Hurts and Eats

My stomach hurts. And my finger. But I’ll start with the gut. Last night we had Bubba Burgers, and although Luke would say this is purely coincidental, this is the second time, at least, that I have gotten a bad stomachache after eating one of those! I don’t like feeling bad- there are too many things to do that I now don’t want to do. I am, however, up for a romp in the sprinkler, if I can get Kenan down for a nap- we shall don our swimsuits and go outside at 3.
That last paragraph took me forever to type because I have a bandaided pointer finger. Gratefully, it is on my left hand, but I am still running into situations where the bandaging, and the injury, makes the finger difficult to use. We are planning to have Breakfast Dinner tonight, and I was cutting up peppers for Breakfast Potatoes and sliced across my fingernail. It is deep enough to cut through the nail and bleed a lot, so I have a couple bandaids on it. I knew at the time that I was daydreaming a bit too much, I forget now about what. Goes to show I should never think I am proficient enough in the kitchen to allow daydreaming.
I just remembered that Luke wanted to mow tonight; the sprinkler party had to end at 3:30. That should give the grass sufficient time to dry before Luke has at it. The kids aren’t happy about this, but at least they got to cool off some on this hot day.
When we went to the library today, I picked up some cookbooks. I have a lot of odds and ends in the pantry cupboards, and want to use most of them with   meals these coming weeks. We have a lot of beans, and I would love to come up with some more bean dishes the family would eat. Next week we have an evening VBS and will eat dinner at church beforehand, so I won’t be making dinner all that week. I am planning on bringing a salad and dessert each night and have come up with these so far:
Tossed Salad
Greek Salad
Italian Salad
Oriental Salad
Chef Salad

As for desserts,
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberry Jello Cake
Caramel Chip Bars
Mint Brownies
Apple Crisp

Since I am not furnishing dinner, I look forward to splurging on some treats we don’t normally get to eat. Plus, I’ll have time in the afternoon to fix them.

Day By Day

What a glorious day. Still a bit windy; yesterday and the day before were windy and quite cold, for mid May. But today is sunny, with much promise. I am looking forward to going for a run when Luke gets home from work. He has advised me to start running what I would call intervals, where part of the time I run as fast as I can, and the other part I run easy. I tried it last time I was out- really difficult but I can see where it will reap good dividends for my weight loss goals. I currently weigh more than I did when I came home from the hospital with Kenan- this is ridiculous! But…I do fit into some handmedown jeans from my sister that I couldn’t get on four months ago, so either I am building muscle or the fat is just shifting around…I know which I would prefer to be true.
We’re having Black Bean Soup and Beans & Fritos for dinner. A true bean medley. The soup recipe is coming from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook; I just love the food these guys make! In fact, I made some taco meat from this same cookbook for a taco meal for an ailing friend before I have even made it for my family! That is how much I trust their judgment about good food. The beans are done so far; as soon as I fold some clothes and get up from this couch I will finish the soup. The beans & fritos will only take minutes to prepare: opening cans of chili beans and bags of Fritos. I saw this recipe in the second Duggar book and discovered that most of my kids really like it. It will serve as a second option if they don’t want the soup, but it won’t be like I had to make a whole other meal. It would behoove us to eat more beans; they are good for us and our wallets.
Starting this week our activity slows a bit, as our Wednesday night children’s programming at church is over. As of next week, BSF will be over, too, leaving us with lots of good evenings for fun. Next Thursday Luke, Aliyah, and Sarah leave for Florida- the last homeschool convention Burton Reading will attend this season. The girls don’t seem as excited as I would expect them to be, going on a plane for the first time, going to Florida for the first time, etc. but maybe it is simply because these are so many firsts that they don’t know what to think.
I have a few memories of a trip my family took to Florida when I was 8. We went to Disney World. I remember it raining and us scrambling to buy ponchos at Epcot when all the stores were sold out. I also remember riding Space Mountain with my dad. That was neat. And I remember ‘It’s a Small World’. Seems we stayed at someone’s house, but I think of the house being in St. Augustine, and that is far from Disney, isn’t it? I recall the looooong drive home, too, and the antics we three never tired of performing in the backseat. Yes, I am sure the trip was filled with the He’s Looking At Me game and the If You Don’t Stop That I Will Pull Over threats the whole way home. My brother has the greatest laugh, and I remember his giggles from Ohio to Florida and back. My son, Sam, reminds me a lot of my brother, his laugh no exception.
I bought a book about scheduling, called Managers of Their Homes, and am excited about implementing it. Too bad I didn’t have it sooner; there have been years of me knowing we are not accomplishing much schoolwise or chorewise, but not knowing what to do about it. Having and working by a schedule sounds empowering. We’ll see. The first effort I am putting toward that end is to try to get Kenan on a schedule. This is needful both because he is unreliable when it comes to feeding him (sometimes goes 3 hours but usually only 2) and I have to start considering modesty when it comes to when and where I nurse him, as the boys are getting older. So, after a couple of days so far just observing his behavior and seeing what kind of a schedule we can lay down for him, it looks like he will fit into a 3 hour one nicely. I’ve been putting this off with him saying things like “What if he’s the last?” and “Baby always wins”, but it is time to get a better nursing routine going. If, by the end of the summer, we have a good nursing, chore, and lifestyle (we need a shower schedule, too) routine in place, I’ll be happy.

The National Day Of Prayer

…was Thursday, and I had planned on taking the kids downtown to a prayer gathering on the square that morning. It would be fun to ride the carousel first, since I thought I’d park across from it, then walk up to the square. Later we’d have Bright Lights, so this would turn out to be a busy day!
Luke and I had talked, too, about going away for a couple of days as a family to visit Indian Mounds. We have this ‘passport’ which lists many different historical sites in Ohio, and figured on taking a few days to go around to the several earthworks that are in the same general area in southern Ohio- Fort Ancient, Serpent Mound, and Adena. We wanted to go soon, but it would be tough to pick a weekend where we didn’t have any other commitments, be it homeschool conventions, swimming lessons for the older four on Saturday mornings, VBS, and so on. He called me one day last week and decided we should go away this weekend; he’d take off work Thursday and Friday. In our relief that the older four could still make it to their first swimming lesson, I forgot all that I had hoped to do on Thursday- we would leave in the morning, missing the prayer gathering and Bright Lights. And the carousel. Oh, well, family time trumps everything else, and I was glad to make us available to Luke.
It was a good day, too- until the end when we were attempting to settle down in our hotel room following one fun-filled adventure after another. The kids were understandably rowdy and Luke didn’t seem to be bothered by the potential of 10 rowdy kids in a hotel room to get kicked out of a hotel room. I was pretty tired at that point and this put me past my limits. I blew up.
Eventually everyone was in bed and quieting down, and I felt really bad for losing my temper. What did I expect, really, from them, after such a day and the excitement of staying in a hotel room?! I thought about it a lot, and realized it was all about my limits. My limits were just not far enough when it came to loving my children that night. How timely came the verses I read then as I lay in bed:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and my be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
That is what I need! To abound. More and More. In love. Push past my limits. Stretch those muscles. So, when there is a testing of just how much I can handle, there isn’t a break, a loss. Only strength and confidence.
The National Day of Prayer was to be a grand adventure. I had one in mind that might have stretched my limits in some ways (walk ten children up a sidewalk in downtown Mansfield? Scary.), but God must have wanted me to see my need to stretch in other ways (Get ten children to bed in a hotel room after a really fun day? Really scary.) I hope that the next time the test comes, I am ready to be pushed and pulled out of shape until I look more like Him.