Our first week of schedule was a success!I hate to celebrate too soon, but I really am excited! Daddy Bug has been wanting me to have chores be priority for little Bugs, but I have been struggling, struggling to figure out how to "DO it". Suzanne's post was such a blessing, and combining her advice for mom to use chore time to oversee and instruct little chore-doers, with that of my friend Courtney who has her own chores to do, I was able to come up with something that really works for me! I had been attempting to dabble here and there with things on my to-do list while my children "did chores". I have one child who is capable of doing all the chores fast, and efficiently. I have another child who is a day dreamer/foot dragger. It DRIVES ME BANANA'S to watch him dawdle!!! Like I really need chores! But I found that having my own to do at the same time, creates a sense of comraderie among me and the children. So I get them lined out, turn on the music, and start in on some ironing or what-not, and as I check to make sure jobs are being carried out to completion, we actually get something done!!
In addition to the boys getting all their jobs and school assignments done before lunch (at 11:00), they have decided to do extra personal school work on the first four days of the week so that they can match Daddy Bugs new work schedule and have Fridays freed up. Isn't that awesome?!
Today I have some fun pictures of Zachary painting, and one painting that each he, Clay, and Susanna did. We learned about the color wheel, and got to mix colors as we painted! Didn't they do great?!
Oh beautiful Spring! Back at home it means everything is green, and the blooming trees are already losing their adornment by now, but here... I THINK that the brown is turning greener - I think. As you can see from the pictures, it's a little hard to tell!
This morning, however, I heard a Meadowlark! Oh how my heart rejoiced! It felt a little like home. I keep hoping that Spring will reveal itself eventually, but I was delighted by this little glimmer of hope.
This morning I implemented our first day of a schedule. I feel pretty optomistic, but I know better than to believe that we're going to stick with this program! The little Bugs did awesome with their chores, with their school work, with their attitudes.
The highlight of my day was getting to take a walk to the park next to our house. Even though there was snow on Sunday, today was dry (no mud), sunny, mildly warm, and fragrant - not to mention again the birds song! I can't believe it! At nine this evening, I don't feel as zapped as I usually do, and not only that, I got everyone into bed myself since AJ was working late! WOW! Thanks Lord!!
Some precious little people (whom I couldn't get a really "good" picture out of), which if you are a Grama or Auntie, I thought you'd want to see anyway!:-) The Girls wore skirts I made for them (steady yourself now...) the day before!
Lots of love to YOU Grama's and Aunties (and other friends of mine)! -Momma Bug
I've decided to take Mama Kenz'sHomekeeper 2008 Challenge! This is a big deal for me; I don't usually get involved in these kinds of things (usually in all my two months of blogging - Ha!), but I really think this fits with what I'm already doing, it's a good motivator for me to reflect on things I am learning in my home-making journey, AND... I can do it on any day of the week I want to!!!
This is my long overdue "oatmeal" post! I have struggled for some time with what to serve my children for breakfasts. I have this overwhelming compunction about making them eat the same thing every day, but I also don't want to turn breakfast into another meal that involves a lot of planning and preparation.
I have worked out many ideas, and this is what I am finally settling into:
Hot cereal is a whole grain in it's natural state without preservatives, refined sugar, or dyes. I myself have never liked oatmeal (please don't tell my children that!). My Grampa called them "Opie Nuts", and my Grama said "they'll stick to your ribs". I don't know where "Opie Nuts" came from, but it's true that they stick to your ribs! I will eat them now-a-days, but I can only consume about a quarter cup cooked. My children, on the other hand, have come to eat oatmeal like there's no tomorrow, and I think that's great! Among it's other virtues, oatmeal is inexpensive, so it fills many tummy's for little cost, and even less if you buy it bulk. Here's our favorite ways to fix it:
We like ours a little nutty, and not so soupy. Bring your water to a boil, then add enough oats to fill the water - in other words, so they're not floating on top. After you add the oats, turn off burner, and cover pot. Oatmeal should be ready to eat in about ten minutes.
W like to top our oatmeal with a little maple syrup, sucanat, or honey, then add any other combination of things: Nuts Raisins Diced Banana Blueberries Dates Shredded Coconut Currants
Occasionally we peel and dice an apple to add to the boiling water along with some cinnamon. If you want to get crazy, many other grains (such as bulgar, or millet) are fun to try for some variety!
With Sucanat (dried cane sugar), Pecans, and Raisins
With Pure Maple Syrup, and chopped Dates
With Coconut, and Currants
With Banana, and Blueberries
(My children thought I'd had it when I began taking pictures of food!!) We happily fix oatmeal about four times a week (Fridays being eggs, of course:-), and recently I was inspired by a friend who has trained her children to eat (and enjoy) their oatmeal with nothing on it but milk. Hmmm... more food for thought!
There has been some buzz in the blogging world lately regarding soft porn placed within plain sight of innocent grocery shoppers. The specific magazine to draw this attention is a Sports Illustrated "swimsuit" issue, and if you've seen it, you know the problem. If you haven't, first congratulate yourself, and then let me say that the woman on th cover "Doesn't leave much for guessing" (as my Grama used to like to say).
I haven't had the energy to get worked up about these kinds of issues lately. Not to say I'm proud of that, but I seem to have enough battles to fight right inside my home without looking for more work for myself elsewhere. Honestly, I think have resigned myself to the fact that the grocery store is as much a part of the world as any other public place I go. I'm getting to where I expect the World's imprint to be there too, hence one reason we don't spend much time out and about. Some might shout the objection that "we can make a difference!", others might argue that it's a losing battle.
Now going out on a limb...
I believe most of us would agree on what I have to say next. What we are each most concerned about is the hearts of our children. That's why seeing this kind of filth is an outrage! We KNOW that the enemy of our souls is ready to snatch our children's innocence, and our husbands minds. We shouldn't be naive about that!
I propose that what is most important for our children to see, is not fewer number of naked ladies, but they need to see how passionately we love and honor the Lord, and how seriously we take the spiritual battle that is raging.
Is it important that our Grocery stores remove these images? If we can get them to, then by all means! But if not, our own witness to our children, is going to have a greater effect on their lives than whatever our secular society dishes out!
So I say: Talk to the store managers, make a scene if necessary - your children will only know how crazy this is if you let it be known. Publicly show honor and give glory to a Holy God!! If that doesn't produce results you can see... Turn the magazine around, shamelessly put a pie tin, or bottle of 409 in front of it, and remember that we battle not against flesh and blood, and you are scoring for the Kingdom of God as you set an example of righteousness for your children to witness!
I have no intention of drawing my children's attention to the bizarre stuff at check-out stands. I'm merely suggesting that even in your gentle and kind battling, your children will become aware over the course of your life, of what was important to you. (This is a pep-talk for me, actually, and I can't wait to see that magazine again so I can "have my turn") As it turns out, I haven't noticed it for the past couple weeks, and I suspect that someone was bold enough to stand up for righteousness. For all of you who do, I am deeply grateful! Thank you.
So here are our new friends the Smiths! Yes, that really is their name:-) Mrs Smith is a year younger than me, and her boys are 7, 5, 3, a little daughter 15 months, and baby due in September. Mr. Smith is in the army and will be deployed to Iraq again in May, until just before their baby is born. The little Bugs and I had the pleasure of playing at their house on Wed. and I was tickled to find a knife-throwing range in their basement! (No, as you might sensibly guess, two moms were not a recipe for five boys throwing knives - that will have to be for the Daddy's on another occasion!). My boys were thrilled to play outside with sticks and swords, they got to watch a... street sweeper (Oooooooh, Wowwww!), and I also really enjoyed some clever ingenuity as they hitched the toboggan to a bicycle and tried to.. ahem, pull it (with one straining all his muscles at the back end pushing!). I'm afraid it didn't want to move much, and while the general consensus was that "we need to hook up another bike", Mrs. Smith was a spoil-sport (did I mention that we seem to have a lot in common?!) and challenged them to try pulling only ONE GUY at a time! The obvious problem with this solution was JUST WHO gets to be first?! I was impressed that all these fine fellows immediately threw out the idea as simply NOT GOING TO WORK. It was all at once or nothing at all, and THAT was the end of that. We had such a great time it was hard to pry ourselves away in the end!
Thursday nights are our night of extending hospitality, and the Smiths were our guests this week. It was great to meet Mr. Smith, and even more fun to watch he and Daddy Gug enjoy each other! We let Miss Olivia blow out Birthday candles, and then as Mr. Smith talked boy talk with Daddy, and we gals talked paint colors and home-schooling, all the rest of our tribes had a hay- day playing with lego's, and "house" (that was Susanna's contribution, which surprisingly, Brother #3 humored her by joining in). I was absolutely amazed at the comradarie built between all the little ones - so much that they were literally in a heap at the end of the evening!!! In summation, I am thoroughly blessed by the Lord's gracious hand on us, that He has seen fit to give us a whole family to enjoy fellowship with!
This little girl seldom gets the lime-light, so today...
Carolina Truth is fast approaching FIVE months! Eeek! Almost half a year already! Some mean ol' bug bit her on the cheek while she was sleeping the other night- it has been a sore looking little cheeky, and if I find the culprit he will be one sorry bug! Do you like the striped stockings? With a couple braids she could double for Pippi Longstocking:-)
As you can see, big brother is smitten (we all are, actually) and if either brother stops their play to talk to Miss 'Lina, she smiles and coos and expresses her complete devotion!
Do you know there are actually enough children to have a complete family when "playing house"?
I often hear, " Sue's the Momma, and Olie is the baby, and I'm the daddy, so YOU can be another baby if you want?" It's delightful to see all of them enjoy one another. There are many days that we are WORKING HARD to ingrain that idea... It's just nice to see a little good fruit once in a while:-)
When I thought of being a mom, I never dreamed of THIS! ~Five heart melting smiles ~never getting tired of midnight feedings ~having all the answers ~not minding dirty faces ~enjoying watching the boys eat! ~falling in love with pigtails ~appreciating overalls ~appreciating a washing machine! ~wanting to do everything better ~falling in love a million times