The Legend of the Meatfloat

When I was in college I worked for a brief time at the ARC of Westmoreland.  One of my duties was to make dinner for the individuals I worked with when I was on shift.

It was here I first made my BBQ Meatloaf.  The ladies loved it and I made it often.  I never had an issue making a meatloaf.

Then we moved into my husband’s grandparents house… the kitchen is cursed.  No one can make a meatloaf in this house.   Many have tried, most have failed.

We refer to the sad excuse of a liquefied meatloaf as a “meatfloat”.

My first attempt to make a meatloaf in the cursed kitchen ended as a meatfloat.

I have successfully made many meatloaves since that first disaster, but the legend lives on.

Tonight I prepped dinner for tomorrow night.  Alayna asked what I was doing. I replied; “I’m mixing up the meatloaf so all i need to do is put it in the oven after work tomorrow.

In unison my husband and my daughter exclaimed;

“MEATFLOAT!”

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Being a Good Friend After Becoming a Mother

Surprise Sunday

 

It’s no secret, I am a mom.  These are my children….

 

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They keep my life interesting. I spent most of my evening returning MY tennis shoes back to where they belong because my son feels the need to bring them from the doorway to the dining room and place them on the dining room table.  My daughter was a little more subdued and spent the night coloring (she loves art).

What I am realizing is that I am a horrible friend. I feel guilty having to share my attention between my friends and my children and so often I shy away from gatherings where that is needed.  That normally means if I have my children (ie. they are not home with their father or off with their grandparents) I tend to neglect my friends.

Sometimes I have gatherings at my house and my friends come, and I don’t feel as guilty because this is where my kids live and they should here.  But that isn’t fair to my friends either.

I know I need that adult interaction, but, as my husband tells me, I’m not good about asking for help.  I get it stuck in my head that is is my responsibility,  and I suck it up and I try to take care of it.  I feel guilty even asking my in laws (my kid’s grandparents) to babysit because they’re my kids, they’ve all ready raised their kids and shouldn’t have to take care of mine.

They offer a lot, and I normally take them up on the offer.  I don’t have a problem accepting help, It’s just hard for me to ask for it.  I always feel like i’m shirking my responsibilities when I do.

Isn’t it lazy to ask someone else to do something that I can do?

But how much longer can I do it myself? How much longer can I take on the world before I crash and burn?

How do I balance work, being a wife,being a mother, taking care of the house, having time for myself and still being the friend i should be for my friends?

I have some wonderful friends who are very understanding.  They were supportive of me when i was a single mother, they celebrated with me when I got married and added another child to my family, and it feels like sometimes the best I can do is give them a facebook shout out.

That’s not a good friend.  I miss making connections with people.  Being online keeps people in contact but not connected.

I know I have lost friends after becoming a mother.

Some could not handle that my life was different.  That I wasn’t free to go out at nine when they called at eight.

Some, we just drifted apart. They began a family of their own, or moved away, or they put the same energy into advancing their careers as I have put into caring for my family.  That is the nature of life.  Not all friendships last forever.

But the friends I still have are special, and I feel like I am neglecting them.  I hate that feeling.  But I don’t want to neglect my family either and I know I can’t do it all.  So what gives?

 

Hey moms!  

How do  you balance all of this?  

How do you make time to still be a good friend while still being a good mother?

Am I the only one who struggles with this?  

Leave me a comment and give me some advice!

 

Kindergarten is Coming

Family Friday

 

 

She wore only a diaper and laid comfortable against my chest, slightly tucked inside my nightgown as I sat on the hospital bed still hooked up to machines.

I had had an severe allergic reaction to the bandaging used after my c-section, but that didn’t matter.  This little girl against my chest, all 7 lbs 11 ounces of her, was now my life.

I was now a mother and this was the greatest title I could ever take on in my life.  I was now responsible for a life beyond my own.

That was almost five years ago.

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Now we are not only approaching her fifth birthday, but she will be starting kindergarten at the end of August.

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I am amazed at the young lady she has become. She talks.  Oh, she can talk.  But she has a vocabulary you would never imagine from a child so young.  She uses words like “trepidation” properly.  She has also mastered the art of sarcasm… this could cause a problem.

She loves dancing, tumbling and soccer. She wants to get more into swimming and gymnastics. She loves music (we’re still not sure if she sings like me or like my grandma – if you know us you know the spectrum that is).  She wants to learn to play guitar. She loves art and has said that she would like to be an artist when she grows up and be a children’s book illustrator.  Maybe one day I will write a book and she will draw the pictures.

