Category Archives: Guest Posts

Leftovers, Schmeftovers : Guest Post by Jared Hollier

Jared Hollier is a man after my own heart. Or, stomach, as it were. Read on, dear reader, you’ll see why.

He is also hilarious and biblically artistic. Click on his site to see what the heck that means, exactly. Fair warning, you might want to carve out some serious time to do so, because trust me. You’ll get sucked in.

While everyone else is stampeding around Wal-Mart on this fine Friday, you can better yourself by reading his words and heeding them. Let us raise a turkey leg together.

———

First, let me say that Thanksgiving is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite holiday of the year. There are several reasons for this- we always have a family reunion on Thanksgiving, the weather here in southeast Texas is starting to turn chilly, great football games on TV.

But mostly it’s the food.

Image from theculinarychase.blogspot.com

Fried turkey, mashed potatoes, Grandma’s cornbread dressing, pies and pies and pies. It is a celebration of indulgence, gluttony, and excess. In other words, it’s a celebration of America.

But every year, after the family is gone and the festivities are over, there’s one question that hangs like a fog over kitchens across the country: What are we gonna do with all these leftovers? Well, fair reader, that’s why I’m here. I’m no Paula Deen (though I am pudgy and southern) but I’ve got a few ideas for what to do with your excess holiday fare.

  1. Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan’s Purse is a great organization that sends shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts to needy children around the world. While your friends and neighbors are filling their shoeboxes with the same old boring stuff (toys, soap, toothbrushes, dollar store hard candy) the recipient of your box will be the talk of the town. Picture the look on a child’s face when she is presented with a box full of deviled eggs and honey-glazed ham. Imagine the joy he’ll feel, chewing on a turkey leg while his friends look on in envy, having received only deodorant and Hot Wheels. It’s a great cause, and a great idea.

  1. Homemade Food Snow

As I mentioned before, I live in southeast Texas. Snow is scarce, which can be disheartening to children who grow up singing songs like “Let It Snow” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” They may dream of it, but it just doesn’t happen.

If that’s the case in your neck of the woods, here’s what you do: run your Thanksgiving leftovers through a food processor, spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, break it up, put it in Ziploc bags, then crush it until it has roughly the same texture as snow. Put it back in the freezer until you’re ready for the fun. Your kids will be stunned and thrilled Christmas morning when you break out your “homemade snow” and fulfill their dreams of a white Christmas!

Its icy consistency will yield itself to all the usual snowtivities. You can spread it on the floor and make foodsnow angels. Have a foodsnowball fight. Make a foodsnowman. What’s that? It’s melting? Well, drink up, playa- because it’s also delicious! (Tip: turkey meat and mashed potatoes are the best choice, since they’re the right color, but don’t be afraid to use cranberry sauce, peas, etc. to give your snow a colorful, whimsical feel!)

  1. Thanksgiving Casserole

I wasn’t planning on giving recipe ideas, but this one is just too good not to share. It’s super easy, and gives you the taste of a Thanksgiving feast in every bite. You simply layer all your leftover food in a 9×13 baking dish. You may start with ham on the bottom, then creamed corn, candied yams, pumpkin pie filling, green bean casserole, sliced deviled eggs, top it off with turkey, gravy, and shredded cheese (of course). Cover with foil, and bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Every bite you take will remind you of why this is the greatest holiday in the greatest country in the world. (Either that, or you’ll puke violently and ruin your carpet.)

Whatever you decide to do with your leftovers, I hope you have a great holiday weekend. And remember to be thankful always, in all circumstances, because even if your family is weird, and your house is too small, and your kids smell like some kind of sweaty foot monster, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

5 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

It Ain’t Pretty : Guest Post by Alise Wright

Friends, I am so honored to have one of my (not just on Fridays) Favorites Alise Wright share some words with you guys. You should feel honored, too. Trust me, by the end, you will.

I’ve been stalking her blog for awhile now, and am in love. She writes beautifully and openly and if you click over on her site, you’ll fall in love, too. Don’t worry, we can share, I’m not the jealous type.

———

Sometime in early October my daughter told me that she was doing a book report and that she wanted to dress up as the main character. Part of her costume required a rag doll. And since we had six weeks to get this assignment done, naturally I agreed to help her in the construction of said doll.

My daughter would give occasional updates, reminding me to buy fabric so we could work on the doll and I would promptly forget them. Then, all of a sudden (except, not really), the report was due in three days and we still had no fabric, no poly-fil, and no doll.

