Tuesday’s Top Ten: Breakfast Cereals

Now, as promised, Tuesday’s Top Ten:

(drumroll please)

Top Ten Breakfast Cereals

10) Chocolate Chip Wheatabix – unless you’ve lived overseas you’ve probably never heard of this flaky, honey-flavored cereal with real chocolate chips in it.  I don’t know that I ever even took the time to pour them in a bowl and add milk – it was pretty much straight from the box into my laughing-gear.  Go to Trader Joe’s and buy a box.  You’re life will never be the same.

9) Fruity Pebbles – my wife’s favorite cereal.  My 9th favorite cereal.  We all know who is right.

8)  Cookie Crisp – smaller-than-bitesized cookies floating around in milk?  Are you kidding me?

7) Corn Chex – one of two non-sugar cereals that cracked my top ten.  If you’re looking for corn-flavored crunch, it can’t be beat (and the criss-cross pattern really does lock out milk moisture)

6) Cinnamon Toast Crunch – cinnamon.  cinnamon.  cinnamon.

5) Cheerios – for those of you who know me, you’ll be very surprised that a non-sugar cereal made it into the top five.  I actually considered the case for Cheerios being number one, as I’ve probably consumed more individual Cheerios than any other food on the planet . . . COMBINED.  My mother used to tell me that I was going to turn into a Cheerio.  I didn’t.  Sorry mom.  But I still love Cheerios.

4) Cocoa Puffs – should be illegal as a breakfast cereal, because it’s so good, and so chocolatey.  It’s kind of like eating a Hershey’s Bar for breakfast.  But eating chocolatey goodness for breakfast is not illegal, so it’s number four on my list.  WARNING: high sugar and caffiene content – do not serve to small children anytime after 5:00pm.

3) Apple Jacks – talk about deceptive.  There is nothing Apple about this.  More appropriate names would have been Sugar Jacks or Radioactively Orange Jacks or So-Good-You’ll-Eat-The-Box-In-One-Sitting Jacks

2) Fruit Loops – once again, notice the deception in my top three:  first apples, now a reference to fruit.  Really it’s just pure sugar.

1) Lucky Charms – you just can’t beat a cereal with marshmallows.  You especially can’t beat a cereal when the marshmallow to cereal ratio is 2:1.

Honorable Mentions – Frosted Flakes (awesome while they’re crunchy, which lasts about 10 seconds); Captain Krunch Berries; Trix (before they changed the recipe); Frosted Mini-Wheats

So what favorite cereals did I forget?

Falling Through

Most days in life seem to simply pass.  Wake up, shower, breakfast, work, lunch, home, dinner, kids to bed, read, light out, fall sleep.  Most days come and go and leave only a subtle trace that they have been, and gone, like kids walking across the top of a hard snow drift.

But there are handfuls of days which we will not forget, days when our feet fall through and leave deep craters, days which somehow manage to steer the course of those that follow. 

September 4th, 2009 was one of those days.

My painting business was struggling.  All year Maile and I had spoken in hushed tones about worst-case scenarios, what it meant, where we were headed.  But on that Friday we suddenly realized we could not pay some huge marketing bills that were closing in.  Our mortgage payment was due.  And while we could pay the things we had to pay (cash flow is not a problem for most painting businesses in September), a huge mound of debt was rising up in the background, it’s shadow falling down all around us.

“Do you think we should move in with your parents?” Maile asked me, eyes filling with tears, not because my parents would be terrible to live with, and not because their basement is a dungeoun filled with devices of torture.  She was sad because we were comfortable in the life we had created, and it would be difficult to leave. 

Whew.  These are the days we do not forget.

Then, two months later, another day.  Another falling through.

I backed the moving truck up to our townhouse’s garage.  It was so large that it swayed precariously as the large tires bounced up over the curb.  I walked around behind it and let down the ramp.  It grated like fingernails on a chalkboard. 

I stared into that empty truck.  Our friends would be arriving soon, folks we had grown very close to during the previous four years:  folks from our small group, my friends, Maile’s mommy friends.  And they would help us load our life into a truck, and we would drive away.

Just then my two oldest kids ran out through the garage, up the ramp and into the huge expanse of loading truck.  They ooooh’d and aaaaah’d over the sheer size of it.  They jumped up and down on the wheel wells, making it sway back and forth.  They laughed as they shouted their names deep into its recesses, and their voices came richocheting back.

“Lucy!”  LUCY, Lucy, lucy . . .

“Cade!”  CADE, Cade, cade . . .

And then I saw.  They didn’t have a real worry in the world – this was an exciting trip back to the place where their daddy grew up, back to where lots of their cousins lived and there were farms and cows and snow in the winter.  Back to where their Mimi and Papa Smucker lived.  Plus, their Mimi and Grampa Silva were there with us, in person, helping with the move. 

They had absolute trust that I would provide shelter for them, and food, and anything else that they needed. 

They were excited, because even they, at 6 and 4 years old, could tell that we were about to embark on our greatest adventure yet.  I didn’t see it then, but, looking back, something makes perfect sense to me.  I understand a little better what Jesus said about children:

“The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”


To read the continuation of this story, click HERE

And so it begins . . . again . . .

As some of you know, I’ve been blogging this year about my family’s voyage into life without television.  My wife and I decided to give it a shot, going a year without tv.

So far so good (you can read more about this at my old blog site: shawnsmucker.blogspot.com).

But I did get a little tired of being confined to writing about what we’re NOT doing.  There’s a lot I’d rather be writing about than “not watching television”.

So what better time to start some new topics than with the kickoff of my new blog (that’s what you’re reading right now).  I’m thinking that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I’ll start telling the story of our decision to move back to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the place I grew up.  We’ve lived in Florida, England and Virginia, so moving home was not always a foregone conclusion.  These posts will also include my thoughts on our identity as humans and why it’s so important to discover your identity, as our decision to move to Lancaster also included our monumental decision (at least it felt monumental) regarding whether or not I would try to pursue writing as a full time vocation.

On Tuesdays I think I’ll do a simple list, just to keep it light:  Tuesday’s Top Ten.  I’ll tell you right now, there are some serious top tens I am looking forward to (breakfast cereals, Seinfeld moments, and uses for belly button lint, just to name a few). 

Thursdays will be dedicated to one of my other passions: books.  Reviews, raves and rants on what I’ve read, and what I’m currently reading.

Anyway, I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey.