Friday, June 28, 2013

Another slave

I allowed this slave to join our staff somewhat begrudgingly.  She was bought with a price, a price I didn't think was necessary.  It all started when Daddy was reiterating the logic of hanging clothes on the line.  It makes sense to me.  It just didn't make sense to Sweet Pea.  Why should she let Mommy out of her sight for 20 minutes so that the rest of the family could have clean, fresh-smelling, dry clothing?  And, why should Mommy put her down for the same purpose?  It just didn't jive with her baby contract.  The Blossoms tried to hang clothes on the line for Mommy.  It was love at work, but it scared Mommy, because it consisted of Blossoms' standing on a blue and orange Little Tykes slide they had dragged over to the clothesline.  Daddy came to the rescue!  (He's our Hero!)  He went to Walmart when Mommy was still being pampered after having Sweet Pea and he hired Collapsible Clothing Rack.  The price was $20ish.  Mommy is thrilled.  With Sweet Pea in Mommy's arms, Mommy pushes the basket of clean, wet clothes out onto the deck.  Collapsible Clothing Rack is set up one-handed and the Blossoms now "hang" clothes on the "line." What a good little slave Collapsible Clothing Rack is!  Stay on staff here LONG, Collapsible Clothing Rack, and I will send you on a retirement trip someday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I have slaves

Yes, I have slaves.  Most people call them small kitchen appliances and such, but I call them slaves.  In essence, they do the same things.  They accomplish menial tasks in this household with minimal Mommy supervision.  And, they assist the Blossoms in learning how to work.  So, without further ado, here's a favorite slave of mine - - - - - -

the Dustbuster!

He efficiently demolishes small messes in a single swipe.  Scooter (#2) is the main overseer/owner/operator of Dustbuster man.  She uses him regularly to clean up the seed mess underneath Ransom's cage (Ransom is our Cockatiel.  He's named after Dr. Ransom from C.S. Lewis' space trilogy. Daddy got to name him since he's a BOY bird.)  I digress.  Scooter uses Dustbuster man to get rid of all the non-refridgeratable meal leftovers.  You know, the ones that are left behind on Blossoms' chairs.  Scooter wields Dustbuster man to take care of the sandbox that travels indoors to the laundry room/back door entry area.  And then, Skeeter and Skipper use Dustbuster man at a moments' notice whenever Mommy commands.  Dusbuster man has been on staff here for only 4 years or so.  He has many more years to come in his Blossom Household career.  When the Blossoms have established their own households and he's considering retirement, we'll sing, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in his honor. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just thinkin'...

Just thinkin' about goals, about what we want our children to be, about what we think is important in the child-rearing process, about what the Lord has impressed upon us to do with them and this came to mind.

"If we're too busy for devotions, we're too busy."
'Nuff said.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Psalm 27:1..."The Lord is the strength of my life"...

It's simple.  It's basic, but it's a much-needed reminder for me... someone who tends toward self-sufficiency at times.  The Lord is the strength of my life. Discipline is not the strength of my life. High ideals is not the strength of my life. Good parenting is not the strength of my life. "Me time" is not the strength of my life.  The Lord is the strength of my life. It's a completely different focus.  Not me, not my efforts... the Lord.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Betty Crocker speaks

My week was barely started.  I still sat in bed with our sweet baby and my Kindle.  I checked my email to find a note from a good friend of mine that I like to call, "Betty Crocker."  (
It stated that she was praying for me for grace and strength for the day.  I was glad for it, but everything seemed even keel.  Then, I got up.  By 9:30 am, Sweet Pea was on her third outfit and THEN, I spent the rest of the morning on the phone battling with the insurance company... AND, trying to make three Blossoms behave during the phone calls.  By afternoon, I emailed Betty Crocker back and said that she was right on!  I needed her prayers and I was SO thankful for them.  The Holy Spirit must have prompted her to pray for me.  Later that week, she followed up with this email and I thought that all my Mommy friends out there would enjoy it.  She gave me permission to share.  So laugh on and lean on grace!


Here's hoping your week calmed down to a dull roar and it did not continue like some of my "special" weeks from days of my little ones afoot. Well, they are still afoot somewhat- just bigger feet!
Some things I hope did not happen to you this week: Post-4 th child:
I hope that none of them hung out of their crib with their little legs grasping the railing and single/ handedly tore the wallpaper off half the room without leaving her crib, greeting you with a contagious grin as you happened upon her joyful redecorating activity.
I hope that none of them had a stomach virus and threw up all over the shag carpeting all night until you ran out of sheets that led to you weeping softly In the night.
And, I really hope, any child in diapers never, ever decides they are suddenly Picasso himself on the wall of their room using the contents of said diaper.
I miss those crazy yet simple days with my wee ones.
So here's to days of motherhood where we must always keep a sense of humor.  I believe it is a blessing of God to laugh!

Betty Crocker

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Wooden Spoon - not just for spanking

People have been asking me lately, "So, has Skipper shown any signs of being jealous of Sweet Pea?"  I can whole-heartedly say, "Nope, not a bit.  She's tickled pink with her.  And, she's Sweet Pea's biggest fan."  As my husband says, "There's enough love to go around here."  I totally agree with him.  We've got love comin' out of our ears!  :) 

Seriously though, I really think that seeking to include your other children helps them not to feel left out.  I try my hardest not to push them away when I'm nursing Sweet Pea.  They want to gawk and ooooh and aaaahhh over her and stroke her cheek and cuddle with Mommy and hang on Mommy or have a story read.  Even though I usually look at nursing as my little Mommy R&R time, I try to include them anyway (regardless of how I feel).  Sometimes I have to take a deep breath, close my eyes and use the willpower God gave me.  I'm just being honest with you.  Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted.  Additionally, I try to include the Blossoms at other times - diapering, bathtimes, cooking, etc.  It isn't always convenient. Sometimes, Mommy is in a hurry.  Mommy would love to just focus on one thing.  Or, Mommy needs to get something down quickly, but I keep trying every day to keep including them, all of them, especially Skipper.  So, something as simple as stirring the soup, can keep a little one in our Circle of Love, all happy and warm and fuzzy inside.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Surviving Poison Ivy

I've experienced the horrors of Poison Ivy numerous times in my life.  And, being that I recently experience its awfulness again, I'd like to share a few tips for surviving it. 

#1 - Always itch at night. 
No one can scold you that way.  Honestly, if they knew how itchy it was, they wouldn't say, "Don't scratch."  Reality check.  If it itches, scratch it!  Deal with the repercussions later.

#2 - Have a great story.
The first question is always, "How did you get it?"  And, answers like "Weeding" or "Hiking" are just too standard or boring.  I mean, most people know how you got it already - you touched Poison something or other and VOILA, you now itch like crazy and are ready to exterminate every green thing that has "leaves of three" on this planet.  When I was a teenager, I got a really bad case of it right before going to gymnastics camp.  That didn't stop me.  I only waited my entire childhood to go there, so I was practicing as usual and packing my bags.  The problem is that tumbling requires being upside down and that means all the blood rushes to your head.  Then, the rash that is on your face (but finally starting to heal), turns purple for the duration of gymnastics practice.  By the end of the first day of camp, I was so tired of answering, "What happened to your face?"  One coach advised me to say, "You should see the other guy!"  I decided then and there that a good story is entirely necessary.

#3 - Whenever possible, swell.
Yes, swelling is uncomfortable, but it really helps you get extra pity points.  After all, if your face resembles the Hunchback of Notre Dame's face, people will actually feel more sorry for you than just watching you writhe around and sit on your hands in attempts not to scratch that blasted stuff.

If you have it, I pity you.  I'll draw an oatmeal bath for you myself and have a bottle of Calamine lotion delivered to your doorstep tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All-American Fun

I have great memories of these simple, All-American fun items known as Tin Can Stilts... both making them and reading of them.  Beverly Cleary wrote these childhood entertainment staples into one of her books, when her character, Ramona Quimby and Ramona's friend Howie pound around their small town sidewalks with their new stilts, enthusiastically yelling, "Pieface!" at passersby.

We had to try it.  They were on our Summer Fun List, which we're slowly working through. 
- Make Homemade Ice Cream...
- Make Homemade Bubbles...
- Make Tin Can Stilts...
Hmmmm.... let's get to it!

Mommy pounded the nails to make the holes.  The Blossoms threaded the string and climbed on.

Even Skipper could master them on her little tuna can stilts.  Daddy was just glad to have the cans out of the cupboard that also houses the trash bags.  They'd been falling on him every time he gets a trash bag.  I have to admit, I didn't teach them to yell "Pieface!" as they clang around on their brand new stilts.  Good Blossom Time Fun here in our 'appy lil 'ome!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beautiful Belle

Scooter was setting the table.  Her job is plates and the Blossoms' favorite plates are the Princess and Hello Kitty plates given to them at Christmastime by their Aunt (also known as the Sprout Mommy).  And each Blossom knows which plate belongs to them.  In any case, Scooter was carefully arranging the plates to go to the appropriate Blossom, when she commented, "Mama, this plate gets it right."  Mommy looked up to hear the explanation and was rewarded with, "Belle is the BEST and this plate has her the biggest!"  :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chore List Fear & Trembling!

Daddy was going to Walmart to pick up a few things.  Mommy noted that Daddy seemed to be repeating the things to himself and, as any of us knows, when one thinks of something to pick up at Walmart, one will always think of five MORE things that need to be picked up at Walmart.  So, Mommy promptly grabbed an index card and a pen and sat down to make a little Walmart list for Daddy's over-taxed brain.  Skeeter piped up, "Mommy, what are you doing?"  No answer from Mommy who happened to be searching her brain and picking Daddy's for all the items that belong on the now-growing Walmart list.  More persistently this time, "Mommy, what ARE you doing?"  Silence again.  Skeeter and Scooter look even more concerned now.  By this time, Mommy and Daddy have noticed their urgency.  Mommy gives a blank look and says, "Writing a Walmart list for Daddy."  Sighs of relief escape from the mouths of Skeeter and Scooter.  Mommy and Daddy burst into laughter as they realize the cause.  Mommy uses index cards and a pen to write extra chore lists on Saturdays and summer days.  All those little chores, like hosing off the deck and carrying recycling to the basement and whatnot are written on the index card, given to the Blossoms and they must complete the tasks before playing.  This time, the list was for Daddy, not them.  Oodles of Blossom Relief!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Perhaps Jake has changed his mind...

We've always had a standing family joke - all dogs want to be a part of our family.  If you were a dog, you'd want to be.  A family friend once said that we treat our dogs like they're people.  In truth, our dogs actually think they're people.  Life is good in our household - plenty of room to run, good handouts (ie, STEAK fat), loads of attention, stimulating conversation and for Jake, the occasional new bandana for around his neck.  Currently, he's stylin' a bright yellow bandana in the traditional bandana pattern.  We can't help it.  It's what a family chock-full of Blossoms does to a male dog - dress him up!  Anyway, I looked outside today and wondered if Jake changed his mind - about being a dog in this family, I mean.  Lately, Skeeter has decided that Jake needs to be trained, trained to pull a sled, that is.  You see, Scooter, Skeeter and Skipper are supposed to clean up all the bark that falls in the process of cutting and stacking wood.  They then transport it to the compost pile across the yard.  That entails loading it onto a bright red sled that most normal people use for winter time fun.  Not us.  It's a kids' version of haulin' thangs (translation: "hauling things").  And Skeeter is all about efficiency.  This does not surprise me, as she is her father's daughter.  So, this morning, Jake had to undergo another session of sled-training.  Surprisingly, he's taken to her homemade won-in-Sunday-School Winnie-the-Pooh jump-rope harness quite well.  He's been pulling bark to and fro.  I wonder if he's having second thoughts though.  At least his tail is still wagging. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Who's on you shoulder?

Way back in the early days with only one Blossom, our church family gave us a copy of Dare to Discipline, by Dr. James Dobson.  My husband and I read this child-rearing classic together.  It helped to shape and solidify our views on child-rearing.  I distinctly remember something about teaching children to work.  Mothers often take the quick and easy route and just pick up the messy kid clutter themselves.  Dr. Dobson said something to this effect - You're NOT DOING them any favors by doing that.  And so, just like in the old cartoon where there's an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, I think I have Dr. Dobson on my shoulder.  When I get tired of walking past the messes, I reach down to pick it up instead of calling them to tidy up something.  Dr. Dobson's voice rings out loud and clear, "Mommy, you're NOT DOING them any favors!!!!!"  Inevitably, I'm re-energized to make the time investment necessary to teach them to work.  :)