Poop-Water, Lice, and Michigan

We are HERE!

In Atlanta on our 3 Hour Lay-Over! 

We made it to Michigan. It’s been a crazy two weeks! 2 Saturdays ago, I was teaching a seminar at the National Youth Worker convention on being a Woman in Youth Ministry. I managed to sandwich that seminar perfectly between lunch and dinner with some wonderful youth worker friends before heading on a red eye to Grand Rapids with 3 kiddos in tow. A red eye by MYSELF because Tim (my amazing husband!) is in San Diego for awhile selling our home. Wow. That was a long night with a 3 hour layover in Atlanta! We managed ok. The kids pretty much slept the entire time and THIS was a life saver. It turned the car seat into a stroller.

I am so glad I brought Julia’s car seat for the airplane, otherwise I don’t think she would have stayed strapped in. Plus the familiarity of her seat helped her to feel more “settled” and ready to sleep. The layover part was tough. She was done being strapped in and getting her to sleep in an airport was a no go. I had to let her run around (at 3am California time!) the airport and tire her out. Only a few meltdowns and none of them were on the plane thankfully!!

Once we arrived in Grand Rapids, we were picked up by some fantastic youth volunteers at the gate with balloons, flowers and help with all of our bags and bags of luggage! They even left us with a homemade Lasagna. Nothing like the smell of home cooking to feel more like “home” in a new place.

Except for the fact that once we were all set (luggage all finally in the door) into our apartment with a moment to breathe, I heard some water running in the bathroom. I walked over to turn it off and stepped into a huge deluge of water pouring out of the toilet. Apparently this apartment has really old plumbing and it doesn’t take much for an 8 year old to stop up the toilet. I freaked out and went to turn off the water from back behind the toilet. Ummm gee there was no knob to turn off the water and of course I didn’t own a wrench or anything. So there I was standing in poop water, with water gushing from the toilet still.

After figuring out how to stop the water from running by holding that plastic rubber ball looking thing from inside the toilet tank, the kids and I all took turns standing in poop water holding that stupid thing up until maintenance showed up. I admit....I cried a little! It was a lot to take in all at one time. After the wonderful maintenance guy used a wet vac to get the poop water out and fixed the toilet (giving us a turn off valve this time!) we FINALLY sat down to play cards and eat Lasagna.

Sitting next to my first born, who recently returned from a youth group overnighter/service project, for a sweet round of Monopoly Deal, I looked at his hair for a moment. “Mom someone put a paint roller over my head and painted my hair.” Looking again at his hair, I began to wonder if it was paint remnants in his hair or something more like....lice? Umm please no. Yup he has been on a plane ALL night long, has been in Grand Rapids for all but one hour and he has LICE! What a freakin great first day in Michigan! With only an hour and a half til my first night at youth group I grabbed the lice shampoo from my suitcase (if you look back a few blog posts....you will find it’s been going around!) and treated all of us (minus the toddler) with the Rid shampoo.

More adventures in moving to Michigan...

  • After 48 hours in Grand Rapids I was the victim of... identity theft. Someone spending money in Florida as me. Only I am in Michigan not Florida! So no funds for a few days. 
  • Followed by... a faulty TV delivered courtesy of Woot to children who are super bummed they can’t play xbox or watch any TV. 
  • The next day...our wifi from At&T was returned after UPS tried to deliver it 3 different times. Apparently I am never home. Again the kids (and I!) are super sad the one thing that feels like home (wifi!) isn’t available. Plus this momma needs a break (need Netflix! need Hulu! Need to SKYPE my husband!) 
  • Grocery shopping by myself w/3 kiddos (mainly the 2 year old!) is insane...I wanted to cry right in the middle of the grocery store. I bribed them with a cookie, a Starbucks, and then a soda at check out (bad mommy!)
  • Then my Grandpa died )-; 
  • And I lost a diamond on my wedding ring. 
  • My apartment smells like 2nd hand smoke all the time. Ewww. Apparently Michigan doesn’t have the smoke free laws California has. 
  • Found the dead remains of a small mouse hidden on the bottom of my dishwasher when I tried cleaning it out after every load of clean dishes came out with black smudge or mystery yuck stuck on it. We’ve been eating off those dishes. 

On the brightside, I love my new ministry position and the kids LOVE their new school. The change for them has seemed effortless (minus a few technology disappointments at home and adjusting to COLD and it’s not even cold yet!). I was at work the other day and one of the executive pastor’s mentioned how we will never do “billboards or concerts” for numbers. How this place cares more about quality than quantity. I am serving at a place going for long term life change with students and families...not a short lived “ooooh look how many people showed up” event. I dig that. Concerts and billboards might be the MO at some other places, but not here, and so not the way I am wired to journey with students and families.

I am at a place where time and space for faith practice reigns supreme over programs.

“…a way 

of life is formed by practices.” 

-Brian McClaren, Naked Spirituality 

Yup...”this is home.”

A good reminder after a tough week! But wow....life will be easier when my husband gets here! How do single moms do things like get haircuts, eye-brows waxed, or get to the bank before closing? Or grocery shop without shoving cookies, Starbucks and Sodas into their kids faces?


  1. Adina Schwab (formerly Jaitly)10/19/2013

    Wow! All I can say after reading this blog is "Dang, Satan is pissed!" He is trying so hard to deter you yet you and I both know that won't happen. The enemy loves stagnant Christians b/c they are ineffective and you my dear are a weapon of the Lord that he fears :D :D :D xoxoxoxoxoxoxo I pray the house sells quickly and Tim is at your side soon <3


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