Fresh List, Vol. V

Did you hear the “alternative facts” situation pertaining to the Inauguration audience?  I overheard this term floating around last week on the morning news. I like to tune it to the Today show or some equivalent for background noise to my short-order cooking, hair-fixing, coffee-making, diaper-changing, fight-breaking, lunch-packing, folder-signing morning duties.  That’s about all the news we can handle in this family.

Anyway, “alternative facts” were brought up by KellyAnne Conway, who also told a reporter that she might need to “rethink our relationship” if he continued his current style of interviewing. Currently, I’m rethinking my relationship with denim jeans. What is the point anymore?

I like the phrase alternative facts and I’m predicting right here that it will be an overused term of 2017 and will perhaps even make the annual banished words list next year.  Speaking of banned words, our favorite term – on fleek – of 2016 is out!

This upsets me. I had just really started noticing “eyebrows on fleek,” which was the origination of this baffling syllable. Now they’ve kicked fleek out, which is tragic, because fleek women everywhere are paying hundreds of bucks to have their brows micro-bladed. While we’re here, let’s go ahead and address the obvious elephant in the facial appearance room: if one’s brows are tattooed on, one appears to have eyebrows tattooed on. Just sayin’.

The current overused term in our home is “snotbody.” My kids are total snotbodies with the winter colds going around, and as Claire says, we need to get over them “quickaly quickaly.”  I’m rethinking my relationship with winter, as well.  It’s totally irrelevant in this part of the world, so let’s just move on with summer.

As usual, we’re sticking with FRESH for all things on fleek on this blog. You can take the girl away from the Mennonite but you can’t take the Mennonite away from the girl. What’s fresh at the Bellah Whinery lately?  See below.


You don’t know good babysitting until your kids’ amazing great-grandmother is on the weekly rotation. Kate is the luckiest kid alive. Her Grandmom and Grandad Brown keep her every week while I take Claire to appointments, and they pick up Trevor from school. An ungodly amount of pretzels are consumed and a good time is had by all.  We also have access to aunts, cousins, and grandmoms who volunteer to keep our kids and seem to enjoy it.  This is such a complete life change from the solitary confinement of Sedan, I can hardly contain the freshness.

img_2897Cousins with their favorite Great Grandmom Brown.

Brown Sugar.

It’s January. The produce is lacking, except Cuties and grapefruit.  I’ve always loved a grapefruit cut in half and served with a healthy dose of refined sugar, until my friend April suggested I use brown sugar and broil it until the tops get all molten and crackly and crystally.  It seems weird to broil a grapefruit until you do.  I use a handheld cooking torch the toaster oven and feel very gourmet.  And Laurie introduced me to True Orange, these little flavor packets you put in water that are equal to a wedge of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit.  I’m usually borderline dehydrated and these packets make drinking water more fun.  Plain water is just so white sugar.

{imagine a pic of a beautiful red grapefruit covered in dripping brown sugar}


I stumbled upon an Amazon sale before Christmas – half off rectangle trampolines with safety nets, delivered to your door. Sold. I haven’t had this much fun since high school when Tab and Sam and I butted our trampoline up to the back deck so we could jump straight on and off quickaly. We were always running outside for a little jump back then. Now, I kick the kids off this outdoor playpen so I can do my tricks, plus I Googled the benefits of trampoline jumping, and according to NASA, it’s the best overall exercise invented by man. They say one ten minute jump is equal to a 30 minute jog. After 40 months of pregnancy, you can imagine how trampoline jumping might not seem like something I could do, but allow me to say: ALL of your muscles are strengthened after a couple weeks of steady jumping.  I feel rejuvenated, and that’s fresh.

img_4949Trampoline Dodgeball, a favorite of all the neighborhood one year olds.

img_4530Trampoline sleepovers are the best until you wake up freezing cold at 2 AM and go inside. We’re not quite ready for those yet.

The Old Textament

I just coined that term, textament. I’ve never read the entire Bible chronologically, or nonchronologically, actually. I’ve read lots of bits and pieces and books and psalms, but never all of it in a row. Back in the fall, the besties and I got inspired and decided it’s now or never to read it and really learn the full extent of what we believe. This is not for the faint of heart!  But we’ve undertaken this endeavor with the help of the YouVersion Bible app’s Chronological in a year plan, this book for historical background and explanation, and daily texting of the checkmark emoji as we complete our readings. These check texts are a super easy way to form accountability and we end up sharing what we’ve researched or questioned to discuss with one another. Note: My three best friends all live at least 4 hours away. We just survived the Torah and I’ve become borderline obsessed with all things Old Testament. Honestly, the Bible should be required reading for Christians. Ha but seriously.  One quote from the Epic of Eden author I’d like to share regarding the horrifying ways of the Old Testament:  We are not called to imitate that culture, we are called to understand it.  Mic drop.


You won’t believe everything you don’t know.

That’s what we’re into these days.  Also the Enneagram and its related podcasts, but I’m out of nap time freedom for now, so we’ll chat later.  Keep your ears out for alternative factualizing this year, and as always, keep it fresh!


12 thoughts on “Fresh List, Vol. V

  1. As always I love your blog! I am reading the Bible through this year also but I am using the read scripture app this time. I do love the You Version app and some versions will read to you if you want, so you learn to pronounce all those names! Check out ‘’ for amazing videos!! Love your sweet family😊

    1. Thanks, Mary Jane! I love the Bible Project videos! Have been trying to watch each book’s video for an overview when we start it. I did the Sandra Richter Epic of Eden study last spring which gives a great overview and organization of the OT.

  2. I’m doing the entire bible this year too!! I am doing the “she reads truth” version. It sort of has you read a couple of chapters from the old each day (chronologically) and then also a chapter from the New Testament. It’s been a while since I have considered many of these stories-I would say, in general, our culture is doing a pretty good job of imitating the debauchery.

  3. Loved reading your blog as always. I don’t think I knew what a blog was until yours!!!!! And I can keep a child in case of emergency!!

  4. Enjoyed this!!!! I listened to the New Testament on cassette tape one year. But haven’t made it through the Old Testament yet. Since I have retired maybe I can quickaly get on that reading project.

  5. This is Michelle (Tab’s good friend from grad school…I think we’ve met once, maybe twice…after Tab birthed one of her kids), and I have secretly been stalking your blog for years. Seriously. Since before ya’ll moved to Sedan. Tabitha shared it on FB, and I, being the blog junkie I am, have consistently read it since. You’re hilarious and make me laugh every single post and your family is precious so there’s that. Anyway…thanks for sharing! Good luck with your Bible reading! I had to read it in a semester at Baylor (insert wide-eyed emoji), and it was a wild ride! But so wonderful! God bless you! Glad ya’ll’s new move has been such a blessing!

  6. I listened to a two-hour-long podcast from “The Liturgists” about the Enneagram – I think the hosts they had on for that talk have another podcast called “The Road Back to You.” I haven’t taken an official test yet, but I think I’m a 5. Being a psych major (and being a 5) I can’t resist stuff like this. What’s your number?

    1. I’ve heard that one by the Liturgish (on time and a half because 2 Hours) and have listened to all 26 episodes of The Road Back to You because I’m a 7, and thus [overly] enthusiastic about it! I’ve got Ian and Susanne’s book on my list, and also the one by Richard Rohr, of course. I’m so glad you’re into it!! It’s fun and also possibly life changing. I’m a 7 with an 8 wing. Or an 8 with a 7 wing. I took the RHETI and my top three were 7, 8, and 1. Possibly I’m just schizo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s