Monday, November 30, 2015

Grandparents are Grand

I just want to give a shout out to grandparents. There's a reason "grand" is at the front of their title. They truly are grand to have around. I just wish we lived closer. Whenever we leave grandparents' home T sheds great tears. There's something uplifting and inspiring being around grandparents. They're encouraging to the parents as well.

Thanks to S's parents for letting us have a lunch date. Thanks for indulging my idea of going to the park with the kids on Thanksgiving. Thanks for just being there and loving our family. Thanks for being family, and involved.

Grandparents are grand.

Water and Worms

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
~Emily Dickenson
It's been quite rainy the last several days. Thanksgiving, it seems, was our last sunny day 
between Thursday and Monday. Little F was not going to let that stop her from going outside.
 I made sure she had a coat on (it was after all a cold rain), put rainboots on her feet, and let 
her explore the wonderful outdoors. I thought for sure she'd make mud puddles and was 
finding myself wishing I'd brought a more play friendly jacket with us to her nana's home. 
Thankfully little F is far more fascinated by grass and puddles than by mud. She spent 
most of the morning picking grass and wild onions, "planting" them in Nana's empty 
flower pots, and chasing worms in puddles. 
There were plenty of worms. She started out by squatting so that she could get a better 
view. Then, tentatively, her hand reached out toward the worm. Quickly she retracted  it, 
then tried again. This time she reached through the low puddle and actually touched
 its back! She startled as the worm recoiled from her tough, curling its front and rear ends, 
wriggling into a tight coil. She again retracted her hand, and again reached out. This 
continued for several minutes. Changing her methods F then cupped her hands to 
block and change the worm's path. I think she was rather disappointed it didn't 
climb up 
             into her 
But she kept exploring and observing the worm for quite a long time. 

When she came inside she said "I did saw a worm outside. 
It was big and taller and taller. It touch me."


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Little Cook

Over the summer T watched a TV show in which kids-some as young as 8- competed in a cooking competition. Since then 6-year-old T's been increasingly interested in cooking.

First he made smoothies. Then sweets. Now he's starting to work on main dishes.

When our church's annual chili cook off was announced T determined to try his hand at chili. I mentioned my two favorite recipes to him. He wanted to search for his own. A web search soon turned one up, and soon we headed off to get supplies for "crazy pork and pineapple chili".

As I baked cookies T sauteed ground pork with onions. He found the length of time it took a little too long. " Won't you take a turn?" He asked. I encouraged him, and he succeeded. As soon as it was browned I carried the hot pan over next to the crock pot.
T spooned it from the pan to the pot. He opened cans of beans, tomatoes, and pineapple. He measured seasonings ("Is this a tablespoon or this one?"). He mixed it all together. His dad plugged in the cord and T turned the knob to low. He'd done it!

"I'm going to win," T declared. I assured him it was admirable to cook, and he was right to be satisfied with his work, but not to be surprised if he didn't win his first try.

In the morning we loaded it into the car. T was so excited. As soon as the service ended T hurried with his dad so he could add the pineapple (he'd used the juice  the night before).  "No!" He said. "They tasted it before I'm finished" As someone took pictures T added the pineapple and stirred. Splat! The juices of the sauce splashed his yellow shirt. One of the judges saw what he was doing.
"But we already tasted it!" She said. "Do we need to again?" "No," replied another, "We'd already decided."

Of course T didn't win, but he wasn't really all that disappointed for long. There was too much fun to be had and anyway, he was pleased with his work.

As he finished eating a woman approached.
"I heard you made the pineapple chili," she said to him. "Did you do it by yourself?" She then said "I'm a chef. I cook for a living. You know, I started at your age. You did well." Then she gave him advice. She told him to keep practicing and taste, taste, taste as you go.

Now T can't wait to cook again!

Monday, October 5, 2015


A few years ago my son built with one thought in mind: demolition. He loved knocking down things, especially towers of blocks. Now things are different. Things are built with a purpose in mind. The purpose tends to evolve, and tends to involve a story.
What story did he and his friends create today? That I cannot say. All I know is it involved a pink monkey with freaky large eyes and a headless Lego minifig.

I'll leave the rest up to your imagination.

Come on. If a six year old can imagine a story out of these...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Let sleeping toddlers lie

Did the last two nights my toddler girl has been staying up late. Now she's in my bed asleep despite it being closer to eight than seven. Sleeping to this late hour is, for her quite unusual. I'm glad she's sleeping. Of course it does mean I can spend more quality time with my elementary aged first born, but I'm just glad she's sleeping. There's something extremely beautiful about a small sleeping child. Everything about the face says peace. Perfect peace. Every little movement her body makes, every wiggle in response to a sound, I hold my breath.
Truly, let sleeping toddlers lie.