Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud!

Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud!

by Gina Valley

Sometimes parenting is hard.  Actually, most of the time.

It’s often satisfying.  We’re usually glad we chose to do it, happy we have kids.  But, it’s usually long on responsibility and short on fun.  Even the fun is a lot of work.  At the end of the day, sometimes, looking back, we’re just glad it’s the end of the day.  A lot of times, really.

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 Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud #DadChat Twitter Chat

Parenting is exhausting and heavy.  Worth it, but exhausting and heavy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to lighten the load?

I think the best days of parenting are the days when we laugh.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t serious moments, life-impacting moments.  It just means there was a spoonful of sugar with that medicine.

I’ve found that laughs can be far between in parenting unless we parents plan for them, especially in our culture of busyness.

Around our house I think of it as “planned spontaneity.”  Opportunities for we parents to do silly, fun, non-productive things with our children.  Doing something together with a purpose does draw parents and children together.  BUT, doing something together simply to laugh together cements that relationship.  I think this becomes even more important as our children grow into teens and young adults.

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 Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud #DadChat Twitter ChatEvery family, even the most straight-laced and somber, has a favorite laugh inducer.  Even so, every family can use more laughing.

This Thursday, I get to talk about that:  laughing with our kids, and how to do more of it, especially for dads, as they often have less time with their children.

I don’t get nervous, but if I did get nervous, I’d be nervous.  I have the honor of guest hosting #DadChat this week, while Bruce Sallan, #DadChat’s founder, is traveling. Our topic is: Laugh Out Loud at #DadChat

Please come hang out with me this Thursday, January 9, at 9PM Eastern/6PM Pacific. We’ll chat for an hour.

Everyone is welcome: dads, moms, aunts, uncles, kids, puppies, everyone.

Please consider this your official engraved invitation.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you and your family do to laugh together.

What do/did you do that always gets/got a laugh from kids (yours or others)?

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 Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud #DadChat Twitter Chat

What do you remember your p

arents doing when you were a child that made you giggle?

What did you and your friends do to get a laugh as kids?

Who is the Laugh Whisperer in your family?

How can you encourage your children to find more joy?

How do you turn that frown upside down?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

What is the favorite joke around your home?

It’s going to be a fun discussion. We’ll all take away some new ideas about ways to laugh more with our kids and to bring out more joy in our lives.

If you’re on Twitter, you can easily join in by searching #DadChat this Thursday, January 9, at 9PM Eastern/6PM Pacific.  I’ll be on 15 minutes before then.

If you aren’t on Twitter, you can join just for this chat quickly & easily by clicking on this link.  After you sign up, be sure to follow my accounts (@GinaValley and @GinaValley2) .  I will follow you back.

Please let me know if you have any questions about signing up or how to follow or participate in a Twitter chat.  I will do my best to answer them correctly.

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 Seriously Today – We’ll Be Laughing Out Loud #DadChat Twitter ChatBe sure to follow both my twitter account @GinaValley and my back up twitter account @GinaValley2, if you haven’t already done so.  I’ll be using both during the chat in an effort to stay out of Twitter jail (that’s when Twitter freezes your account for a couple hours, because its software has detected you sending out what it thinks are too many tweets too quickly).

I’m looking forward to hanging out with you and to sharing laughs and ideas for more of them.

And, I appreciate your support.

See you Thursday!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Will you be there?  How do you keep the laughs coming in your home?  What never fails to give you a giggle?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Hey There Shiny!

Hey There Shiny!

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 Hey There, Shiny! New Year Fresh Start

Shine

Which dark

To bright

Tiny candle

Small light

Heavy shadow

Weighs down

Flicker glows

Hope found

Time gone

Dark thine

Lit forth

Spark shine

-gina valley

 

I love a fresh start.

I love Mondays.  I love moving.  I love New Year’s.

Fresh starts are the best.  That feeling of a new beginning is so appealing to me.

We’re nearly a week into the New Year, and I’ve still got that giddy, new start feeling.  Granted part of that’s, because, as we’re currently traveling, I decided to start my New Year routine after I return home.  But, most of that feeling springs from the reminder that with effort, nearly anything is possible.

