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Celebrate Mom

Where we celebrate moms all year round!

  • Mother's Day
  • Why God Made Moms
  • Momsense
  • Living Momisms
  • In Tha Muthahood

The Origins of Mother's Day by Rich Rodriguez

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Strike a pose, Mommy! :)This story was first written in 2008, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Mother's Day.

The first Mother's Day was held in a small church in Grafton, West Virginia more than a century ago. The following information was gleaned from the website of The International Mother's Day Shrine Foundation, headquartered in Grafton.

The birth of Mother's Day was ironically the result of a death. Ann Jarvis, who worked to provide better nursing care and sanitation for wounded soldiers in the American Civil War, passed away in Philadelphia on May 9, 1905. Two years later, her daughter Anna invited several of her friends to the family home to commemorate her mother's life. It was at this commemoration that she shared her idea of having a day of national celebration in honor of mothers... a "Mother's Day".

In the spring of 1908, Anna wrote to the superintendent of Andrews Methodist Church's Sunday School in Grafton, where her mother taught classes for twenty years, suggesting that the church celebrate a Mother's Day in her honor. The superintendent liked the idea, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day service was held in the church. Anna established the white carnation as the symbol of the celebration.

The concept of Mother's Day caught on quickly. On April 26, 1910 West Virginia governor William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother's Day proclamation. In 1912, at the General Methodist Conference in Minneapolis, Anna was recognized as the founder of Mother's Day. Then a joint congressional resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

Unfortunately, like many festive dates on the calendar, Mother's Day later became commercialized, so much to the point that Anna Jarvis no longer associated herself with the holiday she created, and lamented its lost meaning. All one has to do is go to today's department stores, florists and candy shops every late April to early May to see what grieved her. Mother's Day is said to be the number one holiday for restaurant dates, flower deliveries and phone calls. But it's too easy to make like Charlie Brown and scream how Mother's Day is so commercialized; rather, I choose to focus on the real meaning of Mother's Day: to celebrate mom, hence the name of this section.

In 2006 I drove to Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights to visit my maternal grandmother's gravesite. As I entered, my heart was warmed to see it was crowded with cars and families, all there to remember their moms and grandmas with colorful bouquets, balloons and pinwheels. That was the first time I had joy instead of grief visiting that cemetery, where so many of my relatives are laid to rest.

I am fortunate to have my mom still with me. All of us at Immanuel First are fortunate to have Pastor Okubo's own mom, "Grandma Kay" Okubo, who is practically everybody's grandma with her warm personality, wit and baked goodies. I am grateful for Beverly Claxton, who became my "adopted grandma" after my own grandma died in 2004. And whether it's Debbie Okubo, Anastasia Cooch, Sharon Needham, Roberta Scott or all the other moms in our congregation, we are blessed to have them in our lives, as our own moms or as mother figures.

Why God Made Moms submitted by Debbie Okubo

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Mom strikes a pose with her ohana (family)Kids say the darndest things, as Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby would say--Debbie received this humorous Mother's Day questionnaire via email. These were answers given by second grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

  1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
  2. Mostly to clean the house.
  3. To help us out of there when we were being born.

How did God make mothers?

  1. He used dirt, just like the rest of us.
  2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of string.
  3. God made my mom just the same like He made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

  1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
  2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

  1. We're related.
  2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

  1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
  2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
  3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about Dad before she married him?

  1. His last name.
  2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
  3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

  1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
  2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
  3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

  1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to be because Dad's such a goofball.
  2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
  3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

  1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
  2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
  3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
  4. Moms have magic; they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

  1. Mothers don't do spare time.
  2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

Mom spelled backwards is Mom. Wow. :)What would it take to make your mom perfect?

  1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
  2. Diet. You know--her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

  1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
  2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
  3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Total Momsense song by Anita Renfroe; everything else by Rich Rodriguez :)

Anita Renfroe--thanks for driving people to our site! :)Back to Articles main page

In the ten years that has been on the web, this has been our all-time most popular article. As the webmaster, I've seen the stats and metrics to back it up. To this day we still get several hits a month for who can affectionately be called" The Lone Ranger Mom": Christian comedienne Anita Renfroe.

