Friday, October 29, 2010

The Three Days of Halloween

We finally got the pumpkins carved.  The designers are sitting in line with their creations.

I had a recent scolding by Pioneer Woman for forcing my opinions on my readers by sharing too many views.  To quote, "Generally speaking, I don’t take advantage of the people who read my site by making them a captive audience for my various agendas or social causes."

Well, I'm sorry PW and my dear readers, I'm going to take a stand again today.  You don't have to read it, but if you choose not to, please come back tomorrow because I like you.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  I would like to campaign against Halloween ever falling on a Sunday. . . ever again.

It is wreaking havoc on my family life. 

We are being required to dress-up, make-up and sugar-up these precious small goblins for three stinking days.  (Can you name that movie?)  Friday is a regular business day so our downtown trick-or-treat the businesses happened this afternoon.  I refused to participate, but since it was The First Day of Halloween, my children were beside themselves because I wouldn't go.  Also, the public schooled children walk past our house on the way home from the bus; they were all dressed up.  I definitely should have chosen a Wicked Witch of the West costume.  It would have made sense to my neglected and abused pods.

On the Second Day of Halloween, a Saturday this year, most of the community events occur.  The church socials, the haunted village opens it's doors to the children in daylight hours so they aren't scared, and the nursing homes asks the princesses and spidermen to come trick-or-treat the grandmas and grandpas.

The Third Day of Halloween is on Sunday this year.  We are going to attempt to bring our sugar-hyped children to church from 1:30-4:30 in the afternoon--this is after they have had sugar from breakfast and lunch.  Then, we will dress them up again and go trick or treat the neighbors (because it is WAY more fun than going trunk to trunk--no offense to every church in the United States, but that is a LAME replacement tradition).

So, I would like to campaign to skip Sunday Halloween for the rest of forever.  Maybe on Sunday Halloween years we could just add another day to February and have a thirty day October.  

If you'll excuse me, I have some letters to write.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I am happy today.  We just had our first day of school the old way.  It is great.  The children were cheering.  They are happily and busily working away at the kitchen table.  I am supposed to be changing all of the password protected time controls to conform to the new/old school schedule.  Instead, I'm writing to tell you all that I'm happy.

Bad news:  last night I slept for fifteen minutes and was awoken by some child doing something noisy.  I was awake until three in the morning.  Good news:  I read Peter and the Shadow Thieves.  It was a fun story.  I was delighted to be reading during my insomniac episode rather than folding laundry like usual.

Tonight is the season finale of Project Runway.  It has been a most disappointing season.  There is not one designer that makes my skirt fly up and there is usually a couple--at least.  I'm going to watch the episode (because I read my book instead of folding laundry last night so I have several baskets to fold tonight), but if Gretchen wins, I will be REALLY disgusted.  Her clothes are just blech.  If the models look ugly or fat, what hope do the rest of us have?

It is October 28th and we have not purchased or carved pumpkins.  I have not put together one costume.  I did not buy Halloween candy.  I am a total failure, but I don't really care.

We are going to focus our studies on the 1880's.  I did not realize how many really important things happened during that decade:  Kodak, phonograph, telephone, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, the time period of Little House, Garfield, a Russian Czar and Jesse James were assassinated, there was an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, and there was a huge volcanic eruption and tsunami in Indonesia that killed 36,000--sound familiar?  So fun!!

I bought the cute little boxes of Barnum's Circus Animal Crackers for which I would have died as a child.  You know the ones with the little string handle?  My son said, "Ew, I don't like those."  What have I done wrong?  How can he not be wild about a treat that would have been so exciting for me?  I'm beginning to doubt my mothering skills.

I finally discovered the source of the leak in my basement.  It is a result of children hanging on the pipes.  I'm so happy about everything else that I'm not even mad!  It's an easy fix.

Autumn is in full swing; the trees are full of brilliant leaves, the ground is carpeted in crunchy ones.  The air is crisp and cold and I am baking nearly every day.

Before I pulled my sorry behind out of bed this morning, the children had swept and vacuumed the living/dining room and completed their entire Morning Five (make bed, get dressed, say prayers, brush teeth and hair, and tidy room).  It is a miracle.

It's Thursday so I don't have to go anywhere.  I can stay in my yoga pants all day!

What a great day, huh?  Hope you have a great day, too!

Writing Your Own Curriculum on The MotherShip Home Schools

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I have a love/hate relationship with popcorn.  I love how it tastes.  I love that it is a fairly healthy snack.  I love the crunch of the not-quite-popped kernels.

