If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween!!!…Gina’s Favorites

If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween!!! …Gina’s Favorites

While I run out to buy more candy to hand out to the Trick or Treaters, again, for the 4th time, enjoy this Gina’s Favorites post for Throwback Day this week.

If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween

You want scary?  You want to walk around inspiring truly blood curdling terror?  Forget Freddie Krueger, Michael Myers, and Jason.  Chuck Chucky.  Oh puhleeze!  Those are nothing.  Go with something REALLY scary:

REALLY Scary Costumes:

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween...Gina's FavoriteTeenager With Your Car Keys

Two Envelope Cable Bill

Dog With The Runs

MasterCard Statement After The Holidays

Spider (some things are always scary)

4 Year Old With Tape Recorder

Your Daughter’s First Date

Mother-In-Law Pulling Into Your Driveway Unannounced

At-home Bikini Wax Kit

Scary’s not your style?  No problem.  How about something more…er…uh…appealing?

Yes, Hoohahs Set Free seems to be the underlying theme of all women’s costumes (I think it’s also a DVD, but you won’t find it at the Red Box, and it will show up on your credit card bill).  In fact, if you’re in the market for a woman’s costume, realize they’re all the same.  All you’ll be picking out is what the style of your hoohah-accentuating hooker get-up will be.

But, why should men be the only ones viewing costumes designed to turn their motors over?  Shouldn’t women also be given the opportunity to gawk at displays that start their launch sequence?

Costumes To Pressurize HER Pistons (see how I’m speaking all “guy-speak” to you gentlemen?  I’m a giver like that.):

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween...Gina's FavoriteMan Hand-washing Non-dishwasherable Stuff WITHOUT Muttering About How THIS Is Why He Did NOT Want To Get These Stupid Knives In The First Place

Man Asking For Directions

Man With Cold Not Mentioning It

Man Who Just Wants To Cuddle (this also fits into the REALLY Scary Costumes category, too, depending on your point of view)

Man Carrying Sleeping Kids In Gently From The Car

Man Flying Down Kids’ Slip-n-Slide Fully Clothed To Surprise His Child

It’s interesting to note that as appealing as these costumes are to us ladies, with just a few tiny tweeks, they turn into costumes that scare the heck out of our guys.

Costumes To Terrify Men:

Man Dropping Wedding Gift Gravy Boat While Handwashing Non-dishwasherables

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley If You See Hoohahs, It Must Be Halloween...Gina's FavoriteMan Asking For Directions (no change needed from above category to induce teeth-chattering terror amongst males)

Well Man Surrounded By Family With Colds

Man Who Just Wants To Cuddle (men hate him)

Man Getting Hernia From Carrying Sleeping Kids In Gently From The Car

Man Flying Down Kids’ Slip-n-Slide Fully Clothed To Surprise His Child Finding Sprinkler In Very Personal Way 

And, remember.  Being a parent at this time of year does NOT mean you have carte blanche to steal half of your kid’s Halloween candy.  Being a parent means you have a credit card to take to Costco to buy a 5 pound bag of candy to hide and sneak while they’re sleeping.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Anything spooktacular happening in your neck of the woods?  What’s your favorite candy? Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

How To TOTALLY Over Do It!!!…Gina’s Favorites

How To TOTALLY Over Do It!!!…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Slurpee Day is a big deal around here.

Every July 11th (you know, 7-11) all the 7-11 stores in our neck of the woods celebrate their anniversary by giving away free Slurpees.

We never miss it.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest AdventuresIt’s not like we couldn’t go get a Slurpee any day. They’re very inexpensive. But, on 7-11 Day, it’s not just a frozen slush packed with sugar and food coloring.

It’s an adventure!

We always have lots of laughs as we trek around our neighborhood hunting the frozen treats, like this year when Son#3 said, on the way into 7-11 number 7, “I feel like I’m gonna throw up if I have anymore, but I’m gonna push through!” I guess there’s a fine line between dedication and insanity.

Enjoy some sugar-laced laughs in this Gina’s Favorites post I wrote about one of our past Slurpee hunts.

How To TOTALLY Over Do It

There are a million different places you can go for advice on sensible eating.  This is NOT one of them. But, I can give you advice on how to totally overdo it! Overdoing it is important, too!

I am a big believer that everything should be done in moderation, including moderation. Sometimes, just for fun, just for laughs, just for memories, you NEED to overdo it. Yesterday we over did it. And, it was great!

It was July 11, 7-11, the day the 7-11 company celebrates its birthday. 7-11 stores across the United States and Canada gave away 7.11 ounce Slurpees.

My kids love them, so we were not about to miss this opportunity. But, when we do something, we rarely go about it half way. We are “all-in” kind of people (that’s why our poker tournaments end so quickly!). So, we went out in search of “all in,” as in Slurpees, Slurpees, and more Slurpees! We decided to hit all 6 of the 7-11’s in our neighborhood.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest Adventures‎The first stop, at 7-11 #1, was the bumpiest. I think that’s true of any quest. Like a thirsty herd arriving at the watering hole after a long day in the sun on the savanna, my pack pushed and grappled with each other to be first to fill their cup with frozen, slushy goodness.

When we got back to our van “someone” gave them a quick “if you won’t behave kindly in these places of business, I will not allow you to gorge yourself on nutrition-less frozen-sugar any further.” Might have been me. Sounds like something I’d say. Either way, it worked. They were all on their best behavior throughout the rest of our sweet hunt.

At 7-11 #2, I could hear my kids discussing Slurpee strategy. Some were going for different flavors. Others were planning to have the same flavor every time. There were even straw strategies. The single color straw fan. The alternating color fan. Several different colors at every stop fans. Cups were full, but not over flowing like at the first stop.

By 7-11 #3, style and skill had been acquired. I noticed artful twirls and twists at the top of each kids’ Slurpee. Sons#2 showed me that he’d figured out how to mix the different colors as he filled his cup so he ended up with a heart shape at the top. Someday I predict that being a cute ending to a date after-party. Some day. Someday far, far away.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest AdventuresWe finished the first three stops in under an hour. As we were driving toward stop #4, I said to myself, “They aren’t gonna need dinner, are they?”  Most had inhaled at least four different colors of Slurpee already.

Sounded like a complete food pyramid to me. I figured the rest of the upcoming Slurpees on our afternoon trek would serve as dessert, and to ensure that no one wants another Slurpee again for at least a year.

As we pulled into the parking lot of 7-11 #4, we noticed a familiar red truck pulling out. It was the same Red Truck With Man & Daughter that we had seen at the previous stop. I looked around the parking lot and realized several of the cars had joined us at our previous stops. Truly, this was a Slurpee Fan Community Caravan.

My pack’s discussions at 7-11 #4 showed the sudden 7-11 efficiency experts they had become. They had suggestions for improved in-store traffic flow, for flavor machine order, even for straw dispenser location. I noticed that no one filled their cup all the way to the top.

Red Truck With Man & Daughter beat us to 7-11 #5. It had been a long journey. We were all exhausted. Well, actually it had been a short journey because we were riding in our van, but it felt long. And, we weren’t so much exhausted as full. But, either way, our spirits were low as we piled out of the van and dragged ourselves toward the door of 7-11 #5.

A couple kids mentioned that they were starting to feel a bit sick. We’d already hit 4 out of the 6 local 7-11’s. I reminded them that this was a marathon, not a sprint. It was time to push past that sick feeling, to grab another Slurpee, and to suck it up.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest AdventuresJust as we passed Red Truck With Man & Daughter, the window went down. We all stopped to see what was going to happen, which was easy to do because our kids were too full to move quickly.

Man spoke to The Professor in a voice that was quick, excited, and had clearly eaten way too much sugar. “There’s another one.  A seventh one! I just heard about it. There’s a seventh! A friend called and told me no one is there. It’s right by the freeway. And, it’s the one that crazy guy robbed last year!” Man blurted out all in one breath.

Well, this exciting news perked up our whole Slurpee Speed Ingesting Team. Not only was this a quest stop with no line, it was a crime scene! Who would want to miss that?!?!

Our whole pack made it through the line at 7-11 #5, although I noticed a couple hobbling as they emerged with their half-filled Slurpee cups.

All that stood between us and following in the crazy robber guy’s footsteps was 7-11 #6.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest Adventures7-11 #6 nearly spelled the end of our sugar rush pilgrimage. Everyone was feeling sick as we piled out of our van. A couple kids asked if they had to go in (“Of course you do. You just don’t realize how much fun you’re having because you feel like you’re going to barf!”). I was feeling a bit nauseous myself, even though I’d yet to have a Slurpee, because the too-sweet smell of them was permeating our van.

It was time for a pep talk.

We stood in a circle outside of 7-11 #6. I talked about team work. I talked about being together. I talked about how we had dragged ourselves this far, so we might as well finish the journey. We were so close.

I told them about the “wall” long distance runners hit as they compete in the Olympics, and that somehow they still manage to overcome and make it back into the stadium. “We shall overcome!” I assured them.

I also pointed out that they could still claim victory over Slurpee #6, even if they only put a little Slurpee in their cup.

Everyone dragged themselves into 7-11 #6 on our Slurpee Quest Tour. I noticed that only Son#2 filled his cup more than ¼ of the way full. No one looked too happy piling back into the van. But, even before we were out of the parking lot, a remarkable transformation began to take place. There was renewed giggling and chattering as we started off toward 7-11 #7.

The sugar had arrived in their bloodstreams.

