Christmas Countdown Blitz Day 11: Monte’s Misfits — Christmas Joy for Everyone! by C. Cady Fowler, Peggy Cady Kendall, Susan Cady Allred, C.G. Cady Naegle




What would you do if you had ten children and no money for Christmas? And what exactly does Christmas look like when ten sets of hands are poised, ready to rip open their Christmas gifts – is it chaos, or do Monte and Barbara make us sit quietly, tormenting us as we watch each and every present opened by our siblings? What about decorations? Traditions? Jokes? Christmas trees and more? The questions and possibilities are endless, and you never know what the answer may be in the Cady home.

Follow our family as we recount some of our favorite, least-favorite, and downright bizarre stories of parenting and growing up in a family with ten siblings! We’ll add a touch of nostalgia by focusing entirely on our favorite holiday of the year: CHRISTMAS!





Q&A With the Authors:

Chris’s 6 Questions


1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less. 

Blonde hair and blue eyes – all the rest is subject to change.


2. What do you love most in the world? 

My family, present and extended through history.


3. What inspired you to become an Author? 

The desire to pass my story to my children.


4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition? 

Opening a present on Christmas Eve!


5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story? 

Set a timer and just write for a set amount of time – if you feel like writing more, great. But at least write a little bit. And don’t worry if what you write is good or not. That’s what the editing process is for!


6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story? 

20+ years ago I had lost a son to Leukemia, and then several years later gave birth to a daughter with Spina Bifida. I was upset, overwhelmed, and feeling picked on by life. 

During one of my visits my doctor told me that he has seen several times that families with one child with disabilities will have a second child also. He felt it was because they had been prepared and would be able to handle those challenges. 

I took that as a compliment of how strong I am. And I have proven to myself that I can do hard things, including raising children with disabilities.


Susan’s 6 Questions


1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less. I’m a mother of four who works hard, plays hard, loves fiercely, and laughs raucously.


2. What do you love most in the world? The goodness of humanity.  It’s easy to put my head down and focus on only the bad around me, but when I look up, notice the generosity of those around us – not only monetarily, but emotionally and spiritually, I realize there is hope for this world and there is still more good than bad. Then I try to go out and add a little bit to the light whenever I can.


3. What inspired you to become an Author? Ha!  Funny story.  So, about six years ago (actually EXACTLY six years ago, because it was NaNoWriMo), my younger sister (who is an English teacher at a couple nearby Universities) emailed me.  She told me about NaNoWriMo and said she wanted to give it a try. She knew writing a book was on my bucket list, and suggested we do NaNoWriMo together. I agreed, having no idea how hard NaNoWriMo would be.


Day 1:  

Patty:  I wrote 137 words.  How did you do?

Me: 47.

Day 2:

Me: I’m up to 200 words. How did you do?

Patty: I’m still at 137.

Day 3:

Me: I’m up to 517 words! How are you doing?

Patty:  137. I don’t think I’m going to do this.  Good luck with your story.


By then, I was hooked.  I had my story in my head and I was going to write it!  I did. I wrote my 50K words in one month, and had three other story ideas to boot! The rest is history, I guess.  I’ve completed 6 novels, 1 novella, co-wrote the 4 novellas with my sisters, and 1 flash fiction.


4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition? My favorite winter/holiday tradition is apple cider.  My dad used to mull hot apple cider every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He’d pull out the crock pot, dump a few gallons of apple cider into the pot, then dump in cloves and cinnamon sticks.  The cider would sit for two days, as family members dipped into it during the weekend, and Dad would refill the pot as necessary.  The cider toward the bottom of the pot made your toes curl at times, but I loved it. Now, every time I smell hot cinnamony apple cider, I’m reminded of warm hugs, sage cornbread dressing, 5,000-piece puzzles, crackling fires, laugher at all hours of the night, and the giddy anticipating I felt every night as I nodded off on Christmas Eve.


5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story? Believe it or not, the best way for me to break my writer’s block is to get on the treadmill.  If you’ve ever seen me, you’d know I do NOT spend enough time on the treadmill. I tend to have too many stories in my mind at one time. Right now I’m working on three stories simultaneously. I struggle with staying focused on one story. 

My advice for people struggling to tell their story is to remember that YOUR story matters.  It doesn’t matter if you are telling the same story as the person next to you. Your perspective means that your story will be different.  In one of Monte’s Misfits books, all four of us told a story about TPing (toilet papering). It’s TPing. You throw toilet paper into people’s trees.  How different can the stories be, right? Wrong. Each was written from a different perspective. And each enhanced the other. It’s one of my favorite chapters. YOUR story, YOUR perspective matters.  Tell the story. Someone is waiting to read it!


6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?


Hmm. My favorite story is how my husband and I met. We were at a church retreat for young adults our age. 

I was only eighteen with long blonde hair, considerably skinnier, and fresh off a nasty break-up. He was twenty-three, tall (as in 6’6”), dark hair, and handsome as all get out.  He walked into a room and people gravitated toward him. Myself included. I often caught myself following his movements. 

We talked a few times as he made the rounds from group to group, but not much happened. Then, on the last night, there was a dance. I was sitting on the kitchen counter next to the forty-seven-gallon punch bowl (only a slight exaggeration) when he found me and asked me to dance.  My adrenaline spiked, butterflies fluttered, and I stammered, “Sh-sure.” 

I put my hands on the counter to jump to the ground and knocked the giant punch bowl filled with fruit punch all over the kitchen floor behind me.  I’m pretty sure my face turned the same shade of red. I gasped, then sighed, and said, “And that’s why they call me Grace.” 

Three days later we were engaged.  Two and a half months later we were married. It’s been one adventure after another ever since.



Grace’s Questions

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

The youngest of ten kids means that I am constantly trying to play catch up.


2. What inspired you to become an Author?

My Dad was always writing mystery games growing up, and he encouraged me in my writing.  


3. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Christmas Caroling, hands down.  I borrow about 20 crockpots from friends, invite all my friends within a 100-mile radius, and drink cocoa and cider with all my friends and go caroling around the neighborhood.



The Crazy Cady Sisters have known each other all their lives. With 179 years of accumulated life-experience, we are well versed in Cady-isms.

Between the four of us, we’ve experienced:

  • 18 businesses ventures
  • 22 children acquired in a variety of ways (marriage, birth, adoption, etc)
  • 5 1/2 grandchildren
  • Lived in 5 different states
  • One of us went to college to be a concert pianist.
  • On of us thought about going to college to be a concert pianist.
  • One of us is an addictions counselor.
  • One of us is addicted to diet soda.
  • Volunteer for 8+ organizations
  • 1 lived above a mortuary
  • 1 was chased by a K-9 unit while toilet papering.
  • 3 of us were homeless for 2.5 months while we toured the United States.
  • 1 of us can say the Pledge of Allegiance in three different languages.
  • We sold rocks door to door.
  • 1 used to transcribe the newspaper into the computer when she got bored.
  • Are joint owners of

In March, 2017 we decided to band together to form Crazy Cady Sisters to co-author a hilariously heart-warming non-fiction story about parenting, child-rearing, and growing up in a family with ten children.

Website ~



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