Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A lot of bloggers have chosen to make their Wednesday's posts wordless and just post a picture.  Since my head is foggy and my thoughts are all discombobulated today thanks to allergies, I thought I might give it a try.  I realize this post is not actually wordless now that I've written this ... oh well blame it on the fog :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

To the Point

My eyes are itchy, my nose is runny and my head is throbbing ... yup, it's hay fever season.  I can handle a day or two of the sniffles, but that ain't how hay fever rolls.  Even though I am lamenting the passing of summer and all its wonderfulness...

I am looking forward to fall.  Ya see folks, fall means frost and frost means no more hay fever and that's a VERY good thing in my book.  So until Mr. Jack Frost stops by for a visit in my neck of the woods, they say that a picture's worth a thousand words ...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When He Smiles

The Little Prince must be about to have some major developmental milestone.  It seems like just before a major growth spurt or the like, he gets extremely out of sorts.  This is usually coupled with a rough night or two, which is never fun.  For the past couple of days, he has been in full-on stinker mode and last night was just about sleepless for both of us.  I don't know about you, but I tend to be pretty ornery too when something (or someone) cuts in on my precious slumber time, so this is not boding well for the rest of my brood either.

The rugrat isn't sick, just throwing hellacious temper tantrums and getting into anything and everything.  When he hears "No!" "Stop!" or "Don't Touch!" the little poop does just the opposite.  Today he started drawing on things he shouldn't (like the furniture) and when Grandma tried to take the crayons away, he threw a handful of them right at her.  Such a delightful child ... not!

Just when I am ready to pack him up and ship him off to anywhere but here, he goes and does something like this ...

... and my heart melts. 

My little man is fully embracing the whole "Terrible Two" moniker right now.   I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass in the blink of an eye.  I won't go so far as to say I'll miss this stage, but I will miss the way his sweet little baby face shines when he turns on the charm.
"So quickly you grow with bounds and leaps but the sweetest memories are mine for keeps!"
Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finding the Good in Dirty Dishes

source: Pinterest
Today is like most other days on the ol' farmstead.  Clothes need to be laundered and put away.  Mouths need feeding and meals need to be made.  Dishes need washing and floors need sweeping.  Just another day like the one before and the one tomorrow.

No matter how much I get done today, tomorrow morning I will have to get up and do it all over again.  That is something that has often depressed me.  Some days I have  felt like "What's the point?" ... "Why even bother?"  As a mother of children living at home it's pretty much a given that I will never truly be finished with all of my household tasks.  Many times I have let that fact overwhelm me and cause me to look at all I have to do around the house with dread and self-pity.

But today, I have begun to feel a little differently about things.  Today God has spoken to me through the writings of others (yes, I confess I did a little web-surfing in an attempt to procrastinate and put off housework) and He has made me see that there is a point.  I should bother.

Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:17
The Message

It's not about the dirty socks.  It's not about the pile of pans in the sink or my chicklets asking when's dinner going to be ready for the hundredth time. It's about God.  It's about doing it because He calls me to.  It's about giving it my best not just to earn earthly thanks ... because let's face it, motherhood can be one of the most thankless jobs ... but as a way of showing God just how thankful I am for Him.

Don't just do it for my sometimes thankless family ... do it for God.

It's amazing that one little change in focus could make such a major change in my attitude towards my never ending to-do list.  Doing all things for the Glory of God makes even something like scrubbing toilets take on a greater purpose.  It's an opportunity for me to show God how truly thankful I am that I am His.

At least for today (hey I'm only human and may need a reminder or two or three again in the future)  I have shifted my focus heaven-ward.  In doing so, my load has been lightened and I can see my chores as not only ways to show God my thankfulness to Him, but reminders of the blessings He has given me.

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.
Author Unknown

Monday, August 22, 2011


Dear Munchkin,

Happy Birthday baby girl!  Six years old today ... wowee!  You are growing up so fast, do you think you could slow down just little bit?  Pretty soon i won't be able to call you Munchkin any more :)

It seems like only yesterday i was holding my little princess in my arms, now you never sit still long enough for me to barely get a hug in.  You have such a zest for living and I pray you never lose it.  Where you get your larger-than-life personality, I will never know.  I love how you break into song at the drop of a hat ... singing about whatever is rocking your world at the moment.  You are my little drama queen.  The world is your stage and you LOVE your audience. I don't know what God has planned for you Boo-bird, but I'm sure it's something B-I-G and I am so glad I am blessed to have a front row seat for it all!

