Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thank You to KC and the Sunshine Band

Okay, so this Bad Song Moment gets credited to my highly publicized infatuation with Disco Music. I know, I know, it’s not even really an art form, but more like a roadside accident that you can’t stop staring at—-I’m not arguing the finer points of liking disco music in this blog. Still, there’s something infectious about the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack or an ELO compilation. I can’t help it. And if Captain and Tennille or Andy Gibb or Donna Summer come on the radio, Sister, you’d better back up because the dancing and singing are about to commence in full force.

So, when my youngest daughter ran stone naked into my bedroom after bath time the other night, turned around to flash her derriere in my direction, and in an attempt to shake it like a Polaroid picture, instead wiggled her elbows where her bottom should have been moving, and sang "shake your bootie, shake your bootie!" at the top of her lungs, I know that unlike the Apple Bottom Jeans situation, I must take credit for this one. It’s all my fault. But I think that I’ll blame it on KC and the Sunshine Band so as not to impact my standings in the Perfect Mommy Title for 2008.

And in another weird moment...the other day I was at the book store near my workplace and I ran into Jackie Collins, the author. Literally ran into her. As in almost knocked her over. We came around an aisle at the same moment, and I knew who she was instantly, big sunglasses not withstanding (where exactly do you purchase sunglasses the size of dinner plates? And someone please explain why we are wearing them INSIDE of the building.)

In keeping with her incognito sunglasses disguise, behind her was a man wearing a hot pink Izod, white pants, and one of those little tennis sweaters tied around his neck (remember it’s June in Alabama—you could bake food in my car right now—I assure you that the last fashion statement I’m going to be making this week is a SWEATER). Clearly, if I want to blend in the book store in central Alabama I’m going to bring along my very flamboyant assistant dressed like a character in a Caddyshack remake.

The Husband asked me (tongue in cheek) if I got her autograph. I laughed and said that while Hollywood Wives was quite the summer reading material, I wasn't sure about having it autographed in the library of the parsonage. We've already had lightning strike the house once; let's not tempt fate.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Blue Light Special

The Husband got a speeding ticket from a state trooper on the way home from Mississippi. He'd gone over to pick up some Vacation Bible School materials from a sister church, and on the way back, was obviously a little over eager to get home. Lovely.

When the trooper pulled him over he said, "The reason I stopped you, Mr. Johnson was that I clocked you right at 80."

The Brain Trust responded, "Yep. That's about what I had on mine too."

(This is why he ISN'T Joel Osteen.)

So, naturally, I asked him if he played The Pastor Card, and he said that he tried his darndest.

Trooper: "Where were you headed in such a hurry?"

The Pastor: "Well, I, ahem, pastor a church and was hauling these VBS supplies back to serve the children of our church and I guess I was just anxious to get started..."

Trooper: "Are you still at the address in Wilton?"

The Pastor (insert Foghorn Leghorn voiceover here): "No, I'm pastoring another church now, but I pastored a church there as well."

After all of that flag waiving, no question that the trooper must have been one of those atheists (or at the very least not a Southern Baptist), because surely no one else would ticket The Right Reverend transporting a van-load of VBS materials. Who wants that spiritual mojo hanging over them? It's clearly some sort of cult plot. (Of course, call me crazy, it also could have something to do with going 80 in 65.)

Naturally, I immediately contacted the church secretary, treasurer, and clerk to find out how exactly we file that particular expense on the monthly expense report :-) and was told that we don't have a fund for that. (gasp!)

What? No fund for speeding tickets? Are you sure you people are Baptist? We've got a fund for toilet paper, but not for a lead-footed preacher? Then someone wiser than myself suggested, "You should put down that the expense is for 'transporting life-saving materials'."

That Southern Baptist Humor cracks me up. :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The SBC Annual Meeting or Being Married to Joel Osteen

Four days after getting home from the beach, we piled in the van and drove on a Friday to Mississippi where we dropped the kids at Cousin Sandra's house. Then we turned around and drove back home to Alabama the same day. (We were worn out and hadn't even "been" anywhere yet.)

On Saturday, we drove Biscuit to the vet, dropped the dry cleaning, ran through the drug store, then hit the road to the airport to fly to the land of "Indiananapolis" for convention.

We had a GREAT time at the convention and were spiritually fed and felt like we did some Kingdom work, but the highlights had to be the meals, time alone with The Husband, and the hotel.

We arrived at around 5:00 p.m. Saturday evening, settled into the room, changed clothes, and hunted up a good place to eat. At least once when we are out of town, The Husband takes me somewhere on our dime that we can't begin to afford, but we call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When is the next time I'm going to be in Indianapolis? Seriously, might as well give it a go in case we never go again. :-)

We ate at some fine restaurants in Indiana. One in particular was off the charts--the Capital Grille--in the hotel. We had crab cakes and steak and creme brulee for dessert (again, before anyone panics, we paid for this meal). Everything was unhurried and cooked perfectly and the atmosphere was wonderful. It was very romantic and just lovely.

But the topper on the evening was when the waitress came over during dessert and tentatively asked the Husband, "Me and my assistant have been trying to figure something out--are you on TV?"

The Husband rared back in his chair and responded seriously, "No, but I should be!" (HA!)

She said, "Well, we all thought you might be that TV preacher from Texas."

You got it.

