An unwanted conversation. . .

31 03 2009

So, the other night, Conrad was running late getting home from the office and all 3 kids were on the verge of a meltdown so I made the executive decision to eat dinner without Conrad.  We were just gathering around the table when the following conversation took place (please keep in mind my twins are 7 years old and in the first grade):

L:  Mommy, some 2nd graders are going to be in big trouble at school.

M:  Oh yeah?  Why?

L:  They keep writing all over the bathroom walls.

M:  Uh oh.  That does sound like trouble.

B:  Yeah.  Mommy, it says F**k all over the bathroom walls.

Yes, that’s right.  She just all out said the f-word as if we were talking about the weather.  And I gasped.  loudly.  Loudly enough for Bryn to look at me and say, “Mommy, why did you make that noise?”  And then I did not breathe for a full minute.    And then I walked out of the room  to collect myself and try to figure out how to parent my way through this one WITHOUT MY HUSBAND!

I came back to the table and I said, “Bryn,  who told you that word?”  And she looked at me, very exasperated, and said, “Nobody, Mommy.  I know how to read.”  Duh.  Of course she knows how to read that word.  Then, just when I thought I had it pulled together, Lydia pipes up:

“Mommy, it says,  f**k you in one place and then it says f**k you Elizabeth somewhere else, and then it says another word, I think it’s ass.”

I walked out into the sunroom and had tear streaming down my face.  For my life I can’t tell you if I was laughing or crying.  There was something so sweet and innocent about this conversation that it struck me as hilarious.  My sweet little babies are using the f-word so casually.  Kinda like talking about what they had for lunch.  And so a part of me was laughing.

But.  then.  a part of me got rip-roaring mad about the absurdity of all of this. I felt like I watched a layer of innocence get peeled away from my girls.  Innocence that I have worked very hard at protecting.  And that I wanted them to hang on to for many more years.  But, now, I had to follow up on this unwanted conversation and have a talk about words that are appropriate and not appropriate and why. . .oh man.  I just didn’t want to be here yet.

But  here we are.  Once again questioning the wisdom of placing our girls in the public school system and wondering if we need to make another decision about the school thing soon.  But not wanting to overreact and make a hasty decision. God give us wisdom!


Things I Hate

27 03 2009

Recently, I was asked to come  up with a list of 10 things I hate.  Interesting. Honestly, I couldn’t come up with 10 things!  And even the things I did come up with, I don’t think I hate.  They are just minor irritants (with the exception of number 1).  So, here’s my list:

1.  Lice

2.  When people who don’t have children offer me advice on how I should handle mine.

3.  Phone calls on a Sunday afternoon (okay, I might hate this one)

4.  Emails that make you feel guilty for not forwarding them to your friends.

5.  When I get home from the grocery store and find the coupons still in my purse.

6.  Pens that don’t write smoothly.

7.  When I fold the last load of laundry only to find a pile of dirty clothes under someone’s bed.

And that’s it!  I mean, of course I could come up with 101 minor irritants.  But hate?  I’d love to hear what you would add to this list. . .

Heard Around Our House, Part 2

23 03 2009

Children’s Church sang two songs this morning in honor of the church’s 4th birthday.  Lydia said to me on the way home from church, “I tried to stop smiling because it’s hard to sing and smile at the same time but I couldn’t stop smiling because I just had so much joy!”

International Night: Ireland

20 03 2009

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrated Ireland this week for International Night.  Here are the recipes:

Irish Bacon and Cabbage Stew
1/2 lb. Irish bacon (does anyone know what this is?  I just used regular bacon)

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup chicken stock, or as needed

salt and pepper to tast

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage leaves

Cook bacon over medium high heat until evenly borwn.  Drain off any excess fat.  Stir in potatoes, tomatoes, and enough chicken stock to cover.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.

Irish Raisin Bread

Mix in small bowl and let foam:

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup warm milk

Mix in large bowl:

4 cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmet

1/2 tsp. salt

Cut in 2 Tbsp. margarine, then add the yeast mixture and 1 egg, beaten.  Stir until batter is stiff but elastic.  Fold in 1 cup raisins, preferably white and 1 cup currents (I didn’t have either raisins or currents on hand so I used a mixture of dried cherries and dried cranberries and it was delicious).

Knead gently on floured board, adding more flour if necessary.  Place in greased bowl, turning greased side up.  Cover with coth and leave in warm place several hours until dough is doubled in bulk.  Punch down and divide into 2 portions.  Shape into round loaves and place on large greased baking sheet or in 2 round pans.  Cover again and let rise about 30 minutes.  Bake 40-50 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.  Glaze top with:  1 Tbsp. sugar dissolved in 2 Tbsp. boiling water.  Return to hot oven 3 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Slice and serve with butter.

International Night: Thailand

12 03 2009

Okay. . .so tonight we celebrated Thailand and it was a hit!  We had extra people here tonight, so I went all out and even made dessert.  Here are the recipes:

Gy Pad Met Mamuang (Cashew Chicken)

1-2 lbs. chicken cut in bite size pieces, sauted in oil for 2-3 minutes


1 large onion, cut in wedges

1-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

about 2 cups raw veggies (I used broccoli and carrots)

Fry until veggies are tender-crisp and chicken is cooked through.


1/8-1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

4 tsp. soy sauce

2-3 tsp. fish or oyster sauce (I used chicken broth instead)

3-4 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. cumin

Fry 1 minute longer to blend flavors.  Add 1/2-1 cup unsalted cashews, roasted or fried.  Mix well.  Serve immediately with rice.

And for dessert:

Glooay Booat Chee (Bananas in Coconut Sauce)

3/4 cup coconut milk (I used regular milk and 2 Tbsp. shredded coconut)

Heat the milk in a saucepan and add 2 tsp. sugar and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in 3 large bananas, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch slices.  Return to a boil for 10 seconds.  Serve alone or as a topping for ice cream.  Best if served immediately.

My whole family loved this!  It is really soupy so we used straws to get up all that great flavor!  Enjoy!

10 03 2009

Here’s the latest fad to hit Facebook.  I decided to post it here too.  Ellie was too little to answer these so I’m just listing Lydia’s and Bryn’s answers.  Just for the record, I interviewed them separately which makes number 12 especially funny!

1. What is something mom always says to you?

L:  I love you

B:  I love you forever

2. What makes mom happy?

L:  When I clean up the room when she doesn’t ask me to

B:  When I say I love her very much

3. What makes mom sad?

L:  When I don’t listen to her

B:  When I don’t obey her

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

L:  When she says she’s gonna throw me in jail and then she says, “just kidding!”

B:  Tickle me

5. What was your mom like as a child?

L:  Small

B:  Small compared to me

6. How old is your mom?

L : I forget, um 33?

B:  Is it 24?  No, no, no, it’s 31

7. How tall is your mom?

L:  I don’t know

B:  Big compared to me.  I bet she’s 25 inches

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

L:  Play with us

B:  Play the piano

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

L:  Clean up

B:  Do some work

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

L:  Because she’s really good at her job

B:  Because she’s on a sign or on TV

11. What is your mom really good at?

L:  Doing puzzles

B:  Piano

12. What is your mom not very good at?

L:  Playing a horn

B:  Tuba

13. What does your mom do for her job?

L:  When people can’t see, they come to her store to get glasses

B:  Help people see

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?

L:  Bread

B:  Pizza

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

L:  When she gives me something that I never guessed, and I really like it.

B:  When she says she wants to help me with something

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

L:  That girl on 3-2-1 Penguins

B:  Dora

17. What do you and your mom do together?

L:  We play together and sometimes we help her bake things when it’s not too hot so we don’t burn ourselves

B:  Cook and make snow ice cream

18. How are you and your mom the same?

L:  We look alike and our hair is kinda the same except hers is shorter.

B:  We’re both humans and we both speak the same language

19. How are you and your mom different?

L:  She’s bigger than me

B:  We don’t look the same and we’re not the same size

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

L:  Because she says it

B:  Because she does good to me, she’s helpful and she helps me do homework.

21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?

L:  Shopping

B:  Wal-Mart and Florida

International Night: Mexico

6 03 2009

This week we celebrated Mexico.  We made chilaquiles and spoke as much Spanish as we could (not really all that much).  Here’s the recipe:

1 Tbsp. diced onion

1 garlic clove

2 cups tomato sauce

1 chili, cored, seeded and chopped

2 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded

corn tortillas, cut in strips

Saute onion and garlic in an oiled skilled until translucent.  Add tomato sauce and chiles and simmer.  Add chicken and heat through.  Serve with tortilla strips (the recipe actually calls for frying the tortilla strips in hot oil, but I baked them instead to make it a little healthier.  I just put them on a cookie sheet and baked them at 350 for maybe 35 minutes, until they were nicely browned).