Monday, September 30, 2013

Four Symptoms of Fatigue

You may have a condition known as Wife-Mother Fatigue if you exhibit the following symptoms:

1. You attempt to place the cereal in the fridge, until you realize that it doesn't matter if Honey Grahams are cold or not.

2. When preparing lunch, you repeatedly hit the button on the microwave, thinking, "Oh no, the microwave is dying!"  That is, until you realize that that was the CANCEL button.

3. When preparing for bed, you start to throw your socks in the garbage instead of the hamper.

4. You realize you wore your panties inside out all day, without realizing it.

Treatment for these symptoms:

Either that or.....


Friday, September 27, 2013

Reading as a Family

The Love of Reading really has to be a culture.  This was the culture in my growing up years:

- Mom's idea of relaxing (in her rare "free" time), was kicking back with a Janette Oke book.  Other times, she was perusing books, to okay for my sister and me to read.  She had to keep up with our voracious reading habits... my sister read more than I did.

- Speaking of my sister, in first grade, she was assigned to read the first chapter of Sarah, Plain and Tall during class.  While everyone else read what was assigned, she read the ENTIRE book in that allotted time.  Um ya, that's why I say VORACIOUS.

- Dad read at night... usually the Bible.  That's a given for Mom and Dad.  But, we'd also pester and he'd read aloud Bible stories and other books to us. You don't know what it's like having a story read to you until Dad does it.  He had a voice for every character and perfect inflections.  Close your eyes and let your imagination soar...  On the other hand, we loved watching his face as he read.

- There was a big bookshelf in the hallway.  And, on any given day, we were camped out beside, reading and rereading the selections there.

- My younger brother read too... the Guinness Book of World Records and those sorts of things.  Consequently, he became an encyclopedia of what we referred to as useless information.  :)

- And then, there's my youngest brother... I remember him as mostly being on the receiving end of reading.  The way I read to my children was really developed and practiced in the times I read to him.  Additionally, his reading interests were piqued by our brother, which eventually led to him becoming an encyclopedia as well... 

Sweet memories to last a lifetime... my experiences with reading, growing up.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Growing Up Around Books

Growing up, books and the library were just part of life.  And, it wasn't just because we were homeschooled much of the time.  It was part of our lifestyle, even before we were all school-age and during our Christian school attending years.  This is my mom's philosophy:

"It's hot out."
"Let's go to the library." (Air conditioning!!!)

"It's a rainy day." 
"Let's swing by the library."

"We have errands to run."
"Let's stop at the library."

"We're going for a walk."
"Let's drop in to the library."

You get the idea.  The trips were frequent.  Yes, there are the inevitable searches for missing books, but it's all part of the fun.  I mean, when else would you be motivated to vacuum under the couch cushions? 

I can remember finding a M-I-A copy of a Beatrix Potter book in a dress-up purse out in our playhouse.  This was months after Mom paid the fine.  By the way, Mom, thanks.  I really did think we took it back.  :)

So, learn a little from my Mom.  Every day is a perfect day to go to the library.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Your Local Librarian is Your Best Friend

When Skeeter was just 5 or 6 months old, I loaded up my stroller and drove to my local library.  I met the children's librarian, Miss Nancy, on my first trip to the library in our area.  I said, "I don't know if I'm here too early.  She's so young, but I couldn't stay away any longer!"  I didn't even know what kind of books you read to a nice, little round Blossom like mine, but I was determined to read to her.  Miss Nancy immediately pointed me in the direction of books written by Nancy Tafuri, an author who has come to be a favorite here, and a tradition for our babies.  "Oh Skeeter, we won't just read you board books any more!"  Miss Nancy taught me that it's ok for babies to put books in their mouths.  It's their first "impression" of literacy... and it's tasty, as even Sweet Pea knows.  (just kidding)  Through the years, Miss Nancy has taught me in many ways.  I once attended her (free!) seminar on Early Childhood Education and Literacy.  It still affects how I think about reading to and interacting with my children in their early years.  Once, we were headed out the door on a family camping trip.  I didn't have the time or the resources to order a reference book on Butterflies in our area.  I called in, reserved a book and asked my husband to pick it up.  He came home with a stack of 4 books!  They wanted to make sure I had everything I needed!  Miss Nancy graciously helped me teach Skeeter how to use the library.  She is a fountain of information and inspiration.  Who wrote Billy & Blaze?  "C.W. Anderson."  Where can I find some good animal books for Scooter?  "Just over here..."  I need some ideas for read-aloud time.  "How about Stuart Little?"  I can tell Miss Nancy cares about the selection on her shelves.  She's constantly updating things.  We just enjoyed a new audio version of Mr. Popper's Penguins, a title that wasn't always available on cd.  I'm sure this was brought about by her tireless work.  Yes, your local librarian is your best friend.  There are countless versions of Miss Nancy all over the United States, waiting to meet you and your children, thrilled to answer your questions, share their love of reading. 



May your love of reading grow!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fostering the Love of Reading

Sweet Pea is five months old today.  She celebrated the occasion by initiating her love of reading.  I was in the kitchen, pulling lunch (and a crockpot supper) together.  Scooter was lounging on the floor beside Sweet Pea, reading to her... a book about wind.  I smiled and kept on with my work.  It makes me happy to see the love of reading growing in two girlies, simultaneously.  Next thing I know, Scooter's chomping away at her lunch and Sweet Pea's chomping away on her book!  (Don't worry, she was fine.)  But, I did snap a pic to show Miss Nancy, our local librarian.  :) 

There is a real culture of reading here at our happy little home.  The article below talks about that sort of thing pretty succinctly.

We love (and practice) the idea of fostering a passion for reading, rather than pushing them into it.  It's just normal here.  It's just what we do.  Maybe, that's why I didn't bat an eye when Sweet Pea swallowed two pages worth of info on wind.  She's not the first Blossom to have done so.  :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My attitude and the Infant Stage or Grace...again.

Skeeter, Scooter, Skipper and Sweet Pea + Real Life = Tired Mommy

I’m tired of even saying that I’m tired.  This evening I was even thinking of banning the word “tired” from my vocabulary.  Seems like the more I say it, the more tired I feel.  Fatigue has repercussions.  Most everyone battles their flesh more so when they’re tired.  That’s how it is with me.  My words sound sharper.  My patience-fuse is shorter.  And, being in public hasn’t been the exception.  I feel like I’m wearing my attitude and my own fatigue on my sleeve. (embarrassing)  “Can everyone see how icky I’m acting?”  “Did everyone notice the way I scolded my Blossom?”  I mean, at least, if I'm going to battle the flesh, I'd like to do it in the privacy of my own home.  However, far more important than what everyone does or doesn’t see, is what God sees.  And, He sees it all.  Grace is what I need.  I apologize to my children, yet again, which is so humbling.  And, I stop to ask Him for grace (again) to carry out today’s responsibilities (again).  He always answers with that grace (again.)
The pursuit of holiness has to be for the right reasons... not just because people see my lack of it.  I will continue to pursue daily, ordinary holiness in order to please God, whether tired or not.  And if I fail today, in public or at home, I'll try (again) tomorrow.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I don't homeschool for bragging rights

I don’t homeschool to make my kids smarter than yours.  I do think that children who get one-on-one instruction tend to fare better, but one certainly can homeschool for the wrong reasons.  Almost every parent deals with the competitive side of parenting at some point in their parenting journey, whether it is whose kid eats solids first, potty-trains quickest, is the politest or has the sweetest personality.  But, I don’t homeschool to make my kids smarter than yours.  It would be an unpleasant journey if that were the case.  I’d spend every day push, push, pushing the Blossoms.  Learn more.  Learn quicker.  Learn better.  I do strive to help them progress.  I think I am a pretty tough teacher, but I refuse to spend every day pushing them so I can look better.  I don’t homeschool for my own pride’s sake.  I don’t homeschool for bragging rights. 

Friday, September 13, 2013


I was discussing our children's safety with my friend, Red.  You see, in our daily life our Blossoms have been or will be encountering some new, nice people.  I'm just not sure if they are trustworthy or not.  So, I was mulling over what the "rules" should be in regards to playtime and conversation.  I need to have the boundaries in place and clearly defined for the girlies, but Red wisely pointed out,

"Anybody can be nice." 

