me, the Pastor and our INTERNATIONAL KIDNAPPING PLOT!!! Dun dun dunnnnh!

The Pastor and I learned this week we are unable to secure passports for Step Daughter #1 and Step Daughter #2 because - are you ready for this? Because if we get them passports, we might kidnap them and flee the country!!!

Days later, I'm still laughing so hard I can barely type the words. Yes, that's right. The Pastor and I have gone to the trouble of asking to secure passports, even involving the parenting coordinator, as part of our evil plan! Bwah ha ha ha ha!

If we were going to kidnap kids, couldn't the Pastor and I have gone to apply for passports with me pretending to be there mother? If we were going to kidnap kids, wouldn't it be easier and more difficult for people to find us if we went to live in a shack in Montana?

Like I'm going to do anyone else any favors by fleeing with the children!

Oh, and by the way, I JUST went on a trip with the SD's a couple of weeks ago, where I spent considerable time and effort (1) pretending I was NOT traveling with them, and (2) pretending I had no idea whose children they were. Nope, I had no idea who those children were, across the subway car from me, LICKING THE HAND POLES. Nope, I had no idea who those children were rolling around on the floor of Union Station. Nope, I had no idea who those children were getting dangerously close to the Da Vinci painting, and even closer to getting a security escort out of the museum.

But now knowing that I appear to be the type of person who might flee the country without notice, purchase a last minute airfare on the Discover card, this has inspired me to put a plan in place. If I am going to do this, allow me to assemble a list of the people I WOULD kidnap and flee with:

1. The Pastor. He is like a human GPS and knows where he is and how to get to where he wants to go. It is freakish. Who wouldn't want to travel with someone so sexy and directional? Oh, and he pays the Discover bill and carries my bags.

2. Nate, of course, who's Dad is freely allowing me to get a passport, even going to the Post Office with me to apply! Won't he be surprised?!?


4. My friends - one is the same size as me, who wouldn't want to automatically double their wardrobe on the run? Plus she knows the calories in everything. And Dr. Friend. You know, in case I get one of those blood clot things on the international flight.

5. My cousin's baby - Lantern. He is one of the cutest kids in the world, and he's smart and scheduled. I love a cute kid on a time-table. Plus he said my bracelet was "Sparkly."

6. Michael R. - He's kind of like the Pastor, so it would probably be good to have an extra one around in case I need a spare.

7. Whoever bakes the chocolate thumbprint cookies at Ingrid's German Restaurant. Once I get settled, I'd want some cookies. Oh and one of the Baristas from Starbucks would be nice too.

That's it. That's the whole list of people I'd kidnap and flee the country with, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even have to kidnap some of them - some might even come along willingly. I'd also gladly accept applications for other interested parties, just let me know if you'd like to apply.


Do you want to join my club? Check the box for yes or no!

I just got this book. It is, as the cover states, a merit badge book for grown-up girls. I saw the book before my va-ca at a bargain bin at the evil Wal-Mart store, and I went back to get it (always buy something when you see it so you don't have to go back) and it was gone. So I ordered it off Amazon.com and I think it ended up being cheaper.

The book has merit badges for things like painting, throwing a party, dancing . . . and some I will never earn as I am knitting impaired and probably not going to jump out of a plane unless it is absolutely necessary because a giant rat is chasing me. You can also make up your own merit badges. I should get one for my trip packing skills.

I think this concept could be fun and I wanted to invite others to join me. Obviously, a bunch of other people bought the book - if I only knew who they were! So, I'm starting a club. I'm thinking of calling it the GUGS - Grown-up Girl Scouts. I thought if anyone wants to get together either in person or via the internet, we can work on merit badges together, encourage each other, maybe help each other out with our special skills. For instance, if there were a badge for eating thumbprint cookies, I would be earning that right now. I would gladly help others with this as well; it's much more fun to not eat them alone. (I've apparently gotten the Pastor hooked on these devilishly good cookies too, and after a stressful appointment, HE JUST TOOK ME BY THE BAKERY to replenish my stock. I thought Pastor's weren't supposed to be evil.)

Anyway, let me know if you are interested. You can send me an e-mail. And if you don't want to earn merit badges, well you can still join. I'm sure we can find books to talk about or we can always discuss weight/make-up/fashion. There's room for everyone in my club. And if you don't want to join, oh well, I'll have more merit badges than you.

P.S. I'm not promising some sort of stylish uniform won't be involved.

I'm off to work out. I already did 45 minutes on the treadmill today, but if I go to the gym, I can watch Paris Hilton on Larry King Live. Besides, I have some cookies to burn. That right there defines MY CLUB - burning cookies off, not selling them!




tidbits from my va-ca

-You CAN get through airport security with thumbprint cookies.