I like to use this time of year to remind my children that they were made with a purpose, to be part of great things, and that they matter and can make a difference.   This is a great time of year to encourage them to shine brightly, as they were created to do.

I hope you remember that’s true for you and your loved ones, too.

Love!

-gina

Do you find the New Year an encouraging time for a fresh start?  How are you shining this week?   Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Where The Heck Is Miss Manners?…Gina’s Favorites

I’m traveling with my family this week, so to keep you in giggles I’ve loaded up some of my favorite travel posts.  Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites throwback.

Where The Heck Is Miss Manners?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I don’t like to offend people.  Most of the time.

I try to do the right thing.  Almost always.

But, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do.  Some situations present themselves at a time or place where Googling “What the heck should I do now?” isn’t a viable option.

Where is Miss Manners when I need her?

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 Where The Heck Is Miss Manners?...Gina's Favorites Road Trip Etiquette I’ve got some questions.  I need some answers.

What is the etiquette when the woman 2 rows in front of me at my nephew’s basketball game announces loudly, “But, I shaved my armpits”?  Did someone ask her?  Should I offer congratulations? Am I supposed to issue a fur status report about myself in response?

What is proper toilet paper etiquette when I’m traveling? What am I supposed to do when the tube is empty at my mom’s house?  I have come to realize it’s my sworn duty as a mom to change it, but she’s a mom, too.  Which of us should change it?  It’s her house, but it was used up by my kids.   Should I change the roll, or switch into kid mode and pretend I didn’t notice it was empty?  Is there some middle ground, like setting a new roll on top of the empty roll?  I don’t want to step on her toes.

What am I supposed to do according to public bathroom etiquette when a woman comes out of the stall in the bathroom at the filling station, bypasses the sink, grabs a paper towel, and heads out the door?

Do I start singing Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness in an effort to jolt her out of her filthy reality and back to the sink and soap?  When I see her preparing a chili dog for herself in the station’s minimart is it wrong to grab my children and run out screaming?  Is it wrong to spray her with Purell?

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 Where The Heck Is Miss Manners?...Gina's Favorites Road Trip Etiquette

And, when I get outside and back to our van and the woman at the gasoline pump in front of ours is smoking an extra-long menthol while she fills up her Rambler, am I required by etiquette to run over her to ensure her genes will be out of the gene pool?  Or, is it ok if we just get out of the blast zone as quickly as we can?

What does etiquette require I do when my youngest nephew says, “This sandwich is the best one I ever had, Auntie G! It’s even better than the ones my mummy makes!”?   Am I allowed to call and gloat, I mean share the cuteness, with my sister?  Or, should I just post it on Facebook for the whole world to see?

What am I supposed to do when I’m going through the line at the Big Red Store with my 2 year old and he takes a good long look at the extremely large cashier, and says, “Whoo, that’s a big one!”?   Am I supposed to dig my own hole to crawl into to die from embarrassment in, or will that be dug for me?  Should I blot out of the store? Or should I stay and tell everyone that’s he’s a neighbor’s kid?

If you see Miss Manners, get her cell number so I can text her.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What questionable etiquette situations have you been in?  What did you do?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

The Secret Life Of Road Signs…Gina’s Favorites

I’m traveling with my family this week, so to keep you in giggles I’ve loaded up one of my favorite travel posts.  Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites throwback.

The Secret Life Of Road Signs…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Ahh, summer!  The season of road trips is upon us.  Perhaps you’re planning a peaceful, family driving adventure soon.  Here’s a little secret – Road signs are NOT there to help or inform you.  Road signs are the road department’s little joke.  It’s a laugh on you.

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 The Secret Life Of Road Signs...Gina's Favorites Road Trip TravelFortunately, because of my significant series of sojourns I have decoded the true meaning of some vital signs for you.

That large, low, peeling billboard advertising Frank-n-Nittie’s Truck Stop & Taxidermy isn’t there to help you find something to eat and something to gross out your kids.  It’s conveniently placed there so your friendly state trooper has a hiding place to aid in nailing you for speeding.