I hate the popcorn all over the floor.  I'm not sure what is wrong with the hands of my family, but when they eat popcorn, I think they have holes in their hands.  The popcorn goes everywhere!  It's worst when I buy microwave popcorn because they can make it on their own.  For the last two years, I have only purchased the kernels in the bag.  It is much less expensive and only a few of us are capable of popping it.

The other day, we were going to have a family movie night so I bought some microwave popcorn.  I have been vacuuming ever since.

This morning, I woke up to my four year old whispering in my ear, "Mom, I burned the popcorn."

What??  She is not supposed to be COOKING!

I hurried upstairs into a cloud of black, stinking smoke that made my eyes water and my throat burn.  I quickly flung the blackened bag out the back door, opened all the windows and doors and cranked every fan in the house.  Today I am going to buy more candles.  My house reeks.  And it's cold.

If you were hoping to come visit me today, you may want to push it off a few days.  You'll find yourself trying to politely excuse yourself in a hasty early departure.

New post on The MotherShip Home Schools

Monday, October 25, 2010


So, I'm up again.  It is 4:11 am.  I did the laundry, cleaned the girls' room, did a load of dishes, have a loaf of bread rising, put wassail on the stove and I'm still wide awake.  This is becoming more and more usual.  For so many years I have been walking around exhausted, pleading for a nap.  Now that I don't need to be awake with a baby and my body isn't so huge and cumbersome that it fits nicely in my bed, I have insomnia.  It's a big problem.  It's irritating.

But, since I'm up, I decided to try something new with my blog.  There is poll over there.  (After you have voted, you have to scroll to the right to see the results.)

If you are a church goer, do you let your children bring toys to church?  I'll tell you, I used to, but it became more and more the focus of everyone's attention.  The older pods, who could have been listening much more by then, we caught up in whatever imaginary play their younger sister had going.  The younger ones fought over toys.  Mom was so busy trying to intervene that I got nothing out of my meetings.  I cut back to just notebooks and pencils.  I even tried crayons or colored pencils, but the kids would bicker about "I wanted the blue one!!!" and I would want to poke hot rods into my ears to silence their whining forever.  Not a healthy emotion at church.  My sister lets her daughters bring their special dolls to church if they sit quietly with them.  Some people have massive bags of goodies and treats that are only for church.  They have quilted darling little quiet books, supplied puzzles and cardboard books and other special activities for little hands.  I don't know the right answer (and maybe it is different for different families and same families at different ages), but I'm curious as to what you think.

So, what do you think?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


My little brother, Daniel, used to watch Sister Act every day.  His language skills have never been stellar, but he can quote the movie and you can understand it.

I watched the movie with my kids yesterday.  It is the first time I have watched it in a while.  I cried like a baby.  My skin tingled as the once terrible choir pulled together to sing beautiful hymns, Catholic style and . . . well, not Catholic style.

A little later in the movie each member of the choir has a little solo.  None of their voices are great.  They are all average singers.  But when they are given a director who knows how to unite their voices, a miracle happens.  Was I crying because the music was so lovely or because "lost" souls came in off the street or because of the sweet old ladies singing out a life of commitment? Was it because they sing so many of the songs my own mother used to sing?

Or, was I crying because I miss my little Danny singing and dancing along?

No.  It was the old ladies.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Loathe to Let Go

Though I am ready for fall (I am really hoping for a great stay-inside storm), it seems my children are hanging on to summer as long as possible.

They have slept outside for the past two nights--despite nighttime temperatures falling to the thirties.

I am kind of sad to see warm weather go, too, because that means my children are one summer older.  The clothes I packed away will not fit them ever again.  My time with them is flying.  There is nothing like a fire to get me reminiscing.  This is what I thought while the flames were dancing about.

For the first ten years of my marriage I was having babies and growing small children.  For the second ten, they will be becoming young adults.  For the third ten years of my marriage, they will begin leaving me.  Am I really already one third of the way through this?  My heart aches at the thought, while at the same time, I look forward to the new adventures.

This was last year and so much has changed already.

I am reminded of something Marjorie Hinkley once said to a group of young mothers.  
Don't wish away your days of caring for young children.  This is your great day.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the physical work and trivia that we forget the big picture.  We forget whose children they are.  When the house is filled with children, noise and teasing and laughter, you get the feeling this is forever.  Before you know it they will be gone.  When our second son went away to school at the age of seventeen, I said, "But Clark, I am not through with you.  I feel there is so much I will need to teach you."
"To late, Mother, too late."
Our children grow so quickly out of our reach.
~Pearce, Virginia H.  Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinkley, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1999. Emphasis added.
So, you want to have a fire and sleep outside in late October?  Yes!  Let's!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This is our garage/office.  You can read more about that project here.

One of my major projects this summer was to scrape and paint this buddy.  It was a job.  I was able to listen to the entire, unabridged version of The Odyssey.  It took a while.  Here it is before.

Someone had once painted the garage door silver.  What was that all about, do you suppose?

And here it is now.  

I love how the grape vine is curling itself around the door.  That will be a show-stopper next summer.

Yeah, baby.  Checkin' stuff off the list!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Before and After

I  know you've seen the front view of my house before, but I just got a before picture.  All of my before pictures were lost with a computer crash a couple of years ago.  The county assessor just came and I saw this picture on the front of our file.  I asked him if I could quick take a scan of it.  This is how our house looked before we bought it.

And here it is now.

A bit of a difference?  I am now even more sick about losing the rest of my before pictures.  It makes our progress so much more exciting.  Oh, well.  At least we have this one.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Grandma and Aunt Mollie

Though I do post a lot of pictures of my family, most of the time, the picture relates to a story I am trying to tell.

Today, I am using my blog the way most of the thirty-something mothers usually use their blogs:  I am posting pictures for Grandma.

These are not my daughters, but they look like my daughters and were styled and photographed by them.

Today was the Primary Program.  For you not-Mormon types, it is the one time each year when the children present the content of the sacrament meeting, rather than sermons offered by adults in the congregation.  Each of the children, ages three to eleven, say some little thing about Jesus or prophets or prayer.  The children also sing a dozen songs as a part of the program.

So, that means a whole bunch of young children sing on the rostrum in theater-type chairs that bounce.  It also means that their parents are in the congregation far, far beyond their reach.  We had one little boy who kept trying to strip.  His mother was giving him the evil eye from the pew below and the boy just wagged his finger back and forth and mouthed, "No" right back at her.  There was nothing she could do.  We had the usual nose pickers and the singers who are hollering the words so loud that no one could call their songs music.  There were a couple of children who underestimated the power of the microphone and bellowed their lines with a little too much vigor.  There was one little girl who just kept wandering around the seats and another who nearly lost her skirt.  We also had kids who were nervous, but said their little parts anyway.  We had children bearing testimony of Jesus Christ.  We had the sweet sound of children's voices. And no one cried.  It was wonderful.

Pod #2  Age 9.5  

She helps me keep my sanity.  Next up?  Drama.  Wearing some birthday gifts.

Pod #2  Age 7.  
No, despite much pleading, she did not get to bring her fan to church.  I'm pretty sure that would not have ended well.

Pod #1.  Age 11.75  
The oldest BY FAR in today's program, but such a good sport--and a good example to all those younger kids (and a lot of us older kids).

Pod #4  Age 4.92
It is possible that she was the one wandering around the rostrum.  But only slightly possible because she is usually so well behaved.

Pod #5 was not in the program because she is only two years old.  She was dressed and clean, but I forgot to get her picture.  Oh, here.  I'll put in this one of her helping make yesterday's birthday cake.  Can you guess the flavor?  

It has been a good day.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My New Favorite Candy Bar

Reese's Whipps

Have you had one of these?  If you are a peanut butter lover, you need to go get one today.  They are kind of hard to find.  Fred Meyer is the only store in my town that carries them, so I buy one every time I go there.  Plus, what if they stop carrying them?  I'm going to need a stockpile.  They have all of the amazing peanut-butteryness without the sticking in the teeth of Butterfinger or the too small factor of the peanut butter cups.

I know it's a candy bar and if you're going to have a candy bar, you are accepting the fact that it tastes super good because it's full of fat.  If it helps at all, these are not quite as terrible for you as some of the other candy bars.  A Twix has 14 grams of fat, an Almond Joy has 13 grams of fat, a"regular" Reese's Peanut Butter Cup has 13 grams of fat.  This has:

Reese's Whipps are health food.  Go get one today.

The MotherShip

A Season for Preparations

Autumn was never a favorite season until I met my husband.  We meet on September 7th and married on November 25th.  Falling in love with my partner in forever gave a whole new light to the season.  Fall is now a close second to spring, in my line-up of favorite seasons.

(I'm still new at this scanning business, so things are a little fuzzy . . .)

