wocket in my pocket

Looking for the unexpected in the mundane.

Navigating Tricky Waters

Disclaimer: This post is full of strong personal opinions. We don’t for a minute think we have the whole balance-with-technology figured out. As you may have noticed in my farmlet post yesterday, we made a deliberate choice to provide our children with opportunities to develop life skills on the land. It’s kind of a lot of work and it costs significantly more than a device that would doubtless entertain them for hours. Did I mention that it’s a lot of work?

Part of my book selling job is doing research about reading versus technology. Thirty years ago it was couch potatoes and TV that distressed Mr. Usborne to the point of doing something radical like starting an educational book publishing company.

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There used to be a place where the TV was plugged in and you had to go to that room and sit there. Now the devices go on a full charge and I see children everywhere, no longer just messing with their mom’s phone, but with their own kid-themed otter-skinned iPad minis. I see them sitting in grocery carts in that little kid spot, because they are little kids, but instead of visiting with their mom while they scoot past the lightbulb aisle, they are playing Candy Crush. They watch movies while traveling instead of looking out the windows and playing ABC. They swipe their screens at the doctor’s office and barely look up when their name is called. In fact, one local pediatrician’s office no longer has any children’s books on the end tables in the waiting room. They bow over their devices at museums, at concerts, at the park. They pitch fits if Santa doesn’t bring them the latest gadget and their parents think it is so funny that they take videos and post them on youtube. Even schools are moving toward all digital textbooks.

Aghhh. It is enough to make me want to hold signs and picket outside Bestbuy: Dangerous Items Sold Inside. Enter With Extreme Caution. Not really, but may I share some facts with you?

The University of Southern California did a 5 day test on a group of 6th graders. They split them into two groups. One was business as usual and the other group spent 5 days at a wilderness camp with no screen time at all. “Researchers found that the students who went to camp scored significantly higher when it came to reading facial emotions or other nonverbal cues than the students who continued to have access to their media devices.”

That is just one study. There are many obvious side effects of digital addictions: obesity, irregular sleep patterns (text alerts when you are falling asleep), behavioral issues (and they are not cute), damaged grey matter (brains of internet-addicted kids actually shrink significantly, proven by CAT scans), sensory overload and the accompanying boredom with all normal activities, disconnect in the neural pathways that aid survival in extreme situations, inability to do something as elementary as holding down a job.

“The majority of people we see with serious Internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations. I have seen people who stopped attending university lectures, failed their degrees or their marriages broke down because they were unable to emotionally connect with anything outside the game.”

I find this subject to be depressing. Technology is here. It’s not going away. How to navigate it is a huge part of parenting for any concerned mother or father. We cannot bend low before popular opinion and pile stuff on our children that will cripple them for real life. Yet we cannot all move to the bush and fish for our dinner cooked over a campfire.

It is also encouraging to read the studies and hear a growing crowd of parents say, “We cut out screen time because we got so tired of the results.” There has been a lot of media coverage, also known as ALARM, about the effects of too much digital doodoo, and people are waking up and putting their feet down firmly and children are wailing about it, but they won’t when they survive a disaster because their wits have not been fried in infancy.

Figuring out how this works in our family has given Gabe and I fodder for many long discussions. Our children do DVD school for all the main subjects. We figure that gives them more than enough time in front of a flickering screen. One night a week is designated as movie night, which is usually something everybody can enjoy if they aren’t too miffed about another documentary. We have some copies of DVDs that they watch with permission, although Addy would never tire of Flo-the Lying Fly and Buzby-the Misbehaving Bee.

We decided years ago to put passwords on all our devices with internet connections. The children can do research in the living room with permission and we have a laptop that the boys use to do keyboarding practice or to write papers. This is a recent addition and one that taught us the value of a really tight filter. Our goal is to teach them that accountability is freedom and power. Somehow it doesn’t seem like a knee-jerk reaction of “if it requires a cord, we won’t have it” is going to provide them with the tools they need as adults in a computerized world.

We don’t really know how to answer the phone question. Our house phone is a little Trac-fone that the children can use, but we see no reason for smart phones for a very long time to come. This is a sore point for the teen in the house, but he is trying to understand our views. Many times we tell our sons that we are finding our way, just like they are. As for now, a smart phone that is taken to the privacy of a bedroom seems like handing them some sticks of dynamite with the fuses already lit. It’s not like the children want to become casualties, and maybe it’s just time for parents to say, “Enough with the maiming and dying. We aren’t putting that dynamite in our children’s hands.”

Our Kindle Fire has some games on it. The standard time for playing is 30 minutes. When there are five people taking turns and the timer beeps, trust me, there is not a lot of grace for longer than a half hour. They police each other very diligently. I made a flow chart this winter that they are need to go through before they come to have the password put in. It looks like this, which is to say, customized and unprofessional, but it works for us.

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There are many days when no one uses the Kindle unless it is to listen to audiobooks while folding laundry. And there are times when we bend the rules. The requirements change from season to season. Sometimes when there is too much whining going on, everybody fasts for 2 weeks.

This is not the way of least resistance. Our children do not naturally desire disciplines. They don’t prefer work to leisure, especially not that glittering world of make-believe. They would eat candy and drink pop all day if we allowed it. They wouldn’t bother to write neatly if we didn’t give them penmanship copywork. In so many areas we can easily see where we just need to be the parent and say, “No more sugar today.” Why is it any different to do that with the allure of technology?

(I am aware of the inconsistency of making rules for the children that I do not abide by myself. Ow.)

I would love to hear how you decide on a wise course for your family and yourself.

Tomorrow’s post: 10 Things That Won’t Rot Your Child’s Brain.

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Life on the Farmlet

It’s been balmy and sunshiny, so I went outside on Saturday to check on the children who had been out from underfoot   outside for hours. At five PM it was still 65 degrees. Here is what was going on, as seen by cell phone camera.

The boots were abandoned in the grass, the dog was tearing around, hoping against hope to get her mouth on the softball, and paper planes, fleets of them, were flying across the backyard.

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This is the girls’ playground in warm weather. The goat girls and pig girls and chicken girls too. It’s a mess. Lumber scraps, extra boards from the barn build, no pasture grass, a compost pile where the pigs play king of the mountain, and one scrawny pine tree where the goats reach up as high as they can to nibble needles. (There is a fence around the pond so that none of the critters can get into it, if you want to know.)

They don’t play with their stuffed animals and dolls much anymore. I am thinking we could majorly clear out toys and they wouldn’t even care. The babies are Valentine, Ted, Daisy, and Stubbs. My human girls get a lot of baths, if you want to know that too. I don’t especially care for goat smell. And Lord, have mercy, the laundry. But it’s all good. We have plenty of soap and water.

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And there, for your perusal, is a photo of Pennsylvania February With Tilted Barn. The barn is quite upright, I assure you. I took the picture from the orchard, inside the woven wire fence. I cannot tell you how upset I will be if these critters breech the fence and ruin our plantings, but for now all is harmonious. The pasture has been diligently plowed by the porkers. We can only hope that what they are so happily digging out and eating is the poison ivy roots that infested that area for years. We plan to seed proper seeds once we get growing weather. Meanwhile the chickens peck over the places that the pigs opened up.

Our farm is turning into the symbiosis that we hoped. (Except for the day the cutest kid died, and the day the pigs ate a chicken. Those were dark days.) We have less than five acres, but if you read enough Mother Earth News articles, you start to believe that a lot can be done with only a little. 🙂 A few years ago Gabe and I looked at each other and asked, “Do we really want to make that much work for ourselves?” Neither of us are animal lovers. I never voluntarily picked up a goat or a chicken in my life. But we looked at our sturdy tribe and we looked at the digital addictions that are ruining children for all practical purposes. We made a conscious decision. Let’s do this!

The gardens were the first and easiest step. Our land was crud: wet, heavy clay. Nothing grew well for the longest time. We have composted and dunged and amended the soil until at last we are getting decent yields. Then along came a dog and some rabbits. Draining the boggy meadow with ditches and tiles to dig a pond was the next huge project. Two garden sheds gave us post-and-beam building experience, but the barn…  That barn and the animals have been by far our favorite upgrade. Every child has a special prodigy that they love. Nobody loves the guineas,  but we hope they reduce the tick population and earn our respect at least. I feel sorry for anybody who would think they can sneak into the barn past their wretched watchdog racket.

So that was what was going on in our land on Saturday. When it came time to write the post, I was so miserable with a sinus/head cold thing that I simply collapsed into bed in fumes of Vicks and peppermint oil and throat drops, with plenty of tissues nearby.

On Sunday night after we had a party for my mom’s birthday, my husband said, “No way. You are not going to write tonight.” I listen to my husband, if you want to know.

So, here we are, all nicely caught up again. Happy Monday and the rest of the week!

 

 

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Sprite

a poem about going to bed and the vice of drinking too much carbonated beverage, by Gregory

“Why? Why? Why?”

said little Billy Fie.

“Why must I be in bed by 8:00 at night…

when I could be up

drinking lots and lots of Sprite?”

“Because, dear,” said the maid Mrs. Piper,

“Sprite would make you hyper.”

But late one night Billy

drank 3 gallons of Sprite

and as he was straining to get the last drop,

Poor Billy went POP!

But it’s Friday night, so we are going to party and stay up late! What about you?

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Thursday in the Life of an Uzzie

You have been waiting for this one, right? 😉

I awoke at three, mind in high gear for some reason. There were about five things I knew I simply could not forget if I wanted to have a successful morning. I could either lie there and run them in a loop in my head, or get up and make lists. All right. Fifteen things. Maybe twenty, if I counted the children’s lessons and chore lists.

I went back to bed once I had it all squared away on paper and I slept a few more hours. Gabe had an early school board meeting, so I fed the children cereal. I knew I had about a 75 minute drive to a book party and decided to leave early since it was snowing fuzzily. Addy was going along. The rest got careful instructions as to lessons and jobs that I expected them to be responsible for. Suddenly it was time to leave, and Addy couldn’t find her furry boots. I asked Alex, who is my right hand in so many ways, to help her find them. He had loaded my boxes and supplies earlier, but in the mornings he is just not speedy.

He couldn’t find the boots either and sat down resignedly on the recliner. “Just get other shoes. And socks.” Addy was fussing because she didn’t like his selection and I saw that he had one purple sock and one blue. “Not those socks! And you have got to notch it up a bit!” I did not say it kindly. We got out the door, put our destination into google maps, and it said 1 hour, 40 minutes. Whoa. What? I was going to be late for that 10:30 party. And the snow… But we were excited to be going together, Addy and I. I get into my happy place when I get to show books.

We weren’t driving long until I felt the sting of regret for my hastiness to my son who had, after all, been helping me. Sigh. I will have to apologize when I get back. I practiced my book speech on the way, and Addy said, “Mama, I don’t think anyone is listening.”

A few minutes before 10, my hostess called and wondered if I had trouble finding her house. Suddenly it washed over me. The party was supposed to start at 10! I made all those lists and still got the crucial information wrong in my head. Thankfully we discovered that the GPS was taking me to the wrong spot, and I was only 2 miles out. Some of her guests were already there when I spread my purple tablecloth and arranged the two boxes of books that I had along. They all knew each other and were happy to chat while they waited on me.

The thing I like the most about doing book parties is getting to meet new friends, hearing about their children, helping them find just the books they need for their families. I get a high from it. For real. 😀

We concluded the party with a snack. I packed up my stuff and set it outside on the patio, then collected Addy who had been having a grand time with the other little preschool girls who were there. Just as I was driving away the hostess came and motioned to me that I had left my boxes of books on her patio. Whatever other impressions she may have gotten of the Usborne Lady, “methodical and coordinated” did not likely enter her thoughts.

We drove close by my sister-in-law’s house, so we detoured a few miles and dropped off a late birthday package for her. I hugged the sweet little nieces, ruffled the nephew’s hair, had a cup of tea called Joy, looked at my talented sister-in-law’s latest projects, pulled Addy away from her Indian play (she was Squanto), and headed home.

It was early afternoon. The Bigs (what I call the older 3) had done all their lessons and were sitting around reading. My husband was working on a writing assignment. The living room was in good shape, except for K’nex scattered to the four corners, and they had cleaned up the kitchen as well as they could with dirty grey water backing up alarmingly from the drain. I had a session with Drano, but it is still not quite fixed. Someone whose identity I shall withhold poured grease down the drain yesterday. “I didn’t know!” was the wailing confession.

Addy and I had a lie-down and a story by Patricia Maclachlan. She was soon snoring, because she was definitely not tired. I got up and fried 6 pounds of hamburger to make chili soup for the school’s open house tomorrow. It was what was for supper as well. Times like this I am so happy for my quart jars of tomato juice and black beans.

I remembered my apology to Alex for my hurry this morning, and all was forgiven. The boys finished up cleaning the basement after supper and the little girls again did the dishes as well as they could. It requires a bit more finesse when the sink isn’t functional.

I entered the books into the online order form and contacted my hostess with the amount for her rewards. That is also a lot of fun! I like when companies funnel their advertising dollars into programs that encourage word of mouth recommendations. 🙂 You don’t need commercials and billboards if you have enough very happy customers. And these books make people, especially children, very happy. So that’s why I do it. That’s what I like about being an Usborne lady (she said for the tenth time). It is also good to get out every once in a while.

This being Thursday, it was movie night for the children. We watched Paper Planes and enjoyed the neat Aussie accents. It is rare that we hit a happy medium with something that interests both the Bigs and the Littles, but this one worked for ours.

Well, my husband just submitted his writing assignment. Time to call it a day. A day in the life of a part-time Uzzie.

And here, for your edification, is one more parting shot.

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Fleeting Things

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And while you think on that, I would like to show you the art of David Zinn, who draws on sidewalks with chalk, knowing that it will wash away with the next rain. (If you have Instagram, go follow him. It’s a long gallery of fascination with what is obviously in front of me and what could be there, as well.) His townfolk of Ann Arbor starting noticing charming little creatures peeking at them from cracks in walls and the realistic “sky holes” he would sneakily draw underfoot. Now his work has become quite famous, due to social media and internet reports from people surprised by the unexpected, placed free, for their pleasure. From his website I quote:

“David’s temporary street art is composed entirely of chalk, charcoal and found objects, and is always improvised on location. ”

I love the impracticality of doing something enchanting just for the joy of doing it and bringing joy to others.

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Love Is…

Today I needed to shuttle Olivia to a dentist appointment, so I took my Little A along too. I gave up on my audio book within a few minutes and just chattered with my girls. “I am SO GLAD that it’s not sloppy-floppy on Valentine’s Day,” Addy said. (She really does talk in CAPITALS.) We talked about love and marriage.

Olivia wants a house with a wraparound porch to entertain visitors, and a creek nearby for her children. That is, if she gets married, but maybe she will try a tiny house first because they are less work and everything is arranged so neatly.

Addy wants a humongous yellow house with pink shutters and golden doorknobs. Also ten horses, but if her husband isn’t rich, then just two horses would be fine. She kind of doubts that she will want to marry anybody, actually, when she really thinks about it. Besides, she is too little.

How can one girl and one boy fall in love and spawn 5 such opposite people? I thought opposites are just two things, like cold and warm, but it turns out that there are a lot more than two opposites when you start categorizing personalities. It can be a little disorienting to think you have a certain facet of parenting figured out, only to discover that you are back at base 1 with the next baby. But it’s never boring. Oh, no, never that.

I asked the children for help with a Love Is… list. I will start with Gregory (Alex was skiing, plus he wouldn’t have ventured a peep if he had gotten wind that I was gathering material for a blog post) and end with Addy, who spouted truisms faster than I could write them.

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Love Is…

  • a penguin fasting for months while incubating an egg. -G
  • a chick nestled under its mother’s wing. -G
  • going on a date with Papa and eating pancakes every time. -O
  • when Mama gives me a cup of tea after my math lesson is done. -O
  • cleaning the bathroom. -O
  • throwing a stick over and over for your dog. -O
  • when a chicken lays an egg for your breakfast. -O
  • Mama showing me how to cook spaghetti and meatballs.  -O
  • a soft flannel quilt that you made for our bed. -R
  • helping me make a doll with fabric scraps. -R
  • my big sister making me a purse. -R
  • when we are allowed to play “rish-rosh” in the house.  -R
  •  a long story at nap time. -A
  • when Mama lets you light a candle by yourself. -A
  • kisses on your cheek. -A
  • when Papa takes me on a canoe ride. -A
  • being allowed to swim. -A
  • looking at the stars. -A
  • when I go along out to the barn to gather eggs. -A
  • Mama taking me on a special date (McDonald’s drive-through) while the other kids are on a field trip. -A
  • letting me pick my nose. -A
  • Papa tucking me in at bedtime and asking me if I had a good day. -A

My children appear to have very homely ideas about love. Houses, eggs, dogs, food, and being allowed to tear around or hone bad habits. And that flamboyant small one… Oh dear, but it is a thrilling ride to parent her!

