weed. *snicker, snicker*

    I love the sprinkle photo. Great shot.

  17. I was raised not to drink, smoke real or pretend, dance, play cards, wear make up, ear rings, jeans, go to movies............
    I was squeeky clean, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that "no matter what I did I could never be Good enough?"
    While I never Ran....this works oriented upbringing confussed me! Then I grew to REALLY know & love the One True Jesus & was set free!
    I too enjoy me a glass of wine or a margarita now & again! ;)
    Especially on a HOT day like today!

  18. Remember, the Bible does say Drink a little wine for your stomach and many infirmities. Also, it's not what enters you that defiles you, but what comes out of you.

    This was a fun post about your adventure going out for ice cream. I love your apron, I love your kids, I love you for being honest, fun, loving and caring. For telling things as you feel and see them.

    I too was raised to believe that drinking, smoking and dancing were the three BIG sings. HA! Thank God for His tender mercies, and for opening my eyes. DH and I enjoy wine with dinner, and we really like margaritas too.


  19. My kids were obsessed with saying Butt up means shut up...I know, what? I had to stymie that. Oh, and that twin and I pretend smoked crayons. They went well with our pajama pants long hair.
    I love gin and tonics but cannot have it because I gulp and then I become a stand-up comedian.

  20. What a delightful (and insightful) post...
    Your "I started to love Jesus more and I started to have a margarita" line will give me a lot to think about today... Thank You!

  21. Ha! My husband and I discussed our candy cigarettes we had as kids the other day. We live in the South. My mom's relatives had a tobacco farm. Most of our relatives smoked so it was only natural to pretend to smoke, too. Believe me when my parents smoked in the car with the windows cracked to make the smoke go away I vowed to never, ever put my kids through that. They apologize for it now, but then they thought the little crack was sufficient.

    Your last insight is brilliant. I find myself in that spot. I have a glass of wine with my hubby now and then when way back when I would have thought I was going straight to hell for it. Thanks for sharing that.

  22. I feel like I am reading my own words when I read your blog. Only your words are beautiful. And go further and deeper than I ever do. I think that we were separated at birth;)

  23. Miss A is married and has a baby boy, that's all I know. A little wine is good for the soul, or your stomach. Did you know in Korea, kids love potty jokes more than anything?

  24. Beau loves the lego shirt!
    Drew wants ice cream!
    I like your skirt and want to drink wine coolers with you!
    Happy Sunday :-)

  25. I love you and your controversial self!

  26. I was the girl who broke all her secular cd's in half (including my ultimate crush, j timberlake and his Nsync boys) when my youth pastor charged the music as "of the devil." Now I listen to John Mayer and DMB. Controversial is my claim to fame.

  27. My Lucy did the same think with a lollipop the other day! And she got the same "we don't do that" talk. But I totally remember loving candy cigarettes as a kid. We had our family reunion this weekend and my son made fast friends with a distant cousin. They were inseparable and when I asked him what they talked about, he said, "Oh, just good boy stuff." Like what? "Like, when we go to see him in a few weeks, he is going to teach me how to give a wedgie." Help me. Not exactly potty humor, but really?

  28. I want to have a full house of wild kids just like you one day! Your posts always crack me up....I'm a new reader and I'm addicted

  29. Oh, and I hope you wore that apron out. I wore one yesterday after I won it in our family reunion auction and people were a little less than accepting of it (not my immediate family...they think aprons are normal attire). But I am thinking I will wear one out everyday just to be spiteful.

  30. i haven't read the comments, so it is likely someone else has said the same thing:

    my 9 year old son bought candy cigarettes the other day!!!

    the 9 year old in me was jealous. the mom in me was worried.

    fabulous post, as always. just perfect for the morning after wine with friends and heading out the door to church (a mennonite one, at that!).

  31. I remember those candy cigarettes!. And...I sometimes feel like I have to hand the cashier a story similar to yours, written out on a piece of notebook paper, whenever I buy a bottle of wine to go with the spaghetti sauce I'm buying.

  32. All right, have I asked you this one?...

    Why is the ocean so cranky?

    : )

    Julie M.

  33. My very clever nephew went through a phase wherein he insisted that "Mr. Butthead" was a real person at his school and therefore he claimed his right to discuss Mr. Butthead.

    As in: "So at school today MR. BUTTHEAD (volume way up, turning to look at big brother) read us a story. MR. BUTTHEAD (volume way up, turning to look at big brother again)is a good reader."

