Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cameron's birthday

Cameron's birthday was March 22. I forgot that she was expecting breakfast in bed - the traditional "name in the shape of pancakes" breakfast. I remembered before she came downstairs, though. I thought, our social little Cameron, surely she would want to be with everyone. I sent the kids upstairs every ten minutes to check on her and after the second time she asked that we just leave her alone. It was "freaky" in her words, someone coming up that often.

We took her and Hazel out to lunch at Atlanta Bread Company. Then we picked up cupcakes at Custom Cakes and went to ballet. We added paper decorations to the cupcakes - swirly wrappers and ballet slippers. Adorable!
That night she wanted Chinese so she could have sweet and sour chicken and fortune cookies, and then it was gift time!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Go Fish, Lost Sock Style

During chore time, the kids were sitting in a circle, and it sounded like they were gambling. They turned the chore of folding socks into a game of Go Fish, lost sock style. Our socks usually don't get folded, they live in the bottom of the laundry basket, and get dug through frantically before walking out the door.
The next time I walked through the room, they came up with a proposition for me:
Mom, now that most of us wear the same size socks, what if we give away all of the socks that we have right now and buy all the same socks so we don't have random socks to sort through and fold. If all the socks were the same style and same size, this would be so much easier!
We've talked about it and we are all willing to throw in some money to buy new socks and we can give all these socks away to people who need them.

Brilliant, I tell you! Simple brilliance. Why have so many different kinds of socks? Trash em all and get all the same kind of sock. This could revolutionize the time between yelling (up the stairs, not at the kids - right?!!) "Everyone get in the car!" which my kids know means mom found her keys and her coffee's still warm, and the time when we actually get in the car.
For those households who already do this, SHUT UP and don't tell me. I don't care that you are already that much smarter than me.

So, that necessitated our run to Memphis to go to Target after I raided the kid's piggy banks. And guess what Target was running low on? Socks. And no, I really didn't take money from the kids. Their genius was enough for me. I love it when my kids are smarter than me.

Remember to always listen to your kids.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13

Today was Spring Forward day. I slept in so it was a mad dash to get ready, which we all did and arrived on time. And I didn't lose my temper. Rushing usually makes me do that. Great sermon on biblical manhood. Here's something for you to chew on: God told man to love his wife and woman to respect her husband.
Ephesians 5
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Women long to be loved and men long to be respected. Ask anyone: would you rather be loved or respected? See if they answer differently. Stop right now and go ask your husband: Would you rather be loved or respected? Women, are you respecting your man?

Typical day otherwise. I spent lots of time getting caught up on grading. Actually I did that yesterday too, sitting outside in the gorgeous weather.
Here's a fun thing I did today - I was saving egg shells to plant seeds into and today I used vegetables to dye the shells. Just for fun.

Jonathan cleaned the garage by himself. When I told the kids what needed to happen around the house, he headed to the garage. I so get that. He got to go in a room, shut the door, and clean without any of his siblings or his mom bothering him. Beats doing 5 other different things and having people get in your way.

Get Away March 10th

Live together, work together, sleep together, raise the kids together. I don’t feel like I spend too much time with Mark, (we are always together) but sometimes I feel I spend too much time immersed in work and my relationship with Mark becomes more of business partners and less of life partners. Then I start to not like him as much. Then home isn’t what home should be.

Then I know I need to get away. When I feel like that, we try to get away as soon as possible. We had a weekend trip planned with the kids, which fell through, so Mark set up for us to leave as quickly as we could. I am very thankful that Mark supports me when I know I need to get away.

We went to Memphis, just over an hour from Tupelo. We had a few errands to run there, and a mystery shop at a hotel, so the hotel room was free. I also wanted to do a little clothes shopping for me. That and a few restaurants are all we did, but it was great to enjoy some time alone with my husband, as my husband, not as my business partner. And we had a great time.

I must say, I have such great kids to be responsible enough for us to leave town for two days (not unattended, of course!) Robert cooked a great dinner Thursday night. I left plenty of school work to keep them busy because I knew after chores and school, it would be x box mania! Cameron wasn’t home much, and Raeley with her social schedule, didn’t let us not being home slow her down. I realize my goal is to do just that, slow down. Daily.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8

I slept in this morning until 7:30. Yesterday was a long work day in the Alabama clubs, so it is always nice when I can sleep in. I got up and went for a jog -2 miles. But I forgot to time myself. We started school a little late and I look back on today and think about all the things I didn't get done. Tomorrow is another day, so I am going to try diligently to fit it all in plus some! I did meet Mark at a coffee shop - we got away to actually plan a few vacations. That was fun - and one of the reasons I did not fit in all the kid's school work.

I learned something interesting today. Way back in the late 1880's when settlers were moving into Iowa, there were some agricultural consultants who convinced them to plant corn instead of wheat. Quaker Oats is from Iowa, so they must be able to grow grains well. Corn though? Wow- was that the beginning of the overplantation of corn which has led to the developement and overuse of (the chemically derived - not even natural sweetener) high fructose corn syrup? Boo Hiss.

Robert was funny today -cracking jokes during school and giving me a hard time about dinner. Jonathan was still too nice to Robert. He was gleaming, though, when I told him how great it was that he showed Cameron love in a way she could receive it by creating her a map on Halo.
And Raeley was really recognized at work today. I am very proud of her hard work -people are noticing it, and I am grateful they are letting her know.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

We're having vegetarian for dinner tonight.

