This weekend our Middles packed up and headed out for a weekend at camp. While it isn’t the first time they’ve been gone, it is the first time they’ve gone to camp. Exciting, yes. But I admit I was a little apprehensive about how they’d fare their first weekend away to an unfamiliar place.
Knowing that they were only about an hour away, that they’d really only be away for two nights, and that they’d be together was comforting for this Mama. Our little home was so very quiet with only three Littles running about, noticed especially at suppertime when we rearranged ourselves around the table to make those empty chairs seem not so empty. And while the Middles enjoyed their time away, it was so very nice to have all of our usual chairs filled when they returned home. As usual for September, the weather has shifted a bit more. We’re not yet in Autumn, but we’re not in the midst of summer either. The shadows have lengthened, the light has changed, and there’s a different feel to the air lately. The sun rises a little later and sets a little earlier, telling us that these summer days will be ending soon. Sophie noticed it when she was outside after sunset and ran back inside for a jacket, announcing, “It’s a very bunch of chilly outside.”
We still have so many summer projects that we want to finish, and some that we haven’t even started yet. The change in the weather is working to encourage us to move as quickly as we can through the list and focus on those things that are most important, like firewood. Because, as Sophie said, “It’s a very bunch of chilly”. And we know that a warm fire will be welcomed very soon.
Once again, I lack regular posting. Let me tell you, this has been and eventful winter. We’ve had so many viruses visiting us, we’ve reserved them space in the guest room. I wish they’d go away. The most recent attacks have been a coughing fit that lasted about 2 weeks, ending with a sinus infection for me. Then we had a very sexist stomach virus visit. It only attacked the females of the house. Funny thing is, even the dog was sick. And that one hit while The Builder was away on business. The good news is that he was able to avoid it, but then again, all the other males in the house avoided it as well. I think we’re finally done. After all, spring is here! We can tell when we look out the window and see….. over a foot of snow. Oh yes, God definitely has a sense of humor. He’s celebrating April Fools’ Day here in the northeast. My crocuses are weeping.
Yesterday was a much springier day. It was almost 50 degrees out, so we all partook of the warmth and sunlight. I did some light yard work, just picking up some of the branches that had fallen in the yard over the winter and tossing them into a pile in the woods. Emma was doing it, too. I asked her if she was helping me clean up the yard. She said, “No. Emma throw stuff.” Forget the cleaning up, the joy of throwing stuff won. Good thing she kept throwing it into the same pile in the woods. Sophie spent her time realizing that she could walk around the yard on her own. She diligently avoided the remaining snow piles, and the dog mines, thank you Abby.
I’m starting to get some of my old energy back. Unfortunately, the project list is huge from not doing any inside the house projects over the winter, and now that spring is (supposedly) here, there’s a huge outside the house project list to be added. It will be interesting to see what gets done (and what doesn’t) over the next few months.
Strong and tough
Dying, breaking, falling
Leaves, branches, trunks and roots
Crashing, moving, rotting
Weak and ramshakle
“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in “wise passiveness’ and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye – she would let them be.”
Oh, what a wise woman she was!
Being a Home Maker is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. Even when I was working 16 hour days, living on double cappuccino’s with a shot of vanilla because I couldn’t get sleep, my job was easier than it is now. But my “job” now is absolutely, by far, the most fulfilling one I’ve ever had. What I do makes a difference in the world. I make a difference in the lives of my husband and my children. I forget that sometimes. Kelly, from Generation Cedar wrote something that reminded me. I think I’ll print it out and hang it on a wall so I can see it often and be reminded of who I am, what I do, and Who I serve.
We are a culture of real women, with real families and problems, but also a real understanding of the importance of our work in and among our homes and communities. We see a desperate need to return to a more simplistic way of living–for the health and good of all.
We are sharp; we are thinking women; we read; we have voracious appetites for learning, and for teaching our children those things.
We value education, and also sitting in the quiet of a day.
We believe that “the greatest among you is the servant of all”.
We utilize our computers to assist us with diagnosing an illness, and when we’re done, we hang our laundry on the clothesline to save money.
We learn to cook from scratch because it’s cheaper, healthier and wiser.
We make homemade laundry detergent (sometimes ).
We are on a never-ending quest to save money because “a dollar saved is more than a dollar earned”, and our husbands treasure that quality in us.
We believe motherhood is a vocation that comes with responsibilities, and we do what is necessary to fulfill them.