I’m not saying 6 Slurpees is too much sugar, but by the time we hit the freeway for the quick hop over to 7-11 #7 my kids were having tongue trilling contests, for both duration and volume, as we drove. That wasn’t annoying. Not at all.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley How To TOTALLY Over Do It...Gina's Favorites Quest AdventuresThe lack of crime scene tape or any other post-crime paraphernalia disappointed my pack as we drove up to 7-11 #7. I reminded them that the robbery had taken place a year earlier, but they felt there should have at least been a police car parked nearby.

Happily, my pack had pushed through their Slurpee “wall,” and practically ran through the door of 7-11 #7. They were happy little slurpers again as they emerged smiling. They returned home with stacks of paper cups and straws in their hands, and, hopefully, an understanding about the day’s deeper meaning in their hearts.

It was not just a Slurpee – it was an adventure!!!!!!! Well, 7 adventures.

BTW – everyone was “starving” for dinner when we got home. But, no one wanted any dessert!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Been on any adventures lately? Have you tried the Blue-Raspberry flavor? I look forward to hearing all about it! Be sure to leave me a comment with all the details!

Friday Funnies – Hubba Hubba Edition

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s DayFriday Funnies – Hubba Hubba Edition

Compiled by Gina Valley

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that Valentine’s Day inspires passion.

Passionate love for it, passionate hate for it, passionate spending, passionate fear of the credit card bill, and, for the lucky (pun might be intended here. I’m not saying), passionate “fellowship.”

I hope, wherever you stand on the Valentine’s Day passion scale, that I can inspire you to some passionate laughing with these, some of my favorite, giggle-inducing images.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Gotta love flirty science!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day

Can’t get more committed than that!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Can’t Lego of my love!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Who wouldn’t want such a cute Valentine?!?!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Oh, that explains a lot.

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Bacon-love!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
And the winner is…

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
Is nothing ever simple?!?!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day

I think it’d be much more fun to put rings in the guys’ glasses.

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
These might come in handy all year long!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
A real heart-felt love!

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Friday Funnies - Hubba Hubba Edition Valentine’s Day
A new position is always fun!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

May you feel greatly loved and eat candy without guilt.

Or, switch those around.

It’s really a personal choice.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Did you have some fun on Valentine’s Day?  Do you hit the stores the 15th to get half priced candy?  Did you get a great or terrible gift?  Did a child make you a special valentine? Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

by Gina Valley

You know what I hate about Valentine’s Day?  I hate all the whining and complaining about Valentine’s Day.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s DayOh. My. Gosh.

People.  Settle down.

You’re protesting candy hearts and giggles.

You’re not Ghandi.

You’re rioting against a fake holiday, sucking the fun out of it for those of us who enjoy it, and making excuses for the inconsiderate, selfish people in your life.  Knock it off.

In other words, shut up shut up shut up.

Can’t let go of your Anti V-Day Attitude?  Here’s some help with that:

Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

#10.  It’s too commercial – Really?  That’s the best you’ve got?  It’s too commercial?  Well then, I guess you also ignore Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, St Patrick’s Day, the Olympics, the Royal Baby’s birth, children’s birthday parties & every other conceivable opportunity for the big box stores and those evil greeting card peddlers to make a buck.  It’s too commercialized?  Of course it’s too commercialized.  So is every other thing on the planet.

You don’t have to ignore the whole concept to avoid commercialization of Valentine’s pure intentions any more than you have to do so for Christmas or Hanukkah.  Plan ahead.  Use your brain.  This is an occasion when the thought really does matter much more than anything else.

#9.  Everything is too expensive.  They jack up the prices.  – Really?  They raise the prices on limited stuff around a popular time?  Gee, seems like that comes up at every holiday.  It’s only a problem for those who fail to plan ahead. Don’t spend more.  Think more.  Be more creative.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

One of my favorite gifts from my husband is a bouquet of red, duct tape roses he made me one year.  It took him nearly a week to make, and he had his students work on group projects so he could make the whole thing at work to surprise me.  The planning and the effort make me smile every time I see them.

#8.  It encourages obesity.  If this is your beef (no pun intended), you need a reality check.  Yes, chocolate is often a symbol of Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean it’s encouraging anyone to dump the clean eating, and switch to an all-candy diet.  If all the talk about chocolate and those little hearts with messages encourages obesity, what does that freaky little cupid guy encourage?  Naked archery?  We don’t hear much whining about that being an issue, and, what with it being an Olympic year, seems like we would.

#7.  Our relationship is in a bad place.  That stinks any day, even more so on Valentine’s Day.  But, don’t you think your efforts would be better spent thinking of something to celebrate about this person you’re still attached to, rather than complaining about the whole idea of a “Love Holiday”?  Surely there is something good there.  Run with that.  Even if all you can see through the hurt today is that her meatloaf rocks and she can juggle, or he always hits play at just the right moment while fast forwarding through commercials on the DVR and can ride a unicycle, you’ve got something to jot down on a paper heart.

#6.  You should show people you love them every day, not just on some day they tell you to. – Well, duh!  Of course you should!  Celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you get a “be self-centered the rest of the year” pass.  Celebrating Valentine’s Day is an extension of your everyday caring and loving attitude toward the important people in your life, particularly your significant other.  If celebrating how you feel about each other isn’t fun and natural, ask yourself if you are doing that enough on other days.  If not maybe your problem is not the day, but the state of your relationship.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

#5.  I don’t even like candy or flowers.  Oh my gosh!  Really?  I’m not sure we can be friends.  How about just telling people you care about them?  Are you ok with that?  Because that is the whole point of the Valentine’s hubaloo.

#4.  Someone broke up with me on Valentine’s Day and I’ve hated it ever since.  That sucks, but get over it. It’s not a bad holiday. You had a bad significant other.  Send the jerk a beautiful Valentine’s Day card, thanking the individual for getting out of your life, and move the heck on.  The best revenge is being happy.  Choose that.

#3.  Gifts are so hard to get right.  Well then, talk to your significant other.  You know, communicate.  If you didn’t like the carton of Marlboros Bubba got you last year, mention directly to him that you would prefer a necklace or flowers or whatever it is you actually want.  There’s nothing wrong with slipping a URL to a gift-buying-impaired loved one, either.  If you don’t find the Valentine’s sweater your wife knits for your each year to be a particularly stimulating gift, give her some ideas for less time consuming ways to put a smile on your face.

#2.  I absolutely refuse to have anything to do with Valentine’s Day no matter what.  Fine.  But, shut up about it.  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to rain on everybody else’s parade just because you’ve decided not to march.  You can be a vegan without telling everyone.  You can go to the gym without posting about it on Facebook.  And, you can skip out of Valentine’s Day without giving every person who mentions it a lecture about your non-interest.  More power to you.  And, more candy left for the rest of us.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Stupid Complaints About Valentine’s Day

#1½.  It’s just for couples anyway, and I’m not part of a couple.  Part of a couple or not, you should have people you care about in your life.  A significant other should not be your only other.  Surely you have friends and family who would love to be reminded that you care about them.   If you don’t, your problem is neither lacking a better half, nor Valentine’s Day.

#1.  It’s so fake to have a particular day to tell people you love them.  That’s like saying you don’t wish someone a Happy Birthday on their birthday, because you’re always happy they were born.  Or refusing to say something you are thankful for on Thanksgiving because you are thankful for it every day.  Ridiculous.

Valentine’s Day isn’t brain surgery or mid-east peace negotiations.  It’s supposed to be fun.

So, lighten up.

Pass out some heart shaped candy.

And, smile.

Who knows, maybe you’ll impress that fat, naked, flying archer guy and he’ll help you out.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What should I add to my list?  Are you a V-Day hater or lover?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Merry Funny!

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas FunniesMerry Funny!

by Gina Valley

Happy Christmas Eve!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

BUT…

It can be stressful and exhausting and depressing.

So, let me help you out.

First, remember to keep the main thing the main thing.  Nothing else truly matters.

Second, invite someone who might be lonely to join in your celebration.  The invitation, not the scale of the celebration, is what matters.  It will work wonders. For both of you.  Just do it!

Thirdly, take time to feel the joy and to laugh.  I’ve assembled some funnies here to get you started.

Peace, Love, Joy, and Laughter to you!

-gina

PS – Remember, no fair starting to assemble toys until after midnight.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

 

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Merry Funny! Christmas Funnies

Remember the Joy of the Season!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What’s making you smile this Christmas season?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.  I’ll be eating Christmas cookies while I wait.

A Hunting We Will Go…Gina’s Favorites

A Hunting We Will Go…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

We have a tradition in our family of buying each family member two new ornaments each year.

My idea with it was that when my kids are grown and on their own I will keep one from each year and give them one from each year to put on their first Christmas tree.  Now, I don’t know how I will part with any of them, so we’ll see how that plays out.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally A Hunting We Will Go...Gina’s Favorites Holidays Christmas Ornaments Family TimeOriginally this tradition was to make 2 new ornaments each year.  But, it didn’t take long for us to realize that unless Martha Stewart herself showed up to do the work, and maybe not even then, the chance of us coming up with save-worthy, home generated ornaments was slim to none.

So, instead, we go ornament hunting.  Some people schedule an outing to go cut down their Christmas tree.  I stage a surprise reverse ambush on my family sometime after Halloween and before Christmas Day each year to bag us some baubles for the tree.  Twice we’ve done it on Christmas Eve.  After the midnight service (Don’t you go knocking those always-open stores.  We, the over-scheduled, organizationally-impaired, need them).

