Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

errrr, almost wordless . . .

Two new signs, posted at both of the major entrances to our little neighborhood.

It only took one letter to the township supervisors. No extra documentation. No repeated requests. Oh, and it all occurred in less than one month.

It's really nice to know I live in a community that cares about my daughter's safety.
It's really nice to know that people are helping us look out for her.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Evolution of a Room Make-Over

We've begun the final "untouched" room in the downstairs of the house. Shortly after we moved here, we paid someone to remove the wallpaper from the 7 areas of the house that sported multiple layers, multiple patterns, and ghastly outdated looks. We found 3 layers in the hall and foyer, two layers in the living room and so on. It was the best $1100 we ever spent on a home project. However, for the past 4 years, we've lived with bare, scuffed up, dingy drywall in the dining room. Nicely accented by a hideous colonial blue chair rail and 80's era traverse rods with dusty graying sheers. It was lovely, I tell ya. Just the kind of inviting atmosphere to host a fancy party or family dinner. Yeah. Right.

Two weeks ago, that all changed. And for the last two weeks, The Boss has been slowly chipping away at what has become a very tedious prep project. Seriously, with all the knicks and dings and tears in the top layer of the dry wall, he's spent most of his time spackling, sanding, spackling, and sanding again. Last night, he got the first coat of primer up. I say first coat because now that it's up and dry he can see the imperfections better. And is gearing up to fix those imperfections. Which means more spackling and sanding and smoothing. Which in turn means a second coat of primer.

He's nothing if not thorough when tackling his home projects. Usually, he HAS to work alone. This time, I got to rip down the chair rail. The boys got to remove wallpaper border behind the chair rail. They got to help sand a bit. And then he put up the tarps and banished us from his space.

The house smells like paint. And spackle. The plastic and tarps make the rest of the house a bit dark. But progress is being made. And I'm eyeing up the color we chose and gearing up to decorate. Mentally cataloging the boxes of decor from previous projects and former homes. Checking out the sale racks at local stores. Flipping through my home decorating magazines. And staying out of The Boss's territory. For now!

His staging area. AKA my gorgeous farm-style dining room table.
Hope that sheet of plastic has super powers -
cuz it doesn't look very heavy or durable to me!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Special Anniversary

I'm sitting here in my cozy home, listening to the sounds of my Gang cheering on the Eagles. Li'l Empress is soundly tucked in her crib sleeping off the emotions of another hard morning transitioning into her 2 year old class. There were a lot of tears and a near-meltdown. It was a hard morning for us both.

Poor kid, change like this is never easy for any two year old. But we complicated it by being absent from church for much of August and now she's starting from scratch in a new class to boot. I'm trying hard to be patient, knowing in my head that she needs the comfort of Mommy near by to ease the tension and confusion she feels. Knowing that she can handle the new noises and new faces better if she can look up and see my face or hold my hand while she listens to the story. But it is very emotional for her and therefore for me.

Our last night in China

I'm full of thoughts and feelings today as I remember all the changes that this little girl has been through in just this past year. Yes, today is the anniversary of the day we brought Li'l Empress home. One year ago today, we landed (just about now to the hour!) on US soil. One year ago today, our precious girl added to her identity the tag of "American citizen." One year ago today, this little dumpling met her big brothers and sister. One year ago today, she came HOME.

The new citizen. A real American beauty.

It's a lot to take in. In her little life of just two years, this child has had many caregivers. She's had a birth mother, a foster mother, and now me. She's been in an orphanage, a group home, a foster home, a series of hotels, and now her forever home. She's had so many changes. It almost embarrasses me that I got so frustrated this morning in her class, with her clingy demand that I stay nearby.

And then. Then, she went to the next level with her crying and into a near melt-down. I swept her up and held her tight, singing and whispering in her ear. Reminding her that Momma is here. Momma isn't going anywhere for now. Momma is with her. Momma loves her. And the frustration melted away. The reality of all that has changed in her little life sank in. None of these changes have been of her choosing. None of these changes have been happy or pleasant at the start. None of them were comfortable for her. And certainly, none of them were easy for her to understand.

