Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Birthday Getaway

Important Note: The family who are in this blog gave express permission for me to create this blog - in fact; it was strongly encouraged by the mother of the family. This is an important note- as you will soon understand.  :)  I hope you enjoy this crazy story!

Some of you may be wondering how I spent my birthday.

Well, I spent most of the day in the car, traveling with my family to the southern part of the state. There were two purposes on our agenda: traveling for Miles to speak and teach Remote Control Sailing at a Disability Awareness Conference, and visiting friends.  :)

Now... don't dismay! I really did have a great birthday! :) You see, I LOVE to travel.

I love the drive. I love letting Miles drive :), while I sit peacefully - reading, thinking, and listening to the kids laugh, giggle, & read to each other.
I love the reststop stops where everyone gets out and runs around (though that part was really a lot more fun when the kids were little and they wanted me to play "tag" with them at every rest stop - now they just use the facilities and get back in the car! Oh to have a young child again! - Looking forward to grandchildren will do!).

I absolutely love, love, love the stops made just to look at great views at scenic look out points along the way.

And last but not least - I love just talking with Miles as we drive along (I also enjoy the long spells of silence to sit and think or to read. :D)

Anyhow, on my birthday, after many hours of pleasant and peaceful driving, we arrived at the home of a totally awesome family who are all very good friends with all of our family - Jo, Rob, and their totally awesome 7 children! :) And wouldn't you know it... Rob picked up not one cake for my birthday... but two! I have to admit, I felt ridiculously spoiled with two flavors to choose from. I sampled each. Both were delicious. I suppose 2 small cakes was a good idea with 15 people in the house! :O

I considered the entire trip a birthday gift to myself (or at least, I planned on it before I got there - ha! ha!). You see, aside from the gifts of love and attention from family and friends, the neighbor kids brought over a "gift" as well. They had been over playing, quite a bit for a day or two both before and after we had arrived and brought it with them then - without even saying a word about it. Isn't that thoughtful? :) (More about that later...).

After a day or so of Jo and I bustling about shopping and tending all those kids (her 7, my 4 in addition to how ever many neighbors were there), we finally settled into comfy chairs and really got down to the nitty gritty of diving into the enjoyments of visiting.

We soon found our visit interrupted however, with a knock at the door. It was the mother of the neighbor kids who had been playing over. She was there to let us know that her children had brought over some rice for my birthday - or was that, lice - head lice? Oh yes, (silly me:), it was lice that those sweet kids brought over! Ah well, rice, lice... both are small and plentiful; what's the difference?

Needless to say, I'm sure you know how the rest of the "vacation" went. Jo and I both jumped from our chairs reasuring each other that everything was fine - and that we would get through this with flying colors. We then got on the internet and researched head lice removal, and began the process of cleaning and sanitizing the house, - AND ALL 15 HEADS.

Being the great mom's that we both are, we of course whistled while we worked. Not literally though - because... hmm... er... well, OK, here goes.... I can't whistle! There, I said it! (That wasn't so bad! :) Non the less, the work was done with vigor, cheerfulness, and optimism! Here's a little evidence. ;)

Day One:

"Hi Jo! This laundry thing is great fun! I'm having the time of my life! :D Thank you SO MUCH for having us all over at such an opportune time! :D

"Corine, I'm so glad you're here to share this most wonderful experience with me! :D I am absolutely LOVING doing the laundry today! Don't you love doing the laundry? Isn't this FUN? :D

(That's a rhetorical question... don't answer.)

See how much fun we were having? Don't you wish you were there, too?  (...another rhetorical question :)

With all those children, you can probably imagine how much laundry there was about the house, and all of it had to be washed (especially since one of the kids who had lice went through the little girl's dresser drawers to help them choose their outfits - thus spreading lice to not only the dirty clothes on the floors, but also to the clean ones in the drawers). Yeah! :) (FYI - That smile was a sarcastic smile - not a real one!!!)

I don't think those first two laundry photos did justice to the task that laid before us. Yeah... I better add a few more.

Needless to say... we did a lot of laundry.

There was so much laundry to do that we bagged it up and put it out on the front poarch to ge it out of the way. As you can see, the kids had fun playing among the bags.


Day Two:
"The secret of getting started is breaking
your complex, overwhelming tasks into
small manageable tasks, and then
starting on the first one."
- Mark Twain

 "I feel like a zombie."

" Yeah, I know. Me too. Is there anything in this house – that does
need to be sanitized?"

(The first time I ever pulled my hair back since my hair was cut short... )
My, my... don't I look spiffy now? Agg!

In addition to gathering clothes to take to the laundrymat, we bagged up all the dolls and stuffed animals to be stored away long enough for eggs to die. 
After all that, we still had the floors to vacum and 15 heads to treat.

"Never worry about numbers.
Help one person at a time,
and always start with
the person nearest you."

