Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Minute Friday.

The Rules.

1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got. q
2.Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
3.And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.

Motherhood should come with...
I could get artsy  and reflect on the sisterhood of moms(which is great) but I really think we all should be given a handbook of weird childhood illnesses that no one has ever heard of. Impetigo? Fifth's disease? Croup? Roseola? Its crazy. I also think it should come with a healthy dose of humility. I mean really. We all have a checklist in our head of things we WILL do and will NOT do with our kids when we finally have them, but the truth is those little things are PEOPLE. They have their own personalities and interests. Just because you dont want to 'stereotype' your boy doesnt mean he won't love cars, trucks, wrestling, and sharks anyway. Just let them be who they are. And don't say what you WONT do in front of seasoned moms. I can't tell you the remorse I've had for the arrogance in informing all the moms I know of what I would do better(in not so many words) The truth is, your kids are sinners, and so are you. Pray for yourself and for them, and roll with it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whats your point Wednesday

I guess I really have no point today. I am not in a blogging a mood, and there isnt much anything that is worth saying.

I went the whole day today without touching my netbook. The kids and I read books, played inside and out, ran errands, and sang songs. It was a good day, and I thoroughly enjoyed not being distracted by the siren call of the open laptop. My point: It was a good day.

I ordered a cookbook and it came in today, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I opened it, and used the first recipe I found right away which was Beet, Kale and Walnut Salad. I've been needing ideas for the beets I've been getting in the CSA share I split with Jamie. We have been lovingly dumping our shares of the beets on each other whenever the opportunity presents itself. The salad was actually pretty good. If I had some feta cheese to throw in, it would have been even better. My point: The cookbook has lived up to the rave reviews already. Win!

Josiah and Naomi were playing some invented game the other day, and the living room was filled with giggles. In the middle of the fun, I heard Josiah say, "I love you, Naomi." and she replied, "I love you, Josiah." So precious. It made me thank the Lord for my sweet kids. My Point: They may be fiesty, but they love playing together. What a blessing.

I woke up last night in a panic. You know that fear that you get when you think of some problem that you cannot solve at 3am, but you cant get it out of your head? That was me last night. I immediately started thinking about all the small, unsafe, chokeable pieces that are littered throughout the playroom. With Titus crawling in the near future, it is a very unsafe space for a baby. I dont feel up to typing out the scenarios I imagined in my head about what could happen, so first thing this morning I filled up a gallon sized ziploc bag full of tiny My Little Pony pieces, car parts, play kitchen pieces, and anything else that Titus could put in his mouth. I was actually surprised that I didnt fill up more bags. After that, I felt much better. My Point: It may not be all age-appropriate toys, but now I feel much better about Titus playing with his brother and sister in the future. And I can sleep better tonight.

I should have known. Of course I can come up with something to say.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Whats Your Point Wednesday. Yeah, its Thursday. Whats your point?

Grace Upon Grace

So what if its Thursday?? Anytime I blog its a win, so who cares if I'm a day late? In fact, I like the bulleted lists of talking points (Lessons learned, Whats your point), so I could probably make all my titles "Whats your point?"

It has been my limited experience that when I pick up blogging again blog-worthy events seem to happen to me. It might not really be true. It may just be that I am in the frame of mind that when little things happen I think, "That's going in the blog." It also could be that I feel pressured to make sure that I'm coming up with interesting(this is subjective) tidbits to talk about, so everything then becomes blog-worthy. Either way, I'm limiting my scope in this site to mostly the trivial. I have found that theology and cultural issues are easier to communicate in person. I get frustrated with my inabilities to put into text what I want to say, and how to say it. So for now at least I'm making myself keep it simple. Family stories, funny episodes, and an occasoinal recipe sprinkled in will be what you can expect. You might have figured that out by now, but I felt the need to share. My point: I communicate better orally instead of through the written word. This is not really good news if one is trying to blog more.

It has been one weird week so far. I think things got weird on Saturday and it just continued for a while. There was no one thing that was particuarly hard, but just a collection of small stuff piled on top of each other. One thing that I'm having misgivings about sharing is something that is embarrassing but apparently very common. So far, none of my friends have had to deal with it, but it could also be that none of us are brave enough to share this type of info with each other. I hope thats not the case. Anyway, to create the illusion of secrecy while still sharing this helpful information with my (3) readers, this embarassing condition will be named (rhymes with) spinfirms. I would have never even suspected that or known to look for it, but since I know some people who have dealt with it, I had an idea what to look for. So, if your son or daughter plays outside often and might occasionally put their hands in their mouths, and starts itching in the diaper/underwear area, you might want to check out about spinfirms and get some medicine at your drugstore. And then religiously wash their sheets, clothes, bathtub, hands, cups, chairs,  fingernails, and basically anything else that your child comes in contact with. And then realize that if your child plans on playing outside again that it might happen again, and then stop feeling ashamed about it. My point: sharing this type of info can be embarrassing, but unless we share we won't know what to look for and how to help. Right??

It's Thursday, which means library day. Today we are going to look for books about pangolins. They are funny little creatures that Josiah got really interested in the other night. Also, I decided to make use of the online hold/request feature last week so now I have 15 books waiting on me at the front desk that I chose from The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. Yay. I'm still going to let Josiah and Naomi pick out a few books themselves, but this way I know I'm still getting some quality selections. My point: Planning ahead is going to save my life.

We ended up with 6 butterflies in our little herd. They snuck out of their cucoons when we weren't looking over a period of a couple days. Everytime we looked in there there was a new butterfly It was really amazing watching them slowly open and close their wings. I really liked to watch them eating. So amazing. It also really creeped me out having them hanging out in our house. I guess knowing that all creation groans under us made me a little suspicious of these beautiful insects. I knew they resented being in a cage for our entertainment when they really belonged outside flitting from flower to flower. We let them go yesterday and they seemed very eager to escape our backyard and get on with real living. Its nice to have them gone, since I knew the only thing that kept them from stinging us was the lack of a stinger. My point: I feel guilty that because of the Fall, even harmless and  beautiful butterflies don't like us. Its mutual.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lessons Learned

I was making scones for church last night and while the first batch was baking, I was getting the second batter going. I picked up the first egg, and before I knew it, I had GREY EGG GUTS spatter on me and the floor!  I was in total shock. I'd heard the phrase 'rotten egg' before, but not realizing what that meant or implied I didnt know what to do. A few seconds passed and then the smell set in. Oh the smell. Dirk is my go-to guy to help in any major/scary/smelly clean up, so he helped me figure out what to do next. Things were stripped, sterilized, and thrown out. Ugh, it was so nasty. Now I KNOW why chefs on cooking shows will crack eggs into a seperate bowl before combining into what they are cooking. Its not just because they can't crack an egg without dropping some the shell into the bowl. Its because rotten eggs are the WORST.

Lesson learned: Open eggs in a seperate bowl, and dont think that rotten eggs are a myth. They are real, and they stink.

I've mentioned that we have a herd of catterpillars that are in their cuccoons right now. Well, the deal is  you buy the collapsable cage that looks like a small springy laundry basket (My kids like to wear it on their heads and pretend to be robots. Why? Because they are 4 and 2 years old.), and you send off for the catterpillars. When they finally arrived they were little guys all scurrying around the little cup they came in. The cup has all the food they need, so they stay in there until they spin their cuccoons. They grew a lot and slowed down their movements over the next week or so, and then one day they were all mysteriously in their coccoons.

As owners of the butterflies(Can one really 'own' a butterfly? HA. I kid. Of course one can.)our only job is to move them into the aforementioned butterfly cage while they are coccooning* and affix the small piece of gauze that they are hanging from to the wall of the cage with a safety pin. We have been meaning to do this for a while. 6 days to be exact. I knew we needed to do it, but it kind of intimidates me so I was hoping Dirk would do it. I wasnt too worried since I knew we had 'about 2 weeks' like the information sheet said. But, I think the neophyte butterflies knew it was Easter and came out today to celebrate--or at least one did. When we came home today, one little baby butterfly was hanging from the gauze still inside the original cup. It was exciting and annoying. Two weeks my foot.

I'm sure she** was a little annoyed too, wonderously emerging from her little coccoon only to find out that she was still in the same container that she started from. There wasn't even room to open her wings without hitting the other coccoons. What a letdown. The others will be opening soon, and we watched one vibrate pretty fiercely for a while so I know that one will probably be next.

