Bragging And Sharing

March 31, 2010 by Rieshy

My son and his friend entered the following video in the Full Moon Film Festival .  They won 3rd place overall and best mockumentary.  Happy son.  Happy momma.

Hamilton vs. Burr from Luke Tipton on Vimeo.

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March 30th Daybook

March 30, 2010 by Rieshy

FOR TODAY -as part of The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... The Bradford pear trees will be in full bloom by the end of the day.  

I am thinking... of all the things I need to get done that I've been putting off.

I am thankful for... a stocked pantry, and a healthy family that can eat all of said pantry.

From the learning rooms... comes the sound of memorizing the multiplication tables, groaning over term papers, The Hobbit being read aloud, and me clicking around on the computer looking for a better foreign language curriculum.

From the kitchen... I can see the chicken stock that boiled all day yesterday but was forgotten and not refrigerated overnight.  Grrrr.

I am creating...
My afghan is almost finished.  I'm merely weaving in ends and then need to wash and block it.

I am going... to stay home today. It's my favorite place.

I am reading...
I am re-reading For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaeffer McCauley.

I am hoping... to be self-disciplined today.

I am hearing... birdsong and the hum of my computer.

Around the house... is an uncommon mess.  We were too busy yesterday.

One of my favorite things... Yarn.  I'm dreaming of my next project.

Here are my "pictures for thought"...

Momma catching Brothers reading together in the a.m.

Momma caught while catching Brothers...

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Advanced Maternal Age

by Rieshy

crow's feet in the corners of my mind.

In Grandma's, 
Cookie's lap, inhaling her powdery scent, 
I dreamed the honor of her laugh lines, 
and wrinkly happiness.

My baby, 
my toddler,
my little one looking up at my crinkly love. 

I never imagined it would be so sweet 
with crow's feet,
in the corners of my mind.


My family has been given the opportunity to participate in a community garden.  Each Monday I'll be posting updates on our grand veggie-experiment.  Join me at The Flexible Homeschooler with a link to your garden project and we'll have a virtual community garden to enjoy.


I originally wrote this with Chatting At the Sky in mind.  My wrinkles are my gift.
This was also linked to Steady Mom's 30 minute blog challenge, and Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers.  Take some time and check out all their wonderful links.

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An Open Letter To An Unknown Mutation

March 28, 2010 by Rieshy

I had plans Saturday.  Our family was going to the Full Moon Film Festival Award's Night.  Just when I think you are gone for good you have to show up.  

Unknown Mutation, Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorder, relic from the fall of man- I don't like you.  It's your fault that my 4 yo couldn't wake up to get ready to go.  

My husband called, out of town, and running late; he couldn't make it home in time...

I hang up to check 4 yo's blood sugar.  It's your fault it drops so low.  

It had only been 2 hours since his last snack.  He should have been fine.  Again, your fault.

The way my son lay on his side, eyes staring, pupils too large, refusing to drink or eat, your fault.

The screetchy crying that everyone in the family hates, your fault.

I sent the teens out the door without me, without their Dad.  Go win an award son...

Carbohydrates later, 4 yo is fine.  He's happy and energetic. He doesn't remember his own drama, the drama you cause.  I'm drained, angry, sad, worried- but mostly just tired.

I realize that if we had not been trying to leave for the film festival I would not have had to wake my 4 yo.  It could have been too late. So there, FOD, take that!  There are forces working to defeat you.

I have no tidy wrap-up for this story.   I just know I don't like you FOD.

I will do my best to defeat you too.


My 18 yo was obedient.  He and his film partner won 3rd place overall, and 1st place in the "mockumentary" category. Wahoo for them!

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Cow Bell: The Update

March 26, 2010 by Rieshy

This is in honor of The Girl Next Door Grows Up .  She has a fun blog- and her comments always give me ideas.  After my Needs More Cow Bells post The Girl suggested photoshopping the tuba.....

Sooo....  New Question:
What happens if your daughter blows too hard on the tuba?


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First Rule of Mothering: Judge Not

by Rieshy

  1. Judge not, lest it comes back to bite you in the rear.
My Feel Good Friday memory* involves a slightly sour me sitting 10 years ago in an enormous (germ-filled) McDonald's playland.  There was a snotty little 5 yo girl that I spotted immediately; from her matching hair bows to her butter-won't-melt-in-my-mouth look, I despised the child on sight.  

Watching the little girl didn't change my opinion.  She was a sophisticated girl-bully.  The kind of child that seems to instinctively know how to terrorize friends into obeying her every command while simultaneously always appearing sweet to unknowing adults. 

I have to admit that it didn't help my view of said child that I was sitting there with an infant and an infant mother's lumpy figure while snotty-girl's mother sat in perfect barbie-doll fashion chatting with an equally stylish friend.  Nor did it help that both mothers were completely ignoring their children. 

Snotty-girl started blocking the entrance to a section of the playground and allowing only her "club" to use it.  Snotty-girl's mother was oblivious.  "Terrible mother," I thought... among other ungenerous things.  My mind went quickly to catalog the parenting faults of Barbie-mother.   I started enjoying myself for my obvious mothering superiority.  My children are not bullies.  Never have been. So there.... Barbie-mom.

Until.  Until Snotty-girl went running to her mother crying, "Mommy, that little girl said she would rip my tongue out and make me eat it!!!"

Half the heads in the restaurant whipped around.  No tongue-ripping child could be seen.  "What little girl," asked the Barbie-mom?  

"The one with blond hair and...", Snotty-girl proceeded to describe my sweet, petite, 32 pound, 4 year old, gentle daughter.  

"What!  Surely snotty-girl lies," I thought/hoped.  Barbie-mom, Snotty-girl and friends left the restaurant after a brief (and loud) discussion of how awful other children were, while I attempted cowardly invisibility.

My sweet, charming daughter reappeared from the depths of the play equipment a few minutes later.  "Uh, so...  Was that little girl with the big hair bows bothering you?"  

"What girl? oh, the mean one- the one that wouldn't let other kids play?  I told her I'd rip her tongue out and make her eat it, then she left everyone alone. It's o.k."  I sat, stunned by the sound of my perfect mother-bubble popping; off skipped sweet daughter.

No my children are not bullies..... they are just really, really, really, scary. 

*Some memories take longer to become funny than others.  This one took several years; but as the verbally creative child in question grew up to be perfectly calm, normal, and loving, the story has entered the family-lexicon of hilarious and unexpected events.  

Cows Don't Eat Daffodils and Other Random Blessings

March 25, 2010 by Rieshy

This was a week of random blessings, requiring not so random thankfulness. James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."

Each week I drive past a hillside farm populated with grazing black cattle. Since last week the pasture has turned Easter-egg-green and drifts of gorgeous daffodils are in full bloom.  Black, green and yellow against a blue sky.  I'm thankful that cows don't eat daffodils.

The end of last week was a bit worrisome.  Our almost 4 yo was showing signs of an impending metabolic crisis.  I still don't know what had his body out-of-order.  Sunday I asked a few friends to pray for him.  Monday morning my son woke up fine.  My first thought was not to thank God, but to think, "Oh, I guess I shouldn't have bothered to ask for prayers."  I'm soooo thankful God is patient and faithful, even when I am not.  

My 8 yo wears through all his clothing.  His skin must secret an acid unknown to modern science.  Holes seem to develop all on their own, or it might be the way he's always flinging his body around... However, I was able to find enough pairs of pants, in a box a friend passed to me from our hand-me-down-circle, to last him until Fall.

I had friends surprise me with a blessing for our whole family.  I am so thankful for lifelong friends.  You know who you are!

I'm also thankful for the Spring rains.  My garden is growing-I just know it- even if it isn't visible yet.

I want to invite any gardeners out there to join me each Monday over at The Flexible Homeschooler for a virtual community-garden.  Link up any posts about your veggie-garden projects, whether you home school or not.

To share more bloggy thankfulness go to Thankful Thursdays.

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Needs More Cow Bell

March 24, 2010 by Rieshy

What do you see when your petite daughter plays a tuba at the State Capital?


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Juice Glasses

March 23, 2010 by Rieshy

For family birthday breakfasts I always make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Sunday was my oldest child's birthday.  Unfortunately, Sunday is not the best day for a birthday in our family because of the morning scramble to get to church services. 
A Sunday birthday means scratch the cinnamon rolls from scratch.  This Sunday, for my son's 18th birthday, I barely had time to make cinnamon toast with store bought bread- not even fancy store bought bread.  Nor did I have time for china and the good silverware.  In truth I don't think all the plates even matched.  But I did pull out the juice glasses from my Grandmother.

Every child that stumbled through the kitchen still bleary eyed with sleep took one look at the glasses on the table and got excited. That's when I discovered that these silly glasses are an important harbinger of celebration for my children. 

After our meager meal, my 18 yo son turned to me, and without a trace of sarcasm said, "Thanks, this was a really nice." I'm sure it wasn't the two pieces of toast he was thanking me for. 

I think he was thanking me for the glasses.  Well, not really the glasses- but what they symbolized... celebration, family memories, tradition, and being honored.

My son's spoken gratitude was the best gift I've unwrapped in quite a while.  It far outstrips the small itunes gift card my husband and I gave him.

I love going to Tuesdays Unwrapped!
Steady Mom also has a great 30 Minute Challenge. This post took every minute of the 30:)

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March 23rd Daybook

by Rieshy

FOR TODAY -my part of The Simple Woman's Daybook:

Outside my window... it's too dark to see, but the birds are partying- Loudly.

I am thinking... about how one of my children went to bed feeling frustrated and ill-used. 

I am thankful for... the fact that every morning provides a second chance.

From the learning rooms... comes the sounds of groaning; even I have Spring fever.

From the kitchen... is a conspicuous silence.  I don't know what I'm going to cook for today.

I am creating... my knitted afghan is almost complete.  To my surprise and delight the random pattern has exactly 3 repeats.  3 is a great number.

I am going... to our state's Home School Rally Day at the state capital so my tuba-playing daughter can perform with her homeschool band.  

I am reading... "Women's Work the First 20,000 Years", by Elizabeth Barber

I am hoping... that my frustrated child will wake up refreshed.

I am hearing... nothing, nada, not a sound, other than the birds.  I love the time change, my toddlers wake with the morning light rather than the clock.

Around the house... are a million misplaced books. So many readers in this house- but I'm not about to complain.

One of my favorite things... gardening.

A few plans for the rest of the week: My 18 yo's film festival showing.  I hope he and his co-creator win in a least one category.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... Naptime is over, "Oh, Where is my little boy?"


I want to invite any gardeners out there to join me each week over at The Flexible Homeschooler for Family Garden 101.  Link up with your veggie garden projects whether you home school or not.  At the very least you can laugh along with/at me over our gardening blunders.

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Busy Busy

March 22, 2010 by Rieshy

I want to invite any gardeners out there to join me on Mondays over at The Flexible Homeschooler for Family Garden 101.  Link up with your veggie garden projects whether you home school or not.  At the very least you can laugh along with/at me at our gardening blunders.


What a weekend.  It was one of those weekends full of house maintenance projects, children's activities and our oldest son's birthday. I think I need a weekend to recover from the weekend.  

In the grand tradition of parenting I'm going to share pictures.  Well sort of.  The video link is a movie trailer my son talked his sisters and a few friends into making about 6 years ago.  All the kids look like babies to me now.  My son especially- he grew about a foot taller since this was made.

The Beast

Five Smiles

March 19, 2010 by Rieshy

This week for Feel Good Friday I decided to list 4 things that made me happy this week and 1 funny memory. O.k., so that's not one of the official The Girl Next Door prompts.  However it fits in with my total inability to follow any recipe- however written.  

First the memory:  Spell-check is my best friend.  Unfortunately, 22 years ago when I was writing our wedding thankyou notes, spell-check was unavailable.  Also unfortunately- the hot gift that year was bowls.  Yes, I thanked dozens of people for their thoughtfulness in giving us such beautiful bowels.

This cracked my husband and me up: 
We smiled coming...

And Going.

I hummed Mammas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys all day.

My 8 and 10 yo's prepped the soil and planted our salad garden.  Spring always makes me smile. The cat thought we were prepping a new litter box, but that's an anti-smile- so no more on that topic. 

Tuesday morning I found a package on my doorstep.  It's not my birthday- but it was a book from my step-mother entitled, Women's Work The First 20,000 Years.  As a weaver and spinner I've wanted this book for years.  I love surprises that don't involve leaking water heaters.
Want to join in for Feel Good Friday?  Choose your prompt and feel good!
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March 18, 2010 by Rieshy

I'm loving the time change.  My toddlers don't know the difference.  It makes training them to stay in their beds/room till 7:00 a.m. so much easier.

It also means that I am Alone from when I get up at 5:00 a.m. until I knock on my toddler's door to get them up at 7:00 a.m.  My 10 yo doesn't count because she just walks into the den wrapped like a mummy in her comforter and doesn't speak for a very long time.  I'm good with that.

Alone.  I love it.  Hear how beautifully the word rolls off the tongue of a woman with 7 children?

Not to mention the paint I bought.  The colors are so beautiful that I just want to eat them.  I've already painted the den a silvery-blue.  Three walls in our den are all windows so I wanted something to cool the room and reflect all the light.  

Best of all I was able to paint the room in one evening because my 3 teenagers were anxious to help me.  They thought it was fun; they like working with me. They approved my color-taste. 

The best of all possible worlds- being Alone in a silvery-blue room with the knowledge that my home is full of people who love me.

This is a Thankful Thursday Post.
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Cuteness, World Domination, and Cussing

March 16, 2010 by Rieshy

This morning my 2 yo attempted to sneak out of his bedroom by rolling himself in his comforter and crawling like an inchworm.  Cuteness was his premeditated defense for breaking curfew.  It almost worked. 

In fact, if I had had my coffee it probably would have worked. He really was adorable with his bottom up in the air and face hidden as he scrunched across the hall. 

Sometimes, when my 2 yo is angelically napping and I can afford to be sentimental, I feel sorry for him. He was born to be an alpha-male yet he has 8 human roadblocks that keep him from his goal of world-wide domination.  8 older humans to catch him in the act of anything he can plot.

Later in the morning I was sitting- chatting with my husband.  2 yo came sobbing into the living room and flung his body across my lap.

"But I want to say poop," he wailed.


"I want to say poop. I want to say it again and again and again." He re-commenced crying.

I quickly gathered that he had been banished from the den by his 10 yo sister because of his bad language.  

Life is hard when you are the littlest.  Life is extra hard when you are the littlest and the world does not recognize your innate authority.  Perhaps I should follow my 3 yo's advice and just go, "Buy two more cute babies."  Then my 2 yo would be able to be in charge of someone.  

They could all say poop together.

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March 16 Daybook

by Rieshy


Outside my window... The Bradford pear trees in my neighbor's backyard look suspiciously fat and are tinged with pink. Just a day or two of sunshine and a little warmth is all they need.

I am thinking... That if my computer doesn't start working properly I'm going to have to put myself in time-out.

I am thankful for... A new friend. I was invited by a young mom from my church to go paint shopping yesterday. I had a great time. I know I was not that smart or relaxed of a mom with my first baby.

From the learning rooms... I'm looking forward to working hard with my 8 and 10 year olds today. I hope they are looking forward too.

From the kitchen... Comes the sound of my refrigerator that is slowly freezing all its contents.

I am wearing... My newly finished wool socks.

I am creating... A prettier h
ouse. I have buckets of paint sitting around waiting for me.

I am going... To go refrigerator shopping.

I am reading...
The Explosive Child

I am hoping... I am hoping to be sweet and loving today even though computer and refrigerator problems have me riled-up. I will be depending on God's grace.

I am hearing... The sound of my 10 year old daughter waiting. She wants to email a friend before school starts- on the kid's computer.... which I am borrowing.

Around the house... The afore-mentioned paint buckets of the most beautiful colors of high end paint you have ever seen. All bought for $5 a gallon.

One of my favorite things... Sleep. I've been getting it lately. Happy sigh.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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My Life As Music

March 15, 2010 by Rieshy

My Dad recently wrote in an email, "Sometimes it seems like life is just one big, extended waiting room without any interesting magazines."

I  have noticed a common theme running through my life.  A theme that causes me "discomfort".  The theme seems to be Waiting On The Unknown. There also seems to be a leitmotif of No Control.

We received wonderful news from the doctors last week about my 3 year old's vision.  It's 20/20 with no signs of retinal pigmentation.  - I had a wee bit of trouble enjoying that news at first.  Cue my leitmotif.

With his metabolic condition vision-loss is a possibility.  Because my son's version of an already rare disorder has not been officially identified we have no clear prognosis.  We just know what to worry about. 

Waiting. No control... No interesting magazines.

I've been pondering my "theme" for months and months.  My son's health isn't the only thing I constantly wait on and choose to worry about- but it's the most tangible.  The easiest to examine.  

I've decided that at 42 I want new music, a new theme, even if my waiting room doesn't change.  

Psalm 40:3 tells me that new music is possible;  "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God..."

Visit Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

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The Birds, Cue Scary Music

March 12, 2010 by Rieshy

My oldest child turns 18 next week.  It's really not possible.  However, he received his selective service envelope so it must be true.  

All month I've been reminiscing about the poor guinea-pig of a child.  We call him that because we learned how to be parents by experimenting on him.  Before he was born I don't think I had actually been in the same room with an infant.  

When he was somewhere in the 4- 6 yo range he suddenly developed a fear of birds.  Irrational fears were not something I was predisposed to be especially compassionate about. Mind you- I was a young mom and I was not going to have a fraidy-cat child.  

One evening after dinner I asked my son to go fetch a book from the den.  He refused and got a wild-eyed scared look.  Immediately I was annoyed.

"Go get the book, Now," I repeated.

"I can't."

"Why," I asked?

"Because of the birds."

"What birds?  There are no birds in the den.  GO NOW."

Meltdown occurred.  His legs turned to rubber.  I marched over to him, scooped him up, and attempted to squelch my mental visions of him on a playground with a "kick me, I'm a wimp" sign on his back.  We would face this fear!  

"They will fly through the window and get me," he screamed from my arms as I walked.

"Nonsense, it's dark out, the birds are all asleep."

I walked with him up to one of the windows and we peered out together, our noses next to the glass.  His body started to relax in my arms.  There was the beginning of a smile.  Then...


A huge black bird slammed into the glass. I kid you not.  The whole wall of the den seemed to rattle with the force of the bird's impact.

I must have jumped a foot; I've never been so startled in all my life. My son launched himself off the top of my head with the power of primal fear and landed clinging to the ceiling with his fingernails. 

It was the official beginning of my career as a spin-doctor.  Voice still quivering I said, "See, the birds can't get through the glass." 

It worked.  

The strength of the window helped him over his fear.  I however, had trouble walking past the den windows at night without feeling jittery for months afterward.

This was my Feel Good Friday Memory.  Yes, I know that it is somewhat twisted that a story involving inadvertently scaring the snot out of my son makes me feel good.  But, well... it does.  For other stories, memories, and great lists, visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up for-

Join Me For...

Just Not Getting It

March 10, 2010 by Rieshy

My oldest son thoroughly enjoyed this short conversation with his 3 yo brother, and then went to do physics.  Physics is easier.

The set up? The 3 year old didn't want to go into the bathroom alone because of monsters.

Big brother: "Monsters are not real."

3 yo: "But... but I see monsters all the time."

Big brother: "Where do you see monsters?"

3 yo: "In my dreams."

Big brother: "Dreams aren't real."

3 yo: "Dreams aren't real?"

Big brother: "No."

3 yo: "Oh."

Big brother, now curious commits a tactical error:  "What kind of monsters are in your dreams."

3 yo: "All kind of mean monsters.  Except one nice one that's a tiny monster.  I showed him to Ben."

Big brother:  "You mean, in your dream you showed it to Ben.  Dreams aren't real."

3 yo: "Uh, yes."  

3 yo hollers down the hall to 8 yo brother:  "Ben, remember that monster, the tiny one, that I showed you?"

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Imagination and Pockets

March 8, 2010 by Rieshy

Do you remember when treasures were everywhere?

My three year old found a spent shot gun shell out at our community garden site.  Watch his face as he pretends to shoot it, he's visualizing the trajectory.

He's finished now, so what's a child to do? Where does any cool thing go for later use?

The pocket of course.  That wondrous invention. That keeper of secrets that treasure chest of possibilities.

If your fingers are still too chubby and not quite coordinated the back pocket works too.

Do you remember being that young?  

My son reminded me, that's one of the treasures of motherhood.  Plus if I forget again about the treasures of childhood/motherhood, the clunking sound my son's full pockets will make in the dryer will remind me for a second time.

This was part of Steady Mom's 30 minute Challenge- 15 minutes, wahoo!
Check out Tuesdays Unwrapped for many, many treasures to make you smile.

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