Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It seems only fitting that this week I tell you about Vivian.

Vivian is a little girl that we just started sponsoring through Compassion International.

And Vivian was also my great-Aunt, my sweet grandmother’s sister.

We called her Aunt Bibby.

Who died one year ago this week.

I have seen the ads for Compassion sponsorship.

I have read blogs about Compassion trips.

But this post by Emily Freeman did. me. in.

I was sold before the video.

After the video? 
I could’ve sworn I’d just seen a glimpse of heaven.
(If you didn’t click on the link to Emily’s post, 
do it now.
If you read the post but didn’t click on the video--
I’m serious. 
You won’t be sorry.)

I showed the post to Monte later that evening because I wanted him to REALLY want to sponsor a child too,

not just go along with it because of me.

 I said nothing of my intentions that were rapidly ramping up
from sponsorship to flying to Uganda and adopting half 
a village of children.

I watched him read the post and I watched him as he watched the video.

He said it was good and he handed my laptop back to me.

Than he grabbed the remote and started watching television.

He didn’t say anything else.

I waited for him to say something as he got into bed that night.

But he didn’t.

I prayed that if we weren’t supposed to sponsor a child

(or adopt half a village)

that my heart be changed on the matter.

I woke up just as excited as I was the day before.

Monte finally revealed to me in a text that morning that when he read Emily’s post, he was blown away.

Especially when her sponsored child was sitting right behind her in the church service in Uganda.

(Seriously, if you are lost it is because you didn’t read the post. 
It is worth it. Read it! I’ll wait. Don’t skip the video. Go.)

But the video wrecked him.


It was decided.

We told the girls about our decision that night at dinner and asked if we should sponsor a boy or a girl.

We looked at the Compassion website of children from Uganda and the girls scrolled through all the faces.

They settled on 11-year-old Vivian.

She is just 2 months younger than Ellie.

It didn’t occur to me until the next day that Vivian was also the name of my late aunt.

It seems God intends to keep a Vivian in our family.

I wonder if Vivian from Uganda ever gets called Bibby.

It took some time for us to receive information about Vivian and instructions on how to write to her.

I envisioned us writing to her as a family.

All adding our own bits of info and personality.

But with basketball schedules and Monte’s frequent business trips,

we were having trouble finding the time.

I wrote her name on the chalkboard along with my grocery list.

Does that say Dish Eggs?

We received a letter from Vivian first.

My mother heart exploded.

Done. In. Again.

She obviously wrote this before knowing who her sponsors would be.

 She just wrote Dear Sponsor but it tore. me. up.

She thanked us for loving her. 

In advance.

Before knowing who we were.

That’s faith.

I have a feeling this Vivian is going to teach me a thing or two about the love of Jesus.

Just like the one I called my aunt.

Her letter included colored drawings of a flower, a boy carrying a bag and a house.

And she likes math!
(Math is a very sore subject at our house.
Very sore.)

She told us that if she could visit anywhere, she would go to America to see our president.


She has to go fetch clean water and firewood everyday for her household but she still knows there is a president in the United States that she’d like to meet.

So I just did it. I sat down all alone in the house, with prompts from Compassion, and wrote Vivian a letter online so it would get there faster.

I told her about our family and McDaniel’s height and how she loves basketball and Ellie loving ice skating and the theater and Nigel being little and white and a pet and how we like to laugh and how she has the prettiest smile and how she must be so smart.

It seemed to read a tad bit choppy like Frankenstein was sending the letter instead of me.

And then I rambled on and told her about this bible study I am teaching to 4th and 5th graders about the Armor of God that seemed in the read-back to dwell a bit too much on the weaponry I was bringing in for props so I threw in a,

“They are toys, of course!"

As I proofed my letter, I sent it before I was ready.

And 2 of the 3 photos I uploaded 
were sideways for some reason.

So, Vivian got quite the honest taste of her new sponsors.

Tall, theatrical, sporty, funny, not lovers of math, owners of a little white pet and into toy weaponry when teaching the word of God.

And mostly sideways.

Welcome to the family!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Life In Numbers This Week

It has been some kind of week.

I have had few words this week.
(which isn’t normal)

So I will explain my week in numbers.
(which is completely not normal for me)

Number of total times the girls in our house have had lice:  3

No. Words.

Number of grey hairs on my head right now that I want to have colored but I can’t until we get clearance from the lice center:  472

Number of times I scared the dog laughing out loud reading this book:  8

The Antelope in the Living Room by
Melanie Shankle

Number of times I’d recommend it because of its LAUGH OUT LOUD funny and truth about marriage:  2,239

Number of times this bible study has made me say, “Whoa!":  7

James McDonald’s Always True
bible study.

Number of times I’d recommend it because it made me say, “Whoa!":  1,897

It will CHALLENGE the way you look at fear and doubt.

Number of stores we had to look in to find a white dress in February for my daughter’s dinner dance club:  ALL OF THEM
Found this at a consignment shop.

Number of times I’ve asked why she has to wear a white dress in February:  862

Number of times I’ve wanted to scream in frustration at a school situation:  9 years

Seriously, teachers, sitting back and waiting for someone to approach you for help isn’t teaching.

Number of times I’ve wanted to cry due to the kindness of others about said school situation:  7

Number of times I stressed over going to the dentist:  18 hours

I know, it doesn’t make any sense.

Number of toothbrushes the dentist sent me home with for living through the visit:  8

Number of masquerade masks our newly formed party planning company have been hired to make:  100

So excited!

Number of days we have in which to make the masks:  way less than 100

Number of birthdays coming up:  2

I love birthdays!

Number of things set in stone for those birthdays:  0-1/2

Number of poop piles discovered in the driveway after the snow melted:  3,265

Number of poop piles we have picked up since they were discovered:  0

Number of bomb threats at my daughter’s middle school:  1

So scary!

Number of prayers prayed for protection for the middle school:  1 million

Number of days the refrigerator has been making a weird noise:  14

Sounds like it is groaning.

Number of times we’ve looked at it, whacked it and thought we’d fixed it:  3

Number of minutes it took for the repairman to tell me the compressor was shot and I owed him $80:  5


Number of dollars it would take to repair a compressor:  $900

And the repairman said he didn’t want to do it.

Number of bottles of Worcestershire sauce I found in our fridge when I cleaned it out:  3

I make one thing with Worcestershire--why so many bottles?

Number of bottles of sauces in general I found in our fridge:  43

Number of times Monte has said “We are saucy!” since I told him how many bottles of sauce I found: TOO MANY

Number of cheese in pounds that I had to throw away:  32

Number of new refrigerators we’ve looked at online and in person since finding out ours was, indeed, dead:  400

Number of refrigerators that will fit in the space we have:  here’s hoping the one that we bought!

Number of days we have to do without a fridge in our house:  5

Thankfully, we have a fridge in our detached garage.

Number of poop piles we have to dodge in the driveway to get to the fridge in our garage:  0

McDaniel cleaned them up today! For cash, of course.

Our new in-house refrigerator.

Number of blog posts I’ve written this week:  0

Number of Top Ten Lists my blog was mentioned in:  1

Number of thank you’s it would take to express my gratitude to Chris Carter at The Mom Cafe:  ALL OF THEM!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

What Love Is To Me

I am not so much for the hoopla of Valentine's Day.

I did love helping the girls when they were in elementary school create their boxes and cards for everyone in their class

from a purely crafting aspect, of course.

I made this!
(Totally tooting my own horn).

I am not a buyer of the Valentine's Day marketing scam.

I don't like chocolate.

I am not a jewelry hound.

I would not know what to do with a stuffed animal 
if Monte were to give me one.

Unless it sang something obnoxious like, "Wild Thing" 
then I would know EXACTLY what to do with it.

I don't use Valentine's Day as any type of gauge for my marriage.

Or love in general.

Anyone could buy me chocolate 

(if they didn't know me at all to realize I don't like it--not even a little).

Anyone could buy me a stupid tiger that sings a stupid song when you squeeze its stupid striped gut.

(if they didn't know me at all to realize how stupid I would think it is.)

Clearly I have issues.
But none of that is real.

