Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Inspired By You Wednesdays

Happy New Year!

I've decided to make Wednesdays a post that one of your amazing posts inspired. Todays inspiration comes from Annie over at anniethology.blogspot.com, sorry I am still working on the link in the text body thing.

Annie has the assignment of teaching teenagers about manners, she asked for ideas on how to approach this tough assignment. So hurry on over and leave her a comment.

Here is my little idea. I find it's effective for kids of all ages.


My Momma always said, "Manners is to do and say the kindest thing in the kindest way."

I like to illustrate that point with this little story.

A large noisy family sat down at a local restaurant. They perused the menu with much jostling, and joking, until the waitress approached to take their order. The waitress ask each family member in turn what they would like to order and, as it turned out, everyone ordered roughly the same meal, a hamburger shake and fries. Finally the waitress turned to the last person left to order, a quiet 4 year old boy carefully studying a menu that he couldn't read. "And What would you like young man?" Asked the waitress looking him in the eyes.

"I'd like a..."

"Oh he'll just have what the rest of us are having!" Interrupted his Mom.

The waitress ignored the Mom and again asked the boy, who's lower lip was beginning to quiver, "What would YOU like to order young man"

The boys eyes lit up, the quivering lip firmed, "I'd like a hot dog, with ketchup," He replied.

As the waitress moved away the little guy looked up at his Mom with wonder in his eyes, "Wow! She thinks I'm real," he said.

Teenagers need to remember that adults are real and adults need to remember that teenagers are real. We should treat each other like we treat our coolest friends. I try to remember what it felt like to be a teenager and how emotional everything felt. I expect that my teenagers will remember that I'm new at this parenting teenagers thing and communicate calmly both my successes and failures.

Being noticed and listened to is one of the greatest feelings any of us can have. Children of all ages respond to feeling really seen and heard. Listening to our children and being willing to learn from what they tell us open the lines of communication and willingness for them to learn from us.
I am not a big one for New Years Resolutions but it's been on my heart to really open up to and with my children. They amaze me everyday with their amazing gifts of life, their talents and compassion, they need to hear it from me everyday, heaven knows they hear enough of my complaints and frustrations.

So there you have, it my one and only New Years Resolution: Notice and listen to my children, Husband and everyone that crosses my path in such a way that they will say in amazement, "Wow, she thinks I'm real."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Toothsome Tuesday


Recipe For a Christmas Breakfast Tradition

Combine:
5 inches of fresh snow on top of the foot or so already fallen.


12 lbs of bacon, and 8 lbs of sausage links, cooked by Adorable Hubby.

14 batches of German Pancakes baked by Boy Mom.

10 lbs of potatoes boiled and hash browned.

Mix in :

6 Gallons of Orange Juice, 2 gallons of chocolate milk.


Sprinkle all surfaces liberally with:



21 tired adults,
30 assorted, excited kids, 1 lonely neighbor boy, and my crazy neighbor lady in sandals and a house dress looking for her twins.


Pack tightly and enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mondays Muttered Mumblings

Not to many years ago a Christmas gift I got.
Just thinking of this wondrous gift makes me kinda hot.

He's always there what e'er my mood he knows the secret trick.
To make my grumpies disappear and make my ole' heart flip.

My love hides in the closet, by the dusty broom and pan.
It's not that we're embarrassed; but, that some don't understand.

His talents are impressive, his attachments drive me wild.
To say I'd never let him go is putting it too mild.

My seven boy life doesn't phase him in the least.
Lego's, gym socks, stinky drawers, are to him a feast.

How could I love another so, when I've got a real good guy?
Come on over, try him out, then you'll not question why.

Make no mistake though ladies, you'll have to get your own.
'Cause my sweet Ridgid Shop-Vac doesn't leave my home.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Enduring To The End

Our modern Christmas is a great symbol of enduring to the end. I work and strive to prepare and do every little thing I can to get ready. I worry that I'm getting my fair share then guilt rushes in and I worry that maybe I have to much so I rush out to help others. I try to accomplish each of our traditions and a few really great ones I've read or heard about somewhere. I worry myself0 sick with cooking and cleaning and preparing. I stew over each child and whether they have enough of each little thing that is popular and will help them successfully answer the question, "What did you get for Christmas!"

Then suddenly I wake up and it's Christmas morning, no more work or worry or preparation I'm naked, as it were, before the spirit of Christmas finding that all the stress and worry did was detract from my enjoyment of the season. The Joy of the holiday makes up for all the things that I thought I had to get done but didn't . With a sigh of relief I realize that Christmas really is a season of Christ, that his birth is the reason for the season and the fact that I ran out of time to make sugar cookies and do more than stick a bow on a present or two is made up for by the love of the Savior.

I'm glad that it's all over for one more year and with Gods insight maybe I'll be able to apply the lesson to my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas The NIGHT Before...

I'm ready, I've only got two denim quilts to sew, 4 batches of cookies to bake, 80 unwrapped gifts, and that partridge to catch...you know, the one for the pear tree!

The Merriest, joyfulest, Christmas Hugs and Mistletoe kisses, from Boy Home to your Home!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mondays' Muttered Mumblings

Yellow snow. Yellow snow. It's Christmas time here at boy house.
Ding-a-lings... ok, enough of that.

I like a pristine snow covered yard, walks carefully shoveled, trees and bushes frosted with winter white.

What do I get? Foot prints, scattered snow shovels, and suspicious areas of yellow snow left by really, really tall dogs or perhaps... grrrr.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Son, of God

The greatest gift ever given to the earth is the gift of a babe, Jesus son of God. He came as an infant, "he increased in stature, and in favour with God and man". As he grew into the awareness of his role in his "Fathers business" his mother "understood not, but kept all these sayings in her heart". (Luke 2:49-52)

He came as a son to do the will of his Father, his life brought salvation to each of us, leads each of us in our journey to the presence of God. The will of the Father is for each of us to partake of the salvation which his son, begotten in the flesh, made possible. The parent child relationship does more to teach of Godliness then any other experience in life.

Every child that is born into our little world teaches us with a unique blend of inherited strengths and weaknesses, combined with their own amazing gifts and challenges. As we live hand in hand, heart in heart, teach, nurture, and seek Gods direction in behalf of our children we grow to understand how deeply and passionately our Heavenly Father wills everyone of us, as his child, back into his presence.

As I've held my newborn child I've felt something of what Mary must have felt as she gazed into the face of her Son, her Savior her Salvation. As I grow with my children stature, gaining experience, grace, and understanding may I learn from them of my Heavenly Fathers love and will for me. May we savor the relationship of parent and child. May we share in the joy of salvation brought to the earth, as a baby son in Bethlehem.

