Monthly Archives: February 2010

Weekend Inquiry – If you could . . .

I don’t know where this one came from, but my answer is a tail like a jaguar or leopard – long and graceful.

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Wait, is This Wednesday? Already?

As last week drew to a close all I could see stretching ahead of me were long lonely days of looking at the walls of my house.  As was betrayed by my posting last week it was a little overwhelming.  Can you imagine my reaction when, on Friday morning while at Publix on what I thought would be my free day, Jonathan called to tell me that he’d been called in to work at the FSU that night because the other closer was sick.  It was going to be ANOTHER night without him, ANOTHER supper/bath time/bed time without him, ANOTHER long evening.  I took my milk home, put it in the refrigerator and then took the children to the park to let them run until it was time to pick Jonathan up at the Hospital and bring him home just to go back out again.

Then a remarkable thing happened:

First, I realized that if I could get Jonathan back to work on this day, I could do it on others.  The work at the “hopsilater” didn’t have to mean total isolation!

Next, we had all of Saturday AND Sunday together as a family.  We had leisurely meals and played with the kids and had a real weekend.

Then I got to go to bible study, have lunch with Pati and evening coffee with Jawan on Monday, and Tuesday was Jonathan’s next evening off, which we shared with “Mr. Wob” who was unexpectedly back in town for work.

This morning I woke to grey drizzle and chilly temperatures and thought, “I’m glad I’m going to be inside today.  I need to get some laundry done and mop the kitchen floor and . . .”  I was *glad* to be facing two days at home without the car to distract, because I know that Friday I’m meeting Jawan at the church and Saturday is a Ladies Brunch at church and then there will be another Lord’s Day.

It’s a good thing to find contentment in circumstance.  The Lord calls us to it.  But sometimes the Lord is very gracious and kind and changes our circumstances to make it easier to find the contentment to which He has called us.  He did that for me, and I am so grateful.  I’m not even dreading doing my laundry.

Happy Wednesday everyone.


Weekend Inquiry – Let’s Talk Family Size

Jonathan is the middle child of five children, I am the oldest of two.  Different people have different ideas of what makes a big family, and I’m wondering about your ideas.


Getting Better and Better

Three weeks ago I posted the video of my cheesedoodle doing his army crawl.  Well, he certainly didn’t stop there.  Within days he had graduated to this little crab scoot:

and today I got this video:

If you really want to see him at his fastest, come sit in my living room with him and watch him get up to full speed when he hears me turn on the water in the bath tub.  He can often beat his sister.


On Nurture, Nature and the Emotional Care of a Toddler

At the moment of typing this sentence it has been 94.41 hours since I have been more than a block from my house.  I know that because I know that the last time I was in a car was Sunday evening coming home from life group and I plugged that data into this nifty website.  When I made a similar statement my status update on facebook, one of my oldest friends posted that she leaves her house once a week and did that make her a recluse.  Well, I don’t know what the definition of recluse is, but I can tell you with certainty that I’m not one. I need human contact or I feel like the engine that runs my personality begins to run out of fuel.

Thursday morning after Jonathan left for the “hopsilater”, the mackerdoodle walked to the living room picture window and looked at the empty driveway.  She burst into tears, saying “No.  We need our car.  I no want stay home again today.”  So clearly I have passed on my non-reclusive nature to my daughter.  While I was holding her, and telling her that we were going to have a good day because God tells us to rejoice every day, I wiped the tears out of my own eyes and began to evaluate the best way to handle this.

It would be easy to use my daughter as an excuse to feed the worst in my personality and to make unreasonable demands on my husband and even the Lord.  On the other hand, it would be easy to expect a level of emotional maturity from a toddler that I haven’t yet mastered myself at 35.  I want to train her in the way she should go: nurturing the nature that the Lord has given her and gently tending the little shoots and buds of things that may one day be spiritual gifts and fruit.  However, I am also called to train her in righteousness and one of the ways to do that is to teach her that our circumstances can’t determine our contentment.  That’s a pretty heady lesson for a two year old, but I suspect if I can begin now, she might find it easier to learn than she would at, say, 20.

The Lord has given us this circumstance at this time for our sanctification.  I’ve understood that for some time, but it wasn’t until today that I realized He isn’t just sanctifying Jonathan and I.  If He has set our children aside for His kingdom (and His promises would point us to hope in that direction) then this circumstance is as much for their good as ours.

This week has been a hard one.  Jonathan worked more than 40 hours in three days.  He was gone before the mackerdoodle woke up and home after she was asleep.   Wednesday I had a migraine headache which knocked everyone’s day flat.  It’s been a hard week, but that can’t shape how I deal with my children or how I relate to my husband, or how I feel.  I’ve known that intellectually for a long time, but Thursday morning showed me that if I can’t apply it now, I can’t teach it to my daughter.

Friday we have the car for Jonathan’s four hour shift at the hospital and then we have Jonathan for the rest of the day.  Saturday Jonathan doesn’t have to work until 3 pm and we always have the Lord’s day together.  The end of the week is looking up, but I hope I can teach the mackerdoodle that our joy is in the Lord, not Publix or the park with Daddy.

We’re on the beginning of a long journey together, me and my little extrovert.  Whatever the future holds, I know two things: the Lord has planned it all for His glory and our sanctification, and if the two of us get to plan anything, there will probably be a party or seven thrown in.  You’re all invited.


