How To Really Laugh

[Note: We are learning how to really live together. This isn’t an instruction guide. The posts in this series are my open journal. Please include your thoughts in the comments. Let’s find out together how to really live!]

So. The other night one of my kids referred to The Passing of Gas. Only they didn’t quite say it like that. I was offended by the slang word they used and tried to think of a more appropriate word.

Because, y’all, it happens.

But we can still refer to it with class, ya know? Stick with me, there’s a point.

I was at a loss for just the right word and so I asked my hunk-o-man what his family said when such an occurrence happened.

And he looked a bit sheepish, running his thick hand thru his hair.
(He’s a stud, did I mention that?)

“We grew up saying “I let a windy.”

Yes, you read that right,


Alone, those four simple words aren’t funny, but formed together and so unexpected, well, I ROLLED ON THE FLOOR.


We laughed and laughed and hiccuped from all the laughing. It was so inappropriate –this appropriate wording– coming from my handsome MAN. Oh and also, the conversation had to be CHANGEd. Because kids like to talk about this sort of thing.

But that’s how I want to really laugh.

Except in church. Because that is bad, y’all. [sidenote: why do I usually feel this kind of laughter bubbling up IN CHURCH?]

I’m pretty sure I added a year to my life that night because I felt younger and vibrant and happy from all that laughing.

Did you know that there are 42 verses on laughter in the Bible?

Plus, it’s proven to make your health better.

And, let’s be honest, it’s better than the alternative: crying, controlling, complaining…

So, how do we really laugh-not the mechanics of physical laughter, but the letting go:

Live in the Moment

Lighten Up

Let Yourself Have Fun

Live-we only have today-this moment. We spend so much our present worrying about the past or planning for the future that often forget to just stop and live. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Lighten Up-If you like to control things (like me) then it’s time to lighten up. I have missed so many opportunities to laugh because I was sticking to the rules or propriety. I’m learning that letting go of control is about being more carefree.

Let– yourself have fun! If you ask my kids to define their parenting roles, they would say their dad is the fun parent. Mom takes care of everything. I want to change this. I want to give myself permission to leave it all-right there on the table or stuffed under their beds.

How do you (get to the place where you can) really laugh let a windy?

See? That’s funny. You should laugh.


  1. 2


    First of all, hilarious! I am literally laughing my head off right now. I have never heard that expression, but will now NEVER forget it! I have been learning a LOT about lightening up lately. I feel like God has really been hammering that point home for me through many sources. Thanks for being another one…and for making me laugh so hard! :)

  2. 3


    I love laughing like that. While we have to lighten up to be open to those moments, I don’t think they can be procured. They just seem to show up spontaneously and I love it when they do. That’s hilarious about your husband. I’d have been ROTFL, too!

  3. 4


    Okay…SMALL world. I have visited your blog a few times and I think even got a craft off TIP Junkie from you one time. The silhouettes on cake boards? Was that you? I’ve yet to finish them, but I will! ha!

    Anyway, I was reading my friend’s blog and she said she met you – Bud and Kim? They are from my town and went to our church some when they lived here. They have an amazing thing going on in Kenya and I’ve heard mention of Mercy House through other blogs and twitter some I think. What an AWESOME thing God is doing through you guys. Can’t wait to see ALL that He will do through the lives of these girls. Consider me a prayer partner, sister!

    And do you tweet? What’s your screen name?

  4. 6


    I let a windy! HAHAHAHAHAA!! Oh my goodness, that is just too funny. My son says he “tooted” but I don’t know if that word would work with older kids (he’s only 2). Tooted may just be as funny as windy.

  5. 7


    we grew up saying I did bubbles, cause that’s what they are in the tub, where we would first notice them. Which is a step up from My grandmother who would say “I shot a duck”

  6. 8


    ROFL……oh wow, that did make me laugh out loud. And the comments too! 😀 My Mom always said “blew a bullet”…..typing that is making me laugh so hard that I’m crying. Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 9


    Oh that’s funny!!! We call it a skunk!!! “Please say excuse you for that terrible skunk.” Is not an uncommon expression about here… and always elicits squeals of laughter from the perpetrator and the victims!!! Great post as usual… I know I need to find the fun!!!