Someone thought that The Husband was Joel Osteen. HA-HA!!!!! Okay, this is so funny, I can't begin to discuss it adequately in this forum. The Husband shook his head laughing, and responded, "Joel's gonna be in some trouble come next week on the TV when someone reports that he had dinner with a stunning brunette instead of his blonde wife." We got quite a bit of mileage out of that one. Joel Osteen. HA!

The hotel we stayed in was unreal. The room we had was covered under the convention special rates, so we paid what everyone else did, but they upgraded us to a king suite. Huge bed with an enormous flat screen TV and sofa and desk...really spiffy. But what took the cake was the bathroom--There was a TV and a telephone in the toilet. My first thought upon seeing the flat screen TV mounted on the bathroom wall was, "What in the world do you need a TV in the toilet for?", then that night I took about an hour-long bubble bath bath while watching a chick flick and completely Got It. (Of course, this would NEVER work at home since all we'd receive on the TV would be Spongebob Squarepants or Scooby Doo and no amount of bubble bath justifies that.)

The telephone is still a mystery though. What do you do when you're finished with the program and the phone call is still in progress? I'm not sitting there another fifteen minutes chatting, and I'm certainly not flushing. What is the etiquette while talking on the phone and using the facilities? Do you cover the phone and flush? Do you say you've got a call waiting beeping through? Ugh. And who wants to touch a phone that's in the toilet? Ick.

We had to walk through a huge four-story mall to get to the convention center every session, so that was a mighty good excuse for some recreational shopping. (I'd be dangerous with some actual money.) :-)

The actual convention was up and down. We LOVED the preacher's conference and enjoyed the preaching and the evangelism conference. The business portion was boring but necessary. Oh, and the Upward luncheon was motivational. The pastor's wives thing was sort of weird. It may warrant its own entry, because I took issue with some of the things said from the stage (no surprise there). Have no fear, congretation, Sister Sunshine Charlotte stayed in check. :-)

We flew home on Wednesday and didn't get in until really late. The plane was delayed on the runway due to bad weather. We didn't really mind sitting there two extra hours too much--beats taking off in bad weather and not coming down in one piece. (Incidentally, on hour two of sitting there I poked The Husband and said that I could pitch a fit and get us thrown off the plane and then everyone would REALLY think that he WAS Joel Osteen. ha!)

Then on Thursday we drove back to Mississippi to collect the Shorties. Whew. I am SOOOOO glad to be home!!!!!!

No more travel for me for awhile. I need to decompress a little and hang out and enjoy the summer and the Shorties. Speaking of Shorties...happy Daddy's day to my precious husband and happy birthday to the Twins! It is good to be The Mother Bear.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Beach is Back

Johnsons at the Beach 2008

It was good to go away, and it’s good to be home again. We had a wonderful trip to the beach this past week full of nothing but sun and sand and sea and seafood and shopping! Yea! The kids were good and the weather was custom ordered—it couldn’t have been a nicer trip. It was very relaxing.

We ended up taking a Bonus Child with us on the trip. (Once you get to four Shorties, adding one more really isn’t such a big deal.) Everywhere we went people would ask us if they were all ours. The Husband got to telling people that no, they weren’t all ours, we just saw some kids we liked in Wal-Mart and picked them up along the way.

Lily, Carter, Elaina, Hannah (honorary Johnson), Elise We got to the condo at around 5:00 on Monday and the kids were crazy ready to get into the pool, so the first thing we did before unpacking even was haul everyone down to the ocean and the pool to swim. They were pretty wound up from that five hour car ride. (Weren’t we all?)

The condo was super nice—very well appointed and lovely. The only issue I had the entire week was being 15 floors up. The kids were under strict orders that Lily’s feet had to be on the floor on the balcony every single time they stepped out there. We also pulled the chairs away from the rails and faced them to the wall just to make me feel better. But the trade off for this fear factor was an unbelievable view. I mean amazing.

We ate at great restaurants too…the Hangout was this really cool nightspot that during the day became a haven for families and kids. They have these huge canvas beds outside to lounge around on and a 7-ft-tall sand bar with a tunnel through it—just lots to do. (Although, seeing those beds out by the area where the band sets up, Steve said that he had a sudden wave of nausea thinking about our girls coming down here at Spring Break alone. Ditto.)

We also spent an afternoon riding gokarts and those water boats and kiddie rides. The kids had too much fun (so did the Big Kids).

And as usual, Lily was following in the footsteps of her fashionista sisters. (See photo illustration below:)She found these shoes at Claire's, pulled of the tags right there in the store, sat down on the floor, put the shoes on her feet, and confidently annouced while tossing her hair back over her shoulder that they were now Lily's shoes. And that was that.
(That's Mother in the family photo. She had a great time and held up very well with all of the travel.)
And on our 2008 Johnson World Tour, our church is generously sending the Husband and me to the Southern Baptist Convention this weekend. I’m really excited to go to the pastor’s conference stuff and hear the preaching! We need to be fed some too, so we're looking forward to a big time. We’re flying off and the kids are going to Mississippi to stay with the Apple Bottom Jeans Cousins, so pray, pray hard. Ha! (Love you Sandra and James!!! No one else is stupid enough, er, loves us enough to take the Shorties for an entire week!) Mother is going to stay with her mother for a visit, which will be fun for both of them and for the family.

The Johnsons are on the move this year big time.