December 27, 2011

On the Third Day of Christmas

my true love gave to meeee...
a bucket 'cause we have the stomach fluuuu!!!

Everybody sing!



Well, there are still nine days left. I shall just have to hold out hope for those.

Merry Christmas Anyway

It's not as if I spent no time WHAT-SO-EVER pondering the holy mystery of the Incarnation of Christ. I did, in fact, have some beautiful reflections on this sacred feast of the Birth of Our Lord. I even considered sharing a couple of them. But, you see, I live in a zoo. Amidst the incense and greenery, the beautiful hymns and candle-lit Nativity scenes, dwells my nutty little family.

Tonight around the dining room table, smack in the middle of our Second-Day-of-Christmas/Feast of St. Stephen dinner, there occurred a moment that will be recounted in our family circle for years to come.

I happened to mention to my husband, just in passing, mind you, that the Harlem Globetrotters would be visiting a nearby city, and I wondered aloud if the kids would enjoy their show. When one of the boys asked who the Globetrotters were, another child spoke up to remind him of an old 70's cartoon they had watched which featured the entertaining basketball team.

"Of course we wouldn't get to see the same players shown in the cartoon," their Daddy interjected. "I'm not sure any of them are still alive."

"You mean the Globetrotters are dead?" David wanted to know. He sounded upset.

Matt thought for a moment. "I know at least one of them has died. I'm not sure, but in any case they have new players now."

"Yeah," Brendan chimed in. "That cartoon was kind of old - like The Three Stooges."

"The Three Stooges are dead!?!" Alex asked, distressed. He and David looked to be on the verge of tears. What was going on in their little heads?

"Honey, it's a really old show..." I tried to reason with him. David pulled his shirt over his eyes. I looked at my husband. "Oh my goodness. Do something."

Brendan decided to try again. "Guys, you know those shows were made a long time ago. Just because they're still on TV doesn't mean the people are still around. Remember when I told you about the man who did the voice of Bugs Bunny?"

"BUGS BUNNY'S DEAD!?!" Mary wailed, bursting into tears.

That was it. I lost it. I couldn't help it. The harder I tried not to laugh the worse it got. I put my hands over my mouth while tears streamed down my cheeks. Mary thought I was crying about poor Bugs Bunny and cried even harder. I put my head down on the table, my shoulders shaking as Matt did his best to comfort the children in mourning. Oh, yeah. I've got that Mother of the Year award nailed.

Excuse me, can I have a do-over?

It's a good thing we have twelve full days to celebrate Christmas. That gives me ten more chances to refocus our family on Jesus' birthday and all that that means.

Until then: Merry Christmas, Bugs Bunny. May you rest in peace.

December 23, 2011

The Christmas Story

Reading Between The Lines

I tried to reason with him. I tried explaining things to him using small words and lots of hand gestures, but, oddly, he didn't seem to understand.

"Joey," I said. "Mommy has so many things to do right now. I would like nothing better than to hold you in my arms all day long, but I simply can't. We have guests coming. Rooms need to be cleaned, food prepared, gifts wrapped. Don't you think you can be content playing with your toys for a little while so I can get some work done?"

As I looked into his little eyes staring up at me I could see understanding and compassion for his weary mama dawn on his face.

"Why yes, Mother," I could almost hear him say. "I could sit and play quietly, leaving you to your Christmas preparations, but you see, I'm teething. I simply cannot be out of your arms at all today. I do so truly appreciate the sacrifice you are making, forgoing all else you need to accomplish. The fact that you are here, nursing me, instead of cooking and cleaning makes me love you even more."

Okay, so he was nursing with a big scowl on his brow, whacking my face with his hands, and making grumpy noises at me, but sometimes a mother has to read between the lines. I knew what he meant. It will give me comfort when my guests arrive and discover we are eating Christmas dinner out on the front porch, 'cause the dining room is still a mess.

December 21, 2011

Papa, It's Cold Outside

The telephone call went something like this:

Papa: Is it very cold, yet?

Alex: Really cold.

Papa: Do you like the cold?

Alex: No!

Papa: I knew you were the smart one.

My warm-weather-dwelling-can't-stand-being-cold Papa is still amazed his daughter (That's me!), son-in-law, and grandchildren have chosen such a cold place to to live. "You really like it, huh?" he asks, puzzled.

