It’s so not even the 31st yet…

Oct 28

It’s so not even the 31st yet…

Whew!  What a day.  It was epic and fun.


A face-painting-breakfast-party at our house for five little faces.  (One dragonfly and four butterflies.)  I bought a face paint kit in 2011 for $19.99 with a 40% coupon from Michaels, and it is one of the the best investments I’ve ever made.  It came with (good) paints, different sized brushes, a tiny-but-very-helpful tutorial book, and I’ve never looked back.  I’ve bought more colors to round out our color wheel of choices, but the paints themselves last forever.  Need face paint?  Boom.  I’ve got that.


Greta got on her bus, and I delivered the other five to school.  They were (thirty seconds) late, and all got pink tardy slips.  Ooooops.  Can’t win them all, right?  (Sorry to the other moms and the school staff!)


Maren’s class Halloween party.  I spent roughly thirty dollars on new Bingo supplies (which we will definitely re-use) and used some things we already owned.  I clickity-clicked everything I needed to my house via Amazon Prime (best thing ever) on Tuesday.  The game was great; you would have thought I was tossing these fourth-graders five dollar bills.  They were SO engaged, SO fun, and SO enthusiastic.  I highly recommend real Bingo for fourth grade (and up) party games.  Maren rolled the bingo cage and was full of dimpled smiles.



Greta’s class party.  I texted my friends on Monday: “…does anyone have a Halloween/fall bingo game I can borrow for Friday?”  And then I got two immediate ‘yeah-I’ve-got-that!’ replies.  By the time I got home from chemo on Monday, I had a perfect-for-kindergarten pictoral bingo game waiting for me on my kitchen counter.  She even brought me candy corn to use as the bingo markers.  Lest I ever need reminding: ye are only as strong as strong as ye village.  Greta was the most excited kid at her party (which is saying something in a room full of twenty-five five-year-olds at their first school party).  I had the other volunteer helpers rolling with my verbal descriptions of clip art:  their teacher the leaf princess, a scarecrow in a blue situation, and a combine (farm equipment for those of you who don’t know) that I may have first referred to as a concubine (whoopsies).  A bit of a wordsmith fail there, but everything else was a huge success.


I stayed to have lunch with Greta at her request.  It was when I was sitting down at 12:45pm that I noticed dang my arm is swollen.  (My left arm is prone to swelling/lymphedema since my mastectomy surgery in 2012).  Then I noticed, dang, my ankles are swollen too.  Hmmm.  I decided to leave a message with my medical team, swing by home to put on my compression sleeve, order compression socks from Amazon Prime (yes, this is a thing for me), and carry on with my day.  Not necessarily in that order.  The medical team gave me the over-the-phone nod to carry on, warrior.

I asked for lots of people to pray for me today, so I was/am very reflective that my endurance, capacity, joy and engagement in the day does not align with the battles that my body is very obviously still dealing with–thank you for your prayers!  I made it, by your strength!


Maren’s Masquerade March at her school.  Wow, this was a win.  We made homemade butterfly wings for Maren and three of her friends.  Each pair was a little bit different and I think each girl honestly thought her own wings were the most beautiful.  Nine-year-0lds are awesome.  They soared in the costumes and the looks on the faces were memories-of-a-lifetime.  Maren’s self-driven fundraising efforts made her the second place winner (!!!) at her school, so she won four tickets to COSI.  (Yes!!!)



Greta came home from school and got to don her costume (finally!) for her school’s event.  She wanted to be a ladybug and was committed to her choice early on.  Maren’s butterfly inspiration was partially following Greta’s lead on the bug theme.  Initially I was hoping they would go for all different bugs: (a Queen Bee, a Love Bug with heart wings, a Firefly with a light-up tutu, etc.), but once Maren’s friends saw the first set of butterfly wings, they were not interested in anything else.  Anyway, for Greta I manipulated an old set of wire wings we had in our dress-up stash to a new shape, added an under-cape, fabric, boning and polka-dots to create her bouncy red wings.  We headed off to her school, saw her teacher, got lots of candy, walked around with friends, and were bedazzled with the great community we live in.

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Download/Edit/Share the pictures and stories of the day!  Woo!  As I sit here with my feet elevated trying to get my swelling to go down, I feel very blessed.  I enjoyed today.  My kids ENJOYED today.  This makes my heart so happy.  ‘Tis not me who makes all this possible; my village and my God are my strength.

Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes.  You people rock.  Keep them coming!



  1. Marlayne /

    Jen ~
    What a Day !!!! What a Wonderful Day !!!! The Girls are Darling & such Memory Making !!!! Makes me want to be a Butterfly 🙂 Everyone Loves Bingo !!!! 🙂 Continued Prayers for your health & strength 🙂 Hugs 🙂

  2. Michelle /

    Wow what a day! I love the costumes! Amazing 🙂

  3. Lisa Marker /

    Love it!!

  4. Karin Eppert /

    I cheered and smiled as I kept scrolling down and reading. He is glorified in this day!!! What joy! Rest my friend.

  5. Kim Rourke /

    In your SPARE time you will now have to start an Etsy costume page!!!? The price you must pay for being so dang creative!! Costumes… amazing! Your kiddos…adorable! You…bedazzling!!!

  6. So glad.

  7. Tamara Huss /

    You are amazing!!!! The girls costumes are awesome! I’m so glad you got to be there for all of the fun activities at their school. The smiles on their faces are priceless! What a day!!!

  8. Marie Griffin /

    Wow! Those costumes are beautiful and you are a mom to admire. Memories for a lifetime. I am a long time reader stranger, but I rarely post. But my admiration wouldn’t let me hold back today. The way you celebrate your family is inspirational.

  9. Stephanie /

    You are an inspiration. God Bless. xo

  10. Mommaj /

    Photos are priceless and your Smile Amazing!!! So wish I could’ve been there to see in real life!!

  11. Rebecca /


  12. Cindy Jones /

    Your a good good mama, that’s who you are.

  13. Christin /

    I felt joy with you as I read!!!

  14. Cindy Mitchell /

    Jen, you are amazing. The costumes are so cute… You did a great job..I wished I had half the energy that manage to have.. You are so AWESOME.. Take care and keep up your great Mommy mode, creative writing and your amazing strength..