little lessons

I know. I’ve been quiet again. But sometimes life is too busy for my mind to want to make more words. And I guess I’m getting to the point where I allow that to be ok. It only took forty-some years to give myself a break!

I’ve actually been meaning to write this post all week. And finally, Friday afternoon, it’s apparently time.

Sunday, at the end of a really busy weekend of errands and classes and rehearsals and work, we were at the mall of all places, getting a new phone for me thanks to Mr. Sustainable. We are not mall people. I dread going anywhere near it, in fact. The kids have probably only been to a mall a handful of times, and only to access stores that are only found there. Sometimes, you just gotta do it.

Regardless, while Mr. S. talked with the Apple store folks (my day job is in technology, but I leave all the home gadgets in his capable hands), the girls wanted to go visit the only store they really know at the mall: Build-a-Bear. Sigh. So off we trudged, with me making all the usual disclaimers about how we were just looking, not buying anything.

We looked. Sunshine asked to buy stuff anyway. We looked some more. And after a while, we walked back down the length of the mall to the Apple store to check on Mr. S. While we were waiting for him to finish his business, I felt a tap on my arm. Moonglow wanted to show me something. In her hand was a small, cloth heart. The kind that Build-a-Bear has a child kiss and put inside the animal they are making.

Now I knew very well it wasn’t a valuable object. And it was late, after a long day. We were tired. But I thought back to when I was Moonglow’s age (5) or perhaps just a tad younger. And I had secretly pocketed a single piece of the Brachs pick-a-mix candy as we walked through the grocery store. And how my mother (or maybe it was a babysitter, I don’t recall) made me take that piece of candy back and apologize, explaining that taking things that don’t belong to us is wrong.

So back we walked through the mall, Moonglow clinging to my hand and visibly upset that we had to go give it back and apologize. She’s at that stage where saying I’m sorry or being called out on doing something wrong is very difficult. She often bursts into tears when gently called on the slightest infraction, not wanting to say sorry and burying her head in her pillow or her mama. So I knew this wouldn’t be easy. But it was important to me to teach her that lesson that I recalled learning the same way. And I told her that I did the same thing when I was her age.

We found an employee. I made her show them the heart. And though you probably needed a hearing aid to hear her whispered, “I’m sorry,” before she buried her head in my skirt, she said it. And I felt better for making her do this small thing that will hopefully teach her a very important lesson. Bonus: they let her keep the fabric heart anyway.

Now if I could just teach her to keep the silly putty away from her hair! (Don’t ask.)

another year, another auction

I know, I know. I’m a slacker. But what can I say, I’ve been giving myself a break on what I don’t feel like doing more this year.😀  And I haven’t been inspired to write that much, or been short on time when I did have the urge.

But this weekend was the annual Waldorf school auction, and as always, I found plenty of goodies to buy and support the school. Plus got lots of spring cleaning done this weekend, so that feels good. Not so much the windows and yard type stuff. More the, “how did everything in this house get so disorganized and why don’t any of my kids’ clothes fit?” kind of cleaning.😀  Cleaned out some clothes that don’t fit any more, got some that do out of the garage, got rid of some toys they’d outgrown, organized the ones we’re keeping, and purged a decent amount of junk in the processes. One of the things I put away for safe keeping but couldn’t bear to part with was our collection of wooden blocks, including the ones Sunshine made with her kindergarten class that I bought at the Waldorf school auction a few years back!

Also finally got the group menu for our August trip to raft the whole Grand Canyon done, finally! So that felt good, too. Although the trip is coming quickly. We did our wilderness first aid refresher class last weekend, so that was fun.

Back to the fun auction stuff we bought. We were on a kind of a theme, I guess. I bought ducks, cows, goats, and sheep. Oh, and a bear and a fox. None of them literally, thank goodness.😀

We bought some felted wool animals: the ducks, bear, and fox. The ducks were little, part of the fairy tale themed centerpieces (Ugly Duckling), so we thought they would go well with the felted farmyard we bought a few years ago at auction. The bear and fox are bigger and put away for Christmas from Santa, perhaps. Although Sunshine asked me flat out yesterday, “Mama, tell me the truth, did you and Daddy give us this?” (she was playing with the wooden washing machine Santa brought a couple years back). I didn’t want to lie to her, but I said, “Honey, Santa brought that.” Omission is a lie, I know. But I wasn’t ready to disillusion her yet. Perhaps it will happen before Christmas this year, but we’ll see. I didn’t flat out say, “No, we didn’t give you that.” But I think our time may be short on that one.😦 She’s also more hormonal lately.😦 OMG. Puberty is on it’s way!!!

Cow-wise, we purchased a gift certificate for $50 worth of beef from a local ranch. Always love to buy thing we would buy anyway!