Perhaps I should clarify something for my Papa. It's not the cold that keeps us here. None of us like being cold. We do not like cold fingers and toes... and arms... and legs... and faces... We do not enjoy scraping ice off frozen windshields or driving on icy roads. We aren't happy about the need to pull on snow boots and several layers of clothing just to retrieve mail from the mailbox out front. It's not the cold we love, rather we love this place in spite of it.

When I was growing up winter meant fog so thick at times you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Now it means bright white that shimmers and shines as though someone has sprinkled sparkly glitter over the whole outdoors. Oooo! And icicles. It's just so pretty! Especially when viewed from the window - while wrapped in a blanket, sipping hot tea, and yelling for someone to please turn the heater up.

Because of snow, the kids cannot ride their bikes, but sledding wears them out faster anyway. In fact, after a good while of sledding I call them in, give them cups of hot chocolate, and watch them pass out on the floor. Makes me happy.

We may still have snow on the ground here while my mother begins planting flowers there, but we are busy with other outdoor activities. We can sit in a little shack on upturned buckets, drinking coffee from a thermos, and stare at a hole in the ice for hours on end. Locals call it ice fishing. But since fishing implies actually catching something, I prefer to call it ice watching.

And then, there are bragging rights. I haven't lost them. I used to speak of summers where temperatures soared well over one hundred for weeks on end. I can now brag of enduring winter temperatures that sink so low we have to warm up to get to zero.

And the best part of living here on the frozen tundra? Seemingly, as a counterpoint to all that cold weather the people here are extra warm and friendly.

So, yes. We really do like it, Papa. Hopefully you will be able to visit us at least once during the winter. We don't have as much fog here, but we can still take you ice watching. And I promise to save you a seat by the heater.

December 19, 2011

He's So Understanding

Feeling slightly distracted in my sorry attempt to multi-task, I found myself apologizing once again for calling one of my twin sons by the wrong name.

"Oh, David, I'm sorry. I don't know why I  keep doing that."

David was quick to furnish an answer.


I just looked at him. He quietly got up and left the room.

I am so moving in with him when I'm old.

December 16, 2011

You'll Have To Do Better Than That

Mary and a little boy were playing together when he started bragging about his family's trip to view a Christmas display at a local museum - Christmas at the Castle.

He finished his description with, "It was a castle and it had giant nutcrackers!"

Mary's not very impressed response made me laugh. "But, did it have hot chocolate?"

She may have a point. After all, what good is a castle if there's no chocolate?

December 15, 2011

A Hunting We Will Go!

No, not deer hunting - though Matt did wear blaze orange under his jacket. We were on the hunt for the bestest Christmas tree... EVER. God willing, this will be the first Christmas of many, many, many we will celebrate at Cold Anchor Farm. Our tree must be worthy of the occasion!

Matt and I herded the young ones into the family van, with the exception of Brendan who had been up waaay too late the night before and begged to be left at home to nap on the couch. If I had known what our friends' tree farm was like I would have insisted he come too. I expected a simple, boring lot filled with trees planted all in a row. Instead, to our surprise and delight we discovered an enchanting wonderland!

We were warmly greeted by our friends and given a brief tour. The children patted the dogs, snuggled a sweet cat, and fed the sheep and fuzzy donkeys. The llama cautiously watched while keeping his distance. He wanted to know where Brendan was.

Then, it was over the river and through the woods to search for our tree. The over-the-river part took longer than expected.

It looks easy enough, doesn't it? For all of it's crooked appearance, the bridge was solid under our feet. All we had to do was walk across it. All we had to do was cross from one side to the other. We tried. Really, we did. But, we hadn't counted on this:

It was just too pretty! We felt like we were entering a fairytale land. The children began to speak in hushed tones. Hold on. Did I just write that? I don't usually put those words together in the same sentence. My children actually spoke in whispers! Truly! That alone was a Christmas miracle and well worth the time spent lingering on the bridge.

Once on the other side the spell broke and the kids were off and running to find the tree that called to them.

 David, was the first to suggest one. This tree, he argued, would be easy to carry back to the van.

Yes. Well. Umm... Let's keep looking, shall we?

