Patience ran off with my sense of humor..

It doesn’t take much to make me laugh and I like that about myself.  Although I laughed rather easily while in the workforce, it has been a bit more challenging at home.  Which, while in the kitchen getting lunch ready, I realized that I just needed to RELAX and LAUGH!  Laugh at the interruptions, the messes, oh the messes made by these sweet, cute, adorable and FUNNY boys! 

Enjoy.  Embrace.  Laugh.  Love. 

So here I am for a quick note to remind myself of my humanity and reflect on Christ’s sustaining power and strength.  When the boys wake up, WE are going to have us some FUN!

I’m off for a quick and necessary nap!

Oh, I was just on the Living Proof website looking up info about the Beth Moore simulcast I’ll be attending this weekend.  This sentence was part of a description of Beth (which I totally agree with) – “She is a woman of purpose, preparation, prayer and passion.”  Those are admirable qualities I need posted – and I think I’ll add “patient” to mine!

Has anyone seen my patience?

I know a gal named Patience.  I’m now wondering what was going through that Mom’s mind when she named her….

When T and I decided I would leave the workforce to come home to raise our Sammy, a friend of mine who already had 2 boys said of our decision “Oh, I could never do that!  I don’t have the patience!”

Stopping by a homeschooling friend’s house (also a mom of 2 boys…I’m noticing a pattern) some time ago, I noticed she looked rather frazzeled and her sweet giggle was missing….

This is where I am today – looking for my patience.  And sadly, I think I’m the biggest part of the problem!  I’ve gone to bed way past my bedtime for at least 3 nights in a row – which means I haven’t woke up on time.   I’ve had no nap the past 2 day.  My house is in disaray.  And yet, school must carry on. 

So here I am, needing to go fix us some lunch and needing just a few minutes to escape…and search for my happy face that’s somewhere with my patience!

It’s going to be ok.  I knew this would be a process.  If my head was in the clouds, it’s out this week.  Tomorrow is another day of no school b/c of ML membership brunch.  I think I’ll offer up ANOTHER prayer for God’s wisdom and request for peace in the midst of interruptions and ETC.

Now, where were we?

This is how I felt today.  Tuesday pay-day is big shopping day.  And today I had a list made out and plans to head out early so we could get home b/f lunch and still have some time for school.  This did not happen.  Me and the boys woke up at the same time – 8am.  Late start according to my plan.  And I wake up so much nicer when I’ve had some time with my God and my coffee – ALONE.

Speaking of alone.  I watched the movie The Soloist last night.  Interesting.  Sad.  Sensitive.  Thought provoking.  But there was a scene when the journalist (Robert Downey, Jr.) was alone in his apartment lightly dancing to (what I belive I heard) was Neil Diamond singing Mr. Bonjangels.  I was watching the movie alone, as T has the bank this week and rises early, and the boys were asleep.  Seeing that scene reminded me of my need and often times desire to be alone.  Like – no one else in the house.  Not for just a few minutes, but like at least a few hours.  And sometimes in the midst of a challenging day (or more…) I think how much easier my life would be alone.  Being a wife and parent takes work – and I haven’t always wanted to work so hard!  Anyhow, seeing that scene gave me a reflection of what my life would be like without my family.  And I thanked God He had not given me what I sometimes long for  and that He had indeed blessed me with a great gift in my Love and two precious, funny and energetic boys!

Well, now.  Where was I?  So, it took forever to get out the door today for shopping – like, we didn’t leave until about the time I had planned on us returning!  Agh!  Several things kept delaying us – just life.   But I did manage to put my beans in the crockpot and cook the spanish rice during this time to go with the pleasant surprise of chicken tamales from one of T’s co-workers.  So tonight’s meal was warmed up and ate up!  Bless me with leftovers to send T for his lunch!  Usually I’ve been pooped from shopping and we have oft dined on pizza or Tuesday Sonic burgers.  Tonight’s dinner was a gift indeed!

I was going to complain about shopping with my boys.  But I’m too tired and it’s water under the bridge.  Let’s just chalk it up to grocery shopping during nap time.  I believe that says it all.  At one point I looked at Sammy (after having to correct him for the upteenth time) and thought, “If I enrolled you in school, I could have an easier go at this…”  Fleeting thought.  So although we didn’t get any school done today (which wasn’t my expectation anyway), I did talk with him about my list and budget and needing to cut back on extra  unecessary stuff. 

