When the World Stopped

Setting- Dining room.  Blinds open to the gloomy, dark skies of a Saturday afternoon.  Inside, “chilled cucumber” walls, warm lighting and a dining room table covered in puzzle pieces and cardboard dust.

Characters- A Dad, a Mom, and a recently turned 9 little girl with long Rapunzel hair.

Mom- {grumbling and mumbling about Ohio winters, cold fingers and cold toes}

Dad- {playing some dumb zombie game on his phone, *Tetris would have been acceptable, because Tetris is cool}

Izzy- {happily chattering away about puzzle pieces, and occasionally instructing and bossing around her mom and dad which is her new favorite past-time.  Be it about cooking, driving or parenting.  So fun!}

Mom- “Izzy, I need you to know that before you agree to marry a man, you should probably ask a few more important questions than I asked.”

Izzy- giggles and looks at me over the top of her glasses

Dad-{husband’s head twitches, but does not look away from game}”Like what for instance???”

Mom- “For instance, how many children you want.  Or if you will forever have to live where it is cold.  I’m just saying, if you want to live where it is sunny and warm, you should find these things out before you choose a mate.”

Dad- “That’s your fault for only caring about my good looks at the time.”

Izzy- “Oh I know all about how to mate!”……….
……..
………………..
…………………….. {world stops. zombie game stops. puzzling stops. Mom and Dad’s heads snap up, eyes bug, and they stare at each other with their jaws on the table for a solid 10 Mississippi’s}

Mom- “Pardon me?  And how exactly do you mate?”

Izzy- “All big cats do it the same way MOooom.  {with the exasperation only a 9 year old can muster}  One jumps on the other one’s back and it bites their neck.”
……
………..

Mom and Dad burst into uncontrollable laughter.  Loud, raucous laughter.  The kind where eventually you can’t breathe, and your sides hurt.  The kind where you finally stop, look at each other and then start the laughing, gasping for breath cycle again.

Izzy- “Why are you laughing? Mating isn’t funny.”

Mom- “You’re right, that’s how it works. Absolutely……Oh and Izzy, no more watching National Geographic without us.”

And the world starts back to normal rotation.

Can You Can?

I LOVE canning jars. I’ve seen them as vases, crayon holders, candle holders, baking cakes in them, lamps and many other things. But I rarely see them actually used for canning purposes. My grandmothers and aunts can vegetables and fruits, but I never have. I’m endevouring to change that. I want to make use of my buckets of tomatoes in the Summer and when the Ohio tundra months are upon me, what would be better than opening a jar of garden grown tomatoes for my soups and stews?? Or applesauce for my “The only fruit I will let past my tonsils is applesauce- daughter.”

Here’s where the problem lies…. I’m kind of serial library fine offender….. And there’s this one librarian who I try desperately to avoid….. because oh if looks could kill and/or ban someone from the library forevermore, she would so do it to me. I’m convinced she lives there, because I always manage to wind up in her line. Every, stinkin’ time. And I then have to pretend that there is something very wrong with the toes of my shoes, so as not to look her in the eyes.  She’s probably starting to wonder what kind of woman returns books and cd’s months late and has serious foot issues.

Solution- The internet. Its a beautiful thing. Lay it on me! All your canning tips. I want to hear them. Youtube links, I want to see them.

Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to have been born in age when women my age still knit, sew, can, sing to Doris Day songs, and wear cute aprons to vacuum.  When women didn’t dress their daughters in sweat pants that say “Juicy” on the heiny.  Yay feminism and the right to vote and being payed decent money and all….. but come on?  Where did the respect go?  And red lipstick and men being gentlemen.  Women having manners.  Men having manners.  Why is is acceptable for women to leave the house in their pajamas?  Generations of women fought for equality and respect.  So lets honor that, and respect ourselves.

I propose we teach our daughters to be strong, smart, independent women.  Women who can change the world.  Women who can lead the country and corporations.  Women who are nurturing and loving.  We should teach our daughters to serve God, and have courage.  Lots of courage.

 Daughters who don’t settle for any man who treats them less than they deserve.   But while we are at it, lets also teach them to be genteel.  And compassionate.  And nurturing.  Lets raise daughters who don’t swear like drunken sailors, or sober sailors for that matter.  Lets raise daughters who don’t say crass things, or make fart or burp jokes.  Women who insist on having a man treat them like a lady.  And for pity’s sake, teach your daughters to cook. 

Teach your sons to cook.  And do their laundry.  No one wants to do anyone elses’ dirty laundry.  And no woman wants to be married to a mama’s boy, or have a mama’s boy as a son-in-law, so blast it all, love and snuggle and spoil your sons, but I beg of you, teach them to love and respect a woman…. like a queen.  Raise sons who are strong, and Godly, and confident.  And protectors. And brilliant, and courageous.   Sons who will be men of valor and protective.  Men who will cherish their wives.  CHERISH.  Because I have three daughters, and someday they are going to be looking for  good men, and darn it, I want one to actually exist.

