And…THIS is What I Worked on During Naptime.

We spent the morning at the park
and Lydia almost fell asleep in the car on the way home…
I was sure she was sound asleep in bed.
But apparently she wasn’t.
She found her sister’s stamp pads
and managed to decorate every room upstairs in a matter of minutes.

Side note–we don’t want her to think this is
“cute” or “funny”
(or to send mixed messages by taking pictures),
So I told her I was taking the photos to send to “Daddy”…
because he would want to know what she did
(and because they’d be having a talk-time tonight).

I was kinda smiling in a crazy-nutty-crying-lost-it-sorta-way.
And this is what she did…
(about 25% of the damage that I actually documented).
But BEFORE painting the walls,
she painted her face, arms, hands, legs and feet…
and left a trail of tiny footprints all over the upstairs.
All over.
Pretty much every room upstairs…
And she was quiet.
REALLY quiet.
Every doorknob…
Her sister’s desk…
Two lampshades and several walls in her sister’s room…
Her sister’s dresser…
My bedspread…
(and other bedspreads).
The moment where I told her this photo would be shared with “Dad”.
She loves her daddy–
A. Lot.
The irony…
(beyond the “always smiling” shirt)
I had just returned from a summer-in-the-park-study
where we were talking about
giving thanks always–
“..give thanks in all circumstances.”
~1 Thess. 5:18
So here it goes…
~ I’m thankful she didn’t get hurt.
~I’m thankful I had several bottles of Spot Shot on hand.
~I’m thankful for the conversations Laura & I had while we were cleaning.
~I’m thankful for my friend who cautioned me about sending mixed messages by taking photos…
I almost didn’t take the pictures, but felt it was okay in this scenario because Lydia knew they were being sent to her dad and she took that very seriously.
But still–I know God has used my friend to help me be more careful in this area.
~I’m thankful all the ink came out except for the lampshades (and maybe the bedspread).
~I’m thankful this happened today instead of tomorrow when Colson has surgery.
~I’m thankful that I had enough laundry soap to wash everything.
~I’m thankful that I was at a great Bible study this morning,
where God softened my heart before this happened.
~And I’m thankful for Lydia.
She is an amazing gift from Him and she adds joy to our lives daily!

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  1. wow – all I can say is wow! I love your thankfuls, certainly puts things in perspective!

    • Our daughter Selah died a few years ago…and it always helps me remember…I’m thankful for these kiddos-who-create-chaos from time to time.

      BUT–even with that–still takes me a bit to “get there”.
      The “thankfuls” came more easily when I realized that the paint was going to to eventually come off our walls :)

  2. Wow… So glad you were able to find the blessings in this!

  3. Best post all week. I’m putting this in my Friday Five. Now I can’t wait until Friday! :D

  4. HopeUnbroken says:

    and i’m sitting here trying not to laugh, as if she’s sitting across from me and can see me :-)
    wow, kara. what a creative spirit this little one has! can’t wait to see how God uses her imagination (and nerve, LOL) as she continues to grow in her knowledge of Him and His plan for her life. :-) and that’s the only way to give thanks, isn’t it? knowing that somehow, it’s all being worked out for a purpose.
    love your spirit of thankfulness, no matter how long it took you to get there :-)
    blessings on your day, my friend! and may it be only slightly less colorful. . . .

  5. Wofford Aprilann says:

    Can you tell me more about the summer in the park bible study? Might be something we could implement here. Thanks,

    • Sure…we’ve met pretty much every summer since a long time. :)

      The expectation is that it’s going to be pretty low-key and that there will be distractions. We do use a park/playground that is fairly isolated though (in the middle of a neighborhood) so that it’s mostly our children playing there. When they were all really little, we had A LOT of interruptions, but we just all kind of agreed to expect that. Usually about 6 or 8 of us each summer. For us, during the year…we all are leading/involved in other studies, so it’s kind of a time we count on for renewing friendships. Some years we go through a book of the Bible or sometimes just a good book and someone agrees to write ?s to connect it to Scripture.
      Linda Dillow’s “Calm My Anxious Heart” is great and one year we went through the study guide to Randy Alcorn’s “Heaven”.

      I’m also involved in another GREAT study on Tuesday mornings through the end of July this summer and we meet at our church because we need childcare so we can really talk and focus.