I’ve been two days without a nap.  I am so looking forward to tomorrow when I will have one!  I’ve veged out to TV and gained some energy to put my kitchen in order.  The thought of schooling tomorrow morning AND waking up to a kitchen disaster was not appealing. 

Sammy said the funniest thing today – He was playing with his pet rock we made last year and pondering what he should name him.  He came up with “Rockie!” I died laughing!

I feel the need to read about 3 pages of the 4th book in the Abram’s daughters series.  This book has been slow going.

Tomorrow I shall hopefully report on good-school effort, a better smelling bathroom, fruit wash, and a crock-pot spaghetti sauce I’m cookin’ up tomorrow.

Snack gone awry

Well, the baked bread was great this morning – except Saw Wayne didn’t eat his.  The yogurt was yummy with organic grape jam – me and Sam ate ours up with our bread, but again, Saw Wayne passed.  Which is fine since he’s got snot and milk products not so good for snot issues. 

So when snack time rolled around, he was serious about saying “nack” several times to  make sure I knew he was lookin’ for some food!  To which my reply was he should have eaten his breakfast!  Sometimes I get stumped by snack time – and would rather pass it all together.  I don’t keep a lot of snack bread/cracker stuff around – b/c I would eat it! 

So I sent the boys outside while I took a breather and contemplated what on earth we were going to have for snack???  1 apple.  A few grapes.  3 bananas.   Bananas.  That’s it – I’ll put some unsweetened carob chips in a pan with a bit of corn syrup (for sweetener) and some butter and then dip them in these small nuts dear Judy had passed me. 

Well, carob doesn’t quite melt like baking chocolate.  So we had 1/2 banana on a popcicle stick with chocolate goo a la nuts.  Worth a try.  The carob/nuts combined with the banana was yummy – but not so much alone. 

So, here’s a recipe for Chocolate dipped bananas from Recipezaar….they never let me down!  This sounds like a good snack to re-try.  I sure do wish someone would put bananas on sale – we are either eating them or not.  We are in one of those “eating them” times.

Food…and then some

This morning my house smells of freshly baked bread.  I removed the contraption from the top of the upright freezer at 12:30am so we could have fresh baked bread this AM.  Yum.  I hadn’t made bread in a while AND I couldn’t find my Honey bread recipe I was using AND I was out of honey, SO I made Buttermilk Wheat Bread since my bit of buttermilk left was about to expire.  I also didn’t have 2 2/3 c. of wheat flour, so I switched the amount of wheat and bread flour.  This shouldn’t be a problem…I hope! 

I checked on the yogurt before heading to bed and it was still a little liquidy, so when I woke up at 4 something, I went and checked and believed it to be ready to refrigerate.  Maybe we’ll try it this AM with our fresh bread.

I’ve been inspired to get in the kitchen by this blog, which is why I was up till way past 1am this morning.  It  is where I found the oh-so-simple homemade yogurt recipe, which was actully through this blog, which is one of my fav blogs to read.  I was inspired by her frugal cooking to drag out the few lentils and beans remaining in a baggie and toss them into the water for overnight soak.  They will be used today to make some homemade soup for lunch to include leftover green beans, leftover pasta, along with cauliflower and squash that needs to be eaten.  That should clean out the fridge of unused veggies before I shop tomorrow.  Oh, and I’ll add the 3 green onions left and throw in some garlic.  Oh, and some thawed soy meat that needs to be eaten – that will be a treat!   And we’ll probably have some fresh bread with it  – or I’ll do the corn-muffin mix.  That sure does sound tastey – and surprisingly, my boys highly enjoy my fresh veggie soup.  We no longer by canned soup; well, unless the “girl soup” (Disney princess characters) catches Sammy’s eye when we’re shopping.  My neighbor has solution to cream soups that she used in my chicken spaghetti recipe, and it taseted great.  So I need to find out what that is.  I also tried a great homemade tomato soup recipe last year that is worth trying again since everyone liked it.  In the winter we like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches – my fav easy dinner for Sunday night.  Well, enough about soup.

Something I also learned this weekend:  do not machine wash cheese cloth.  I normally have followed Father’s instructions for cleaning my cheese cloth (see previous days blog entry about hearing..and not).   After making my farmers cheese, I put it in a cereal bowl with water, swishing around a bit to loosen remaining cheese; let it sit a bit, especially if a get interrupted, which I do.  Then I wash it out, running water over it and seeing the remaining cheese disappear.  Then I return it to the bowl with more warm water and a drop or two of dish soap, swish around and let sit a bit since I get interrupted.  That’s where this all went wrong.  I left it too long – turing a little pinkish, so I thought “Hey, just toss it in the washer!”  So when buying cheesecloth yesterday, nowhere on the package does it tell you how to wash the dern thing.  Yet, thanks to Father, I know how – when I choose to listen!  BTW, even though He didn’t redeem my machine washed cheese cloth, He DID redeem my Pampered Chef stoneware with a bit of hot water and baking soda.  Cheese cloth is $2.99 – stoneware, I’m sure is up around $30 to $40. 

And speaking of cheese, we are quite fond of the Farmer’s Cheese (also known as Tvorog)  that I’ve learned to make from this post.  I add honey or real organic maple syrup for flavoring.  I’ve also used it in place of sour cream.  And then I’ve put it bit alongside a plate of toasted bread, apple slices – when I’ve done this, I’ve sprinkled a bit of chunk celtic sea salt on it.  That’s what I haven’t learned – how to salt it entirely.  I’ve also used it that I can remember in my tuna casserole.  Try it! You might like it!  I think a lot of the pleasure comes from making it. 

Well, I had the blessing of raising the windows this AM for some fresh air – and along with that came the beautiful sound of hearing the rain coming…that was quite neat!  Boys are still asleep as they were up late.  That is the only reason I’m on the computer after having had my 2 c. of coffee!  It is time to begin the day!

Even when I’ve heard right…things don’t go smoothe

Yes.  For years I have “heard” Father speak to me.  Sometimes I have misheard  – which is a part of the process of returning to Him.  Sin keeps me returning to Him needing grace, mercy and forgiveness.  My weaknesses keep me returning to Him so I can beseach Him for HIS strength.  Fleshly fear keeps me returning to Him so I can find spiritual fear (this is new…and amazingly interesting). 

If He guided Noah, giving Him specific instructions to build the Ark so that His family could be saved, He will do no less for me.  And in Matthew, He gives Joseph specific instructions for preserving the life of Christ when He was in danger.  He will do no less for me as He instructs me (the parent) regarding my children. 

So the farmers cheese I made a few weeks ago turned out like…feta cheese consistency.  Wierd.  But good.  Amazingly good.  Really.  Pour some maple syrup on it and you have no choice but to like it.  Even with just a bit of celtic sea salt added, it tastes great.  So I’m acknowledging that I accepted Father’s instructions to set the burner on 2 (which normally, I would have on low).  He wanted us to experience something new in cheese making.

Tonight I tried my hand at homemade yogurt.  We’ll see how it turns out here in about an hour, or sometime around 4:30am. 

And I see fresh baked bread on the horizon.  Perhaps as a morning project for Sammy and I, or perhaps within the next 30 minutes I’ll drag the bread maker from it’s perch on the upright freezer and throw it together for morning toast with the feta cheese goo and some apples.  And since I don’t have any honey or maple syrup left (shopping day is Tuesday!), we’re going to throw some organic grape jelly off into it and see what happens.  It sounds yummy!

The other thing I heard Father right about was potty training.  But not so smoothe this weekend.  Saw Wayne came down with the frightful cough early Saturday morning; wheezing; snot.  Yuck.  Poor kid.  So Saturday we had some poo in the underwear issues that made me switch into survival mode (diaper on the hiney) when we went to the Guns and Hoses benefit game Saturday night.  I chalked it up to not feeling well.  Mercy.  Grace.  Understanding.  We all need it!  Today has been better – no tee-tee incidents, even when we were at Walmart taking a tour of the firetruck outside and I could tell he was about to do a jig cause he had to pee!  Poo’d in the potty before bed tonight, but then poo’d in his diaper right after that!  I’m really ready to be out of diapers!  We are still doing diapers at night at least for the next week.  And if I ever get Sammy out of night diapers, I will do a jig and sing!

So, all that to say, just ’cause I hear Father right, doesn’t mean it’s smoothe sailing for me.  The rough waters, the blunders, the missteps, my arguing with Him, all lead back to Him.  And I’m so glad. 

Before my feet hit the floor most mornings I remind Him of my need of Him.  And if I perhaps forget to inform Him, I’m reminded not too long afterwards! 

He is my constant companion.  My all in all.  There is none like Him.

School has begun!

Well, I’m still a little unsettled about the name of our academy, but it will have Squirrel in it.  In fact, Squirrley Stone Academy probably fits just right!  We have a mascot squirrel (stuffed animal – he looks so real!).  I have loved squirrels since attending SFA in Nacogdoches.  I can’t say I remember seeing a squirrel in Houston while growing up.  Our perhaps I didn’t notice them?  Anyhow, after reading about Squirrel Nutkin in Peter Rabbit, I was even more in love with squirrels!  And I think we Stone’s do fit the title!

So we started homeschool Monday.  Mom offered to keep Saw Wayne overnight Sunday so Sammy and I could have some time together, which was nice. 

His answer to my usual question “So, what did you like most about school today?”  “Nuthin’!” was his reply.  It’s not like it was new for us, as we’d been toying with school on and off during the summer.  But the day before he was already testing the waters to see who was in charge when he asked to put it off another day. 

Day 2 – we were working on number recognition and his success led him to blurt out “Momma, you’re the best teacher ever!” with a huge hug to go with it!  Whew! 

Day 3 & 4 – nothing memorable that I recall.  Other than my utter amazement that he can’t remember what certain numbers look like.  So we play a fun card game to help with that.  I recalled my previous fond memories of playing solitaire, so I’m looking forward to us being able to play – hopefully sooner than later! 

Our nature walk netted us a flower I still haven’t identified.  Today we are taking time to draw our Cicada shell and perhaps do a cutting assignment.  He does well spotting Pine Trees and can tell me what they produce and has become more sensitive to creatures.  However, SW gladly stomps on most crawly things he sees.

Friday we took a trip to the library and neeted us some great children’s books about Monet and Mozart, along with a biography. My greatest find was the book, 13 Artists Children Should Know.   I look forward to using this as we move through the 1st module suggested on Simply Charlotte Mason.  I’m still in the hunt for Classical Kids CD of Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage.  Our library has none of the classical kids CD’s (why not???) so I have to submit a request for an interlibrary loan.

Also, our friends had returned from Balitmore this week and gave the boys souvenoir coins with this White House on them.  While shuffling through DVD’s at the library, Sammy pulls out a DVD about goverment (for children) b/c he recognized the photo. 

Our week was frought with interruptions.  Nothing bad or serious (well, except for one behavior issue).  But my friend Judy who I knew not had been in education said that was no different in public school where interruptions abound.  So we are trying to start on time, but sometimes life happens.  We didn’t get everything accomplished I had hoped, and it looks like I might need to revamp our reading out loud, or something in that.  We just didn’t get to alot of that and so it may need to be spread over more days.  Learning as I go.

Our first bible story was about God creating so that lead right in to our first Science assignment about what God created on each day.  We are taking this slowly.

So I’m choosing to relax.  RELAX.  Really.  Relax.  I would say we’ve had fun this week.  And it definately keeps me pointed to Father looking to Him.  Oh, and Father does have a sense of humor, which I’ve known for some time now, and have often felt the brunt of his loving humor.  Saw Wayne is ready to potty train at 2 1/2.  After my frustration of SW taking his diaper off to tee-tee for several weeks and going back and forth between diapers and underwear, I FINALLY submitted my request to Father – “When would you like me to potty train SW?”  Hoping of course, he would reply “WAIT.”  But no.  I couldn’t have received a better “memo” from Him – it was bold and in caps – NOW!  Really?  The first week of serious homeschool?  Oh, yeah.  And you know what?  Father was right.  He’s done beautifully with only 1 or 2 tee-tee accidents.  And giggling all the way through pooing in the potty.  Glad I chose to believe I had heard right!