*note- I am by no means saying that I am June Cleaver, the perfect lady, wife or mother.  I want to strive to be all the things I just mentioned above.  Its a goal.  A worthy goal.

Letter to My Firstborn

Dear Isabella Berniece,
Your life forever changed Daddy and I.  Nine years ago today you patiently made your way into your im-patient mama’s arms.  After 15 hours of waiting for you, me and daddy and Grandma Angela finally got to see your beautiful face.  A day I will never, ever forget. 

You unlocked the mother in me.  A mommy that is so in love with her children, a mommy who still has separation anxiety, a mommy who will hold tightly to the memories of you as a little infant, toddler and child…..

I’m so proud of the little girl you have become.  You are kind, compassionate, stubborn as a donkey, lovely, smart, funny, curious, and oh your glorious hair and huge eyes.  You are a loving daughter who thinks it is so fun to make Dad and I breakfast in bed…. at 6:30 am on Saturdays. 

You are emotional beyond description and flip out about socks, shoes, hair, how tight or loose your clothes are and your homework.  You are a caring and responsible big sister to 3 little ones.  You may just be my favorite for taking care of Donovan so early in the morning and letting Mommy sleep!

And oh the places you have been in your short 9 years!  NYC (twice),  Niagara Falls, Washington D.C (3 times)., Phoenix, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Florida (twice), Savannah, Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, St. Louis, Connecticut, The Hamptons, Disney World, Cumberland Gap, Myrtle Beach….  I can’t help but wonder about where you will go in the future. 

You are already raising money for the World Wildlife Fund and can’t wait to go on missions trips with me.  You are going to be a world changer Isabella.  You love God with your whole heart, and if you remain in Him, He will remain in you my sweet Sugar Bear. 

Happy Birthday Angel.

"Eat Whole Foods (on a budget)"

I like this week’s task.  Its simple.  As it should be, since its by Simple Mom and all  🙂  …. never mind.
Week 14 is about getting more natural foods into our meals, lunches, homes.
Feed the body properly and the mind and soul will come along for the happy ride.  While I’m not going to do all of her suggestions {like buy organic in the Winter months}, there are other things I can do.  Things I’ve been meaning to do for years.  You mean to do things next week, next month, next Summer…. and before you know it, you’re going to turn 30 and still haven’t done the things you wanted to 10 years ago. 

Small changes I can make:

1. Get some books from the library and learn to can.  Not to be confused with  can-can,  canning is not in my reportoire. We grow way more tomatoes every year than we can eat or give away.  I would love to find out how to can them, and then use them in my soups and pasta sauces in the Winter instead of buying canned.  I also want to try applesauce. and canned peaches  {Hey Alex, I’m going to need some more shelves babe}. 

2. Wash my produce better.  Use water and vinegar to get the pesticides off of what I’m putting into my children and self. 

3. Find and join a co-op.  I’m not very happy with the farmer’s markets in my area and I don’t have enough back yard to grow everything I want, so I’m going to try the co-op route. 

4. Implement more beans and quinoa into our meals instead of rice and pasta.  Kale.  We’re going to start eating lots of Kale.

Simplifying

Hello.  Have you missed me?  My blogging has been sporadic at best the last several months.  Life… am I right?
December for us means Christmas, Addison’s birthday, Donovan’s birthday, and one week into January is Isabella’s birthday.  Yowzah.  Thus, the lack of blogging. And when you throw a little writer’s block into the mix, you get…. nothing.
I’m hoping to change all that.  I pulled up my bootstaps yesterday, got on my new treadmill and ran.  Yes, ran.  For the first time in probably 10 years I ran a whole mile…. without stopping to have an asthma attack or drop to the ground like a blob of jelly.  I was so excited!!!  With that  small huge goal accomplished, came a newfound mind set.  I CAN do it.  I can do things I was convinced were impossible. 
This new year is going to bring about big things.  Renewed purpose and drive for the Orphan/Foster ministry.  Anti- Human Trafficking even in March.  Third year back to El Salvador.  Training at Summit 8 in Cali in May.  {California in May? Yes please!} and I’m sure God is going to keep on challenging me in new ways like he did last year.

Sooooo.  That was a really long winded way to get to my point.  I’m joining in with Jeannett at Life Rearranged in her journey to simplify life at home.  I’m thinking, if I can simplify and organize at home, then all the other things I’ve got going on will go much smoother.  I do realize that this should have been so obvious, but I’m a little stubborn and unmotivated sometimes.  But with 4 kids and a smokin’ hot husband, sometimes the obvious solution gets lost in the shuffle.

Jeannet’s on week 14, which for me, means week 1.  I ordered Tsh Oxenreider’s e-book “One Bite at a Time,” to help me figure out how to do this, and I’m kicking off week 1 with a new bounce in my step.  {Hopefully the treadmill will lessen the literal bounce after a few weeks}.  Tomorrow I’ll be back with this week’s task.  Want to join in the fun?