Every day, at nap and bed time we pray and thank Jesus for our family. For our HOME. Every nap and bed time, she looks up at me and says "Momma" to which I always reply, "Yes, I am your momma. I love being your momma." Every time.

And in my heart and my mind, every time, I thank the Lord for the privilege that being MOMMA is. I get to teach her that these new changes aren't so bad. That change doesn't always mean loss. That while at times it might be painful, change can also be good. Change can mean greater growth. And that she'll never have to experience such hard changes alone, ever again. She has a family now. She has a family that will point her to Jesus. And I get to be her Momma for all of it.

Happy Home Day, Li'l Empress. Your presence has changed us all for the better, with the joy and laughter that you carry with you. We love you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Li'l Empress has beautiful, silky, soft black hair. Not much of it, but enough to finagle a little fountain piggie on the top of her sweet little head once in a while. Sometimes, if I'm feeling especially patient, we even manage to little spouts side-by-side. We've had occasion in this past year to neaten up the back of her hair and trim the back a little teeeeeensy bit. But only a couple times. And just to even it out and get rid of the stragglies.

This week, I noticed that the front of her hair was getting a little shaggy. And that it was really, really uneven. She has quite a few spots around her hairline where it just doesn't seem to grow as quickly as the rest of her hair. So, I got brave (seriously, I had to talk myself into it and "just do it!" when I was feeling the courage!) and trimmed up the front of her hair. Unfortunately, it's still a tad uneven and there's still some bare spots. At least all the ends are straight cuts now and not little stragglers. But it hasn't been a full week yet and it seems as if I'm the only one that notices them.

Here's the finished product. The sides are still really shaggy. But I'm not even slightly brave enough to tackle those and I'm really quite content to let them all grow in a bit more. As long as it doesn't look like she's growing a mullet, I'm good.

I'll have to look at it in another couple days, after it's "hung out a bit" - you know, like laundry that needs to hang to get the remaining wrinkles out of it. I have no idea why that makes a difference in a fresh hair cut, but it really does.

Or I might just be strange that way.

It's always a possibility.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fashion Advice

Some of you may have noted that I recently won a Klutz Paper Fashions book over at 5 Minutes for Giveaways. LadyBug is ecstatic. Thanks to my friends at 5M4G, I am like, "the coolest mom everrrr." Seriously, that's how she said it to me when the package arrived the other day. I'm good with that. These days, whatever impresses my girl and helps her feel that I am, like, totally invested in her life, is good with me. WhatEVERRRRRRR.

But it got me thinking. Our family has some serious fashion do's and don'ts. Doesn't every family? I decided to give you all the benefit of our vast knowledge of the fashion world and share with you the tips and tricks that keep us all so hip and stylin'.

Yeah, if you didn't catch the sarcasm in that last sentence, then you really don't know me that well. And I'm sorry for you, cuz frankly, I think I'm a hoot to know.

Again with the sarcasm.

Without further ado, here are some of the fashion mantras spoken of with great reverence and adhered to with strict attention in The Gang's house.
  • Please, Boss, do not wear khaki pants/shorts/whatever with a gray shirt. It's just too many neutrals. No one should wear that much neutral, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum.
  • Please, please, please, Baby BlueEyes. Dark blue t-shirts do not MATCH dark blue shorts. They are the SAME as dark blue shorts. Please, pick another shirt.
  • BBE? Are you seriously thinking that that black t-shirt is a better choice with those dark blue shorts?! Really?
  • LadyBug, must you always, always tie up and knot your t-shirts at the hip/waist/ribcage? Pull your shirt down and at least loosen that knot. Now.
  • Shaggy, you really plan on leaving the house in those black socks? With your white sneakers and your light gray shorts? Can we say "GRANDPA????!"
  • Dr. D, that t-shirt has at least three holes in it. Do you need new t-shirts?
  • And look at your socks! You do know that I can purchase new socks for you when you need them, right?
  • BBE, did you really wear this underwear all day? Did the gaping hole in the ummm, cr@tch bother you AT ALL? You do know that I can purchase new underwear for you when you need them, right?!
  • (Are you sensing a theme here?!)
  • LadyBug, is it possible that you have just about 12 too many scrunchies and hair elastics around your arm? Are you preparing for a style-changing emergency that I don't know about?
  • (And by the way, whatever happened to fixing your hair in the morning and keeping that style all day long?! She leaves with 2 pony tails, comes home with an up-do. She leaves with braids and comes home with some hippie looking thing like you see in those old Peace Child ads from the 70's. . . )
  • No, Boss/Shaggy/Dr. D/BBE, brown shoes and black pants are not okay. Black shoes with black pants. Black shoes with gray or even khaki. But please, no brown shoes with those pants.
Lest you think that all the fashion know-how is only coming out of my mouth, I offer this:
  • Moooooooom, you aren't wearing THAT are you?
  • Mooooooooooooom, you are going to do your hair, right?
  • Mooooooooooooooooom, please don't tuck that shirt in - NO ONE does that anymore.
Humph. I've trained them all too well, it appears.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Are you ready for some football?

