Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sleepless in the Parenthood

Even though having older kids means I am proportionately aging as well, I will be the first to admit there are a lot of really great perks about being the mother of a mature family namely; no more bottles, diapers or potty chairs.
For all you folks up to your elbows in infant gear and sleeping schedules let me assure you it is possible to survive those early years of parenting. I know because (fingers crossed) I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t had to schedule a babysitter for years, my kids can do their own laundry and everyone is successfully bathing independently.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Who's Crying Over Spilt Milk?

magnets on my fridge remind the Tribe of our new rule

I like, most parents, will take any opportunity to brag about my kids. I mean if I can work it into a conversation without looking like one of THOSE moms, I'll freely admit that my kids are pretty awesome.

They get above average grades, they generally go to bed without a fight, love to read, excel at most things they try and, outside of the normal sibling squabble, they are kind to others.

That being said, they tend to lack a certain level of common sense. It's as if they sometimes forget the brain in their own head. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

At The Table

real pics I took of real moments around our table
I used to grocery shop for two weeks at a time which often garnered snide comments like, “What are you feeding? An army?” or “You know the store is open tomorrow, right?” Preparing meals for seven people required a lot items and my cart was often noticeably overflowing, my bill was outrageous and the bag boys hated to see me coming.

Eventually the jokes wore on my nerves and while my family stills needs to eat (a lot and often), I go to the store more frequently and avoid being the butt of the cheeky shopper’s joke.

Once I unload the food at home I begin to relax (except that one time when we had a Pantry Inquisition). Putting items away and filling our pantry feels a little sacred in a way. The beautiful complexity that is the burden of feeding my family is a responsibility I take to heart.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Table

I am pleased to have a guest post today from my beloved. He writes about our very old, very worn and very sentimental dining room table (pictured left). I hope you enjoy his thoughts.

The Table, by Aaron Sikorski

I just cannot get these thoughts out of my head today after reading a wonderful post by Shauna Niequist (link below).  I have been thinking all day about this table.  I recall and remember the importance of our table growing up.  Some of my most treasured moments in life were the times spent around the table. 

You see I have the wonderful privilege of caring for one of the greatest treasures of my family’s history.  My parents inherited my Grandma's dinning room table when she passed away.  When I began my family and moved to Galesburg they gave us this dinning room set.  As time creates more distance from the stories and connections of our table I grow more and more fond of the power of this symbol that I have in my home.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Well Made Plans

my daughter has my Starbucks card & tweeted her latte - not right!

How often do things work out exactly as you had planned?

I'm wondering today because my weekend is a bust.

We had great plans this weekend.

But then a beloved teacher/peer passed away and there were lots of tears, candlelight vigils, visitations and services to attend.

Mourning is exhausting.

Then we had a college visit planned. It had been on the calendar for months. A special incoming freshman day. Our oldest has been accepted to her first choice and the family was going to her new campus to celebrate the prospect of her newly designed future.

But then the van went kaput!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saying Goodbye, Grieving & Living

photo: Alyssa Hampton, AJH Photography
(This article appears as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series for The Daily Review Atlas.)

Saying goodbye is hard. Never getting the chance to say goodbye is even harder. That is what makes the death of a friend and loved one so grievous. We wish with all our heart that we could have made our last exchange more memorable.

I don't think we're meant to know when our time on earth is done. This uncertainty is what makes death so uncomfortably mysterious. Sometimes, some of us get the chance to say goodbye when old age or sickness afflict our loved ones and death is obviously imminent. However, for most of us, we never know if a kiss, hug or "I love you" will be our last. And I think it's supposed to be that way. It doesn't make it easier. Death's sting remains, but I do think it is best. For I fear if we treat each exchange as if it was our last we would miss out on joy and expectation.

You see, I can't believe that those who have gone on before us would want us to live in a constant state of anticipated mourning. I think our loved ones would want us to take each day that we're given, smile, laugh, work, eat and be kind to one another.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Monday - Leftover Edition

This is going to be 'Scrounge Week' in our home. 'Scrounge Week' means we do our best with what we have in the pantry and freezer. All the meat I froze when we had leftovers? Defrost and make something with it. The gazillions boxes of mac and cheese? Cook it up. Cereal for breakfast? Why not!

On occasion when it becomes time to grocery shop I find that my pantry shelves are still full with random ingredients and I think why should I buy more food when I have food? It is those times I feel fiscally responsible to make due with what we have. Once Jeff Shinabarger, author of More or Less, challenged his family to eat for as long as they could out of their pantry. Expecting to make it a few days they lasted months! Months of food that they hardly paid attention to was readily available in plenty!

We have more than enough food here too. And rather than spend more money on filling pantry shelves this 'Scrounge Week' will save on the budget and help us remember that even when we my kids accuse me that "There's nothing to eat!" - there really is. And because we have food stockpiled, we should consider ourselves blessed.

To that end Menu Monday this week is not a Sikorski typical menu, instead here's all the food that I have found over the years to be leftover worthy.

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