Showing posts from March, 2018

Playing with quail eggs

Because one of my greatest abilities is to become consumed by something that doesn't really need to happen, and then focus on that thing to the exclusion of all others, I'll show you what I did today.

These are the quail eggs I cleaned out a couple of months ago. They will hang on a little tree and become the table centerpiece for Easter tomorrow.

But wait, I also played with fresh quail eggs. Q. is laying pretty consistently, and they had accumulated again. I decided to try making deviled eggs with them for dinner tomorrow.

And with a salt shaker to show how very small they are.

And that sums up my day. Laundry? No. Cleaning the kitchen? No. Anything other than taking care of animals and playing with eggs? Nope, this is pretty much the sum total of my day.

Two years later...

Yesterday, I finished a project I had started for Easter two years ago. Last year, the whole project, in progress got packed in a box, so finishing it was not an option. This year, I have done nothing for Lent, we did not do a Seder last night, and today, Good Friday, is looking as though it will be consumed with our rather obsessive need to finish the coop and get the fowl out of the house, will be a non-starter as well. Finishing something to make Easter seem special seemed like a really good idea. Compulsive sewing is always therapeutic after having received really, really bad news from the car repair place. REALLY bad. So I sewed, and here's what I ended up with at 11pm last night.

Now I have something pretty for the Easter table, and I have checked off a major item on a lingering sewing to-do list. I like that.

If you were looking for something a little more Good Friday, related, you know, from when I was capable of doing such things, take a look at Good Friday for Children.

Catching up

This post is probably not what you are anticipating. Usually when I write about catching up, it usually has to do with exciting topics such as laundry or cleaning or organizing. As scintillating as those things might be, I'm afraid that is not what I'm going to discuss this time around. Instead, I'm going to discuss the idea of catching up in regard to children, academics, and adoption.

I've now seen quite a few times genuinely concerned comments from parents about whether or not their child will ever be caught up. Another variation is to ask exactly how long one can expect a child to take to get caught up. While I don't want to discount the parental concern behind these questions, they [the questions, not the people asking] always make me squirm a bit. Consequently, I am always employing my rarely used filter to not write some helpful comment, such as, "Who cares?" (The 'who cares?' question, just to be sure I'm not misunderstood is directed …

Sorry, no post

I have a large cat on my lap, who is making it very difficult to type. Plus, she keeps putting her feet on the keys, and has nearly sent an email and changed the size resolution on my screen. I managed to delete the email, but will have to wait for an older child to make the little tiny letters bigger. But she is warm and fluffy and quite friendly when she wants to be, which evidently, is now. She is also virtually unmovable once she has decided she is comfortable.

Instead, I will share one of TM's photos I found that I don't believe I shared with you. Because that is something I can do with my arms pinned between the keyboard and the cat.

Crowd sourcing

I'm speaking next month to a local MOPs group about meal planning and family dinners. This is something that I could probably do off the cuff at a moment's notice, but it's been so long since I created my original talk that I feel that need to revisit it, and maybe put some updated photos in my power point.

So loyal and diverse blog readers... if getting dinner on the table every night is a challenge for you, what is most challenging about it? The planning? The shopping? The cooking? All of the above? Your answers will help me to focus on what I talk about. Because truly, I could go on and on and on.

Having just made the week's menu and gone to the store today, I am personally aware of how grinding it can be. I sat down with my paper and pen, glanced through my recipe binders, and realized I didn't feel like cooking anything. Actually, that's not quite true. I find the change of seasons difficult, and particularly when warm weather is slow in coming. I want to …

Our weekend in pictures

This weekend was good, but definitely of the sort where the coming of the next week sounds rather restful. The first thing was did was celebrate M's 25th birthday, though it was a couple of weeks late. I'm learning that with adult children, you celebrate when you can.

Yesterday, J. and the older people also started making the shed for the chicken coop. While it wasn't snowing, the air temperature did feel like 25 degrees, or so B. told me. I stayed inside and did laundry and made cherry pies for M.'s birthday dinner.

This morning, we get home from church to discover that the chicks all of a sudden decided that their brooder box was too small. They showed this feeling of impending claustrophobia by deciding to gang up on four of the chicks, and peck them until blood was drawn. Sigh. After quickly consulting the internet and the chicken book, we took the injured birds out of the box and put them in whatever containers we could find.

The bird in the plastic drawer if part…

Friday bullets, March 23, 2018

I still have a few hours before I have completely missed Friday.

My seed ordered arrived today! There is a slight chance I might be a bit over confident as to what we can actually do garden-wise this year. P. also has some big news... she is now officially the newest driver in the house! Does this happen to anyone else? Some weeks, fruit sits around and around and around, barely getting eaten. Other weeks, days before I am due to go to the grocery store, I look and the fruit bowl looks like this.
I wish they had some sort of indicator light so that I could know in advance and buy the appropriate amounts. We are studying China right now, and I was a little stumped as to what to do for our dinner. We have Chinese food fairly frequently, and it's not so out of the ordinary for us. I decided that we would do a more labor intensive meal that I don't usually do. In this case, it was jiaozi, or dumplings. Y. has been looking forward to it for days. J. helped with the wrapping, and report…

Why don't you adopt one of our children?

I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I just cannot help myself, and I read comments. In this case, it was some of the comments attached to the article I posted about asking people to sign the petition to investigate the burdensome regulation being required for international adoption.

[Go to this article if you haven't signed the petition yet: You Can Help Save International Adoptions]

On the whole, there are three varieties... comments saying someone signed the petition, comments from those who are opposed to adoption of any variety, and a large number of people asking some variation of the question used in the title. I realize that in all the writing I've done about adoption, I have never addressed this particular issue. Some of you may very well be wondering why a family would choose international adoption. While I cannot speak for everyone, I can share some of my thoughts.

The first thing to understand is that the US foster care system is not an adoption program, it is a f…

Extreme introverts should never have to move

If you hadn't figured it out yet, I am pretty much a classic introvert. I need time alone. I enjoy peace and quiet. I do better when I can think about things for a while. And while I enjoy most social interactions, I find them exhausting. This is true even for people I know really well and whose company I enjoy. Even then, I find I need to sit quietly for a while and recharge my battery.

Days like today, make me realize how very much of this is true. It was one of those days of moving from one event to another. First, I had the monthly homeschool group I've been attending this year. It's been good. I enjoy it. And while I've met quite a few people whom I feel comfortable talking to (you know, minus the whole introduction, yes, indeed, I do have 12 children-thing), it's still all new enough that it is extra taxing on my people margin. From there we came home, grabbed some lunch, and then I was out the door again, this time with P. who needed a regular physical.


Chickens in junior high... plus a pretty important request

Our chicks and ducklings have been hatched for about two weeks now. They are both much bigger, the ducklings in particular. The funny thing about the ducklings is that while they are bigger, they are still very fluffy, not having grown any adult feathers yet. It is a little silly to see these 6-7 inch tall birds with these little, itty-bitty, teeny-tiny wings. We still cannot tell them apart either, well, except for the duckling that is so much smaller than the others. Her we can tell. Here's my surprising duck fact for those of you, like me, who have had very limited personal interaction with the animals. They have little claws on the end of their webby feet. And these little claws are very, very sharp... far sharper than the chicks very visible claws. They are still as messy as ever, and more than a little noisy. Next weekend we hope to get the coop built, and will be moving these noisy, messy, adorable not-so-little things out of the house into their real home as soon as is saf…

"I don't think God would ask me to do something so hard"

First, before I go on I must take a page out of my adult children's book and say, everything is fine here. (My children will immediately say all is OK if they are calling at an odd hour or use the phrase, "Can we talk sometime?" I appreciate this, as my ability to panic is hair trigger, and this little phrase allows me to breath again.) This post is not about our immediate circumstances. Close friends and family can now take a deep calming breath.

I have heard quite a few variations over the years of the sentence I used for the title. Other variations include, "We prayed really hard for our child, and that's why he doesn't have any problems." Or there is, "We were called to adopt, so of course God has blessed our journey." Each of these beliefs has some real theological problems to it.

Let's start with the last two, because as well as being wrong, they can also be extremely hurtful. If you flip them around, you can understand why. If someo…


For those of you not parenting children affected by trauma, you might not know that term in the title. It refers to the fact that our bodies store traumatic experiences, and that on the anniversaries of those traumatic experiences can react as if they were happening again. It's weird, but true. I've watched multiple children struggle, and I couldn't figure out the reason until something later reminded me that a traumatic event in their past happened on that date. Adoption anniversaries are huge for this kind of stuff around here.

I knew intellectually what was going on, but will admit there was a small part of me that struggled to feel compassion, because, good grief, that was a while ago. Can't we just move on? (Remember, I tell you all the time that I'm not perfect, that this interior lack of sympathy is just a piece of that.) Well, this past week I had a personal experience that kind of changes all that.

I have been in a rotten mood all week. For the life of me,…

Friday bullets, March 15, 18

I'll jump right in, thus avoiding working on the article I need to get written.

It seems as though spring might actually be on its way.

Yes, it turns out we have a giant pussy willow growing next to our little stream. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Because it is very nearly spring, I decided to start The Secret Garden as our tea time book. I don't know how many times I've read this out loud, and was surprised when the youngest of my crew didn't know it. But no matter how many times I've read it out loud, I am always caught off guard by the need to do some editing on the fly as I read in the first few chapters, due to some no longer even vaguely appropriate racial terms. Sigh.I can now cross "dried baby chick with a blow dryer" off my list of things I've never done. When we got up yesterday morning, we discovered one of the chicks had a shaving totally glued onto her skin by poop. It took quite a soaking in warm water to loosen it. Thus the n…