Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Like mother, like daughter

After packing candy corn left from Halloween in my husband's lunch box this morning, I promised I would get some cookies made for a fresher dessert tomorrow.  But life happened and at nine tonight I realized that I had some cooking to do.  Happily I realized I had all the ingredients for no-bake Scotcheroos and wouldn't have to stay up all night shuffling cookie sheets.

Now, while positively delicious, Scotcheroos are not health food.  In fact, there is not one un-processed ingredient in them.  And while measuring out the one cup (!!!) of light corn syrup, I started to have a little mommy-guilt over my ingredients list.

But then a happy memory of corn syrup came to me.  When I was little (and still now, actually)  I didn't like milk on my cereal.  Sometimes, though, my mom would let me drizzle Karo syrup over Corn Chex or Rice Krispies.  That I liked.  Seriously though?  I can't believe she let me do it. 

Then I had to smile, because I remembered brown sugar sandwiches.  "What are brown sugar sandwiches?" you might be thinking.  Just what the sound like, my friend.  White sandwich bread spread with margarine, a fair layer of brown sugar pressed onto it, topped with another margarine covered slice of bread, and then eaten for lunch. 

In my mother's defense, we didn't eat either of these things on a regular basis.  But it was definitely not a one time thing.  For just a minute, while I was squeezing the last of the corn syrup out of the bottle, I wondered what she was thinking, feeding us food like that. 

And then I remembered that I'm the one who put chocolate chips in the peanut butter baked oatmeal I served my kids for dinner last month.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jumping into the New Year?

It seems that most of my Facebook friends and the bloggers I read are full swing into getting their homes straightened out from the holidays and organizing themselves for the year ahead.  That sounds good to me, sort of.  But maybe not yet.

My oldest son doesn't go back to school until Monday.  That gives us three more free days.  Three days where I can sit on the floor and watch him build the Lego vehicles he received as Christmas gifts.  Three more days were the kids and I can snuggle on the couch and watch a video in the afternoon, since, after all, we are on vacation.  Three more days in which I can let dinner go a little later than usual, because if we aren't in bed on time it's no big deal. 

I intentionally took a step back from homemaking starting the Friday before Christmas so that I could enjoy the holiday season with my family.  I am so glad that I did.  It's been so nice to say yes to my daughter's request to read a story, or to play with the boys just because they asked. 

Our pantry is empty, our entertainment center needs dusting, and the bathrooms could use a good scrubbing.  But those things will wait for Monday morning when Nick and Ben head back to school and the little kids and I get back into our weekly routine.  Today we're still on vacation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days of Gratitude: Hand-Me-Downs

We have been blessed over and over again for the last year by friends who have given us their outgrown clothing.  A friend's sister-in-law has passed on bags of excellent condition clothing for my daughter several times thoughout the year.  Outside of socks and shoes, I honestly don't think I have purchased a single item for her since we moved.  And this summer another friend gave us four big bags of boys' clothes, also in fantastic condition and just what my boys were needing. 

Still, I try to plan ahead and not count on someone else providing my kids with clothing.  Last spring I found a sale on some nice shoes for Anna to wear to church in this winter.  I bought them a size up from where she was so they would be sure to fit. 

And now she can't even get her feet into them.  She she's grown two full sizes since June.  I started to despair just a little.  I'd blown $7 on shoes that never made it out of the box and I'd still have to find another pair and pay full price for them. 

But then I remembered the stash of passed-on clothes and shoes I'd set aside for the kids to grow into.  Down to the basement I went and, sure enough, I found three pairs of shoes that fit her perfectly right now.  Shoes given to us freely by someone I don't actually even know.  How awesome is that? 

It reminds me of the birds that have no need to store up food, but depend on God to provide just what they will need each day.  Surely God provided in this case, through these generous people. 

And the brand new shoes that don't fit Anna?  I gave them to another little girl.  Maybe I can do God's work too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So thankful for my mom

My mother had back surgery yesterday.  The little kids and I went to see her today.  She was pretty sleepy, but stayed awake for the hour we were there and was her usual cheerful self.  She chatted with the kids and me.  We even discussed plans for Christmas dinner.  Because laying in a hospital bed at the beginning of October is the time to work out the details of when and where we will be celebrating Christmas. :)

I was so glad to see her acting perky, even if she was stuck in a hospital gown with IVs and oxygen.  I try not to think of such things, but there's always that little bit of worry that something could go wrong during surgery. I know people were praying for her, and for her doctors, and it makes me so glad to know that God had everything under control. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 (or is it 6)

Oh, you mean I wasn't supposed to take the weekend off from writing everyday for 31 days? Oops. Just kidding.  I didn't even make it a week.  Not for lack of things to be grateful for; I just let it slide...

So, picking up where we left off....Today I am grateful for kindergarteners.  I helped in my son's kindergarten class last year and I decided to do so again this year.  Today was my first day.  I love that little touch of feeling like I'm teaching again.  And I am, really, just without any of the annoying planning, paper work, staff meetings... Just walk in, sit down, and get busy with whatever project is handed to me. 

But the kids are the best.  A couple of the kids at my table today, like Nick, are "olders" who are on thier second year of kindergarten, so they remembered me from last year and seemed farily pleased to see me again.  Then there are the "new" kindergarteners.  Some of them so tiny and timid, some completely confident in themselves. 

At the end of the hour and a half I always sort of breath a sigh of relief as I leave the room.  The energy those kids put out is exhausting.  I can totally see why I was a middle school teacher, and not with the little ones.  Because as fun as they are, they would wear me out long before the day was over. 

I'm already looking forward to next week. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 5: Thank Goodness it's Friday

I started coming down with it last night.  This morning it was obvious that Anna had it too.  By the time Nick got unpacked from school he was complaining of not feeling well. 

I don't know exactly what "it" is, but I'm achy and headachy and tired.  Anna slept for over three hours this afternoon.  The kids were tucked in by 7:26 tonight.  We even skipped reading Farmer Boy without so much as a comment.  Clearly we all need some extra rest. 

Sadly, I already need to go put Lucas back to bed.

I am so thankful that Ben is going to be home in twenty minutes to help with this parenting thing over the weekend, because I'm just not sure I'd make it through another day on my own. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

78 degrees and Sunny

Yup.  It's October, I live in Michigan, and we almost hit 80 degrees today.  If that isn't something to be grateful for, I don't know what is.

The windows were open so the house is aired out.  I played in the sandbox with the kids.  I wore my sandals without feeling like a crazy person.  The color in the trees is gorgeous.

This is one of my favorite times of year.  Crisp air, bright sunshine, autumn colors and a warm breeze. 

Just what we all need as we prepare to hunker down for the long, cold winter.