Excellent point.  Anybody can be nice.  It doesn't mean they are trustworthy companions or supervision for our children.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lean Strong

"Every morning lean thine arm upon the windowsill of Heaven,
and then, lean strong to meet thy day."

I read this quote several years ago in a book on solitude lent to me by a friend/co-worker.  It remains a favorite quote of mine to this day.  Some day, when I have spare time again, perhaps I'll paint it on our bedroom or bathroom wall.  It stands as a much-needed reminder, similar to the one I had hanging on the back of my bedroom door when I was a teenager.  That sign said, "Have you read your Bible and prayed today?"  A family friend came to visit, stayed in my and my sister's room, and took the sign with her when she left, because she liked it so much.  (I gave it to her; she didn't steal it! :)  We need these kinds of reminders, when we're feeling our morning invincibility... the kind that eventually leads to the oh-my-goodness-I'm-on-E-and-there's-still-much-to-do-so-I-think-I'll-just-cry-now time of the day.   For me, in my current season of having a Baby Blossom, that means I sit down to nurse, take a deep breath, close my eyes and meet with God... again.  He'll enable me to lean strong to meet the ever-present challenges of the day.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Your Life is Funny

That's what my sister told me as I was im-ing her the other day.  "Your life is funny."  :D  It is!  I was finishing up scheduling some stuff with her while the older two Blossoms were working away at schoolwork.  Just then, I said, "Hold on."  This was my explanation at the delay in my response:

"I had to lay Sweet Pea down
deal with someone's fit
get someone a snack
forbid someone (Skipper) to stop jumping off the coffee table..."

It was later followed by, "Skipper, DO NOT wipe Sweet Pea's face with a wet washcloth." 
(Sweet Pea was gasping in surprise at the cold wetness.)
"Skipper, DO NOT put your fingers in Sweet Pea's mouth."
"Scooter, if ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE, jumps off that coffee table again, they will receive a spanking."

small children = more funniness  :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Scooter's Birthday

After a day of cinnamon rolls, mac & cheese, brownie-in-a-mug, special candy from Daddy, a new RED scooter and spaghetti (one of her favorites) for supper, Scooter came tramping up the stairs.  She met me at the top and gave me a long lingering hug.  I snuggled her in closer and asked, "What was that for?"

"I'm having a REALLY GOOD birthday," she said to me softly.

Oh, a little thankfulness goes so far with Mommy!  :)

Happy 6th Birthday, Scooter, our sweetie girl!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not What McClintock Would Do

Sometimes a little husbandly restraint is a really good thing.  No, I'm not really referring to actual literal husbandly restraint like John Wayne did (as George Washington McLintock in the movie McLintock) when he held his wife over his knee and gave her a good old-fashioned spanking.  (Their marriage, which had formerly been on the rocks, was reconciled after that.)  That isn't what I'm referring to.  I'm referring to a Mommy that thinks she can handle it all and do it all - in every season of wife-motherhood.  The reality is that that isn't true.  So, the Rugged Mountain Man said to me, "Do me a favor, Honey, and don't say yes to anything else."  Good words.  Good wisdom.  I'm using them to help me stick to the really important stuff right... just the really, really, REALLY important stuff.  That's what's getting done these days.  So, if your Husband Man comes over to you and shares a similar tidbit, instead of biting his head off or sassing him with your finest comeback, nod your head, smile thankfully and figure out a way to make his wisdom come to pass in your days.

PS - McLintock is a fun date night movie - one of my favorites, in fact! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

See it for what it is

We get discouraged; we get discontent.  Why?  We don't see motherhood for what it is. 

I love this Anne quote by L.M. Montgomery.  Someone was probing Anne about her writing career being left behind and she gracefully stated, "I'm writing living epistles now."

That's what we mommies are doing every day, writing living epistles.  Making true disciples.  Ministering life into growing lives.  Planting and watering seeds.  It's a lot like farming... a lot like writing... a lot like ministry... and so much more.