Goooooo Chargers!!!!!!
First football game of his career, today. Rain or shine.

Please forgive the grainy nature and small size of these pics.
The Boss took them with his phone and no matter what I tried,
I couldn't manipulate them at all. And it's too early to get that frustrated!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Blue-Eyed Boy

Baby BlueEyes at 7 mos.
Today, my Baby BlueEyes turns 8. I can hardly believe it. I know, I know. That's so cliched. So trite. But seriously?! I am sitting here watching the movie in my head of the past 8 years and it feels completely unreal.

I'm having the hardest time believing that "mine Baby Doodah" (as LadyBug used to call him) is no longer a chubby, reddish-blond baby toddling around our house.

Even harder to reconcile is that he's suddenly all arms and legs and gap-toothed grins. His sole intent on a daily basis seems to be proving to all of us how grown-up he has become.

We've been through A. LOT. of really crazy stuff with this kid. His entry to this life began with an unexpected bang: an emergency c-section due to significant fetal distress. In the midst of all of it, The Boss had no idea for whom the emergency was declared - me or the baby? When they shoved The Boss out of the room, he called my mom and told her to "PRAY!" but he had no idea what he was asking her to pray about. After BBE was out and deemed healthy and I was in recovery, the doctors told The Boss that BBE's umbilical cord was wrapped rather significantly around his little neck and my normal progress through labor was impeding his oxygen. We are so grateful that the Lord rescued him and preserved his life!

Shortly after we moved to this region, BBE lost control of his bike at the end of our driveway and was narrowly missed by an on-coming SUV traveling past the house. Narrowly, like the SUV had to swerve and hit the curb to miss him. We are so grateful that the Lord intervened!

And as many of my faithful readers know, several years ago Baby BlueEyes had an unfortunate accident which necessitated a 3-day stay at CHOP. The injuries resulted in some lost teeth, some damage to his budding adult teeth (becoming evident only now), a badly split lip, a broken arm and a concussion. Looking back now, they all seem relatively minor and have had largely healthy outcomes. The alternatives to that day's experiences are too terrible to consider. We are incredibly grateful for the mercy and the grace of the Lord on that day.

Thankfully, there have been many, many other days since then that have softened and eased the anxiety and pain of those (and other!) events in his life. One thing is for certain, the Lord has a big plan for this little guy's life. He has HIS hands on my little guy. We couldn't handle any of the normal parenting stuff on our own, let alone the big things that Baby BlueEyes has experienced, without the hand of the Lord along the way.

We are grateful that the Lord has been present every step along the journey.

We are so grateful for the gift of Baby BlueEye's life. And even more grateful for the gift of parenting him toward that master plan for his future.

Baby BlueEyes holding his newest little cousin
August '09

Happy Birthday Baby BlueEyes.

You have been a beautiful gift to all
who know you. May your life continue
to shine the Love of Jesus
and be held in The Father's hand.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Really Good Read

One of my very favorite adoption blogs is written by a funny, thoughtful, purposeful momma known to the bloggy world as Tonggu Momma. She's articulate, well-read, and excellent at sharing with her readers the great resources she finds in the adoption community. I've learned so much from her writings and her links. But I've also thoroughly enjoyed learning from her. Her point of view, her wisdom and her life experiences all blend together when telling a story. She keeps me completely engaged and I always walk away with a new idea to ponder. And usually with a grin on my face, too. The antics she relates about her Little Tongginator are priceless.