-Snakes on a plane? Nope. How about Rats. In all of my travel delays, until this trip I've never had one caused by a rat, which involved sitting on the plane for over an hour before take off, and concluding with the PILOT having to come out of the cockpit to take out the rat trash. Terrorist? TerRATist? Maybe this was some kind of promotional campaign by the makers of Ratatouille?

-Sex with a bra on may prevent pregnancy. *

-If you rub on the side of a building for good luck, it wears down the stone, and eventually the building may collapse. How lucky is that?

-The snakehead fish is alive and well.

-I am the best packer in the world. Seriously. My trip spanned six days, no outfit repeats and only one purse + a very stylish and small silver duffle bag held it all. If you go on a trip, you should have me pack for you. That could be like a job for me. The problem is before you came home, you wouldn't know how to shove everything back into your bag, so I would need to actually accompany you on your trip. But the good news is I am fun to travel with, and I bring thumbprint cookies.

-For some reason, every time you walk by Union Station, you will see Ernest Istook. Perhaps he panhandles there?

-The burning unanswered question- where do vets get the blood for transfusions for animals? Do dogs have to be typed like humans? If you know, please let me know.

*Has not been scientifically proven.

I would highly recommend when you travel, you have a Dr. as your traveling companion as I did. You learn all sorts of things. I now possess a vast knowledge of secret medical lingo, which I will not post on this blog, as I want to retain the knowledge for myself for when I try to impress others by pretending to be Dr. Robyn. Now, everything I learned about medicine is not solely from Grey's Anatomy.

After days of walking around in "Street Robyn" mode, it was hard to come back to the Bible Belt, where associates of the Pastor might see me, therefore making it unwise for me to shove people, drive aggressively or shout "HUMAN HERE" when someone gets in my way. I went 5 whole days without having to go anywhere near a Wal-Mart, only to come home and be subjected to the worlds worst and dumbest Wal-Mart Associate:

Me, in a hurry. Tired of being in stupid store with Jabberwocky chatting my head off and the Pastor texting me every few moments all while I'm trying to do budgetary math in my head and make sure I'm getting all the ingredients to make Giada De Laurentiis recipes. (BTW, Baked Caprese Salad - excellent!)

Checker, chatting to person in front of me about someone on some reality show about to be kicked off.

Me, completely exasperated.

Checker, finally done with other customer, scanning my items at a snail-like pace.

(The basket was too full for self-check out.)

Checker: "Which one of these kinds of bread is better?"

Me: "I don't know. I don't eat it." (Seriously, I don't.)

Checker: "Oh, I love that Lean Cuisine. They make a really good chicken blah blah blah. Have you had it?"

Me: "No, I don't eat meat."

From complete urban sophistication back to this. Clean-up on aisle five please.


astroglide and videotapes

Those are the things that greeted me when I arrived back home today from my long weekend in DC with friends. Left to his own devices, these are the remnants of the Pastor's time home alone.

The lubricant? The Pastor spent the better part of the weekend (better is probably not the right word) having to administer enemas to a plugged up child.

The timing of my trip could not have been better planned.

Moving on, I was deeply troubled by the stack of videos next to the teeny, tiny television we use when we want to watch a movie or something on the three television stations we are able to get at the Parsonage (like the Pastor's current fixation - the pirate reality show).

But back to my story. On the top of the video stack?

"On the Life and Ministry of the Messiah"

I pretended for a few minutes that must not be the actual video in the case. But, indeed, it was. I hit "play" and saw it with my own two eyes. The Bible Scholar de jour was describing heaven as a wedding reception.

Wedding reception?

There better be cake.


no wonder Jesus walked on water

I have diligently been exercising every day.

Numerous things have kicked my butt. The treadmill. The elliptical machine. Aerobics. Bike. Yoga Booty Ballet. Carmen Electra. I backpacked across Europe! And as unbelievable as it may sound, I’ve even jogged. In fact, up until now, I was of the firm belief (well firm is probably the wrong word) that running is about the worst thing you can do.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever kicked my butt quite like what I tried this week.


We recently joined the Y and they have a very nice indoor heated swimming pool. In an effort to mix up my exercise regimen and make it exciting (as exciting as you can make exercise), I swam laps the other day.

I felt like I was going to die.

The old man and the old lady (older than me) also swimming laps, and not looking like it was any big deal, certainly didn’t help me to feel good about myself. And isn’t that the whole point of working out in a “public” place? You know, working out next to the old people to make yourself feel superior?

How many laps did I swim, you might ask? Dozens?

I managed to make it around the pool four times.

Jesus was smart.


possible side effects

Walter Brueggemann: Total hottie.

Oddly enough, I have a picture of the Pastor that looks very similar.

I was going to do a blog entry about a conversation the Pastor and I had where he was wondering if his work is meaningless to which I responded I KNOW what I do is meaningless.

