Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday Three

Listen up whippersnappers. Back in the old days when the blogosphere was young and all, there was a most excellent blogger who went by the name of PossumDaddy -- or Terry Oglesby -- whichever you preferred. He was one of the funniest, bestest bloggers out there in the digital land. And then he up and got a better job that required actual work and the fun came to an end. Possumblog was gone. Except when Terry decided Not to Blog (tm) about something now and again. Sigh.

Back in the day, Terry also hosted the weekly Thursday Three, when he posed three questions and if you answered them wrong you fell into a deep gorge. Or something like that. For Jim Smith's birthday (one of the Possumblog entourage, as it were) there is a special, all new question and answer session. Which I feel compelled to take part in.

1. What one person are you most thankful for this year?

My husband. He puts up with me and gets up and goes to work every day just to see that we're all clothed and fed. Not to mention the fact that he's awfully handsome.

2. What one thing are you most thankful for this year?

Maybe not what I'm really most thankful for, because I'm not sure what I'm really most thankful for (maybe the roof over my head?), but I'm very, very glad to have a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I do so much more bread baking and pizza making and similar things than I ever have before.

3. What one event are you most thankful for this year?

It's an ongoing event, but I am most thankful that I can stay home and educate the kidlets. Even when, like now, it means I have jars of dirt and water on my window sill (an experiment don't you know?) and in the rest of the house the dirt isn't so well contained.

AND, as a big fat bonus unquestion:

4. So, how’s it going? How’ve you been lately?

I'm tired. I never get as much done as I would like, but some how the days keep going by anyway. The kids keep growing and so do I, but not in the same direction.

Any of you out there are welcome to join in the Old Skool Not-Blogging Frivolity at Terry's Place or just let me know in the comments -- what are you thankful for and what are you up to these days?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dividing the Work

Recently some friends and I have been discussing how we divide the work of the household with our husbands. It fascinates me to hear how different couples sort these tasks out. Naturally, I tend to think the ways my husband and I have settled into are great and I shudder to think what some women put up with. But they seem satisfied with their division of labor.

Although in our house, we stick to traditional gender roles for many things -- my husband works outside the home and I stay home and raise the kids -- we aren't perfectly traditional. I do most of the cooking, but my husband can and does lend a hand and cooks great meals. I may do most of the laundry, but I certainly don't do all of it. Those tasks aside, it is my husband who is the better house cleaner (except for bathrooms) and organizer. He's also the one with the better eye for decorating.

I admit to not using most of the power tools around here. Other than the Sawzall and drill, I stay away from them. I might try the jigsaw eventually, but I'll never be as good at fixing or building things as my husband is. I mow the lawn almost as much as Justin does, but I never weed eat. I also don't change the oil in the cars or check the tire pressure most of the time.

Some of my friends divide things pretty strictly along inside and outside lines. If it is in the house the wife does it, outside the husband takes care of it. One particularly energetic wife I know, does the cooking, cleaning, child rearing, power tool operating and everything else. I'm unclear on what help she gets, but since she doesn't seem to feel sorry for herself, I'm not going to feel sorry for her either (even if that situation would drive me crazy).

I know at another family with almost the opposite divide -- the husband earns most of the money while the wife stays home, but the husband also does the cooking, much of the cleaning and laundry, and takes care of all basic home maintenance and repairs not hired out. The wife does almost all of the yard work though.

So who does what around your house? Does it change with the arrival of new babies or the kids heading to school (or staying home for school)? With enough children around can both parents sit on the couch eating bon-bons?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick Takes


With the birthday this month of my now five year old, I have the perfectly odd family. (No cheap shots about how my family was already perfectly odd!) The kids are now ages 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Unfortunately, the oldest has to go and have a birthday in December and spoil it all.

In the meantime, my lovely five year old is commonly referred to by her parents as The Beeb for her incessant news reporting (sometimes called tattling) and the fact that she often acts as a one girl grievance committee.

Despite this, when she is good, she is very, very good. Incredibly smart, sweet and fun to be around. I think we'll keep her.


