The Chili Was Hotter Than the Broncos

I’m not sure what sort of time continuum craziness happens between Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings, but the clocks seem to race forward a whole lot faster in that time frame than they do the rest of the week.

I must’ve missed that lecture in Physics class.

It was probably because I was very busy banging my head on the desk during Physics, quietly moaning out, “This is too hard; this is too hard,” and wishing that I’d taken something easier.

Something easier like Advanced Calculus and the Binary Logarithm.

The only really useful bit of information that I still have with me from Physics is this: If you put a bowling ball on one end of the scale and a tennis ball on the other end, the bowling ball will tip the scale down, resulting in the side with the tennis ball on it being raised. This is useful because I can totally change the variables. A tube of toothpaste on one end of the scale will lift the three cotton balls on the other end of the scale. A new tub of kitty litter will sink down, while the tomato on the opposing side will be lifted.

Weights? Oh, I totally got that in Physics.

No matter.

On Friday afternoon, the boy spent some quality time at Kellen’s birthday party, painting a ceramic turtle at a little ceramic store downtown. I’m not sure what made Kellen’s mama believe that she could bring nine boys and two girls into a ceramic shop and maintain her sanity, but she pulled it off gracefully, and we are celebrating the little victory that nothing was broken off of the display shelves, especially since four of the boys (one being the boy who lives at the Jedi Manor) took it upon themselves to swing giant sections of yarn with enormous yarn balls on the ends of them at one another. They resembled prehistoric weapons, and the boys were twirling the long stretches of yarn above their heads, which had once been wrapped securely around gifts, and bopping one another across the faces with the brightly-colored yarn balls still attached to the ends. Naturally, they also had to RUN AND JUMP AND DODGE AND FLAIL in the ceramic shop, in order to MISS BEING HIT by an on-coming yarn ball. Running and dodging and jumping and flailing are not activities that ceramic shop owners encourage.

Note to self: A ten-year-old’s birthday party in a ceramic shop is a good idea, in theory. In reality, you will need to belly up to the bar afterwards and ask the bartender for the entire bottle of spirits to soothe your last nerve, which was wrecked beyond repair when the yarn balls started swinging.

The boys (and two girls!) had a fantastic time, though, and they even posed for a couple of quick snapshots.

We left the ceramic shop without having to pay for a single broken item BECAUSE, HELLO! We managed to have the luck on our side, and we broke NOTHING, regardless of all that running and dodging and jumping and flailing business! With many shouts of “Happy birthday” to Kellen, we left, and Hubs and the boy and I met our friends, Paul and Katie, at the new pizza hot spot downtown.

Oh, people! The pizza there? It is delicious business!

Apparently every other family in Small Town, USA also had the same idea that we had, because MUCH PACKED! We saw no fewer than ten other families that we know, so there was plenty of chatting going on. Plenty. And we sat at a table with Paul and Katie and their tribe of girls, and we laughed and we giggled, and we discussed the fact that Paul will probably never have season tickets for Bronco games.

And then, with our bellies filled with so much pizza we were forced to waddle out the door, we hightailed it up to the local football field, where we helped cheer Small Town High School on to an 18 to 17 victory.

Eighteen to seventeen, people!

Although I do understand the generalities of football, I seldom attend a game for the sole purpose of watching the game. I attend games to talk to people, and with Katie and Cody and Missi and our plethora of children surrounding us, there was MUCH CONVERSATION. Hubs and Paul and Dave and Jeffrey went to the game on Friday night to actually watch the game. Big boys can be quite boring sometimes.

Our Small Town team trailed the entire game, until, with four minutes left in the 4th quarter, I told Paul, “There’s time! Our boys can still win this thing!” And Paul, bless his heart, said, “Yeah, I guess so.”

He is a man of many deep thoughts, people.

I made a fist and yelled over the crowd to Paul, “KNUCKLES! Give me some knuckles! It’ll seal things up for Small Town High!” So right there, with four minutes left in the game, Paul smacked my knuckles.

And FORTY-FIVE SECONDS LATER Small Town High scored a touchdown.

Two seconds after that, they went for a two-point conversion.

And that put the score at 18 to 17. Things were a little tense, as we screamed and screamed for the Small Town boys to put the Big Smack down on their opponents and keep them from scoring, and they did, people.

We totally won the game.

All because of some knuckles being slammed together. Or, more likely, we won because the Good Lord willed it to happen.

The best part, though, is that I was surrounded by darling little ladies at the game, while the boy was busy running amuck with his buddies.

Avery spent the greater portion of the game sitting in my lap, and I could have squeezed her for a month straight and never tired of it.

Did I say Avery? I totally meant Nicole Richie.


On Saturday morning, Hubs and the boy participated in Operation Leaf Pick-Up outside. They raked leaves and blew leaves and mowed the yard, while I was on a solo mission inside.

It was called Operation Laundry and Vacuuming.

By noon-thirty, things were looking halfway decent at the Jedi Manor, what with the yard being cleaned up and the house being cleaned up, so I took the boy to that adorable little G’s birthday party at the roller rink.

The roller rink which has just barely escaped the Condemned Businesses List, because of all the grime.

The boy doesn’t notice the grime and the grit and the perpetual haze in the roller rink. He is hypnotized by the giant disco ball spinning ’round and ’round. He is mesmerized by the strobe light blinking on and off. He is lured to the glass case filled with $3 trinket rings and $4 glow sticks. He is brought to a level of utter happiness by all the skating he can do. And even though he blew three hard-earned, backed-with-gold, American dollars on a cheap metal ring in the shape of a skull which makes him look like he’s in a gang when he wears it, he had the very best time on Saturday.

Even if they did play Justin Bieber’s songs instead of Michael Jackson’s, which did not please the boy at all.

With the skating party drawing to a close, the boy and I hopped up the hill and picked up his buddy, Eli, who joined us at our house for some serious play time. The boy and Eli ran and ran and ran outside, until their faces were the color of vine-ripened tomatoes, and then they came inside, where they each devoured, with gusto, five tacos.

Yes. That’s a simple mathematical problem.

Two boys. Five tacos each. Ten tacos between them.

How do mamas with multiple boys living at their houses and digging around in their refrigerators manage to feed them to the point of filling them up, without snapping their checkbooks plum in half? How? This escapes me. The last time that the boy had two buddies stay the night with us, the three of them got up the following morning and ate AN ENTIRE BOX OF CEREAL out of my pantry, followed by SIX APPLES. If you had three boys of your own, would they eat an entire box of cereal every single morning? And, if they did, how would you afford to keep up with that?!

Is that a Physics question? Or more of a Statistics question? Whichever one it is, it makes me want to bang my head against the desk.

This morning, Hubs and the boy and I went to church, where we got to sit with some of our favorite little girls. My friend, Missi, needed someone to keep an eye on eight-year-old Meg and six-year-old Ella, while she worked at the nursery desk, and Hubs and I were more than happy to do it. Meg and Ella are the cutest cupcakes in the bakery.

During one of the praise songs that we sang this morning, Ella was standing on her tiptoes, and she kept saying, “Where is the trumpet music coming from? I can hear it, but I can’t see the trumpet!” I scooped that little kindergartner up and held her, so that she could see the trumpeter on stage. And, bless her heart, little Ella wrapped her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck, and she laid her head against the side of my neck, and I wanted to keep her forever and ever. With Ella in my arms, the boy snuggled up to one side of me, and Meg snuggled up on my other side, and their little voices were singing the songs, and my eyes literally and truly filled with tears BECAUSE OF ALL THE CUTENESS, PEOPLE! Oh, I wanted to run like the wind and steal Meg and Ella, and add them to the boy and have a house full of little voices to sing praise songs to Jesus with. It was the most perfect moment in church today, as we all snuggled together and sang.

And then, as the first praise song ended and the second one started, little Ella suddenly did not feel so little any more. In fact, the longer I held her, the more she felt like a burlap bag full of concrete cinder blocks.

And then it felt like I was holding a small import car.

My arms, they went numb, people! Clearly, kindergartners are meant to be held while you’re standing for short bursts of time, and not for the entire praise time, so there was some hallelujahs on my part when our worship arts pastor finally said, “Please be seated.” I dropped darling Ella like the sack of bricks she’d become, and we all snuggled together in the seats then.

While the muscles in my arms underwent multiple seizures and spasms.

After church, the boy snuck out with Mam and Pa, while Hubs and I hit the grocery store. Hubs was on a mission. He had discovered a recipe entitled Spicy Jalapeno Chili online, and he needed supplies to make it.

He told me that it was going to be a perfect day, because he couldn’t wait to eat the chili and watch the Broncos throw the Raiders to the ground.

We made the chili. There was much chopping and dicing involved, so Hubs and I cranked up Blondie on the iPod, followed by a Def Leppard chaser, as we got down to the business of making dinner. The recipe called for two full pounds of spicy hot Italian sausage. To that we added eight jalapeno peppers, three of which we left the seeds in. Then Hubs threw in a plethora of spices that professional painters have been known to mix in water to peel wallpaper off with. We let it simmer all afternoon, and viola.

By the time it was ready to eat, we referred to it as The Colon Cleansing, Light Your Bowels on Fire Like a Griswold Christmas Tree Chili.

And then the Raiders stomped all over the Broncos so badly, Hubs basically burned a hole in our roof with his one-sided conversations with Josh McDaniels. And his one-sided conversations with the refs. And his one-sided conversations with the Broncos’ defensive line. And the Broncos’ offensive line. And the Raiders, in general.

And listen, people. It’s all my fault that the Denver Broncos lost today, because, early this morning while Hubs and I were sitting in Starbucks before church started, I fired off a text to Cody, because her husband’s favorite team is the Raiders. And I made some remarks about telling Jeffrey to get ready to see the Raiders lose. It was another Pride Text, I’m afraid.

Hubs told me this evening (and I quote), “The next time you fire off a Pride Text in regards to football, I will ring your neck and smile the entire time I’m doing it.” End quote.

To top that quote off, Hubs just walked into our home office here two minutes ago and announced with a grimace, “I have massive heartburn. I am hurting like crazy.”

Really? Why don’t you just trot yourself over to Mamby Pamby Land, Hubs? You can’t take a little heat in your chili?! Making it was YOUR idea!

Did I mention that I had a bowl of cereal for dinner, because I feared the chili that would light my colon on fire? And did I mention that I’m pretty sure neither Paul nor Hubs wants to own season tickets to the Broncos any longer? And did I mention that Hubs was really dissatisfied with the Broncos’ game today? I never should have sent that Pride Text this morning to Cody, people. I should have smacked Hubs’ knuckles during halftime of the Denver game. Hindsight is always 20/20.

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