Monthly Archives: December 2012

Remind us, Lord, that we have hope. His name is Jesus…

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It’s 5 days away from Christmas day, the most wonderful time of the year! I am mentally running through my to-do list:

– What last minute gifts do I need to buy my shopping?
– What groceries do I need to be sure all the goodies are made this weekend?
– I have laundry that needs to be done (daily until Jesus comes)
– I need to clean my house

The list seemed to go on and on in my mind until an email I received today stopped my mid-thought. The subject line read, “Urgent Prayer Requests”. As I read the needs presented, suddenly I realized that Christmas this year just became very different for some very dear friends.

– I read the news that a precious sister in Christ, Debbie Mann, lost her husband, Jeff, quite suddenly after about six weeks of illness. They have a 8 year old daughter, Maggie, and as one can imagine, they’re quite devastated.

– I read an update regarding a precious man who has been a pillar in both our church and our community for many years, Jim Gooch, advising that he has been moved to the Hospice House due to the cancer. He has three adult sons and one year ago today, 12/20/11, they said good-bye to their Mother who went to be with the Lord.

This email pretty much stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly, my list of things to do didn’t seem so important. Instead of adding more things to my list, I found myself stopping to pray for these families to be comforted at this time of grief and need. Thankfully, these family members know Jesus as their Savior; they don’t sorrow as those without hope. I know I can cover these sweet brothers and sisters in prayer, asking the Lord to wrap His arms around them, but I know their hearts are hurting.

I got tears in my eyes thinking that, for these families, Christmas will forever feel “different”. My own father went to heaven 10 years go, March 14, 2002. I miss him every single day and I particularly remember the events that took place on the day he died every March; but I especially miss my dad during the special times we used to share, one of which was Christmas. It’s simply not the same without him.

And I’m sure for these families, Christmas will never be the same either…at least not on this earth. But one day…well, thankfully, we have HOPE.

The tree has been decorated with lights all aglow
The gifts have been wrapped with ribbons and bows
There’s food prepared that’s fit for a king
Everything is in place, except for one thing….

There’s a chair that sits empty up at the head
of the table where once you blessed our great spread
We’ve less packages under the tree, one less stocking, too;
They’re all missing now because we’re missing you.

I cried out the Lord, “Why we must lose
Ones so dear; this is not what we choose!”
But He tenderly lifted me up on His knee,
Wiped my tears and spoke gently to me,

“Sweet child, I know your heart breaks today;
And My heart hurts for you, but you see

Your loved one has finished the race set before them
And now they celebrate in heaven with Me!

There’s a seat with their name at My table
It has been reserved just for them
And one day we’ll all enjoy the marriage supper together
for all eternity, but until then…

This you can know with surety
That just as I’m holding you;
I’m holding that special loved one you miss
So you’re together because I’m holding both of you.

It’s okay to cry, let the tears flow!
You’ll miss this one that’s gone;
But when you wipe your eyes, you may rejoice
knowing one day you, too, will be home.

-Robin Allman Riggins 12/20/12

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

God, thank You for giving us Hope. This Hope, Mary wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. Born her son; born her Savior…Jesus who came that we might have eternal life! Eternal HOPE!

jeff mann

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The ‘Stache…

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As promised, I want to share with you pictures of Caleb in his “mustache” that we made for his party last week. In my prior blog, I mentioned that his youth group was having a contest for who could wear the best mustache to their Christmas party. Caleb decided he would go to extreme measures and cut his long hair in order to make himself a mustache. Here is his creation…

caleb mustache

I actually took a 1/2 day’s vacation the day of his party in order to get some shopping done and to be sure his mustache was just right. Yes, I am that mother that works hard to get an A+ on all of her children’s projects. This was going to be tough; all I had was a baggie full of hair. I figured that making the ‘stache would be easy enough, but the hard part was figuring out how to stick the thing to his face. Then, like a beacon in the night, I saw “Sally’s Beauty Supply” sign.

I went in and, after explaining what I needed to the sales lady, she said they had just the thing – two-sided tape that they use to hold toupees in place. That was PERFECT. She took me to the aisle where the two-sided tape was and handed me a box with about 70 strips. The cost = $7.99. Hmmm….I really only needed three strips. But there wasn’t a smaller box. I did want this to be an A+ mustache, but I didn’t want to spend $8.00. I’ve already paid for a haircut to get this thing!

Oh, but God is good to me…the sweet sales lady saw my hesitation and said, “Just come up to the front with me. Let me see if I have an opened box there.” She went behind the counter and voila! There was an opened box of 2-sided toupee tape. She handed me 3 strips, FREE OF CHARGE, and sent me on my way with best wishes on the mustache.

Once I got home, I got straight to work. I knew what shape I needed for the mustache because Caleb said he wanted one like Hulk Hogan’s. Well, that should be easy enough…

hulk hogan

I cut my shape for the mustache then got out the glue stick…which was a horrible idea. For anyone out there needing to make a mustache with real hair, be advised; a glue stick doesn’t work. You’ll just muff up your glue stick with hair. Eww…TRASHED.

This was going to take extreme measures. There was only one thing that would get this job done – the hot glue gun. And THAT worked. I put the hot, melted glue on the heavy paper I was using and started pressing hair into it. It worked like a charm! All I had left to do was “trim” it up once the hair was covering the paper and it would be perfect! Or so I thought…

When Caleb got home, I unveiled “the mustache”. He held it up to his face announcing that it was perfect! He loved it! Whew! He changed his clothes and readied himself to be “‘stached”.

We got the 2-sided tape on the back of the mustache and pressed it onto Caleb’s face. Now, while the above picture of Caleb shows that the mustache eventually worked perfectly, we did have some “adjustments” to make. You see, once we got the mustache in place, every time Caleb spoke (or breathed), he got hair all in his mouth. Right…because while the hair that was glued onto the paper wasn’t going anywhere, there were pieces of hair on the top layer that basically were just “hanging on” to the glued hair underneath. And many of them found their way into Caleb’s pie hole. Double Ewww…

Caleb was spitting, pulling hairs out of his mouth, gagging (literally gagging), and all the while I was shouting, “Don’t mess up the mustache!” I really should have videoed this part because, from where I was standing, it was hilariously funny. But Caleb didn’t so much think so.

FINALLY, he got all the loose hair off of his mustache and was ready to head out the door for his party when he stops in his tracks. “Oh my gosh!”

Me – “What is it now?”

Caleb – “I HAVE TO STOP AND GET GAS! I’M ALMOST ON EMPTY!”

Lol! Steve and I couldn’t help but laugh. But hey, all we had was 3 strips of 2-sided tape and I dared him to pull it off before the judging of the contest. Yes, I am hardcore when trying to make an A+ or win a contest.

Caleb made it to the party with his ‘stache intact, but his youth pastor, Daniel, told me the first thing he did when he got there was ask for a straw so he could have something to drink!

caleb mustache2

I love this kid…

Sir Hawk of Mo or Sir Mo of Hawk…whatever.

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You gotta love the power of suggestion…..

A couple of weeks ago, our middle son, Caleb, received a text from his youth pastor, Daniel Webster, advising that his youth group would be having their annual Christmas party on Friday, December 14th (tonight).  For fun, everyone was to come wearing their best mustache.  For incentive to be creative, Daniel said he would give a prize for “the best mustache” in the group.  Now, since most of these youth are between the ages of 13 and 18 and at least half of them are girls, we knew this was to be a “made up” mustache.  Caleb immediately began to rack his brain trying to figure out what he could come up with to assure he would win the prize.

You know, I really have to learn that my children need only a small suggestion to run with an idea….

When Caleb read the text to me, I laughed and innocently said, “Hey, I know what you could do – go get your hair all cut off and save the leftover hair to make you a mustache!”

I WAS KIDDING!!  (although I didn’t mind the idea of him having a haircut…)  But Caleb ran with it.  “YEAH!!!  Mom, can you call and get me an appointment?  I need it before Friday the 14th!  And I want to cut my hair into a mohawk!”

Oh my steve…what have I done?

I figured he would forget about it or at least decide he wasn’t ready to do such a thing to his mane.  Especially a MOHAWK.

You see, Caleb had an unfortunate incident involving a mohawk when he was in 7th grade.  I was sure it had scarred him for life. He had asked me to cut his hair into a mohawk and, for whatever reason, I did it.  I guess I was tired of always telling Caleb, “No.”  Two days later, one of the administrators where he went to school (a private Christian school at the time) told Caleb that the mohawk was a distraction and he needed to cut it off.  “But my MOM cut it for me!”  (Thanks Caleb…throw me under the bus why don’t you)  They didn’t care.  It was not allowed and we had to cut it off; which meant that Caleb would return to school with a skinned head. He was NOT a happy camper.

caleb with skinned head

This was after about 4-5 weeks growth…

Sunday night of this week, Caleb reminded me not to forget to make his appointment for his mohawk.  Clearly either he wasn’t scarred or he wanted to prove that nobody cares how distracting your hair is in public school.

I suppose I should have learned with Wes that, with my kids, I can’t say anything that I don’t want to see come to fruition.  Case in point, when Wes was a freshman in college, he was complaining to me that he didn’t know what in the world he should major in because none of the 50+ offered at his school interested him.  He proceeded to say that he just wanted to do something that would allow him to retire at age 40 and make a bunch of money.  Uh, right…don’t we all.

In an effort to be FUNNY, I took him a brochure from the Army showing what a General makes after 20 years of service.  The pay was not too shabby, but I knew Wes would scoff at the idea of being in the military.  If for no other reason, he would never cut that crazy hair he loved so much.

wes's graduation

And this was after he had a haircut for his high school graduation…

Not only did he not scoff and complain about the haircut, but he also began researching the idea of the military and ended up enlisting in the US Marine Reserves.

I WAS KIDDING!!!  Can’t these kids take a joke?????

wes with gun

Apparently not…

Well, yesterday was the day of Caleb’s haircut.

He went from this:

caleb with long hair

To this:

Caleb with mohawk

He wasn’t mad, he actually loved his haircut.  You see, another thing about my kids…seldom can I take a picture without them striking some pose or making a crazy face.  Thanks Steve.

caleb with mohawk2

Side shot…this pic was being sent to Wes so Caleb needed to look fierce, I guess.  Whatever.

At this very moment, there is a baggie in my car full of hair that I must somehow make into a mustache by tonight for Caleb’s party.  Any ideas on how to stick it to his face??  Sally’s here I come.

Lord, I hope he wins the prize.  Pictures will be forthcoming…I promise. 😉  But here’s proof that the kid can rock a mustache:

caleb with mustache

Man I love being part of this family.

Standing up for what we believe…

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As a Christian, I find it especially sad that at Christmas of all times, believers are subjected to so much negative talk and criticism over one of our most sacred “holy-days”.  Suddenly, everyone is offended by every move that Christians make, especially at Christmas.  They hate the manger scene, they want to abolish the word “Christmas”, they don’t want to see Christmas trees (I’m sorry to tell them, but there was no Christmas tree at the manger…?)  Other religions observe their holy days with much respect and entitlement.  But simply because the age old phrase “Merry Christmas” contains the word “Christ”, it’s no longer politically correct to use this term.  As John Stossell says, “GIVE ME A BREAK!”

Well, I say, GET OVER IT.  If it weren’t for Christ, there would simply be no Christmas…for anyone.

You don’t have to believe like I believe, but guess what?  I get to believe what I believe just like everyone else does.  Therefore, I will continue to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Because Christ is the reason for the celebration!

It’s so frustrating to so clearly see how the world – SATAN – is working tirelessly to quiet the truth of Jesus Christ.  Here’s a prime example from my very home.  Caleb and I were talking yesterday about the science class he’s currently in. Right now, they’re learning about evolution.  Caleb was sharing with Eli & me some of the ideas within the theory of evolution as to how this world came about.  The following theory is one that I find particularly mind blowing.  Evolutionists believe that the WHALE “most likely” came from a land animal, such as the WOLF.  They say the WOLF didn’t care to eat other land animals so instead, the WOLF turned to the ocean for his source of food – fish.  Eventually, after so many years of going into the ocean to get fish, the WOLF’S paws evolved into fins and in time, the WOLF further evolved into what we now know as the WHALE.

You have GOT to be kidding me…

First of all, and most obviously, HOW MUCH FISH DID THAT WOLF HAVE TO EAT AND STORE IN HIS BODY TO BECOME THE SIZE OF A WHALE????  Not to mention how ridiculously amazing it is that the fur of the wolf began to morph into blubber (??).

Eli said, “Caleb, where did the blow hole come from then??”  Caleb said, “The teacher said the wolf’s nose began to move back until it ended up on the wolf/whale’s back and became the blow hole.”

I’m sorry, but it takes a heck of a lot more faith to believe a ridiculous load of bull such as this than to believe that a loving, all-powerful God carefully created everything on this earth, with exactly what they need to survive.  We didn’t morph; WE WERE CREATED!

I asked Caleb if he says anything in class during their discussions and, as only Caleb can, he said, “I have to answer the dumb questions if the teacher asks me, but he gave us a worksheet that asked what we think about evolution and I wrote, “I think it’s stupid. I believe God created the heavens and the earth and He’s my Lord and Savior.”

Booo-yah.

Of course, this isn’t a new thing at all, but where once schools taught both evolution and creation, somehow the public educational system has found it unnecessary to teach creation so it has been dropped from their curriculum.  Well, I say go ahead – I wouldn’t want a non-believer attempting to teach my children the truth anyway.  As a God-fearing, Bible believing Christian, it’s my DUTY to teach my own children the truth.  I’m sure glad my parents did.

When my oldest brother, Rob, was in about the 4th grade, he came home with a book called “From Fins to Hands”.  His assignment was to write a paper from this book.  My father, Rev. Max Allman, saw the book and stopped in his tracks. “Robbie, what is that garbage you’re reading?”

Robbie – “It’s a book from school.  I have to write a paper on it.”

Dad – “You’ll not write a paper on that junk.  We don’t believe that way and you’re NOT going to read it.”

Robbie – “But dad, I’ll get a failing grade.”

Dad – “I don’t care if you do.  You’re not writing that paper.”

So, Robbie went back to school, book in his backpack, paper undone.

Shortly thereafter, my mother received a call from Robbie’s teacher.  She was upset because she had found Robbie reading a comic book while they were discussing their lesson.  She wanted to see my mother after school.  So, my mom goes in to see the teacher and to pick up Robbie, holding me by the hand and Chris on her hip.  The teacher proceeded to explain the situation again.  My mother said, “We’ve told Robbie he is not to read the book “From Fins to Hands” because we do not believe in evolution.  We believe that God created everything and we don’t want evolution taught to our children.”

Teacher – “Well, we teach both evolution and creation, but Mrs. Allman, you can’t expect your children to grow up believing everything you tell them.”

Mom – “That’s their choice, but we won’t be teaching them what we don’t believe and Robbie won’t be reading that book.”

Robbie turned in his paper on the book with the following written on the paper:

“From Fins to Hands”

By: Robbie Allman

That is all.  And Robbie received a B+ on the paper.

I admit that I struggle with whether to go to Caleb’s class to see his teacher and to explain that Caleb will be unable to sit in his class while they teach evolution, but let’s face it; we’re surrounded every day by ungodliness that smacks Christians in the face with no apologies.  We MUST to teach our children how to stand in the midst of it all and still believe the TRUTH.  It’s why we are warned to “…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  As much as the world tries to knock us down, WE MUST STAND. And we can’t do it without strengthening ourselves every single day through reading God’s word – the same Word we say we live by and believe – and by spending time in prayer to the One we know can and will deliver us.

Now more than ever, we must walk the talk.  We can’t call ourselves Christians and cower to every blow.  Believe me, the birth pangs are only getting stronger in the world pointing to the day Christ will take His children home.  JESUS IS COMING!  One day, we’ll celebrate for all eternity and nevermore remember the ungodliness around us now.  One day…and I don’t believe it will be very long.

The flip side of that is that there are too many who have rejected Christ and will face eternity separated from Him.  Or worse, those that call themselves believers yet live more for the world than for the Lord, compromising the very Word they say they believe, hiding their light under a bushel, will realize how deceived they’ve been by conforming to this world rather than allowing the God to transform them.

Christians, DON’T HIDE YOUR LIGHTS!  This world grows darker by the day;  but one small light can pierce the darkness!  Hey, you might think your light is small in comparison, but be determined, “This little light of mine, I’M GONNA LET IT SHINE!”

candle

Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer…

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I love Christmas.  It is a most wonderful time of year indeed; but I have to say, the years have changed my perspective…

As a child growing up with two brothers, it was the one time of year that we didn’t have to be threatened with “the belt” to get along (and my dad did not give idle threats…).  And back then, December seemed to be about 6 weeks long!  It took forever for Christmas to come!

I loved that Christmas meant spending time with extended family.  I always looked forward to going to Kannapolis, NC where we would celebrate with my father’s side of the family, then heading to Salisbury, NC to see with my mother’s side.  Both sides were equally fun, but these were two very different sides of the family.

My dad’s family, the Allmans and the Hodges, were not a large bunch in number, but we were HUGE in fun.  My grandfather, Rev. Lester Allman, had a sense of humor that has been passed down from generation to generation, and still lives strong today in his grandchildren and several of his great-grandchildren.  My dad has one sister, Aunt Linda Hodge, and she and her husband Gene have two daughters, Gina Lynn (now known only as “Gina”) and Angel.  Every year, the cousins (less Rob – he considered himself too old to hang out with the “little kids”) would escape to the living room and start working on a Christmas play that we would perform for the family.  And they endured it graciously.

Now, the Allman’s and Hodge’s were practical jokers.  At some point, someone would receive a well thought out gag gift (that sometimes literally made you gag) that would take the spotlight and send us all into hilarious laughter.  I guess the “gag” gift I remember the most was one to my dad received from Aunt Linda.  The box must have boasted something really special, but inside awaited a baby potty filled with chunky peanut butter with chocolate bars interestingly placed in the peanut butter (use your imagination….enter the “gag” part).  Strange sense of humor, I know…

Both my grandfather, Rev. Lester Allman, and my grandmother, “Lib” are in heaven now (He was 6’4″ and she was about 4’6″).  I can’t tell you how much I miss the days of sitting backwards in our wood paneled station wagon headed to Kannapolis for Christmas.

70's christmas

Gina Lynn, Chris, and Me…groovy times (circa 1976?)

The Loman Christmas was a huge event.  My mother has 4 brothers and between the five of them there are 12 grandchildren (and numerous great-grandchildren at this point).  Because of the size of the Loman family, we drew names for the gift exchange amongst ourselves and then we also received a coveted gift from our grandparents, Rev. Harold Loman and sweet Elizabeth (they actually bought us toys when we were little and not clothes).  I could not wait to tear into our presents!  But as is the case for most celebrations, we had to eat first.

My uncle, Larry Loman, who is retired from the US Navy, started a tradition one year by bringing cold, boiled shrimp for everyone to enjoy.  Wow!  That was quite the treat back then!  And I discovered that I loved “shrimp cocktail”!  So did everyone else…which led to Uncle Larry counting out the shrimp that we were each allowed have.  They were both so yummy!  But, don’t DARE go back and try to get more.  Ouch…he was hard core about his shrimp…

Once everyone”s gifts were opened, the last, and probably most anticipated activity took place; the passing out of the envelopes.   My grandparents gave each of the grandchildren a $50.00 bill and every year I received an envelope marked “Robbin”.  Forever I have spelled my name “Robin”, but since every year there was a $50.00 bill enclosed in my envelope, I never said a word.

robin in red skirt

We dressed up for Christmas…(I know you’re all saying, “Bless her heart…”)

Of course, life goes on and things never stay the same.  Today, all four of my grandparents, my own father, Rev. Max Allman, and both my father-in-law, Charles Riggins and my mother-in-law, Kay Riggins, are in heaven.  I miss them so much.  And even though between my two brothers and I there are 13 grandchildren, seldom are we ever all together due to the different directions in which God has led our lives.  I do thank God every day that I am blessed to live right next to my mother, Janice Allman, (whom I struggle to keep up with most days), but I sure do miss my daddy being there, too.  Every year at Christmas, dad proudly presented the family with a big, fat beef tenderloin, cooked just perfectly by his own hands, including all the trimmings to enjoy together.

Christmas is different now.

I miss my own children looking forward to going to both sets of grandparents’ homes, excited to be exchanging gifts with their cousins, anticipating what each will receive from Santa and, who knows – maybe coming up with a Christmas play to present to the family.  I miss making multiple side dishes for a feast that will more than feed all 25+ family members on the Riggins’ side of the family and then doing it all over again to feed all 21+ in mine.  I miss shopping for just the right present that I think a niece or nephew or sibling or in-law will believe to be the best gift they’ve ever received.

I’m not whining, just missing my family that I don’t get to see often enough.  You see, we’ve been through a lot together and my love for all of them goes way back and grows every day.

This is my oldest brother, Rob (in this picture, he was still known as “Robbie”), and me.  Who knew this cowboy would grow to be news director for CBN in VA Beach, VA?

robin and rob

Maybe 1970?  Taken at the parsonage when my father was a pastor in West Jefferson, NC

 

This is my younger brother, Chris, and me.  I’m not sure why in all of his younger pictures Chris has his finger stuck in his ear like that.  I think a gentleman from our church taught him that trick…?  I’m so proud of how the Lord is using Chris in ministry as tenor for Greater Vision – wow what an amazing voice!

robin and chris

1972-73?  Taken at the parsonage on Davis Street in Burlington, NC

There’s no doubt I’m blessed and through the strides this world has made in communication, I can talk to my brothers and the rest of my family nearly any time I choose.  But there’s nothing like being together.  Because when we are, whether the Riggins’ or the Allmans’, there’s sure to be lots of laughter and even more love.

Life will always change, but Christmas is still magical.  Next stop…grandchildren….:)

Waste not, want not…

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I would have to make it my full time job to write every hilarious or crazy incident that takes place on a daily basis in our home.  When I started “The Riggins’ Life”, it was for selfish reasons; I want to remember these funny things that take place every day so I can remind my kids about them when they’re older and share these happenings with my grandkids.

wes letter2   my three boys2   my three boys

Yesterday did not disappoint.  Eli came to visit me at my office after school so that I could help him with his homework.  He was quite distraught because his teacher made the entire class write each word that they missed on their spelling test 50 times.  This meant Eli had 300 words total to write (oops).  He was NOT happy.  I told him to suck it up and start writing because as much as he hated to do it, it was an assignment that had to be done and he would need to study harder for the next test.  I checked out what he had written so far and saw that he had the word “disfuntional” about 35 times.

Me – “Um, Eli, is this word supposed to be “dysfunctional”?

Eli – “Yep.”

Me – “Well, I’m pretty sure it’s “dys” and you left out the “c”.”  You see, this is why the teacher wants you writing these words 50 times each.  IF you write them correctly, you’ll most likely never misspell them again.”

His head hit the desk and the mumbling began….”OH my gosh, I hate spelling, this is so stupid, I hate that word….”

By 5:00, with a very sore hand, Eli had all of his words written and we headed home.  As is my custom, I called the house to let Caleb know I was headed that way.  He had come home earlier in the afternoon not feeling well and I had instructed him to take Theraflu and lay down – no computer, no cell phone, just REST.  When I called on my way home, I asked if he had taken the medicine like I told him.  He said he had done so and then said, “Was I supposed to take that little white pill laying on the table?”  I truly had no idea what pill he was talking about or where it came from so I vehemently said, “NO.  Don’t take any pill you see on the table.  I don’t know what it is.”

Caleb – “It has an “A” on it.  What is it?”

Me – “I have no idea but don’t take it.”  In an effort to be funny, I said, “It could be one of Kendal’s birth control pills and you don’t want to take that.” (snicker, snicker).  To  my right, in the passenger seat, I hear Eli saying, “Wh-wh-what did you say??  Kendal takes the birth control pills?? Wh-wh-why???”

I waved him off to finish my conversation with Caleb….

Caleb – “What would happen if I did take one of her pills?”

Me – “I have no idea, you just don’t ever want to.  I’m sure that pill is not for birth control. I was just being funny.  Throw it away and I’ll see you soon.  Love you, bye.”

When I got off the phone, Eli. Was. Frantic.  “Why does Kendal take that pill??”

Me – “Because she and Wes are not ready to have a baby yet.”

