Showing posts from January, 2010

Killing the family with kindness

Thanks to all of my readers who have sent me their favorite oatmeal recipes! If you've got a good one to share, post it in the comments for all to read! “Dear, I love you and everything, but this is the worst dinner you have ever cooked in all of our ten years of marriage.” All of that from one meal that Wilford Brimley told me was “the right thing to do.” But I guess it wasn’t “the tasty way to do it.” I have this odd relationship with oatmeal. Always have, always will. I think it stems from the fact that I figured out, at a young age, that if I taught myself to like things that other people didn’t want, I would have more. The revelation hit at Girl Scout camp when I watched so many mistakenly burnt marshmallows go into the fire. With the limit set at two per girl, I quickly upped my intake by offering not to waste the burnt ones. It naturally follows then that I also learned to like black jelly beans, mushrooms, and prunes. Added to the list is oatmeal which was never reall

Weather wonderings of a snowman

A snowman's life Is a pitiful thing, When it ain't exactly Winter And it ain't exactly Spring.

Sunshine on a dark winter night

The rest of the world has moved on since Christmas. No so in my house. So very long ago, at our Christmas Eve church service, my son actually paid attention. All of those Sundays when I thought he was just swinging his legs back and forth and staring up in the dusty rafters remain a mystery. But on Christmas Eve, he was listening. I know he was listening because the priest’s homily was all about the season of Christmas. He spoke about many things, but he mentioned at some point that Christmas was not just a day, but an entire season. And by kid standards, seasons last forever. Summer may fly by in the blink of a lightening bug, but winter, in the eyes of a child is longer than time itself. And therefore, according to my son, Christmas lasts until at least March. I know this because he told me. “We have to leave the tree up until at least March. That’s what I learned in church.” So as long as we could, we left up our Christmas tree. I admit I enjoyed the soft glow of the lights as they

Winter in the wilderness

We had a great day today, romping around at a winter program for kids at The Wilderness Center . We learned a few things...the kids can now tell the difference between moss and lichen, we know that they recently discovered that the red bat hibernates under leaf litter, and how to identify the beech drop. I also realized that my kids have been paying attention all of these years. They were whizzes out on the trail, spotting animal trails and tracks, bird and squirrel nests, etc. I was a proud mom to say the least. But what makes me even more proud was the conversation we had on the way down there, about why they love the wilderness. In perfect kid form, they argued about who likes it the most, and why they like it so much. "It's everywhere you look. You just need to pay attention." "But I think it's so cool because, it's like, beautiful and science all together." "I like it more." "No, i'm the wilderness kid." "Well, you

A glimpse of motherhood on my way to an RWC

It was my lucky day. I was actually going out to dinner in a nice restaurant with my husband and other people, all of whom were adults. Commonly called a RWC, a Restaurant Without Crayons is something special, especially when you consider that the placemat doesn’t double as an activity pad and a menu serving hot dogs. In a life of motherhood like mine, this doesn’t happen very often. It’s practically the Halley ’s Comet of my dinner hour life. And so I began on an evening of preparation for a single and wonderful meal without my kids or my diaper bag in tow. It started off with a bit of a morale booster when my six-year-old son said exactly this to me. “Who makes the best dinner and is the most awesome mom in the world? THAT lady,” and he pointed to me with his tiny fingers held like little pistols and he clicked his tongue as if he were calling a dog. Keep in mind that the world’s best dinner according to my kids is anything that contains plain noodles and steamed broccoli which is no

Totally Irresponsible Martin Luther King Day

Call it an impulse purchase, but a few months ago I couldn't pass up " The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science ." It was calling my name. Literally. Although all of the experiments haven't worked perfectly for me ( c'mon , I burned through about 2 dozen tea bags and nearly set off the smoke alarm for trying to make the hot air balloon) but one experiment was way too fun. So if you're home on this Martin Luther King Day with kids driving you batty, here's a disgustingly fun way to amuse yourselves and pass the time. Turning milk to stone. (I would post a photo, but my camera is having some charge issues.) YOU NEED: 1 1/2 cups skim milk microwave safe mixing bowl 4 teaspoons vinegar microwave strainer YOU DO: 1. Mix milk and vinegar in bowl. 2. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. 3. You'll notice that the liquids and the solids have separated. Pour through the strainer. 4. Let the solids cool just a little until you can touch them, and then mold

