I keep reminding myself that we're growing patience and faith, not food and flowers. Cause you know, my thumb is more of a light green lately.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
For two years in a row I've had a new years goal to make a loaf of home made bread. How ridiculous is it that I can't get myself to do such a small thing. I think I've built it up in my mind to be such a complicated and delicate process. I've made it such a big deal that I feel like I've already failed before I've even begun. I've tried many times to gear myself up to give it a go--I've even recently bought some wheat flour. But for some reason I think I'll need a whole afternoon in a quiet kitchen with no interruptions. And that just isn't going to happen around these parts any time soon.
So I was grateful indeed when visiting another twin mom that she convinced me of its simplicity and ease. "Let's make some now," she said. And we did right then and there, the two moms and four babies! If that doesn't prove to me that making bread isn't all that complicated or time intensive I don't know what will. This is the recipe that we used.
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
add 1 heaping teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups white flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
1 tablespoon dough enhancer
(If you don't have gluten or dough enhancer,
leave it out. It doesn't matter)
Stir in 2-3 more cups flour, white or wheat.
When it gets too stiff to stir, mix with hands.
Add flour as needed
When it is no longer sticky, it is mixed enough.
Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until double, about 2 hours.
Punch down, cut into 2 pieces. Roll into loaves.
Rise until double.
Bake 375 about 40 minutes. Until golden brown on top
It turned out great and most of my people loved it. It will take some time for certain children to make the transition to wheat bread. They happily shared their leftovers with the babies who they say love wheat bread. It's true. And paired with some delicious Broccoli Cheese soup, from The Pioneer Woman, homemade wheat bread doesn't get much better. Yum. Making my own bread--I think I can do this.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
All the long day as I change poopy diapers, prepare food for the little ones here, and try and get another load in the washing machine, I think of the things I have to get done outside the home once Nate returns from work--grocery shopping, buying some tomato plants for the garden, returning those pants to Old Navy and mailing a package at the post office. I'm still not brave (or foolish) enough to run errands with two babies. I plan my errands out carefully to maximize the short amount of time I'll have between post dinner and that nine-o-clock hour when all of the stores close. I make my list, I get geared up, but then this happens.
As soon as dad gets home, the atmosphere changes. There's a new kind of activity, a new kind of energy that makes this my favorite time of the day. Faces light up, balls make their way out of boxes, food is eaten with quick and witty conversation. What was once a long dreary day of kid wrangling becomes fun and exciting and playful. And I just can't leave it. I don't want to miss any of it. In a short amount of time, my list becomes just pen on paper. None of that matters now--there's always another time to do it. We'll get creative with dinner--again. The package will keep. My tomatoes will go in the ground later--I don't really count on them for food anyway, and that new pair of pants for the summer suddenly doesn't seem so important.
I'm procrastinating, yes, I'm putting of things I've been planning on doing all day and sometimes the better part of the week. I'm setting aside good things. But I'm choosing the best.
Monday, May 13, 2013
I waited and waited this spring for the garden bug to bite. I almost began to think that maybe I didn't like gardening after all. But then it bit--on Mother's Day. Saturday evening I took the three older kids and we purchased some vegetables and annuals and Byrdie picked out some carrot, lettuce and radish seeds for her garden and Louisa picked out some sunflower seeds to plant. Sunday morning I was itching to get them into the ground. Of course the ground needed a bit of preparing first so we all got out there with hoes, shovels and my new mother's day gift--a weasel.
Oliver asked why I was gardening on Mother's day (translate--why aren't you playing video games on your special day?). The answer was simply because I wanted to. It felt good to get back in the dirt. It felt right to begin the process of new life and cultivating that life. I was a bit hesitant to get out and garden on Sunday. It's not something I typically do aside from some watering and pulling a few weeds here and there as I pass by. But as I listened to the lesson in church directly regarding keeping the Sabbath Day holy, I actually felt ok about it. What I took away was that Sunday should be a day where your activities bring you closer to God. There was no question about achieving that purpose as I dug in His earth along side my children, as we planted His miraculous seeds that symbolize faith and resilience and love.
Although gardening is not something that will become a regular Sunday activity around here, I can surly say that I was brought closer to god as I thought of the primary song "I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father's created for me."
