Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Twas A Few Weeks Past Christmas…

’Twas a few weeks past Christmas
And all through the house
Christmas was all packed away
The creature stirring? A louse!

Yes, for those of you that have been through it

or just for those of you who would ROCK at Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit,

a louse is the singular of LICE.

Yes, I said that correctly.


Apparently other than a sleepy girl and crunched up pretzels on the basement carpet, one can also expect LICE to be left behind after a sleepover.

For the love of Pete!

Ellie came down Saturday night after her shower and weepily announced she found a bug in her hair.

Monte whipped out this magnifying contraption thingy I got at Restoration Hardware that I stuck in his stocking thinking it would look good on an end table or shelf not realizing how much he would actually use it.

Those clips can hold eyeglasses or a necklace chain.

Which is a lot as it turns out--

from fixing a necklace of Ellie’s Christmas morning,

Fixing Ellie’s necklace.

 to digging out splinters 

and, oh yeah, seeking out and identifying lice.

I wonder if we should contact the magnifying glass
manufacturer with this consumer testimonial?
For the love of Pete.

Monte determined Ellie did in fact have lice and left for the drug store as I shoved everything I could touch into the washer and/or dryer and/or big plastic bags sealed tight.

I was knee-deep in research on what else I should wash, bleach or set on fire when Monte started the shampoo and nit-picking stage.
Ellie is not happy.

Do you know that is where that phrase came from??


“Hey, stop nit-picking me!”

Actually means,

“Hey, stop picking all the lice nits from my hair!”

Which I think we have gotten all turned around through time.

Nit-picking is a good thing.

A very good thing.


Sunday morning we woke up with a clatter 
rushed to Ellie’s room 
to  find out what was the matter

Okay, I’ll stop.

Ellie still had lice.

I sent Monte and McDaniel to church and set about the process of 

stripping beds, 
and pillows, 
laundering EVERYTHING in my sight 
and shampooing 
and nit-picking 

I could tell Ellie was weary and just about beside herself.

So I cranked up some music and tried to make the process of me picking bugs out of her hair as fun as possible.

Monte and I tried to reassure Ellie that it wasn’t her fault. It didn’t make her dirty or gross.

It certainly helped that neither Monte or I are the kind of people that freak out when someone sneezes or gets sick. There are no medical mask-wearers or “Wait, these tissue boxes would make great shoes” over here.

Hey, I was raised to pick up the Popsicle from the ground and keep on licking. Dirt only adds protein, Jack!

So, Monte and I are pretty laid back about germs and tried to convey that to Ellie in her time of despair.

But bugs are bugs. And we wanted them to,

“Dash away, dash away,
dash away all!

Yeah, I  am not done.

We told her to pray.

I read that some lice are very resistant to the over the counter shampoos and gels and a prescription might be necessary.

School was to start on Monday after 2 weeks off for Christmas and I hated the thought of Ellie missing class.

So Monte called the emergency on-call number to talk with our pediatrician.

As it turns out, she did NOT feel that lice was a reason for Monte to call the emergency on-call number to which, as the only male in our household, Monte informed her,

“Oh, it is about to get REAL over here with emergency.”

Or something like that mostly in his head.

God love him for knowing the 
importance of hair in our house.


The pediatrician (who we love dearly) went on to explain that America is the only country "freaked out" by lice and that on any given day 40% of school children in England walk around with lice. Even higher in Israel.

To that I say,

“God bless the USA!”

So she prescribed Ellie a shampoo that she warned Monte is highly flammable and would need to stay in her hair for 8 hours.

So flammable that she shouldn’t even THINK about walking into a room with a hair dryer going or a curling iron on or a candle flickering lest she want to burst into flame.

And oh yeah, the shampoo is $150.

Take a guess which part of that was most shocking to Monte.

We spent the rest of our Sunday itching everywhere and checking one another’s hair for bugs like monkeys.

Monte bought a shower cap for Ellie for fun and she had a ball with it.

This might be when Ellie informed Monte a lot more
head was showing than she previously noticed.

McDaniel did find one bug in my hair 

to which I doused with the OTC shampoo 
saving the “fire water shampoo”, as we deemed it, 
for McDaniel should she be found with a stow away.

That girl has enough hair to provide quite a community of lice happy, warm, long-term accommodations.

Look at that prime real estate!
By dinner, we were laughing a lot.

The good Lord saw fit to blow in a mighty cold front and a snow storm that just missed us but cancelled school for 2 days due to the frigid temperatures and icy conditions.

We had more time to launder the entire house and nit-pick and evaluate everyone’s hair condition.

Which we deemed good.

So Monte tried to take back the $150 prescription “fire water” shampoo.

Which you can’t do.

So he briefly wondered what the street value 
of $150 lice shampoo would be.


While we were digging through each other’s hair and shampooing and nit-picking and doing load after load after load of laundry,

we started hearing of people very nearby losing power

and heat

and water due to frozen pipes.

God was so good to keep us home those coldest days and using our water, 

what seemed like endlessly,

so there was never a threat of freezing.

Monte and I talked about the blessing of lice in a cold front.

Protection from worse, more damaging problems that were happening all around us.

We were able to praise God for lice. 

And bitter cold.

And for Monte’s frozen car battery.

Because it could have been so. many. things. 

An incurable disease.

An unhealable injury.

An expensive breakdown.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans for welfare and not for calamity 
to give you a future and a hope.” 
-Jeremiah 29:11 NASB

This is a different version than I have memorized, but I like it as it applies to our story. 

Our school doesnt call snow days, snow days”-- they call them calamity days

God is such a God of little things. 

To offer welfare in the form of bugs. 

And hope to a weary girl with them in her hair
and a busy family with them in their house.

Can I get an Amen?

Happy New Year to all 
and to all a good night!

Thats all, I promise.


  1. Oh I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. His story of provision in a way - yes? I am following you at #TellHisStory.
    I am a grandma but I do remember my girls having lice and the tither it sent our house (well me) into. Washing, cleaning, putting things in the freezer. Just crazy times. But we never had to buy a $150 shampoo. Praise the Lord.
    blessings to you,
    Your daughter does have lovely hair by the way.

  2. Oh, my! You guys could be a comedy team! What a fun read. I laughed my way through it. And now I know why we endured that horrible deep freeze! So you all got a couple extra days to get thoroughly louse-free! Yep, God's provision...

  3. Janis,

    Thank you. I knew someone would relate.

  4. Sylvia,

    Thanks for reading (and enduring the deep freeze if only for our household’s sake!)

  5. Janis,

    Thank you. I knew someone would relate.

  6. Have never dealt with lice yet-Thank God and cross my fingers. I did get it once as a kid and I have long hair! Sucks!

  7. I'm a freak out about lice person. Thank goodness you aren't. Happy it all worked out. Thank you so much for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop so much fun Hugs!

  8. One year my children got lice 5 times from school. FIVE! *our school had a no tell policy when someone came in with lice* So I had three girls with lice three times. (boys are easy, just shave their heads) The best and cheapest way to get rid of the buggers that I found was to load the hair up with a very thick lotion, the thicker the better. Cover with a shower cap and sleep with it in overnight. The lotion dries, smothering the buggers. You then brush out the hair and wash it and wash it and wash it to get the lotion out of the hair (this can take awhile). One weak later repeat to kill any eggs that may have been missed. Also if you dry your hair a lot you are less likely to get them and they don't like tea tree oil. Sorry you had to deal with this, it is never fun.

  9. Oh...I remember those days. So funny...way to approach life with fun. Have a great weekend and thanks for participating in our blog hop!

  10. Re-read my comment, that should read three girls with lice five times. I was typing too many numbers for my brain to follow along at 6 in the morning LOL

  11. Erin,

    I pray it doesn't happen to you! Somehow, none of us kids had it growing up.

  12. Only you can make having lice so humorous! Seeing your husband with his magnifying glass reminds me of a doctor I worked for showing me one under his microscope one day. I have never thought of them the same you can get an Amen from me that we live in the USA. Happy New Year friend - may it be filled with all things good and no more lice : )

  13. Visiting from Super Sunday Sync! Oh wow, that verse from Jeremiah really hit home for me today! Love your fierce tenacity to deal with those little things! Great story today, thanks for sharing!

  14. Corey Tenboom wrote a book once that I read (I hope I spelled her name right), and it had a great story about how a room full of fleas became her biggest blessing (because she and other could worship God in there undisturbed by guards who didn't want to be in the room). This reminded me of that.

    And now I'm off to itch... just a little Because reading about lice always makes me itchy, lol

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

  15. Oh how I love this!!! i don't love the lice and good LORD the 150.00 shampoo!!!! But I love the story and the beauty with which you handled it and shared it... and ah- the message. Yes. That.


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