Joey liked this one, though I suspect he just wanted to taste it.

Annie was next to offer her choice.

It was a beautiful tree; however, fitting this tree into our living room might require extensive renovations and probably mean moving our our couch out onto the lawn.  Okay for the summer - winter, not so much.

Getting closer, Alex. We'd only have to cut a small hole in the ceiling to fit this one inside.

Mary was next. She had the right idea. I knew she was a smart little girl!

At last, we all agreed on a tree. Matt cut it down and hefted it to his shoulder for the walk back to the van. I worried he would hurt his knee still healing from surgery. The ground was slippery, but we walked nice and slow, getting to van without incident. See? There he is, under those pine branches. At least I think that's him. 

Joey thought it was pretty funny.

The hunt was a success! Our friends were so very kind. They made the tree a house warming gift.

 And warm the house it certainly did!

December 13, 2011

Exit, Stage Right

Surprised, I watched an expression of utter dismay cross Alex's face.

"But, Mom, I'm supposed to be the good guy!"

The twins and I were reading their assigned parts in a play they would perform in a few short months. They had just discovered the plot would reveal their good guy characters were actually the "bad guys".

David and Alex exchanged shocked glances. This couldn't be true! Boyish hearts long to be heroes - not villains. Hadn't they always dreamed of being the rescuer who arrived in time to save the day? Didn't they hope to be the cop, the firefighter, the noble knight who braves dragon fire in order to save the villagers? They had been betrayed.

I tried to console them.

"Someone has to be the bad guy in the story. Perhaps, you two will find playing these characters is kind of fun. Maybe they are the goofy, bumbling, silly kind of bad guys."

"Oh, sure," David retorted. "If the director wants us to be funny, maybe we can do something. But, what if she wants us to be serious? I just don't think we know how to be serious bad guys..."

His voice drifted off as he and Alex left the room muttering to each other and shaking their heads.

I envisioned the lights dimming and the curtains drawing closed behind them. I can't wait to see how the next scene plays out. I'll be on the edge of my seat.

December 5, 2011

What's For Dinner?

The phone rang. I eagerly picked it up, knowing it would be my husband's voice on the other end.

"How would you like alligator for dinner? One of my guys went hunting in Louisiana and caught a twelve foot gator. He brought me a couple pounds."

When I was growing up, my family enjoyed yummy meals - lots of Mexican food. My mom is a good cook and there is not a Christmas that goes by when I don't crave her enchiladas. Special occasions called for special foods, but our daily fare was more what one might expect from a large family on a modest income - plenty of hearty foods, designed to fill lots of bellies, not too much variety. I thought people who ate things like sushi and escargot were a bit odd.

Then I met my husband's family. I still remember my soon-to-be father-in-law introducing me to sushi (I love it!) and octopus (Gross!). I tried couscous. I ate lime-glazed chicken. I learned I like okra and despise liver and onions. I didn't always like what I tasted, but I was learning to taste before making up my mind. Even when offered rattlesnake.

It was a lesson well learned and it served me well each time we moved to a different region of our country. Matt, the kids, and I experienced the local culture through the foods we ate. Shellfish, barbecued brisket, and Czech onion and fish soups in one state; Polish pierogi, tandoori chicken, and pizzas in another; frozen custard, bratwurst, deer sausage and broasted chicken here...

"Of course! We'd love to try alligator. Please, thank your friend for us."

So, what does alligator taste like? No, not like chicken. More like pork, a veeery chewy pork. Interesting. Not bad.

In many ways, my family eats much as I did while growing up. We are, after all, a large family with a slightly-less-than-modest income. The difference is that when an opportunity presents itself to try something new and unusual, we jump at it. No longer do I think people who eat differently are odd. Well, with the exception of those who eat escargot. They're just weird.

December 2, 2011

On The List

My kids are so weird.

Like many children, as Christmas draws near they dream of what they might find under the tree on Christmas morning. If I ask them they are full of suggestions. They have lists and they are only too happy to share those lists with me. Scraps of paper, often fully and colorfully illustrated, are waved under my nose, requiring immediate inspection. Gift receiving occasions are few and far between in this house. I always expect my children to make the most of the opportunity and have yet to be disappointed.

Topping this year's lists?

