Friday, March 27, 2015

Kitchen Re-Re-imagined

If you are not already tired of hearing about The Kitchen....well, bless you.

Once upon a time I wanted all white cabinetry and white countertops and white all the things because I'm delusional or something.  Or I just wanted opposite of what we had in the past maybe? Ugh, it was a hard decision to make, to switch away from that vision.  You know why?  Because I love love love looking at pictures of crisp white kitchens on Pinterest and imagining myself standing at the window with a gentle breeze blowing through my hair whilst I lovingly massage some fine china with my hole-free rubber gloves. Sadly, reality is a thing, you know?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March is too Springish for computering I think

AH MAH GAH. What is haaaaaaaaaaaapening, dweej?

Shoot, y'all.  If you aint on the instagram, you can stalk my feed over in the right sidebar, because it's basically the only place with (almost) daily updates.  I just can't keep up with life right now.  We're happy!  Everyone is great.  Good things.  But whoa.

The weather changed and the snow melted and we started pruning things and babies who had been stuck inside got to start going outside.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ramona Quimby and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (with pics of Paul's big day!)

These days I'm reading the Ramona books out loud to Paul and Cecilia.  One chapter a night before bed.  She's like a girl Calvin, have you ever noticed?  I'm finding the books WAY more entertaining as an adult with kids than I did as a kid reading them to myself, that's for sure.

Anyway, there's this one chapter where Ramona's parents get in an argument over something silly because they are tired and she's freaking out because this is clearly going to lead to their entire lives falling apart and how COULD HER MOTHER DARE thwap her very own husband on the hiney with a spatula as she marched out of the kitchen????  (As someone who regularly thwaps her own husband with a spatula on a regular basis, this particular detail had me rolling).  The next morning we find everything patched up between the mister and the missus and Ramona and her sister shocked and furious that their parents aren't perfect and that they make mistakes.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I'm I'm reclining on a one of those lie-down-and-sunbathe chairs on the deck on the south side of our house. Around the corner, about two suburban backyards away, I can hear, just faintly enough, three of my kids shrieking with glee as they create yet another ridiculous trampoline game. The sun is glinting off the white text on my eldest's sweatshirt. She's sitting two chairs away reading Sherlock Holmes.

Her eyes are squinting. She is happy.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Treasuring (with a teeny tiny before and after)

Sometimes the same theme keeps cropping up in the various things I'm reading and doing.  Does this happen to you?

Lately it's been the following: we cannot love or treasure the absence of something.  It won't work, at least not for long.  We need to fill the absence with a thing to treasure and love.  For example, Jesus is a thing.  He is real.  We don't simply treasure the absence of the enemy but rather we love Jesus, whose presence results in the absence of the enemy.  Does that make sense?  We can't cling to not lying.  Instead we must exalt in the truth.  We don't simply love the absence of hunger- we seek out having food.

It's the same with kids, you know?  Often saying "don't do that.  No, don't do that either.  Nope, that's also a no" results in everyone being frustrated and exhausted, but when you can replace those don'ts with "hey, let's do this" you find your success and peace much more quickly.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Tapping a Maple Tree in 10 Neurotic Steps

Hey, we did something new today!

At the old house, we had a sweet little red maple in the front yard, but it was young and tiny and also not a proper sugar maple.  Do you know what we have at the new house?  Two (at least.  There may be more in the woods, but since we've never done this before, we're in the "do it to learn something" phase and two trees is plenty for that.) enormous sugar maples quite near the house.  Obviously we had to give it a try.  Doing the seasonal things is one of the ways to find magic in a place with seasons, you know?

Note the snow up to the dog's belly on the right.  Snow too deep to go without snowpants, day too warm for a coat.  #puremichigan

Step one: watch 15 quadrillion youtube videos about tapping maple trees.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

5 things to remember when you're suffering from the winter blahs

A sweet reader named Betsy recently asked this question on the blog fan page:

I really enjoyed your guest post/interview on homeschooling. I'm in my 2nd year of homeschooling, 1st, K, and 2 non-schoolers. I'm wondering if you could share (with me or as a blog post) how you/your kids survive being with each other 24/7. The school part is going well, but now that's it's February, cold, etc. there are days when I wish they went to school just so all had a break from each other. Help!

Well, now it's March but in our part of the world we're still pretty much stuck in the house, so I'm going to call this question still relevant.  Still very, very relevant.  So, five things to remember when the winter blahs are killin' your will to do anything:

1) Everyone Hates Everything in February
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