2013 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas 2013 edition!

For the first time since I was 11, I didn’t mail Christmas cards last year. Yes, I mailed my own when I was in elementary school. Stamps were cheap back then and how did I not become the next Martha Stewart?

So no, I wasn’t mad at you.  Yes, we’re still married.  No, Abbie isn’t in a funny farm.  I was just thinking the Christmas cards are a lot of work if we weren’t going to MAKE IT TO CHRISTMAS…in case the Mayans were right.



I was also busy planning a 40th birthday party/fundraiser for Jim and me.  Isn’t that what you do when your 40th birthday falls on the Mayan end of the world?  Our friends teased I planned the whole Mayan thing so I would never turn 40.  Jim also turned 40 on December 26th but no one really cares about that since it is the day after Christmas.  The “Annoying Christmas Letter” is baaaaaaack, so put us back on your list you fool!!!!!

I decided we needed to do something unusual this year, as if the Christmas card from the clueless puppy wasn’t unusual and I would bet we are the only folks who sent a Christmas card where we discussed our sex education “talk” with our boys.  “Yes boys, we were lucky we only had to do THAT twice to get three kids.”


I went to the world of Etsy and found this lovey lady and asked her to “cartoon” us all for the Christmas cards this year.  I sent her off multiple pictures of each of us and then I panicked!  We do have a matching set of 14 year-olds.  What if she only draws one?  I wake up and resend her a photo collage and explain we have two pubescent boys and one girl lizard named “Bubba” and one girl dog who thinks she is a human boy.

Then the drawing came via email and I was so excited, except she had my hair all wrong.  I am not even going to discuss all of our noses and Jim wouldn’t be happy with how she brushed his hair back and come on…if I am going to be a cartoon I am going to be as skinny as I want to be, right?


So.  I.  Photoshopped.  A.  Cartoon.  Of.  Us.  I did.  And we are so cute, now!  I have also hit a new low in my Photoshop insanity.


We have all been growing up and the “littles” are getting to be “bigs.”


There have been girlfriends and dances and school trips out of State.  There has been trips to Disney and Texas and our usual places.  Jim is still doing his same job but more musculoskeletal work because he finished his fellowship.  I have taken up blogging to flex my brain but I still refuse to master grammar and punctuation and somehow my readers have learned to find it endearing, or feel bad for my education.  Now when Jim teases me my writing is like an “ugly porn star” (the writing being the star and the ugly my punctuation) I get to say, “Well, I WAS quoted by CNN.(Here)”  It was about my love of Botox and all the silly reasons women should get it such as their husbands suddenly think they are geniuses as the wives can’t make the “You are a dumba$$” face at them anymore.  I was still quoted by CNN and that is all that matters, right?


This new blogging adventure for our family has caused some excitement as Peter thinks he is famous.  DO NOT BURST HIS BUBBLE.  I am cool still in ONE of our boy’s eyes, albeit for a short period of time, but I will take it.  The older boys are still speaking to me despite my stories about their sperm diameter fears post health class “fish” talk.


Mostly though, blogging helps me to chronicle our family story as the boys are growing up, let’s face it, I am never going to make a scrap book.  Jim has enjoyed my blog because he gets to tell people he was in Redbook Magazine on the “hottest husbands” page.  It is true, but the picture of us and my quote is about tips for a lasting relationship.

Redbook Hottest Husbands 2013

Don’t burst his bubble either. 

I may laugh forever when the sweet little southern cashier at our grocery store rang me up for three of the exact magazines and she paused and said, (with her adorable accent) “You are buying three of these Redbooks. (lowers head and looks out of the top of her eyes) You must be in it.”  I smiled eagerly and said, “Yep!”  She mumbled, “Figures.  I am not surprised.” and kept ringing me up with the poop face shaking her head.  Only one time did I have to pull my boys out of the magazine section at that store giggling their heads off.  Just once!


In the age of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram we would like to share

some of our “moments in time” with you from the last two years.