A cactus, an alarm clock, and a pomegranate.

Oh yeah. I would have guessed those very things. Don't all kids deep down in their hearts wish for a cactus? No? Huh...

That darn cactus has shown up on the twins' lists for a few years now. I'm still not entirely sure just what they find so appealing about cacti, but there it is. Maybe it's because they were born in Texas? Perhaps love of spiky desert plants was infused into them  by the Texas air I breathed while they were in utero? I have yet to fulfill this wish. You see, my children touch things. I'd rather not spend all my time trying to remove almost invisible spines from their tender fingers.

I do understand Brendan's desire for an alarm clock. He likes to get up before everyone else and have a little time to himself. So do I. That is the reason he will most likely not find an alarm clock under the tree this year.

Pomegranates are tasty. They are pretty. They are fun to eat. They also fit nicely into my budget. I think I can manage this one.

Such funny wishes. They do like toys, music, and books as much as any other kid does, but those things are lower on their lists. I must admit, they come by it naturally. I once told a Christmas party Santa I wanted a pillow for Christmas. I have no idea why I said it. My poor mother. Santa just looked at her. Pitiful.

I wonder what that Christmas party Santa would think of my children's Christmas lists.

November 25, 2011

Sneaky Holiday

Okay, I wasn't completely caught off guard. I knew it was coming. I had even purchased turkey. I had put some thought into it. Apples were in the bowl, potatoes were in the drawer, and cranberries waited in the fridge. I made sure of it. And yet, somehow, I kept thinking Thanksgiving was further away. It just sort of sneaked up on me, what with the Whooping Cough and all...

The last few days my house has been filled with words like Pertussis, quarantine, and  "Quick, wipe the baby's face before he gets snot on everything!"

That reminds me. I have a question for you. Why do babies take it as a personal insult whenever someone even thinks of wiping their noses?  Really. Any time I approach Joey with a tissue in my hand he looks at me like he has just met his arch-nemesis. "So, Mama, we met again. What weapon do you bring against me this time? Another tissue? Hah! You think you can wipe my nose? You and what army?" He's very determined.

He is also very generous. Joey was not content to keep the cough to himself. He happily shared with two of his siblings.  This made nighttime in our household downright musical. In the wee hours, as I rocked my snuffly baby boy in the living room, a symphony of coughing could be heard coming from the bedrooms upstairs. There is real talent there. I'm thinking of taking them on tour.

So much to be thankful for - doctors and medicine (even the yucky tasting kind), our new home, my husband's job, having my children all under my roof... GOD IS SO GOOD!
This Thanksgiving was our first big holiday here at Cold Anchor Farm. I can't wait for Christmas! Hopefully we won't have the plague.

November 21, 2011

Children of the Corn

Did you ever watch that movie? For the record, I am NOT, into horror movies. Nope, nope, nope. Not a fan. I tried once, but decided to forgo further attempts when I discovered watching an entire movie with your hands over your eyes leaves red marks on your face. That, and for some reason asking "What's happening now?" every ten seconds seems to annoy people.

Yeah. No more scary movies for me. Now, my hubby does watch scary movies; though he prefers the old-school, cheesy, B-movie classics, like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. As a kid he watched Children of the Corn and has never run through a cornfield since. He says they're creepy. (He says red doors are creepy, too, but that's another story...)

I rather like the cornfields that almost completely surround our farm. Never having watched a movie about evil children living in cornfields, I find them charming. Our neighbor has begun harvesting the corn in his field, but seeing we had no snow fence up to protect our long driveway from drifting snow, he offered to leave several rows of stalks along our property line. Wasn't that nice? In exchange, he wondered if we would be willing to pick the corn off the standing stalks for him.

Hey, where did my husband go? Wasn't he standing here next to me a moment ago? Cleaning the garage? Now? Fine. The kids and I would pick the corn ourselves. No problem.

And it wasn't. The corn was simple to twist off the stalks. It wasn't even the tiniest bit creepy out there.

No evil children here.

Just Mary and Brendan... fighting...
Hey! Get back to work!

That's better.

All done.

Now, inside to warm up. Maybe we'll watch a movie...

Winnie the Pooh, anyone?


November 19, 2011

Knock, Knock

Did you hear that sound?

Knock, knock.

