There’s a Diva in every family.

You know who she is.
She knows who she is.

You can’t help yourself but feel the love when Diva enters the room, as her little girl on the inside lights up and takes center stage as well as your heart.2 disney ears 6

Diva’s live to the full for which we might want to take notes from her effervescent personality.

Divas are confident and self-assured in her lane, with “Minnie Me” watching and keeping score.

Diva’s stand out among the crowds who notice her on and off the field as a cheerleader in the stands of this game called life.

She loves to laugh and for whatever reason, others embrace the fun no matter their age.

Wherever Diva goes, the little girl who refuses to grow up is following along as well.

Adults, who left behind their wonder and fascination in a child’s toy chest, can reacquaint themselves with their inner child again by hanging out with a Diva.

Diva’s love the spotlight and why not?

Where there are dark clouds and gloomy skies in a person’s day, why not be a bright star to cheer to them up.
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Oh risk the fun and take a ride with a Diva.

You’ll discover your happy place the moment you take your seat.6 amusement park

Class is always in session with a Diva.

Their cuteness is contagious and these little Diva Darlin’s graduate in the Sciences of Smiles.

There’s a Diva hidden in all of us.

You’ll find her crowned in “bows and sparkle”, even among our furry friends;

Celebrating each other on Diva Day.

Look no further than your own back yard for a Diva.

A lamppost of love that never dims…

A fountain of joy which never runs dry…

A smile for days…

A ride for a lifetime…

Someone who brings out the best in all of us…

A song was even written with a Diva in mind…

(an excerpt)

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Well it’s you girl, and you should know it,

With each glance and every little movement you show it…

Love is All Around
By Sonny Curtis

Intro song to Mary Tyler Moore show
(Made famous when I was a teenager)

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I must confess, this blog is a request by my Diva daughter for her birthday we recently celebrated a few days ago on January 18, yet Diva birthdays last for days.8 mom and daughter

Divas are confident in what they want.

Quite opposite of her mother, I laughed when she blurted her request without blush.  But how could I refuse?  My daughter blessed me in the asking.

While I could write a book about the amazing mother my daughter is to her three children, living in color with them through the traditions she’s created throughout the year, the illustrations of memories they’ll keep for a lifetime.

This childlike gift about my daughter is one of the characteristics I most hold dear about her. She opens my eyes to see the world from a little girl’s point of view, always at play, enjoying her life.

If my Diva daughter bottled this recipe which holds the world captive in her hands; she’d be rich.

Although, we’re all rich aren’t we when we celebrate the love, the laughter, the joy and the smile in each of us.


Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Well it’s you girl, and you should know it…

By Sonny Curtis


We’ve all been there.

Overly exhausted.
Sleep walking thru life.

With looming questions amid the days fog,
How did I get home today?”
Did I feed my kids?”

But after a day’s rest and sanity returns,
You pull up a chair and laugh at the comedy act
Your life has been the previous shift.

Thirty-six years ago as a shift-working mother of two small children, I’d love to re-play the comedy series of getting to work before midnight in the blistering snow storms of winter, with wind gusts at my face and hair blowing in all directions, barely holding on to a crying baby wrapped in swaddling clothes (maybe a snowsuit) and a five year old up the two acre driveway in knee deep drifts to the car.ALICEA David Lori

Half asleep, I’ve signed my share of permission slips in crayon.

No doubt I’ve been reported to the Department of Transportation many December mornings back then after a midnight shift. For them to be on the lookout for a crazy woman with the window down, driving and smashing her face with handfuls of snow; when in reality, waking up a mother’s tired eyes both fast asleep.

Yes, life can be a comedy act and it does a body good to laugh.

I’m a grandmother now, reliving a once young life and humor through her adult daughter and family with small children in what could be promoted as a hilarious series, “Comedy to the Car Line.”

It’s true, I am the most unlikely critic for humor after being told over the years my “funny bone” was left behind as a child in a lost and found box, yet I still find this seriously funny.

While names and images have been changed to protect these parents both sleep deprived and frazzled, I introduce to you the cast; a mom and dad of Big Sis, Lil’ Sis, and older brother Buddy.

What started out as an early morning pick up of Lil’ Sis before her two other siblings left for school, turned into a forty-five minute comedy act of laughter I kept to myself, as sleep-walking parents don’t find much funny when their pillows and covers cry out for them.CUMBEE Aubrey

Returning home from a stretch of twelve hour evenings still wearing his work clothes and coat, half-awake at the kitchen counter, dad packs lunch boxes and book bags for three young children, while mounds of unfolded laundry stare back.CUMBEE Kyle

In constant motion, I keep my eye on mom who wears the carpet thin from the miles she puts in from the living room to the bedrooms located in the back, exhausted from the weeks of packing their home for the upcoming move.

