Monday, January 15, 2018

... The Darndest Things ...

Whew, we're on the downhill slide of a four day weekend which sounds great except it's been super cold and, I mean, four days.  Stuck in the house.  With four kids.  And more snow forecasted for tonight/ tomorrow  Jesus, grab that wheel!

- Obligatory snow pics! -

Check it out!  The ball is stuck in the frozen basketball net!

School starts back for me tomorrow, I have to actually get out and go somewhere on Wednesday, I have an 8:00 meeting Thursday morning, and it's supposed to be cold all week.  I'm already not feeling this week and it's only Monday.  And, honestly, at this point with the weather forecast, we're not even sure if the week is gonna happen at all!

Soooo . . . I thought I would share a few funny/ interesting/ what the? things you may have heard out of our mouths last week.  I seriously thought I had a few more than what I'm listing here but, meh, it'll work for a post.  We'll just call it a bonus to our snow pics.  Or something.

I'll start with ME!

Wednesday afternoon, my phone rang and Mark's name came on the screen.  I always answer a little goofy for him.  "Helll-llllowwww?"  This time it was a woman's voice on the line, and I swear, it shaved ten years off my life.  I was so scared she was calling to tell me something had happened to Mark!  But, no, she was a waitress at a restaurant in the ATL airport and he'd left his phone there.  She just wanted his name so that they could page him but when she told me she had the phone I told her, "oh, okay, I'll just call him and let him know."  Dohhhhh.

To her credit, she was very kind and just reminded me "well, you can't call him because I have his phone."  Lawdy.  I felt so dumb.  Luckily, he remembered he'd left his phone there and went back to retrieve it and was able to come home with phone in hand to find out what a dumbass his girlfriend is.


This next one doesn't exactly make me Mother of the Year but I have to share it anyway. 

The fourth and fifth grade boys at the kids' school are all about "flame wars."  What's a flame war?  It's, basically, insulting each other for fun.  Boys.  I check my kids' text messages and read a "flame war" between one of the boys and a friend.  My boy was calling the other kid "small" and the kid retorted with, "I don't know why you're calling me small when you're skinnier than an anorexic giraffe's leg!" 

Y'all!  AN ANOREXIC GIRAFFE'S LEG.  I CAN'T EVEN.  That kid wins every flame war ever.  And I'm off to buy some protein shakes.


I canNOT stand current rap and hiphop but I unabashedly love the stuff from the 90's (and T.I.)  I've been telling Alexa to play 90's hiphop, usually when the kids are not around but every once in a while I slip up.  That's how my boys first heard Warren G and Nate Dog with some Regulate.  So the other night J asked me, "Can we play that song?  What is it?  Elevators?:


I was prepping pork tenderloin the other night when K2 walked in the kitchen and she asked me what I was making.

“But what animal did it come from?”

I told her it was a pig and she, right then and there, refused to eat meat ever again. “What?!? You love pigs! You can’t make me eat a cute baby pig!” Ahhhh. My little vegetarian. 


Finally, I'll leave you with this because it's the most MY KIDS thing that ever My Kids'ed.  Or something.

Here's hoping for warm weather and the end of snow days, i.e. a cut down on "Mooooooom" because the kids'll be in school for eight hours!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Foodie Friday: Meal Planning

As I'm writing this post, it's Thursday night and, even though it's still 55 degrees, school has already been cancelled for tomorrow.  It's been raining for, like, a week now and a cold front is moving through after midnight.  Rain is supposed to change to freezing rain then sleet and then finally snow.  The weather guy even said we could expect to be able to build a snowman tomorrow.  That probably won't happen -- whenever they predict more we get less and when they tell us it's nothing to worry about, we get dumped on.  So I guess we'll see!  I don't like cold weather and I refuse to drive in ice or snow.  But, this is best case scenario.  It's happening on a Friday and, dammit, it's already been so cold that we might as well get some snow!

Not going to lie, my eating "better" resolution is going to fly on out the window.  There's something about snow days and cold weather that make me want to bake, bake, and bake some more.  I'm thinking chocolate chip cookies and banana bread will happen today!

Now, for what we've been eating all week.


(Skinny) Appetizer Night

It was the national championship (Eff Bama!) and also my cheap night.  I wanted appies but I didn't want to go too crazy.  I made Skinnytaste cheesy bean dip (from her cookbook) as well as her m;ozzarella sticks and Texas cheese fries.  We also had J's faux-fried pickles.  Everything was super yummy.  I love a good appetizer night!


French Bread Pizzas

This was another idea that came from perusing the Skinnytaste cookbook (though she does have the recipe on her site) and it's something that I love, love, love.  What is it about French bread that makes pizza oh-so-good?  And the - even better- thing about these pizzas is that you kind of hull out the extra bread so you're saying bye-bye-bye to those calories.

Now, I have to make a bit of a confession here: I started cutting the bread up to use as pizza and only cut it into four equal parts because I seriously forgot about one of the kidsI'm not naming names.  Just gonna say that that one disappeared as soon as they got home and I sincerely forgot he existed for a few minutes there.  Eeeks!  So I only cut the bread into four equal parts. All that to say, for my pizza I just kinda shaved a few ends off the bread I'd cut for the kids and ended up having almost pizza bites?!?  I guess?  I made my favorite combo -- onion, pepper, and banana pepper -- so yum!  We had salads to go with our pizza.


Neely's Interstate BBQ

I had planned yet another Skinnytaste dinner - the chocolate chip pancakes from her cookbook! - but Mark ended up getting home from Atlanta a little early and decided to bring dinner home.  He picked up the 8-pack from Interstate BBQ and went with the pulled pork with slaw, potato salad, barbecue spaghetti, and French fries.  It was soooo good and sooooo not on our "eat better" plan.  It was also my very first time to have Neely's, even though I've been in Memphis well over eight years.  Can ya believe it?  I plan to do a full review soon(-ish.)