There it goes again! Is someone knocking on a door? Yes! How exciting!

We finally have a bathroom door on our second floor bathroom! An actual, solid, can't-see-through-it door! Oh joy! Oh rapture!

When we bought our beloved old farm house this summer we knew it had a long list of unfinished projects that came with it. Ever optimistic, I was certain we would complete the top ten items within days of moving in. Hmm... Yeah... About that...

A bathroom door was pretty high on the list. Not that I am used to complete privacy in the powder room. I gave up on that idea long ago. Privacy is a foreign concept to my youngest. Even my older children, who want privacy for themselves by the way, seem baffled by the thought that mom might not want company in the bathroom.

"You want to be alone? How come?"

It is not uncommon for someone to barge in while I am soaking in the hot water and attempt a conversation through the shower curtain. My response:

"Are you bleeding? No? Is the house on fire? No? You just want to chat? Um... No. Go away." (sigh)

That was back when we lived in a house that had a bathroom door. Imagine how much privacy one gets when there is only a piece of fabric tacked up over the doorway. Well, not anymore!

Matt and David wrestled the new door up the stairs. "I'll put it up this weekend" Matt said, leaning the door against the wall in the hallway. "Wouldn't you rather put it up tonight?" I asked. Apparently I asked in that "I sound like I'm requesting, but I'm really insisting" tone, because Matt gave me that look and immediately began grumbling. It sounded something like "grumble, grumble...find my tools.... mumble, mumble... drag them all the way up here... grumble, mumble... shims, level, saw..."

An hour later even Matt had to smile. There before us, in what was once a big old gap in the wall, was a beautiful new door. It closed. It opened. It had a lock!

Now I'm off to check this project off the list... then close the bathroom door and take a nice  hot bath all - by - myself.

November 18, 2011

She's Quacking Me Up

I heard someone behind me as I sat at my desk.
Mary's little hand stretched out and set something on the keyboard.
"It's a present." she whispered before tip-toeing away.

Looking down I saw this staring at me:

What would I do without her?

November 17, 2011

Where I’m From

I am from Coffee Mugs and Diaper Pins,

From Lipton Tea,

And Cheerios.

I am from the Old Farmhouse on the Rise

Where Echoes of Noisy Children Are Heard Within and Without.

I am from Apple Trees, Dandelions, and River Rocks,

Climbing Trees, Lilacs, and Sticks

Wielded Like Swords by Play-Fighting Boys.

I’m from Advent Candles

And Storytelling.

From Listening to Uncles Play Guitar in the Hayloft,

And Exploring Trinkets on Grandma Connie's Dressing Table.

I’m from the Musically Talented

And Loving.

From Go to Sleep So Santa Will Come,

And Always Say Your Prayers.

I’m From Catholic Since Birth

Seeking Holiness in the Ordinary.

I’m from Ireland, Russia, Mexico,

From Enchiladas and Potato Soup.

From Folding Newsletters With Papa,

And Singing Old Mr. Garret With Mom.

From Framed Pictures On My Walls,

And My Parent’s Home In Bakersfield

Holding Photo Albums Lovingly Compiled Showing

Where I Am From.

My Mom and Papa with their eight children - including me!

 Thanks to Lisa at Are We There Yet? for sharing this cool template!

November 15, 2011

Out With The Old...

Not long ago, we attended a Change of Command ceremony. I found parts of it quite interesting. My children? Not so much. During one of the speeches I held this whispered conversation with Alex:

Alex: Mom, how come grown-ups like stuff like this?

Me: Stuff like what?

Alex: You know - blah, blah, blah, talking. Don't you think it's boring? Why don't you look bored?

Me: (sighing a little) Lots of practice.

Alex: You mean all the grown-ups here are bored and pretending they're not? Well, when I'm a grown-up, I'm never doing anything boring. I'm going to be an exciting person all the time!

I can't wait to see how that works out for him.

The speeches may not have been very exciting for Alex, but other parts of the ceremony were. I do have to admit, seeing Matt in his dress uniform, piping aboard commanding officers gave me a thrill. We don't usually get to see him at his work. It was the whole reason we attended. The kids were all so proud of their daddy.  After the ceremony they swamped Matt, touching his uniform, running their hands over his ribbons, tugging on the intricate lanyard he had made. Joey even tried his hand at piping. Watching his youngest son slobbering all over his Boatswain's pipe, Matt grimaced a bit and took little Joseph to play with the bell instead. What a good daddy.

There was cake. The kids got to play in Matt's office. They ran around in the gym. And in the end, even Alex decided it had been time well spent.

November 14, 2011

'Til The Cows Come Home

Getting up early is one thing I have in common with our dairy farm neighbors. I keep my lights off so as not to wake my husband or children, but I always seem to rise just as the lights are coming on at the farmhouse across the road. No, I don't have to get up to milk any cows. In the early hours of the morning, or what normal people like to think of as "For crying out loud, it's still the middle of the night!", I quietly make my way into the living room and settle into my husband's reclining chair, lean against my beloved heating pad, and try to breathe through the spasms that grip my shoulders and back. It has become my routine.

I marvel at the resolute industry these farmers display. While I sit in the warmth of my living room listening to the snores drifting out of the children's bedrooms, my neighbors are pulling on their boots and trudging out to their barns to begin the day's labor. At least, that's what usually happens.

A couple mornings ago my husband, Matt, was actually up before I was. He had to head to work extra early and was just starting the coffee when I walked in. "Go look out the front window" he urged me. A surprising sight greeted my bleary eyes.

Apparently, our neighbors have rebellious cows. Through the darkness, by the glare of flashing red and blue lights I spied one sheriff's patrol car driving slowly up the road, while another was driving slowly down the road. Between them a herd of cows guiltily plodded, looking for all the world like naughty children caught with their collective hands in a cookie jar. Maybe, tired of milk, they had gone on a beer run. This is Wisconsin after all. Maybe they had snuck out to crash a party held by cows down the road. Perhaps a secret cow fight club? What ever they had been up to, they weren't talking.

The early morning round-up has been the talk of the town. It was reported in the local police blotter. My husband even heard about those naughty cows over the radio on his way in to work the next day. And to think it all happened right out my front window. I guess getting up a little early has it's advantages.

November 13, 2011

If Only I Had Known

My husband, Matt, walked through the hallway carrying little Joey in his arms. One of Matt's co-workers piped up, "Hey Boats, where'd you get the baby? Mail order?"

Mail order? I wish someone would have told me. Apparently I've been doing it wrong all these years.

November 12, 2011

There's Always Tomorrow

I had a plan. I had a list. Everything was going to go smoothly and I was going to get so much done. There is after all that moment, first thing in the morning, when the whole day stretches out before you like an empty notebook just waiting to be filled.

I had my cup of coffee in my hand and the sun was beginning to peek over the distant trees. Everything was possible. All the children's school work would be completed before lunch. Every box still stacked against the walls would be unpacked. Every stitch of clothing in the laundry would be washed, folded, and put away. The shopping would be done. The garage would be cleaned out. That Christmas program I was supposed to put together for church would be finished, never mind that I hadn't even started it yet. Where there was daylight, there was hope!

Plus, Matt was home. It would be just like that daydream where I cloned myself and got twice as much done. Just because it had never once happened that way in the 20 years I had been married to the man was no reason to doubt it now. Today would be awesome!

First I'd just check my email...

Enough of that. Time to make breakfast.

Wait. Why is there a yellow puddle on the kitchen floor? Ugh. "Where is the dog?" Well, I'll just clean that up right quick.

What a treat to have daddy with us at the breakfast table on a weekday! We should have something special. It will only take a few extra minutes. Okay, breakfast is done. What's next?

Time for everyone to get dressed. "What do you mean you have no clean shirts? What about the clothes I sent to your room yesterday?" ...sigh... "Check the dryer. No? Check your bedroom floor."

Spelling tests. Check. Math lessons. Check. Fussy baby? Check. It's a good thing he's so darn cute!

Shopping list completed. "Shall we go after lunch? What? A doctor appointment? Oh dear! I had forgotten!"

Doctor's appointment first, shopping after.

Shopping takes longer than usual. Baby Joey is now in a happy mood and smiles at everyone in the store. Everyone in turn stops to smile back and say hello to Joey. The store is crowded. That's a whole lot of folks to stop and say hello.

