The Washboard Part 3

My kids like to help me with household duties. They sweep, mop, dust, cook, and more. Zen watches us work as a team and has taken to participating. Normally this results in more mess, but how else would he learn? The chore Zen currently likes the most is laundry. Who can resist a tub full of water and a washboard that makes noise! Zen is our noisy boy. He loves all things noisy and creates “music” wherever he goes 🙂

I think it is very easy for adults to either think a child can’t help (too young) or simply do not want them to because they (the adult) can get the job done faster and more accurate. We are doing our children a disservice though when we have this mindset. They aren’t learning! How are they going to learn if we aren’t letting them try and gently guiding them. I have to admit I have to often hold my tongue and not intervene, but I am seeing continual progress. Best of all they are learning to clean the way I think is best 😉 Ha! 

So here is my challenge, let your kids do the house work with you. Show them how to use the kitchen correctly. Yes, my kids chop vegetables for me and I bet they hold the knife better than many adults. Teach them the best way to mop. Help them learn how to do laundry. You will be teaching them skills they will need as adults and you will have help getting the work done! Make sure you relax though because it isn’t going to be done perfectly. Let the memories and skills be made!

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The Very Busy Weekend

This is my son’s blog. This is what we did this weekend….well, only he camped, but the rest we were with him for ❤

Musings of a Self-proclaimed Nerd

Last weekend was very eventful. On Friday my family and I went to Nashville. We went to Nashville to see the Parthenon. It was very beautiful. We saw the statue of the Greek goddess Athena. My brother Chef was scared of the Parthenon. He claimed he just didn’t like Greek mythology but it was obvious that the statue scared him.  My dad took him and the littlest two kids back downstairs while my mom, Fairy, and I looked for a bit longer. When we left the Parthenon we had a picnic lunch and then walked around Music Row for a bit before heading home.

My mom and I both dream of going to Greece someday. This was a nice preview of our dream come true. My mom and I both dream of going to Greece someday. This was a nice preview of our dream come true.

We had a nice picnic on the grass in front of the Parthenon We had a nice picnic on the grass in front of the Parthenon

Here we are walking along Music Row in Nashville Here we are walking along Music Row in Nashville

On the way…

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Q & A

I had a few friends ask me if I would be willing to do a Q & A blog. Well here it is!  This is your chance to ask me anything you want to know about me! I may or may not answer depending on if I feel it infringes on the privacy level I am trying to maintain for my children. I commit myself to answering as many as possible and I promise to be completely honest. Comment below with your questions and be on the look out for the follow-up blog with all the answers! 
Until then, have a happy day and enjoy this picture I took while visiting my cousin in Florida.

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Ahhhhhh. Sunny, sunny sunshine!

Happy Valentine’s Day Mama!!

I woke up to the kids making Valentine breakfast. So sweet!

Now before you get jealous and filled with the urge to punch me because I live such a lovely life with amazingly considerate children get the pretty image out of your head and instead insert this:

C-Dog yelling at Elf “You can’t help! You are ALLERGIC!!!”
Elf crying hysterically “But I helped with Mother’s Day! I want to help! Let me help! (pause) Daaaaaaaadddddyyyyyy!”
The kitchen counter tops had mysteriously disappeared under everything imaginable. Bug was crying because no one gave him a Valentine (they made Valentine’s and put them under each other’s pillows). This wasn’t exactly true but we like to jump to assumptions in this house and over-react before realizing we are wrong. Sigh…

Best of all was the coffee grounds. They were EVERYWHERE! C-Dog forgot the filter and grounds for a 10-cup pot were everywhere; the side of the fridge, cabinets, counter, floor, the water well of the coffee maker…..  
It all ended with cayenne pepper in poor C-Dog’s eyes. Can you say ouch! I am still not sure how I managed to keep my cool.
I very calmly cleaned the coffee grounds and water and gently showed C-Dog the correct way to make coffee. I helped crack all the eggs for the omelets he wanted to make….I put in a lot of effort considering it was supposed to be a gift for me. Mark whispered into my ear “You are such a good Mama.” Melt my heart.
Mark helped get the burning pepper out of C-Dog’s eyes. In the end everyone was happy. Elf got to pour the OJ, which went all over the freshly wiped counters (sigh). Bug got his Valentine. We got our breakfast. 
It was so hectic I can’t even remember what Princess and Zen were doing! 

Of course it is also snowing…thanks for the slap in the face Mother Nature. I am thinking she needs some Rescue Remedy. Meh.

I hope your Valentine’s Day started smoother than mine. Enjoy your day. I leave you with this gentle reminder from my wise godmother whom I adore.
“I so miss my babies. Believe me- ENJOY every moment. I wish more people told me to stop and treasure it, I did and we have so many wonderful memories and traditions. When they are all waking up not under your roof for more than 1 night, you will look back and tear up as well!” ~RD

Her girls, my cousins, are in college. I babysat them! I can’t imagine the time when my kids will not be sleeping under my roof every night, but it is going to happen and it will be here before I realize it. I am going to take today and treasure it even if it wasn’t the picture perfect Valentine’s Day. Below are some pictures from today….this was AFTER I cleaned a bit! Image
Counter? What counter?

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Mmmmm! Burnt egg on the stove! 
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They left the table for me to clean. I love them, I really do! 

The story of US <3

Some of you know how Mark and I became “US” and some of you know only parts of the story. Others know nothing at all. I want to share with you the shortened version. Please indulge me. I love this man so much.
It all started when I was in college. We had mutual friends and I was one of his student workers. The company he was with at the time did contract work at the college I attended. I can honestly say it was NOT love at first sight. He thought I was too skinny! I just thought he was a nice guy and never thought much else about him. We were friends for about a year and a half before things changed.
Mark was fun to hang out with. He laughed easily and rolled his eyes in an amusingly indulgent way. I liked that I could be sarcastic with him. He was quiet. Unassuming. I also liked that whenever any of us college girls would walk into town to hang out with those who lived off campus Mark would always walk us home. 

On February 8, 1998 I went for a very early morning hike and then made my way into town to hang out with Mark. I don’t really remember everything we did that day. I do know it was a fairly warm and sunny day despite it being winter (We were in the north east so winter could be pretty brutal). I also remember stopping at a friend’s house where a bunch of other friends were hanging out and playing Clue. I remember Mark walked me back to campus. I got to my room and there was a message my beautiful niece was born! I was insanely thrilled and had to share the news with someone so I called Mark. At that moment he claims “I knew I had you.” I, on the other hand, was happily oblivious to the workings of cupid. 
A week later, on Valentine’s Day, we decided to hang out, watch movies, and eat Chinese and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. This was NOT a date….or at least I didn’t think it was. I often went to Mark’s suffocatingly small apartment to just hang out. When I got to his place there was a huge box of chocolates and roses waiting for me. Oh dear, my brain and heart had a lot of communicating to do. 
I can’t tell you what we watched but I remember falling asleep on his couch. Now don’t get all “oooooo” on me. Nothing happened. We were friends and I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true. He let me sleep and he went to bed in the other room. At this point in my life I was prone to nightmares so I woke up in the middle of the night. I woke him up and we spent the night chatting. February 15 rolled in and Mark and I decided to give dating a try. The rest, as they say, is history. We married in October. 
I credit my very beautiful niece with pushing me into the arms of a man who loves me, not for my looks, but for my heart. I also firmly support the idea of being friends first. It established a foundation that simply dating cannot do.

I am not asking for you to agree or disagree with me. I am merely sharing my story. Image

Are Y’all Excited??

Here is the sneak peek of the promised new blog! It is sad to see the other blog retire, but this one holds the promise of me actually writing weekly! The other failed because it was never easy to actually post. I am optimistic about WordPress. I am going to start with posts about my past so that everyone will know how I got here. I know several of my friends keep asking for the whole story about our Indiana move. I think it is fun to learn about people and I hope that you find enjoyment reading about my life journey from an east coast Yankee to a Midwest gal. I promise to include stories about our journey with special needs, food allergies, homeschooling, and so much more! I will also post personal reviews on items I totally love and even ones I really can’t stand because I don’t want y’all to make the same mistakes I made! I also would love to know what you want to see me write about! I may or may not listen *wink* The fun is in the suspense. Till next time!
Peace, joy, love
~Andrea