Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I recently read a blog called “Facebook is Making Us Miserable” that talked about the negative aspects of Facebook we sometimes don’t consider. In addition to Facebook being a time-waster (which we all didn’t need someone to tell us that!), it talks about how users’ tendency to post mostly-positive information can create jealousy, comparison and unhealthy competition among friends.

I am guilty of this positive-only posting. When I consider which picture to post on Facebook its usually the most flattering one that I choose. I’m an off-the-chart optimist and can’t stand complaining, so you’ll rarely hear anything negative from me, even if I’m currently struggling with something. I consider Facebook a fun, superficial place to interact with friends so I only occasionally post anything serious. Of course, I don’t think the solution is for us all to post mundane stuff (“just wiped my nose for the 3rd time today!”). Nor do I think it should be a venue to air all of our complaints and annoyances. Yes, Facebook is shallow. Public places are supposed to be shallow and filtered and Facebook is a public place. We don’t talk about our bowel movements with the cashier at Wal-Mart do we? The correct answer, hopefully, is no.

My life is not perfect. I assume everyone knows this but in light of aforementioned blog, I’d like to alleviate any confusion and clear up any misgivings anyone might have due to being my Facebook friend. Here are some things you should know:

We don’t have a ton of money. Tiff and I have all of our needs met but please understand we are a one-income family of five and I’m not a doctor or lawyer. Sometimes we wonder how we’re going to pay for stuff and pretty regularly we go into “lock-down” mode a few days before our next paycheck. We have nice things – a great house, good cars, etc. But many of the nicer things we have were acquired under special circumstances. For instance, the family car we currently drive is something we never could have afforded if our last one hadn’t gotten totaled by a guy with good insurance. God blesses us and takes care of us financially so we’re not going to go around posting about any negative financial situations. But please know that we, like everyone else, live on a tight budget and it can be stressful at times.

Our kids don’t always act right. We love our children and they’re really good kids. We make an effort to discipline them consistently while loving them unconditionally. However, our kids are like all kids and from time to time they have bad attitudes, misbehave and do immature things. When I post a picture of them on Facebook, they are smiling and happy, not angry and throwing things. That smiley, happy picture was posed. What you don’t see in that pic is me threatening them with their very lives if they don’t HURRY UP AND SMILE SO I CAN GET A FREAKIN PICTURE OF THEM WITH THEIR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER!

My marriage requires a lot of work. I love my wife so much it scares me. We do have a great marriage but I gotta say we work really hard at it. We decided years ago that we were going to “live to out-give” each other and that’s not always fun. Its very normal for me to not do something I want to do for the sake of peace in our marriage. I’ve given up possible job changes, don’t watch as much sports as I want to, don’t spend money on certain hobbies, etc. all in order to invest in “us” instead of just “me.” And she does the same – she works really hard to lay her life down for me as well. Sometimes it gets difficult and we have to hash out disagreements and issues that come up. So when you see that pic of us smiling or that gooey sweet post about being each other’s soul mate, realize that I don’t post about the times when we disagree on a money or parenting issue. Neither do I post a pic of me not doing housework cause I’m too self-absorbed to realize she feels overwhelmed. But those things do happen.

I don’t always feel confident. Just like you, I sometimes question the path I’m on. I wonder if I have what it takes to make it in this world and I question if I’m truly doing what God has called me to do. Sometimes I don’t feel fulfilled. Other times I’m confident. Sometimes I hear clearly from God. Other times I don’t. So if something I post on Facebook make you think “Wow, Jamie has is figured out” then please know that I don’t. And I know good and well that I never will. And that’s OK.

In light of all of this, you need to know that I’m not going to change how I post on Facebook. My pictures will be posed and will be as flattering as possible. The quotes from my kids will be cute and funny, not disrespectful and angry. I will post the cool revelation I might get during my prayer time, but I won’t post every time I don’t get anything from God. So in case you’re ever tempted to compare your life to mine or anyone else’s, please know that Facebook does not give you the whole picture and should not be used as a measuring stick as to whether or not you’re doing OK in life!

Happy superficial posting!

Ok, on to the last of kids’ the “isms” posts. Now its time for the list of funny quotes we keep for our youngest son, Isaac. If you haven’t already, check out the lists for my other children, Ethan and Eva. To be honest, this seems a little premature as Isaac just turned 5 and this list is just starting to get good. Maybe as we keep adding stuff, I can post updates.

Here is the current list of “Isaacisms”:

Mommy, look I have big nibbles (while holding Tiff’s bra against his chest)

No, you can’t find it cause its white and we can’t see the color white.

I need some piracy (privacy – while using the bathroom)

Isaac: “I need my blanket to cover up my pirates because my pirates are big.” Tiff: “What made your pirates big?” Isaac: “I had not one, but two cupcakes at school today and cupcakes make my pirates big.” (pirates = privates)

Tiff: “Isaac, this is the day that the Lord has made.” Isaac: “Nope that was yesterday. But I do have Joyce in my heart.”

Drinking Coke gives me nightmares.

(Grabs Tiff face and makes her look at him) Mommy, you’re not Jesus.

Mommy, come! There’s a Hotmergency!

Oh gosh, my heart! (while holding his chest after getting startled)

It was a ask-a-dent. (accident)

Meany meany miney mo, taco potty potty toe

Isaac: Are we real? Jamie: Yes. Isaac: Dang it!

It rained so much today the ground is soaked in wet. (soaking wet)

Who dares disturb my lumber? (slumber)

Tiff: You only have 2 more days of school left til summer! (Isaac reaches his hands down his pants) Tiff: What are you doing? Isaac: I’m squeezing my nuts for joy!

Mommy, pray that the cross will go in my heart. And pray that I will have a piece of blood in my heart. (the peace of God)

(As Tiff gets up to leave after putting an almost-asleep Isaac to bed) Isaac: Mommy, what does the word ‘situation’ mean? Tiff: I don’t know how to explain that word to you right now. Isaac: Come on, for real?  You’re older than fourteen so you HAVE to know.

I am currently posting some of the funny sayings my children have said over the years. My wife and I keep a running list for each child and we frequently revisit them for a good laugh and to add to them. I already posted quotes from my oldest son, Ethan. Now we turn to my middle child – my precious daughter Eva.

Here is the current list of “Eva-isms”:

Look, its Panda! (Pointing to Santa)

Daddy, Mommy washed your wonderbear! (underwear)

(Crying) I can’t see my neck! (Yes, she was genuinely upset to the point of tears that she couldn’t see her neck. We had to get a mirror for her.)

Eva: I want ice cream. Jamie: You have to eat real food first. Eva: I want real ice cream.

(After passing gas) I just breathed out of my bottom. My bottom took a breath.

Jamie: How does Jesus come into your heart? Eva: He goes in through your eyes and slides down the back of your throat.

Eva: Jesus lives up there (in the sky). Tiff: Yeah but if you ask Him, he’ll come live in your heart. Eva: No, my heart is all full with apple juice, milk and water.

My nose is running – I need a tennis shoe (tissue).

Mommy, I have a nut in my hair. (a knot)

I spy something black. (while playing “I spy” in the wal-mart checkout line, pointing at the black lady that was the cashier)

(Singing) ABCDEFG,HIJakin, little bit of pee…

Today was free drugs day at school. (Drug-free day)

“Your love is amazing, tacos and some bacon…”  (Singing the praise song that goes, “Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging.”)

Mommy, Jesus took our sickness so we don’t have to be sick…and He still has it. He’s just got it.  And He died for us too. He’s just sittin’ there dead.

Ow, my balls! (After getting hit in the privates while playing)

I mean, why do we keep growing? Its not like we’re magic or anything.

Mommy, I don’t have much cents. (While counting her money in her piggy bank)

Never trust a man who cuts the grass.

The President of the United States is Brock O’Bottom.

ethanisms

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Family
Tags: , , ,

When Tiffany and I found out we expecting our first child about 9 months into our marriage, we had no idea what to expect. We were so young – she was 20 and I was 21 – and all we knew was that if the people we saw in Wal-mart could be parents then surely we could do it! Three kids later we have said and heard some crazy stuff. Thankfully, over the years we’ve kept a running list of some of the things each of our children have said that we always wanted to remember. Some of the things we wrote down are inside jokes and wouldn’t make sense to most people, and some are downright inappropriate in a public forum. But I’ve collected the ones I thought people might appreciate and posted them here for you’re enjoyment.

So without further adieu, here are quotes from my oldest son that we affectionately call “Ethanisms”:

Poppy’s had some college! (after my Dad buckled him in his car seat correctly after struggling a bit)

I want some more goldfish. (At Captain D’s)

Mommy, this is my pee pee. Sometimes its little, sometimes its big!

(Bent down yelling at a roly poly) Go faster, bug! Go faster! GO!! *steps on and squashes it in anger* Uh-oh.

(To Tiff while she was pregnant) Mommy, you’re getting so big as the whole world.

(Talking to Tiff’s pregnant tummy) Baby, when are you gonna come out of there? To Tiff: She said Saturday. (And Eva was born on a Saturday!)

My Mom: Ethan, do you like your new sister? Ethan: Yes, but she doesn’t have any legs. (After seeing his sister for the first time wrapped up in her blanket)

Our baby cries too much. We’re going to take her back and get a new one.

Ethan: When I get bigger as a mommy, I’ll change Eva’s diaper. But when you get smaller you can’t do it anymore. Tiff: I’m not getting smaller. Ethan: Yes you are.

Tiff’s mom: Ethan, where’s your other goldfish? Ethan: We took him to the toilet. (After one of his goldfish died.)

(While playing a video game where you collect peaches) Ethan: Mommy, how many peaches do I have? Tiff: 71. Ethan: When I was a child, 71 was my football number.

(Singing) If you’re happy and you know it, spill your drink.

Daddy, I feel like you’re my best friend. Sam [my brother] is my best fighting friend. Mommy, you’re my best girlfriend. Eva, too.

Dear Jesus please sleep on my head so I can be tect. (Trying to pray that the blood Jesus would cover his mind and protect him while he sleeps)

God made the whole world and if you steal his bread he gets really mad.

Jamie: What do you wanna be when you grow up? Ethan: I wanna be a really big dog.

(After looking at a drawing Ethan did a at church) Jamie: Who is that? Ethan: It’s the Happy Ghost. Jamie: Who?! Ethan: You know –  the Father, the Son, and the Happy Ghost.

(After walking outside to play and its raining) Aww, rain! You can’t play with my toys anymore!

(Praying) Dear Jesus please bless the food and I hate to say this but help us eat all night.

(While eating a banana) Mommy, you see this brown part at the bottom? That’s where the banana goes poopoo.

When I watch that video, my mind just goes crazy.

Yes, Eva, that’s Santa Claus but he died a very long time ago.

You know whats funny about me? I don’t like potatoes but I love ketchup. And ketchup is made from potatoes.

Daddy, I wanna do community. You know with crackers. (Talking about taking communion)

(After a coughing fit) Mommy, I know they’ll make me hyper, but I think I need to take my asteroids. (steroids)

Isaac, there are two reasons I love you: 1) because I have to 2) because you’re so snuggly! (talking to Isaac as a newborn)

(After listening to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen) That made my ears curl.

(After Isaac jumps on his stomach) Ouch, my contestants! (intestines)

Ethan (while eating a cheese stick): Mommy, what is cheese made from?  Tiff: It’s made from milk.  Ethan: So right now I’m eating the pee that comes from the gutters! (udders)

I put my dirty clothes in my hamster.

I’ve been big on the fancy words since like, umm, Monday (said Tuesday after using the word melodramatic)

Daddy, I’m ready for you to put me to sleep. But not like they do to cats and dogs.

Wanna have a laugh at my expense?

I told this story to our church congregation some time ago and I still get reminded of the “curse of the blue solo cup.” Whenever, you’re feeling down and feel like things can’t get any worse, just remember at least you didn’t drink your child’s pee.

First of all, you need to know something about me – I’ve got this thing about drinking after people. I don’t consider myself a very quirky person but this is a major idiosyncrasy for me. I don’t like drinking after anyone. Not even family. Yeah, I’ll drink after my wife but only if I have to. My youth group at church is always grossing me out with all their drink sharing. On a regular basis, they’ll act like they drank out of my cup just to mess with me. They know I’ll bust them in the head if they do. If they ask for something I’m drinking, I’ll usually just give the rest to them. Its that big a deal to me.

So one day I had a pretty bad headache. I went to the get the ibuprofen in the kitchen and couldn’t find the cup I had been drinking out of that day (I’ll sometimes keep a cup for a few days to cut down on washing dishes). I saw a plastic blue solo cup sitting next to the kitchen sink and knew it wasn’t mine – probably my wife’s or one of the kids. Still couldn’t find my cup. I stared at the blue solo cup. At this point I thought, Ok Jamie, it makes no sense to get a new cup when there is a perfectly good one next the to kitchen sink. Yes a family member probably drank out of it but come on, this is getting stupid. It won’t kill you to drink after a family member. So I put some water in it, took my ibuprofen and put it back. No big deal.

A few hours later Tiffany and I were in the kitchen and she said to me “Oh by the way don’t drink out of the blue cup next to the sink.” What? I looked at her with this deer-in-headlights look. “Why?” I asked. She knew what had happened by the look on my face and began to crack a smile. “Did you really drink out of it?” she said, although by the time the last part of the sentence had left her mouth she was in a full-fledged laugh. I didn’t have to say anything more. She knew I did. “So what was wrong with it?” I asked. No answer – she was still laughing. “Tiff, what was wrong with it?” I said I little bit more agitated. “Ok,” she said “don’t be mad but in the middle of the night last night Ethan evidently had to pee but instead of going to bathroom, he just used the cup next to his bed. I poured it out and put it next to the sink.”

Wow. And I was freaked out that I might come in contact with some saliva. Then the stupidity of this whole thing began to hit me. “Tiff,” I asked, “why in the world would you leave Ethan’s pee cup next to the kitchen sink instead of throwing it out? And why in the world would you not at least rinse it out?!”

She had no answer. Only tears of laughter.

So I learned a few things from this experience:

  1. Trust your quirks. They are there for a reason.
  2. Part of the beauty of parenthood is its ability to humble us.
  3. Don’t drink out of unlabeled blue solo cups sitting next to your sink.

Want a bible verse to tie this all together? Try Job 3:25 – “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” Ok, so it wasn’t on the same level as Job’s sufferings.

But you gotta admit, it was pretty gross.

I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary this past weekend. To commemorate the event, my wife Tiffany and I got wedding ring tattoos. Yeah it hurt, but it wasn’t unbearable – just like marriage 🙂

Thank you, Lord for giving me such an incredible woman of God. Here’s to 50 more!

I was blessed enough to spend this past labor day at the beach with my family.  The kids and cousins had a great time playing together and I got to watch Bama open up a can on Clemson.

Though I had a good time, I’m not much of a beach person.  I love being there with the familiar sights, sounds and smells, but I I don’t like the actual beach unless the waves are big. Staying in the sun for any amount of time will make me miserable due to my amazing propensity for getting sunburned. Gee thanks, English heritage. Seriously – 15 minutes without sunblock and I’m toast. I can spend 2 hours outside covered with SPF 50 and still be red. I’ve jokingly said before that I even get moon burn at night. 🙂

I think the beach probably makes a lot of us aware of our physical faults. I’ve often struggled with the fact that I burn so easily while others, including my perfectly bronzed wife, tan so easily. Not just that, but I am also – oh how shall we say it – “husky.”  I’ve been told over and over I’m not fat. But I’m definitely not skinny either. For the best weight scale I’ve ever seen, please see this. (Caution: Rated PG). Bottom line, when I shop for clothes, I immediately look in the back of the rack or the bottom of the pile!

I know guys are not supposed to be concerned about this kind of stuff, but I do think about it regularly. Sometime during my mid-twenties it hit me: I seem to have inherited practically every negative body trait a man can have. Pale, pudgy, hairy, early gray hair, and thinning hair. Really, we all know guys with a few of these traits, but all 5 in one single specimen?! Geez…

So one day while away at a men’s conference I was bemoaning this fact. I don’t remember exactly why, but I was walking by myself back to my cabin and grumbling on the inside about how I inherited all the bad genes. My brother got the premature gray thing too but he’s thin and tans. You’d think I could maybe only have half of them. If I could at least stay out in the sun it would make the others tolerable. And whats up with this freakin’ back hair?! My friends eat as much or more than me but they don’t get fat. Poor me. Grey and thinning! I’m not even 30 yet. Sigh.

As I was walking back to my room, I heard the voice of God speak to me and say “I think you’re pretty!” I stopped dead in my tracks. Now lets just get this out of the way – no, I didn’t hear an audible voice. But it overwhelmed every other thought that I was having at the time and while it sounded like my thoughts, it just wasn’t me. It came from somewhere else.  After a 5 second pause for comprehension, I burst out laughing. See, the way He said it was amazing. With one sentence he told me how much He loved me, jolted me out of my pity party, reminded me to keep perspective on the natural vs. the spiritual, and made a joke (what guy wants to hear they are “pretty?”). It was exactly what I needed.

You know what? God thinks you’re pretty, too. You may not have the body you want and you may struggle with your shortcomings and inadequacies, but God thinks you’re pretty. He doesn’t see your faults and failings and He’s not into beating you up about them.  He’s not comparing you to everyone else. Yes, He loves you enough that that He will work with you on those things that you don’t like about yourself and the stuff you need to change. But He is much more concerned about your inner beauty. The physical body I have now is just temporary. Some of the stuff I don’t like about it are changeable and some I just can’t help. But I’m determined to live “pretty” – to have beautiful feet (Isaiah 52:7) as I live my life loving others unconditionally the way that God loves me.

God thinks I’m pretty. I could lose weight, buy spray-on tanner, wax my chest, dye my hair and do hair restoration, but if I don’t live pretty I won’t ever really be pretty.  Maybe I’ll do both. But even if my body stays how it is now, boy, am I gonna look good throughout all eternity!