Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The 2015 Christmas Letter!!!

Our family doesn’t tweet. We barely Facebook. But if we did do either of those things, this right here is how our year would have been documented.
 “When I’m married, I hope my wife likes me and makes things I like for dinner. If she doesn’t like me, maybe she’ll leave and I can make what I like.” – Turken, when he heard we were having meatloaf for dinner.

Cuckoo, from the back seat of the van: What is 2-4?
Me: negative 2
B: Oh!  My gloves are size negative 2!
B: *proudly smiling, perfectly ok with that answer*

(Because Giant has no confidence in our friends’ and family’s ability to figure this out…His gloves were size 2-4T.)

When Phoenix was 6 years old:
Him: That’s just stupid!
Me to him: Honey, that’s not a nice word. Find a better way to say what you mean.

Now, after 11 more years of raising kids:
Cuckoo, chanting: Phoe-nix! Is-so! Stu-pid!
Me to Bryan: Hey, when did he learn syllables?

A woman at preschool needed to get rid of some barn cats, so I agreed to take 2. When I got home with them…
Me: Hey kids! We have cats!
*opens carrier to let cats out*
Cats: Hell no!
*run off to take their chances with the coyotes*


- mph a teen drives in any given 5 minute period on his first attempt at the freeway


- mph an idiot (who failed to specify what kind of rental car she actually wanted and ended up with a Yaris that had crank windows, a useless radio antennae, manual locks, no cruise control, and only one windshield wiper (not because one was broken, but because the car was so small it only needed one windshield wiper)) drives in any given 5 minute period when she takes this Yaris on a 14 hour road trip

What is life like with 5 boys?

Every single day, this…
Kid: It’s OK! Nothing’s broken!

But sometimes, in addition, this…
Me: What was that?!!?
Other kids:  *fall all over themselves trying to get upstairs before I can get to the room*

Any more questions?

“Well, I’m glad I found them at the end of the bag. I would have hated to have to throw all of those M&Ms away.”  -Me, after finding a bunch of dead and dying ants in the bottom of a 42oz bag.


“It was horrible. We felt so bad for Mom. That wasp was stuck in her hair, and it kept stinging her in the head, over and over and over. She was yelling and hopping around while the two lifeguards tried to simultaneously help and not get stung themselves. Finally, as soon as the wasp was killed, we jumped in to hug her and comfort her and make her feel better.” – Us kids

Just kidding.  We kept swimming and pretended we didn’t know that crazy lunatic.

Dead Mouse Scale of Horror:

Low: finding a dead mouse
Moderate: finding a dead mouse that has been dead for so long its innards have leaked out
High: finding a dead mouse that has been dead for so long its innards have leaked out in the kitchen
Very high: finding a dead mouse that has been dead for so long its innards have leaked out in the kitchen behind the toaster oven
Extreme: finding a dead mouse that has been dead for so long its innards have leaked out in the kitchen behind the toaster oven as a college friend you haven’t seen in 15 years and her family pulls into the driveway for dinner and a visit

Not that it’s ever happened. Just a helpful guide in case you find yourself in one of these situations and need to know just how horrified you should be.

“Wow. Nice work. When you had those 8 yards of dirt dumped in the yard, I figured it was just another place for the little boys to play. But no! You and the kids actually spread it out all around the foundation. I was especially impressed when you brought back that van full of plants and got them put into the ground. But when you and the kids spent another week getting all of that mulch spread so nicely all around the house, I really admired your gumption. Well done. Very well done.”  -Roy the Wonder Dog, as he spent the evening digging up ¾ of everything we spent 2 months putting in.

Was it for the cheese omelet I make for him every morning?
Was it for making sure all of his favorite clothes are washed and ready to be worn at a moment’s notice?
Was it for taking him to play at the playground?
Not that either.
What did I do that prompted Cuckoo to express his gratitude?

“Thank you, Mom, for getting the better toilet paper.”

Normal person: I like tomatoes. OR I’m not a fan of tomatoes.
Our kid: I like tomatoes on burgers but will obsessively pick out every visible tomato bit in the soup or chili placed in front of me, ‘cause canned tomatoes (including home-canned tomatoes) are just gross.

Normal person: I like raisins. OR I despise raisins.
Our (other) kid: I like raisins, but only if they are the non-sour ones, and yes, I can tell if a raisin is sour just by looking at it and will spend 30 minutes obsessively inspecting each and every raisin in my bowl.

Normal person: Yay peanut butter! OR I’m deathly allergic to peanut butter.
Our (yet another) kid: I like peanut butter on bagels but not peanut butter sandwiches.

