Ever have "one of those days"?  Of course you have! Even if you think you haven't, you have. You're just oblivious.  Trust me. 
As my kids get older, my "one of those days" day's have changed quite a bit.  Formerly, you might have heard a story that included plugged toilets, permanent ink in the wrong places, and spilled something that splattered into the next county.  Now, things have changed a bit. 
 It's now, the kid that insists he hasn't grown somehow has short pants...again.  While so and so showers, the other so and so flushes the toilet and slowly, methodically washes their hands. Just for fun, wrestling turns into a trip to Urgent Care. My favorite, the milk gets put back into the pantry, while the cereal ends up in the fridge.

Of course, it's never really any body's fault. Nobody did it, saw it, heard it, ate it, smelled it, spilled it, threw it, stepped on it, or opened it.  
All of these things lead to me creating ridiculous rules or statements of correction. The kind you never, ever imagined yourself saying.  

"No rough housing after 7 pm. No exceptions!"
"Keep your fingers out of your brothers nose."
"Don't waste all the tape on your brothers face."
"Rinse these dishes better or you will have to eat whatever residue is on it after it comes out of the dishwasher."
"Clean all of this up...and when you think you're done, go back, because you missed something."

Without proper context, you might read this and think I'm cruel.  You might even think I'm unreasonable, irrational and a bit "over the top".    You might be right.  I am unreasonable when it comes to accepting poorly done work. If I know my child has the knowledge and ability to do better, it is not unreasonable for me to expect better results.  I  will admit to feeling irrational when someone gets hurt because one of their siblings was being careless and caused an unnecessary injury.  It is over the top, by today's standards,  to expect my kids to do things as they've been taught. ("They're just kids", they say)  However, through a proper example, helping and continued practice, kids can do things "over the top".    I'm not raising kids to stay kids, I'm supposed to be training children to be adults!

These are a couple of my Mean Mother verses...

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."   
Colossians 3:23 it says- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

If I'm training my children to have a biblical worldview then I need to teach them what God has to say about work.  It's never too early to teach children to be spiritually minded.  In fact, it is much easier to begin when they're young. Rather than leaving it out until their "old enough to understand", and then expecting them to flip an invisible switch one day and have them be spiritually minded.  

It's a daily challenge to stay on top of a busy household of 7 people. People often remark, "I don't know how you do it!".  Honestly, it is only because of the strength of the Lord and his word that he has helped me to raise up these young people.  We have endeavored to teach them while they're young so that we can enjoy them, and see the results of the hard days of parenting.  
It is hard.  Some days it hurts.  Some days it is wonderful.  
Each day is an opportunity to be that Mean Mother, or to let the opportunity pass until another day when I "feel like dealing with it".  

I pray that I will win that Meanest Mother in the World title each and every day from now until I go to Heaven. I hope you'll join me! 


The Bright Side

...and what do you do when it's bright outside?  Put on your sunglasses and get over it.
  That's just what I had to tell myself today.  We found those stupid little meal moths in our pantry today.  I really hate them.   They made me feel like punching things.  So we unloaded the whole pantry and cleaned and vacuumed.  We made sure every thing  a moth would love to eat was enclosed, covered, sealed or frozen.  Fun times!  
Since it was all undone, I decided to go ahead and take the time to label everything, consolidate, and organize a few things.  Truth be told, it looks a lot better. Am I thankful for those stupid moths?  I guess. Though I did have other plans for my afternoon. 
Just yesterday I read, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)  My spiritual sunglasses, if you will.
Which, I now realize extends itself even to dealing with stupid moths.  
Glad I read that yesterday, so I was prepared.  :)


