Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Tag: children (page 2 of 14)

Blood, Sweat, and Tears


I wrote this post a month ago but for some reason it was eaten by the drafts section.  Now…I’ve found it.  And you get to read it!  Enjoy!!



The strife presenting itself in my home was unimaginable. It didn’t seem possible for such angst to come from such a small body. How could she be so upset? She was creating a tornado of emotional chaos around her.

But it did.

And I got to catch all the angst and the kid …. and fix her problem.

Her problem. The problem that was going to be the end of her 9 year old self. It was so horrible she was in tears. Couldn’t speak without deep stuttering breaths.

“M…mmmmy jeeeewwelry is allll tan-tangled up. I NEED to wear it for the first ddddday of sss chool.”

“What?” I asked expecting a request for a boo-boo bandaid or something along those lines.

“MY JEWELRY IS ALL TANGLED UP!” she screamed at me.

Back the truck up. Are you serious?

“Okay sweetie, bring it here and let’s figure this out.” She was lucky the first day of school was three weeks away.

She brings me this mess – no WAD – of dollar store jewelry, birthday party swag bag crap, and her FIRST COMMUNION NECKLACE all tangled together.

I held my cool. I kept it together. I asked her to go play while I starting working. I was beyond livid something so special was mixed up in her play things…and to make matters worse…that wasn’t the necklace she was concerned about.

I freed what I thought was a play pearl necklace. Nope. Two pearl bracelets, one belong to her and the other to her sister, gifts from my niece for being flower girls last year. The face turned an additional shade of red.


But I didn’t.

I requested things like a doctor asks for instruments during surgery. “Turn on the bright light.” You know – the light everyone has that causes instant blindness and gives you a tan just from being in its proximity. “Get me my sewing kit. Now.” I needed a needle to thread the strands of cheap metal (plastic?) apart.

The blood. Oh my the blood. I poked my finger causing my daughter to cry. Wait? Aren’t I the one with the injury? I told her all was well and to go out and play because I would most likely poke another finger in this process and I couldn’t take the pressure of a 9 year old watching my every move, giving me tip after tip after ever loving tip.

The tears. I wasn’t crying. The sweat from the anger and exertion ran down my face. My monstrously thick eyebrows did nothing to protect my eyes. The sweat beads made their way into my eyes and caused tears to be released.

Finally, the teddy bear crystal necklace from some trip Dr. Evil took to China was free. Then the challenge. The monogram matching necklaces.  A “C” and “M” – both letters with additional spaces for tangles to form.  Places for knots to hide and form when you turn your eyeball away for just a second.  A nanosecond of looking away could be the difference in success and utter, total and complete failure.

The “M” came free.   The “C’ was being a complete jerk and wrapping and re-wrapping itself around the chain.

But I kept on keeping on.  I worked at this for 45 minutes.  Where my tenacity and determination came from – NO IDEA??!?!  I’m very “squirrel!” typically but this task.  This monstrous horrendous task held my focus like no other.

Actually, I think it was the prevention of the meltdown sure to occur did I not succeed that assisted my focus.  And my lack of interest in doing laundry – all the laundry – that was waiting for me.

Two hours.  Two hours people.  Two cans of Diet Dew.  Countless glasses of water.  A few tissues to help with the sweat…….and


we had free necklaces.



I did it.  I singlehandedly saved the day.  For my 9 year old.  In her eyes, I was a total hero.

For about 5 minutes until I told her she couldn’t wear dangle earrings to school.  Then I was bad mom again.


Oh well.


EJ out – to find some laundry to do and search for new dryers online.  We have hopefully a week left before the cadence of this dryer finally dies out.  We’ve repaired it so many times in the past ten years we’ve decided when it dies, it will be the true death.  Scratch and dent sales – here I come!


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Ages and Stages

Looking back at old pictures yesterday I came to a startling realization.

These days are short.  The days of kids and noise and mess.  The days of cribs and bottles.  The days of high school football games and middle school dances.


The days my kids are MY KIDS and live with ME.


Everyone always said it, “Enjoy these days.  They’ll be gone before you know it.”  I clearly remember thinking those saying that particular phrase to me were a.) suffering from memory loss b.)remember only parts of having a screaming toddler running away with your shopping cart in Target containing his newborn sister c.) didn’t realize the cost of gas and the loss of my time in running cleats to a kid who forgot them … at an away game  or d.) were just trying to make me feel better and were actually lying through their teeth.


When my spawn were babes I felt like I was always waiting for the next stage.  “Won’t it be so wonderful when they can move a bit to get their own toy if dropped?”  “Won’t it be wonderful when they’re in a twin bed and not a crib?”  “I can’t wait until they can tie their own shoes.”  I did enjoy the cuddles but longed for sleep.  I felt like an addict in withdrawal – I NEEDED SLEEP.  But their little heads….oh did they smell good.

Then the toddler years arrived.  “Crap!  Now they can get into the dishwasher!!”  “Tall enough to reach into the toilet and then…get stuck.  Time for another bath!”   “Man I miss them not caring which shoes I put on their feet!”  “When did they start caring about which shorts I put on them.”  “Won’t it be wonderful when they can use the bathroom themselves?”  I prayed for patience …. and for cloning to be approved and available to the public.

Preschool years hit with a storm.  “I can’t wait for those few hours of peace with only 2 or 3 other children.”  “Wow, I have a preschooler – won’t full day school be easier with less running?”  “I can’t let him go in the men’s restroom alone – when did he start caring about being in a women’s bathroom with me?”   I met other moms and realized we were all going through the same thing and had the same thoughts about people lying to us about it being all awesome!

School arrived.  “Oh wow, they’re riding the bus.  Oh wow, the big yellow bus just ate my kid!”

They gained independence.  And opinions.  All the things I longed for them to have when they were in the needy stage and I felt needed-out.

And……I realized I missed that.  I missed hanging out at the park AGAIN.  I missed getting them popcorn at Target so I could make it through my shopping list.  I missed getting paged at the YMCA mid run because someone needed a diaper change.  I missed being needed.

I’m lucky.  I still have some time.  I have one starting high school. *GASP*  I have one starting middle school.  *GASP*  And the Littles will be in grades 4 and 1.  I have time to remember to enjoy them.   While I’m so happy they’re growing into strong, independent individuals, I’m trying to hold onto those last little straws of them needing me.  And trying to be there for them.  Because one day all too soon, they won’t need me like they do now.

And I’ll miss it.

But I’ll know I did what I could while I had their ear.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.14.21 AM

EJ out – to make some breakfast on this first day of summer.


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Completing the Circle…..

You know those things your parents did or said to you as a child that have stuck with you into adulthood?  The words or statements, looks or actions that when witnessed as an adult take you right back to your 8-year-old self?

Ever take it full circle and wonder what things you do or say that will stick with your child into adulthood?  I wonder more often than not if it’ll be the silly things that make them laugh or the looks that make them cringe.

My memories include my sister and brother teaching me to spell Laurie – M-O-N-K-E-Y.  To this day I blame that trick as the reason I can’t spell my own name correctly!  I seriously carried a dictionary with me until the internet/smart phone age.

Or my sister drawing on my forehead and then cutting my bangs to match?  Every time I get a hair cut I recall this and just giggle.

Or walking down, no falling down the stairs, head over heels while not spilling a drop of my sister’s soda.  She was in bed after knee surgery and I kept tickling her foot.  Anytime I see her scars from her knee surgery I remember annoying the living hell out of her by tickling her immobilized leg.  (I was only 4 so be nice – I was little.)

Playing checkers with my mom.  Anytime I see a checker board I remember playing checkers.  She was so patient because I would want to play again and again and again.  I’m sure she was ready to throw that checker board out the window but she never did.

Polishing my dad’s shoes when he was getting ready to umpire.  That was my job.  I knew I had to do it right or he’d have me do it again.  Always showing me the right way patiently.

Every time I check dates on foods I remember the time I threw all the cereals aways – by dumping the contents into the garbage – because I thought they’d expired.  Not realizing that the June on the expiration date was the June to come, not the June past.  My mom just shook her head.  “Let’s get this cleaned up.”

My dad hollering in German.  That meant to HURRY IT UP NOW.  RUN.  it was time to go and we had somewhere to be.

When I hear my kids practicing their instruments I remember how my grandpa would suggest I practice my flute outside so the horses could hear.  Or so that he could continue to let me live and not have to tell me to get the hell outside before he lost his damn mind.


All of my memories are happy ones.


I so hope I am leaving my children happy memories from life.  I know I’m a banshee.  I speak too sharply too often.

I’m working on it.  

My patience isn’t great either.  Again, I’m trying to remember my kids are just that…kids.  Who are quickly growing into young adults who sooner than later will be leaving. Moving to college and onto adulthood where …..one day…..they will be forced to ponder the questions of what they are doing to MY GRANDCHILDEN!!


“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglas


EJ out – to snuggle a spawn…who grew 3 – THREE – inches since November.  No wonder none of her pants were long enough.


Thank God it’s not Monday.  That’s a positive thing right?  If this morning had occurred and it had been a Monday…..Lordy J…..

Second Eldest Female Spawn.  You are my mini me in many ways.  We have the same temper and overreaction tendencies.

For example this morning you decided as it’s a balmy 15 degrees Fahrenheit you would wear a short-sleeved polo shirt with capri legging and no socks.

We're the Statues of LIberties

It’s not this warm yet Sweetie Pie!

Ummm. No.  Go put pants on.  And socks.  And bring a sweat shirt along.

You come down in slightly longer leggings (I think they’re your older sister’s so they are still capri leggings but on you they’re nearly floor length), no socks and no sweatshirt.

You had 15 minute warning of time to leave for the bus stop.

You had a 5 minute warning of time to leave for the bus stop.

No.  I’m not driving you to school.

No.  I’m not driving you to the bus stop.  It’s a balmy 15 degrees out.  You may walk the one-third of a mile to the bus stop with the four others leaving our house.

You got called out for skipping socks as you were putting your boots on.  “BUT MOOOOM!  It’ll make me be later than everyone else getting ready if I have to go ALL the Way UPSTAIRS to get socks and a sweatshirt!  I didn’t wear a sweatshirt yesterday!  She wore leggings yesterday that were short.  WHY MOMMMM?” you cried and howled at me.

You typically are the last one ready to leave even if you start first.  Staying on task while getting out the door is hard.  That is why I make you (all of you) lay out your gear first thing in the morning and why your homework goes into your backpack the night before once completed.  I’m trying to help you.

So when you sit in your room yelling and crying about having to wear socks, don’t expect a lot of sympathy from me.  Just don’t.  I will quickly and quietly assist you in putting on the sock you’ve been struggling with through your ridiculous tears, I will grab a sweatshirt, put it on you and zip it up.  After we get downstairs I will get your boots on your feet, your coat on your body, zip it up, put your hair back to put your hat on, slip on your gloves, and wipe your nose.

And your tears.

And hug you goodbye.  And give you a kiss.

And an extra cuddle since you seem to need it this morning.

And why am I so mean?  Because I love you.


EJ out – to send warm lovey thoughts towards that spawn – and all of them – today.


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Tidy or ….

So I have an issue people.  I like my spawn to have tidy rooms.  Not perfect.

Well, okay.  I like it perfect.

When If they make their bed, I will make it ‘just so‘ after they’ve left for school.  I will put the toys out of their rooms and downstairs ‘where they belong‘ and ensure the dirty laundry is in the closet hamper.  Their hanging clothes are sorted by sleeve length and color (if I have time….the color thing sometimes goes by the way side.)  And the unused hangers are sorted by color.









Yes, I have issues.

But don’t you sleep better in a room that is tidy?











Make all the mess you want during the day.  You may even leave it out if there’s a fort involved or it’s a weekend where you’ll have time to play with it tomorrow.  But if I can’t vacuum around it, if the dogs can eat part of it, if it causes spawn to repeatedly ask me where something in plain sight is located…..PICK IT UP!

Not to say my house is tidy.  But when it is tidy, it is SO tidy.

Now…let me tell you a tale.  A story from long ago.  From when I was a teenager.  My room was a holy pit.  A pit of despair.  The pit of despair.  My mom was always amazed at the mess.  She would simply close the door.  (What a saint!  I can’t imagine the will power it took to not lock me in there with the mess!)  But the kicker is…I would call home from school and ask her to bring me something (again – what a saint!).  I could tell her exactly what pile it was in and how far down and which direction to reach.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I want to believe she respected my memory but more likely was afraid the pit of despair would either a.) suck her in never to be found again or b.) spread to the hallway and down the hall and take over the house.

