Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Cookieversary to Us!

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when I bemoan the fact that I just don't make chocolate chip cookies like I used to.  But I'm thankful for Chloe who has taken up the joy of cookie-making, and while I was away, made a lovely batch with the babysitter.  So this evening Chris and I will enjoy some homemade cookies together, and remember our first romantic encounter in Grandma's kitchen .  Who would have thought on that day, that thirteen years later, we would have a daughter who was baking for us?

Random Trivia that I've learned through homeschooling

One of my biggest joys in homeschooling is all the fun stuff that *I* get to learn with the kids.  I thought I'd share some of the things I've discovered recently:

- When you get hot, the blood vessels in your skin get wider.  This lets more blood into your skin.  The extra blook makes your face look red.  But it let the air around you cool your blood down faster.

- When Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he landed in San Salvador (named by him, which means "Holy Savior")  He never actually discovered North America --that was later dicovered by an English man: John Cabot.( --obviously by "discovered," I'm not reffering to the natives who lived there, or the Vikings who had discovered it long before -  I mean discovered by the Europeans).  Here's another  interesting snippet from our history book "A Child's History of the World" --a *great* book, by the way): "People soon began to say it was nothing for Columbus to have sailed westward until land was found, that anyone could do that.  One day when Columbus was dining with the king's nobles, who were trying to belittle what he had done, he took an egg and, passing it around the table, asked each one if he could stand it on end.  No one oculd.  When it came back to Columbus, he set it down just hard enough to crack the end slightly and flatten it.  Of course, then it stood up.  'You see,' said Columbus, 'it's very easy if you only know how.  So it's easy enough to sail west until you find land after I have done it once and shown you how.'  ....Some [people] were so spiteful and jealous of [Columbus'] success that they even charged him with wrongdoing...Columbus was put in chains and shipped home.  Although he was promptly st free, Columbus kept the chains as a reminder of men's ingratitude and asked to have the burried with him....When at last he died in Spain, he was alone and almost forgotten even by his friends."

- speaking of the Americas, they interestingly (and obviously) enough were not named after Columbus.  Instead, they were named after Americus Vespucci who, after traveling to the New World, wrote a book about it.

- I also thought it was very fascinating to learn about Magellan's travels (he's credited for being the first to sail all the way around the world).  Only one of his five ships made it all the way around, but did you know that Magellan wasn't acutally on that ship?  He was killed inthe Philippines by the natives before completing the trip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things that make me smile #7 (and some things that don't)

It's that time of the week again.   I've been looking forward to the time when my kids were in school today, so I could sit down and write about all the lovely happy thoughts I've been having.  This morning, as I took Gideon to the doctor to get his stitches out, I thought about how I would share that exciting news with you later in the day.  But just as we were leaving, chloe and evelyn collided as they ran down the driveway to the car.  Evelyn did a faceplant and ended up with all kinds of scrapes on her hands and knees.  So I got her home,  finished placing the five bandaids in various places, and set my attentions on rebandaging gideon's thumb (because the doctor did a bad job).  Just as I was finishing with Gideon, chloe came into the room holding her mouse in her hands, and went into a big long story about how she accidentally cut the mouse with some scissors.  Then she opened her hands to show me her  mouse covered in blood.  After much discussion it was decided that the poor little thing should be put out of its misery, so we took it to Chris at work so he could do the Deed.  I'm sure it was pretty funny sight to see chris standing in the parking lot with his three girls all bawling as they hand him a paper bag.  I think I cried as much as chloe. I'm such a sap.  The big question of the moment was, "how is daddy going to kill it?"   We drove away with chloe yelling "bring it back in one piece!

After my very eventful morning (this all happened before 9:30 am), I've come to two conclusions.  1.   between the mouse and Gideon's thumb I've had my fill of blood and gore for the rest of the month -maybe even the year.  and 2.  It's a really good thing I never tried to be an ER nurse.  I never would've made it. that i've mostly recovered from all that trauma, I'm ready to get my mind off of it by sharing the things that have made me smile this recently:

I'm SMILING about the beautiful weather we've had this week, and all the time we've spent at the beach.  And i'm LOVING all the tidepools and rocks that have been uncovered on the beaches after our recent storms.  We've found so many great seashells and things.  There's so much seaglass all over the place that I've had to buy new  jars to hold our collection.  Plus, after finding a golf ball every time we're there, we've started a new collection.

Over the weekend, I ENJOYED going out to a local Japanese restaurant for chris's birthday.  We got to watch the chef prepare our dinner at our table, complete with some spatula percussion, egg juggling, and a giant fire.  We also had a GREAT TIME on sunday evening celebrating with friends. 

I've LOVED the girlfriend time i've had this week. lots of fun with good friends.

I LAUGH when I look in the refrigerator an see the bright green goo sitting in a tupperware container.  That's what's leftover from our very colorful St. Patrick's Day meal that we had last night which consisted of corned beef, cooked red cabbage, green mashed potatoes, green milk, and a salad.