Or personal.

After 18 years of marriage this is what love is to me:

•love is taking out the garbage in 10 1/2 inches of snow

•love is making sure there is gas in the tank of a vehicle driven by someone who never even looks at the gas gauge (ever). Ahem!

•love is still kissing you on the face after you just explained the horrors witnessed in the bathroom

•love is being able to handle the truth 
"I am too old to wear a football jersey"
"These are not my pants"
"We have lice"

•love is not being crazy at the same time in the same situation 
-parent-teacher conferences 
-coach interactions 
-phone calls with customer service 
-conversations with daughters about "outfits"

•love is prioritizing dinner time as family time

•love is time on the couch talking 
when the girls are upstairs pretending to be asleep

I made those letters out of twigs from our yard.
(There I go tooting again. Wait. What?)

•love is finding the funny, still
and then having your daughter tell you that she likes hearing you laugh downstairs when she is in bed pretending to be asleep.

•love is knowing exactly what the other is going to say but still really wanting to hear it

•love is praying for our daughters what we have found with each other.

The card Monte gave to me.

Not that it was easy 

or is easy

but that it was worth every bit of the work.

So Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you get to spend it with the one who knows you best.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We Just Sat There

We have been going to McDaniel's basketball games for over 3 months now.

We have noticed that a trend is in full force.

We get assaulted with intense music during warm-ups.


Loud, violent, unintelligible noise.

Last night put me over the edge.

I drove a car load of the freshman girls on the team to the high school hosting the tournament.

(Our high school doesn't see fit to provide the freshman transportation 
to ANY of their sporting events. 
But that is another whole rant for another time.)

The girls decided they needed "pump-me-up" music for the ride to the game.

I braced myself for WHO KNOWS WHAT that meant 
to the 14 and 15-year-old girls in my car.

A little shell-shocked as you can imagine 
by 3 months of assaulting warm-up music.

They played Jonas Brothers.

And, bless their hearts, 
High School Musical's "Get Your Head in the Game."

And oddly enough, 
Taylor Swift's "Teardrops On My Guitar."

I have to say, I was not pumped up but I wasn't wanting to drive ice picks into my ear drums either so it was a pleasant drive.

Ellie and I were the only fans in the gym so early so we sat down and pulled out homework and a book.

It was lovely UNTIL…

To call what they played music is a compliment I am just not able to give.

And the decibel in which they played it, well, 
I am pretty sure pilots flying in the airspace above us, 
were annoyed.

I watched the girls on our team look at each other wide-eyed and questioning.

Ellie and I tried to roll with it at first,

continuing our reading and homework,


I kid you not,

the "musician", 
(and I use that term loosely so as not to offend those deserving of the label)

started barking in the middle of the song.

It seems as if we could do nothing but sit there.

As parents arrived,

they all made similar wide-eyed and questioning faces.

At one time, I really wondered 
if my ears had started bleeding. 

When the noise finally stopped so the game could begin,

one of the fathers of our girls hollered,

"Thank you!"

At every time-out and an excruciatingly long half-time,

the noise came back on loud enough to wake the dead.

The poor coaches screamed themselves hoarse in time-out huddles trying to be heard over what at times sounded like the devil himself shouting booming synthesized raps.

One of the parents pointed out how loud the buzzer was in the gym announcing the end of the quarters. 

I told her they could sound that buzzer for 25 minutes straight and I'd still enjoy it more than the music they were playing.

She shook my hand in agreement.

We also agreed that if they played The Carpenters that loud, it would not have been good on the ears

but at least we could've sang along.

But here is my biggest take away of the entire night:

no one did anything about it.

Not the coaches.

Not the refs.

Not the players.

Not one of us parents sitting in the bleachers.

Not a single one of us liked what was happening.

That was apparent.

But we just sat there.

Mindy at A Dandelion Diary so beautifully handles this topic in Getting wet, diving in, going deep.

She says where fear rears its ugly head, Love is greater.

Was it fear of causing a scene why we just sat there?

Was it doubt that we'd be heard why we just sat there?

Was it complacency that it really wasn't that bad why we just sat there?

It has made me think.

 Where in other areas of my life,

do I just sit there?

A Little R & R

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Gone Wild

You know, it seems as if everything is just a bit off kilter with all this snow and crazy cold and the fact that we haven't seen the actual asphalt of our road in over a week.

Or the mouth and eyes of our snowman.

Poor thing.
It did have a mouth and eyes at one time.

Warning:  using black jelly beans for
snowman eyes and mouth will cause bleeding.
Like the makeup of Carol Burnett when she
played the aging silent movie star,
Nora Desmond.

Am I right?

Monte left early Tuesday morning on a business trip.

I asked him what I should do if I spotted a coyote in our yard while Nigel was out there doing what he needed to do.

Without hesitation Monte said,

"Grab a pot and bang on it."

Me:  "That's what you would do if you saw a coyote outside right now? 
You'd grab a pot and bang on it?"

Monte:  "No, I'd kick it."

Me:  "You'd kick a coyote?"

Monte:  "Absolutely, to save my dog and protect my family."

Then there was a show of muscle flexing and fist making.

I decided to do some research on The Google because it seemed as if everyone in town had pictures of coyotes in their backyard or one very near them.

This problem was real. 
And it wasn't going away.

Not a big cat.

Google told me that basically Monte was right.
(But a little wrong too).

Coyotes are skittish creatures not so much into sticking around for the loud noises of singing, screaming or pot banging.

As long as you stare right into their eyes while you do it--
to show dominance.

Never, under any circumstance, 
should you take off running 
or kick them.

The night before Monte's business trip McDaniel's basketball team won in overtime.

It was one of those games that, as the sweet grandfather of one of the players put it,

"Got my pacemaker pumping!"

We treated McDaniel and one of her teammates out to a victory dinner afterward--their pick.

They chose KFC.

I will get a salad, I sighed to myself.

The very cheery lady behind the counter informed me that cole slaw was the extent of their salad choices.

So I ordered a chicken breast.

They were out of chicken breasts.

In fact, they were basically out of most of their chicken items.

So I ordered a chicken pot pie.

They were out of it.

I told the cheery lady she needed to help me.

So she suggested the cole slaw.
And a grilled thigh.

And oddly enough, cake.

We wondered as we made our way to our seats, how an establishment known for chicken could become so depleted of it.

We decided that the C of KFC was less about the chicken and more about the cole slaw and cake that night.

I am sure coyotes played in there somewhere.

And most definitely the cold.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weary and Entertainment Starved

I woke up to the sound of helicopters this morning around 6:15ish.

Half-dreaming, half-awake, I rationalized the obvious circling that the helicopter was doing


and over 

and over, 

what seemed to be RIGHT ABOVE OUR HOUSE,

as a search for coyotes.

Because that is what you do in a city neighborhood when coyotes are starving because the winter has been the coldest and longest and involving so much snow and they start eating little dogs in their very own backyards.

I know.

Can you even imagine?!

It happened. 

I heard it on Facebook.

Or was it the news?

It was definitely in a text from Carisa 
begging us to watch Nigel closely 
as he does his business outside.

Good thing he is white and blends in nicely with the snow.


my brain made it rational for our local news to "track" the coyote's whereabouts via helicopter.

In the dark. 

For good TV, of course.

McDaniel came in our room and asked if the Russians were trying to bomb us

via helicopter.

Thank you, Monte, for giving the detailed and impassioned 
Cold War history lecture during the opening ceremonies of 
the Winter Olympics in Russia.

RABBIT TRAIL:  Is anyone else having trouble "getting into" the Winter Olympics this year?

Maybe it is because this has already been like the LONGEST winter and watching MORE of anything winter seems like it is making it even longer.

Or maybe it is because I saw it was 55 degrees in Sochi yesterday and it was 18 degrees here in Ohio. Yeah, I was slightly jealous of Russia.

But mainly I think it is because I am a child of the 80s where we were taught very real things about the Cold War and "pushing the button" and the odds of surviving a nuclear bomb (not good) and "I will break you" said by Drago in Rocky IV was really more of political statement than a boxing one.

ALL THAT TO SAY, I can't love watching a host to our Olympians that I have been taught want to end our way or life or at least take it over completely.

I searched the Internet and found out that a water main had broken very nearby and flooded a busy road,

thus icing it over, 

thus making it unnavigable. 

Film at 11.

From the sound of it, a LOT of film at 11.

Can I just say that my coyote story or even the Russian one would've made better television than watching cars slide off the road as water shoots out of a broken pipe?

That is so. last. week.

Not that I want either of those scenarios to happen, please no, Lord, but it has been a long winter.

We are weary and entertainment starved.

That has been very noticeable in our local news when a fuzzy picture of an animal flashed on the screen with the title of Big Cat Spotted.

Except it wasn't a big cat.

What was thought to have been a bobcat turned out to be a coyote. 

(See--I did hear it on the news and not just Facebook or Carisa!).

Seems a little bit like another show:

We are cold and bored and can't go anywhere because there is snow and frozen water everywhere and our dogs are possibly going to be eaten by coyotes.

My mom texted me that a hawk has positioned itself in a tree behind their house so as to "pick off" any bird that dares to belly up to the feeder my dad keeps stocked for them.

Not. Pretty.

But certainly more interesting than the mistaken identity of a bobcat/coyote, 
especially since none of them turned out to be Big Foot.

The local news also reported a wreck in a little town about an hour away. The wreck happened on Coonpath Road. 

That entertained me to no end. 

(see how desperate I am?)

Especially since my girlfriend grew up in that town.

Of course I had to text her immediately and she did indeed remember Coonpath Road.

It was the road she took to the pool in the summer.

Summer. Ahhhh.

Remember that?

Big cats aren't mistaken for coyotes in summer.

Water main breaks don't get 30 minutes of film footage from a news crew helicopter in summer.

People don't slide off icy roads and crash into poles on Coonpath Road in the summer.


Don't ruin this for me.

I am like Olaf the snowman singing of summer in the movie Frozen,

and ignorant.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Play Pretend

I went to my women’s bible study the other morning,

got my cup of coffee,

sat down,

opened my workbook and bible.

I noticed out of the corner of my eye,

someone waving through the small glass window in the closed door to the classroom.

It was the church’s preschool director.

She was waving me out into the hallway.

She explained that she needed to give a new family a school tour but had already promised to video one of the teachers interacting with the students for her student teaching.

That’s where I came in.

I got to video a classroom of 4-year-olds interacting with their teacher.

I wasn’t to speak.


Just keep the camera on the teacher as she explained and observed students

at the pendulum station,

building and knocking down a cardboard brick tower,

playing with a large toy dog,

and then a painfully long 3 minutes of trying to get the CD player to work at the listening station.

“Can you hear it now?”

“Now can you hear it?”

“How about now? Can you hear it?”

I have to admit,

I forgot how mind-numbingly loud a classroom of 4-year-olds could be.

There was so much to look at and observe myself that I had to keep reminding myself to video what the teacher was doing and not what I was looking at.

Which was so many things!

There was a boy constantly asking when it was his turn


They had this great system of clipboards they called “Waiting Lists” and the kids could write their name down when they wanted to be next.

The boy could easily look to see WHEN it was going to be his turn,

but he must’ve liked asking


and over

and OVER again.

For fun.

I saw him refer to the list.

Saw him point to his name. 

it was going to be his turn.

Then there was the boy that hummed his own little ditty

that was remarkably catchy,
(I caught myself humming it later in the day)


and over 

and OVER again

while he walked back and forth across the room 
tossing up and down the blood pressure cuff 
from a pretend medical kit.

But the greatest pull of my attention was the little boy that I noticed taking all the plastic lids from the pots and pans from the play kitchen,

just the lids,

and shoving them down his pants.

Some lids he shoved UP his pant legs

and some he shoved DOWN his pant legs.

He tried to shove one lid into the pocket of his cargo pants

but it just wasn’t to be.

When he shoved the plastic pot with the handle right into the front area of his pants,

I felt like I needed to alert someone.

Before I could do so, the boy whipped out the pot quickly by the handle and pretended it was a sword

and he was challenging an opponent.


He was putting on his armor!

For battle.

This little boy that I was ready to rat out to the teacher

as a weird little possible thief 

or possible WHO KNOWS WHAT,

was deep in the pretend.

Which is really just the child word for practice.

All the kids in the room were practicing.

The boy on the waiting list was practicing (not perfectly) patience.

The boy humming was practicing creativity.

And the boy with the pot lids was practicing protecting himself.

Even the teacher was, 
with me recording it,
 practicing her craft of educating these children.

I remember when my girls were little and they always wanted to

“play pretend”.

Being a mommy

or a waitress

or a hair stylist

or doctor

or (ugh) make up artist

or teacher

or chef.

They were always practicing to be something.

What am I practicing?

He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.
Luke 8:21

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 
Romans 12:13

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:10-11

I heard a great quote from our senior pastor at church on Sunday,

“God never wastes an experience in a believer’s life."

And so I don’t want the 

or the room full of 4-year-olds,

to be wasted.

My word for the year is SEEK, after all.

And there has been SO MUCH to see.

What are you practicing?

Monday, February 03, 2014

Lice, Lice, Baby

Yeah, they came back.

Or, more than likely, they never completely left.

The good news is we actually got to use that $150 prescription strength highly flammable lice shampoo.

If that could ever be seen from any angle,
other than financial,
as good news.

I kept Ellie home from school because it had to stay on her hair for 8 hours.

It smelled like intense Pine-Sol with a kerosene-like finish.

But worse.

I swear it incinerated every hair in my nose.

The dog sneezed every time he walked into the same room as Ellie.

I started to light scented candles several times throughout the day and had to stop myself, hearing the cautionary words of our pediatrician to not even let Ellie in a room with a hair dryer running lest she burst into flame.

Ellie pulled out some leftover pizza from the fridge for lunch and I asked her if she wanted me to heat it up in the microwave.

She just took a bite of it cold and shook her head a bit and said,


Oh yeah, right! I kept forgetting the constant 
threat of the flammability that was my daughter.

It reminded me of the Andy Griffith episode where Andy and Barney suspect a goat left in their watch has eaten some sticks of dynamite. They tip-toed around the animal worried any little sound or movement would cause, as Barney put it,


Day #2 of Round 2 of the lice showed only a slight improvement.

And I found 2 nits in McDaniel’s thick, long hair!

I have to admit,

I could no longer find the funny.

Not when I caught a glimpse of my reflection wearing the polka dot shower cap.

Or even when I started to sing the “Sloppy Joe’s, Slop-sloppy Joes” part of 
"The Lunch Lady" song by Adam Sandler with Chris Farley.

Hair net-shower cap--same thing,
this is what I felt like.

And when I can’t find the funny,

I have lost hope.

I was exhausted from the constant 
and vacuuming 
and hair nit-picking.

And flat-out mad that these stupid
lice wouldn’t go away already!

Julie made this for me and I have it hanging in the living room. I had the weary
part down pat. But I was struggling with the rejoicing. 

I had heard from a friend the first time we dealt with the lice that there was a Lice Center in our city.

It seemed to me at the time that we should at least attempt to take care of things ourselves before running off to the Lice Center which was probably for serious, stubborn, reoccurring cases.

Well, let me tell you:

lice is always serious, 
(because it is contagious)
(many are resistant to over-the-counter and prescription treatments)
and unless you get every last nit:
(think Jurassic Park 2, or was it Lost World??, when they thought when they 
blew up the island all the dinosaurs died but some of the eggs survived)

Can anyone else hear the sermon in that?!

No, I didn’t either at the time.

I finally came to the end of myself and realized I couldn’t see every nit or get every nit.

Monte left many messages the night before with two different lice centers.

Isn’t it amazing that you can live in a city for 14 years and never know there is not one, but two lice centers in it???

I researched what these lice centers were all about.

One uses this heated vacuum-like machine to literally suck the lice right from your head.

I pictured a lice version of a Flowbee. 

Remember this vacuum hair cutter?

And couldn’t wait to watch the entire process and ask 4 million questions.

But that center couldn’t get the girls in until late in the day. 

Time was crucial!

I had Monte work his sales smooth charm to get us into the other Lice Center within the hour.
(Who incidentally said the whole heated vacuum-like lice version of a Flowbee didn’t work.)


I was really hoping for a quick fix. 

Wait. I think I hear another sermon…

It was completely God’s provision we didn’t get into that center or I’d be writing ANOTHER one of these lice posts in two weeks.

And quite frankly, 
I have other things to talk about.

I felt my humor slowly creep back as we walked up to the building.

You see, hope comes in spite of our circumstances,
not because of them.
Thank you, Lord!

We waited in the lobby and watched a little girl walk out with wet French braided hair followed by her mom holding several bottles of spray.

She assessed the hair on the three of us sitting there and said,

“Good luck!”

We were called back into a room with two hair salon looking chairs. The staff are mostly nurses or of some medical background. 

A cute young, enthusiastic gal worked on us. She wore the equivalent of a welding mask but with red laser lights and a magnified lens. 

Think of that Predator creature’s night vision in the 
Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

I wanted to take a picture but I worried that my flash would 
somehow get intensely magnified and burn her poor retinas.

Hey, I was one of those kids that built an eclipse-viewing apparatus out of a shoe box and a mirror to protect my eyes.

I know how these things can work.

Yet, I don’t know how to turn 
the flash off on my iPhone.

Cute Young Gal decided that I should get checked out first.

Because 85% of the time a child is infected with lice, the momma ends up with them too.

For the love of Pete.

She sprayed this non-toxic stuff in my hair and started combing through it with a fine-toothed metal comb.

It was so soothing.

I noticed that two walls of the room were covered with pictures kids had drawn.

I am with you, Claire!

I love the “See you never” in the corner.

Yes, they are!

This comic strip is very informative explaining a sleepover where lice is the uninvited guest.
Sorry my flash made it hard to read.

My favorite.
McDaniel pointed out Chasady’s picture. Nothing about lice. Just her
wearing a “Justan" Bieber t-shirt.

Cute Young Gal found a few nits in my hair!!

But I wore a polka dot shower cap!
(and sang the “Sloppy Joe” part of the “The Lunch Lady” song!)

I was told to leave the non-toxic stuff in my hair for 24 hours.

She also told me I could use the hair dryer in the hallway that had the size and blowing power of the pink and purple Barbie one the girls had when they were toddlers.

I was busy not-drying my hair with it, when Monte walked in.

The Lice Center asks that ALL members of the household come in to get checked.

Four seconds later Monte walked back into the hallway and claimed he was lice free.

What? Just like that?!

He went on to say that he was told lice hate testosterone which is why young boys get it but rarely men.

Then he flexed his muscles and kissed his bicep.

I knew right then that was not the last 
I was going to hear about that.

While Cute Young Gal worked through Ellie’s hair, I noticed the room also had a mural.

Wait. Is that me?

Is the louse with the ‘stache smoking?

A cute little 4-year-old boy walked in with his mom and stood right by Ellie’s chair so she could watch him play Angry Birds. He kept asking her if she saw him beat all the bad guys.

When the staff person asked to help him into the chair, he looked over at Ellie and said he could do it all by himself.

He also let it loudly slip how brave he was being about the whole lice thing.

I waited for him to flex his muscles and kiss his bicep but I guess his testosterone hadn’t kicked in all the way yet.

Ellie had loads of nits and McDaniel had more than a handful too.

Which was WAY more than the "only 2" that I had found in her hair.

They got their hair French braided while a co-worker came in and explained in great detail her favorite television show called, “The Ghost In My Child”. 

SPOILER ALERT:  Apparently a 2-year-old thought he was the designer of The Titanic and then another toddler started speaking fluent Chinese.

The girls laughed out loud.

The Lice Center was expensive. 

But it was done by professionals who knew what they were doing, what they were looking for and could do it quicker and more thoroughly than Monte and I.

Because I thought I had it conquered last time.

But this time, we walked out of there LICE FREE 

and the girls got certificates to prove it to school.

We go back this week for a follow up appointment

just to be sure.

And my humor is fully intact.

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