Thursday, October 15, 2009

A package came in the mail today. This is an event worthy of blogging, especially when it comes from a "certain" Aunt Eliza Jayne and the clan that resides in Lake Mills.

I had stepped out of the house to run (drive) to the grocery store for an elusive spice which I was not able to locate during my last pilgrimage to our Super Wally's World (Wal-Mart). And while I'm on the subject, I don't usually like to make recipes that require ingredients not on my categorized and alphabetized grocery list, but there was a stew recipe that caught my attention as I was flipping through a magazine last week and I ended up including it in the menu for this week's dinners. Herbes de Provence. That was the name of culprit. The little known spice blend that put me in a tither this afternoon when I was getting ready to brown the cubed beef for this "new stew". I guess I could have done without it, but when I read what it consisted of; rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc......I really desired to have this French mixture of herbs to toss into the pot. So, off to the grocery store. (Only in a home school can the schedule be ground to a halt for the lack of Herbes de Provence.) The herbs were bought and the stew simmered. Back to the subject at hand.....The Package.

The discovery was made upon return from the store. Mail is always a huge event at our house, and a package,... well, let's just say its good it was found on the porch and not in the hands of the mailman. After it was rassled in the house, the excitement started to quickly escalate and soon was at a fevered pitch. My cue to get things under control was when Andie, jumping with excitement, jumped into Kin's water dish and got soaking wet. Simeon, being as level headed as he is, quickly produced his pocket knife to assist in opening the object of much attention before anyone else injured themselves or each other. The shipment was addressed to and for the "Von Haden Children", and was intended for the purpose of honoring and celebrating the birthdays of Simeon, Marilla, Jubal, Elsa, and Ruben. Five birthdays we've seemed to line up, all within 37 days.

Oh the excitement as I feigned ignorance as to which side of the box opened....a powerful moment in my life as a parent. The correct slit was made, the box opened, and the contents revealed. Markers! Hot cocoa! Paints! Gourmet candy corn! Gum! ...and the list went on. A cheer went up from the crowd as the contents were distributed amongst the masses. Math books and grammar was shoved aside as markers and paints were "tested", skateboards were assembled, ......candy was tasted and gum was chewed. Smiles all around and another day full of memories with a touch of sugar.

Now that I look back over the whole crazy event, the anticipation was the real treat.....the waiting, not knowing what to expect,.......the unexpected,......and the joy of being there with my children to watch them experience the simple pleasure of a package. Thank you Aunt Eliza and Uncle Tim.

Quote of the day: "Mom, when I'm done with my Paces [kindergarten work], do I get to go to Hawaii?" -Elsa age 5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dialoge of the Day: Simeon - "Jubal, your feet stink! Gross! Put your boots back on!" Jubal- "Well, can I leave one off?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ahhh....Global Warming at it's finest! I woke up to snow today. To be honest, there's something pure and calming about standing in the first "real" snowfall of the season. I had my chance to enjoy this once-a-year occurrence while, of all things, taking Kin out to go to "potty". I guess I'm so obsessed with Christmas that the first snowfall triggers an euphoric sensation......but, it quickly left as soon as the first child yelled, "I'm going outside to play! Where's my mittens?"

Arrrrgh....You would think that after 6 kids and going through just a few winters that I'd be o.k. with this. I struggle. They did end up going outside, but I stood firm and did not go into the basement to retrieve the "Black Hole" duffel bag full the boots, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, snow pants, etc....Yes, that's why it's called the "Black Hole". Children have been known to get lost in it looking for a mitten.

You may think I'm a bad parent for not wanting my children to enjoy their beautiful, glistening surroundings, but experience and years have taught me that "What goes out must come in, and what comes in must go out." It's the law of children and snow. Yes, they play outside for an hour, then they come in for 5 min, then they want to go out again, then in, then out. Well, you get the picture. When's the last time you tried to shove a wet boot on a foot with the liveliness of a dead fish, or try to maneuver a thumb into it's correct position inside a sopping wet mitten with a twisted shifting liner. I, myself, was just not ready for that whole soggy saga so I instructed the kids that if they wanted to go outside they would have to make due with what ever they could find in the ceder chest on the back porch.

What a hoot! They enthusiastically grabbed their coats and ran out to the porch to suit up. Jubal found the only matching pair of mittens, so he was in good shape. Marilla found 2 mis-matched stretchy gloves and 1 pea green mitten, so she put the thin gloves on and then stuck the mitten on her right hand announcing that she was going to switch it back and forth to whatever hand got cold. Reuben ended up with 2 different size mittens and a hat sized for a 6-12 month baby. Andie got stuck into a Lands End fleece snowsuit, size 24 month. Lucky for her, (by this time the mitten supply had dwindled to some ragged, smelly, stiff, questionable items) the ends of the sleeves on her suit folded over on its self to contain the occupants hand in a self-made mitten. Considering that Andie is going to be 4 in the spring and the suit was intended for a child a tad bit smaller, this possesed a small but manageable problem. Her arms were about 2 inches to long. It's amazing how fleece can stretch and how flexible a 3 year olds arms can be.

Elsa found some snow pants that Reuben wore last year and slithered into them. She was in such a hurry that the first time she went out she neglected to put socks on and just slipped her feet into a pair of sneakers. The fact that the snow pants were hitting about 2 inches below her knees didn't help either. About 20 min. later she scooted in the house and announced that it was kind of cold out. I wonder. So, on went a pair of multi-striped ski socks with her pink flowered rain boots. Much better.

Two snow men were rassled into position in our yard. I could see all the action out the kitchen window. And sure enough, "Mom, can we get some carrots for the noses'?"....Jubal ate his before it made it to the declared destination. I marveled at their determination to make the snowmen. They took turns pushing a snow shovel all over the yard, gathering as much snow as they could. I think the snowmen ended up being as much stick and leaf as they did snow.

At the end of the day, I found myself moving a chair out of the living room and replacing it with a wooden drying rack next to the pellet stove. A "must" for all those mis-matched, wet, and dirty; mittens, hats and coats. Kids hovering over their mugs of hot cider filled the bar in the kitchen and Kin, wet from his romp in the snow treated us all to "wet dog" smell. Yum and yuck.

Quote of the day: "Mom, you don't even know what's going on! Elsa should be in prison or something!" -Simeon age 11

Friday, October 2, 2009

Well.....for all you who've said I should write a book. This is not a book. It's a attempt to better record the crazy, happy, blessed, and fast life my family lives.

If I had a dollar for every time I thought, "Oh, I should write that down...." during the day when the kids are spouting off childish wisdom and wit, I would be a very wealthy lady and would be living my dream of touring this great nation in an RV with all my children in tow.

I don't have an RV, and I am not touring North America. Hence, the need to start blogging.....Hoping that someday my kids will read the archives of this blog and talk amongst themselves how truly blessed they were to have such a great up-bringing and comment with awe and reverence in their voice, "Wow, and to think we stayed saved and sane after going through that many Sunday mornings getting ready for Sunday School and trying to get to church on time.".

Simeon, Marilla, Jubal, Elsa, Reuben, and Andie Lou Who....this is for you.