Monday, November 30, 2009

Chocolate Required

I really need a secret stash of chocolate to eat when the kids go to bed, or maybe gum drops or ice cream. The problem of a "secret stash" is that inherent in the idea is that it is in fact "secret". How do you drag four children to the store and buy something yummy without them inevitably seeing it and asking if they can have some? It's not like they won't remember it; when it comes to yummy edibles children have very long memories. Also inherent in the idea is the idea of "stash". When I think of stash I think of something that will last awhile but alas I have very little, okay, no self control when it comes to yummy edibles so they really don't last all that long. I think maybe it's when the kids are finally in bed I want some "me" time, to do something FUN, something that I enjoy within the perimeters of "you can't leave the house, you can't make too much noise and you need to be able to sleep yourself in a few hours" which surprisingly knocks out quite a few fun activities. Or maybe it's that tiny tickle of "I'm indulging myself" when you bite into chocolate (or gum drops or ice cream but mostly chocolate). I suppose I could take a long bath or drink a cup of tea but I will point out that both of these are enhanced by a little chocolate and all three together I think would be lovely.

You're probably saying by now that I am really close to "requiring" a mommy-break and I would say that you are not wrong in your thinking and that hopefully I will get a little break in the near future and you would say that you hope that too because it's good for any mom to get away every once in awhile and know that there is life outside the house and it is good to have adult interaction and I would agree wholeheartedly and thank you for your concern and on the whole we would have a delightful conversation.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa Claus

Disappointment hangs in the air today around my house concerning Christmas and it's not even December yet. Today my children discovered or rather were told by their loving mother (that would be me) that there is no Santa Claus. Hannah has spent the better part of the day lamenting his lack of existence and wondering aloud why she sees "so many pictures of him if he's not real to our world". We have pretended with them about Santa Claus always very careful, or so I thought, to tell them that we were just pretending but obviously they have overlooked that tiny point until today. I remember my mom reading us a book when we were little about St. Nicholas and I know in my head how "Santa Claus" came to be but trying to explain this to my daughter has only caused more confusion. I am off to search for the actual story of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus to share with my kiddos and hopefully we will have happier faces on the morrow. On the bright side, and oh how bright it is!, Hannah and I had a wonderful conversation about the real meaning of Christmas today while the other kiddos were napping. I think it may be a Merry Christmas after all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Glorious Sounds

"Everyone sit! It is time to pray! Dear God, thank you for this be-u-tiful day, thank you that we got to go to church and thank you that we get to play our harmonicas, Amen."

Yesterday while I knitted on the couch Ivan and Clayton entertained me with their harmonica playing and Hannah danced. And if it wasn't cute enough to see Clayton puffing in and out on the harmonica while doing a little white boy bounce/dance, every two or three minutes Ivan would shout out, "Everyone sit! It is time to pray!". Then he would sit on the couch with me while Hannah and Clayton found seats on the hearth and Ivan would pray some variation of the above prayer always thanking God that they got to play their harmonicas. After "Amen" was echoed around they got up and played and danced again. This happened not once or twice but about 5 or 6 times, it was a "be-u-tiful" sight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Papa's Wife

I love to re-read books. It's like seeing an old friend. Sure, nothing in the book has changed but I have changed and so inevitably I'll read a passage that I've read once (or twice or four) times before but this time it will make me pause and think a minute. Erik laughs at me sometimes and asks if it's time to read Mother's Hens again. That's what he calls "Mother Carey's Chickens" by Kate Douglas Wiggin (one of my all time favorites and well worth your time). I find I read this one once or twice a year, though my midwife borrowed it and I haven't gotten it back yet so I'm behind.
Today I picked up "Papa's Wife". The book belonged to my Grandma Dorothy and I think she recommended it when I was in middle school and was searching for something to read on her bookshelves when I spent the night. I think I first loved it because it is about a Swedish family and I have always loved that I have a lot of Swedish in me. It is also about a minister's family with 8 children and they immigrate to America but more importantly it is about faith lived out. There are times that I can't see the words on the page for the tears in my eyes but at the end it leaves me desiring to simply live out my faith, in my life and in my family.
Here is the passage that made me pause this time through the book; I pray this can be said of my faith someday:

"Faith, to Mama, was as simple as the word itself. It was never a matter that had to be weighed, nor did it require spiritual ceremonies to achieve it. She merely believed, and it came to pass. If the day seemed dark and beset by problems, her faith in the goodness of God brightened dull skies and lightened the problems. Many times she beheld, with wonder, the mysterious ways of the Lord, and so never questioned His wisdom. A miracle in the making, she had come to realize, at the time often appeared to be an insurmountable tragedy."
Papa's Wife by Thyra Ferre Bjorn

Thursday, November 12, 2009


What do you do when your almost 8 month old doesn't want to play in the exersaucer and if you leave her on the floor she heads straight for the dog food or the dog's cone collar? (the dog just had surgery) You try the next best form of containment: the toybox.

Cider Pressing

Some wonderful friends of ours are letting us borrow indefinitely a cider press. We finally got it put together, got some apples and invited the Bailey's over to join in the fun. It was dark and slightly rainy outside so we put a tarp down in the living room and had at it. It was fun to visit with "B" while her husband and mine laughed like little boys with a new toy and sent apples flying through the grinder all the while scheming on how to build a bigger, better press. Oh, those first tastes of freshly pressed cider were ah-maz-ing and left us all wondering where we could scavenge more apples to make more and more and more cider. Here are just a few shots of the fun:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I have not and will never read the Twilight series and quite frankly I'm tired of hearing of them. Yesterday I was searching Ravelry for a fingerless mitten pattern and found one I liked but was really tempted to keep searching after I read the pattern was named after and designed from some worn in the new movie "New Moon". I seriously want to scream, "No!" every time I hear of another grown woman giggling that she is reading these books. That is all I will say on the subject because I don't need to waste any more of my time on them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of Chairs and Tables.

I noticed the other day while cleaning the church that I have a few obsessive compulsive tendencies. Not the disorder by any means and none of these tendencies are to relieve anxiety, I just like the order that it brings. These tendencies are mostly related to chairs and tables. I like order and pattern when it comes to chairs and tables. I straighten up the Sunday School classrooms after I vacuum them and I found myself stacking the extra chairs by color, or in patterns of color; for example the first stack of four chairs would have a yellow chair on the bottom and three blue chairs on top, the next stack of four chairs would have a blue chair on bottom then a yellow chair and then two blue chairs on top of that and so on, creating a fun visual. When I straighten up the fellowship hall I try to arrange the chairs at the tables so that each chair is perfectly spaced along the side and that all the chairs are the same distance away from the table. When I clean my dining room at home I attempt to do the same. It bugs me when chairs are all askew. I don't remember the start of this tendency and I have fond memories of arranging the little plastic colored chairs into patterns. Well, maybe not fond exact time and space memories but just a feeling of "I have always liked to do this."
So if you happen to visit our church sometime and you notice that there is pattern to the plastic chairs in the classrooms you now know who arranged them this way and I will have to question your sanity if this is something you notice when you visit other churches.