How to Have Breakfast in Bed

And Other Stories of Small Consequence

Today would probably be as good a day as any to have an emergency around here. They have apple dumplings in the local ER. I know because I got up early to bake them so I could send them with my husband when he left for work. Then I brewed coffee and took the extra apple I had baked for myself and went back to bed to eat it. That was wonderful.

How to Have an Impromptu Sleep-out

“Wow, it’s so warm, we could sleep in the backyard tonight,” I mused out loud. The problem with saying impulsive things like this in front of the little people is that they do not forget. I started to say how tired I was from cleaning like a maniac for days but they were sure this was just excuses from the real burning desire of my life to crawl into a sleeping bag for a change from the usual mattress and blankets routine. I slept in the playhouse that night, at least until 4:30, when I was getting a little tired of my 3 separate  couch cushions and the various snufflings of sleeping children. I sneaked into the house, bringing Addy with me so that she would not waken and be frightened, this being her first time to sleep in the backyard.

How to Make a Small Boy Happy

I have mentioned Gregory’s happy place in the kitchen, how he hums and dusts flour and dispenses chocolate chips with benevolence. Recently he has discovered food coloring. It takes me right back to my childhood days when my brothers and cousins put coloring in things like potatoes or eggs. Did I unwittingly pass on this gene as a Schlabach thing, or is it inherent in every small boy? At any rate, we have red and green and blue and orange chocolate chip cookies in the house just now. “They look fantastic!” he said as he pulled them out of the oven. Behold the blue batch.


How to Clean Like a Maniac (as in, Overly Zealous Person)

When we got back from our anniversary jaunt, I looked around my house and knew with surety that the time had come. I strive to remain sensibly calm in regards to children living life fully and the ravages that puts upon my house, but there are seasons when I feel that every area is dirty and every corner is disorganized. The thought of spending winter in this is much more daunting than the thought of attacking it with zeal and getting it all ship shape. Why not just do it all right away, day after day, every afternoon when we are done with school? Why not just shampoo the rugs and wash all the bedding and wipe off the fingerprints and be done with it? So I did…All but the main area in the basement. I didn’t read for days. I was Productive Martha. I wish cleaning nourished my soul. I know some people like that, but for me, it is definitely just a means to an end.

Epiphany While Cleaning

While I was going through the girls’ room with a large trash bag (they were not present at the time) I suddenly realized what it is that is so odd about Pinterest children’s bedrooms. There are no treasures. The rooms have been carefully designed and decorated by a loving adult with gorgeous taste, who then takes photos before they allow the kids into the room. I sincerely hope that within a few weeks there will be rock collections and fronds of beautiful leaves and gigantic handmade paper dolls or fantastic Lego cars on those Ikea shelves. I hope that the tattered, most loved books can come out of hiding and the funny lumpy pillowpets that will not stay clean can return to the beds after the mama has taken the pictures. I felt better after I thought all that out.

Epiphany About Cleaning

Look around two days later. It’s a joke. It is beating back a swiftly returning chaos. But it isn’t wasted effort, surely. Surely?

How to be Late for Church

Stay in bed too long with the apple dumpling and the coffee before starting the process of dressing and polishing the crew. Bonus points for having a clock that needs the battery replaced. Bonus, bonus points for having lost shoes. Walk into church during the singing  and smile as if no drama has happened at all in the last half hour.

How to Count Grace

Many years ago a mother taught her small boy that God speaks kindly through not just good and easy times, but through painfully grueling life lessons and this morning he relayed this message to our children. It struck me with the simplicity of Utter Truth. It is all around, the grace of God, the gifts of God, the favor of God. Providence, the foreseeing care of a wise and loving Father, may be an outmoded term, but it is all around me and I am grateful. I will never get finished counting grace.


3 thoughts on “How to Have Breakfast in Bed

  1. I enjoyed all the short stories. When I feel like my life is wrapped around my baby now, I think of you and your 5 littles and admire that you “do it all”. Thank-you for sharing the gift of your words with the rest of us. (PS. I’m sure I’m not the only one who enjoys the occasional pictures with your posts- nice job!)

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