We Must Apologize in Advance To Our New Neighbors

We're Not This Bad!

We’re Not This Bad!

We have lived in our home for six years and we have had six sets of next door neighbors (yes, that’s six sets of people who moved in and out of the home to the right of us within six years). While we were between neighbors number five and six, handsome hubby and I chatted about how lame unfriendly our last neighbors were.  In the middle of our snarkfest, we had an epiphany.  The common denominator of this complicated moving equation is, well – us.  They always move in because we live in a great neighborhood, they probably move out because we are the 3 Bros Flying Circus.

Have you ever been to a circus?  Do you remember the smells, the freak shows and daredevil stunts?  Alright –  freeze the sights, sounds and smells and you’ve got a “smell-o-vision” version of our home. My three boys and the rest of their wolf pack transformed a boycave (for which we paid darn good money) into a stinky, nerf artillery strewn animal cave.  And yes, they opt to leave the garage door up so that everyone who chooses not to look away, has a ringside view of the mess!

While driving up to my house a couple of days ago I was accosted by two boys running towards my minivan in the middle of our street along with three boys and one awesome girl standing on the sidewalk in front of my drive way.  Apparently they had been staking out the joint for quite a while waiting for my three sons to arrive.  Right after I shared the tragic news that my boys were not with me and would not be coming home for another hour, two boys, previously unseen by me performed a tandem death drop out of the tree in my front yard.

There is usually a trail of scooters, helmets, homemade tomahawks, swords, daggers, basketballs, lacrosse poles, footballs, bikes, skate boards and one pogo stick that begins at our front door and meanders down both sides of the street. They remain there until we call the boys in for the day.  Our backyard trampoline with the basketball hoop positioned perfectly for slam dunking inspires high flying preteen machismo antics (which of course, is witnessed by whomever lives next door as the top half of the youngsters bodies appear over the fence that divides our property.)  Each dunk is followed by the emphatic  “DUDE THAT’S SICK!” and “Ohhhhh, WHAT  NOW!

Thinking of the mayhem that would inevitably ensue, handsome hubby decided to be proactive and go over to introduce himself to our newest neighbors.  He humbly led with, “I just want to apologize in advance for the noise and the nerf bullets, tomahawks and frisbees you are going to find in your front yard and for the overall level of noise that emanates from our household.”  Imagine his surprise when when our new neighbor replied, “oh no, THIS IS AWESOME!  We have three boys and this is exactly what we’ve been looking for!

One person’s nightmare on Elm Street is another person’s Dream Street! (get it Dream Street is the American boy band formed in 1999).  Ok, I am very corny but what do you expect from a nightmare neighbor.

I would love to hear some of your nightmare neighbor stories in the comments below (especially if you are “that neighbor”…

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. 


The Confession

It was Christmas Eve and all was right with my world.  The 3 bros flying circus was experiencing a rare moment of tranquility and brotherly love.  It was like a scene from the 50’s Christmas classic, White Christmas, except there was no snow (we live in Southern California).  Our weathered minivan was transformed into a Cathedral as six of the most important people in my life (including me) were singing Christmas carols in three-part harmony.  My mother, my three boys, handsome hubby and I sounded like angels (and surprisingly behaved like them too) as we joyfully transitioned from one carol to the next.

Influenced by the Christmas Eve message we had heard in church, followed by our annual trek to view some over-the-top Christmas lights and decorations, we were giddy with Christmas cheer.  With the last notes “sle-ep in heaaaa-venly peace” still lingering in the air, Caleb (breakfast zombie) asked – with tears in his eyes- “Does Santa really know who is naughty and who is nice?”  My handsome husband replied, “Yes Caleb, he does.”  Caleb, now sobbing, blurted out, “I have something to confess!”

My heart stopped.  The formerly festive van now seemed to be moving in slow motion.  What could my eight year old son possibly have to confess that would be troubling his soul so profoundly?  I wasn’t sure if I could handle hearing his confession.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear his confession.  I definitely wasn’t sure I wanted his confession to occur out loud in front of his entire family, including his granny.

We sat silently as he continued.  “You know how every night you ask me to brush my teeth?”  Handsome hubby and I replied slowly in unison, “Yes.”  Caleb continued sobbing even more “Well, I don’t do it.  I just go into the bathroom and turn on the water and stare in the mirror.  I don’t brush my teeth at night when you tell me to, but I say I do!!! Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo!!!!”

Granny, handsome hubby, and I, now relieved of our anxiety, had to fight back tears of joy and laughter.  Fully recovered,  handsome hubby, who is a pastor who weekly proclaims forgiveness to repentant sinners said, “Caleb, thank you for that confession.  We forgive you son. God forgives you and, yes, Santa forgives you too.”

With all hearts cleared and Caleb now relieved of his burden we continued our drive home in cozy silence.  As we drove off into the starry night I reflected upon the power of confession, forgiveness and our acceptance of the amazing gift that we would celebrate the following morning.  The Christ child of whom we sang about in our van was the very same one who provides us with the ability to sleep in heavenly peace, knowing that whatever we do, we can be forgiven, accepted, and loved.

“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

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.