Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from September 1, 2008 - October 1, 2008

Entries from September 1, 2008 - October 1, 2008


Parenting Teens: I’d Rather Poke a Tiger with a Stick

As a mom, I do not shirk from what has to be done. I have given birth (4 times), I have cleaned up poopy diapers that some may demand a hazmate suit before approaching; I have endured moody teenage girls and whiney 8 year olds. I am not woman lacking in valor. However, I’d rather poke a tiger with a stick that try to get my 17 year old out of bed after he has been up all night.

Why was the 17 year old up all night? Usually it is just because he is 17, it is a Friday and as far as he is concerned Saturday mornings do not exist. This Friday he was up all night at a church sponsored youth lock-in at a game park. Not a park with live animals, trees and grass, one with an arcade, a putt-putt course and go-carts. Since this is a church event and no one asked me to chaperon, this is in my mind a more legit reason to be up all night than the usual: mom and dad are asleep, let me play video games all night because as far as I am concerned Saturday mornings do not exist.

The boy has to get up because he plays travel hockey and has to been on the bus by 10am. We have to leave the by 8:30am to get him and his buddy to the bus on time. He went to bed at 6:30. He has to be up at 8. Point me to the nearest tiger.

Why, when we have a perfectly functioning older male living in the household, am I the one facing this daunting task? Because tired sexy honey is fast asleep after chaperoning all night (no one asked him, he volunteered!) and it would be far more difficult to get him up to get the 17-year-old up than finding a tiger locally.

I approach quietly so as not to startle the child. Quite doesn’t work. I call his name with increasing volume until the rafters are shaking and the dogs are barking along with my yelling. Ichabod does not wake up with a grateful heart. He did assert he is wake. I leave returning 4 minutes later and repeat the process. Accused of lying about the first summons, I demand feet on the floor before I leave. His response was not worth repeating. Ichabod is never vulgar but he can be a mite rude when awaked with loud decibels. The fact that he doesn’t awake to anything short of yelling (I might try ice water next time, see if he likes that better) is irrelevant to him.

When finally vertical, he had to pack, a task he assured me was fully completed. I made him some egg sandwiches and still snarling, boy, food and equipment make it into the car. As food (an enormous, stunning amount) makes it way into the boy, there slowly emerges the nice young man that is my son. I no longer feel the need to find a tiger to poke. He manages to stay awake on the ride to the bus because he knows the odds of me getting lost are very good. (I did not get lost on the way there; the trip back home was another story).

After depositing boys and equipment at the bus, in from of his 17-20 year old teammates, my son hugged his mommy good bye.

He also is a person not lacking in valor.


CSA Adventure: All Good Things Must End

Elizabeth at Wild Onion Farms has ended the CSA a few weeks early. To much rain (!), foliage diseases have lead to a loss of crops. Gas price have increased production cost. It was with some sadness my husband picked up our last CSA box for the season.

Time to evaluate our adventure:

The Good:

  • Hands down the quality and taste of the produce we received thought the CSA was better than anything we could buy at the grocery store.
  • We enjoyed the variety of the produce. We would have never tried okra or blackberries or eggplant
  • If you don’t know what to do with a particular vegetable, try sauteing it in a little olive oil, with salt, pepper and a seasoning or roasting it.
  • Farm fresh cherry tomatoes and corn are sublime.
  • Delivery to our local farmer’s market made pick up convenient.

The Less Good:

  • We did have to supplement with produce and fruit from the grocery store most weeks. There wasn’t enough fruit for the week for my family. Lettuce, tomatoes, and pepper don’t grow at the same time especially in the early part of the season so if you want tomatoes in your salad you have to supplement what you receive from the CSA.
  • The season ended 2 weeks early. At $475 prepaided, divided by 19 weeks of produce the cost was $25 per week during the growing season.

The Bad:

  • I could never get the grit out of the greens no matter how much I washed them
  • The salad greens tasted bitter to me all season. Some family members enjoyed the bitter taste when dressed with an acidic salad dressing; some of us just didn’t like the salad greens at all.
  • There were vegetables available at her produce stand that we didn’t receive in our boxes. Sometimes, I experienced vegetable envy.

The Unexpected:

  • It was fun to sever a variety of colorful vegetables at dinner
  • The kids, even the non-veggie eaters ate more vegetables
  • At first the kids wouldn’t eat the strawberries and carrots because they looked “weird”
  • Farm fresh corn and cherry tomatoes are sublime (I can’t mention that enough).

Will we join again next year? I don’t know. If we don’t join the CSA, I will allocate part of our weekly grocery budget to purchases made at the farmers market. Even of we forgo the convenience of being members in a CSA, we are not going to forgo the pleasures of farm fresh produce.

Till next year… Bon Appetit

Follow the adventure:

Lettuce Begin

What Dill I Do

I Say Tomato

Now For the Nitty

We’ve Been Squashed

I Need To Score Some More Corn

Life Is the Berries

Orange is the New Green

Vegetable Rant

Fuzzy Food


Marriage in the Real World: Dirty Sexy Honey*

A more accurate title would have been tired sexy honey but where is the fun in typing that?

It is fun to be in a long established marriage and your guy can still surprise you. This year was our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband surprised me with a trip to a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in the mountains of North Carolina. That was sort of an expected surprise. I knew it was our anniversary and we had talked about doing something special. When he pop the B&B plans I was delighted by such a thoughtful 25 anniversary present.

Sometimes he can pull an out of the blue surprise and impress the socks off me. Years ago, he started a magazine to review Christian books. The business didn’t work out as we had hope but it was a great adventure. He allowed Ebenezer to play travel hockey again. While not pleased with, I was impressed by his decision.

This last weekend he was a chaperon for our church sponsor lock-in at the game park. If you don’t know what a lock-in is: You gather as many high school kids as will come in a specific location over night for a specific purpose. You have an abundant amount of responsible adults on hand to make sure that the kids stick to the stated purpose of the event and don’t try to create their own purposes for gathering in mass over night.

There were 130 kids signed up for the lock-in. That means anywhere from 50 to179 kids might show up. They had 210 more or less show up. My husband said the kids were great. A few were timed out by the park staff for aggressive go-cart driving. Some attempted to use the putt-putt course as a driving range. No one tried to behave in a potentially reproductive manner or attempted to drink or smoke or fight, behaviors often seen when large groups of teens gather. My kids reported a smattering profanity. Not all the kids were enthralled with the devotion time but honestly, that most of the kids paid attention was amazing.

Even though we serve in various capacities at church, I was surprised that my husband took on the challenge of chaperoning a lock-in populated with more teens than we encounter in a month. He volunteered, he did it with a great attitude, he was a blessing to others and I was totally surprised by his decision to serve in this capacity and equally happy he didn’t ask me to be a chaperon also.

After 25 years, he can still surprise me. I think that is kinda sexy.

Does your husband still surprise you?

* A play on the title from the TV show Dirty Sexy Money which I haven't actually watched but I am tired of seeing advertised.


I Won a Book From A Mom Speaks!

I am a fortunate blogger! I’ve received 453 stumbles from Stumble Upon for Aging With Grace:Death. For those of you accustomed to stumbles in the thousands this might not seem very exciting but for me it is a big deal! I want to celebrate. Break out the pizza and a good book!

Speaking of good books, I was a winner of one of A Mom Speaks‘ book give away contests. Courtney at A Mom Speaks writes about books and new products and dieting and really cool new products. She has frequent give away contests on her site, so you have several opportunities to win nice stuff. Like ME!

I received Merciless by Robin Parrish. This was from an August book give away contest. Right now Courtney has a $50 gift certificate give away for Tiny Prints open until September 30th. One of my favorite post of Courtney’s is I am no Super mom . Please visit Courtney at A Mom Speaks.

Pass the pizza!


Getting From Here to There: A Vision For the Future Part 2

Getting From to There: Intro

Getting From Here to There: A Vision of the Future part 1

Over time as you think and pray through what is important, it helps to form a vision statement, something to guide your overall decision making process as you transverse the myriad of decisions you will be making as a parent.

A vision statement doesn’t have to be detailed or complicated. It is meant to be a star to guide you as opposed to a detailed map. One or two sentences will be of more help in the long term than a 3-page outline. This is mine, yours may be very different: I want my children to be adults in God’s kingdom.

That’s it. This simple statement encompasses all that I desire for my kids in terms of both their character and what they may achieve with their lives. I know as they grow they may have a different vision for their future and as adults, they are entitled to blaze their unique trail in life. If the path they choose is different from the one I envision as their parent, that may or may not be sad for me. It is our responsibility as parents to first lead, then guide, than set our kids free. You can’t lead if you don’t know where you are headed.

Where are you headed with your child? What overall vision will guide your decision making for the years of parenting you have left? Can you summarize your vision is a sentence or two?

Next on Getting From Here to There: Character Training= Teaching + Discipline + Punishment

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