Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for "dishes"

Chores. Really, who enjoys them? I am not the greatest housekeeper in the world but I try to keep it together as much as I can.

But a few months ago, being the stay-at-home mom and primary housekeeper, the lack of respect from my kids for all the chores was driving me crazy. I would work like crazy and they would follow along and work like crazy to mess it all up!

So the introduction of the chore chart began. Each day the kids were responsible for 3 chores. We did this faithfully for about 3 weeks then with the craziness of life I forgot to keep it up!

But they still do chores (I guess the "chore-system" worked after all). Now all I have to say is, "Go make up your bed." "Go pick up your toys so mom can vacuum." And they do it......most of the time.

But the new chore they love the most is helping me wash dishes. Which is ironic, because that is the chore I despise the most. I HATE washing dishes. And I HATE putting dishes away. If I could hire a little fairy to do those jobs every day, I would be in heaven.
I remember when I was 11 or 12, that chore became part of my daily life. I HATED it! I remember telling my mom once, "You only had me so I would wash your dishes. I will NEVER make my kids wash dishes."
I still don't like to do it. I will cook a feast for an army but I hate the clean-up. A couple of my friends that come over for playdates or parties always do the dishes for me (and I love them dearly for it!). I will cook for you........but I never volunteer to wash the dishes unless necessary.

So, gulp, yep, I'm eating my words. Not only are my kids washing dishes......they are doing it at 3 and 4 years old. They do a great job, too! It is amazing....they actually fight over who gets to help wash dishes each night. It has become a kind of game. Whomever acts the best during dinner, gets to wash the dishes. I'm dumbfounded. They love to do it!

And now, after 20 years of hating getting my hands in that soapy, greasy water.....I love it too. I'm thankful that my kids love doing dishes so much. It makes that chore quite a bit more cheerful! Especially when Kaya says (everytime), "Mom, washing dishes with you is my favorite part of the day." And last night Zander said, "Mom, Kaya was right. This is really a lot of fun."

You both are right kids, it is a lot of fun. And spending time with the two of you when we wash dishes is my favorite part of the day too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

unwritten travels challenge

My challenge.

If you have been diving into this book......and if you haven't you should....the very cute and creative authors have made a challenge for us. A challenge for the Thanksgiving holiday. And I'm sure I'm the only one that accepts this specific one.

5. Leftovers in the Refrigerator.

I love leftovers. Wait, let me rephrase that. I LOVE LEFTOVERS. Especially Thanksgiving Leftovers. I often tell my kids, " Do you know why I like to be a grown-up? Because you can eat leftovers or Chef-Boyardee for breakfast anytime you wish!" I don't actually rub it into their faces. I let them eat pizza or macaroni and cheese for breakfast when I am... if they wish.

I know, I know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My mom served me a home-cooked meal every day that I lived with her. I do it too now with my kids......well, I do it if you consider cereal with milk a home-cooked meal. Actually they are on a boiled-egg kick now. I will boil 6 eggs and they gobble them up and then want yogurt or oatmeal......I digress from my point. But breakfast was always served in my home and made very important.

Which seems weird because I am the total opposition of breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I will eat bacon, eggs, sausage, gravy, biscuits, pancakes, any time it is put in front of me. And I will also stand over the stove forever to fix all of those things for any special guest in my house. However, if I had my wish.....I would have wonderful leftovers from dinner every day of the year.

But Thanksgiving leftovers.....they make my mouth salivate thinking about them now. The best Macaroni and cheese ever, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, cold turkey (with the skin attached), rolls, mashed potatoes & gravy. Now that is the best breakfast ever that I can think of.

Which makes me sad about this year. We are now going to have Matt's steaks for Thanksgiving since no one is coming over. Don't get me wrong, his steaks are the savory, delicious, and so wonderful. So wonderful--there won't be any leftovers.

Which means I may have to make some broccoli casserole and macaroni & cheese just for that Friday morning-leftovers sake.


