The Family

The Family

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CSA Wednesday

Each Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Here's what we got today:

A Whole Lot of Peppers

More sweet potatoes and persimmons


Fresh Eggs

Pumpkin - the dip I tried making with the other two pumpkins didn't turn out so well. I'm going to try pumpkin bread with these

 And a Happy Halloween from Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mother of a Five-Year-Old

Five years into being a mom and I realize I still have a lot to learn. I often discover new insights at each stage of my children’s lives.

Take the little boy.
I’ve never been the mother of a five-year-old boy before and this new terrain often leaves me puzzled.

Like why there is so much yelling on his part for one thing?
I’m not talking about anything disrespectful, though of course that does happen. I mean that talking in general and asking questions mostly involves a sense of excitement throughout the day that can only be described as yelling.

I also can’t figure out how he can sit so still and quietly while watching a movie, but as soon as it’s time to write, read or go to bed, he can’t stop squirming, scratching or moving?
Why he can’t seem to follow the simplest directions is another? I think the man gene of letting information go in one ear and immediately drift out the other starts at five.

He’s also becoming more of a daddy’s guy. That leaves me with a bittersweet mixture of feelings.
On one hand, I need him to spend more time with the hubby so I can spend more time with little priss and so I can get things done around the house. This reliance on dad and his sense of becoming more independent (baby steps of independence here) is as it should be. He’s a boy and needs to inch away from me in order to become his own person.
On the other hand, I realize I miss his earlier dependence on me.
There are times when he’ll let me snuggle up to him on the couch.  He kisses me good night and wants to cuddle at bedtime – when he isn’t moving. He doesn't want me picking him up much anymore, but every so often I get lucky and for a few fleeting seconds, I lift him off the ground and hold him in my arms as I did so often when he was a toddler.

I know these tender moments won’t last forever, so I’m determined to make the most of them as long as he’ll let me!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

We spent most of yesterday afternoon on campus at the 24th annual pumpking carving contest.

I'm not sure how it's been going on for 24 years and this was the first time I'd heard anything about it. It's safe to bet I probably did hear about it, but since I didn't care anything about carving pumkins until I had kids, I likely ignored it.

There were some serious folks doing some serious carving!

This guy was slowly drilling off the outer layer of the pumpkin - We never saw his finished creation because he was drilling every time we walked by

Most of the pumpkins were displayed in a tire spider web that wrapped around the wall.

The one in the top right corner that looks like it has a tongue poking out was the little boy's favorite

Cinderella's carriage was my favorite - The carver was working on Prince Charming as we passed by
At 6 pm the Jack-O-Lanterns were lit and the place got crowded.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Cindy Lauper said it best.

Girls, even toddlers, just want to have fun.

I love watching this girl of mine, even when she’s mad. Her moods scream “GIRL, GIRL, GIRL.”

When upset, which is several times a day, she’ll run a few feet ahead, sit down on the floor and fling herself back. Sometimes she rolls and screams. Sometimes the rest of us laugh. Sometimes I roll my eyes - something else that screams GIRL.

She loves to dance. We break it down in the house to the Fresh Beat Band and in the car to Katy Perry.

If I try to grab her hand to hold it, she wants nothing to do with me. If I walk slightly ahead of her and reach my hand back, then she comes running. Each time that little hand wraps into mine, I feel so honored and privileged that I, a frustrated mess most of the time, get to call her daughter.

A few days ago she discovered my great grandmother’s jewelry cabinet. It contains necklaces and bracelets that belonged to her. I don't wear them, but because they were hers, I’ve never had the heart to get rid of them.

So glad I have them now! 

Let's play the game of how many necklaces can I wear?!?!
Dress-up, makeup, fits and all, it's so much fun being a girl. It's even more fun being the mother of one!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. Here's what we got today:

More turnip greens than we can possibly eat

Mixed greens

Daikon (white radish) - I love to shred these and saute with olive oil, garlic and dijon mustard before mixing with the greens


Fresh eggs

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Learning to Pray

I’ve always wanted to know how to pray. Not merely asking God for things, but to truly understand how to praise God and seek his wisdom, guidance and divine hand for myself and those I love.

Last week I came across some recommended readings by Ann Voskamp. If you haven’t checked out her blog, A Holy Experience, you should!

She has listed “The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime” by Phyllis Tickle, and I went straight to Amazon to order it.

For the past six days I’ve read the prayers at specific times of the day. Reading prayers may sound mechanical and droll, but the words of these prayers, mostly scripture itself, quickly become deeply personal.

The beautiful passages have given me a profound outlook on the meaning of prayer.

There’s a long history in the church of praying what Tickle refers to as the offices (the work of God) at set times each day. I didn’t grow up in a church that focused on church history or theology, but have become curious about the rituals and terms of the early church as I’ve aged.

I love the way the prayers in the book read. There’s a lot of liturgy and a sense of ancient wisdom to the way the prayers should be read and the way the psalms should be sung.

