“You’re Gonna Get Poned, Dad!” The Day of Reckoning.

Pioneer Survivor Warriors

Pioneer Survivor Warriors

The day began with an epic game of pioneer survival war. This game somehow involves the trampoline in my backyard, assorted nerf weaponry, homemade swords, shields, plastic grappling hooks, styrofoam battle axes, origami paper ninja stars and the twelve elementary school boys who live on our street – plus a few of their friends.  The greatest weapon ever unleashed upon our neighborhood pioneer survivors was Phoenix’s homemade war hammer which he proudly toted, slung over one shoulder.  This was a solid three pound section of oak four inches in diameter attached to a three foot long stick secured by heavy duty wood screws.

One day, while my handsome hubby and I were working in our office with the window open we heard a sound which neither of us could identify.  Woosh, Woooosh, Woooosh!  We looked outdoors and saw a 4’6” soldier dressed in camo swinging the weapon of mass destruction in circles over his head.  We quickly ran outside and declared a cease fire before there were any casualties.  Hubby and I, the Co-Dictators, have since revoked the right to bear war hammers.

The game came to a screeching halt when one of the boys heard the sound of an ice cream truck in the distance.  My screen door slammed open as Caleb, ran in shouting; “Mom! Dad! Can I have nine dollars?!  There’s an ice cream truck coming!”  Talk about inflation!  I remember asking for a dollar and getting laughed at, but nine dollars takes the cake.  Lulled into a semi state of insanity and overcome with nostalgia by the tinkling sound of warped music, I gave him six bucks and a high five.  I figured he could treat his friends and play the hero.  Thirty minutes later Caleb returned home for dinner with his two brothers and a friend from school who was sleeping over.  “We got ditched!”  “The ice cream truck never came!  We waited like three hours and it never came.”  (In prepubescent time three hours means fifteen minutes).  “Is dinner ready?”  Thankfully it was.

Dinner time at the 3 Bros Flying Circus is often so funny I have to use my napkin to wipe away the tears.  Any topic is fair game at our dinner table as long as it doesn’t involve bathrooms and internal organs.  The conversation got heated when dad entered the fray.  Noah, 12-year-old son: “Did you guys see the humongous ninety-nine story tree house on Ultimate Tree Houses?” Caleb, 10-year-old son: “Yes, it was awesomely ginormous!”  Connor, 12-year-old friend sleeping over: “Dude, that’s sick!”  Micah, 7-year-old son: “oooh, I want to see it!”  Dave, 44-year-old husband: “Ninety-nine stories would be nine hundred and ninety feet.  Minimum!  That’s a skyscraper Noah, and that’s impossible.”  Me, adult, whispering to 44-year-old husband:  “Sweetie, this is a 6th-grade-boy led conversation. Exaggeration is par for the course.”  Noah, now sensing the stakes have been upped because dad has challenged his story says intensely, “It is a skyscraper dad.”  Dave, now throwing all of his chips on the table, “Let’s google it!”  Noah, feeling every bit of  his twelve years says, “Prepare to say ‘I was wrong’!”  Caleb, feeling empowered by big bro, “YOU’RE GONNA GET PONED, DAD!”

We all left the dinner table and headed for the computer with baited breath as I, the de-facto referee, typed in the words “world’s largest tree house.”  Bam!  There she was in all her glory.  Ten stories and 10,000 square feet worthy of Cartoon Network’s Cribs.  Caleb, 10-year-old son to 44-year-old dad: “Oh, what now?!”  Connor, sleepover friend to 44-year-old: “You just got served, son!”  Dave, 44-year-old husband to all the kids: “Well, technically-speaking…”

