Friday, June 27, 2008


My kids have been anticipating this movie for months now. They read in the paper that it opens today and the older ones asked if we might go. I hemmed and hawed because I'd like to take them-- I really would-- but I wonder if its wise to spend so much on entertainment when the cost of what is necessary is so high and likely to get worse before the end of the summer.

Nicholas didn't sense my hesitation and just assumed all the talk meant we were going.

"Should we go to the van now?" he asked.

"No, Nicholas." I said sadly, "We're not going to the van."

"The truck?" he wondered.

"No, Nicholas, not the truck either."

He was a little confused but tried one last option "The stroller?"

If that wasn't bad enough, I saw my friend Karen is probably going to take her kids after reading this article at Catholic Exchange. OK, I'm convinced. We'll go. we'll go. See you there, Karen, the popcorn is on us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's A Good Thing My Camera is Broken Again

Because I am so tempted to post a picture of my potty trainer running through the house in nothing but a silver cape and orange and green striped Elmo underwear.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yellow Disappointment

We discovered our local library this morning. Today was the start of summer story hour and so we made a point to get there and get library cards, too. The librarian welcomed us to the state and asked if we had picked up "Summer Reading Bags," yet. "No," I told her, we hadn't.

"Oh," she said handing a big yellow bag to each boy "These boys need their Summer Reading Bags."

When we got to the van Jacob couldn't be bothered to buckle himself in, he HAD to see what was in his yellow bag. He pulled out a pencil, some stickers, a bookmark, a doorknob hanger that pictured a cricket reading a book over the words "Don't Bug Me, I'm Reading," and a list of the library's summer activities.

"That's it?" he complained, "What's all this got to do with submarines?"

"Submarines?" I asked.

"Yeah, that lady in there said these were our Submarining Bags."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Dad with Zachary 2004

Happy Father's day to my Dad, and to Dads everywhere!

Thank you for your hard work and loving sacrifice.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Do You Make Your Own Popsicles?

We've made our own for years. Nothing tastes better than a popsicle on a hot summer afternoon, but one look at the ingredients of most store purchased pops reveals lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners and added chemical colors like yellow #5 and red #40--additives that have been linked to behavior, learning, and health troubles for some kids.

Better quality pops tend to carry a higher price and with the price of food rising they way it is, homemade pops just might be economically beneficial as well.

Here are some simple recipes and ideas for homemade popsicles...

Healthy Kid's Snacks


Friday, June 13, 2008

Master of Disguise

I'm feeling terrific now that I'm through my first trimester! I have energy and appetite and I've even started exercising again! I had to because food tastes good again, maybe too good. In any case, I am a happy, happy woman. I'm especially happy today because we'll be getting a first peek at number six this morning. I have an ultrasound scheduled.

"Who wants to come with me?" I asked at breakfast. "You'll get to see the new baby up on a big television screen!"

Almost everyone raised his hand. "I do. I do. I want to see."

But the oldest and most experienced was a harder sell. He sat back with arms folded.

"Trust me," he told the others, "It's not as exciting as it sounds. It's all black and white and the baby camouflages itself with the background."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bowlin' Em Over

Simeon asked to go bowling with the family for the first time and in the recent heat wave it seemed the perfect thing to do. He must have forgotten that he'd asked, though, because he had no idea why we told all the boys to get a pair of socks and head to the van one night after dinner. "Where are we going?" they asked, "That we'd need a pair of socks at?"

"We're going to the sock hop," we said.

"NNnnooooo," they dragged out their skepticism,"Where are we really going?"

"We're visiting a sock eating dragon. You wouldn't want to show up empty handed, would you?"

"We are not. There's no such thing."

On the drive there, the boys sat sandal-footed, excited and confused, a pair of socks on each lap.

"Tell us PLEEEEEEASE," someone started and the others caught on until the whole van was abuzz with one great plead.

"OK,OK, OK, OK, We'll tell you," we said, "We're going somewhere so great it's going to knock your socks off, so we thought you'd want an extra pair."

Well, it was pretty great and we all had fun bowling late into the night, but I've been wondering ever since...What are bowling shoes for anyway?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Simeon Turned Ten Today

Simeon turned ten today, this baby of ours who never really was a baby. He was born full term, barrel-chested and blue, wriggling all his baby muscles with surprising force and determination. It was one decade ago, but I remember every day of his first few months of life. He wasn't a cuddly baby or a very gentle or quiet nurser, but he was handsome and strong. He had dark, swirling hair and a beautiful complexion. I would stare at him for hours. My mother called him "The Brick." I called him my "Meaty Sweetie."

As our family grew, Simeon always considered himself a kind of third parent in the home. To his mind, it's been me, my husband and himself raising these four boys. He's enforced our rules and taken exception to many of them, being a kind of third parent and all that. To his credit, he's taken on many of the responsibilities of parenthood as well, watching over little ones, comforting them, praising them, often putting their needs before his. He's been a good brother.

Now, at ten, he mows the lawn for us, babysits (in another room, while I'm still at home), manages most parts of his own laundry and Alex's, makes lunch for everybody some days and breakfast on others, and helps with the cleaning when I ask. In return, we pay him a small amount of money and try to treat him a little more like the third adult in the home he's thought he was all along.

Today, our favorite lifeguard at the YMCA offered to babysit for us. She wrote her name and number on a slip of paper and handed it to me as we were leaving.

"What's that?" Simeon asked.

"She wants to babysit for us, so she gave me her number."

"That's great," Simeon said with enthusiasm and I was surprised. We don't often use a babysitter and I didn't know what he'd think. Then he went on, "So, she can come and babysit for us and we can get out and do something on our own [emphasis mine]!"

We just might have to do that.

But for tonight, I picked up a bag of lemons and he and I are making fresh lemonade after the other boys are in bed. Then, for the first time this summer, we'll cozy up on our screened-in lighted porch and read and read and read. He has his books-- The Deep, Ramona the Brave, and Davy Crockett. And I have mine--I Am One of You Forever, Nourishing Traditions, and a Cooking Light magazine I just picked up. It's great having a young man in the house.

Happy Birthday, Simeon, we love you!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Half Inch Masterpiece

by Simeon

Something about this little squirrel really appealed to me--a few simple lines, a whole lot of personality.


As I was folding laundry with my four year old today, we were chatting about summer plans when he suddenly leaned over to my laundry pile and grabbed a bra. In an attempt to understand the purpose of this strange article of clothing he asked,

"Mama, what happens if you don't put on one of these white things?"