Today, she's written a post that totally resonates with me. It's a parenting issue that I think and talk about frequently in my circle of friends. It seems to me that it's a bit more poignant for those of us who are parenting girls in this culture, given the extreme focus on the outer trappings of beauty and popularity that start infecting our children's lives earlier and earlier every year. But as the mom of three boys, I definitely have strong feelings and opinions about how my sons should be navigating this journey also.

Please, head over there and read it. Give Tonggu Momma some bloggy love and share your thoughts. But get yourself back over here and chat me up with your thoughts on the topic also. I really want to hear from the other "Mean Moms" on the block. And if you don't think you are a "Mean Mom" (or Dad, for you Aus!), I do want to hear from you too. I love sharing ideas and hearing your experiences.

*Edited in the afternoon:
Additional rumination
and resonating by the author
has occurred in the comments :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Just a little levity, courtesy of a cousin's sick sense of humor.

"Swine Flu Paranoia reaches new levels . . ."

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy 1 Year Gotcha Day!!!!!

If you'll indulge me a bit, I have one more little vignette to share in my days of looking back and looking forward.

One year ago today, we were given the great gift of meeting and holding our Li'l Empress for the first time. We already loved her, she was already ours, she already owned our hearts completely. But on September 15, 2008, it all became real. Here she is on that amazing day.

Not too sure of Mommy at first . . .

Full of smiles for her new Daddy
(note, the date is wrong here)

And here she is today, so completely full of love and life and still completely owning all of our hearts.

Her beauty, inside and out, takes my breath away

Say "Gotcha, Baby!"

If you are interested in reading more about our journey to our girl, you can read our original "Gotcha Day" entry here. There's posts before and after that chronicle our whole 16 days in China.

We celebrated with some of my family last night and I have to admit, I was pretty close to tears all night long. Being surrounded by those who love her, who prayed her in to the fold and supported us in the long wait was heady stuff.

But I confess, my heart was also a bit heavy in the midst of the celebration. I find my thoughts turning to her foster parents. We know that they loved her very much and really desired that she remain a part of their family. I am sad for them and have been asking the Lord to meet them and minister His comfort to them. On her birthday, a part of my heart was occupied with prayers for her birth mother. But today, my heart will be full of petitions for the couple who nurtured her joyful spirit and taught her so very well how to love and be loved. We are grateful to them today.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

This last week or so has been a huge week for this momma. It's been a week where I feel as if my head is on a swivel, the eyes of my heart darting back and then forward. Remembering and anticipating. Honoring and hoping. As I've said many, many times before, my happiest moments are when I'm with my family and this past week has afforded some of the sweetest times that I know I will hold in my heart for many years to come.

Of course, the first day of school is always bittersweet for me. My older boys are fully engaged in their new cyber-school, with Li'l Empress pulling up in her little chair to pound away on the kiddie laptop. It's adorable and the absence of LadyBug and Baby BlueEyes is eased by the chattering of the little queen as she rules over her loyal subjects! It reminds me of the days when I home-schooled the older two boys and had my two little ones happily engaged with Little People toys in the next room, chattering away all morning long. I do miss them, but I know that for this season of my life (and theirs) that having all five kids home at once would be more than I can handle. I'm praying and seeking what the next season will hold for us. Looking back, looking forward.

And then it was September 11th. Remembering with the whole nation where I was that day. Thinking about the quiet, numb hush that blanketed the land. I was due any day with Baby BlueEyes and while I mourned with the rest of the world that day, I was also filled with an anticipation of the hope that new life would bring. A strong sense filled my heart that this baby was being born "for such a time as this . . ."; almost a feeling of coming revolution in the spirit. We had tossed a lot of boy names around, never really settling on one that pleased us both. But on the evening of 9/11, both The Boss and I agreed that the name he now bears was just the right one for this time - a strong, deep and intentional name that bears the legacy of one of the names of Jesus. Before, it always felt a little "in your face." On that day, it felt fitting. Looking back. Looking forward.