I made an emergency trip to A.C. Moore to find some supplies. Bought a small bolt of fabric, a gigantic 32 oz. bag of poly-fil (apparently I thought we might need to make 400 dolls), and some new needle and thread so I could pull this thing together. I’ve got to tell you, I was feeling pretty Martha Stewart-esque about the whole thing.

Then we got ready to make the doll. The first thing I realized was that I hadn’t picked out fabric for a dress for the doll. So I was making a naked doll.

I next realized that I had no pattern for the doll. So I was going to have to free-hand this.

Also, I don’t sew. I love to knit and crochet, but sewing isn’t so much my forte.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.

Note the uneven shoulders. And the entirely out-of-proportion legs.

My daughter holding the finished doll. Be sure to observe the bottom-of-a-pair-of-pajamas "dress."

In the end, this was a pretty sad looking doll. But we had a good time cutting out the pieces of cloth. We loved searching around to find something we could use to make clothes for her. We had fun stuffing her and performing a small surgery on another stuffed animal that was old and needed a little pick-me-up. There is nothing special about this doll, but it became special because of the time we spent together.

Sometimes parenting doesn’t look pretty. We dole out punishments that aren’t consistent. We give in to that tantrum. We go ahead and allow that extra piece of candy even though they didn’t finish their chores. We have kids that go out and do things that make us wonder if anything that we taught them sunk in. It can be easy to look at our weaknesses and failures as parents and see those as the sum total of our worth as parents.

But these deficiencies are not what need to define us. We’re more than our mistakes, more than our bad decisions. We have the opportunity to give ourselves grace and show that to our kids. We have the chance to show our kids that it’s good to apologize for mistakes that we’ve made. We have the chance to laugh at ourselves.

And that can be rather lovely.

photo by Amberlee Christey

Alise is married to her best friend and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves knitting, writing, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup.

She also loves making new friends and you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or at her blog.

20 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

The Thanksgiving Shaft

Whenever I drive by someone’s house and there are Christmas decorations up, I literally want to jump out of my car and tackle that little white-lighted reindeer TO THE GROUND.

Because I love Thanksgiving.

So. So. Much.

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m kind of a foodie. For every box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in my pantry, I have an exponential amount of things that you would find in Martha Stewart’s kitchen.

For example, I have a rotating supply of fresh herbs in my crisper. (Also, I know that the drawer in the refrigerator for produce is called the Crisper.)

I have things like ginger paste, fresh eggplant, white wine vinegar and orzo in my kitchen RIGHT THIS MOMENT.

I had a blog war over doughnuts.

So I get angry — no, livid, really — when America goes from creepy, spooky Halloween to jingle bells and dashing through the snow.

WHAT ABOUT THANKSGIVING, YOU GUYS?

Luckily, because I won the doughnut war*, Knox let me rant about Thanksgiving over on his blog. And you guys, he actually agrees with me on this point. Ah, the unifying powers of gluttony.

So please go over there and read it. I would love nothing more than for you to see my crotchety-old-man side. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN and go read it.

*The viewpoint on this blog does not necessarily coincide with public opinion.

18 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

Friday Favorites

Remember when I told you to stay tuned because my Fall Line-Up of Awesome Bloggers was happening? Because I like alliteration, and the #ff hashtag on Twitter makes this so convenient, I decided to let some of my favorite friends focus (f)their (f)words fon Fridays. I had to stretch that alliteration a little bit, but you don’t mind, do you? Of course not.

First (haha!) up is Ricky Anderson, who systematically (“systematically” because he works with computer “systems”…okay, had to stretch that one out a little too) beats me at Words With Friends. Except for that one time when I, like, tripled his score or something. 

Never mind.

Take it away, Ricky!

———-

I think most kids grow up to work dead-end jobs simply because they didn’t know how to get to their dream ones.

So this one’s for Bug. He has high hopes and aspirations.

He doesn’t want to be a deadbeat like you, Dear Reader (Jess’s’s words, not mine).

Bug wants to be the President of the United States.

Ultimate power, secret service protection, no privacy whatsoever. What’s not to like?

