One of my Witty Kids

I was talking with one of my former residents today and I would like to share his wit with you.

He was the first child to join my cottage when I moved to my current facility. He was way behind in school, had several emotional and behavioral issues and most people wrote him off as not having any chance as an adult.

He has since proven everybody wrong. Although he didn’t finish high school, he did pass his GED test on his first try. He went on to study welding at the local Junior College and earned an associate degree. He now works as a welder, and probably makes more money than I do. He is looking for his own apartment so he can move out of the college cottage and recently purchased his first vehicle.

He was showing me his new (to him) Jeep and I noticed he had his named spelled backward on his license plate frame. I didn’t know that he and several of his buddies had come up with nicknames by spelling their real names backward. Anyway I was trying to be funny, and asked him if this was some sort of satanic thing, writing his name backward like that.

He then asked me if I thought he was satanic or something? I was still trying to be funny and said something like, “well I don’t know. You do wear some pretty strange clothes sometimes.” I was totally caught off guard by his response and never expected his quick wit.

He said, “That would be like me looking at somebody wearing a NASCAR shirt and assuming he was an ignorant redneck.” I looked down at the #48 Jimmie Johnson T-shirt I was wearing and simply said, Touché’

PR Staff

I have to share this story because I find it humorous and hopefully you will also.

I was visiting with the maintenance person over by the main office today and asking him what he was up to. He said he was working with one of our development people, creating props for pictures they were going to take this afternoon for some PR materials. He was building one of those signs that have boards cut with points and names of places on them pointing in different directions on a pole.

The development person was going to write the places on the boards. She saw the boards and was trying to figure out how to write the names on them when she got quite perplexed and said, “You cut them all the same direction.” He said, “No, if you want them to go the other direction, you flip them over and start writing from the pointy side.” When she realized her blunder, she got real embarrassed and we all laughed, including her.

It was extra special for me, because I was having kind of a crappy morning and it brightened my day.



 We caught one of our boys sneaking a dip of snuff in the rest room the other night. Immediately he spit out what he had and went directly to the family couch and had a seat (He is familiar with the drill) while we tossed his room. We found a can in his room and finished up the search. We then went into my office to have a talk and discuss the ramifications of this new discovery.

A few minutes into our discussion, I noticed he was becoming very uncomfortable. Since this was not exactly the first time we had this little talk I figured something was going on. I then saw him swallow VERY hard. I knew then he had another dip in.

Instead of making him spit it out, I decided to have a little fun. I figured he had either a lot of courage to try and sneak a dip into my office or he just plum lost his mind. I started asking him how he was feeling and trying to get him to talk (Every question I asked caused him to swallow more tobacco juice in order to answer). After about ten minutes I noticed he was sweating and not looking very well. I then proceeded to go into how great men can overcome obstacles, the history of tobacco which somehow led into Valentine’s Day (?) and Nazi occupied France. This was a good twenty minute roll. By this time he was wiping tears out of his eyes.

He finally lost it when I grabbed my bible and asked him if he knew what Proverbs had to say on our discussion. He jumped for the trash can coughing and gagging.

He apologized, confessed and told me he had a dip in, and swore never to touch the stuff again (Which I doubt). Needless to say my yard should be looking good by the time he gets done raking next week. He is also very confused about France now.

Things Children Say!!

We live in Mississippi, just an hour away from the birthplace of Elvis, and only three hours from Graceland. His birthday was 4 days ago and we had several news stories about people throwing parties and such.

Our nine year old boy could NOT understand why they keep throwing birthday parties for somebody that is dead. Our six year old overheard the conversation and said, “Elvis ain’t dead, he just went home.” We all laughed.

Those that are “Men in Black” fans will get it.

Blood!!! Maundy Thursday


 We had service last night at the church on campus. One of the new boys who is seven became very interested in the communion part of the service. Being seven, as soon as he heard the communion cup was the blood of Christ he started getting real anxious. As we made our way up to the altar he started asking if he had to drink the blood.

Realizing he thought the cup was O negative hemoglobin, I tried to explain to him the best I could on our short walk to the altar that it was grape juice in the cup. After communion all he could talk about was how good the blood was. He then said Dracula probably just really liked grape juice and probably wasn’t that bad after all. We spent the remainder of the night trying to convince him he did not have grape juice in his veins.

Face Plant Why playing tag in a Cow pasture is not a good idea.


I took the boy’s camping Saturday night at the Lake on campus. At 10pm the boys wanted to play tag around the campsite, good idea I thought. About five minutes into it one of the boys tripped and landed face first into one of the biggest cow patties I have laid eyes on (No pun intended).

The kid hosed off his face before I was able to stop laughing and get the camera. I guess you had to be there….

Tried building Video Game Timer Posted as update in Tech Toys also


Today was Play Station timer build project day. Took some of the boys and went to the hard ware store. Forgot directions I printed off last night. Spent next hour with pre-teen boys trying to find the right timer/ box/ components. The store clerk helping us was about to lose his mind. I came home, figured it’s a no brainer and left directions on desk.

After assembling what I thought to be a design achievement just below that of the space shuttle and much fan fare, I gathered the family around and turned on the timer. With a puff of ozone and the pop of a breaker, there was dead silence until one of the boys said very quietly, “Does this mean we can’t watch TV?”

Sometime this week I will try to salvage what’s left of my manhood and actually follow the directions!


Ok. Round two.

Not only will I build this thing, but I will do so and incorporate a remote control somehow. Maybe lights, I like lights.

If anyone else wants to get involved in a build off, let me know. We can let the board decide who wins.

Any takers?

Capatalisim in Action I got hustled by a 7 year old


 The local fly population in our cottage finally hit an all time high so I decided to declare a bounty on each flies head. .5 cents per dead fly. I figured a day, max, I would have no flies left in the house after a bunch of money grubbing elementary kids were set lose to collect their bounty.

Our house is not that bad, so after paying a dollar to each kid (20 flies X 7 kids) I knew I was being hustled. Just behind our cottage is the dairy farm for our campus. One of the kids would distract my wife and I (not a hard job) and one of the other kids would run to the back door and open it. I found out later they were taking a bowl of leftovers from the fridge and setting it by the door to draw some more in.

I have to admit I was impressed by the teamwork and fore thought they put into the plan.



That’s pretty good… we have one boy we have to watch like a hawk because he will “Tom Sawyer” the younger boys into doing his chores or giving him toys, etc. For instance, one morning I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and I had left the dining room to get one of the toddlers up. I come back in and viola! He has multiple rolls on his plate. At my raised eyebrows, his protest was that “they gave them to me, honest”. The payment? One matchbox car per cinnamon roll…. of course the four and five year-old’s jumped at that!

NASCAR through the eyes of a 5 year old

You’ll probably have to be somewhat of a NASCAR fan to see the humor in this one, but we’ll give it a try. NASCAR is one of my worldly joys, my wife says I am obsessed but she is wrong quite often. Anyway we talk about it a lot and most of the kids in the cottage following in my footsteps to various degrees.

Our youngest child that is 5 is very creative in saying the names of some of the drivers for example:

  • She calls the driver of the #42 – Moya Toya
  • the #29 – Kevin Hartlin
  • and the #9 – Stacy Stain

What’s really funny is listening to her talk to my three year old grandson, who happens to be the 2nd largest NASCAR fan on campus helping her with her pronunciation, “Say – Kaayy SEEE (Kasey) Kahne” Which she will just before she says, Stacy Stain again.

Guess you had to be there.

What time is it?

We have a 9 yr old boy who – after asking what time it was – went to the Walmart Jewelry Dept and started looking at all the watches. After spending quite a bit of time looking for a watch, my wife asked him what exactly he was looking for. He said he wanted to buy one with the correct time on it.