I love fall because of the long shadows, the crisp edge to the air, the entire color palette, what happens in my kitchen and pulling out the soft and comfortable in my wardrobe.  But one of the things that I love most in autumn is the sense of urgency I feel to get things done before it's too cold to do it.

My first year of college was spent in Hawaii.  It was a wonderful experience in every way, as you can imagine.  (It was also a very difficult year because I was so far from home for my very first experience away from it.)  And, as much as I loved Hawaii, the actual geography of it, I would never want to live there permanently.  It is the same reason I wouldn't want to live in the south or California:  no winter.  No, winter is not a favorite season, but it is a needed one (so we can have the beloved spring and it's tulips).  I love getting ready for winter.  I love the hurried preparations, the final touches that have to happen before the snow flies, all in anticipation of several months of virtual hibernation.  My reading slows down because I know I'll have more time to read in a few more weeks, my inside chores get a little short-changed because there is so much to do outside, and the usual leisure activities are put on hold while I caulk and paint and insulate against Old Man Winter.

This week I am working with renewed vigor on those last few things because I am anticipating the possibility of putting our house on the market before I have enough spring weather to get them done.  It is satisfying to check things off my list and see my house improve with each, sometimes small, improvement.

So, snow?  Please wait.  I'm not quite ready for you.  But, keep your powder dry because I'm going to want you soon enough.  After all, my bedside table is beginning to bow beneath the weight of the reading for those promised snow days.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Behave Like Adults

Bill O'Reilly was on The View today.  Even though I am politically conservative, I generally do not like him.  I think he is abrasive and childish.  I liked The View in it's first season--it was a new idea and, generally, fun.  Now, though, it is a propaganda machine, or so it seems to me.  When I saw Bill O'Reilly and The View mashed together, I was a intrigued.  When I saw the interview, I was surprised.

Things start out okay, but then it erupts into screaming and aggressive finger pointing.  I was waiting for the girls to start pulling hair and Bill to lean back and begin kicking--bike peddling style.  It was not the rude and interupting style of debate that you see so often on political news shows and it wasn't a full-on cat fight, but it was a horrible combination of the two.  Eventually, two of The View girls walk off because they just can't take it anymore.  Apparently.  I'd like to think they were giving themselves a time-out, but I doubt it.

Here is the interview.  Watch what happens at minute 2:30.

Barbara Walters is not someone I love and adore, but I she is due some amount of respect for a life of diligent news telling (especially because she was one of the first women in the field--a whole different topic for another time).  She says something there, on the fly, that has been needing to be said. "What you have just seen is what should not happen.  We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands and screaming and walking off stage."

I do not like contention; my spirit is offended by that atmosphere.  But, I do enjoy a good debate.  When two parties have opposing views and self-formulated opinions based on good information, it can be a robust and invigorating activity.  A good argument is one where both sides can see the prevailing wisdom and are open to being proved wrong.  It can also constitute a discussion where both sides will always disagree upon conclusions, but where both sides can leave the moment knowing the other was honest.  This particular interview had potential, the audience was obviously divided, applauding for both sides, in turns.  But then . . .

I love that Barbara Walters called her colleagues out.  They behaved badly.  They were not professional.  They did not want to understand each other's points of view.  If they were not to be agreed with, they were leaving.  Period.  Too many in our nation have become this way.  We are unwilling to bend, unwilling to listen, unwilling to admit when we are wrong.  In this ultra-heated political climate of this fall's elections, we have become absurd.

We are told that we are supposed to avoid talking about religion and politics in polite company.  Why can't we be polite while having a fair, invigorating, even enthusiastic religious or political discussion?  Maybe if we practiced doing it first at home, and then with our neighbors, we wouldn't embarrass ourselves on television.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Information Request

I need information.  I have been invited to a "Slumber Party" at a friend's house.  No, it is not an adult women's sleep-over, it is kind of like a Tupperware party only instead of selling air-tight plastic dishes, they are selling underwear and massage oils . . . and stuff.  I am not shy about spousal intimacy, but I do not share details.  I may mention that it is happening (quite a few eggs have been . . . uh . . . fertilized . . . here), but that's about all you are going to get.  I have never been to a, you know, store, outside of Victoria's Secret and the underwear department of Penney's.  (I am using all of these code words not because I am uncomfortable with them, but because some of you, my dear readers, certainly ARE.)  I have been known to drive a little too far from my house to buy something special on the off chance that I could see someone I know while that was dangling on the hanger in my hand.

So, at first, I thought this Slumber Party would be like a bridal shower--kind of fun and assuredly funny (like when my seventy-something grandma was going through my newly gifted honeymoon sundries with too many oohs and ahhs and That's a good ideas).  Then, I got the invite and it said, along with lacy undies and oil, something about toys and other.  "Oh, no," I thought.  "What exactly is this?"  I went to their website to check it out.

Bad choice.

There was a box that asked me whether I was eighteen.  If I have to check a box that says I am eighteen years old so I can look at what is on their page, that is like a huge ol' red flag.

I don't think I'm a prude (though most who know me would agree that I am highly innocent), but I want to be above reproach.  I don't want others to get an invitation and think, "Oh, Emily went to one of these" and then be horrified at what they were shown there.

Have you been to one of these?  Do I need to be worried?  Is it like a bridal shower or Victoria's Secret?  Would you be okay if your neighbor lady saw you carrying one of their bags?

Thank you.

Yes, She is Two

Why do you ask?  Could it be because she is eating a brick of chocolate almond bark?

Or because she helped herself to celery dipped in ranch dressing--from a sieve?

Maybe it's because she destroyed nearly two pounds of butter.

I don't know what it is about two year olds, but, boy, do I love this girl!

Another K12 update on The MotherShip Home Schools

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Stamps

I tried to get on a radio show today.  I didn't get on, but I still have to tell someone what I think; I'm telling my only audience.

The radio program was discussing the statistic that only 1/3 of people in the United States eat at least two servings of fruit every day.  The number for vegetables is much more abysmal:  26% eat three or more servings every day.  This number has virtually not changed in the last thirty years.  They (Science Friday on NPR) were discussing why people aren't eating more fruits and vegetables and trying to come up with ways to encourage healthy eating.  They brought up many good and interesting points, but one idea they neglected completely.  And I would like to address it.

According to Reuters, 37.9 Million Americans receive food stamps.  That is one in eight people.  While I do appreciate that the government steps in when people are in a real bind, food stamps are abused and the program guidelines are broken.

Case in point: ours.  While we fall well below that qualifying income for food stamps, we cannot receive assistance because we have an IRA.  They want us to cash in our IRA then use it up then re-apply.  So, for these few months when need a leg up, they want us to disregard all preparations for the future.  (Incidentally, I do think a family should do all they can before going to Uncle Sam for help, but the tax penalties for early withdrawal would cut our saved money in half.  If there were some kind of reward for being careful with our money, instead of a penalty when the savings was needed, then we would have cashed out our retirement savings.)

Second, my "food and household" allotment (groceries, diapers, Windex, McDonald's) is $300.  Food stamps for our family would hover around $1000.  That is three zeros.  One thousand dollars.  Are you kidding?  I'm not sure if I could spend that much on food each month.  When I applied for help a few years ago, I told the man that I didn't need 1K, I just needed a little help.  Even $100-$150 would make all the difference.  Nope.  All or nothing.  He told me that he has people quit their jobs because they do better when they are on public assistance.  Well, I should say so.  $1000 every month is some fine eatin'.

Finally, and this is the main point I wanted to make on the radio today, food stamps covers just about everything at the grocery store.  You can take home Twinkies, Mountain Dew, Liquor, TV dinners, Kool-Aid, potato chips, cheesecake and Jimmy Dean.  When you go to the store with a virtually inexhaustible pocketbook, why wouldn't you buy all the crap at eye level?  The packages are enticing, the kids are begging, and it's a quick and easy fix to the growling in your stomach.  Why go home and soak the beans or de-bone the chicken when the deli corn dogs and jo-jo's are hot and ready?  When people claim that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat healthy, they have never seen my pantry.  Beans, rice, oatmeal, whole chickens, potatoes, carrots and onions are not expensive.  Sometimes my menu doesn't see a lot of variety, but we eat and we are more healthy than, apparently, about 30% of American society.  If food stamps only covered the healthier choices (not unlike WIC), I think we would see a dramatic change in the way we eat.  We would see obesity and diabetes plummet.  We would learn how to wait until dinner is ready, instead of eating whatever we can grab.  If everyone had to pay for those Oreo's, I bet a lot more of us would only buy them as the rare treat they should be.

For at least the most vulnerable 13%.

At least, that's what I think.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Husband

This is the kind of thing that keeps my marriage interesting:

When I tell a story, the kids say, "Mom, you shouldn't tell stories.  You really aren't very good at it.  Just let Dad tell the stories."

