Sunday, November 17, 2013

It is all about the Wiggles

No, not those Wiggles.  Those are the creepy, insane wiggles that we thankfully managed to avoid completely in our early parenting years.  There is always the threat that they may come to haunt us in our later parenting years so beware.  But I digress.
It is mid-November which means that Christmas season has already descended upon us.  If you've ever lived in the South you've probably had the joy of driving through love bugs.  Christmas season is like that.  It is annoying, it is everywhere, and while you should be celebrating the love you're really just cursing being inundated and bombarded with it and then feeling slightly guilty that you just aren't embracing the love, which makes you angrier and so on.
The boyos are 7 & almost 10 now.  Thankfully, they still believe in Santa Claus.  That's a plus and something we really do treasure.  Unfortunately, what I shall now call "The Christmas Love Bugs" have descended.  Well-meaning relatives who are already hounding us for lists and so on.  You want to love them but you can't help but curse their jingle belled persistence.

As most parents are, we're trying to juggle the balance: find out what we want, what is important to us, how to instill those values onto our kids while shielding them from Christmas Love Bugs and general commercialization (would that be the Christmas Dragon???  Is that unfairly vilifying dragons??).
So today we had a talk about the wiggles.  And no, not THOSE Wiggles.  The wiggles that the season should fill you with.  Here's what we came up with:

1) Thanksgiving is the meal that fills you up with warm food, fuzzy love feelings, and stocks your body with nutrients necessary to support the upcoming WIGGLES.

2) You know that feeling you get when you've thought of a really great gift idea for someone?  And you're just so friggin' excited because you simply know what an absolutely awesome idea it is?  Are you starting to get filled with giddiness?  If so, then my friend, you have the WIGGLES. 
Isn't that what gift giving should be about?  The "EEEEE HEE HEE" excitement fueled wiggly deliciousness where it is so awesome and it is just killing you to keep it a secret because you can't wait to see their face?  It is about the Wiggles. 
And, yes, you can get the Wiggles knowing that someone is thinking about YOU just like that!!!  THAT is definitely Wiggle inducing!!! 

Yes, the holiday season is absolutely about more than just gifts.  It is about traditions, hopefully happy ones.  And if you don't have happy ones, then you need to make some!!
For us it is about food: gingerbread cookies, sausage balls, Chex Mix, and the promise that Mommy will get candy canes to put in your hot cocoa.  It is about driving around at night looking at all the lights while listening to Christmas music and singing along.  It is about getting the tree from the same place we get the tree every year.  Then decorating it.  Then cursing when it falls over and invariably our (Mommy's) favorite ornaments break.  It is about Mommy going a little insane with sparkly nail polish.  And .. most importantly, it is about our annual (this will the 10th one!!) Christmas Eve Open House party where we invite friends and family to drop by most anytime and have a good time.  ---- and then when Mommy and Daddy try to remember that staying up late having an alcohol induced good time isn't the wisest of ideas when the kids wake up at the crack of friggin' dawn. 
It is about coming together on cold nights to find beauty and love and happiness and alcohol and treats.

That, my friends, is the Wiggles.  It is about the Wiggles. 

So .. if you start getting stressed, think about what fills you with wiggly-happiness.  Embrace that.  If your past traditions have left your with a sour taste, toss them out and start some new ones.  Embrace it and be wiggly!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Reflection, honesty, and my vows to you