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She is incredibly compassionate.  This past week I donated blood to the Red Cross.  I’m not sure she completely understood what I was doing.  After they hooked me up she came and handed me her beloved teddy bear and told me she hoped I would feel better soon.

She has an infectious personality. It is hard not to smile when she is around.

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I am incredibly proud of the young lady my baby girl is becoming.  But as she nears her fifth birthday and the start of kindergarten, I struggle with being ready to let go of my baby and embrace my young lady.

I still see the tiny baby. I still see the little girl who would stand up from the middle of the floor and the when she lost her balance wouldn’t fall on her bottom but instead slid slowly to the ground using her face (she spent a good two months with rug burns on her face while learning to walk).  I still see the tiny girl who would stand in front of the alter while I helped prepare music for church.

And now standing before me is not a baby or toddler, but a girl. A girl who will grow faster than I am ready to accept. A girl with her own passions and interests.  I know I will always see that baby even when I watch her graduate from high school I will still hear in my mind her saying “uh oh, it dips-appeared” when something was no longer where she left it.

Where I once held a baby… I now have a beautiful, passionate, compassionate, wonderful young lady.

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Learning to be Married

Family Friday

 

Often I feel much more qualified to talk about parenting than marriage here.  This November my husband and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary.   I’ve been a parent since August 13th, 2009, I’ve only been a wife since November 10th, 2012.

But with everything, the longer you live it, the more your learn, the more confident you are.

I’m still figuring all this out.  I’m still trying to learn to balance work, and kids, time with my husband, housework, time to myself and time with my friends (the last two get sacrificed because I haven’t figured out the first four effectively).

 

 

This summer that I have had off work has been a great help in figuring out how to organize my cleaning so that it begins to look like I am actually cleaning the house.

I’m also learning that being a wife is more than being a house keeper, kid wrangler, and cook.

 

“Happily ever after is not a fairy (1)

 

Being a wife is about the choices I make, the mood I set for the household.  Not every day will be a good day.  Some days will be tense.  That is the nature of all relationships.  But when I make the choice to push through the tough times and set a good tone with my mood for the household, my children and husband will be calmer and happier.

 

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It

 

 

Our wedding day was a busy day.  By 7 pm I was a soup for brains worthless heap of human flesh. If you were to ask me a question (my husband did) it was met with a blank, I’m no longer home, look.

The wedding wasn’t the end of the work.  It was the start.  It’s not a natural thing to consider others all the time, but that is what marriage is.  There may be things I want to do or buy but I have to stop and consider what everyone else in the household needs.  What is going on with other’s schedules, and decide accordingly.  It is no longer about me, it is about us, and our “us” started out as a family of three with number four planning his appearance quickly there after.

I am thankful that God brought my husband into my life.  When it happened is seemed like the worst timing, but the long distance relationship at the beginning taught us something that many couples struggle with for years, being able to communicate effectively. Communication was all we really had.

Marriage isn’t easy, but if you’re willing to put in the work, adjust your attitude from “me” to “we”, you can have the fairy tail, and you won’t even need to wear a corset – well unless you’re into that sort of thing.

 

 

love

 

 

Comment and share with me what you have learned in marriage!

Community Fun = Sleepy Kids (Wordless Wednesday)

Community Farm Market

 

 

The Kids Are Asleep cp

Lessons to be Learned @ Family Movie Night

Family Friday

 

Anyone with children will know that children get attached to their movie characters.  They will watch a movie until you desperately wish to not be able to hear.

But here is what I love about kid’s movies… they come ready made with life lessons and mom’s and dad’s just need to take the opportunity to talk them out with their little ones.

Below are six of my daughter’s favorite movies and the life lessons one can learn (some have many more than one, and will be expanded on in time; I’m just choosing what I feel is the main idea).

 

Turbo

 

Summary: Turbo is about a snail, who dreams of racing in the Indy 500.  Like all snails, he’s a bit slow in speed, that is until a freak accident infuses him with gasoline causing him to become fast. Not faster than a snail, but faster than most automobiles.

Lesson: Turbo has big dreams (just like human counterpart Tito- who wants to take his brother’s taco business to the next level), that seems out of reach.  Everyone tells him that he can’t.  He’s a snail, he’s limited to what a snail can do.  But Turbo does not give up and he races and wins the Indy 500.

Even when things seem impossible, do not give up. Always go for your dreams.

 

 

The Croods

 

Summary: This is easily one of the cutest movies ever made. Eep, her mom and dad, and brother and sister are… well… cave people.  The cave is their home, the cave is their protector…and with a healthy dose of fear heaped on them by their father, they plan on keeping it that way.  Eep wants more than the walls of the cave.  She wants to know what is really so dangerous about the great big world outside.

