insert happy sticker face here

I had this “stellar” idea to put accountability in the hands of my boys.  I tried asking the other adults in my life, but it turns out that everyone is willing to cut me too much slack.

So I sat the boys down at the table, and I said, “Ok, kids.” (Just like the Bob book.) I said, “Momma needs to start getting some more exercise around here so I can have more patience.”

They sat at the table and just kept drawing. This was not the motivational moment I was hoping for.

“Sooooo…” plunging forward “…I need YOU guys to be my coaches!!”

This was still not the warm reaction I’d been hoping for.  Logan arched an eyebrow. Liam batted an eye. Both kept coloring.

“How about,” I continued, “how’s about you guys remind me every day that I need to do at least ten minutes of exercise.”

nothing.

“It’ll be like this: YOU get to tell ME what to do.”

still nothing.

Desperately, “You can make me a sticker chart?”

“Oh, YEAH! Mom! We will make you a sticker chart! You will have to do what we say and if you do we will give you a STICKER!!”

So there you have it, folks.

I am now the proud owner of a homemade sticker incentive chart, complete with stickers from the back of the Bob book and stars for the rest days.

But you know what?
It’s working.

7 Things you Probably Could Skip Reading

I have approximately seven random odds and ends to talk about. So here I was thinking, “Well, I’ll just throw up a mashmish sort of post.” When I realized that it’s Friday. And there’s an app…erm…linkup…for that. Also, this sinus crud is making me dingy. No medicine required.  Read at your own risk. Or go click away to more edifying reading.

~1~

Polling the readership for teaching reading ideas.  We are pretty laid back here. Buuuuut…the 4yo taught himself to read. And the 5yo is sort of flabbergasted (as are we all). And after my voice gave out while reading On the Banks of Plum Creek, he forlornly requested his little brother to finish up reading. Early this am, Li was by my bed with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, asking if we could, “please do this today.” And I wanted to run for the hills screaming.  We tried this book and the hangup was all me. Halp!

~2~

Sorry, Kendra. I just HAVE to post about poop today.

After attempting to direct life, “from the throne”, as it occurred on the other side of the bathroom door, I instructed Liam that, “You may NOT run life while you sit on the toilet.”

Li: *pause*
Li: ok, then, but there are two sharks swimming in the toilet, and I might not make it.
Maia:
Li: *pause*
Li: oh, never mind. They are after my poop.
Maia:

it’s a whole new perspective on SharkTank over here…

next week on Shark Tank…

~3~

I had a dream that I looked absolutely amazing in hats. We are talking incredible.  I’m not sure that I’ve dreamt that something that farfetched since I dreamt, at age 12, that I could swim in air. I’m sure that dreams of this nature mean that one can achieve anything. Or that one needs more sleep.

~4~

How to Stir Peanut Butter

just kidding

I actually was going to write a whole post on that. (This sore throat/sinus thing is clouding my ok-judgement). But I’m just going to spare you the gory details and just boil it down for you:

  1. Stir (the natural stuff) by moving the knife up and down a bit to get yourself started and then pop it in the fridge for a half an hour or so in order to solidify the oils a bit and make it not so gloopy. Then pull it back out and finish the job.
  2. You didn’t need me to actually expand that into three steps for you, did you? Nope. Didn’t think so.
half-way stirred peanut butter is still ok to make a sandwich with

half-way stirred peanut butter is still ok to make a sandwich with

~5~

Anybody else happen to notice that The Blair Witch Project is “NOW on Amazon Instant Video”? I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around anyone putting energy towards even clicking on that, much less doing whatever it is they do to put it on AIV.

~6~

Our Ash Wednesday Mass was combined Spanish/English. One reading was in English, the other in Spanish. Our priest is from Colombia, and he flows in and our of Spanish and English beautifully. When the lector started reading the 2nd reading in Spanish, Li suddenly perked up and, loud enough for 3-pew-radius (3PRs for those of you who calculate everything your children say in Mass Volume), piped, “Is he talking GERMAN?!?!” (That’s the language, other than English that he gets most exposure to.)
Maia: *whispering* no, honey, that’s Spanish
Li: *NOT whispering* oh WOW! I can’t even BEGIN to understand what he’s talking!!