  6. Oh my goodness that is horrible-but hilarious! I love the photo of her, what a mess. And I’m so glad you’ve shared how thankful you are for those things- it’s great how God prepares us sometimes, if we look for it.

    Blessings, Nicole

  7. THIS was Lydia’s RED banner day! :) She is adorable, red ink or not! :)

    • Thank you Sarah.
      Colson had his tonsils out early this morning, so Lydi spent the night at my friend’s (who courageously still agreed to take her even AFTER seeing the photos :)

      Thankfully…it all went well and I heard she was “just perfect” but at drop off, I noticed her legs and cheeks still have a red hue to them :)

  8. Gina Smith says:

    Oh. My. Word! That is the cutest thing I ever saw!!! (But then I didn’t have to clean it up!!)

  9. Oh, my. Torn between crying and laughing here as a parent who has been down interesting roads as well. I’m guessing this will be funny one day. :-(

    My mom tells us all the story of how she and my dad had so very little when we were growing up. They had managed to finally get some decent living room furniture. She came into the room soon after getting it only to find my oldest brother had taken her bright red lipstick from her purse, and had scribbled all over the furniture and walls with it. Yikes.

    I am so glad your heart was soft before you had to handle this. Our state of mind and heart are so important when we are dealing with our kids. Blessings and hugs to you-so glad most of it came out and you found reasons to be thankful.

  10. Wow- This brought back so many memories, only mine were in blue! Blessings as you walk in thankfulness, I hope today is a clean-free, color-free day!

  11. Oh my gosh! And I thought my bathroom experience that I blogged about today was bad! LOL This will be such a source of joy and laughter when she’s older and you’re sharing old times…trust me on this one! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  12. Wow, way to go with your thankfulness. That’s the best way you could have ended this post!

  13. Aww! That last picture broke my heart! I needed the reminder to be cautious about when I take pictures so I don’t give mixed messages to my little ones. I am guilty far too often of snapping a picture! I like how you handled it!

    Thanks for linking up at Thrive @ Home Thursday!

    • I appreciated that reminder from my friend…especially as she gets older and is more aware. I DO NOT want a repeat of this one :)
      Don’t want her thinking it was cute or funny.
      (though today…it looks pretty funny :)

  14. jobeob987 says:

    Bless your hearts! I feel for you, Kara, and for little Lydia too. I can also relate to this. When my middle child was around two, we were getting ready for church one day when I realized she was missing — only to find her “painting” our new loveseat with Vaseline (it never came out). BTW, she’s an art major now in her final year of college. :-) Perhaps Lydia will be an artist one day too. ;-)

    Thank you for helping me keep things in perspective this AM. When I’m stressed, I do find that keeping things in perspective helps keep me in grateful frame of mind. A daily journal where I list things I’m grateful for (even silly, inconsequential stuff) seems to help too.

    Have a great one!


  15. That is too funny!!! It brings back memories of when my son was little (he’s 13 now), he got ahold of some liquid makeup of mine and finger painted on the couch and chair and carpet. It’s true that when you look back on it it’s funnier!! I pray all went well for Colson and I’m sure he’s feeling better soon.

  16. What a wonderful story. I used to do day-care and have some “messy” stories of my own. I love it when children are creative, no matter how much work it gives us. God bless you muchly…Billie

  17. Terikagrogan says:

    This made me giggle and brought back memories. I just wanted to share, I had the same experience about 13 years ago when my oldest daughter decided to do the same thing (painting the carpet, walls, mattress, door frames, etc..). Her choice of color was purple and she painted her baby sister too! It took days to get the purple off of her sister. She looked like she had bruises.
    I also took pictures. I was so glad I did. I used some of them at her “purple party” when she was older. I blew the picture up and placed above it “She has always liked purple, she even wanted her little sister to be purple!”.
    Good times! :-)

    • I can’t wait for the photo-share-opportunity down the road :)
      She’s the youngest of 5…and we only have “these kind of photos” for one other of our crew.
      He “vaselined” his newborn baby brother one time during naptime.
      Love the image of the purple baby sister :)

  18. Rebecca says:

    Reminds me of the time my oldest wrote on some furniture with a Sharpie. Of course, she wrote, “I love Mommy” really big. Such a mixture of emotions. Thanks for the sweet, honest post and the great reminder of how we are called to be thankful and to be kind.