As for the goats and sheep, we purchased two (that’s right TWO) trip to regional farms to play with the animals! We get to visit Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands and stay at a goat farm for a few days, and we get to take a group of ten friends to a local sheep farm. Can’t wait for both! We’re actually sharing the goat farm trip with another family we’re friends with.

We also purchased some cooking lessons we’ll split with friends focusing on sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free cooking. I got a parenting book that some friends recommended. And then, also for the kids, we got a workshop to make a dreamcatcher, a puppet show at the preschool teacher’s house this summer, and a lyre lesson for Sunshine. She took a couple lessons last fall before her class started off the local Magical Strings concert walking through while playing the lyre, so I thought she might enjoy that. Oh, and we bought babysitting services from one of Moonglow’s class assistants, so that’s fun.

And finally, one of the things I’m most excited about, I purchased (because I didn’t ask Mr. Sustainable, I TOLD him) a painting by one of the girls’ teachers. She painted several on the fairy tale theme, The Frog Prince, a fairy’s mushroom house, and the one I fell in love with, Star Money. She is going to start teaching a painting class on Friday evenings that Sunshine will go to, so that will be fun. And Moonglow starts a rock climbing class this week, having tried ballet and yoga in the last year and not being awed by either. Perhaps this will be her niche.😀

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thrift scores: overdue edition

Haven’t been thrifting as much lately, so when Sunshine decided yet another pair of perfectly ok jeans were slightly too snug when she sat down (they were totally fine, I swear), I was dismayed to find… *no* next size pants. Gasp!!

So, out I went today, to not one, but *two* Goodwills in search of thrift scores. 

I found lots of pants for Sunshine, if they are all deemed acceptable. Also several pair of shorts. A few skirts, for both girls.

     

Found a few pair of leggings, including a crazy pair Sunshine picked out. I don’t want a solar system on *my* butt, but apparently when you’re eight… Oh, and a groovy pair of jammie pants with rainbow horses.        

Also found a few fun tops and a couple dresses, one each for Sunshine and Moonglow.

On a positive note, Moonglow got allergy testing this week. All negative!

this moment: first snowshoeing

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
–from SouleMama

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sunshine, 8 1/2 & moonglow, 5 at mountain reindeer, as moonglow calls it

weekending: getting started

On what, you may be asking. Well, in anticipation of my (and Mr. Sustainable’s) three-week rafting trip in August (whole Grand Canyon!), I’ve been inspired to try to finish Moonglow’s quilt by then. Finish. As in, perhaps I should start.

Since I finally finished Sunshine’s for Christmas 2014, it’s about time I get a move on and start Moonglow’s. I have the fabric. I just haven’t… done it.

My mother thinks it’s a little morbid, I think. Or perhaps she’s superstitious. But on the off (off) chance that something happens on our trip, I want Moonglow to have a quilt made with Momma’s love just like Sunshine. (Don’t worry, Mommo.)

So Sunday, after getting some beef barley vegetable soup cooking in the crock pot and throwing in a couple loads of laundry, I set up my ironing board, got out my fabrics and cutting tools, and set to work. Turns out, I hadn’t ever washed and trimmed the fabrics for Moonglow’s quilt. So that was first.

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I washed, I trimmed, I pressed. I figured out how many leftover unused pieces I still had from making Sunshine’s quilt. And then I started cutting new pieces. I didn’t finish, but at least I made a good start. Another day of cutting and then I think I’ll be ready to start sewing the squares together. If I persevere, I should be able to make good progress by August. Wish me luck!

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weekending + what’s cooking

My weekends have been mostly lazy for a while. A long while. I mean, I do the basics. I feed my children. I catch up on laundry and dishes. Well, sort of. If you’re a parent you know catch up is an impossibility. As soon as all the dishes or laundry are done, there’s suddenly more.

But I’ve been trying to cook something for the week each weekend, so this weekend, as we headed off to a prep meeting for our big Grand Canyon rafting trip, I made spicy turkey meatballs to take, and to have extra for the week.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs
courtesy of Grandma Sustainable
(can also be made with beef)

Meatballs:

  • 3 pounds ground turkey (or beef)
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 small onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons horse radish
  • 8 eggs
  • (3 teaspoons salt)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Sauce:

  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • (2 teaspoons salt)
  • 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 12 drops Tabasco sauce (+ or -)

Mix meatball ingredients, roll into small balls (rounded teaspoon), and then brown in skillet with oil or bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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Mix sauce ingredients in crock pot. Put meatballs into sauce and cook on low for 1-2 hours or longer. The longer they cook in the sauce, the better they are.

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Sorry, forgot a picture of the final product!