Friday, September 30, 2016

Chester's competition

So I visited a friend recently and realized that Chester totally has some competition.  I know shocking right!?  All this time, I falsely believed that Chester was coasting in the lead by miles (or pounds of food) over the competition, and in that moment I realized I was WRONG. Seriously, her freezer was so full that it made Chester look slim, and empty, and barren. Of course, you realize, this is no small task because Chester looks just like this.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Yes we are still alive and yes so is Chester, but I swear these appliances are trying to push me over the edge!  They are trying to sabotage my good parenting and wifing skills one catastrophe at a time!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Had to lighten things up a bit after yesterday's post!  So here you go a light and fun read to start your Wacky Wednesday!

When we were kids, I made my younger brother and sister Licenses to Be Like Vern-They were so Freakin Cool--fashioned after the Pepsi License to Chill Cards: historical information for those youngsters out there...License to Chills went viral before viral meant anything other than some type of unfortunate infection. They were pretty popular back in the day and basically were given to Pepsi drinkers as some ploy to build brand loyalty.  I have no idea how successful the campaign was and to be completely honest, I always preferred Coke. However, back in the olden days these Licenses to Chill were pretty COOL.
 Sample License To Chill

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Truth, or dare

This is long past due; I have been working on it since shortly after I returned from Haiti.  I have been like an artist, working slowly to get it just right.  Well it is not perfect and never will be, but it is honest, raw and hopefully somewhat encapsulates my thoughts about life post Haiti. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The exorcist

Our Ice Maker, Ivy, is possessed.  I wish I was kidding, but the evidence is just too strong to ignore the symptoms any longer.  There are unexplainable noises.  And unexplainable messes.  Oh the horror.  I actually wonder if there is someone being held against their will inside Ivy, but that seems unlikely, but still the sounds lead me to believe it is true!

We have an exorcism planned later this week.  There are priests involved.  There are hymns rehearsed.  That is all.

A message in a bottle, from Ivy herself!

PS Stay safe my friends. This is a dangerous, dangerous world we live in and now we have to worry about our appliances breathing violence into it as well.

Vern Out

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Waffle Pizza...What!??

Wondering what to make for dinner?  Thinking of ordering a pizza or serving the family breakfast for supper?  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Forget About Throw Back Thursday

THIS IS FRESH and it's...

What is your favorite day of the week?  I bet most of you probably answered Saturday or Sunday with maybe a few Fridays mixed in for fun.  Not me, or my family, our favorite day is Thursday because it is Grandma Day*.   This post is dedicated in honor of Grandmas all over this globe. Grandmas are certainly one of the most important individuals in the whole entire world!  FOR REALS.  Grandmas really do know best!

*Grandma Day was founded by my mother-in-law, Karla when her first grand baby (Haleigh Jane) was born. On that day, she declared Thursday to be Grandma Day.  I think this is so cool she dedicates an entire day of the week just to spend time with her grandkids.  Over the years it has evolved.  At first she was snuggling babies and changing diapers, then she had to keep them safe through the toddler years and introduce them to play doh and now she is picking kids up from school or practice and overseeing homework.  One constant remains: Grandma Day is sacred in our family.  If Karla is in the state of Michigan, on a Thursday, she can be found happily playing among her tribe of Grand kids.  

First of all, I wanted to share this from one of my most favorite writers, Jenny Lawson.  Jenny fringes on the edge of unacceptable dark and somewhat offensive humor, but still I love her for who she is:  Someone brave enough to talk about her very personal mental health struggles, openly, honestly and without apologizing.  She really should be the spokesperson for Mental Health Alliance, she is that good (and funny).  And while she isn't religious by the typical standards of modern organized religion, I still think she is in her own way because she helps other people overcome adversity. She lifts up those less fortunate, gives voice to vulnerable, often ignored, forgotten or devalued people who struggle with mental health issues and the best part is, she is sincere, honest and oh so funny while she does this.  If you want to check out her writing, unlike me, she is famous and her blog is The Blogess Jenny also has a super cool Grandma who offers solid advice like this...

So don't be shitty about some stupid bullshit! 

I feel badly that some people never get to experience Grandma time. It makes me extremely sad. It is a true travesty. Or tragedy. Or both.  It just plain stinks.  As for my kids, they won the Grandma lottery! BIG TIME... TWICE. They are extremely blessed with not only one, but two, wonderful grandmas and a bunch of amazing great grandmas to boot!  

Our kids have Grandma Karla who is willing to take them anywhere, do anything with them and knows everything there is to know about fashion and travel.   She is also organized, detail-oriented and no nonsense about all things always.   Time with her is efficient, structured and yet fun because she insists everyone has a good time.  They are learning about fashion, planning and other important organizational skills from her. Skills I would NEVER be able to teach them because I don't have any of those particular skills.  Karla

And they have Grandma Neva (Grandma Smith as she prefers to be called) who is eternally patient, knows a lot about childhood development, is hard working, down-to-earth and exposes them to all things natural: farming, canning, gardening and other various outdoor activities to name just a few.  She likes to teach them about responsibility, making good decisions and being generally decent human beings; and the best part is she does so in a sneaky way; the kids don't even realize they are in manners school. It really is amazing. She teaches them that sometimes staying home for the day can be every bit as fun as going to the amusement park, if you just use your imagination, keep a positive attitude and for the love of God be nice to each other!  Grandma Smith

See what I mean?! They totally won the Grandma lottery!  TWICE.

Yes, I think grandmothers are extremely special people. They give kids extra love, hope, confidence and one-on-one attention that parents are often unable to provide (or even if parents are providing it Grandmas do it better).  And they are such important members of our family.  I hate to even consider a world where our kids didn't have the grandmas they have; because they would be lonelier, the world would be scarier and I would certainly be a whole lot crazier.  
And let's be honest when Grandma is involved this is how it tends to go.  Grandma is after all the Supreme Court of the modern day family unit.

Many days I feel like this...
And in those moments, I am so very thankful for Grandmas (and my mom) and Grandpas (and the rest of our damn extended family) because people it really does take a village to raise these kids! And while Thursdays are all about Grandma Karla, my mom serves in more of an ongoing support roll.  She bravely stands by, always on-call, awaiting emergencies like this...

Happy Grandma Day and God Bless!!!

  Vern Out