I'm grateful.
I'm grateful for chilly mornings-
when I awaken to a crystalized blanket of white on the ground.
I'm grateful.
I'm grateful for warm mugs-
filled with flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
I'm grateful.
I'm grateful for little fingers and toes-
that pinch my legs and poke my face while trying to get closer to snuggle with mommy.
I'm grateful.
I'm grateful for today-
for all of the tiny blessings and challenges that come toward me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

first fishing trip

Although I've never been known to be the "outdoorsy" type, I have always loved fishing. Fishing with my Dad. We would always bundle up and race down the lake in the boat to find the perfect spot (located above broken tree branches) to fish for crappie and bluegill. It is one of my favorite things in the world to do and it has been way too long since I've had that peaceful activity in my life.

So today, when my Dad wanted to know if it was too cold to take the kids fishing for the first time, I was thrilled. Now for most, it would have been too cold....but not for my Dad. He's not just the leisure fisherman, he is serious business fisherman. And he always took me when it was cold and I wanted my kids to have the real taste of fishing.

So we froze driving down the lake. The best part about freezing however is when you stop. Then the sun hits the lake's reflection and warms you up..........inside and out.

I love the quiet. The calm. The patience required to catch a fish.

And when you feel that first is exhilarating!

But the first catch is even more so!!!!

I'm so glad that my son loves my all-time favorite "fishing snack", Armour Vienna Sausage. Dad and I would have them every time I went fishing with him as a little (and not so little) girl.

We could several today. Zander was even pulling in some himself!!! Out of the 20 or so we caught though we only had 2 keepers. The kids were thrilled when we measured this one and it was 13 inches!

This week vacation to Kentucky is just what I've needed. After being sick I have felt better but this seems to be the rejuvenation I need to truly be me again. Going to the lake to go fishing today just made it even more perfect.

There is just something about fishing. It is a spiritual, soul-awakening, sense-refreshing experience for me. I can't wait to go next time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

our little pumpkin pie

Every Halloween season the kids and I design and Matt carves (thanks Matt!). But this season, Kaya was really in on the action. She kept eyeing the top of the pumpkin and kept saying, "Can I wear this for a hat?" We said , "No your hair will get gross and sticky."

She is such a good listener.

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Had a Daughter and couldn't keep her.
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there we kept her very well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

fun with my girls

You know, every once in a just have to let it loose with the girls!

That is why I love book club. Or the ideal of book club......I'm usually the nerd and always read the book ready to answer the questions.

A few years ago, a good friend of Matt's, Myloan, invited me to a book club. I remember I read the book front to back, read the discussion questions so I could answer them correctly, and I went. I DID think it was a little strange that all the names were kind of different (0r asian, honestly) so I did say to Matt, " I have to study hard, or all of these girls that are Asian are going to think I'm one stupid white girl."

So I went to my first book club. The girls were so cute, they said, "Did you read the book?" I said, "Of course I did." They laughed and asked for my review of the book so they could participate in the conversation. I was astonished that I was actually contributing something to the conversation. They also had food. Food with peanuts (that I'm severely allergic to)...but I didn't want to stand out so I put the food in my mouth, discreetly spit it out, and took 3 benadryll pills. Now that I know the girls better.....I know that was crazy! I just wanted to fit in....with my Asian Book Club.

We met a few more times and I was so proud, I was the only white-token girl in the Asian Book Club---that must mean they like me!!! We had lots of fun times and I became great friends with lots of girls in our club!!

But then......many of us got pregnant, traveled a lot, got busy.........our club kind of went out of business.

So, I moved to my great neighborhood and another great book club formed. We have had a blast! We read our books, discuss, and drink LOTS of wine! Us girls have gotten really close!

Our last meeting, at Steph's house, we talked about doing a "spooky" meeting........or a Falloween meeting ( my favorite holiday I invented at my house). I said, invite any friends and I will invite my girls from my Asian Book Club since I miss them so much!

We did it. The book I picked out was a boring, none of us read it. A few of us could come from the "neighborhood" gals and a couple from my Asian gals. But we had fun....Here we are---the Falloween gals---

With the masks.........
and you can see our beautiful faces!
Since we didn't read the book, I made questions we could discuss.......(like we all need a reason to talk).

I love all of you ladies.........thank you for hanging out with me and making life so fun!!!