The Original YouTube SensationLong before YouTube made instant global stars out of Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe"), South Korean rapper Psy ("Gangnam Style") and a piano-playing cat named Nora, Anita Renfroe's song "Total Momsense" took the nation and world by storm (no, more like a hurricane) when it first popped up on YouTube in 2007. She came up with a hysterical, nearly three-minute set of famous momisms sung in rapid-fire tempo to the tune of the "William Tell Overture", better known as the theme song from "The Lone Ranger". Although the official released title of the song is appropriately "Momisms", it was a track on Renfroe's CD "Total Momsense" and it's better known by that name instead.

How popular is The Lone Ranger Mom? Well, when we originally posted this page as part of this Mother's Day section "Celebrate Mom" in 2008, it immediately rivaled the children's skit "The Three Trees" and Pastor Okubo's study notes on "The Passion of the Christ", both from 2004, in all-time popularity. Our web traffic records suddenly surged with dozens of hits to this page for "Lone Ranger", "momisms" and "momsense". It has since far and away surpassed all our other articles in visits and search results.

With 15 million hits on the YouTube video and counting, "Total Momsense" was performed live by Renfroe on ABC's "Good Morning America" in October 2007, and had such a wildly popular response that she became a featured reporter on the morning news show, looking at the lighter side of motherhood in a segment called "Bad Hair Days".

More MomsenseAnita Renfroe in the video for "In Tha Muthahood" :)Renfroe has since done "equal time" for fathers with "Dadsense" and an official follow-up to "Momsense" as part of an internet ad campaign for Luvs diapers nicknamed "Total Momsense 2" on YouTube, where she sang the praises of "the wonder-working-multi-tasking-mommy-CEO". For Mother's Day 2011 she did an updated hip-hop/rap version of momisms called "In Tha Muthahood" complete with sports jerseys and ball caps proudly representing her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

In the below YouTube video, Renfroe is performing "Momsense" live in 2008 at a Christian conference in Orlando, Florida... with a sign-language interpreter keeping up with her lightning-fast singing. :)

Now fasten your seat belts, kids; the lyrics are as follows:

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepy head
Here’s your clothes
And your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now
Get up and make your bed

Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat
Don’t forget you got to feed the cat

Eat your breakfast
The experts tell us it’s the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today
Don’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon
So you must play
Don’t shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?

Play outside
Don’t play rough
Would you just play fair?
Be polite
Make a friend
Don’t forget to share
Work it out
Wait your turn
Never take a dare
Get along
Don’t make me come down there

Clean your room
Fold your clothes
Put your stuff away
Make your bed
Do it now
Do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn?
Would you like some hay?
Can you even hear a word I say?

Answer the phone
Get off the phone
Don’t sit so close
Turn it down
No texting at the table
No more computer time tonight
Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen up

Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
Makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You’ll appreciate my wisdom
Someday when you’re older and you’re grown
Can’t wait ‘til you have a couple little children of your own
You’ll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now
I thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me

Close your mouth when you chew
Would appreciate
Take a bite
Maybe two
Of the stuff you hate
Use your fork
Don't you burp
Or I’ll set you straight Eat the food I put upon your plate

Get an A, get the door
Don’t get smart with me
Get a grip
Get up here I’ll count to three
Get a job
Get a life
Get a PhD
Get a dose of...

I don’t care who started it
You’re grounded until your 36
Get your story straight
And tell the truth for once for heaven’s sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff
Would you jump too?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least a THOUSAND times before that...

You’re too old to act this way
It must be your father’s DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straighter when you walk
A place for everything
And everything must be in place
Stop crying or I’ll give you something REAL to cry about—Oh!