 

Eep meets Guy and his pet sloth, Belt.  She is informed that the world is changing and those who don’t seek hire ground are going to meet their end.  Eep convinces her family to make the move, and the journey begins.

Lesson: Simply put, change and going into the unknown is scary.  It is okay to be afraid.  That feeling helps us to be cautious, it helps us to remain safe.  But we also can not allow fear to hold us back because what lies before us could be so much better than what we’re leaving behind.

 

 

Monsters University

 

Summary: Mike Wazowski has his eye set on a job as a scarer at Monsters Inc.  The only way to get there is through a degree in the scaring program at Monsters University.  College wasn’t what Mike had expected.  No believes he is cut out to be a scarer because of how he looks.

James “Sulley” Sullivan is the son of a legend and expects to ride those coat tails to graduation.  To his surprise things don’t work that way.

Now both Mike and Sulley find themselves facing expulsion from school and these unlikely friends team up to fight and keep themselves in school.

Spoiler: They still get expelled

Lesson: In most movies, the heroes come through in the end and win the day.  This didn’t happen for Mike and Sulley but we learn in the credits that they instead went and got jobs in the mail room of Monsters Inc.  They showed what they’re worth and worked their way up to the scare floor… and thanks to Monsters Inc.  We know that they became the stuff of legends.

What a better lesson to teach a child than that plan A is not always going to work out and that it is good to have a plan B, plan C…plan Z so that even when one door closes they can still find a way to achieve their dream.

The Lorax

 

Summary: Ted lives in an artificial world, Thneadville, where they even have someone who delivers bottled air like the Culligan man delivers giant bottles of water. Ted has a crush, Aubrey, and Aubrey’s one dream is to see a real Truffula Tree.

The problem is, there are no more trees. Grammy tells Ted about a man named, The Onecler, who lives outside of town. Ted goes to see this man and he tells his story.

He set off to make his fortune with his family telling him how he’ll fail as he leaves.  He comes to a forest of truffula trees and cuts one down to use the tops to knit a thnead (it’s a fine thing that all people need).  From the tree stump pops The Lorax, who has one job, to speak for the trees.

Through the story and his own fight with Mr. O’Hair, Ted learns the value of taking care of the natural world.

Lesson:  I’m sure everyone is expecting the lesson to be that nature is important and we should take care of it, and yes that is one point that the movie makes but the bigger lesson is that we need to stand up for those who can’t.  We can not sit idly by and watch as the wrong things happens again and again.

It’s great to be able to stand up for yourself, it’s even better if you can stand up for one who can’t stand up for themselves.

 

Rio

 

 

Summary: Taken from his tropic home as a baby bird and dropped off the back of a truck in minnesota, Blue Macaw, Blu, lives a cushy life with his bookstore owning human.  That is until a strange man from Rio comes in and announces that he may be the last male of his species and they need to come to Rio right away.

A theft at the bird sanctuary puts Blu, and Jewel (the female Blue Macaw from the sanctuary) on the adventure of a lifetime… oh yeah and Blu doesn’t fly.

 

Lesson: In one of the end scenes Jewel’s wing has been injured, she can’t physically fly, while Blu’s flightless life is all in his head.  Jewel falls from the plane and without hesitation Blu jumps after her. He catches her and finds his flight.

 

 

Frozen

 

 Summary: As children Elsa hurt Anna.  It was an accident.  Elsa has powers she doesn’t understand and has no idea how to control.  Fear kept her isolated.  Elsa wanted to keep Anna safe, and Anna wanted her sister Elsa.

A fight sets off a snow storm thanks to Elsa’s uncontrolled abilities and she retreats to the mountains.  Anna can’t let her sister go and goes after her.

Lesson:  Elsa lives in so much fear that she doesn’t understand that allowing love in is what will help her control her abilities.  Rely on your family, one does not need to deal with their struggles and fears alone.

As I have said some of these movies I could do whole posts on what these movies teach (and I might just do that with each of my daughter’s favorite movies) but that is for another time.

What kid’s movie do you think teaches the best life lesson? 

Please share the movie title and this life lesson in the comments below

Building a Bug House

Wordless Wednesday

 

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Summer Sort-of Plans

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It has often been said,

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

 

That being said, this list is not a list of must – do’s, but rather a list of something – to – do’s. The idea is that this is a list of activities we would like to do this summer. If it doesn’t happen, that’s okay.  We’re not on a timeline or a deadline, we’re having summer break.