Left my kids for three hours to go on date with Jim. Three boys ate 42 cookies. For.T.two. Is this normal? They had dinner first! #growingboys


“If you had a sister wife you could rub my back and she could get my coffee.” -My (almost deceased) Husband

Can you put in requests to come back as the husband next time?    #LorenaBobbitt


“Does this make me look like a flesh eating skeleton?” Said Peter while holding his lips up with his fingers.

Me, “Ummmm, no?”


Peter, “Then do I look like a drunk teenager?” #IDidBuyHimTheZombieBook”She’sNotYourMommyAnymore”


“I am so sick of girls asking me for my phone number. This one is in high school.”  -Avery

Help. They are babies still. Like, 7th grade babies. I am having braces put on them next week and going to Tractor Supply and buying them new clothes.  #UnfortunateThatRedneckIsTheNewBlack


I have changed names to protect the innocent.

Me, “Hello.”

Her, “Hello! I am Mandy from Laadiedaa School. Thank you so much for contacting us online. I am here to help walk you through the process and help get you set up!”

Me, “From who?”

Her, “Ladddiedaa School.”

Me, “Huh?”

Her, “The application you filled out online”

Me, “This is Abbie.”

Her, “Yes, Hello!”

Me, (so confused) “I didn’t fill out an online school application.”

Her, “Well that is how I obtained your phone number. You have a son correct?”

Me, “Yes, I have three boys and I enrolled two of them in a new school already and I did not fill out a school application with you online.”

Her, “It was filled out for Peter who is currently enrolled in 2nd grade.”

Me, “Ohhhhhh.”

Her, “Laadiedaa School is an online school that has real face time with teachers and a customized lesson plan.”

Me, “Yeah, ummm Peter must have filled that application out and…HE IS GOOD. We aren’t having our eight year-old dropping out and taking online classes for second grade. Sorry about the confusion. He doesn’t think his current teachers know enough about reptiles to meet his academic goals. He pimps them occasionally and has deemed them unworthy and has been shopping around for new teachers Sorry we wasted your time.”

So that is how my mornings went. I only changed the name of the school because Peter is indeed guilty in this story.  #TheyShouldHireHim


We are no longer referring to our 2013 trip to Disney as such. It is now being called, “The Trip that WE Shut Down Orlando International Airport. Come on, are you really surprised?

Picture this…additional TSA agents called to our conveyor belt while our carry on items were inside the xray machine. Entire HOUR long line behind us waiting, waiting. More TSA agents called. Our items still in machine. Big boys are so upset and “its all my fault!” When the agents began taking pictures of the monitor of the X-Ray machine they redirected everyone behind us. When they started calling more people I bent over and whispered in Peter’s ear that I was sorry and that I will buy him a new one but they were probably going to take it. He was trying to be so tough but he is only eight. He put his fingers in the corner of his eyes to try and hide it from his brothers but the tears wouldn’t stop and they noticed. Now it was “All Peter’s fault!” I gave him lots of hugs and tried to lighten the mood because EVERYONE in line behind us is clearly watching too much “Homeland” and giving us all the evil stink eye. I now cannot stop laughing.

Thank you TSA agents for laughing in a huddle too!

Clearly they were all little boys once who had a wooden toy musket with a steel barrel.

It is soooooo big it wouldn’t fit in the suitcase. I boxed it and told the agent at the desk we would need to check it and he said that it was fine because it was boxed and to tell the folks before we get in the line. I did but that guy told me they would confiscate it and we could NOT take it. I whispered it in E’s ear and I saw the heartbreak in his eyes. So I just put it up there and decided to let them tell me to toss it.  It worked because they shuffled me back to ticketing, let me check it and escorted me back through security and let the boys hang out with TSA.

We all eventually laughed about it, but boy are the big guys wound tight. I think they would turn me into Homeland Security. I had them lecture me to stop calling it a “pistol.”