This week we as a family also marked another Sept. 11: one year since the day we left for China. It was hard to leave the country on that day, watching all the remembrances on the monitors in the airports and on the newspaper covers we passed. But the anticipation of finally meeting our Li'l Empress and expanding our family was equally overwhelming. Looking back, looking forward.

I spent this past weekend at a family wedding. My youngest cousin on my mom's side married his college sweetheart. I spent time watching them, reminiscing about the sweet little toddler that was glued to my side at every family gathering. I could see his sweet little baby face lit up with glee when I would sit and watch Sesame Street with him on the couch. That joyful smile is now full of love for his bride. Remembering my grandfather and my aunts and uncles who could not be there or are no longer with us. Sharing stories and reveling in the sweetness of those memories. Catching glimpses of my grandfather in my cousins, my aunts, and my mom. Knowing that his legacy lives in us. Will live in my kids. Looking back, looking forward.

As weddings will often do, I was also thinking back on the day that The Boss and I pledged ourselves to God and each other. We were so young, so full of hope and promise. As our family has grown over the years, the hope has remained, the promises are being fulfilled. It's exciting to think about what is coming for us next. New promises, new directions, new callings - born out of the path walked in faithfulness to the foundations of our Hope in Christ and the early building blocks of our marriage. Looking back, looking forward.

Finally, I got to celebrate with my sister and her family in the dedication of their fifth child. Remembering the day my dad dedicated my oldest to the Lord some 15 years ago. Looking forward to the gifts and callings that we will get to see grow in this new nephew. Remembering the joy of starting off the next generation on my side of the family with all the excitement of new parents. Wondering at the grace of the Lord that has kept that joy fresh and new, no matter that this new grandchild is the 14th. It just never gets old for me. Feeling such a rush of emotion at the obvious pride and joy my parents experienced when standing before my brother-in-law's congregation to present the family and their newest gift. Humbled and awed by the graciousness of my Savior that we all are grafted in, believers committed to the same Gospel. Such hopefulness at what wonders this generation of grandchildren might accomplish for His Kingdom. The fifteen grandkids come from strong, godly roots on all sides of their families. Looking back, looking forward.

It's been a full week. We are a blessed people. My heart is brimming. My mind is swirling. The eyes of my heart are wide open, most of the time awash with tears! I don't know how else to sum it all up, except to say: Looking back. Looking forward.

God has been good to us. And I know He will continue to be so.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day

Fresh faces, fresh new year!

Still in her jammies, but can't miss the action!

1/2 awake but not able to resist
the chance to tease the little ones
about staying home . . .

Off they go!
Sigh. I miss them already.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's a Good Speech

If you haven't heard about all the furor regarding the President's planned remarks for the public school students of America on Tuesday, Sept. 8th, you must have been vacationing at some lovely remote island for the last week! It's been crazy: our local paper is LIT UP with folks sounding off about the radical left and intolerant right and the "propaganda" and other such nonsense. I even jumped in to the conversation, speaking up for a parent's right to preview curriculum and be informed of content in advance. Boy, did that stir up some of the commenters! I can't believe how hateful and heated some members of our community have become.

If you haven't read the text of the speech yet, really, you must go here and read it for yourself. In my opinion, it's a fine speech. Our school district is recording it and giving parents the opportunity to review it for themselves. Some folks (without even previewing the speech, I might add!) are even planning to request that their students be allow alternate activities for the duration of the speech. I'm not bothered by any element of it enough that I'd remove my students from the assembly at school, but I am planning to talk with my kids about it around the dinner table on Wednesday night.

It's a good speech. And it will be an awesome opportunity to talk with my kids about why we work hard in school. And why we strive for excellence in all we do. And what a blessing free education in this great nation of ours really is. . . It's a good speech. You should read it. I'm glad I did.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lining Up

Several weeks ago, I did some thing unusual. Nothing that was out of character, it simply wasn't that big a deal. It was unusual for me to do it. Something I only do once in a blue moon. A friend complimented me rather lavishly and effusively (for this person's style) on this thing I did.

The "thing" is not important. Neither is the "who." What is the point is the meandering my mind took and the reaction it sparked in me.

For several hours afterward, I found myself bristling at the compliment. Frustration and annoyance hung over me like a cloud.

