Cereal with Iron(y)

This morning I was asked what is for dinner.
(I should mention that earlier in the week I asked each child what they wanted for dinner this week,  E chose nachos, J chose fried shrimp, O chose pumpkin pancakes and breakfast stuff, R chose shrimp scampi and little A chose cereal)  Tonight is little A’s choice.  Which brings us back to the question I was asked as E stood in the kitchen this morning before school.
What is for dinner.
I looked up at her and said Cereal.
She instantly took on the face of an annoyed middle school girl (she has this look quite practice!) I asked “what?” she did not want cereal for dinner, she wanted “real food” (I am using quote marks because she said it in a tone that implied that cereal is not food)

Now for the IRON(Y)
I know you will enjoy this!
At least once a week she looks at the ‘real food’ I have prepared for dinner, and says in a middle school girl tone, “can I have cereal?”
Did you see it?  When I make ‘real food’ she asks for cereal, but when I decide that cereal is an actual family meal, she wants “REAL FOOD”
So for now, she is annoyed with me for making cereal for dinner, when I could have made “real food” that she would not eat but ask for cereal instead.

Go hug your kids and enjoy what ever ‘real food’ you choose to have for dinner
jen

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The First Day

Happy First Day of School my children. I pray that you are kind, to others, I pray that you are the one that people know they can trust, I pray that you speak to the lonely and that you include those left out. I pray that you know more of Jesus this year. That you will grow and learn and that you apply the things you learn. The world measures your success but God measures your heart. This year I pray your heart grows.

Go hug your kids, time moves too fast for this mama!
jen

January Snow… or not

So we live in the south, almost deep south, but not quite.  Sure we have had snow here in our area, but the last time was the late 70’s and the people who were here for it, still talk about it.  Frozen pipes, yup, we’ve had that, but actual snow… not since I’ve lived here for the last 35 years.  Carline drop off of 27degrees, sure every once in a blue moon, but only about 2x a calendar year.  When it is that crazy cold, I say we should have snow, because cold is cold is cold but snow…  sigh.  Most of my kids have never seen snow, and the time one of them saw snow he was  not yet 2 years old.  The oldest who has loved being in the big city, bright lights and all has had a few very snowy days, the college girl has had a few snowy adventures, going to open fields to ride sleds, and building snowmen on canceled class days.  The senior is looking at universities all to our north (but there is really not much to our south) he is sure to get snow and cold, at any of the places he chooses.

In order to celebrate January and snow, which I’ve established we don’t get…  I decorate for it.  Years and years ago I noticed how very sad my house looked after I took down the Christmas decorations.  I decided to leave up my snowmen, it grew after that.  Today I am going to share a few of my favorite Snow decorations with you.  My fire place, I love my fireplace, We have burned 1 fire so far this year.  It is lovely when we have one, and according to the weeks weather forecast we might get another chance to burn one this week.  (one day we will hang up the curtains over the book shelf but right now I love the light coming in)E made this super sweet snowman when she was in Kindergarten.To the right of the fireplace.  O and R searched for an app to store our books on, to make them easier to remember so I don’t buy duplicates like I did this year at Christmas.  At last count we have a grand total of 1698 books in our house.  (I have a few new ones to put on the app, pushing the total up when I get them all in)A close up of the shelf.  My sister gave me the birch bark vase last year, this month it is filled with sparkle sticks. To the left of the fire place.  I copied the sparkle houses from a picture I found online, I would link it up if I remembered where I found it.  I just know that she had no directions and they were in the middle of something, not the focus of the picture.The top of the cubbies found a little snowman fun this year.  I can’t decide if the gum ball jar of snowmen and bells is working or not?  
Look at all the cute glitterness!  Those are the little houses PS and I made the other day.

