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Welcome to BBMI, Ink., where you'll always get a fresh dose of opinion mixed with a little humor and love.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Really, Dude? Really?

The M&I of BBMI, Ink., play in a 10-and-under kid pitch baseball league.  It’s part of the parks and rec department of the little town where they go to school.  We’ve played in this league for five seasons and have found it to be mostly family-friendly and not too serious. 

Most of the parents and coaches are there for the fun of it and use it as an introduction to baseball for their kids.  We all learn the rules with them (like no more than six runs per inning, no dropped third strike, sliding into home is required when the catcher may have a play, etc.).

Before the kids could hit the ball out of the infield, we’d get distracted by the right fielder (who shall remain nameless but resides somewhere near me) as he busted a move to the music he heard in his head.  The Hustle came to mind as he danced away his boredom.  Since the kids have grown and the hits are harder, the outfielders actually have to pay attention and chase balls now and then.

Last night, I witnessed something I’d only heard about.  Something that I thought only took place in big-city leagues where “tournament teams” play every night till all hours of the morning.  The home plate umpire was utilizing a very large strike zone.  I don’t think this is uncommon in the early stages of kid pitch.  If they didn’t use a generous strike zone, every kid would walk.  These rookie pitchers have a hard time getting it close to the plate without beaning the batter. 

Blue was calling the same strike zone for both teams.  He was very consistent, to say the least.  The coach on the other team didn’t say a word when his pitcher got the liberal zone, but when our team batted, Dude took umbrage.  Well, maybe outrage.  He complained in the first inning.  The umpire ignored him.

In the second inning, Dude called time out and walked toward home from the third base coach’s box.  The umpire calmly walked to him and had a quiet conversation.  I’m assuming he explained that arguing balls and strikes is not acceptable and the game resumed.

In the third inning, Dude complained.  Loudly.  Again, the ump walked down to the coach, had a calm conversation, and then showed the “gentleman” the gate.  I tried not to clap, but I did anyway. 

Really, Dude?  Really?  You really think it’s necessary to argue balls and strikes?  In a league made up mostly of third and fourth graders?  What is this teaching our kids?  That authority figures get it wrong most of the time and it’s okay to make a fool out of yourself in public over a BASEBALL GAME?

I was mortified for the man, for his kid, and for their team.  I was also concerned that our boys might be traumatized by the whole thing.  After the game was over, our coach mentioned the incident in his post-game pep talk (we won, by the way).  The kids’ reaction:  “He got thrown out?  When did that happen?”  I guess they were too busy PLAYING a GAME to notice.  They were probably doing The Hustle at the time.

Really, Dude, you should really learn The Hustle.  It would add years to your life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So Minty!

Yesterday, for my birthday, The Hubster and M&I took me out to brunch.  We went to Yia Yia’s, one of my favorite places for brunch buffet.  It was magnificent!  I had a banana for dinner, if that tells you how much I ate!

Those of you who have been to a restaurant with BBMI, Ink., will not be surprised when I tell you that Isaac excused himself from the table to visit the restroom.  More than once.  Yes, even at age 10, my boys are still fascinated by public restrooms.  I’m wondering if their teachers battle this urge all day at school.

They’ve asked that we install a urinal in their bathroom at home.  “That would be so cool,” Max said, “especially if we could get the kind that flushes itself!”  Because we tend to have flushing problems here at home (and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination), we’re taking it under serious consideration.

As we were leaving the restaurant to begin our 20 minute trek home, we all visited the facilities.  The Hubster came out chuckling.  He pulled me aside.  “Does the Ladies Room have mouthwash and little cups on the counter for everyone to use?”  It does.  Yia Yia’s apparently feels responsible for its patron’s breath as they exit, so they provide what appears to be Scope on the sink vanities.  How thoughtful!

“Isaac thought it was soap, so he’s been washing his hands with it,” The Hubster continued.  It was in a pump-top dispenser, so I guess that makes sense.

When we got in the car, I asked the I-man, “So, you’ve been using mouthwash to wash your hands?  Didn’t you notice the mint smell?”

“Yeah, but I just thought it was mint soap.  Well, anyway, my hands will have good breath for the rest of the day.”

I guess that’s always a good idea, especially if you’re like me, and tend to talk with your hands.  Maybe I’ll try the new Scope hand/mouth soap/wash.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kari and the Swimsuit

I come from a long line of storytellers.  We love to regale our listeners with a good tale that is ripe with humor and irony.  If that humor is self-deprecating, it’s even better.  My Grandpa Pearlie could tell a tale that would have you laughing and crying and begging for more.  We’d throw him a little bait:  “Grandpa, remember that time you took a walk with Harry Truman…” and he’d be off like a long-distance runner, spinning a yarn that you were pretty sure was true.

Pearlie’s storytelling talents are alive and well in his great-grandchildren.  My niece, Kari, told us a story just recently that was very Pearlie-esque.  Okay, maybe not the subject matter (bathing suits – I don’t think Grandpa owned one!), but the delivery was spot-on.  Kari gave me permission to re-tell the tale here, without changing any names.  That’s a true Herndon storyteller hallmark, if ever I’ve seen one.  I’ll try to do her justice.  

Kari and her sister, Mitzi, decided to take Mitzi’s boys to their local YMCA pool.  Now, before we can proceed, I have to describe Kari.  Think of me.  Now think of the antithesis of me (at least physically) and you have Kari.  She’s tall.  In fact, she’s downright statuesque, come to think of it.  She teaches Selah Yoga classes at the very Y they were about to visit.  In her spare time, she does P90X with her cute husband.  Suffice it to say, she’s fit.  I’ll stop there, but you get the picture.  Or, you could just look at this picture:

Kari decided that none of her current swimsuits were Y-appropriate.  After all, the name of the Y is the Springfield FAMILY Y (caps necessary) and she didn’t think any of her bikinis were family-friendly enough for her employer’s pool.  Honestly, she’s probably never been to my Y’s pool in the summer.  Her bikinis would have been considered granny suits there, but that’s a different blog.

After a brief search, she found an old one piece suit.  It was her lifeguarding suit she used 16 years ago.  She decided to wear it.  Now there are two questions we need to address here.  First, you ask, why does she still have a bathing suit that is 16 years old?  It makes perfect sense if you know Kari’s maternal heritage.  Think “Hoarders.”  Back up a few degrees on the packrat scale and you’ve got my sister-in-law’s family.  They keep everything, including old swimsuits. This is something we Herndons watch in wonderment.  We are the antithesis of these species.  My latest thrill is watching the trash guy haul off my full-to-overflowing recycling dumpster every two weeks.  I love to throw stuff away.  Keep a swimsuit for 16 years?  Unheard of in my upbringing.  Par for the course in Kari’s world.

Our second question would be:  How in the world did she get in to it?  Who amongst us can wear a swimsuit he or she wore 16 years ago?  Anyone?  I didn’t think so.  But that just shows you Kari’s fitness.  Mitzi said Kari’s words were something like, “Hey!  I found an old one-piece from when I was a life-guard in high school!  It still fits so I think I’ll wear it!”  You men may not understand the gravity of that statement but any woman reading this would do the exact same thing if she could.  It’s just a matter of principle to a female.  And a matter of gravity, come to think of it.

Kari did notice that the seat was a little saggy and the fabric felt “a little tacky, somehow sticky and strange” but that didn’t stop her.  They had two little boys to take swimming and away they went without hesitation.

When the boys got into the pool, the lifeguards told Mitzi and Kari that they had to have adults with them in the water.  “No problem,” thought our fearless Kari, and in she jumped.

Apparently, Lycra/Spandex does not age well.  As soon as she hit the water, Kari began to feel a strange tugging and pulling.  The elasticity of the suit was somehow dissolving in the chlorine-laden water.  It was pulling tighter and tighter across the front and the saggy seat was now filling with water and floating behind her.  She looked at her sister:  “Mitzi, what’s wrong with this suit?” 

I think Mitzi’s eyes must have told the story.  Because Mitzi’s mouth couldn’t.  Her upper respiratory system was too busy convulsing with laughter.  (In fact, as they told us this story on Mother’s Day, fresh tears were pouring out of our eyes, and air was gasped as Kari told the tale with Mitzi chiming in with details.)

That day in the pool, when she finally stopped laughing/crying, Mitzi gasped, “It looks like body paint!”  The fabric continued to pull tighter and tighter in the ship’s bow while billowing up in a red train at the stern.  Kari decided the best place for her to stay was underwater in the deep end.  She hovered neck deep while the boys and Mitzi played nearby.  “Aunt Kari,” the boys would call, “come play with us over here in the shallow part!” 

“No thanks, boys.  I’ll just stay over here for now.  I’m having fun, aren’t you?”  Who wouldn’t think it was fun being a part of a really warped science experiment? 

When it came time to leave, Kari wasn’t willing to merely climb out of the pool.  She was a little worried about what might be revealed and who would be reveling in it.  The girls decided the best solution was a towel.  Between giggling fits, Mitzi extended a beach towel arms’ width at the top of the pool ladder.  Kari quickly climbed out and wrapped the towel around all the important parts. 

So far, she has received no letters of complaint from the Y and she’s still teaching Selah.  We’re praying no children were traumatized by the sight of a grown woman in a 16 year old swimsuit.  I just hope everyone forgot their swim goggles that day…

Kari’s Herndon heritage took over.  The swimsuit is now in the trash.  And the story will be repeated for years to come.

Friday, March 4, 2011

School Lunch

When my kids ask me to come to school and have lunch with them, my initial reaction is always a conversation in my brain that goes something like this:  “Quick, Self!  Think of an excuse that will get you out of this!  You’ve got cleaning to do!  You’ve got the great American novel to write!  Anything!  Think, Woman, Think!”  But the answer that comes out of my mouth is more like:  “Okay, I’ll be there.  What do you want me to pick up?”

My main motivation for saying yes most of the time is quite simple.  I know the day is coming, very quickly I’m sure, when I will no longer be asked.  I don’t think my kids consider me cool now, but I haven’t hit the pariah stage that all parents breach when their kids turn 12 or 13.  You know, the “Drop me off a block away, Mom.  I’ll walk…” stage.

I’ve actually considered that the real reason my boys want me to come to school is not so that I can have lunch with them.  No, I’ve always assumed it was so I could bring lunch to them.  There are a few fast-food places between our house and the school and they get to pick which one shows up with me at school.  And, since we all expect full disclosure here, I really don’t want to eat whatever the school cafeteria is serving up either, so a sandwich from Subway or a burger from Sonic works just great for me, too.

I’d always assumed that was their motivation until today.  As we sat at our special “visitors table” in the lunch room, I noticed the school lunch of the day was pizza with a side of frozen yogurt.  And, honestly, it looked pretty good.  I said to M, “Wow.  You’d rather have Sonic than that?  It looks pretty good to me.”

His answer floored me.  I haven’t been able to think of much else since.  “Yeah, but it’s not you.”  I had him repeat it, because even with these new-fangled hearing aids, I wasn’t sure I was getting it straight.

“That school lunch isn’t you, Mom.  I’d rather have Sonic with you.”

I’ve never had a hamburger and limeade that tasted so good.  Who knew that a mother’s heart could be melted right there in a school lunch room…  Heck, the Wicked Witch of the West has nothing on me.  Don’t mind that steamy puddle of mush.  It’s just me.

The Deodorant Story

I wrote the following for a newsletter I help edit for our church's Women's Ministry.  I decided to share it with a "wider audience" here.  Hope you don't mind the re-run!
I have ten year old boys.  (They are the “M” and “I” of BBMI, Ink, in case you were wondering.)  God uses them almost daily to teach me life lessons and truths about Him.  Such was the case a few weeks ago.  As we stood in line at a church luncheon, my senses went on full alert.  About the time my nose detected the distinct aroma of Old Spice deodorant, my eyes discovered white marks on a boy’s shirt.  (I’ll not tell you which one; he deserves to remain innocently anonymous.)
“Oh, man,” I said to him.  “You got deodorant on your shirt this morning when you pulled it over your head.  Maybe we should try to get that off…”  Then I discovered a shocking fact:  The white mark wasn’t just in a small spot on his shirt.  It ranged from the hem, all the way up the side seam, through the arm pit area, and down to the cuff of the sleeve. 
They were masterful, perfectly drawn lines.  Yes, I say, “they” because he’d accomplished this artistry under both arms!  White stripes on a red shirt.  I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so of course, I asked, “What happened?  Did you do this on purpose?”
His reply makes perfect sense if you are a ten year old boy:  “You told me to put on deodorant before we left.  I already had my shirt on and I was in a hurry so I just put it on the outside.”
It’s hard, but you have to suppress the giggles that often come with motherhood and discipline.  So that not everyone in line would know what was going on, I tried to quietly explain to him that deodorant goes on our skin.  That’s how it works.  The Hubster, much more science-minded than I, began to expound on the chemical reaction that occurs when sweat and deodorant mix and why it’s called “antiperspirant.”  The glazed look we got from the boy led me to interrupt The Hubster’s discourse and say, “Just don’t do that again.  You have to put the stuff where it belongs for it to work.”
Believe it or not, I got a spiritual lesson from the Great Old Spice Debacle.  As I was studying the Bible in the weeks that followed, God said to me:  “Are you just painting this stuff you’re learning down your sleeves and all over the outside of your clothes?  Or, are you putting it where it will really work:  on the inside?”  You see, for God’s Word to make a difference in my life, I have to apply it correctly.  I have to allow it to interact with my soul’s chemistry.  When I allow this to happen, my heart and my mind begin to change. 
What are you doing with the stuff you’re learning these days from God’s Word?  Is it changing you from the inside out?  Or, are you merely painting it on the outside because you don’t have “time” to let it do its chemistry?  Apply it according to the directions: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  (Psalm 119:11)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I wasn’t going to watch American Idol this season.  After last year, I was done.  The talent pool was so shallow, it was scummy and green.  I was disappointed in the panel of judges.  No one seemed to want to tell the truth and give the singers the advice I thought they needed.

But I listened as the scuttlebutt started this season.  People were talking about it on Facebook, talk shows, blogs – everywhere.  My DVR was still set to record the episodes, so I started watching a few minutes out of each week’s programs.

This pool of talent is not shallow.  It’s deep, cool, and beautifully diverse.  I was liking what I was hearing and really enjoying this panel of judges.  The Dawg, J-Lo, and the Original Skinny Jeans Rocker were doing a nice job of telling the truth and providing real musical commentary for the singers.

I must say I’m especially impressed with Steven Tyler.  He really tells it like it is and has valuable advice for the kids.  I could do without his strange leering looks at the young ladies, but I’m thinking he may have vision issues.  After all, at his age, things start to happen.  But I must insist that he do something about those readers he puts on when he has to consult his notes.  Really, Steven.  Did you get those at Walgreen’s?  Dude, call me.  I know some good optometrists who could hook you up.  Maybe some bifocals contacts are in order?  Or at least a better frame.  Because, when you put on those readers, I think you’re a dead ringer for Benjamin Franklin and Whoopie Goldberg’s love child.

I digress.  Last night, I decided I was ready to commit to a full episode.  I love the Beatles and those kids did them proud.  I was blown away by the trio’s version of “Long and Winding Road.”  I honestly don’t know how the judges could make decisions about who had to go and who could stay.

I’ve had an up and down relationship with Jennifer Lopez.  I first met her and thought she was darling when she was a Fly Girl on “In Living Color.”  I can honestly say you won’t find any of her music on my Zune, but I cringed as she went through her Rapster Moll-Ben Gigli-Media Overload Stage.  I wondered if she had the chops to be a real judge on a singing contest.

I had a Jennifer epiphany last night.  Would that be a jenniphany?  There she sat in the cool white and chrome chair, in that emerald dress with her Veronica Lake hair (Google "Veronica Lake" if you want to see what I mean).  She had to tell Chris Medina that he was going home.  She told him how she felt.  She told him his character was not defined by winning a singing contest.  She told him his integrity was his greatest asset.  I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what she said.

Right before my eyes, she turned into Mrs. Jenny Anthony.  She was a gal I’d love to friend on Facebook.  I’d meet her for a latte any day.  She’d listen to my stories about raising twins and tell me a few of her own.  She’d share her hair care secrets and tell me how they get her makeup to look so natural.  She’d tell me what it’s like to sob while wearing false eyelashes.

Because, when you broke down and cried Mrs. Anthony, I, along with your eyelashes, became unglued.

Okay, Fox Network, I’m hooked.  I’ll see if I can find The Hubster’s Gorilla Glue and put the pieces back together.  I’ll see you Thursday night.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Blessed to Stress

I watched “Minute to Win It” the other night.  It’s not one of those shows I tune into each week, but the kids and I were looking for something to watch together and this was the compromise.  I refuse to watch one more episode of something on Nick or Disney that involves a band of tweens who think they can sing. 

This episode of the game show featured two gal-pals from Kansas City, Kansas.  I was a bit put off by them at first.  Someone at the show thinks that all girls from Kansas must look and dress like Mary Ann from “Gilligan’s Island.”  Really?  Have you been to KCK lately?  And, after living in Kansas for seven years, I’ve met several women who grew up on farms and 1) Not one is named Mary Ann; b) they don’t wear short denim “Daisy Dukes” with gingham blouses and put their hair in pigtails; and 4) we all agree that The Professor should have his tenure revoked.  Dude, you can make a car out of cocoanuts but can’t get seven people off an island? 

I digress.  After I got over how they looked and how they were being “marketed” by the show’s producers, I found out these darlin’ young ‘uns were trying to make money to build orphanages in Third World countries.  I thought, “Hmm, some entertainment for the kids with a positive message thrown in to boot.  Maybe the boys will learn something here…”

But, as always, God had a lesson for me instead of the boys.  As the pressure built and the suspense heightened and the potential windfall for the orphanages got bigger, the girls got a phone call.  It was one of their dads, calling in to give them advice and be a voice of calm.

I don’t know what all he said, because I stopped listening and paying much attention after he said this:  “It doesn’t matter what happens next.  Just relax.  You’re too blessed to stress.”

Does God speak to you with fanfares and flourishes?  At that moment, it seemed to me that United States Marine Band had stopped by and was beating out “Fanfare for the Common Man” at ffff.  (That’s “really loud” for your non-musicians.)

Too blessed to stress. 

Finally, I get it.  When I’m tied up in knots about something trivial or major, I need to be reminded that I am blessed.  When I’m facing a fight that needs to be solved in a minute to win it, I need to remember:  Don’t stress, you’re blessed.

Apostle Paul, I get it:  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Who knew God could use a game show with a couple of Mary Ann-impersonators to change me.  Who knew?  He knew.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day and I have always had a love/hate relationship.  I’ve had some really stinky Valentine’s Days.  In High School, one of the student organizations sold carnations on Valentine’s Day.  It seemed to me that every girl in school walked around that day with at least one carnation.  EXCEPT me.  Always the flower-holder, never the receiver.
Maybe this was the reason?

Okay, that was 6th grade, not high school, but still:  Yikes!
I dated a florist for a while.  I couldn’t wait for Valentine’s Day that year.  I just knew I was going to get a bouquet that would make up for all the past bouquet-less years.  But the day ticked by, minute by minute with no delivery.  I knew he was working crazy hours, so I didn’t expect to see or hear from him that day.  The next day, he called me.  In the middle of him telling me how tired he was from working 48 hours straight, I blurted out something like, “Where are my flowers?”  His answer:  “Oh, I forgot.”  Forgot?  Really?  I think we broke up the next week.   
When The Hubster and I got together, and Valentine’s Day rolled around, I made it very clear to him that it was an important day to me.  I don’t care if Hallmark invented it, it’s important to me.  And, bless his heart, he’s always comes through.  Flowers, multiple cards, candy, and a nice dinner are his way of making the day special.  He’s a great guy, without a doubt.
Since we got our kids, he always makes sure they get me something special for Valentine’s Day, too.  I think our boys will know how to treat their special girls on Valentine’s Day when the time comes.  They seem to love picking out the cards and candy and giving them to me early in the morning on the 14th.
This year had a puppies and kitties theme.  The Hubster let them pick out their own cards.  I’m a little worried about I’s psyche, but the card is hilarious:

May your day be filled with kisses (chocolate, labs, and otherwise!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meet The Hubster

The Hubster can’t watch American Idol.  At least, he won’t watch the “Auditions” episodes.  After the oh-so-music-savvy American public whittles down the hopefuls to the top eight or so, he’ll watch with me.
Last week, he came into the room while I had it on.  He had to leave before he began cringing, sweating, and blushing.  “I’m sorry,” he said to me as he made his hasty departure.  “You can watch it if you want, but I just can’t watch them humiliate those people.”
You see, he’s that kind of a guy.  He never wants to see someone else feel uncomfortable in any way.  He hates surprise party scenes in sitcoms or movies where the surprisee says something regrettable before everyone jumps out and yells, “Surprise!”  Recently, our pastor used a movie clip to illustrate a sermon point.  It showed a young man saying grace at a family dinner in a bumbling, stumbling, Ben-Stiller-does-it-so-well sort of way.  The Hubster leaned over to me and said, “My face is turning red for him….”
The Hubster is in the minority.  The rest of us seem to revel in watching our fellowman being publically humiliated.  Why?  Why do we get such a thrill out of watching Randy crush some kid’s dream?  When did we decide it was necessary to set our DVRs so we wouldn’t miss seeing that “crazy guy”?  Isn’t it still politically incorrect to abuse the mentally handicapped?  Somehow, the producers of American Idol, and by extension, the American TV viewer, didn’t get that memo.
But The Hubster got it.  His mama taught him the Golden Rule.  You know - the one about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  He lives it, breathes it, and practices it each week by refusing to see people just a means to “entertainment.”  He seems them as God sees them:  worthy of respect.
That’s Reason Number 145 in a very long list of why I love The Hubster.  Stay tuned for more.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Here I am.  Yes, that’s me, starting a blog.  I don’t know why I’ve been so reluctant to start this process.  It just seems like such a big adventure, putting my words out there for others to see.  But that’s what I’m doing.
I’m not sure what I’ll be putting out here, but I’m looking forward to the process.  I have a lot of “writing backlog” that needs clearing.  The Hubster, who’s been after me to do this for years, will be glad to know I’m finally going to clear that log jam and get some of that stuff out of my head and onto the “page.”
If you’d like to read the random ramblings of a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and most especially, follower of Him, then check in now and then.  I’m sure there’ll be something here for you.