it seems like our family (and a good percentage of our church!) has swine flu -- so far Cam and I are the blessed recipients
it's hard to be sick when you're the mom and nobody does anything without your prodding
with my prodding, my son made lunch yesterday and made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
SO let's play a game of "you supply the caption"
Ergo, with five children...toys. Oh, the toys.
Here in our home, it seems to have become worse since the boys all moved in together. Having four of them in one room means that every last boy-type toy lives in their room with them. I have spent many hours scheming to make them better organized...many hours nagging at them to put them away. Even so, each night at bedtime I look around their room, sigh, and walk out, dodging Lego pieces and army men so my bare feet do not meet their demise.
Every year when we go on vacation, we rent a house. To that house we bring one set of toys (usually Legos or matchbox cars) and books. Every year I return home and think how blissfully happy it was for just that week to have so few toys to pick up, put away, trip over, etc. The children are more creative with fewer options. Peace abounds, and the angels sing.
The thing is, I've known this ever since I had Cameron. I tried very hard to keep the number of toys down from the get-go. But for some reason in the last year or two, with homeschooling more, and the baby....weeding out toys has been low on the priority list. We still do it, but a brown grocery bag full of stuff every month or two doesn't make a dent when you have five kids with Christmas and birthdays and...and...and...
So as I type this, we are performing "radical surgery." Instead of choosing things we want to give away, we've chosen the things we want to keep out: matchbox cars, Legos, action figures, and trains. Everything else is going away. The stuff that is not in those categories is not necessarily getting thrown out or donated, but it's going out of sight/out of mind for a while. We might sort it later. We might not.
Right now I am fighting every step of the way the little protests that come, "but this is my favorite..." "Look what I found!". But the truth of the matter is that none of those "favorites" get played with. They get taken out, dropped on the floor, and forgotten. I'm done with that.
My hope is that the kids will see the freedom and joy that comes from having fewer things. They will have more time in their days, not having to sort and put away 10,392 varieties of toys. They will have more peace in their minds, exploring what they can do with the toys they enjoy the most.
I'll update you on how it goes.
Let those that are united to me in tender ties
be precious in thy sight and devoted to thy glory.
Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with trees of righteousness of
thy planting, for thy glory....
- Pioneer Woman has a homeschooling portion to her website, did you know? She has a homeschooling contributor named Mrs. G who I love. "Free and easy" is how she describes her interaction with books today, and I think that phrase accurately represents much of her approach. She is a breath of fresh air to still-new-at-this moms like me.
- Tim Keller is occasionally blogging now, did you know? Today's post is called Preacher-Onlys Aren't Good Preachers.
- This postmodern apology slip was posted on both JT's blog and Challies, and yet I repost it. Because it's that true and hilarious.
- In two days, some of my favorite artists will be coming to one of my favorite venues to benefit some of my favorite people. I feel SO blessed to be involved. If you want to know more about the adoption itself, last night Shawnda started scratching the surface with Why Uganda?
Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
1 (3.5 ounce) link sweet Italian sausage,
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef stock
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
8 ounces cheese tortellini
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for
|1.||Place the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat and saute for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Drain the fat except for about 1 tablespoon, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes.|
|2.||Next add the beef stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that may surface.|
|3.||Add the zucchini, tortellini, green bell pepper and parsley to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tortellini is fully cooked. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese.|
|ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Allrecipes.com||Printed from Allrecipes.com 10/14/2009|
Boys: "What does 'serious' mean?"
Mom: "Act like you're thinking about something."
Looks like Jonathan is still wondering.
I have limited knowledge of what my husband does for a living. The CEO of his company just helped me out a little. Check it out!
Think this is a huge boon for us? Nope. Last time Tessera was mentioned favorably on this show, the stock plummeted. Ha ha ha.
Included: one pair of Gold Circle tickets plus admission to a pre-concert dinner with the Andys.
We have three pairs to give away, so bid early and often! Auction ends Saturday (10/10) night at 6 p.m.