Big Sis is performing a circus of continuous cartwheels next to Lil’ Sis, who watches Monsters Inc. for the umpteenth time while eating her breakfast of cinnamon rolls.

As Buddy body slams the bedroom door while dunking basket after basket, Lil’ Sis’ with her scarry school in session insists on sharing her mother’s delicious homemade recipe of cinnamon rolls with me…first you pop it out of the can…

Big Sis lands a final cartwheel into her signature splits, arms up, eyes facing judge grandmother who watches, “Your turn Gaga”, Big Sis commands, “for the splits.”

This young girl who once did flips, back-walkovers, back handsprings and everything else gymnastics in school, dared to demonstrate to Big Sis the splits as a grandmother a year ago, still able to walk to the car after my performance; a feat Big Sis and big brother Buddy beg me to repeat against my insisted “no.”

Mom, whose messy hair half-secured in a barrette with hands gesturing dad’s slow pace of making lunches, passes the kitchen to the give Lil’ Sis a wardrobe change from her breakfast spills in the bedroom.

Body slamming the bedroom door continues as Big Sis reminds her sandwich making dad she has gym today; yet Buddy dunks another basket and corrects Big Sis simultaneously that she has library, while echoed from the back of the house mom reminds dad it’s his turn in the car line, for which he counters back with the roll of his eyes.

Forty-five minutes of constant motion, a hurried morning of sleep walking parents in desperate straits for the school bell to ring, so they can refuel under the covers of sweet dreams.

Remembering my days as an exhausted parent, I offered to drive to the car line, for which mom and dad both blurted out the hallelujah chorus, sending their kids to the van thirty minutes early.

Arriving to the elementary school for the first time, I questioned Big Buddy if I park behind the van in front of me, for which he retorted, “You mean the Cadillac?” “Well”, I huffed in silence, “the emblem says it’s an Escalade.” “Gaga!”, I hear from the backseat of my car. “No wonder Papa says he’ll never use you as a game show phone-a-friend.”

School is in session and now it’s just Gaga and Lil’ Sis for a quiet ride home for a few hours together before I drop her off at preschool.

I spent the day laughing over and over, re-telling the hilarious story to my husband, replaying the Comedy to the Car Line series to my well-rested daughter a few days later.

Yes, life is brief; it’s a vapor the Bible reminds.

The years of raising young children pass by as a fast moving train; the tracks of your heart left barely traveled in the midst of a blink of an eye.

Yes, life can be a comedy act and it does a body good to laugh.


Always find a reason to laugh.
It may not add years to your life.
But will surely add life to your years.
Author Anonymous


Sometimes we just need to laugh.laugh

Sometimes taking a coffee break from our circumstances and laugh until the tears come does the body good.

Laughter makes a merry heart.LAUGHTER

Laughter is a good medicine.

Always find a reason to laugh.
It may not add years to your life,
But will surely add life to your years.
Author Anonymous

Laughter washes over us as a gentle wave and downstream our worries take, even if for a moment while we pause to catch our breath.england journey kizzie in water 1

Yes, sometimes we just need to laugh,

Even moments that make you laugh at yourself and wonder,
What in the world?

These last few weeks I found myself laughing when…

I panicked thinking we were robbed after an hour’s search of our two bedroom home for a missing vacuum, only to discover the vacuum in plain view and misplaced behind the bathroom closet door.IMG_7473

Twice, I discovered my clothes inside out after attending the gym.

My husband couldn’t contain his laughter at my mismatched shoes while sitting in church.IMG_9749

I chuckled to find a gallon of milk incognito among the dishes of the kitchen cupboard.

My eye glasses went missing only to realize I’d been wearing them all along during my frustrating search.

Yes, all these moments that made me laugh,

Though I’ve been told my funny bone’s been hiding in some “lost and found” box my entire life.

My daughter races to telephone her Davy (my husband) and vice versa every time they believe I’ve misplaced my mind.

Oh the moments that make them laugh.

Laughter is an impromptu party of balloon bouquets, catching you off guard to celebrate life.

pastel colored balloons
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

A few days ago, a handful of confetti was shot thru a small cannon one ordinary morning that erupted into a surprise of laughter.

heart shaped confetti on wooden floor
Photo by Element5 Digital on

Seated at the kitchen island with all the gadgets handy to “pretty myself” for that thirty-five minute ritual I’d rather skip most days; hair dryer, curling iron, comb, brush, makeup, make-up mirror, cell phone, a cup of coffee, and my day begins.IMG_7469

This beauty regimen occurs with the same boring fanfare as days before.

