Friday, February 27, 2009


Sarah loves to have tea parties, but she doesn't like to clean her room (or anything else). I told her that her room had to be spotless before she could have tea. She was less than enthusiastic, until she came up with a slogan. Then she started chanting, "Spot-free for a spot of tea!" the whole time she was cleaning.

Boy Spelling

I've been working on spelling with Noah lately. Today I sent him to his room with a bucket full of magnetic letters and a magnetic board and told him to spell some words. He came out and asked if he could use the letters to write a message to his dad. I told him that he could write anything he wanted, as long as the words were spelled correctly. We've been studying the Revolutionary War, and Noah likes to design innovative weapons with Legos and have imaginary wars with Mike. So I wasn't surprised when he came out with this message on the board:


Monday, February 23, 2009

Backhanded Compliment

My painfully honest son was staring intently at me and then said, "Mom, I think you're pretty." (Note to self: next time, say "thank you" and leave it at that.) And I said, "Really?" Then he qualified it with this: "Well, you have a lot of freckles and moles, but you're really pretty on the inside."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Free To Be Me

Lately we've been enjoying the song "Free To Be Me" by Francesca Battistelli. The chorus goes:

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me

Our free-spirited daughter has latched onto it as her theme song. It's fun to see her dancing around and singing at full volume about rips in her jeans. But our deep-thinking son listens intently to the lyrics and wants to know, "Why is perfection her enemy? Isn't perfection a good thing?" That's one for the Question Jar. If you have an answer, please leave a comment.

Question Jar

The questions around here fly so fast that I have trouble keeping up with them all; yet I don't want to let any slide under the rug. So we have created the Question Jar. Whenever the kids have a question that I either don't have time to answer or don't know the answer to, they put it in the jar. Then I get to them whenever I can. Right now in the jar are three questions from Noah:
1)What is tobacco?
2) What is gravity?
3)What does CVS stand for?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mom School

Not a very easy day today. Sarah didn't get enough sleep, and that fact alone can ruin everyone's day. I sent her to the corner and then had to spank her while she was there. First time I've had to layer the punishment on her. Noah noticed and said, "Poor Sarah. Mom, maybe you should take some classes to learn how to be a better mom." That wasn't especially helpful.

Blueberry disaster

I buy the industrial sized bag of frozen wild blueberries, because we eat them a lot. This morning I grabbed the bag and whipped it out of the freezer. Apparently the zip top was not properly zipped. A full four pounds of blueberries went flying all over the kitchen.

I got down and started scooping them up with my hands, which turned a dark bluish purple color. Of course, Sarah appeared during this time and had to walk through the kitchen. For fifteen minutes, I plucked blueberries off the floor while imagining that I was on a sunny green hill in upstate New York picking blueberries off bushes.

The floor was not exactly clean, but I put all the blueberries back in the bag anyway, because they're very expensive and I couldn't stand to waste them. Then I had to wipe all the blue stains off the floor and appliance doors. Just when I thought I was done, I opened the freezer to put the bag back, and a bunch of blueberries came tumbling out. They were all over the inside of the freezer, snuggled in between all the packages of frozen food.

I put them all back in the bag, zipped it up tight, and put it in the freezer. When I got out of the shower, there was the evil bag of blueberries sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, unzipped. I felt like I was in a bad horror movie. I was staring at the bag, thinking I must be losing my mind because I was sure I had put them away. Enter Sarah with blue smears all over her face.

She smiled, revealing blue teeth, and said, "I got some blueberries all by myself!" About an hour later, I noticed a blueberry peeking out from under the refrigerator. I swiped a ruler under there and pulled out several mushy blueberries. While I was lying on the floor, I noticed a few more blueberries under the cabinets. It's like a plague. They're everywhere! I don't think I'll ever get them all. We'll probably have to move.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Miscellaneous Funny Kid Stuff

We went to Iowa last week and stayed in a hotel. Sarah heard us talking about whether to get one king-sized bed or two queens, and she had an opinion of her own: "How about a king size bed for Dad, a queen size bed for Mom, and princess size bed for me!" Spoken like a true princess.

Noah and Sarah were making pictures for an exhibit at their own art museum. One of Sarah's was a black spidery-looking blob, so I said, "That looks like a spider." She said, "No, it's doesn't have eight legs! It's Noah with his wild long hair."

We decided to have homechurch today, so while I was taking a shower, Noah and Sarah were setting up communion. They were tearing up bread and pouring juice into little fancy glasses. Noah came bursting into the bathroom to say, "Mom! Sarah keeps drinking the wine!"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Outdoor people

We are outdoor people. If the temperature is above zero, we go outside. This winter has been especially cold, so we've spent more time cooped up in our little house than we usually do. Today's high temperature is supposed to be 49, so we were outside much of the morning. The kids put sleds on the driveway and pretended to be fishing, using their real fishing poles. We love to picnic, so I served their lunch in their fishing boats. I'm not sure we've ever had a picnic this early in the year. It was great to be outside with no heavy coats!

Sarah's husband

While I was driving the kids to Peoria yesterday, I got to hear them have the following conversation:

S: I think I'll marry one of the Brooks boys, even though they're naughty.
N: They're only naughty when they're together. Besides, they're still kids. I'm sure they'll both be good boys when they grow up. You should marry Nate, since he's more your age than Tim.
S: When we get old enough, I bet Mom will give me her wedding ring.
N: No, Nate will give you your own ring.
S: I hope it's pink and sparkly!

They chatted a little longer, and I really enjoyed the reprieve. Usually they're both talking to me at the same time and asking questions all the time. It didn't last long, and soon enough Noah was asking me questions about Congress, government, the President, and war.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Messy Day

The day began with an unbloggable mess and continued downhill from there. The kids and I made blueberry muffins for breakfast, which required a full vacumming of the kitchen afterwards. Later, while pretending to be monkeys, I opened the fridge to get my little monkeys a banana, swung my primate arms too dramatically and knocked the glass container of green beans (and their disgusting juices) onto the floor. I spent a considerable amount of time picking up green beans (and if you know me at all, you know that I loathe everything about green beans) and wiping green drips from the cabinets and refrigerator. After lunch, we were engaged in an art project that turned out to be messier than I envisioned (when will I ever learn?), so there were marker stains and glue to be cleaned off the table. When I was making dinner, the soup boiled over onto the stovetop. After cleaning that up, I scooped some of the broth into a container and added some flour to shake it up and add it back to the soup as a thickener. I put the lid on the container of hot broth and started to shake, and as any fool could anticipate, it exploded. Two seconds later, Mike arrived home to a lovely vision of his wife covered in what looked like puke. I was glad it was only scalding broth instead. This was all in addition to the usual cluttery messes that creative, imaginative kids make when they're home all day.