- Mother Teresa

The nearest person is of course... always the youngest! Who in this case, also happened to be the one who contracted the lice from the neighbors!

"Look at what I found up my nose? Aren't I cute? :)"

Jo and I wanted photos of the work in progress... willing subjects were few...

But there were still moments when participants found themselves
willing to have their photo taken during treatment....

Some of those willing to have photos taken... looked like "cone heads."

"Hey, look at us! We're 'cone heads!' "
There were, however, at least two subjects in particular, who DID look cool...
very cool! :)

(One shown after hair cut and treatment, and one before... ;)


One of us (I won't say who - ha! ha!) - looked quite drunk,
for just a moment :).
 Though I'm absolutely certain she has never actually even tasted liquor.

Amongst all of the hair cuts and oil treatments that Jo and I did for both of our families, there were other things that needed to be done as well, which our wonderful men went about doing... Like shopping for the oils and lice combs...

Cleaning out the trucks...

Cooking etc....


And then there were the kids. They all helped out with just about everything (vacuuming, all the usual chores, bagging up clothes etc). In addition, there was...

Boiling hairbrushes...

And there was plenty of comic relief...

“Jolynne, I don’t know if this is really what I was planning on doing when I decided to come visit you guys.”

Amongst it all, there were still kids who played...

Wait a minute - I only have Dausen in this collage. I'll have to make another and add Devry! Here goes...

That's better! I love to see their personalities come through in photos. Sarah is very confident and has no problem asserting herself! ;0

Dausen is calm and collect, and smiles a quiet smile - as usual.

And Devry, who is happy and energetic, did a whole lot of RUNNING from Sarah;
but he sure was smiling! :D

I think it's safe to say that they all had a good time. ;)

...Isn't childhood wonderful? :)

I took photos of the kids...

As you can see, we took lots of photos! ;)

Why all the photos?
...Because we were having a really great time! Duh?

Who'd have known that a vacation with head lice
could bring on so many fond memories? :)

Thanks so much for having us over - Byrds! We love you!  :D


  1. Oh, my. What a birthday, Corine. I am amazed and impressed with what aplomb you guys handled the situation--I'm not sure I would have been that cool and collected...or merry!...during the process. At least yall were informed (so nice!) of the problem very quickly and were able to get a handle on things immediately.

    There have been a few lice situations at the kids' school this winter...they're doing frequent "checks" to stop the progress of the wee beasties. Every morning I send my kids off to school with a "don't share hairbrushes and hats!" as a reminder. Oh, well--that's life.

    Oh...I can't whistle, either. Miserable at it.

    And the collages look fabulous! :)

  2. Lori - It was a really good thing that we women had each other to "go through" it with. Honestly, we kept each other positive and upbeat; I know it would have been 10 X harder for both of us, if we had to go through it alone, - without the positive distraction of another female adult friend working along side. I am so thankful that I was blessed to be there to help her (and that we were blessed to find out so early on!!!! - very gracious of Heavenly Father to make such a great compromise there).

    So - you can't whistle either? COOL! ;d Thanks for letting me know! :)

    And thanks for the collage compliment! I always looked at yours and Jason's with intense desire to learn how to do it. I am so excited to have finally found out! (Thus, the going overboard with several of them :O) I Love collages, and am thrilled to be able to make them on computer now!!!

    PS I'm so happy that you stopped by. ;) Thanks a million!

  3. Hey Lady!!!!

    I loved it!!!! Talk about funny now! Actually as hard as it was it was quite funny then too. I laughed more during that time then I have in a long time. Seriously! That drunkered picture had me laughing for a long time!!! Wow were we tired. I am appalled at the site of myself during that ordeal but you know what is great? That I can laugh at myself and mind you laugh hard!!!!
    I am so grateful that I had your help and your friendship to get through that exciting time in my life. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for leading me to a natural way to get rid of Lice. I refused to use those chemicals and all I had was faith. It was amazing!!!! Love you tons and miss you guys.

  4. Jo! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. We really did have a lot of laughs over that whole ordeal, didn't we? But Jo - you looked great the whole time; it was I who looked funny! We were both exhausted though... for days afterwards!!!! (It takes time to recover from something like that! LOL)

    I don't know if you noticed from the collage, but I just noticed that your little one is wearing that hat that we spied her wearing, (in the background of one of the photos). I laughed again when I saw that! I intended to add a photo of her expression when we told her to take the hat off... but I didn't. I think I'll add it! :)

    And speaking of laughter - I posted that awful photo of me looking drunk - just for you (since you laughed so hard the first time we looked at it together!) I think you enjoyed that one more than I did :O

    That really was a trip I will never forget! ;) Thanks for everything. Lots of love... Corine

    PS I just noticed that the formatting was messed up on this post - hopefully I can fix it without too much trouble.

    And... I too am so thankful we didn't have to use those nasty chemicals! :D

    (book over... the end. :)


There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you add so much insight and brighten my day! :)