Archives for March 2007

Opinion Saturday: Good kids music

Some days people are just plain grumpy. (Yes, even at the sunny Owlhaven. Just because I don’t blog tons about it doesn’t mean we’re never cranky.) I’ve found that putting on some lively music can be a real mood lifter for everyone. This week I’d love for you all the share the music that puts the spring back in your step, and a smile on your children’s faces on those days when people need a lift.

Share your favorite artist or CD in comments, and tell me what you like about it. Either spiritual or secular is fine, any style as long as it’s family fare. And by all means, mention your favorites even if someone has already mentioned it. Multiple votes for one thing will make me more likely to consider buying it. You have until Wednesday evening to share your favorites. I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win an award and be my Very Interesting Person this week.

Hit me with your best music!

Oh, and don’t forget to go over to and comment on my latest post We’ll always have sickies. There’s even a recipe!! (To avoid being sick, that is…)

Just a few of hundreds this week

Sunshine on my heart




Most of the family has been building sand castles for an hour, but I’ve been waiting to walk down from the beach house until the two year old woke from her nap. Once she awakes, yawning, we pull on our sand shoes, and walk down the steep tree-root-filled trail to the beach. The roar of waves grows louder. We come out of the trees to open sunshine and a forever horizon.

“Where’s Daddy? Where’s kids?” asks the two year old, scanning.

I don’t spot them till we get out past a rocky outcrop. “Look!” I call to my two year old, pointing.

She looks, spots them, and starts running. As she starts running, my 15 year old son turns and spots us coming. He calls my toddler’s name and kneels down, arms stretched wide to welcome her.

Grinning, she runs across the beach and into his arms for an enveloping hug.

And I have another precious golden moment to tuck into the storehouse in my heart.

Wiki Your Birthday?

I saw this at Mella’s place a few days ago and thought it would be a perfect ‘lazy-post’ for while we’re busy playing on the beach. Then the next day Carol tagged me to do it! SO here ya are!

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (month and day only): June 21st (first day of summer, longest day of the year– I’ve always thought I have a cool birthday!)

2. List events that occurred on that day of interest to you:

524 – Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeats the Franks at the Battle of Vezerone.
1582 – Incident at Honnōji in Kyoto, Japan.
1621 – an execution of 27 Czech lords on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the battle on the “White Mountain”.
1824 – Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces capture Psara in the Aegean Sea.
1887 – Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee.
1919 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike.
1940 – World War II: France surrenders to Germany.
1963 – Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini is elected Pope Paul VI.
2006 – Pluto’s newly discovered moons are officially christened Nix & Hydra on this date.

3.List a Few Birthdays:

1002 – Pope Leo IX (d. 1054)
1226 – King Boleslaus V of Poland
1535 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist
1863 – Max Wolf, German astronomer
1921 – Jane Russell, American actress
1959 – Kathy Mattea, American country singer
1973 – Juliette Lewis, American actress
1982 – Prince William of Wales, British prince

4. List a death:

1305 – King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Poland (b. 1271)

5. List a holiday or observance (if any):

Summer solstice (Northern Hemisphere) and winter solstice (Southern Hemisphere) celebrations
Fête de la Musique in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

If you’re reading this, I tag you. Anybody need an easy post?

Taking a minute away from playing on the beach….

… to award the Golden Keyboard this week to Lynee for her comment about the importance of teaching children manners!


Alternate title: The tribulations of sharing two bathrooms among 10 people

This morning while we were all scurrying around the rental house getting ready to go out and about, our 4 year old daughter came down to our bedroom asking if she could use the bathroom. Since her daddy was currently in the bathroom, I told her she ought to go upstairs and use the kids bathroom.

“I can’t!” she said indignantly. “That one is hogged!”

Works for Me – My Picture Gallery

There are two types of people in the world.

There are those who move into a house, place their furnishings around neatly, and barring the occasional tornado or vacuuming session (after which all furniture is carefully replaced precisely into the exact divots it created) there the furniture stays until the Second Coming.

Then there are the restless souls, people like me who rearrange more often than they dust. Furniture, pictures, lamps, curtains, bedspreads… it’s all fair game. Nothing is sacred.

When we first got married, my constant shuffling bothered my husband. Not only did I cause him to stub his toes in the night on the every-shifting constellation of furniture in our house, I also swiss-cheesed the walls with my constant picture rearranging. He resigned himself to toe-stubbing. But he felt pain each time he’d discovered I’d rehung the pictures, again, and made more holes in the wall. (It made perfect sense to me that moving the couch also necessitated moving the picture above the couch, but that connection was not so clear to him. )

Finally we found a solution for the pictures that pleased us both– well, in our bedroom at least. My husband built a narrow shelf 2/3 of the way up our bedroom wall. It’s really only a ledge, just big enough to rest pictures on. The ledge wraps around three walls in our room. Now when I want to rearrange the photos in our bedroom, all I do is take them off the shelf and put some new ones up. No new holes in the bedroom wall! It looks lovely and gives me the versatility I crave.

Works for me!

Oh, and I’d love to hear which kind of person you are– a furniture leaver or a furniture mover?

Water, Sand and Sky

2 year old

8 year old

16 year old

Breakfast in the car

Should parents put up with back-talk?

Last weekend a TV news crew rode along with some police officers as they kept an eye on the St. Patty’s Day partiers, with an eye toward keeping the drunks off the road. A guy in a pickup truck was pulled over and his interaction with the police was caught on film.

Two officers approached the vehicle. After smelling alcohol on the man’s breath, one officer asked him how much alcohol he’d had that evening.

“None,” stonewalled the man.

Next they asked the man for his car keys. These the man handed over readily enough. However he was not so thrilled with the officer’s next request- to get out of the vehicle.

“Wait a second!” he protested. “Before I get out of my truck, I need to know what you stopped me for.”

Within two seconds those police officers had his door wrenched open, and him deposited neatly on his face on the asphalt, protesting in shock. Never have I seen a man exit a vehicle so fast. And head first, too.

Next stop, jail. Just. like. that.

The man’s argument made me think of my children. Sometimes when I ask my younger ones to do something, they swell like a puffer fish over the injustice of it. (“What do you mean I have to do my math?” “Why do I have to clean my ROOM?”) They huff in indignation and demand an explanation for my audacious requests.

Most of the time I call them on it and demand respect. “Let’s try that again,” I’ll say, and state my request again, the warning on my face letting them know that this time I’d better hear the desired, “Sure, mom” instead of a belligerent, “HUH!?!”!”

Sometimes I weary of fighting the disrespect battle. I feel like a mean mom, always riding someone. Maybe I’m expecting too much. They’re only kids. Shouldn’t they be allowed to express their feelings?Maybe a little sass is not such a huge deal. After all, eventually they obey.

That video the other night shocked the sense right back into me. I don’t ever want my children to be in the place of that foolish young man, questioning the commands of someone in authority. Somehow I’m guessing maybe his mom put up with his sass instead of dealing with it when he was young.

Of course I want my children to have discernment, to know what’s right, and to not be weaklings who go along with anyone. But in the case of legitimate authority, such as a teacher or a police officer, or even good old mom, I want my kids’ first knee-jerk response to be, “Yes, officer/ma’am/mom.” There’ll be time for questions (respectful ones) later.

I think I’ll be sticking with my guns. This house is a no-sass zone.