why seth is home today (the very long version)


All is pearly blue, silver, and sunshine outside.  It’s currently 8:17 in the morning, and 32 degrees.  Seth and Sarah are watching a Christmas Thomas the Tank Engine show on Netflix while Mama (in her red robe) puts her feet up and tries to get some words out of her head, through her fingers, and onto a blog post…….

Why is Seth home from school, you ask?

Grace has needed to fill her prescription for much-needed new glasses for over a month.  I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and thought I would make use of the trip by taking her out of school to go to Lenscrafters.  She also asked if she could get her hair trimmed.  I was pleased to be able to take care of my beautiful, very busy daughter, but as soon as my doctor’s appointment was over, I had to take a phone call from the elementary school nurse.  She told me that Seth wasn’t feeling well; he was complaining of a tummy ache.

I texted Rich; he was busy at work and couldn’t get him.  Time with Grace is very rare, so I decided that the glasses were of utmost importance.  We went quickly to the mall to chose a pair.  I told the man that I would pick them up the next day and we left.  As soon as I got the girls back in the vehicle and turned on the car, Rich texted me back and said he could get Seth after all.  This was happy news, so back into the mall we went and the girls both had hair cuts.  And we had time to pick up the glasses, too.

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I need to tell you that I found my jar of Vitamin B12 gummy vitamins in the bathroom later, with the top secure, and with only 2 left in it.  I had a panic attack as I googled “Vitamin B12 overdose” into the computer, wondering if Seth had eaten them and was sick from them….there were about 35 missing and to this day NOT ONE CHILD IS ADMITTING to eating them!!  (David said he ate one).  I eventually discovered that overdose can result in panic attacks and heart palpitations, because the B12 is an “energy” vitamin.  Seth was doing the opposite (sleeping in my bed).  They are also water-soluble which means the excess gets urinated out rather quickly.  But this experience added to the drama-trauma of the evening.  I took the boys to wrestling practice and went back home to my sick child.

I let Community Bible Study know that there was a possibility that I wouldn’t make it the next morning to decorate my tables for brunch or facilitate my group.  I was disappointed, but by the end of the evening Seth’s fever had broke and he was acting like his normal self.  He slept good that night, so I sent him to school with a note and let Paula (from CBS) know I was able to attend after all.

I did all the one million small things to get ready by 8:15 am; loaded my little gifts for the ladies into the car along with a beautiful centerpiece for the tables, cut up a pineapple, packed up the creamers, sugar, tea, coffee carafe, and so one.  I took my shower, put on make up, got Sarah dressed, started my car……


She said he couldn’t go back to school until his fever was gone for 24 hours.

I wasn’t going to study after all, but I couldn’t contact Paula.

Then, I thought, well…maybe my friend Caroline is available today.  She usually has to work but after a text and a phone call, I found out that she was indeed home, waiting on a stove delivery.  She agreed to take Seth, so I drove to school to get him, and drove to her house to leave him.  Paula called me back and I told her I was running late……

I drove 40 minutes to the church, loaded my arms with all my stuff, rushed to the gym to my tables…and found that they were completely done and decorated.  “Oh Shanda, I tried to call you back to let you know but you didn’t answer your phone!”  My sub core leader got the message that I wasn’t coming and never got the message that I was coming, so she had decorated the tables.  I felt like she was my Christmas Elf.  Despite the frazzled morning I was glad to be there and the morning was a blessing to my heart and soul.

My bible study friend Lisa is a baker.  She gave everyone in our group a delicious quick bread for Thanksgiving and yesterday she handed around small paper boxes decorated with glittery star stickers.  She told me, “These are Homemade!” when she handed me my box.

Needless to say, after I was back home again with Seth and Sarah, I opened the little box, and almost cried.  The box was filled with the most delightful darling chocolates.  There were two generous layers of beautiful HOMEMADE chocolates.  I squealed and exclaimed.  I thought about the thank you card I would send.  I couldn’t imagine the work it took to make them!  I ate one; it was raspberry filled!  I ate another; it was coconut!  I gave one to Grace and Sarah and put the box on the bookshelf, my own personal little guilty-pleasure that I intended to savor and linger over the next few days.


entirely homemade and beautifully detailed

Eventually, David and Caleb were home, too, and it was time for me to make dinner.  Rich and the boys were at wrestling practice and I had recently *dropped the ball* with dinners so I wanted to put some thought and care into the food.  I roasted a chicken, filling it with three garlic cloves, salt, rosemary, and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.  I placed a sprig of rosemary on top and basted the chicken carefully every fifteen minutes.  For a side dish, I made tomato rice; 2 cups of chopped onion, a chopped yellow pepper sautéed in olive oil.  I added a cup of rice, a tin of whole tomatoes, and half a tin of water and let it simmer until the rice was creamy and perfect.  With a salad and the pineapple I had cut up that morning, we had a lovely meal.

But Jacob and Ethan didn’t come home.  They had Subway and went back to school for the basketball game.

We have a housefly problem in the house.  As I made dinner I concentrated on killing flies.  My son David advised me to aim cleaning spray on them to render their wings useless; so I did that and then stepped on them.  I hate the dirty flies; I am becoming obsessed with them…I imagine maggots….I MUST GET RID OF THE FLIES….I was getting up and down from a stool, bending, spraying, cleaning, killing…..

After serving the little ones their dinner (Seth had five bowls of salad and nothing else, weirdly) I was simply done with it all…done with the day…tired…head was buzzing…I collapsed on the couch with my kindle and let the kids watch a Phineas and Ferb Christmas special.  When Rich came home at 7pm, he found a tired mama and five (never ever tired) children.  He did enjoy my dinner, which was nice, but still I wondered, was all the fuss worth it?

I went to get a chocolate; I couldn’t find them.  I looked all over the place.  Nothing.  I asked the family.  Nothing.

I wanted one of my special, homemade chocolates.  I deserved it!!

You’ll never believe.

I found the box.

I found the wrappers.

They were on the floor.

Behind the bookcase.

Every chocolate.


I screamed.

I asked the children; their dear little faces looked at me in blank innocence.

When I showed the box to the dog he wouldn’t look at it.  He wouldn’t look at me.  He went straight to the door to be let out.


“I won’t make eye contact with my mom because I ate all her homemade chocolates.”

I will never get over it.

At six this morning I stumbled out of bed and came out to the living room to ask if the Dog was still alive.  I’ve read everywhere that chocolate kills dogs.

He was fine.

But Seth had just thrown up.

And that is why Seth is home today.

12 thoughts on “why seth is home today (the very long version)

  1. If you ever find out what happened to the chocolate, let us know. Do youi sometimes feel like Alice in Wonderland when she said “/Curiouser and curiouser.?

  2. At the end I thought of….If You Give a Moose a Muffin!! That’s favorite of those books, because i LOVE moose 🙂
    I’ve dropped the ball often lately concerning dinner too. My dear husband travels weekly and the busiest of day are his first day back from overseas and pizza is on the menu….
    I would have lost my mind over the chocolates…
    Thank you for sharing your joys and trials with us!

  3. Lol. I’m sorry I had to chuckle! I can totally relate Shanda!:).I can relate to almost all of it. (2 cats no dog) one day we will look back and laugh. We both probably have enough to write a best seller!:)

  4. You share with such humor. When you put the chocolates on the shelf I thought, “I have a bad feeling about this” (Star Wars reference) So glad you ate two when you did! akkkk! Hope you are all weathering the bug well and not sick. I have read of soooo many having stomach bug, across the country. The mom’s on one group I am on FB are all sharing remedies like activated charcoal. Your girls both look so pretty! Love to you Shanda.

  5. Sorry,but I laughed about the dog eating your chocolates! 🙂 I would have screamed too!And yes,the dog probably ate it!Labs love food,any kind,they are not picky!

  6. Great ending to your post–you are a good story teller! I had to pick James up from school yesterday because he told his teacher that there was a 78% chance he was going to throw up. He never did though. I will be thinking about those chocolates today …

  7. Always enjoy your posts they bring a smile to my face we don’t have a dog but if we don’t hide are treats that some one gives hubby and me will with family living here with us it will be gone. lol Have a very Merry Christmas

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