I Must Be Getting Older

They say (I don’t really know who “they” are, but I’m sure someone somewhere has said it before) that time goes even faster the older you get. Well, this fall has flown by. I can’t believe that it’s Halloween already. We have had a lot of fall fun in our house. We’ve made several of the requisite cider mill outings complete with donuts as well as feeding the ducks and petting the farm animals. We’ve raked leaves and jumped in the piles (ok, only some of us have done that). We took many nature walks together. We watched some football. We carved a jack-o-lantern and put up some decorations in the window. We’ve eaten lots of apples and made applesauce, but not pie… We’ll have to fix that soon before time runs away from us all together.

On Labor Day, we had a family meeting and brainstormed some things we wanted to do this fall. We have accomplished most everything on our list, which was extensive and included such things as rollerskating and whoopie cushions. And, while I don’t feel like it was a blur at all, I have sort of felt that life has been a bit hectic this fall. We’ve changed the schedule a bit to be home more together, but maybe as I’m aging, we’ll need to cut back further or guard our time still more fervently to ensure that it doesn’t go any faster because I really don’t want to miss any of this!

How do you cope with the daily rush of life?

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Parenting Advice?

As a mom of three kids and someone who likes to tell others what to do, I often get asked about what parenting techniques and strategies I use with my kids. I get lots of requests for recommendations for what works, what books I recommend, what practical advice can I share. Moms often share their stories and examples from everyday life, looking for help, sympathy or just to share with someone who might understand. I recently read a post at Practical Theology for Women that I agree with completely, including the book recommendations and secular parenting logic.

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Breakfast Restaurant

Every morning I get up and make a big breakfast for our family to enjoy together. It always includes coffee, water, and vitamins, but the rest varies with the day. Some of our breakfast staples include pancakes, waffles, scottish oatmeal, biscuits, and almond muffins. Each morning I try very hard to get everything on the table so that once I sit down, I don’t have to get up and I can imagine that I am in a lovely restaurant. The illusion is really very nice. I cannot think of a better way to start the day than the Yee Family Restaurant.

Here is my pancake recipe:
Soak 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 T. ground flaxseed in 1-3/4 cups buttermilk, 1/2 cup milk, 2 T. butter, melted. (Mix together and leave on the counter overnight.)
In the morning, add 2 beaten eggs, 2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, and optionally 1 t. sugar and mix well.
Cook on hot griddle, flipping once when bubbles appear. Keep warm in oven. Serve with warm maple syrup, peanut butter, or fresh fruit.

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Community

It seems like everywhere I look, I’m hearing about, reading about, learning about what it means to have community. I live in a city with a pretty big community center where I spend lots of time taking kids to classes or taking classes myself. But, I don’t think taking classes is what community is really about. I think community is about belonging. It’s about sharing things in common and sharing even when we don’t have things in common. I think community is about being together – learning, laughing, loving, living. What do you think?

I’ve been seeing lots of 2wordstory.com around my community and wonder if someone’s story might be: Community? Community. Mine could be restated that way.

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A Bit Shocked

There are a few blogs that I follow regularly and enjoy reading about how other people live life and whatnot. Usually, I get some good ideas for things to try at home or a little laugh, but today I was a little surprised when I visited one of these blogs. After reading the entry announcing her divorce, I skimmed through the comments, which I only do occasionally, and with over 250 comments I expected at least one negative comment. I didn’t see any. Most people were appropriately very sympathetic and apologetic over the end of her marriage. Many people shared that they have walked that road. This is all very nice, but what shocked me was the number of people who said “Congratulations!” or “Good for you!” There were lots and lots of comments encouraging her in having made a good choice to walk away from a marriage that had grown cold. Not one comment challenged her to fight for it or get some help or anything like that. I know that divorce is common and even acceptable in our culture, but it hurts and it isn’t right and while she acknowledged that in her post, she is just giving up and that shocks me and saddens me immensely.

It also makes me even more grateful for my amazing husband and the marriage that we have, while not a picture perfect love nest all the time, we love each other and more so all the time.

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Ten Things I Am Thankful For

1. Family. I love them all. It’s just not right that there would have so many awesome people in one family and that I am apart of that family. I think I have something like 75 people in the extended family and they are all so much fun!
2. Faith. Who and where would I be without the saving grace that is constantly at work changing me and has given me life?
3. Friends. It boggles my mind to think of all the people that I have called friend and have returned that over the years. I am most thankful for those who still call me friend when I am not a friend.
4. Food. Honestly, I love to eat and create things with food. I cannot think of anything more fun that sharing a delicious meal with friends or family.
5. Games. Playing games is really fun and helps me to be at ease in a group of people when I wouldn’t normally.
6. Home. It’s where the heart is (and also the messy kids and hubby that I love so much!)
7. Computer. I really like to have all sorts of information available for me to learn and get organized, etc. It’s so convenient.
8. Health.
9. Books. So many to read, so little time.
10. Bed. I’m really tired and it’s so comfy…

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Yes, I’m Complaining.

I am a planner. I like to plan and have everything organized and know what to expect as much as possible. I don’t really like surprises or last minute things. I don’t like to have every minute scheduled, but I do like to be prepared and have a general plan.

Apparently, that is only for home-schooling moms. If I want to be a planner and send my daughter to public school; that’s not going to happen. In June, when I expected to get a letter informing me of our child’s assignment to morning or afternoon Kindergarten, I was mailed a letter which basically stated that they don’t know anything and will send a letter in August with some information. At least I received my letter, the two other families that I know in the same K got an empty envelope and a blank letter… Why bother with an expensive mailing – wasting paper, money, energy on nothing!

Well, now I find out in the school district newsletter that there will definitely not be midday busing, which is all fine and good for saving money, but I’ll have to wake up a napping kid and that does not make me happy. I vaguely recognize that schooling is not about keeping parents happy, but making things really inconvenient is not a good policy to keep enrollment up and money coming in when I, and others in my position, could easily and happily homeschool and save myself the hassle.

Now that I’ve gotten all that out in the open, I’ll just say that in our family “We choose to be joyful even when we feel like complaining.” That’s our family way for this week! (See Our 24 Family Ways) Ironic, I know. So, I’m all done and am now ready to be joyful. Maybe next time, I’ll be ready to be joyful without complaining first… I’ll work on it.

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Undefined

I have spent the better part of the past hour looking for some resources to help me in my continuing struggle in being a “good mom.” A friend of mine offered the following words of truth and encouragement – not directly intended for me (I don’t think), but God knew I’d read it today…

    I’m a child of God. All my other roles in this world are just extras.
    I’m not defined by my role as a mother. My identity is in Christ. Being a wife and a mother is important to me but it is not who I am. These are roles that I value and cherish and desire but they are not me. I can easily (and sometimes do) turn these roles into idols and that will always end in disappointment. I know we will experience pain… but I find a lot of comfort in knowing God has a plan better than mine.

ETA: I forgot to title this post and so it was aptly named for me as undefined. Maybe one day I’ll be more sure of who I am…

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On My Own Again

The crazy thing is that while I’ve left my husband for several trips around the country, he has never gone anywhere on his own until this week.

I’m so glad that he’ll be back tonight as the middle kid is just beside himself with his great need for Daddy. I also really want him to fix the shower that #3 broke… Hee Hee.

Really though, I miss my hubby. He is a truly great guy. I love that he makes me laugh – hard. He is kind and thoughtful in everything that he does. Brian never wants to upset or hurt anyone and I really admire that in him. He is generous, but not irresponsible. He is considerate and cautious, but not indecisive. My loving husband works hard and provides for our family without complaint – even on the days when I’ve been having all kinds of fun while he was dealing with difficult situations. I could go on and on as I eagerly wait for him to fly back home. I’ll just say one more thing: Brian is loyal and completely trustworthy, which is probably more important to me than I ever realized. I love him and can’t wait to re-do his birthday so it feels really special because he deserves it.

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Playing Catch Up

Systems of organization used to be my forte, but now I feel like I’m in a perpetual whirlwind of piles and things to do. And yet, I choose not to do most of those things piled up and waiting to be done…

Today, my excuse was that the weather was too nice, so we had to go outside and play. The same will be true tomorrow. We are playing and growing and learning and sometimes doing the other stuff.

I like to think that I’ve changed in some way and matured – choosing to do the important over the urgent, but I still like to control everything and one day I hope that I’ll have it all under control too without doing any of the work…

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