Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Caitlyn: I just love school! I can't WAIT to go to school!
Dylan: Well, Caitlyn, I DON'T like school. And if I stay home and home school, then YOU have to stay home and home school, too.
Caitlyn: Well, I like school...
Dylan: Well, I don't! So you're going to have to stay home and home school with me!
Neither of them has actually ever been to school in the traditional sense, but clearly, they are developing strong opinions on the matter! And to tell the truth, my resolve to home school has actually been wavering in recent weeks. So, to hear the determination in Dylan's voice was actually quite a relief to me! (Although I'm not too sure where this leaves Caitlyn. Thankfully, we've got a few more years to work that out!)
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
"OH!" I answered immediately. "YES! You have got to read this one. I get so choked up every time I read it that I can barely finish out loud. Take it! Read it tonight! You will love it!"
"Wait a minute," he said. "Is it sad? No one D-I-E-S at the end, do they?"
"No, no, no," I was quick to assure him. "This book isn't that kind of sad. It's just about growing up. It's sad like Love You Forever is sad. I can't read that one without crying, either."
And so they left, with my cherished copy of Let Me Hold You Longer tucked carefully in with the rest of their belongings.
Yesterday, they had no sooner arrived at my house when my brother demanded, with book in hand, "How could you make me read this?! I had to keep leaving the room just so I could compose myself!"
"I warned you that it was sad!" I responded. "But didn't you just love it anyway, though?"
In this poignant tale inspired by her own six children, the author, Karen Kingsbury, so beautifully captures the essence of childhood. She writes in her introduction that, "We spend our children's days celebrating their firsts. First steps, first tooth, first words. First day of kindergarten, first homecoming dance, first time behind the wheel. But somehow, along the way, we miss their lasts. There are no photographs or parties when a child takes his last nap or catches tadpoles for the last time. For the most part, it's impossible to know when a last-moment actually occurs. Nothing signals a mother to stop and notice the last time her little boy runs and jumps into her arms..."
This book is sad to me because it is so true. Because I can already see it happening in my own children's lives. Because some of these are things that I've already mourned the passing of and because I'm worried there are so many more "lasts" that I won't recognize or appreciate until long after they've come to pass.
This book makes me sad because it forces me, with each reading, to acknowledge how often I go through the day not really being "present" to my children. Of how often I hear their little voices without really listening to their words. And of how I serve them often in the most grudging fashion, selfishly, complainingly. This book makes me wonder how much I would have done differently had I known how quickly these days would pass.
My children truly are my greatest treasures, but I really have to wonder how often my daily actions reflect to them how precious they are to me. And so, as we enter into the season of Lent today, I am making a promise, to myself and to my children, to really be "in the moment" with them, cherishing them and savoring every tiny detail, giving of myself until it hurts. These next forty days of Lent, I want to learn how to truly "die to self", so that when Easter at last arrives, I, too, may "rise up", triumphant, and stronger than ever in my vocation to motherhood.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Dylan was ever so helpful with decorating for the party! He cheerfully made banners for the dining room window and fireplace mantle, hung masks and beads everywhere, and drew a really cool "Mardi Gras Higglytown Hero" to which he affixed a small mask from one of the party sticks he insisted we buy at Hobby Lobby.
The morning began splendidly, with a delectable brunch prepared (mostly!) by my sister-in-law: apple and cherry crepes, egg strata, champagne salad, and, in our one small acquiescence to authentic New Orleans cuisine...beignets! From Cafe Du Monde! We ate way too much, but it was all just so delicious! Later, to get some exercise and fresh air, we walked two blocks to a nearby playground. The weather was beautiful, and I loved watching our little "leaders", my niece and Caitlyn, walking hand in hand with their matching ponytails adorned with Mardi Gras ribbons.
After relaxing for most of the afternoon, we enjoyed our huge dinner but, once again, ate way more than was comfortable! Dessert was going to be a King Cake, but I opted instead to make this delicious lemon pound cake. With frosting and sprinkles, (and a few strategically placed plastic babies!), we had our own version of a King Cake with just a fraction of the work.
We all had such a great time that we agreed we should try this again next year. The food and drinks were phenomenal, but even better was the fun we had together, cooking and feasting and lingering at the table long after we were finished eating. If this is our "last hurrah" before the agonizingly long forty days of lent, I'll take it...with pleasure.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I am happy to report that her check-up went well this morning. She does have a nasty cold, but everything else checked out fine. She also got three shots, which in no way improved her demeanor! But we gave her a dose of Tylenol and Triaminic as soon as she got home, and in a short while she was down for a very long nap. Having been up so much of the night, I knew she was exhausted and was glad she was finally able to sleep.
While she was napping, I had a wonderful time celebrating Valentine's Day with Dylan and Caitlyn. Dylan was particularly adorable, and very creative today! He spent a considerable amount of time this morning drawing, cutting out, and taping together this paper "Valentine airplane", and I was so impressed with what a great job he did. His attention to detail just astounds me!
For lunch I thought I'd deviate just a bit from our standard PB&J's. It took such little effort on my part to present them with special Valentine sandwiches, and they were so happy with their special treats! I love this part of being a mom--the small ways in which I can show my kids how very much I love them, even with something as simple as a heart cut from the center of their sandwiches.
After lunch we made a batch of sugar cookies. Baking is always a big hit with my kids, and today was no exception! They helped roll out the dough and took turns pressing the cookie cutter, but their favorite part was eating the extra icing once we were finished!
