homemade pumpkin cookies || clean dishes || sifted flour || dirty laundry || clean & folded || firewood ready for splitting & seasoning || shirt to mend || cabinet organized || kindling for next fall
I have been thinking a lot about chores and what it means to home-make. To make a home really means to keep it well, to pay attention and do the little things on a daily basis so that they don’t become big things. I have never really understood that saying that people put up in their homes, “A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.” I mean, I guess I get it to an extent: don’t waste all your time cleaning up or you’ll miss out on the good stuff. But really, I still can’t get on board with that quote.
To me, a clean house, organized drawers, things put away in their places (including toys), and an overall tidiness brings me such peace. I try to do housework with a cheerful attitude and see the importance in each task, no matter how basic. But of course, there are those jobs I can’t stand, like dusting or cleaning toilets.
My favorite jobs are cooking, baking, dishes (though Andrew does them every day), laundry, and any outdoor work. Gathering free logs during the summer for Andrew to split, stacking them in our garage, and watching the pile slowly grow as the wood dries over the hot summer is so satisfying. Weeding the garden is a chore I wholeheartedly enjoy, though I understand not many people do. And of course, planting and watering and watching those plants grow seemingly overnight into vegetables I can carry a mere feet to my kitchen sink?! There’s nothing better!
What does homemaking mean to you?
Happy Father’s Day to the best papa I know. The one who gets up every single morning, bright and early, to spend time with his boys before he heads off to teach or do research or write. The one who feeds them fresh veggie juice and won’t ever let them have chocolate milk in the morning. The one who tells them not to pick their noses and to always say please-may-I.
To the Bop-It champion, the one who couldn’t care less about sports but plays music for his family every single day- on the piano, the banjo, the guitar, the harmonica… you name it, he’ll play it. To the reader of bedtime stories, the singer of hilarious songs, the hanger of awesome rope swings.
To the stealer of popsicles, the ultimate snack-eater, the player of tetherball and the griller of salmon once a week, no matter the weather. To the van-cleaner, the chore-teacher, the lesson-learner.
(They may not like it, but you’ll be darned if they skate through life without pitching in)
To the most amazing man I know, a natural papa and an amazing husband, a best friend and a real trickster…
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
You are loved and appreciated more than words can say. More than you’ll ever truly know.
Hope you have a great weekend! We plan on spending part of it at the pool- Oliver just got his very first pool pass and couldn’t be more proud… he has spent the past three days floating around in the kiddie pool in his life vest saying dreamily “This is soooo we-waxing (relaxing)” while I follow Emil around as he attempts to drown himself by only walking in water neck-or chin-deep while simultaneously refusing to hold my hand under any circumstances. Of course, he slips under water and I grab him up, sputtering and coughing every few minutes. Jeez. This pool thing is no joke! It will be a wonderful thing once they can all swim!
This weekend was a take-it-easy kind of weekend. We were all feeling uncharacteristically tired, so we stayed around the house and did some much-needed organizing and yard work and didn’t venture out too much. Sunday was gray and rainy- perfect for baking some cookies and getting the laundry done.
But we are still having a rough time with the lack of naps. The boys wake up early every day and play pretty hard. We encourage “down time” with books and the occasional video (Wild Kratts on PBSkids.org is a favorite), but by the time late afternoon rolls around, there are usually lots of tears and meltdowns. Ah, the highs and lows of summertime!
Hope you are enjoying yours so far!
Oliver’s hair has been a source of contention. Some people love it long, others hound him to cut it. He was holding pretty steady in the leave-my-hair-alone camp, so we did. But as the weather grew warmer, he would often seem just miserable. Sweaty, dirty strands of hair stuck to his forehead and the sides of his face every time he ran around at the playground. We tried tying it back (he hated that), then tried using a headband (he wouldn’t stand for that either).
It seemed to make him so unhappy, but for some reason he was adamant that he wanted long hair. Until his cousins visited. The boys had very short hair. After they left, Oliver mentioned that he might like to have short hair after all. So I jumped at the chance, and before long, Oliver was transformed:
And now, he wears that headband. Of course.
Have a wonderful weekend, and if you have a chance, stop by Julie’s lovely blog Cinnamon Girl to check out a guest post I did about the artwork in our home. You’ll get a chance to see some spaces you might not have seen on our blog. Happy Friday!
Kristin took two pictures of us when we were on our way to Nana’s funeral: the first, a family photo of our immediate family; the second, of what our family would be if we “inherited” Ryan and Kristin’s kids. Wow.
