Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessons From Your Child

I recently read the article "Memo to Mommy" in my Parents Magazine. Many of them were lessons I needed to hear and thought some of you might need to as well. These are all lessons as if your child was saying them to you.

Stop freaking out about the mess! There's always time to clean-but how often do we get to make mud pies?

Be patient. I do everything for a reason, but I don't know enough words yet to give you an explanation.

Love me, even when I'm naughty. I'll only be this age once.

Let me do it. I know you can do it faster and better, but sometimes experience is the best teacher.

Don't expect too much of me. I want to do what you ask and make you happy, but I'm still little.

Keep your promises. It's all about trust. When I'm a teenager, you'll understand why it's so important.

Don't try to reason with me when I'm having a tantrum. Trust me-I can't hear you over my own screaming.

Don't keep asking me if I've been good. Im not even sure what that means, but if I was bad I'd never admit it!

Don't let me think that you are perfect. I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes.

Set limits. I can't actually eat a whole box of cookies-I just want to see if I'd get away with it.

The ones that hit me the hardest were being patient, expecting too much, asking if they have been good, and thinking that I am perfect. I am constantly trying to work on my patience with the kids and right along with that is wanting everything done right and getting frustrated when the clothes aren't folded perfectly and put away right. Does it really matter in the great scheme of things? Why am I getting so worked up over that? They got it done and I didn't have to do it, so why am I stressed? I am also not good at admitting my mistakes. Trust me, I make plenty! I need to be more up front with them and admit when I am wrong, admit that I screwed up and say, let's start over. So, this is what I am going to be working on. This article just kind of threw it into my face today and I plan to cut these lessons out and tape them to my bathroom mirror to remind me everyday to be a better mom. I am the only mom my kids will have, and I need to be the best mom I can be. This is what I will be praying about and working on. How about you????

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fruit, Vegetables, and Apple Crisp Recipe

We are so fortunate to have wonderful neighbors. We spent many nights this summer in any one of our backyards chatting, watching the kids play, and enjoying some wine, sometimes by a fire with some smores. After choosing this community 4 1/2 years ago, I can't imagine living anywhere else. So, anyway, back to our wonderful neighbors. We have been kept stocked with rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and most recently apples thanks to their generosity. Some of us have gardens and then share our bounty with others. So, after receiving a bucket of apples this last weekend, I have been busy making apple cake, applesauce and apple crisp. I thought I would share my Mom's Apple Crisp recipe. It doesn't get much better than this!

Mom's Apple Crisp
Use a 8 or 9 inch baking dish. Slice apples into the pan until almost full. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon and add 2 T of water. Stir them around. Then in a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 T of butter. Crumble over the top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. I think it is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Every time I make it, the smell reminds me of home. I can't wait to have a bowl tonight!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Review: Down River by John Hart

A synopsis from the book:

Everything that shaped him happened near that river...Now its banks are filled with lies and greed, shame and murder. Adam Chase has a violent streak and not without reason. As a boy in Rowan County, he saw things that no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred him. After narrowly being acquitted of a murder charge, Adam runs to New York City and fades away. Now 5 years laters, he's back and no one knows why. Once he returns he is beaten, confronted by his family and an ex-girlfriend he still loves. Then bodies start turning up and the town turns against him. Adam is now in the fight for his life to prove his innocence and to reclaim the only life he has ever wanted.

I read this book for our August book club. This is typically not the kind of book I read. But, I was surprised by how each page encouraged me to keep reading. It was definately suspenseful and made you root for Adam and wonder who was behind all the murders. There was a lot of family turmoil and it was a bit depressing at times to read. But, I did enjoy it. The ending also leaves it open to the reader's perception of what was next for Adam. You want to hope that he has happier times ahead. I would definately recommend this book. It is a quick read . There are numerous characters but they are easy to keep track of. I easily got wrapped into the storyline and started rooting for certain characters. The author did an amazing job developing the characters so they were easy to remember as well as picture. Some of the scenes in the story were very visible as I was reading them which made the story more real. There are numerous twists and turns to the storyline to keep you interested. The author took great care in developing the relationships between the characters and making them real to the reader.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Review: The Grosse Adventures

This story involved Stan and Stinky, twin 4th graders who tend to cause trouble. Their adventures are mostly at school and involve their classmates as well. Stan and especially Stinky are well known for their powerful and smelly gas. In this story, they use their gas in a class project. The boys really enjoyed the story and were eager to get through each chapter. For me, I thought it was a little crude. In our home, we don't use the words "fart or farting" and these words were used all throughout the book and were a major part of the storyline. As I looked ahead through volume 2 and 3, this is the same theme as well. So, this probably won't be a series that I will continue to read to the boys, but if they want to pick it up and read it, that will be their choice. It just isn't a book I would prefer to read to them at bedtime. There are too many great books for kids out there that I don't want to spend my time reading about kids and their gas!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Books and Winning

Over the past several weeks I have won a few books after signing up on other blogs and websites. So, I am going to add more about the books I'm reading to my blog as well. It may help my chances of winning and may open up opportunities to receive more books! I will let you know what we are currently reading and what I thought of that particular book. I am hoping with the boys back in school I will have more time to read and get through that HUGE "to read" pile. If you have a book you think I would like, let me know! The books that I have won so far include, A Vintage Murder by Michele Scott, Song Yet Sung by James McBride, The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, And Sometimes Why by Rebecca Johnson, and Comfort Food, by Kate Jacobs. I just love opening my email to find that I have won a book and it is on its way. Thanks for letting me share my love of reading with you!

School has begun!

The boys are officially 2nd and 3rd graders! They were very excited to be headed off to school today. For the first time they will be in separate schools in separate towns. Patrick is looking forward to learning cursive writing! Bennett is looking forward to being "top dog" in his school as the 2nd graders are the oldest. He is also excited about eating breakfast at school since he goes early so Patrick can catch the bus! They were excited to pick out their "first day of school outift". I remember laying everything out on my bed and deciding which was going to be that first day outfit and then of course the next day and so on. I remember catching up with all my friends about our summers. Since I lived in the country, I didn't have many opportunities to see my classmates over the summer. I remember the excitement of playing outside for recess while the weather was still beautiful, the girls jumping rope and the boys playing football. I have noticed that not much has changed in the last 25+ years. We look forward to picking the boys up and hearing about all those happenings on their first day of school.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer is over

Tomorrow is our last day of summer as the kids go back to school on Thursday. As I look back at our summer I marvel at how fast it went and all we were able to squeeze in to do. I am breathing that "back to school" sigh of relief. The boys are bored with each other, Reagan is tired of sharing my time with them, and I can't believe they are going to 2nd and 3rd grade! I can congratulate myself on surviving another summer full of fun, sibling squabbles, neighborhood impromptu playdates (with wine for the moms), neighborhood "porch Fridays/Wednesdays/Thursdays (frankly any day of the week) with MORE wine, late nights, late mornings, an awesome vacation to Tennessee, a trip to the Omaha zoo, and many great family gatherings! Did I mention the wine??? Anyway, I love summer and the chance to experience new things with the kids. Of course we don't get everything accomplished that I had hoped, but the point is to make memories and have fun and that I can definately cross off my list. As excited as I am for them to go back to school and for all of us to get back to our regular routine, I know that by winter, that sigh of relief will turn into a twinge of regret and I will be missing them and hoping for summer to get here soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Alexa LeAnn

On Friday I met my newest Great Niece, Alexa LeAnn. She was born July 24, 2008. I am posting some photos of her for Alex and Amy so that others can see how beautiful she is! Cousin Reagan is quite smitten with her! Welcome to the world, Alexa!