5 things a man should never buy his wife for Christmas

 
5 things a man should never

All right, all you sweet and thoughtful husbands…have you decided what to buy your wife for Christmas yet?

Start making those lists!

And wives, if you’re reading this, kindly suggest to your husband to read this post – it could make your Christmas much merrier. 🙂

 
Ok, here is some helpful and humorous advice from a veteran wife of 26 years…

Disclaimer: these are just generalities and some wives may like the items on the “do not buy” list. Plan accordingly, and good luck!

Do not buy your wife:

1. Something she doesn’t want, but that you would like. For instance, don’t buy your wife a new (or gently used from the wrecking yard) car muffler for Christmas, unless she’s a mechanic or big into NASCAR. Lon bought a loud muffler thingy for our Jeep Cherokee years ago that sounded like what would belong on the vehicle of a high schooler. Guess who drove the Jeep 99.9% of the time? Yep, me. (And no, I wasn’t in high school) Guess what happened when we went to trade the Jeep in for a bigger vehicle once we started our family?

The thing was so loud that the car salesman told us we needed to “fix” the loud muffler before trading it in. Lon finally did convince the car salesman that the muffler wasn’t broken, but that it was a “high performance bought- and -installed- on- purpose- muffler.” Now some other poor wife is driving a Jeep that you can hear from a mile away!

Nix the new car tires too. While that’s nice that you want your wife to be safe, save it as a “family purchase” rather than a “gift for the wife purchase.”

2. Clothing. Husbands, unless you know your wife’s correct size, stick to a gift card at her favorite department store instead. Here’s why: If you buy her a size that’s four times her actual size, she’ll think you think she’s fat. Alternatively, if you buy her a size four times smaller than her actual size, she’ll think you think she needs to lose weight. See how this is a lose-lose situation?  So, unless you know for sure that she always wears a size medium in sweaters, please pass on the clothes. Otherwise, you may find yourself in deep trouble with your sweetie poo.

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3. A toolbox. When Lon and I were first married, he wrapped a large present and hid it under the tree. I was so excited and couldn’t wait until Christmas. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and it was a toolbox complete with my own set of tools! I thanked my sweet husband for his nice gesture, but I was puzzled. I’ve never been very handy with tools and the farthest thing from a “fix-it girl” there ever was. Our story landed us on the pages of Woman’s World and the toolbox remains in the garage where Lon uses it on a regular basis. Disclaimer: this is a perfect gift only if your wife is the “fix-it type.” Otherwise, please pass on this gift idea!

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4. Exercise equipment. Does this one really need any explanation? Unless she asks for that new treadmill, pass on the expensive (or not-so-expensive) exercise equipment. You and your marriage will be glad you did.

5. A kitchen appliance. Unless she specifically asks for it or you can tell from her look of anguish at the toaster you received for your wedding gift 45 years ago, keep away from kitchen appliances. Ditto for mops, a year’s worth of cleaning supplies,  a garden tiller, a chainsaw, or a lawnmower. Just trust me on this. Really.

toasteer

 

Join me next time for some wife-approved Christmas gift ideas!


 

Check out these other posts pertaining to Christmas!

9 memorable Christmas traditions for families

21 fun Christmas stocking stuffer ideas

Movie Monday: A Bramble House Christmas

Movie Monday: Switched for Christmas

9 recently-released Movies for your next family night

21 awesome family movies you may never have heard of

Movie Monday: Finding Father ChristmasMovie Monday: Finding Father Christmas

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Kids write the funniest things!

kids write

Ahhhh….the life of a homeschool mom!

I was going back through some of my two daughters’ vocabulary sentence notebooks from a few years ago. Whether more serious like my oldest daughter, or a goofball like my youngest daughter (who takes after her mom!), their senses of humor certainly came out in their writing assignments.

Here is a compilation, in no particular order, are 13 of the “best of the best” guaranteed to make you laugh taken directly from the real-life vocabulary sentence notebooks…

1. She did not know that they do mathematics in the Delaware militia.

2. The tranquil tortoise uniquely remembers going to a unique university in a different universe to learn how to use a vacuum.

tranquil tortoise

3. The mischievous lieutenant (who had been causing mischief), caught pneumonia a day before he had to pay the mortgage.

4. She is afraid the physician will persist with insistence that she get a porcelain cat.

5. The literate mayor will carry a sapphire into a quagmire.

6. One potato makes a whole plate of french fries. (Very profound!)

7. The fierce flies forgot about the giant foot and their guide got stepped on.  (This one came complete with an illustration!)