  8. 10

    Linsay says

    I know I need to loosen up and laugh more and my kids remind me often. I guess I am having a hard time letting go. Tonight while reading that post….I got a great laugh. I also was taken back to my childhood best friends house where they said “I poofered”… And then I laughed even harder!!! Thanks for the giggles!!!

  9. 13


    Yes! Laughter is the glue that keeps me together, I think. That is what I loved about your blog from the very beginning, K, that you are always able to laugh at yourself and your family! This is what I want to be like when I am a mom!!

  10. 14


    When a good belly laugh is needed in our house, someone starts a game of tag . . . windy tag that is! ROTFLOL! Chaos ensues, especially if I start the game since I am the serious one. And in our house, “I have a secret” is code for “I’m ABOUT to let a windy!”

      • 14.1.1


        But of course! My 11yo (who is small for his age) is notorious for saying, “I need a hug,” crawling in your lap and with arms tight around your neck saying, “AND I have a secret to share!” which gets him immediately dumped in the floor or chunked across the room depending on who his victim is!

  11. 17


    We call them “poots” here. Our “Pooter-Pooter-Six-Shooter” is quite proficient. I accidentally called her “Farticus” the other day and I’m hoping that DOESN’T stick.

  12. 18

    Mary says

    What memories you just stirred up–that’s what our family called them when we were small! I’ll have to share this with my sister! Thanks for the laughter!

  13. 19


    I did laugh at that. One of our kids said “I burped in my bottom” when they were little. So that has stuck.

    Church laughing is the hardest to stop, and I get started easily, especially if one of my kids is the one who starts.

  14. 20

    Emily says

    I’m laughing so hard reading all of the comments that tears are literally streaming down my cheeks! Thanks, everyone, for the laughs. I may use a few of those phrases in my house. I have a husband and two boys (2 and 6 years old)-we have a lot of “wind” in my house.

  15. 22


    We used the phrase “I let a windy!” growing up – my mom didn’t like f_rt… (even now I don’t use it around my husband!) Acutally, the most common used phrase around our house was SBD- silent but deadly! Whew… those could sure clear a room QUICKLY!

  16. 23


    LOL… Thank you! This brought up memories of my (now 25 year old) nephew “oops I burped my hiney!”. One of our family favorites is to use the “OH Red Baby!” line from The Pacifier… It usually is “OH Red Daddy!” or “OH Red Buddy!” (The Dog!)

    My kids are full of bubbles…and I usually just laugh and tell them to say “Oh! (Act shocked!) Pardon Me!” LOL

    At *my* house growing up…Daddy tooted all the time but we did NOT acknowledge the toot…nor did I EVER hear my Mom toot! (Bless their hearts, they were married in 1957. People just didn’t DO THAT then!) Maybe that is why we are so wild with the tooting now… LOL It just all hangs out here at the Best household!

  17. 24

    AmberK says

    Kristen, oh the can of worms you just opened! LOL This has been too dern funny! I giggled at SO many of the comments too…I needed this. Thank you for following your heart on the laughter post. :) Feels SO VERY GOOD.

    But I have a confession “ya’ll”…we use the f@r_ word at our house. I’m sorry, Oh how sorry I am! But I’m the only girl amongst my manly hubby and three sons, okay? I have to choose my battles. When they were little they said tooted and pooted but now it is the big ol’ f word. And…and….and I laugh at it, too, ok? I’m sorry but I do!!! It’s their laughter that makes me laugh-I swear it’s contagious!!!!!! It’s not my fault!!!!! (ROFL!!)

    Kristen, you have my complete admiration-your servant heart…LOVE it!

    Hugs & Prayers & Encouragement & LAUGHTER,

  18. 26


    Whenever my husband “toots” he says “Did you hear those barking spiders?!” My 3 kids, 3,6 & 9, just get eachother going. How do you “let ‘er rip” on command??? I’ve never figured it out but my kids seem to be able to, for when one “breaks wind” they all start giggling hystarically and follow suit!