And, yet, this is the child who yells out “Vamanos!” when he wants his little brother to follow him on the playground…

~7~

I’m off to try ALL THE REMEDIES to get this sore throat/sinus crud gone.  I asked to be allowed to cantor for my grandmother’s funeral (Monday), and I would love to be partially-voiced if I can’t be full-voiced. So far I’ve been drinking ACV and honey, hot liquids, tried a little oregano oil this am out of desperation, steam baths, going to go gargle with salt and do a saline sinus rinse. Rest. Fluids. What am I missing?

other things I am capable of doing when I'm sick include burning the Ash Wednesday lentil soup…I call it "Let's See What Else We Can Turn To Ashes Soup"

other things I am capable of doing when I’m sick include burning the Ash Wednesday lentil soup…I call it “Let’s See What Else We Can Turn To Ashes Soup”

~bonus take~

(Yes, I realized I could have deleted any one of these, including this one. But I’m committed to the ludocrisy at this point.) (Yes, we are just going to make “ludocrisy” a word.)

During one of our many discussions on Lent and Ash Wednesday (which always seem to occur in the car, which might account for my children’s understanding of things), Li finally declared: Well, then, I’ll just give up picking my nose.

Maia: um…
Li: Yeah! Because I pick my nose aaaalllll the time. And I really need to stop.

So, back the drawing board we go. And by drawing board I DO mean the Lenten wisdom of Like Mother, Like Daughter. Although, I have to say that I support his efforts to stop picking his nose.

Also, my apologies to Kendra. I think I might have broken every single one of your rules. Which I didn’t mean to. Because I think your list is awesome.

How to survive 7X7

After posting every. day. last week (yes, I did, even if the posting times on my blog don’t show that I did), I thought this would be a nice week to post a-little-less-than-seven-maybe-closer-to-four times. But unless I post every day, that’s not happening. And that’s not happening. But I did want to check in and tell you:

  1. I started to write a post yesterday, and I was very nearly finished with a mediocre piece. I was going to post it, in all its mediocrity. It DID have pictures. So…aiming real high right here.
  2. Someone pressed the rocker switch on the surge protector.
  3. Jesus saves.
  4. I don’t. Obviously.
  5. If you decide to blog 7 posts in 7 days, for your own sanity, catch up on blog reading prior to starting. I’m just NOW getting to posts written 16 days ago, and I generally like and am able to stay current and commenting on the blogs that I love.

That’s pretty much all I got. Now, excuse me, I gotta get back to blog READING.

Réquiem Ætérnam

It’s been a long day.

It’s been a tearful day.

It’s been a blessed day.

Réquiem ætérnam dona ei Dómine; et lux perpétua lucent ei. Requiéscat in pace. Amen.

(Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.)

The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Breakfast: Tricksy Oatmeal

Bad blogger here, reporting in with no pictures. Bad blogger. Bad. Also rogue blogger as I’m posting from a remote location. We are all off kilter, but post I will. (Also, I just realized that my blog is stuck on Central Time, so if any of the 7X7 police are looking askance at my posting times, all I can say is that I am totally keeping up even if I get squeaky close to the daily deadlines, and I’m on Pacific Time.)

As we were getting ready to hit the road this morning, I realized that the kids needed to eat. They always need to eat it seems. Breakfast especially gets me. They just can’t seem to make do with a cup of coffee. And cereal just gets eaten too fast. Necessitating more frequent shopping. And before you know it, you are out of milk again. I especially dislike having my shopping habits held hostage by milk and cereal.

So. Eggs it is, if I have my way. Unfortunately, since breakfast happens before coffee, or at least is started before coffee has started, I often let these fatal words escape my mouth: ” What would you like best to eat?”

I do this because by this point in time I apparently haven’t graduated from Rookie Mom.