Blow drying, curling and applying makeup is usually interrupted with a much anticipated telephone call from my husband who’s already been at work for hours.

Seeing his name displayed on the cellphone screen brightens my day more than he knows.IMG_7380

Nothing unusual about this morning ritual and conversation for two, accept to realize I’d forgotten the hairspray.

With cellphone in hand to continue our conversation, I walked down the hall to retrieve the missing item from the bathroom drawer.

Noticing my husband’s voice fade into the background as it sometimes does depending on the area he is driving through, I spoke into the phone for my handsome truck driver to repeat himself.

Frustrated after multiple attempts to converse with one another, I leaned over my hand held device to end the aggravating call, only to burst into laughter after discovering I’d been walking and talking into my make-up mirror all this time instead of my phone.IMG_7472

Unable to breathe from this hilarious scene for which I played the leading role, David couldn’t wait to share this comedy act with our daughter and laugh until the tears fell, rewinding and adding to this latest story about her mother.Davids picture

God created us each to laugh as our encouragement to enjoy the journey.3CA8EC1F-06BC-4061-9E19-181EA16BCC10

Some laugh more than others, and it’s quite the party to celebrate life around those whose hearts are full of balloons and confetti.

Laughter is a gift.

Celebrate the moments that make you laugh.747E61A7-ACC3-4B0E-B687-BEAD8B84D082

Laughter is a miracle
Where eyes and ears
Can see and hear the joy of God,
Our handfuls of confetti for a merry heart.

heart shaped baking tin with small confetti on surface for valentine day
Photo by Monstera on

IT HAPPENS!  By Lori A Alicea

It happens to the best of us.

You’re rushing around and trying to get out the door
When it happens.

Your morning is chaotic with kids and a busy schedule ahead
When it happens.

The day you’re not paying attention because your mind is elsewhere
When it happens.

When it’s been one of those days and
The little goofs in life beg to ask the question,
What in the world?”

Your grand-son shows up for school with different colored socks.
Your grand-daughter’s Sunday school teacher assumes your four year old dressed herself for church, which she didn’t.
When sitting at church with your legs stretched into the aisle and your husband is unable to contain his laughter at your faux pas.


Yes, it happens to the best of us.

Those unexpected gaffes that command a belly laugh at ourselves.

Life is short.
We might as well find humor in the funny, even at our personal expense. Because when we don’t, there’s someone to laugh in your place.

In our family, if you’re caught in life’s most embarrassing moments,

It’s a given you’ll be read the family friendly version
Of your Miranda Rights:

Anything you say (or do),
Can and will be used against you,
As long as it makes others laugh.

Funny stories are recorded in the family history books and brought back to life many times over.

Every year during little league season, our daughter thinks it’s hilarious when foul balls come close or even attempt to make contact with one of us adults in the stands.

Two games ago, a baseball hit the outfield fence and bounced directly over David’s head while walking to the field.  Candace witnessed the play and recounts for great enjoyment her season’s highlight thus far.

A “must see” will be when David or I fall back in our seats from a misguided ball coming our way.

2019 cumbee ethan baseball 6

2019 cumbee ethan baseball 15

My husband and daughter have each other’s telephone numbers on speed dial whenever a newsflash comes over the airwaves about me.

 Just this morning I found myself putting the dishes in the refrigerator and the milk in the cupboards and you might be asking, “What in the world? It happens.

The other day I texted David seriously thinking we got robbed when I couldn’t find our vacuum cleaner, for which I looked for thirty minutes to find; which in a two bedroom house, is a lot of looking.

It happened

When the lost vacuum is discovered misplaced in the bathroom closet, one of three I failed to open.


A thunder of laughter blared in my ear, as I answered the telephone with my husband on the other line.

I’m calling Candace, I’m calling Candace,” he kept repeating between breaths of amusement.

Yes, those two tag team each other at my expense.

But life is too short not to laugh.

Don’t you worry though, the family history books spare no one.

Mother’s Day a few years ago, it happens when the history books showcases our daughter who almost broke her ankle after losing control on her child’s scooter.