The ornaments don’t have to be ornaments.  It can be anything that’s small and light enough to hang on the tree, and that represents something about that person that year.  If I can hook some gold ribbon or a piece of wire on to make it tree-hangable, we’ll call it an ornament.

I prefer to take 1 or 2 of my children out to hunt at a time, partly to be able to give them more attention, and partly because I’m less likely to feel the need to strangle one of them that way.  But, the OCD in me revs up after Thanksgiving if these kind of details aren’t nailed down.  So, when I realized on the way home from church on Sunday that I had my whole pack AND The Professor captive…I mean … present in the van, I made an impromptu visit to the giant red store.

My teens were thrilled.  I could tell because, although they groaned, no one said, “Do we have to go?”

I could tell my littles were thrilled, too, because they stopped hitting each other long enough to discuss what kind of weaponry they were going to look for to hang on the tree.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally A Hunting We Will Go...Gina’s Favorites Holidays Christmas Ornaments Family TimeThe Professor didn’t even roll his eyes.

I could hear sleigh bells.

Son#4, always a tad impulsive, immediately picked out a roll of duct tape as the first of his two of ornaments.  I told him that I’d prefer he get something a bit more Christmasy or personal.  He reminded me that you can make anything out of duct tape.  Touché.

Son#1, always an efficient shopper, quickly found wood cravings of a fish and a snake to represent his favorite pets, his formerly 1 ½ inch long, but now 2 FOOT long catfish (seriously, who keeps a fish alive long enough to get that big?) and the ball python my sister sent home with him after our last visit (wait until she sees what I got her kids).

He then began to busy himself looking at fishing gear.  He loves to fish.  The irony of that is not lost on my fish-whisperer son.

Son#2 an avid, basketball, soccer, and La Crosse player, stuck his hand into the bin of small sports balls, and pulled out 2 balls shaped like monster heads. He asked if I could hook something on them to hang them on the tree.  I said that I could, but wondered whether the sports balls might be more representative of him.  He said that the monsters were perfect because he liked to make faces at people to bug them.  At least he’s honest.

So far a snake, a fish, two monsters, and a roll of duct tape.  It’s like we were half way to Bethlehem.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally A Hunting We Will Go...Gina’s Favorites Holidays Christmas Ornaments Family TimeDaughter#1 showed me an ornament she thought I should get that looked like a little black high heel shoe.  I got it, but I know she is going to borrow it, and I won’t be able to find it when I need it to go with the cute little black dress ornament I’m hoping to get.  I’ll end up using a flip flop ornament to go with my dress ornament, and feel like a fool.

She decided on a camera ornament and a red shoe ornament similar to the one she picked out for me.  Both are perfect for her, as she loves to both take and be in photos, and to both take and be in my shoes.

Daughter#2 picked out, as always, an ornament with a “G” on it because it’s her initial, and something purple.  This time it was a glass ball with purple dots on it.  Seeing the “G” ornament in the basket, The Professor asked who it belonged to. Son#4 pointed out, less than patiently, that Gemma is the only one who’s name starts with “G.”

The Professor asked Son#4, “What about your mom?”

To which Son#4, clearly using his “poor, confused dad needs explaining to again” voice answered, “Dad, mom starts with an ‘m.’”

The “Duh!” was implied.

Daughter#3 always gets an ornament with her middle name, Noel, on it.  The second ornament is anyone’s guess.  Her tastes vary widely.  This year she decided, despite the very verbal protests of her brothers, to bring Justin Bieber home for the holidays.  His smiling face is grinning on a shiny, glitter-decorated ball.  I fear for his safety, and have made threats that I am hoping will guarantee his survival.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally A Hunting We Will Go...Gina’s Favorites Holidays Christmas Ornaments Family TimeSon#3 made it his mission to locate every ornament in the ornament department which was missing a part AND to show each and every one of them to me.  I was tempted to go get a glue gun to fix them up.  It reminded me of the Island of Misfit Toys in the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie.

Somehow, in between broken ornament interventions, arm wrestling with his younger brother, and admiring the bicycle display (this is the first year in ages we got out of there without knocking the entire line of bicycles over) he found time to pick out a rubber duckie and a carved wooden shark to serve as his ornaments for the year.  I have no idea why.

Son#4 brought me a beautiful, 3-dimensional 12- pointed star ornament and said, “Mom, isn’t this perfect?”  It really was.  It was sparkly and jewel toned. It would look lovely on the tree.  But, before I could express my gratefulness at his having taken the request to find something fitting to celebrate Christmas seriously, he continued. “Doesn’t it look just like one of those big things they used to put on the end of a stick to whack people on the head with?

