The Entertainer’s Secret

I will never forget the day I met my hubby.  I was 18 years old and it was my first day of college. He was two years older- cute, tanned, popular and a social butterfly.

Those things were appealing, but there was one very unique thing about him:  his voice.
I was immediately attracted to his raspy, rugged, scratchy melody.
We spent the next 4 years as best friends and then went our separate ways into the real world. But in the end, it was that delicious voice recorded on my answering machine that got me.  He said something simple like, “Hey, why don’t you come see me.”  And that is pretty much all it took to get me to fly several hundred miles and marry him three months later.
I didn’t exactly play hard-to-get.
My hubby works in the medical field and everyday someone asks him about his voice: a)Are you sick? b)Do you have a cold? c)Have you ever been checked for nodes? d) Can I scope your vocal chords?  
Well. Here are the answers a)no b)no c)yes d)sure, because my gag reflex is awesome
The other day my hubby returned to his Ear, Nose and Throat doctor because not only was he blessed with a raspy voice, he was also gifted with sleep apnea.
He is one lucky duck.  
It’s been two years since he’s been sleep-tested (sleep-testing is where they hook you up to machines and record how many times a night you stop breathing. Exciting stuff.  The first time my hubby did this, the Respiratory Therapist who dropped off the sleep apnea machine explained that my hubby had 60 arousal’s in a 1 hour period. And you would think I would know that there is more than one definition of that word (in context it was referring to how many times he stopped breathing.  I am still blushing about what I asked.)
I digress.
The ENT said, “Yes, let’s order another sleep test, but let’s spend some time talking about your voice.”
And so they did.  For a very long time.
When my hubby came home, he told me all the many and various theories and explanations and blah blah blah the doctor came up with.
Then my hubby dropped this bomb, “I’d really like my voice to be normal.”
And he pulled this from his pocket:  Entertainer's Secret Throat Relief
The Entertainer’s Secret, throat relief spray. But it’s our secret and that of many entertainer’s, apparently.
My 8 year old was eavesdropping on this conversation and burst into the room, “No, Daddy, I love your voice.  You can’t do that! I think we need to have a family meeting about this!”
And I did what all good wives would do, I agreed with my daughter.
Because y’all, I love that voice.

Just a Pleasant Reminder from Your Friendly Blogger…

Don’t forget that the Sizzling Summer Vacation Spectacle is THIS Friday!  There will be more than $600 in door prizes! Yes, you read that right!  

You are only eligible if you link up your vacation story, so get busy!  I will be throwing up Mr. Linky Thursday night at exactly 10 pm (CST) because I just realized that this weekend is Labor Day weekend. I will start announcing door prizes all day long on Friday!
You can link to an older post or write a new one…just as long as it’s about a vacation/or a fun summer day!

THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 6

THAT family photo of the week:

The Week in Review: School starts tomorrow, so I finished up some last minute shopping with three kids in tow. That is always a treat. My son has been working out feverishly on the Wii Fit, that was bought so the adults in the family could get into shape.  On his last weigh in, it said he was malnourished.  I long for the Wii Fit to say I’m malnourished.

And now, I’m excited to introduce you to Cathy of Mommy Motivation. She’s joined our popular club with this post, a 5-in-1 THAT family moment.

1. Tell us a little about your blog (name/reason why you blog):

Mommy Motivation ‘cause I thought I was going to change the world into better mommies one at a time. Hmm.  I’m thinking I might change my blog name to better reflect my purpose.  Something like: Me!  It’s all about ME!


2.    How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for – let me check my counter – I don’t know these things.  I can’t even remember my age without calculating back from my year of birth, which is === .   Ha!  You didn’t really think I would…< /span>


3.    How would you define THAT family?

Oh my goodness I used to think it was the white trash.  Now that I got me some of that, I’m starting to think it is about honesty and humor.  And I don’t know about honesty or humor… but I’ll just stand around and watch y’all. K?


4.    When did you discover you were a part of THAT family? I am!?  What?!?  You mean my PERFECT family?  That was before I had children.  Man I was smart and pretty darned good at most things.  Did I mention I now have three? 


5.    Where can we find your blog?

To REALLY learn how to be a good mommy, stop by Mommy Motivation.  and read my thoughts on sahm’s!


Oh, I have to go pee now.

