Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

Christmas shoes. seriously.

Christmas Shoes songBuying some Rockports for FavoriteHusband on ebay so I had to sing: “I’m gonna buy these shoes…”


Me: “It’s like that song was intentionally written to make people cry. Just wanna find the guy who wrote it and smack him. It doesn’t make sense. What little kid’s gonna tell a cashier ‘Mister, I wanna buy these shoes.’ That would just never happen. It’s not how it works. You put your stuff on the counter, the cashier scans it, you give them money. End of story. And how did the little boy even get there? All by himself? He’s supposed to be a little kid. Seriously. It just doesn’t make sense.”

FavoriteHusband just shakes his head, rolls his eyes and grins: “You are your son’s mother.”

Let me just say, if you are ever in line behind a filthy little boy who’s all alone and you hear him ask the cashier to “please hurry” because he’s buying shoes for his dying momma, do NOT stand there and watch while they ‘count pennies for what seemed like years.’ Do NOT wait for the kid to ASK you to help. Pay for the shoes. and make sure he has a ride. Especially if it’s Christmas eve. Seriously.


December 5, 2014 Posted by | holidays, laugh!, music, pinterest, youtube | Leave a comment

facebook fragments: 12/28/13 – 01/10/14

For those of you who don’t follow me on facebook…

Wednesday, 12/25/13
What time did you wake up? PinkGirl came in our room at 8:52am.
I told her the time was too weird to get up and I had to snooze for 8 minutes.


Saturday, 12/28/13
Toto, I don’t think we’re in Orlando anymore. #mykindamovietheater
FavoriteSon PinkGirl movie theater recliners


Sunday, 12/29/13
“Julie’s road trip driving tips:
1. If your vehicle has cruise control, it must be used.
2. If you set the cruise control on your vehicle, leave it alone. seriously.
3. If you feel compelled to constantly change the speed of the cruise control, let someone else drive.
4. If you pull in front of me and tap your brakes, my family will be forced to hear the nonsensical rant of Yosemite Sam until I can pass you. and probably for at least 60 to 90 seconds after that. #homesweethome ”


Monday, 12/30/13
“Out with the old (1996), in with the new. I can’t believe I actually picked FLOWERS on purpose.
#whatwasithinking #girlytominimalist”
old flowery lighting new minimalist lighting


“I love the sound of my kids laughing together. #dontblink”


Tuesday, 12/31/13
“My daughter is so lucky I only post stuff about her with her permission. so. very. very. lucky. #ilovemydaughter”


Monday, 01/06/14
“Waiting for PinkGirl in car line. I’m gonna miss this when FavoriteSon’s classes start. I’ll only get to drive his car on Fridays.”
Inside FavoriteSons Dodge Avenger


After the National Championship game that night:
“The Mills men will sleep soundly tonight. Eventually.”


Wednesday, 01/08/14
“Setting up Outlook 2013 on my new desktop. Just Googled “Outlook 2013 ugly” #ewww”


Thursday, 01/09/14
“This just seems like a band who got tired of trying to think of a name.
Maybe there’s artistic quirkiness or deep profoundness I’m unaware of.”
band named skillet


“This is what PinkGirl looked like when she got in the car after school today. #ilovemydaughter”
PinkGirl free hugs


“In my dream last night, James Garner was a drug dealer. But I think it was okay because he was the one buying the drugs from himself. And the drug turned out to be a very rare cheese. #ihavenoidea”


January 10, 2014 Posted by | family, fragments, holidays, home sweet home, laugh!, poor me some whine, pragmatic commotion, status updates, youtube | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how to get your kids to wrap their own gifts without ruining the surprise.

If you put your kids Christmas gifts in unmarked boxes, you can get them to wrap their own presents.

You’re welcome.

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

December 24, 2012 Posted by | ehow, family, fragments, freakishly organized, holidays, laugh!, pinterest, pragmatic commotion, pragmatic parenting | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fragments of a Mother’s Day weekend.

In case you don’t follow me on facebook or twitter, here’s a little compilation of my weekend updates:

Friday, May 11, 2012 – Trying to learn this: “The difference between being 95% prepared & 100% prepared (whatever that is) is infinitesimal. It is not perceived. But the energy expended in moving from 95% to 100% is immense, much more than that required to move from 75% to 95%.” Alan Weiss

Saturday, May 12 2012
11:24am – My husband loves me! He just used his AMEX points to buy me a new phone for Mother’s Day!!! (I’m not eligible for an upgrade till November). I hope I love it as much as I think I will! But if not, I ordered it from Walmart. They let you return anything.

4:19pm – Tackling the paper mountain that is my office. I’ve avoided working in there since I brought the 45+ pounds of paper home from my mom’s house after her death in December. Time to reclaim my work space. #somuchpaper

7:45pm – More than three hours later and I’m still going through the 45+ pounds of paper I’ve ignored since I brought it home from my mom’s after her death in December. Thousands of pieces of paper – mementos, letters, records, photos…when I started this weekend project, I didn’t even connect it with Mother’s Day. God is weird that way.

10:53pm – took over 6 hours to sort all the paper from my mom’s house. Now I’m ready to deep clean and purge my office of our own paper and clutter. Well. not NOW. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, May 13, 2012
2:34pm – So proud of PinkGirl! She did a wonderful job on “Mighty to Save” this morning during the 8am and 11am services. And an added mom bonus? She LISTENED and FOLLOWED MY ADVICE during her vocal warm up this morning!!! A Mother’s Day miracle! #ilovemydaughter

3:08pm – I ordered my new phone yesterday. I’m ready for it to be here now. #impatient

I’m going from a 2.5 x 2.5 inch Motorola Flipout to a 7 inch Dell Streak

This is a HUGE change for me. No more tucking my phone in my bra. Just saying.

PinkGirl’s text to her dad about singing special music at the 8am service this morning: “The power went out so we stopped and I messed up double so yay!” 8:29 AM
PinkGirl: “DAD!” 8:31 AM
PinkGirl: “Yo Horton!!!” 8:31 AM
Her Dad: “Bummer. You will do better at 11” 8:34 AM
PinkGirl: My dress was sooo short i was afraid i was gonna flash the congregation! :o” 8:36 AM
(Mom Note: she is so impatient. I don’t know where she gets it. and the dress was short, but not that short. There was no view of London or France at any time.)

7:06pm – I had to complete a scavenger hunt to find my Mother’s Day present. Seven clues later, it was a coupon for “a FREE two day pass to PINKGIRL WORLD! Where PinkGirl will tend to your every need and do whatever you want willingly without grumbling or complaining. Not valid on School Days.” The location of this priceless coupon? Buried in the cat’s litter box. At least she scooped it first. #ilovemydaughter

All in all, it was a good weekend. Finally got to meet a long time blog friend and her family at EPCOT Friday night while they were vacationing here. A rare Sunday morning praise team set where I think we had a perfect balance between abandoning ourselves to worship and striving for excellence and time spent with friends and family on Sunday afternoon.

God is Good. All the Time.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | christian living, family, fragments, holidays, laugh!, poor me some whine, pragmatic commotion, status updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

little known facts: I am a Peep Hater

I haven’t added to my “little known fact” list since January of 2011. It’s way overdue for some attention.

Here’s #30:

I would rather eat a Brussel sprout than a Peep. bleh. It’s like goo with glitter on it.

and again. bleh.

and #31:

I have absolutely no problem, however, purchasing Peeps for the sole purpose of blowing them up in the microwave. After seeing this on facebook, we’ll be new to “Peep Jousting” this year. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.”

and a fitting end to a Peep in my opinion.

March 29, 2012 Posted by | food, holidays, laugh!, youtube | , , , , , | 2 Comments

poor jack.

I’ve murdered jack.

cut him up into small chunks.

Now, I’m boiling jack.

pureeing jack.

and freezing liquified jack.

soon I’m going to bake him in a few loaves of bread.

later this month, we might even turn him into soup.

poor jack.

(and his friend, Harry Potter.)

Check out the recipes – both with a print-friendly version in PDF:
Bread Recipe: jack-o-bread
Soup Recipe: Mom’s Pumpkin Soup

(After spending so much money on pumpkins, I can’t, in good conscience, just throw them away. Have you SEEN the price of canned pumpkin these days?) eek!

NOTE: If you BLEACHED your pumpkin to make it last longer – do NOT do this.

November 1, 2011 Posted by | food, holidays, laugh!, recipes, status updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween 2011

Me, trying to wake PinkGirl this morning:
“Good morning Ida.” (her character in the play she’s in rehearsals for) nothing.
“Good morning, Luna” (the character she’s dressing up as tonight) nothing.
“Good morning, PinkGirl” nothing.
PinkGirl: “JUST A MINUTE. I’m almost finished with my dream.”