Love ya!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The Geek is usually what I would call a subtle romantic.  He rarely writes me love notes.  He does not regularly sing me love songs or buy me a bouquet of beautiful flowers.  Although he has done all of those things, he normally shows his love in sublte, less "romantic" ways.  He does the grocery shopping and most of the cooking.  He changes poopy diapers without complaining.  He washes his fair share of dishes and takes out the trash.  He lets me know I am loved by doing all those "everyday things" that need doing all without being asked.   But every once in a while he does something BIG.  Something over the top.  Something unexpected that takes my breath away and makes me feel so very loved.  Something like this:

The Geek gave it to me with the promise to try and make sure I have the opportunity to ride it as often as possible.  I am blessed beyond measure to be able to be a stay-at-home mama, but there are times when I just need a little break from the craziness.  Not only do I need to exercise my body, I need to stretch my mind.  I need time alone to lose myself in thought (and prayer) or I may just lose what little sanity I have left.  I love my chicklets to the moon and back, but every mama hen needs to take care of her heart and soul or she won't have anything left to take care of her brood, and I am no exception.  I am hoping that riding this bike will be able to provide some of that much needed "self-care" to me.

I love that this bike is called "Sanctuary" ... another "God-instance" (as opposed to coincidence) if you ask me.  It couldn't be more perfect for me... and neither could the Geek :)

“Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul.”
Christopher Forrest McDowell

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Birthday Wishes for the One I Love

happy birthday to the man who makes my heart sing!

may God bless you today and always!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Keeping it Simple

I am in the midst of getting ready for a birthday party this evening and I am wondering why is it that the amount of time I have to prepare my home for guests is inversely proportional to the amount of preparation necessary? In other words my house is a wreck and I don't have enough time to clean it before my guests arrive ... Ack!

I am trying to convince the Little Prince that it is indeed nap time so that this Mama Hen can shake a tail feather and get the ol' farmstead in ship shape before the birthday festivities commence this evening, but he is so not cooperating.  We are throwing a three-for-one party tonight ... the Geek's birthday is tomorrow, the Munchkin's is Monday and we never officially celebrated Boy Wonder's big #13 with the extended family ... oops!

I don't know when birthday parties started to require a theme, but I'm doing a little revolting and going "old school" this time. I am bucking the trend and keeping simple this year.  The menu includes an easy fettuccine alfredo, garlic bread and antipasto salad for dinner.  For dessert I've  baked a  birthday cake from mix and used frosting from the can.  As for decorations, well the cake serves double duty and if Grandpa wakes up in time and heads to town, there will even be a few balloons.   I want my chicklets to remember the love and laughter of family that surrounds them on their special day.  I'd also like the chance to enjoy the party myself. Too often I'm racing around like a chicken with her head cut off, I don't even get to visit with any of the guests, but not this year. 

I may do a theme again in the future, but then again maybe not.  We'll see how it goes.  Maybe it's just the funk I've been in lately, but sometimes simple is best don't you think?

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Hans Hofmann

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In a Funk

Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it
Jacques Prévert

Not sure why, but I've been in a bit of a funk for the last few days.  Maybe it's because summer's winding down and I didn't get to do everything I had hoped to this year.  Maybe it's because no matter how much laundry I do, I can never seem to get ahead of it. Maybe it's because Boy Wonder and the Munchkin are constantly bickering.  Maybe it's because the Little Prince is getting frustrated that he doesn't yet have the words to get his point across so he resorts to the "oh so unpleasant" temper tantrum.  Maybe it's because I've got a birthday party to plan (for the Munchkin) and the house is an absolute mess.

Maybe it's all of those things combined.  It just might be the whole pile of "little things" that has this Mama Hen out of sorts.  I don't know for sure.  Whatever it is, I do know it will pass.  It always does.  There ain't nothing a little time (and copious amounts of chocolate) can't fix!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Junk in the Trunk

I need more "stuff" for the ol' farmstead as much as I need a hole in my head, but I just can't resist a good estate/garage sale and this past weekend there was a doozy of a sale.  It was similar to the World's Longest Garage Sale but not nearly as long.  However, at almost 200 miles it was pretty impressive.  We didn't manage to "do" the whole thing, but I'd say we got in over 100 miles of it.
This was probably the most unusual item we saw while out and about:

Did we get some junk?  Some might think so, but you know what they say,"One man's junk is another man's treasure"  (Incidentally, I looked up the meaning of  "junk in the trunk" just to make sure it didn't have some  obscene meaning I wasn't aware of  ... you never know with slang ... and one of the definitions was "one man's junk is another man's treasure" ... too funny!)

Here's a some of the "treasures" we collected along the way ...
  • 2 toy horses
  • a Barbie doll ... free
  • 4 children's Christmas books ... for my ever growing collection
  • 1 pretty pinkalicious princess dress (actually a circa 1980' prom dress)
  • several car emblems/hood ornaments including a prized Mustang ... for Boy Wonder's bedroom walls 
  • a baby doll
  • a sundress
  • a Little Mermaid DVD ... only 25 cents!!!
  • a cabinet for the bathroom (blog post and before/after pics coming soon)
  • a dresser top hutch (for another project I'll blog about later)
  • 2 free toy trucks
  • 1 free "Lurkey the Turkey" Beanie Baby ... people use to pay top dollar for those, now they're giving them away!
  • a Pyrex pie plate (the brood says it's time to bring back Friday Pie Day)
  • several Matchbox cars
  • a beautiful sterling silver & ruby ring ... free because the shop owner thought the Munchkin had a pretty smile
  • several vintage pillowcases at a price I couldn't refuse ... $1.00 for the lot
  • a Phil Collins CD ... needed some tunes for the ride:)

and this sweet milk glass butter dish ... I have become a firm believer that if you can't use it there's really no point in having it. That said, I already own one of these, but unfortunately it is showing some serious wear and tear. I couldn't refuse this replacement at a whopping $2.00! By the way, it's sitting on a vintage apron the gentleman threw in when I purchased the vintage pillowcases. How could I refuse?

We treated the older chicklets to a few runs down a big slide we passed along the way. I remember going to the one at our local mall when I was a wee one. It's gone now except for the memories.  This stop was a definite highlight of the trip for the chicklets.

I am sure we spent more on gas then we did on our loot, but it was worth it.  It was such a lovely drive.  The chance to score some "treasure", forget about our "to-do lists" for a while and just enjoy the adventure made it an ideal way to spend a day. 

Forever is composed of nows.
Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

paper + scissors + me = happy

I am often accused of being childish. I prefer to interpret that as child-like. I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I tend to exaggerate and fantasize and embellish. I still listen to instinctual urges. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. I never water my garden without soaking myself. It has been after such times of joy that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work.
Leo F. Buscaglia

Ever since I got my first pair of scissors way back in kindergarten I have always loved to cut paper.   I don't know what it is, but I have always enjoyed folding up a piece of paper and making a few snips here and there and then opening it up to admire my creation.  I never made anything I would really call "art", in fact I never got much further than some intricate snowflakes ... until today.

The Munchkin was looking through this book that I recently checked out of the library. I haven't read it all, but what I'd seen so far had really got me itching to do something crafty.  When my little chickie saw an example of Scherenschnitte (ie. the German word for the art of paper cutting) and said "Mama, how did they do that?" I jumped at the chance to play with scissors.  I  mean, I figured what better way to explain something than by doing a little demonstration, right?  Roughly following a pattern in the book (I free handed the pattern rather than tracing it), I took scissors to paper and came up with this: 

So how did I do?  Personally, I was surprised it came out so good for a first try.  Just imagine what I could have done had I not been using some extremely sub par scissors and a piece of cheap construction paper.  One thing is for sure, this will not be this Mama Hen's last attempt at the fine art of Scherenschnitte ...  I am smitten! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Veggie Tales

One of the things I love most about August is the abundance of locally grown fresh vegetables.  Nothing compares to eating corn on the cob for dinner that was still on the stalk in the morning.  I've never eaten a store bought cucumber that tastes as good as one from my local farmer's market.  Don't even get me started on the virtues of farm fresh vs. hot house tomatoes! 

