Archive for May, 2007

I will be sleeping in fast-forward.

In a few minutes, we’ll leave for Scott’s softball game.  It’s scheduled to start at 9:30 PM.  That means we’ll be home around 11:00 PM, and I will be getting up at 4:00 AM to leave at 4:30 AM to take Kristy to the airport for a 6:40 AM flight.  Jessica will be going with us, so she and I will be able to keep each other awake on the way home.

We have had a fun visit with Kristy, and we will miss her when she’s gone.  She give me great perspective, and I think I will take her up on her remodeling advice for the living room and dining room.

It’s been a fun Memorial Day.

I overslept horrendously, and when I finally was up and moving, Scott was working in the office, Katie was nowhere to be seen, and Jessica, Josiah, and Andrew had joined Aunt Kristy for a walk to the low water bridge (one mile one way on a dirt/gravel road).

While they were gone, I decided to catch up the laundry and sweep the first floor.  Both were significant tasks.  Lunch followed, and then we all decided to go back to swim at Big Rock.  Actually, the Big Three walked with Krit, Andrew rode his bike, I rode my bike down a few minutes later, and Scott drove down a few minutes after that.

There were a number of families down there swimming, and several who were camped there, so it was a full “beach.”  Evidently, Krit wheeled part way into the water and then “just floated away.”  We had a grand time playing and talking, while various of the kids jumped off the rock, etc.  Scott and Krit spent some time in the double tube, and that was fun as well.   He lifted her out and Andrew (8) pushed her back up the gravel hill to the road.

Krit, Jessica, Scott, Josiah (sort of) and I played a few games of cuppers, and I was excited to be on the team that beat Scott’s team – twice.

Supper was a cookout of kielbasa, brats, spicy chicken and unadulterated chicken with baked beans, corn on the cob, and watermelon to complete the feast.  I ate way too much and enjoyed every bite.

Now we are about to discuss the PTM lesson on Authority, which should prove interesting.  After that, Jessica and Kristy will watch the rest of the movie they started last night, “Hangman’s Curse.”

Burn the booster!

Andrew has successfully reached the age of eight – alive – and no longer is required by law to ride in a booster seat.  What freedom!  What flexibility!  What ease!

He went all the way to church, Fazoli’s, and home booster-free.

The party’s over.

It was definitely the most challenging one yet.  There were at least two times during the evening when the guests were almost sent home and the party canceled.  However, I think ultimately Andrew had a good time.  He and his bud are about to go to sleep, and I am going to help Jessica clean the living room.

More party details when I am not so sleepy.

When the Chef Plans the Menu

Tomorrow is Andrew’s eighth birthday and he has been actively planning his party for the past eleven months – no exaggeration!

He is having three friends over Saturday afternoon. They will go swimming in the creek, play on the trampoline, and do other fun yard stuff. Then we will have a dinner of his choice, sort of (details below), open packages, have cake and ice cream, and do our traditional treasure hunt. The boys have all been invited to spend the night, but I think two of them will leave around 8:00 PM, as their own family is expecting grandparent guests that night.

Andrew’s best bud will spend the night, and the next morning we will have breakfast (details below), before I take the best bud home at 8:30 and we all head to church at 9:00.

Here’s the kicker. We told Andrew he could have whatever he wants for supper and breakfast, and here is what he has requested:

* Lasagna

* Salad – with four types of dressing(!)

* Garlic Bread

* Raspberry Fools – a creamy sweet drink, served in a goblet (actually more like a dessert)

* Kool-Aid

* Lemonade

* Milk

* Meat Loaf

* Mixed vegetables

* Vegetable salad

He came up with this list while Scott was gone, and I assigned Scott the fun chore of telling him “no” to much of it. Scott finally got him to whittle it down to:

* Lasagna

* Salad – with the two dressings we already have on hand

* Garlic Bread

* Raspberry Fools

* Water

Then there was the matter of dessert. He wanted

* Apple Cake

* Pacific Peanut Butter Cookies

* Four flavors of ice cream

* Some kind of parfait-like dessert he copied from a library cookbook

We have limited him to:

* Apple Cake

* Two flavors of ice cream

For breakfast, he wanted:

* French Toast (with all the fixin’s)

* maybe Bacon

* Milk

* Two kinds of juice

* Waffles

* Canteloupe

* Strawberries

We have narrowed that meal down to:

* French Toast

* OJ and apple juice

* Bacon

* Milk

* maybe canteloupe if one of the two on the counter is the correct ripeness and not yet eaten by Sunday morning

We must all remember that this is the child who wants to have a restaurant when he grows up. He is also the kid who did 22 push-ups in Kidz church on Wednesday night, to the awe of the other kids and his teacher. His will is as strong as his pects and biceps!

I will be exhausted with cooking by the end of the festivities, and I would much rather clean a bathroom than cook anyway. However, years of birthday experience has taught me to pace myself through the party prep. Thus far I have wrapped Andrew’s gifts from Scott and me. I have made the apple cake. The girls and I have purchased the necessary balloons, streamers, and candles. I have wrapped the gifts for the treasure hunt. Tonight I will pre-prep some of the stuff for the lasagna, thaw the bacon, make the French Toast mix, and ask Jessica to charge the cam-corder.

Tomorrow, we will move Jessica out of her room, decorate for the party, and hide treasure hunt clues. Scott, Katie, and Aunt Kristy will arrive – hopefully well before the party starts at 3:00 PM. I think Andrew will have a fun time, and we are going to forbid him to begin discussing his ninth birthday party prep until March 14, 2008.

I’m halfway there.

Menu planning. I used to do this religiously and it worked really well. Every two weeks, I would plan 14 suppers and use that to make my grocery lists. I never had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that happens when I don’t know what I’m going to fix for supper.

Gradually, I got out of that habit. Who knows why? I just did, and now I get that stomach pit feeling almost daily. Ugh. A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to reform, so I planned out two weeks of suppers. That was step one, but it’s been so long since I’ve done this that I went straight to the grocery with no regard for my menu list. This morning, I looked at the list and it said I was cooking meat loaf and mashed potatoes tonight. That would be fine but I have no ground beef.

Nothing to get bent out of shape over, I told myself. I will just cook tomorrow’s meal tonight. Beef topped bean enchiladas and cheese dip with chips. Yummy. However, I have no refried beans, and I don’t think I even have any flour tortillas!

Now it’s 2:09 PM, my stomach is pitting, and I MUST go down and figure out something to cook for supper.

So I’d be bored if they were all the same, right?

Kids, that is. It has taken me about seven years, but I think I may finally have learned my lesson: whichever curriculum is ideal for a particular child will work well for at best only one of the other three. This means that we must acquire a minimum of two types of curriculum for each level and subject.

I don’t mind doing this, assuming I can research and figure out which specific items to obtain for whom when. What I mind is that our Uncle does not recognize this problem and therefore requires us to pay for all of it while we also pay to educate many other children in our area – quite possibly with texts that our family will never use.

I read here <; that as of 2005, $7331 of taxpayer money was being spent each year to educate each Missouri K-12 student. Our four children don’t go to school, but I am drooling just thinking of what all we could do with $29,324 per year, set aside just for education.

Actually, I am very thankful that we have been able to have our children at home without government interference for all these years. However, Katie is researching the possibility of taking one or more online classes through the public school system in Missouri, so maybe this year they should only send us $21,993.

Here I sit recording homeschool hours.

No, I didn’t finish Katie’s by her birthday, but at least now I only have three kids’ hours accruing daily in my nifty magnetic wall pocket. That means that eventually, I will catch up, right?

This week, I was hoping to go on a date with Scott and catch each other up on various things – things like the breezeway doorknob/lock that is dying; and the tree in the far back yard that appears to be dead – and to which the lower end of the zip line is attached; and the curricular material(s) we need to buy for various kids; etc.

I was mentally (that means thinking without looking at the calendar – not too smart) planning a date Friday night, so I have been mentally (that means thinking without writing it down – also not too smart) planning a list of things to discuss with Scott.

This afternoon I happened to glance at the calendar. How could I forget?!? We can’t go out Friday night, because Scott and Katie are going to St. Louis to pick up Aunt Kristy, who is flying in from Senegal for her one-year-every-four-years furlough. The three of them will take in a Cardinals game that night, and the Cards had better win. Then they will drive home on Saturday, in time for Andrew’s Saturday-afternoon-till-Sunday-morning birthday party. So we won’t be going out Saturday night.

We can’t go out Thursday night because Scott has a softball game.

Wednesday night is church, followed by basketball for Scott.

Tonight is our family PTM discussion on the Patience lesson. Maybe I need some patience about a date. = )

It’s been 17 years since I first saw Katie.

Funny how something that happened so long ago is so very clear in my mind.  I could tell you a play-by-play of her arrival, but I’ll spare you all the details.  Suffice it to say that it was a day like no other; a day that changed our lives forever for the better.

There’s nothing like looking at this beautiful tiny person and knowing that God used you to bring her to life.  I remember the intense weight of responsibility I felt as we brought her home to the old Birchwood house.  I realized then that the responsibility for who she would become rested squarely on our shoulders.  A real live human being, and God expected US to raise her for Him.   No small task.

Now, she is poised on the edge of adulthood, and she is a wonderful young woman who does things that matter.  Although we have fallen short in some areas, she is reaching for her potential and we are excited to see who she continues to become.  What a privilege it has been to able to spend these first seventeen  years with her.

Soon My Hero will be home!

Scott is on his way home, and it will be good to see him. It will also be good to go back to being a two-parent family. I have no idea how single moms of boys survive.

In looking back over these past two-and-a-half weeks, and trying to note what I have accomplished, the list is pretty short. I can see a lot more things I did NOT accomplish. However, the house is standing (although the honey-do list has grown), the boys are still alive, and we did take a trip to see my folks, cleaned out some cabinets, and were involved in numerous AIM activities, meetings, and presentations.

I need to remind myself of the things that DID get done, because I tend to be a “glass half empty” person.

This week, we will have two birthday events, a Boy Scout meeting, a ball game for Scott, a trip to St. Louis for Scott and Katie, and Aunt Kristy’s arrival on Saturday!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.