So there you have it
how was your January, did you make your own snow, or did you get real snow?
go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

Chasing My Thoughts…

Sometimes my mind races, in circles or down rabbit trails.
Sometimes it races towards disaster, the ‘What if’s’, and the ‘What will I do when…’  road.  That road is stressful, and often I start to panic and get upset.  It is very unsettling, I blame it on my creative mind.
Sometimes it slowly wanders all over the place, a ‘what about a beach trip, right now?’ or “I wonder how long it would take to drive up to C in that Great Big City and surprise him?’ ‘How will I ever survive with R gone next year?’ Sometimes messy, ‘so, if I want to make a dresser into an entertainment center, where can I get a hole saw? It is always fun to wander, often the plans are not even laid out, just day dreaming, all in good fun.

When my mind is wandering sometimes it is good for me to do a thoughtless task.  Scrubbing floors is the best thoughtless task I know to do, I don’t need to think, I just need to scrub.  Being down on my hands and knees facing the floor takes me away from distractions, lets my mind look inward, to pray, and let scripture chase away the cobwebs that are fogging up my mind, giving it a chance clear itself.  I have prayed hard for many situations down on my knees scrubbing the floors.  Sometimes I scrub them even when they are clean just so I can think and pray.  The benefit of that process is a clean floor and a clear mind.  I might not come to a solution but I can at least fully give that problem to God.  As scripture chases through my head, snippets of songs, and wise words spoken have a way of re-directing my thoughts and letting my anxiety ease up.  Another way I clear my mind is by crafting, or making things, sometimes with spray paint and brushes, or hot glue and a sewing machine.  I can focus on the task at hand and let my mind clean up and rest without forcing the issue.

Today my mind was racingSo I just let it create.
I had a few ideas I had been thinking about and today my mind needed a relaxing outlet a chance to create (really the floors could use a good scrub, but paint…much more fun)  I actually had planned on cleaning out, sorting, and organizing the craft areas (yes there is more than 1) so it looks more presentable, instead of like Hob’Lob threw up in my dining room.  But as soon as I picked up the first paintbrush to put it away, I blinked and we were in painting clothes.  We only painted white.  I had an idea, from a friend, and when I could not find what she suggested I went off-road and grabbed some cardboard and metal house ornaments, and 2 larger houses from HL to see if I could make my own idea work.

We worked together, PS and I, mostly in silence, while we painted, it was lovely.  A bath was needed to get all the paint and glitter off.  There are some ‘start point’ projects (A large February LOVE sign) and some things were completed, I just need to  glitter the larger houses when the paint is dry, then tall the houses will be done, I can display them in my January decorations for a few more days before it is time to pack it up for February.Glitter is my favorite!Over all I am pleased with the job and cannot wait for them to be fully dry before I display them in my January decorations.

What about you? What do you do when your mind is racing?  Do you work off your worry, do you drive through the country side, do you walk it off?
Go hug your kids, they need your love, and look for a way to help them when their minds race along faster than they can think.
jen

 

 

Splash Zone

You know those fountains at the outdoor malls?
They have the lovely ledge for sitting on, or running around…
Have you ever noticed the little warning?Please do not touch or stand on the fountain walls.
They could also add…
or run around.
I was too far away to even notice the sign, and little A went from jumping off ledges, planters, and cement stools, to running around this  fountain wall.

To FALLING into the fountain.She FELL IN THE FOUNTAIN and all I could do was laugh.  It is not too cold here in the southern state we are in, as you can see we are not wearing jackets just jeans and long sleeves. Thankfully R was with us to rescue her.  The look of shock on her face was so funny.

Lucky for her Gymboree had a great sale and I had a bag with a few summer outfits for her.  We went to  dry off and put on a new shorts set.

I wish we had been quicker with cameras to get a picture of her in the water.

What about you?  Have you ever fallen into a water feature at a mall?  Was the water cold?
Go hug your kids they need your love!
jen