There have been so many questions going through my head since the massacre at Sandy Hook on the 14th. As a mother of a 1st grader, and also a 3rd grader, the main question is "why" followed by "how?" How could somebody do this? Why would they target those who are so young and so innocent? Like so many others, my heart weeps for these families, for this community.
We happen to live about 30 minutes from Virginia Tech. It is where my husband graduated college from and we are avid Hokie fans. Most of you will remember the massacre that claimed 33 lives there on April 16, 2007. I did have family up there that day and I am thankful they were not hurt. I spent a good portion of the day on the phone though with a friend who had gone to Tech and was worried that a professor whom had become a good friend and mentor to her might have been in the building at the time. He was, and he was not lucky enough to make it out alive. She knew his schedule, knew he was likely there, and I was bound to the role of "maybe he's ok, he might be ok, they haven't released names yet" until it became clear he wasn't ok. As a Hokie, I still grieve for the tragedy of that day and, sadly, the tragedies we've seen there since.
When I was younger I had a step-brother who "had issues." I suppose that is what we politely refer to it as, at least here in the South. Among other incidents, which are too numerous to recall, I watched him chase my younger brother in the house one day. My step-brother, who was actually a couple years younger than my brother, had an ax in his hand. He swung it high over head and it came down before my eyes .. missing my brother's left arm by inches. I'm pretty certain he received a spanking and a good talking to. I don't ever think he got the help he truly needed though and, saldy, now he is dead.
I've grown up with depression. It is something that has been a constant companion my entire life. I don't know why, it just is what it is. I have been through numerous therapists, on almost all the meds at some point, and have even been briefly committed. It was being committed that opened my eyes to the difference between crazy and "have issues." I'm not crazy, but I do have issues. They are something I have to be constantly aware of and honest with myself and others about if I am to maintain a healthy life.
I tell you all this because I have known loss, I have experienced grief, and I have known the effects of mental well-being intimately. I have seen how we treat those with mental health issues. It is an invisible disease and not given the courtesy and understanding that usually come along with easy to see ailments. At times I have compared it to having a broken limb - I'm still capable of doing most things but I may wear down quicker, I may need help, and there will be times that I simply can not do certain things. Like most people who are brave enough to realize that our mental well being isn't at optimum level, I am terrified of opening up too much about it because I fear being locked up in a padded room. Or becoming the person whom you tiptoe around and never really want to engage. I don't want to be treated different, I just want a little understanding from time to time.
Our country is facing so many questions right now. Fingers are being pointed and blame is being laid. I fear that these are knee-jerk reactions that will ultimately get us nowhere. Evil and sickness is out there. That has always been the case and it always will be the case, and as the President said in his speech last night, no amount of laws will take that away.
However, having walked the path I've walked in this life, I do know several things. I know that we seriously need to re-examine the culture we live in. We cannot blame the monsters we create and then fail to provide care for when they act as monsters. We do not have the health care that we need, especially when it comes to mental health care. We are pouring gasoline on the fire by the extreme (to be more specific, extremely detailed) violence we saturate our culture and children in. We feed our bodies with food-like substances, things that too often do more harm than good, and we wash it down with toxic drinks.
I also know that change begins on a personal and local level. That if I want to see goodness and love then I must be goodness and love. If I want well being and health, then I must strive to create those things.
Here is my vow to you:
I vow to feed myself and my family as much real food as possible. Nobody is perfect but I will strive to do the best that I can, and to make the healthiest choices as often as I can. I will also strive to help others learn about real food, how to cook and how to put food by. I vow to grow as much of our food as possible. To not let set-backs and failures keep me from rising and trying again.
I vow to be aware of my mental health and honest about it with myself and with my loved ones. We must know ourselves, know our bodies, and be honest. I will seek help when I need it, and I will be there for others, as much as I can, when they need help. I will show them the compassion and understanding that I want shown to me. Isn't that the Golden Rule? (Even if you aren't Christian, which I'm not, it is a rule that is good enough to be called golden.)
As Ghandi instructed, I vow to be the change I want to see in this world. I will strive to find the things I/we have in common with each other and accentuate the positive rather than focusing on our differences and squabbling over petty things. We are all on this world together, humans and every other creature and being out there. We can not survive in harmony if we can not live in harmony. I will strive for harmony, and when I have moments where I fail I will pick myself up and try again.
I will not allow fear to dominate our lives. I will not give in to bad men and, even worse, boogey men. Our imaginations can be our greatest success or our greatest enemy. I don't doubt evil is out there, but I will not give in to media-inspired frenzy and succumb to the false belief that there are more bad people than there are good, that the boogeyman is out there waiting to snatch my children up at the first oppurtunity. I will teach my children to be aware, but to be confident and I will allow them to spread their wings. I will allow them to ride their bikes to the playground without me. I will teach them the steps they need, I will be by their side, and then I will let go and let them do it on their own like I know they can. I will not let fear of "what if" define our lives.