Merry Christmas


For My Son

He has Mom's nose, Dad's, bluer-than-sky, eyes, and a voice all his own, the voice of an angel. He is beautiful when he sings, a beauty that transcends earth and mortality a voice rising from the heavens, soaring to the heavens. He is flesh of our flesh, evidence of our joyful union, sent from God to lead us to Godliness. His passion and life love inspire. Melodious strains cleave senses to a pinnacle of present joy, flow to silence, rise renewed to greater heights. Sing son of our eternity, sing us to God, to Christ to salvation.


video

Sing, Choirs of Angels

Our #1 is a singer, he sings in his high school Chamber choir. I'm sure every parent is moved by the things their child does well, I bawl with tender pride the whole 3 hour performance.

I'm so thankful for great teachers, school districts that get the value of music and children who magnify the talents God has blessed them with, while in their youth.

Here is a picture and two of the numbers I'll post more about this Sunday.


#1 is center of the picture in the choir section, He's a gorgeous lad.

This is Chamber Choir with bells, It is amazing that they can sing and ring so beautifully.

video

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toothsome Tuesday

Peanut Brittle, yum! my Mother-in-law used to make this every Christmas so when I saw a jar of peanuts on sale I thought, "Hey, I'll be an awesome Mom and make a batch of Christmas Peanut Brittle."

I came home with the jar of peanuts, Adorable Hubby opened the jar, he grabbed a handful, #7 saw Dad eating peanuts, "I loves nuts Daddy!" cute smile. #7 ate a handful of nuts.

"Hey I love those can I have some?" # 6 got a handful of nuts.

"Uh, Dad, where did #7 and #6 get nuts?" #5 got a handful of nuts.

I stepped in at that point, I could see the writing on the jar.

After school rolled around, #'s 1, 2, 3 and 4 plus #I really ought to move in cause I'm here so much, showed up. They each had a handful of nuts. They have very big hands.

Adorable Hubby finished the last handful.

It's late Wednesday night I'm giving you an untried recipe. Maybe tomorrow I'll get more nuts and try again.

Ingredients

-

1 cup sugar

-

1/2 cup light corn syrup

-

1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts

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1 tablespoon butter

-

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

-

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  • Butter baking sheet.
  • Combine corn syrup and sugar in mixing bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir and place back in the microwave for an additional 2 minutes on high.
  • Stir in peanuts and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until mixture becomes a golden brown.
  • Add vanilla and butter, stirring until butter is completely melted. Microwave for 1 minute.
  • Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda.
  • Quickly spread out evenly on greased baking sheet.
  • Let cool completely and then break into small pieces to serve.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mondays Muttered Mumblings

Sunday, after dinner, we were all sitting around talking, when the conversation turned to Christmas favorites. #1 ask Adorable Hubby what his favorite Christmas Movie was then answered for him, "Oh, yeah it's Year With Out A Santa Claus, I never had a favorite Christmas movie," he finished wistfully. I don't know what is up with #1 lately you'd think he spent his entire childhood, walking up hill in the snow, naked and starving with out the simple pleasure of a single Christmas tradition.

"Dude," I said in my super cool Boy Mom lingo, "You watched Rudolph so many times you thought you were Hermie the elf. You were convinced you were going to be a dentist when you grew up."

"Oh, Yeah..." He recalled.

"And now you're a theater worker!!!" Said # 5 enthusiastically. We all shared a great laugh.

"From dentist to theater worker, look at what's become of my life." Poor #1 this graduation thing has him pretty stressed out.

Later that night Adorable Hubby and I were in bed cuddling the three youngest to sleep. # 5
asked what was so funny about being a theater worker. To try to explain the humor I asked him what job was cooler, being a doctor or driving a garbage truck...

All three little boys lay there thinking for a minute or two then said they would much rather drive a garbage truck than be a dumb doctor who gives kids shots and medicine.

So there you have it, we're raising Popcorn Pushers and Garbage men, 'cause those jobs are way better than doctors or dentists.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Are of Great Worth!

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

For behold the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.

And How great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
D&C 18:10-13


This week I have had many reasons to believe in the tender care and personal awareness of the Lord in my life. His love and constant care is my joy, hope and salvation.

May he touch our lives and awareness, that in this season of Christ we may each feel His redeeming love, His tender care and His eternal awareness of our sorrows and joys.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twas...

Twas two weeks before Christmas when all through the abode
were lists and messes and stress overload.

Decorations were hung out of boxes, and strewn,
projects were stacked up in nearly each room.

The children had concerts, with choir and band
to which they needed hauling all over the land.



Boy Mom in her bathrobe, Adorable Hubby in a stew,
were shopping and planning for their boy crew.

When out in the street there arose such a scuffle,
we sprang to the door, boy cussing to muffle.

Out on to the driveway we ran with a yell
screaming boys you mustn't say sh**, Da** and He**.

The sun on the yard grass, yellow and dead,
lighted our neighbors shaking their heads.

When what from our postal mans' bag should spill,
but a very large handful of credit card bills.

Then Adorable Hubby using his brain,
whistled and shouted called each boy by name.
l
Now Jacob! now Joshua! Jeremiah! and Benjamin!
now Isaac! now Joseph! now Adam! who's that one.

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
now hang all the Christmas Lights! Nobody fall.

We returned to the house and heard on the roof,
the stomping and thumping of many boy hoofs.

I went to the kitchen to think about cooking
when a sound from the living room had me a looking.

A sweet dimpled boy, peeking out of the clutter,
said simply, "Hi Momma" but it made my heart flutter.

His pants were on backwards, his face was all smeary,
what he held in his hands made my grown-up eyes teary.


Twas a babe in a manger, and he'd made a crude stable,
with sticks and some cardboard, the best he was able.

Quiet peace filled my heart in all these preparations,
for Christmas is children and Christ and salvation.

Take a break in your rushing and all you must do,
for a moment of joy from boy home to you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Toothsome Tuesday

Each December Adorable Hubby receives his favorite holiday treat, now, now, this is a G-rated blog. Adorable Hubby's favorite, OK, second favorite holiday treat (can you tell he's peering over my shoulder) is Fudge.

I'm a chocolate lover like any good woman, fortunately, this treat doesn't tempt me... much. Which is why I willingly make a triple batch every year, put it in a big Tupperware in the fridge , then watch in amazement as Adorable Hubby nibbles one little piece a day, definitely not the same appetite as for his 'most favorite' holiday treat.

This is the best recipe I've found.

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup (5 1/2 oz can) evaporated milk
1 12oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips
1 7oz jar marshmallow cream
1 Cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil 5 min, over medium heat, again with the constant stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips until melted, stir in marshmallow and vanilla until smooth, pour into buttered 13"x9" pan, cool cut into squares, store in covered container.

