Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Craft Friday (on Wednesday)

We dug out some doilies last week, lay them on folded newspaper
and broke out the watercolors and paint brushes.

I instructed the Bugletts  to splash color over the whole surface of the
white doilies, hoping to create a stained glass effect.
As you can see, their interpretations were wonderfully unique!

I sure do love to see the light coming through their handiwork, and to enjoy
each personality that shines through their art :-)
It's also a great to have something prettier than smudges to look at on the glass!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Heads are Better than One

This is just the sweetest sight that ever my eyes beheld!

I see it often, in many varying combinations.
Sometimes a big brother and little brother,  sometimes a big sis and little brother,
often a big brother and lil' sis.

There's something about having company while
you drudge through the ol' 'Rithmatic, and every little bit of interaction from
those adoring big siblings toward their equally adoring lil' siblings is money in the
friendship bank!

Who knows - maybe more work gets done too?

There is definitely good work being accomplished!  Whether it involves numbers
I can't really say :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Says I to Him:

"Let's get away for the weekend.
Go to some quiet mountain cabin, sit by a fire.  We'll sip something hot, watch the snow come down,
and then strap on snow shoes and take a hike in the woods.
Let's take the kids too, and we'll go sledding with a thermos and paper bag full of hot popped corn!
Yeah... lets. 
Let's take a nap if we feel like it, and watch a movie before bed, and stay up as late as we want.
Then we'll get up in the morning as late as we want!  Maybe we could get a cabin with a view  from
our bed of the trees covered in snow.
Let's!  It sounds like fun.  To spend a weekend like that.
Hey - we don't have to go anywhere after all!
We live here."

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It was a lovely day. 

Normal, but lovely because sometimes I forget to appreciate how priceless
normal really is.

I drank tea with creamy coconut milk in it, tackled all the regular daily routine,
settled a few ridiculous disputes reminding - always reminding -  those silly kids
how much they love each other.  O' how I strove to utter sweet life-giving words,
to listen, to see with prudent eyes our heart conditions.
Sheepish grins, hugs, forgivenesses exchanged fellowship restored. 
That was the theme all day. Over and over. 
My accomplishment?
Surviving the moments with grace and modeling joy.  Hard tasks requiring purpose.

This evening I was all ramped up to blog.  A zillion thoughts rattle around in my head,
and I have almost that many photos to upload as well. 

Instead I peruse a couple other blogs and find my flame smothered by all the great
things other women are doing - feeding their families nothing but the finest organic,
detoxifying their homes of chemicals, cloth diapering, dressing with stylish feminity,
exercising their motherly bodies into slender health, giving their children music lessons,
ballet, soccer... creating artwork, renovating and redecoration their homes, sewing
beautiful clothes.

In fairness, I blog.  I know that what you see here is only a piece of the puzzle;
only a tiny glimpse of color on the canvas that is the larger picture - my life.
I am more complex than the few sporadic posts I enter. I have a lot of ideas
and I'm not afraid to blab on about them.  Many have been tortured so, and I have
chosen not to use this venue for that purpose.  Call me.  Join me for coffee; mine always
gets cold before I finish it, but the caffeine primes a pump of endless possibilities :-)

I am also every bit as simple as I look.  Maybe more so.
As much as I love all the wonderful, beautiful, lovely and noble things I see happening in
lives around me, and while I slowly strive to raise the bar in every venture I see value...
I am most passionate about what is eternal.
It's seeing the hand of God in my life.  His imprint  stirs my soul in a thousand ways most
people miss because they just forget to look. 
He loved me first; I can see it every day.   I love Him back.  That's enough.

I will not be sidetracked by what is good.  A good cause, endeavor, purpose...
I will keep my eyes fastened on the parts that meet me (that sometimes broadside me)
one moment at a time - interactions with my children, my beloved, my siblings,
my friends and strangers - and make it my life goal to glorify Him in those moments.

What you see here has been, and will continue to be a celebration of His love and mercy
toward me, and what you get when you enter this blog is a taste of the way I thank Him
in return.

Hence the photo I honed in on tonight which seems to express my sentiment best.
All I have to do is stand back a pace, look at my favorite people,
see His abundant love peering back at me through these bright eyes,
and I marvel.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It Seemed Unlikely

Improbable even, if you factor in what it would take to gather three friends without nursing babies
or pregnant bellies, three dads to babysit 13 children on the same day, oh - and ideal weather.
Combine that all with a will to learn something completely out of my comfort zone, and you have
an event requiring the sun, moon, and stars to participate in proper alignment.

