Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A heart lesson.

Ian was annoying me.  Kind of.  Nothing serious.  But, the kids were whinning, I was trying to get the tortillas rolled out and in the pan. Lunch was a little late. Instead of helping, he had to stand there and talk about, for no apparant reason, some deals he got on some hunting clothes in the last while.  I just wasn't into it.  I thought it was pretty clear.  But, then this is Ian I am talking about.  And, just when I was going to say something, I saw in front of me a heart.  yep, that tortilla had suddenly turned into a heart.  I tried rolling it the other way.  I flipped it over and tried again.  Shoot, that heart shape wouldn't disappear.  I think the heart shape became even more perfectly defined as I light heartedly scowled at it and willed it to go away.  Okay, I will just love.  Frustration disappeared.  Annoyance melted away.  I chose not to share my annoyance with him (although some day he will read this.  Sorry, honey.  But some life lessons should just be shared.  And remembered.)  When we remember love, when we focus on it, there's no room in our hearts for ugly frustruations or thoughts, is there?

oh, and the tortillas.  The Best Ever. 
Mix together: 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder.  Add 2 Tbsp lard (yes, I used lard) and crumble it all up with your fingers. Pour in 1 cup water and mix.  Will probably need to add up to another 1/2 cup more to get a nice dough.  Roll out into about 15 (?) circles.  Bake in a dry pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds.  It will begin to bubble.  Flip and finish the other side for 30 seconds.

I will never buy tortillas again.  (Well, I won't want to anyhow, but I suppose I might find myself in a hurry at some point...)

Monday, November 28, 2011

hello, sanity?

Feeling a little insane around here lately.  I suppose that's not so strange at this stage of life.  But, I would really appreciate a little more calmness and a little less chaos.  I really don't enjoy always feeling behind on all the things I'd like to accomplish or have time for.  I realized last night that finding sanity isn't necessarily in managing to check something off the to-do list.  Because the laundry still needed to be done, the floors desparately needed a cleaning, and the supper dishes were still sitting dirty at the table.  But, I felt more sane after sitting and doing a puzzle with Lanelle.  We had fun.  We laughed.  We praised each other.  She told me several times when I suggested a piece and she discovered that it fit - "Yes, you were definately right."  And she was trying so hard to use a big word fluidly in her little cartoon voice.  Oh, she made me smile.

And I'm glad I just remembered that lesson.  Because I googled the phrase "how to get rid of chaos".  I thought it would be interesting to see what came up.  Even though I pretty much knew what to expect.  Although I expected it, I still almost got sucked into the list of 74 things to do to simplify and take control of you life.  They did look like great ideas. I think they should have stopped at #1.  Write down the 4 more important things in your life.  If I tried to accomplish all their tasks, I would not have time for the 4 most important things in my life.

Yea for skipping over the long list of organizational tasks.  Because if I attempted it, I might really be insane.  Perhaps as was discussed at knitting club the other morning, I should start writing "Already Done Lists."  I'm sure I'd feel much better about my day.  Today would include:  taking the kids skating (which took up the whole morning and did not involve a whole lot of sanity), making the best creamy tomato spinach pasta, washing the floor, doing a puzzle, reading Geronimo Stilton (for the boys reading interest), cleaning up play-doh and puzzles, folding and putting away 2 loads of laundry, making a supper stirfry, dancing with a baby and her music box...  Yes, I'm feeling better now.

Appreciating precious moments, making already done lists, and taking the time to reframe things.  I'm feeling more joyful than when I sat down here.

And late at night by myself I might remember to appreciate simple gifts in life, like how beautiful a clean kitchen is and how lovely some stiches are.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winter Picture Story

This mama forgot we like being outside in the winter.  We were starting to go crazy inside too much.  It seemed to hard with a babe that takes off mitts and toques within seconds.  Not very Saskatchewanian of you, I tell her.  But, we dug through the storage room and found some warmer items that she can't remove.  We found the blue baby sled.  And we went out to the park!
She stopped screaming after she was moving in the sled.  We played musical sleds on our way.

Somebody wants a ride, somebody wants to pull, somebody wants to OTHER sled.
But we made it to the park.  The big kids found the biggest hill among the small choices of the park.
This unsure babe, changed her mind about being bundled up.  Hmm, it is nice to be outside, eh babe?  Especially when there is a fun big brother and sister to giggle at.

So the next time everyone seems a little grouchy, I order us outside to go sledding at the big hill.  Kellen says no, it's no fun.  I say we are going, so go.  He says fine, but if its not fun, then you can't be on your computer for a whole week.  Oh, really, I say.
Hmm, looks like fun to me (and I am on my computer after all.)

I couldn't get a picture of lanelle sledding.  She decided she wouldn't go down the BIG hill without mom.  Kind of glad she decided that, because I had so much fun!  Neve did end up protesting a lot about being left alone (or so I thought that was the problem).  I'd sprint back up while the big kids slowly made their way up.  Soon though, I realized , as she tried desperately to move her super bundled body over to the sled, that she was mad because she wanted to go.  So, I took her, and she LOVED it!  Oh, Neve, are you a thrill seeker already?