  19. So precious. Even better with the Always Smiling t-shirt. When they are awake and quiet that is the time to check on them. What a cutey.

  20. Anna-Marie says:

    Oh my, what a mess. But that face is so loveable:)

  21. Marilynbkok says:

    This sharing was priceless. Thanks for sharing. It brought memories back for me (38 yrs ago) only our son used black felt pen. It was 2 weeks before we were to move out of our rented duplex. Needless to say every room got painted with heavy duty primer then with paint. It was cheaper than losing our $800.00 damage deposit. At times like that love exceeds the desire to kill. Good thing. :-))))

  22. LOVE this! She’s so funny (I said from a mile away and safe behind a computer screen). And adorable. And I love your “thankfuls”–I don’t know that I would have thought of those right away.

  23. Kari@CountHisBlessings says:

    I LOVE THIS!! She is priceless and you finding gratitude in the midst of this mess is priceless too! Blessings! Visiting from

  24. Thehumbledhomemaker says:

    Oh what a doll! I could so see this happening at my house! Love your perspective!!

  25. Well, I’m thankful for your blog! My daughter did the same thing with nail polish a month ago, and I had to tell her to stay in bed until I was ready to talk to her because I was angry and didn’t want to sin against her in my anger. (She ended up staying in bed the whole time that I scrubbed fuchsia nail polish out of the carpet, even though she had to go to the bathroom, which meant that I also had the clean the mattress later…) But I was brought to your blog for the first time that evening and read “Why We Don’t Believe in Babysitters” and was so blessed to see your words. I know that my impulsive, creative, passionate, lovely little daughter will bring such glory to God…one day. And so will yours!

    • Oh Ash :)

      I’m so with you…I SO know those emotions and appreciate the way you handled it (even though you ended up with a mattress to clean as well). I wrote a note to someone as I processed this…about how my sin is not quite so obvious as hot-pink-paint-on-walls, but I still do things I wish I could take back and the damage caused my bad choices is often MUCH greater.

      “Bring glory to God…one day”
      That’s totally my prayer for her…and for our whole crew.

      I don’t know if you have others…but one of our middle sons was SO much like this when he was little. He is 10 now and really trustworthy and responsible (not perfect by any means :) but, he loves God deeply and because it’s easy to “see” who he is and what he’s thinking/planning/doing/feeling (because he’s always done it BIG, like Lydi) it is also easy for me to see the depth of his relationship with the Lord. That is a huge gift and I pray that for our girls too!

      It’s good to look back and remember.
      And I’ll let you in on a little crazy secret of mine from YEARS ago…

      That son I mentioned actually painted this same bedspread with bright red nail polish when he was three (while I thought he was napping and took out the recycling to the curb).

      I was really sad…actually cried…I know…totally lost perspective…it’s just a bedspread, but it was absolutely WRECKED.

      (At that same time, he also painted the head of his 18 month old baby brother who was “napping” with him and before I realized it was nailpolish, I called 911 thinking it was blood and even though I told the 911 operator it actually was just nailpolish, they had to send the police, who had to search our house in case someone was holding me/us hostage and making me say that everything was actually just fine…but that’s a whole different story :)

      So about a week after that happened, I unbelievably found the same bedspread on ebay for next-to-nothing and ordered it. I think God was just being kind to me. I know it was just a bedspread…but it was just His kindness. Anyway–when it arrived, it actually was a “lot” of 2, which I’d somehow missed in the ebay description. So I actually ended up with two of the same bedspread.

      At the time I remember thinking…maybe God is letting me know that more of this may be around the corner :)

      I stuffed the extra one under the bed and had completely forgotten about it until I read your post about the nailpolish. Ran upstairs just now and sure enough, it’s still there :)

      So–THANK YOU!!!
      And hang on to hope with me and we’ll pray for God’s wisdom and protection and patience with these little ones who have such BIG personalities….that God will get ahold of their hearts and channel their “skills” for what will bring Him glory.

      So nice to meet a “kindred” mama :)

      • How awesome that you remembered your other bedspread! I know it’s just a bedspread, but it’s also another reminder that God is both good enough and great enough to reach into your life and care for your every need!

