Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Conjuring 2

Me: "Hey, Chris."
Chris: "Yes?"
Me: "Looks like the dog needs to go out. Would you mind?" 
Chris: "Okay. But you're the one standing holding his leash by the door with your shoes on." 
Me: "I know. But it's...well..."
Chris: "Ahhh, it's dark out there. Got it. Knew that scary movie we watched last night was gonna get to you." 
Me: "No way! It's just that I really have to pee...in the well lit bathroom...while avoiding looking in mirrors. I mean, I'm pretty brave. 
Chris: *blink*
Me: *stare convincingly*
Chris: *smile*
Me: "FINE! I'm petrified."

Our good friends at Grace Hill Media came to Michele and me in order to bring you a prize pack for the soon-to-be newly released thriller, The Conjuring 2

With THE CONJURING 2 in theaters this Friday, June 10th, it’s only natural to think about scary movies. For some of us, the thoughts are about avoiding them at all costs, but for others there’s excitement at thinking about getting a good scare from our theater seats.

But what about our kids? Especially at younger ages, they can be truly disturbed if they happen to see something onscreen that frightens them. It may not even be a well-made supernatural horror film like THE CONJURING 2 – certainly not for pre-teens – but could be something they see in one of their favorite cartoons that raises fears.

What can you do as a parent when this happens to your son or daughter? Here are a few tips from the experts at Focus on the Family:

1. The first thing you need to do is sit down with your child and give them the chance to discuss the film openly. Ask them what they saw, what they thought about it, and how it made them feel. Whatever you do, don't make light of their fears or dismiss their feelings as silly or immature. 

2. Once their emotions have been aired, assure your son or daughter that this was only a story, just like the imaginary tales they may have seen in picture story books. Bad things weren’t happening to real people – they were actors playing a pretend game, like they and their friends do.

3. Reassure your child that you, as their parent, are dedicated to protecting them. Let them know that it is one of your most important jobs – ensuring they feel safe and are safe. Reinforce that message with plenty of hugs.

Come to think of it, if you go see THE CONJURING 2 and you’re still a little scared even after the credits roll, feel free to take your favorite stuffed animal to bed with you, too. 

Oh! And I almost forgot. We have prizes! Michele and I are giving away TWO prize packages from The Conjuring 2. Each package contains 2 movie money passes, a leather-bound journal, a T-shirt, a mug and
a flashlight (for taking out the dog) :)

The contest ends on Tuesday June, 14, 2016 at 12:00AM CST


Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Mags: "TUCK! COME HERE! Look at what is on the front door!"
Tuck and Mags: reading silently, followed by boisterous laughter 

Then, without warning, Tuck turned and ran back up the stairs. I didn't know what was happening. Was he upset? Going to the bathroom from laughing so hard? Forget to change his underwear? 

Me: "Tuck, what's the matter? You okay?"
Tuck: (from his room) YEAH! I just have to clean up my Legos, like Hurricane said to do."
Me: fist pump 

Cute puppy for the win! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Mags: "You got us a dog?!? What's his name?"
Me: "His name is Hurricane. What do you think of him?"
Mags: "He's cute. Can we give him a new name?"
Me: "Ummm...well, it's all he answers to, so..."



Me: "Is that rain on our roof or a truck?"
Chris: "Definitely rain. It's pouring out there."
Me: "Oh no! The chickens are outside in the pen, I should go put them in the shed so they won't get drenched."

When you run outside in the torrential rain to get the chickens to put them in the dry shed, but they freak out at your umbrella and get confused and high tail it into the woods which causes you to freak out thinking you'll lose the kids' chickens on Christmas, so you chase them into the woods and end up chest deep in prickers screaming for your husband while covered in prickers, getting soaked, and trying to will the spazzed chickens back to you. Finally your husband arrives to the pricker party, hands you the umbrella you've dropped and tells you to hang on while he gets his camera. You say some not so jolly phrases at him. Then...you both laugh hysterically as the chickens come right to him and go back into the open enclosure where you started this situation. He bounds back into the house to escape the downpour while you're left there to figure out how the heck to escape the prickers. 

But, hey, you have an umbrella. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I dare you to type a scary story in TWO sentences.
Photo credit: http://scriptgeek.com
Please post your stories below in the comments.
Judging will occur on October 29th, 2015.
Winners will be announced at NOON.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pushing Back

Mags: "Mama. 'Member when you used to do all that writing in the morning? Now you just sleep."

It's true. Five years ago, when the children were four and six, every single morning at 5:00 AM my alarm would sound. Soon after the coffee would brew as the keyboard would begin to clatter away effortlessly under my eager fingertips. The days of young children were full of fodder. Spilling it onto the blog became therapeutic. 

And now, five years later, I sleep. The kids' bus comes early, the lunches aren't going to pack themselves (to my dismay) and work always has an invisible rope tugging around my waist. 

However, that does not stop me from WANTING to write. I have multiple stories floating around in my head. They are like buzzing flies in there, but I keep batting them away to the back of my brain. Time is fleeting, after all, and priorities are a must. 

This morning, though, I'm taking a second or two to myself. I read a blog post from my intelligent friend, Becky, which reminded me of something important. Take time. 

So, I'm up early. I made my way downstairs, grabbed a fleece blanket, brewed my decaf and snuggled in with the hum of the warm computer on my lap. I let go of all the "have to get dones" on my list for a moment and made a list of wanna be posts. A list so these ideas won't be forgotten. 

Planes, Koalas and Kangaroos : Our entire trip to Australia and New Zealand.

Mourning Summer : Every year it's bittersweet to start the new school year. This year especially.

Bad Religion : How a hurried explanation made Mags want to run. 

Hell's Kitchen...Bugaj Style : The follies of teaching our son to cook, when I'm not a great cook.

