Saturday, March 24, 2007

Highlights of Saturday

Mandy called this a.m. to remind us about an event going on at the local university today. Our local congressman and representatives from all of the military academies were holding a seminar. This is Jared's dream - and I tell them to dream big - so I'm committed. ::snort:: I'm a bit unsure of how a relaxed homeschooler will pull this one off...but hey...he's doing amazingly well this year. In fact since HE wants to do this I guess I can still be a fun schooler! ::snort:: What's fun to him is not fun to me. Mike took Jared to the meeting. I was still not feeling like seeing people - and it was a great chance for father/son bonding. Off they went. Guess WHAT? It's a two pronged attack. You have to apply and be accepted by the Academy of choice and you must be nominated by a congressman or senator. Here's the GREAT news. Dependents of active duty military receive presidential nominations to their academy of choice and don't have to worry with the whole congressman/senator thing.....they still have to meet all the requirements and be accepted by the academy. Mike asked about homeschoolers. As we thought, since the boys have opted for NARHS they will have a diploma from an accredited private school. Mike was told that 10 years ago they would have said, "We're sorry but there is nothing we can do for you." Now, however, they look for homeschoolers. They try to have some in each year's group for the "mix". They find that homeschoolers excel in academics and struggle with sports. THERE is going to be our challenge. YOU MUST LETTER IN A SPORT to be accepted. Not sure how we'll do that. Mike told me to start researching states that allow homeschoolers to play sports and letter. Then we'll start putting those states on his dream sheet. Thanks, Mandy, for being sure we knew about the meeting today. We appreciate it.

I felt well enough this evening to cook!!! I made potato/cauliflower soup (recipe below), a big salad, Jamin made biscuits in the slow cooker, and a fruit salad with DRESSING (recipe below). Everyone but Arielle, Nolan and Zander liked it all.

I got to talk to my dear Sister Friend - Beth. I can't believe we've known each other for 25 years this fall. Mike had been wanting to talk to Don, Beth's husband, and they finally made the connection tonight. I'm dreaming of another vacation with my two sister friends. We spent a glorious weekend in Seattle a few years back. Our families have done two summer camping trips together...before we all got so busy that we can't make the connections any longer...well...yeah...we entered the military and now live zillions of miles away from them in ID. LOL

The last highlight of the day? We went for a FAMILY WALK (minus the 3 older young adults) and it was nice.
Nolan keeps me supplied with flowers - tonight he also gave Stacia & Arielle flowers... What a nice, young gentleman.

Heather/Urban homemaker/De'Etta's Potato Cauliflower Soup ::snort::

Yep - I printed off 4 pages of really yummy looking soup recipes at Urban Homemaker today. I meshed Marilyn's recipe, with Heather's (that I posted a couple of weeks ago), with my additions....yumm. Mike said "you can leave out the cloves next time".... I did blend it all tonight hoping to entice the younger ones to eat it. ::sigh:: BTW - now that spring is here I will put my winter plates and snowmen away...maybe tomorrow.
4 medium potatoes
2 onions, diced
leeks - whatever I have
1 head cauliflower (4 cups)
1 carrot, chopped
2 c Chicken broth
2 C milk or broth (I used 4 Cups of broth)
1 T spike (didn't use at all)
1 8 oz cream cheese, diced
1/4 - 1/2 C butter (I left out)
1/4 tsp pepper, salt
1/2 tsp thyme, cloves
pinch of nutmeg
2 T parsley
1 T olive oil
Saute onions and leeks. Add veggies and broth. Boil and simmer. When veggies are tender add cream cheese (and milk if you are going to use them). Heat through but don't boil again.

Fruit Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

I LOVE this dressing. I think I'll make some up and keep it in the fridge so those who like dressed up fruit can have it that way and those that like naked fruit can have it that way. Jared thinks it would be good to throw in his smoothies (really he already uses yogurt so it would be adding the cinnamon). I don't make this dressing every night, usually I just toss the fruit and we like it raw and natural. It is nice to do once in awhile and I served this tonight. I found this recipe at urban homemaker, I don't think I've EVER used the exact fruit they list....use what you have and like. What I used tonight are in (). I do use lots of fruit or the fruit drowns in the dressing - it never looks like much but it covers well.

