Monthly Archives: October 2006

A Rant and a Recipe

Today my son succumbed (not in the mortal way) to the fever. He laid around wrapped in a blanket, going in and out of a feverish sleep. When his back started to hurt and he was acting like he was dying, I had mercy and dosed him up with some Motrin. You see, it takes a lot for me to give medication to my kids. I am leery of any kind of drugs…it’s the ‘for every action there is a reaction’ thing I don’t like. Would you believe that in 30 minutes the little turkey my son popped out of bed like nothing happened, grabbed a muffin, said, “I’m hungry!” then proceeded to beat his jumping record on that spinny- jumpy-ankle toy (what is that thing called!!?)

Now, some parents might think that is great, but my mommy-monitor went off…something is wrong about that! If he had not taken Motrin, wouldn’t he have been doing exactly what his body needed? Resting, forced to lie in bed, fasting…things diametrically opposed to an active 7 y/o boy? Fever is a gift, a natural healing process bestowed by our Creator. When we can, we should probably obey it … go to bed and assist the healing, not taunt it!

Now, when this fever makes its way to me, remind me of what I just said. (Of course, as the mommy, I won’t get to be sick anyway, so you better just let me take the Motrin…I’ll be much nicer.)

Now the recipe:

KIDS-IN-BED HOT CHOCOLATE* (for dark chocolate lovers )
Version #1:

Follow the recipe on the can of Hershey’s cocoa but reduce the sugar and increase the cocoa. Do NOT add milk, use hot water and then mix in a splash of heavy whipping cream.

Version #2:

Use 2 Tbsp. of Giradelli sweetened ground chocolate, add a dash of salt and vanilla extract. Mix with hot water and a splash of heavy whipping cream.

*Made up out of desperation when the kids found my secret stash of bittersweet chocolate!

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Filed under Babies & Kids, Homemaking&Cooking, Thoughts

Makin’ a List

Today, with my 9 y/o and 1 y/o sick with fevers, I was wishing that I had some better DVDs around. We own plenty of movies, mostly gifts from relatives, but I would love to have some quality (perhaps even educational!) DVDs for the kids to watch on sick days. We gave up regular t.v. (one of the best decisions of our life!) so we are at the mercy of our own DVD stockpile.

Most of the time, the DVD cords are locked up. DH and I started to be disturbed by the seemingly infinite number of times our children could watch something. It seemed rather wrong that our 4 y/o could quote minor lines from 10 or more movies. Now, barring no privilege revocations, we bring the cords out for the weekend. In a fit of evil humor Sunday, I checked out from the library “The Anasazi: Lost Civilization” and “Wild Edible Plants” and announced that these were the only two choices during the grown-ups/baby’s Sunday nap. Ha! Try quoting from these!!

Anyway, what are some DVDs that you really like and don’t mind being watched over and over, and perhaps even teach your children something good? Add them to the comments, and I’ll post them later in a complete list.

Oh, and to those who caught it, yes, I will have to start over with the baby. Rats! She is almost never sick, so she would get sick on the fourth night of our nighttime weaning! There was no way I was going to enforce it during her illness. *sigh*

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Filed under Question and Answer, Uncategorized

Classics…and “Classics” re-created

Tonight, we are one chapter away from finishing Heidi. I cannot believe that in all of my childhood, I never read or was never read to from the original Heidi. I thought that I had read Heidi, but now realize it was just a cheap imitation. In fact, a few years ago I ran across a children’s book that contained what I thought was an excerpt from the real thing, and I remember clearly thinking that I did not feel any great need to read it to my children anytime soon, as the selection left a decidedly new age, pantheistic impression. Not so with the real book. It is truly a lovely book full of beauty and innocence, God’s providence, keen observations of nature, and leaves you with the desire to seek other’s well-being above your own. Oh, and also the desire to take a summer vacation to the Swiss Alps.

My copy clearly states on the cover “original and unabridged.” I suppose this is necessary because of the plethora of watered down and re-created “classics” out there. I became aware of this when we started receiving gifts for our children. A thick, heavy book of re-told Beatrix Potter, a re-told Winnie-the-Pooh (no matter what you may think, Disney did NOT create Winnie-the-Pooh!), and many other re-told classics. Why on earth would anyone re-tell Beatrix Potter, for goodness sake? That is nearly a sin. The joy of reading Beatrix Potter is found precisely in her word choices – pleasing and eccentric. Must we dumb down children’s literature? Only if we are bent on raising dumb children. My four year old has listened raptly to Heidi, with its 19th c. formal language and long-winded, though delightful, descriptions of the Alm. Why would we not want to nourish our children’s brain with good language and excellent material? It took Klara time on the mountain, drinking the herb-enriched milk, breathing the pure air and soaking up the sunshine before she was strong enough to walk on her own. It may take some time reading the classics to our own children before they learn to love the language, the dignity, and higher thought processes afforded by real literature, but when they can stand on their own two legs and pick up a classic to read by themselves for the pure pleasure of it, won’t the time have been worth it? So go through your bookshelves and don’t be afraid to throw out those fakes, those re-creations designed for commercial-length attention spans, and read a classic to your child. Just be sure and look for “original and unabridged” on the cover.

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Filed under Great Books, Uncategorized

The Third Night is the Charm, Right?

This is the third night I will be teaching my baby that “Milkies goes night-night.” This is always a sad, but new corner to turn with my babies. It officially says to me that weaning has begun, although that can be a long process, thankfully. She has been waking up and coming into bed with us since the day (early morning!) she was born but lately she has become very restless and nursing on and off from about 3:30 p.m. until morning, scratching my stomach up and kicking DH. Somehow the Psalm mentioning having “peace like a weaned child” ran through my mind and I knew it was time to end the nighttime nursing. And I was right, mostly. I told her what to expect, that “milkies” would be going night-night and when she awoke that first night, she really didn’t cry like I thought she might…sort of settled into the crook of my arm and slept fitfully more or less ’til early morning. Same last night, although I’ve had to get up while dark each morning to take her to a chair to nurse. I am praying that tonight she’ll settle quickly, or maybe even sleep all night (ha! that would be a first!!). Changes are hard…but usually for the better.

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Filed under Babies & Kids, Uncategorized

Fall Fever Confession

Fall Fever Confession

I am about to make the kind of confession that anti-homeschoolers just love. After breakfast yesterday, my kids promptly ran into the backyard and played there all day, save for a short break for some noontime nourishment. And I let them. Who could blame me?

It was a beautiful, nippy, yes, even chilly day. The sky was clear blue and a breeze played through the pecan trees. The three oldest were absolutely industrious in their play…they swept dirt, wove mats out of long grass, cut firewood with a small hatchet (does that freak anyone out?), made three rock campfire rings, a potty (yes, an outdoor toilet, although I don’t think it was actually used), a stick chair, and a bed made from two pecan limbs, yarn, and a towel. We have been studying about primitive people from The Story of the World. I think I will count it towards a history lesson.

When DH came home from work, he happily lit one of the fires and we roasted marshmallows. I can guarantee that the kids will remember the day much more than what I had planned. Besides, today it was already back up to 80, so we have to enjoy fall when we can.

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Filed under Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Encouragement

Encouragement…..Yes! I hate to admit it, but I think I may be a tad bit externally motivated. I like to think that I am intrisically motivated to do things that I like/am good at, but why do I procrastinate so much? Take, for example, this blog. After I wrote the first one, I thought, “This is great! I can’t wait to write the next one.” Just look at the date…Is it October 27th already? Didn’t I just write my first one? I can let time pass quicker than a frog’s tongue (that one was for hubby…he “loves” my odd analogies/malappropisms). Truthfully, though, I think it was the one lonely comment at the end of blog. I should be grateful for one!!! I haven’t even sent my blogspot out to my friends yet. Well, I did send it to one, but she didn’t leave a comment. It was yesterday that I realized I long for comments, or shall I say “encouragement.” Mary, the brilliant homemaker, canner, homeschooler and word-smith at Owlhaven, said to me, “I enjoyed your blog…you better keep writing!” So here I am, writing!! Thanks Mary, for the encouragement. I have decided that something is better than nothing. Everything I write doesn’t have to sit in my incubator for days…waiting for the perfect expression or phrase, or the coveted comment. I haven’t flexed my writing muscles for a long time…I fear they are a bit flaccid, but if you see that it is suddenly December, and still no post, please don’t be afraid to “encourage” me!

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Filed under Uncategorized, Words and Writing

My Life and Times

What are the life and times of the BorderMama? Not so exciting, by reality t.v. standards, although I am a world traveller (we park our car and walk across the border to eat Mexican food). I do not have the body of Jessica Simpson, nor the wealth of Paris Hilton but I would suspect that if they could experience just one minute of my life, they would never see theirs the same way again. Sure, they might get a better night’s sleep than I do, and I bet they don’t pick up the tiny scraps of toilet paper that litter the bathroom floor fifty times a day (does that happen to anyone else?) But do they really experience the priceless joys of life? Unconditional love? The joy of discovery? The pain and satisfaction of growth? I imagine the farmer knows far more about my life than the average woman sacrificing a family for a lucrative career or fame. That explains why the farmer will fight for years for his farm, amidst drought, floods, and other disasters, and also why he can close his eyes at night and sleep without painkillers and tranquilizers. My life is terribly difficult at times and the monotony of facing a sink of dishes 3 times a day can nearly drive me crazy, but when I think of the children I am helping to grow and the husband I am growing old with, I can’t help but feel like a queen, even if it is the oops-I-forgot-to-put-on-my-makeup-again kind of queen. But I have a feeling that that is just the sort of queen I’d like to meet.

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Filed under Thoughts, Uncategorized