Monday, June 29, 2009

Pick Up Lines for Two Year Olds

Last night at a church program, I took Ruby out to feed her.
Elijah and Christopher came with me and we sat outside the doors of the sanctuary.

Two or our pastor's kids were also there--Peter (10) was watching Hannah (2).

Elijah went over to Hannah and sat next to her.

Elijah: "Hi, Han-nah."

Hannah: stares back, then smiles.

Elijah: "Hey Han-nah---I drive a skidloader."

Hannah: stares back, clearly impressed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Potty Training

Finally, someone who understands
what I go through as the
Woman Who Cleans the Bathroom
in a House Where Five Males Use the Toilet.

I don't think I was prepared for
the realization that
potty training never ends...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who do you love?

Elijah and I were snugglin' in the big recliner.
I said, "Elijah."
He said, "What."
I said, "I love you."
He said, "Mm-hmm. I love Bapa."


Friday, June 19, 2009

Swing, baby, swing

Remember when I said I need to enjoy my kids more?

Well, I'm trying.

I took them to the lake this afternoon.
We were the only ones there--I love that, and so do they.

The water was cold--June-uary in MN will do that.
They played and splashed and ran in and out and in and out of the water.

Then to dry off in preparation for going home time, we went over to play on the swings and the slide.

And even I swung. Or is it swang? I think it's swung.


My point is that I played with them, and we laughed, and I said silly things like "I can't understand why you guys like this--I feel like I'm going to fall!" and "I feel car-sick." and "Boy, after awhile, the motion sickness kind of wears off--this is fun!"

And they laughed at me, and I laughed because I was having fun.
Not because of something funny one of the children said or did, not because it was particularly funny to see this mother of seven on a bright yellow playground swingset--but because it was fun.
And it made me laugh.

We played the silly games of trying to swing together--where you are going back and forth in sync with another swinger child who is swinging. And we laughed about that.

And when I said, "How do I stop?" they laughed and Andrew was yelling, "Just drag your feet--and stop pumping!"

We finished our swinging and headed back for the van that we affectionately call the bus.
On the way home, I heard more than one "That was SO fun."

Linnea chimed in with, "This day would be more funner if we could have pizza!" and I didn't even correct her grammar. It took a supreme effort, I'll tell you that.

I said we had a couple frozen pizzas we could make and she said, "YAY!!! It is more funner!"
Then Nathaniel, who's grammar I have corrected for more years than Linnea, said, "MORE FUN."

To which Linnea replied, "whatever."

It was a good day.
A fun day.
A memorable day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Care and Keeping of a Wife

From an actual conversation between Isaiah and me:

Me: You guys are going to have some really great stories for your own kids when you're older. A lot of "when your dad and I were kids, boy..."
Except your stories will all be for your nieces and nephews, since I know you aren't planning to get married. (When Isaiah was about 4 he declared he was not going to be a dad when he grew up. He would be an uncle, because uncles have money and dads never do...)

Isaiah: inaudible shoulder shrug

Me: Who is going to cook for you and do your laundry?

Isaiah: I know how to do all that.

Me: I know--but if you had a wife, she'd have to do it. (a little tongue-in-cheek, lest you think me totally oppressed)

Isaiah: I'd hire a servant.

Me: But you'd have to PAY a servant--a wife does all that stuff for FREE!

Isaiah: Yeah, but I'd have to feed her.

I guess I couldn't argue with that...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If you ever look over to the right, you would see that I like to read Bean's Mommy's blog,
and bean makes three.
(It's right over there, under the heading "Blogs I Like to Read." I'm kind of mysterious about things like that...)

I am learning SO MUCH about how to enjoy being a Mommy from this woman!

She has an amazing talent for writing, but even better--she loves her baby Paisley so beautifully!

Many times, my attitudes about messes and fussing and all-things-little-people have been exposed for what they are---
I don't enjoy my kids enough.

There, I said it.

I need to enjoy my kids more.

There, I said that, too.

I'm going to work on that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Wuv Mine Brudder

Can you feel the love?


My friend Angie (a fellow homeschooling mom) sent this to me.

Two women meet at a playground where their children are swinging and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk.

Woman1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts --helps me keep track of them.
Woman 2: (Smiles) I'm Patty. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?
W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.
W2: Wow! Where do you find the time?
W1: We homeschool, so we do it during the day most of the time.
W2: Some of my neighbors homeschool, but I send my kids to public school.
W1: How do you do it?
W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the kids every day after school and stay real involved.
W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for natural relationships?
W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends who're homeschooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.
W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worry about all the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they're so isolated from real life -- how will they know what the world is like -- what people do to make a living -- how to get along with all different kinds of people?
W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring real people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and a doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month, we're having a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.
W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week, and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were absolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his wife and their three children.
W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural Day.
W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.
W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two other schools to visit that day. It's a system wide thing we're doing.
W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting in the grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for dinner.
W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store --certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man hadn't spoken English?
W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it. Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do with all the oranges he was buying.
W2: Your child talks to strangers?
W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's with me, he can talk to anyone he wishes.
W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children never talk to strangers.
W1: Not even when they're with you?
W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it's so important for them to understand that talking to strangers is a big no-no.
W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet interesting people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the real world, in real settings. They'd also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is dangerous or suspicious.
W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health courses.
W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you my number--if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet you.