Normal parent: I’ll make dinners my kids like, because I want them to be happy and healthy.
Me: Since I can’t bring the starving children from Africa to Indiana in order to beat the crap out of my kids, I’ll take the passive-aggressive route and make every single meal all of my kids hate. On the menu this week: stuffed peppers, shepherd’s pie, meatloaf, and leftovers. Mwaahahahaha…

Guess which extreme activity ended in one of our family members bleeding profusely. And by profusely, I mean so much blood that people around our family were gagging and getting sick:

1. Extreme Escape, in which 5 of the kids, 2 strangers, and I, were handcuffed together, locked in a jail cell, and given 60 minutes to find a way out.
2. Off-roading, with Phoenix behind the wheel of the Jeep after only 2 weeks of possessing a driver’s license, on the Michigan dunes.
3. Buttercup and Nana (my mom) racing up an escalator at the Dayton airport.
4. Shooting large handguns and AK-47s, which Star and Bryan did while in Texas for the Ohio State game

I’ll give you a hint: the airport personnel relaxed when Bryan, who was on his knees wrapping bandages around Nana’s legs, told them, “Yes, you heard correctly. They were racing, so you don’t have to worry about any lawsuits coming your way.”

Just so you know, after Cuckoo refused to let me walk him into class on his first day of (all-day) kindergarten, the tears you saw me crying were less about me missing him and more about me missing the idea of him.

Now that we’ve lived at the farm for 10 years, through spider infestation, stupid chicken stunts, bats in the house, ridiculous pig deaths, opossum shenanigans, the care and keeping of sick pigs, and the ownership of the worst farm dogs in the history of farm dogs, I think it’s safe to order the bumper stickers:

My kids’ future therapists will be way more entertained than your kids’ future therapists.

Yes, I had 5 kids playing soccer this fall, but don’t you dare call me a soccer mom. I prefer the term Matriarch of Maradonas , Sultan of Schedules, Rajah of Referees, Countess of Carpools, Harbinger of Hat Tricks, Sovereign of Snacks, Overlord of Off-sides, Guardian of Goalkeepers, Baroness of Benchwarmers, Procreator of Play-makers, and if there was a soccer term that started with z, I’d totally be the czar of it.  

Bad poetry comin’ atcha:

When taking 6 kids and two mothers
Away for a Disney vacation (as a last hurrah before kids head to college)
Learn from mistakes we made in the past and
Take all necessary precautions. You’ll then have a blast!

Don’t drive. Fly if you can.
In a Disney resort you should stay
So people can choose to sleep or to play.
Nibble on snacks you remembered to pack and loop
Epcot’s food and wine festival to stuff the whole troop.
Your trip will go smoothly if you wait in no lines.

Who knew there were tour guides to save you some time?
Ordering photos is a thing of the past. All of those silly posed
Ride shots are yours with a Disney PhotoPass!
Last but not least, for this trip you must pay. So to the kid whose college fund is now gone
Don’t forget to say Hey thanks!

Merry Christmas! We pray that the coming year brings you good health, great memory-making, and many laughs.


  1. A brilliant post with too many parts to comment on each one individually - except the mouse one, that's ace :)

    And a great photo too, you all look so happy :)

    I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year - all the best to all of you :)

  2. Love the year end highlights! Well I happened to know to remember that mouse story and think in fact it might have happened. LOL! Didn't even know you could get a rental car so terrible! Love the poem and the Christmas photo! Happy holidays!

    1. Shhh! No need to spread that info around. :)

      I didn't know such rental cars existed, either. I really didn't like learning the hard way.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Oh my word! The dead mouse scale had me laughing so hard I had tears! Love this, Christine! Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

    1. Silver linings. At least the embarrassment I endured can brighten someone else's day. :)

      Merry Christmas to you!

  4. This is the best Christmas letter ever. Lots of humor and that's what is missing in most Christmas letters.

    Thanks for all the smiles and I just love your family.

    Merry Christmas. ☺

    1. I'm glad you like it. :)

      Merry Christmas, Sandee!

  5. This is the way to Christmas letter! You knocked it out of the park, Christine. I especially love the story of the airport races.

    1. Thank you, Eli. It has become an annual tradition to write a long, obnoxious letter making fun of ourselves. Spruce up the mailbox a bit. :)
      I must say, the airport story is better because I wasn't there. The image of Bryan taking care of the situation makes me laugh every time.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  6. I think your mouse post is still one of my all time favorites!! But, the racing up the escaltor is pretty funny too!

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Ha! It was certainly one of the grossest posts of all time. :) The escalator story makes me laugh every time I think about it.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. This is such a wonderful, wonderful Christmas letter. I love that the Yaris got in there (though not the extra gas?!) and I'm sorry to say I giggled a bit at the idea of Buttercup and Nana having a race, and NANA being the one to get hurt. I hope she's okay now.

    The dead mouse story is still gross. Like Dyanne's hamsters that are still in the freezer. And my fish that's still in the freezer...

    1. Thank you! And darn! I thought you would have gotten yours by now, and you wouldn't read it here. Oh well.

      There is no surprise to those that know her that Nana was the one to get hurt. :) She's fine now, but if you look at that photo in the post, you can see where her legs are all torn up. She was tough, walking all around Disney with her legs like they were.

      Completely gross, but not nearly as gross as the hamster and the fish in the freezers.

  8. Better toilet paper really is key, though!

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  10. Great letter! So funny, as always. Love the family photo. Everyone looks so happy!

    1. Thank you! For us, Disney lived up to its motto of happiest place on Earth. :)

  11. Wow a wonderful post looking back the last 12 months - wishing your family a Merry Christmas & health, happiness and joy for the new yer!!!


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