It’s a warm, clear, light and sunny late summer afternoon.
I am sleepy.
I was stressing out this morning. We waited for David’s bus for 45 minutes before I called the school and found out there was a 90 minute delay because of some problems with the buses. David managed to lose his sneakers and socks within five minutes of hearing that news…..and ended up having to get on the bus later on this morning with no socks, just shoes, because I was so mad I refused to look for new ones and of course he couldn’t remember for the life of him where he took the old ones off. Why are socks such a source of stress? Why do we wear socks? Why do we wear shoes?
Yesterday Caleb and I went for a walk in the woods together. I had come home from grocery shopping and Seth was sleeping so I left the nonperishable groceries lying about and off we went. Barefoot, barefoot, barefoot. The ground in the woods was soft and spongy. I pretended I was an old-time Indian in the woods. I only hurt my feet two times; once when I caught my pinky toe on a root, and the other time was walking down the gravel trail back out of the woods, it hurt so bad. Then I discovered one of the reasons WHY we need shoes nowadays. Because men invented roads. Gravel roads hurt. Now we have asphalt roads but it’s too late. There’s too much money at stake in the shoe industry. Plus asphalt roads are too hot. We have cars now but we still need to wear shoes. Think of the germs. Germs are another reason why we wear shoes. To protect our bare feet from other people’s germs.
Another reason why we need to wear shoes is because of the weather. I would go barefoot all year around except for winter. I’ve pressed my bare feet into the top of snow, and it’s pleasant, but only for a moment.
Shoes also support the feet. Sometimes my feet hurt and I put on my sneakers and they feel better.
But, I don’t think it’s important to have multiple pairs of shoes or to spend a lot of money on shoes. If each of my walking children owned three pairs of shoes, that would make a total of 15 shoes to keep track of. Do you know how many times I get asked, “Mom, where’s my shoes”? Why can’t my children wear sneakers to church with their dress clothes?
Every time I go outside, I find at least one pair of shoes on the lawn. Ethan’s Land’s End water shoes have been under the trampoline for months. I’ve often thought, when the children are grown and gone, I will still come across shoes when I stumble upon their favorite forts and spots in the woods and by the stream.
Let this be a lesson to us all: simplify your life. buy your children just one pair of shoes a piece. We’ve been liking our crocs these days.
I canceled Jacob’s follow up visit to the eye specialist this morning. It would have taken at least 2 hours out of my morning, to get an eye checked, which I can see for myself is better. Why did I feel guilty canceling the appointment? There is a slight chance that his eye is growing fungus, that’s why. It’s quite rare, of course, but just in case, I should drive 40 minutes through stressful traffic to get it checked. Just in case the 25 dollar antibiotic eye drops didn’t kill the germs that my chicken might have had on it’s beak when it poked Jacob’s eye.
Seth turned seven months old today. He’s been fussy the past few days. I am sitting here, typing, because he is sleeping on the porch in his swing. I tried to read a book outside earlier, but Seth woke up crying. As I came to the house, I remembered when Jacob, Ethan, and Grace were all preschoolers. I rarely read anything but magazines. I had no time. Babies take a lot of time to care of. I would die for Seth, he’s worth every moment, but for some reason I forget that he needs lots and lots of attention and then I get discouraged because the house is so messy. And the other children need me, too. And so does Rich.
I told the children this morning, “I AM SO STRESSED OUT. I AM OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS.” Jacob advised me to take a nap. Grace thought I should call my friend Kathy and have her babysit them for the day.
My mom called me and during our conversation she said, “Why do you have to have a clean house?” She’s home for the week, on vacation from her job, and enjoying her home. She and Dad are spending time together. She loves to garden. She said this is the first vacation she’s had at home with complete freedom to do what she wanted to do. She raised five children and she knows how I feel today. The reason why I need a clean house is because the more stressed I am, the more “perfect” I want my surroundings. I don’t know how to explain it. When I’m relaxed, I could care less what the house/vehicle/lawn/garage/children look like….but, when I’m stressed out every little problem makes me irritated.
Like trying to find scissors.
The children finally understood that Mama couldn’t be bothered today. So, they paired off after school was over. Grace and Caleb have been best buddies. The last time I saw them they were sitting in low tree branches, pretending they were riding horses, complete with rope as reigns.
Ethan and Jacob have been setting up an intricate army man fort/village outside in the driveway, in the shade of the vehicle. Jacob created buildings and things using cardboard and coloring things in with colored pencils. All the art lessons I’ve been paying for seem to be helping his artistry a great deal. His cobblestone road looked quite realistic!