Author Unknown

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In the name of disease control

So I was "sunning myself" earlier this week.
(I hesitate to use the words "tanning" or "laying out", even though that is what I was doing. But I'm a homeschooling mother of 7, who lives on a farm--how could I possibly have time for a half hour of that???????????)

I had on a tank-top/cami-type shirt for this purpose. I had it on under another tank-top, because I don't like to wear anything with spaghetti straps. (What a weird term for a part of one's clothing.)
But I was trying to achieve a little more sun on my skin and so I took off the top tank-top and had on the tank-top/cami-type shirt, all in the name of preventing rickets, of course. I am all about preventing disease.

I told Linnea to tell me if someone was coming up on the yard so that I could put the other tank-top back on.
Someone like my father-in-law, for instance--who was coming up from parking a tractor and was going to talk to the kids (they were splashing in the pool and running through the sprinkler).

So I'm laying there...basking in the sun...and in the nearly-unheard-of 15 minutes of down time for Mom, when Linnea calls out:
"Mom, get your shirt back on! Grandpa's coming!"

For some reason, Grandpa didn't come all the way up on the lawn...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Over the past months, our family has seen God use the hands of our friends and family and strangers to bless us.
We've been given
*groceries--more than once; sometimes smaller amounts, and sometimes boxes of them
*money for groceries/household items--more than once
*a mixer
*a garden. Yes, a man from our church has spent days here, mentoring me and the children on gardening. He has planted two of them; one large one down between the barn and the road, and another up on the lawn--a "kitchen" garden.
*our son's way was paid for a youth trip to Colorado
*a van. (a 1989 Ford Club van, but it has 15 seats. Hey, at least we all fit in it--even if the seats are all a different color. If you see me comin' I won't feel bad if you laugh. Trust me, I am, too.)
*clothes, both gently used and brand-new
*rain gutters
*I know I'm forgetting something.

We have also been covered in prayer by many people.
We are so unworthy--and so blessed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The One Where There Is Too Much Talk About Poop

You may recall that my kids think I'm SuperMom.

They still do, though I have repeatedly proven I am sooo not.

Case in point:
From the back seat of the van on a recent expedition to town, Christopher chimes,
"Moommmm? What's that smell?"
I am always intrigued by that question. As if I know what their little noses are smelling!

"I don't know, Bipper. What do you think?" I inquire.

Andrew relates the following, "Mom, I think Christopher has poop on his cowboy boot."

I reply, "Actually, I don't think so, honey. I think he stepped in a marshmallow the other night when we were roasting them outside, and when he walked on the grass the sticky marshmallow picked up all kinds of grass and stuff from the lawn."

He says, "No, Mom. I think it's poop."

I say, "No honey, I looked at it just the other day. It's marshmallow."
Apparently even I think I'm SuperMom. As if I could confidently say that just because Bipper's boots were "poop-free" a few days ago that they would most certainly still be that way days later.
On a farm.
With two dogs.
Two big dogs.
And a bunch of cats.
And did I mention we live on a farm?

It was at this point that Isaiah leaned back to investigate.
"Ohhhhh. Mom--it's poop. And it stinks! I think it's dog poop."

I burst into gales of laughter. I found this to be incredibly funny. Me with my seven kids cruisin' in our oil-sucking, too-small-for-us mini-van--on a trip to town for groceries with poop on our footwear. Well, Christopher's footwear that is.

I could have gotten upset--but I chose instead to look at the humorous side of life on a farm with all these kids and animals.

I pulled over into an approach and Nathaniel--bless his heart--took the offensive boot and scraped it off in the grass and finished the job with his pocket knife. What a good big brother--and good son!

Just another day in my life...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Questions, questions...

I wish I could say that I thought up all of these...I don't even know who did.
I just know they made me laugh!

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars; but have to check when you say the paint is still wet?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when a revolver is thrown at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
If a man speaks in the woods and his wife isn't there to hear him, is he still wrong?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Life In Numbers

15: Number of years I have known my husband
7: Number of children we have
4,589,654: (approximate)Number of times a week I hear "Mmmmmmooooommmmmmmmmmm????????????"
60: number of showers/baths taken/given in a week at our house
6: average loads of laundry I do in a day
21: number of meals I cook each week
7: number of beds for the nine people in our family. One of those is a port-a-crib.
2: number of tv's we have, only one gets any channels. The other is for movies only.
4: number of channels we get
30: number of minutes my children are allotted for tv time each day
112: (approximate) number of diapers I change in a week
14: number of times our dishwasher runs each week
30: number of minutes I have to myself each day. (I go for a walk in the early morning.)
2: number of times I leave the farm each week. Once on Sunday for church and typically one other day. Some weeks, the only time we go anywhere is for church.
1: number of computers we have
55: number of cows my husband milks
6: number of goats our son owns
1: number of goats our daughter owns
2: number of dogs we have
270: number of acres my husband farms
3: number of children I have using one dresser
5,987: (approximate) number of pairs of footwear in our possession
4: number of bedrooms in our home
: seriously, the number of books we have
100: pairs of socks that we own, including "barn socks"
15-20: number of socks who have, sadly, lost their mate
5: number of owies I kiss each day
15: number of times I say "I love you" each day. I wish this number were higher.
immeasurable: how blessed we are
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