Rachael Ray Airs Wednesday

Rachael Ray is pictured during the production of "The Rachael Ray Show" in New York on Thursday, March 28, 2016. Photo: David M. Russell/Rachael Ray Show ©2016 King World Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Rachael Ray is pictured during the production of “The Rachael Ray Show” in New York on Thursday, March 28, 2016.  Photo: David M. Russell/Rachael Ray Show  ©2016 King World Productions. All Rights Reserved.

I thought that perhaps they would mention my book, or perhaps help pub up my blog.  Or at a minimum have us help Rachael in the kitchen.  I mean, I can cook chicken nuggets and frozen waffles.

Nah – none of that stuff happened.

But… we did have a great time!

It has been a dream of mine to have a dude in a black suit greet me at the bottom of the airport escalator with my name on a sign:

“Mr. Tanner?  I’m here to transport you to your destination.  May I get your bags?”

I mean who are these people who are so important they don’t have to schlep through luggage and go stand in the taxi line hopeful not to get the one that smells like mothballs or old Chinese food?

Car NYC

Let me tell you… those people are us!

Well, close to us.  Like he wasn’t waiting at the escalator, he was outside.  But he did have a nondescript black sedan, and it did have our name on the side, and he did already know where we were going, because we were very important people, critical to the Rachael Ray Show’s success for the day.

When we arrived at the studio, we were taken to our dressing room.  It had our name outside the door and a bathroom.  And a sign that said hold down the handle when you flush (and not a tacky, hand-written job, it was classy!)  Felt just like home.

Hold handle

They ordered pizza and salad for us (Rachael was interviewing one of the Shark Tank guys so she couldn’t cook) and then interviewed us for a video they were working on to be aired the following day when we taped the show, IN FRONT OF A LIVE (not dead) audience.

At one point, we could hear Ms. Ray outside our door…

It was VERY exciting.

During my interview on the first day, she was talking in the hall, and we had to pause because of the background noise.  Yes, Rachael’s actual, real voice was wreaking havoc on my press time!  I just couldn’t work under those conditions.

That night Rachael’s kind staff hooked us up with two nice rooms at the Hilton on W 26th street.  We put our clothes in one and all slept in the other.

On the second day they sequestered us in a conference room and prepped us for what Rachael might ask.  We were poised, calm, ready for our big break!

We were escorted to makeup where the beauticians did the girls’ hair and applied a bit of makeup.  I went too but there wasn’t much she could do.  She did tell me I had nice hair and then she sponged some stuff under my eyes to hide the bags.  I felt like Boy George.

They kept us in a stairwell and as our taped interview began to air, they rushed us through sound check and trekked us through the set to Ms. Ray’s couch.  I sat right next to her.  She patted my knee to relax me.

When the video ended, all cameras turned to us…

Rachael has a new line of furniture, and we were sitting on her brand new couch!  My tush was actually one of the first tushes to touch that fabric.  Eee-yowza.

She then turned to us, asked where Uncle Jesse was, and I shared that he was working.  She asked the kids two or three questions and then… we had a huge surprise!  DJ Tanner, the real DJ Tanner Candace Cameron-Bure, came out from behind the set!  My girls almost peed their pants which would have been a mess, especially on the new couch.

At the commercial break, they snapped our pic with our two new besties, and then we got to visit with Candace who was extremely gracious.  She even invited us to come out to LA to see them tape their new show, Fuller House.  I gave her my card.  She hasn’t called yet, but we are hopeful.

The show actually airs tomorrow on ABC.  We weren’t on there long so you’ll have to watch quickly.

It was a fabulous experience for my girls and for me.  And the staff at the Rachael Ray Show were really incredible.  Warm, welcoming, professional – what a great experience for our family.

RR Girls Interview

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas from the Tanner Family (with our real names)!  Our 2015 Christmas card was created by the oldest Tanner kid, DJ.  That George Washington University media class paid off.

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Christmas Card Picture 2015

 

Visiting the Dead

Sometimes I dream about having the opportunity to talk to Lisa, if only for an hour or two.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could communicate with our loved ones who are gone?  Just an hour a month – or a one week reunion once a year like our family’s vacation trip to West Virginia each August.

I can envision the rush to get to the annual destination, the desire to be there as early as possible to maximize our time with the ones we don’t frequently see.  The hugs.  The laughter.  The recounting of stories that occurred throughout the year.  The asking of advice for the future.  A long embrace at the end of the week, knowing it will be 358 days before we would see each other again.

Before Lisa died I asked her, if there was an option to do so, to come visit us when she got to heaven.  She told me she wasn’t doing that.  “I don’t want to be stuck between here and there.”  Seemed like she had spent some time thinking about it.  “When I go, I’m not coming back.”

Last night I was laying by Stephanie right before bedtime.  We started talking about Lisa.

“I still miss her,” I confessed.  I then shared my desire to communicate with our deceased loved ones on a regular basis.

“I want to talk to her.  I wish she was here, on earth.”

Without hesitation, Stephanie said, “She is.  She’s inside of me.”

Sometimes kids can see things that we, as adults, cannot.

I think God sort of works like that too.  I’m often narrow in my ability to view His world.  I don’t want to be, but I am.  I’m unable, or unwilling, to see blessings, opportunities, solutions right in front of my nose.

Maybe I should just spend more time with Stephanie.  She sure does have a way of enlightening.

Sunday Post 191: My Eulogy

Last week I did my first eulogy.  Do you do a eulogy?  Say a eulogy?  I guess you eulogize someone.

I was honored to be asked by an elderly lady who attended my church and who was an avid exerciser at the Y.  She called me a month or so ago and explained that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.  She felt like her time was limited.  She was making plans.

Sarah told me I was a good man and that certainly I could think of something good to say about her.  She was right.  It was easy to think of wonderful things about my friend.

It’s a huge responsibility to speak at someone’s funeral.  The opportunity only comes around once.  It is the single time that folks will outwardly, in front of your friends and family, talk about what you’ve meant to this world.

As I thought about Sarah last week, I also thought about the end of my life.  When it’s all said and done, what would I want someone to say about me?

I really spent some time thinking about this and have decided there are about five things I hope someone will remember when they give that 10 minute synopsis of my life.

1) He made us laugh.

2) He was a really, really good father.

3) He made a difference in this world (and be able to support that statement with several specific examples).

4) He lived his faith through his actions.

5)  He loved people – he loved all people, and it showed.

When I look through this list, there are a couple I think I’ll knock out of the park.  There are a few, though, where I’m currently coming up short.  That means I have to accept that I’m probably going to fail or I’m going to have to make some changes now.

Suppose I lived my life with those five goals in mind.  What if I considered my daily actions determining if what I was doing was moving me toward those goals or away from them?

Perhaps a little focus today, will ensure a more interesting and thoughtful message upon my demise.

Sunday Post 182: Teaching to Pray

Last week my Sunday School class talked about prayer. We were discussing the news story about the woman who owns a restaurant and gives random discounts to customers who pray before dining.

The conversations in the room went from exasperation with those who would criticize the woman for her spiritual price cut to folks who felt praying in public was not what Jesus preached.

After reading the lesson, I was torn. It almost made me feel like praying with my kids at night, in particular my older two, wasn’t a great idea. Perhaps my push to pray at meals and bedtime was teaching my kids that those were required. Maybe we reviewed the same prayer list too often. Am I teaching my kids to have a conversation with God or am I teaching them an obligatory recitation?

That night I went to tell DJ goodnight. As I was walking out of her room I said, “Don’t forget to say your prayers.” And then I said, “Or not! I mean, pray if you want to – if it feels right. If not, don’t. You can pray later. Tomorrow. At 3:32 if you want. In the bathroom. Whenever. Goodnight.”

Later that week I ate lunch with a friend of mine. When we sat down at the table, with tons of folks around us, he looked me in the eye and said, “Let’s have an open-eyed prayer.” He then looked across the table at me and thanked God for our friendship and for our food.

He did pray in public. He just did it in an unobtrusive way.

After much debate and discussion, I think our class decided that there were two things we needed to keep in mind when praying:

Pray because you feel led to pray. Don’t pray for recognition or because you want others to see you. That ain’t what it’s all about. There’s no reason not to pray in a restaurant, but you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t. There isn’t an obligation to pray at any given time.

I don’t think God wants us to stand on a corner and shout at folks about His love or redemption. I think He wants us to quietly show.

