Tuesday, July 22, 2014

maybe shorter than 5 minutes today

Because I am standing up and I need to go to the bathroom.

But take time to read this today.  If you are like me you will be smothering your laughter because a baby is sleeping and tears will roll. 

It is funny that with my third kid, getting up in the night has not been as stressful for me.  She doesn't sleep any better than the other two did at this age, but maybe I am just able to let go and hold her and soak it up.  Or maybe I am to tired to stress about it anymore.

Monday, July 21, 2014

just in time. . .

A couple weeks ago I performed the ritual thousands of moms are doing right now. 

I made up a family schedule for this fall.

When your primary job is to keep you home running, this is a big event.  There are many needs to consider, many activities with fixed times and days, and as a homeschool mom, there are chunks of time we need to be home and things we hope to fit into that time.   Its not an easy task.

But I wrote that schedule and just let it sit.  I went away for a while, I thought about my goals, my desires and my children's ages and stages. 

I am so glad I did.  That little time away to breathe, to consider, to reflect makes all the difference.  Then, providentially, I saw this website.  Go there and look.

Yes, yes.  This is what my heart was telling me in that down time.  I needed to remember that teaching from a state of anxiety or panic or worry isn't why I am doing this.  Rest, space, down time.  That is why we are homeschooling.  This little blip called childhood is a small percentage of our lives and I want my children to roll around in it, to soak in the space where creativity is born.  To eat up all the good stuff I can give them.

So i will go back to that schedule soon and toss out the things I have on there because some voice inside told me I "should".   I will look at what is the essence of our education.  What matters most.  That is what I will keep.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

things I am picky about- travel cups

I am not a princess.  I do not have to have things just a certain way.  I sit here writing while i eat crackers from a box and hummus from the container, just so I dont have to wash dishes.  I am VERY low maintenance.

But, there are a few things out there I am picky about.  i may do a series of posts on these things.  I may not. 

When i was pregnant, i had various health problems and the answer to every single one was- DRINK MORE WATER.   Literally 100 ounces a day.  I mean literally in the literal sense- 100 OUNCES A DAY.  Ok, sorry for shouting.

So I got picky about what containers I used for my water.  I love how water tastes in glasses, but it does make a mess and for a mama on the go, i need something that can take a beating.  I tried the insulated cups with straws and found they leaked, cracked and spilled when knocked over.  Metal sports water bottles were good for most things, but sometimes hard to get ice in, and i like my water cold. 

This week I may have found the perfect water cup.  If you have an Aldi store, get there fast.  They have a deal with two insulated cups that look like mason jars.  They come with straws (which are taped to the underside of the packaging, so dont be a dummy like me and forget to untape one and throw it in the recycling :(  ) but they also have a sippy part that has a flap that covers it.  It is great because you unscrew it and there is a wide mouth for putting in ice.  You can use the straw or the sippy.  AND you can put hot or cold in it!!! I love sweet tea, and i usually just make it by the glass, so these are perfect for that.   I think they run 2 cups for $8 or something.

A little summertime pleasure for the picky water drinker.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I have lived long enough to have a variety of friendships.  The kind that are full of laughter.  The kind that go to deep, difficult subjects easily.  The kind you can call on for whatever is needed and you are there for them in need too.

And I have had friendships change.  Sometimes it is a blossoming from and acquaintance to a true friendship.  From that "we should really get together sometime" to actually finding the time to spend time together, even if it is just to run after kids at the park.  Sometimes a friend becomes a coworker, and sometimes the other way around.

But, like most people, I have had friendships that have grown distant.  Sometimes physically, when one of us has moved away and it is just harder to communicate.  And at times someone has backed off and given less time and energy to the relationship.  Sometimes that was me backing off, needing space.  Sometimes it was the other person.

I know a friendship can change for all the right reasons, but I also know it can be painful.  

A strange 5 minute post today, but there it is.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I have a friend who's teenage son flies planes.  Yes, FLIES PLANES!!!  Just thinking of a teenager behind the wheel is stress inducing, but a plane!!!

What I admire about this mom is her utter confidence in him. She has taught him how to learn and trusted that as he worked hard at aviation classes, he would have the tools he needs to fly.  And he does.