I've been AMAZED every day when I look at Gideon's thumb and see his skin reattaching itself and growing back together.  I can't think of anything that man has made that could do something so miraculous.   What an amazing God we have!  I'm in such wonder, that gideon has begun to complain.  Every time I look at his thumb, I exclaim, "That's Amazing!!"  and he rolls his eyes and says, "you *always* say that!" :)

I'm CELEBRATING because Gideon got his stitches out today (as you've already heard)!   Our celebratory dinner will be breakfast burritos at Gideon's request.  And while i'm on the subject of getting the stitches out, you might be interested to know that I asked the doctor how often he sees this kind of cut.  His answer:  About 3 times a week (!!!!) often from experienced chefs who say, "i've never cut myself before!"

LOVE the fact that mice can be quickly & easily replaced with a quick trip to petco and a couple bucks.  I'm also GRATEFUL for the fact that my children learned a life lesson on experiencing the loss of a loved one.  Not fun, but a part of life that must be experienced.  --and also the life lesson of being careful with scissors...and pets.

and finally,

I've LOVED pondering what it means to be the apple of God's eye.  Trying to understand what that meant, I looked it up on Wikkipedia.  this is what they said: "The original Hebrew for this idiom was 'iyshown 'ayin (אישון עין), and can be literally translated as "Little Man of the Eye." This is a reference to the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in other people's pupils."  This made me think about how that little reflection of yourself is only seen when someone is looking at you closely.  I love the idea that God's face is so close to mine that I can see my reflection in His eyes.  Just like lovers gazing into each other's eyes.

Update: I've just returned from picking the kids up from school where, I'm told, Zachary fell on his face. He's got a nice little scratch on his nose & several band aids to match Evelyn's. And now I must run to help Gideon who, I'm told,  has just stepped in the dog poop he was supposed to be cleaning up.  If next Thursday is anything like today or last week's, I might just start boycotting Thursdays --or maybe I'll just buy stock in Band-aids..

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Have Fun!

Not too long ago, as I was dropping my darlings off at school, I waved good-bye and hollered sweetly after them, "have fun!" as is my habit any time I leave my children to do something without me.  But this time I was struck by what a strange statement this was.  Why is it that my parting words to my children are always, "have fun?"  Is that really the very best and greatest wisdom that I have to give them as they leave the shelter of my arms to face the perilous world out there?

on the other hand, if I didn't tell my children to have fun, would the forget?  Would they have an awful time, just because I forgot to tell them to have fun?  What a rediculous statement!  I put it in the same box as statements like "drive safe!" and "take care!"  When people tell me things like that, I know that they're trying to express kind thoughts, but I want to reply, "Wow! I'm so glad you told me to drive safe!  I was planning to drive recklessly and crash into a tree, but because you told me to drive safe, I'm certainly going to change those plans." 

But back into the world of mommyisms:  It would make sense that whatever final words I give to my children on a regular basis would emphasize what I value. Is having fun my greatest value? Is it the one thing that I want my children to think about and remember through the day? I don't think so. 

Therefore,  regardless of whether it will actually change my children's behaviors or actions, I want my words to be full of meaning and purpose.  And so I am on a quest to change this very meaningless little phrase that I frequently say to my children  into something more intentional.

So... what are my values?  What would I like to instill in my children's subconscious little hearts? 
My mom and I have been talking about the importance of teaching children to value and enjoy hard work. I've been trying out, "Work hard!" It doesn't quite feel right. 
Probably my number one value is kindness.  Should I say "Be kind"?
or perhaps, "love well!"
or maybe "be kind, love well, work hard and have fun! --and while I'm at it, don't forget all those other things I've been trying to teach you!--and I love you!"

this reminds me of the very funny mom song that I think i've posted here before.  Maybe I should just play that as my kids are running out the door.
What do you think?  What would you say?

Monday, March 15, 2010

A day to remember

It began like any other day.  After enjoying one of my final days with Mom before she went home to Texas, I picked up the kids from school & they all settled down for snacks and naps.  Within 15 minutes of our arrival home, I heard the most terrified scream ever coming from Gideon.   He came back to my bedroom, screaming  that he'd cut himself.  In my usual unconcerned manner, I got up slowly and nonchalantly told him to go rinse the cut off in the sink while I got him a bandaid.  As I watched him rinse off of his hand, I noticed that the blood didn't seem to wash away.  It just kept coming.  And coming...  And coming.  Then it occured to me that a bandaid was not going to contain all of that blood.  A hint of panic struck me, and as I went back to my medicine closet to search for gauze, I pondered what my next step of action should be.  This didn't seem quite serious enough for me to call 911.  On the other hand, I just couldn't figure out what to do about all the red stuff that seemed to be flowing endlessly out of his thumb. 

Adrenaline is a funny thing.  It heightens your heart rate, and makes your mind do all sorts of crazy things.  Some people get panicky& start yelling, and running in aimless circles.  Others get into a zone of clarity, & work super-efficiently.  Me, I freeze. (this was a moment of self discovery for me, as I've never been in such a split second emergency type of situation before).  All I could do, was let my mind wander in circles as to the best course of action:  bandaid?  too much blood.  911?  they would laugh at me.  Call chris?  he's working - and besides, what would he do?  He can't see it to tell me what to do, and it'd take forever before he got here.  By then Gideon will bleed to death.  Maybe I *should* call 911.  WHERE IS THAT GAUZE!?  what on earth am I going to do once i find the gauze?  I wonder if his blood is spurting with his heart beats like it does in the movies?  911?  Call chris?  Call mom?  That's it!  I'll call mom!  She'll know what I should do! 

And so I called mom, who was visitng a friend just down the street, and in my calmest voice - choking back tears (because apparently, extreme adrenaline surges make me want to cry), I said, "mom.  I need you.  NOW.  Gideon's cut himself."
Mom: "is that Gideon screaming in the background?  I'll be right over"

While waiting for Mom to arrive, I wrapped the gauze around Gideon's thumb, and asked the other kids how this had happened.  "He was cutting a frozen orange."  what??  

Within the few minutes it too mom to get here, the blood had soaked all the way through the bandage.  After a quick examination, she said that I should take Gideon to the local med center.  So i shoved a bunch of toilet paper into his hand to catch any more blood that may be spewing, and we got in the car to drive to the med center.  As we drove, I called chris to tell him to come meet me, and Gideon occaisionally interrupted his nonstop screaming to ask questions about what the doctor was going to do to him and how much it would hurt.   I could tell that he was beginning to go into shock because his speech was getting slurred and he was shivering like crazy.  We parked in front of the office & i carried him to the door.  It was then that i noticed that I hadn't bothered to bring any shoes for him.  Oh well.  Who need shoes in an emergency?  I walked in the door and told the receptionist that my son had cut his finger.  She took one look at the bloody wrappings and sent us straight back to and exam room.

By this time Gideon had stopped screaming and put on his brave face.  The nurse who examined him asked if he would be having pizza and video games that night - and then informed me that it was standard practice for all mothers to pamper their traumatized children with pizza and video games once the ordeal was over.  Good to know.

10 minutes later, the doctor came in.  10 minutes!!  didn't anyone tell him my son was bleeding to death!?  He was very casual about the ordeal.  Took a quick look, and then informed Gideon that he would be giving him a shot to take away the pain.  "It's going to hurt when I give you the shot.  But only for about 5 seconds and then it won't hurt anymore.  I never lie to children.  Only adults."   After the pain was gone, and Gideon had a groggy smile, the doctor took a closer look at the wound.  "Well, the skin is still attached, so that's good."  He looked at me, "If he were to cut off the whole thing, you would need to be sure to bring it in with you, so we could sew it back on."  Mentally noted.  Then he turned to the trainee who had come in with him.  "usually when this happens, they cut through the fingernail, too."  USUALLY?!  how often does this sort of thing happen!?

As the doctor stiched up Gideon's finger, Chris came in to join the fun.  We nervously chatted while Gideon's flesh was mended.  Then it occured to me that this was the first time that Gideon had ever had stiches!  A momentous occasion!  Of course, it needed to be doccumented with photos.  The doctor loved this idea, and covered Gideon's hand in red iodine to help make it look more gruesome. 

When everything was done, Gideon decided that he didn't want pizza for dinner.  He wanted pancakes.  So we went home, and I made pancakes for my brave little boy.  And Chris was very kind to take all the kids out shopping with him while I cooked.  This was greatly apreciated by me, because i really needed some time to come down from my adrenaline high & recover from my traumatic experience.  I think it was harder on me than it was on Gideon. 

And of course, we had to take one more picture, for Gideon to show off to his friends, while the bandaid conceals his "battle wound."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jokes by Evelyn

we had a  funny  ammusing  intersting night of joke telling with the kids this evening.  Here were two of the "jokes" that Evy told.

E:  how do you get a sign and a tree out of a tree that's not metal, it's glass?
me: (verifying that I understand the question) how do you get a glass sign out of a tree?
E: yah.  but no.  it's not glass it's metal
me:  it's metal?
E: yah.  with glass around the edges
me: so, how do you get a metal and glass sign out of a tree?
E: yah.
me: um..shake it out?
E: no
me: you climb up and get it?
E: no
me:  I don't know. I give up.
E: you climb up in the tree and get it down. 

E: Why did all the fish in the world that aren't whales or sharks or jellyfish or anything that eat other fish cross the road?
me: Why?
E: because they couldn't eat anything so they died.

and one by Gideon (which is what prompted the previous one by Evy):
Why did the starfish cross the road without looking both ways?
me: because he couldn't turn his head?
G: no
me: because there weren't any cars coming?
G: no
me: why?
G: because he was at a crosswalk and the light turned green.

sometimes i laugh really hard at my kids jokes just because they are so *not* funny