The lesson here is: Its not always cool to be the first butterfly to emerge. The next ones will have the whole cage to fly around in instead of the tiny cup.

I should mention that the kids are very excited about these butterflies. Its really fun to see their faces light up. Titus doesnt really know what he's looking at, but its still exciting. Naomi squeals with delight when she slowly opens and closes her wings. Josiah talks to her telling her to eat the food we've put in the cage for her. So far she's opted for the catterpillar food still in the cup. Maybe she's still annoyed at us for forgetting to move her out before her big reveal.

*made up word.
**I have no idea what gender 'she' is, and I dont care to wikipedia it.

Happy Spring! Happy Resurrection Day! Happy Easter!

I love all of these pictures for different reasons, and not one of them is perfect. I kind of wish I were better at photoshop and could make one of these the 'perfect' family photo. Oh well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whats Your Point? Friday edition

I stumbled across Younger Restlesser and Reformeder , 'good natured roast' of the new Calvinist culture of which I am squarely placed. It was pretty dead-on in areas. I think it was meant to zing! me and really make me sting and laugh at the same time, but instead it was kind of a comfort. Its nice to know that if we were uprooted and planted in Grand Rapids, Michigan(where Ted Kluck is) we would fit right in, Honda Odyssey and and all. My point: Its nice to know we arent as weird as we feel.

I got my hair cut last week and after a few days of living with it I decided it wasnt exactly what I was hoping for so tonight I went back for a tune-up. I LOVE it. I really do. I admit I was vague when I sat down the first time, so the stylist(hairdresser? haircutter?) went with what would look cute--and it was! It was really cute, except that I have a bad habit of tucking my hair behind my ears and it was making my hair poof out and look ridiculous. Anyway, she fixed it and I'm really happy with this new haircut. My point: hairstylists have a lot of patience and I appreciate what they do.

Yesterday while I was home I made a whole bunch of babyfood and froze them into little baby food ice cubes. I made green beans, broccoli, carrots, corn, apples, mangoes, sweet potato. I also have some squash, zucchini and blueberry to whirl up sometime. This is big for me because wtih my first two little ones I would just make stuff as I needed it. It was pretty easy, and I didnt see the need to get all crazy with making up a bunch at once. But since Mighty Titus is #3, I've learned that if I didnt do it when I had an opportunity, I it wouldnt happen at all. So now the little guy is ready to go for the next week or two. My point: I get better at planning, preparing, and producing with each child.

I resolved(something YRRers do a lot, apparently) a while back to get better at hospitality and I'm glad to say that despite orderliness being my weakness, I've been brave enough to have spontaneous friends and family over.* Its not because I am getting better at having a well-ordered and presentable home, but because I think I've gotten over my fear of people seeing that we can be messy(gasp! I think the secret is out) and realizing that guests are more comfortable when their host is as well, not when the house is spotless. So I'm happy to let go of the dream of having everything neatly packed away and organized and really try to just enjoy the moment. Its been nice. My point: Changing is good.

*Full disclosure: once I forgot that I invited my sister over and she and the kids were in our driveway waiting for us and really, I had to just swallow my sense of shame and let her in our chaotic home. She grew up with me, its not like she didnt know I'm a mess.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Speaking of coffee...

Coffee. It has been a part of my life for about 13-14 years now. We're still together after all this time. There have been periods of tension and disinterest especially during pregnancies, but we're back now and better than ever.

I told Dirk a few weeks ago that I knew I had a problem. I knew that if I wanted a healthier lifestyle that I knew I would have to give up my warm cup of caffeine, refined sugar, and fat. But I got over that after a few days of experimenting with different herbal teas. Ugh. There is no comparison. And after all, its not as if I'm milling my own wheat berries and sprouting my grains over here, so why stress over one and a half spoonfulls of sugar and a splash of half and half?? I think I'll live. (Sorry, "black or not at all" crowd, you may have more hair on your chest, but you are missing out.)

There is just something comforting about holding my favorite mug of some warm, quality, prefectly mixed verona to get me ready for the day. And after the kids are down for naps, seeing just enough in the press for another cup is my reward for...something. Anything, really.

I guess my point is this: I like coffee.