Much to my relief and great surprise, Meghan was in a wonderful mood when she woke up from her nap. We all piled onto my bed and read The Valentine Bears, a sweet little book that Darren gave me on our first Valentine's Day together. I just love that, ten years later, here I am...snuggling our three little sweethearts, and reading to them that very same book!
Darren prepared a wonderful dinner for us when he got home from work, and for dessert, we made hot cocoa to sip with our sugar cookies. Dylan presented us with a card he made this afternoon, and I love it. I love everything about it! The hand of cupid in the top right corner, shooting an arrow emblazoned with Dylan's name; the block lettering; Cupid's tongue; the dimension of the cross; and--my favorite--the eyelashes on the lady heart! So cute! So sweet!
December was a busy month!
So I hope you'll understand when I confess that somehow, we overlooked Meghan's one year check-up.
By the time we thought to call the pediatrician's office in January, we were politely informed by the receptionist that the next available opening would be at 8:45 on February 14th. Would we like to make an appointment? I was dubious (what kind of mother takes her child to get shots on Valentine's Day?!) but seeing as how she'd already be nearing fourteen months old, I went ahead and took the appointment. And I've been feeling guilty ever since (it's Valentine's Day!)....that is, until the early hours of this morning, which were spent holding Meghan in the recliner in our bedroom, rubbing her back as she dozed intermittently between fits of horrible, strangling coughing. She's covered in spit up. I'm covered in spit up. But still, I let her sleep just a little bit longer before waking her for a bath.
And I am ever thankful that she so conveniently has a doctor appointment already lined up first thing this morning. (Sometimes procrastination really does pay off!)
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Baking-Favorite thing to bake:
Donuts-Have you ever made them?
Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:
Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Ironing-Love it or hate it?
Love it if it relates to crafts, hate it if it involves garments of any sort. Luckily, Darren actually likes it! He happily volunteers to iron any clothes that need it (which aren't many).
Junk drawer-Y/N? Where is it?
Most certainly! We've got one in the kitchen, quite a few in our desk, and several more in an old desk out in our garage!
Kitchen-Design and Decorating?
Roosters. For a more detailed description, you can see it here in a post I shared last August.
Love-What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Nurturing my children and making my home a place of love and comfort for all who reside within.
Never with an actual mop. Usually Darren or I will get down on our hands and knees with an old rag and bucket of sudsy water. In between moppings, I try to at least wipe up spills or spots as they occur, so the floor at least looks clean!
Nylons-Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
Honestly? I so seldom wear them that I generally just buy new ones as the need arises.
Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check?
My kids and I like to watch the progress through the window, but I open the door to check for actual doneness.
Pizza-What do you put on yours?
I'm never consistent. Sometimes I like pineapple and ham, sometimes pepperoni with black olives and green chile, or, when we make it at home, I like artichoke hearts with extra cheese and black olives.
Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
If my kids are napping, I try to nap, too. If they're just quietly engaged in something, I'll steal a few moments of computer time or call my sister-in-law.
Recipe card box-Y/N?
No. I have a small cabinet above my oven that holds a wide variety of cookbooks and a rather hodge-podge assortment of loose recipes, some hand written and some printed off the computer. I keep thinking I should put them in some sort of order!
Style of house:
Ranch, maybe? I'm not sure what its official classification would be. Single story, three bedrooms, two baths, ~1400sq.ft.
Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?
Place mats and paper napkins for every day, tablecloth for special occasions.
Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?
Fairly organized, but in need of a good scrubbing.
Vacuum-How many times per week?
Once, on average. I really don't mind vacuuming so much anymore; usually it's just a matter of setting aside time to actually do it!
Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
About six, maybe? I don't really count.
X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
Typically, no. But if there is a LOT to be done (say, we've got company coming), I'll make a list to help prioritize.
Yard – Y/N? Who does what?
My husband does all the yard work. My only job is to stand out there and crack the whip. (Kidding! Well, about the whip, that is. Darren actually loves working on the yard, particularly out in his desert garden. When the weather is nice we ALL like to be outside planting and tending, and we're all really looking forward to starting our very first vegetable garden this year!)
Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
After tucking the kids into their beds, I like to make a final run through the house tidying up and replacing any stray books or toys, and getting things ready for the next morning.
N was a narwhal
Whose tooth did not gleam;
He went to the dentist
Who polished it clean.
"Hmmmm," I said to him. "I've never heard of a narwhal before...have you?"
"No!" he replied. "Maybe it's a brand new animal that God just made!"
What a great answer!
(But because we really were curious, we searched online and found this fascinating page about narwhals. Mommy learned something new today, too!)
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
|You Are Strawberry Ice Cream|
A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.
You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Now, I'll just need to find new gifts for the 14th. Hmmm....
Maybe...more magnets? :)
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
And since my kids have been asking for the past two weeks when we can start making Valentine's Day decorations, we wasted no time getting busy this morning! I searched happily through our newly organized craft closet and found a few simple supplies. By cutting hearts out of assorted shades of tissue paper and then gluing them to the backs of white paper doilies, we created these beautiful decorations to adorn our back door.
The impact these few simple decorations have already had on my bleak demeanor is indescribable. Though outside it is still cold, and gray, and very, very windy, there is warmth and joy that emanates from these bright cheery hearts and inside, all is well.