These are my vows to you. I can only speak for me but I can hope for you, and I do. I hope that you can join me in this, to be the change, to be the light in the darkness, to show the love and compassion.
Dark times will come, and there will be times when you fall and fail, but have the courage to keep going, to not let the darkness define you. Always remember, you are good, you are loved, you are valued. Together we can get there and we can be the difference.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stuck in the Middle & A Challenge Issued

I was at a local festival last weekend when I saw a girl (she was over 21).  I took a look at how she was dressed and thought "A little skanky there, don't you think?"  Her white shorts were cut offs that were short enough that the pockets were hanging well below the length of the shorts and they really could have almost passed for boy-short underwear.  She was wearing a bright blue shirt that was also cut off and hung openly above her mid-section. 

Now, two quick thoughts here before I continue on with my story:
1) The girl really was beautiful, at least what I saw of her was.  Her face was turned, but she seemed very attractive and she had the figure to pull off this look.
2) I'll admit to being jealous that I can not pull off this look, though even when I could I wouldn't have.  I've had two kids and I've got a mama's body to prove it.  I'm ok with that, but I can admit to being slightly jealous.

The next day I was hanging out with the guys (I've always been one of the guys) and we were talking about the festival.  Among other things (this seriously wan't all we talked about), we talked about how there were people there dressed inappropriately: guys with shirts off who shouldn't be walking around with shirts off, a girl in a bikini top, and I mentioned said girl.  One of the guys got a slightly dazed look on his face.

"Oh yea, I remember her" he said while almost drooling.  "Not the type of gal you want to take home, but the type you want to have fun with for the night."

The more I relfected on this the angrier I got.  It still makes me angry and here is why:

This man is married.  I certainly do not have anything against "looking" - people are beautiful, can be beautiful and to ignore it altogether simply because you're married would be a lie.  No, it was because of the "not the girl you want to take home" remark.

We women spend SO much time and effort trying to be sexy and gorgeous and wanted by men.  This is a proven fact.  I shouldn't have judged this girl as a skank, that was wrong.  Ironically enough, though I deemed her attire "inappropriate" and this guy (the others seemed to somewhat agree, I'm not sure how well they saw her) deemed her "not one to take home" .. implying "skank," her outfit was something you'd see in a magazine on a model.  Showing off how great and sexy Summer time is.  Ok .. maybe the model's shorts would have been 1/2 an inch longer .. but you know what I mean.

It gets me then that women are essentially stuck in the middle.  Trying to be sexy and gorgeous, desired and wanted.  Men want us to be this as well.  But we're stuck in the middle. 

Be too sexy or too skimpy and you'll be "Not the type of gal you want to take home" but the type of gal he wants to fuck for an evening and remember for a while for when he's whacking one off.
If we ooze too much sex appeal (and this gal was certainly oozing it!) we're outcast by society and deemed whores essentially.

And what the hell is "the type of gal you want to take home" - what the fuck does that mean??  Do you want some school marm who looks all proper and sexless??
We're stuck in the middle.  Be too sexy and you'll be a whore.  Be too proper and you won't be the one your husband is drooling over while he daydreams and rubs one off or worse, you won't be the one he's thinking of while he's fucking you.