For months, I have said I was going to try making my own yogurt and for months, I have kept buying tubs of yogurt at the store. Finally, on Monday I did it. I made my own. It was easy and delicious! I used these two recipes, upping the dry milk to 1 cup. I like how the former of the two recipes gives temperatures, not just times, because my crockpot burns a bit hotter, I guess and I was able to use my oven thermometer to verify that I needed a bit less time than the Crockpot365 recipe suggested. With 1 cup of dried milk added, the yogurt isn't even particularly runny. We've been eating yogurt every day since and I've even made a second batch already. Woo hoo!


Just in time for St. Margaret of Scotland's feast day on November 16, I've added a coloring page of her to the side bar.


Last week the one year old had a stomach bug and milk was making her vomit. Apparently, one can develop a temporary (at least I hope it is temporary) milk intolerance. Fortunately for my sanity, she does fine with kefir and yogurt. Kefir, however, is liquid gold, which is one of the reasons I finally broke down and made my own yogurt. Throw some frozen fruit and yogurt in the blender and it's close enough to please a 1 year old.


What is your favorite vegetable recipe for Thanksgiving? I can make a great turkey. My cranberry sauce is awesome. I love our cornbread dressing and all the rest, but I can never seem to hit on the perfect Thanksgiving vegetables. I'm open to suggestions! With the caveat that green bean casserole is right out.


My five year old is almost finished with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. As one of my homeschooling friends mentioned recently, the word "easy" in the title should be dropped. It's been a long slog through the book and it is the fourth time I've gone through it, with at least two more kids left to teach. It's a great method, but teaching phonics is like potty training. I dread them both.


Coming up with something else to add is taking too much brain power, so I'll just wish you all a pleasant weekend!

Quick Takes hosted by Jen, as always.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dress Up Opportunities

It's time for another better late than never post. My children consider every day to be a dress up day, but Halloween is a special dress up day, because you get to walk around and extort candy from people.

This year they dressed as Johnny Tremaine, a princess, a cowgirl, Laura Ingalls, and an Army man and much candy was acquired.

Since we became Catholic, All Saints' has become a day to dress up yet again and even if there is less candy, there is more partying and they like that too. Some how I failed to take a picture of all of the kids together, but here is St. Teresa of Avila.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Well, Now

Some time ago, it feels like it has been ages, I got to go out on a date on a Thursday night, with this lovely gentleman that I like to call my husband. I like to call him that because he is my husband. Heh.

I had a cold, but getting out on a date was fun any way. Then came Halloween, a birthday, All Saint's and the one year old got sick. Just as she was getting better, that cold I had had all along migrated into my chest and sinuses. Finally, after antibiotics, I'm healthy once more and can go back in time to tell you all about my date night.

When I was a kid, I would ask my dad about bands and music that seemed like it must have been from his time. Often he would deny all knowledge of it, saying,"That came out after your mom and I got married." As a kid, I thought this was crazy. Clearly, life didn't stop when one got married. How could one's ability to keep up with current music fall so quickly by the wayside?

Then I grew up and got married. Work and children, cooking meals and keeping house all quickly became my priorities. If I had extra cash, I wasn't heading out to buy the latest album with it. I finally understood my father and what he meant when he told me that getting married ended his interest in keeping up with the latest tunes and bands.

So when I got offered tickets to go see Five for Fighting (and go on a date) and I had to admit I had never heard of them. Being a homeschooling mama of five (whom I love very dearly, but am never apart from) I'm loathe to turn down a night out sans kidlets, even if I have no idea who I'm agreeing to go see.

My first surprise was to discover that Five for Fighting is not a group, but one man, John Ondrasik. Naturally, I was pleased to find out that he's got a great voice and a flare for capturing a kind of Americana in his music.

Being a Five for Fighting neophyte, I went into the concert cold. Everything was new to me. I wasn't disappointed and I think I've definitely become a fan. My favorite songs? "Slice," the title song from his new album, his ode to the family car "65 Mustang" and a song inspired by his daughter "I Just Love You."

Even though I've been married almost 12 years, I predict new music will be coming to my iPod soon and when my kids hit their teenage years and ask me about music from years gone by, perhaps I can redeem myself in their eyes and look a little cooler, at least for a few minutes.

Anyway, thanks to Alli and Barbara Jones of One2One Network for the chance to get out of the house sans kidlets and to spend a little time with my husband.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Two concerts, Halloween, a birthday party for my now five year old, All Saint's, dinner with our priest, and now a sick baby with explodo diapers and extra laundry. I will return.
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