Friday, March 30

Human life is more valuable...

... than earthly possessions. (sigh)

Thursday, March 29

A Manner of Speaking

Tonight we were reminiscing about the David Sanborn/Al Jarreau concert we attended with Toby when he was just a few months old. Toby asked if that's considered jazz.

Michael: "Jazz - I like jazz."
Me: (chuckling, wondering if he's ever recognized jazz when he's heard it)
Michael: "I meant to say, 'Speaking of jazz - I like jazz.'"

That's my 6yo.

This week on the homestead

We found the blueberries!

Bulbs are sprouting near the house - I think they may be tulips.

The juncos found us.

Grass is growing.

I heard a frog.

Toby and Loren hung a clothesline. Then it started raining, so I haven't used it yet.

Michael and Grace found (and thoroughly enjoyed) a serious mud hole. Too bad they were in their new sneakers instead of their rubber boots!

Monday, March 26

Exploring Minnesota: Banning State Park

My children now know what pussywillows are!Kayakers taking a break from the Kettle River rapids - one of them told Toby he needs to get himself a kayak. Toby couldn't agree more!
Cone-laden tree
Manoah was stuck sitting with me while I took pictures and Toby and India took off on an adventure. While keenly interested, he'd rather obey me and sit. Good dog. This one looks great at actual size - click on it!
Manoah, Toby, and India all had a great time hiking with me! Definitely click on this picture to appreciate the total handsomeness of my Sunday morning date.

Friday, March 23

Warning: head banging pity party

Let me just say, the level of supervision my son needs is insane. The alternative is to throw up my hands and cease to care. There is a reason "they" say RAD kids should be only children. If a RADish is supervised well, there's never a moment when that one child doesn't have at least half your attention, leaving only the other half to be divided among the rest of the children. And if Mama ceases to care, there are four heartbroken children wondering what just happened.

Let me also say that I love my dear husband. It has taken him many years to be able to see our son's behavior. How could that be? Well, Daddy has always been the preferred parent because he's not the primary caregiver. So when Daddy's around and awake, behaviors are often different. (When he's really on a roll, our son even uses a different voice with each of us.) Because of that, it took a very long time for Loren to be able to connect the behaviors I described to the behaviors he saw firsthand. I am SO thankful that he does understand most of what I'm going through with our son now.

Our house has several alarms; I would like to install a few more. When we started using alarms in our other house, Loren and I went through a bit of conflict over whether they were necessary, and realized that while they are not part of a normal household, ours is not normal and does require the use of alarms. When we moved, we repeated that conflict and resignation to the truth that we do need to use alarms.

Unfortunately, there are certain alarms I'm able to sleep through. This frustrates me because it limits their effectiveness. It also frustrates me because I'm selfish. I deserve a good night's sleep, uninterrupted by alarms in the first place, and it's not fair that my ability to sleep should result in our son successfully doing something stupid.

What happened last night and this morning is not earth-shattering. It's not illegal. It's not particularly dangerous. And in a normal child, it's rare and maybe even funny. But when it's typical and consistent and just one of a number of issues, oh boy does it get old!

And now we come to the point in my processing of this event when I wonder why I'm going to tell you. I imagine two responses on your part:

1) What's the big deal?
2) If it's not available, he can't do what he did.

The big deal is that it never ends. It's always something. Always. Unless he's swimming. And I already tell myself nearly every day that if I could just do better, this or that wouldn't happen. So far I still fall short.

Ok, so here it is: he ate the pie.

I woke up when I heard him come out of his room this morning to use the bathroom. I gave him 5 minutes... I didn't hear him go back in his room, so I got up and checked on him. He had removed a few items from under the sink, and was holding a pieplate and leftover pie in his hand. Apparently he had already consumed one piece in the middle of the night, and hid the remaining pieces behind the under-sink items for this morning.

And so the pie gets added to the list of interesting bathroom findings, and also the list of "Hey, didn't we have some ________?" items.

I know - if I don't want him eating it, I shouldn't have it in the house. I'm on it. (Dear hubby isn't fully on the health food bandwagon with the rest of us yet. Therefore, turkey dinner must include at least two pies.)

I know - no dessert leftovers. That's one of our new resolutions - hubby IS on board with that one since hearing the latest.

I know - he probably needs the same radically controversial treatment his brother needed a year ago. I'm considering how I can give him a full treat bucket and a puke bucket and find the same mindset I had with his brother, which made the whole thing ok. (BTW, it did work with his brother!) I'm afraid that initially, my level of anger and resentment might just go through the roof.

In the time it's taken me to write this, my thoughts have been racing. Now I find it hard to return and neatly conclude my post. Please keep us in prayer today. I have a fun day planned for the kids, which is basically a guarantee that Jon will do his best to screw it up. And please pray for my friend, Kathleen, whose day will be far worse than mine.

Monday, March 19

I know spring is coming

Lynae and I pruned apple trees a few days ago. Oh. My. Gosh. She hasn't complained, but I'm still finding new sore spots. I do hope our efforts were worthwhile! I should've taken "before" and "after" pictures. I could still take comparable "before" pictures of the trees we haven't pruned yet.

That girl never ceases to amaze me. She ROCKS at pruning trees. She even came in and made pizza dough for us afterward.

I'm sure that even if I have time to finish pruning all the fruit trees I know we have, there will be others which surprise me later this year when I finally figure out what they are. I must remember to think of that as a fun surprise, rather than beating myself up for not knowing. That's a no-brainer, but try explaining it to the perfectionist in me! And, by the way, she hates surprises!

Ok, so spring begins this week. Just as I'd expect, the weather here is teasing us. We have spring-like days when the snow melts and leaves mud in more places than you'd expect, and then we have nights like tonight which leave us with a thick layer of big, fat, beautiful snowflakes. And ya know what? I'm ok with that.

Saturday, March 10

Happy Saturday!

It's 45 degrees out. I'm in shorts and short sleeves and have my bedroom windows open. It's not that I'm that desperate for spring; I'm just so excited to be comfortably cool!

Two of my internet friends have inspired me to get the house clean, so that's what I'm working on today. Lynae is helping immensely. We all seem to have gotten into the habit of not picking up after ourselves. Admittedly, it's hard to put things away when they don't officially have a place yet. This settling in thing sure does take time!

Wednesday, March 7

Thursday, March 1

Snow week: Day 4

On Day 4, we scrapped the neat little snow day plan and hurled ourselves, headfirst, into a blizzard.

No, really. We did.

Denny down at the Deep Rock gas station said we should stay inside if we can. So, like a bunch of fools, we thought it'd be the perfect day to walk to the post office. After all, it was SNOWING! No... it was BLIZZARDING! What could be more fun than that??

Well first of all, Michael's boot kept falling off. Poor kid! And then my foot slipped, my ankle twisted, and down I went. Thankfully, I landed on a foot of soft snow. Really, the rest of the walk to the post office was fairly uneventful. But then we had the walk back, most of which was right into the wind and driving snow.

Let me tell you, those pretty little snowflakes turned out to be vicious ice pellets! I couldn't see a thing all the way home, and had melted snow running into my eyes and down my cheeks the whole ways, turning to ice halfway down my face. My friends, it was not pretty. It was then that I wished I'd listened to Denny. The man knows his stuff, and not just about cars.

We did make it home safely, stripped off our snow-caked clothes, and had a quiet, restful afternoon. And now the family is back outside, ready for Round Two against the blizzard. Crazy people!!