A triple batch is enough for Adorable Hubby, a spot on the holiday treats trays I make to bring to parties, and, it used to last through New Years until our older boys discovered they enjoyed it, as babies they would cry when given fudge...yeah@@, go figure.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mondays' Muttered Mumblings Brings You Boy Moms' First Annual Toy Review

Saturday morning as I chatted with a friend on the phone, I escaped my boys by wandering the backyard, picking up toys and garbage, dressed in a fuzzy blue bathrobe, minus the belt, and boot slippers. Yep, classiest gal in the whole dang trailer park, I am. As I gathered a patio table full of toys, I was overcome with the memories of all the joy these boy toys had brought my herd of male offspring. A touch of Christmasy spirit inspired a need to serve my fellow boy toy purchasing bloggers, thus the beginnings of Boy Mom's First Annual Toy Review. I couldn't bear to think of another mom to a boy facing the boy toy shelves at Consumermart with out some guidance from this uber experienced boy toy connoisseur.

Toys will be reviewed least to most favorite, building suspense and anticipation which you'll want to bring with you as you face the toy aisles this festive season.

In last place due to the weather, but in Australia, I've relearned, (I think I knew this in 8th grade) that it's summer in which case Aussie readers feel free to reverse the rankings order, is Last Summers Kiddie Pool. This pool is wonderful for those afternoons when the mercury reaches a balmy 41 degrees and the boys have de-winterized the faucets and dragged out the hose. It comes with a random floatie toy or two including a normally non-aquatic mammal, it also comes with two cups of expensive, high-quality playground sand. Draw backs include, a few holes, dirty towels and $300.00 at the doctors office for colds and frostbite.

The Rake, Leaf and Snow Shovel Set, is normally classified as a tool not a toy, until a Boy Mom is begged, "Please, please leave us a pile of leaves to play in, we promise to bag them when were done, and put the rakes and shovels away, please, please, please." These tools turned toys are great for hours of outdoor fun. Snow shovels and rakes can double as varied weaponry from clubs to light sabers, guns to swords, enhancing imagination and violence, always a plus in boy toys. Another set of snow shovels is recommended just in case three feet of snow falls on the shovels before they are put away as promised, not that it's ever happened here or anything.
Dragon In A Tree, a perennial favorite, variations include: Teddy Bear In A Tree, Shoe In A Tree and Nerf Football In A Tree. Once placed in the tree this innovative toy increases throwing accuracy as your boy throws random items attempting to dislodge it. You have to provide your own tree, and careful instruction in aiming away from windows and neighbors cars is an important consideration.

Ultimate Outdoor Throw-it Set, a great companion set to Dragon In A Tree. This set comes with a slightly deflated football, a cracked Frisbee, and random whiffle ball. Disappointments and tears are avoided with these pre-distressed toys, no more five year old boys demanding to be driven to the store, right now, to replace a broken or deflated toy. Windows and passer-bys' are less likely to be injured by these slightly less than classic boy toys.

Naked Dolly With A Shovel is top of the line in gender roll de- stereotyping play. The back to nature clothing scheme and shovel, scream, total feminine side acceptance in the sand box world. Be warned occasional teasing from non-forward thinking playmates may result.

Auto Shop Collection. These collectibles are not recommended for regular play as the value of collectibles decreases when removed from their original packaging. They look great at the bottom of the toy box in a boy room and as their value increases Juniors got a great investment in the future.


This next item is a must for the mixed gender home, Disney Princesses Bowling Set. Wow! Who could ask for a more versatile toy. Little girls can have hours of fun chatting, bossing and hair flipping with these pretty ladies. When your little princess has moved on to another activity no need to pick up after her, just call in the boys, set princesses in classic bowling alley formation and let the boy fun begin. Be aware that while the sporting little lass may join this game for a turn or two many girlie types find battered flying princesses traumatic. Save yourself a tear or two-thousand by restricting boy use of the Disney Princesses Bowling Set to nap time.

Carl's Jr. Cup 'O Random Lego's, each set is unique, original and comes with no instructions. They can be tossed in the yard for games of Lawn Mower Hide-n-Seek, or spread through the house for a lights out game of Bare Foot Roulette. These well traveled toys find their way to every nook and cranny of a boys domain and are a must for the budding architect or structural engineer. Warning: Carl's Jr. Cup 'O Random Lego's are known to cause the occasional stream of obscenities in shoe-less boy parents.

The number one favorite toy and 2008 winner of the Boy Mom Toy Review is, drum roll please, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... Hole In The Head Woody. This versatile toy is a must for the 5 years and under crowd. The character is based on the sequel to the popular Disney movie Toy Story entitled, There Are Way Worse Places Than Sid's House. Hole In The Head Woody is great for the boy who needs a stash for his boy treasures, Woody's head serves as a gender acceptable boy purse for grasshoppers, small rocks, used fireworks shells, sticks or any number of boy treasures. Woody comes with a handy carrying string, not to be confused with the voice string in other versions, which can be used to haul Woody around, tie things together, hang Woody from various structures or as a projectile launcher, just twirl around head until maximum speed is achieved then let go launching Hole In The Head Woody with mind boggling velocity at nearby people and objects. Though there is the potential that Woody might actually have a secret toy life which could be compromised by a large hole in the head, Hole In The Head Woody is Boy Mom's choice for Boy Toy of the year.

Enjoy shopping fellow Boy Moms, You can thank me later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Glorifying God

While in the middle of thinking all my woman, wife and mother thoughts I was approached by #2 with a question. "Mom, what does it mean to glorify God."

#2 doesn't take much of anything lightly he studies, meditates, prays, and ponders, I couldn't give him an answer from the head it had to be from the heart. I sat still, body, mind and mouth, too rare a state for me. Softly the answer touched my heart, "The scriptures say that Gods' work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, in each way that you receive the spirit of God in such a way that it leads you closer to the ideal you, the you that God sees, the you that blesses the lives of others and brings peace and joy to the world you glorify God. "

"But, how do you glorify God Mom?"

My answer is not what's important; the important thing is the question. For in each of those womanly, wifely, motherly thoughts which are the creation of all my actions this beautiful question asked and lived, assures grace, truth, goodness and glory.

Thank you # 2, for a reminder of an important question, one which should temper all my thoughts every moment of every day of my life.

May I let go of the fleeting, foolish glories of the world seeking instead to glorify the Kingdom of God and his son Jesus Christ.

Sabbath Joy to you.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bring On The Parties

I managed to take two whole pictures at our church Christmas party. The little boy with his back to the camera wearing a blue sweatshirt is my #6 singing Away In A Manger with the children in his primary class. The food was great, we shared stories of Christmas around the world, sang carols and visited. The party committee did a great job.


Some of the crowd. The boy in the fore front is my #3, you can see his face in Thursdays post.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Princess Bowling

Perhaps you can tell already from the title that this post will be a classic illustration on the differences between boys and girls.

This morning my girlfriend had me watch her daughter Lilly while she took care of some things. Lilly arrived with a pink backpack full of pink things. One by one, as #s 5-7 watched in fascinated silence, she reached into the backpack of pinkness and pulled out princesses. We don't have princesses here, heck, we don't have a grasp on female pronouns here, so this was heady stuff. Each princess was introduced by name, some with many names, Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, others with a song, "Ah ah ah, ah ah ah," the boys and I dutifully repeated each name and sang along to a song or two.