My kids smell weakness a mile off, and before I can back peddle, shout: “OATMEAL!!”

So. Oatmeal it is. *sigh*

But here’s where I get my revenge for them taking advantage of pre-caffeine stupidity. OR just ensure that they get some protein and, ideally, last longer until next required nourishment.

Tricksy Oatmeal

Boil water (I don’t measure. I eyeball everything. You boil the amount you need.)

While the water comes to a boil beat some eggs thoroughly. I use as few as one and as many as four (in oatmeal for 1 adult, 2 boys, 1 baby). Set aside.

Add oatmeal into boiling water (Again, I eyeball everything. Make oatmeal the way you make it for your crew.)

Using a ladle or measuring cup, spoon a bit of boiling water and oats into the eggs. I believe this is called tempering, but you might want to Phone-a-French-Chef before you quote me on that. Spoon a little, wisk a little, spoon a little, wisk a little, until the eggs are (slowly) quite warm. If they don’t get warm enough slowly enough they will just look scrambled.

Once they get warm enough you stir the eggs+oatmeal into the pot of oatmeal and stir until it’s thick and creamy.

Confession: sometimes I don’t get them warm enough, and you can kinda tell that this is basically scrambled-eggs-in-oatmeal but them I just tell the boys that they can read Lego brochures at the table, which means they won’t scrutinized their food. That works quite well. If I DO get them warm enough, then it makes the oatmeal all creamy and pudding-y. But I’ll probably still let them read Lego brochures just to keep them from walking me through the ingredient list before I’ve finished my coffee.

Add-ins that are good (bordering on great):
1) a swirl of maple syrup (honey or brown sugar are ok, but maple syrup is grand)
2) raisins or other dried fruit
3) chia seeds (these are GREAT for nursing mamas…energy, calcium, magnesium, fiber and all that)
4) flax seed and/or coconut

So far none of the troops have complained. Not that complaints would do them any good. Muahahahahaha.

fail to win

Today was not my proudest of moments.  Wanna hear about it? I know you do.

Before I begin, would you please join me in asking for Mama Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Pio to make intercession for a strong and wonderful woman who has loved God and also these three? I know they will comfort her as she turns her sights towards Heaven.

I’m not one to swear*, by nature. I’m hard to shock, so that’s not it. I sorta wish I was the sort if person who could pull off, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” You know. CLASSY profanity. Um, ok, so maybe that doesn’t exist. But, you know what I’m talking about? Some people turn the drop a choice word and you think to yourself, “*gasp* there are CHILDREN present!” And some people can turn the air a little blue and the effect is just different. Think Irish priest who has the room in stitches. I think it has to do with one’s mood and intent when said choice words are dropped? Maybe.

You know?

But me? If I use bad words it just sounds like a little kid wearing underpants on her head looks. A little ridiculous. Not as cute. But just as ridiculous.

I’d like to say I don’t swear because piety. But that’s not the reason. I don’t use profanity because vanity. *sigh*

TODAY I dropped a good “Son of a NUTCRACKER!” I was reminded last Christmas that is a good choice word for me. I can swear it with vehemence and it can help me to immediately laugh at myself.

I needed to laugh at myself.

All day I WANTED to write a good blog post so that I could complain complain complain.

“Everything happened wrong.” I wanted to write that…except that really only ONE thing happened wrong and I just decided to let it color my whole day. “Nothing happened right.” I longed to declare that…except that nearly EVERYTHING happened right, but I was just letting that ONE thing that went wrong color my whole day. I’m emotional. My kids were so sweet and wonderful today. And me? I was just frumpy and frustrated with every little annoyance. Every last bit. So I ranted and raved at nutcrackers. And reminded myself that there were children present.  And laughed at myself. Wryly. I then sat down on the stairs with my head on my knees to have a party. Of one. Pity style.

Then cleaned the apartment while my kids played outside.

engineerAnd the sun shone all day. And I STILL planned to write a whiny, complainy blog post. (And, in between the lines, apologize to every single person who is mired in snow.)