    I did not envy my sister her task of suppressing the laughter and dispensing discipline. And always, always, came back:

    "I did NOT call my brother Mr. Butthead! I was talking about MR. BUTTHEAD!! (volume way up, turning to look at big brother)

  34. My girl Emily never in her life has said anything original due to her circumstances. Except for her one liner she made up all by herself, when her brother was gett'n on her last nerve. Her one liner you ask, "Up yours and around the corner". I just laughed out loud typing it out!!!

    Love you dear farmgirl who grows green beans alongside flowers.

  35. When I was in the 7th grade, my youth group went to Carowinds, an amusement park. They sold fake cigarettes there in the magic shop. The kind that look real and have a fake red coal on the end. It even let off a little fake smoke. I rocked that cig out the side of my mouth for most of the day. I was so good a puffing. I felt like a movie star with that thing between my fingers. I am pretty sure I called every one darling all day long. On the way home I realized that my youth leader had also seen my shannanigans and I became physically sick with fear. Two reasons. I was going straight to hell for smoking my fake cigarette, and my mama was going to kill me. Never mind the fact that I had eaten more than my fair share of candy cigarettes as a child. This fake cig was for realz, and I knew it.

    I can't recollect whether or not I ever got in trouble. Odd.


    P.S.- Did you see how sweet Siley was being with his little ice cream cup. Precious. Law.

  36. Something to think about in regard to drinking. In the bible it speaks of drinking wine, but then it so clearly says do not get drunk from wine. This is confusing. Because what you consider drunk could also be considered tipsy or " having two drinks." Drunk is defined by the worlds standards not God's.

    When you look at the Greek and Hebrew translations of the bible what people now call wine is actually translated to juice from the vine.

    Anyway why would God create or want His children to drink something that destroys lives? Destroy families? And brings a heart so far from Him?

    Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

    I think when christians say "don't drink because God doesn't want you to" they go about it the wrong way.

    I think it is wrong to drink because of very obv reasons. Alcohol is apart of addiction, rape, child abuse, lost souls, homelessness, ext. Why would a good God create this??

    The not so obv reason is drinking to relax or with friends and family or just because you are going out. God says in the verse above " be filled with the Spirit instead." Instead of going to God for calm or considering a "good time" being serving and praising our Savior. We replace God with alcohol.

    Christians were wrong to say we wouldn't go to heaven because no sin we could ever commit, even getting pregnant in high school, could prevent us from being in heaven. As long as we acknowledge Christ as your Savior we will live forever in heaven!

    But if we don't follow what God says in the bible we may miss our opportunity to live fully here on earth. We lose our closeness with Him.

    You are wonderful! And I deff am not looking down on you. You share your heart and sing with joy about the One who rescued you.

    Nothing terrible will happen to you because you SOMETIMES, just a teeny bit, every so often have a little to drink.

    But the devil can trick us into anything and right now the world speaks more from the devil then from God. And the world says alcohol is ok.

    You are loved! Jess

  37. oh. the potty jokes. our son thinks those are just the. funniest. that and underpants. slip that word in any sentence and laughs are a guarantee. (from 2 of us anyway.) i hear that potty jokes never get old...i disagree...but have been outvoted for this season of life it seems.

  38. Totally forgot but worth saying:

    Alanis has a new baby! And I believe she's married, she seems happy and a peaceful spot for Alanis.

    I have always loved her. You can now take comfort in knowing that she's good.

  39. I tried to smoke a candy cig once. It had paper on it and it burndt my eye lashes. My parents smoked......not good role models.
    When I worked at Montessori in the toddler room I told the little ones if they were going to use potty words that had to go to the bathroom.
    A few days later I walked by the bathroom and there stood three little boys just letting those words fly. I looked at them and they told me they were doing what I told them. Hah, I walked away laughing.

  40. Once again I'm reading your blog and smiling. You do have a way with words girl. And I mean that in a good way. Thank you!

  41. we totally smoked candy cigs when we were kids.
    we would pretend that we were teachers or bank tellers and we'd take smoke breaks.

    grew up believing some of the same perspectives about God and what gets you to him in heaven or keeps you from him.

    one word.
    he knows our hearts and he is faithful to show s how much our hearts need him.

    so thankful that He is renewing my mind (and yours) and giving us true perspectives about his heart.

    this post made me laugh.

    how many times have we loaded our kids up in pjs, underwear and barefoot.

