Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Last night at dinner, I asked the kids, “If you could design an ice cream flavor, what would you put in it?”

I learned that we have a few strange kiddos!

The youngest one (the six year old boy) said, “SALAD!  I want ice cream with vegetables in it!”  Then he told us specifically that he wants, “bananas, apples, and blueberries.”  After a little botany lesson, he conceded that it was fruit that he wanted, but the image of salad ice cream will not leave my mind!

His brother wanted salmon ice cream.

The next oldest, Ethiopian by birth, wanted to use berbere (an Ethiopian spice) to add some kick to her dessert.

I was wondering, “Whose children are these?”

Finally, the one I have to claim, because we look just alike, piped up with, “Well I want peanut butter and chocolate in mine.”  Never mind that I don’t really like peanut butter, I’m takin’ hers!

What flavor ice cream would you make?

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A Big Day

[written Saturday, April 23, 2011]

Perhaps I should rename this blog, “Trying to Catch Up With the Days,” or, “A Mother’s Random Ramblings About Where the Time Went.”

Today we got a box in the mail.  In it were the math books that my children will use during the next school year (ordering early because there’s 20% off in April – woohoo!), including a kindergarten math book for my youngest child!  He is SO excited.  He’s also sure that he is going to start kindergarten tomorrow!  I, on the other hand, am wondering how on earth my youngest is old enough to start school!

My oldest child also got a big bike.  She’s been riding on two wheels for forever, but she needed a bike with a bigger frame . . . and the next size up really does look big.  It has shocks and gears and no foot breaks!  She and her dad had one of those coming of age talks, you know, . . . about how to not flip yourself over the handlebars by breaking with only the front breaks, and off she went – multiple speeds and all.

Little man also got a fever today . . . at least someone still needs me!

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This Is My Father’s World

Sitting at the window, watching them play
Red and navy coats, running every direction
Bright fleece covering heads and scarves covering faces
Only eyes showing their smiles
Giant flakes of white falling, lilting
Snowflakes singing silently
My heart bursting wide open

Playing at the moment:
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

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A Rockin’ Challenge

The Rockin' Mama Challenge

Lately it seems to me that the number of minutes in a day must be decreasing . . . or maybe it’s the number of seconds in a minute.  Either way, it is as if I blink, and an entire day has flown by.  As I type [the rough draft of] this, I am racing the clock to dinner time!

I have also been noticing that my children seem to need all my minutes, so I spend my days bouncing from the needs of one child to the needs of the next and on and on.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this mom-of-four-homeschoolers life that I have chosen . . . but it is a tad bit hectic.  And I know that some days there just isn’t enough of me to go around.  Sadly, I am going to admit to you all that I’m afraid that it is usually my youngest who doesn’t get enough of me when there’s not enough to go around.  With three older siblings, it is sometimes easy to let them help him.  I think they are all better for it . . . but I’ve been wondering if I need to set aside a little more of me for just him.

When I saw Lisa’s Challenge, I was delighted!  This is just what I need to set a new habit of BEing with my littlest one.  I always find internet accountablity a little weird, so I usually bow out of these things . . . but this time, I’m on board.

The challenge:  to spend fifteen minutes a day, rocking . . . or otherwise intentionally engaging one-on-one . . . one of your children.  There’s more about it here!  Come on, join us!  Seems like a great way to spend these cold months!

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Watching her successfully navigate this stunt made me wish we were in Colorado skiing.

A good run!

Snowball fight!  Can you see the snowball right above our neighbor’s shoulder?  Little Man nailed him only to be repaid in full.

Working together to get the snowman’s head across the shoveled drive and back onto snowy ground.

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It was 20 degrees outside when we walked around to our neighbors homes to share the fruit of our day’s labors.

But the pans were still warm, so it didn’t seem too bad!

We delivered five pans of cinnamon rolls to our neighbors.  We have two pans left on the counter – one neighbor wasn’t home, and one pan will be for our breakfast.

When we came in from our deliveries, we sat down and ate the baked “ends,” those parts of the roll that are a little misshapen and not good enough to give as gifts – what fun!


The kids also spent much time today lamenting the in-edibility of the icing on their gingerbread trains.  Because cinnamon rolls and catching up on three days of the chocolate advent calendars wasn’t enough; they needed MORE candy!


Bubba has a new poetry memorization assignment coming, but I think we are going to ignore the books suggestion and memorize “Twas the Night Before Christmas!”  I remember memorizing it as a kid.  I don’t remember why, I just know I did.  I’m excited for her to do it . . . and she’s excited too!


