Tuesday, July 31, 2012


In Nathan's preschool, we are going over how God made everyone different....  We look different, we like different things, we are good at doing different things.
So I was asking Nathan what things he is good at.
"I don't know."
"Are you good at running?"
"Um, yeah."
"What about Daddy?  What's he good at?"
"Yes, Daddy works hard.  What about violin, is he good at that?"
"What about Mommy?  What am I good at?"

Mission accomplished.

Media Sabbath

Somewhere, sometime back, I heard about the concept of a “media Sabbath.”  I think the idea was a break from the internet, not necessarily tv, radio, and print.  It seemed like a good concept, but I never really did anything to pursue the idea.  
But for some reason, I decided to try it yesterday.  Maybe it’s because I’ve noticed my increasing habit of hopping on the internet whenever I have a few minutes of down time.  I don’t think the internet is bad, just that I am spending increasingly more and more time there.  (Partly due to the fact that my laptop is in the living room, right next to my nursing chair.)
So when I got up yesterday morning, I shut down both computers.  I’m not sure Paul caught on, even though I shut his computer down on him twice yesterday.  I would like him to come to the same conclusion, but I don’t think that one’s convictions should be forced on another.  But I’m not above subtly (or not so subtly) hinting at something.
I did find myself kind of itching to start up the computer and see what was going on in Cyberland….  See what my friends were up to, or who had commented on a “controversial” post I put on Facebook.  (About the Olympics.... a whole 'nother rant.)  Especially during those down times, like when the kids were napping and the husband was playing Xbox with friends.
Not that what I do on the internet is bad– email, Facebook, friends’ blogs, weather, and Yahoo articles.  But it seems like when I’m on the computer, it’s easy to tune everything out.  The kids can start nit-picking each other and they’re full-on screaming and hitting before I do something about it.  And then what I do is wade in yelling.  Not the best parenting.
But it was kind of nice.  I talked to my kids more.  I listened to what they were talking to each other about.  I looked in my daughter’s eyes while she nursed.  I felt like a better parent.
I have often wondered how women got so much done – like my mom with four kids, homeschooling, caring for a huge garden, always having a clean house, along with doing farm work.   But women didn’t used to have all these distractions.  No internet.  No tv (or at least much more limited).  No cell phones constantly going off with text alerts.  The simple life before all this “wonderful” technology.
So I think I will keep doing this.  Sundays will be the days I take a day off from the world and all its drama.  And enjoy the simple life again.

Related links:
Best line:  "Because all the connectedness in the world won’t mean much to me if I’m disconnected from those I love the most."
A family gets rid of all screens for a month.

And yes, I've written about this idea before HERE.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


As I was sitting in the living room, nursing Zadie, Jacob was sitting on the floor looking at a book.  He was talking to himself as he flipped pages, and I hear this:
"There's a guy.  And his penis."

I guess that's the danger of letting your children look at children's educational books.  He was looking at a Childcraft book, so the statue (the Colossus of Rhodes, ironically) had it's bits covered with a leaf.  But it really looks more like the other than like a leaf.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Yesterday, I finally put away my maternity clothes.  Not that I've been wearing [very many of] them [that often].  They've been off the shelves and out of the closet for over a month, but I just keep stepping over the piles.  So I finally picked up the piles... It's amazing how much bigger our room feels.
While I was putting them away, I sorted through the clothes I was putting back on the shelves.  I took out the long sleeves (for obvious reasons) and stowed them in a box under the bed.  And I made a pile of clothes that don't fit.  They are clothes that used to fit, but they don't fit right now. Yes, I realize I "just" (3 months ago) had a baby.  But these didn't fit, even before I got pregnant.  I just keep holding on to them, because "I'm going to lose weight."  But that's been my story for the last 5 years.
So I made up my mind, if I haven't lost enough weight to fit into them by next garage sale (a little over 9 months from now), I'm getting rid of them.  And the cheapskate in me is going to be my motivation.  Because  there are some nice clothes in that pile, clothes that I love (like those capris on the top) that would be hard to find again, and I don't want to turn loose of them.
So that's my motivation.  Healthy living, here I come!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Surviving Summer

The forecast for the next 7 days....
105, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 109......  The weatherman said we may challenge records held since 1936 - records for all-time highest temperature in KC, and also for most over-100 days in a summer.  1936 was the Dust Bowl, am I right?  Ironically, the old-timers that come in to my brother-in-law's store (he manages an Orscheln farm store) said that the really wet cool summers that we had a few summers back were just like the summers before the Dust Bowl.  I believe it now.  (Not that I ever doubted them.)

So we're just surviving.  We hide inside all day.  The boys do okay, but about 7 PM are dying to go outside.  They play, but get so sweaty, and their faces turn bright red.  When they come in, they drink and drink and drink. I'm pretty sure we've had a water fight on some scale for the last 5 nights.
We got some rain last night from the "chance" (which was only 20%, and was supposed to stay north of here) - 3/4 of an inch!  Everything feels so clean outside - it's been completely choked in road dust lately.  Normally the sound of rain is soothing and helps you sleep, but it's such a foreign sound lately that I don't feel like I slept at all.  I'm trying out coffee this morning.  I'm going with weak and partially decaf.  We'll see how if affects the little one.
Surgery to fix my hernia went GREAT.  I had never had surgery, so I was a little nervous.  But I know the anesthesiologist well (he plays bass in our praise band), and met the surgeon when we played in a band together for a worship night.  So that eased my mind.  It was pretty low-key.  I fell alseep and when I woke up, it just felt like I'd had a really great nap (the kind where you sleep really hard, and probably drool, and then wake up on your own, and not to an alarm or screaming child).  The whole surgery took 31 minutes.  I had no reaction to the anesthesia - we even went and got Sonic on the way home.  The day after was the most painful, but it's also the last day I took pain meds.  I had my follow-up yesterday, and they said it is healing great.  It is slightly sore right at the incision, and only really sharply hurts if I forget and stretch and twist at the same time.  My belly still pooches a little over where the hernia was, but it should go down as the skin shrinks back - it's been stretched over that for quite a while.  I took a "before" picture; I'll take an "after" pic in a month when the swelling and bruising is gone.
So two days ago, I got some styrofoam bowls out of the cupboard and noticed there were about 10 little cocoons with larvae in them in between the edges of the bowls.  I got rid of them, and didn't think a lot about it, until yesterday when I opened the cupboard and saw about 4 little moths and a larva dangling from a web attached to the bottom of the upper shelf.  I had Paul come investigate, because I don't do larvae.
There was a bag of cornmeal that was absolutely crawling with these moths and little larvae.  There was a jar that I have no idea what HAD been in it, but the bottom was a sponge of dead and molding larvae.  I seriously felt like I was going to throw up, and I wasn't even the one pulling stuff out.  The little cocoons were all over everything - the styrofoam bowls, hot cocoa and tea packages, boxes.  I just threw most of it away.   I don't think they're weevils, because I think weevils are a beetle, but they definitely have the same appetite (grains), based on where we found them infesting.  But the funny thing is, and the reason I didn't notice them earlier, is because they weren't on or in my flour (which I use several times a week) at all.  It was so incredibly disgusting. I still am getting that "I'm throwing up a little in my mouth" feeling when I think of it.
Well, I need to think about getting around and accomplishing something today.  Paul had to go in to work on his day off, and is helping a friend with a project this afternoon.  We'd also like to try to go to the fair this evening.... So it's going to be a busy, non-stop day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

One More Night....

Paul works this night, then takes vacation for a week!  (Which he only has to actually take off two days of work - one thing I do love about his wacky schedule.)  I've been having a hard time going to bed without him this weekend (hence the after-midnight post).... It's just easier to tune out in front of the tv or computer.
We didn't have anything planned for his week off.  His birthday (32!) is this week, so that's why he took the time off.  But then I went and scheduled a surgery for the day before his birthday, so there goes any plans he may have been thinking about having.
I'm finally having my hernia fixed.  I have what they call an umbilical hernia, even though it's not actually in my belly button, but rather above it.  It started when I was pregnant with Jacob, got worse and worse, and now after Zadie, something has to be done.  It sticks out further than my post-baby gut (see photo).  I'm ready for it to go away.
So I'm celebrating 30 by "having some work done."  We'll call the hernia repair a tummy tuck.  Then I'm going to get my veins fixed.  I also am going to have to get glasses, I'm almost sure.  After the episode with the eye my vision didn't fully recover.  I know I was headed for glasses, but I think the swelling and reaction sped up the inevitable.  Especially while driving at night, with reflective signs I have blurred and double-vision (very safe, I know).  So I've got to get that checked out.
Anyhow.  I'm rambling to avoid going to bed.  But it's time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Let's see......

  • Turning 30.  My birthday was the 22nd.  Paul surprised me the day before with a trip to the Wichita Zoo.  It was a perfect day (in a string of overwhelming heat).  We loaded up the van - literally.  We tried out the 8-passenger seating (our family of 5, plus Paul's parents and sister), and it wasn't bad for a 2+ hour trip.  He further surprised me by taking the day of my actual birthday off work.  We went to see my niece play softball and had dinner and cake and homemade ice cream (!!!) at my sister's house.

  • Garden.  I don't know how, with the extreme heat and almost complete lack of rain (less than an inch all month), but this is the best garden we've ever had.  Maybe because we've been able to control exactly how much and when the garden gets watered..... It seems like we'd get a complete deluge of several inches of rain in an hour, or a wind storm, or hail sometime in the spring or early summer to destroy my garden.  But we obviously haven't had any of that. 
  • Green bean totals.  Nearly 40 quarts of corn frozen as well.

  • Grilling!  I told Paul last Monday, after watching the weather forecast - 100, 101, 98, 99, 100, 103 - I was not going to be using the oven or the stove at all last week.  And I didn't (and still haven't), except for breakfast a few mornings.  We have had some definite food WINS.  

Grilled Pizza!  This is the "kids' pizza" (pepperoni and cheese).
My pizza, with decidedly more toppings.
Vegetable Medley:  Potatoes, carrots, zucchini (all from my or my in-laws' garden) with butter, salt, pepper, and paprika.  YUM. (Would have been even better had I not forgotten the onions!)

Smoked Bread.  Oh my goodness......

  • Hibernating.  (It's not just for cold weather.)  It's been near or exceeding 100 degrees for the last week, with it forecasting to be more of the same for at least the next 8 days.  (There is no outlook for rain for at least 2 weeks.)  Obviously it's too hot to take Zadie outside, at least until near sundown, and even then, she has to stay in the shade.  The boys want so badly to play outside, but they come in after 5 minutes, "Mommy, it's too hot."
Ugh.  It's bad when a big cooldown means temps in the low 90s.  And the rain "chance" is just to tease us.

  • Sleeping.  The heat is just completely taking it out of me.  I feel like I'm doing the bare minimum to get by until I can sleep again.  I'm finally finding the house under the mess, but that's only because we're having company tomorrow for Independence Day.  We haven't done school for a week, though.  But Paul has vacation next week, so maybe we'll get caught up then......