But then when I sat down to work on the post I was going to include a quote from Walter Brueggemann, and that's when I discovered something truly shocking:

1. I know who Walter Brueggemann is.
2. I know a quote from Walter Brueggemann.
3. I know how to spell Walter Brueggemann's name.

It's probably a good thing I'm going for a long girl's weekend to DC this Wednesday through Saturday. I've obviously been hanging around Theologians too long. If you know where we live, stop by the Parsonage and visit the Pastor. He might be lonely. And you can talk Brueggemann.

it worked

I did something right.

He brought me breakfast in bed.

And he sure was impressed by those people at Starbucks.

Barista: "Is this for Robyn, OUR Robyn?"

Pastor: "Yes."

Barista: "is she all right?"

Pastor: "Yes, she is just at home in bed."


I have more of a connection with the people at Starbucks than I do at my church.


happy father's day, Pastor

Since this is cheaper than a card, things I love about the Pastor:

-All the bargains he finds at Goodwill.
-The way he pretends to not know where anything is, so he can make me feel needed when I have to find stuff for him.
-When he acts all mad when I use the charge card at some store at the mall. I know deep down inside how much he loves it when I look cute, wear all that makeup and smell good.
-The way he is so helpful - like on vacation, when he decided to wash a whole bunch of clothes even though we didn't need any clean clothes, and then the way he offered to help carry around the big, wet pile of clothes in his backpack.
-How he doesn't tell me my bottom is really big and fat, even though I secretly know it is.
-The loving way he works me into his sermons, disguising my identity as a clueless student or some otherwise stupid Christian.
-When he gets up, goes to Starbucks for me and brings me my coffee in bed.
-The way he gets up in the morning and creeps through the house so quietly AND NEVER TURNS ON LIGHTS because he doesn't want to wake his Sleeping Beauty. He is also so quiet and courteous when he has stayed up til 2, 3 or 4 in the morning working. He always waits til I wake up the next day to be chatty.
-How he shrugs off my library fines with an "Oh well, at least she doesn't buy books anymore!"
-The way he finds all the garbage I leave in the cars as endearing reminders of my presence.
-The way he snuggles up next to my 110 degree body, saying "I don't care how hot you are, I just want to be close to you!"
-How when we go to "On the Border" he joyfully exclaims "On the Border! I love On the Border! You just can't eat there enough!" And "since we're here, allow me to buy you a diet coke for $1.50!"
-The way he still loves me, even when I blog stuff about him which is completely fabricated.

But this one is not made up. When in doubt, stop agonizing. Just buy BOTH dresses. Everything is returnable.

Everything IS returnable. But me. And the kids. Thanks for putting up with us and only being a martyr about it 50% of the time.



while I was sleeping

In the past few weeks, I've had two dreams that Jon Krazinski from "The Office" is my boyfriend. I had no idea I liked him that much. I couldn't help it, I was just sleeping. Sorry, Pastor. If it helps, in one of the dreams we just held hands. And I'm also sorry to any "Office" fans because I really do want for him and Pam to get together.

That is better than the other dream I keep having. The one where I don't remember my locker combination. It's the only recurrent dream I've had consistently for years. And it's not even a dream, more like a nightmare. I wonder what it means.


the first taste is with the eyes

Of course, they loved the Hamburger Helper.

Went on and on about it.

I thought it looked like vomit on a plate.

Wait a minute, this post sounds dangerously like a haiku. Let me get it right:

they loved the helper
went on and on about it
vomit on a plate

There. See, when I don't spend all that time in the kitchen, I have much more time to write/blog.

the Empire strikes back

I'm on strike.

From cooking.

I reached the point where I was tired of the complaining. No matter what I made, somebody said it was "spicy" or "I like the sandwiches DAD makes better." Or, I don't like that kind of butter. Or, what do you mean there's no gravy. Or, that bread tastes like soap. I'm tired of busting my asparagus in the kitchen and not feeling appreciated.

Therefore, for dinner tonight, I have done something truly shocking. For anyone who really knows me, this one will floor you.

I made Hamburger Helper.

I figure people still might complain, but at least I will have spent less time cooking. Or, perhaps, I just try too hard, and people will be delighted with cheap, processed, unhealthy food.

We'll see what happens.


bun in the oven

I'm stress baking.

Yesterday, I made peanut butter cup bars. Tonight, I made biscuits and brownies.

I bake when I get stressed out - that is, stressed out about things in general, or when I get stressed out about dieting. When I am on the diet bandwagon, it is somehow comforting for me to bake and be around food without actually eating it. I won't eat any of the items I bake, because I just bake them and then look up the Weight Watchers point value and determine I won't eat them. (The peanut butter cup bars had 4 points for a teeny tiny bar!)

