Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from June 1, 2008 - July 1, 2008

Entries from June 1, 2008 - July 1, 2008


Parenting Young Adults: Thank Goodness (and David) for My Cell Phone

If I were a hip momma, I would keep up with my crew by Facebook. Even my kids’ youth pastors ride herd over their flock online. I prefer to keep in touch the old fashion way with my trusty quill pen and my cell phone.

My phone can do oodles of things. I don’t know what they are because there are only two uses I have for it. One is making calls and the other is the alarm clock feature. At one time, I could take and send pictures with it. I can’t anymore and I have no idea why that is so. I am happy in my ignorance.

The cell phone is a miracle machine. I think it is one of the greatest gift to moms technology has developed.

I have a child who moved 3000 miles away last year. When my mom was a young wife , she lived about 60 miles from her mom. She rarely able to talk to her mom because it was long distance call and therefore expensive. When I moved away from home 29 years ago, I could call once a week after 9PM. 640 miles was long distance and a call would get expensive if I didn’t keep an eye on the time.

The kid moves 3000 miles and we can chat for hours (if he wants). People ask me if I miss him. I really don’t. He is coming home this week. I am delighted to be able to see him but other than some shopping, what we will do with the little free time he will have is chat.

We both have the same cell phone provider so we don’t use minutes when talking. Actually, the phone doesn’t cost him anything because he is still on our plan. He is a poor but humble youth pastor intern (intern is code for you work very hard for very little money). A cell phone with a high number of minutes that could be allotted to making sure mom didn’t disinherit him was not in his budget. (Note to all our children: Once you move out: Calling home once a week for a chat with mom is mandatory to maintain your opportunity to inherent our vast estate.) One of the nicest gifts my husband has given me has been to keep the semi-adult on our phone plan. That was a 1 Peter 3:7 decision on his part.

The miracle in all this is two fold: the magic phone that keeps me I touch with my far off child and the man who loves me and understands I need to be able to keep in touch with our far off child.


CSA Adventure: I Say Toh-mah-toh, You Say Toh-may-toh

Who cares as long as they are cherry tomatoes. We received a whole brimming pint in our boxes this week. The tomatoes were bright orange, almost too cute to eat. I say were because those tiny bits of sunshine are so past tense. I think they survived 2 hours on the kitchen counter.

The salad greens were sweeter this week. We really enjoyed them. We also received a head of romaine lettuce. Much easier to clean, I rinsed each leaf individually. I found a few little critters in among the leaves. I was very glad I washed them so carefully. I prefer my lettuce not be a protein source.

There were also sweet onions and carrots. They became stir-fries and salad ingredients. Zucchini appeared for the first time this summer. I suspect it will not be the last we see of zucchini. Not a popular vegetable in our house, they will be grated into spaghetti sauce (hee, hee) and become zucchini bread. Mix anything with enough sugar, butter and flour and my kids will eat it.

It was a good CSA week. I was careful to use everything this week. With exception of the zucchini, which is still awaiting transformation from a vegetable into dessert, we don’t have any produce left.

One thing I did make that was easy and fabulous this week, was a balsamic glaze. Simmer a ½ cup of good quality balsamic vinegar with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar over medium heat until the syrup coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Watch it because it will burn. This was wonderful poured over hot boiled new potatoes. It would taste equally good with chicken or fish.

I hope there is more cherry tomatoes in our next box!


High Gas Cost and the Law of Unintended Consequences

With gas prices rising, I am reading more and more about the wonders of working from home. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. He works long hours and I cherish the time he can spend at home. I cherish that time most of all because he is not here all the time.

Gas price are revealing the unwritten, unspoken, unknown to him compact we have had since we have had children. The house is my domain during work hours, honey. When you come home from work, it is your castle, your place of refuge, your place to recharge for battle the next day. I will try to make you something yummy for dinner; you can have the remote (we can inscribe your initials on it if you want). I will even occasionally dust and vacuum your castle, corral your children and take the dog to the vet so you can relax at home.

What I have never told you, what you probably don’t realize: when you work at home, the whole entire house becomes your office and everyone knows spouses and kids don’t belong at the office.

The house will never be as quite as your office honey. The kids and I are not used to walking quietly in our home. Children thundering up and down the stairs is the norm. I have to agree with you the TV is on too much. It is summer, school is out and it is 102 degrees in the shade. Yes, I guess I do bang when I clean the kitchen and do the laundry and our vacuum is loud. Yes, I do have the radio on loudly. That is so I can hear it as I move from room to room banging as I go. Thank you for pointing that all out. I will try to be quieter. Perhaps I will sit here, read, and try to breath silently.

You are done for that day. That is wonderful honey. Why does the house look messy, dinner late and the kids look tense? I’m not sure, why do you think that might be?

Yes, it would be easier for you to work if you had your own room.

Honey, you do have your own room. It’s just not here. Yes, gas is very expensive but not nearly as expensive as the addition I am planning even as we speak.


Parenting Tweens: The Odd World of a HomeSchool Mom

A while back one of my daughter’s friends was being hassled by a young man. It was not call the parents/police kind of hassle, rather a let the kids work it out kind of hassle. My fearless daughter confronted the young man informing him among other things that he was an “unmitigated liar”

After she told me about their exchange, the parent part of me stated, “You did apologize for calling him an unmitigated liar, right?” Meanwhile in my heart of hearts, I was thrilled she used the word unmitigated correctly in a sentence.


Going Places

My family is traveling far this summer, both in miles, and in life.

The younger two of my four children are going away for the week on a World Changers mission trip. They are only traveling about 150 miles from home, but they will be traveling far this week on the road to adulthood. It amazes me that kids, who will not willingly clean their rooms, will happily spend a week in the hot sun, either painting or roofing, for people in need. It is this willingness to serve others that helps give me hope as a mom when faced with the sometimes stunning self-centeredness of teenagers.

My oldest daughter, and the extra child we are privileged to have live with us, have both graduated high school this month. They too are going places this summer. Right down the road to an apartment with four other girls, and one dog. They all have jobs, and most of them are going to school in the fall. They can’t wait to get out of their parents’ homes and live, the six of them, in 1350 square feet with two full bathrooms, “on their own”. Their parents are still covering health, auto, phone, and school expenses. They are covering their rent, gas, and personal expenses (including the dog’s vet bill). It is actually an ideal situation for all concerned. Real freedom and responsibility for the girls', and the safety net parents of daughters crave as we let our children go. They will travel far on the road to maturity as they face the challenges of living with people who do not have to love them no matter what.

I think the ones taking the longest trip this summer are my husband and me. We are going to the mountains to celebrate our 25th anniversary. As the miles roll by we will be traveling back in time. Twenty-five years is a long time to be a couple. When we were younger, we knew we wanted a family, that my husband wanted a career, and I wanted to be at home. The family we wanted is almost grown; the kids are now going places, literally and metaphorically, without us. My husband is looking forward to the end of his career. As much as I have loved raising our family, I want to spread my wings a little also. As a couple, we are in an enviable place in life. We have the maturity and freedom our children are reaching for and like them, as the Lord allows; we still have a lifetime of going places ahead of us.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

excerpted from Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning

This is my entry for the Scribbit June Write-Away Contest. For any budding bloggers/writers interested visit Scribbit for more information and contest rules.

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