As Tickle herself says in an attempt to explain the purpose of the book, “The Divine Hours are prayers of praise offered as a sacrifice of Thanksgiving and faith to God and as a sweet-smelling incense of the human soul before the throne of God. To offer them is to serve before that throne as part of the priesthood of all believers. It is to assume the ‘office’ of attendant upon the Divine.”

While this book is primarily meant for individual prayer, I’ve included the children in some of the readings during the day. The little boy has even taken part in reciting the Lord’s Prayer with me each time we come to it.

Before you begin thinking there’s no way you’d be able to set aside time to do this, let me mention that for each series of prayers, there’s a 3-4 hour time window to choose from. The final prayer of the day comes at bedtime, and by that I mean whatever time you go to bed on that specific day.

It has taken me no more than five minutes to get through each reading, and it has been time well spent. I find in the moments immediately following each reading that I have peace of mind and a calm and patient aura. I also find myself longing for the next series of prayers to begin.

I'll end today's post with one of the readings from the compline (the final prayers before bedtime) last night. This portion was labeled a reading instead of a prayer, but it's impact on me was just a powerful as the prayers themselves:

 "When we read the lives of the saints, we are struck by a certain large leisure which went hand in hand with remarkable effectiveness. They were never hurried; they did comparatively few things, and these not necessarily striking or important; and they troubled very little about their influence. Yet they always seemed to hit the mark; their simplest actions had a distinction, an exquisiteness that suggest the artist. The reason is not so far to seek. Their sainthood lay in their habit of referring the smallest actions to God. They lived in God; they acted from a pure motive of love towards God. They were free from self-regard as from slavery to the good opinion of others. God saw and God rewarded: what else did they need? They possessed God and possessed themselves in God. Hence the inalienable dignity of the meek, quiet figures that seem to produce such marvelous effects with such humble materials."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Favorite Things

“I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.”
                                                -Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”

I may have mentioned I’m somewhat of an introvert.

By nature I prefer to be at home reading, spending time with my husband and kids or gathering with small groups of friends.

Lucky me then that this weekend was a mix of some of my favorite things.

There were sparse moments of silence which offered time to read in order to renew my mind and spirit.

There was bedtime chatter with the little boy.

There was listening to little priss pretend both to talk on the phone and read.

There was a Halloween party where we gathered with our dearest friends and their kids. It was sheer mayhem, but a whole lot of fun! 

There was Sunday lunch with some of the hubby's family, followed by a late afternoon nap in the car for the little boy, little priss and myself.

There should be a movie playing as I snuggle up to the hubby on the couch, but the nap messed that up. It's too hard to get it all in.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Colors of October

The lush arrays of red, orange and yellow are some things that make this a splendid time of year!

Here's the colors we've been enjoying around our home this week. We've even got a few glimpses of pink and purple in the mix.

A mum in bloom

A mum trying to bloom

Festive Gourds

Getting ready for the spookiest night of the year!

Several of these plants have a mix of purple

The colors are more vibrant today than when I took this pic a few days ago

Fall house plant

After the hubby cut these back a few weeks ago, the colors came out

What would October be without some pumpkin carving?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CSA Wednesday

On Wednesday we head to a local farm to pick up produce as part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. Here's what we got today:

Long Island Cheese Pumpkins (I've no idea why they are called this). I'm looking forward to using them in a pumpkin dip recipe for our Halloween party this weekend.

Mixed Greens

Sweet Potatoes

Fresh Eggs

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art For Us Both

Meet Ms. Heather:
She’s been our art teacher each Monday the past five weeks for a parent/child art class. 

Drawing, painting, coloring, mashing and smashing are things the little boy loves, so when I saw this class offered I quickly signed up.

Disclaimer: I AM NOT CREATIVE or an artist of any kind. I let the little boy take the lead for each week's project. Here’s what he created:

A family crest: The idea was to find pictures that reflected our interest as a family. If you look closely you'll see dinosaur teeth, a president, a hotel, a baby, some bugs and some sort of equipment (this last one was for the hubby).

Canvas art: OK, I came up with the words to the poem (you probably can’t read them, but that’s alright) after he told me he wanted it to say something about dinosaurs AND sharks. He did the painting.
Clay ornaments: He got to mash and stamp the clay while I smoothed out the edges for the glaze. It was a lot like playing with Play-Doh for him and all the other kids.

Bubble art: This was awesome! Ms. Heather put dish washing liquid in a cup and then added food coloring. We used straws to blow bubbles and then put the paper on top of the bubbles. When we finished, this ended up being a book that unfolds in the form of an accordion.

He also made a sweet card for our babysitter out of the bubble art. She was with little priss in another room each week so that the little boy and I could take the class!

We hate the class ended this week. I'm trying to talk Ms. Heather into doing a parent/child clay class in the spring. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!