        I have a verse I chose for each of my kiddos to pray over them when they were each born (I have four) and the one for my…um…spunkiest little girl, is Jeremiah 32:38-40, praying that she would have singleness of heart and action so that she would always fear God for her own good and the good of her children. I see that singleness of heart and action when she gets so focused on an action, (like painting everything within reach with nail polish) that she looses touch with everything else (like that fact that she is WAY breaking the rules.) It’s so good to remember that God already has plans to hone her rough edges into something far more beautiful than I can imagine. Already I have seen her turn the pages in her little Jesus Storybook Bible, lost in thought and wonder over God’s goodness, and I am amazed by what God has done and what he will do for her.

        (It’s also good to remember that he has made the same promise for me, and that he is using my children and my friends to hone me and shape me into the woman and the follower of Christ he wants me to be. )

  26. Inga Sigurdson says:

    I wish I had seen this the other day. My 6 year old son used blue pen to draw on 3 walls of his bedroom! I have to repaint the whole room. Unfortunately, I did not stop to reflect on all the things I had to be grateful for. He was also quiet- for 10 minutes. This is a kid who takes 10 minutes to put on shoes, so I’m still baffled he managed to get so much done! Your little Lydia is certainly cute- even when naughty!

    • Happened to be on here when this came through…
      Here’s a :) for the kindred-ness (I can tell you’ve “been there” :) and also an “I’m sorry”.
      So hard and frustrating.
      And believe me…it took me a bit to get to the “thankfuls”.
      Just that morning we were in the park doing a Bible study on being thankful…too convicting to ignore the application :)
      Thank you for understanding how MUCH can be accomplished in 10 min. :)

  27. Chelle Wilson says:

    AMEN! What a little pumpkin, until the final picture with the tears, which tore my heart….Aren’t you thankful for gratitude? I’ve had so much confirmation lately that every situation challenges us to give thanks…I loved your list. My guess is that Lydia will remember the way you dealt with her long after all the stains have been cleaned and all the messes repaired. Congratulations on a memorable Mom moment.
    God’s peace and good to you-and thanks for letting me find you at the Wellspring.

    • Thank you Chelle…I absolutely feel like He’s trying to teach me what you wrote above– that “every situation challenges us to give thanks”.
      She IS a little pumpkin and I hear her waking up now, so I better run…had more to say…but thank you for stopping by and visiting our little spot :)

  28. Oh dear, I’m just now seeing this for the first time! May I give you one more thing to be thankful for? Be thankful that you are an encouragement to others who see this, read this, and that it helps us to know we are not alone. Chaos happens often in my home, and I admittedly found some comfort (and laughter) in looking at those pictures. Laughter is good medicine – so thanks for my morning dose, Miss Lydia and Mommy! And that shirt combined with THAT face – absolutely perfect!

  29. Kara- thank you for sharing this post with me! Haven’t we all been there as moms of young ones… I cannot be more impressed by the way you handled this! {Not that you were trying to impress us} ;) You have set such a good example of choosing grace in a really difficult situation {though part of you probably wanted to laugh}… this is absolutely halarious to read and see… until it is YOU going through it… but such a good thing to walk through as a parent huh… it makes us more aware of our sin and gives us an opportunity to show grace… yet again! Love you friend!


  1. Chuppdate #5 says:

    […] For Naptime-ink-pad-art-adventures… […]

  2. […] …sign our 3 year old up for preschool. (Just another reason our motto is– “each child, every year…looking to God for wisdom”).  Lydi will start preschool next week on T/TH for about two hours each day while I homeschool our big kids.  She will absolutely LOVE it and it’ll give me a chance to focus on the older kiddos’ schoolwork without worrying about impromptu artwork like this. […]

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  5. […] when naptime was less about napping, and more about using a sibling’s ink pad to quietly-Picasso the entire […]

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  8. […] (Thankfully this photo wasn’t really from this past week, but if you want the back story, you can find it => here.) […]

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  10. […] How does it help a mama who is about to lose it because– There is a popsicle stick stuck to the corner of the couch, he forgot to mention signing “us” up to bring cupcakes for the class party, there wasn’t a trash bag in the garbage can when they scraped the breakfast plates, and someone used a stamp pad to wallpaper her sister’s room? […]

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