Later in the day after much hair flipping, and adorable drama (adorable because I don't get a steady diet I'm sure), Lily had left her princesses on the bar where I was making cookies, and was playing happily with #7 in another room. #s 5 and 6 were snitching chocolate chips and trying to figure out the mysteries of princesses.

#5: So this is uh...Singing Beauty.

#6: No, that is S-l-e-e-p-i-n-g Beauty, or Aboura.

Boy Mom: Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, or Briar Rose.

#5: Why does she have so many names?

Boy Mom: Um, well, because...maybe we'll watch the movie some time.

#6: Watch a movie about princesses?

Boy Mom: It has a dragon and a prince with a sword in it.

#5: All right! Can we watch it right now?

#6: This princess is Urielle.

#5: Urielle, that's a weird name.

#5: ( knocking a cup over into the row of princesses which topple like dominoes) Wow, three of them fell.

#6: Yeah, that's so cool, let's see how many I can knock down.

Poor princesses it was a great game of Princess Bowling though.

I even helped them set up the princess like bowling pins.

"If you can't beat em, Princess Bowl with em," we Boy Moms find ourselves saying.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clean Him Up

#3 is taking a class in school that explores different careers and societal roles his latest unit has been child care, the class has learned little songs, made age appropriate games and learned the ins and outs of caring for young children. As the culminating event of the project students are allowed to bring a three to five year old child to class for one hour, where they put into action all that they've learned. This is my third time bringing a younger sibling to the Jr. High School for this class so, aside from the date and a reminder the night before, I trusted myself to handle it this time as well.

My #3 is an interesting mix of fierce competitiveness, wow, that's a big word for this time in the morning, efficiency, conscientiousness, enough with the big words already, tenderness, passion, self doubt, obsessive/compulsiveness, teasing, and gratitude. I know, sounds like most 13 year old boys, so we'll bare in mind that as a teenager it's in his job description to not remember that for many years I bathed, dressed including shoes, socks and clean underwear, combed hair, dropped off and picked up multiple children with only the occasional mix-up.

Unlike our other children, who tend to spring upcoming events on us at the last minute, "See ya in a week when I'm back from choir tour in Seattle", #3 reminds us until we're ready to pop him in the mouth regularly. Yesterday, the day before bring a child to school you can guess what I heard 8billion several times, "Mom, don't forget that you have to bring #7 to school at 9:45 tomorrow morning".

"Mom, tomorrow, #7, 9:30, you can't forget."

"Now Mom, are you planning to have #7 at my school tomorrow at 9:15?" note that the time gets a bit earlier with each reminder. Did I mention that we suspect a future of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for this child.

The reminders continued into the evening along the same order until suddenly another concern about my parenting skills surfaced. "Uh, Mom, when you bring #7 to my school tomorrow you need to make sure he's cleaned up and dressed nice, " he glances at #7, "like he's dressed now!"

"So chocolate pudding face, superman undies and bare feet are out?" I ask, with only a trace of sarcasm dripping from my tongue.

"Yeah Mom, our school has a dress code ya know." He has the good sense to accompany this last with a sheepish little grin.

I feel it's only fair to mention that #7 has, from birth, some kind of aversion to clothes. If #7 is wearing underwear we consider him dressed, if he's wearing a shirt with the underwear we know he's decided to go out to play, if shoes and pants are part of the ensemble he's been captured by Mom and is going somewhere with her, if his face is clean, his hair is combed, by me not him, and he's dressed including socks and underwear, we watch the heavens for signs of the millennial reign. Yet, silly mom that I am, I'm still fairly confident that I'll be able to pull off getting him to the Junior High with out incident.

This morning, as he left for the bus, #3 mentioned one more time, just to be absolutely, positively sure I could handle it that I needed to have #7 at the doors by the tennis court, at straight up 9:45, but 9:30 would be better, and to make sure #7 was clean and dressed.

I out did myself, I showered him, combed and jelled his hair, put clean clothes on him including underwear. I saved us all from a precipitous appearance of deity, you can thank me later, by putting sandals with no socks despite the cool temperatures, not that he's lost his shoes again or anything.

At straight up 9:45 a.m. #3 greeted us outside the school, with a big hug for #7. I was proud, I had proved to #3 that I could be a responsible Mommy, I double checked on the pick-up time, 10:50 a.m., then left to run a few errands.

10:45 a.m. phone rings, "Hello".

"Mom, where are you?"

"#3, I'm in the car driving to your school." I said without the least trace of aggravation in my voice.

"OK, just checking to see if you remembered."

10:50, I'm pulling up to the school, phone rings, "Mom where are you?"

"I'm outside your school, which you would know if you were out here waiting for me instead of inside calling me!" My voice just may have increased slightly in volume.

So, I still haven't proved to my latest teenager that I'm a competent mother; but, #7 had a great time, came home, took off his sandals, pants and underwear, put on a swimsuit then showed me all the fun things he did with his really great brother at big kid school.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ho Hum

A little down today, one of those days you question the purpose of existence outside the mound of comforters and pillows on your bed.

Then just as I was ready to give up and bury my head under said comforters and pillows with out posting I checked and found COMMENTS, funny how much a word of encouragement means. Thanks to you all, from bestest friends to amazing strangers who feel like bestest friends.

:)

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: $

: P

: }

[:)

:~)

: 3

:b

; d

:=o)

Internet smiles, hugs and best wishes coming your way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Toothsome Tuesday

Toothsome Tuesdays that sounds fun for a recipe day.

Adorable Hubby and I love this salad we've been buying it at the Art City Trolley for ten years. Recent financial setbacks have become the 'mother of invention' and I've figured out a wonderful meal our family loves.

Dice, then brown 4-5 boneless chicken in 1 tablespoon of olive oil add salt and pepper to taste, set aside to cool.

Rinse and cut up 1 head of Romain lettuce.

Rinse and cut up 1 head of Iceberg lettuce.

Rinse 8 Cups of Baby spinach.

Finely slice 1/2 purple onion.

Chop 2 cups almonds
In sauce pan place 1 Cup sugar, turn burner on high and melt sugar stirring constantly don't worry about lumps they melt. When sugar is melted remove from heat dump in chopped almonds, mix to coat almonds turn out on cookie sheet place in cool place till sugar is hardened. Break in small pieces, I use a meat mallet the cooler the mix the easier it breaks.

1 cup Feta cheese crumbles.


Mix all greens together in large bowl. We set all other ingredients out salad bar style so little people can pick and choose.

To assemble:

On large plate place two big handfuls of greens, picky people can use tongs, so then that's two big tongfuls. Top greens with 1/2 cup chicken, 2 Tablespoons feta cheese crumbles, 2 Tablespoons candied almonds, 4 or 5 rings of purple onion or many more. Top with raspberry poppy seed dressing.

Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing.

In blender combine :
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbl. dry onion flakes
1 teas. dry mustard
1 teas. salt
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup frozen raspberries

blend for 20 - 30 seconds, then while blending add 1 cup vegetable oil, blend 30 - 60 seconds. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds, stir by hand. Store left overs covered in fridge.

Yummmmy, this is served with 1/2 an onion bagel at our favorite little restaurant. This amount barely feeds our family cause it's a seriously delicious combination. We let the little ones use ranch other dressings that they prefer and leave out all the good stuff toppings they think are yucky.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mondays' Muttered Mumblings

Bathrooms, that's a dirty word at boy house. Today in a fit of pre-decorating cleaning I ventured into the boy bathroom, gasp! What was I thinking? Amnesia? Temporary insanity brought on by a wicked combination of leftover turkey and pecan pie.

Not to worry I closed my eyes, held my breath stuffed my fingers in my ears and sang a hymn. I muscled my way past the moldering towels , the month ago football gear, the muddy shoes and pants probably Turkey Bowl relics.

I've had years of experience overcoming the post traumatic stress of a fool hardy peek into boy bathroom. The flashbacks, voices, desolation, carnage, and guilt are hard to withstand. Harder to handle still are the wild desires brought on by such a scene; I crave the smell of bleach, I tremble as I think of ammonia scented with lemon, my hands aches to attack armed only with rubber gloves, chemicals and Brillo pads.

No, I'm a women of morals and principals I will be strong. They know how to clean a bathroom I taught them well. I won't clean it for them, I won't, I wo... might, but I'll hold back a stocking stuffer I will.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tradition, Tradition

"Who day and night must scramble for a living, feed a wife and children..." remember the song, Tradition from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof ? The whole play is based on traditions and how they keep the citizens of the little town of Anatevka functioning, as they always have, in their respective roles. Tevye the plays main character, sums up the dilemma he faces, as his daughters break with tradition, choosing their own husbands, a responsibility traditionally borne by the father, with this line, "Without our traditions we would be as shaky as a fiddler on a roof".

We've entered a season of tradition, our decorations, schedules, food, attitudes, and beliefs all influenced by the traditions of parents, grandparents, friends, religions, and advertisers. In all this traditional stability and pleasant familiarity it's easy to switch on the auto-pilot, cruise along at altitude not fully engaged in any activity accepting the fun and peace of traditions with out fully savoring each. Perhaps, we're even aware that traditions can cut both ways and some may have us locked in a destructive cycle rendered unchangeable by complacency, "Ah well it's always been this way and there's not much I can do about it."

It's all too easy to let the experiences of our day to day life slip past year after year as do many of our Christmas traditions. We live at a distance, each event to expected and accepted to enliven our senses, pluck our heartstrings and impact us the way our life moments and this season of Christ should, or perhaps, could is the better word.

Let's shake it up a little this year, if not for our sake, for the sake of our little ones who's characters and lives are molded and shaped by the lessons we provide. Let us fully live each tradition, deeply, passionately, experience each of our old familiar traditions. It might hurt a little, as we find the courage to let go of a few whose pain was unrealized; but, we may also find an untapped well of life defining joy in really tasting, touching, smelling and living with our whole being. Perhaps we will discover, as Tevye did, which traditions mire us in the thick, cold, mud of an unexamined life and which traditions keep us rooted in the fertile soil of growth, family and God.

Friday, November 28, 2008

'Tis the Season'



We came home from our Thanksgiving feast last evening with three extras, two cousins and a friend. The more the merrier this time of year.

Christmas has been in the stores, if not in the air, since before Halloween. Here in Boyville we don't, "Spit in Thanksgivings' face by decorating or playing Christmas music before the last piece of turkey and pumpkin pie is eaten," rather traditional and passionate is our #1.

With the last bite of pumpkin pie came misty, wintry weather for my morning walk. #1 put on Christmas tunes to digest our turkey by, so...

Welcome Christmas, we did not forgot our resolve to keep you always in our heart. Yet your presence is renewed as lights beckon, snow falls, bells' ringing start .

This year as we decorate, bake, shop, worship and party. We'll try really hard not to, 'spit in your face' by worrying about January. We pledge not to make a single goal until New Years Day. Nor entertain yearnings for warmer weather and sunny rays.

We will bask in nature, laid bare, then cloaked in crystals, moist and white. Gaze through wonder filled childhood eyes, smell, taste, pray, sing, hang a star, bright. We will relinquish our hold on having and doing, receive the spirit of being. That your abode in our hearts may grow a bit, your message, our joy in every season.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving Day, may you have something to smile about.



May nothing make you blue.


May your pilgrimage lead to joy, or pumpkin muffins at least.


May you live in harmony with all that is native and beautiful.


And, may you get whatever you aim for.





From Boy House to Your House, warm Thanksgiving blessings...and turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beautiful Boys

Ding Dong, it's barely 9:00 AM on Saturday morning I'm feeling pretty good thanks to a little extra sleep and some quiet time. I open the door to a round faced neighbor boy, "Hello, can your computer, I mean, Game Cube...oh.. uh...your WII, umm...#5 play?"

"Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, the computer, I mean, Game Cube...oh.. uh...my Wii, no wait, I'm the only one around here without a Wii... oh The Nintendo Wii, umm... #5 is still sleeping?"

"Oh, um... ok, I'll come back later."

Fifteen minutes later, Ding Dong, "Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, everything... er, I mean one, is still asleep."

Nearly every afternoon there are six or seven extra boys hanging out at Boy House. As I fix dinner most evenings another neighbor boy, we'll call him, I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, comes in the kitchen and opens the fridge.

"I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, would you mind terribly staying out of the fridge while I'm fixing dinner?"

" Oh and have your brother call your Mom and find out what she's fixing you for dinner." Notice my subtle hint.

He runs to the play room, yelling, "Hungry Brother, Boy Mom just invited us to eat dinner here, will you call Social Life Mom and tell her we're staying for dinner." Adorable Hubby is right, boys don't do hints.

Then there is 16 Going On 11 Year Old who has adopted Adorable Hubby as the dad he's never known, nearly every night he shows up to watch a show and get invited to dinner. He often needs a Mom hug, I can always tell when things aren't going well for him at home because I get a big pimple faced hug. Guess what, as seen on TV product, 16 Going On 11 Year Old is getting for Christmas from his adoptive Mom and Dad.

I often walk past the toy room to find, Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy and I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, watching TV with 16 Going On 11 Year Old. They're all sharing a box of crackers which looks suspiciously like the one I bought this morning at Costco, can I get a boo-yah for Costco.

From 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. each evening, on the street in front of our house there are 6 to 14 boys playing a rowdy game of street football. They reluctantly move to let cars pass once the down is finished. They brag, argue, trash talk and swear a little, they jostle and push and slap each other on the back, male bonding hovers over the street like a testosterone fog. Everyone knows where the first-aid basket is, unless it's arterial bleeding or a compound fracture, neo-sporin and a band-aid is all you need.

