Not Just About The Biggies

Not Just About The Biggies

Everyone is thankful for the biggies.

Our Savior, our family, our friends, our home, enough food and clothing, our pets, our jobs, laughter.

I’m thankful for all of those.

I’m thankful for you, the one reading this.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Thanksgiving Thankful Small Big Things Savior Ice Cream  Berries ChocolateBut, what about the other stuff? The little stuff? The stupid stuff?

Those everyday-makes-life-work things?

Here, in no particular order, are 25ish stupid things I’m thankful for. I hope they will lift you if you are down, and widen your smile if you are already grinning.

Electricity – oh wondrous powerer of our air conditioners, refrigerators, internet, and ice cream freezers.

Indoor, functioning plumbing – I refuse to imagine life without this. I have a hair-trigger gag reflex.

Ice Cubes Peppermint gum – it’s peppermint AND it’s bubble gum. It’s like Nirvāṇa in my mouth. I couldn’t get through the day without it.

The little plastic box that holds my gum safely and securely in my purse. Those little paper boxes the gum comes in always spilled, causing little gum boulders to form at the bottom of my purse.

I’m thankful the dog didn’t die after eating the plastic stuff that made her squeak like a squeeze toy for two days.

Clothes washing machine and bleach- without these I wouldn’t be able to be close to my children.

Clothes dryer – Hanging clothes is the pits, wearing them wet causes chafing. Chafing is bad.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Thanksgiving Thankful Small Big Things Savior Ice Cream Berries ChocolateBerries – black, blue, straw – I love them!  A raspberry with an m&m stuck inside is so awesome.

Hot showers – Ahhh!

Deodorant – mine, yours, everyone’s – I don’t think I would have survived being near other people during colonial times.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouth wash and all those that use them – I don’t think I would have done well with pre-brush methods. Something about using a rag or twig to wipe off my teeth seems a bit unappealing. And, if I go to bed without flossing, I have nightmares.

Our fuzzy pets and their example of unconditional love

Our non-fuzzy pets and their reminder that not everything is concerned with me

Paper plates – Truly a gift from God. Enough said

Fancy, porcelain dishes and a vase full of fresh flowers – I love how they look on the table and how special they make my guests feel.

Vehicles that start on the first try

Card games, board games, and silly made up games – they are family glue and laugh factories.

My mattress – it is the most comfortable one in the world. I wish we spent more time together.

Paper – and pens and writing and reading – I love the feel of it in my hands.

Texting – I text therefore I am

Car charger for my cell phone – because I can always use a charge

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Gina Valley Thanksgiving Thankful Small Big Things Savior Ice Cream Berries ChocolateChocolate- calmer of my soul and oft protector of the lives of my family members

The lock on my bathroom door.

Every, single sunset – signal that I have survived, possibly even triumphed over, another day.

The camera on my cell phone because the regular camera is never there (or always full) when the most Kodak-y moments appear

Silk thermals

Sleep – rare, deep, healing sleep

The dog’s teddy bear – because it cracks me up every time I see him with it.

Great, loud music

And, of course, getting to Laugh Out Loud with you!

-gina

What seemingly silly things are you thankful for?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

How To TOTALLY Over Do It

How To TOTALLY Over Do It

by Gina Valley

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! Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish QuestIt 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. ‎The 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 the van Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish Quest“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. At 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. We 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.  Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish QuestSounded like a complete food pyramid. 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 And 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. Man And Daughter In Red Truck 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. Just as we passed the red truck of Man And Daughter In Red Truck, 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.  Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish Quest“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-full Slurpee cups. All that stood between us and following in the crazy robber guy’s footsteps was our Slurpees 7-11 #6. Humor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish Quest7-11 #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 tack 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. The lack of crime scene tape or any other post-crime paraphernaliaHumor Funny Parenting Moms Dads Kids Children Family Life Love Laugh Laughter 7-11 Slurpee Over Do It Full Flavors Straws Paper Cup Herd Red Truck Crime Scene Finish Quest disappointed my pack as we drove up to 7-11 #7.  I reminded them that the robbery had been a year ago, but they felt that 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?  I look forward to hearing all about it! Be sure to leave me a comment with all the details!

Resolutions for the Rest of the Pack

Happy New Year to my friends, family, and especially my pack,

In keeping with my reputation for knowing what’s best for everyone, I have come up with resolutions for my pack.  After all, if they remain true to form, they will wait until the last minute to think of their resolutions, freeze in panic, and ask me to write them for them anyway.  I’ve Humor Funny Parenting New Years’ Resolutions child Moms Dads Kids children Family Life lovedecided to share them with you all, as you might be looking for some ideas for your own or your pack members’ resolutions.

So, dear ones, here you go:

Resolutions for Everyone Else

Our girl dog – resolve to piddle on the kitchen rug EVERYday, instead of your current twice weekly efforts.  I believe one needs to be fully committed to whatever cause one decides to align one’s self with.  You can do better.  Push yourself…well sorta.

The boy dog – resolve to at least pretend to recognize us when we come home.  I know you think you’re meeting new people every time one of us enters the room, and, to your credit, you are always happy to meet them.  But, couldn’t you at least pretend to recognize the other members of the pack you’ve been part of for a decade?  You’ve got to get it together.  Otherwise, how will we know when you become senile?

My daughters – resolve to leave every light on in every house on our street.  I believe that you need to think bigger, to expand your vision and your minds.  You have clearly mastered leaving all 16 lights on in the Girls’ Grotto, and, given the latitude to do it, every light in every other room in our home.  But, it’s time you grew and branched out.  I’m sure our neighborhood will support you in your efforts.  In no time at all you will be ready to leave all of the lights on at Dodger Stadium.

My two youngest sons – resolve to find new things to argue about.  It isn’t that I have tired of hearing the two of you debate who left the thing-ama-jig on the whatcha-call-it, causing it irreparable harm.  And, it’s not that I’m not enjoying your periodic fist-fights over who gets to say their Bible verse first before bedtime (who couldn’t find joy in that?  I think even God giggles a little over those black eyes).  It’s just that I think you need to broaden your horizons, think bigger.  Increase your repertoire, boys, so that you can increase your frequency.  Why not make the effort to argue without ceasing?

Son#2 – resolve to become more opinionated about the importance of the wrinkleless-ness of your garments.  I say, don’t stop at refusing to wear jeans or t-shirts that have not been forced to comply to an iron’s will, but demand starched underwear, creased socks, and pleated ball caps.  Be thorough, son.

Son#1 – resolve to cut your hair even more frequently.  I think that your every two week trim leaves some question as to whether your hair is actually growing.  I say switch to once a week, perhaps even daily, trims so that your younger siblings will actually think that your hair fails to grow at all. Keep’em guessing! It’s good for them.

The Professor – resolve to keep your cellphone fully UNcharged at all times, or, at the very least, turned off constantly.  Occasionally, when the matter is of no importance whatsoever, I am able to get a text or call through to you, although that certainly never happens when the matter has any urgency at all.  Tighten things up, so that no communication slips through at all.  If we are going to waste the monthly fee on an essentially un-reachable phone, let’s be thorough about it.

I have lots of other ideas for each of you, but this should be enough to get you started. 

As always, you might think that my willingness to help you improve yourself is an invitation to you to suggest ways for me to do likewise.  Give up that fantasy.  If I want your opinion, I’ll tell you what it is.

Happy New Year & Welcome to 2012!

It’s gonna rock!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina