Tuesday, November 26, 2013

10 Sneaky Backblogging Photos

Luke is obsessed with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books right now.  Last week at the community festival where my dad got his Grandparent of the Year award, they had booths, bounce houses, face painting, free popcorn, crafts, etc.  So what does my child do first?  He goes to the
library's Bookmobile and finds the second book in the series and makes me check it out for him. And then he read it all morning. Including in a cozy little spot in this sculpture. 

The office where I work is a block from here so maybe I have a new place to take my lunch break...

 Luke just can't get enough!

I forgot to document that Cindy finished her volleyball season.  I was very proud of her for playing well and working hard for the entire 8 weeks.  Here she is with Coach Allison and Andrew.

Grandpa came to awards night to lend his support. And his bunny ears.

The other day I got a package in the mail and I told Luke he could open it.  Wow.  I guess that is one way to open a bubble mailer??  A way that no one else ever uses...

Three weeks ago Brian and Kelly came down for about 48 hours so Brian could be the best man in the wedding of his best friend. Cindy was only after one thing: holding Olivia.

Grandpa got into the act too.

It has been so incredibly not cold here.  But Luke does not seem to notice.  He will wear these long john Spiderman pajamas any time he wants.  And I found out the real reason he loves them is, and I quote, "When I wear them over my feet at the end like this, the red part looks like fire and I feel like Iron Man."

 Hey, my mom had another birthday! 

Jacob and I finally had a non-working date!  Blue Man Group over at Universal in Orlando.  I kinda wanted to see what all the fuss was about and since I am a LivingSocial commando I scored a great deal on tickets.  We definitely liked the show and had a good time (there was some very subtle humor all through the show that I totally loved), but we're not quite sure the hype is worth even my super savvy discounted price. We thought Cirque de Soliel was a little better.  But can I really complain about anything when getting to spend time with this gorgeous guy? Nope :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Your Argument is Invalid

Here is a picture of my mom petting an armadillo.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So about that 10K...

It went great! Despite the fact that my iPod betrayed me and did not sync my carefully chosen 10K playlist, there were still bright spots.  In a great stroke of luck the weather was overcast and drizzling that morning, so I did not pass out and have my dead carcass sizzling in the sun on the side of the road near the public library.  Looking back I am not sure how I managed to run for 57 minutes without stopping.  It's almost like me saying I built my own nuclear reactor and split an atom last weekend. It still amazes me.  I even ended up winning a trophy for third place in my age group!  And winning a trophy when you are 34 is kind of a cool thing.  Next up is a Thanksgiving morning 5k out in Lake Wales.  3.1 miles?  It's barely worth getting up for!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obamacare Sucks! And I Meme it!

None of these memes are mine.  They are all just floating around out there on the Internet and I have conveniently corralled them into one giant pen of mockery for you.  

"Not Bad" Obama showed up.

Much of the criticism revolved around the difficulties of accessing the Obamacare exchange.

There were lots of "More people did _____ than signed up for Obamacare."

Some of the internet's favorite memes got involved in the conversation...

The entertainment industry got involved too....

The first memes were based on government IT incompetence.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This was the latest offering by my dad for his Thanksgiving food drive email blast...

Top Ten Little Known Facts About The Pilgrims

10. Real reason they fled England was to escape Simon Cowell.
9.  Those Publix salt and pepper shakers everybody loves--never officially authorized by the Pilgrims.
8.  Hat, belt and shoe buckles really made of plastic to make airport screening faster.
7.  Strict Puritan beliefs prohibited making little turkey sandwiches out of dinner rolls at the end of the meal.
6.  Pilgrim men secretly angry that they always had to be shirts and Indians got to be skins in touch football.
5.  Teenage Pilgrims were subject to dunking in the public square for greeting the Indian Princess Sacajawea with ‘Sup Sac-J!’
4.  Women caught cheating were actually given a choice as to whether they would wear a scarlet A for adultery or a scarlet K for Kardashian.
3.  Totally made up the name ‘Plymouth Rock’ because ‘Plymouth Sandy Place Near Some Trees’ wasn’t cool enough.
2.  Pranked the Indians by slipping them a slice of Tofurkey when they weren’t looking.
1.  Goodwill and harmony of first Thanksgiving dinner was disrupted by argument over whether it was called stuffing or dressing.

What kind of person calls it dressing?  It says it on the box: Stove-top "Stuffing."  Duh.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Number is 12

So there is a Facebook trend going around right now where people list a number of items that people don't know about them. Sometimes I find things like this cliche but most of the time it's quite fascinating.  A friend asked me the other night what I would put on my list. Well, here you go...