8. The mayor looked awfully suspicious when we found him adjacent to the butte in our backyard.

9. The book which you just read (the one that gave you a headache) is substantial.

10. The elephant will be frightened by everybody in the grocery store.

11. The cashier was courteous enough to give me a free chicken.

chicken

12. The president’s spontaneous reaction while trying taxidermy while eating was not pleasant. (He threw up).

13. The laborious cavalier has a quarrelsome leopard that eats dandelions.

Thank you for traveling down memory lane with me. What are some of the funniest things your kids have written?

what’s in a name?

what's in a name

When I went to vote in the primaries yesterday, one of the women at the voting table thought my name was Shirley.

Surely. Now, do I look like a Shirley? 🙂

It reminded of the time I was voting a few years ago and they thought my name was “Penny Dollar.” I’ve always been thankful I didn’t marry someone with the last name “Nickel,” “Dime,” or “Quarter.” But, I guess I never really thought about my last name being “Dollar.” I suppose I could blame inflation.

The most hilarious thing was that they announced loudly and for all at the voting precinct to hear, “Penny Dollar has voted!”

Yes, having a name like Penny is sure to garner interesting nicknames. In high school, a friend came up with the name (meant to be a sweet nickname, mind you) of Pinhead. It caught on and extended even to my family.

My fifth grade teacher (and one of my favorite teachers, I might add) never did realize my name was Penny. That entire year, I was known as Peggy! 🙂

My husband, Lon, has all sorts of misunderstandings about his name. We receive mail for Ian, Ron, Don, Ion, and Lom. I signed him up for the health fair blood draw and they had him written down as “Lawn.”

Speaking of silly names, I recently took a poll of funny real-life names. Here is a sampling of those submitted. Remember, these are all REAL names!

Anita Paycheck

Pilot Inspector

Ima Pigg

Dr. Paine (a real doctor – BTW, don’t think I want to go to him for treatment!)

dr. paine

Crystal Shanda Leer

Justin Other Mitchell (he was youngest in a long line of Mitchell children)

Dr. Relich (pronounced “Relish” and not to be confused with his relatives Dr. Mustard and Dr. Ketchup, LOL)

My Own

Dr. McClaws (a foot doctor)

Sunshine E. Day

Liberty Isabell

Justin Tyme

and the sibling groups:

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Lake Trout and Brook Trout (twins perhaps?)

One of the things I enjoy most about writing books is naming the characters. After all, I can’t let all those good names go to waste – names I would have used had I had 50 children!

I love nicknames, and no, I don’t even mind being called Shirley, Penny Dollar, or Pinhead once in awhile.

However, my favorite name? The name the Lord calls me – He calls me “His.”

What funny real-life names have you heard?

5 resolutions to make even though it’s not New Year’s

All right, so New Year’s is still a few months away, and we certainly don’t want to rush time away. However, here are a few suggestions for resolutions to make any day of the year…

1. Laugh more. In our world of stress, it’s nice to be able to find humor in the small things. “Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a new study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.”

laughing baby

The Bible talks about laughter – and let’s not forget who created laughter. He also created our mouths to turn upward, our tummies to shake, and our eyes to tear when provoked with humor. Kids provide the best humor and pets can bring about some laughter as well!

2. Stay in touch.  In our day of modern technology, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with those we love. One night Lon called me from his cell phone while he was in the driveway arriving home from work. I answered the house phone and we had a great conversation, continuing as he entered the door of our house and as we stood face to face with phones pressed up against our ears.

Hey, it’s good for a marriage to communicate, right? Communication is indeed important, even if you are as different as an ostrich and kangaroo. 🙂

zoo

 

3. Make healthy lifestyle changes. It’s probably safe to say that most of us at one time or another have made a resolution to lose weight and/or get more exercise.

One evening Lon said as he rested on the living room floor, “I’m getting ready to do a sit up.”

I wondered why anyone would want to do a sit up at 8:00 p.m., so I asked him why not wait until he works out in the morning. “Because I’d like to have another cookie,” he told me. He was of the one sit up equals one cookie philosophy.

Another time, he decided to do an experiment. Before Christmas dinner, Lon weighed himself. After the meal, he weighed himself again. The prognosis? He’d gained five pounds in that short time after eating my mom’s famous Christmas dinner. However, men have it good. For us women, we need only to look at a delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings to gain five pounds!

woman exercising

Not only can we make healthy lifestyle changes and care for the body God gave us, we can also make spiritual changes and vow to dig into God’s Word more frequently.