We delight in serving our husbands a cold glass of tea; not because he demands it or because we are subservient, but because we love him and cherish the smallest opportunity to communicate it. After all, he spends all day “speaking love to us” working hard, making sure the oil is changed, unstopping the clogged pipes, and all sorts of other ways. We don’t feel we’re in competition, but rather, we are “heirs together in the grace of life”.
We understand the very real fact that humans need serenity, and we make it one of our jobs to create that for as many as we can around us.
We try to look around us and see if we can meet the practical needs of others.
We think generationally….beyond today…into our great-grand-children’s lives. We journal about things we want our granddaughters to remember.
We teach our girls about strength and dignity, and our boys about honor and protection. We also believe in equality, and in a beautiful array of differences.
We care deeply about politics and what happens to our world; and that is why we are home MAKERS.
I am proud to be one of them. Read the rest here.
Maddie (out of the blue) – “How do they cut the extension cord?”
Mom – “You don’t cut an extension cord. It’s dangerous.”
Maddie – “No. After the baby’s born. How do they cut the extension cord?”
Maddie – “Mom, I think I found a poocon!”
Translation – I want to buy a toy, and I think I found a COUPON.
Josh at lunch – Puts his hand on the back of his neck and looks up at the ceiling – “Oh, there’s a bone there.”
Zach, Maddie and Mom look up at the ceiling simultaneously and ask, “Where?”
Josh laughs and says, “In the back of my neck where it is sore.”
“Do it like you think it how.”
– As she tried to tell Zach which song and what signs they needed to do to perform for the rest of us.
“My nose is all snuffily.”
– Pretty self explanatory.
P.S. No, we didn’t get a kitten. The photo was taken in May when we were visiting a farm.
For your listening pleasure:
I love Christmas songs!
On another note – Maddie is feeling much better, a few sniffles and sneezes and that’s all. I came down with a cold yesterday morning. Made it to church, but shortly after we came home I felt like my head was going to implode. I’m a little better today, still very stuffy and sneezy (stuffy, is that the name of a dwarf? it should be). Josh is starting to feel like he’s catching something. We’re downing vitamin C like crazy!
Went to our ultrasound this morning. The baby looks great! Heart beating, brain growing, all systems go, kicking, punching, wiggling little baby! We were able to count 5 fingers on each hand, and 5 toes on one foot, we couldn’t see the other one clearly. The technicians said they could tell whether its a boy or girl, but we couldn’t. They zoomed over THAT area pretty quickly because we said we didn’t want to know, but now Tom’s going nuts. He had me call to see if they’d tell us what it is, but I got voicemail and haven’t heard back yet. Oh well. Well find out for certain when its born!
One more note – when we were looking at the ultrasound, the technicians explained to Zach and Maddie that the black area was the fluid or water that the baby is floating in. Zach looked at the screen for a minute and asked, “Does the baby have goggles to see in all the water?” Too cute.
Yesterday was interesting.
Zach, Maddie and I were able to get school done by lunch. Kate slept late (till lunch) as it was the first week day she didn’t have a class since August. Josh had fun getting the fire going and cutting up pallets to burn (gotta love free firewood).
At lunchtime, though, things kind of fell apart. I gave everyone our lunch options to get their orders (yes, sometimes I feel like a short order cook). Everything was fine until I asked Maddie what she wanted. She started to cry. Hmmm. Unusual. Then she said she only wanted a little yogurt. Hmmm. Why? Turns out her throat was sore. She’d been sniffling the day before, but I didn’t think much of it. She ate her lunch completely wrapped in a blanket with her head on the table most of the time. After she finished she wanted to snuggle, so we sat on the sofa and I bundled her into a couple of blankets. She slept on and off (mostly on) for hours. Definitely had a fever. Definitely didn’t feel well. When she woke up at one point in the evening she went to use the bathroom and change into warm pj’s. Tom went to check on her and he found her sobbing in the bathroom. Why? Not really sure. The effort of trying to change was too much for her. He helped her change, put her back on the sofa, and she fell back asleep for a couple more hours. Whatever it was, the sleep seemed to help. She’s a little pale this morning, but otherwise ok.
The evening was spent with everyone home (yes, EVERYONE). Josh and Kate brought out their guitars and played around a little. Josh taught Tom a simple rhythm on the guitar. Kate talked me into trying to play a violin duet with her. Maddie rested next to us, and Zach played with magnetix. The fire was burning in the background and it was a simply beautiful evening. Yes, we are definitely blessed.
Putting the kids to bed – as Zach was falling asleep, he opened his eyes and looked at me and asked, “Do angels have birthdays?” I love the questions they ask.