His is, right now, as I type, singing this song to the children:

Lovely lullabye, I know, but the kids are laughing so hard they have tears running down their cheeks.

Boy, do I love that man.


I love Thursday.  It is the only day of the week where we are not running to ballet or cheer or art class or scouts or activity days or book club.  It is the one day where I can stay home all day and I don't have to wonder if I am missing something or whether I need to get dressed (yes, I sometimes stay in my pajamas until after lunch).  While I enjoy going out now and then, I really prefer to just stay home.  I love my home, I love my people, I love my books and I love making my own schedule.

On another note, school is going better around these parts, though I am afraid the virtual academy may kick us out of their school for non-compliance.

I am having the children do the assignments the way I want them done.  (For instance, they want to teach the child to read an analog clock by estimating the time.  I disagree with that.  If they can count by five's, they can read the time.  Leave estimation for when they understand the abstract idea of "about.")  I am still very happy with the sixth grade math.

We still have a lot of this--laying around and doddling for hours, then hustling through work moments before time is up.

So it goes.  Life is good, right now.  The cold weather is threatening so I am racing to get the outdoor projects done before it gets too cold or wet.  I wish I had a fireplace because I want evenings in front of one.  The grocery shopping is done for the month so my pantry is full.  My husband loves me, my children take me for granted, and my laundry and dishes are backed up; all is right.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Our bedroom door has been without a knob since we moved in--over two years ago.  Being the parents of five children is challenge enough, but to try to find "alone time" without a door knob is nearly impossible.  We're constantly shoving socks or pillowcases in the hole and bracing the door closed with sneakers wedged underneath.  It is a problem.

Tonight, I wanted to lock myself in my room and read some design magazine with pages filled with things I could never own (because of their whiteness or silkness or shininess as much as because of their cost).   I wanted quiet, I wanted the whole bed and I wanted to eat my candy without sharing.

What?!  You never want an evening like that?

So I decided to finally fix the thing.  We live in an old house and the knob has several parts that modern knobs do not.  No problem.  I've been fixing this house for over five years, now.  I knew it wouldn't be a big deal.

Wrong.  Why do I ever think a project in this house will only take five minutes?  There is always a catch.  Always.

After drilling and chiseling and fitting everything just right, I put the deadlatch (I totally had to google that because the little metal part that goes into the door jam sounded confusing) into the hollowed out section of the door.

This is a modern door knob.  Mine doesn't look quite like this, but the picture will help with the telling of the story.  It actually looks like this on the inside:

I screwed it all in place.

At this point, I shut the door to make sure it will close easily.  It closed.  

And stayed closed.

And stayed closed.

I took off the door knob. I tried every trick I have learned since moving here.  Nothing.  I hollered up at my husband to come down and help me.  He did whatever he could think to do from his side.  My three youngest daughters are in the room with me.  They are laughing and singing and turning the light off and on and off and on.  I want to take a chainsaw to the door so you know I wasn't patient with my girls.  I yelled at them to STOP turning the light off.  This is a minor emergency.  Do not make me turn this into a major emergency.  I sat on the bed, despairing.  My four year old comes up behind me and . . . per Murphy's Law . . .

THROWS UP on my back.  

Now, I am locked in my room, I have yelled at my smallest children, I have belittled my husband, my sheets are spoiled and there is vomit running down my back and into my jeans.  It 9:30 p.m. and my nice, peaceful evening alone has been shredded.

I take the screen out of the window and the girls crawl out and go upstairs.  I strip my bed, change my clothes and sit on the floor by the door with no idea how I am going to get that door open.  

Just then, my nearly seven year old comes to the door and has just enough time to instruct, "Mom!  Pray!" before she is hustled back upstairs.

Mom!  Pray!  Why does it take a child to remind me of the very thing that should have been my first thought?

I did.  I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know how to get that door open.  I could not get the latch to release.  We had removed the pins, but it would not pop off it's hinges.  After I prayed, I got this clarity of sight and I knew that if I held the screwdriver this way and slipped the chisel in that way and worried the thing for a bit that . . .

yes.  There we go.  It was open and I wasn't surprised.  I knew that would work.  But, of course, that is the trick, isn't it?  I didn't know how to do it, but I knew that He did and if I followed His instructions, it would work.  

Faith.  Faith opened that door.  I am so glad I have these children in my life who remind me that my father wants to help me, but I have to be ready to listen.

When I removed the parts and looked them over, there were two major parts of the mechanism that had completely snapped in two.  That door was never going to open.  Unless I did it His way.