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Recently at a mom's gathering I overheard another mom telling about her favorite way to handle sibling arguments. She said that sends them out for a walk together. Once around the block and then home again. When they return, they are no longer fighting--they're interested in something they found along the way or engrossed in conversation and have entirely forgotten about being angry. It sounded like a good idea. I decided I'd have to give it a try sometime.
Time went by and for one reason or another this experiment didn't seem to coincide with my children's arguments. Until the other day. It was something about throwing mud and then someone punching someone else. I was just hopping into the shower and didn't want to get out to work through this with Oliver and Byrdie. I asked if they both had shoes on and told them to go on a walk around the block. I wasn't exactly sure how this was supposed to work. I think they thought it was a little strange as well. I wondered if I should give them a topic to discuss. Should I make them hold hands or something to initiate forgiveness. In the end I didn't give many instructions--just not to stop at friend's houses and stay together. At the last minute, to satisfy their inquiring looks, I added, "we'll discuss the problem when you get back."
Ten minutes later they were in the back yard playing and laughing and working together. They didn't have anything they wanted to talk about and I didn't bring it up. What do you know--it worked!
How often do I try to fix my children's problems? How often do I get involved in their issues that have nothing to do with me? I love to see them working things out for themselves. I love to see them growing up to become independent and responsible people. And surprisingly a walk around the block is a step in that direction.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I don't know why I find it necessary to try and alter knitting patterns. It just complicates things and makes my project so much harder than they need to be. Maybe I have some of Oliver in me. So in search of a summer knit for the babies, I came across this fun vest that I thought I'd share in Ginny's yarn along. I really wanted a summer romper but wasn't finding what I wanted. For a while I thought I might try and turn this vest into a romper but then decided I had better just get to work and begin the vest before the summer came and went. But then I decided that the cable looked to difficult and that I would just substitute this cable pattern for a simpler one that I could do without much concentration. I found, after ripping my attempts out three times, it's less difficult to just follow the given pattern. It seems I learn that lesson more often than I should.
Really, the pattern is very well written and although it does require some concentration, it's kind of a fun challenge. I'm using Martha Stewart's yarn--a wool acrylic blend in a light lavender. The other one is a light yellow. I like it fine for an inexpensive yarn. I'm excited to see these babies wearing them this summer. Let's hope I just don't fizzle out before they hit a growth spurt.
While we're in between books for book club, the kids and I are reading The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. In my search for Newberry books at thrift stores I've been amazed by how many books I find that I read as a child. Books I haven't thought about for years and that I would have completely forgotten about if I hadn't had them right in front of me. I remembered really liking this Worst Witch book. It reminds me a lot of Harry Potter with many similar wizard classes at a wizard school. However, it was written in 1974. I wonder if J.K. Rowling ever read it. It's a quick fun read and my kids are enjoying it.
Monday, May 6, 2013
In February I wanted to take the kids to Disneyland. In April, I was hoping to drive to Oregon. In May, I'm resigned that this isn't our season for traveling. That is, traveling anywhere that would take longer than two hours and cost more than two hundred dollars.
In the end, the big city--Salt Lake City was our destination and The Mummy Exhibit was the draw. Oliver's as excited about mummies as the next ten year old boy. He has a couple mummy books and thinks he knows more than he actually does. But I was surprised by the girls who were really looking forward to seeing real mummies. They didn't seem creeped out at all by the idea of looking at dozens of dead bodies. I had to laugh at the pamphlet when it advised parents to prepare their children to view the exhibit. They write, "these mummies are rigid and will not move." Louisa wasn't the least bit worried.
It was a fascinating exhibit. Both kids and grownups really enjoyed looking at the displays and reading all about what mummies have to teach us. It's pretty cool that with technology today, they can see inside the mummies and their heads and their hands all with CT scans so they don't need to unwrap or damage the mummies at all. It was interesting to see mummies from all over the world. South America, Hungary and Germany--not just Egypt. And it was cool to me to see a lot of children and baby mummies. Often they were buried with toys or jewelry (amulets) to protect them. It was neat to see that parents thousands of years ago loved their children just as we do now.
After looking at the mummies (which you could not photograph) we had a chance to explore the rest of the museum. There were great hands on interactive exhibits for the kids. We may just as well have been in some fancy museum back east for all the learning and entertainment we experienced at the Leonardo.
We finished off with a walk around the beautiful SLC public library (it was closed) and a stop at an Italian Gelato shop. Certainly a very fulfilling day--a daycation, just an hour away.