Everyone knows it's cookies on Friday if I quadruple the batch they might last until Saturday. At noonish on Saturday and on school breaks many sandwiches are made, many, many sandwiches. Usually PB&J sometimes, if it's on sale, ham and cheese. If you're here you're invited just don't ask for special orders, "Do I look like the Burger King? "No, then you don't get it your way."

From time to time one or two pink and gigglys show up. They're pink and well... giggly I'm not always sure what to do with them. The one doll we kept on hand for such events has long ago disappeared. They seem adaptable though and soon find, as I have, that boys for all their loud and rowdy ways want to be noticed, need to be talked with and love a hug.

One day I came out of my bedroom laughing at the fit of a new t-shirt I'd bought. It looked fine on the hanger at the store but, turned out, it was way to tight. #1, #2 and two of their friends stood in the hall and wondered what the laugh was for. "This t-shirt is ridiculously tight, guess I'd better start that diet" I said.

After a cursory glance my sons mumbled something supportive like, "Don't worry Mom, once you're married no one expects you to look hot" then headed down stairs.

The two friends stopped on their quest to be the first to the video game dual and gave me the reason I love all the male madness around here, "Mrs, Boy Mom," they said sincerely. "You shouldn't talk bad about yourself, you are a really beautiful women, really." Their unexpected sincerity was touching and teaching.

What makes a women beautiful to boys is love, tolerance, humor, generosity, confidence and vulnerability. I'm learning that from all these wonderful, beautiful boys in my life, may I learn it well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful For Pumpkin

This morning I had a good mama moment and decided at 8:45 a.m. to make pumpkin muffins for #6s' Kindergarten class. There are one or two little issues with this picture of domestic bliss.

1. As the oldest of eleven children it is impossible for me to make a single batch of mini muffins. I ended up with 7 loaves of pumpkin bread, 12 big muffins, and 40 mini muffins. Nature or nurture, don't know what caused compulsive baking...I need therapy.

2. I was ready to go for my morning walk so to avoid being covered in flour and end up exercising while covered with powdered carbohydrates, I took my shirt off. Uhh yeah, I made Pumpkin goodness wearing my bra and sweats. We're classy around here?

3. I started at 8:45 a.m. my children need to be dropped of to school at 9:15 a.m.... the concept of time management is elusive, even evasive to my mind.

4. I strongly suspect that I only lost myself in this pumpkin baking madness to avoid bills, laundry, cleaning...sigh!

5. All I've heard all afternoon, "Mom, can we open another loaf of pumpkin bread?" "Can we have pumpkin bread for dinner?" "He had more pumpkin bread than me!"

Ah well, domestic bliss and good mamas are bound to have issues though none that can't be resolved over an ice cold glass of milk and a warm slice of pumpkin bread.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mondays' Muddled Mutterings

Many of my blogin' friends start the week with a post called Monday Musings.

Musings is to deep a word for a women who is woken Monday morning from her bed on a five foot high pile of laundry by a thirteen year old asking if he has to go to school.

Musings is way too profound a word for the foggy jumbled thoughts that spurt randomly from the brain of that women as she stares blankly at the ruins of Fridays' Maniacal cleaning frenzy wondering who forgot to sound the tornado warning.

Monday Musings is way to brilliant literary alliteration for someone too hung over from overeating Sundays' dinner to remember which school and which drop off times are assigned to each of the seven laddies shuffling through the kitchen looking for weekend homework and Pop Tarts.

So my beginning of the week posts are duly dubbed, 'Mondays' Muddled Mutterings', I realize that mutterings doesn't appropriately describe things written; however, keeping my muddled, random thoughts in my head for a post is better for the many men in my life who seem put off when I do actually mutter.

It also occurs to me that some of you amazing writers out there may rightly surmise that I'm attempting to disguise my Moms' and, come to think of it, every English teachers' I've ever had, failure to instill grammatic principals into my head despite obsessively correcting everything I ever wrote, by out alliterizing you. Actually my cover is making up new words and calling it poetic license.

So here is my muddle for this Monday post:

Thursday as Adorable Hubby and I returned from our day trip I glanced out the car window at the truck next to us, all I saw was a hubcap, a wheel and some springy things which I am told are shocks. To say this was a big truck would be significantly understating it; by craning my neck and pressing my nose against the glass I could just make out the driver.

You know what they say about men who buy BIG trucks; if you don't I'm certain a man in your life would love to fill you in.

As the light changed and the truck pulled away I noticed a doggy face barely peering out of the bed of the truck.

Does this breed of dog seem short, wrinkled and well... funny looking, for the image a guy with a really big truck is trying to create?


See doesn't even come close to a brain wave pattern as developed as musing. Feel free to use the title 'Mondays' Muddled Mutterings' as it applies to your attempts to overcome weekends.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lost and Found

This week we had the opportunity to attend a funeral , I say opportunity because of the love and relationships renewed as you memorialize a life. I lost my Dad eight years ago this December so I hoped to be a comfort to Adorable Hubby's' cousins who had just lost theirs. As I listened to each of his five children remember the things that most touched them about their Dad I thought that perhaps we don't truly find a person until we find them in ourselves.

Perhaps as we strive to be as loved as we saw people love our Daddy. Or find ourselves listening to the intuition that tells us our child is ill as our Mom did for us. Finding the power to love a rebel without judgment, reserve or restraint because a friend loved us that way when we were the rebel. As we becoming a gentle giant who can do anything for our three little boys just like their granddad did for us. Maybe this is how we truly find someone who is lost to this world.

All the children spoke of their Dads' amazing hugs, the rebel learned well. The hug I got from someone who had just lost their Dad was powerful, comforting, peace... for me the intended comforter.

When we become a follower of God we have the opportunity to find Him in ourselves by living as he would live among us. Mosiah 18:9-11
and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

It is the desire of my heart that I may find a part of God in me and that by so doing I'll live a life worthy of someone finding a part of me in them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Definitely Hi-Def


And the winner is... Yes! we won the High Def Peanut Butter Bars (since I'm to dorky to figure out the link thing check out Rob and Amy on my family blogs list, the comments are the best). I suspect this contest may have been a clever trick where my Brother-in-law invited himself over to watch the BYU vs U of U football game through subtlety and contest trickery; however, a win is a win and I'm the big winner. The Peanut Butter Bars were definitely Hi-Def or at least Hi-Cal Cal, if alas, the game was not.

A fine time was had by all. U of U BYU you Rock!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friends

Every women needs a girlfriend or two; someone you can tell anything to, someone who you can call and vent to or laugh with. My girlfriend gave me a call today, "Want to come to the sports chiropractor with me?"

"Um, sure, I'd love to!" Hey, I was folding socks at the time, love was the right word.

"So, do you need me to watch your kids?" Between us we have 11 boys (one in heaven) and 1 girl.