1. I am actually quite vain.  I own about six different wrinkle creams and I can't stand my gray hairs.
2. I have the loudest clap in the world. Seriously.
3. I desperately want to write and publish at least one children's book before I die.
4. I hate eating fast food twice in one day.
5. I get up at 5:05 every morning with Jacob and make him breakfast.
6. I am a huge Rush Limbaugh fan- have been since 8th grade- and I try to listen to him whenever I can.
7.  I have almost 150 items saved in my Amazon shopping account right now.
8.  I was one of the people who ordered something from Wal-Mart.com during their big electronics Internet glitch last week. And they let me keep it!
9.  I know all the lyrics to thousands of songs.  It is what I notice first about any song.
10. I cried at Luke's ultrasound.  I was terrified because I didn't know what to do with a boy.
11. Growing up I always wanted to be a hotel manager.
12. I was the lead singer for my elementary school Pride team.  We toured schools and taught kids about saying no to drugs.  I sang about 5 different songs by myself.

Be honest, you didn't know any of that.  And if you did, are you stalking me?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grandparent of the Year

Yesterday I surprised my dad with the news that he won the Grandparent of the Year award at the annual Polk County Family Week kickoff party.  I have attended this community event every year for a while now and thought he should be recognized for all he has done for my family.  At the event I was only allowed to read a watered-down version of my nomination essay because they required that it be 150 words or less. Which basically means I had time to say, "Gee, my dad is swell" and smile.  It really failed to capture the awesomeness of the original essay, so here is the director's cut:

I would love to nominate my father, Mike Bingham, for Grandparent of the Year.  There is a saying that great dads get promoted to Grandpa.  This could not be more true of my dad. He was and still is a wonderful dad, but he is an absolutely stellar grandpa.  If you could think of every great quality a grandpa should have, he has it.  He is fun and energetic.  He plays all kinds of games, from Uno to Frisbee and even "hide the car" twenty times in a row if necessary.  He takes my kids to garage sales on Saturday morning and lets them buy whatever they want with his quarters and dimes.  He purposely collects junk mail so my kids can each take turns running it through the shredder in his office because they think its the funnest thing ever. For the past four years he has sent my children postcards in the mail every single week, just so they can experience actually getting mail (even though he lives three miles away).  He will dig for shells at the beach for hours on end and pick up anything he finds, sight unseen. He goes camping and builds forts.  He flips omelettes three feet in the air and is really good at making things with play-doh.  He attends all the activities of my children, whether it be soccer at 8 in the morning all the way across town or softball at 8 at night at the ballpark. And he always has money for the snack bar :)  He is the kind of grandparent that stops at the lemonade stands of little kids and buys five glasses just because it would make their day.  He buys overpriced wrapping paper and cookie dough for school fundraisers.  He is very generous, patient, hard working and always sets a good example of service for my children.  I hit the jackpot by having him as my father and the legacy continues for my own children who are lucky enough to have him as their grandpa.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finally Friday

Well, it's finally Friday.  This week has been ridiculously busy and I cannot WAIT until Saturday afternoon when things finally calm down and I have nothing to do.  My 10k is in the morning and would you believe the forecast is rain?  Seriously? In November? It doesn't make sense!  But I am fully committed and will run despite whatever weather phenomena shows up.  Unless it's a Sharknado. Or sleet.  Then I am going home.

Alert reader Maggie sent me a link on Facebook to "The 50 Funniest Mormon Memes You Will See on the Internet."  As an Internet and meme connoisseur I have seen about 75% of these already, but there are a few that caught me off guard and made me realize there are other Mormons out there who share my sense of humor and love for memes.  Click on the link above to see all 50, but here are my top 5:

Mormon LDS Meme Funny (19)

And this has got to be one of the best Mormon memes I ever saw:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Luke Quickie

Monday when Luke came home from school he said to me, "Mom, guess what day it is! Guess. What. Day. It. Is."  And then in his bestest GEICO camel voice he said, "Veteran's DAY! Woop! Woop!"                         Nailed it.

And for those that haven't been to the movies lately....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Soapbox in 3,2,1...

Does anyone else think it's funny at how "outraged" people on the Internet are? About everything? It seems like a full time job for some people.  The latest outrage I have been reading about concerns Black Friday.  Supposedly now everyone is outraged about how stores are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day and therefore forcing us all to eat less turkey, be 40% less thankful and become gold digging jerks.  Last time I checked I was not aware we were being forced to go shopping on Thanksgiving night. Obama has not signed that executive order yet. He probably will, and we'll all be forced to buy electric cars and bamboo laptops, but at this point we still can choose how to spend our evening.

Back when we were DJs in Salt Lake City, our boss always held a big country dance on Thanksgiving night.  You might think, that's crazy!  It's a holiday and no one will come because surely they are spending time with their families and making lists of all the things they are thankful for and hugging each other. Well, no actually. By about 8pm all those kids were sick and tired of their families and wanted something TO DO.  It was one of the biggest dances of the year and it always made bank.  Those young adults had spent all day with their families.  It was time to get out of the house and spend a little of their vacation doing something they enjoyed.  I liken Black Friday to the dance music at the end of a wedding reception.  Most of a reception consists of music that is light and romantic. But come on, after dinner and cutting the cake, people are ready to party. They don't want to sit and listen to Celine Dion for four hours- no matter how in love the bride and groom are.  But just because people rock out to Cha Cha slide or do the Wobble doesn't suddenly negate the wedding or mean that romance is dead. It just caps off a (hopefully) wonderful day.

So I really don't understand why Black Friday and Thanksgiving can't coexist.  There are plenty of people out there that spend all day with their families and then spend ALL NIGHT with them shopping.  What more do you want?  I mean, is there some sort of test we have to pass to prove we were thankful enough on Thanksgiving Day in order to do anything else?  We just need to accept that we cannot make other people spend holidays in the way we think is appropriate.  As a traditionalist, I would hope everyone would be with their families on Thanksgiving Day, eating a 6-year-old turkey they found in the back of their freezer with mounds of cranberry sauce that expired two years ago.  But some people hate turkey. Some people are allergic to turkey. Some people can't spell turkey. (Cough!*Obama*Cough!)  Some people don't own a calendar and don't even know it's Thanksgiving.  Nor do they care. And guess what? Life goes on. Remember, it is just a day.  We picked it out of a hat and labeled it.  That's all. We made it that way.  You can be really, really thankful on 364 other days too.  It is not exclusive to that one day.  So if you want a 75 inch TV for $99.50 and are willing to skip turkey dinner so you can be in a tent in order to get one on Thanksgiving night, go right ahead. Heck, if you want to go on a cruise without any of your family and be floating in the middle of the Atlantic ocean eating shrimp cocktail on Thanksgiving, more power to you.  It is wonderful that Thanksgiving is a National holiday.  Personally, I kind of like it more than Christmas. But to each his own. And if you disagree, consider me outraged!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Riding the Princess Bride wave...

There is nothing like delivering the news to Jacob that he has been summoned for jury duty. Again. Sorry, babe.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Cindy Quickie

I had the following conversation with Cindy last night:

Me:  Why did you come and sleep on my floor last night?
Cindy: It's just that I hear noises sometimes and get scared, so I come in there to sleep because if a guy breaks in, I want to die with you.
Me:  Wow. But wait, shouldn't you be saying that you come in my room so that if a guy breaks in you will be protected because dad will shoot him with his gun or I will fight him off and save everyone?
Cindy: No. I am pretty sure we're gonna die.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blogging It Out

Pretty sure that if you read this blog at all you have heard me mention how amazingly awful the car line is a Cindy and Luke's school.  This is the main reason I put them on the bus; I just can't deal with its stupidity. But once a week on Wednesday I am forced to endure car line in order to get Cindy to chorus practice at 8am.  After my adventures this morning, I have decided that they need their own slogan.  Any of these would work great.  (This one's for you, Davina!)


10.  Don't waste your gas money just anywhere!
9.  10,000 fundraisers, 1 exit!
8.  Come see how the dress code applies only to our students
7.  Giving you ample time to text your friend (who is also in car line) about how much you hate car line
6.  1500 students and a line that merges and crosses itself twice. What could go wrong?
5.  Hurry up and wait!
4.  Proud to be your daily face-palm for four years in a row
3.  .45 miles, 55 minutes.  Problem?
2.  Even the traffic cop thinks we're idiots
1.  We dare you to be on time!

And speaking of slogans, this morning I stumbled on the website honestslogans.com.  It was a very good ab workout.  Here are a few of my favorites.....

(all photos come from honestslogans.com)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Blogger

As you may know, my dad is in charge of a county-wide food donation program every Thanksgiving to benefit those who are less fortunate.  Each year he sends out daily email blasts to all the county employees reminding them to donate to the cause. And since this is my dad we are talking about, and from whom I get my mad writing skills, you know it isn't some boring two sentence reminder devoid of humor.  It is always accompanied by some sort of Novembery anecdote, meme, top ten list, etc. The reaction to these emails is everything from hatred and loathing to the proper elation and joy that it is finally that time of year again.  So without further ado, here is today's offering from my dad...

Dear Friends,

According to the Associated Press, this year if you call Butterball's Turkey Talk Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL) for some cooking advice, you might get a male voice on the line.   For the first time, Butterball is hiring men as well as women for its holiday hotline.

The 32-year-old talk line offers advice to anyone overwhelmed by making the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving Day and the rest of the year-end holiday season.   But the line, which employs around 60 people, has never hired men before.   The company says it wasn't specifically excluding men, but it usually relied on word-of-mouth to hire its talk line operators and its hires were always women.  Most operators have a background in food or nutrition; and have culinary degrees or are dietitians, food stylists or scientists. They also take a crash course in turkey making at Butterball.

As you might imagine, the most Frequently Asked Questions by anxious Thanksgiving chefs are about how long to thaw and roast a bird.  But occasionally the Turkey Talk Line operators get a question that’s out of the ordinary.  Here are some actual questions people have asked Butterball.  I am not making this up.
Can I cook the turkey in a pillowcase smeared with butter?
Can I baste the turkey with suntan oil?
Can I thaw my turkey with a hair dryer?  (Or an electric blanket?  Or in the aquarium with my fish?)
I use my oven to heat my tiny apartment.  How long will it take to cook a turkey with the oven door open?
My turkey has been in the freezer for 23 years.  Is it still OK to eat?
It’s a two hour drive from the store to my house and I don’t want the turkey to thaw yet.  Can I put it on the luggage rack? 
Can I poke holes in the turkey and pour beer in it to keep it moist?
I’m a long haul trucker.  Can I cook a turkey on my engine block while I drive?
My Chihuahua climbed inside the raw turkey.   Is it still edible?         (The turkey or the Chihuahua?)

While you are asking yourself why so many calls to the Turkey Talk Line apparently come from Mulberry, also ask yourself if you’ve put any canned or non-perishable food in the Collection Box in your work area for the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Um, the answer to the question about the 23 year old turkey still being good to eat had better be yes. Otherwise I need to find a new turkey for this year's dinner ASAP.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Luke Quickie

Today I walked out of my room and down the hall to find that Luke had taken a pen and drawn lines all the way down both of his legs and his arms.  I asked him why on earth he did that and he replied, "I was drawing the bones in my body."  Uncle Chris will be sent a picture to check his accuracy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


According to my calculations that was the fastest October the world has ever experienced.  Wow!  So here is everything I forgot to blog about:

We went to the Bartow Halloween parade again this year with our friends: 

Cindy, Maddie and another friend who I don't know

Luke, Ben and Nathan

Chillin' with my best girl :)

And this Duck Dynasty "float" exemplifies why I keep going back to this hometown event year after year...

Here is the pumpkin we carved this year.  We called him Pierre von Poompkeen: 

Last Saturday Chris and his family were here for some uppity doctor conference over in Orlando.  Chris basically told them that unless they gave him free tickets for his extended family to go to Hollywood Studios he was going to leave and shun their organization forever.  They buckled like a knee with a torn meniscus! Well, maybe it wasn't exactly like that, but nevertheless my parents and I and the kids got to head over to Orlando to hang out and enjoy a little free Disney action.  I managed these amazing photos:

A budding bromance

Luke on Endor

I am starting to have quite a fine collection of pics of Chris wearing strange hats.

Wow, those really capture everything we did, don't they?  Oy! I would say that the highlight of the night was everyone immediately going on Star Tours and Chris and I learning that we should NEVER ride that ride ever again.  It's comforting to know that I am not the only Bingham with pansy motion sickness issues.   Solidarity, brother!  And thanks for taking us! This is exactly what we had in mind when you said you were going to be a doctor, though.

The sunsets around this joint have been breathtaking lately.  The other night I went outside and thought a large timber factory was on fire across the street.  It was incredible.  Pictures never capture the awe of a good sunset, but Cindy tries anyways. 

Trick or treating two nights ago was pretty good.  It started out with Luke getting dressed and then....

In his defense Luke did wake up at 5:30am and told us how excited he was about Halloween.  He just needs to learn to pace himself :)

Here they are, all refreshed and ready to go!

Luke is not really interested in the actual candy, it seems.  He is ready to be done with trick or treating usually after about 5 houses.  His pumpkin actually got so full and heavy that he was whimpering and heaving great sighs every time we told him to hurry up and go with Cindy to the next door.  He ditched the bucket finally and just used his hand to carry any candy from the door to the pocket of my cargo shorts.  Again, stamina is not Robin's super power.

But all that hard work paid off because here is Cindy sorting her loot the next morning.  
Quite a haul!

Lastly, I have no picture for this, but I have been busily training for an upcoming 10K that I will be running in two weeks.  Superwoman Linnley sent me a training plan and I can honestly say I have been following it as best as possible.  I even woke up this morning, on a Saturday, at 5:40am to fit in my run.  I'm doing the work, I'm babysteppin', I'm not a slacker, gimmee, gimmee, I need, I NEED!  It has been great to have a new goal and Coach Linnley's plan will lead me to 10K glory! The only thing that can possibly stand in my way is a house full of candy that I can't stop eating and so wait,  let me just see if we have any around h- awh, crap.