Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Which We Love One Another

After a particularly long night and particularly long day with two cranky preschoolers who were NOT SLEEPY, I gave in and put a movie on.  Savannah snuggled up on my leg (that's my corduroy skirt pictured here) and asked her "Lowg Lowg" (this is my best guess at how to spell her pet name for Logan) to snuggle her.  Despite the fact that they'd been picking at each other all day, he nestled in, too, and gently rubbed her head until he fell asleep, too.

I hope my kids are always close- I know it won't be like this, but I hope that somewhere deep in their minds they remember moments like this, even as grown ups.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Which We Howl at the Moon

Riley has absolutely adored cub scouts this year.  It's right up his alley- a dash of everything and lots of crafts and field trips thrown in.  When our original baseball coach moved practice so that it would overlap with scouts, I was amazed that Riley had the dedication to say that he'd rather switch teams than skip scouts- especially since he committed to scouting first.  Love that kid.  This week he got to move up from Tiger Scouts to Wolf Scouts.  (Hence the howling).  This momentous occasion was marked with a new handkerchief.  Yellow, this time, instead of orange.  It's my favorite one because it matches :)
 Riley has a lot of fantastic kids in his den.  It's a really fun (and HIGH ENERGY!!!) group of boys and I think they've had a really great introduction to scouting thanks to their leaders!!
Against my better judgement, here's me and my boy.  This year I have not been good to myself and I've gained 15 pounds from stress eating that I really didn't need to gain since I was already quite fat enough, thank you very much.  Hopefully this summer I can take better care of myself and my family since PTA will be done and I won't be shoving wine and brownies down my face every time I have to open another nasty email....hopefully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Menu Planning Monday (ish)

Part of keeping track of homeschooling next year is going to be journaling what we do in this space.  To that end, I need to get in the habit of writing more need to write more, with or without my Jesus spin ;)

So, to that end, I'm going to start with our Menus.  Several of my friends do this and I love the inspiration.  Cooking will be a part of our curriculum since the kids love to cook and it ties in with math, so each kid will get a day to plan and implement the menu.  For now, it's still me, and it's actually Wednesday....

Hopefully this will also help me plan better.  We have a lot of weeknight happenings that would go smoother if I planned dinner better.  Especially baseball, which happens RIGHT over dinner quite consistently. This is not a typical menu for us- due to Monday's tragic events I had a bunch of thawed chicken.  We don't normally eat this much chicken all at once.

Monday- Frozen Cheese Pizza, Fruit Smoothies with Yogurt, Carrot Sticks and Dip (before Cub Scout Pack Meeting) I had another meal planned, but my freezer died (sadly, yes, but he got better!!) and in the frantic rush to move things from the basement full freezer to the kitchen tiny freezer, this is what my fantastic 7 year old made!!

Tuesday- Linguini alla Vodka, Salad, Garlic Bread (brought by Grammy and Papa to Riley's baseball game)

Wednesday- Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce, Pasta, Asparagus from the farmer's market (which no one ate but me so breakfast tomorrow will be EPIC)

Thursday- Fatteh bel Djaje, Tabbouleh but with no mint and twice the parsley called for, probably hummus and veggies to go with.  If I am feeling benevolent, we may have some Trader Joe's Baklava :)

Friday- Dinner out for Preschool Graduation!! I plan to cry!!

Saturday- Chicken Lettuce Wraps but with substantially more mushroom and water chestnuts, and sweet chili sauce and hoisin subbing for the hot ingredients where called for for the kids.  Not me, I'll burn my mouth off :)

Sunday- BBQ Chicken, (kidding- we're having grilled burgers and hot dogs), Purple Potato Salad (yay farmer's market!), mixed berries, corn on the cob (whoot, farmers!)

Next week, we eat vegan.  I feel like this week was a bad episode of Epic Meal Time (chicken breast, and chicken breast, and chicken breast, though, rather than BACON STRIPS and BACON STRIPS!)   BTW- If you watch that link, please don't vomit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In Which We Repent for the End Is Near.

So there are these people who apparently think they're smarter than the Bible when it says that not even the angles of heaven know when Jesus' return will be- they claim the rapture is coming on Saturday at 9.  I think they're a little pretentious, but that's okay.  If Jesus comes, I want to go with him, I don't really care if it's Saturday or when I'm 80 or after I'm dead. 

As a comparative religion major, I learned all kinds of crazy.  You think there's a 7 headed blue half elephant demon god? Interesting.  You think there's a "friendly zombie overlord" as some people put it? Me too! Vestal virgins for martyrs? Neat.  Baptism for dead people, you say? Indeed.  Religion involves faith, which necessarily requires a mental leap.  It's not "faith" if there's no requirement that you believe in something unlikely or improbable.

Do I think that the rapture is coming on Saturday? Not any more than I think that it's coming today, and actually, probably a little less since the Bible says we won't know the hour.  Much like a baby coming on its actual due date, I see Saturday as the least likely date possible now that someone's calling for it.  What bothers me about this whole thing is how naive I've apparently been my whole life.

