August 27, 2008

Little Green Drinks

I promise I'll be back soon with some "real" posts. My brain is almost up and running again.
My last post generated some fun comments between my son and one of his friends. She knows all 4 of our kids and tried to come up with what they might say to me after listening to me whine about my minor ailments:

Benjamin-bonics: It is my most fervent wish that you have reached a higher level of comfort and self-confidence in the area of personal well-being and appearance. Remember, beauty is subjective, and therefore, even if you feel as if you look unattractive, you may radiate a completely different essence.

James-bonics: Whassup, Moma? Is yo eye pickin' up what you puttin down?

Alec-bonics: Hope you're feelin' good! (maybe I should take a break off those shakes, too-just in case I might have a reaction like you.)

Barrett-bonics: Why is your eye like that, Mommy? Will it always be that way? Why isn't mine like that?

Alex hit the nail on the head with 3 of them. I wasn't so sure about the "James-bonics". So, this morning I asked him, as my one and only inner-city son, what he would say to my previous post. Here's his reply:

Momma, don’t be frontin’, them little green drinks be triflin’ and ya’ll tripping if ya’ll keeps drinkin’ them down jo throat!

Anybody care to guess what on earth that means?! (I guess I live a very sheltered life.)

Figure it out yet?

OK-here's the translation:
Mom, don’t try to make it look better than it is, those smoothies are gross and you’re crazy if you keep drinking them.

Your son.

I don't think I'd make it 5 minutes working with inner-city youth. He obviously has a calling.

August 24, 2008

Turning Over A New Oreo

I know when I'm beat, and I'm beat. When did I write that post about Green Drinks?
A week ago?
Well, I'm going to wave the white flag. I'm going back to scones. I'm going back to Starbucks. Hello meat, cheese, frozen pizza and Oreos! I am giving up The Color Green.

I woke up last Monday morning with a cold, two weeks AFTER I started drinking the green drinks. I literally cannot remember the last time I had a cold. We've had gross, icky flu bugs hurling their way through this house and I didn't get sick, and that was when all our kids still lived here!

Not only did I catch a cold, but it's taking its nasty little time leaving too. Our two younger sons caught it and sweetly passed it on to me, then they proceeded to get well. I'm not. I'm still stuffy, dizzy, and obviously whiny.

As if that weren't enough, I've now developed a strange rash under my chin. Little red, swollen dots all over that itch like the dickens and keep spreading.

Then, this afternoon, I made my Green Goo as usual. As soon as I finished it my throat started feeling all raw and scratchy. No, I don't think that's cold related. I've already passed past that part of the cold.

Now for the icing on the cake. Or should I say the Puff on the cream? When I woke up this morning I noticed my left eye was slightly swollen. As the day has progressed it's become fatter and fatter. The sun is getting ready to set and I can hardly hold my eye open!

So, now I'm a scratchy-throated, itchy-necked, stuffed-up-nose Eyegor.

I really don't think I'll give them up. After I drank my Green Goo I perked up-I had the energy to sit here and complain.

(In all seriousness, I think I must be allergic to one of the greens. I am going to quit for a few days, hide in my little house, let my throat, eye, and neck re-group and then slowly introduce one green at a time back into my diet. Hopefully I'll be able to pinpoint the culprit.)

August 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

Here's a quote from Edward Espe Brown, who wrote the Tassajara Bread Book:

"It seems such a shame that as a culture we don't teach our children about the basic things in life -- bread making, gardening, sewing -- and the value of work. At some point, all these things got to be beneath our dignity. If you can't work with your hands, you lose the richness of your life and the sense of being productive.''

August 11, 2008

Little House on the Prairie

A few weeks ago I went to a friend's house for what she called "Little House on the Prairie Day".
What, you ask, is that?
Well, since you asked, I'll tell you.

It was a day designed for females of all ages to get together for fellowship and learning, laughter and sharing.

About 2 months ago my friend sent an email to a gazillion women inviting them to her house for a day of teaching and learning. The day started at 9:00A.M. and went until approximately 4:30P.M. We started with a little free time so we could visit and meet new people, then at 9:30 we prayed and began the day.

Basically this is what the day was like:
There were approximately 21 women there and 35 children. Anyone could teach a "class", but if you didn't feel comfortable teaching you could just sit and learn. (That was my personal choice.)
These are just some of the classes that were taught:

-How to make goat cheese and yogurt
-How to bake your own bread/rolls
-How to plan a menu and why
-How to make a plantain tincture
-How to make English muffins
-Jewelry making
-A short lesson on herbs and their healing power

Each person that taught a class was given approximately 30-45 minutes to teach. Then we had a ten minute break before the next class began. Because there were so many people there and so many great teachers, we didn't really break for lunch. We just ate lunch quietly while we listened to one of the teachers.

It was a great day, and actually has been life changing for our family. (I'll write about that another day.)