Cubano Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Doesn't that name just make your mouth water?  Cubano stuffed pork tenderloin.  If you put a gun to my head, I'm not sure I could decide if my favorite sandwich was a Cuban or a French Dip . . . oh, and did someone say Club?  Meatball Sub?  I love sandwiches.  Anyway.  I saw this recipe for this stuffed tenderloin in - what else? - my Skinnytaste cookbook and knew we had to try it.  ASAP.  Y'all.  It was SO GOOD.  A few of the kids are jerks a little picky so I only did the mustard and pickles on half and guess what?  Everybody ate it.  We had zero leftovers from this meal.  We served it with roasted cauliflower. 

** The recipe for the tenderloin was in the Skinnytaste cookbook and since I can't find it on her website, I'm not going to link to it.  I honestly think this particular recipe is worth purchasing the cookbook though!  OH!  And if you try to Google, one of the first recipes that comes up calls for bread and butter pickles.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do NOT put sweet pickles on anything with "Cuban" in the name. 


I mean, duhhhhh.   It's supposed to be snowy outside and that means CHILI.  I even braved Kroger yesterday for beans and Rotel to make 'er happen.  Mark is the official Chili Maker in our house.  I tend to think I'm an a-ok chili maker as well.  Last night, though, I told Mark I wanted chili today and that meant he either had to make it right then or trust me to make it.  J, the turd, shouted, "Mark!  Mark makes it!  Tonight!'  Soooooo.  Mark got everything in the crockpot last night and I'm only slightly offended my family has delegated me to second-rate chili maker (mainly because I know Mark is pretty amazing at it!)

So, there ya have it . . . how we've been eating this week.  Probably not as "better" as we could but, I mean, Mark was gone the early part of the week and the kids weren't having bowls of cereal for dinner so I consider that a win!

Thursday, January 11, 2018


"Evangelicals suck."

I texted that to my brother last night and, I can assure you, that's something neither of us thought we would be saying to the other twenty years ago.

We were raised in the Baptist church.  And when I say "raised," I mean we were there every time the doors were open.  Literally.  Sunday school and then Sunday morning worship, Sunday night services, Tuesday night youth meetings, Wednesday night services, every revival, every New Years Eve prayer vigil.  We were there.  We went to church camp and youth conferences and on missions trips.  We come from a long line of deacons and music directors and Sunday School teachers.  Honestly, I never thought I would ever be sending words like that to my brother.  That he and I would both grow to be so disillusioned by the church.

What prompted that text?

It's slowly making national news, but late last week a Memphis-area pastor of a mega church was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl when he was her youth minister in Houston, Texas, twenty years ago.  You can read the story here

On Sunday, the accused pastor - his name is Andy Savage - went before his congregation here in Memphis and admitted to a "sexual incident."  He was applauded.  HE WAS GIVEN A STANDING OVATION.  Let me just get this out of the way: I'm SICK of men being applauded when they actually have the balls to admit they've done something wrong.

Thing is, though, Andy Savage didn't really admit to everything he had done wrong.  He didn't call if assault: he referred to what happened as an "incident."  He maintains the "incident" was consensual and, in his statement, made sure to NOT point out he was her youth pastor, to point out that she was a senior in high school, and to emphasize that it happened twenty years ago. 

For what it's worth, I believe Jules Woodson and her "version of events."  I find it very hard to believe that a complicit teenage girl would've gone to her pastor's office and let him know she'd offered up a blowjob to her youth minister.  (Sorry to be blunt but COME ON.)  She spoke to her assistant pastor because she knew what had been done to her was WRONG. 

Here's the deal: Andy Savage was Jules' YOUTH PASTOR.  He was the leader of her youth group, someone she trusted.  Someone her parents trusted.  Most people don't bat an eye at the thought of letting their teenage daughter grab a ride with her youth minister.  After all, these are the men who accompany youths to their camps and conferences, they often host Bible studies and D-Now in their own homes.  The parents themselves often fellowship with the youth minister.  He was in a position of power over her and, frankly, that means it doesn't really matter if she consented or not.  He's a piece of shit for ever putting her in the situation.

What really bothers me, though, is the reaction from so many so-called Christians over this.  I shouldn't be surprised: after all, these are the people who elected Donald Trump even after his "grab her by the p*ssy:" comments were made public knowledge.  But still.  Hollywood is firing people left and right and then it happens in the church and HE IS GIVEN A STANDING OVATION.  I just can't.

And if you ever happen to read the comments on social media . . . for starters, just don't.  They're gross and will make you lose all hope in humankind and the church in particular. 

Why is she coming forward NOW?  It's been 20 years!
She probably had a crush on him.
She totally wanted it.

SHE WAS SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD AND HE WAS AN AUTHORITY FIGURE.  I don't care if she waited 80 years to come forward; I'm just glad she did.  As I was telling my brother last night, I have a feeling this will cause a wave of others to come forward and shout "#metoo."

I honestly enjoyed most of my time in youth group.  I had youth pastors that I adored, for the most part, and I made some great memories.  One of my favorite middle school memories is the year my church youth group hosted a fireworks stand to raise money for our summer conference.  And I'm really glad I have those moments and memories because so much has happened lately to completely sully me on the church.

I still believe.  I do.  But I also can't believe that the church has become this.  That evangelism has become this.  And I honestly, truly believe that right now?  It's not Satan that's attacking the church.  The church is attacking itself.