    The best is when my 1 darling daughter “let’s one” and then giggles and says, “I STINK!” Aren’t they supposed to “smell like roses” when they’re your own? Well, no matter how you “cut the cheese” they all stink…well, you know, except for the “SBDs” (aka Silent But Deadly).

    Snicker, snicker, snort, snort…oops did I just laugh so hard that “it slipped out”?

  19. 28


    When I was little, I heard a noise and asked loudly, “You burp in your pants, Daddy?” We didn’t talk about it much in my family, but this phrase definitely came back when someone wanted to mention that subject!!

  20. 30

    Amy Clark says

    I have laughed out loud in church countless times. ANYTHING is funny in church – especially if it is something that shouldn’t be funny. EXPECIALLY if someone f@r-s during the church service. Did I mention that I’m the pastor’swife and sit up in the front with my three children? My poor 9 year old daughter has given me the elbow so many times! It usually just makes me laugh even harder!

  21. 31


    ROFL right there with ya :-) Growing up, my family called passing gas ‘freddie’. I have no clue why. One day, there was a special at church – someone with a puppet and they were calling the little program ‘Freddy for Jesus’. Can you imagine three little kids snickering?! I still crack up whenever I think about it. Thanks for the laugh today!

  22. 32


    Too funny! I’m laughing out loud at work! I often find myself laughing at inappropriate times, like church, and then when I finally stop, if I think about it I start all over again!

  23. 33

    Joy says

    I thought my house growing up was the only place that said, “You let a windy.” Glad to hear that wasn’t so unusual. Funny to read all the different commets. I teach small children and it gets quite hilarious in the classroom sometimes – especially when they want to sit and talk about passing gas.

  24. 34

    Sharilyn says

    “Bubble Toots” here at our house. When my firstborn daughter first recognized this body function (age 2 1/2), she was in the bathtub and thought she had actually tooted (#2) in the tub. When she turned around to see, she was amazed to find nothing there. “oh, mama, it was only a bubble toot” . She loved blowing bubles and so that’s how this phase stuck.

  25. 35


    we call it “tuting” :)

    I also am trying to not take myself to seriously in order to laugh more and enjoy this life here on earth. I keep forgetting that I must model how really live life, this thought helps me give myself permission to “let go” of all the “hats” I have to wear in a day and try to have more fun!

    Love this post

  26. 37


    I am LAUGHING!!! Gas is funny. You are funny also…on a different level than gas, naturally. More of an intelligent humor.

    Anyway, thanks for the laugh! And the reminder to LIGHTEN UP FOR PETE’S SAKE! Yes, I’m yelling…AT MYSELF!

  27. 38


    Love this!
    Laughter is the love language of the Gerken household. I just wrote a post about “snapshots of love” in our family…and laughter was a definite them throughout. We’ve had plenty of tears…don’t get me wrong. But, our favorite thing to do is laugh. My husband and boys have grown quite accustomed to making me laugh with their dry wit, and creative one-liners. They can even be a bit ornery and love to good-naturedly tease! Laughter is one of the gifts God has used to carry our family through the not-so-funny moments as well. And…I’m so grateful for that gift.

    Here’s my post sharing a little more about that:

  28. 39


    I had no clue there were so many non-offensive terms for that other word we don’t say here either! :-)

    My little guys just tell me they “made gas” — it’s not something we discuss a lot in our household. But I’m going to save the skunk idea in case I need it later. With three boys, I’m afraid I might!

  29. 40


    I first heard the term “let a windy” when I was little from a friend of mine. I had NO idea what she was talking about and thought that was the weirdest way to talk about “tooting”, which is what my family called it. It didn’t help one bit that I had a cousin named “Wendy”. No, that didn’t help at all. :)

  30. 41


    “Let a windy” made me laugh so hard I nearly spit out my coffee. I’m going to have to share that with my family. I hope my 8-year-old will use that instead of the more offensive slang that starts with f and rhymes with start! LOL

    And I totally love those moments where we’re all just laughing so hard we’re about to bust a gut. I cherish those. :)

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