Carpe dirt

Avid readers might notice that I recently changed the name of this blog. I wanted a catchier name, something that summed it all up in one happy little phrase. After much deliberation and a vote or two, "dirt don't hurt" won, hands down. It comes from the saying, "God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt," something that I've heard and said over the course of my lifetime, mostly when someone in the crowd is ewwwing about dirt somewhere on their body. Personally, I love dirt. It's good fun stuff, especially when it's got a little water mixed in with it. I know this because I have many photos of myself, all pretty much looking like this one (taken waaay back in the late 90's) I also know I love dirt because I refuse to wear gloves when I garden and boots in the creeks. If you've felt the good feeling of dirt under your nails and between your toes, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you should. My children are learning

The Mom who Stole Winter

Every Kid down in Kidville liked Winter a lot… But the Mom, who managed the Kids, did not. The Mom hated winter! The whole snowy season! And if you want to know why, she’ll tell you the reason. It wasn’t always this way, no she liked the snow quite. She snowboarded and skied and prayed for the white. She spent most every day that the winter winds blew Out in the cold. It’s what she liked to do. But then came the children, one after another Until there were three to be cared for by mother. When there was just one, it wasn’t a problem at all. Cute sweaters and knit hats to wear in the fall, And then when the snow fell, no one minded the least. There were two little boots and a suit made of fleece. But soon after that, another babe to adore. And those two little boots soon became four. And two little hats, and four little gloves, And two little noses to wipe clear with love. And each time the small family got ready to leave, It’d be five extra minutes to tuck each coat sleeve. And five m

Small successes are actually pretty big thanks

Months ago I went through a phase where, each Thursday, I would post three small successes. These could be as minimal as "wore matching socks" or "mowed the lawn without having to stop 37 times to yell at the kids...only 32." But the point was that we need to take the time to recognize these little things because, face it, we can all use a little morale boost from time to time. I know I sure can. Today's small success isn't small at all, and it's not really as much of a success as a thank you. Yesterday I came down with the stomach flu. Bad. I knew something was up when I couldn't finish my 3rd cup of morning coffee, but I traveled off to work anyway, leaving my youngest in the care of my mom. Going through my day (did y'all know I'm a music teacher?) I began to fade in the afternoon until by the end of the last class my quarter notes and eighth notes were dancing around and off-beat. I sped home, sped to the bathroom, and then sped to bed wh

Resolving to hit the trail

I’ve always thought it was pretty funny to make a resolution the day after a week of indulgences ends. As if for some reason we actually have the willpower to promise away all of the treats we consumed over the previous week, while at the same time some of us are stuffing our faces with pork and sauerkraut, juices still dripping down our chins as we curl up for a midday nap. Because really, aren’t most resolutions just about being more healthy and to take better care of ourselves? To make the choices we know we should be making but really that pork and sauerkraut taste so good we might as well have one more helping while we can because we can always get up early the next day and go for a jog? The only resolution I ever made that didn’t have involve calories and sweating was a few years ago when I decided that I would do whatever it took to finish each load of laundry in one day. This brainy idea lasted a few weeks until I reverted to my old routine which required us to streak throug

New Years 2010: Sick, Soup, and Supercute

We ended our New Year's Eve toting home a child sick with the stomach flu. A late night turned into a really late night (I was up until 4:30...and not having much fun, unless your twisted idea of fun is changing bed sheets multiple times.) But some things happen for a reason. Our New Year's Day has been nothing but rest and quiet, a relaxing start to a new year. With the rowdiest member of the family down for the count, I got to spend time with my oldest daughter, reading books and making crafts. Usually when we attempt such things, there is a spontaneous sword thrust into our chests or a paper airplane comes zooming through the air. (Really, did I birth Max and Ruby??) But today, oh today, at 6:30PM we are still in our pajamas. We have only eaten soup all day, if you don't count the Popsicles I just fed the sickie etc. Table strewn with paper scraps, twigs, and bits of wire, there's a beautiful craft in the corner that will remind me of this strangely odd and strange