Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slimy yet Satisfying

Before bed I've got to wipe off 1/2 of the container of Bath and Body Cotton Blossom lotion that is sloshing on my skin, the carpet, and my decorative pillows.  But it's a good thing.

  • Walked 2 miles, 
  • Hosted and Conducted Presidency Meeting, 
  • Rehearsed Cotton Eyed Joe, 
  • Taught Medevil Europe and corresponding folk dances,
  • Rehearsed Bridging Ceremony for tomorrow's graduation ceremony, 
  • Signed shirts for a mob of 1-3rd graders who mistook me for a rock star, 
  • listened intently and individually to over 25 older students as they described their Imaginary Island in painstaking details, down to forms of government and languages, 
  • Grocery Shopped, 
  • Bandaged several wounds
  • Cooked Dinner, 
  • Proof read a child's report, 
  • Made a birthday gift for a teacher, 
  • Watched Hula Hoop tricks, 
  • Made garlic and jalapeno burgers and corn on the cob, 
  • Laundered 2 Batches clothing , 
  • Made 2 loaves Rosemary Artisan Bread, 1 Batch Pretzel Turtles, 1 batch Marshmallow Fudge with Pecans and 1 without, and 24 Cinnamon Rolls...
Really a fairy normal day

My nose is starting to run, my eyes are heavy and drippy.  Some children are feeling the antsy entitlement from the end of the year.  They are fussing, slow and pokey, and yelling and rude.  The sweet husband glared and banged through the house and dinner.  And though he said he's not mad at me, I know there is a bit of him that blames the bucket of screws dumped out on the lawn just before he mows on a lack of mother care.  He left... early tonight... 6:00.   Finally Ladybug said she's sick to death of the way I talk to her.  It's too nice and makes her feel like a child and she's a young woman.  Ever obliging, my voice raised, then hers matched.  Mine upped, hers matched.  She earned some quiet think time.  I trudged downstairs to rub lotion on her body and watch her wash her face and tidy her bathroom.  I heard giggles as I started up the stairs.  A tired chide started to form on my lips but I was too late.  My two youngest grabbed each of my hands and sat me down in a seat with 5 pillows puffed for comfort.  Placing one of my feet on each pillow, Little Mother began slipping and sliding her hands over my dirty feet and legs.  With un-age appropriate strength, Sunshine began to knead my shoulders and neck, rubbing my double layers into my skin till the irritation resembled a serious sunburn.  "You've had a tough day and have done it all for us."  They announced.  "You need some relaxation."  They argued over who had the funner job then switched so the other could watch Mom's funny faces, chirps, and jumps.  After a half hour of my spa treatment, they decided I needed a child to squish and hold while the other rubbed knots out of my neck.  When I heard my blonde bespeckled baby start to snore in my arms I insisted for the 4th time that all my pampering had to come to an end.

All are tucked in bed.  The nauseating and allergic smell of cotton blossoms hangs about me.  But it's been a good smell.  Briz will come home sometime in the early hours of the morning.  He may wonder about the greasy stains in the carpet and on the designer pillows where my slippery feet sat, absorbing at least 1 cup of lotion drawings, including a love note in lotion.  I may get another glare, but I chose the stains, the stink and the raw and sore neck I now possess.  They made me happy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Pitter Patter Pitter Patter...

They cluster around the window
Awed at nature
Exclaiming at each new strike

Soon the experience calls and we must go outside to really feel the power and smell the storm.
Weeks of rain
Long grass
They think nothing of these things.  
Just the crash, the boom, and the sweet smell of rain.
Dad reads Eight Cousins

We are safe and warm inside. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Catalina SIMI 2011

I wish that every child could have the CIMI Marine Biology Camp experience.  I chaperoned my children on their school excursion to Toyon Bay.

We slept in cabins, prepared food, snorkeled 3 times and became part of 1% of the population who have ever snorkeled at night.  Algae and sea mushrooms lit up in fiber optic colors under the sea.  I monitored the edges of the group and soothed and encouraged little first time snorkelers who were terrified but tried to be so brave.

the day, we swam with Leopard Sharks, Bat Rays, Garibaldi, and Shovel Nosed Guitar Fish.  We Dredged the bottom of the ocean to learn about its composition.  We examined the ocean water under the microscope to find hundreds of plankton varieties that resembled alien creatures.

We all dissected squid with great respect for their lives, lost for our learning.

We couldn't help painting ourselves with ink or tasting the nutrient rich eye lens.  We tasted Algae reminiscent of salty carrots, let Sea Hares lick us with their rough tongues, and had Sea Anemone hugs.

The Rays and Sharks rubbed into our touch and almost leaped out of the tanks to get a little more lovin'.

The instructors were amazing young women who had the knack for silliness and serious information that would teach children the best.  Sadly, Ladybug threw up for 24 hours and missed a whole day of learning and fun but Lauren, an amazing instructor took us in for a private tour of the touch tanks and octopus lairs.

Watching children discover, learn, and grow has got to be one of the most satisfying experiences ever.  Each child went home feeling a little taller, a little more independent, and a little happier having faced their fears and overcome them.
The last night of our trip, we gathered round the campfire to relive our favorite memories.  Tears were shed, gratitude was shared, and no one wanted to go home.  

I learned A TON about oceanography,but I learned a lot about my two older ones watching them with their peers.  And while some of it was disturbing, I see it as a little God Breeze to let me know, "Hey! you might want to help one of these little ones out with this.  Time for a little tweaking!" 

And that is what I'll do now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brain Therapy

 Saturdays are tough.  We have jobs to do and its NOT fun.  Ladybug is on the final days to behaviorally earn her trip to Catalina island.  I knew at the last minute she will try to sabotage herself by thinking she doesn't deserve to go.  Sure enough.  Morning was tough... really tough.  She earned an additional 4 jobs from her dad and I couldn't settle her down.  We sat meditated with calming oils, spa music, and prayer.  Finally she was ready to tackle the day.  I want her to succeed.  I need to help her get out of that dark place she is in.  She worked for an hour, and the other two had worked for several when I called, "Break Time!"  We met on the front porch.

"On Guard!"  I threw cans of pink, purple, and green silly string and I started to spray them yellow.  "Hit me with your best Shot!"  I sang as I ran and darted behind a tree.  Five minutes later, the freshly cut lawn, Briz's back, and Sunshine's hair was covered with our festivities.  With laughter, we all went back to our chores.  Bug is back in the front of her brain where thinking, reasoning, and laughter occur.  She's going to make it! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tangled Party

Friday Sunshine had a Tangled Un-Birthday Party.  Yes, this mom promised a birthday party 6 months ago, but got sick, and uh well yeah... we just got to it.  

Banners flew for the Festival of the Lanterns

We had to roll a huge dice and follow the path to get to the Festival.  

On the way, we stopped and had a bite... pizza, lemon creme filled strawberries, cream cheese brownies, and cookies.

 When we arrived, we learned a ribbon dance.

Then we each made a wish and let our own "lanterns go up into the sky."

The witch caught us and we couldn't see to get our way back home.  We were blindfolded with our hair and had to find our way.

Then all princess left with goody bags and place mats.  

Small investment, brought a lot of joy to Sunshine.