(those of you in the Charlotte area, can I ask you to post this on your blog if you have one? I'd love the word to spread a little)
by William Blake
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
`The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
`The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
Apologies to those of you who follow me at all on Twitter or Facebook, because you saw the carnage unfold yesterday as it happened. The rest of you might enjoy a recap.
Thursday started out uneventful enough with a placid breakfast with the children. As Jonathan and I finished cleaning the kitchen (he's my breakfast helper this week), I left the room for a moment to take a few cloths to the washing machine. When I returned, Jonathan had a guilty look on his face and there was a small, open bottle in front of him on the table.
What was in the bottle? Well, nothing. He had already downed the entire bottle.
What used to be in the bottle? Homeopathic teething drops for the baby. He wanted to know what they tasted like. Evidently they were not repulsive enough to stop him at a sip. I stood in the kitchen with the empty bottle in hand, wondering what an entire fluid ounce of chamomile and other seemingly harmless natural ingredients could do to a small child. Homeopathic bottles frequently do not have childproof caps on them, but they still have BIG! SCARY! WARNINGS! on the side about ACCIDENTAL! OVERDOSE!
So...on the phone to poison control, and ten minutes later, I found out he's going to be fine, he just might have had an upset stomach. He never did show any signs of tummy troubles, and honestly by about two hours later I kept hoping that the "soothing" ingredients would kick in and make him sleepy...or at least settle him down a little bit. No such luck.
On we went into our school day, the usual routine of silent glances to remind wandering minds what they're supposed to be doing and managing the baby, who's crawling all over and trying to walk this week. "Read the graph," and "what is the nearest whole ten," and "did you finish your copywork?" and "let's go sit on the couch and read for a bit."
Then, from out of the upstairs hallway comes a shrieking-banshee noise. Andrew was crying and crying, having shocked himself trying to plug in the lamp in his room. He was holding his right hand like a dead fish and tears were streaming down his cheeks. Eventually, with Mom's encouragement and brotherly sympathy, he was able to show us that he could use his hand, gingerly bending the fingers and wrist. Twenty minutes later, he was back to himself again, building a new house with Legos and annoying his younger brother, who still wasn't being "soothed" by the chamomile (DRAT!).
My nerves were a bit frayed by this time, but we soldiered on into the afternoon. Computer time was had by all, which is always a little dicey since EVERYONE has to be able to see Ben play their favorite game. Jonathan and Ben started getting on each other about how close Jonathan was crowding Ben, and Ben shoved him.
That's when Jonathan leaned over and bit Ben's arm. BIT. HIM. He is the runt of the litter (smallest by a long shot) but so far he is the most ornery.
As someone suggested to me later on Facebook, perhaps it was a side effect of the TEETHING medicine. Indeed.
Regardless, Ben had a big purple mark on his upper arm and Jonathan was attempting to look innocent (again). I laugh inwardly at those conversations where there has obviously been major wrongdoing on both sides, but the most vile offender is the most pathetic..."but he was getting mad at me!!!" Jonathan entreated over and over again. As if I would say, "oh, I didn't know! Well, then, by all means, please bite away! Here, Ben, give your brother your other arm so he can gnaw on that one, too."
By this time, sympathy was growing on facebook for my very long day (thank you, encouraging and humorous friends!), and I was on to making dinner. That's when I opened the fridge and found the meat drawer swimming in chicken broth. I had made up some homemade stock earlier this week; I used most of it on Tuesday night for dinner, but the leftovers remained in a Ziploc in the drawer. Well, they remained there until whenever the leak started. And then they provided a nice pool for the cream cheese and deli meat and string cheese and tortillas....
Some of it was salvageable, but a lot went in the trash.
So my funny friends suggested that I should go to bed immediately, but not before one of them had read me Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I suggested that a better choice might be Kelly and the Almost-Poisoned, Electrical-Shocked, Biting Children, and another friend replied with the title you see above, Kelly and the Large, Beautiful, Wonderful Bottle of Valium (with child-proof cap).
But the question remains, would the Valium be for me or the children?