I would rather see a sermon than to hear one.

Check the Tanners out in the September issue of Family Circle
Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful: Click here. And thanks

Sunday Post 148: Christians Unite

Aren’t we supposed to be on the same side?

I grow so weary of Christians attacking each other.  I grow so weary of disagreements on issues driving us to question each other’s commitment to Christ and in some cases leading us to question someone else’s faith altogether.

How could we possibly determine whether someone is a Christian simply because of his political affiliation?  How could we imply that we love God more because we stand on one side of a single issue?

Yeah, there are those who believe that it’s not possible to lead a Christlike life if you’re not exuberant about paying significant taxes to support those who haven’t been born with as many earthly blessings as you.  And, there are those who condemn someone to hell if they support gay marriage or the pro-choice agenda.

I get it!  I have passionate views as well.  But I wouldn’t question someone’s personal relationship with Christ because they don’t fully agree with Danny Tanner’s social and political views.  I might argue with them; I might wonder why they believe what they do; but that’s as far as I’d go.

I don’t like Fettuccini Alfredo.  Does that mean I don’t like Italian food?  It does not!  I just don’t particularly like that white goopy sauce.  Do I think you’re ignorant because you do?  No.  I think you have different taste buds.  If I’m splitting dinner with you, I’m going to try to pursuade you to order something else.  But I won’t question your commitment to the Italian food cause.

An athiest who reads this blog once commented that if every Christian talked about their faith as I do that maybe she’d be more interested in learning more.  That made me feel pretty good!

I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.  How could someone who doesn’t believe in God have any interest whatsoever in learning more while watching us condemn each other?  It is so NOT what Christ would do.

Let’s celebrate Christmas by doing what He would want us to do.  Go find a Christian you don’t agree with – and give him a hug, and begin acting out your faith with those who are actually on your side.  Once we get that down, we can reach out to those who have no understanding at all.

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and BraidsAmazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful:  Click here.  And thanks!

Sunday Post 123: 97.6% Sure

I run into folks who have the faith of a giant.  No doubts whatsoever.  100% sure.  They are as convinced that there is a heaven as they are that there is mustard in their refridgerator.  It’s remarkable to watch.

Me, I believe too.  But I’ll have to say, at times, a little doubt creeps into the corner of my mind.  A little gnawing question passes through my cerebrum, “What if there isn’t a heaven?  What if you’re wrong?”

It’s generally fleeting, but it leaves enough of an impression that at times it gets me down.

Why in the heck didn’t God create a large bay window between heaven and earth?  If I could see all of my friends and family there, it’d be so much easier.

If your kid goes to overnight camp, you still get letters – you can see their picture on the camps’ online photo site.  You know you’ll see them again in a few weeks.

Why can we have Instagram with people in heaven?  Perhaps a Facebook page with ongoing updates from life up there.

I’ve got some great ideas.  If I get up there, I’m gonna make some serious suggestions.

Sunday Post 116: Doing It Yourself

On Monday, I was driving back from the dance studio for the seventieth time this week, this time with Michelle.  We passed an ambulance and she asked, “Dad.  When you see an ambulance or a fire truck drive by, do you say a prayer for the people they’re going to help?”

I responded, “You know Michelle, I actually do.  It just pops into my head.”

“Yeah, me too.  Do you think God answers our prayers?”

“I don’t know.  What do you think?”

“Sometimes I think He wants you to do it by yourself.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, when I was trying to quit sucking my thumb, I asked God to make me stop, and He didn’t do a thing about it.”

“I understand.  I’ve experience similar situations.”

Sometimes I think He wants you to do it yourself… hum…

I don’t know that I really have a problem with people praying to win a ball game or praying for a good parking place at the mall.  I guess that’s sort of between them and God.  But to be honest, if He won’t save my young wife from dying, I sure hope He’s working on something more important than finding parking places for someone.

Maybe there are times He intervenes.  Maybe there are times when He wants us to do it ourselves.

Life certainly isn’t easy, and I sometimes think I feel God’s presence.  I sort of see His hand in things.

At other times, I’m disappointed He hasn’t more quickly and apparently stepped in.  Maybe He’s busy helping someone else.  Or maybe He thinks it’s about time I took things into my own hands and took responsibility for my own actions.  He probably isn’t gonna yank my thumb out of my mouth!  First I have to want to stop sucking.  Then, and only then, might He help give me the strength or put the tools in place to help me.

I don’t think that God can cure my grief if I don’t work at it too.  It isn’t like Bewitched, a squenching of the nose and all is well.

Is it possible to rely too much on God?  I’m not sure.  But I’m confident that at times I don’t rely on myself enough.  I don’t take responsibility for my own actions.  Maybe that’s what that great philosopher Michelle Tanner was talking about.  Sometimes I just need to look myself in the eyes and begin the process of change.  I think He can usually help, but it’s likely that we may have to do some of the work ourselves.

Sunday Post 76: A Proud Father

Posted by Danny

I was never the best looking kid, just average.  I’m not much of a sports guy – ran cross-country in high school but not in the top 5 and that’s what counts.  I was in a few school plays but never the lead.  I missed the National Honor Society at Terry Sanford Senior High School by 2 points – just didn’t quite apply myself enough.  And yet, with all that – or better yet, with only that, I always felt like my father was proud that I was his son.

He grew up with an alcoholic father.  His dad didn’t heap on the praise.  In fact, I don’t think he told my dad he was proud of him until my dad was 40.  And even that was in writing.  Yeah, that was about the extent of Granddaddy Tanner’s praise.

As I look at my father, I see the good pieces of my granddad – strong financial sense, good at tinkering with things, generous.  But I also see that he avoided all of the mistakes my granddad made.  My dad doesn’t drink – a lick.  He’s pretty open with his feelings.  He outwardly loves and respects my mother.  And he is the first one to tell his kids he loves them – regardless.  Yea – just regardless.

If my girls don’t know anything else in life, they know these two things:

1) Their dad loves them more than any human could ever love another

2) Their dad is proud of them just like they are

Yea, I push them on grades a bit.  There are times I’m disappointed in their actions, and I make my opinion known.  They don’t readily help out around the house very often, and their bickering drives me nuts! 

But in no way do their actions affect my love for them.  It’s just too deep.

I think God’s like that too.  Maybe that’s what being a father is all about.

Sunday Post 52: A Year of Growth

Posted by Danny

I think in many ways I’d been in the same place for years.  Complacent.  Settling for a life with little to no growth.

The routine was the same:  work, drive home, eat dinner, watch TV – the Eyewitness News, sleep and then start all over again.  The weekends would change-up a bit, I’d mow the lawn. 

I had no desire to be more.  I didn’t want to move beyond my comfort zone. 

Well guess what?  I was shoved, donkey kicked, into a position where I had to grow.  

It’s been incredibly uncomfortable.  And the kick hurt like hell – I still have the bruises to show for it.

Jesse and I started this blog 52 weeks ago.  I’d never even read one before. 

If you’d have asked me to “tweet” at the time, I’d have acted the bird.  Twitter was for Jesse and the other young dudes.

I had not sung since I was in the youth choir at my church in high school and my participation was mainly for the year-end trip.  Had Lisa asked me to try out for A Christmas Carol, I would have scoffed and sent her on her way. 

Write and let someone else read it?  No way.  It was actually a  journal about her illness that got that ball rolling.  I didn’t know I could write a coherent sentence – because I’d never tried.

I wonder why it took something so awful to make me wake up and begin to grow. 

My focus has changed – it’s about my girls.  Why wasn’t it about them five years ago?

I’ve navigated the high school decision and shopped for a cotillion dress.  I’ve braided hair and held my kids when the sadness was thick. 

I’ve been on a girls’ weekend getaway since this time last year.  Our family took a cruise, not an option before.  “I have claustrophobia,” was my lame excuse. 

I’ve really, really talked to God – and I think He’s heard me because I was yelling fairly loudly. 

I guess it’s OK to sit behind a desk all day and then replace that with a couch at 6.  But maybe God wants more.  Maybe He wants us to reach out in a different way or to discover an untapped talent or to more fully develop one we already know.  Not likely I would accomplish that while watching The Colbert Report.

I can’t say that it’s been fun – this changing.  And I certainly wouldn’t trade Lisa for the new things I’ve experienced – not in a million years. 

But perhaps it was time to shift a bit – time to experience rather than to just watch. 

Wonder why I didn’t do that before…

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