Monday, April 25, 2011

Two Day Pass

actually..this week we were granted a three day pass and it's just so amazing what an extra day can do to lift spirits and give plenty of reasons to smile long and wide.
yes, even a day in which the clouds hang low and the chill creeps in.
in fact, those are just the right days for last minute playdates with longtime friends.
for fort building and wii playing the afternoon away only taking breaks for butter burgers and malts from the best joint in town.
there's no better day than a free rainy one to tackle household projects and chores.
my man installed our new dishwasher (!) and i finally finished the 2008 photo album of our week on the lake...our last vacation with nanny.
miss bit caught me crying and together we shared a few tears.
later my brother and sil came for a visit and we all reminisced and remembered and relived.

saturday was a little brighter and drier, yet still brisk.
we mixed up some waffles, whipped some cream, sliced some strawberries and fried some bacon for brunch.
then hubby and i went for a walk to burn off breakfast while miss bit rode her bike beside us and back and forth around us.
we girls went shopping for the third time in as many days, which the florist was quick to point out as we admired all the spring flowers and decided on cheery yellow tulips this trip.
then we returned home to bake rich and colorful coconut cupcakes and tart yet sweet lemon bars for tomorrow's feast.
the boys attended batting practice and went out for chicago dogs.
it was a go with the flow day.
it was early to bed for the big holiday ahead day.

miss bit was up and eager by 7:30 easter morn.
we held her at bay long enough for her to wake a still sleeping t. bone.
baskets were gleefully found, jellybeans and peeps happily consumed, and catnip left by the easter bunny to distract the cats in the house was very much enjoyed.
miss bit mused upon spying her new earrings...the one she so very much wanted, but was told by our friend the silver lady were no longer available..."how did the easter bunny know? i'm just so lucky!"
t. bone quipped upon reading the warranty labeled on his new bat, "that's who gets the warranty? the easter bunny? oh, i get it! if i get a dent in this bat, the easter bunny will bring me a brand new one next year? cool!"
hubby convinced me to join him for a quick walk before church and yet we were still in our pew with half an hour to spare.
i was delighted to enjoy the choir singers and even a violinist for the mass, and all of the colorful flowers adorning the altar.
after many alleluias and amens we made our way to grandma and grandpas for a delicious easter brunch.
oh, and egg hunts in the woods, scooter scoots, sling shooting and games of frisbee golf as well.
many photos too as you can see.
the littles were more than happy to stay at grandma and grandpa's for a few days with all of their sweet loot and very few rules and restrictions.
truth be told, i am happy to be home in my quiet house eating salad as i write although i'd be more than happy for a slice of my dad's honey glazed ham.
the weekend was yummy.

On My Mind Monday

The instructions are in your hands. And when you follow them, you arrive clear and fresh – free of heartache, failure, fear, anger, and judgment – into a ready-made life of deep peace and genuine satisfaction. Fulfillment derives not from lofty achievements, but from ordinary feats. It arrives not once in a lifetime, but every moment of the livelong day. To find it, look in the laundry, the kitchen, and the yard.

- Karen Maezen Miller

hand wash cold

care instructions for an ordinary life

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Monday morning we woke up to snow, but I had a pan of homemade cinnamon buns ready to warm the littles. Excuse me, homemade cookie dough stuffed cinnamon buns that were nothing short of divine.

Limited computer, t.v. and video game time this Holy Week. T. Bone and Miss Bit have embraced the restrictions. They are playing together and making better choices.

Naan warm out of the oven.

Warm spinach salad with quinoa and white beans, chicken, spinach and mushroom lasagna also from this yummy blog.

Miss Bit rode her bike while I walked this week. It was so very nice to have the company, and it made the miles go faster.


A new dishwasher installed by my man.

I picked out colors for the powder room and mud room with the help of trusted friends. I'm ready to move forward on the projects. I mean I'm ready for the painter to move forward on the projects.

Lazy days.

Last minute playdates.

Spring break even though today it's not too springy.

Easter brunch at my Dad and step-Mom's.

A shorter than short week ahead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holy Cow

In observance of Holy Week, we are applying some of the advice Father B. imparted during Sunday's sermon. Don't tell my kids, but it just may be the new norm around Casa Wags so staggering are the early results. We are enforcing an hour limit each day on any combination of computer, t.v. or video gaming. Yesterday, T. Bone and Miss Bit skipped it all...all favor of a made-up game called ghost, swinging on the swings, scootering, bike riding, playing basketball and you get the idea. This morning they erected forts together in the family room and were conniving all the way to school on how to improve them when they return home this afternoon.

After dinner, we took turns reading Bible stories, and reflecting on the Passion of Jesus. I'm fairly certain that now Miss Bit is well aware of why we celebrate Easter. Come Sunday there will still be baskets stuffed with too many goodies, egg hunts, pastel colored clothing, lilies to bring to Grandma in a pretty pot, Grandpa's ham, coconut cupcakes and lemon bars, but most of all there will be a sense of renewal and hope and grace.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On My Mind Monday


I love the rain. It washes memories off the sidewalk of life.

- Woody Allen

Play It Again Sam


We all know April showers bring us our May flowers. Yet today, I woke up to see a dusting of snow. The cats were glued to the window watching the white flakes fall to the green ground. They are almost as incredulous as I am. I guess snow washes away memories too. These remnants of the weekend will likely be gone when the snow melts too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

two day pass

5:00 friday:

i kicked off the weekend with kenpo.

it felt good to get a sweat on despite the fact that no one else...not miss bit who wanted to use my computer, not t. bone who wanted to use the t.v. and not peanut who preferred i play ping pong with him...was in favor of my late afternoon workout.

after a shower, i took an over the moon miss bit for a solo sleepover at uncle b. bone and aunt a. bone's.

i just happened to stay for drinks and dinner.

bit was sous chef to her uncle's chef, and the two of them rocked to the police as they chopped and stirred and served up some delicious tacos.

my brother is the king of the perfectly charred tortilla, and there was talk of opening a food truck and cornering the street food market.

my girl was eager for me to eat and run so she could have her aunt and uncle all to herself.

8:00 saturday:

i first stirred on the grey morning to a wet nose and a loud purr.

oh and a you could hear a pin drop quiet of a house.

i was eager to get out of my dream in which i was expecting sextuplets, and get into hand wash cold.

hubby made veggie omelets and we lounged about shamelessly reading, writing and catching up on last week's reality t.v.

t. bone and miss bit played the day away with friends.

they weathered the wind and survived the snow.

eventually i dressed and made my way to the market to pick up only the necessities: wine for the gloaming, eggs for easter dying and spare ribs and sweet corn for the grill.

we lit candles in the dining room, put on music and convened for dinner long after dark.

7:30 sunday:

we hit the ground's the absolute antithesis of our saturday.

sunday is no day of rest round here.

it was palm sunday so sro at church, yet we scored seats.

i found myself fighting back tears more than once while listening to the passion.

after a longer than usual mass, we stole away for a shorter than usual breakfast.

on the way home, we discussed lessons learned in sunday school.

t. bone confessed, "nothing."

apparently the 4th graders had their own last supper: donuts and apples washed down with orange soda, but they did pray before indulging.

the first graders talked about the meaning of easter, which miss bit had already forgotten, but she was quite sure it didn't have anything to do with a basket wielding bunny.

hubby and i stole away for a 6 miler in the sunny cold.

then i negated the benefits of the miles logged by sampling the dough and then the gooey cookies i made for the kids and their friends.

t. bone planted his tree...a stick of a sugar maple that i pray grows to one day tower over him.

my brother and sil came for a visit at the end of the day at the end of the weekend.

the boys got their baseball fix and the girls got their chat on.

we tucked the tired littles in bed late after a long weekend.

miss bit requested extra snuggle time trying to keep the blues at bay.

sadly it was time to say goodnight to two days of togetherness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

A stack of new reading material from the library. I started Ingrid Betancourt's novel while Miss Bit attended book club lastnight. I have memoirs by Melanie Gideon and Dominique Browning in waiting as well as Pioneer Woman's cookbook and Jamie's Food Revolution.

I'm still in the midst of Karen Maezen Miller's hand wash cold. It's having quite an impact on me. Especially ideas like this:
I don't mean my life is like a garden, although it is. Seasons advance, each with its own rhythm and purpose. Winter rests, spring awakens, summer rages and autumn warms its lonely bones with windswept memory. So yes, life is like a garden, but that's not what I mean either. I mean life is a garden, and when you do not yet see that your life is a garden you may not see your life clearly at all. You are the garden, you are the gardener, and you reap what you sow. What will you make of the ground that you - only you - can tend? How will you share the place you never leave, the time you always have, and the peace you alone can spread? You make everything true by bringing it to life, so be careful what you bring. Anger kills, bitterness poisons, greed spoils, fear stunts, and inattention withers. Good gardeners cultivate a good earth.

A Sunday drive whilst the littles attended Sunday School. I headed south in search one of my favorite big box stores. I never found it, but I did hap upon a couple adorable, quaint neighborhoods with inviting coffee shops and eateries. It's good to be reminded to be a tourist in my own town.

Bright colored adirondak chairs. If I ever win the lottery, I'd buy one in every cheery color.

I didn't harm the petition wielding woman who rang my doorbell the other night although I'm pretty sure I scared her by adamantly exclaiming NO! over and over before she could even say much more than who she was representing.

Simple, satisfying suppers: whole wheat orzo with spinach and cheese, chicken cordon bleu, my all time favorite, with brown rice pilaf and roasted asparagus.

Dinner out with the littles lastnight because I just didn't feel like cooking - not even leftovers. I cannot remember the last time I had a cheeseburger. I savored every single bite, and was still enjoying it while T. Bone and Miss Bit were onto their ice creams. In fact T. Bone finished before both us girls and promptly said, "I'm done. Can we go now?" Nice.

Spying Little Red sprawled out fast asleep on a log for an afternoon siesta in the sun. For such a little guy...he's got big cajones.

T. Bone and Miss Bit are all signed up for summer camp.

Baseball's back. We're gearing up for the start of the season.

Spring skies...big, billowy clouds against the backdrop of brilliant blue.

Girls of summer...foot loose and fancy free.