DIYP #13-Easy, Mess-Free Tie-Dying

Welcome to this weekend’s project!  I had several people ask me if we made our Family Camp tie-dye shirts and I’m hoping they asked because they liked them.
You know I just had the thought maybe they were asking because it’s not easy finding such hideous clothing at actual stores. 
If it’s the second one, don’t tell me, m’kay?
I’ll just proceed now.
Tie-dying at home has always invoked horrible visions, until my daughter brought home this idea from Science Camp. It’s super easy and basically mess-free!
Take a white t-shirt, rubber band and small cup. Place cup inside shirt and put the rubber band over the cloth.  Like so:

Grab some colorful permanent markers-I used Sharpies and draw about a quarter-size design.  You can get creative here.  My daughter did a lot of circles in different colors and my son did some unique shapes (I’m still not sure what to call them!)
Drop about 20 drops of Rubbing Alcohol onto the Sharpie drawings. (If you add too much, it will bleed thru to the back of the shirt-See hubby’s shirt).

Remove the rubber band and pick another spot on the shirt.

Try it.  It’s really fun and it took my kids several hours over a couple of days to make theirs.  A perfect indoor activity!

The Persecuted Church: At My Backdoor (Part 2)

Last week, I told you about the family who escaped religious persecution eleven months ago and ended up living less than 5 minutes from my house. I met them because God stepped in.

On Friday night, we met at Chick Fil A and I was happy to see them drink sweet tea. Because you know how much that means to me. It was a little awkward at first since our hubbies were meeting for the first time and because of the language barrier. But our kids hit it off and played while we sat down to eat.
Normally, I would not like this kind of situation. But nothing about this meeting was normal.
I wish I could have recorded the conversation. I wish you could hear their beautiful Russian accents and the excitement in their voices as they shared the miracles God performed. I wish I could tell you the whole story, but it would take pages to do so. I wish I could adequately explain the impact it made on my hubby and I. We were deeply moved.
And I am sure we will never be the same.
Before I share the details of their story, you must first understand how dangerous it is to be a Christian in Uzbekistan, which is 98% Muslim. Right now, it is one of the most persecuted countries in the world. If someone is caught with two or more religious items (Bible, Christian t- shirt, pamphlet, booklet) they are fined 20 to 100 times their monthly income. If they are caught twice, they are fined 100 to 200 times or sentenced to corrective labor (prison) for up to 3 years. Christians have been fined, imprisoned, beaten for preaching about Jesus.
Here is their story (while I have their permission to share this, these are not their real names): Igor was born in Russia and maintained Russian citizenship even though he moved to Uzbekistan as a young boy. He became a Christian, after his sister viewed The Jesus Video. (When Igor said this, I started crying. I worked for The Jesus Video Project about 15 years ago). Even though it was unlawful, Igor could not hide his love for God and His Word. He began leading summer camps along with his sister’s husband in Uzbekistan. The camps were held as recreational events with the underlying purpose of spreading the Gospel.
Eleven years later, after meeting and marrying Katerina in one of these camps, Igor and his brother-in-law were planting house churches, holding camps and intensely teaching new followers of Christ with Bibles they smuggled in and literature they secretly printed.
In the height of their underground ministry, Igor was arrested and told that he must leave the country within 48 hours (Uzbekistan officials were hesitant to imprison him because he was a Russian citizen). Igor was shocked at his deportation.
He called his wife and told her to pack some things from the house they had just built. After 22 hours, the police told Igor his time was up. He hid in the mountains, but after his look-alike brother was arrested and held hostage until he reappeared, Igor decided to turn himself in. His wife and children hid in a dirty, abandoned apartment.
He was put on an airplane without any belongings, without knowing where he was heading and without his wife, toddler daughter and 15 day old son. The government knew his wife and children would follow because Igor was told they would be killed if they were seen.
(At this point in their story, I’m crying ya’ll, and breathing deeply).
The family finally reunited in Moscow and lived in a one bedroom apartment with 11 other people for a year, facing much hardship. Katerina’s papers expired and could no longer stay in Russia; she had to return to the place of her citizenship: Uzbekistan, where they faced death.
A family without a home, a family without a country.
They found safety at the United Nations as persecuted refugees and came to America, with $200 in their pocket.
For the past year, this amazing family has learned English, a new culture, and a new way of life.
But do you know where their heart is? They are working tirelessly thru the Internet and Skype to continue their ministry and disciple Christians in their heartland.
Their funding runs out at Christmas, so they are trying to raise monthly financial support so they can continue reaching others. My hubby and I feel compelled to help them get into local churches and share their unbelievable story.
God stepped into their lives and although they faced unbelievable suffering for the cause of Christ, they stood firm. I can’t help but wonder what I would do if serving Jesus cost me my life….
Please pray that their financial needs will be met so they can continue to impact Uzbekistan and other parts of the world. I’m hoping to do some kind of blog fundraiser for them in the future. (What do ya’ll think about that?)
Something Igor said moved me, “My arrest and deportation was terrible. And leaving our possessions and our family was very hard, but leaving the work, the ministry and the disciples…that is the hardest, even today.” And he said this knowing they may never see their families again.
I am in awe of their faith and passion for Jesus.
God stepped into my path to remind me what it’s all about. And He’s using this sweet family to turn me inside out.
Part 1 to this story is here.
Part 3 to this story is here.
Part 4 is here.
And you can donate to them here:

Food for the Soul:
“I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”- Psalm 16:8

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-Bathing Beauty Part 2

Welcome to “Sincerely (Humiliated) ‘Fro Me to You!” You can read all about this crazy carnival here.

I’m so glad you’re here, especially after last week (Want to know why I’m sharing these terrible photos, read last week’s post).  You may rethink your decision to stop by after you see this week’s Bathing Beauty photo. But I am here, as your humble servant, to make you smile, laugh, roll-on-the-floor.  
It’s good for your health.
I thought I would end summer with a bang. 
Let’s talk about this photo, shall we:
1. The Black Bar-I used my mad photo editing skills to cover up the inappropriate cleavage produced by my eager elbows. This is a family show, after all.
2. The Hair-It’s ghastly, but my ‘dookie’ roll is in fine form.
3. The Expression-I remember posing for this picture.  I was going for sultry, sexy, stunning!  I look thoughtful, don’t you think?  
4. The Bathing Suit-It was one of those one-piece bikini’s. Remember them?  My Aunt bought it for me at Miller’s Outpost and I felt very grown-up in it.  Look how tiny my tummy is!  When my 35 year old tummy saw my 15 year old tummy, it wanted to throw up! 
5. The Hole- See the little hole cut out in the fence post behind me?  My ingenious Daddy did that so our little toy poodle could leave the patio area and go potty in the grass.  We call that Southern Engineering and while it doesn’t have anything to do with me modeling my gorgeous swimsuit, I thought you’d like to know. 
You are welcome.
Now, you, go:

I Call Him Slugger

My son is playing baseball. For the first time.

He’s got muddy cleats.
A sweat-stained baseball hat.
He’s learned to spit. And adjust.
He surprised us with a love for the game and a small competitive streak.
Huge strides considering he used to be a cross dresser.
He’s done pretty good too.  
Until last week’s game.  He struck out three times.  In a row.
On the third strikeout he took off his batting helmet, threw it to the ground and stomped away.
Not exactly honoring the YMCA sportsmanship pledge on the back of his jersey.
My daughter had a volleyball game going on at the same time, so I missed the spectacle.
But my hubby did not.  He coached him thru his bad attitude and encouraged him out of quitting.  They worked on batting during the week a time or two. And his big sister even encouraged him with stories of her sports failures.  Although she had few, she made sure she mentioned seven times.
I reminded him that everyone has off days and it was just part of the game.
My hubby and I switched places for the next game and he went with my daughter to volleyball and I followed my son to the baseball field.  
He was called first to bat. 
I wrung my hands nervously.  
Since this is YMCA ball, they give the little guys about six pitches. 
The first five, he swung and missed.  
Now, to everyone else this was not a big deal, but I knew it was huge to my little boy.
And I’m telling ya’ll, I prayed and begged so hard, it was just plain wrong.  I mean, The God of the Universe was surely busy on that humid Saturday morning.  But I was desperate and so was my son’s self esteem.
I had my first hot flash on the sidelines.  I rocked back and forth in my seat, willing him to hit the ball.
On the sixth pitch he made contact.  
I stood up and screamed like one of THOSE moms.  I made a complete fool of myself. I almost did a cartwheel.
Be glad I didn’t, mkay?
And there were tears, ya’ll, real tears. I just couldn’t help myself. The look of relief on my son’s face was huge.
He didn’t make any major plays and was caught once picking flowers in the outfield.  But he felt like a winner because he persevered. At one point, he held up the game and in front of all the parents said confidently, “Hey Mom, could you squirt water down my back? I’m working hard here.”
Ahhh, my boy was back and he was  real slugger.
And call me crazy, but I think God was in the stands.