Monday, March 23, 2009

Icky Diet Plan

Knowing that so many of those most dear to me are battling Mother Nature in Fargo right now has completely ruined my appetite. The last few days, nothing sounds good - not even ice cream. I have such an unsettled feeling that is just consuming me.

I feel completely helpless here - I'm too swamped at work to just leave right now - I am running a one-woman-shop to make a three-person-show go on. And yet, I really want to be in the thick of it, filling sandbags, feeding volunteers, praying together with those who are so scared right now.

May God be gentle on all those who are in the thick of it. And may the prayers from afar make a great difference in these coming days.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Please don't ask

Please don't ask my kids about the president. Don't even utter the words president, Barack, or Obama.

After we laid the kids down to bed tonight, and all was mostly quiet, DH came racing down the hallway to grab me from the living room. He was laughing hysterically and silently all at once. As we tiptoed down to Lillian's room, he explained breathlessly that she was talking to herself.

"Why is President Obama brown? Because Gramma Pamma pooped on him."

We obviously have some exposure issues and we need to spend a little more time outside of our almost completely caucasian community. I am shaking my head as I write this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

And the lepers lept about

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We only have what my dad describes as a "very wee bit" of Irish in us, but we still celebrate the holiday with the rest of the world. We all wore a bit o' green today and enjoyed some wonderful Irish Soda Bread, which I baked late last night for a potluck at work. I doubled the batch and brought a loaf to daycare and left one here for DH, too. It was a hit all the way around.

When I picked up the kids from daycare this afternoon, they bounded out the door and nearly knocked me over. They were bubbling and babbling about how the tiny little lepers came during lunch and left green hamhocks all over the house and the lepers are so tiny you can't see them and they do silly things and they are tiny and...

I nearly fell over laughing.

At supper, we talked about ice cream - the girls requested to have white ice cream in pine cones. And then Breanna said she wanted to have some "opie meal" (oatmeal) for breakfast tomorrow. I sometimes wonder about their speech dysfunction, but they're so funny, I'm going to cross my fingers this stage lasts for a while.

Here's my soda bread recipe if you're interested. It's one of my new favorites.

Irish Soda Bread (with a little Finnish Flair)

4 c. all-purpose flour
4 T. white sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 T. baking powder
1 t. cardamom
1/2 t. salt
1 stick margarine, softened
1 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 c. currants (or dried cranberries or raisins or apricots)
½ stick butter, melted
¼ c. buttermilk
a few pinches of sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and margarine.
3. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk, egg, and dried fruit.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into two rounds and place on opposite ends of a sprayed baking sheet.
5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaves with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf. Sprinkle top with sugar.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture and sprinkle with sugar while it bakes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why I love my family

They're just plain fun to be around, and that pretty much sums it up. My kiddos hug and snuggle with each other, and with mom and dad, too. They try to tell jokes. They start repeating Spanish out of the blue. They pray - and it makes sense. The girls are compelled to swing their fresh haircuts, just like I do. And Grant has picked up some hilarious dance moves that make us all smile.

We took the kiddos to the Home Show at the Civic Center this weekend and had a great time. We're all quite social, so these kinds of things are fun. Today our outing was church, and then grocery shopping later in the day. Nothing was momentous, but it sure was fun.

After a low-key weekend at home like this, I am reminded of just how incredibly blessed I am...we all are.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No more babies in the house

It's hard to believe that Baby Grant is officially a toddler now. Honestly, he's been one for several months - he's been walking and eating tons of table food for ages, even grunting for meat, after all. And when I try to hold him and soothe him at night, I'm often fearful he'll leap right out of my arms and I won't be strong enough to hang on. The lunker is only two pounds lighter than Lillian, for pete's sake.

He's still our little honey, though, and I just can't get over how deeply in love with him I am. I still remember with such clarity the day I found out I was carrying a boy. I thought, how on earth could I have a penis in my uterus and how on earth would I handle dirt and noise and trucks and all the boy stuff that I really don't enjoy? How on earth will he be able to be heterosexual when I'm such a girly influence? And now I look back and wonder how I could have been such an idiot. Oh well.

We had a few lovely little birthday celebrations. On his actual birthday, Breanna was miserable with a cold, so we had a tea party/birthday party with just the five of us. We'd planned a birthday party for friends and family the following weekend, but by then, the other two kiddos picked up Breanna's cold, so we postponed another week. The real party was smallish, but nice nonetheless. My folks and my sister and niece came over, as well as our very-loved next-door neighbors.

Amidst all the colds and chaos, the girls have been making me question the logic of the English language, and I've realized that perhaps I wouldn't make such a great grammar teacher after all. Last Sunday, since Daddy wasn't feeling good, he and Grant stayed home from church. Once church was done, I called home and they were both napping, so I decided to take the girls out for lunch. They're social and they just go crazy for any kind of outing and that way we wouldn't bring our energy home and shake up the place.

We went a place called Pacific Wok - a very clean - very Americanized sushi/Asian grill. I figured the girls could eat stir fry - they love veggies and meat - and I'd seen pineapple skewers on the menu - perfect. Little did I know that each girl would dump her water out all over the table at different times. Little did I know that they'd refuse to eat the carrots, meat, rice, etc. etc. They only ate pea pods. Not even the pineapple. And then they started confusing themselves (and me) as we talked about pea pods and peeing in the potty. They sound very alike, after all.

Two women across the fairly empty restaurant were compelled to come over and let us know how entertaining we'd been. Lovely. And then came my favorite phrase, "I don't know how you do it. Glad it's you and not me." Had I not had two very impressionable young ladies with me at the moment, I might have considered going off about judging people and manners, etc. Instead I just replied with a very sweet smile, "Yeah, me too." And then I turned from her and busied myself with the twins. One the way home, they started asking about pushing buttons (to get someone upset) and pushing belly buttons (to get someone to laugh) and about eating buttons on shirts (to get an owie tummy). Too many buttons for my taste. Literally and figuratively.

Enough on that for now. Enjoy the photos. And have a fantastic, safe weekend.