The Professor spent the duration of the trip digging through a bin of identical penguin ornaments, “looking for one that is left handed.”  I’m not sure how you can tell.  But, we’ve been married a long time, and I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better not to ask.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally A Hunting We Will Go...Gina’s Favorites Holidays Christmas Ornaments Family TimeFor myself, I got the cute black high heel ornament, and the only nativity ornament in the whole store. I don’t mean the only design, mind you, but the only ornament.  I was happy that Daughter#2 found it, but a little sad at its being such a rare find.

I also picked out several different penguin ornaments for The Professor.  I got extra because I couldn’t tell if they were left handed.  I put a small tree on the table in our foyer to be home to his penguin ornament collection each year.  Always fun to add to his flock.

I got an extra “Noel” ornament for Daughter#3 in case her Bieber bauble suffers a premature demise.

It was a very successful trip.  No stitches were needed.  No fist fights and only one shoving, kicking incident.  We left with not only the same number of children as we arrived with, but with, in fact, the very same children.  And, we only had to visit 4 different departments, not counting the Christmas area, before everyone found at least two ornament-worthy items.

The ornaments are now in a heap in the middle of our dining room table, awaiting their owner and year labels.  I should have bought a new Sharpie marker to use while we were at the store.  After that they will receive their hanging clips and be cleared for tree placement.

I’m wishing we’d gotten a tree while we were out.

Or, at least some duct tape.

That way we could have made our own.

After all, you can make anything out of duct tape.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you have any traditions this time of year?  What about when you were a kid?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.  And, you’re already here anyway.  You might as well go for it.

Spray Away For The Holiday

Spray Away For The Holiday 

by Gina Valley

Remember when your pre-school kids brought home macaroni frames and sea shells magically transformed by gold spray paint?  Well, that still works.  A can or 2 or 30 of gold (or silver) spray paint  can transform your home, change your life, and have you totally ready for the holidays before lunch.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Spray Away For The Holiday Decorating  Christmas  Hanukah  New YearsWhat, you might wonder, can one spray paint gold, besides macaroni frames and sea shells?

Well, the traditionalists will tell you to blast some pines cones to place in a large glass bowl for an elegant look.  That does look nice, but I say “Why stop there?”

Kitchen buried in crusty dishes?  Spray paint those suckers.  Now you have charger plates each with a custom, handmade 3-dimensional design.  Macy’s will probably call you with an order for 1000 of them.

Mountain of laundry besieging your washing machine?  No problem.  Arrange the olfactory offenders into various sizes of conical piles.  Blast them with your can of magic gold-ness (this might require more than one coat), and you’ll be left with an entire forest of handmade, fabric Christmas trees to distribute throughout your home and yard.  Talk about classy décor!

Got a lazy teen?  Or two?  Do you have to put a mirror under his nose to check for condensation just to be sure he hasn’t passed on to that great messy bedroom in the sky, because he’s been prone on the living room sofa for 22 hours?  Spray him! Don’t worry, he’ll likely sleep through the whole thing and Christmas and New Year’s.  Your guests will be so impressed with how life-like the new sculpture in your living room is.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Spray Away For The Holiday Decorating  Christmas  Hanukah  New YearsCobwebs in the corners make you feel like you’re closer to Halloween, than a visit from St. Nick?  No worries.  A light spraying, and you’ve turned those bug catchers into delicate gold garland.

Did your 3 year old stain the fancy dress your mother-in-law sent her before she’d even worn it?  Gold that thing up, and you’ll take it from “stained” to “lamé -d.”

Living room rug speckled with stains?  Spray paint a large circle over each one, for a festive, new flooring up date.  Or, for a totally new, easy to clean look, spray paint the whole carpet – wall-to-wall .  It’ll  look holiday-delicious and you can hose away spills.

How about your yard?  Landscaping looking like the Munster’s house?  Pots filled with dead daisies?  Brown lawn?  Bent flamingoes?  Nothing a couple cans of gold spray paint can’t fix.  Let loose with the golds of spray paint land, and change barren into lushness, change dreary into opulence.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Spray Away For The Holiday Decorating  Christmas  Hanukah  New YearsNo time to wrap gifts?  Spray them.

Cat make some hairballs?  Spray them.

Spouse balding?  Spray him.

Sagging patio furniture?  Dented mail box?  Dingy guest towels?  Spray.  Spray.  Spray!!!

And, if Martha Stewart or the president of you HOA shows up at your door to complain about your efforts, spray paint her, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Anything in your life that could use a good spraying?   When do you put up your decorations?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Ways To Eat EVERYTHING & Lose Weight

Top 10 Ways To Eat EVERYTHING & Lose Weight

by Gina Valley

Tears well in my eyes as I realize this is one of just a few times a year when all humanity joins together with a common goal:

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Ways To Eat EVERYTHING & Lose Weight

To lose half our body weight in the next 3 days.

As always, I’m here to support you, my dear readers.

