The Real Full House – One Direction?

This is what happens when you’re bored over Christmas and your college Freshman is studying media.  The first semester video class is paying off!

I love my kids!

 

 

Sunday Post 197: Four Walls and a Few Good Laughs

We went to the mountains on the Friday after Thanksgiving to cut down our Christmas tree.  It’s a Tanner family tradition.  After dinner, the girls and I were riding back to our sparse conference center hotel with the grandparents and Michelle blurted out, “I can’t wait for tonight!”

When we asked her why, she explained, “When Dad, DJ, Stephanie and I all sleep in one room, fun things always happen!”

I wasn’t exactly sure what she was talking about, but I did recall pleasant memories of the hotel giggles.

It was about 10:30 after showers and teeth brushing, and I suggested that we go to sleep early.  We’d been up late the night before and up at 7 that morning.  I was beat.

I turned off all the room lights but left the bathroom door cracked and the shower light on.

I lay down thinking I was through.

It took about 30 seconds for the hilarity to begin.

DJ jumped on me and Michelle and Stephanie followed.  The tickle fight began.

At one point I “went to the bathroom” but in reality crawled on hands and knees between the two beds.  When I thought they would least notice, I jumped up from the floor in my loudest scary scream.

All three jumped a foot in the air!

It’s so much fun to frighten the little ones.  I think it’s a dad thing.

Later DJ and I convinced Stephanie that Eric Rudolph, the bomber who had hidden in the woods of NC for five years, was still on the loose and could climb through the hotel window at any given time.  She didn’t like that and refused to sleep on the outside wall of the room.

I didn’t let it go on too long.  Just enough to rile her up a bit.

Of course there were a couple of Dutch ovens (if you don’t know, don’t ask), and photos taken to Snap Chat at a later time (it was difficult to get internet access in the room – yahoo!!!)

Occasionally our family has moments of brilliance like this.  No television needed, no computers or fancy games.  Just Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Doo and me, enjoying laughs with nothing but ourselves.

Oh, I finally got them calmed down at 12:30 AM, but I slept with one eye open.  Twice when the room was nearly silent, and I in that nearly comatosed state, DJ snuck out of bed and scared the puddin’ out of me!  I guess I deserved it.

Thanksgiving Jam Session

Uncle Jesse comes through with the Thanksgiving sing along.  It’s good to have an uncle who can play piano by ear, postpones the after Thanksgiving food coma by at least an hour…

Even Grandpa raised the roof!

Here’s a Christmas tune…

 

 

Chic-fil-AAAAAAA

ChickFilA-ChickenSandwich-e1395231520696

Last Tuesday evening, l ate THE fluffiest, tastiest, Chic-fil-A sandwich I’ve ever had in my life!  It was like thick and juicy.  It sort of melted in my mouth.

I always remove the pickles cause I don’t like their texture, but I LOVE that pickle flavor.  Mmmm.  It just intertwines with the bread casing adding just the right zing.

DJ and I were heading to Columbia, SC, for our second visit to USC.  I had a meeting in Garner, NC, at 6 PM, so we swung by the poultry pad right after as we headed out.

Chic-fil-A has been a part of every college tour we’ve been on thus far.  It’s become part of our relationship.

That same night, when we neared Lumberton, NC, amid Pedro’s South of the Border billboards, we spotted it again.  Another indication that there could be more.  I mean, it had been almost two hours since we last partook.

“Need to stop?  I sort of need to hit the potty.”

“Yeah.  Me too.”

We pulled in.  DJ got in line.

“I’ll be right back.  Order me the Oreo shake, no cherry.”

As I walked toward the restroom, I could hear the southern clerk who, by the way, is happy to serve us cause as I understand it, her time hand spinning our milkshakes is paying for her college tuition.

“Maaay I help ya?”

When I returned, DJ informed me that she’d ordered larges, “Just in case.”

“In case of what?”

“Just in case we wanted more than a small or medium.  You don’t have to eat it all.”

“Yeah right.”

The sales clerk returned to the counter with our humongous ice cream treats.

“Thank you” DJ and I echoed.

“Iss my plasure,” Missy Mae Bell drawled.

And it did genuinely seem like her plasure.  She was excited to help us.

A local in line behind us struck up a conversation.

“Oooo.  You got a long receipt!  You know what that means!”

“I paid too much?”

“Oh no!” the lady informed me.  “You get a free sandwich if you go on-line and fill out a survey.  I’m really lucky.  I get those all the time!”

I thanked her for informing me of my good fortune, and bi-golly she was right!  I should have given my prize to her.  I forgot to complete the survey, and she specifically told me that I had to within 48 hours or I would forfeit my prize.

I’d be the guy who won the $97,000,000 lottery and discover I had the ticket two days after they’d given the prize money back to the education fund.

I have a lot of respect for my favorite fast food chain.  When it’s not Sunday and I’m not hunkering for my warm bagged breast, I sort of admire that they observe the Sabbath.  Not many places do that anymore.  But I will admit, I get a little irked when I’m driving down I-95 on the second day of the weekend, and I notice the fine print under the big beak decorated C:  Closed on Sunday.

It’s a downer.

Yeah, D J and I are building memories at a restaurant that sells $5 chicken sandwiches. It’s sort of sweet, yet kinda weird.

By The Underwear

Michelle, my Co-ti-llion!

Michelle, my Co-ti-llion!

Sometimes as a parent, all I have to do is ask one, simple question and the information starts pouring out.

“Michelle, how was cotillion today?”

“OMG!  I was dancing with this guy and we were shagging, you know, to beach music.”

“Yeah.”

“He went to turn me and his coat button got stuck in my hair!  It wouldn’t come out.  It was so embarrassing.

Then, this other boy I danced with kept counting out loud.  1, 2, 3 – 1, 2, 3.  Like he was saying it where I could hear him.  I mean seriously?  It was so annoying.

And one boy I danced with was tiny.  He only came up to my chest.  He was soo cute.”

“Yeah.  Maybe don’t tell him that.  Guys usually prefer to be big and handsome.  Not small and cute like Moosey.”

“Yeah.  Oh, but Kimmey danced with a boy and he hung on to her underwear.”

“What?”

“It was sooo funny!  He grabbed her waist and held on so tight that he had her dress and her underwear in his hands!  But don’t tell her mom.”

“OK.”

“AND THEN, the boy I was sitting beside right before snack time asked me if I could run fast.  When I asked him why he wanted to know, he said he wanted to be the first one at the snack table because he didn’t like to stand in lines!  I was NOT RUNNING, in a DRESS, at COTILLION, to get Ruffles potato chips and stale cookies!  Dad, that boy really needs this class.”

“Sounds like it.”

“They taught us to sit like girls today.”

“Mmm.  How’s that?”

“You cross your legs but at the bottom, not at the top.”

“Why’s that?”

“I guess you cross your legs so you don’t show anybody your underwear.”

“Makes sense.  Might make that boy want to grab ’em huh?  What’d he look like?”

“I don’t know, but I didn’t dance with him.”

“How do you know?”

“Because no one held me by my underwear.”

“Ahhh.”

Purchase Danny’s Book:  Laughter, Tears and Braids

Sunday Post 130: The Tried and True

I think this is the 6th year for Adult Weekend at Lake Gaston.  There are four couples and me who diss our kids for about 36 hours just to spend time together.  It’s a bit Big Chillish – minus the funeral.

We typically water and jet ski, tube and surf.  This year, however, we primarily talked; we had a lot of catching up to do.  We don’t see each other like we used to.  Although our kids initially brought us together, they’re all moving in different directions.  It just makes it harder to connect quite as often.

Each lake season seems to bring less watersport and more mouth movement.  Only two fo us tubed this year and after only five minutes, we’d about had enough.

“Jon’s gonna jerk my back out if he doesn’t slow down.”

“He’s clearly trying to kill us.”

At one point four out of the five men were asleep in lawn chairs on the dock.  The women looking on, lamenting their future.

It’s sort of pathetic.

But these friendships run deep.  They aren’t built on frequency of visits nor are they reliant on our children’s schedules or desire to hang out with us.  Nah, we’re past that.

We’re not the same politically; we all go to different churches; our career interests are varied.

Sometimes two or three of us get together without the others, and that’s okay too.  Typically one has run into another and the communicate chain continues.

Our love and connection runs deep. They’re the first ones you call if you have something too big to handle on your own.  You know they’ll come through – even if it’s not Lake Gaston time.

I’m fortunate to have this group – they’ve stood by me through some difficult days.  My hope is that everyone has their go to’s – the tried and true, the ones who’ll stand by you even if it’s not the easy thing to do.

It takes work and commitment to grow these connections, but the payoff is incredible.

Sunday Post 126: Feeling like a Superstar

I look at some people in my life and wonder if they have ever had the opportunity to really be a superstar.  Have they ever experienced the limelight?  Have they ever really felt special?

I had my day to shine!  It was early June, 1977.  There was less than a week left in 6th grade.  I was finishing up elementary school.

I wasn’t a popular kid – unathletic, bushy hair, wearing Husky jeans from JC Penney.  I was funny – a good line every now and then – well-behaved,  and made decent grades but nothing, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.

As May approached, students in my class began to think about their acts for the end of year talent show.  Being insecure, it wasn’t an activity I had ever participated in; nor did I aspire to.  But this year, something was different.

I think Willamina Sparrow was the first to approach me.

“Danny, you’re so crazy!  Why don’t you do the Soul Train line with us in the talent show?”

“Willa, what makes you think I’d want to do that?”

“I saw you when we went to the zoo.  You danced to Ruth’s chant.”

“You mean Introduce Yourself?”

“Yeah.  Do it.”

Introduce Yourself was probably the first rap I’d ever heard.  While I was on the black top being lit up by Scotty Cannon’s German dodgeball throw, the girls were all in a circle near the jungle gym singing this song.

I was always willing to crackup a classmate so I obliged, clapping my hands and cutting the fool:

Introduce yourself, un huh, introduce yourself.

My name is Danny – check

They call me  crazy – check it out

My nickname’s Dan Boy – check

There ain’t no doubt  – check it out un huh.

“You crack me up Dan Boy!  Come on.  You can dance.  It’ll be fun.  Roger’s doin’ it, Ruth, Sabrina, George.”

All were African-American kids I’d grown up with over the past six years at Walker Spivey and Glendale Acres Elementary Schools.  I didn’t really have the opportunity to hang out with them after 3 pm, but I sure did enjoy them in class.  Earlier that year on the playground, Willamina had sorted out all the details for me to “go with” Joianna Spears.  I guess I sort of owed her one; Joianna was a hotty.

“Whatever.”

When the day came, I was told to wear a suit.  We were dressing up for this one. Mine was tan polyester with lapels as wide as Texas.  My shirt was silky with brown and tan paisleys, the collar pointed like the Pope’s hat.  Man I wish that style would come back.

We’d practiced twice, the song was Brick House by the Commadores.

The six of us had a standard step – five of us stayed in formation while the sixth moved to the front of the stage and did their own thing.  I was last.  When the Commadores hit Shake it down – Shake it Down Now, I made my way to center stage.  I moved a little to the left and slid back to the right, followed by multiple Elvis like pelvis thrusts.

When the crowd went wild, I did sort of feel like the King.

We were so good, the principal invited us to repeat our performance later that day in afternoon assembly.  My mom could hardly fit my head in the car on the drive back home.

I’m glad I had my day in the limelight, and I can pinpoint a time in each of my kids’ lives where they have felt at least that special.  I wish I could figure out a way to help everyone be a superstar, at least once.

The Harlem Shake

I’ve always been a funny guy, using humor to maneuver the tougher points in my life – like middle school.  However, I don’t think I’ve been a particularly fun person throughout my life.  “I’m game” has not been a phrase I frequently use.

Wierd food?  I’ll stick to a burger.  Mud?  Paint?  Shaving creme fights?  I like to be clean.

Venture out to the IHop at 2 AM?  Nah, I’m tired.  Skinny dip?  Don’t like cold water.  Camp?  Is there a bathroom?

Lisa was the one who took risks (she didnt’ skinny dip that much, at least not when I knew her), but she was fun, willing to try about anything.

Since she’s been gone, I’ve worked to placate my kids by venturing out of my comfort zone a bit – but it is not easy.  I sort of like my little safe, comfortable, Leave It To Beaver world.

This week, DJ was talking about the Harlem Shake at the dinner table.  I told her we’d get one the next time we went to New York.  She explained that it was not a dairy drink, but rather a dance.  Well, sort of.  She then proceeded to log on to YouTube to show me this new phenomena.

This is the Harlem shake in a Board Room.  I’m going to try it next week at our Y Executive Committee meeting.

This one was my favorite, it was taped underwater.

After watching a few of these magnanimous performances, the younger two kids pushed for a Tanner Family original.

“You guys… it’s too much trouble.”

“Let’s do it in the bathroom!”

“We can turn the shower on and spray each other.”

“Agggh.  I’d have to take my suit off, and I’d get wet.  And then there’s the clean up.”

“Come on dad!”

“Geeeze.  I’m gonna be cold and I’m gonna have to mop.”

I could find every reason in the world not to get up, not to participate.  But then I thought:  Danny, you are a fun sucker.  Get off your butt and shake! 

After Lisa died, I committed to bringing the joy and the fun back to our house, and it looked like this fell squarely into that category.

So here it is, the Harlem Shake, starring Danny Tanner and his Pips:

Are you having fun yet?

  

Posted by Danny

I was at a party last month and someone came up to me and said, “Our family just needs to have more fun – like yours does.” 

I thought that was pretty  cool.  A family who has had tremendous sadness over the past few years is seen as a family who laughs and has fun.  Well, we do.  Do you?

This is a pic from our monthly family dinners.  All are themed.  January was my neice’s 1st birthday, so we all wore pink in her honor.  Then we went to the movies – without changing clothes.  No one said anything, but I’m sure some of the North Hills patrons thought we were weird.  Who cares?  We were having fun.

In March, we celebrated my nephew’s 3rd birthday.  He wanted a marching band – so we obliged.  Sam was our base drummer:

 I wanted to be the Drum Major but my pants kept falling down so no one wanted to follow me:

I thought Jesse looked more like a creepy magician.  I was afraid of what he might pull out of his hat:

My mother-in-law even recreated her majorette costume from high school – boots and hat vintage 60’s:

DJ razzed her about the length of her skirt – what goes around, comes around Nana.

Fun really isn’t difficult.  My girls and I get into wet sponge fights some nights as we clean up the kitchen.  Nothing makes me prouder than Michelle nailing me in the head with a suds filled dish rag.

My parents plan elaborate family B-I-N-G-O games, with prizes, when we’re with them.  They have also exposed my kids to 1950’s musicals – a tradition started by my grandparents. 

Sometimes we just look through old picture books and recant happy memories with mom – like the time she scheduled a personal family tour of Disney World with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

A tiny bit of creativity and full participation from the crowd can turn a humdrum night into a memory.  And I can attest to the fact that the memories are sometimes all we have.

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