Things Bug Can Do Now To Prepare For His Future As the President of the United States

  • Learn geography. Might as well learn now just where those folks with the names you won’t be able to pronounce are from.
    • Also learn which foods to avoid.
  • Practice delegating. You can’t do everything, but you will be responsible for it. Give tasks to those you trust. Start with Mom and Dad, and slowly start handing things off to your little sister Bean.
    • I suggest making her mow the lawn.
  • Work on your public speaking skills. Practice at school, church and the mall. Tell everyone exactly what they want to hear without making any definitive statements or promises.
  • Don’t get too friendly with interns. Your mom will explain when you’re older.
  • Get used to not doing anything for yourself. When you’re the President, you’ll have servants at your beck and call. I don’t know what a beck is, but if you call for pancakes, pancakes you shall have.
    • Or pizza.
  • Take what’s not yours, but be brazen and up front about it. It’s not stealing if you take it from those who didn’t vote for you and give it to those who did. If you smile while you do it, some folks will actually appreciate you for it.
  • Run for class president. Everyone has to start somewhere. Most of us start in tiny chairs, even the President of the United States.

What tips do you have for Bug?

Nathan Fillian for Vice President!

25 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

Some Wise Gal?

If you know me even a little, you know I can sometimes be a pain in the sass. (Liked that, didn’t you?)

So it only seemed fitting that KC ask me to guest post on his blog, Some Wise Guy.

Except, wait. He meant “wise” literally. I KNOW. I thought he was joking, too.

But seriously, I am in ridiculously good company when KC found me a lunch spot at the Cool Table, even though I usually just do my math homework at lunch…the next day’s math homework. Yeah.

Anyway, skip on over to read my guest post in KC’s collection of Wise Guy/Gal Wednesdays, leave us a comment, and you know what? Stick around for awhile. He has got some seriously good stuff to read. (This is one of my personal favorites. You could click on it and read it, but why would you want to do that, except to instantly become a thousand times cooler?)

5 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

I have a seven-year-old boy. Which means I have the equivalent of a Ph.D in parenting. So it was no surprise, really, when Ricky Anderson (the equivalent of a high school student on his first college visit) asked me to guest post on his blog.

Click here to read my post over on his site. I guarantee it will be the least funny thing over there. Ricky is hilarious. I personally enjoy his How to Be series. I mean, if I had these guidelines decades ago, I might be well on my way to achieving my childhood dream of being the newest Hologram. Or Rainbow Brite’s BFF.

Seriously, Ricky, WHERE WERE YOU IN 1985?

4 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

My Son and NSYNC: Guest Post by Tyler Tarver

What? Can this be? Two guest posts almost in a row? I know what you’re thinking and no, you didn’t win the lottery. Does this look like Gringotts to you? Because that’s where I keep my lottery winnings.

Words&Sentences

Today I’m proud to hand over the Buttram name to Tyler Tarver, math teacher extraordinaire by day, multi-faceted funny man by night (but not only by night…round the clock, really) who also wrote a book (that is so IN right now!) that he is selling here, and blogging about nonstop here. Truer than fiction: I had to read his book wearing footie pajamas sitting by the fireplace with mittens. Mittens is what I call my leather armchair. Was it 100 degrees outside? Maybe, I didn’t notice, because Tyler Tarver’s book was so cool I was losing body heat from the top of my head because I forgot to put on a hat and 90% of your body heat leaves from your head because it’s the highest point of altitude on your body and heat rises. Trust me, I majored* in Biology 101, fools.

Read his guest post, laugh with him, solve for x, and then go buy his book so he can eat something other than mashed bananas and rain water. Just kidding, he also gets croutons from the Ruby Tuesday salad bar.

Extra credit: Tarver also promised that if you buy his book, he’ll make NSYNC get back together**. And I’m pretty sure four out of five of them need that to happen.

*By majored I mean just barely passed.
**I’m not entirely sure this is doable, but you NEVER question a teacher.

QED

———-

In honor of Buttram’s love for boy band music and my equal love for only the greatest undisputed boy band of all time ahem*Nsync*ahem. I just said Nsync right there insinuating that they’re the greatest boy band that I was referring to, I didn’t know if you caught that cause my hands coughed while I was typing it.

Since Nsync are essentially poets who know it, I thought I’d write a poem about my son and the progression of his life up to a point in which I’ll stop.

My Son and NSYNC

My dearest Titus,
Like a unicorn has a horn.
I have a son,
Ever since you were born

You’re still fairly fresh,
Being just one year old.
But you’re definitely my favorite,
Just like Helvetica Bold.

But not too many years from now,
You’ll get older and cooler and that’ll be great.
I’ll make you great at things,
You’ll train like you’re a freight.