I have a crack team of researchers working tirelessly throughout the year, gathering tips on how to absorb fewer calories from all those delectable delights that are assaulting us.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

Top 10 Ways To Eat Everything & Still Lose Weight

#10.  Have fast food.  Food eaten while driving on the freeway has no calories because calories cannot travel over 50 miles per hour.

#9.  Add nuts to everything.  Any food with nuts in it is considered a protein and therefore has calories equivalent to an equally sized piece of steamed, boneless, skinless chicken breast.  That’s why fudge is so popular at holiday parties.

#8.  Stand up while you eat.  If you stand while eating, gravity pulls the calories down through your body, out through the soles your feet, and into the center of the earth.  That’s why the earth weighs so much. Make sure you remain standing for several minutes after you finish eating to fully reap the benefits of this technique. I think we have all seen people who sat down too soon and ended up trapping all of their calories near their rear-end region.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Ways To Eat EVERYTHING & Lose Weight

#7.  Break your cookies.  Broken cookies have no calories. The breaks cause the calories to leak out. Brownie crumbs are calorie free for the same reason, as is any other favorite food chopped into small pieces.

#6.  Dine with a friend.  Socializing while eating removes half of the calories from your food. So, if you eat standing up while you socialize you will actually lose weight.

#5.  Walk it off.  Food consumed immediately before or after a walk doesn’t count.  Walk to the refrigerator to get those cream puffs or saunter over to the buffet for more meatballs to ensure calorie-free dining.

#4.  Gnosh those leftovers.  All calories in a food are consumed the first time it’s served, making leftovers calorie free.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Ways To Eat EVERYTHING & Lose Weight #3.  Plan to run a marathon.  Any food consumed in preparation for a marathon doesn’t count. So, plan to run a marathon, because, as a dear reader once reminded me, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to run the marathon the next day or the next decade, that food doesn’t count.

#2.  Eat kids’ stuff.  Food prepared or decorated by children has no calories because the kids consumed all of the calories while licking food off of their fingers during the preparation phase.

#1.  Add something green.  A chemical reaction occurs between green stuff and fatty foods that dissolves all calories.  So, doubling up the lettuce on your bacon double cheeseburger or ham and cheese on rye removes the calories. Green sprinkles on your cupcake make it calorie-free, as the green foil wrapper does for Hershey’s chocolate kisses.

If we all work together, someday, we can have a world that is stretchy pants free.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

For more food fun click on over to my No Stretchy Pants Necessary! – How To Eat Everything This Holiday Season AND Lose Weight post.  As always, the extra clicks to get there count as cardio.

How do you win the calorie battle?  If you have anything I should add to my list, please share it.  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Remembering The Melody

Remembering The Melody

by Gina Valley

Poem Poetry Trees Humor Funny Humorous Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Kid Kids Child Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Grandpa Grandma Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Gina Valley Parenting Stillness Sunday Remembering The Medley Holidays

Song

You my lift burdens

And change my heart

You piece together memories

Long torn apart

 

You soothe my anger

And stir my guile

You bring me peace

For a precious while

 

You carry me

to faraway places

or deep into hearts

of familiar faces

 

You open my minds

And tickle my ears

You close my mouth

And bring me to tears

 

My heart is swelled

I can run

I can fly

No worries with you that life passes by

 

You take me to soar,

High, high above

You teach me of everything

Especially of Love

-gina valley

 

My 12 year old son is learning how to play the trumpet.

He loves it.  He loves everything about it, from the other kids in the band with him to his instructors to practicing at home.  He’s having a great time.

I’m glad he loves it.  I really am.

Most of the time.

My husband and I were both musicians when we were students.  We met through marching band when I was in college.  I’ve long held that it’s further proof of God’s sense of humor that none of our seven children has taken much interest in music.  Several have tried an instrument or 2, but my 12 year old is the first to really love it.

And, that’s wonderful.

Except for one little thing.

Now, I want to be supportive, and I am.  And, I want to be encouraging, and I think I am.  I even think I’m pretty helpful to him in his quest to conquer this brass beast.  But, along the road toward trumpeting Nirvana there are an awful lot of stops at “practice your scales at home-ville.”

Scales are important.  They teach the trumpet player’s fingers what to do and when.  They help the trumpet player’s lips learn the subtle changes necessary to produce the different notes.  Unfortunately, they also help the trumpet player’s family inch ever closer to the edge of sanity.

Knowing how much he loves playing the trumpet and hearing how he has improved each day he plays is wonderful.  But, and I will deny this if he ever asks, there is nothing quite as beautiful as the moment when he’s finished his practice session and silence rings through my home.  It’s like clouds parting and the sunshine spreading across the land after a tough winter.

This time of year is very much like listening to a trumpet player practicing his scales.

All of the preparation and planning for the many consecutive holidays, kids performances, church programs, impending family dramas, etc. all come at us non-stop, just like the notes in an oft repeated scale.

Over and over again.