Encouraging her to “punch it” at full throttle down the sidewalk with children watching on, we laughed and laughed even harder each time re-living the scooter flying one way into the air and our daughter landing on the ground in the opposite direction.
USE Candace 1
Thankfully unhurt and not that our daughter found this remotely funny,


If you find it hard to laugh at yourself,
I would be happy to do it for you.
Groucho Marx

And we have, over and over again.
Punch it” ignites a visual every single time.

Family albums should be crammed full of sidesplitting stories.

Stories that children grow up and tell their children about life back in their day.

Hysterical stories that honor a loved one at their memorial,
stirring a smile in their telling.

God says it best…

A glad heart makes a happy face…
Proverbs 15:13 (NLV)

May our smiles reflect a happy heart the next time it happens.

Might we go through life remembering…

Always find a reason to laugh.
It may not add years to your life.
But will surely add life to your years.
Author Unknown


(Spoiler Alert:  There is an Elvis sighting.
Don’t leave this blog until Elvis has left the building)

When was the last time you really laughed?  No really laughed?

You know, that laughter which has you rolling on the floor with tears in your eyes?

Hilarious laughter where everyone within earshot is laughing for no other reason than your joyful outburst is contagious?

Davids picture

Life is delightful and meant to be enjoyed.

God gave us eyes to see the silly and ability to react to it.

If there was an eleventh commandment it would surely read:

Adam picture

I wish I could say I laughed daily.  I wish I could say I had a sense of humor.  I wish my heart had a “funny button” easily pushed, but I guess mine is on back order.

When I say things I believe are funny causing a laugh in my own gut, my kids give me these confused blank stares as if to say, “Alriiiiiiiiiighty.”

Nathan's picture
Jakes picture

But thankfully my life is far from bland as I married into a family full of laughter.  With five brothers, a mother, a crazy sister ‘n law and nieces and nephews who can’t contain themselves when together, such joy and memories created all because a family loves to laugh.

David and his brothers
Adrianna picture

These five brothers together have no shame.  Nothing is off limits.

I relish the stories of them portraying Roman soldiers for years in an annual Easter production, stepping into each other’s scenes to stir a silent laugh.

This family begs to laugh whenever they can.  A faucet gets turned on and out pours the giggles; the knee slapping; the out of control.  Jokes are only told in Spanish as for some reason they sound funnier that way; at least to them.

These sons delighted their mother more than anyone with their zest for life.  My mother ‘n laws laughter rolled in huge waves when her boys stirred the “pot of the hilarious.”

If mama is laughing, you can just about bet one of her sons is nearby.

barbara laughing cropped

Our hearts can still sense her laughter though she’s been gone the past few years.

My husband David brings an “off the charts” joy to our marriage, kids and especially the grand-kids.  These ten little lives light up when Papa enters the room and their world.  Unfortunately when Papa’s around sword fighting, blowing bubbles, making crazy voices and totally preoccupied while chasing them, I am a “Debbie Downer” worrying about their safety.  While Papa is a blast to our babies, I, the safety police am told to return to my squad car until I have learned to laugh.


candace elvis

Oh that we all would learn to laugh.

The Bible reminds us to laugh:
Let your heart be merry.  Judges 19:6 KJV

One of the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.  E E Cummings

If laughing doesn’t come easy, at least
Be the first to laugh at yourself. — Benjamin Franklin

I remember leaving the house once for work in my business suit and fuzzy house slippers, thankfully being stopped at the mailbox by my husband and daughter.

I remember taking an hour train ride for a job interview only to be mortified after the interview realizing I had red lipstick at the end of my nose, for who knows how long.

I remember mall walking during the Christmas holidays questioning the snickers and stares, only to freak at the red thong hanging from my crocheted scarf I must have caught while shopping the stores.

At least the stolen item was Christmas red.  Right?

I know kids, I know:

Nathan's picture
Jakes picture

Be the first to laugh at yourself.

Be the first to laugh and take delight like a little child whose innocence is on full display at anything silly.  With ten grandchildren, they have all taught this grown up grandmother to find her inner child and enjoy life at the smallest of levels, even swinging at the park with their Papa.




As I stated earlier, this family I married into is one big circus of laughter.  People want to sit at their table at weddings.  People want to hang out with the “brothers” as they own the corner market of fun.

The joke at our family gatherings is wondering when Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, will make his appearance next.  My husband David sang an Elvis song at our wedding altar.  This same Elvis shows up unannounced throughout the years, and when he does, Elvis’ groupies let loose and stir up the crowd and excitement.

Though Elvis and his lead guitarist are usually having a bad hair day, Elvis’ golden voice and fingers sporting his signature “ring pops” have the ladies and kids all drooling for his attention.





Elvis 1

elvis 2