Suburban Haiku (There Goes the Neighborhood)

rhonda franz

Shakespeare, Frost, Wordsworth, Price: all the great literature.

Let’s call it as we see it, shall we?

Shakespeare’s work is timeless, and a simple stroll through the outdoors is never as beautiful and meaningful in any pen, than that of Robert Frost.

And no one makes keen, hilarious observations of the neighborhood, the school, and the hectic drive to work in the trendy 21st centurey quite like Peyton Price in her book, Suburban Haiku. And no one does it in fine 5-7-5 form.


There’s a bit of poking fun….rhonda franz suburban haiku review


The toddler who will take an iPhone over goldfish crackers, thank you very much.

The parents who spell their child’s common name, oh so uncommonly.

The mom who read all the PTA bylaws (oh wait, that’s me).


There are also timely, relevant topics to families everywhere…

Conservation/Green Living:

New water bottles:

Steel, filtered, BPA-free

They’ll all be lost soon.

Bad parking people:

Hey, nice parking job

Did you pay for both spaces?

It looks like you did.


Worn-out parents:

It’s perfect weather

for sending the kids outside

and watching TV.

That’s enough of a tease.

rhonda franz suburban haiku review

For more hilarity, truth, and scenes from the suburbs, get your copy of Suburban Haikuand catch up on your fine literature.

Snow Day Strategy: The Sequel

If snow days this school year were a book, we’d be on, like, the 14th chapter.

At this point, I’m just letting the school district handle the details. Too many numbers for me to keep track of, and I don’t like math. Make up the days, don’t make up the days. Whatever admin decides, I’m cool. I’ve enjoyed most of the snow days, but when it’s near impossible to get outside, we’ve gotta get our wiggles out somehow.

Today, the new strategy is music. Lots of it. to. One of my boys requested “Sometimes” by Nicole C. Mullen. (Best music request ever. That boy is pure genius, I say), and so we went with it. You should, too.

We rocked out to this several times. Just try it.



It’s hard to stop, isn’t it? Let them bang around with pots and pans and oatmeal boxes for drums. Repeatedly. Until they have praised Jesus to the point of fatigue.

Now, they’re ready for a segue to quiet time/nap time. (You do have a quiet time, don’t you?)

Get your yoga mat. The kids can either read or do exercise with you. Play more Mullen.

In the afternoon, let them eat a snack, and  hand them their harmonicas. (You do have harmonicas don’t you?). Turn up some Bluegrass music and let them rock out until supper. Make sure you do a quick tutorial on how to breathe lightly into the instrument, and not in your brother’s/sister’s ear.

Go ahead, let them make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

rhonda franz snow day sequel












At this point, it’s time for a supper of popcorn and a movie night.  And if you break protocol, and let kids stay in their pjs all day, The Bedtime Routine will be low maintenance.

What is your snow day strategy? We’re all in this together.

In Honor of the Academy Awards, Movies I Will Never, Ever See.

‘Tis the season. Critics and movie-lovers everywhere are talking about the movies they want to see winning a coveted Oscar at the 2014 Academy Awards. They’ve rolled out the red carpet, and the TV audience is cheering on favorites, critiquing the ball gowns, and hoping for handful of interesting acceptance speeches.

Rhonda Franz, movies, coffeehouse mom

I’m a sucker for awards shows, but I rarely get out to one these days, so I have yet to see the best movies from last year. Thank you, Netflix.

Rather than go on about nominations and actors, I’ve presented a list of movies I won’t be sitting down for. And after reviewing my won’t-watch-movie list, I’m confident about remaining strict about what my children watch.


1. “Deliverance” I’d heard enough from a relative to this movie wasn’t for me. I like to canoe, I love to hike, and I live in the woods. Arkansas is the the butt of jokes about rednecks and inbreeding. So, no.

2. “Silence of the Lambs” I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies as a teenager. When I was staying the night at a friend’s house, and she pulled this out, I called home to ask permission. (Don’t laugh. I would have gotten caught). “Um, no,” my dad said. “You may not.” I’m forever grateful.

3. “Poltergeist” Because my kids are transfixed by the television screen in real life, and that is scary enough.

4. “The Shining” I don’t deny his talent, but the only thing by Stephen King I wish to see is the book he wrote about writing. Make that into a movie, and I just might go see it.

5. “Tron” I’ve kind of seen this movie. It’s my earliest memory of being bored so much I just couldn’t watch it anymore. Huge apologies to science fiction fans and geeks everywhere; I know it’s kind of a cult classic for you. If it helps, you won’t find a bigger Bruce Boxleitner or Jeff Bridges fan anywhere.

What movies have you sworn off? And what movies do you wish you had never seen?

Thanks to djnorway, co-founder of, who shared the beautiful stock.xchng photo of the (empty) pink movie seats. 

Sweating the Small Stuff

Coffee House Mom

It’s listening to my son make super hero noises in the bathroom while he is brushing his teeth, the 6.2 minutes when all three children are reading one book together (in peace), watching my sons become the cutest boy band ever with their perfect rhythm, and air guitars, swaying and singing in front of the fireplace.

It’s also the spilled supper plate, the dropped (and broken) pitcher, the kid who breaks free from your hand and runs into the parking lot.

The big things, the tragedies, the successes may, in part, define us and our character in big ways. But we live those out in the minutes and hours of the day and the days of the week. Our choices, our habits, our work for His glory.

The daily grind is how we live our lives.

It’s the encouragement and advice and instructions of the Proverbs: sometimes, seemingly small stuff. All added up, though, the sum is great, but the sum hasn’t come yet. While we’re alive, we are still working on the parts: our attitude, how we love our families, how we raise our children.

Perhaps not-so-small stuff after all. Don’t sweat too much. Don’t take every moment too seriously, Laugh at yourself.

But a little perspiration is in order. Live obediently. Give weaknesses to Him. Seek joy in the little, and heed His words to work hard and plan well and build up a house and extend kind hands to others.

That will get you sweating, just enough.

Small is the word todayJoin Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.