Monday, November 14, 2011


It was far from a perfect day.  Not a terrible day though.  Lots of good things happened.  A large pumpkin delivered to our door.  A phone call with a neighbour and plans for coffee.  Play with friends after school.  A new laptop played with :)  Wireless set up.  So fun.  But, I was feeling pretty grumpy about a few thing.  The house turns into a disaster so quickly unless I am giving it seemingly constant attention.  Fussy kids drive me nuts.  A sleep-fighter babes.  It is what it is, I try to tell myself.

You know why it really bothers me though?  When I was sitting on the couch after supper with a cup of coffee with the sounds of the big kids laughing together and the babes crawling around on the floor, I felt a heaviness thinking about what they will remember.  Will Lanelle remember when I yelled at her?  (seriously though, she fussed and whinned at me for 30 minutes - straight.  I said I would not listen to her until she stopped and she never did until she went to her bedroom crying - after I yelled).  Will Kellen remember those conversations he has surely overheard between Ian and I when I whine about the kids driving me nuts?

And suddenly I was given this song that I haven't heard in ages, but it made my heart smile.  And it reminded me of Ann Voskamp's eucharisteo.  So I searched for a video of Peter Mayer singing "Bountiful" without luck.  I'd love for you to hear it.  But, here are his words.  And I should tell you that when I heard him sing it at the little coffee house someplace in South Dakota, he told us he wrote it for his mom.

You don’t just say grace
Before you dig in
You stand and dance and sway
Around the kitchen
And feast your eyes, astounded by
What you’ve been given
Before you even
Sit down
In Bountiful

And when you allemande
With the pans and the cupboards
You lapse into a trance
And dance like a lover
Till dinner time has slipped your mind
And you can’t recover
Like a drunkard
Stumbling around
In Bountiful

And when you fold your hands
You laugh
Because the words escape you
So when you pray
You shut your mouth
In Bountiful

Tonight while reading over at Emerging Mummy I found exactly what I was feeling!  I love it when someone with words happens to explain just what I am thinking and feeling.  I want my tinies time to be beautiful.  To be memorable.  To be something that brings smiles and warmth when their adult selves remember these times.  And I hope they remember Bountiful.

I wish the song described me.  There are moments I know it.  Will they remember how I smiled when I popped open a jar of our borscht?  Will they remember marveling over the seeds that grow?  Will I have taught them Bountiful?

I have found eucharisteo tonight.  I will remember bountiful in the morning.  When I dish the steel cut oats from the crockpot into our bowls.  When I sit with them and talk about our wishes for the day.  When we sit and read.  When we go outside.  When the house is messy.  When there is laundry to be folded.  Even when they fuss at me.  I will practice eucharisteo.  I will dance.  And, I hope they remember.  

Random bits.

It's really a new season around here, the snow seems to change the feel of things quickly.  I think my autumn decorations arrived to late, and its time to think winter.  Blah, blah.Ha,  I don't feel I have a lot of purpose here at this moment.  This day just is.  Not feeling so inspired, just getting by today :)  But I want to make Mary happy! :) (so you better leave a comment for me, please!)

Sometimes when I sit down to eat, the colors just catch my eye and I feel I have to take a picture.  I haven't really thought it that odd, until we had a friend of Kellen's over.  The super puzzled look on his face when he asked me what I was doing made me laugh.  Mostly at myself.  I guess it is a little strange.
And he didn't really like my feta spinach salad, salmon with maple sauce, or oven baked red pepper risotto.  I thought it was delicious and beautiful.
I took this picture when I was alone :P  The smell of the drying sage caught my attention.  Wish a picture could capture the smell of this.

Free preschool skate times have started up again.  We've only taken advantage of it once so far, but the kids loved it so much.  They surprised me how they just picked up from where they were at last year.  Made me only mildly guilty to see Kellen having so much fun and realizing he might love hockey...Anyhow, reminds me I'd better sign him up for skiing right away.
New haircuts and they love them.  Kellen never wants long hair again he tells me.  And he also told me how he loves that his hair doesn't even move and get in his eyes when they do gym warm-up songs!
New look of my landing.  Sigh, a big thing winter brings that I could do without.  Not a fan of the pile of stuff, WET stuff.
New place I find Kellen playing Lego (and where I also find myself stepping ont it!)  Smart boy found a place where the baby can't bother him. Ha!
Same old place I find Lanelle.  Doing puzzles.  New to her footed pajamas found in a hand-me-down bag were worn for 24 hours straight by her, she is in love.  And loves to tell me about how each "piece" is attached to each other.  The socks, the shirt, and the pants!
\Thrifted Star Wars puzzle I picked up for Kellen.  Always done by Lanelle, but enjoyed by Kellen.  Found this on my camera and wouldn't have know who had taken it, but the feet gave it away :)
Neve is diving into new foods and textures these days.  Even the amount is changing quickly.  She's ready to eat and she's letting me know it!

There's some random bits and bites of our life.  Hope YOU are having an inspired day!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

a lesson...