Our Valentine’s Day was (mostly) that sort of loving. There was sunshine and bike rides in it! There was a supper that was a joint effort, with one person making salad and one setting the table and one cutting lemon wedges and spooning sour cream into a pretty dish, and one snitching bits, and one mother trying to keep her sanity and actually succeeding. We ended with stories and chocolate fondue for all. Also. A BIG ALSO, the man of the house is home this week, and I wish you could have heard how calmly bedtime went down.

Maybe we will get a date later this week, but at any rate we are happy to be doing life together, all of it, ordinary and thrilling alike.

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10 Delightful Books for Girls

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You do not pay more when buying from these links, but I receive a small fee for items bought from my links.

Although this is a story about an entire school, mostly boys, it was Lina who asked the important question, “Why do the storks no longer come to Shora?” It was Lina, too, who had an epiphany while staring into her wooden shoe. I love this delightful story, and so will your children.

Jean Fritz has a genius for writing compelling historical fiction. This is a tale of a girl whose family has moved further west in Pennsylvania’s frontier days. Ann misses her friends, but soon finds life exciting in the wilds.

This is a beautiful true story of faith in a terrible time, with a little girl lost in the woods, and God’s provision for her survival. Your children will never forget Sarah Whitcher’s Story.

Another true tale of a small girl in the wilderness. “Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble,” her mother admonished her when she bade her farewell. Sarah and her father went ahead of the rest of the family to build a home in the wilderness. I almost cannot bear the bravery of this child, but if you are looking for a book that teaches about courage in the face of fear, look no further.

Cynthia Rylant wrote this story about the years that Laura Ingalls Wilder skipped in her book series. Rylant did a lot of research and tried to mesh the book with Laura’s writing style. She produced an excellent book that lovers of the Wilder family will thoroughly enjoy.

I pick up any of Caroline Haywood’s books that I find. They are 50’s books, so there are pretty many out there in the library discard piles, with the charming illustrations of the 50’s. Betsy is just one of her irrepressible characters. Go read the reviews and see for yourself. 🙂

This is such a fun family story. “All-of-a-kind” refers to a Jewish immigrant family of girls and their escapades in turn-of-the-century New York City. The author based the books on her own childhood, which is probably why it feels so real.

I read this when I was young and only recently saw it again. It is the story of strong family ties in the middle of a very difficult time. Janey Larkin holds on to hope (and her blue willow plate) through it all.

This is another book that I read and reread as a child. I felt so sorry for Elaine, and so grateful for her sake when she buried her misery in the mysterious little garden she found. This is a story of redemption and grace.

This is quite possibly my favorite book about a little girl. Elizabeth Ann is dismayed to find that she has to move to the farm of the country cousins, the Putneys. Her life has been sheltered with a pinched ladylikeness, but the first thing that changes is her name. Betsy discovers that she has a lot of strengths and it is fun to exercise them. The link is for a Kindle edition because apparently the book is out of print.

Enjoy!

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He Still Speaks

Ever notice how you can hear things through your own filter that others may not notice through theirs? Your husband can remark, “The door is open,” and the child standing right there on the mat thinks he is commenting about a normal occurrence; the oldest child across the room is sure he is issuing a command to the one on the mat; you figure he is thinking about the heating bill and quickly go shut the door before you help the child on the mat take off her boots.

I have heard God speak to me in a church service, and later when I try to recount what it was, I realize that it isn’t even really what the preacher said, and yet it was exactly what I needed at the moment, even though nobody else may have heard that.

This morning my mind grasped onto a phrase in the old-fashioned hymn “Marching to Zion” that I have sung many times. “We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground…” I wondered what the author meant. Considering that “Immanuel” means “God with us”, it blessed me to remember that the ground I walk is ground He already walked and He is there ahead of me.

In the Sunday school lesson we read the story in Luke where the servant does what his master expects and it is simply his duty, even when it is thankless tasks. It’s a picture that messes with our Western sensibilities of fairness, and I thought about how full of myself I am sometimes, feeling that I am doing God such favors.

The message was on Hope, that power that propels us forward through the mess and darkness we live in. This was especially heartening after the powerpoint presentation of the world so full of refugees and hopelessness.

The friends I visited with after the service described the exact same feelings I get of being stagnant in my house and desperately needing inspiration for freshness.

It all downloaded seamlessly to where I am right now, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are scratching your heads, going “Huh?”. (I have embraced the typical spaghetti brain of the female, and lucky me, my husband is an awesome listener. 😀 )

When Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled,” He gave us just one simple criteria for being blessed. Be hungry and thirsty. He can do the filling in all sorts of ways, through songs or sermons or panoramic views or words from your own little children. He called His Spirit the Comforter for a reason.

It’s my opinion that getting out of bed on Sunday, getting dressed, and going to a place where other Christ-followers have gathered is a very tangible way of saying, “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”

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What did you hear today?

 

 

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Stalling

We have always been sticklers for early bed for the children, but all the rituals must be properly attended to or disaster would surely befall before morning. In my mind it is Lame Excuse Time. It is not unusual for the huggy child to come to my bedside when I am drifting off and say, “I think we forgot the kiss and the hug,” even though I clearly recall her nearly strangling me earlier. Someone might have a scratchy throat and need a throat drop. The one who chews her fingernails gets painful hangnails that require bandaids so they don’t catch in the covers. Sometimes after bed is when the fear bogeys come out and we need to pray again. The boys are hungry again with frightening predictability. It feels like it can drag on for the longest time, and it makes me so much more tired than I already am.

We have friends who let their children stay up until they drop, then they put them into their beds. “You make it too hard for yourselves,” they say. “We just don’t pick that battle.” I don’t know how long ours would keep going if we let them make their own bedtime, but I value the feeling of everything squared away and everyone tucked in enough to push through the daily dose of small rituals that cannot be ignored.

Today was action packed, with warm sunshine that had the children out shooting targets with homemade bows and arrows, and tea-partying in their play house. They procrastinated on their chore lists because it was “too nice to work”. There were still a lot of things not scratched off the list when supper was over. I had resisted the urge to just do them quickly myself. Instead, I strolled along on Instagram for a while before I balanced the budget with the credit card statement. I too, have my stalling tactics. Then I cleaned the bathroom. The living room wasn’t vacuumed, but the person responsible insisted they would do it just as soon as it gets dark. I can make them feel guilty by picking up the slack, but again I resisted and just stayed in the kitchen, washing the big dishes that didn’t fit into the dishwasher.

After my shower tonight, I saw a text from my husband at work, saying that some friends have overripe produce for our pigs. I went to pick it up, but apparently it had already been cleared away, being so late and all, so I went to the gas station instead and filled up the tank on the Sub. When I got back the smaller boy still had not found his Sunday school book and the middle girl was still playing in the tub with her hair not washed and the small girl was weeping about everything because she was so exceeding tired.

We mired through drinks and teeth brushing and repeated trips to the potty, because “What if I pee myself in the night?” Unfortunately when it was time to crawl in, the bottom bunk needed a complete overhaul because Rita left her bunny on the bed for a few hours while she ran out to play. It is not house-trained and made an astonishingly large puddle that penetrated all the way to the waterproof mattress cover. I told them to strip it and tossed them a clean sheet, then  went to the kitchen to wash the eggs that the late chore-boy had brought in. He finally did his vacuuming, a little apologetically. Ten minutes later the sheet was still not on, because the “corners are impossible” and there were meltdown tears (not mine, theirs) and another potty break.

Tonight the nightlight wouldn’t work and the water bottle was empty and I did not let them listen to My Story Hour because it’s Saturday. The teddies were in the wrong beds and the favorite blankets were in the laundry basket and the hugs got kind of shortened. I wish I knew how to make it all sweetness and light. Sometimes I see those illustrations of a child falling asleep while the parent reads them a story in the serene lamplight and I wonder… Since I am often on my own at night, I could use some tips. Do you make it fun? Have time limits? Discipline dawdling? Please tell me how you do bedtime. I am genuinely interested.

At any rate, we will be delighted to see each other in the morning, all fresh and basking in the new mercies that we count on every day.

 

 

 

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A Chilly Story

Bob the Penguin

 

Bob the penguin lived on the ice. He was happy except for one thing. He only ate icicles, chopped icicles for breakfast, raw icicles for lunch, and minced icicles for supper.

Bob was tired of icicles. So he went to the sea. He looked into the water. Sudenly  he saw something flash past then he saw it agian. After a while he jumped in and swam after it untill he caught it he then eat it. Because all the swiming made him huggry. And to his surprise it tasted good.

So for the rest of his life he eat fish.

-written by Olivia on a cold and blustery day

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(Can you tell where she got tired of checking her spelling? 😉 )

(Also, Olivia hates fish. I find that doubly amusing.)

 

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