We have tried to grow our own, but we've been "blessed" with the clay soil that refuses to grow anything but weeds.  Every spring we plot out and prepare our garden.  We head to the local garden center and eagerly pick out a bevy of vegetable plants.  We plant our little plants and envision the harvest we will reap in late summer ... and every year we are disappointed.  What rabbits and deer don't eat, doesn't grow despite our best efforts. 

Well to be honest, there's a bit more preparation we could do.  We could get a load of compost and amend the soil ... but we always seem to never be able to find the time.  One of these years maybe we'll give up on the whole idea of a garden, but I doubt it.  It's that hope of things to come that keeps us in the game.

Kind of a metaphor for life, don't cha think? 

This is God's Word on the subject: ... I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Jeremiah 29:11
The Message (MSG)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sweet Sunday

Of all the days that's in the week
I dearly love but one day
And that's the day that comes betwixt
A Saturday and Monday.
Henry Carey

Of all the days of the week, I think Sundays are the sweetest.  With the exception of beginning our day by going to church ... it's a day we make very little plans for.  It seems that our lives are filled from dawn to dusk with to-do lists a mile long, but on Sundays we get the chance to tuck those lists away for awhile. 
Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.
Joseph Addison
Sunday is a day for sitting on a chair under a shade tree and just listening to the sounds on the farm.
It's a day for sipping ice cold lemonade out of a frosty glass.
It's a day for watching the clouds roll by.

Sunday is a day for curling up with a good book (or the Good Book if I'm so inclined)  and losing myself for a few hours in the words on the pages. 

It's a time for slow walks around the yard or a leisurely drive around the country side ... making sure to take time to notice God's handiwork along the way. 

Sundays are the sweet spot in the craziness of this season of my life.  Without them, I'd be a goner.

The feeling of Sunday is the same everywhere, heavy, melancholy, standing still.
Jean Rhys

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lunch Date

I know I'm on a sort of self imposed "vacation" from blogging this week, but I couldn't let this go without mentioning.  I had lunch with a very dear friend of mine today. She has been a part of my life for so long now ... about 25 years.  Wowza, that's more than half my lifetime!  She is truly one of the nicest people I have ever been blessed to be able to call "friend". 

Whenever we get together, she always comes with lots of "goodies" and today was no exception.   Today's booty included scrapbooking supplies for me and my chicklets, clothes for the Munchkin and the Little Prince and lots of books for my brood.  There were even several fresh cucumbers from her garden .... nothing like garden fresh cukes!  It was almost like Christmas morning.  I felt so bad I had nothing to give her in return and swear the next time I see her I will not come empty handed.

Dear Sweet Friend,

I just want to tell you Thank You.  Thank you for the gifts you have given me, especially for the gift of your friendship all these years.  I thank God for you and I can't imagine my life without you in it! 

May God Bless You Always!

"I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me.
I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day,
as you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way." 
Edgar A. Guest

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to ???

I was going to call this post "Back to Normal", but things are never really all that normal around here.  Thanks to the mayhem that is fair week, the ol' farmstead is a little lot on the sloppy side right now. It's so much easier to just let housework slide when you're away from home for 14 hours a day.  I have to keep reminding myself it was worth it because boy, I sure have my work cut out for me now!  Of course I'll get plenty of willing help from the chicklets, but it's hard to inspire the troops when you yourself would rather just sit and sip lemonade.

If it's all the same to you, I'm going take a few days off from blogging and just chill (if that's even possible in this 90 degree heat).  I might do a little catching up on my to do list.  Topping the list? Giving my brood a few extra hugs --- there's a lot of long faces now that the excitement of fair is behind us and their cousins have gone home.   But then again I just might follow Pooh's advice and do a little nothing.

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.
Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

Have a good week and I'll be back next week or sooner if I feel so moved :)