Christmas in One Word

Christmas this year in a word was hard.
Said Child 3, “it feels like it never really happened, because what we were all waiting for did not happen.”
This is because the man-child, who is now really a man, but will always be my child, he had a work emergency, that became a ‘all hands on deck’ kind of emergency, and that meant all vacation plans were canceled.  He had, if you remember, moved off to the big city, bright lights and all.  He does some sort of computer work.  I cannot tell you exactly, and that is only because I don’t exactly know what he does.  Just computer-something…  I know he travels around for his work, to places like Paris in the spring (for 3 weeks) and that his job is important.  Anyway, way back in June he went in to ask for time off, knowing that he was low man on the totem pole, he went in asking for Christmas week off.  Christmas is his favorite holiday, everything from the familiar movies, tot he belly dancers on the city parade.  So for him to plan ahead from June to Christmas, is not surprising.
He had a work emergency, which was bigger than we imagined, he spent the entire week of planned vacation time working.  Our hearts were crushed, we held out hope even to the last minutes of Christmas eve.  We broke the sad news to our kids, who all were heartbroken.  We reminded them that this was God’s plan, and not our own, and that we can be sad, and cry, and that it was okay, to feel these emotions.  I put up a quote from Desiring God on my Facebook page,  “Tears are not the enemy. Tears do not reflect a lack of faith. Tears are a gift from God that help to wash away the deep pain of loss.”- Desiring God  I hope I guided my children through the time of brokenheartedness, in a loving and trusting way.  Sadness comes for a moment but Joy comes again in the morning, grief and sadness are all part of what makes us human, unique and in God’s image, we can embrace them not hide them or squelch the emotions we are feeling.  We pushed on with our Christmas plans, we had some face time with the man-child, and we were able to see him for a minute, not hug or hold him, but to see him.  I think if we had known from the beginning we would have been prepared for this. The surprise left us so unprepared, raw and unprotected from the grief.  So this Christmas held joys and cheers and happiness, but it was hard.
Very Hard.

God is good, and faithful, and we celebrated that!  Go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

The Bad Banana

Today, like any other day I threw things into lunch boxes and we rushed out the door.  Although if I am being honest, which I am, I only made little A’s lunch, 2 left early with their dad (if they want to go early they must pack their own lunch) and R had already made his lunch.  I packed a little container of Mac-n-cheese, so she could eat it cold, a pack of fruit snacks, a banana, a cookie, and a thermos of water.

11:00 I am shopping in Publix (Where shopping really is a pleasure) and my phone rings, I am actually startled because my Publix is a giant dead zone for cell phone service.  I answer it, the school nurse was on the line,  A threw up at lunch.  I beg her off on her dad, I was half way through the store, and really we do stomach bugs a lot so I was not worried about her and knowing my schedule for the next few days I really wanted to finish grocery shopping.  I picked her up 20 minutes later.

12:45 the school calls AGAIN E is now in the clinic and not feeling well.  She says it is her stomach, and she wants to come home.  I call Keith because the littles are now resting.  E comes home and goes right up to bed.

1:30 little A comes down from her room, can she watch some TV.  I asked her how her tummy felt.  “fine”  I asked her what made it hurt? “my banana”  I asked why? “the 2 big black spots were too yucky.

Here is what happened

A: My banana had 2 big black spots on it
M: why didn’t you just throw it away
A: I couldn’t
M: why (thinking they were supposed to be in their seats still)
A: blink blink blink (she has VERY BIG BLINKS)
A: ok
M: but why didn’t’ you throw it out?
A: because it was too mush and I needed a napkin
M: why didn’t you get a napkin
A: because it was too mush
(circles we talk in circles)
A: when I tried to pick it up the throw ups just came
M: where baby?
A: on my lunch box and the table
M: oh dear
A: blink blink blink
M: how did your banana turn so black at school? it was yellow when I put it in your lunch box
A: well, maybe because I put it around my back a few times. (showing me like a basketball warm-up drill) Than I dropped it 2 times.  BUT not at the same time,
M: oh, blink blink
M: ok well maybe next time you just eat your banana and not throw it around you back?
A: oh good idea mommy
A: now can I go watch netflix?

This people, this is why sometimes I don’t make any sense when I talk to adults, because my mind is still trying to process the bad banana and throwing up.

Go hug your kids, and tell someone you love them, time is just too short, I was reminded of this by the lady at the grocery store who said she wished she had a sweet little one to visit with while she shopped.  And told me how very lucky I am.  I agreed with her, PS was quick to charm her.   I love old people in the grocery store who say nice things to my children!  Although I have never had anyone make a mean comment to us ever.

jen