I walked away from our dinner table that night with many thoughts and questions.  1) What in the world is a pioneer survivor warrior? 2)  Why did the ice cream truck not come down to our our cul-de-sac? It would have made a fortune! 3)  How is the world’s largest tree house not condemned? (take a look at the link below and you’ll see what I mean)  4) What is the derivative of the word ‘pone’?  5) When did my kids start feeling brave enough to taunt their dad?  6)  Why doesn’t he realize that he has to BRING IT when its 1-on-4?  No technically-speaking mumbo jumbo.  Just because he’s a man of God doesn’t mean he can’t have a good old school verbal smack down with his kids!  7)  And, finally, what took me so long to embrace God’s gift of grace?  A fabulously-hilarious and often perfectly-imperfect family life with the children and husband hand picked just for me!  Take a bit of unsolicited advice from the Ringmaster, celebrate the uniqueness of your family today.

Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!

~The Ringmaster

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“Nouveau Sports”: The Great Disrupter vs The Day of Silence

Shortly after halftime Noah’s soccer team scored yet another goal.  The sound of cheering and adulation was deafening and absolutely amazing particularly because it all seemed to be coming from one person.  The 6 foot 5 inch super fan sporting a bright yellow and purple Laker’s jersey, cargo shorts and flip-flops was pacing the sidelines and yelling the encouraging commands of “spacing, center the ball, and get on him!”.  This brave fan was once one among many of his kind at children’s sporting events. Sitting amongst the “take the fun out of sports brigade” this courageous rebel stood out like me at a KKK rally.

The opposing librarian  coach could not stand another moment of this outlandish noise.  I mean who ever heard of someone actually cheering loudly at a sporting event?  He motioned to the Sideline Referee who in turn walked over to the Main Referee at midfield and pointed to none other than – Pastor Dave, my hubby.  With the game on hold and every parent, and soccer player – including my twelve-year-old son watching intently, the referee walked over and teold my husband to either be quiet or move to the other side of the field.

Here is a bit of background on our sports crazed family.  My husband is a former All-American Volleyball Player who set a record for the most kills in a NCAA match while playing for Stanford.  He was raised by a father who played basketball at Princeton and semi-professional baseball.  His sister played volleyball for Princeton.  I played collegiate NCAA Volleyball, my father is a former NBA Player , my sister a former Olympian and Pro Beach Volleyball Player,  my brother a former Collegiate Basketball player, and brother-in-law once held the American Record in the 100-butterfly.  As the icing on the cake, my mother watches every NBA and NFL game that can be found at any time on any channel and can out coach anyone!  Our two families combined are the perfect storm of sports fanatics and world-class athletes.

I’d say we know a thing or two about sports, but these nouveau fans, and their anti-enthusiast lobby have blocked our swagger.  We can’t help it that our kids were born and bred for sports (well maybe not baseball we had a really bad season) and we love cheering them on VERY LOUDLY!  We don’t want our courts, nor our fields gentrified!  We want to paint our faces, wag our foam fingers, shake our booties and chest bump!  And most of all we want to maintain the right to embarrass our tweens!

After the stellar performances on the soccer field – my husband’s and my son’s – I asked my son Noah how he felt about what happened with his dad today?  He said, his teammate walked over to him and said, “Dude, the ref’s talking to your dad!”  My son’s response, “Not again!”  When and if Noah plays collegiate ball, he will be well equipped to handle the fans who await him and he will be unashamed of his loud and proud parents!

The “council of acceptable suburban parenting” (they don’t exist I made that up), has actually convinced our local and very popular soccer league which shall remain nameless to officially hold a “SILENT SIDELINES WEEK” (this part is true).

Here’s an excerpt from their website, “Once again this year, we will practice “silent sideline soccer” during all games played on Week 6. Only the players and referees will be allowed to say anything out loud during the silent soccer period. Parents are only allowed to clap to acknowledge good play. Coaches are asked to sit in a chair and are allowed to chat with their substitute players on the sidelines.”  We are doing this becausewait for it – “Players on the field should be encouraged to talk, this is one of the big benefits, once the players know they can communicate amongst themselves, then they will hopefully continue this throughout the rest of the season. Parents (and coaches) should be listening to their players communicate, this is normally impossible with all the “noise” generated on the sidelines in a normal game.”