Before we leave town we make an oh-so-quick stop at the second-hand store. They may have snow boots for sale. "Don't worry. We'll be fast as can be. I'm only looking for snow boots!"

Now leaving the second-hand store with a bag full of children's books. "Snow boots? Oh yeah. I almost forgot. We'll try one more store..."

Everyone is now tucked into bed and I'll soon slide beneath the covers,too. What of my grand plans? What of my list? Well, there's always tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. I'll grab that list and and get to work. I'll start at the top and check everything off as I go. I know I can do it. I'll have all day. I just know tomorrow's gonna be awesome!

November 9, 2011

First Snow

It's still coming down, only the flakes are larger now. This morning as I let the dogs back in I stepped out on to the porch for a moment to watch tiny white specks mingle with the drizzle that was falling. The world was so quiet, all sound muffled except for a very soft shoosh-ing sound as the rain/snow made contact with the ground. The rain gradually gave way to a full snow storm which covered everything in sight with a thick layer of heavy, wet flakes.

I know I will have to deal with icy roads, snow shovels, sopping wet boots and gloves that leave cold puddles on my floors. There will be cutting wind, frozen noses, and childrens' jackets shed and left in a pile rather than hung on the hooks provided. I know all that comes with white weather. We have lived with it for a few years now.

I know these things, but do not allow my thoughts to linger in their company. Those thoughts are pushed aside and quickly replaced by a sudden desire for hot chocolate and Christmas music. The world has been clothed in brilliant white and looks so fresh and new. The old tree in our front yard has been embraced by snow on one side only - leaving it's dark trunk exposed on the other. It is so very beautiful.

I anticipate a cozy morning of snuggling under blankets on the couch, reading aloud to my children the new book I have been saving, a quiet, sleepy day of looking out our windows at the sparkling wonderland that surrounds us, while being enveloped by the toasty warmth of our new home...

Then the children wake. I hear excited voices and loud thumping on the stairs. Like a crash of rhinos they rush into the living room. For a brief moment five little faces are pressed against the windows surveying the scene outside. Remind me to wash those windows later. As quickly as the room filled it was emptied again. Children in pajamas and bare feet were now outside dancing around in the wet, white stuff. They weren't quiet about it either. Oh my goodness! What will our new neighbors think? So much for my cozy, peaceful day.

We are not ready for cold weather, much less snow. Snow pants, boots, scarves and mittens were still packed away in moving boxes. Had they been packed neatly and clearly labeled making them easy to find? Of course not. We live in a new place, but I am the same old me. The search was on. Baby Joey has not been well and decided that I should spend my morning holding him in my arms. This left the chore of locating snow clothes and boots to my older children. They did a pretty good job. In short order children were decked out in snow pants that almost fit, mismatched gloves, and  an assortment of boots that I was reassured would keep toes warm until I could buy new ones.

Anytime there was a break in lessons the children slipped outside where they made trails, huge snowballs that got bigger and bigger as they were rolled down-hill, snow angels, and a sign, in cursive no less, that said UFOs land here.

The children eventually came in with happy, frozen faces where they were tucked into blankets on the couch, given mugs of hot chocolate, and were read to from a new book saved for just such an occasion. There is a pile of wet boots and jackets on the floor by the door begging to be picked up. And I am feeling sleepy and content in the toasty warmth of my new home, peering out the window at the sparkly wonderland that surrounds me.

November 7, 2011

Cheery Joe

Baby Joey loves his Cheerios!
Oh the joy of it! Oh the enthusiasm! Oh the happy family doggy!

Wishful Thinking

Six-year-old Mary has informed me that sometimes she just needs a little solitude. Yes, she said "solitude".
In this house?
Good luck with that, Sweetheart.

Back to Blogging

I'm baaack!

It feels so good to be blogging again after a three year break. There have been a few changes for our family since then. When I ended my Muddy Bathwater blog in 2008 we still lived in our tiny house in the woods and thoughts of a new baby in the family were not even on the horizon. Now, enjoying the morning sun pouring itself over the sills of my farmhouse living room, nursing my snugly baby boy, I am feeling blessed beyond measure.

Of course, some things will never change. We are still noisy. We are still busy. My family is still filled with crazy people, and I still enjoy every one of them.

I'm so glad you stopped by!