That sign that says “Rest stop 1 mile.  Next rest stop 55 miles” is not there so you can conveniently off-load and stretch your legs before what will be a long interval until your next opportunity.  On the contrary, it’s there to get your hopes up, your family awake, and the shoe hunt started.  After you wake your sleepers and convince them they have to go, whether they had to go or not, after the shoes are on, the seats are in a fully upright position with their tray tables folded away, and the DVD is paused, you will find the exit is blocked by bright orange cones and another sign ‘cause they are “working to improve for your convenience.” Excellent!

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 The Secret Life Of Road Signs...Gina's Favorites Road Trip TravelAt this point everyone in your car, and heaven help you if you’re part of a caravan, will suddenly have urgent off-loading needs, and you’ll have to stop at Frank-n-Nittie’s Truck Stop & Taxidermy to use their facilities. Of course, their facilities are only open to paying customers, which is why for the rest of your trip Reggie The Rigid Squirrel will be wedged in next to your seat.  Make sure you get a receipt.  They will ask at the border.

That merging traffic sign, you know the one, is a sneaky bugger.  It looks like two arrows are performing some sort of act that’s illegal in 23 states.  It’s supposed to provide you with advanced warning that a lane is going to join the road and then merge into your lane.  In theory this would give you time to plan ahead to ensure a smooth, stress-free merge experience with the other vehicles.

But, what it really means is there’ll be no vehicle as far as the eye can see in either direction until you get to the merging point.   At that very instant a 45 foot long motorhome will suddenly materialize and try to occupy the very piece of asphalt your vehicle is currently occupying, a Porsche Cabriolet will suddenly appear doing close to Mach 1 to pass you, and a tractor trailer will suddenly be coming head-on toward you as he attempts to pass the Prius in his lane of on-coming traffic.

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 The Secret Life Of Road Signs...Gina's Favorites Road Trip Travel

On a positive note, you won’t need coffee to stay awake after that.  You might need an off-loading facility, though.  Hopefully, you’re near Frank-n-Nittie’s.

Lastly for today is that “Slow traffic keep right” sign, which means it’s time to choose between being sandwiched by angry, tailgating big rigs in the right lane or to have your rear run over by the Millennium Falcon as it cruises by ready to make the jump to light speed in the left lane.  Potato. Potahto.  It’s really your call.

Be sure to commit these to memory.  They will be on the test, or at least on the road.  I’ll be decoding additional vital road signs soon.

Happy Trails!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What was your last road trip? Do you travel around the holidays.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it! Be sure to shoot me a comment!

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

As I’m spending extra time celebrating with my family, today’s post is one of my favorites from the past.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

There is nothing less revelry-like than trying to get to work after revelry-ing in the New Year. You’ve had relatives, cookies, and hyper kids to deal with.  You’ve had no sleep, a big plate of rumaki, and some iffy imbibing decisions.

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 Reasons You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’sWhat you need today is to sleep without ceasing.  But, your boss expects you to show up ready to accomplish great things.

What if you don’t feel inspired?  What if you don’t feel recharged?  What if you don’t feel your legs?

What do you say when you call in to explain, knowing your boss is ready to come back with, “You haven’t been to work since last year!”?

Don’t worry.  I’ve got your back.  I’m a giver like that.

Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Go To Work The Day After New Year’s:

#10  I was helping put the final touches on the floats for the Rose Parade, and I’m glued to a giant, purple flower-covered octopus.

#9  I ate too many Christmas cookies and I can’t squeeze my arse out of my front door.

#8  The battery in my clock is dead, so I’m still waiting for New Year’s Eve to end.

#7  I’m still making my list of New Year’s resolutions and the first one is to finish my list of New Year’s resolutions.

#6  The hideous Christmas sweater my Aunt Sheila knitted for me got tangled in the branches when I dragged our Christmas tree to the curb, and no one can find any scissors to cut me 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 Top 10 Reasons You Can't Go To Work The Day After New Year’s#5  My dog ate my homework (that always applies, right?).

#4  We were acting out A Christmas Story and my tongue is frozen to a pole in the school yard.

#3  My cousin Bernie put all my underwear in the freezer, and I’m waiting for them to thaw out.

#2  The ladder fell over while I was taking down our Christmas lights, and I’m hanging from the rain gutter.