Brush your teeth
Wash your face
Get your PJs on
Get in bed
Get a hug
Say a prayer with Mom
Don’t forget
I love you

She bugs us because she loves us. :)And tomorrow we will do this all again
Because a mom’s work never ends
You don’t need the reason why
I said so
I said so
I said so
I said so
I’m the Mom
The Mom
The Mom
The Mom
The Mom

© 2007 Bluebonnet Hills Music (BMI)

Night of the Living Momismscompiled by Rich Rodriguez

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This was originally posted for Mother's Day 2004 and has been annually updated ever since... or at least Rich tries to do that since a lot of moms like this list. :)

Mom—she who must be obeyed. That's just the way it is. :)Welcome to Immanuel First Lutheran Church's unofficial perpetual wiki-type list of "momisms", those famous sayings all of our moms said to us when we were growing up, or are now unexpectedly repeating if we are now moms ourselves. Included are submissions from our church members. It was originally only posted during the month of May, but it was so well received we decided in 2007 to give it a permanent year-round home. New momisms have been added over the years, and the 2011 additions lead off the list. (See, didn't we tell you Rich tries to update this annually?)

To give credit where credit is due, many of these momisms are from the websites Mother's Day Celebration in India (yes, from India) and New Life Community Church of Stafford, Virginia.

Kids, see how many of these you've heard from your mom lately.

The Newest Momisms (2011)Rules of Tha House:

  1. No whining ever
  2. Brush yo teeth
  3. Wash yo hands
  4. Stop touching him/her
  5. Clean yo room
  6. Stop it
  7. Eat yo veggies
  8. Make yo bed
  9. Do yo homework
  10. Mind yo manners
  11. Whatever else I said
  12. Because I said so

(Anita Renfroe, from her hip-hop comedy video "In Tha Muthahood")

All The Other Momisms...

"Take a timeout."

"You better come out here by the time I count to three... one, two... I don't see you coming... two-and-a-half... I'm NOT KIDDING!"

"I'm your mom. You don't call me Hey, What or Huh... you will address me as MOM!"

"I'm always here for you."

"Will you take that iPod out of your ears and listen to me?"

"Go ask your father." (although not as said as frequently as Dad's version)

"You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes!"

"Close that door! Were you born in a barn?"

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

"What's meant to be, is meant to be." (Mom only used this when something bad happened or when you experienced a disappointment.)

"I brought you into this world and I can TAKE YOU OUT!!" (actually attributed to comedian Bill Cosby but adopted by moms ever since)

"Honestly, son, that cardigan looks great on you—woo-hoo, the girls had better watch out with you around!"

"Who am I talking to, a wall?" (from Pastor Okubo, who said his mom said that when the kids weren't paying attention to her)

"I still do!" (from Kay Okubo, in response to his son)

"Eat your spinach, you'll grow strong like Popeye!" (from Sharon Needham);
"Yeah, sure, Mom!"(the kids' response)

"I must be a queen because my daughter thinks she's a princess!" (from Rich Rodriguez, who saw this on an SUV bumper sticker)

"If you say bad words, you're going to grow hair on your tongue."

"Yes, I AM the boss!"

"Because I'm your mom, that's why!"

"If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand/million/trillion (take your pick) times..."

"Cheer up, the worst is yet to come." (Usually said in advance of being grounded.)

"Don't cross your eyes or they'll freeze that way."

"If you swallow a watermelon seed, a watermelon will grow in your stomach."

"Everybody else may be doing it, but you're not going to. If Nancy's mom let her jump off the Empire State Building, would you want me to let you do it too?"

"You have an answer for everything, don't you? "

"Don't ask me WHY. The answer is NO. "

"You don't have to like me, missy, I'm your mother."

"Shut your mouth and eat."

The first momisms icon, 2004"Do you think money grows on trees?"

"As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say."

"Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes."

"Never try on anyone else's glasses or you'll go blind."

"Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow."

"Always put on clean underwear in the morning, in case you're in an accident."


And if you're a mom yourself and find yourself saying any of the above...

"Oh no! I'm turning into my mother!"

And we all know, deep down inside, she really bugs us because she really loves us.

In Tha Muthahood song written and performed by Anita Renfroe

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Anita Renfroe "In Tha Muthahood" :)In 2007 Christian comedienne Anita Renfroe had the whole world laughing to her song "Total Momsense", in which she fired off in three minutes all the momisms a mother would say in a 24-hour period to the tune of the "William Tell Overture" (aka the theme to "The Lone Ranger"). Four years later she did it again when she posted on her official YouTube channel a music video called "In Tha Muthahood", this time around setting the people straight about the realities of motherhood against the ideal TV moms we grew up watching.

