Archives for February 2007

Things I’ve done in the last week while tread-milling

(And their associated distraction value on a scale of 0-10, 0 being no distraction value at all, and 10 meaning I forget I’m even exercising)

1. Read Redbook (3)
2. Watched The Princess Diaries (4)
3. Read my Bloglines (7)
4. Reviewed punctuation rules with a child (4)
5. Listened to a child read (3)
6. Played Phase 10 with a child (8)
7. Directed various unwilling children to clean the family room (1)

Thing I’ve thought of doing while treadmilling but decided would be unwise
— Eat Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses (I decided that would be disrespectful to the chocolate and that I really ought to wait til I could sit and properly enjoy it.)

Miles I’ve walked since I got the treadmill 9 days ago: 13 (Go, me!)

Pounds lost: 0.4 (all that sweat for 0.4 pounds???)

Picture-takin’ fool

I snapped about a gazillion pictures of my day today in preparation for the MY DAY event on Friday. I’m hoping a bunch of you will play along and share a day in your life this week. Remember, you don’t have to take lots of pictures if you don’t want to. A written timeline of your day is just fine too. For the next three days my big kids are doing standardized testing so I won’t be around lots, but you might want to stop by and check out my Tuesday morning post on my Ethiopia adoption blog. 🙂

Dear Me in 1983

Dear Me in 1983,

I am writing you now because I know this is a hard time in your life. You’re a junior in high school. You moved last year, and in loneliness you jumped into a relationship with a boy who wasn’t good for you. Now after months of your life revolving around him and imagining a future with him, he’s broken up with you. You’re having a hard time moving on, seeing anything good beyond the end of this relationship;

Don’t give up now. Your prince is right around the corner. In fact, he’s sitting in the school library right now, watching you sitting on the lawn eating your cafeteria pizza. He’s trying to get up his courage to ask you out. It’ll take him a few more months– he’s a guy who doesn’t make a move until he is sure of himself– but he’ll be worth the wait. In fact, he’ll be more than you even know to hope for right now.

Enjoy the waiting time too, though. Enjoy your 127 pound self ( And NO, your stomach most emphatically is not fat– please believe me on this point.) Enjoy that job at the carwash this summer. I’m not sure whether to tell you to steer clear of Roberto. He’s a little too old for you and he isn’t THE one, but he is kind and he is sweet, and let’s face it, he is FINE sitting there in his El Camino at that stoplight with the stereo blasting “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night.”

And your family? I know you think your family is too big and too loud and too….conspicuous. But you’ll get over that. It’ll take a decade or so, but eventually those pesty younger siblings will be some of your most treasured friends. When you head off to college, don’t forget to check in with them, and with your mom and dad. You’ll be busy studying and working (and smooching your soon-to-be fiance), but your family misses you, so keep in touch.

There are sad times coming, too, you see. I’m not sure if I should tell you fact, maybe it was better you didn’t know this was coming..but your dad is only going to be around for five more years. Yes, I know he’s only 44. But there’s going to be an accident and a phone call and months of damp pillows in the dark of the night.

You’re going to make it. Your mom and your brothers and sisters are going to make it too. Somehow. But that time will rock your foundations. Keep the faith. Between now and then, hug Dad lots. In fact, give him a hug for me today, will you? Have someone snap some pictures of the two of you- you can’t ever have too many. Tell him how much he means to you. Treasure the time.

Don’t be afraid of what’s in store, though. It’s not nearly all sad. You’re going to have a great future. You’re going to be a nurse, like you dreamed of since age five. Being a mom is going to be more wonderful than you could ever imagine. Harder too. But oh, so worthwhile.

And you know how you said you’d never have more than four kids? You’re wrong. Blessedly wonderfully wrong. God has great plans for you, so get ready! You know the African doll and the Asian doll you played with as a child along with all the blond-haired ones? Your family is going to be just that colorful. You’ll fly thousands of miles to bring your babies home. And those homecomings will be just as wonderful as the moments when the doctor hands you the babies born from your body.

Trust God for your life. He won’t steer you wrong, even in the moments when you’re sure you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. Treasure the little moments. Laugh lots. Be joyful always. The future is bright.

Love and Prayers,

Your 2007 Self

Adopting from Ethiopia and blogging all about it

Due in part to celebrity adoptions, interest in Ethiopian adoption is booming. Also proliferating are blogs by Ethiopian-adoptive parents. Journalist Andrew Heaven shares some of the best in the blogosphere.

read more | digg story

(Just trying out this Digg thing. Go Digg it for me if you’re so inspired, OK? And isn’t it too cool he mentioned my blog?)


Everett Mansion/ Southern Vermont College

No Bragging Rights | Psalm 24:1

Get those cameras ready!

Remember the other day when I told you something was happening on March 2nd? Well, here’s the scoop! This week and next week the Larger Families bloggers are sharing a typical day in their lives. Friday, March 2nd will be my turn to share my day, and I’m hoping a bunch of you would like to play along with me.

Here’s how: Pick a day between now and next Friday to document. On your chosen day, get your camera out and click away all day long. You decide how many pictures you share. I suggest you share at least ten, but it really is up to you. Think about the small details that make your day and your life unique.

You can post your pictures with a running commentary in a regular post on your blog, or you can make a flickr slide show and link to it in a post on your blog. No videos please…I am on dialup, and will tear my hair out if I have to wait for videos to download.

Feel free to grab the button above, and put it in your post, along with a link back to Owlhaven. If you think your readers would like to play along, feel free to put the button up on your blog right away and link to this post to let your readers know about this event.

On Thursday evening I’ll put up Mr. Linky so that everyone can sign in with an exact link to your post. Then let the visiting begin. I’m looking forward to seeing your day!

The Well-Outfitted Snowman

Children standing happily in front of Mr. Snowman

But the toddler sees something vaguely troubling about this snowman.

Could it be the machine gun Mr. Snowman is wielding?

The perp skulks off. (It’s always the mild-mannered ones who surprise you.)

Laundry Envy

I’ve always been relaxed about laundry, and fairly happy with the results we get for the effort we expend. I know things don’t come out perfectly white, but hey, no one is dying, and we all look reasonably presentable the majority of the time.

My serenity was seriously shaken the other day.

I got a bag of hand-me-downs from a friend who has two little girls just older than mine. In this bag were half a dozen pairs of the most pristinely white socks I have ever seen outside of a Hanes sack. These were USED socks, people. They had the washed feeling and the little fuzzballs that come from being worn at least half a dozen times or so. But they were so white they positively glowed.

My own children’s socks, in comparison, look like they’ve been slogged through mud puddles and left to dry by a campfire. They’re relatively clean, I suppose– they don’t stink, and they’re soft, not stiff with grime. And they are cleaner than when they went into the wash. But they are woefully grey next to the pristine whiteness of my friend’s hand-me downs.

My inadequacy as a laundress assailed me, and I went a little wacky in my head for a few minutes. I imagined calling my friend to ask her sock-scrubbing secrets. I imagined going to the store and purchasing half a dozen new cleaning products to try. I imagined gathering every white sock in the house and making some kind of witches brew of toxic bleach and whatever else it takes, and FORCING those darned socks into whiteness.

In fact, I even took this picture, to show you all the appalling awfulness of my whites. About the time I saw the evidence on my computer screen I came to my senses.

Yeah, one sock is whiter.

But the difference is not nearly as extreme as I imagined in my head, and certainly not enough to go on a laundry rampage. After all, my friend has three kids. I have eight. One of the ways that I survive mothering 8 children and still have time to do things I enjoy is by LETTING GO of the things less important to me. And let’s face it: 364 days of the year, the shade of our socks matters to me not at all.

I took a deep breath. Mellow…..

Then I went and got that white shirt out of my daughter’s drawer– another item from the hand-me-down bag — and I put it on her. Glow while you can, shirt.

Fifteen minutes later– I kid you not– my two year old had managed to plaster Floam blobs all over the poor defenseless thing.

Whew. Glad we got that over with.

You’re livin’ at my house now, whitey.

Not for breakfast reading

A wonderful example of why I subscribe to Planet Nomad.

Traveling with a Mauritanian meant we stopped for tea, and for lunch, and all in all, it was dark by the time we got to Kiffa, where we needed to turn north off the paved road to find his village. “It’s a very poor village and they’ll want to feed us,” warned Tim. “We need to bring something.” I was all up for a bag of rice, but instead we bought a goat.

Where else could I get this glimpse?

Game Giveaway

5 Minutes for Mom is having a contest where one person will win a game called Rhyme-n-Tyme . Go check it out!