Women are just as guilty, I know I am.  I judged the girl a skank on first siting.  Wrong.  Why did I think that about her?  Why have I allowed myself to get trained to attack another woman and, I'll be honest, I've been that other woman.  No, I didn't dress like that, but I'm sure to someone else I dressed just as "bad" and likely still do. 
But seriously, what the fuck?  I don't like this whole "stuck in the middle" thing.  It reminds me of high school when the boys would ask you if you were a virgin.  If you said "yes" you were labeled a prude, if you said "no" you were a slut.  You couldn't win. 

Of course, no one ever thought to question the guys like that.  At least the girls didn't.  Maybe we should've.  Maybe it is time for a little role-reversal here.  Instead of the women falling in line and labeling and shaming other women, maybe we simply need to call the men out.  Ok, not full role-reversal, but call them out.  Cut through the bullshit, risk *gasp* offending a guy, and call him out on it. Call ourselves out on it too.  De-train ourselves to attack other women. 

There is my challenge to you, to myself.  Can you call yourself out on it?  Are you willing to call a guy out on it?  Or are you content to be forever stuck in the middle?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Sickness Preparedness Kit

A friend on Facebook is sick and it made me think to share my thoughts with the rest of you.  I know that lately we've been fighting off some really strange little bugs and I'm on the verge of feeling like we should be in quarantine if it doesn't let up. 

That said, stressing and being upset won't help.  In fact, it will make matters worse.  The more we stress the sicker our bodies get.  Think about it in percentages.  If your body is close to 100% when you're nice and healthy then it maybe flutters closer to 60% when you're sick, depending on how sick you are at the time.  Let's say that stress takes off 15%.  When you're healthy and you stress you drop to only 85%, but when you're sick and you stress you drop to 45% -- which gives you a much longer road to recovery.  Don't forget, stress adds up, the more you stress the higher that percentage number gets and the longer that road to wellness becomes.  So ... main thing is .. don't stress.

Now of course, that is easier said than done.  And, of course, everyone has their own way of doing things that make them feel better.  My kids and I have our own way, my husband has his.  I'm going to share with you the things that work for me, and in general my household.

ONE - Go To Bed!!  Clean pillowcases, sheets, and blankets are the best.  If you have someone else who can help you out by prepping the bed with fresh linens, please let them do it.  If not, who cares, you're sick!  Just make sure you have a couple various blankets nearby, even perhaps a small fan, to help you navigate easily through the chills & hot flashes of being sick.  (PS - When you're feeling better, change your sheets and let your pillows sit out in the sun for a few hours.  This will kill germs and keep you nice and healthy!)

TWO - Beverage!!  My first thought here was to actually write 'tea' but different ailments call for different beverages.  Tea is always wonderful though because it can truly help heal you.  Got an upset tummy?  Try some ginger tea.  Fighting a migraine?  Peppermint tea to the rescue.  Don't know what tea you need, fear not, they come in sets labeled for various ailments.  Serve warm and with honey (a healer in itself). 
Now, as natural as I like to try and be, I'll admit that there are times when I'm sick and all I want is Dr. Pepper.  That is a personal preference.  I grew up with my mother giving me Ginger Ale when I was sick so I never cared much for the taste of it later on in life.  I don't drink Coke unless it has booze in it, it is just gross to me.  My soda of choice is Dr. Pepper.  When my body demands it, I'll give in.  After all, it is about comfort and .. see above .. no stress!

