Looking up (and dreaming of Springtime)
The boys are off from school today in honor of MLK Jr. so right now I am hearing dangerous sounds of wrestling and rough-housing from the upstairs playroom. Sadly, I have a general rule that the three boys are not allowed to play in there at the same time. It just gets too rough and always ends in crying and more than once a trip to the ER for stitches. Today I am letting it go a bit but will soon have to put the kibosh on their "fun". The kibosh is always followed by my instructions for them to "take it outside". Somehow the wide open outdoors keeps the hand-to-hand combat from happening like it does in a confined space. Will I ever get used to being a mother of boys?
Stacks are piling up around here as my eyes once again get to big for my ability to read all these wonderful books. I blame Amazon for my over-abundant bookshelves. It is just too easy to pop over and order a book or two to be delivered within two days.
This tower of books is still awaiting as I am currently into the third and very long book of this series. (It is so good my mom is now reading the first book and says she loves it. Fun to share books with her across the miles.)
My list just keeps growing as I come across all the good books other bloggers are reading and posting about on their sites or on Goodreads. Are you into Goodreads? It has been a lifesaver for me as a place to keep track of my own reading wish-list as well as a record of the wonderful books I have read.
This week Hands Free Mama and Slow Family Living arrived on the doorstep. These subjects speak so deeply to me as if echoing back what I already know to be right and giving me the strength to stand in my own convictions. I just posted about the natural slowness that accompanies January and these books are leading me toward Lent and unplugging in my own way.
Thanks to the slower pace of January, even my boys are finding more time to read. My 5th grader, ZJ , is reading a series about the Vietnam war for fun and the abridged version of The Last of The Mohicans for a school project. KC, age five, is suddenly learning to read and a whole new world of fun is opening before him. My husband is the bedtime story reader in our house and their current novel is Survivors. RW, our 6th grader, has just finished Enders Game and moved on to the Percy Jackson series.
My husband is working his way through The Untethered Soul and while it is not exactly riveting reading, he and I have had such good discussions based on the message of this book. My mother has just finished it and said it was like being hit over the head with a revelation that has changed the way she interacts with people everyday.
In fact, a new phrase has become part of our family lexicon. "I'm untethering" is code for this situation is really bothering me but I am choosing not to react, just to let it pass through me. We laugh about it but I think even our sons are learning that there is no benefit in indulging in stress, anger or fear. No problem changes by our obsessing and complaining about it. Change only comes when we breathe deeply and move forward with calm, kind solutions to the problem.
And if that doesn't fix the problem we simply have to let it go. We have always wanted to teach our boys how to cope with life rather than manipulating the world around them to protect them from hurt feelings or challenging situations. Untethered Soul has given us a language to use around these abstract ideas. Good stuff.
~OPI My Private Jet nail polish (found on Amazon)
~ek tools journaling pens (found them at Target)
~Pioneer Woman Cooks tv show
I don't watch much TV but lately I've been on a tear through the many episodes of Ree Drummond's show. The best part is that my boys watch with me and comment about recipes they want me to make from the show. I have all three of her cookbooks so I often find the recipes there or I just print them from Food Network. We made her Best Tomato Soup the other day and it was delicious!
In the kitchen
The first thing on my list was to get back into my kitchen. I find such peace and comfort in cooking and baking. One reason is that I can see the full completion of a task. So many tasks around the house are dragged out and I love the process of cooking from start to finish - even doing the dishes. I even created my own hashtag on Instagram called #peacefulkitchen where I tag all my photos of recipes and quiet moments in the heart of our home.
Meals this week
MONDAY Mexican Night: Homemade Chipotle Chicken Bowl
TUESDAY Italian Night: Linguine Alfredo with roasted asparagus and leftover grilled salmon
WEDNESDAYBreakfast for Dinner: French Toast and bacon
THURSDAY Fast and Easy: Tuna Sandwiches and tomato soup
FRIDAY Fun Food: Delivery Pizza
SATURDAY Eat Out: Somewhere fast between Mass and the Free-Throw Contest at school
SUNDAY Soup Night: Basic Chili with Jiffy cornbread muffins
For my mother who is converting to Catholicism this year. That is another whole blog post so I'll save the details for another day. I am just so proud of her for making such a huge change in the later years of her life. God is amazing. My mom and I never, ever, talked about her converting. I never even imagined it. Not once. Just wow.
There is actual (accumulating?) snow in our forecast tomorrow afternoon. Hard to believe considering I have all the windows open and it is 60 degrees and sunny today. Nonetheless, we are getting our hopes up for a snow day on Wednesday. It doesn't take much to shut things down around here. The boys are now playing happily outside in the sunshine. I can eavesdrop on them through the open windows. (It has taken me all day to complete this post!)
Sharing and getting more inspiration here: