Saturday, February 27, 2010

From the archives of my youth...

Don't Give Up Now!
By Chris Morsink, known to me as "Mom"

On a particularly cold day in February, circumstances at our house were rapidly moving from bad to worse - much worse! Our six person household is usually busy but this day made history so I jotted down a few notes - in case I lived to tell about it.

I was up to my elbows in a cow's stomach that I was hosing out in the basement washtub. Tomorrow this stomach would be part of our cooperative home school study of the digestive system at the VanBronkhorst's (our pastor and family's) house. Grandma and Grandpa Proctor were coming for dinner in about 30 minutes and I wanted to get this chore done before they arrived.

As I worked to clean out the final chamber of the stomach, it seemed that perhaps there would even be time to throw in a load of laundry before our guests came. All four of our laundry baskets / hampers were full of dirty clothes around my feet. Alison toddled by and the smell she left behind meant I would have to get her a clean diaper before I started the laundry.

"Mom, my nose is bleeding again!" Michael came down the steps trailing great splotches of blood. I dropped the stomach and grabbed a towel to hold under the nose. Oh, no! Now the kitchen floor would need cleaning.

"Owwww! Oowwww! Mommy!" John had fallen off a ride-on toy and couldn't seem to walk. With a quick warning to Michael not to bleed on anything I raced to evaluate the bruise on John's leg. "Wahhh - wahhh! Don't touch it!"

RIIIING RIIIING RIIIING "Mom, telephone for you," Caitlin called.

Right. One child bleeding, one child crying, one child needing a diaper change, at least eight loads of laundry, guests coming for dinner, and one enormous stomach in the washtub. And GUESS who was on the phone! Mick O'Hearn, WOOD TV weatherman, calling for details about speaking to our homeschool group. Ha! Sob. To laugh or to cry?

Have you had times similar to my February Crisis Day? The work God has given us to do seems impossible. The stress is too great. The end product of our best efforts is too far off to see. It seems the logical response to the day is to throw up your hands and quit. Scripture disagrees.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that engangles, and let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us." Hebrew 12:1

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hopscotch and Friends

We discovered this great indoor playplace this week. It's similar to our Playworld in concept, but geared more for infants and toddlers. Perfect for us!

Everything is padded, which is fantastic for this wannabe-walker.

And the blow up playgrounds are awesome for my monkey. She gets braver all the time!

With carts for shopping, a huge playhouse, dress-up, and babies galore...this girl's in heaven! Speaking of shopping, how many 2-year-olds have a favorite store brand? Well, mine likes Old Navy. She asks for her "Old Naybe" outfits every morning. Not sure where she gets it; I'm not a big shopper by any means. Just a girl thing?

Ready, set, whee!

(This is random, but cuteness :))

Rockin' it with our new friend, Breannah.

And then we went to the mall for rides and lunch.

Somber little aviators.

February, go away.

It was getting late but one member of our family had energy to burn. I'd like to thank February for that. There's something about lots of fresh air tiring a kid out that no amount of running around the mall or other indoor playplace can match. Not that I haven't tried. So anyway, I was desperate. First we tried riding in a sleeping bag down a flight of stairs because I remembered that was fun once upon a time. Bruising my aging tailbone quickly reminded me I'm not 10 anymore and so the Couch Slide was born.
Step 1: Stuff couch cushions into sleeping bag. Zip up.
Step 2: Prop on a steep angle against the couch. (Pay no attention to the crumbs, etc. in the bowels of my sofa. Sorry, I'm a nurse - I freely use the word "bowels".)

Step 3: Scale the slope and squeal with delight as you slide to bottom. P.S. Wear a silk nightie for maximum speed.

Normal Nights

I am happy to announce that I have achieved yet another "normal" in life. Sure, we are in what we hope is a somewhat temporary situation (location- and work-wise) but the day-to-day of it all has resumed rhyme and reason. Micah's work schedule is mostly predictable, I am settling into the neighborhood (I haven't gotten myself lost in a month), the kitchen and I are slowly becoming friends (the smoke detector still screams daily but the end product is more than edible), and we are making friends and getting out more. And - my favorite part of every day - the evenings are chill. Nearly a year after our deployment (I say "our" because it affected each of us in a big way) and I can say that Micah and I know our girls equally well. It's huge to know we both have a good read on their needs and moods and how to deal with those things.

So Micah gets home around 5ish. Charli has helped me make dinner and Claire has successfully emptied the silverware drawer of every last spoon. Claire sits and grins at her daddy with an almost worshipful gaze when he walks in and Charli's first words to him are "want to build a BIG tower, daddy?" and "want to try something NEW?!" And so they do. Every day. While I pour the ice water and scrape the burnt edges off the main course on its way to the table.

After dinner all 4 of us end up on the livingroom floor for blocks and books and, lately, "Yimpics". Speed skating is our favorite. Charli chants, "Let's go, Uh-0h, let's go" in support of the speedy Apollo Ohno.

We laugh together and tell stories. And sometimes our tired eyes glance at the clock in anticipation of bedtime, but all the while it feels GOOD to have a normal. *sigh*

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

Monday: Ham and scalloped potatoes, green salad, applesauce

Tuesday: Shepherd's pie, roasted garlic green beans, fresh fruit

Wednesday: Lemon roasted chicken legs, couscous, roasted carrots

Thursday: Potato-crusted salmon, baked potatoes, fruit salad

Friday: Ranch style chicken, Parmesan green beans, Apple bread

Saturday: Dinner at Friday's (with a birthday gift card from my dad!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love, from home

The weepy eyes, the runny nose, the common icky February cold. But smiles through the snot and goop because She Got Mail today!

Homemade, love-filled cards from Grandma Perkins (and grandpa and aunties). They really made our gray day brighter.

One card for each little lady - a very good thing because sharing is currently becoming our home's new #1 issue.

Claire feels the love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

Monday: Sweet and sour chicken stir-fry over rice noodles

Tuesday: Pot roast, roasted potato wedges, salad

Wednesday: Baked salmon, roasted carrots, zucchini cakes

Thursday: Ranch style chicken, couscous, salad

Friday: Slow cooker ham and chunky potatoes, broccoli sunshine salad

Saturday: leftovers (Micah will be gone for drill)

Valentine's Mailbag

Let the Valentines festivities begin! 2 big packages arrived for 2 little girls today. Soooo exciting!

Grandma's "present box".

Claire helps.

A pretty butterfly card with pretty nice gifts cards to Gap and Friday's. Mall and dinner tonight, anyone?

Stickering the sister.

Ooooo, sugar!

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was exclaimed over. Even an issue of Ladies' Home Journal for mom!

Grandma thought of everything. Even "note cookies" (read: fortune cookies). Charlotte loves breaking them open and passing out the notes. Charli's fortune of the day: Your magnetic personality will take you far. I don't doubt it!

She even got excited about finding her sister's bottle in the box that we had left behind.

More stickers!

Grandma knows what this girl likes!

Hooray for "potty treats"! (read: M&Ms)

The candy was broken out immediately, of course.

Pearls for mommy!

Chicka Chicka ABC - a favorite!

Now a package from Kurt!

Claire loved her puppy-dog card from Kurt!

Breakfast: Got yogurt?

Breakfast: Got yogurt?