Archives for February 2008

15 minutes better

I found in the last week or so I missed sharing some of my ‘better’ moments with you. Not sure if I’ll do a ‘better’ post every day, but I think I’ll sprinkle them in whenever I get inspired.

Yesterday the kids were outside playing, enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. All too soon, though, one of my 9 year old sons came in on the brink of tears. It seems that in typical thoughtless little-boy way, he’d thrown a stick, which hit his 10 year old sister in the back.

He tried to tell her that it was an accident. But she was too angry to care. So angry that the culprit fled into the house to avoid her wrath, totally neglecting to say that he was sorry. Which of course did not help her get over her anger at all.

When she came into the house a few minutes later, she seemed angry enough to hold a grudge for the rest of the day. I knew from past experience that she was totally capable of it.

Meanwhile, the other child was penitent, but also wanting to steer far clear of her indignation.

I was determined that our house not feel like a war zone, with kids holding grudges and avoiding each other. I brought the two parties together and insisted on an apology from him and an ‘I forgive you’ from her.

Both were performed while avoiding all eye contact, and my accompanying lecture about forgiveness and love did not soften their body language toward each other. Obviously the rift was not yet mended.

In a burst of frustration (inspiration?) I declared that they were now sentenced to a project together. I marched them into the kitchen, got out a recipe for chapatis (Indian flat bread) and told them to go to it.

They had to be prodded to even begin to speak to each other. The first 5 minutes of the project was extremely quiet. But soon, to my delight, they thawed out and began talking quietly. After 15 minutes they were laughing and chattering. In the process of flinging flour all over the kitchen and frying flatbread on a skillet, they became friends again.

And that was much more than 15 minutes better.

What… it’s not Wednesday anymore..??

I know, I promised the winner to my Opinion Saturday question on Wednesday, but somehow the day roared by like a freight train, and here I am half way thru Thursday. Anyway, ALL the comments were great, and very helpful. Thanks so much! I’m giving the Golden Keyboard this week to LeeAnn of Frazzmom. I liked that her comment included both helpful tips, and the reminder that it is OK to say no when you are overwhelmed. We all need permission to do that sometimes!

Works for me: Spring cleaning (in baby steps)

In honor of my rampant case of spring fever, I have been dejunking our house. Last week it was the linen closet, my little girls’ room, and the pantry. Over the last few weeks I’ve also worked over my closet, the laundry room, and my bathroom. I did my little girls’ bedroom all in one long morning, but the other projects all got done a bit at a time over several days’ time.

My secret weapon is the ’27-thing-fling’, which is actually a FlyLady idea. I can’t totally jump on her bandwagon –she tells people to wear SHOES all day, people! But the fling is fabulous busy-mom tool for dejunking.

I pick one area to work on gradually over a few days’ time. I stick a trash can and a giveaway box near it, and once or twice a day until the job is done, I spend a few minutes sorting things to give away or throw away. I quit when I hit 27. Usually I can find 27 things to toss in just 10 or 15 minutes, which is a small enough bit of time to be doable even on school days.

Once I’ve pared things down, it is a lot easier to do the actual cleanup. Sometimes I get inspired and do a whole project in a morning. But most days it is much easier on everyone if I tackle big projects a bit at a time over several days’ time.

Visit Shannon’s place to find moreWorks for Me ideas!


…snacking on half a cup of chocolate-covered coffee beans at 10:30 PM is not the wisest move to make. Around 2:30 this morning, I was still wide awake. The upside is that at that moment I was also watching the pages of my book spit out of my printer. All 203 of them.


A sweet sweet feeling indeed.

More from here later.

sage advice

Last night my 5 year old decided to tell a story, which the 3 year old listened to with rapt attention. After her big sister’s story wound down, the 3 year old jumped in with her own story, but was immediately interrupted.

“You’re supposed to start with ‘once upon a time’,” advised the 5 year old. “That’ll help it go easier.”


Deuteronomy 8:7,10
For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—
a land with streams and pools of water,
with springs flowing in the valleys and hills…
…When you have eaten and are satisfied,
praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

Opinion Saturday: helping in school

I’ve got another book question for you, people! Though I am a homeschooling mom, my book is directed at all moms who are interested in having a larger than average family. I’d like my education chapter to contain hints relevant to both homeschoolers and public schooling families.

Here’s what I need. If you have several kids in school (even if your family isn’t especially huge) I’d like to hear how you manage to stay involved in your children’s education. How do you juggle your baby’s nap time with volunteering in class? Can you work out ways to go on field trips with several different grades each year? How do you keep up with multiple kids’ assignments? Make sure science projects are done? Sell candy bars for three grades worth of kids at once?

I’m interested in ANY hints that make it easier to juggle multiple children in a traditional school setting. I’ll give my Golden Keyboard Award on Wednesday to the answer that is most detailed and helpful. I may also be contacting a few other people to ask for permission to use your words in my book.

Thanks to everyone who helps me out with this– I really appreciate it!

Friday’s link: Because spring isn’t coming fast enough for me

It snowed today. Again. We bundled up the kids and they played in the snow and came in rosy-cheeked and drank hot chocolate by the fire, just as we did at the first snow two months again. But I WANT SPRING.

And so– here are some flowers for everyone who’s feeling as winter-weary as I am today.

Thursday’s link: free

Just found this: Freebies 4 Mom. How fun!

Wednesday’s Link: Reach out and…

My 17 year old is taking a Spanish class at our local college. Three days a week she is out the door just after 7 am for that class. I am not an early riser. But this morning I managed to straggle out to the living room just as she was preparing to leave. As I pulled bread dough out of the fridge to knead and let rise, we exchanged a few words. Then she gathered up her things and headed for the door. I had the urge to hug her, but my hands were full of bread dough and she was moving in the hurried way of someone trying not to be late. So I contented myself with an ‘I love you’ just before the garage door slammed. After reading this: The Importance of Touch, I wish I had gone for the hug.