Code Word “Selfie”: The Ringmaster, Santa and the Great Deception

I want to let you in on a secret, but you’ll have to promise not to share this blog post with my 8 year-old-son.  I’m feeling rather guilty this morning because I did one of the most manipulative things I have done in my 50 years of life and I did it to my little Micah.

I am ashamed to say that I stooped as low as a 6′ 1/2″ Amazonian Princess can stoop and I did it during the season of “peace and goodwill toward men”!  But then again, the little bugger wanted to put us and Santa thru a “trust test”, and this Ringmaster does not play that.

You either trust us or you don’t!

We were having a tough time gaining access to Micah’s Christmas list this year.  He actually refused to share it with us.  Inspired by one of his favorite television shows, Mythbusters, I believe he planned to stamp “busted” across Santa’s face and ours.

Had he asked us if Santa is real, as his brothers did in previous years when they were about his age, we would have simply told him the truth and moved on.  But, Micah is very smart and very stubborn and this sort of “experiment” is right up his ally.  Even if he had to wake up and find random gifts left by “Santa” under the tree.

I too have a favorite show and was inspired by the small box that far too often invades our lives.  I’ve been watching a lot of old episodes of Alias on Netflix, and I have learned that there are many ways to make a person talk!

I hatched a diabolical plan of my own and enlisted the help of a new friend.  I called in the big guns!   That’s right, big pappa – Santa himself!  Well not the real Santa, but it just so happens that our copier technician looks a lot like Santa.

(Yup, I’m not just a mom with a Mac, The Ringmaster and a Pastor’s Wife, I work 30+ hours outside of my home doing some super top secret stuff that you don’t want to know about because you would “disappear” if  you did.) 🙂

I snapped a “selfie” with Anthony (pronounced Antny) and initiated Operation North Pole.  After dinner, I had everyone come and take a seat in our family room.  I announced that I had a top secret meeting with a very important person at my office today.

I said, “oh wait, I took a picture of the VIP, would you like to see it.”  I pulled out my phone and showed them the “selfie” of me and “Santa”.  I continued, “Santa is very concerned because he has not yet received a Christmas letter from Micah and it is getting really close to his deadline.”

Operation North Pole

Operation North Pole

Micah’s eyes, now as large as Frisbees met mine as he asked for a piece of paper and a pen. It worked!  Just like all of those episodes of Alias.  He coughed up the information.

Mission accomplished!

The only thing that would have made this a bit more satisfying is if I had printed out the picture of Santa and me, placed it in a manila folder, slid it across the table, asked Micah to open it and watched him sweat.  But I think I’ll save that tactic for teenaged Micah.

Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!

~The Ringmaster

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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. 

Christmas Confession – All Hearts Clear

This week I have the honor of being the guest blogger on the wonderful website Grace For Moms.  The site is decked out for Advent and Christmas with beautiful visuals, my guest post (Christmas Confession) and a wonderful interview with actress, mom and wife Candace Cameron Bure.

As we celebrate Advent and prepare for the coming of the Christ of Christmas, I pray that your family will enjoy many special moments filled with peace and joy!  Grab a cup of spiced cider and savor this moment as you read (Christmas Confession).

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Advent memories.

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. 

“Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!”

The banter between handsome hubby and I is at an all time high!  The infamous race (referenced below) is scheduled for this Saturday.  Our boys tried to parlay with Goss Bucks but we all know that would not be appropriate.  Perhaps growing up in a family where their parents have planned a “street race” makes them think that it might be acceptable for prepubescent boys to wager their wages.  I will post the results of the race next week!

Until then, stop on over to Happy Wives Club and check out my guest blog post about the “4 Ways to Find the Sweet Spot in Your Marriage.”

(The Infamous Race Post)

There it was, hanging out there in all it’s brazen glory.  The gauntlet had been thrown.  Before I knew it, I’d (figuratively)  taken off my glove, turned and faced my husband and slapped him right across the face as he drove his chosen route to our beach date with another family.

As often happens, right in the middle of an otherwise very pleasant conversation, I suddenly blurted out, “why are you driving this way to the freeway?  You know, the other way is much faster.” (Unfiltered and overly dramatic tends to be my preferred communication style)

Continuing our l-o-n-g-e-r than necessary drive to the beach with the line perfectly fitted with the appropriate bait, handsome hubby gobbled it hook, line and sinker.  He shot back, “what are you talking about?!?”  “I have timed both routes and I know that this way is definitely faster!”

The previously rockin’ van loaded with our three excited boisterous boys was suddenly silenced after I  shouted these words, “OH YEAH,  LET’S RACE!”   Two seconds later, after a collective gasp, the silence was pierced by escalating chants of RACE, RACE, RACE, RACE spurring us on from the bench in the way back (that’s what we mini vanners call our third row).

It was on! The entire van erupted in animated discussion about the ground rules for the race.  The swagmobile, a 2006 Honda Odyssey (178,000 miles and counting), which sports an impressive 360 degree scratch made by middle son Caleb wielding a magnet, would be driven by yours truly.  The 2013 Honda Accord Sport – which in my eyes is no match for my Odyssey, would be driven by handsome hubby.  Everyone knows it’s not the year, make, nor model of the automobile, it’s the skill, intellect and fashion sense of the driver that wins the race!  Lastly, and most importantly, each driver would have at least one son in the car to insure he/she did not surpass the speed limit.

As is often the case,  I’ve had a few days to actually think about what we modeled in front of our children during our slow 3.5 mile drive to the beach.  These were my assessments, 1) Mom questions dad’s decision-making ability 2) Dad infers mom speaks off the cuff with no actual proof to back her claims.  3) Mom and Dad will go to great lengths to prove they are right.

Who wants to send those messages to their children?!  None of those would garner me a medal from Focus on the Family, so I decided I would back down.  I would pull out of the race and tell my children that I would not race their dad and that his way was the right way for him and my way was best for me.  Handsome hubby and I decided to meet for lunch (Costco Hotdogs) and I shared my plan.  I told him that I was going to pull out of the race and maturely tell the kids why.

My amazing and now even more handsome in my eyes hubby adamantly declared, “Oh, we’re going to race alright!  Are you kidding me?  You can’t back out – we’re racing!  It’s still on!

As I write this post, my eyes are beginning to water and I am thinking SEE, THAT’S WHY I LOVE THAT MAN and he, me.  We are so perfectly suited for one of another.  In the eyes of the “polite patrol”, or even some individual’s reading this post, we may be a disaster.  I mean, who would be that competitive or behave that way in front of their children.  But for us, these types of days are billows that fan the flame of our love for one another and our bonds as a family.

The race is scheduled for Saturday morning (pre-soccer game festivities).  What handsome  hubby doesn’t know is that I’ve been training this week while driving the kids to school.  If you run into him please keep it to yourself.  Everyone needs a little edge when they compete!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.”                                                                                                                                  ~ I Corinthians 9:24

(I know this is not the Biblical intent of this verse but I just couldn’t help myself!)

“I Take Advantage of My Resources”: Lesson Learned From A Sixth Grade Shark”

Noah (self-proclaimed “Mr. Wonderful”, ala the television show “Shark Tank”):  IF ANYONE IN THIS FAMILY IS LAZY, IT’S ME!” 

Me:  “Why do you call yourself lazy?”

Noah:  “Well, I guess I’m not l a z y.   I just take advantage of my resources!”

Me:  “What resources?”

Noah:  “Caleb & Micah of course!”. 

This is not necessarily something that any parent wants to hear being proudly announced by their twelve-year-old son.  But as usual, upon further reflection, I realized hey, I could learn a thing or two from this kid.  Particularly since, the dialogue above began just after Caleb (my Breakfast Zombie), had just blurted out “MOM, YOU’RE LAZY!”

Can you believe it? Called out by a ten-year old who can’t drive himself to nor from school, pay the tuition for said school, cook his own dinner, remember to bathe – nor do homework without my help.  

As he defended my honor, Noah proceeded to school me on resourcefulness. He continued, “I just say, hey Caleb, go to my room and get my back pack and he does it.  Then I say Micah, clean up the rec. room and I’ll let you play a game on my phone later.  He’s happy to do it.  That’s what younger brothers are for.  See mom, I take advantage of my resources!”  Younger brother’s now nodding in unison: “yup, that’s right!”

Noah, once proposed we sell his youngest brother Micah to bring in more income for the family.  He is also the same kid who lead a sibling revolt and demanded an adjusted valuation of Goss Bucks.  Noah is quite a resourceful young man.  He is currently planning an odd job business and asked his lazy mom to help him create business cards, on which he would like to see the phrase “No job is too small or TOO BIG.  Mr. Wonderful has decided to give Caleb a minority share in his company.  Guess which partner will be performing the TOO BIG jobs for their minority stake?

I’ve decided to take a page from Noah’s playbook.  I’ve realized that God has blessed me with these wonderful sons for many reasons.  Besides being the most loving, creative, hilarious, sincere, courteous and outstanding son’s any mother could ask for, they are valuable resources of which I should take full advantage!

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. 

“Let’s Move!, but not so quickly”: Crazy School Bans & Lapses of Common Sense

A friend recently forwarded an article to me that really left me baffled.  The headline read, “School District Bans Running At Recess.”  My first thought was, this must be an urban legend.  So, I did what any responsible journalist, blogger, mom-with-a-mac would do; I researched and found that the ban on running at recess was just the tip of the iceberg!

Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, will have to change the name of her “Let’s Move!” initiative to “Let’s Move!, but not so quickly”.  Recently, a Collection of postage stamps commissioned by the White House to encourage kids to play sports and lead active lifestyles was recalled.  The stamps, “deemed unsafe by federal officials included illustrations of kids skateboarding without kneepads, doing a cannonball dive into a swimming pool, and doing a handstand without wearing a helmet…” according to a recent ABC News Post

I shared this story with the 3 Bros. in my Flying Circus (my sons) and they laughed hysterically.  One of them said, “who ever heard of wearing a helmet to do a handstand.”  Apparently White House Officials have!

It seems to me that there is something quite sinister going on here.  I believe this movement to bubble wrap our children and protect them from life’s bumps and bruises goes far beyond attempts to keep them safe.  I believe that there is a breed of people that excel in Politics and Educational Administration, who skipped prepuberty all together.  These freaks of nature were toddlers and then suddenly teens with nary a hop, skip or jump between developmental phases.  Perhaps they’ve forgotten how fun it was to climb a tree, turn cartwheels, jump rope and play a game that was not initiated or supervised by an adult, even if a scraped knee or competitive loss may have ensued!

My handsome hubbie is the chair of a local track and field event for children.  The name of the event includes the words Youth Races.  A parent asked why we gave children ribbons for placing 1st-3rd in their events.  He felt that this was not fair to the children who were less athletically inclined.  I wanted to remind him that the definition of the word “races” infers competition between runners.

I did however, point out that all of the children were given participation ribbons.  I told him that in our opinion, the Youth Races helped teach children valuable life lessons that should not be avoided because they may be uncomfortable at first. All of the children were winners for participating but not all could win the race.  It is important for children to learn to gracefully celebrate the achievements of others even when the results of the efforts of others surpass their own.  (It’s a lesson my son rehearses each year as the aforementioned dad’s son takes the coveted spot in the district spelling bee – EVERY year!)

Lest you think the madness stops with running at recess, cannon ball dives and handstands without helmets.  Here is a partial list of activities and traditions that have been banned by a school near you.

  1. New York Department of Education banned the words dinosaur, poverty, birthdays, divorce, Halloween and dancing, which “might elicit ‘unpleasant emotions’ in students.”
  2. BFFs now BANd.  That’s right, in an attempt to “save others’ feelings”, best friends are not allowed in some schools in the UK.
  3. Hand holding at school banned in Tennessee
  4. Red Ink banned because of it’s “confrontational” nature at schools in Australia and the UK.
  5. Because of its “aggressive” nature, dodge ball has been banned in schools in New Hampshire.  Adult dodge ball leagues conversely continue to grow by leaps and bounds (no pun intended).
  6. A school in New York has banned all non-motorized modes of transportation to and from school.  Again the Let’s Move generation is being asked not to move.
  7. Traditional sports balls banned in a Long Island Middle School.  Kids are given nerf balls to play with instead.
  8. Tag, touch football, and even soccer banned in schools across North America.
  9. Superheros no longer welcome in preschools.

Allowing our kids to have an active childhood, both physically and creatively does not come without its share of risks.  The 3 Bros in my flying circus have all been taken to the emergency room at a local hospital (one more than once) with various fractures and dislocations.  That being said, they also know what it is like to survey their pretend kingdom for hours in an ancient tree.  They’ve swam in streams and pretended to be Pioneer-Survivor-Warriors with fifteen other boys in our neighborhood.  They have childhood stories that will inspire their children to play and dream.

There is a Bible verse that I believe sums up a parenting perspective that may be lost on our generation of parents.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).

I’d love to hear some of your favorite childhood memories involving play.  Please share in the comments below!

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. 


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. 

Surprisingly, Boys Love Girls: Twitterpation Strikes the Flying Circus!

Boy twitterpated


Everybody knows boys between the ages of 7-12 are usually not so keen on girls, you know – cooties and all.  That’s why the conversation that took place while we were at a restaurant having dinner a few nights ago still cracks me up!  As my boys were talking, I flashed back to this scene in Bambi, you know the one where Bambi, Flower and Thumper (otherwise known as Caleb, Noah and Micah) are getting schooled about Twitterpation.

Their friend, the wise owl says “… Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.  For example:  You’re walking alone, minding your business.  You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face.  Woo-woo!”

The Goss boys didn’t wait for spring nor did they hold out for adolescence.  (I never realized how the end of that word is rightly pronounced less-sense.)  The dreaded disease for all boys everywhere hit the 3 Bros Flying Circus this Summer.  Bam, Bam, Bam like dominoes on Jessie Porter’s card table.

Twitterpation surprisingly struck my youngest son first.  When my hubby picked Micah (7) up from Young Writer’s Camp, his counselor said, Micah has a budding friendship.  He’s been carrying a girl’s books, opening her door and retrieving her lunch.  Now if you know my son Micah, you’d know that he once declined to jump in a bounce house because it was pink and had Dora the Explorer painted on it.

The following day, Micah came home from camp, jumped on the computer and asked.  “Mom how do you spell trampoline?”  Followed by, “is dad’s number 729-XXXX.”  Like any mom who respects her son’s privacy and treats him as an equal – NOT – I said, “move over boy and let me see what you’re doing.”  They don’t call me the Ringmaster for nothing!

The letter read:  Dear Mindy (name changed to protect the not so innocent),  Want to come over to my house for a playdate.  We can jump on my trampoline and I can teach you how to play Minecraft.  My dad’s number is 729-XXXX.  Give me a call.  Micah

I was surprised by my reaction when Mindy actually did text Micah (several times).  You would think that a Pastor’s wife would have tsk’d, tsk’d the bold moves of the little vixen, who by the way was two years older than Micah.  No  sir, I am ashamed to say that I walked around with a big smile thinking, “that’s my boy!”  Of course. after the fourth text we cut them off and let them both know that they are way too young to be text buddies.

Fast forward a about three weeks.  A few days ago while sitting in church at our school’s formal, reverent, convocation, I notice a girl two rows up continuously looking back at my oldest son Noah (12).  Each time she looked back, Noah gave her a smile and a nod.  Like the patient, subtle mom that I am – NOT – I leaned over and whispered, “Noah, is that girl looking at you?”  He answered “YUP, and I hope she’ll be in my class”.  I was floored…

Following convocation we all went out to dinner where Noah proceeded to tell his brothers about the girl in church.  Caleb (10, middle son and breakfast zombie) says “Oh man that’s nothing.  I saw a new girl in my class at the back to school picnic the other day and she is TURBO CUTE!  She walked by and was all (flipping hair in slow motion smiling and looking over his shoulder while batting eyelashes) and I was like (eyes wide open flashing a huge cheesy grin)!”

We all laughed until we cried and I’m sure that the folks sitting at the surrounding tables were entertained as well.  That night after everyone was asleep, I realized that I was exhibiting double standards.  If my boys were girls, I would not have found these stories funny and would be up praying for my daughters instead of praying for forgiveness for my own double standards.

I’ve had a couple of days to think and pray and have come to the conclusion that I’m happy that my boys are experiencing some mild symptoms of “twitterpation”.  We can talk with them and model for them the proper ways to respectfully enjoy the company of the wonderful creatures God created named girls.

In a few years, when they are inevitably fully twitterpated they will know that they can come to Mom and Dad for advice because we shared a letter, and a whisper, and a laugh!

Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!

~The Ringmaster

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