#1  I started my New Year’s exercise program yesterday and I can’t lift my arms, bend my legs, or turn my head today.

I can get you a note, if you need one.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Were you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bounding out the door this morning?  Or, were you leaning more toward red-eyed and tail-dragging, crawling out the door?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Laughin’ In 2014

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 Laughin' In 2014Laughin’ In 2014

by Gina Valley

Welcome to 2014!

I’m so glad you’re here with me!

I hope 2014 brings you and your loved ones fun and closeness and joy.

And laughs.

Lots of laughs.

Let’s start things off on the right foot in 2014 with some New Year’s 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 Laughin' In 2014

 

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 Laughin' In 2014

 

 

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 Laughin' In 2014 Funny Humor New Year http://ginavalley.com/   Laughin' In 2014 – Read & Laugh All About It! Funny Humor New Year http://ginavalley.com/   Laughin' In 2014 – Read & Laugh All About 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 Laughin' In 2014

 

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 Laughin' In 2014

 

P&afunny-new-years-eve-pictures-2012-i15

 

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 Laughin' In 2014

 

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 Laughin' In 2014

 

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 Laughin' In 2014

 

Funny Humor New Year http://ginavalley.com/   Laughin' In 2014 – Read & Laugh All About It!

It’s going to be a great year!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What made you laugh in 2013?  What are you planning in 2014 to bring joy into your life?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

 

Top 10 Awesome Things About Being Trapped In the Car All Day

Top 10 Awesome Things About Being Trapped In the Car All Day

by Gina Valley

This week we’ve had the joy of experiencing lots of family bonding time in a cozy environment.  And, by “the joy of experiencing lots of family bonding time in a cozy environment” I mean that we’ve been trapped in our van all day together for 2 days.

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 Awesome Things About Being Trapped In the Car All Day Road TripIt’s been wonderful.  By “wonderful” I mean no one has killed anyone or thrown up.

It’s hard to say what is the best part of this together time, but here’s my Top 10 as of today.

Top 10 Awesome Things About Being Trapped In the Car All Day

#10.   Playing “Guess Which Side The Next Nose-Picker Will Drive By On.”  (Why are nose pickers always in such a hurry? Is there some sort of Nose Pickers Anonymous meeting they’re all late for?  I hope they don’t greet each other with a handshake!)

#9.  Cows!  You get to see lots and lots of cows! Bonus – you get to smell them, too!

#8.  Snapping tons of great “Look How Funny You Looked Sleeping Sitting Up” pictures.  Very useful for blackmailing teens at a later date!

#7.  Listening to 3 of your children play Name That Mountain! (“Is that Mt Hood?”  “I don’t know.”  “Shut up. I’m trying to sleep.”  “I think that’s Mt. Hood.”  “Is that Mt. Hood?”  “Shut. Up. I’m trying to sleep!”  “No, dummy, Mt. Hood is in Oregon.”  “We are in Oregon, dummy!”  “SHUT 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 Top 10 Awesome Things About Being Trapped In the Car All Day Road Trip#6.  Playing Clean Bathroom Russian Roulette.

#5.  Pulling up to Fast Food Row, asking what everyone wants to eat, and hearing one kid holler “Spaghetti!”

#4.  Trying to eat a salad without a fork (Why do they always forget to give us a fork?  Why do I always forget to check before we drive away?).

#3.  Doing isometrics while you drive (or is that just me?).

#2.  Fielding a team for the How Long Can You Hold It? marathon.

#1.  Having your kids bond over a game of I’m Not Touching You! or Where Did That Go When I Dropped It?

I might have a whole different list after the drive home!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What fun do you always find on a road trip?  What do you always make a point to bring?  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!  Please, shoot me a comment with all the details.

I Need An Intervention…Gina’s Favorites

As I’m spending extra time celebrating with my family, today’s post is one of my favorites from the past.

I Need An Intervention…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

The Food Network is like crack.

I know it’s bad for me, but I keep going right back to it time after time after time.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like to cook. I love to cook, actually.  But, watching it makes me yearn to cook like they cook.  Nothing else will do.

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 I Need An Intervention...Gina's Favorites The Food Network Cooking Shows

I look at my cooking scenario and am nearly scream, “I can’t work like this!”