Come on people!  We are on an express train to crazy town here.  If you don’t like the sound of demonstrative fans sign your kid up for tennis and golf.  If your player doesn’t know she can communicate with other players on the field teach her how to yell or do hand signals.

Know that you are welcome to join us no matter whatever your child’s skill level, we will encourage and cheer for them very loudly as well.  But remember when you step on the basketball court, soccer or LaCrosse field, you’re in our house and in our house we say go big or go home.

Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!

~The Ringmaster

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Goss Bucks: One of Many Reasons Why We Love Being Co-Dictators!


Who says you can’t print your own money?  We can put that myth to rest today!  Assuming you can accept the oxymoronic title of Co-Dictatorship; you can print your own money, hire your kids for way less than minimum wage, and charge them for things that they would have gotten for free.

Handsome hubby and I are very frugal.  Maybe I should restate that, handsome hubby is frugal and I love a bargain.  When it comes to shelling out the cash, his wallet is tighter than a spoiled clam.  So when the boys began asking for allowance, we realized we had to come up with a creative way to incentive them without actually giving them cold hard cash.

My sister, who is one of those high achieving, home schooling moms, who cans, bakes from scratch, plays professional volleyball, teaches Bible Studies and has a six-pack at 39 (I know…right?…)  told us about the sweet little activity she found in Family Fun Magazine.  She printed a picture of her children on a dollar bill and presented it to them.  They loved it.  David and I looked at each other and began brewing a plan that I must say is simply, brilliant.

The design of our money predictably did not highlight a cute picture of our three boys.  Instead, it features  the Co-Dicators’ Portrait.  We appropriately named our new currency the Goss Buck.  We printed and carefully initialed (our version of a high-tech watermark) the freshly printed bills in an inconspicuous place to ensure their authenticity and discourage a Goss kid counterfeiting ring.

Now, the Goss Buck ain’t just any ordinary ducat.  When I told one of our homeless friends about Goss Bucks, he began working on a conversion chart to determine how many Goss Bucks it would take to pay for a voyage on the Queen Mary II (true story which deserves a post of its own!)

Two nights ago, we unveiled the Goss Buck Valuation and Redemption Plan (GBVRP) for the 2013-2014 school year.  We called the boys in for a family meeting and handed them each a GBVRP which outlined their individual daily duties and pay rate on the upper portion and a redemption chart on the lower portion of the sheet.  Upon review, my oldest son, (who by-the-way once told us he wants to be just like Mr. Wonderful on the TV show Shark Tank) looked at us and declared, “these redemption items are a tad bit pricey.”

What, an eleven year old challenging our evaluation?  No he didn’t!  Need I say we were floored.  What did he not understand about the word Co-Dictatorship? Never mind the fact that it only exists in our Flying Circus!  As you may have imagined, his bravery in challenging our system led his brothers to chime in.  “Yeah, and why can’t we add in a fishing trip?”  “How many would it take for a trip to Sky High?”  “Excuse me, you forgot to add screen time to the Redemption Chart.”  My youngest and most observant son, Micah (7) said; “oh, and I would like to add a place for you to initial this daily when we finish our work so we ALL KNOW HOW MUCH YOU OWE US AT THE END OF THE WEEK.”

With our authority challenged and the good sense to be proud of our children’s ability to question the man (and woman).  We caved in negotiations, added the fishing and Sky High trips as well as the table which we initial daily.  We did however, hold firm to the omission of screen time.  We’re ok with the fact that the 3 Bros Circus now includes a “kiddie” union because that makes our three boys Goss Bosses!  Regardless of their seeming victory, always remember she who prints the money is still the Ringmaster!

Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!

~The Ringmaster

If you have not yet subscribed to the 3 Bros Flying Circus we’d love to reserve a special seat for you!  Just click the upper right hand corner of the post.