You know that if we weren’t already on a terrorist watch list from Peter constantly searching online for things like “how to make a flamethrower” and “turning a bbq lighter into a combustion gun,” we are now.  #WeAreNotTerroristWeAreRednecks

So Jim partakes in gift buying for the boys this year. I am delighted after complaining I needed help. I’m now thinking he was being a bit passive aggressive in order to keep me from asking for help again after the telescope he was in charge of picking out arrived and it needs it own zip code in the house…or I have been buying really lame gifts all these years?  We will be needing an observation dome inserted into our roof as the “star gazing” telescope is NOT portable to actually go outside to look at stars. May be cheaper to have a mural done on kitchen ceiling. He also picked out the microscope that I’m told he can check for cancer cells and then asked if I wanted anything “biopsied.” So he asked a pathologist what microscope to get out kids for Christmas and I am now guessing he has a friend who is an astronaut he pimped when picking out this telescope.   #TheyHaven’tBeenTouchedSinceJan2

Getting into shower now washing machine broken!!!!! Guy will be here in a few and I would like to wash the cricket, worm guts, lizard and frog germs off of me. I feed baby crickets to raise into big crickets and then I feed baby crickets to frogs and big crickets to lizards. Do you have any idea how bad collard greens smell when food processed to freeze? Yes, I am processing and freezing collard greens for lizards.

I need a mother of boys therapist.  #INowCraveUnhealthyFood

Hello, my name is Abbie. Help.

I have a secret cabinet in my kitchen that my kids don’t know that opens. Actually, there are two cabinets that look like panels . In one I keep Scotch tape and scissors and the other everything I need to make Smores.



Today I couldn’t get my pants to button. I tried the Scotch tape but it wont hold. I am going to notch the waist with my scissors, so I can sit down.

It is a good thing I have this secret stash because God knows without my hidden cabinets I would have never found Scotch tape or scissors in a house with three kids.

I have a belly full of Smores from lunch and now all I need is to make out with someone with the stomach flu.

Anyone? Anyone else have a wicked sweet tooth?  #ICraveSmoresBecauseItDoesn’tLookLikeLizardSalad


They spent the whole morning working on this and I know Peter is still in pjs, no stopping him when he gets an idea.

It is a fully functioning crossbow. Finally found something to do with the bag of chopsticks…they sharpened them and did this? They told me no worries because they will only shoot “bad guys” in the eye.

Why am I happy?

He asked me where a Pez dispenser was yesterday and thankfully I asked why…

He was going to make something that shoots knives.

Anyone want to chip in and send me off to a spa out west for a week so I can remember what being a girl is? Anyone?

I wake up and fish worms out of potatoes to feel lizards and I have a cricket farm and incubators in the basement.

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I got an email from a national talk show about my fortieth birthday being on the end of the world. Good Lord will the whole country get to see what’s going on inside these walls? Peter tells me crickets are the lowest critter in the food chain and that if we needed to we could eat the 600 crickets we currently have. He also told me Lilly can eat them but she won’t now (he’s tried) we have to wait until the Mayan end of the world and she has to eat the crickets because that’s all we have to feed her.  #LillyIsSoHappyTheMayansWereWrong


I’m driving.

Peter announces there is a black widow crawling up my seat.

I say, “Awesome. Seriously? Can you kill it.”

Peter shuffles around a bit and then says, “I can’t reach it. It crawled into your purse.”

Me, “Of course it did.”  #IBoughtANewPurse

It is so the third day of school as evident by our conversation in the car on the way there. Listening to radio and Peter says, “What is so great about being in a desert with a horse with no name? It doesn’t even make sense. Can we listen to something from this century?”  #IWantADNAMaternityTest

I just told the boys that I sent the boogers I found on the wall off for DNA testing. I also asked them if anyone wants to come clean now.  #TheGreatWallOfBoogers

So proud of Avery and Mitchell. They were chosen as the students of the months for sixth grade. They came home so excited!  Normally it is one boy and one girl but as one of my boys said, “They tried and tried to come up with a girl but there weren’t any good ones.” Then the other guy said, “Yeah, so he (pointing to his twin brother) gets to be the girl.”   #TheyMightBeMine

This morning we had a particularly hard time. Big boys were wild. It was like a fraternity party. Running around, snapping each other with rubber bands and laugh/screaming in the car on the way to school. My regular requests to “tone it down” and” quit yelling in small spaces” was met with smart comments, eye rolling and then belly laughs at comments that weren’t meant for me to hear.