He began shaking his head furiously, blinking his eyes trying to comprehend what I had just said and then, with raised voice, he proclaims:  “THEN WHY DO THEY DO IT??  That’s like throwing bait into shark infested waters hoping it won’t get eaten!!  They can snuggle and kiss and all that, but don’t do it!  That’s stupid!  If they don’t want to have a baby then why do they do it??   WESLEY IS JUST WASTING HIS SEED!”

O my steve.  I nearly had to pull the car over so I could regain control of myself.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.  But Eli was NOT laughing.  And he couldn’t figure out what my deal was either.  This was NOT a laughing matter to him.  Sex was for having babies and, according to Eli, Wes & Kendal were just flat out CRAZY.

I know I get close to the “too much information” line at times, but some things are too funny to make up and too funny not to share.  I am still laughing this morning (and I hope that Eli, Wes, & Kendal will not kill me for sharing this story)!

All three of our boys are precious gifts from God to Steve and me; none more special than the other.  But they definitely have individual “gifts” of their own and Eli…well, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh because of him.

And that’s definitely a goodthing. 😀

Eli mountain dew

I crown thee “Hot Dog King”

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I cannot believe that December is already here!  It seems to come more swiftly every year, but I have to admit that the kid in me doesn’t mind at all.  With our three boys growing up, the anticipation and expectation of Christmas Day is a bit different; but it’s still a very exciting time at the Riggins’ house.

And it’s such a fun time to shop for our boys!   Steve especially loves Christmas shopping because our sons are at the age where they all enjoy the same things; for the most part, hunting and fishing.  That means our shopping list consists of LOTS of camouflage; camo for hunting in warm weather, camo for hunting in cold weather, under layers of camo, scentless camo, camo for hunting deer, different camo for hunting ducks…the list goes on and on.

eli hunter 2     robin and caleb    wes and deer head

They like to throw in a little blaze orange for a pop of color.

While I enjoy making our boys happy, camo is not really my “thang.  But thanks to Wes, I have a girl to shop for, too!  Funny thing is, I think Kendal likes camo as much as the boys…:)

robin and kendal

We’re kinda two peas in a pod…

Let me tell you, all this camo shopping can get very expensive.  So, it helps that we have a son who works at Dick’s Sporting Goods!  Wesley works at Dick’s and we very frequently take advantage of his 25% employee discount.  But to add to our good fortune, yesterday was “Family Appreciation Day” for all Dick’s employees which meant family members of Dick’s employees receive an additional 10% on top of the employee discount!  35% off baby!

So, as soon as church was over, we headed to Dick’s for the 7pm start time of Family Appreciation Night.  As we approached the store, a wonderful aroma hit us in the face and it was coming from an outside grill.  A grill outside of Dick’s, that is.

“Wow, that smells good!”

“It’s hotdogs for Family Appreciation Night!”

SCORE!  35% discount AND free dinner!  This is a treat indeed.

We  hit the store and began shopping, desperately trying to keep hidden the items we were buying since all the family decided to come along.  After a while of shopping and being assured that he wasn’t getting anything that he could sport before Christmas Day, Eli says, “Well, I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?”

Me – “Well, you can have a free hot dog here or leftover spaghetti when we get home.”

Eli – “I think a hot dog sounds great.”  And off he went for his free dinner.

Steve & I shopped for a little longer before deciding we needed to take advantage of a free hot dog ourselves.  Eli found us fixing our dogs and began fixing a plate for himself.   We loaded up our plates with dogs, Doritos, Christmas cookies, and a free drink and found the closest place to settle for our free dinner.

Once our dogs were downed, I looked at Eli and said, “Do you want anything else to eat?” Eli said, “No, I’ve already had 4 hotdogs so I’m getting pretty full.”

Me – “FOUR HOT DOGS?!  Are you serious??”

Eli – “Yeah, but I only ate the bun with two of them.”

This didn’t even bring into account the Doritos, Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and Christmas cookies he had enjoyed.  I’m pretty sure Dick’s didn’t mean for it to be an “all you can eat” buffet and Wes might receive a company memo about family members taking advantage of their free food…

We left Dick’s and headed home.  Literally, as soon as we hit the door, Eli says, “Ugh…I don’t feel so good.” and off to the bathroom he ran.  Oh mercy…thank God for Febreeze…whew!

christmas hot dogI think we’ve had our share of hot dogs this Christmas.