Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Cooked Dinner Tonight

The day began with fussiness and not wanting to be put down--at all. After a shower, Alice fell asleep on the bathroom floor--at 9:30 in the morning. The child who normally struggles to take one nap ended up taking three (the other two were taken on me) and not a whole lot got done around the house. I thought about what to do for dinner. Because of where we live and having a little one and Jay having a long drive from work, getting takeout or going out to eat is not an easy task. I took a mental inventory of pizzas and corndogs in the freezer--after all, how am I supposed to get all of this done?

Then I read this post by Liz Foss and reconsidered.

God doesn't call us to wallow in our suffering. He doesn't want us hoist our crosses upon the shoulders of the people around us. The sleepless night is my cross. It's not my husband's cross. If I stomp around the kitchen, whining about how tired I am, I foist that cross onto someone else's shoulders. If I "fake" it, and smile instead and force myself to take even more care with breakfast, I bless someone. The thing about choosing joy, even when we don't feel joy? Usually, we end up feeling it too. It's not dishonest. It's discipline.

So I cooked dinner. Yes, it was only Chicken Helper (Thank you, Reasor's for your 10 for 10 sale a couple of weeks ago!) and yes, the chips were about to go stale, but it was a warm meal eaten together on real dishes.

He works hard for us. He deserves it. Really, he deserves better than Chicken Helper (and it was the Mexican variety, which I don't think he is crazy about), but this is real life, and even on the days when the children are feeling fine and are well behaved, it's not gourmet cuisine around here.

Tonight I will try to get to bed a little earlier and wake up with a smile, even if I don't especially feel like it. By lunchtime, I should be feeling it for real.

*No, my husband would not care if we ate frozen pizza (well, I would heat it up) because the baby was sick. He wouldn't care if we ate frozen pizza because the baby wasn't sick. I like to save the pizzas for emergencies, though. Or for the weekends, because I am pretty much cooked out by Saturday.

**The picture above is from the ribbon cutting ceremony for Jay's new office--another blog post that never made it out of my head.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January Randomness

I noticed that in December I made a whopping five posts. Yeah, five. But that was December, and everyone knows December is a busy month. I got to five posts in January by the eleventh. And least I will beat last month. It's not that I don't want to blog--I've got tons of posts in my head--it's just that with school and the house and a baby who is beginning to give up naps, time gets away from me. So without further excuses, here are some odds and ends from the last few weeks. (The picture above is from a trip to the grocery store. Alice wanted all of the clips in her hair. Right then. And that was the smile I got when I asked for one.)

We got a bit of snow. The real problem, though, was the cold. When this was taken, we were out looking for the septic sprinklers so we could uncover them. Right before we went outside, the radio announcer said the wind chill was -4.

Working on a Lego set from Christmas.

Boris and Lulu have finally made their peace with each other.

Honestly, the number one thing that keeps me from getting blog posts done has to be cleaning. Next month's sensory bin will NOT have rice in it and all math activities involving beans will be done at a time when the sensory bun is put away. I learned my lesson that day.

It snowed again last week. The public school kids got two days off. We continued on as usual.

Alice was finally awake for some yogurt.

Today was homeschool day at the local bounce place. Alice had the best time with her brother!

So there you have it! Please do check back in soon and I will have something new up!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Extraordinary Ordinary Day

Friday was a break from the usual around here. The temperature was supposed to be in the upper 50s, so after donuts at my mom and dad's office, we headed to the museum, had a picnic at the arboretum, and then went over to the children's museum.

We had lots of fun, and as you can see, we were pretty worn out at the end of the day. On the way home, Jack said it was the best day ever, which surprised me; even though we don't usually do a lot of big events, spending a day doing things around town is hardly out of the ordinary for us. And that is what I love about our life right now. Jack could be stuck behind a desk for six hours a day, rain or shine, but instead of taking snow days, he can take a sunny day in the middle of winter and enjoy it with his friends--and very few crowds, which I really love. Now that the weather is cold again, we're back to our more ordinary days, but I am glad that we can have the extraordinary ones so easily, too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Bobey Day!

We are celebrating nine years of Boris today!

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life--music and cats.
~ Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Movie Time

Jay got me a new camera for Christmas, so now you can see plenty of gems like the one above. Start popping the popcorn!

Word of the Year: 2011 Edition

It's that time of year again. And by that time, I mean January. January is not my favorite month. It's cold and bleak and endless, which is rough for a person who is ready for winter to end on December 26. It is time, though, to think about the new year and what can be accomplished and what needs to be accomplished. (How trite is that? Can I get a duh? I came across a lot of sites for preachers writing sermons as I was looking for a quote for this post.)

So without any further triteness or ado, my word for 2011 is stewardship. Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. Primarily, I had money and time in mind when I chose this word, but as I thought about it some more, I realized it can also be applied to my family--and other things, too, of course, but those are the main ones for me right now.

Money: I'm not going to act like we're scraping by, but who couldn't be better about their money? We have always lived below our means, it's just gotten easier to do as we've gotten higher paying jobs, and by we, I mean Jay. I do find myself spending on stuff I don't really need--a run through the drive-thru, a set of placemats, and on and on--so that's where my focus will be. I'm not saying you won't see me at the splash pad with a big old Sonic cup in the middle of July, but hopefully I will usually bring my own drink.

Time: Any mother out there knows that this is the most precious thing there is. No matter how much you have, it's not enough. No matter how much you work, there is always a big spider web in the corner or lint on the baseboards or a spare room full of random crap. (Please tell me you have one of those, too. It's okay to lie to me to make me feel better. I really don't mind.) With that feeling of futility in mind, I want to spend my time in better ways: playing with the kids, reading, catching up on old shows with Jay. I am trying to make the spare minutes in the day count and get some of the small things done when I can so my larger chunks of time can be used on the good things.

The Rest: This time of year I find myself thinking a lot about my family and how I want it to be. Together is always good, and thankfully we are together a lot more these days. I want my children to grow up knowing that they are loved and wanted and that I am thankful that we get to spend our days together. I want my husband to know that I'm glad to see him walk in the door each evening and I'm happy to help around the house. I want these to be good days, and a lot of times, that depends on my attitude.

I am looking forward to all the new year has to bring (unless it's record low or high temperatures--I hate those) and hope that you and your family have a happy 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Last night we continued our New Year's Eve tradition of opening a surprise each hour.

We began by decorating signs.

Next was dinner (ravioli) and make your own sundaes.

Before Alice went to bed, she and Jack showed off their signs. Jack's is decorated in an Iron Giant theme since he and Jay watched that earlier in the day.

At 8:00, we worked an I Spy puzzle.

9:00 was time for Hocus Focus, which Jack really enjoyed.

At 10:00, we popped in a movie and Jack curled up on the couch. He only made it to about 10:30.

He roused around midnight and we watched the ball drop on the local channel. It was off to bed for me, too, since Alice went to bed at her regular time.

We have been enjoying the first day of the 2011 around the house together, especially thankful that this new year did not begin as cold and snowy as 2010!