4. Vow to serve others.  Make a vow to serve others and truly love your neighbor as yourself as stated in Matthew 19:19.  Each morning before climbing out of bed, I pray that the Lord will show me someone to bless that day. Blessing others doesn’t have to be a huge project. Even something as simple as letting someone go ahead of you at the grocery store can be a way to bless someone.

 5. Use your gifts.

presents

God gave us all gifts to use to further His Kingdom.

Just be sure not to do things that aren’t your gifts. Case in point:  my oldest daughter downloads all my favorite songs onto my phone. Wow, what a pleasure to listen to my contemporary Christian rock music while working out at the gym! I learned the hard way, however, about adjusting to modern technology.

During my workout, I was rocking out to the fast-paced Newsboys song I am Second. I love the lyrics that speak of being second to my Savior and Redeemer and that He is second to none.

Somehow, in all my zest, I forgot that I alone had the earplugs to listen to this song. What I didn’t realize was that I was singing out loud. (Wasn’t everyone in the gym listening to Newsboys?!)

As I belted out the words to the song while running on the treadmill, I soon heard a familiar voice. One that was off-pitch. Yep. It was my voice (talk about embarrassment).

Singing isn’t my gift. Although I have won awards for lip syncing when I was a teenager.

But it is important to use the gifts we have been given. Are you gifted with kids? Why not volunteer to teach Sunday School? Are you gifted with a beautiful voice (I’ll try not to covet!) then use it to lead the worship team at church. Can you sew? Why not offer to mend some clothes for those who cannot afford new ones?

What resolutions would you make even though it’s not New Year’s?

The 13 Types of Facebook People

Ever given thought to the different types of people on Facebook? Perhaps you might recognize a few of these from your timeline feed. 🙂

13 types of facebook people

  1. The Daily Diary – She chronicles everything in her life in play-by-play fashion. Everything from what she ate at her last meal to what she wears, to the things that irritate her…everything is journaled as a Facebook post every hour on the hour nearly every day.
  2. The Encourager – A somewhat rare breed, the encourager’s main goal in life is to post Scripture verses, quotes, and images to inspire others. She is on Facebook, not for herself, but for the benefit of brightening the days of her Facebook friends.
  3. Contrary Larry – You weren’t looking to get into a debate when you posted that harmless photo of your dog, but Contrary Larry always has a contradictory or disagreeable statement to make about everything.
  4. The Stalker – This lurking-type individual rarely posts anything of her own, but continually stalks the posts of others. She quite often says things, such as, “Hey, you were on Facebook last night at precisely 9:45 p.m. How come you didn’t answer the message I sent to you?” Could be because stalkers are well…creepy.
  5. The Perpetual Poster – You know the type. He posts constantly. Did I mention constantly? Seven, eight, nine posts within a two-hour span is not uncommon for the Perpetual Poster. Looking to find the one in a million posts of his that was actually interesting? Good luck. You’ll be sifting through a gazillion posts.
  6. The Never Like-er – Quick to admit that she prefers not to like anyone else’s posts, the Never Like-er demands you like her posts in a strange double-standard sort of way. Of course, if you don’t like her posts and she corners you at Walmart, she’s sure to let you know she’s offended by your lack of social interaction on social media.
  7. The True Friend – A rare breed indeed, the true friend appreciates the value of interaction on Facebook. Not only does she value such interaction, she’s the first to offer to pray when you post prayer requests.true friendship
  8. Vanishing Vance – One minute this odd friend is active on Facebook. The next minute, he has taken a break and closed his account. The following week, he’s reactivated his account and so on. Poor guy can’t make up his mind.
  9. Chatty Charlie – It doesn’t matter whose Facebook wall he’s on, Chatty Charlie is sure to carry on a conversation starting in the comments. Before you know it, Chatty Charlie has engaged in conversation with another “commenter” on your wall about nothing that even pertains to the original post. Thankfully, about 35 posts later, C.C. realizes the conversation is going nowhere and moves on to the next post.
  10. Selfie Sally – As vain as they come, Selfie Sally is sure to have several posts of herself each week. Word on the street is that she actually invented the selfie stick.selfie person
  11. Mr. Political Sure, I like a good chat about politics every now and then, but Mr. Political is way overboard. Every. Single. Post. Is about politics and if you dare disagree with him? Your friend count just went down one.the white house
  12. Perpetual Test-Taker Tammy – What type of flower are you? In what state should you live? If there’s a personality test on the internet, Perpetual Test-Taker Tammy has taken it –  and has posted about it.
  13. The Photo-Shop Queen – Not a wrinkle or spot of cellulite on her, the Photo-Shop Queen painstakingly removes all imperfections, including the tiny mole on her forearm.  In short, she looks like a model. At first, you think perhaps she hasn’t aged at all since your high school graduation back in 1954. But then, when you see her at your 40th class reunion, you think maybe her account has been hacked and someone has changed all her photos. 🙂