The Food Network makes me realize that in order to prepare a proper piece of ingestible artistry I need to have my children off in a mysterious unspoken wonderland, a pristine kitchen, and all of the ingredients pre-measured into those cool little clear glass bowls.

I think we broke all of those bowls, and even if we have any, it would take me more than the hour long program to find them.   Half the time I can’t even find our carton of eggs.

How can I possibly create amazing culinary delights in my chaotic life after watching cooking Utopia?  It’s too depressing.  I don’t even have that magic sink that you drop dirty dishes into and they disappear during the commercial break.
I wish they would do cooking shows for real people. I don’t mean those reality shows where contestants are given cactus chunks, a tomato, 6 artichokes and an unlabeled can, and told to prepare a meal for eight cowboys in under one hour.

How about a real show with real people showing real solutions to real problems.  Really.

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 I Need An Intervention...Gina's Favorites The Food Network Cooking Shows

How about a show where contestants must prepare a week’s worth of meals for preschoolers without using chicken nuggets, string cheese or Cheerios?  No fair reminding them that Jonny currently refuses to eat anything orange (color, not flavor) or that Lily will “die” if any of her different foods touch.

How about a show where the host has to paw and burrow through a real home’s cupboards in an effort to find the ingredients and the pan to make meatloaf before a 3 year old wakes up from her spontaneous nap, which can only mean she is getting sick, all while helping a 14 year old with her algebra homework and a 10 year old make a Diary if a Wimpy Kid diorama.

How about they show us how to make that cream puff tower surrounded by spun sugar while a mother-in-law hovers over every move, constantly repeating in a heavy, old world accent, “Oooh, the next time you see me, I’ll be dead,” without the chef engaging in eye-rolling or snappy comebacks, such as, “Don’t make promises you aren’t going to keep!”  That would be holiday magic.

How about they show us what to make when your stockyard-owning friends from Texas and that nice vegan couple with the peanut and soy allergies you met at the soccer tournament in Malibu both come over for dinner on the same night.  Surely, there is something that can be made for them all, besides reservations.

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 I Need An Intervention...Gina's Favorites The Food Network Cooking ShowsAnd, how about a show where they make dinner with what we have when we have neither the basics nor time for a trip to the grocery store?  I’d love to see them come up with something yummy using only the slightly wilted lettuce, 2 cans of garbanzo beans, a half used tub of fromage blanc cheese, and the pound of ground meat left in the back of our fridge at the end of the week.  Now that would be a challenge.

Especially since I think that ground meat might actually be spinach from last month.

If you need me, I’ll be hiding from my kitchen.  And, the meat/spinach.

I’ll probably be watching The Food Network.

I need an intervention.

Laugh  Out Loud!

-gina

Do you watch The Food Network?  Do you have a favorite show you love or love to hate? How about the other “reality” networks like HGTV or DIY or Lifetime?  Do you find inspiration or frustration?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Reaching Beyond…Gina’s Favorites

As I’m spending extra time celebrating with my family, today’s post is one of my favorites from the past.

Reaching Beyond…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

As we step in to a new year, may we all reach and stretch and strive beyond where we stand.

May we all reach for what can be and what we can be.

-gina

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 Reaching Beyond…Gina’s Favorites New Year Hope

Beyond

Looking

Thinking

Pondering

Wandering

Ever wondering

Ever drawing

Ever will be

Running

Skipping

Seeking

There

-gina valley

What do you plan to do differently this year than you have in the past?  What do you plan to do the same?  Are you glad 2012 is ending or wishing there was more time?  Shoot me a comment.  I am looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?…Gina’s Favorites

Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?…Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

As I’m desperately trying to get my family to get ready to leave for a visit to my parents’ home, I figured that my Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos? post would be perfect for Throwback Day this week.
You can read my Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos? post below in its entirety, or, for you hardcore readers, you can click on one of these magic links to read my Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos? post in its original location. 
Either way, I’ll meet you at my Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos? post. You bring the salad (I’ve gained 4 pounds this week!).  I’ll bring the laughs. And, as always, the extra click to get there counts as cardio.

Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?

by Gina Valley

There are a lot of different answers I expect to hear when I ask one of my children “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?