What made this second song go viral so quickly was that it was a hip-hop song--a 49-year-old white evangelical Christian mom from suburban Atlanta is representing her hometown in authentic sports jerseys while dropping rap lyrics that shocked her younger fans and won their respect. Along the way she parodies Pixar's iconic Dancing Baby with a brood of 3-D animated toddlers that seem to multiply throught the video, the stereotypical pearl-wearing TV moms from the 1950's and 1960's, "The Brady Bunch", 1970's fashions, and the over-the-top swag worn my many female rappers. It was totally unexpected from a squeaky-clean pastor's wife from the South, and it won Anita a whole new group of fans, which her website calls "Fanitas".

The lyrics are as follows...

Anita as the stereotypical pearl-wearing TV momOnce upon a time
when I was just a little girl
I couldn't wait to grow up
Rock somebody's world
Get a husband and a hizzouse
and a happy family
like the mom who made it
look so easy on my TV:
June Cleaver, Libby Walton,
Claire Huxtable, Mrs. C,
Lovely ladies and their babies,
even stepmom Carol Brady had it
going on!

Always right, kept it tight
no matter what went wrong
Packed their lunches every day
in a brown sack,
Had supper on the table every
night, Mack
Wore the pearls while they
dusted off the knick-knacks.
Picket fence, perfect kids
And time to chill-lax.
But the writers out in Hollywood
must be wacked! Oh yeah!
They kind of failed to tell us the facts.
What they shoulda said is
"Hey, If you adopt or give birth
you move into the craziest place
on this Earth!"

It's called Tha Muthahood!
Hey you got you some kids
Yeah, Tha Muthahood
You sleep life hits the skids
You in Tha Muthahood
Yeah, you in it for real
Don't let 'em hit you when they
rate you in your Mom-mobile.
In Tha Muthahood
We ain't afraid of your germs
Up in Tha Muthahood
We straight-up treat you for worms
We used to be fly shawtys
looking good
but now we're living crazy in
tha Muthahood!

Mom and child droppin' four armsWhen you were expecting
this ain't what they told you
to expect
This is for the moms who
need four hands
and eyeballs
in the back of the neck.
Let me break it down for
you honey: give you
a reality check.

Here we go...
So now I wake up
every morning
throw the hair up
in a ponytail
Catch 'em riding dirties
swipe it shove it
in the diaper pail.
Throwing OJ and Froot Loops in their general directionThrow OJ and Froot Loops
in the general direction
with gummy vitamins
to help 'em
fight off infection.
Check their homework
and their ear dirt
pack for soccer today,
bounce them out the door
so we won't be late.
I drive carpool
at least 20 times a day
recite the house rules
I'm loadin' laundry every day
and every night, fool.
I can name every
vaccine they ever had.
And I can sniff
when the milk jug
is going bad.
I know where stuff is
before they even ask me
It's Mom ESP.

I clip coupons every week
and take 'em to the store
I got Apple Bottom jeans
'cause I sat on a core.
I got street cred
four-square and hippity scotch
you know I'm bad
because I'm chairman
of the neighborhood watch

I got ice for the boo-boos
and bandaids by the box
I'm like the FBI for
finding all the missing socks.
If my kids give me lip
you know
I flip the script
They've got to show respect
for stretch marks they've put
upon these hips

I got a Facebook alias
to spy on my teens
I'm a human lie detector
so just the facts please.
I'm a mama bear
and all the mamas agree
If you messin' with my kids
you straight-up messin' with me!

Up in the Muthahood
Don't let 'em
end up on Springer
Here in tha Muthahood
the only bling is
glitter on my fingers.
In tha Muthahood
We ain't playin'
but we do
if you askin' for allowance
you just trippin', Boo!
In tha Muthahood
we make the sweet PBJs
In tha Muthahood
we bust a cap on toothpaste
We're multi-tasking
thanks for asking
'cuz we're just that good,
takin' names and
kicking bootay
in tha Mothahood
Peace out!

Words written by Anita Renfroe
© 2011 Bluebonnet Hills Music (BMI)