Yeah your mom can play the guitar,
And that’s all wonderful and crap.
But I’ll teach you real music,
Like dropping beats and rap.

By the age of seven,
You’ll have like 30 chicks on the line.
They can’t handle your fly,
They’ll all think you’re “just so fine.”

You’ll expand this little music career,
You’ll get famous and rich.
You’ll grab anything you want,
Like Harry Potter snagged the snitch.

It’ll culminate at the Grammy’s,
Of which you’ll dominate.
And then finally you’ll introduce me,
To Justin Timberlake.

I love *Nsync, and I love my son (not in that order).

Tyler Tarver is a father, math teacher, and noncardiologist. You can check out his website tylertarver.com, subscribe to it here, check him on Twitter @tylertarver, or just buy his brand new toilet book which he won’t shut up about titled Words&Sentences that four people have said is “funnier than sliced bread.”

In the comments: Poetry contest! Tarver doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be judging the winner using an intricate method of form, skill, rhyme scheme, and a random number generator. Winner gets a FREE copy of his new book, Words&Sentences.

One week…GO!

12 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

The Abject Terror of Raising a Daughter: Guest Post by Knox McCoy

Have I got a treat for you. It’s not a free box of puppies, but it’s something you will equally enjoy, except with your eyes. Shoot, now I want to go pet some puppies.

The treat I’m talking about is this guest post right here by blogger Knox McCoy, recently published author of Jesus and The Bachelorette (a book you need to buy if you want your marriage to work and/or land that dream job and/or live to be 100 and/or none of the above but are you willing to take that chance?), and possible future unwitting co-creator of FaithTV’s version of The Bachelor/ette. Trust me, I really feel like Christians are ready for that jelly. It’s gonna be HUGE.

Knox is funny. Laugh-out-loud funny. I read excerpts of his blog to my husband, who chuckles heartily. I quote Knox’s one-liners to friends who don’t read his blog and don’t really know who he is (their loss), despite my feeling awkward for prefacing one line with a paragraph-long introduction, as in, “I read this guy’s blog who writes weekly recaps making fun of The Bachelor/ette and this is what he said about the Yankees:” and they laugh too. I wish I were that funny.

I’m letting him take over to promote his book, and you can taste test his witty words (and then assume I’m witty by association), buy his book, be enlightened, and cure that eczema problem that’s been flaring up. In that order. You’re welcome.

(Longest. Intro. EVER.)
Guest post in 3…2…1…

————

You guys, in less than a month, my wife will be giving birth to a baby girl. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d rate my mental preparedness to be somewhere around Britney Spears when she shaved her head and Christina Aguilera’s Dirty phase.

I have all these swirling emotions about the little girl that’s about to come into my life. Some are very similar to the ones I felt for my son. These emotions are very powerful and may or may not be the cause of some tears shed during overly sentimental commercials.

But some emotions are completely foreign. Like abject fear and terror. I’m scared to death that I’m going to be a dumpster-fire of a father to her. But even if I somehow manage to be the Bill Cosby of dads, there’s a layering of fear that she could STILL end up in a strip club somewhere in rural Tennessee, with a stage name of Delicious Destiny or something. Terrifying, right?

Emotionally speaking, I was kind of a wreck before my son was born. Having a family has always been one of my big desires in life and this was because I had such a good childhood. I wanted to replicate this for myself and I didn’t realize just how moving my son’s birth would be in those terms.

But even still, I didn’t wrestle with the same things then I’m wrestling with now.

This time around the concerns are different. I feel more validated as a parent because, well, my son is alive and I mean that counts for something, right?

But more pointedly, right or wrong, having a daughter seems more complicated. For one, I’m a guy and my interests are football, meat, velociraptors, and zombie movies. I could be wrong, but I feel like these things won’t naturally mesh with her female sensibilities.

But beyond that, raising a daughter seems trickier because our culture seems flooded with elements to complicate her life. While I do agree that there are just as many troubling elements of our society for boys, I’ve been there so I can navigate them better. Issues like Jacob vs. Edward? I haven’t been there so it’s going to be a lot more uncertain for me to parent a child through.

Besides Jacob vs. Edward, here are some other things that have me worried about raising my daughter…

The Role Model Thing
Have you seen some of the people considered role models? Just look at the people featured on magazines. Not exactly Ruth and Esther-types.

Frankly speaking, there is either a dearth of female options with role models or the atmosphere is so clouded by the bad ones that we can’t make out the good ones. Either way, when an entire subculture of women are popular simply for being popular, it’s fair to say that there’s a problem with how we assign value to celebrities.

At this point, the only worthy heroines I’ll be able to point to for my daughter are those from Pixar movies.

The Societal Expectations Thing
I feel like though society as a whole is getting more and more superficial, it’s also expanding to allow more leeway on the whole barbie doll archetype thing. This is a good thing, but still with girls, I feel like the margin for error is razor thin.

I have no reference point on this because my entire first semester of college was spent wearing the same pair of Adidas flip-flops to class every day and playing Grand Theft Auto.

But essentially the point remains: you can deviate from the traditional female ideal, but only if you are still fundamentally attractive within whatever enclave you inhabit. Nerdy, sporty, all the Spice Girl categories really, are all fine, but you still must be physical appealing. Otherwise, you might as well be Rosie O’Donnell.

The Friends Thing
Girls and their relationships seem about as simple as decoding Martian hieroglyphics. I have a few close guy friends and if we get mad at each other we yell or fight and then it’s over.

With girls? They could have a fight one day and eleven years later, they’re both still secretly hoping that the other one gets really, really fat or ends up on Hoarders. It’s insane. I feel like female friendships have the flexibility of an IED.

The Future Husband Thing
To know that in all likelihood, at some point in my life, I’m going to have to eyeball some punk kid who’s going to ask me permission for my daughter’s hand in marriage? That’s enough to humble a man.

I remember myself at 22 when I asked my wife’s parents for permission to marry her and you know what? It doesn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzies.

Current debates on gender roles aside, the hope is that she will find a man to love her, lead her and guide her. But my thing is, if I’m doubting my own abilities to properly do those things, how am I supposed to trust some dumb kid with those jobs?

I wonder if in some ways, marrying your daughter off is like communism: a decent idea in theory but when it comes time for you, there’s NO way you’re happy about it.

What things did I miss when it comes to raising a daughter?

You can buy Knox’s new book, Jesus and The Bachelorette here. It’s also available here through Amazon for your Kindle. You should also visit his website, subscribe to his blog, follow him on Twitter and pray for his wife.

Hey! Down here! Here’s your chance to make me feel more popular than I actually am! Oh, and get something for free. It’s a win-win. In the comments: What are you afraid of? I won’t laugh at you, unless it’s something ridiculous, like puppies. One random commenter will win a FREE copy of Knox’s ebook! And if you already have it, then I give you permission to pay it forward and re-gift it. Just not in ugly wrapping paper. Here, I’ll go first: I’m afraid the 18-wheeler driving in front of me on the Interstate is actually on the verge of exploding Matrix-style. Laugh factor: Negative 104,365,324.

You have one week. GO!

41 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts

Guest Post: TWITS

You may not know this, but I’m kind of a nerd. Retraction: I am throughly a nerd. Double retraction: You definitely know this.

I loved the first day of school growing up. (As a stay-at-home mom, I might just love it more.)
The smell of pencil shavings and crayons, the cracking sound of a brand new binder, stacks of college-rule looseleaf: these things make me giddy.
I was the girl who always, always went back and visited her former teachers after graduating.
I love math.

Do I need to go on? No.

She's cute, right!

So when Renée, a teacher and blogger (two of my favorite kinds of people), asked for guest posters to blog over on her site about their favorite/not favorite teachers, I jumped at the chance. Literally. I was the eager beaver line leader pumping her hand in the air, saying, “Ooh, pick me pick me PICKME!”

So hippity hop on over there and read my post about Dr. Browning, a teacher I met up with (on purpose and on my initiative) during the weekend I was back in my hometown for my ten-year high school reunion last May.

Then stay awhile and read her stuff (if you don’t already), because Renée is smart, funny, and engaging – basically your typical chick lit heroine, except for real.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Posts

I’m a Guest!

Clay over at Educlaytion.com was dumb kind enough to let me hijack his blog for a day. He has a running commentary highlighting some of the nostalgia I, and other bloggers, readers, and living people, experienced growing up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, collectively known as Generation X.

It’s a brilliant series (entitled Gen X Life, and not Generation Xtra Awesome, which was my suggestion), and so far has touched on A.L.F., Z. Cavaricci’s, The Muppets, and toy stores. I know, kids, they actually had stores filled with just toys once upon a time, and it was even better stocked than Target!

So click over there to read my post on a modest little cable network, maybe you’ve heard of it, called Nickelodeon.

3 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts