Game Changer

Little has never let me take care of her nails…she’ll let me paint them but not deal with cuticles etc. If I have ever tried she screamed and ripped her hand away; it honestly hasn’t been a battle I’ve been willing to fight. Because of the neglect, half of each nail has been covered by cuticle.

I know you know I sell Jamberry and in the last catalog the company released a product called the Cuticle Remover Pen. I have used it for the past nine months or so and love it. I must admit the thought of using it with Little has crossed my mind, but the thought is quickly followed by this thought:image

This week Little has fifth grade graduation and the paint on her nails was looking chippy and gross. She asked if I would redo her polish and I decided this was the time! Today was going to be the day – I was going to try to tackle the cuticle dilemma!! I used the cuticle remover pen – applied the remover, clipped her nails, and went back to push back her cuticles. She watched Piglet’s Big Movie  and didn’t flinch. Yes, for the first time in 12 years she lets me get rid of them…no complaining.image

Her nails look healthy and THaT is what I am thrilled about. AND we didn’t have screaming and wailing. It might seem like a silly reason to gush about a company, but right now I am feeling the love and know this game changer came #becauseofjamberry.

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Oh Be Careful Little Mouth . . .



When I was in second grade I was sent to the principal’s office for calling my teacher a dirty word. My friend and I had been goofing off during centers and our teacher sent us back to our seats. My friend wrote on the top of her page, “Mrs. Teacher is…” and then proceeded to write a list of things she thought of our teacher. I’m usually not a follower, but I picked up my pencil and copied my friend’s paper. I knew it was wrong – especially that one word in the middle of the list – but I wrote them all before wadding up my paper with a guilty conscience and throwing the paper away.

I thought it was over but it turned out that Anne had gone and dug the paper out and given it to the teacher. I was sent to see the principal, a letter went home with me to my parents, discipline was reserved for “when your father gets home”, and I got my mouth washed out with enough soap to do a family size load of laundry. To this day I still cannot say that word. I mean, why would I, but usually after I tell this story someone asks, “What word was it?” and I cannot/will not say it. My parents gave the right discipline for their daughter at that stage of life and for that bad choice – and I learned my lesson.

Jump ahead 7 years and I am a teenager having a sleepover in our Alabama basement. The girls were doing Mad Libs and the answers starting to get a bit racy (as racy as they get with 14-year-old-goody-8th-graders in a Christian school) and I went right along with it. Before going to sleep I stuck the papers under the bookshelf beside my sleeping bag and planned to throw them away in the morning. I forgot them. A week or so later my mom finds them, reads them, and I am called in for sentencing. This time I had to sit with my Bible, read Proverbs from beginning to end, and copy all the verses that dealt with the use of one’s tongue. Once again, my mom pulled out the right discipline for her daughter and that stage in life to deal with that specific bad choice – and I learned my lesson.

Jump forward 31 years and I am the mother of three living in liberal Colorado. My darling angel kids attend the local public school and the year is coming to a close. It’s been a great school year, we are cruising toward summer with ease, and then I check my email and see a subject line that reads, “[Bubba’s] Misstep.”  Oh dear. My mind starts racing.

The teacher wrote, “While I was out yesterday, [Bubba] made a pretty poor choice while using his laptop.  I had him write a letter to you to describe what happened.  It involved inappropriate language, which surprised me since he seems to be sensitive to this.  Please sign it or email to let me know you received it.”

Bubba left said letter in his desk, but that turned out to be a blessing for me because he had to sit and look me in the eye and tell me the entire story. I cried.  I relived my entire 2nd grade experience in a blink. I assessed the situation and need for discipline. Bubs twitched in the chair across from me.

He’s had his mouth washed out before and that wasn’t going to cut it this time. So, I bought myself some time with, “I’ll discuss it with your father when he gets home.”

No, that wasn’t all I said. I gave a nice little speech about his “pretty poor choice” and we talked about where he would have learned a word like that; it came to light that he learned it in the comments on his favorite video game/app. He has been plaything this game for 2 years and has moved on to creating his own levels and publishing them for other fans to play. His creations have gotten a lot of play time but when people write him their thoughts, they don’t know he is ten and use words they shouldn’t use no matter his age. I’ve been aware of this but have dragged my feet because he is developing skills in coding, etc.

Turns out daddy had to work late – didn’t get home until 9:30 PM – Bubba got a stress ulcer during the night – woke up and rocked on the bed until daddy told him the discipline.

We chose a “put off the old/put on the new” discipline. We deleted Geometry Dash from every device in the house and he isn’t allowed to play with any electronics for the rest of the month. (I was planning for “until school gets out” but Bubba said it really should be through the end of the month because what he did was really bad.) Then we picked three verses that he has to write out once a day until the end of the month; the hope being that writing God’s word on His heart will, in fact, change his heart.