So, the story of the lice is out.  I think its gone now, really, I trust it is.  The house is cleaner than its been in ages now too!  There's a good outcome in all of this, right?!  I'll be checking Lanelle's hair daily for any signs of nits.  I'm sure there won't be, but if there is I'm still ready for battle.

In the middle of dealing, when I had to ask why, because it helps if a lesson can come out of it.  I asked myself what else in life I should be so ready to squash and get rid of from my life.  The heard the word negativity.  Hmm, sure there is similarity between lice and negativity.  Because when we allow it and we think the negative thought, or say the negative thing, it doesn't usually just remain there.  One louse that just is, is not a problem.  But that louse lays eggs.  Negativity allowed in our thoughts and words is pretty likely to breed more negativity.  If we allow it to get out of control, it would overtake us and we'd lose the beauty in life.  How different would my life look if a negative thought made me gasp in horror and ready myself to battle it? 

So, I had the thought and then carried on with life.  Guess I needed a reminder that this is a lesson to take note of.  Because then a friend shared with me how she actively got rid of negativity in her life.  Her life is happier, her marriage is better, and she is thankful for that.

Hmm, I love it when an idea seems to keep coming at me.  I'm going to be super conscious this week as I stay on edge, ready to battle the lice, to look for ways squash negativity.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Not Me.

I think I used to see blog posts being written with the title Not Me Mondays.  Maybe?  I don't remember.  But at lunch today, I found a Not Me Saturday story unfolding in my head.

It was definately not me who rechecked her 3 year-olds head first thing out of bed this morning to see a louse.  Hmm, that would mean there are probably lice.  No, it was not me who wanted to cry.  If I were faced with the situation, I would surely cancel my morning plans.  But, I was not the one in the situation, right?  I would not have thrown pillows into the dryer, sheets and blankets into the washer, and my daughter into the tub, while dousing her hair in R&C.  Or call my running friend to postpone the run time by 15 minutes.  I would not talk most of the run about lice, because surely I know there are better things to talk about.

In such a situation I would not return home, with 30 minutes to eat, change loads of laundry, shower, and nurse baby, to run out the door again...because of a knitting club meeting.  Knitting club, pfff, not me!  I'm not a grandma.  I would not be able to forget about a crisis while sharing about knitting patterns, yarn shops, working colors, tension.  I would not return home 2 hours later, with a huge smile on my face over the plan to each make the Lotus Bag.  No, no, I'm sure knitting could not make me walk with an extra bounce in my step.  I am cool.

And if I found myself having lunch alone with my baby after I arrived home.  I'm sure I would not make myself a child's favorite lunch.  Noooo, I would not make myself a grilled cheese sandwich.  And I would not reach for ketchup.  I am not a child.  And, if I had seen a cheap bottle of wine in the door of my fridge, left there from trying a pasta sauce recipe the other week, I am sure I would not pour myself a glass.  I have great taste in food.  I would not have the cheapest wine ever, grilled cheese sandwich and ketchup for lunch, dreaming of knitting and cursing lice.  I am really not that strange and pitiful.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Reflections of More

***Okay, be warned, this is random and I'm sure disorganized, but it spewed out and now its time to run to do Kindergarten pick up.  No editing has been done or will be done.  My apologies.  Hope you follow :)

I'm trying to fold the mountain of clean laundry, but really its not feeling so fun.  I'm feeling inspired to greater things. To being an answer.  Thanks, Janelle for the opportunity to reflect.  Reality seems though that I will just do more dishes, diapers, cleaning, dealing (or is it disciplining, sometimes I'm not even sure)...  So why dream about a life of more?  I know there are glimpses.  Sometimes as simple as
a new finished project!
 Or sometimes when we don't worry about pumpking carving or costumes when that's what is on the agenda and instead we take a bike ride to the beach.  Because it was requested to have a picnic and it may be the last one of the season.


And then the Dad that said no thanks to the cold and windy beach, decided he might be missing out.  The excitement when he comes brings smiles all around.
And the little corner gets something a little seasonal added.  And owls are involved.

Then I remember that we may be experiencing the more.

And, I'm not really that stuck, because I am reaching and learning and being awakened.

The new book arrived and I'm picking which one I want to knit first.  I'll have to resist buying another book, but this may have the absolute cutest patterns I've ever seen.

We may have not put in much effort on the costumes, but they got out and had fun in the end.  Ironman almost wouldn't wear the costume and I think the negativity from this boy might drive me mad.  I've started searching for ideas on how to deal with a child's constant negativity.  I might try this book. 

I think being an answer in the world right now, is to search harder and to pray harder about how to raise this boy to be stronger than he knows he can be.  I know it will take courage to shake off the frustration of it and do it will more grace.  Oh that reminds me of this article, about being a Velveteen Mother that made my heart grow and my eyes moist.

I'm learning to accept that I can't control him (but I WILL learn to work with him).  However, I've decided its time to take control of this room.  There's inspiration, but the difficulty in even getting into this room seems to end the ideas before they've been able to bloom.  It was yesterday's and today's and probably tomorrow's project.  Although the work in here has begun, the interuptions are many and progress in slow.  That's okay because we are moving forward and we are experiencing more.