April 28th . 2016

Small Victories

As I collapse and reflect at the end of another week, it seems like I would feel defeated. Bastien started off this week with a strep throat diagnosis that he’s probably been carrying for months.

That very same Bastien has had behavioral problems at school for months now and for the first time ever he got sent home this week. This is a LONG story in which he horrified his class by announcing I was going to chop off his head and boil it. Having gotten to the bottom of this story, I will forever stand by his side (and my own for that matter) proclaiming innocence. But it is all very wearisome nonetheless.

Let’s add to this week a dog who left our house like a crime scene of mysterious (and disgusting) illness on Tuesday and has since woken us up to let her out repeatedly every night this week. Repeatedly. Every night.

And Hadley is apparently having an allergic reaction to non-biting Larder Beetles that I’ve been finding in her room. Except it looks exactly like she has bites all over her body. So she is just telling everyone at school she has bugs in her bed. Awesome.

Well the thing is I do not feel defeated at all. In fact let me tell you two excellent things I just realized that have come to fruition this week:
#1 Hadley is taking care of her own bathroom hygiene. If you have children under 10 you will know what I am talking about. And you will be relieved with me at the freedom I have instantly gained after 8.5 solid years of attending to these matters.

#2 Both kids have agreed to story time at bedtime followed by one single lullabye and then we (Jim and I) just leave the room. And they (the 6 and 8 year olds)… go to sleep. Yes, like they should have been doing all along all these years.

I suppose what I’m telling you is that I’ve discovered hope and balance. And so no matter how hard it is to see the other side of the big problems we are facing, I also now know about the hope and the balance. So we carry on. Because all is well, or at least will be well, right? And besides, what else can we do but carry on?

April 27th . 2016

Cold Beverage

Just have to take a second and tell you how much I love my fancy new Hydro Flask. 

I like cold water. It is a million percent better than any other kind of water. This little cup has changed my water consumption to the max by keeping drinks cold like forever (in scientific measurements). I do not know how it is possible being open topped and all. But ice stays frozen like all day long. I marvel with every sip. Specifically I got it for my iced coffees which are a part of every day over 73 degrees for me. I just know it will keep them from getting watered down. Which is pretty much all I ask of any coffee, frankly. After testing it out, I’m fully confident that Hydro Flask does the job and I’m really looking forward to those 73 degree days, any time now.

PS. This cup is said to keep drinks piping hot too. How does it do all this and literally never break a sweat? I probably will never know. But what I do know is it gets my complete stamp of approval!

April 26th . 2016

What’s On Our Nightstands

It’s been a long time since I’ve let you know of all the good reads going on around here. Well friends, I can hold it in no longer. Because I started reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with Bastien and it remains absolutely one of my most beloved books. I am so glad he is begging for extra chapters; I just knew he would find that Huck irresistible. And I do love trying to read in the old Southern English, too. (Of course I am swapping out a particular word he should not be hearing as necessary, and we have some good talking points about how things were).


Hadley and I are reading the delightful Leroy Ninker Saddles Up. Just so sweet and funny! It’s very perfect to end the day giggling in bed. We are also coming down from the recent high of Anne of Green Gables (which tormented her a bit because she always felt so bad for that poor, misunderstood Anne Shirley). And we really cherish Judith Viorst’s wonderful Lulu books too.

I am reading the truly enchanting book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I could not be happier with this anti-climactic snapshot of a long-ago era.

And even as I write, Jim has headed upstairs to find a book for his very own. I think he’s a little weary from reading the much clamored over Guinness World Record books to the kids all week. Who wouldn’t be?

But otherwise, oh, the reading is good around here right now.

April 25th . 2016

Our Passover

I learned a few things in my Bible study recently about Jesus’ usage of the word “cup” in his final hours that really captured my attention. Previously I had no idea it was actually a reference to one of the four cups of the Passover meal. 

Because I couldn’t stop thinking about this unlocked mystery, I decided to just pull together a Seder for our very own for Passover night.

I’ve been to a couple real ones in my day, so I had a good idea of the process. Plus, I found instructions for a Messianic version online that was just perfect for kids Bastien and Hadley’s ages. Admission: I cheated a lot and had Jim pick up gyros on the way home to serve as our lamb. Otherwise it was all very easy and the only other thing I had to buy was matzo (big hit!) and grape juice, of course.

It’s always difficult to sit with our kids at the end of a day but somehow we pulled it off. It was probably thanks to my fabulous singing of the Hebrew prayers if I’m being honest.

If this is at all interesting to you (a Passover meal, not my singing), I highly recommend trying one sometime. It was very educational and thoroughly symbolic. So. Many. Symbols. It actually left me wishing all meals had as much meaning. But I suppose that defeats the purpose a smidge. 

Note to 2017 self…I would absolutely love to do this again.

April 24th . 2016

Monday Needs Funny

IMG_1478 (1)

A story not at all related to this picture:
When we were hiking Hadley told me my butt was fat. I was (politely) outraged. I explained to her how for my entire life my butt had been as flat as a pancake (while admittedly, and happily, not so much anymore). This phrase flat as a pancake DELIGHTED her to say the least. After barely a pause she came back with a most flattering retort, “and now it’s like a whole stack of pancakes with butter on top!”

April 21st . 2016

Smokies From the Archives

There’s a whole lotta good stuff from my phone that I don’t want to breeze past unnoticed. Particularly because it proves Jim was on Spring Break with us.

The journey starts with our first 70 degree and sunny weather, about 6 hours south of the 30 degrees we had left behind. We paused there to eat candy and drink coffee in the sun.

In between you’ll see a recap of all our rugged outdoorsyness. Plus Jim’s fresh-milled cornmeal (which we later discovered was milled off-site, grrr). Followed by utter exhaustion like you’ve never seen. Hadley seems to be the queen of embodying exhaustion.

The kids were inspired by some old timey photos of several Tennessee families holding their guns across their chests. So you’ll see a nod to that too.

And finally we return to 30 degrees and mega snowstorms in Ohio. That was a fun day of driving alright. 


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