I learned to ski.

Well, technically I started learning how to ski.
Or better yet, I tried.
That's pretty good for me.  I'm neither athletic nor graceful, and generally prefer sticking to experiences
in which someone knowledgeable holds my hand.
Remember that cartoon of Goofy skiing?
That's what I felt like, and I'm confident I looked like ol' Goof as well. :-)

My man - he'd like us to ski together. 
Amazing fella he is, he scheduled a class for me, watched the chiluns, and sent along a couple
of my favorite girlfriends so we'd be sure to laugh real hard.
Which we did.  Starting before we went even. 

The question came up:  "Which hat should I wear?  Maybe the right hat will help me look like
I know what I'm doing!"

And in  response to that:  "I know what you mean.  I'm looking for something warm to wear 
that isn't woodland camo.  
I want to blend in, but I don't think that's the look I'm going for."

Yep.  We laughed a lot!  There was one point when riding a ski lift for the first time, that I laughed so hard
I couldn't talk. I think J thought I might keel off the lift right there.
It doesn't take a lot to give me a big kick.  I'm easy that way :-D

After all that talk about hats, my sympathetic buddy crocheted one for me.  It made me look like a pro too, when I tried it on and wore it on the walk from the parking lot, the paying, and ski rentals.
Unfortunately my head got too hot before I set ski to decline and I went bareheaded for the duration.


Our instructor was a 60 year old man who kept saying things like "Whoa yeah.  You're Rockin' it!"
and then expect a high-five, which made us feel even more dorky than absolutely necessary.

Needless to say we felt a bit empty handed without husbands and children.  Perhaps more than a bit.
My identity was in question.  Here I was with two cute girlfriends, out playing in the snow for a day,
and expected to high-five a ski instructor who's name (it said on the tag he wore) was "RICHARD from
Coure de'Alene".  Where was my tag?  What would it say? "Momma Bug I-left-7-children-at-home-with

In hindsight I think a tag with some explanation would have promoted more questioning and less assuming.
Assumptions can be more bearable in some circumstances.

Another thing, I was pleasantly surprised to find, is that it's possible to fall without breaking any bones. 
I guess I always thought skiing = falling = broken stuff.  All I got was a bruise.
And some sore muscles. 

It would be good to get sore muscles more often I think.

I wouldn't really say I'm skiing yet.  I mean, unless you define that to include the gravitational force which
propelled me to the bottom of the bunny hill (at times against my will) haphazardly, and not necessarily in an upright position (can one ski on ones bottom?) but I sure had fun!

The whole experience was enough to make smoke pour out my ears.  But despite chanting instructions
under my breath all day, and then twitching all night as I turned powdery corners in my sleep, I woke thinking
I just might like to go again.

Don't be thinking Black Diamonds any time soon Handsome-Hunk-of-a-Husband! ;-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rainbow Rice

Carolina and Bryce tried a new project with me today.

We colored rice!

We did use a recipe, but I'm a dump-and-a-pinch-and-a-pour kind of gal, so this is our loose version.

*Take a gallon Zip Lock bag or quart jar for each color.

*Pour about 2 Tbs white vinegar into the bag (or jar).

*Squirt in some food coloring. (I have read of people using watercolor instead)

*Pour in about 2 cups of white rice.

*Seal container, then let hoodlums shake it up!

*Lay a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet with a lip (jellyroll pan).

*Pour all of one color rice onto parchment, and cook in oven for 10-20 min at 250 degrees.
The goal here is to dry out the rice.  It may take more or less time depending on how
wet the rice is initially.

*Pour dry, cooled rice into a plastic tub and let hoodlums explore their indoor "sandbox"!
If you are smart, you might prefer to let them play this game on a sweepable surface :-)

Rice is in abundant supply here, so I didn't have to buy umpteen little bags of rice.
We have a big bin of it, and usually use brown rice anyway, so this was a PERFECT
project using things we had on hand and it was a big hit!

I looked at the clock a couple times and realized that both Carolina and Bryce entertained themselves
at this bin of rice for over an hour.

In fact, they were quickly joined by Sue, and later I had to let the second shift (Olivia and Clay)
have a turn!

Hooray for colors!  Hooray for projects that don't need special planning!
Hooray for a mom with enough energy to enjoy playing with her hoodlums today!