Category Archives: Mishaps

I’m Fired!


Today I set an oven on fire.

I was cooking for a herd of college kiddos with a couple of friends at the building where my husband works. I set a stockpot of 20lbs of potatoes down and cranked that burner on high. When I looked back a minute later, the stockpot was surrounded by about two feet of flames.

One of my friends reached for the fire extinguisher. One swatted at it with a damp cloth (which we later found out was not recommended protocol). I managed to stand in the middle of the room and squeal, “Fire!”

I now know I do not respond well in crisis situations.

As we later cleaned up the mess from the debacle, I realized something.

I had unknowingly fueled that very fire.

I was being clumsy and not careful, pouring olive oil over three turkeys and, apparently, the stove. Then I set that bad boy on fire.

Isn’t that how it is sometimes as a parent? You don’t realize that you’re “adding fuel” to a fire? Maybe you go to bed too late, you focus on the wrong things, you don’t stay in God’s Word, you don’t pray through your day and your parenting decisions.

And then you combust. We yell at the kids, we make poor decisions, we act in anger and selfishness.

And we stand in the room and scream, “Fire!”

And God hears. He knows. And he cleans off the mess and the soot. Then He sets us back aright to begin again.

And I’m so glad he does.

He uses His fire extinguisher of grace on our kids and on our mess. His love covers a multitude of sins.

And I’m so grateful because I sure do have momma sins!


The Crazy Cave


I woke up today unprepared. But I knew I could wing it. And I knew there would be painting for history, which I knew would make the kids excited. Cave painting (per Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World Book One Activity Book) would be at 10:30, and I would be a hero. Who says it’s not worth doing projects when you homeschool?!?

At 10:30, we gathered together to rehash what we’ve been learning about nomads. I couldn’t wait to bust out the surprise activity.

But it was my daughter who “busted it out” first.

As we were discussing life for the nomads and cave dwellers, I turned in time to see my daughter dump terra cotta colored acrylic paint in a puddle on our white-ish carpet.

Dear toddler girl, this ain’t no cave.

By the end of the “history hour,” we had painted our cave paintings. We had also painted the carpet, three shirts, one pair of shorts, the sidewalk, the front porch, and a small section of the house. I could have guessed the shorts would get paint on them. (They were worn by my six-year-old who could figure out how to make a mess with an ice cube in a bathtub.) And my husband had been meaning to paint the house. (We just gave him a head start.)

Needless to say, we will not be painting again anytime soon. Maybe in a few….or 30….years….

As for other projects, I don’t know. My kids told me it was one of their favorite days of all time. But if you ever see me at a craft store, please stage an intervention. Or just paint my shirt and call me crazy.

A Christmas Sewing (mis)Adventure


I think I took a crazy pill about a month ago.

See, for the last few years, we have enjoyed getting the kids matching pajamas for Christmas. (We would often get them after Christmas for the next Christmas.) But last year, we had this baby girl. This meant that getting pajamas for three boys and a girl that matched was not going to be easy or inexpensive.

Unless I made them.

And so last year, I used some tutorials online and made sock monkey jammies for my four little kiddos. They turned out cute and were a lot of fun.

Well this year, I got the crazy notion to make all six of us matching pajama pants. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I went to pick out the material.

It proved to be extremely difficult to choose material for a guy in his 30s and a one-year-old girl. This should have been my first clue to not embark on this project.

But I chose and purchased material. Now I was committed.

Not having made adult pajama pants, I consulted my sweet sister-on-law that is an excellent seamstress. I call her my “sewing helpline.” We decided I should purchase some patterns.

I decided to make my pajama pants first. I had never used (or purchased) a pattern before. Mine was labeled “very easy,” while my husband’s was labeled “easy.” (I think they use those words to taunt and mock the beginning user.)

It took me a while to figure out the secret “pattern language,” codes, and structure. But eventually, I had some clue as to what I was doing.

And so after almost making the snowmen on my pants stand on their heads (directional fabric for your first go at this is not advisable, by the way) I managed to get a pair of pants that fit well and look decent. Getting to this point was not easy, as I am not a spatial person. At one point, I had to get into the partially-finished pants just to figure out what on earth I was sewing. (Is this the side of the leg or the inseam? Turn one leg inside out and insert it into the other leg?!? What?)

With my “very easy” project behind me, which took many days because of the tiny amounts of time in which I had to work on this, I decided I had graduated on to the “easy” pattern. I sewed and ironed and hemmed and cut and deciphered. My husband’s pants had a “faux fly,” which I only really knew because I had texted my “sewing helpline” pictures of the crazy cuts and pattern. Nonetheless, I got all of his pants cut and sewn and had made a good looking “faux fly,” or so I thought. Then I held them up and there was no faux about it. There was a gaping hole. I had done something wrong.

I managed to rework it to get the faux part back into the fly, and I was quite proud of myself. I got the waistband attached, and measured the needed elastic. I got everything all worked out. The pants looked good. (They actually looked like pants, and that equals good in my book!) I was quite proud of myself.

And then I asked my husband to try them on.

When he did so, I had one thought: Was this pattern made when MC Hammer was popular? (I am quite sure “Can’t Touch This” played in my mind at that very moment.)

I was devastated. My husband, trying to console me said, “Don’t worry. These are not meant to be worn out of the house. They will be okay.” This, somehow, did not make me feel better.

I am moving on, knowing these are not as perfect as I would like them to be. It bothers me to know they look as they do.

I guess, on the bright side, my hubby can probably gain about 70 pounds and still have a pair of pants that fit!

At the very least, they will be good for a laugh.

Like that time I was twelve and made popovers that were so tough we used them as baseballs in batting practice. Oh, but that’s another story for another day….