In Which I Answer the Question “Why Is There Blue Cake Batter on the Toilet Paper?”

Yesterday the mackerdoodle asked – well, actually told me that we should make a cake for daddy.  “Wif 2 cups flour and put in the oven and then we eat it.”

“We could make a cake.”  I answered.  “What kind of cake?”

I was thinking of a banana cake recipe for which we had all the ingredients, when the mackerdoodle said, “A bwoooo cake.”

How hard could a blue cake be?  I looked up a red velvet cake recipe (I LOVE red velvet cake.  LOVE IT) thinking I’d substitute blue food coloring for red and we’d have our blue cake.

This recipe required my hand mixer, and the mackerdoodle isn’t much of a fan, but we got the sugar and shortening together in a bowl and she very bravely held on to the mixer with me as we creamed.  She was doing so well, and I was so pleased to be a stay at home mom who could whip up a blue cake on the spur of the moment, when this happened:

Actually, he was sitting at my feet, but the look was the same:  shear and utter terror every time the mixer turned on.  I tried holding him while we mixed.  That wasn’t good.  I tried putting him in another room with his favorite things.  That wasn’t good.

By this time I was fully committed to this cake – I couldn’t just waste the ingredients.  So I did everything that didn’t involve the mixer while holding the cheesedoodle in one arm and trying to help the mackerdoodle help me with the other.  We collected all of the dry ingredients and mixed them together.  We cracked the remaining eggs into the wet mix. I went for my blue food coloring.

I have known that red velvet cake takes a lot of food coloring to create that magnificent color for which it is named, but “a lot” is a relative term.  I knew I had a brand new bottle of blue food coloring.  An entire bottle must be at least close, right?  The recipe called for 2 ounces of food coloring.  My bottle was .3 ounces.  To make this blue cake blue I would have needed five more bottles of coloring.  That clearly wasn’t happening.  I was beginning to hope after all of this fuss that we would end up with a blue cake at the end of it.

Having gathered the remaining ingredients together, I put the children in their high chairs and set the mackerdoodle’s lunch in front of her, and some puffs and frozen vegetables in front of the cheesedoodle and set out in search of a room with 1. an outlet, 2. a door, 3.  a wipe down surface.  I stepped into our guest bathroom and began to mix.

No good.  The little man could still hear the dreaded mixer.  By this time he was in such a state that he had flinched when I unplugged it to carry it out of the room.  I calmed him and loved on him for a minute and then I carried the whole mess back to my bathroom and mixed up the rest of the blue cake.  I was of course in a hurry, so I wasn’t taking the time to make sure that the color mixed all the way through the batter.  As soon as most of the batter was a pale shade of blue I returned to the kitchen where I found the cheesedoodle crying and the mackerdoodle chewing food with her fingers in her ears.  She was actually saying, “lalalalalala.”

When I walked back into the kitchen the mackerdoodle saw what I was carrying and her face lit up.  “Mama, it BWOOOOOOOO,” she said enthusiastically.

I’m glad she thought so, because all I thought of  while looking at it was “it looks like Smurf poop.”  Still, she was thrilled with the blue cake.  We scooped it into two round cake pans, popped them into the oven, and while I was helping the cheesedoodle recover from his cooking related trauma, the mackerdoodle took it upon herself to clean up the cooking utensils:

When Jonathan came home for his 20 minute break between jobs, the mackerdoodle greeted him with “Daddy!  We bake you a cake!  A BWOOOOO cake.  Come.  Come.”  He stepped into the bathroom before following his enthusiastic daughter, and when he stepped out again, he looked at me quizzically and said, “Why is there blue cake batter on the toilet paper?”

Welcome to the life of a stay at home mama who doesn’t get out much.


What Freedom You Have Brought Me Dear Readers

For the first four years of my marriage I didn’t have a washer and dryer.  We had to do all of our laundry at laundromats which was not only extremely inconvenient, it was also expensive.  Jonathan was in college and I was working two jobs.  Laundry money and time priority went to my work uniforms and our church clothes because Jonathan was working part time at churches during that time, but everything else was left way past it’s “best by” date, if you know what I mean.  I remember regularly fishing through a pile of dirty blue jeans looking for the least dirty pair to wear to Pioneer Clubs on Wednesday nights.

When I did get my own laundry facilities, we rented a series of houses with drainage problems.  When the washing machine drained I had to stop it halfway through to let the water drain or it would back up into my kitchen sink.  I couldn’t put on a load of laundry as I was leaving the house, or even do many other chores while doing laundry. Things were a little better, but I still found myself continually behind with my laundry – never enough clean clothes, towels or sheets and always worried that my clothing looked or smelled dirty.

Are you understanding why I hate laundry?

About six or seven years ago, when I was finally able to do as much laundry as I wanted, I was able to live like I thought normal people lived.  I washed clothing after every wear.  Do you know how much freedom it was to me to discover that while you don’t fish through piles of dirty blue jeans, most of you wear an item more than once before washing it?  Of course, between my toddler and my infant I’m fairly likely to have an item of clothing covered in either a body fluid or food paste, but when that doesn’t happen I can lay that rare item of clothing aside knowing that I am in the majority of my blog readers if I wear it another day.

I still hate laundry.  But I have a little less of it these days.