A 15 Minute Project for Joy (and Terror)

When she was in 3rd grade, my daughter drew a self-portrait in art class at school.

You know the assignment. Where they give you a picture of half your face and you’re supposed to duplicate it by drawing the other half?

That assignment.

This assignment.


God bless this child.

She’s going to knife us all in our sleep.

Also, these two buttheads decided to pose as zombies for their first day of first grade.

photo 2 (72)

Gosh, I love my weirdos.

All of which I’m telling you because yesterday sucked.

Not in the life-changing sucked kind of way. I mean, there were no new diagnoses or sordid confessions or abrupt halts or false starts. Nothing juicy.

Yesterday just sucked in the ho-hum, ALL THE THINGS kind of way.

So I decided yesterday’s project for our 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects would be Something – Any Thing – That Brings Joy. And I was VERY glad to see some of you took me seriously by eating Cadbury Eggs, sitting on davenports, and making side salads to go with leftovers for dinner. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE, and you do joy well, and I’m hoping you understand I really mean it.

For me, the Joyful Thing was framing my werewolf and zombie pictures and hanging them on my bedroom wall which shall henceforth be called Mommy’s Wall of Terror.

photo 1 (70)

Then I added my sons’ disembodied thumbs, cast in plaster on a kindergarten field trip to the dentist’s office, which I keep around for those times Thumbs Up are hard to come by.

photo 3 (53)

They work well at the base of the candelabra I found and didn’t dust.

photo 2 (76)

In the future, I plan to add these photos to the bunch.

photo 1 (25)


Because I think that’s what Jesus would do.

The End


LentIf you’re joining me for 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects, you can find today’s project here on the 5 Kids Facebook page or here in the Compiled List of all the 15 Minute Projects to Date



Environmental Living Tip of the Day

Since I’m patently Not Qualified to offer environmental living tips, I’ve asked my friend Leslie to join us here periodically during our 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects to offer tips, tricks and simple solutions to treat the earth better.

Today’s Tip: When purchasing kitchen utensils, try to purchase wooden utensils – eventually wood “return to the earth” or break down while plastic never will.

Leslie Hodgdon Murray is a Quaker pastor who is pursuing her Master’s of Divinity with an emphasis in Christian Earthkeeping. Her passion in life is helping people reduce waste, simplify life and reduce their ecological footprint. 



And Congratulations to Jenniffer Taylor who tackled her laundry room with her 15 Minute Projects.

Jenniffer writes: I am a 42 year old adoptive mother of three and Girl Scout troop leader who once upon a time was an artist and writer. Right now I get my creative expression being that annoying mom who makes amazing hand made invitations, Valentines cards and fancy cupcakes. But in full disclosure my laundry looks like this while I do it. I just need the creative outlet more than I need clean socks to wear. Other mom’s have different priorities and I can respect that. I often wonder if I should move cleaning up the list a bit but then I go lie down until it passes. I take a lot of naps. 

Jenniffer’s Before:

2014-03-07 17.13.46

Jenniffer’s After:

2014-03-07 17.46.14

Nicely done!

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17 responses to “A 15 Minute Project for Joy (and Terror)”

  1. Oh. Such pathos. Such drama. Such children. I love it that you aren’t frightened by your childrens’ fascination by grisly things. You rock, my friend.

  2. So FB FINALLY put you back where I can keep up with you again. I’m a day late on the joy thing– but I say, MEH! Guess my joy thing is catching up on your posts. Still in my pjz at 1:11 pm while my hubby makes me scones. (yes, he DOES things like that :)). Hi Beth, nice to find you again 🙂

  3. Ohhhh LOVE LOVE LOVE the inner wolf. Adore your daughter so much. Things that bring you joy…. YES!

    Today I started making my daughter a cape. With a cat on it, because DUH, I can’t draw a pony, and a lightning bolt is kind of redundant. But then I found out my sister is pregnant with #4 (all my sisters are fertile, the universe’s cruel joke) and it was so damn sunny outside and I swept up the peas from lunch FOUR TIMES. Plus sand. And then I was done, and in the middle of trying to wrangle a still damp darling daughter into pants, I just started crying and couldn’t stop for a long, long time.

    Don’t tell anyone, k?

  4. Cathie I didn’t do anything either. Except right now I’m reading this and eating pretzels instead of Doritos so that’s some kind of cleanse right?

      • My Washer and Dryer have tops for about 2 hours a month. The rest of the time they do not. It must some kind of passing worm hole or something.

      • I’m thinking she swept her clothing into the washer AND the dryer, took a picture and then replaced them. Right????

        • Nope. Only actual cleaning happened in this picture. Mostly I took all the stuff that didn’t fit and added it to the goodwill box. You can see the dryer is empty in the picture. That is a miracle that is so rare I had to capture it on film.

  5. I cleaned my kitchen today. Ok at least the floor that hadn’t been mopped in forever. Oh, and I wiped at the walls and threw out a bunch of stuff from under the sink. Does this mean I am caught up on the challenges? ? I haven’t really done anything else. 🙂

    • I made my 16 y.o. mop all the floors in the house since I let her skip school on the last day before spring break. That counts too… right???

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