Friday, March 4th:
We had a friend over for dinner. I was fixing lentil soup, and he's vegetarian, so we invited him to join us. His wife couldn't make it. I was a little nervous but I tried not to think about it. I make a great lentil soup with ham, but I was unsure about how this would turn out. I didn't even follow a recipe. And I was out of cumin. Did I mention he's a local chef? A celebrity chef to our little town, at that. I still am laughing at myself. I didn't even get home till 5 and he was going to arrive at 5:30. Raeley put the sweet potatoes in the oven for me, and I had cooked the lentils earlier, so I just had to season them. Mark wasn't even there when he arrived (due to our daughter's busy social calendar), so he sat in the kitchen and watched me cook. Uhg. I must say I am so proud to have kids I can leave the house with, tell them to get the house company ready, and when I get home, it will look great.

Along with the soup and sweet potatoes, I also served carrots and onions and a loaf of sesame bread with Hubble and Hudson olive oil imported from Italy with Cypress black salt freshly ground in the oil. One of my favorite things that my mom turned me on to. Too bad I didn't have some Hubble and Hudson bread to go with it. I didn't even plan dessert.

It was pretty funny to me that he opened his sweet potato all fancy. Something little to add beauty to the mundane. Ok, for a second it was kinda intimidating. He even swirled the potato up cool. And did I mention the sweet potatoes weren't quite done yet? Done enough... good thing I'm not a perfectionist!

It was just a typical dinner for us (except for the guest with his fancy sweet potato). He and Mark had a Corona (I didn't even have limes), but I had a glass of Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a pretty good wine for the price.

In the past, I would have thought of a full course meal with all my favorites, and spent all day in the kitchen. That would have been excited, nerve racking, and fun! When Mark and I first moved to Houston, I had a friend named Cheryl and we'd kinda compete on who could outdo the other when we invited each other over (which was about once a month). It was all in good fun and good food! Cheryl's husband was a vegetarian also. I do miss having the time for things like that.

A relaxing Saturday

Saturday, March 5th:
This morning Raeley had a meeting with Venturers. I cooked up some of Robert's hog sausage for her to take. She came home with a bag of hamburger patties and sliced onions - a church's leftovers. That's what we will have for dinner! I'm making Chili for the Venturer fundraiser tomorrow after church at First Pres downtown. Too bad I lost my favorite recipe! I'm using dried beans, so I've got the beans finally cooking now.

Jonathan and I made waffles, the hog sausage, and eggs for breakfast. Nice and relaxing. Then I ordered seeds for the garden in Tremont from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds via Anita. Cameron has requested flowers also. When we were discussing the garden, she asked, "Why do we only grow leafy things? That is boring. We should grow flowers also! I want to grow some that I can pick and give to people." I am glad she reminded me how easy it would be to throw in a little beauty.

I ordered:
Burgandy okra
Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon
Delicious Tomato
Giant Bell Pepper

We will plant a few seeds in our garden at home, like a watermelon, a muskmelon, a few tomatoes. I'm thinking we will mix them in the flowerbeds. Any thoughts on this? The watermelon and muskmelon, we could wind around the bushes.

Here are the herbs I ordered:
Lemon Basil
Genovese Basil
Elephant Dill

I'm not sure if I will plant the Elephant Dill in the back yard. The others will be mixed in with our flowerbeds.

Here are the flowers Cameron picked out:
Pink Surprise Calendula
Illumination Zinnia
Orange Merigold
Tall Candytuff
Firechief Petunia
Blue Boy Bachelor's Button
Morning Glory

I am thinking we may add a raised bed along the back fence and put some flowers out there. If we put up the dog kennel, the morning glory will go up the fence.

The total for all that is $38 plus $3 shipping. The seeds should last for 4 years in the freezer if we don't use all of them. They will be mostly for Tremont, so I may use 1/2 or so. There is definitely enough land for it all. I am quite anxious about it considering not much of anything produced in Tremont last year. I had good success with the three herbs I planted in our back yard, however; oregano, mint, and of course, my favorite, basil.

Today I brought Cameron to play at a friend's house, the Bass'. They had brand new baby lambs, born last night. It was the mom's first litter, and it was twins. Typically the first litter is one baby, so she is neglecting the first born. This little lamb was still so skinny compared to the other one, so I helped Kathleen hold the mama still so the baby can nurse. You do this by holding her head up.

Their dog nipped at the back of my leg when I came to pick Cameron up, ripping my pants. It scared me a bit and reminded me of the time a cow dog (which this one was, also) bit my leg when I was walking at our house in Cypress. Cow dogs go for the back of your leg when your back is turned, just like you are cattle.

It was so nice not to have much to do today, or much of a time table. I'm off to get rid of toys in Cameron's room and then finish the last little bit of laundry folding. I'm hoping to iron in front of the tv tonight. I'm also hoping to spend some time helping Cameron crochet tonight. It's time she learned to do more than just chain stitch.

Robert and Jonathan hung out around the house this morning, and are on x box tonight. We'll limit it to two hours. Pretty good for a very rainy day. I'll kick them off when I fold laundry.

Raeley is at a friend's house and she will be home tomorrow night.