I wanted to tell you about this special day because I could see it being the start of something wonderful. We don't sit on our front porches and visit with the neighbors anymore-thereby perhaps missing out on learning something new. Most people I know don't live down the road from Granny and therefore can't learn from her wisdom and experience.

We all bumble along in our own private, hurried bubbles; lonely perhaps, exhausted, stressed, wanting some advice on how to?....

This was a great way to slow down a little, fellowship, and ask and learn.

I've been thinking about some other ways you could use a day like this:

-Have a day called "Frugal Living". You could share the ways you've learned to stretch the not-so-almighty-anymore dollar in order to make your ends meet.

-Have an Empty Nest Tea where women can gather who are in the middle of the nest emptying, know the nest will be emptying soon, or already have an empty nest. I found a great book about the empty nest that has been a huge comfort and help. I just may make it after all!
However, it would be wonderful to sit with other women and laugh and cry and share face to face what this time of life is like and how to make it through with joy.

-Have a recipe swap. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that are tried and true. It would be fun to sit with other women and share recipe and cooking tips.

-Or, you could just throw structure to the wind and have a "Little House on the Prairie Day". Just let whoever teach whatever and learn whatever. You may be surprised, as I was, what the Lord wants to bring into your life.

August 5, 2008

As You Begin

This one is for parents.
Especially parents who are fairly new to home schooling. I know a lot of our sons' friends stop by here and none of them are parents yet-maybe you can just take notes for future reference? :-)

Anyway...last week I spent a few minutes, (Ha!) reflecting on our lives and our home school experience to date. I was able to visit with a young mom who is just getting ready to start her first year of home schooling. Whew! I'm glad I'm not in her shoes! :-)
However, as I listened to her talk, and saw how excited and nervous she was, I was reminded of how I felt 17 years ago.

I was terrified. I was well aware that our son's entire life was in "my" hands and his education depended on "me". I wish someone would've come along side me and told me this:

Relax. It truly is the Lord who is in control. He loves your kids and has a plan for each of their lives. He can use your mistakes, your baggage, your impatience, and your ignorance to turn your kids into everything He wants them to be. You are one tool, not the carpenter.

I've said it before, but our sons were able to learn what they needed to learn each year under some pretty amazing circumstances: deaths in the family, moving, illness, a wild and woolly little brother, etc. We've seen the Lord fill in the gaps over and over again as we've plugged along doing what we could.

Focus on building a relationship with your children while they're young. Academics are cyclical-if they don't get it this year, they will next year or when they're in Junior High or even High School. To me, academics are the small stuff. Right now you need to be teaching your kids that they are loved, no matter what. Work on building a friendship with them. Of course you are the parent, but you can find ways to be a friend as well. If they know you love them unconditionally, they will trust you when you tell them Jesus loves them even more than you do. That will enable them to trust Him when the time comes and they're grown. And, once you build a solid foundation of friendship, love, and trust with your kids, you can really hit them with the books: Algebra, chemistry, biology, poetry, Shakespeare....

August 3, 2008

24 Years and Counting

On August 4, 1984 two kids got married. Here's their story to date:

We are from New Mexico and Chicago
meeting in the middle;
from a girl afraid of marriage
and a very patient boy.

We’re from “I am afraid to trust.”
and “I. Won’t. Leave. You.”
From "Don't trust men." and
"When your husband buys new underwear it means he's having an affair."

We are from years of pulling hard to make ends meet
and at least 2 babies waiting for us in heaven.
(Are they our daughters?)
From a girl who couldn’t cook,
furniture lovingly built by a patient man,
and whisker-roughened kisses on my not-so-whiskered cheeks.

We’re from a house full of boys, camo, dirt, sweat, and noise;
from gallons of Tide Laundry Soap,
mountains of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
and Haines socks X 5.
We've lived through financial stresses,
a concussion, car problems,
emergency surgery, stitches, strange and numerous pets,
and 4 pregnancies.

We’re from fishing trips on hot, sweaty days,
camping trips where we thought we’d freeze to death
and hiking nearly every weekend every fall.

There are few traditions in our household
but love and laughter
still bounce around the rooms.

We are from
wrestling with daddy and hugging mom;
from a man who taught his sons to be gentle with
the only female in the house
and to treat her with respect.

We're from wondering if we've put too much into "them"
and not enough into "us".
By God's grace we've survived and our marriage has thrived.
I've had to learn how to respect him and he's learned to listen:
She doesn't always want things fixed?

We are from mistakes, bumbling along, prayer,
forgiveness, and determination.
The road has been filled with all the usual stuff:
joys, heartaches, stress, weariness, surprises, and
blessings beyond count.

Even though at times we drive each other crazy,
we're happy to be stuck with each other.

(This is my 3rd or 4th "Where I'm From" poem. See the December 10,2007 post if you're interested in trying one for yourself. For some reason I cannot remember how to "link" tonight and I'm too tired to try and figure it out.:-) )