And then, in an instant, I realized I had to end my pity party. In a phone call I was reminded how nothing remains but love. Gratitude closed around me like one of those slap bracelets I used to love.

So I patched the pants I didn’t really want to patch. And I read the stories that I thought I was too tired and grumpy to read. And I reveled in my funny kids who love each other so much (in between fighting so fiercely) that it makes my heart ache because it swells so much. And we prayed our prayers for peace and comfort for my Nani. Even though I think I might have failed any and every “test” today, our little family ended our day in love. And that’s a win.

*note: I use “swear” and “profanity” interchangeably. Yes, I know the difference. Yes, I am pretty much referring to profanity. Yes, I will roll my eyes at you if you call me out. But you are good readers. I know you will not.

Do you hear the people sing?

I’m linking up with Cari’s Theme Thursday because I actually really need to talk about a fence today.

peeking through the fence

peeking through the fence

…FIRST…some backstory…

…we live with my in-laws.

They have a dog. We have a dog. Our dog, Doofy, is pretty big. We love him. He loves us. He hates thunderstorms. He likes snow. He’s from Alabama. He loves to dig.

That last trait is not earning him any love around here.

He and his partner in crime, my in-law’s dog, have taken to pacing the fence.  There is a dog who likes to hang out on the other side and taunt them with his freedom.

note the path worn along the fence from the dogs’ regular “beat”

So our two dogs have decided to share. His freedom, that is.

The fence? Well, the fence is old. It would be quite adequate for no dogs. Or even dogs who weren’t interested in getting out.

Over the past few weeks we have been in quick-fix mode instead of fix-it-right mode. And, so, the fence looks like this

We always find that the dogs have pushed through the board at the worst possible moments…when it’s pitch black out, when someone has to be at work, when it’s pouring down rain, when I can’t leave the kids. We keep grabbing whatever we can get our hands on in order to keep the dogs in.

I’m beginning to feel like we live next to The Barricade.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
WHOSE DOGS WILL NOT ESCAPE AGAIN!!!

Fence? Barricade? I’m losing the distinction.

from little things…comes great love: How and Why to Make Friends at Church

…little things…great love…small acts from little hands…building up the Kingdom of God…I’m no pioneer in this mode of thinking…many saints have said it better…and yet you get my thoughts on it today…

One of the things you may or may not know about me is that I hate confrontation. And I also change my mind a lot. So I really try to keep myself from smugly posting things like, “I will never bring snacks to Mass.” Because, believeyoume, there have been days that I have had to eat my words.  With gravy on top. WHILE I laboriously pick up all the Cheerio crumbs from the pew. And I really don’t like to open up heated subjects on the blog.  This is my place to be a little bit funny and a little bit serious and write out some of the words that would otherwise sit in the caverns of my brain and drive me crazy(er).

Right NOW, in this season of life, we don’t bring toy-like things with us to Mass and we don’t bring food.  The one exception is that the boys may bring a children’s Bible or missal. Ami can have a non-noise-producing teether and she may nurse. But I HAVE packed crayons and other toys before.  And I HAVE discovered that the minions have packed in contraband (matchbox cars) at one juncture or another. Do I appreciate other parents’ attempts to keep distractions to a minimum? Absolutely and I do my best to send mental high-fives their way.  After Mass. Outside. I only send mental high fives in the vestibule. And then only reverently. You know. *grin*  But, do I understand and have I been there and have I prayed that other people not judge me over it? Absolutely.

I won’t lie and say that I don’t sometimes wish that the family next to us would have left 10 of the dozen action figures or dolls at home. It’s tough on easily distracted 4-year-olds to watch full on playtime happening two pews over and know that he is expected to sit there quietly. Not impossible. But still tough. And since the ratio of noise to toys seems proportional, I sometimes wish, for their sake if not mine, they knew that Mass without tons of toys and snacks is actually easier (note: not EASY…easiER) especially in the long run.

Over time we have gradually reduced the things we bring to Mass. I no longer put forth the effort to print out coloring sheets that correspond to the Gospel. I don’t pack a “Mass bag” anymore, and that’s a personal preference. I don’t pack things FOR my children. Most items are on the “We don’t bring” list. IF they want to bring a Bible or missal, they may, but it is something they are entirely responsible for. This doesn’t ensure that my children will be well-behaved at Mass, but it does mean that they won’t be arguing over the same blue crayon.

Do you know why I do (or don’t do) this? I do this because I think that it helps children encounter God. We and our children are human, and we will always encounter distractions when we worship. Bringing more distractions with us, I think, sends a message that our time spent in participating in the sacraments and in prayer are things to be endured instead of acts that we engage in so that life can be poured into our souls. I do this because I want the Mass to come alive for my children. I do this, also, because I want them to learn that we distract ourselves at a cost to our relationship with God and with each other.

But do you know what else? I don’t write any of this to chastise. I write it because I feel compelled to offer hope and because, actually, I want to remind myself to always offer small acts of love from my little hands.  I write it because our faith is both vertical and horizontal, and because we have a chance to live out that vertical focus and horizontal love in a special way when we worship together.

Even more, though, I write it because there have been so many many days at Mass with wild, distracting children when my heart was breaking. I’m not being dramatic to say that. I was at Mass, clinging to a life line. Literally. And when I was on the receiving end of comments or looks or heard of criticisms later, I wanted to scream, “You have NO idea what is happening in my life!” It wasn’t just from people I knew, though those were the ones that hurt most deeply; I would read blog posts on how to raise children who behaved in church. I felt so inadequate when I would read things like “church shoes beget church behavior” and the following Sunday wound up black and blue from a temper-tantruming toddler who packed quite the kick with heavy, “nice” shoes on his feet. Or when I read, “we make our children under the age of three sit on our laps, no exceptions” and realized that there was one of me and two of them.

We were a family in crisis, and it was something I did not share. I never said a word because I didn’t want pity and, anyway, I knew I couldn’t tell my story. I wanted understanding and compassion even though they couldn’t know the depth of my pain. And maybe maybe it would have been nice for someone to offer an extra set of hands. Desperately desperately I desired love and belonging despite the loneliness and brokenness and suffering I felt (even when it may or may not have been evident, for I am generally naturally optimistic and was very active in our church community). I didn’t desire relaxed standards. I loved and love reverence and beauty during worship. I didn’t desire to feel like my kids were good by comparison (“Your kid screamed louder during Consecration than mine did, so I must be doing something right!”). I didn’t want someone to make excuses for me. I did know that I felt overwhelmed and lonely and stuck. I felt like I was on the outside, looking in.

I think back on those dark, dark days, and I remember how there were some real and holy  people who showed love and hospitality and kindness, even when they didn’t have to and when they didn’t know how much I needed it. It makes me think about how to show love to the brokenhearted and to be reaching out, even when I am not aware of someone’s suffering. This is not my forte. I’m not exactly shy, but I’m introverted. It’s HARD for me to strike up conversations. It’s really hard for me to remember that I’m not the only person who has problems. Because, however, I think it’s of great importance to reach to people on the margins and I think this holds true at church. Here’s my “scratch the surface” list:

  • On a regular basis, sit next to/behind the young parent with child(ren) that you see attending church solo week after week. When we get down to brass tacks, this could be for any persons you see attending alone (elderly, college student…really any person), especially if you might happen to notice that they duck out quickly afterwards and don’t seem to know many people.
  • I’m not one to encourage long, loud conversations as soon as your good padre has left the building or even after the choir has stopped singing. I like to make eye contact. Maybe send over a friendly nod and smile. If a mother with young children looks particularly frazzled as she scrambles to clean up goldfish crumbs, get down there and help her out.
  • IF opportunity presents, it’s ok to make an offer to help! Said person might turn you down if they are not comfortable with it (e.g. if I have a screaming infant and a 3yo insistently informing me that he’s “gotta go potty”, I may not be ok with leaving either one in your care while I help the other one) or they might be really, truly grateful. I’ve seen large families take smaller ones under their wing, so to speak, and offer a set of hands to hold a baby or a “totally cool teenager” to sit next to the toddler and help keep their attention on the Mass. My boys will sit in awe of teenage boys, and will imitate them sitting quietly when NO amount of my shushing worked. Be a familiar, encouraging face! Build community! Small things really show great love!
  • Does your parish have fellowship following Mass (non-Catholics: insert “church” and “service”)? Look for the people sitting by themselves, camp near them, strike up conversation as you break donuts. This doesn’t have to be to the exclusion of talking to people you already know – you know how to introduce people!
  • Sometimes the person sitting solo at the table is an introvert who happens to like donuts. Sometimes sitting alone in a crowded room is a quiet cry to be noticed.  Be persistent with your friendliness, but not pushy. Use your common sense.
  • Remember that you don’t know someone’s sorrow. You don’t know their losses. You don’t know their struggles. You don’t know their situation. Some may open up to you. Some may keep their armor impenetrable. You might never know how much your kindness meant to them (this side of Heaven).
  • Organize meals! Invite people to dinner! (Don’t forget about your priest!) Take meals to people in need! Organize play day picnics for moms home with small children! Meals show love!
  • This should be a no-brainer, but…befriend people as real friends. I’m not saying that you need to become best friends, but if you offer charity with condescension, it hurts. Don’t discuss them or their situations with others unless you have been asked to do so. Don’t swoop in to save them, patting yourself on the back for your great kindness. People are not objects. Remember that Jesus, alone, is Savior.
  • Look with kindness and compassion on those around you. Suffering doesn’t always look the way that you expect it to.

 

What would you add to this list?

The Dump of the Diapers

Today, Day 2 of 7 in Jen’s 7×7 Challenge, I decided to join in Kendra’s mortifying fun little exercise in public revelation. I almost wasn’t going to join in the game, but Kelly was funny, and Jenna made me crush on her a little harder than I already was (even though she doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t like Skittles, I think maybe we could be frendz) and then Kate tipped the balance because she just…well…I think we might have some things in our minds that tick the same way.

Without further ado…

the BIG purse dump

I actually don’t carry a purse. I have at times in my life, but I don’t really get attached to them and I often would rather just tuck essentials about my person and call it a day. It’s been a rough learning curve for this momma to figure out how, then, to not just pack for myself but for a hoard pack school handful of littles who depend upon me. Scary stuff.

With the boys, I recall that I had a smaller purse that I would throw into the diaper bag and be able to extricate on occasions I flew solo. I can’t even tell you why I no longer have that set up. I’ve been out in public sans any of my children five times since Ami was born, and every time I wished that I had a smaller purse.  Not enough to cancel my solo voyage.  Or, for that matter, actually DO anything about it. But strongly wished.

Right about the time we learned we were having a girl was right about the time I discovered Zulily. And this Kalencom bag was a hormonally-charged impulse buy.

I still like it. I appreciate how easy it is to clean. But, it slips of my shoulders at the most inopportune times and it screamsbloodymurdertoddlertantrumstyle diaper bag. If I had it all to do over, I’d find something a little more incognito. (Grace Patton is, now, my fashion bible.) Because, I will not lie, the last time I was offered the chance of a lifetime in the form of a quick trip to the grocery store all by myself, I didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and I didn’t stop to even grab my wallet out of the bag. Took the whole dang thing.

Sometimes, in public, I pretend not to know me.

Here’s what’s inside:

Lemme break it down:

{starting with the large box and working clockwise}
1. The diaper bag came with a matchy matchy zippered thing. Inside that I put a wooden rosary, a wooden crucifix, and a teething necklace. The zippered bag comes out at Mass when Ami starts to get a wee bit squirmy. Also, breast pads. I can probably take those out, now.

2. Business cards (and, I realized from reading other posts: I want need a card carrier!), my wallet (my sister brought it back from Europe for my husband and I reallocated its use), receipts that I always plan to save…uh…until…uh…the accountant shreds them for me??