Four Wheeling


I remember taking a load of our kids and my 9 year old boy for a ride on the ranch in a pickup truck and they were hounding me to go four wheeling up over a steep hill. Truth be told, I had never done that before and was scared nearly to death…AND I had to remember I had kids in the back of this pickup truck. I slowly crept up the side of the MOUNTAIN, er, hill and over the top we went and down the other side bouncing all over the place and I hear them yell, stop, stop, stop! So, I did what I knew to do, and stopped. Afraid to look in the back, there they were, all discombobulated and piled up in the back LAUGHING their behinds off, satisfied.

 Was it a smart thing to do? Probably not. Could they have gotten seriously hurt? Probably so. I grew a lot that day, thanks to those boys

You know you’re a House Parent when……

1. Someone is always correcting you after referring to your personal car as “The Van”.

2. On respite your cell phone/ PDA/ personal anxiety alarm go off reminding you it’s time for meds.

3. You have at least one therapist on speed dial.

4. You can name at least six psychotropic meds in three seconds.

5. While trying to do #4 you hit yourself in the head trying to think of what the blue pill is called.

6. On a romantic date all you and your spouse talk about is how the kids would act here…

7. #6 takes place at a McDonalds.

8. The house parent network is your home page.

9. Grocery shopping looks like a UN food shipment to a small country.

10. You actually know who Father Flannigan was and believe he was either a Saint or at the very least a drinking man.

11. Your 5 year olds pretend to pack their bags and walk around the house pretending to go on “belief”(relief).

12. You’re standing around with a group of Houseparents and when a kid walks by and says “hey Pop”, six of you turn and respond.

13. When your first day of relief/respite begins with a three hour nap!!

14. You begin to wonder if a kid is trying to send a Morse code message after they slam a door for the fifth time.

15. You consider coffee and mountain dew a food group.

16. When you think home security, you think of keeping people in, not out.

17. The paint ball guns seemed like a good idea at the time……

18. The house van looks like it barely survived a tour in Iraq.

19. You believe ALL brass instruments are some kind of sick joke by the public school system.

20. You are amazed that God has trusted you, of all people, with so much. (Seriously).

21. Whether on duty or off you count heads to make sure you have everyone in the vehicle before you turn the key in the ignition.

22. Always check what station is on the radio before you turn the sound up.

23. You get more excited about a mini-van with a TV set and two automatic cargo doors than a sports car.

24. You wonder if the key chain hanging from your belt caused the hernia

25. You consider summer vacation a combat tour.

 6. When you cook, you automatically get out the big pots & pans calculating how much is enough for 8 to 12 hungry people

27. When you are on relief and are out in a restaurant, you see a big van parked there & wonder what houseparents were brave enough to bring their group out to eat

28. On a school day, you start waking up at 4 AM to figure out if you need to get up yet & turn the ovens on to preheat

29) You keep a note pad by your bed so you can write down consequences as they come to you in your dreams. (or nightmares)

 30. When your 6 year old daughter tells you she wants to call her social worker and can’t wait till she go home with her real mom and dad.

 31. When you go out in public, you always see someone who looks just like “so & so”, could be their little brother or sister!

32. Then you start reminiscing with the stories about “so & so” that make you laugh now but didn’t really make you laugh when they actually happened!

 33. You cook 3 pounds of spaghetti noodles or 2 dozen pork chops and then remember you are on relief!!!

This one NOT so humorous, in fact is somewhat sad, but a reality none the less.

34. When you get the ACT score report for one of your kids, see a 21, and think Great Score!!!

The lowest score I have seen is a 12, the average score I see is a 15-17, rarely do I see them above 20. Considering all the challenges our kids face: missed school, abuse, neglect, etc., 21 really is a great score.

 35. While on relief you could buy any toothpaste you wish, but still buy the cheapest stuff because it has become your favorite!

This could apply to many other products.