These are thought and planned out for the day when we just need an idea for something different to do.  Some will require more time and money than others, some will require going out in our backyard.  But they are planned, so that they’re ready to use.

  1. Go to July’s 2nd Saturday Community Market
  2. Go to July’s Kid’s Workshop @ Home Depot
  3. Picture Scavenger Hunt in the Woods
  4. Find a New Playground
  5. Go to the Beach
  6. Picture Scavenger Hunt Downtown
  7. Go to the Pool
  8. Play with Sprinkler in the Backyard
  9. Make Home Made Paints and Create Masterpiece
  10. Go Fishing
  11. Go to August’s 2nd Saturday Community Market
  12. Go to August’s Kid’s Workshop @ Home Depot
  13. Go to the Zoo
  14. Go to the Natural History Museum
  15. Help on a Farm (or a few)

Summer is a time for relaxation and exploration.  Summer is a time to find new things and have fun.  This list is just an a list of ideas to keep the fun happening.  If we’re enjoying ourselves without it, then we don’t have to do a single thing on it.  But it’s a plan if we need one.

 

 

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Do you have plan for summer with your kids or do you just go with whatever comes along?

Worm Hunting

Worm Hunting

 

Today was a busy day.  I spent this morning making strawberry sauce to freeze, then the kid’s and I went outside.  My daughter loves to help me in the garden, and with the crazy beginning to summer we have had, i just put my garden in today (the last of the plants at least I started it weeks ago).

As we worked the soil I was happily pointing out to my daughter that we had good soil, lots of worms.

This excited her to the point where she decided that she needed to go on a worm hunt and collect worms.  I gave her a starter pot that I’d all ready planted the plant from, put some dirt in it and let her collect the worms.

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This whole adventure was enjoyably out of character for my daughter.  It was only a couple of weeks ago where we dealt with a complete meltdown over what turned out to be red fuzz, that she had decided was a killer mosquito.

She claimed the worms tickled her bare hands and insisted on digging through the mud with her garden gloves on (no harm in that).

She was her normal goofy self.

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And it brings me great joy to see her loving nature.  In a world where everything has to do something, everything has to have a purpose, I love that my daughter enjoys exploring and discovery.

Smell like dirt

 

Oh yeah and we mixed some mud and compost into a plastic bucket that all ready had holes in it, added some water and her worm collection which she dubbed her “Worm Fiesta“, and have started her own worm farm.  This should be interesting.

 

Do your kids help in the garden?

 Do they like to explore outside?

 

The Empty Tomb

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chiefpriests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to theGentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

~Mark 10:33-34~

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. His entry signified him as a man of importance, a king.  But using a donkey instead of a horse meant that he came in peace.  He was not there to overthrow the government.  He was not there to fight at all.

 

 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~Mark 10:45~

Jesus came to serve.  He further showed this at the Passover meal when he washed the feet of his disciples.  Feet were dirty, nasty things in those days because of the literal crap on the street.  Washing feet was necessary, but normally reserved for the servants. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in an act of servitude and love.

He was then betrayed by one who had acted as his friend. Though this betrayal did not come as a surprise to him.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

~Matthew 26:20-21~

Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He prayed so hard that he sweat blood.  (This is a real condition and you can read about Hematohidrosis here.) He prayed asking God if there was any other way that God’s plan could be completed without him having to die.

And the he was arrested.

He was taken before Pontius Pilate who found no reason to have him executed.

He ordered a flogging, hoping that the severe beating would stop the uprising he feared.

Flogging was pretty nasty to begin with.  They used a whip with spikes of bone or metal and struck the person over and over again, ripping the flesh from the body with each strike.

He was mocked, he was tortured with a crown of thorns.

Pilate still had no reason to execute him, but the crowd (most likely temple workers, not those who cheered for his arrival) wanted him dead.

Pilate washed his hands of the situation and handed Jesus over the Jewish officials to do with what they wished.

They forced him to carry is own cross and then they nailed him to the cross.

He died there.

But he was pierced for our

He was wrapped and placed in the tomb.

On the third day when the women went to redress his burial linens and add spices they were surprised.

The tomb was empty.

Jesus appeared to his disciples and to those in the crowd. He was not dead he was alive.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, At Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The events of Easter give us hope.

Why?

Becuase….

God has power over death.  Death is not the end.  It shows us that there is so much more to life than how it will end here on Earth.

Easter is an amazing time, and it means so much more than chicken egg laying rabbits. It is hope, and love that his death demonstrates to us.

It is the hope of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

It is the love he showed us as he died on the cross.

It is the victory he showed over death.

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