"No, I need you to keep me calm. I've seen too many messed up necks from the Chiropractor." She works in CAT-Scan at a local hospital.

"I thought your hip was out, I'm no doctor but I'm pretty sure that the neck bone is not connected to the hip bone."

That led to a conversation about a visit to another Doctor, with the doctor, a tech and a big, big guy all pulling and tugging to no avail.

Later at the doctors office, after chatting on our cell phones until we arrived in the parking lot, we sat close on the couch oohing and aahing over yummy, complicated Thanksgiving recipes that we both know we'll never try. Too soon, for an appointment that lasted two hours, the Doctor came in, "Hi, I'm Doctor So and So, let's see you're Suzie and you are?" He looks at me.

"Susan." I smile

"Suzie and Susan?" he looks at us like were a couple of school girls messing with the substitute.

"That's us!" we say in unison, laughing. When we're together we feel like school girls, fun, happy, and carefree.

"I think I'll call you the Suz's." The doctor announces.

I like that, it's not often you find a kindred spirit especially one whom you share a name with. I'm glad we found some time to slip away, hang out, be a little silly and delight in the joy of being girls.

If it's been awhile since you hung out with a girlfriend...well, what are you waiting for.

PS If you need a girlfriend to get silly with call me, one can never have enough friends and I have a lot of socks I'd rather not fold.


Our babies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tired

Up at 5:00 A.M. drove 4 hours to attend funeral, drove home, to tired to blog, picked random picture, impressed myself with my random picture pickin' skills, went to bed, Night all!


Love this picture of the burr plant I grew this year. It was replaced by a Butterfly Bush, thanks Mandi, but it had it's season in the sun thanks to my amazing gardening skills.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pause Please

Today I was at #6's kindergarten class where I help out on Wednesdays, my task for the day was helping the kids play a math game. At one point a little strawberry blond began sniffling and snuffling and rubbing at her stuffy little nose. Not 5 minutes earlier I had watched from across the room as my own little dear shoved his incredibly dirty fingers (drat the chopped up tires they use for playground chips at our elementary school) up his nose holes. I had walked across the room as inconspicuously as possible to hand him a Kleenex which he didn't need by the time I got to him. "I've got dirty fingers and Levi's Mom why waste a Kleenex?"

So I'm sitting supervising three intense matches of war, listening to this little thing next to me sniffle, wondering if I'll catch her cold and how I'll fit sick into all I have to do for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my new job home schooling. The little girl suddenly stands up, turns to me and says in all sincerity, "Can you pause the game I need a tissue."

It got me to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if I could hit the Mommy Pause Button?

Dinner cooking? Pause...Mommy needs to chat with a girlfriend and it's the only time we both have a minute.

Doing dishes? Pause...Mommy wants to cuddle up and read Green Eggs and Ham for the 300th time with #7.

Running errands? Pause...Mommy wants to stop at the park because it's a sunny day and swinging is so much more fun than groceries.

Paying bills? Pause...#3 needs a counseling session and a thirteen year old who'll talk to mom is priceless.

Laundry? Pause...who in their right mind wouldn't pause laundry.

Sick Mommy? Pause... Mommy needs a nap.

3:00 in the afternoon? Pause...Mommy needs a shower.

Kids in bed with parents? Pause...Daddy needs some lovin'.

OK, a pause button is an innovention of our fast paced technology driven society; it gives someone playing a game or lost in some other super important technological pastime a chance to pause, do something that has to be done then return to playing. Let's face it there will never be enough time in the day for everything we busy Mommy's feel we have to do; but, just maybe God gave us a pause button in the gift of free agency. Some things are just more important than others. Our little ones don't come with a pause button they just keep growing and growing and one day playtimes will be few and far between. Friendships don't come with a pause button yet they keep us grounded and connected to the playful fun person we really are. Husband's don't come with pause buttons and, after all, playing around with our spouse may be the most important play ever.

So, thanks snuffly, cold sharing, strawberry blond, five year old, for a life lesson, I guess you really do learn everything you need to know in kindergarten. This season of THANKSgiving and CHRISTmas I'm pausing so I can live, laugh, love and play. Because, while a technology pause gives you a break to do what you have to do so you can get back to playing, in the real world the playing happens when we pause.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bad Egg


Since I seem to have hit a nerve with my last post on what to expect when you tell the principal you want to home school, I thought I'd share a little home school story.


When # 1 was in sixth grade he was home schooled and it occurred to me that he was missing out on the joys of the sixth grade Maturation class. One day I sent his brothers out to play, drew a few pictures of the reproductive systems of males and females then explained the girl stuff, I figured I'd leave the boy stuff to Adorable Hubby.

After what I thought was a lovely little explanation of the journey of an egg through the female reproductive system ending in pregnancy or menstrual cycle; I sat back with a satisfied smile and asked #1 if he had any questions.

"So is it a bad egg if it doesn't fertilize?" He asked confused concern in his voice.

"Oh no sweetie!" I exclaimed horrified that I'd given him that impression.

I went back over it all explaining that all eggs couldn't be fertilized and that a menstrual cycle was a beautiful, natural part of womanhood, what? it's natural. I assured him that an egg wasn't bad just because it didn't become a baby. I suggested that it was however an emotional time for a women because of the hormones that accompanied the process and that he could help out by keeping an eye on his brothers while I took a nap.

I settled back in my recliner with the warm glow of being a Mom and teacher pleased that my thoughtful instructions had successfully prepared my little boy to become a young man.

The screen door slammed shut and #1 yelled, "Brothers, Mom's trying to pass a bad egg! We've got to play out here and leave her alone!"

Maybe the Principals is right...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Schoolers 101

Many moons ago when I walked my first little laddie to his first day of kindergarten I fully expected that I would soon be getting a call from the gifted and talented program chairman asking for this little guy, who knew his letters numbers and shapes at 2, to be their poster child. Instead two weeks into school I got a call letting me know that #1 didn't stay in the classroom and that he didn't come in from recess and they wanted him to come in half an hour early each day for help with his letters and numbers. Thus began the challenge of trying to figure out exactly how to work a brilliant, multi dimensional learner into the public education system.

Educating our children has seen many approaches in our family. I've had all of my children in public education, all of them home schooled and part public/ part home based on my needs and the needs of my children. Each grade level, each decision has been approached with prayer and contemplation and the needs of each child in mind. Recently Adorable Hubby and I made the decision to pull #5 out of public school and work with him at home for a while. Each time I pull a child out of public school I groan inside. Could any process make you feel less intelligent and concerned for your child?

For those who haven't experienced this process here is a primer on what you'll be told and what I thought, but kept to myself, I realize this is a difficult process for a principal and teacher as well we all want children to succeed. I have also experienced this same set of questions before when we've transitioned a child out of school so I was prepared.