And a cap to a pair of binoculars I had when I was a kid and that now my kids have.

3. Ami’s sweatshirt, a plastic bag, and my infinity scarf/nursing cover (love).

4. Two pens, an appointment reminder card, AND two priority enrollment slips for the boys that let us know that they moved up a level in swimming. They are nearly finished with their first formal swimming lessons and we were all so excited to see that they had moved up! I was a swim instructor for years upon years, and I just might keep these little scraps of paper from my own progeny until I am old and gray.

And a reading light that has been broken for ages that we can’t seem to rid our selves of (I am pretty sure that this and binocular cap were things that Ami thought were essential add ins.

5. Four diapers (sized 4), and the Costco pack of wipes (best. wipes. ever). A little excessive for our normal trips, but it’s always always feast or famine around here. Also my changing pad that had a pitiful wipe case and which folds up with a zippered pocket and which I envisioned would make my life complete. It doesn’t.

6. Two lollipops that the clerk at the post office gave the boys for being so good. They’ve forgotten about them, and so have I. I guess they will come in handy some day. Sinusalia that my mom gave me when we left their house yesterday after a quick weekend visit. My ears were clogged. The hand sani that we snagged from the hospital when Ami was born, to be used only when I can’t quite convince myself that the good germs are stronger than the bad germs. And a lip stain and a lip gloss from Birchbox. That I hardly wear for various reasons and mostly because when I do I feel like a little kid playing grownup. Or the Joker. 

As for the official categories?

  • It’s my favorite thing in here: My husband and I were given the ByRon Palm Cross when we got married. All my kids have let so much baby saliva soak into it, that it will be a wonderful relic, someday, I pray.
  • Wow, I really have a lot of these: Wipes, I guess. But that’s not usually a wrong thing to have a lot of…
  • I’ve been looking for those: I was hoping to find some of Ami’s socks, but that sweatshirt was a good consolation prize. I just hope it still fits her…
  • Huh, that shouldn’t be in there: Broken reading light and binocular cap
  • What’s missing?: My keys have a hook and my phone wanders. My camera and gear has it’s own bag. Magnificat is supposed to be in here, otherwise I can never find it when I need it. And I usually carry around mini-facials for my Rodan + Fields business, but I was clean out from our trip to Oregon.

Consider yourself (purse) dumped.

CHARGE!!

I’m joining in Jen’s 7 posts in 7 days resolve

because I’m sure that you needed help in having more ways to distract yourself from folding laundry. If you don’t need distraction, then may I please ship you my clean laundry so that you can fold it for me and ship it back? I’ll even put it up. It’s just that socks and sorting and coming to terms with the fact that I am the world’s worst folder…all these things…make me cry.

I’ve set my boys to work on memorizing things.  This was not really my idea. At our last (final) duty station, a good friend of mine was setting her young children to this task and her thought was that they are GOING to memorize things at this young age, so why not make it good poetry and prayers instead of mindless lyrics and ditties from TV shows. Good point. I watched her (then) 5yo recite ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ and was completely astonished. And, then, typical to my nature, thought, “But WE (meaning me) are not that motivated.” The idea stayed in the back of my head, but I did nothing about it until last September when we started school and memorization seemed like a doable subject to tackle.

Some things I’ve learned

  • If you say the same poem everyday in order to help your (non-reading) children learn it, you yourself will learn the poem. It strikes me that this is good for the ol’ noggin.
  • Children have fun memorizing things.
  • IF you are all working on a poem and IF you search Youtube to learn a little background on the poem or find a dramatization or recitation of said poem and IF you happen to find something funny instead and IF you show this to your children BEFORE they have finished learning the actual poem…
  • …then you should plan to be sidetracked for a long time. Or maybe that’s just because this particular clip happened to include lighting off firecrackers and my boys are particularly enthralled with things that explode.

Here we go, folks:

“Forward the Light Brigade!/ “Charge for the guns!” he said: /Into the valley of Death/ Rode the six hundred.

…or at least rides this little blogger.