Any opinions are appreciated.  I have some great helpers for the co-op class that I “teach” on Fridays.  I wanted to make them all a little thank you gift.  I was going to give them handmade soap, but I’m sort of a chicken . . . I’m new at this soap-making gig, and not all of my bars are very pretty.  So that leaves me sort of last minute looking for a gift.  I was thinking of making cinnamon honey butter . . . but I don’t know that I’ll have any time to bake anything to go with it.  So can I just give a little jar of the cinnamon honey butter?  Or should I come up with something else or wake up at a crazy time to bake something . . . oh, we all know that won’t happen, so don’t suggest that!  (wink, wink!)

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What She Said

Wes Stafford, president of Compassion International, is asking folks to share their story – the story of someone who changed their lives by speaking into them courage or hope or compassion.  Here’s my story:

As a child I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and I loved being there.  My grandmother was an amazing hostess, a woman who gave freely of herself to all in her sphere of influence, and she whispered into my life words that changed me.

Over and over and over, she whispered “yes.”

She leaned over, close to me, at the restaurant, holding up her fingers, and said, “Yes!  You can learn to do those nine multiplication facts!  Let me show you this trick. . . .”  That night, while out with the family, my grandma taught me all of my nines!

When I was probably eight, and I wanted to help her color posters for her class room, she said, “Yes, let’s do it together!”  Looking back, I’m sure that I didn’t do nearly as good a job as she would have, but I colored my best, showed her my picture, and she hung it in her classroom alongside the poster that she had colored.

A summer later, when I asked to put together a sewing project, she said, “Yes!  I think you can do that, and I’ll help!”  Then we went to the fabric store and bought all of the supplies with her money, and she sat in the room with me answering questions and helping me every step of the way.

I learned to make macaroni and cheese – the kind that is made with milk and actual cheese – while in her care and under her “yes.”

I also learned to sew clothes, how to host a meal, how to be a wife in love with her husband, how to crochet, how to manage pain, how to discuss a book, how to see the good in a person, how to bird-watch, how to love a child, and so much more . . . all because she said, “Yes, let’s do that together.”

While my grandma has gone on to be with Jesus, I still carry her “yes” in my heart; it’s a constant reminder that I can do anything with God!  When my own children are discouraged I so often picture myself in my grandma’s role – sitting down beside them saying, “Yes!  You can do this!”  And they do!

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They Just Know

How is it that my children, the same ones who can’t seem to see the items on the floor that need to be picked up or the clean dishes that need to be put away or the laundry waiting to be whisked off to drawers and closets, know that I am about to ask them to do their chores or to help clean up around the house?

How do they know that I am going to ask them to do something of which they are supposedly unaware?

I have one child that always, and I mean every.time., is using the restroom when I ask her to do a job.

Another child – oddlly – finds her way to time out just about the time that I am asking everyone to help.  (Really, is putting away the dishes so bad that you have to misbehave and get in timeout to avoid it?)

Another child who is always in the middle of something really important – usually standing in the middle of the room and looking lost – any time a chore needs to be done.

And finally, my last little one.  The youngest:  He is very proud of the jobs he does around the house, never mind that I have to ask him a billion times to do each of them.  Even though he is supposed to do the same chores every day.  Even though he can tell me what his chores are.  Even though he is proud of them – did I mention that already?

It’s amazing how these things work.

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I just can’t resist saying that any time I see a mushroom or other kind of fungus out in nature!

Thankfully it doesn’t seem that my husband and children mind too much; it usually alerts them that there’s something fun afoot!

Let’s explore a little!

It’s okay; you can get close.  It won’t bite!

Look at all the texture . . . and the lacy edges!  Let’s get a little closer!

I just love a good view!

Ooooh!  Aaaaah!

(taken last Monday on our hike at the new-to-us park!)

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On School

Monday, Handsome was off of work, so I cleared our school calendar too.

We chose to spend our day at a nearby park, not the kind of park with pavilions and towering play equipment, rather a park with miles of paths and trees and grasses blowing in the breeze.  There are and we did enjoy picnic benches and a small play area.  Swings – we enjoyed the swings.  Mostly though we gathered our moments and spent them all on the walking paths where around every turn lie in wait a new surprise.

And when we all, warm and full, climbed back in the van, I was sure that we had learned more than if I had gotten out the books.  For that day, God’s world, it was the best school.

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