Now I live the opposite.  I like my tidy spaces.  I like my right angles.  I like my OCD tendencies.

Until this….











And then…


What do you do?  Do you let your spawn’s toys rule the roost or are you a toy Nazi like me?  Organizational ruler or free player?

Don't Make Me…


I count at my spawn.  If they don’t listen, they get a 5-4-3-2-1, finger motions included, in which to follow whatever direction has been given.  Eldest has figured it out and I can’t recall the last time I counted at him.










Eldest Female Spawn is learning – she’s usually moving by 4.5. (No, I do not count in half numbers, but before I can say ‘4’ and after I’ve said ‘5.’ she is on task.)










Then there is Second Eldest Female Spawn.  The middle girl.  One of the middle children.  My challenging (at the moment) one.  I will say “Move IT!”  She stands up and shakes about.  “I’ve moving it Mama, and you didn’t even have to count.”










Littlest is learning the trade from Second Eldest Female Spawn.  Let me just tell you I’m nipping this in the bud.  She learns quickly and rarely do I get to “4” with her.  In fact I usually mention counting and she says, “NO MAMA NO COUNTING!!!  I’m moving!”










“Time for bed.  Go upstairs, brush teeth and tidy your room before bed.”  No movement occurs.  My blood pressure rises.  I calmly say again, “Get moving.  Now.”  They whine and moan and start to writhe like they are in physical pain.  “Get UP NOW!”  Again, no motion towards their bedrooms are made.  “5-4-3-2-1!”  And then I start taking things away.

You want a playdate tomorrow?  So sorry.  Maybe you should listen to Mama.

Oh that gum you wanted me to buy for Gum Friday?  Not sure I’ll be able to fill that request.

I know you have plans with a friend to ride bikes.  You will be calling and telling her why you can’t go.

The inevitable “What can I do to earn it back?!” is voiced.

“MOVE IT NOW! And don’t make me count again!”  And an extra chore or two will usually do the trick.  But not always.  If counting multiple times a day to get things done becomes common, nothing will earn it back.  They go to bed and we talk about how “tomorrow is going to be a listening day with better behavior.”  New day, clean slate.

So here’s to today being a count free day.

EJ out – to count backpacks and lunch boxes.  I have a degree in applied mathematics.  Here’s a story problem for you….

On Friday, three spawn take three lunch boxes to school.  One comes home.

On Monday three spawn take three lunch boxes to school.  Five come home.  Evil Joy pukes while cleaning them.

On Tuesday three spawn take three lunch boxes to school.  One comes homes.

On Wednesday, what does Evil Joy do?

a) send three more lunch boxes to school

b) cry

c) puke in anticipation of what is coming home


d) say “Take hot lunch for the first time this year and clean your junk when you get home!”

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Reactions…and Judgements

How do you react to how you react?

Yes – that is what I meant to say.

I find myself judging my reactions all to often.  Why?  Why do I judge myself for having normal feelings?  Or abnormal ones – for that matter?

We’ve learned growing up to be thankful, kind, respectful, and compassionate.  To not covet what we don’t have but to be happy with what we do have.  Don’t wish away today.

All of those things and more.


Outwardly – I pretty much always react appropriately.  Inside – not always the case.


And when inside it’s not always the case – I beat myself up about it over and over.  And over and over.

Finally I’m learning to accept how I feel and – feel it.  NOT JUDGE IT.  Let it go and move on.  I don’t have to feel badly over being mad at a situation or person.  I don’t have to feel guilty about the FEELINGS I experienced.  I’m human.

Can I strive to be better?  Always.  Can I strive to teach my spawn to be compassionate loving humans?  Of course.

Am I going to be pissed off my spawn didn’t make (fill in the blank)?  Of course – they’re my spawn and I love them above all.  Do I have to feel badly I’m jealous a bit of those who made the (fill in the blank)?

No.  I just need to experience the emotion and let it go.



Do you find yourself judging…yourself?  How do you deal with it?  Leave me a comment and tell me!!