It’s been two days. I thought that copying the bible verses would be no big deal but you would not believe the complaining. I was expecting weeping and gnashing of teeth over the game being deleted but, other than it being the first thing he told his teacher when I took him to apologize, he hasn’t said much.

Only time will tell, but we pray that this is the right discipline for our son and this stage in his life to deal with this specific bad choice. And we pray he learns the lesson.


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Anglican Angst










I was two years old when the Presbyterian Church of America was formed and I, of course, didn’t know that my daddy had been approached to pastor a small group of families who were pulling out of the PCUSA to plant a church in this new fledgling denomination.  My entire life has been spent in the pews of PCA churches and while I spent a small stint of time in a Baptist church during college and an EPC church while living in GA, I never moved my membership from the denomination of my youth.

When we moved to Fort Collins it became clear very quickly that the small PCA church here was not a good fit for our unusual family. We visited around and Honey got a glint in his eye over a small Anglican church; we have been there ever since. This has not been an easy transition for me and I have felt like a traitor, martyr, and foreigner at different times over the past year; at times I have just felt foolish.

After sharing with the pastor (I still can’t call him priest) my latest faux pas this week, he mentioned with a laugh that I should write down some of my observations, struggles, and blunders and, while he was partly kidding, I thought I might do just that. While it will be good for a laugh or too from the uninvested reader, it might also be therapeutic and help me process the season of life we are in and the “foreign land” to which the Lord has called us. And maybe, just maybe, when my kids are grown and called to live in a small town in Iowa that only has churches with which they are unfamiliar, they will remember these stories and find aid and comfort as they attempt to love and worship amongst a different tribe.

Or, let’s be honest, it might just become the subject of many a family joke of which I will be the brunt as they age. Yeah – most likely that one.

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Last Week 2015

2016-goalsIf I can get past the fact that my kids are stir crazy ’cause it’s 20 degrees outside with  8 inches of snow on the ground, this is my favorite week of the year. I love when the tree is down, the decorations are put away, and the house feels so ordered and clean (if I can get past the kids being home with their toys all over their rooms). The last week of the year begs for planning and dreaming for the year ahead and that’s my jam!

I’ve got out my planner and a notebook and some markers and I’ve read through last year’s plans (which were useless and forgotten) and I’ve been dreaming. Usually my dreams are big, numerous, and overly ambitious (read unrealistic); I have a feeling that this year they will look different.

I think I am going to peruse this list and choose one, two, or three things to make my own.

I think I am going to peruse this list and choose a few books to help create my book list for 2016. I read 37 books last year and this year I am going to decrease the quantity of my goal and increase the quality of what I’m reading.

I’ve been perusing some sites that include “Copywork” for the children in scripture. I am trying to think of how I can adapt this for my children’s growth. I really want to be purposeful with their little hearts this year.  Time’s a-wastin’.

That’s where I’m starting. I’m excited to spend sometime accessing where I am after a year of inactivity and apathy; I might use Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life and the list found here.

See, I can quickly get carried away. I’m just excited that I care – and I do care.  I’ve got three days to contemplate and plan – three glorious days!!! I’m so excited.


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Halloween Was SO Emotional

Took the kids to Respitality this weekend (local organization provides monthly respite for parents of children with special needs) and the theme for the night was all things Inside Out. It reminded me that I never posted Halloween pictures.

This was the first year we didn’t have an idea brewing in the summer. Seriously, my kids have always had an idea or I have seen a common love and the ideas have just flown from there. This year that was NOT the case. KB wanted to be Mal from Disney’s Descendants (costume=$80 store bought and almost as much to put together creatively) and the first week of October Bubba mentioned Toad from Super Mario. By that time Little had seen a Joy costume and said that would be good and I felt it was the PERFECT costume for our Little Joy and so I suggested everyone go as an emotion.

Bubba was immediately on board and asked if he could be Anger. We all voted that it would be a fitting costume and went on. KB pitched a bit of a fit about not being the cruel daughter of Disney’s scariest villain. I gave her the choice between Sadness and Disgust but her attitude was so . . .well, disgusting, that I made the choice for her and went to Goodwill to look for a dress in green.

By the time it all came together everyone was content and they had a GREAT time wearing their costumes to school during the day and Trick-or-Treating that night. Our neighborhood is FULL of kids and Halloween IS BIG. It was super fun; felt like a community. But I didn’t get all teary. . . I kept my emotions in check. *wink* Get it? My emotions?


As a bit of a side note, the kids carved pumpkins for the first time in their lives too.Now, for those of you who are shocked by that, calm down! I didn’t carve a pumpkin until I was 30 so they are way ahead of that curve. Plus, we have a couple special brains kicking and so sharp objects are not what we reach for first when celebrating a fun season!

Each one did their own and each one rocked it. It was a fun memory – I know because KB said, “We are making a fun memory. You like that don’t you mama?”






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Wrestling a Wrackspurt

luna_lovegood_and_wrackspurts_by_amarantbus-d4vs1x4“A Wrackspurt. . . they’re invisible. They float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy,” she said. “I thought I felt one zooming around in here.”  Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

For the past 13+ months I feel like I have been doing battle with a wrackspurt . . . and mostly losing. I consistently find myself unable to think – unable to get my thoughts into a sensible order. It has been of a cycle that has caused me to live a bit reclusively; I’ve had limited contact with the outside world. (That sounds so sci-fi it’s ridiculous.)

I haven’t felt at all like myself and I guess one could see why. My temperament leans toward anything BUT reclusion and the zooming in my mind that I am used to are thoughts and ideas and plans for fun. This past year has not had any of that.

Why am I bringing this up?

Today I was driving down the street and I survived a wrackspurt attack and then had a moment of clarity. . . understanding, if you will. A dear friend wrote to me last night and I shared a couple of thoughts with her. She wrote back today and pushed me to think a bit further and even commit to action and my brain shut down; I could not respond to her.  My brain went fuzzy and I didn’t know how to explain to her what I was thinking (’cause I didn’t know) and didn’t have the emotional energy to try to focus enough to work it out. I went back to making Halloween costumes as if the conversation hadn’t happened.

In my car this afternoon, on the way to pick up the kids from school, I found my thoughts returning to my friend and the conversation. My first thought was fear that she would be upset with my silence but that was short-lived. She has known me long enough and loved me through enough that this fear was unfounded. My thoughts moved forward and I heard myself think, ” Why can’t I get my thoughts together? Why don’t I want to put the effort in and do what she asked?” The next thought was like a movie screen – not so much words of explanation but a picture of what was going on in me.

I keep thinking my life now . . . the way things are now. . . are temporary. I think somewhere deep inside I just keep waiting for things to go back to normal. NOTHING is as it was and, in my humble opinion, NOTHING is as it should be. I keep being shocked that I am where I am living as I am living with the people I am with and without the people I am without and I keep waiting for it to be over. It isn’t a conscious and purposeful waiting. I honestly don’t know that I have had the thought before today, but the thought today was more of an “oh, yes” instead of an “Ah Ha!”

It seems silly that I have moved around quite a bit in my life and all of a sudden I am not taking issue with the changes. As I try to process the whys, I realize that there has always been a constant home, an anchor of sorts. That has been tampered with and it feels like the fabric of reality has a rip in it; nothing will ever be solid again. Every moment seems precarious. My heart is cynical. heavy. bitter. alone.

Even this entry feels disjointed – wrestling with wrackspurts as I write. I am hoping my friend will read this and know what I didn’t write back today. And I hope another friend reads this and knows why I haven’t returned her call yet. I fear a wrackspurt attack while we converse (by pen or voice) and the fear can be paralyzing.

I was just reading through a bit more of Harry Potter and it seems Luna’s father created some sort of wrackspurt siphon, “to remove all sources of distraction from the thinker’s immediate area.”  I gotta get me one of those!! Until I find one  – patience please, dear friends. 

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Catching You Up. . .


  1. That job I wrote about last time? I don’t have that job anymore. It became obvious VERY quickly that they should not have hired me; I am NOT meant for working in the health arena. They had a couple of kids who were really sick (unmanaged diabetes) and the anxiety was extreme. I asked if they would please hire someone else and gave two  weeks notice.

2. Jamberry has expanded to Australia and it has been something else. Several of the girls I used to meet with have joined the company and we are working together. It’s a different kind of laboring but it is so great to talk with them each day and hear snippets about their lives. It has made me miss them and the country I fell so in love with like crazy.

I continue to love this aspect of my life and laugh that the Lord would choose to use fingernails to minister to me and allow me to minister to others. He never ceases to amaze.

3. Several people dear to me have died in the past few weeks. A man from my home church who invested in me and my family for YEARS. He was a supporter while I was in college ministry, an usher in our wedding, and a dear family friend. A friend in St. Louis’s husband died suddenly; I lost my breath when I read about it. My mother-in-law’s mother died last week. A guy i knew from singles group died this week. I can’t bring myself to write a sympathy note to anyone. I continue to grapple with my heart on all this – death, I mean.



My baby turned eight this weekend – I can hardly believe it. We went to a local corn maze to celebrate and I was told it was “the best birthday ever” at bedtime.



Best line of the day was when the kids all started swinging and Honey walked over looking shocked. He said, “No one needs our help. They are all swinging by themselves.”  Milestone.


Everyone rode the pedal cars and the men did corn chucking.


Then there was pizza, there were presents and there was cake. It was a good day.


I am such a softy – I never thought I would be so emotional about things like my kids’ birthdays, and yet here I am all teary. She is growing up so fast. . .

Duck - 1 week

Duck – 1 week


Duck – 8 yrs.

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