I decided I would give them a taste of their own medicine.

Remember, I am not even allowed to say goodbye when they get out at the drop off line at school. As soon as that door opened up under he school awning and in front of the middle school students I began yelling in a crazy muppet voice, “Bye, bye, bye, bye!!!! Bye!…” Only one was out of the suburban and the other was half way out. The one that was out pivoted and face dove over his brother that was in process of exiting the suburban. There you have a giant twin meatball rolled up and they managed to shut the door. Then the frantic, “What are you doing?! Are you crazy?!”

I’m holding up the whole line and kids are looking at me in my pjs in the drivers seat. I was invisible every day before when I never talked.

I calmly say, “That is how you guys act and you never listen to me when I ask you to dial it down. Now get out and go to school. It’s funny and every kid knows what it’s like having a parent. Out!  And have a good day.” so they open the door and I yell, (again) “Bye-BYE! Bye!!!!!!!!! Bye!” this time I made sure they shut the door and I locked it while simultaneously rolling down all the windows.

Flash forward to my awesome afternoon. I have spent the day getting a much needed root canal that was leading me towards a life in prison due to my very short temper and lack of patience with three boys. The kids are home and I am sharing the front porch with Mitchell. He says, “You know that crap you pulled on Avery and I at school today?”

I say, (with a very coy smile) “Yes. Do you get my point?”

He says, “Yeah, you were right my friends did think it was funny…when I told them you drink booze the whole way to school in the morning.”

Never mind root canal relief…I’m sure I will get a shortened sentence due to it being my first offense.  #ICan’tWin


There is something to be be said about an uneventful day…I thought. Took Peter to elementary school roller-skating party. He had a little girl who followed him the entire night. Everywhere. He came up to me and whispered in a desperate voice, “I need a buck!!!!  Mom please! Just one buck, for a song dedication! Please!”  The little girl was standing on the other side of him trying to act like she didn’t know what was going on, sucking her thumb!  I couldn’t say no and so I give him a dollar and then I hear the DJ start, “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”

Not my proudest moment when the girls mom came over and mentioned how times have changed. I heard a little boy come up to Peter and this little girl and asked them if they were, “In a relationship”. They are in first grade!  #HeAskedMeToBuyHimGoldSpeedos


Avery, “When I grow up I’m going to buy the house next door and live in it.” Me, “I love that idea!” Mitchell, “I’m going to buy the house on the other side and live in it.”  I am all smiles. Peter, “I’m going to live in this house with my own wife and family!” Me, “That’s awesome but where am I going to live?”  Avery, ” We going to put you in Bermuda Village!” (this is a retirement community in our neighborhood.) I look at them with mouth hanging open looking very sad. Mitchell, “Don’t worry, we’ll come by and feed you pudding.”  #IHaveToBeNicerToThem


We hope you have all that makes you smile in life

We are so blessed and especially blessed to have each other

Jim, Abbie, Avery, Mitchell and Peter

Please be Safe and Well and Please Keep in Touch






  1. says

    Oh Abbie, I’m dying here! I’ve got tears from laughing so hard at this! I think I’m going to start publishing my Christmas newsletters on my blog. May be the only way my family and in-laws would read my blog lol!

    • says

      You made my day! I love it when an old post gets found and someone laughs! Thanks for commenting too. I post them every year. My blog is partially here from the growing requests to be added to my passive aggressively long Christmas letter. I always try to fit a challenge word into the Christmas letter. This year it was “porn.” He he he!

  2. Kelly Wilson says

    I just love you Abby! Great story- I don’t read books for fun, but I enjoy your stories! Best of all – I hear your voice telling the story! Sweet girl, super family and always a lot of fun! keep that wild 3rd grader on that side of the caution light from our 3rd grader.. Jk, would love to have you guys at fellow redneck in laws one day!
    Merry Christmas- hope all my cows stay home this year! 😉

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