Tag Archives: humor

Too Much of a Good Thing

I love Halloween. Kids in costumes, glowing pumpkins, roasting seeds, raiding the kids’ candy stash. What’s more fun than that?

Last year, I loved it way more than Leo did. I forced / bribed him into his monkey costume. (Pro Tip: Saying, “Do you want candy? Yes? Then get in this costume!” is not bribery; it’s an incentive system.)

This year, I’m not sure how Leo feels about Halloween. But I know how he feels about his giraffe costume: Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family, Your Moment of Leo

Minnesota Nice: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!


You know how, when you anticipate sharing an experience with your children, you build it up in your mind? You picture the joy on their faces. You imagine the wonder and delight. You think, “This is the stuff memories are made of.”

And then, you actually do that memory-making thing. And most of the time, it doesn’t quite match up with beautiful picture you created in your mind. For example, you definitely did not picture this much weeping and whining and wailing, or this many dollars flying out of your wallet. I have been there, fellow memory-makers. It can be rough.

The upside is, when the vision and the reality do match up, it is even sweeter. Such was the case last weekend, when the Cumings family attended The Fourteenth Annual Prairie Winds Kite Fly!

It sounded whimsical. It sounded magical. It sounded like a fun, inexpensive family outing on a beautiful (and windy) fall day. And guess what? It was. It really was! Continue reading

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How to Wash Dishes with a Three-Year-Old

Image from page 75 of "The boy's camp book; a guidebook based upon the annual encampment of a boy scout troop; the second of a series of handy volumes of information and inspiration" (1914)

1. Set your three-year-old up with a snack at the kitchen table.

2. Fill the sink with hot, soapy water and dirty dishes.

3. Put on your dish washing gloves.

4. Admit, “Yes, I’m doing dishes!” when the three-year-old asks. Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family, Your Moment of Leo

Better Together

Look what popped up in my The Eye of Facebook Sees All (Pro Tip: “On This Day”) today:


Caption from 2013: “She’s really good at giving him his pacifier.”

Caption from 2016: “My babies! They were so little! And now they’re so big! They are so beautiful! I need to give them the biggest hugs tonight!”


I knew that I wanted to have a second child for my own selfish reasons. (Including, but not limited to, getting people to stop asking, “When are you going to have another one?”) I knew I would love reading and singing and talking and playing with our new baby. I knew I would love watching him learn and grow. I knew he would bring more joy, more wonder, more crazy into our lives.

I did not know– Continue reading

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Filed under All in the Family

Balloon Drops for President

I’ve been too busy Poppinsing (Pro Tip: of course it’s a word!) this week to catch much of the Democratic National Convention. Luckily, I have the internet to keep me up to date on the most important moments of the week.

For example, the balloon drop.

Seriously, friends, click on that link right now for all the Clinton balloon drop GIFs and memes you never knew you needed. They are truly delightful.

The photos are pretty great, too. For example: Continue reading

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Filed under Marvelous Miscellany

Survey Says: Guilt and Floss and Family Feud

FSU freshmen playing bridge in Tallahassee

The Fox’s Pizza Den in Madelia has it all:

They have, of course, delicious pizza and stromboli.

They have a popcorn machine.

They have games.

As we waited for our pizza and stromboli last week, we munched on popcorn and busted out a box of Family Feud game cards. Zoe decided to read the questions. I decided that the positive (reading practice) outweighed the negative (reading questions like, “What is a cocktail that is also a person’s name?”). Although, Pro Tip: Knowing what a Tom Collins is–heck, knowing what a cocktail is–will totally give you a head start in second grade.

It was all fun and games (see what I did there?) for a while. Cocktails with people names; things in your kitchen you couldn’t live without. Then, Zoe pulled this card out of the box: Continue reading


Filed under Marvelous Miscellany

Parenting Unvarnished

Check out my cute little bunnies, Easter 2016:


Adorable, right? Perfectly captures the idyllic family egg dying activity we had just completed.

Except, of course, that it wasn’t. It was crazy, chaotic, and shouty. It was cracked egg shells, and spilled cups of dye, and probably one of the more stressful egg dyeing experiences of my life. (Not to be dramatic or anything.) But I posted the adorable picture on Facebook, because the one idyllic and adorable moment is the one I want to share with the world.

This, though. This is the photo that really nails it. Easter Monday:


Everything that can be upside down is upside down. Both children are weeping and wailing. It is chaos. It is exhaustion. It is Easter Monday for a pastor and her children. Unvarnished. No filter. Just the real parenting deal. Did I post this gem on Facebook? I did not.

Here’s the thing: parenting is a both / and experience. It’s both wonderful and terrible; boring and exciting; hilarious and heartbreaking; sweet and sour. Our children fill us with pride and joy one moment, embarrassment and guilt the next. Continue reading


Filed under All in the Family, Your Moment of Leo, Your Moment of Zoe


Unidentified woman in Sarasota reading about winter storms up North

It was a blisteringly hot, humid day in 1993. But Mrs. Artabasy’s teeth chattered as she wrapped a beach towel around her shoulders, shivered dramatically, looked at a classroom full of stunned and sweaty seventh graders, and said, “I’m freezing.”

She was one of the kookiest, quirkiest teachers I ever had. (Pro Tip: And also one of the most beloved.) She crafted music shows in which her students sang and danced to the Beatles and Billy Joel and loved doing it. And on a miserably muggy day, she showed us how to keep cool: fake it.

We all practiced shivering. We all said, “Brrrrrr.” And, you know what? It almost worked for a minute.

Today is another hot and humid and just plain gross day in the Midwest. I believe there are three perfectly sensible responses: Continue reading

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Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Minnesota Nice

On Toilet Paper, Poetry, and Peaches

Before Mike and I got married, we worried about money. (Pro Tip: Now that Mike and I are married, we still worry about money sometimes.)

I wasn’t too far removed from my Lutheran Volunteer Corps year, so I had some experience living on a small budget. “We can do waffles or pancakes and canned peaches for dinner!” I declared, recalling an easy, frugal meal from LVC.

Image from page 954 of "The Ladies' home journal" (1889)

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Filed under All in the Family, Book Report, Taste and See

Never Had I Ever Crashed a 100-Year-Old’s Birthday Party

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I don’t usually schedule my visits to the assisted living facility or the nursing home in advance. This means that sometimes, when I arrive at coffee time, I get an accordion concert instead of a visit with the person I came to see. It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. (Pro Tip: Because coffee + treats + accordion music = delightful, of course.)

But when Zoe and I arrived at Brandt Ridge on Thursday afternoon, it was not an accordion concert. It was a 100th birthday party!

Image from page 612 of "The Ladies' home journal" (1889)

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Filed under Ministry Matters, Never Had I Ever