Just pack and shower and find the bag of hamster food.”  Isn’t that all you needed to do in the first place?

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 Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?...Gina’s Favorites Pets Packing Road TripDo I have to bring underwear and socks?”  No, but you’ll have to ride in a trash bag, strapped to the roof of the plane.

I don’t see why I have to go.  I’m missing the party of the year.”  That’s another reason you have to come with us.

I can’t find any of my left shoes.”  How are your hopping skills?

What trip?”  The one we have been discussing in secret family meetings for the last 3 months, so we could keep it from you, just to mess you up.

These are but a few of the multitude of variations I’ve heard.  In fact, I think the only answer I have never heard to the question “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?” is “Nothing.  I’m all ready to go.”  I haven’t even heard that when we are on the plane at 25000 feet halfway to our destination.  We usually get home from a trip before we’re all ready to go.

But, of all the answers my pack has given me, I realized there was one other answer none of them had ever given me before.  Until last night:

I said to Son#1, my eldest, most organized, best shot at being ready-to-go offspring, “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?”

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 Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?...Gina’s Favorites Pets Packing Road TripAnd, he said, “Find my pet snake.”

Find my pet snake?

I opened my eyes wider than I thought was possible.  “Find her?  When did you lose her?” I asked in what was not a completely calm voice.

“Four days ago. She was there when I went to bed, but she was gone when I woke up,” Son#1 answered way too calmly.  “I kind of forgot to lock her tank.  But, just that one time.  I always lock it.”

Son#1 had been asking for a pet snake for…I don’t know exactly how long… I think since he learned how to talk.

He is, in general, very responsible and careful with pets.  His dog, Trixie passed away recently, and he gently cared for her through the end.  He has a pet catfish that he got several years ago when it was 1 ½ inches long.  It’s now nearly 2 ½ feet long, and eats fish that are 5 or 6 inches long for lunch. When I was a kid I couldn’t keep a fish alive long enough to get it home from the store.

So, he’s good with pets.  Usually.  Excluding this “left the tank unlocked just this one time” thing.

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 Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?...Gina’s Favorites Pets Packing Road Trip“Four days ago?” I asked, remembering all of the guests and pop-in holiday visitors we’d hosted over the past 4 days.  I thought about what would have happened if the snake had shown up in the bathroom while my mother-in-law was in there…processing.  It wouldn’t have been pretty.  She’s from the Old Country.  She’d have made us Snake Stew without batting an eye.

“When,” I asked, “were you planning to tell me this?”

After I found her,” Son#1 answered. “That’s why I cleaned out my whole room yesterday.”

Great.  Another myth shattered.  First, I find out this Santa thing is a farce.  Now the Tale of the Cleans His Room For No Reason Kid is debunked. What’s next? Is someone gonna tell me that chocolate doesn’t burn calories?  Oh the humanity!

I stood there wondering where the snake was, and blaming my sister.

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 Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?...Gina’s Favorites Pets Packing Road TripThis reptile was just the latest in a string of critters she’s added to our family.  I remember the ducklings she’d delivered one Easter, and the water turtle that showed up for a birthday. Of course, there was the time 2 baby hamsters traveled the skies in Son#2’s back pack on his return flight from visiting with her.  I can hardly believe the TSA x-ray guy didn’t even say anything about them.  She’d sent the snake home with Son#1 after our last visit.

How was I supposed to explain to our house sitter, who had already expressed less than great joy at the prospect of living in the same house as the snake for a week, that she might want to double check under the covers before climbing into the guest room bed each night?  I shuddered at the thought that I should have been doing that the last 3 nights and didn’t know it.

Clearly, I’d need to mention a bonus first, then tell our house sitter about the free-range reptile.  Hopefully, she’d still be willing to take the job.  Otherwise, I hated to think what the odds were of coming up with a good house sitter at the last minute the week between Christmas and New Year’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 Totally Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?...Gina’s Favorites Pets Packing Road TripBut, there was no time to panic.

So, I decided to handle this like the mature adult I am.

I’ll get out our Maglite and start searching the house.

And, I’m shipping a pregnant water buffalo to my sister.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Had any pet trouble?  How did you handle it?  How do you feel about snakes?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.