You know something? I kind of get why people have huge families. For one, once you get started on having kids really close together, you get the knack for taking care of babies, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. Nothing really phases you, and you keep going. And when the older ones start really helping (like, meet-you-at-the-door-and-take-your-groceries-from-your-aching-arms helping), things seem to fall into a real groove. Andrew’s mother, who has 8 siblings, is a ball of energy, the most considerate and positive person I know, and doesn’t ever seem phased by a lot of kids running around.
I, however, will stick with my three for now. Though we do miss the cousins…
What’s your “perfect number?”
These cousins! On the last day of the three-day adventure with family, we hosted a get-together in our overgrown backyard complete with Andrew’s amazing barbecue ribs, tons of food, and… a little-person circus!The best part? We didn’t plan it. The kids asked for us to bring the mini trampoline up from our basement (which, I might add, was the one thing that kept us from losing our everloving minds this past winter) and soon it was outside. After they fished out some musical instruments (including a slide-whistle) and a hula hoop, they were up to all sorts of shenanigans. We adults thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but the kids definitely provided ample entertainment and so much laughter! And tonight, after a couple of much-needed days of recuperation (and some serious laundry and cleaning and stocking back up on food), Andrew and I are going out to see a show with a couple of friends. Frankly, the entire month of May seems like a blur, so I am so excited about this next month: parties with friends, our big Paris trip, more family adventures, and hanging out at the pool. June is already cracking up to be an amazing month!
A few interesting facts about last weekend: The young blond babe with the green-frosted cupcake pictured above (Gabe) is a mere two years old yet has the voice of a man, and demands answers when asking questions such as “Where’s my Mom,” and “Get milk.” And this fact leads adults to treat him much older than he is, from either fear or respect. I haven’t figured out which yet. Fact: Though there was a little conflict, the above two cousins found time to cuddle on a sunshine-warmed trampoline mid-party. Also, despite months of Andrew and I asking Oliver to let us cut his hair, he was adamantly against it. Until Casey left, and he said to me out of the blue on Monday afternoon that he would like short hair just like Casey. Also, he said “Uncle Billy will be so proud!!!”Fact: I have the best sisters-in-law a gal could ask for. Fact: There truly is nothing more fun than mud. And the mud kitchen became a mud house inhabited by mud zombies. Who later got hosed off by Uncle Billy… who enjoyed the hosing a little too much. Fact: Spoons do not stick well on the pug noses of my offspring, but Liam seemed to do just fine. Also, after tears and numerous practice-rounds in the privacy of his own room, Milo finally got it. For a dollar! Fact: Seriously. I started calling Gabe “The Dude” just because. I mean, look at him!Fact: That, my friends, is a lot of kids. And we miss them already.
Still recovering from an insanely fun, exciting, tiresome, crazy, and wonderful weekend with a whole bunch of Andrew’s extended family, who came in for Andrew’s grandmother’s funeral. We created some pretty amazing memories, I should say. And though we really missed Andrew’s brother Ryan, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, his wife Kristin and their four kids crashed at our house. Milo and Oliver went through major withdrawal yesterday, and there was much whining on Oliver’s part for missing his cousin Ava in particular.
As I sift through picture after picture, it is really difficult to narrow enough down for one post, so I will split it up into three parts. There were so many activities planned and so much shuttling around on one day that it feels like a complete blur. But I wouldn’t take any of it back, nor wish it to be easier or less hectic, because sometimes life is like that, and it makes me smile just thinking about it. I realize that it also makes us appreciate the quiet when it is time for quiet. But there is something really special about a house full of the laughter of children, who run from room to room occupying each other’s time with an endless array of ideas and games and trouble. No one complained of boredom. No one got seriously injured, and all pretty much collapsed in a sweaty heap by the end of each day. Andrew’s grandmother, or Nana, as they called her, would have been so happy to see this sight: 14 of her 17 great-grandchildren all packed into a back yard, jumping on a trampoline, eating watermelon, screaming and laughing and making mud pies, and forming bonds that only cousins can form. More tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend a success! Hope your weekend was filled with love and laughter!
Last weekend, we finally hung the rope swing that we got ourselves as a family present for Christmas three years ago. And it is awesome.
I remember spotting the swing (I know, pricey, but it was our family present!) online and just knowing that it was perfect. It reminded me of the swing my dad hung from our 200-year-old oak tree in our back yard when I was growing up. And so, like many things that bring back fond memories, I wanted to recreate that part of my childhood for our boys.
I’m so glad Andrew was willing to nearly throw his back out hanging this thing!