  42. First of all, I LOVE your blog which means I love you ;) and love to read about your family but most of all about your relationship with God. But I have to be honest, I am somewhat bothered by your comments about alcohol. I think no matter what our lives should glorify God. God commands us to be holy because He is holy. I think we need to be careful not to be a stumbling block to anyone just because we have freedom in a certain area of our life. I guess it all comes down to our personal relationship with Christ and living as He would. I do not believe anyone is going to hell because they drink but I personally choose not to based on my relationship with Him and what I know of His character. :) And I certainly don't feel holier than anyone else because I have struggles in other areas of my life.

  43. my son pretends to smoke. GAH! I let him watch Inspector Gadget and the Chief smokes. Stupid eighties cartoons with their loose living ways.
    I also bought some wine coolers on sale. last night I opened one and forgot it on the kitchen counter, to be found this morning. Lame.
    AND on the way to church Shel sang a song with the sole lyrics of "Dia-reeeeeeah!"
    I ignored him. Between forgotten wine coolers and pretend smoking, I have enough to worry about. Right? Right?
    I love how you throw yourself out there, honest engine. Lets be real right? And I think we're living twin lives...except for I'm not as honest as you are, honestly. I self edit myself A LOT. I think it's because I grew up in a very conservative, rule based church. I'm just now learning God loves me, and His opinion is what counts, but old habits are hard to break.

  44. Thanks for the fun walk down memory lane. My sisters and I thought we were soooo naughty when we "smoked" the candy cigarettes!!

    My brother used to keep me in stitches when he would tell potty jokes!

    And we all still love to get together with our young-uns, play cards, and have a margarita or ice water (depending one who is dieting at the time!!)!

    I love to see your post appear in my inbox - it always makes me smile! Wish you lived in Texas - I could trade my tomatoes for some beans!

  45. p.s. you know how jesus made wine from water at the wedding? Have you ever wondered about the fact that SOME people there were PROBABLY getting drunk? Or was everyone on their good behavior?
    He didn't seem as concerned about that did he. He seemed more concerned about relationships, and community...and meeting people where they are.
    He made MORE wine, and a LOT of wine. Because it's about real relationships. Scandalous.

  46. Oh how I wish I had the time to read all the comments - I bet they are a hoot. I can just HEAR Ruby saying she's pretending to smoke. Even though I'm not a smoker, nor have ever been - I feel responsible. I had the kids too riled up that day. Is Calvin still stealing food? Law. Ok, I cannot BELIEVE I've never done my Alanis imitation for you. It's spot on. AND - I always encouraged Aaron to pretend smoke cause it's funny - and I even pretend smoke now with pencils, and we both crumple into laughter...and I may have given Aaron a bottle of rootbeer that looked like beer when he was ten and made him pose with it for a picture. Or I may have not.

  47. You crack me up! MY kids totally did that same thing in the sprinkler last week and they are 10 and 11! In full clothing. I'm with ya on the controversy. All of it. Just sayin'

  48. Ooo, I had a church friend who had candy cigarettes--I thought she was so bad. Like, actually bad, not cool-bad. And I, too, grew up thinking that those who drank were not getting into heaven. I was 19 when I realized that that was a completely legalistic viewpoint and that maybe it was ok every now and then. And, while I was 19 when this realization hit, I am a black-and-white rule-follower so I was officially 21 when I had my first drink.

    love the potty jokes----when they're NOT told by my kids! :)


  49. Did we all pretend to smoke??? As an adult this grosses me out but when we were little we would pick up the cigarette butts people left at the top of our driveway where they waited for the bus and pretend to smoke those. Ewwwww! Nastiness!

    I was raised the same way as you, sounds like, and now enjoy a margarita occasionally too! I am curious though, what will you teach the kiddo's about drinking?

  50. Okay... I have several things to comment on from the last few posts...(I've been out of town so I'm behind). First, I love to read your blog. I have a blog and I love blogging. Your post about blogging was so me. I feel like I have an outlet through my blog. I enjoy writing my posts and sharing my pictures and thoughts. Sometimes I get discouraged (yes, I'll admit it). I wonder a lot of times if anyone else gets anything from my blog b/c I have so few comments. Although it's not for someone else per say, that I blog, it's just nice to know someone else has been blessed through it. Anyway, that's that.
    I can relate to you about your Silas, I have one, her name is Allie Beth.
    Drinking....just like you. Raised in a home where that is a big fat no, no. I agree to an extent. But a wine cooler with my husband one night on the patio sure would be nice.
    And last but not least....candy cigarettes....they still make em'! I also used to get those as a child, and now, it is like the most looked forward to "trip" we take. Down the road about 2 miles to the gas station and get "smokes"!!! My children also love them!!! And they're $.19 a pack!
    Enjoy your blog!
    I cannot get my google profile to work so I'm having to comment anonymous.
    I'm Beth at

  51. I smoked candy cigarettes as a child and never once touched the real thing. I also wore paper clip braces...since we're confessing and all. BTW: I was raised with the same 'drink = hell' mentality. Now, very (extremely) occasionally I will have a strawberry daquari (see, I can't even spell it) or a (like last night) a spiked frozen strawberry lemonade. I'm still dealing with the false know?

    Thanks for the honesty around here. It's about time more of us began speaking truth.

  52. flower crack me up! we say no soup for you once in a while to our five year old, she thinks its so funny. then she wants us to tell her about the seinfeld episode again. oh, and our old fashioned ice cream shoppe has candy cigarettes, they have been tempting my husband every time we go. He caved a few weeks ago and bought them:)

  53. Oh,Lordy I love it!

  54. Love the wild stuff you guys do. So wild & crazy.
    My 2 yr old girl did a perfect smoking impersonation, after seeing only 1 person in the parking lot smoke. She seemed to think it was so cool. But, my 4 yr old is always very forceful in telling the rest of us that smoking is not good & it makes you sick. Usually right next to the stranger who is smoking away. Ha!
    I like potty humor, I guess. It's not really a no-no here. It generally makes me laugh pretty hard...
    I've never tried those bottles of wine coolers. What's the report? Were they good?
    Oh. Alanis. I love her. And, It's All Your Fault is my song for falling in love with my husband. He made me do it. I couldn't help it.

  55. I can't believe they still sell these cigarette candy sticks... here in the UK, we are so PC they've been banned for, oh, decades. And guess what - more teens than ever are smoking for real! So I reckon they ought to bring them back 'cos I LOVE THEM!!
    Love the conversations in the car ;) Love the photos :) Love y'all ....

  56. Right on, Jessica Fleming! Exactly what I wanted to type, so I'm glad I read your comment first and saved myself some time! :D

    FPFG, I truly enjoy your blog!


  57. 1. "I'm so controversial." Ha- love it! I grew up very much the same way and have landed in very much the same spot.
    2. The child "smoking" thing - yeah, also have done that. My friends and I bought candy cigarettes... and somehow one of us got our hands on a lighter and tried to light the dumb things.
    3. When my brother was about 3, the two of us, along with our dad, had gone grocery shopping. We hopped in the truck to go home, and my dad and I started looking at each other, both realizing that we smelled cigarette. We turned around, and there's my brother, baseball cap at a rakish angle, grin on face, nasty cigarette butt (acquired from the ground) stuck between his lips.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I just had to share! :)

  58. Controversial?

    That would mean you're Baptist AND drink wine occasionally.


    Oh. That'd be me.

    Not to mention the lovely conversation yesterday w/ my 2 year old who picked up food that fell and I said, "Don't eat that. It is cooties."

    And he replied, "But I love boobies."

    Ummm..., "Mommy said "cooties", not boobies."

    "I love boobies", he said over and over and over.

    I'm just waiting on him to now say it exactly where I don't want him church, or my in-laws, or the grocery store line.

  59. I raise my occasional glass of wine to you and toast that fab apron skirt. Genius. And adorable. Oh, and my SiGuy just ran into the room yelling "poopy undawares". A phrase he picked up after spending 2 weeks with his older cousins. Oy!

  60. Girl, drink yourself a sangria and to heck with uptight Christians!

  61. This post made me very sad. I will miss reading your blog, but will be deleting you from my blog list. I wish you would think about what you are doing when you make jokes about "being so controversial." I don't think it makes you cool or hip or funny or admirable - I think it is sad.

  62. I love your writing. I love you. Totally identified with this post...especially this part..."then I grew up, searched for truth, and loved Jesus more." LOVE it. Can't wait to hear about She Speaks....hate that I missed it!!