EJ out – to get spawn to orchestra – because – of course – cellos can’t go on the bus.  That would be…..so much easier.


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(graphic source :dailydivineblessings.blogspot.com)

Deep Thoughts…by a spawn

Today I was talking with Kool K.  She watched two of my spawn while Dr. Evil and I had our little get away to San Diego a few weekends ago.  She used to be a neighbor, will always be a friend, and is someone I trust implicitly.

Apparently Littlest Female Spawn and her daughter were discussing the pets in our families that have passed in the last year or so.  The Rainbow Bridge the pups had crossed over was also mentioned.

Rainbow Bridge

Littlest Spawn says, “Yeah – Doggie S died and they baked her with the other puppies in a big oven.”

While this is true, I had no idea she understood what happened to our cousin’s dog.

Her 4-year-old friend replies, “Yeah – that’s what the did they did to B too – baked him in an oven.”

This conversation was completely matter of fact…”like they just told each other they liked purple crayons.”

Now…in the last 18 months or so : 2 dogs of grandparents have passed, one dog of cousin passed, another dog of other cousin passed, and I ran over one of our dogs.  It has been a rough year for the canines in our family.

With the (fleeting) nice weather, last weekend I cleaned up Fizzy’s grave site in our yard and got the cross Eldest Female Spawn made for him firmly planted into the ground near him.  Evidently this was cause for notice by Littlest Spawn.  She told her friend we didn’t bake Fizzy.  He’s over the Rainbow Bridge getting lots of treats with all the other dogs that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

I love her.  She knows.  KNOWS Fizzy is getting lots of treats with the other doggies.  It is a fact.  Not a suggestion or an idea.  A FACT.

Wise Littlest Spawn.  You rock my world.   I want to be more like you.

EJ out – to get some sleep.  Rest well my Evil Friends, rest well.

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Okay – now you can go to bed.

Summer Vacay

Summer is Approaching…Summer is Approaching.

Do you think of summer vacation as a trip … or a period of time where your spawn are not in school?

Last year, we didn’t go anywhere big….just camping.  In the camper Dr. Evil purchased as part of his ‘screw you I lived!’ campaign.  We didn’t get the camper until late July and still managed to get 4 trips in before school started.  It was pretty good – a lot of learning – a lot of fun – and a lot of plans made for repeat trips!

However, the other definition of summer vacation : spawn out of classes.

So…with the rose-colored glasses I’m currently wearing, we’ll be going to the beach (man-made Lake Elmo – we live in the midwest people).  We’ll go the library (once I pay off the fine I have for returning a book the spawn decided to leave in the rain).  We’ll have picnics and hike at the local Willow River State Park.

Baseball, softball, machine pitch 2 softball, and t-ball will be a treasured time where I will be able to make all the games and get everyone everywhere with the required equipment and clean uniforms.  The concession stocking and cleaning won’t be that bad and it’s sort of fun to deliver buns to 3 locations as far across town as you can get every. single. week.

We’ll work on maintaining the knowledge they gained at school in the current year by reviewing and reading daily.

–reality check—

Dr. Evil is still traveling a lot for work.  A lot.  Like 4 or 5 days a week, every week, from here to California.  When he is home, he’s juggling his work responsibilities, Booster board and webmaster responsibilities, our spawn activity load – especially Boy Scouts, and dealing with me.  Who is typically okay with the travel.  Except when I’m not.  When I’m done.  When I’m grumpy the last thing tended to on that list is me.  But I digress.

Baseball and softball (times 3) practices will inevitably conflict.  With only one of me and four spawn – none of which are old enough to drive – that makes for a lot of hurrying up and waiting – get to one practice – wait through it for the next one to begin. Thank God for good friends.  And clean uniforms – are you kidding me?!  They’re lucky if they have the right color of shirt on – we have so many from playing for multiple years on multiple teams I often forget which shirt is the current shirt and which is used for sleep clothing!  The beach is often met with resistance from Eldest Spawn who wants to sit home and play video games.  The library – every summer I have great intentions…which fall by the baseball-side every year.  And Willow River – we’ll go there – and fight the mosquitos.  But man – it is beautiful – hiking there is amazing.