In a futile attempt to preempt the questions, I offered my experience and reasoning. The secretary had already warned him what I was there for so the atmosphere was similar to what I imagine the Dr. office feels like when a patient is told they have stage 5 liver cancer with like 37 minutes to live. I explained that I had children with similar learning patterns that I was an experienced home schooler and that #5 was exhibiting extreme anxiety, was not functioning at grade level and was expressing feelings of hostility towards other students. I also mentioned I wanted to coordinate with his teacher and keep him working on the same spelling words and math program, and that # 6 and # 4 would be staying in school.

Principal: Good morning Mrs. Boy Mom how can I help you?

Boy Mom: Oh I'm just here to offer myself as an example of 'Parents and their crazy, whimsical parenting philosophy.

Principal: Pulling your child out of school is a big decision have you thought this through?

Boy Mom: No, not really this morning I looked at my To Do list and thought, only 101 items I must have one or two more...hmm let's see... I know, I'll pull #5 out of school and teach him myself.

Principal: Will you or your husband be able to supervise his home schooling?

Boy Mom: No, we both work full time and spend our evenings prowling the mall looking for mannequins that remind us of people we know... Duh.

Principal: This is a really big challenge for parents are you sure he'll get enough one on one instruction?

Boy Mom: Hmm...If a school has 30 teachers and 500 students what is the ratio of students to teachers? Show your work.

Principal: I'm really concerned for each student I just want to be sure you've taken #5 needs into consideration?

Boy Mom: At some point as his watermelon head was being squeezed out of my body it occurred to me he might have a need or two. Sheesh what does this guy not get about extreme anxiety, not functioning at grade level and hostility towards others.

Principal: What curriculum will you be using to keep him at grade level?

Boy Mom: Uh, didn't I just mention, HE'S NOT AT GRADE LEVEL!

Principal: Maybe you could keep him in his literacy block so he'd be with his classmates.

Boy Mom: Sure since he wants to "Choke" his classmates for teasing him I think that'd be a brilliant idea.

Principal: How will you ensure he is properly socialized?

Boy Mom: Are you kidding? Here's another math problem for you? If seven boys have three friends each and those friends each eat two sandwiches and five cookies when they are hanging out at boy house three hours a day six days a week how many social skills will #5 develop?

Principal: I really feel that keeping him enrolled and having him repeat 2nd grade might be a better option.

Boy Mom: So have him finish out 6 months of 2nd grade this year then do it all again next year? The perfect answer to it's not working= more, it's not working.

Principal: It seems your mind is made up I think it would be a good idea to coordinate with his teacher.

Boy Mom: Sigh, at Principals school they must teach a course called How to make Parents feel they are incapable of intelligent educational choices.


So #5 began his homeschooling today. He's an amazing child and I'm looking forward to the closeness home school brings.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sabbath

I Love the relationship of the words in this scripture.

D & C 88: 40-41

40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom recieveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgement goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

41 He comprehendeth all things and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things; and round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

I love that as we make a portion of Godliness ours we respond to and resonate with those who have also become that virtue. May I cleave unto intelligence; receive wisdom; embrace truth; love virtue; cleaveth unto light; be compassionately claimed by mercy; and leave to God judgment of myself and others. That He may be in me, through me and round about me forever and ever.

Amen

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cutting It Close

Wow I'm sneaking this in a minute or two before midnight. Gotta post every day, gotta post got...zzzz, hurrph.

This will be short but that's OK because something else came perilously close to becoming short today so this is a short post about short and shorts...I really need to wrap this up and go to bed.

A little earlier this evening #7 came in for a cuddle wearing the pajama shorts he'd worn all day cause I'm just that kinda Mom. Only something about those pajama shorts set off my Boy Mom radar so I gave them a closer look.

"#7," says I,

"Did you cut your shorts with the scissors?"

"I can fix it, I'll tape it up!" He says, while trying to cover the evidence by grabbing two handfuls of shredded shorts.

Upon closer examination I am just grateful that the shorts were the only thing, err... shortened.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yum! Friday

Fridays are a good day at Boy House. Fridays are cookie days.

Boy Mom's Famous Cookies

Whip together
4 cubes (2 cups) of butter
4 eggs
4 cups Brown sugar

Add
Four cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup Coconut, flaked
3 cups chocolate chips

Blend well, drop by teaspoon fulls or tablespoon fulls or gigantic hand fulls with dough bites out of them... uh hem, bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins. Yield: not enough

Enjoy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adorable Hubby Posts

Adorable Hubby here, my first and, most likely, last post.

Yesterday Boy Mom wrote what she thought was a hilarious post on the symptoms of that whole monthly business you women endure so graciously. She was rolling on the floor with laughter thinking of Willy Wonka sharing his passion for confections with a PMS'ing women.

She may have missed a funny bone or two because at 8:30 this A.M. she got a call asking if she was pregnant. That began a frenzied editing process which was only interrupted this afternoon by a pint of Starbucks, Java Chip ice cream.

I personally didn't find the post that amusing but, I don't find anything about the subject amusing. I told Boy Mom I might have missed the humor since I don't find her overly grumpy during her time, I'm clever that way. Then I installed the dishwasher that's been acting as a lovely end table in our oh so classy living room for the past several weeks. For my efforts Boy Mom rewarded me with yet another reading of her much edited post and pigs-in-a-blanket for dinner.

Thanks for all your comments of late. Boy Mom has been challenged by this silly goal of posting every day in November, your comments make her life and mine sooo much better. A word of caution... It might be best not to bring up yesterdays post, a little Midol, a lot of chocolate and she'll have forgotten which is best for everyone.

Thanks,

Adorable Hubby

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Past The Point of No Return

The signs are all there, mood swings, sudden unexplained rages, tears, lethal sarcasm, headaches, cramps which one doctor, male? Duh! swore would go away after giving birth, wrong!

The howling begins, the gnashing of teeth, the shrieking at silly little things, "Mom just totally freaked at me for spilling the new family size bag of Rice Krispies all over the kitchen, rude."

Your house cleaning fantasy man goes from, sexy vampire, or movie star to Willy Wonka beckoning from the banks of a chocolate river singing strains of Phantom just for you...

You have come here
in pursuit of
your deepest urge,
in pursuit of
that wish,
which till now
has been silent,
silent . . .
I have brought you,
that our passions
may fuse and merge -
in your mind
you've already
succumbed to me
dropped all defenses
completely succumbed to me -
now you are here with me:
no second thoughts,
you've decided,
decided . . .
Past the point
of no return -
no backward glances:
the games we've played
till now are at
an end . . .
Past all thought
of "if" or "when" -
no use resisting:
abandon thought,
and let the dream
descend . . .
What raging fire
shall flood the soul?
What rich desire
unlocks its door?
What sweet seduction
lies before
us . . .?

Every women, and wise man, knows. Hide the kids, unlock the chocolate, stock up on Midol, and cower in fear, cuz it ain't gonna be a pretty week.

Our Family

Our Family