Growing up in a relatively Southern part of the US as a relatively mainstream Christian, I didn't really get the whole "anti-Christian" sentiment that Jesus warns of, and I still thought we were a largely Christian nation.  I forget what that means, though.  We are a relatively Christian nation in the sense that we all believe in Christmas (TM) with Santa and presents and commercialism.  We are a relatively Christian nation in that we are afraid to completely abandon God, much like the hated Aunt that you don't completely write off just in case she leaves you money in her will.  We are a relatively Christian nation in that in times of absolute crisis or despair, our leaders have our permission to express that we should "pray" despite the fact that a majority wouldn't even know what posture to strike to do so.

Over the past few days, I've listened.  I've listened to the mocking on the radio, TV, internet, and even in person at a meeting I had to attend.  The mocking isn't aimed just at the group that thinks Jesus is coming on Saturday- it's mocking of the entire "rapture" concept.  Yes, these people's website reads like bad Bible fan-fiction.  However, that doesn't change the fact that ALL of America's Christians should believe that a rapture will come.  After the last few days, I'm pretty sure that my adherence to that belief makes me one of the crazies, too.

I've never felt like an outsider because of my faith- and I still don't.  But the hostility and mocking I've seen over the past few days towards a very real portion of the Christian faith have weighed heavily on my heart, and while I'm not going to get a sign and stand on a street corner, maybe this is my stand.  I still believe, and I hear you laughing now, World.  I still believe, and I see you pointing.  And, despite my disagreement with their approach, I admire the people who have stepped out and acted on a faith that can ABSOLUTELY be proven wrong on Saturday at 9.  Not for what their saying, but for their faith itself.

I'm pretty positive I'll see you all on Sunday, but I'll definitely be more aware of what it means when I walk into my fairly conservative and Bible-teaching church when I do.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In Which It's Mamma Day

I used to loathe mother's day.  My first 2 were less than happy, and I actually forbade its observance for a year after that.  My first (when I was pregnant) I spent the whole day waiting for something to happen, but Austin had been advised that it was bad luck to do anything for a pregnant woman.  All day I answered friends who asked what he'd done with "nothing yet".  It was embarrassing, but in hindsight, not that big of a deal although my hormones led to a huge tear-fest that night anyway.  The second first (when Riley was 6 months old) my mother in law pitched such an unholy fit that Austin was spending mother's day with me and not with her that he left me halfway through the day so spend a few hours trying to coax her out of the bedroom she'd locked herself in to leave me a nasty voicemail message full of curse words and threats.

Yay Jerry Springer inspired families, right?

But then, once Riley was in preschool, the most fabulous thing happened and he came home with some beautiful handprint artwork that was wrapped lovingly in tissue paper and ribbon.  He was so proud of the picture he'd made me.  I remember him wrapping his little 2 and a half year old self around me and exclaiming "you're my best mommy!" as he gave me my present on Friday afternoon because he just couldn't wait until Sunday.  Mother's Day was about him, not about me.  Not about my mother in law.  Not about anything but about a sweet little boy getting to tell me in his own fingerpaint and happiness that he was happy God let me be his mommy.

I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

I've enjoyed several fantastic mother's days since then.  Our 3s preschool teachers host a Mother's Day Tea each year that brings me to tears every time.  I have a box under my bed full of cards and stories transcribed by grown ups saying things like "My mommy is beautiful and I love her" beneath a stick figure of, what I can best guess, a chicken that's been mutilated by a dinosaur with blonde hair. I love them.

Today was awesome, too.  I got to sleep in and Austin and the babies made me breakfast.  Then Savannah and I got to spend some girl time at the Spa with my mom and brother's girlfriend getting our nails done.  It's so fun to have girl time with Savannah! Logan and Savannah both planted flowers at preschool.  Savannah decorated her pot and Logan grew marigolds from seeds.  All three kids made me adorable cards and Riley's teacher helped the kids fill out a questionnaire.  One question he answered that stuck out was "My mommy loves".  Most kids probably wrote in "chocolate" or "reading", but Riley wrote "Me."  I'm glad that he knows. Logan made me a necklace out of plastic beads that I've been wearing all day, and he's tickled pink.

The kids also took me to see a movie.  We saw Hop, which was cute, but even more adorable was that they pooled together their piggy bank money to buy my ticket.  I cried.  I'm a pansy like that.

I'm so lucky to have my kids.  They're completely awesome, even though they sometimes make me insane.

The afternoon was a little less happy, with a reminder that we don't have our mothers forever as we left the kids with my brother so that we could attend the visitation hours for my godmother's mother, who passed away this last week.  They're holding up well, especially considering her husband's mother passed away the week before.  Standing in line to greet my godmother behind my mother at the funeral home where we buried my grandmother definitely hit me pretty hard.

After the visitation, we stopped at Trader Joes (we used to have one right across the street from our apartment when we first got married- oh how I love TJ!) to pick up a few things and then the whole family enjoyed dinner at my brother's house (formerly my grandmothers).  We're so lucky to have family close by.  I love the legacy that my children get to be part of and wish they had Austin's brothers and sister closer, too.

Happy Mother's Day!