Honestly, I like summer.  But I feel the pull of being super mom even more in the summer.  There’s a lot of kids who spend summers going on great trips or attending wonderful camps.  We spend the summer hanging out, swimming in our pool (which we set up in June), and jumping on the trampoline.  The slip and slide works great here because the yard is mostly flat (and poop free) so they can really fly…especially if you add just a touch of dish soap.  We will take the camper to places close by and hike and ride bikes and swim.  I let them watch television during the hot parts of the day and sometimes even more than that.  I try to plan trips to fun places in the cities…sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.  I hope my spawn remember the times we spend together…the everyday fun we have.

I hope my spawn remember summer fondly.  I hope they enjoy the time we have together.  I know I do.

(most of the time)

EJ out – to run so I can play and get ready for visiting Dr. Evil in California!

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Advice…from a new mom

So I’m linking up at Theme Thursday.  I seem to mess this up every time I do this and forget to do what I’m suppose to.  (I’m sorry!!!)  Here’s the link to Theme Thursday.  Go check out what others are saying about this week’s theme : Advice  Thanks to Something Clever 2.0 for doing this!!!

I love when I go out with my Littlest Spawn.  She’s a doll face .. except when she’s not. Then she’s the devil incarnate.  She can scream and carry on with the best of them.  In the last year, this has subsided considerably but on occasion it still happens.

My favorite situation is when she is having a hard time with a new environment and I’m past dealing with it.  I’m more of the tough love kinda mama – not the cuddling type.  At all.  Ever.  (Sorry Spawn – suck it up – that’s the way it goes – not everyone wins – you’re fine – get over it)

In walks chic mom in her heels, skinny jeans, with her six month old baby dressed in the latest Gap line head to toe.  Who proceeds to give me advice.  For a child who is 4.5 years older than her first baby.  Advice she read in a book.  And her friend told her about.  And she saw on Oprah or Dr. Phil.

Yeah.  Bite me.

Depending on my mood, one of three things happens:

Mood 1 : Happy and Well Rested


Thanks.  I’m sure it’ll get better.  Have a great day.






Mood 2 : Normal Evil Joy – Tired, Slightly Frazzled, Running 17 Different Directions


Yeah, I know…my older THREE went through this stage too.  Later.







Mood 3 : Exhausted, Dr. Evil on Travel, Other Spawn Acting Up at Home, Last Thin Thread of Sanity Broken by This Woman


Look.  I appreciate you trying to give advice for a child you have no idea about.  Obviously the books you’ve read have made you think you’re prepared.  You’re not.  Just wait.  Wait until she can talk and walk and run away from you and pull over a display in the store.  Wait until she doesn’t like you.  I have THREE OLDER CHILDREN.  I’ve done this shit before.  Yeah – I swore – your baby can’t talk yet and I could say shit over and over again and it will not affect her because she’ll never ever see me again.  And yes, close your open jaw, I swore in front of my five-year old who knows better than to repeat it at all.  I was just like you lady – thought I had it all in the bag.  I don’t.  At least I’m smart and experienced enough to KNOW I WILL ALWAYS HAVE A LOT TO LEARN.  Good Day.

Yeah – Mood 3 – not one of my finer moments.  Thankfully I was in a different town and will most likely never see this woman again.  God, I hope not.

So I try hard to not give advice unless asked.  Even then I tread cautiously.  Are they really asking for advice or do they want reassurance everyone is as confused and clueless as the next parent.  None of our spawn came with manuals.  None of our spawn are alike.  Some advice is great …. but sometimes …. for the love of Pete …. bite your tongue.

Except – okay – the one and only time I don’t hold back is if I notice your spawn’s eyes aren’t properly aligned.  Eldest Spawn has strabismus and amblyopia caught at age 2.  He’s been patched, had and still has bifocals, and wears glasses to correct his alignment and vision.  If not caught early enough the damage caused can be more severe.  So…that’s the one time I know I’ve crossed the line….but if it helps just one kid……

EJ out – to drive in the Mother Loving Snow to see a visiting friend!!!!!

Take a minute and help a Mama out – click on the juggling lady located on the upper right.  Doing so casts a vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs.  Thanks!!!

(graphic sources : pinterest.com, casaazuldelaribera.es)

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