Seen and Heard at the POTATO Consignment Sale

Every six months, I endure a period of insanity that lasts about fifteen hours. Then I come home, barely able to move my arms, legs, back, and feet for three days.

It’s the bi-annual POTATO (Parents of Twins and Triplets Organization) consignment sale.

I have come to LOVE the sale. It’s kind of like a yard sale on steroids, BUT (when it’s working) it’s air conditioned.

I get to catch up with old friends and meet new friends. The socializing is so much fun. The amazing deals I score are incredible. Sometimes I make a little money. And I totally get to clean out my attic and garage.

OK. But the best part? People watching. Chit-chat in the checkout line. Gossipping–ahem, catching up–on celebrity news and the latest headlines. Finding out little known secrets about my friends.

In no particular order, I give you my favorite highlights from this weekend’s POTATO sale:

1. Michael Jackson tribute tee shirts. On three women. Who were shopping together.
2. A “Pat” person. I really, honestly, didn’t know if this individual was male or female.
3. Lots of precious, cute babies and toddlers.
4. One hellion crazy kid who lacked supervision, almost took out clothing racks with a triplet stroller, and randomly wielded scissors behind my back.
5. A $500 purchase. At a consignment sale!
6. One amazing story from a friend who should be on TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”
7. Trash-talking Jon Gosselin and the Octomom.
8. A little theology discussion about God’s sovereignty, predestination, and election.
9. Lots of nutritional advice from a registered dietitian.
10. My cribs are gone. Both of them. Happy? Sad? I can’t decide.
11. Found out the hard way that my almost-new athletic shoes are too small. Way too small. Ouch.
12. Finding those random connections to people through friends-of-friends, college sorority days, places of employment, church membership, and so on. I said and heard, “You know so-and-so? How do you know so-and-so? SUCH A SMALL WORLD.”

That’s this sale in a nutshell, from my perspective.

Funny how after every sale, I swear that I will pull out outgrown clothing as I wash it, hang and tag it, so it’s ready to go for the next sale.

Yeah, right.

Until Spring 2010 and the tagging madness rolls around again …

Watch Out For An Exploding Mary! and other thoughts

I’m not sure, but I may explode within the next few days.

During the last 24 hours, I have logged some time working 3 of 4 of my part-time jobs. I am writing/editing, doing bookkeeping/admin work for church, doing admin work for PureSafety, and marketing Melaleuca products.

Oh, yeah, and I have a full-time job of wife and mom.

Chris and I decided that we would work really hard to get on our feet and tackle our debt in an effort to reduce some of the financial stress.

I love doing all of of my jobs. But some days there’s just not enough of me to go around, to meet the deadlines, to keep all the knowledge sorted in the brain, to drive here and there.

We are grateful for the extra work. GRATEFUL. And I really enjoy it. I just need a few more hours in my days.


As if I didn’t have enough going on, I’m also teaching our Ladies’ Bible Study this summer. Yikes! Yikes! and Yikes! This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages, so on one level I am thrilled. On another level, I’m scared to death. I’m humbled (and properly so) as I remember the verse that says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1


Also, I’m writing my own study (you didn’t expect me to take the easy route, did you?). It’s all about the centrality of the Word in women’s lives. We are looking at all the distractions and deceptions of our culture and how we Christian women open ourselves to being swept along with the culture primarily because we neglect the Word of God.

Prayers, please!


Today we met some friends for a little swim time in their neighborhood pool. We had fun, and the kids did great. I really can’t believe that I’m taking all 3 to the pool now by myself. Whoa! What a difference a year makes. Anyway, today, I was pulling Spencer around on a noodle and he asked, “Mom, could Jesus swim?”

How cute is that?

I said, “I don’t know.”

What I should have said was, “He didn’t have to. He could walk on water.” But Chris was like, “Of course he could swim. He made the water.”

But I’m like, “I don’t know. In his humanity, swimming would have been something he would have had to learn. Humans aren’t born knowing how to swim. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.”

What do you think?


I totally have some strong opinions about Jon and Kate and the debacle their marriage and impending divorce have become. I think the biggest lesson for us here is to be careful, lest we, too, are led astray by whatever sparkles and catches our eye.

My sense—and this is only my rather uninformed opinion—is that her constant berating pummeled her poor husband to a shell of a man. Instead of responding as he should have, he rebelled and did, indeed, commit indiscretions. The two of them are now so far past preserving the integrity of the marriage that their relationship is irreparable.

Sadly, I don’t think either cares much. I don’t sense either has much to lose by being divorced. They will still go on with their show, their speaking engagements, traveling, and book deals. By now, the fame and money have outfitted them with nannies and bodyguards and housekeepers. Heck yeah—this “new arrangement” is preferable to actually living together, turning off the TV cameras, stopping the cash flow, working on the marriage, actually being at home with 8 kids all day, and dealing with the mundanity of ordinary life.

Of course, the children are the victims. I fear that once all of this blows over—whether it’s within the next few months or few years—the relationships between parents and kids will be forever altered. I think Jon and Kate mostly see the effect on themselves. My concern is they are not really evaluating from a “big picture” view because they really don’t want to say goodbye to the fame and the money.