"Why does she only compliment me so eloquently when I do this thing?"

"Is the normal that I do not acceptable to her regularly?"

"Why does this Thing prompt such a response in her?"

"Why does she go so overboard when I do The Thing?"

"Is the normal SOO unacceptable to her that when I do THE THING,
she's trying hard to encourage me to keep on doing
THE THING more frequently?"

You see, the thing got bigger and bigger the longer I allowed myself to dwell on it. It got weightier and bolder and harsher each time I mulled it over. THE THING dominated my day.

Why do I let that happen in my brain? Why do I let my heart be bound by my ridiculous reaction to another person's expression of an opinion of me? (And for the record, she was being so nice. What is wrong with me?!) Why do I then let those bounds multiply exponentially till they tangle my mind and cut off circulation of THE TRUTH in my heart?

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-8) - bolded portions my own notation

And that's the TRUTH of the matter.
I just need to get lined up with it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Venture For The Gang

I was going to write a nice, long post about the first week of cyber-schooling with Shaggy and Dr. D. It was going to be full of pride about their work ethic, about the joy at having my guys home during the day; and maybe even a little about the excitement at the challenge of seeing them take charge of their own schedules and educational progress.

But then I walked into the dining room this morning, and this is what I saw. I think this sums up our week so much better than anything else I could have said (NOT that I'll never say it in the coming weeks!) in our first post about home schooling the boys.

Take a peek between the two big boys' laptops . . . Enjoy!

Just to clarify, she set up
this little work station
all by herself.
Just like the boys :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

The oldest cousin and the youngest cousin.
Have I mentioned
how much I love being an aunt?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

But be warned,
none of the cuties on the other sites
will be quite as cute as these.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Confronting the Ugliness

Last month, I stood in line with my family at a check out, in front of a middle-aged dad. We were in a W*lM*rt in upstate NY, en route to our vacation at the lake. Just the big happy Gang of us, hanging out and stretching our legs while we snagged some groceries for the week. He was accompanied by his young teen son and his elementary-aged daughter. We were all just kind of perusing the tabloid headlines, as we waited for our turn to be checked out.

With a sneer and a grumble, the dad said (and I'm likely paraphrasing here - it was a month ago), "Yeah, that J%n oughtta get his own show and call it J%n's Great New Life, since he finally got smart and got rid of that b**ch, K@t&." He and his teen son laughed at their own wittiness and mumbled something about how horrible it must be to live with a "br0@d like her. . . "

Now, I've been silent thus far here on the blog regarding the whole TLC show debacle. Not because I don't have an opinion. Or a conviction. Come on, you all know me way better than that. You KNOW I've got opinions. I've just chosen to stay silent. To me, it's a much, much bigger issue than I think any blog post or even series of posts could do justice in addressing. And frankly, no matter my opinion, most of it isn't any of my business.

But this guy?! With a mouth like that, in front of his kids AND mine? And a short-sighted, evil, mean-spirited opinion like that?! Yeah, I wasn't silent. I was incensed. I took a deep breath and turned around. I looked both of them directly in the eyes and said, (again, I'm paraphrasing!) "Yeah, except that by chasing his great new life, he's left 8 kids virtually fatherless and that's just pathetic."

My kids and my hubby were surprised at how I addressed it. And frankly, so was I. It just kinda spilled out. Like I said, regardless of how I feel about the whole story, this interchange was just a symptom to me of how ugly we've allowed our culture to become.

Rejoicing over a broken family?
Reveling in another man's freedom
from his "b*#ch" of a wife?
Disregarding the damage inflicted
on the precious little hearts of those 8 kids?

Honestly, I was just so appalled that he would voice those sentiments. And that he would speak like that IN. FRONT. OF. HIS. KIDS. AND. MINE. And I'm so deeply saddened for the two kids, that they are being (intentionally or unintentionally) trained to disrespect the opposite sex, to disregard the institute of marriage, and to mock others' misfortune.

And don't even get me started on his manners, to even be discussing such an issue in his crude way, in front of the whole check out line at the local W*lM*rt.

I spoke up that day. I couldn't take the ugliness for another second. And I hope I'm that brave to confront it again if I come across it. In my own town. At my own store. Closer to home.