What types of Facebook people have you encountered?

you might be an historical romance author if…

you might be an historical romance author if…

The other day, I was writing a scene for a new historical romance novel. My fingers flew across the keyboard as I ventured back to the another century…

Glancing from side to side looking for a place to hide, she willed her feet to move. Would this be how it would all end for her – a moment’s decision sealing her destiny?…

Of all the genres I enjoy writing, historical romance is my favorite. However, there are some days when it’s clear to me that I’ve spent a bit too much time in the days before modern technology.

If you write historical fiction, you know exactly what I mean. So, just for fun, I’ve listed six surefire ways to know that you’re a writer of historical fiction…

1. You’re getting ready for a family outing and you ask your husband to please hitch up the wagon instead of start the car.

2. Speaking of husbands, although your husband’s name is Lon, you find yourself calling him Zach, Jonah, Nate, Gabe, Matthias, or Thad because you’ve spent so much time with your male protagonists.

3. You say “I reckon” far too often.

4. Your kids are beginning to call you “Ma.”

5. You reach for a bonnet instead of a baseball cap to cover a bad hair day.

6. Your family doesn’t let you visit museums anymore because they know that when you visit, you become so engrossed in the historical photos that you never want to leave. Or you quip that if you were born in the 1800s, you would for certain shop at the millinery.

 

They clearly don’t understand that gazing for a mere few hours at antiques and old photographs gives you 10-years-worth of inspiration!

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You are thereby grounded until further notice from any and all museums.

There you have it! Six ways to know you might a historical romance (or historical fiction of any genre!) writer.

Now back to the past I go!

Training for the Mom Olympics

I dashed through high winds and zigzagged between the parked station wagons, Pintos, and VW Bugs, in the pursuit of a runaway cart in the grocery store parking lot.

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The cart sped through the crowded parking lot toward an intersection attempting to mar the glossy finishes of luxury SUVs and sports cars.Picture 500760

And then I knew what I must do. The situation at hand had left me little choice.

I knelt down and tightened the laces on my Brooks Ariel running shoes, thankful I wasn’t wearing flip flops today.

Then, with the speed of a cheetah and the grace of a gazelle, I took off across the parking lot after the shopping cart.

1423024_cheetah

My heart pounded. Would I be fast enough?

Finally, I reached for the shopping cart handle just seconds before what would have been a disastrous situation. I wiped the sweat from my brow. Another rogue cart apprehended in the name of justice!

I returned to our SUV, climbed in, and glanced into the back seat. My kids appeared in shock with mouths wide open. “Mom!” Doodle gasped. “You were amazing. You should be in the Olympics – the Mom Olympics!”

So, as of today, I have begun training for the 2020 Mom Olympics. On the application, I listed my qualifications:

  • Carrying my children everywhere when they were younger (which built strong biceps and triceps);
  • Bending and stooping to pick up the toys and food my children continually threw on the floor from their high chairs when they were babies (which built strong quad muscles);
  • Hurdling over toys left strewn across the living room floor;

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  • Dexterity and balance in hopping on one foot (in agony) whenever I stepped on a Lego or fossilized Cheerio left on the floor;
  • The recent runaway cart episode showing my aptitude for speed and finesse;
  • Totally built biceps and shoulder muscles from constantly lifting and hauling the gym bag that my kids and I share to the Y; duffle bag
  • Running the kids everywhere for their activities for the past several years (built endurance as a long-distance runner);
  • Experience in juggling (juggling multiple tasks as a wife and mom).

Happily, I was approved by the Mom Olympics CEO to participate. See you in Tokyo in 2020!

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Tweetables:

Why I’m training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

Moms can you identify? Training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

Got humor? Training for the Mom Olympics (click to tweet)

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