Suburban Renewal, Vol. 1

Earlier this Spring, I painted my kitchen.  It went from drab to fab over the course of a week.  If you look closely you can see the old brownish-greenish color in the top right of the photo.  A huge improvement.  After that was finished, I had my eye on sprucing up my kitchen island.                             Fast forward to June and our 21st Wedding anniversary and you have the rest of the story!                                            My sweet husband informed me that we were going to go out and about and spend the whole day together.    A whole day with my love sans kids?  Sounds great!!  Of course, I love my kids, but the Mr. and I were kind of a "thing" before they came along and well, we'd like to keep that "thing" going until they're long gone!
One of our stops during our day was at Ikea.  Brian knows that I love to walk around and daydream, shop for goodies, and make the occasional stop for sustenance in their restaurant. 
 After we found our $16,000 dream kitchen, Brian took me over to the kitchen island area and just started talking to a sales person and proceeded to order a butcher block top for my island!  Can you say excited?!   Totally.
 You can see the sad state of my former island in the picture showing my paint job.  Original laminate top, stained, chipped, and plain old ugly!  
The butcher block comes as a plain piece of wood with a light covering of preserving oil to keep it safe until you get it home and put it into place.   I bought Watco Butcher Block oil and set to work!  To preserve the top and finish it you first sand down the top with a 150 grit sandpaper and then apply a nice coating of the oil and let it sit for 6 hours.  During this entire process it was important NOT to touch the counter top at all or to set anything on it.  Since I have a lot of "traffic" in my kitchen, I chose to apply the oil in the evening after all my people were in bed.  That way there would be nothing to distract me or any little hands to "accidentally" touch the freshly oiled counter top.  This process was repeated 2 more times, each time using a more fine grit sandpaper.  After the final application, the directions require that you let it sit untouched for 72 hours.  Which, by the way, seems like forever.  However, somehow we managed to achieve this without incident!  Rather remarkable, considering the amount of tragedies that I had imagined in my mind during this process!  
Truly, I don't obsess about tragedy...but, on the heels of past experience with my children it seemed highly probable that I should be prepared.  



After the initial oiling process was over I made a beeswax mixture to apply over the top as an additional protection.  I  found the "recipe" on the Woodworkers Guide website. It was really simple to make and inexpensive.   I  applied a nice thick coating of the wax and let it sit on the counter all day while we were out. After we returned, I wiped off the excess and then buffed it with a soft cloth.      It didn't make it glossy, but gave it a nice, soft sheen.  So far, it has been wonderful to clean and has repelled water like a champ!  Our next step will be to cover the ugly fake wood with bead board and to paint the whole island. 

 Now...if I could just decide what color to paint that!  
Feel free to ask any questions!   

* This post has been linked at



Look What I Made!

So we're gearing up for Emily's very first friends invited over PARTY!  Yes, I'm a cruel mother, but lets not dwell on that now.  We decided on  a paper doll theme, with a doll house birthday cake.
  You can see the invitation to the left.  We cut out the doll and stuck them to the invite with velcro. 

Sophie has been busy cutting out paper doll chains for decorations, while I'm assigned to small dresses to make a garland. 
  For many moons, I've had my eye on a video tutorial that shows you how to fold an origami dress.  Today, after throwing aside a lifetime of previous origami failures, I sat down and watched the video.  
   It wasn't nearly as hard as some of the ridiculous animals that I've tried to make in the past.  I was, and am soo happy with how this turned out! (excuse the less that adequate photo)  It actually looks like a dress!
Can you see that it looks like a dress?!  Please say you can, but don't lie.  My ego can handle it.
Also, I have lofty dreams of making this dollhouse cake that I found on the internet.  
Hopefully, my finished product will not be the subject of one of those "Cake Fail" pictures.  We shall see how it goes.  Regardless, I will post how everything turns out after the party.  Promise.


Fun Facts, Vol. 1

Today's Fun Fact...

In Kentucky, it was illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.  
True Story.

 The history behind this law is really not as crazy as it sounds!  Back when horse theivin' was more prevalent than it is today, a thief would put an ice cream cone in his back pocket to entice and lead a horse away from where it was.  If the thief was accused he could say, "I didn't steal it, he followed me home!" 
It surely must have been quite a problem at the time for a law to be made!  

In Washington State...

The harassing of Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other undiscovered subspecies is a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

The details of this law may be found in the "Skamania County Ordinance 69-1".  Breaking of this law carries a hefty penalty!  It says this, 

"Whereas, be it resolved that any premeditated, willful and wanton slaying harassing or any malicious activities upon such creature shall be deemed a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed One hundred Thousand Dollars ($100.0000) and/or imprisonment, not to exceed ten (10) years." 

I'm not sure how you can harass something that has yet to be discovered.  It is rather unbelievable that there are actual laws about these things.  Undoubtedly, there are a mass amount of people who also believe that these are necessary.  As I was researching this strange law, I was unable to find a single case in which someone was prosecuted for breaking this law.  Hmmm.  I wonder why?  I guess they are Yetti to be discovered.  Har, har. 

There was an error in this gadget