My oldest is going to take a big step in a few days.  Its not flying a plane, but another way of learning independence.  It feels like a big deal, but really we have been working towards this for years.  First with picking up his toys, then with putting his plate in the dishwasher.  Then feeding pets, then cleaning the bathroom.  He is able to take this step and succeed.

Am I?  Can I learn from my friend and be confident in him?  Be confident in me? Can I rest knowing that this child was never truly mine, but a gift given to me for a time so that I could give him to the world? 

Fly, my sweet one, fly. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

create a little every day

eat breakfast
nurse baby
get dressed
start laundry
clean up kitchen
check that kids did chores, violin, reading
baby down for nap
listen to kid read
garden (if its not too hot)
baby wakes
nurse baby
check math of older kid
make a phone call
make lunch
eat lunch
clean up from lunch
kids to rest time
make tea
check email
write on blog
computer work
make important phone calls that cant be interrupted
kids up
run errands (maybe)
clean house (maybe)
play with baby
make dinner
eat dinner
clean up dinner
take kid to karate, tennis, whatever
work in garden (if not too hot)
get baby ready for bed
hubby home
baby to bed
boys to bed
fold laundry
hubby and me time
knit a little, sew a little, create something
read a little

This is a pretty accurate view of a normal day here.  This is definitely a summer schedule, one that doesnt have much schooling going on in it.  The creating part is just a little 30 minutes or 1 hr at night, when hubby and I can talk and my brain is too tired for much else.  I dont finish projects very fast.  I dont do anything very complicated.  But for me, that little bit of handwork feeds me and fuels me for all the other things I do, which is another kind of creating.  Creating a home. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

30 minute gardening- in a 5 minute post

I told my husband I could write a book called 30 minute gardening.   Because I love to garden, but my life now allows only about 30 minute chunks of time to work on any one thing.  (Or, for this blog, 5 minutes)

Background:  I am a gardener.  Its inherited from both grandparents.  Something about my pioneer ancestors makes it impossible for me to not dig in the dirt.  Even when we were living in our first apartment, I had pots and pots of plants, even in the bathroom!  Our first townhouse I had a 3x 3 plot by our grill where I crammed in tomatoes and basil. 

Caveat: I am not an amazing gardener.  My beds are not a pinterest post waiting to happen, but there is something in me that just cant NOT plant things.  Sometimes things go well, sometimes they flop. And I am now out of my perfectionism stage and am just thankful for anything that grows. So if you want a Martha Stewart garden, this advice is not for you.  If you have a million other things going on in life, but you want to grow some of your own food, read on.

Hidden Cache:  Essential for gardening- dont share your gloves, shoes or trowel.   Have a good pair of gloves (leather or plastic dipped kind) a good trowel and gardening shoes hidden away so  your children or husband cannot get them.  If your kids are like mine, they will borrow them for "just a minute" and then your gloves will be left out in the rain, your trowel will be buried in the sandbox and you will waste the little time you have hunting them down when you could be out in the garden.

Call in reinforcements:  When there is a big job, like turning over soil or pulling a mass of weeds, get help from those people you feed and clothe.  Boys love whacking at things with hoes, and husbands can give an hour to do the jobs that would take you and your wimpy arms twice as long.  You can do the planning, the planting, the picking, but for back breaking tasks, there is strength in numbers.

Dont waste your time on difficult plants:  I did squash last year.  Actually we did 3 kinds of squash and pumpkins.  We got some veggies, but eventually squash beetles got them all.  Guess what?  This year I didn't plant ANY squash.  I may never plant it again.  The way to get rid of squash beetles is to lay down on the ground and look for their holes in the stem and then slit open the stem to get them out.  Did you see how many steps that was?  and you have to do it EVERY DAY.   On top of that, my kids dont really like squash and they take up a lot of room in the garden.  So this year I planted lots of beans.  Beans are easy.  Beans are cheap.  Beans can freeze just great (You can can them too, but I dont like canned veggies)  Beans dont have many predators. 

OK, my 5 minutes are up.  If it wasnt so hot, I would go out to the garden now :)