Tuesday, December 22, 2009

for the teachers

We had some fun last week getting the kids' teachers gifts ready.

They were quick, easy and budget friendly. And green. (Bonus!)
I let the kids choose jars from the "jar drawer." Then we glued a votive candle into the bottom of said jar. Tied some bits and bobs from the sewing box around the neck of the jar. Added a jingle bell, and voila!

Monday, December 21, 2009

the most wonderful time

We had our own little family Christmas celebration yesterday.

The day began as any other Sunday. The baby woke up. I pretended to be asleep. Trying to wait out my husband...who would wake up and get the baby? (I totally rock at pretending to be asleep.) Daddy went to get the baby and then downstairs to start the coffee. I descended as soon as I was sure my cup of coffee had been doctored with cream and was waiting for me by my chair.

We visited, coffee in hand, while the baby cruised around the furniture. The big kids woke up. Excited. They remembered that it was The Day. Present opening day.

Now every Sunday, I sit around too long. Yesterday was no different. Once I realized the timewas getting away from me, I ran around like a crabby chicken with its head chopped off. Ironing clothes for everyone. Mentally going through my wardrobe trying to figure out what I had to wear. What was clean? What wouldn't need ironing? Do I still own black tights?

We managed to get out the door without too much fuss and about 3 minutes to spare.

Church was nice.

We came home and I started to prepare our meal. The big kids helped watch the baby. Daddy shoveled the driveway. I asked my girl to help set the table. At one point, she had hopped up on the counter to reach some fancy glassware. She hopped off without looking and landed on the baby.

And I. freaked. out.

"Get up to your rooms," I hollered to the bigs. Feeling a tantrum of epic proportions about to erupt. Out of me.

I picked up the baby (not exactly still a baby, but unless and until I have another, he owns the title) and snuggled him. He was fine. I called outside for Daddy to come in. He took a turn at snuggling, while I went upstairs to apologize.

My girl had hidden herself in her closet. She is so tenderhearted and was completely forlorn. My son had been sitting on his bed pontificating. Loudly. I called to both of them. We talked. I said I was sorry for the way I reacted and that the baby was just fine.

We resumed all preparations.

Ate our meal: Chicken Kiev, mashed potatoes, The Green Bean Casserole, scalloped corn, stuffing.

Cleaned up the kitchen.

Opened presents.

Unpackaged toys.

Played Battleship and Connect Four.

The boys went for a coyote drive. The girls played more Connect Four. The baby napped.

A lovely time was had by all.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Each morning I bring the big kids to school, come home, put the baby down for a nap, make beds, start laundry, wash breakfast dishes, vacuum.

Every morning, it's the same. There is something about a freshly vacuumed floor that makes me feel calm.

This morning was no different. I got all my stuff accomplished, and soon it was time to go and pick up my boy from preschool. On the drive home, a horrible choir of noise burst forth from the back of my vehicle. I'm not certain, but one or more of my ears may have bled as a result.

We walked into our freshly vacuumed home.



Silence....for 1.7 seconds. Someone wanted a cookie. Her name was me. Me got a cookie. But then I had to share. I gave everyone a cookie. I was trying to purchase quiet with baked goods. It worked!

I sat in the silence. It was beautiful.

Then I looked around. Crumbs. Everywhere.

And so it begins again.

The cycle of my life begins and ends with a vacuum cleaner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

mandatory break

My computer died last week. A slow, painful, viral death. Fortunately for me, my brother-in-law is a computer surgeon...and works computer miracles.

I was forced to go several days without access to the outside world. It was painful at first. And oh so revealing. I can't tell you how many times I mindlessly walked to the computer thinking I'd quickly check my bank statement, or look up a recipe, or look at my inbox, or turn on Pandora, or stream Speed Racer from Hulu. I'm addicted. And I didn't even know it.

I had to come up with other things to fill my time. Things like;

Playing Memory with my boy. (Who, by the way, "wasted" me every time. And I was actually TRYING.)

And baking Christmas cookies with my girl.

And having wild dance gymnastics on the kitchen counters. My kids can boogie.

So, while it was a painful mandatory break in the beginning, it turned out to be a blessing. I didn't realize just how much time I waste poking around on the computer. I've given myself some limits. I might have to take some drastic measures.

Facebook, you might just have to go if I'm ever going to have a chance at toasting that smug little Memory Champion.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Crazy

On my way home from dropping the kids off at school this morning, I drove past a city park. The frost was clinging to the weeds in the field. Such beauty.

I pulled into the lot, and sat there for a long while.

Taking it all in...

Lately, I've been wrestling with myself. With my thoughts. With a little part of myself I've named "The Crazy." The Crazy changes its focus often. Sometimes The Crazy is worried about kidnappers. Sometimes mice. Sometimes lice. Sometimes cancer.

The worries are always real things. But the intensity with which I focus on them does not equal the odds of their occurrence.

I've been praying about The Crazy. I'm recognizing a pattern. When I pray about my fears, I'm always bargaining with God. "So if you promise to never give us lice, I will promise to always be obedient." (Or something to that effect.)

As if I can manipulate Him. Which I know that I can't. But I still can't shake those contingent prayers. "My life is Yours. But PLEASE don't let my kids get cancer." Somewhere along the way, I connected total obedience to horrible trials and tribulations. And because I am a control freak of nature, I try to bargain with the trials and tribulations that may or may not befall me. "You can have my arms amputated as long as my children stay safe from sexual predators."

(I am feeling REALLY exposed right now....but am hoping that someone will be blessed by The Crazy. So here's some more...)

Back to the city park: I sat there and prayed. "Lord, I want to be able to give myself completely to You. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what that will look like. Please don't let my kids get scabies."

UGH! I couldn't shut off that conditional trailing thought.

"Lord. Take away the worry. Come what may, just give me Jesus. Give me strength. Give me courage. Give me peace."

As I drove out of that parking lot, I think I might have run over Please don't let my house burn down and Help us to never get bed bugs.

And so far since, The Crazy has been pretty quiet. I'm glad. Because The Crazy almost completely eclipses The Joy.