Ethan just walked in with Seth, who is awake again, after his 10 minute nap. I asked Ethan to feed him. I can hear E talking to him in a baby voice. I’m so thankful for the experience the children are getting here at home, life skills are being learned. Jacob did laundry this morning. Ethan cleaned out the kitchen sink for me until it was empty and shining, with the clean sponge left on the side.
(this is how my sink typically looks):
As I sit here and type, I realize how much writing is like therapy for me. That’s what I missed most of all when I wasn’t blogging this summer. I didn’t write anymore…I thought I would get out a journal and write by hand, but typing is so fast that handwriting seems too SLOW now. My life is moving at such a quick pace. Typing is perfectly suited to my life. Handwriting a letter to a friend is a rare treat to be savored.
I made a good dinner last night. Rich needs good dinners, my hard working husband who most of the time skips lunch.
Our neighbor plants a huge garden, and sells his extra produce. It’s so fun to walk down, buy some veggies, and then walk home.
(these are pictures from last week. The first one, Grace took. We were walking to the vegetable stand, our house is behind us. Grace was proud that both the boys smiled for the picture.)…..
The tomatoes have been so good. Very flavorful. So, last night for dinner I tried a new recipe using some of those yummy fresh tomatoes. To make rice-stuffed tomatoes you need 4 medium sized ones. Slice off the very top and scoop out the middle, leaving 1/2 an inch around. Salt them and turn them upside down on a paper towel to drain. Saute 1/2 cup onion, then add the middles of the tomatoes, which you have taken the seeds out of and chopped. After the liquid evaporates from the pan, remove from heat and add 2 T of fresh parsley, 2 T of fresh basil, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice. Fill your tomatoes, which you have placed in a baking dish, with the rice mixture. Put a pat of butter on each one and bake in a 350 oven until heated through. I served them as a side dish to the pork tenderloin which I also baked in the oven, in a covered roasting dish, seasoned with salt and pepper, for 1 hour. After the hour was up, I took it out and sliced it. I poured our favorite BBQ sauce over the top and put it back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. Rich said that it was the best meal he’s had in a long time, and that includes all those fancy dinners he eats on his business trips. So, it was tiring, because Seth was fussy, but totally worth it to get the compliments.
Here are a few more notes from the sermon I listened to yesterday. Based on Titus 2, the older Christian women are to teach the younger ones BY EXAMPLE, not by formal teaching (unless a woman has a definite GIFT FOR TEACHING she should NOT teach formally, but every woman is able to “teach” by example, influence, and quiet one on one conversation, in a natural spirit led, friendly way). The older woman are to teach the younger to be husband-lovers, children-lovers, sensible (heads screwed on right), pure, and home-workers, not home-idlers or dawdlers.
Interesting, I thought. Especially the part about how the older women are to teach—-by EXAMPLE. Another thing the Pastor said was that the world has you DOING in order to BE. God has us BE in order to DO. By BEING in Christ, God-fearing and God-loving, we DO His will and encourage and inspire other Christian woman in the process.
As home-maker I am a DESPOT, a SANCTIFIED DICTATOR, a house KEEPER, an absolute RULER of the home, in a DIVINELY ASSIGNED ROLE, which is a role of safety and usefulness. How fun! How fulfilling!
And now you can see how I’ve gotten myself all tired out….after hearing that sermon I got all fired up and did too much…..LOL…but, the nice chocolate cake I made last night is sure coming in handy today, as a treat for my nerves!
I just had this conversation with Ethan:
Ethan: “Mom. You know those stinky seeds that are in stink weed? Well, I planted one and alls it did was get bigger.” (he presents the growth from behind back)
Me, looking, recognizing the growth: “I found one of those before! So, you planted it and it grew like that?”
Me, taking it, feeling it, smelling it, handing it back: “Go take it apart and look inside it”
Ethan leaves, then Ethan returns with growth cut in half.
Me, taking it, and smelling it, “It stinks like a skunk!”
Jacob, running upstairs, “I can smell that thing all the way downstairs! The odor is awful!” (lots of laughter).
Ethan wants to plant more. He said we can use them for gas bombs. The weird thing is, the one I found a few years ago was old and rotting, and the smell of it was SWEET like a pineapple! How topsy turvey!
Isn’t nature fun?
I can’t get the skunk smell out of my nose now, though.
Okay, that’s enough for this post. Yikes.