I know some Christians have a problem with Halloween, but in our house it has always only been about two things: costumes and candy. Like theater, but on a sugar high.

Any personal recommendations for spice/flavor if I attempt to roast these pumpkin seeds? And, I suppose, any instructions on how to roast pumpkin seeds? I can Google, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’m still dealing with jack-0-lantern guts.

kids fed dinner. check
kids dressed in Halloween costumes. check
jack-o-lanterns carved. check.
pumpkin guts cleaned up…kinda.
mini-Snickers in the freezer. check.

7:45pm: There’s a guy driving down my street in a golf cart, pulling a lighted, homemade mini-Halloween float with kids on it. #toomuchtimetoomuchmoney

The witch from Snow White, painted by MY DAD! Unfortunately, there’s something about her that says: “Don’t wait for someone to open the door, just go ahead – reach out and open it yourself! Had to lock the door between trick-or-treaters!

8:45pm: A tiny little boy pulled down the bowl of candy I was holding to look for a lollipop, which I didn’t have. PinkGirl chased him down the sidewalk to give him one from her pillowcase.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | family, holidays, laugh!, status updates | , , , | 2 Comments

baking is not my forte.

it’s a BOXED cake mix, for cryin out loud.

Attempt #1, which tasted like oil.

I was supposed to be baking a cake shaped like THIS for a children’s home:

My cake was so flat it would have looked like the bunny was roadkill. (sorry kids)

It was past midnight. I was leaning toward bailing on the bunny cake commitment.

Then FavoriteSon asked: Are you starting over?

Me: No. it’s too late to start over.

FavoriteSon, mocking me: “okay…but those kids can’t start over.”


So me and Betty Crocker, baking another cake at nearly one in the morning. The good news is that this cake didn’t taste like oil. It actually tasted like cake. Very dense cake, but cake. The bad news is that it was flat AGAIN. Like, pancake flat. Roadkill bunny flat.

So I switched gears and cut out the bunny cake shape in my Easter Bunny Cake blog post of 2009. The one that got over FIVE THOUSAND hits that day. My blog is getting insane traffic on this post and I had yet to make one of these cakes since my childhood.

I cut it out, iced it and PinkGirl decorated it this morning. Just so you can get a good understanding of the flatness of this cake, the mini-marshmallows littering the tray are taller than the cake.

and now there are sprinkles stuck to the bottom of my feet.

I suppose I should clean the kitchen floor, it appears cats don’t like sprinkles.

April 22, 2011 Posted by | food, holidays, laugh!, poor me some whine, status updates | , , | 2 Comments

Wassail. revised.

(I originally posted this back in December of 2008, but I’ve made a revision since then. I used to float cloves in a coffee filter, sealed with a twist tie. Not very Martha of me, I know. But I’m reformed. Check out the photo below.)

When I was in high school and college, I sang at a few madrigal dinners. If you’re unfamiliar with madrigal dinners, here’s a sampling. (and no, I’m not in this video).

Wassail Song

One thing was a constant in every madrigal dinner – Wassail. It’s a kind of warm cider drink my choral director would make every year. I’ve made it on Christmas Eve for years. It’s a family favorite and a longstanding tradition. It only takes about 5 minutes to prepare, but allow it to simmer for a couple of hours in the pot if you really want the flavors to blend together.


1/2 gallon apple juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange (optional)

Pour all juices in a pot or crockpot.
Float Cinnamon sticks in the pot.

Here’s the update:
Take an awl and poke holes in an orange in any pattern that strikes you. Then insert the stems of whole cloves in the holes. Float the cloved orange in the pot while simmering.

When it the smell starts to waft, you know it’s gonna be GOOD.


For a print friendly version CLICK HERE.

December 22, 2010 Posted by | 5 minutes, food, holidays, recipes, youtube | , , , , | 2 Comments

well, you see officer . . .

So, the festive Christmas lights FirstHusband zip tied to the entire length of the luggage rack of my van work GREAT.

The low beams on the headlights, however, do not work at all. If I can’t get them fixed tomorrow, I either don’t drive at night or annoy everyone by driving with the high beams on.

Or I could duck tape Maglites to the front of the van and just go Christmas shopping.

December 16, 2010 Posted by | holidays, laugh!, poor me some whine | , , | 1 Comment


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