3 bananas (2)
2 fresh apples (1 granny, 1 empire)
2 fresh pears, cored and chunked (strawberries & pineapple)
1/2 C seedless golen raisins (red seedless grapes, cantaloupe)
1/2 C broken pecan pieces

Dressing: mix together
1/2 C yogurt (used Brown Cow)
2 T honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt (I never use)
naked fruit

dressed up fruit


From reading Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman:

I've been thinking quite a bit about this as I snort salt water. Yes, I'll admit I have had days and seasons where I felt like this author. Seasons where I felt like I would go crazy in a house with children and that *I* needed more.

The solution has never been to run outside of my home to find something "worthwhile" to do. Running outside of my home - I've done that - I've led Women's Groups, led Bible Studies, led county-wide homeschool support groups, joined homeschooling co-ops, spoke at retreats, organized retreats etc....Note these are GOOD things...but they kept us running so much that we had no TIME for homeschooling in the way we like to homeschool. We also had no time for the relationships that are so very important to us in our family. I want our family to look like the Waltons not The Bundys. I became stressed and irritable with my children. I do a few of these things now....but each opportunity is agreed to after prayer, fasting, and family discussion. I don't commit to most things that come our way these days. I've learned that more outside activity is not the answer to my sometimes feelings of cabin fever and/or dissatisfaction with being a stay at home mom.

The solution has been prayer. Surrendering again to the path God has called me to. Changing MY outlook....instead of saying, "ugh, another day of homeschool", I say "thank you, God, for blessing me with these children and the opportunity to educate them". Instead of, "I'm not this family's servant", I say "Thank you God for allowing me to minister to you today through the ministry I provide to my family". Instead of saying, "Where is MY time", I say "Thank you God for this family. If you think I could use some time out - please send it this way QUICKLY"..... really it's about changing our attitude our outlook towards our children....

It's deliberately taking our thoughts captive to the Lordship of Christ, and cultivating a heart of gratitude instead of a selfish "me" attitude.
*Nursery Crimes* by Ayelet Waldman

This series was recommended on SHS. I have ordered several books from the series from PaperBack Swap (link in side bar - somewhere!).
From the back cover: "A public defender turned stay-at-home mom, Juliet Applebaum is bored with play dates and trips to the park - so near the end of her second pregnancy, she gets off the mommy track to track down a murderer." That about sums up the gist of the book and probably series.
What I liked about the book: It is a quick read. Parts of it were undeniably funny. I like mysteries and guessing endings. It did spur me to consider how I truly feel about being a stay-at-home mom - read comments above.
What I didn't like about this book: Ayelet, herself is a public defender, now stay-at-home mom. So far, so good. One would think her book would portray the importance of being around for the early years of your child's life, as this is the choice she has personally made. This book, however, left me with the impression that the author believes it is impossible to be fulfilled as stay-at-home mom unless you have something you are doing for someone other than your family. Her husband tells her he's o.k. with her turning PI because it "isn't enough for you to do things for us - you seem happier doing for others". Honestly, what normal husband is going to think it's o.k. for an 8 month pregnant wife to follow suspects with a 2 yo in the car? ::snort::
While I've read critiques that praise Ms. Waldman for taking a "fresh, raw, realistic" look at the stay-at-home mom....I felt that she gave a negative view of the life of a stay-at-home mom. Well....hmmm....she does have those heart warming moments when she melts at comments of a 2 yo. But the mania about pre-school, the need to "do more"etc....just not an accurate portrayal of stay-at-home moms I know. How many of us go solve a murder because we are bored with "play dates"? The underlying message of "you've got to do something outside your family or you'll go crazy" irritated me. I found the author's blog "bad-mother" and what I read there makes me even more sure that her view of motherhood is vastly different from mine.....
BUT I will read another book in the series. I did enjoy the plot line. I did enjoy the funny moments of mothering. I did enjoy reading about someone who was HEAVY with child - when I wasn't. ::snort:: It is a quick and easy read. CBS is looking to turn the series into a mysteries series. Maybe they already have. Has anyone seen it? I'm guessing it would sort of undermine the value of being ONLY a stay-at-home Mom - but I'd love to be proved wrong on this one.


We've simply been busy "being" the last few days. Being a family, being sick, being back....

I spent most of Thursday in bed....taking decongestants, tea tree oil steams, vit C, and snorting salt water. Friday, I felt better than Wed and Thursday and there are things I NEED to do on Fridays.....SOoooooo....I took Nolan to speech, picked up produce and then took a nap for a bit, Mike and I went and picked up Arielle and Nolan from Camp Broadway, and then I came home and slept some more. I added Ibuprofen to my lineup yesterday and it seemed to help some. I think I may be even better today...but my teeth, face and head still hurt. I plan to rest as much as needed - basically when the pain reaches a point where I want to cry; I go take a nap. ::snort::

Mike has spent much of the last few days doing this:
all but my computer are now up and running. He even got the old, old computer in the younger boys' room working. This computer is the ONLY one that will run the school software and games that we bought back in the 90's. I thought we could put my old computer in there and upgrade mine...but my computer is running on Windows 2008 (or7) and is to NEW to run those programs but to OLD to run the new ones....What to do, to do, to do????

We've heard from both the girls quite a bit the past couple of days. Poor Krista was playing catch at an MC BBQ and got hit square on the eye with a baseball. She said the first thing she did was just drop to the ground, put her hand to her eye and assess if she still had an eye. Her reaction...silence and stillness freaked out the others....Yesterday, she said she has a nice black eye and the shape of her glasses frames are nicely imprinted around her eye as well. AND she reports that Nick, the young man who accidentally hit her has brought her lots of candy. I think I raised my girls right - lots of chocolate and they'll survive most anything. ::snort:: She's called the doctor and they told her what to watch for.

The older boys conned Mike into a Risk marathon (I don't think it took much arm twisting).
I'm including the photo below because it reminded me that I've not shared how we tracked Mike on his journey home. We got out the RISK board, found the general Desert Gulf area, then found Germany when we heard he was there, and guessed at Baltimore.....Yeah, I really should buy a globe...Mike tells us the RISK board isn't totally accurate. ::snort::
We had pizza baked on the grill last night. YEP - two weeks and they've still not got our oven working. Mike called them yesterday....maybe that will hurry them up. We watched a Jerry Lewis movie last night (something about a bride and the navy), Mork and Mindy episode and Hogan's Heroes. I finished season one of Walton's. I really like that show - have I said that before? I want to find the books that Earl Hamner wrote about his family and check them out.

Cy works today.

Mike will probably work on my computer today.
I'll probably make some cauliflower soup (my goal of 1200 - 1400 calories has gone out the window this week as it HURTS to eat anything - I've basically been eating chocolate when my stomach growls - it can melt in your mouth you know!).

I've been reading Jamin's book and it is GOOD and I'm not even a fan of the fantasy genre. He really fixed up the punctuation since the last time I attempted to read it. I don't feel like I'm working now when I read it and so I'm enjoying it much more. Now I just find things like "spelling" and "don't think locomotives were invented in ancient days" and "modern slang, better invent some ancient slang"....

Really not sure what else we'll do today. I'm the "let's go do something" one in the family and so when I don't feel like going, we mostly just do the "being" thing. I'm resting lots now because 1. I was really exhausted from the past 6 1/2 months and 2. I want to feel wonderful when we go camping next week.
BTW - using a blue sucky monster (those things they give you when you have a baby) works really well for shooting salt water up your nose, just in case you ever want to try it.