Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Odd Ramblings of Disconcertion

It's been a weird week so far. Not like bizarre or insane, just not like what was expected. To start the week off, the employees from a local factory that provides work for 300+ people went on strike. Everyone knew this was coming, and I fully support the employee's on this one. For a very profitable company to decrease wages, cut future pensions, and lessen health care coverage for it's loyal workers is just wrong. The only reason the company gives for doing so is that other factories in the Rochester area don't get paid as well as their workers do. It's all about increasing their profit margin at the expense of the workers. (Trust me, if these people were getting paid so much, why don't I see any of them living in lake-front homes or driving Hummers?) Two families who bring their kids to the daycare where I work, work at this factory. Put three check marks in the back of your mind. A couple weeks ago, another mother who brings her son to daycare was "laid-off" because she wanted her boss to give her a reference, as she was going to apply for a town job. Put another check mark down. And today, I come to find out that another parent was fired from their job and this was their daughter's last day at daycare. So we are possibly losing five kids, depending on how long the strike goes on for. These are five little people, who represent a big chunk of how my days happen. It's just an odd thing, to watch so many parent's lose their source of income so close together. I am grateful for how the Lord provides for us all, even when times are tough. I am thankful my man has a job, even though he has had to work late almost every night for the past two weeks. I am thankful for the time that God allows me to have with little people during the week. Sometimes they are tiring, loud, naughty, stubborn, disgusting, grumpy, etc., etc. But I have to remember that God has given me a tiny portion of their lives, to be able to love them the way that He would. To hug them, wipe their noses (and their bottoms), to rock them, to discipline them and to teach them numbers and letter sounds... I have to remember to influence them with a godly love, so they will remember.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baking Adventures at Grandma's House

Yesterday we went to Grandma Jo's house. Adam likes to take Molly for walks with his own Dad and their dog Maddie, so we had gone to visit them. Earlier that morning, Grandma Jo and Grandpa Bob had purchased some rhubarb at the public market. Unfortunately for Grandpa, Grandma Jo is not a baker. But his daughter-in-law has a few tricks up her sleeves. (Who just so happens to be me.) The plan was that while the guys were walking the dogs, I would whip up a rhubarb pie. Not too difficult. But as I mentioned before, Grandma Jo is not a baker. We headed off to the store for some much needed supplies; flour, sugar and Crisco, along with a few items for lunch. Now I knew that I would need a pie plate, so I brought that. But I had forgotten a couple other kitchen gadgets that make my baking adventures a bit easier. Before I go on, in her defense, let me mention that Grandma Jo's house was not the first place where a pastry blender has come up missing. I had to smile as I thought of ladies in the old days who were also found wanting a pastry blender. I cut in that Crisco the best I could using two butter knives, and I think I did a pretty good job. But anyone would've laughed to see me rolling out that pie crust with a cold can of Genny Light! I guess I know what I'm getting Grandma Jo for her birthday, even if she only uses it to roll out play-dough with her favorite grandson... In all honestly, Genny Light rolls a pie crust almost as well as a real rolling pin, just a tad slower. And the lack of baking tools set me off in an adventurous spirit. I loved having to use a bit of innovation. I was even inspired enough to make another rhubarb pie after we had gone home for the evening. Though the second time around I used a real rolling pin.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Weekend Visit

This past weekend my good friend Stephanie and her hubby, Stephan, came to visit. They brought their little boy, who is turning one tomorrow. Steph hails from Binghamton, and though it's only two hours away, we see each other rarely. (We have decided that will have to change.) It was the perfect weekend to visit, if you like to be busy. The town where I grew up was having their annual festival and parade AND the Lilac Festival was taking place in Rochester. We took Steph and Stephan to see the parade shortly after they arrived. I think Josh liked it more than baby Tyler did. Josh thought the fire trucks, motorcycles, and police cars were so great. Adam made sure that he got at least one or two pieces of candy from those who still threw them. (Everyone is currently on an "anti-obesity" rampage, so the candy throwers were far and few between. I don't think a couple of pieces of candy at a parade are going to make someone fat.) In the evening we went to a friends' home to watch the fireworks display. They also had a little girl, so it was fun to watch the three little ones interact with each other. Rosalie spent the first portion of our visit trying to kiss Tyler. So funny! On Sunday Stephanie and Stephan left their boy with us for the day while they went to a friends' wedding. We took Tyler to church with us and then to the Lilac Festival. It was funny the reaction we received at our church. There were two different people who approached us saying that they didn't know we had two kids. I told them we were just borrowing one for the day, to practice. Having two kids was easier than I thought it was going to be, probably due to Tyler's good behavior. Stephanie had made it out to be like he was going to be fussy and horrible. I wasn't too worried, but I mentally prepared myself. In all actuality, he hardly fussed at all and was the best baby at the Lilac Festival. I enjoyed having two kids for the day and I think my in-laws enjoyed it too, as we went to the festival with them. After spending time with thee baby, my mother-in-law made comments about wanting another grandbaby of her own... I told her we might have to go to China to find one. When we arrived back at home, our company had returned from the wedding and we spent another nice evening together. Sometimes I wish Stephanie and Stephan didn't live so far away... I really enjoyed our visit together and am looking forward to another one before too long!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time for This or Time for That

Lately I have been overworked and overwhelmed. You have probably heard me complaining about it. I have finally begun the responsible thing of decluttering my schedule, so I can have more time with my family, at home, where I belong more often than not. Last week, I told our worship leader that I needed to take summers off from participating in the worship team. Singing with the team is something that I LOVE, but if something needs to go, this falls farther down on my priority list than the other ministries I am involved with. This was step number one. I am not sure what step number two is, but I did find in humorous that, the very next day, my CK boss asked me about coming back to work regularly again, though just one day a week. She complained of being very busy and needed some time, etc, etc. Basically the same thing I had been feeling. I am not ready to commit to a regular CK schedule yet. I much prefer filling in hours at random times, when I feel I am able. I think this may have been a test. Then, this week I find myself humored again. Monday nights I regularly go with my parents and a few siblings to a nursing home to sing to them and have a Bible study with them. This is something I will not clear out of my schedule. I love visiting with the people there and the ministry was passed down to us from my Grandpa when he got sick last September. However, this week's service was canceled because there was a GI bug going around the nursing home and the residents were confined to their rooms. So I was able to spend the evening at home. (Hooray for me! Sad for my friends at the nursing home.) Today there was a daycare class schedules for this evening. These are things I must attend on a monthly basis due to state regulations. But this evening's class was canceled due to the teacher having a family emergency! (Bad for teacher, good for me!) So two nights off in a row! AND I forgot to mention, that Sunday evening's church service was canceled for Mother's Day! Three cancellations in a row! Weird, eh?? I wonder what the rest of the week will bring... Oh and tonight was open-swim night at the pool where my friend teaches swim lessons. And since Adam was working late, and we were two minutes from the pool, and evening plans were canceled, I was able to take Josh swimming. Even though he had to go in his underwear, he still had great fun and wants to go again. Good times.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Green (or Rather Purple) Smoothie

Since it's all the rage these days, I decided to try a "green" smoothie. My blog friend Jessica is really into them and has been blogging about them as of late. I tried making one last year when she had been blogging about them, but it was gross. I had used some kind of chard and it tasted like dirt. I am all about making smoothies, but I don't usually go for putting greens in my smoothies. I'll put frozen fruit, yogurt, milk and maybe a banana, but as far as something green? Well, that is a little far fetched for me. I like greens, don't get me wrong, but I was hesitant to try another "green" smoothie after the last one went so wrong. But I had a can of coconut milk sitting in my cupboard and it was begging to be used... So it, along with a few leaves of Kale (stems removed) went into my smoothie maker with some left over avocado slices, a banana, and some frozen fruit. It was a marked improvement over the last one I had made. Still not delicious, but much better. Maybe it's a taste that grows on you? Anyway, I have a whole bunch of Kale that need to be used, so I guess I'll have to try making some more. Any suggestions?

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday morning was a stark reminder of what being a Mom was all about. At 5am, when the house was still dark and relatively quiet, I was awaken by a small voice coming from the other room. "Mommy, I have to go potty." Forgive me as I have not kept everyone up to date with the potty news in our household, but Josh has been officially potty-trained for almost a month now, night and day. He had been staying dry very regularly at nights for months, so we made the switch to underwear just before we ran out of pull-ups. So back to my story... 5am potty calls. Groggy-eyed I drag myself out of bed and into Josh's room. It was dark and I sleepily checked his legs for dampness. Yes, I was too late. He had gone in his pants. I lift him out of bed and let him walk to the bathroom so he can finish his business and we can get him into clean, dry jammies. As I pull his wet pants off, I am dismayed to find he was not only wet, but there was diarrhea everywhere. The bug that had been going around daycare the week before had finally caught up to us. And since I had let Josh walk to the bathroom, there was not only diarrhea all over Josh and in his bed, but now tracked through the bedroom carpet and in the hallway. *Note to self: Next time Josh needs me in the night, turn on the bedroom light.* This is the part where being a Mom is really no fun. The poop part. So after he gets a quick bath and some clean clothes, I send him into our bed because I am just not changing his bed sheets at 5:30 in the morning. Just. Not. Doing it. There were 6+ spots on the carpet that I did get scrubbe, at least until they looked good enough in the wee hours of the morning. The first morning rays were peeking there way into the windows by the time I climbed into bed. By then, Josh was awake enough to keep bouncing around, tossing, turning, talking and telling us about his boogers. Yes, now his nose was running like a faucets. And he was laying on my pillow. "Mommy I have boogers." Sure enough there they were, smeared across his face and onto my pillow. I grab a tissue, wipe the snot off his face, turn the pillow over so we have a clean spot to put our heads, and grumble about how now I have to wash his sheets AND our sheets in the morning. More talking, now he has his cars in the bed, tossing, kicking, turning. Now Molly is whining. And I am thinking to myself how I wished I hadn't volunteered to help at church in the morning. 10am comes waaay too soon when you cannot get anymore sleep, especially since we live almost a half hour away from church. Finally at almost 7, Adam pipes up, "Josh do you want to watch cartoons?" On one hand, I felt guilty for letting Whinnie the Pooh and Strawberry Shortcake babysit my son so I can get some sleep and on the other hand I wished he had thought of it sooner. All I could think of was, "Happy Mother's Day to me."

PS (We made it to church by 10am.)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Blessing of Rain

The great outdoors was beckoning me this evening. There were dark clouds looming over the western horizon. My lettuce plants and asparagus were waiting patiently to be put in the ground. It was the perfect time. The cool of the evening was refreshing as I took out my shovel and began to dig. I needed a trench about twelve feet long for my asparagus. The clouds began to roll in as I placed the tender roots in the earth. The cool wind picked up as I decided where to mound the dirt into rows for my arugula, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts. I mixed in composted manure into the ground for each individual plant. I reminded myself of an old man I had often heard about as I growing up. He was a farmer, a gardener through and through. He worked in his garden no matter what the weather: sun, rain, sleet or snow. My Great-Grandfather. His love for plants and dirt has managed to be passed down through the generations and I just can't keep my hands out of the dirt either. As I finished my last row of plants, the rain drops began to fall. The darkness of the evening had also crept in, nearly catching me unaware. I scurried to get my tools put away before the clouds unleashed their fury into the night. I had accomplished what I had set out to do. And now the gentle rain would water the earth and it's tender plants throughout the night. Praise the Lord for his blessings.

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Back to the Grind Stone

For the first time in over a week and a half, I get to see these cute little faces tomorrow. They will most likely be happy to see me. At least she usually is. She tends to call me "momma" during the day. I know she doesn't mean it, but I also find it endearing. I'm going back to work tomorrow morning. My first day back at the daycare, since I had the week off last week. I will be glad to see the "scalawags" and hopefully they will be glad to see me. Josh has been talking about his friends today. He even prayed for them tonight. This was his first time praying all by himself. First he was gong to pray for the ladybugs and bees, but I suggested that he should pray for people. The first people he chose to pray for were the kids from daycare, so I guess he must miss them. I suppose I'll be more ready to be back at work after I have actually been there for a bit. Today I don't feel like going to work. I like being home.