Did You Say...Bumblefoot : How Chris and Tuck saved our favorite chicken's life.

The Day I Decaffed My Life : Decaf is made from dirt.

Hello 2015...Why is There No Self-Packing Brow Bag Lunch Bot : Packing lunches is my nemesis.

The Dog Diaries : Pros and cons of a dog in our life...why are we so darn responsible?

Make a Wish : I blew out my candles on my 38th birthday and got my wish.

NO is Not Spelled Y-E-S : Learning how to say N-O in five easy steps.

Escape Room : A surprise present for my birthday from which I couldn't wait to escape.

Monday, August 3, 2015


 Chris: "At the end of the day, which memory do you want to have? The one where you were too scared to do what challenged you or the one where you kicked its butt?"

Life is full of choices. In fact, lines at an amusement park are full of life lessons. Observation is the key, and honestly, who doesn't like to take in a good people watching session?

First up are the Thrill Seekers. They are buzzing from their last conquests of the highest roller coasters in the park. They are on top of the world and can't wait to go back to do it again once their stomachs return to the proper alignment in their bodies. They'll convince anyone on the edge of trying it to just do it. You only live once and you never know until you try!

Behind them are the Ghost Riders. Their faces tell their stories. They are the ones who tried it to say they tried it, but will never get within 200 yards of the entrance to the ride again. And if you try to ask them about it, they'll stare blankly at you for a few awkward moments before answering, "It was the scariest thing I've ever been on, BUT, I'm glad I did it."

Next up are the Planners. They sit together talking about their NEXT big adventure in the park while waiting to complete the one they're waiting to start. Always looking one step ahead, never fully enjoying the moment in which they are standing.  

Then there are the Hemmers and Hawers. They sit and listen. If someone mentions one of the rides they've been carefully considering for hours, they'll ask about it. "How was it? Scary?" The danger for these people is that their decisions are based on the general concensus, rather than searching within themselves.

Finally,  there are the Naysayers. They stay on the same two rides all day.  They know every twist and turn that will be thrown at them. They're ready. To spice up their day, they rebelliously sit on the handrail and don't get down when it's asked of them 20 times over the scratchy sound system.  

So, as we entered King's Dominion with our 48 inch girl and 53.5 inch boy, we were ready to take it all on together. We are the Thrill Seekers. Well, three-quarters of us were that is. Always keeping us guessing, our "finally able to ride the big roller coasters" girl was not having it. She appeased us by going on the first coaster called the Grizzly. When it finished, she joined Team Ghost Rider.

To be honest, as the parents of the girl who took on The Tower of Terror at age THREE with such confidence and sass, we were completely baffled. This was also the child who cried watching her brother go on roller coasters last year, begging us to stuff her shoes to boost her the final two inches she needed. Now, the moment she waited for "her whole entire life" was here...and she was frozen. Switching teams on us. 

After trying to talk to her about it, rationalize her fear, reassure her she would not get hurt, remind her of how much fun she had in past and how sad she was she missed those adventures, she would not budge.  We urged her to actually sit on one of the coasters with the option of walking through if she couldn't do it. That happened multiple times. She had made up her mind. And so we let her have her moment. 

But, then, my husband said the above words to both the kids. It stuck with our 53.5 inch boy (one-half an inch too short for the tallest coaster in the park). All day he rode the top level thrill rides with excitment and ease. But, being a sensitive guy, he also empathized with his sister's new found fear. So, he took the time to go on rides WITH her as well. We warmed her up. We started small. He helped us rebuild her confidence.

After an hour of this, Chris and I decided to switch off and ride some of the restricted-to-our-kids coasters. As we waited for him, the kids and me found a ride that was a step above the others. The Bad Apple. It was high. It twisted. And most importantly, it was HER decision. She was hooked. When we got off, she was ready.

Something clicked. So, we went with it and let her lead the way to her next conquest. Much like the Bad Apple, she chose The Scrambler. It was fast. It jolted you around violently. It was a blast!

It was her favorite...UNTIL...

The Stunt Coaster. This was her first attempt on another coaster after the Grizzly...and many hours. It seemed harmless. There were no big drops, no loops, no rickety motions. However, it was FAST. And once the speed started, it didn't let up for the full course. Sitting behind her and Chris, I couldn't see her face. When we finished, she threw her arms in the air and screamed AGAIN! Her brother wasted no time convincing her that if she could do that one, she could do The Anaconda (his favorite at the time). 

She considered it for a minute, and then repeated what Chris had told her earlier.
"Okay, Tuck, I'll try it. Cause if I don't, I'll never know if I would have liked it." 

After one time riding The Anaconda, she was back to team Thrill Seeker. Four times later, she was leading the way. Not only did her bravery really make an impact on us, but also her brother. Our 53.5 inch boy had been going back and forth about one ride in particular all day.  A 305 foot tower drop. He was tall enough, but not sure he had the guts to do it. I think watching his sister really inspired him, because not soon after, he announced, 

"Okay. I'm gonna do it. I'm going on the Drop Tower." 

With that, he marched himself into the line. Chris followed in amazement and off they went. Soon they were loaded onto the ride and after they were checked and double checked by the park employees, Tuck mouthed to me, "I can't believe I'm doing this." 

 I watched them rise up higher and higher. I was dying from anticipation waiting to see his reaction after the release and free fall. I didn't have to wait long. 

He got off the ride screaming, "YES! YES! I'm so glad I did that!" 

We soaked in every single minute of that park's open hours. At 9:45, fifteen minutes before closing, we ran to our final ride. There we sat on the Stunt Coaster, where all four of began together as Team Thrill Seeker, ending our day in absolute victory. 

Thanks, King's Dominion. We came. We made memories. 
We challenged ourselves. We kicked butt!

Goooooo, Team Thrill Seekers!