There should be nothing in particular for me to be stressed out over. I think it's delayed reaction baking. Vacation was stressful, yet there was no oven around. Maybe that's why I bake when I am stressed. Maybe it keeps me from putting my head in the oven.

The biscuits are for the Pastor's birthday tomorrow morning. I'm making him biscuits and gravy, even though several weeks ago I was told I was "too nice" and I should "stop bringing him breakfast in bed." Yes, I was actually chastized (again) for being too nice of a wife. Apparently, it is confusing.

Speaking of ovens, the Pastor and I went to see "Knocked Up" this afternoon. It's amazing. You sit in the theatre for two hours, but it really does feel like nine months.

exactly how much I'm worth
I have never seen anyone go through money quite like the way younger daughter Loretta went through souvenir money while on vacation. We had multiple cities to visit, and had explained to the kids you will want to have money to spend in all of the places. By the time we reached the end of the first city, Loretta had gone through nearly all of her money. She asked me "what will happen if we ACCIDENTALLY spent all of our money in the first city?"

Well, as one of my friends found out, what happens is you go up to Robyn's friend that you see for one hour of your vacation and you ask her for a dollar. That's what happens.


By the time we reached the end of the trip, the two daughters pooled their money and divided it up. They each had 65 cents. At the last airport we were at, for our final flight home, Loretta made a pass through all the shops. She came to the gate where the Pastor and I were waiting and proclaimed there was nothing, absolutely nothing, to be purchased in the airport shops for 65 cents.

Then she said "here Robyn, I guess you can just have it."

You mean since you can't find ANYTHING to buy, you would rather give me your money???

So I took it.

And for those of you who think I'm worth less than 65 cents, you can go here:


Apparently, some people don't like me. But that doesn't mean I'm going to go bake cookies.


my video works now!

I did it!

Or, perhaps the Pastor fixed it.


why can't I do this?

children can upload to youtube

but I can't

vaca video


hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door . . . I am HOT

Nothing that exciting.

One of the kids decided to hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, so our last day in Washington/Maryland we had no maid service.

And I have a really bad sun burn. I'm not sure if that is one word or two, but it's such a bad sun burn I'm going to use two words for it.


Good hair day.

Obviously, before Philadelphia.

I didn't really eat it.

I'm just posing for the picture.

Really, I didn't eat it. Diet cake. Ick.

my new Coach shoes

No, I didn't bring these to the urine-filled streets of Philly. Blogging pre-va-ca pics.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Lip Gloss

Hello from Philly. We managed to make it through airport security without one single item or person being searched. No one felt it necessary to confiscate my lip gloss or Luna Bar in the name of national security.

I'm pretty sure I saw someone try to buy drugs within the first two hours I was here. On my subway ride from the airport to the hotel, I passed the time by thinking about when, a year and a half ago, I had been robbed by two black men and I couldn't describe them to the police. So I sat on the subway staring at black men thinking about how I would describe them if necessary. "He had corn-rows." Or, "he was wearing a football jersey and a big square diamond earring and Adidas." "His pants were in danger of falling off." Don't you like the thought process of the inner-city church Pastor's wife?

The Pastor is working, but the kids and I saw the sites. Today, we rode on the double decker tour bus and saw an overview of the city. We also toured the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We did all of this in spite of the fact that one of the children just wanted to stay at the hotel and swim.

Later, when the Pastor caught up with us, I tried to be a good wife. Really, I tried. But, what, I ask you, about me says "she looks like the type of girl who wold like to walk around in the rain." ????? In a city that clearly embraces public urination, I certainly don't mind splashing around in the water that washes it away! I was trying to make the Pastor happy by walking to the AIDS thrift store so he could buy two shirts for $3.50.

Then, for maximum embarrassment, even though I safely ran for hours in my rubber flip flops, I waited until I was in the hotel lobby to fall on my bottom and my wrist and say a word my son had never heard me say. I blame the cinnamon rolls.

We are staying at a Holiday Inn Express. Even though I am embarrassed by the whole slip and fall thing and not happy about the people in the room next to us who made sure we didn't sleep last night, the hotel redeems itself with the delicious cinammon rolls. I only ate one, and part of a second one this morning. That is an improvement over my pre-Weight Watcher cinnamon roll escapades. I spent time this evening trying to find the nutritional information, but I couldn't find it. It's just as well. I'd rather be in denial. And if you know, don't tell me.

Now I am watching a show on cable about morbidly obese people who have to go to special clinics. I wonder if that will be a deterrent to the cinnamon rolls tomorrow morning. The Pastor wouldn't let me watch edited-for-tv "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" because it's not appropriate for the children. Well this show is not helpful to me and the fact that I want to eat a cinnamon roll tomorrow morning.