THREE - Combat Cabin Fever ~ Get "Junk Food" For Your Brain!! Ok, this sounds odd, I know.  Who the heck recommends junk food when you're sick, right??  ME, that's who!!  But, I am not recommending it in a food way.  No, I'm talking about something for your brain that allows you to actually rest but lets your brain think it is doing something.  Let me explain.
Movies are great here, but you have to be careful what type of movie you watch.  You don't want something that will tear you up and wrack your already unhinged body with emotions that will take a toll.  No, no, no.  Nor do you want a laugh out loud comedy that will give your ribs a workout - after all, depending on how sick you are squeezing your abdominal muscles like that might end up in a not so pleasant way.  Yuck, right?  There are those wonderful standby movies that don't require thought, that please you enough to watch but that you won't feel too horrible if you doze off through.  For me, depending on my mood, they are 'Godzilla' (extra points if it is a gray and rainy day out), 'xXx' - the Vin Diesel one not porn, 'Underworld', 'Van Helsing', 'Lake Placid', 'The Mummy' and so on.  Just some of my personal preferences, you'll know yours. 
Also, this is the time I will send my husband out to get me magazines.  I'm a chick, so I don't know how this applies to guys, but this is the time that I like to read my "junk food magazines."  Cosmo, Seventeen, umm.. Vogue?  Actually, I don't know the names of the magazines.  They're the ones with must have fashion tips, nail colors for the season, and the general rotating magazine list of "secrets exposed" (you know, "What guys REALLY mean by..." and blah blah blah).  Again, this isn't something I would ever bother with when in my usual life, but this isn't my usual life is it?  The silly promise of the perfect updo for Summer, nail polishes and lip balms that scream Spring, must have boots and purses for Fall ... BRING 'EM ON!!  If I was healthy I would would instantly know how ridiculous it all is.  Since I'm sick though these quick-fix, life is all better, problem solving tips are perfect.  My brain will numbly sift through them, happy for something to munch on, without having to strain itself at all. 
Really I suppose the main thing here is to trick your brain.  You want it to think it is doing something so that you don't get all ancy and stressed realizing that you're still sick, you're stuck in bed, all that vomiting hasn't caused you to lose any weight (or conversely it has caused you to lose too much), the house is dirty, the kids are misbehaving, and if you don't get well your husband is going to attempt to do laundry!!  EEEKK!!  Now you're stressing.  Shut that mind up and give it something to happily munch on while you get some rest!! Whew!

So .. those are my main rules for when you're sick.  If it is your kid who is sick I add on these extra ones:

ONE - Portable dvd player for their bed.  My mother will try to tell me to put them in my bed, but ewww ... they're sick, I don't want their sick germs in my bed!  Call me a bad mom if you want, but you're thinking it too.  Make their bed as comfy for them as possible and put a portable dvd player in there for them so they can relax in their bed.

TWO - Vomit buckets.  Sounds gross but cleaning up vomit that has been spewed from the top bunk down to the floor is grosser.  Little ones, try as they might, simply can't always make it to the bathroom in time.  Spare yourselves (and them!) the stress.  Line a bucket with a plastic bag and keep it bedside.

THREE - Fuss & Reassure.  This means fuss over them, because who doesn't want to be fussed over when they're sick?  We all do.  We all want to know that someone is out there doing everything they can to try and make us better.  Reassure them.  When we're sick we're sure that our doom is immanent.  Our bowels are going to surely come spilling out with the next heave and we'll never to get to do all those things we wanted to do.  Kids, obviously, feel the exact same way but they have less ability to reason that things will be ok.  So, cool & damp rag to the forehead, smooth their hair, rub their backs, and so on.  Reassure them that by tomorrow you're sure they'll be feeling back to normal.  This can be repeated daily until it actually happens, as long as you say it with full confidence. 

There you go, that is my sickness preparedness kit.  That and a good bowl of chicken noodle soup (homemade chicken stock and homemade soup gets extra points here!) will do you a world of good.  Until it does though, relax.  Take a deep breathe.  You will feel better before you know it. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Indian Jambo!

So, instead of posting this recipe where I really should on my Mama Taney's Kitchen blog, I'm posting it here.  I know, I'm slack.  Whaddya gonna do about it? 
Tonight for dinner I made a dish I've decided to, from here on out, call "Indian Jambo" ~ why .. um, well, because what we were calling it wasn't really accurate, and it isn't Gumbo, nor is it Jambalaya, and saying "Indian Jambalaya" is a total tongue twister but I really liked that kinda vibe, so .. Indian Jambo.