We know what’s coming, but we are caught up in the onslaught every time.

But then, suddenly, it stops.

It could be because a student thanks us for being a friend.  It could be because we witness a stranger showing kindness to another stranger.  It could be because we choose to give or accept an apology.  It could be because we see our littles so happy just to be near us.

It can be triggered by countless different things.  But, the noise stops.

And, the “quiet” flows all through us.

We can “hear” again.  We notice the melody of celebration that had been buried in the noise of scales of the giant production of it all.

The “scales” of the holidays are necessary.  Truly, there is much to be done.  But, nonetheless, they are not the goal of the holidays.  Just as a professional trumpeter practices his scales to prepare, but performs a beautiful melody, we need to remember that our “scales,” our hustle and bustle and preparations are but a means to an end.

We all need to take time today and everyday throughout this holiday season (actually throughout the whole year, but that’s really a different column) to remind ourselves about the “melody” we are preparing for.

We need to daily force ourselves to take time to stop the scales and to “hear” the joy of the melody.

Don’t miss the Joy.

Love!

-gina

How do you ensure you and your family hear the joy and not just the noise during the holidays?  How do you get back on track when things hit a sour note?  Shoot me a comment.  You’re already here anyway & I’d love to hear what you think.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again

Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again

by Gina Valley

We need candy, and we have no candy.

It’s not like on those days where I want to scream, “I need some candy or I’m going to totally freak out!”  Today, we need it to hand out to the throngs of neighborhood children who will come to our door begging for it.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again  Halloween It’s really those throngs of children’s fault we don’t have any candy.  You see, by “throngs of children” I mean the 6 to 15 children who will knock on our door.  One year we only had 3.  Our neighborhood is not exactly a bastion of Trick or Treat activity.  Even our kids Trick or Treat in a different neighborhood, where the houses are closer together, and there are lots of children.

So, since we know we’ll have few partakers, we know there’ll be lots of candy left.   Since we know we’ll have lots left, I buy the kind we really like (as if there’s some candy we don’t like!) (Well, no one but The Professor likes licorice, but I don’t think that’s really candy.  It tastes like evil).

And, since I buy the kind we really like and we know there will be extra, we tend to eat a bit, in advance, just to be sure it’s good.  We’re really watching out for the children.

But, our tendency to run quality-control taste-testing on the sugary goodness isn’t the only reason I’m heading to the store for candy again, for the, I kid you not, sixth time this year (that’s a record for us).

We have a few other candy consumption issues.

Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again

#10.  Because when I said to my kids that they could each have 3 pieces of candy while I was at an evening meeting, they heard “have all 3 pounds.”

#9.  Because when I told my 12 year old he could bring some candy to school for his friends, he neglected to mention that everyone in the whole 6th grade is his friend.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again  Halloween #8.  Because I’ve cut off my 17 year old’s Oreo supply, so he’s mainlining Rolos (he was up to 2 packs of those yummy cookies a day) (I wish I had his metabolism)(I don’t think I even have a metabolism).

#7.  Because my eldest daughter had that very special visitor last week and no one was feeling brave enough to come between her and the bag of Snicker bars.

#6.  Because our boy puppy can reach the center of the dining room table, can take the heavy glass lid off of the pumpkin-shaped candy canister, and can (and did) inhale all of the candy there in (wrappers included) before you can finish yelling, “No, Bear! Get down!” (He’s big, he’s goofy, but, man alive, is he fast!).

#5.  Because when you’re helping your child write a report about the political situation in middle and eastern Europe during the 1790’s and it’s after 11PM, keeping both of your mouths busy chewing caramels helps to preserve your relationship.

#4.  Because our girl puppy likes to be chased and thought it was great fun to grab the bag of Twix while it was still in the grocery bag, run around the backyard in the rain, and shake it until it exploded like a piñata.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Totally Top 10 Reasons I Have To Buy More Candy…Again  Halloween

#3.  Because some days my kids drive me nuts, and a mini Hershey’s with almonds (or 6 or 16) is the only thing keeping me from stuffing them into one of those If It Fits, It Ships Boxes and shipping them to Timbuktu.

#2.  Because I really wasn’t as specific as I should have been when we were running late and I said to “Pack something you can pack quickly in your lunch, because you’re going to miss your ride!” to my kids.

#1.  Because the walk from the grocery store to the car is a lot longer than you’d think. And, even if you didn’t need the nourishment to survive that, you need it to keep up your strength up for the drive home, which can last an eternity (I’m rounding up, slightly, from 10 minutes).

I’m just hoping the candy angels are smiling on me, and there’s still some good stuff left at the store.  I don’t want to be that lady who hands out the reject candy.

Or gets stuck eating it.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you buy your candy ahead of time and run the risk of consuming it?  Or, do you wait until the last minute and run the risk of getting stuck with the reject candy?  Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?  How about your kids?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.