Lately my kids have been acting really kooky about "swear words".  You all know how sheltered they are, so it probably won't come as any surprise to hear that David berated me the other day for swearing.

What?!?!  you say...JENNY was swearing?!?

Yeah.  I said Holy Cow.

That's right, my kids are keeping a tight fist around here when it comes to my colorful vocabulary.

But it gets better:

Last night Elizabeth was dancing around singing while I was making supper.  As she often does, she was making up a new song and singing it repeatedly for a good long time (oh, man, I remember doing that, my poor mother!!).

This song went:  "I just need your hellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllp.  I just need your helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllp."  On, and on, and on.  The song wasn't that bad, actually, except for the fact that you could barely hear the p on the end of each line, and so at first I wasn't quite sure WHAT that girl was singing.

So I calmly asked her: "What are the words of your song, my dear?"  And she proceeded to tell me, then continued singing.

After a few minutes more she stopped and asked, "What did you think I was saying?  Did you think I was saying hell?"  I gulped and said yes as calmly as I could.

"Oh, no, I wasn't saying hell, I was saying help (nodding her head).  It kind of does sound like hell, doesn't it.  (To herself, like she is reciting) Hell above.... Nope, the song goes: I just need your helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllppp."

And on she went singing for several more minutes when suddenly she stopped and whispered to me, "I know a REAL swear word."

Hmmm.  I'll bet she has heard a few, although apparently hell doesn't count.

Still whispering:  "It's so bad I won't ever say it!!!"

That's my girl.

"It doesn't end in "l", though, it ends in "k"."

Uh, oh.

So calmly I asked her: "Where did you hear this bad word?"  Mentally repeating:  If I don't freak out she won't realize how bad this is.  Someone is going to PAY!!!!!

"Oh, I don't think I've heard it, it's just one I know."

At this point the language police caught on and he started nosing into the conversation.  Oh, man...

"Should I tell David what it is, mommy?"

To which I of course replied, "No!"  Calm down....  "Why don't you tell me instead."

So Miss Mary Elizabeth sauntered over to me and whispered in my ear:


At least once in everyone's life there comes a time when they receive a gift they can't identify.  I don't mean a fruit cake with unknown ingredients lovingly created by your Grandma, or a lovely framed cross-stitch of something brown from Aunt Bee.

No, I mean that time you receive a....What IS that?!?!?... gift.

This was my lucky year.

Since the giftee managed to be in Costa Rica for the holidays I was unable to discover the true identity of my gift until recently.  While I waited my children and I spent some time pondering what this marvelous gift could be.

What follows is a list of the possibilities we came up with, in no particular order:

    A Turban
A Headband

A Ponytail Holder

A Newsboy Hat

A Necklace

A Decorative Stripe

A Baby Sling

A Belt

A Bikini Top

An Endless Knot

A Sling for a Broken Arm

A Bracelet

A Prayer Cap


Ear Muffs

A Toupee and Facial Hair

A Brigham Young Beard

A Bow Tie
A Necktie

Half-Finger Gloves

A Puzzle

A Blanket for your Arms when you Pray

A Handfasting Scarf (Notice that one of us likes the idea of getting married and the other is not real happy here...)

A Lasso

Lady Liberty's Torch

Leg Cuffs

A Boa Constrictor

 Hope your Christmas was as exciting as ours!