I haven't made this dish in well over six months, despite the numerous times it has appeared on the menu list.  It isn't that something is wrong with the dish, it probably isn't really even that hard to make, it just doesn't sync well with me.  Or I don't sync well with it.  Or something like that.  The main reason for this is that when I make this I'm making actually making two entrees at the same time, along with a big ole batch of rice.  And, folks, I seriously just don't have that kind of focusing capabilities.  Squirrel!
Ok, where was I?  Oh yea, focusing.  *oohhh .. shiny.*  See, not good at it.  But, I do make the dish because it is really damn yummy.  It is also vegetarian and probably really good in terms of Ayurvedic diet stuff, and it makes a friggin' ton of food so we're set up with meals forever (which freeze & reheat well), which means it is actually a really, really, ridiculously cheap meal.  I'd do the math on this but I did it once and I just don't like math enough to do it again.  But it was really cheap in the end. 

So, since it is so yummy I am going to share it with you now.  This dish was inspired by Amy's Organic frozen meal called Mattar Paneer.  A friend had brought some over and we shared it and ended stirring it all together and it was really yummy.  I wanted to try and make it myself, and searched out the recipes. 

Indian Jambo!!  All blended together and magically delicious!

What I immediately found out was that Amy's version isn't just Mattar Paneer.  It is Mattar Paneer, Chana Masala, and rice.  So, let's break it down.  You'll need your regular ole pot/saucepan, two large skillets, and a big ole bowl.  Plus containers for leftovers.

1) Rice - Make a massive amount of rice for this.  I use brown rice, but feel free to use white if it tickles your fancy.  What I've found is that though you add more rice the flavor doesn't fade away, making the rice a really awesome way to stretch this dish out to the max.  I used 8 cups of water & 4 cups dry rice, giving me 16 - 20 servings of rice!  This amount is the maximum that my regular pot/saucepan will hold, which is quite convenient.  Make it just like you would regular rice.

2) Chana Masala - Here's the link to the recipe I used: -- If you really want me to type it out harass me about it and maybe I will.  This dish can go in the smaller of the skillets (if you don't have two equally big ones - I know I don't), but it will need a lid.

3) Mattar Paneer - Again, here's the link to the recipe I used and if you want me to type it all out, well, see above: - This dish is definitely going to need the biggest skillet pan you've got.  In fact, because I didn't pay attention (see way above as to why I don't make this too often) I ended up having to leave out some of the water and then made a mess on the stove when trying to scoop it all out.

Same dish, just now the photo is taken with a FLASH!  Woo!!

Ok, make your rice, make the chana masala, and make the Mattar Paneer.  If you don't have a groovy Indian store near you, or even just an Indian store near you, you can substitute extra firm tofu for the Paneer.  Absolutely no worries on that one. 

After you've got all three dishes prepped and made, start adding them in equal proportions to your big bowl.  I use the biggest bowl we've got, the one normally reserved for chips & football games.  For me the best way to make sure I'm schlopping equal portions is to scoop 1, 2, 3 scoops of the Mattar Paneer then 1, 2, 3 scoops of the Chana Masala, then 1, 2, oh hell, 1/2 the rice or so.  Mix well with a spoon. 
This dish is so large that I actually can't fit it all in one bowl till after we've eaten.  But, hey, it's all good because .. well, it's all good!!


Like I said, the leftovers on this dish are a plus in my category because it means future dinners that are homemade but that I don't have to really take any effort to get to the table.  The white container above Justin will take for lunch tomorrow.  The other two are holding way more than they look in the photo.  The glass pyrex dish (under the white container) will easily feed the four of us for dinner. 

Try it out and see what you think. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lazy Moms Rock

As many of you may know, or can have guessed, we're big into the Free Range Kid movement.  Haven't heard of it before?  Check out Lenore Skenazy's blog by clicking this link Free Range Kids.  We were already free ranging things before I read her book (which had be laughing out loud in the library), and her book & blog have made us more confirmed in the things we're doing .. and sometimes not doing.

What is so very cool about this, to me, is that it is basically an adamant stance on the issue that, generally speaking, the way kids have been raised throughout history was with freedoms we no longer allow our kids, with trust we no longer allow our children to earn, and with faith, which we no longer have in our fellow human beings.  Of course there have been horrible instances of child labor and etc throughout history as well, but in general ... don't be Debbie Downer here, ok?

For example, we live within shouting distance of three playgrounds/small parks.  We also live in a neighborhood filled with children.  Yet rarely do we see children filling up these playgrounds on beautiful days nor do we see them riding their bikes on the sidewalks, playing games with other kids, and etc.  Sure, we see adults walking, but not as many kids playing. 
When most of us were growing up however the scene was quite different.  On pretty days I remember spending afternoons up in the maple tree with my best friend, or in forts we had built among the pine trees in the back yard.  Our forts were especially cool because they had furniture in them: old car seats that we found on the curb and drug back to the fort ourselves.  At night we played "Night Games" a form of tag at night with flashlights that was played through the neighborhood, with borders being designated by so&so's house to so&so's house.  Heck, I even remember spending my Summers walking a half mile or so (ironically enough, it actually was an uphill walk too!) to the neighborhood pool, where we'd check in and spend the day - with no adults shuttling us to and fro and sitting there while we swam.  By the way, I was about in fifth grade at that time.  Now, of course, that would never happen! 

So what has happened?  Have kids just gotten a lot dumber?  Are we SO scared of every little scrape and boo-boo that every imaginable (not necessarily real) danger needs to be safeguarded against?  Forgive me please, but I thought scrapes and boo-boos were part of childhood.  Yes, I had my very large share of them too.  Yes, I was in situations that no parents want for their kids - nothing so horribly bad as where your mind likely just went, more specifically I had several close calls with cars while riding my bike.  Yet, I survived.  And, more importantly, I learned from them!  I learned not to go flying around blind corners where a car may be coming down the hill.  Heck, I learned what a blind corner was!!  I learned that kids will be on bikes, so when I am driving, I better watch out for them doing the same stupid things I did when I was little. 

As a parent now, I expect my kids to learn from their own stupid mistakes.  I expect that they will have those stupid mistakes.  I also expect that they can do a lot to help out around the house, other than watching TV and playing video games.  One of our family mottoes is "Everyone Helps" simply because we know that there is always something someone can do to pitch in and help out.

In that vein, and in the vein of children being able to actually do things rather than having them done for them, I write this blog.  Today, while I balanced my checkbook and went about other tasks that needed my attention, this was happening in the kitchen:

That would be Shannon.  Standing at the kitchen table, folding his laundry.  After he folded it all he took the basket into his room where he is responsible for putting it away.  Shannon is 8, and this is a task that it was high time he learn to do.
His younger brother, Tristan who is 5, was busy cleaning the walls while Shannon folded laundry.  Both had gotten in trouble today and had to draw from the "Bag of Death" (I'll blog about that soon enough, fear not) and Tristan drew "Clean the Walls."  So, he did.  It started at with groans but ended with pride as he decided that this also needed cleaning, and so did this, and so on.

My walls are now clean(er) and laundry has been folded.  I've had my cup of coffee and my kids know that they're capable of being valuable and contributing members of our family. 

Hoorah for Lazy Moms!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We're on Facebook

Spring has sprung here in Southwestern Virginia!! Above is a photo of our daffodils, which have been in bloom for a while and are now beginning to fade, along with one of our tulips, which are just beginning to come in.  This tulip is one that was originally planted by my great-grandmother, Pom.  Over the years we've moved them, nutured and nourished them so that they've once again started sporting nice blooms.  I couldn't be more proud!

Spring brings new things and the biggest one is that we're on Facebook now.  You can like us on there by clicking here:  I'll be updating that page much more frequently than I do here, so if you want to follow along, I encourage you to do so there.

Hope y'all are all having a wonderful Spring!