Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Later

The last two days I have been determined to do everything we had planned. In fact, I have been just as determined that we will accomplish everything on our list as our children have been determined that we won't.

Our children labor under the delusion these days that time in infinite. There is always plenty of time to "get around to it." Or to "get it finished after this." Or, my personal favorite,"I was just relaxing mom! Don't worry, I'll do it later." When precisely does it actually become later?

I decided today that later occurred at exactly 2:45 pm. At this point, Scott had left for a shift in the ER and I was surrounded by children who had assured me "later" was coming. The items still remaining on our list of things to do was as follows:

school work for 7 children

piano practice for 3 children

clean 2.5 bathrooms

put clean sheets into dryer so 7 beds could be remade

bake 15 loaves of bread plus one pizza crust

clean 1 kitchen

replace 2 electrical outlets

eat dinner & complete dishes in order to start dishwasher

vacuum both upstairs and downstairs

steam mop kitchen floor

bathe Elias and Abigail

I gathered our wee and not-so-wee charges and announced it was officially later and that bedtime would not occur until all of the list above was completed. The dumbstruck looks on the faces of Shelby and Dawson were particularly intense as they asked my all-time favorite question on days such as today: "How are we supposed to do all that?"

I sit here at 10:57 pm in order to write that we did manage to accomplish everything on the list. And the kids did all agree that they would like to use their time a little wiser from now on. I know that only time will tell if these last two days of stick-to-it-ivness have really made a difference in our family's perception of time and its limitations. But for tonight, I will move about in a cloud of naiveness, assuming that I have managed to instill in our children the important truth that time is precious. There is always a way to spin into positive.

Friday, October 15, 2010


The kids experienced their first haunted house tonight as we went with my parent's to an Optimist Club sponsored Zombie Fest at a local library. When my dad asked if I wanted to go, I concentrated on the words "Optimist Club" and "library" and extrapolated the following thought -- shouldn't be too scary. Sure, let's give it a whirl.

Our kids are pretty casual about some things. They love "Lord of the Rings" (both book and film) and they have no trouble with Orcs, Gollum, and the Balrog. We are also big fans of Harry Potter (again - both books and films), but there are scenes in the films we completely skip over to this day because the creep-me-out factor is just a little too much. (For instance, Voldemort latched onto Quirrell drinking unicorn blood in the Dark Forrest is a definite skip.) There really is no rhyme or reason behind what will be perfectly acceptable and what crosses the line into utterly frightening.

When we arrived at the library, I should have been tipped off by the Grim Reaper pointing the way towards the parking but it wasn't until I was standing with our guide, gazing over a field of tombstones and moving figures that I really began to question whether this was a wise idea. Keats and Aidan were each clutching my hands and Abigail had a death grip around Shelby's neck. Elias was happily snuggled in Papaw's arms and making his R2D2 noises while pointing at everything.

The first stop we came to was a camp fire where some zombies were preparing their dinner, which is a perfectly reasonable activity. Cooking over their fire, though, was a cauldron of human body parts. And while trying to explain this away to the boys ("How neat that they made their hotdogs to look like body parts! That's a very creative way to eat!"), an escaped convict zombie came dashing out of the woods at us causing everyone to jump and Aidan to begin trying to climb up my leg. But even Aidan relaxed once he understood that the convict-zombie was running back away because "he thought we were his cousins and he was just super-excited to see us tonight! Imagine how disappointed he is right now."

The next stop had some chainsaw-wielding zombie who proceeded to slowly march toward us. I turned him into "the nice gentleman who is going to cut firewood for the campfire we just passed. Isn't he thoughtful?"

Next we were instructed to notice the shrouded skeleton over in the bushes ("Oh my, boys! He must have had to pee in the bushes just like you like to do when you are playing outside!") and the headless giant who was carrying his head in his arms ("Well, that is a convenient way to be able to wash your face. You could simply put your head in the dishwasher while your body slept!")

The zombie girls who waited for us in the gazebo asking if we had any blood to spare certainly earned sympathy once I explained that Zombie blood is actually translated as Hot Cocoa, and these poor girls were just wishing for a nice, warm drink.

On and on it went as we continued to encounter scary situations that I frantically tried to change into something Disney-esque. My creativity went into over drive as I explained away scene after scene. The haunted barn was a tough one, but here I was reminded again that I really do not understand the way our kids think sometimes. As we walked into the Zombie Ball-room, all the kids breathed a little easier as they said "Ah, here are the skeletons!"

Sure enough, the room was full of every type of skeleton you could imagine on display and the kids happily pointed out their favorites in this foggy, poorly lit barn. We really are bizarre.

After our trek through the zombie fest, we were given our choice of Little Debbie snacks and a styrofoam cup of hot cocoa. We double-timed it back to the van where we could get out of the wind and we all enjoyed our snacks. On our drive home, everyone shared their favorite part with the categories being the most creepy part, the funniest part, and their favorite part.

I may have a little damage control to do, although not with the nightmares I thought I might have to deal with. You see, when we arrived home Keats asked Abigail if he could have a drink of her Zombie Blood. I glanced at him puzzled and he replied with perfect sincerity, "You know mom, her hot cocoa."


Thursday, October 14, 2010

And Now Back to Our Previously Unscheduled Viewing . . .

We became a part of the TiVo community just about 5 years ago. It all stared because while we really enjoy watching the Eagles play together as a family, we really do not enjoy most of the commercials during the breaks. So our solution was to have the TiVo record the game, begin watching an hour or so into it, and then we would skip through commercials, ensuring our eyes were not melted by the images being flashed in front of us.

Eventually, we figured out that we could even fast forward the game and only watch really great plays, reducing a 3 hour window of time down to 45 minutes. Not always the first choice, but time being time means there are limitations and occasionally the only way to catch the game is on fast forward.

The longer we had our TiVo, the more we began to rely on it. Crazy week coming up? No problem, I'll schedule some documentaries to record and we'll watch those to keep up with school work. Diaper explosion in the middle of the big game? No worries, we'll just pause the game, clean up the offending odor, and get back to it. New series we are interested in? Great - we can TiVo the first couple of episodes and decide if it's a good fit. "Curious George" always coming on during dinner? No tears here, a season pass will take care of the recording and we'll just watch when we feel like it.

It is the season pass feature that we absolutely adore. I love that I can tell TiVo to record all the "Phineas and Ferb" it can hold and the machine doesn't need any more information from me other than a channel. It finds the programs whenever they are scheduled and just magically turns itself on, records, and neatly categorizes all programs into the "Now Playing List." Brilliant.

In December of 2009, we learned that I had actually managed to win a new TiVo Premiere XL with a lifetime subscription service. I had no idea what this really meant, so I looked up the stats on the Premiere. This baby can record two shows at once while still allowing you to watch either live TV or a previously recorded show AND stores 150 hours of high def. Which, since we aren't high-def converts yet, translates into a whopping 900 hours of regular tv!! (I know 900 hours seems a little over the top, but c'mon -- it's 900 hours!!)

Our Premiere arrived sometime in July and we were immediately enthralled. Now, instead of having a long column of "Phineas and Ferb" in the play list, there is a neat little folder, which you can open and display all your programs. The clarity was amazing and the new features made our almost favorite gadget (the iPod is unbeatable) even better.

Unless you tried to pause a program.

And then, our new BFF became quite temperamental. Rather than simply pausing like a good-little machine, our Premiere would jerk to a stop, act like it just might pause, and then reset the system entirely. BAHHHH!

After several emails back and forth with customer support (who were fabulous, by the way) it was finally determined that our Premiere would need to be replaced. And so, with heavy hearts we detached all the cords and shipped off our TiVo. And thus our children were thrust into retro-tv-viewing.

scenario the first:
"Mom, can I please watch a "Phineas and Ferb?'"

"Well, I'm not sure what time it comes on." [I suddenly realize we are stuck to a schedule. This is really weird. And, quite frankly, a little nostalgic.]

"No, mom. I mean can I watch it now?"

"Nope. You are now experiencing TV the way most people do. You only watch it when it comes on or you buy the season DVD. Or, you check them out of the library."

[serious whining] "When will our Tivo come baaaaaaack????"

scenario the second:
"MOM! There is a new episode of Wizards of Waverly Place on Friday! Can we please, please, please stay up to watch it??"

"Well, it will be kind of late since we  have the Farmer's Market the next morning. Perhaps if you guys agree to fold laundry until it comes on . . ."

"That's great! Thanks mom!"

scenario the third:
[a firm knock at the door followed by a chorus of voices] "MOM!!! I think the TiVo is here!!!"

[upon opening a box way too small to be the TiVo] "Aw, man! It's just books."

Finally, on Tuesday, a firm knock on the door was followed by a suspiciously good-news-shaped box being brought into the house. And there it was. Our TiVo. A crazy wild rumpus-style dance ensued from every Little Rutherford. Until we realized that our TiVo was without a power cord.


A miscommunication between myself and the gentleman who walked us through the returns process meant I sent the power cord with the return when I actually should have kept it. Mistakes do happen. A quick phone call to customer support meant we had a cord in the mail that day resulting in its arrival today. The kids made sure I had time to get everything set up and programmed after dinner and then they all came it to enjoy "normal tv time" for the crew.

A flurry of pausing, skipping ahead, "Please replay that part" and squeals of delight that "something's recording!" ensued and waaaaaay too soon it was bedtime. Tucker said the prayers this evening and along with requests for healing others and appreciation for our day together came a very heartfelt thanks for the TiVo being returned. As if this weren't enough to help me understand the revered place TiVo holds in our children's eyes, Keats and Aidan both kissed the TiVo goodnight.

As for myself, as much as I enjoyed the nostalgia and memories being aware of the tv schedule invoked, I am really happy that our Season Pass is again doing the work for me. But let's face it, I really do love anything that does it's job without much input from me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Elias cozy in the dryer, which he heaved himself into while my back was turned.

Abigail watching the boys play Wii, shortly after asking "May I borrow your bucket for just a moment? Please."

Adoring Elias

Inside the box house. The best part about taking your own recycling is having the opportunity to snag great, huge boxes in order to create forts, houses, castles, boats . . .
Photo by Shelby

Yippie! Potty trained at last!!!
Photo by Tucker
(who was asked to please get out just after the picture was taken)

Shelby, racing through the Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott.
Photo by Tucker

Elias, being instructed to blow raspberries by Tucker, the cameraman.

Post-bath Abigail.
Photo by Shelby.

Jane, after a particularly messy lunch.
Jane is the darling we are blessed to have join us during much of the week. She makes life sweeter.
Photo by Shelby

Aidan allowing Elias to "push" him down the hill.
Photo by Shelby

Tucker giving Elias a ride down the makeshift slide in the backyard.
Photo by Shelby

Isabelle at the Farmer's Market.
Photo by Shelby

Abigail and Sadie at Dutch Wonderland

Isabelle with Mac, a charming yellow lab puppy who is NOT ours.
Photo by Shelby

Keats and Aidan with his Silly Bandz at Dutch Wonderland.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

O Where O Where Has It Gone

Abigail is a barefoot fan. She prefers walking around with her feet au natural to having to wear shoes regardless of temperature or weather conditions. And since she is quite the dexterous little three-year old, her shoes rarely stay on her feet, which is particularly problematic in our behemoth 15-passenger van. Once off her feet, those shoes could slide anywhere and virtually disappear. Just today we discovered her pink croc which has been missing for over two weeks.

Today was no exception to the "I'd rather be barefoot" tendency. But this time, she was wearing shoes and socks, which makes for four items which can be removed and tossed willy-nilly. Wednesday is piano lesson day, so we took the oldest three Rutherfords to study and then I ran every errand I could think of where the younger set doesn't need to get out of the van. We dropped off our recycling, did banking, made our Goodwill donations . . . anything we could, really. If the weather is nice, I prefer to go to a park. But three days of rain had me content to simply keep everyone in their car-seat purgatory rather than making mud-pies.

At the last minute, though, I ran into my dad in the parking lot at the grocery store. Actually, that's not true. I passed him on the road and stalked him to the grocery store. It was something to do to kill time and keep the kids buckled in. Besides -- they thought it was great fun that dad didn't even notice our giant car until we pulled up next to him at the parking lot.

We did need some tortilla chips for lunch and I felt my coffee-buzz was still nice and strong, so we all got out of the car to go inside. Of course, that was when I learned Abigail had nothing on her feet. I found her shoes easily enough ("Oh, I threw those back there at the twins to see if I could make my aim better.") The socks were a little trickier. Only one could be located quickly, so I told her we would simply put her shoes on without socks. Given the smelly nature of our kids' feet this is usually an unheard of solution. I put the left shoe on with no problem.

But when sliding her foot into the right shoe, it seemed really tight and I found myself banging her foot in. At this point, Abigail started crying about her foot hurting. Puzzled, I pulled the shoe off, and put it back on. Still tight and these shoes are fairly new. More tears. I'm noticing all the little Rutherfords in the parking lot with my dad and I am starting to feel really rushed. Finally, I drug the known sock off the floor behind us and put it on the right foot before putting the shoe on, thinking perhaps her toe was getting caught on something. More tears. I felt the end of the shoe and was shocked that her toes were completely at the end of the shoe. It couldn't be helped now. I grabbed Abigail's hand and told her we would have to go.

I hustled the poor girl with her one sock-on, too-tight shoes across the parking lot in order to catch up to dad and the rest of the kids. Little Jane, who was in the crook of my right arm, kept looking at Abigail and saying "Help?" in her sweet, tiny voice. Well, I may have my moments, but even I am not amazing enough to miraculously make a shoe fit. We shopped in record time and the moment we were back at the van, I took off the offending shoes and told Abigail we would find her a larger size of sneaks as soon as humanly possible.

Once home, I asked all the kids to search the van for Abigail's missing sock. In a family this size, you quickly realize that if you don't locate something within moments of its being misplaced, you are usually out of luck and it is gone forever. No sock, but that dratted missing croc was finally unearthed beneath Tucker's booster. (Why there????) Partial victories are absolutely acceptable and applauded in cases such as this. We unloaded the van and went on with our day. I set the offending shoes on the door dresser in order to pass them onto another Disney Princesses loving toddler.

Tonight, as Scott was preparing to leave for work, I picked up the shoe again. I shared with Scott how Abigail was complaining they were so tight and how surprised I was that these shoes just don't fit her any more. I decided to check for a foot imprint because she had only worn the shoes a few times, thinking Scott could just take them to work and give them to someone in need. No foot imprint in the left shoe, but I really couldn't tell in the right since my fingers couldn't make it to the end of the shoe. I was hitting something hard and in the way. I managed to pry away part of it with my finger and there it was. The missing sock. I'm thinking it wasn't really that the shoes were too small. Instead, it is that the shoes were never meant to be worn with the sock stuffed into the toe. I think that is a reasonable deduction

Scott, of course, chuckled heartily. As he should have, even though it never occurred to me to look inside the shoe for a missing sock. I don't think any of our kids have ever voluntarily set a sock inside their shoes. And while I appreciate her attention to detail, in this case it was really quite unhelpful.

And now I will have the added benefit of explaining to our Abigail why she will not be getting a new pair of shoes, even though she talked about it all afternoon. Which just now has me wondering . . . was it really attention to detail, or is she much more brilliant and conniving than I thought?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cherry Trees

Tucker is my darling 7 year old who has had quite a sticky relationship with truth lately. If he thinks telling the truth will help his cause, he is all for it. However, if he thinks the truth might land him into some trouble, he has no trouble hopping on board a rowboat and leaving quite the tall-tale in his wake.

Scott and I came to a decision long ago that the telling the truth would never be punished. There might be consequences for what happened, but you would never, ever be punished for telling us the truth. We wanted to encourage our kids to be honest and freely confess wrong doings. When Dawson was throwing a ball in the house and broke my favorite vase,  his immediate confession that it was his fault meant no lecture or punishment; however, he did have to clean up the broken pottery. Truth meant no punishment so he was allowed to continue laying ball outside, consequences meant he had to clean up the pottery first. It's not always an easy standard to live out with the kids, but it seems to be worth it.

Tucker is different in that he wants so badly to avoid pain of any sort. He is the kid who absolutely will not do anything risky until he is one-hundred percent convinced he will not be hurt. It took him most of the summer to go off the slide at the pool because he was sure it would hurt. When he finally went down because a life-guard promised to catch him, he spent the last few remaining swim days on the slide having the time of his life. It's not that he's cowardly -- he just hates pain of any sort.

Which is also true of emotional pain. Tucker loves to be helpful and he enjoys doing for others. He is only 7, though, so occasionally what he thinks will be helpful ends up on the sliding scale of slightly to horribly wrong. He also really likes to do his own thing from time to time, which may or may not be within the boundaries of allowable behavior. We are all well aware of the tell-tale clues to a Tucker induced calamity but when asked if he has any information about whatever pickle may have occurred, Tucker's standard answer these days is, "Uh, nope."

I hate it. I absolutely, unequivocally hate when one of my kids lies to me. And I especially hate it when it is over something that seems to me to be so unbelievably ignorant to lie about. Tonight, I asked Tucker if he could please tell me where the remote to the upstairs TV was. He and the twinners had cozied up in the big bed while I brushed my teeth this morning and Tuck had turned on the Disney Channel. When I went to put the remote away after everyone had gone downstairs I couldn't find it, so I made a mental note to ask Tuck about it later. I knew he was the last one to have it. I knew he would know where it was because he has an incredible memory. And I knew it would just be easier to ask him rather than spend time trying to figure it out myself. At bedtime, I finally managed to ask him about the remote after I had called him to my bedroom for a moment.

"Tuck, can you please tell me where the remote is?"

"Which remote?"

"The TV remote. I can't find it."

"Which remote?"

"The one you were using this morning."

"Uh, nope."

"Tucker -  I know you were using it this morning. I know it has been missing since you used it. I know you have some information to give me. This isn't a big deal."

"Uh, nope. I didn't do anything with it." Strategic shaking of the head side-to-side while looking up at the ceiling = busted.

"Tucker, do NOT lie to me again. Where. Is. The. Remote." Mother-son stare down begins. I win this round.

"I put it behind there [points at clock] so Elias wouldn't get it and then I heard a crash and it was gone."

"Did it fall behind the bookshelf?" Tucker nods, and I pull out four books on the bottom shelf below the alarm clock. Sure enough, there is the remote and I have to acknowledge that I would have never looked there. I sighed and then met Tucker's worried eyes.

"Tuck, why on earth would you lie about that?"

"I just didn't want to get in trouble."

"Why would your trying to protect the remote from Elias get you into trouble? It was an accident. They happen."

Tucker shrugs.

"You know what Tuck? I hate that I can't trust you anymore. Your lying is hurting me and it's hurting you. [I actually start to cry,which rarely happens] I hate it when you lie, Tuck. It hurts."

Tucker stared at my face and then walked to his bedroom. I came in pretty quickly after he had gotten there, but he was already curled under his quilt and crying softly. Dawson, looking alarmed asked, "What happened to Tucker?" I said it was between Tucker and I before I spent the next several minutes tucking the rest of the boys into bed. Then, I climbed onto Tucker's bed with him and we laid there for just a few minutes, nose to nose.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked softly.

"Mom - I feel so bad."


"Because I lied to you. Because dad told me that a man doesn't lie. Because it hurt your heart. Because it made you cry. And I'm supposed to love you and I hurt you and dad and God."

"Was it worth it?"

"No. I don't like feeling like this. I think it would be better to just get in trouble."

"Well, I don't think it would feel better at first, but I think it will feel better sooner. I make mistakes and sometimes it's hard to look at someone and say that you're sorry. But after you say you're sorry, then you get to help make it better, and that part usually feels good. Not always, but usually. When you lie, you don't ever get to the good part."

"I want to get to the good part."

During his bedtime prayers, Tucker asked God to help him not lie anymore and to remember to be a man who doesn't lie. I hugged him as tight as I could before kissing him goodnight and leaving the room.

I don't expect there to be a miraculous turn around because habits can be tough to break. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like my boy just might see that honestly really is the best policy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Project Completion

So, we have decided that if we are really and truly going to own a home someday, we should probably get busy and learn how to manage projects together. There are plenty of times when it is just myself and an OAR as Scott devotes so many hours towards our goal of being debt free. However, this weekend was a big one for us. Not only did we manage to complete our selected projects in the projected time, there was not a single cross word or argument. In fact, there was a genuine sense of camaraderie and a lot of laughter. Wow.

Abigail proudly displaying her completed
chalkboard for "her kitchen."

On Saturday, the kids and I attended the monthly Home Depot workshop with my dad as our official extra-pair of hands. After the project, we inevitably wind up inside the store buying something. This time, it was the chalk board paint so we could finally paint the top of the little table, which is looking a little worn. The painting went much quicker & used much less than I thought it would, so I began brainstorming. The kids always love the idea of putting up a menu in their kitchen, so I quickly grabbed our square and drew a rectangle on the wall which I promptly painted with more chalkboard paint. Two coats later, we were ready for phase 2.

Abigail and Isabelle in front of Daddy's new tool box.
Although, truly, it's more accurate to call it Dad & Mom's.
Scott, the kids and I went to Home Depot after our lunch yesterday  in order to buy moulding to create a frame around the chalkboard on the wall. In keeping with our new commitment to slowly add to our supply of needed tools, we also purchased a miter box and saw. As we headed toward the check out,  Scott spied a tool box on special which came with a lifetime warranty and two sets of tools inside. For us, this was a no brainer. Ten people in one household means a lifetime warranty is a must due to inevitable heavy usage. Phase 2 was complete.

The completed chalkboard.

The third and final phase of our project involved teaching Dawson and Scott how to measure the painted rectangle and cut using the miter box to build our own frame. The guys did great and we had the rough edges sanded in no time and began the final painting, which included turning both the table legs and the frame pieces into a great shade of Key Lime that we had picked up off the Home Depot clearance rack months ago. I set to putting the two coats of paint on, in between which included exercise, showers, snacks, and vacuuming. After dinner, we were able to quickly assemble the pieces of framing, using a staple gun to hold the pieces in place (Dawson's idea.) before we tapped some nails into the frame and then driving them on into the wall. We stood back and sighed a contented, job-well done sigh before children started marching into see their new chalkboard.

The newly painted table (previously all white) as
Abigail makes some coffee in her kitchen.

And so, we are beginning to feel the stirrings of confidence in our abilities to actually build, repair, and perhaps even maintain our possessions. Of course, I think a large part of this comes from the fact that this is the second project in a row that Scott and I have done so successfully together.  The first was installing the new microwave all by ourselves. We had several offers for help, as we have not established a reputation of self-sufficiency. Rather, we tend to ask for help with tasks quite freely, readily admitting when something is beyond our abilities. We let everyone know we would like to try, but wouldn't hesitate to ask for help if it should be needed. And then, 25 minutes later, we were done and our 1970's kitchen was restored to it's modern glory.

Keats (top) and Aidan model our new microwave

There is something good about setting a goal and completing it. Scott and I have been exercising together six days a week, and I am noticing that the further into our commitment to self-discipline regarding our physical activity we get, the more it is beginning to pour over into other areas as well. Rather than shrinking, as I thought our free-time was bound to do when we gave time to daily exercise, we seem to be finding more time to accomplish more goals. I am surprised as anyone could be, but I am so grateful. We do have more projects on the horizon. A door needs to be caulked. A GFI needs to be replaced. Some paint needs to be touched up. I am actually finding myself looking forward to completing these tasks as well.

There is something good about working together with Scott, learning side by side.

Plan B Duex

We are involved in a new church plant in Exeter Township, Kainos. Our goals are authentic, genuine, inviting Christianity which makes a difference in one another's lives and the community. It has been fabulous and one of my favorite times is Sunday worship followed by a lunch together afterwards. Not everyone comes to lunch and while we do gather together more often then not, it's not an every Sunday thing. I truly enjoy the opportunity to extend our time of visiting while we eat a meal together. Everyone has to eat anyway, right?

Most of the meals are a coordinated effort with people signing up via email to bring various dishes. Occasionally, though, we get the green light to do an old fashioned pot luck, which basically translates into "Who knows what we'll eat but at least there will be food." I'm a big fan of the old-fashioned pot luck simply because I think it's a great adventure to eat such a jumble of foods. My favorite pot luck meal of all time involved a magic spell which possessed almost everyone to bring dessert. For such a sugar-fiend as myself, this was a dream come true. One health conscious spoiler had brought a gigantic salad which marred the occasion just a little, but otherwise it was paradise.

Yesterday was  pot luck, but on Saturday I learned that someone was ready to get rid of some corndogs out of the freezer, so they would comprise the main dish. Perfect - I could bring the Tater Tots in our freezer which are definitely NOT a part of our healthier eating life-style. (We did use organic ketchup, though -- does that help the health-o-meter?) Our entire family really enjoys corndogs, so we were pretty excited. In fact, one of the twins (I think it was Keats) thanked God for corndogs during his bedtime prayers Saturday night.

Imagine our dismay when we were all biting into our corndogs only to discover they were absolutely NOT the crunchy, soft, inviting state fair concoctions were were all expecting. Rather, they were rubberized sticks of grey meat covered by corn rocks. Drat. Freezer burn strikes again! Family being family, everyone had a good laugh as we tried to find ways to make the meal palatable. Some people did eat theirs, but most of us gave up after a few bites. Aidan ripped his corn rocks off and ate the hotdog and Abigail ate the corn bread. Myself, I didn't even finish chewing the one bite I managed to gnaw off.

Plan B involved all the extra desserts we were unable to sell at the weekly Farmer's Market the day before. Music to this sugar junkies ears - dessert for lunch. I did eat some fresh cut veggies and sliced tomatoes, but I really, really, really enjoyed my main dish of chocolate cake with vanilla and coconut icing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Plan B Days

There are days when regardless of how well you plan, the end result doesn't even begin to resemble what you thought it would look like. I submit exhibit A.

exhibit A
This is what the bread I bake for the weekly Farmer's Market should look like. I have 15 loaves just like this, all bagged and ready to go to the market tomorrow morning.  However, there are usually 16 loaves. Thus, we have arrived at exhibit B.

exhibit B
Exhibit B displays what loaf 16 looks like after little fingers found it. Now, I have had experience with little people eating the fresh baked bread before. The difference was that Abigail simply lifted the loaf up, took a very unfeminine chunk-bite, grinned around her bread-filled mouth, and hopped down from the table to continue with her day.

Today, though, sweet little Jane was standing next to me pointing up at the freshly baked bread calling "num-num-num" while I was bagging the bread. This seems to be Jane's catch-all phrase for food. We hear it when she's hungry, when she plays with the little food, or when she simply walks into the kitchen. So knowing that she had just completed a meal of 2 bananas, 3-dozen quartered grapes, 2 slices of cheese and a dish of ice-cream, I simply smiled down at her, agreed that the bread looked yummy, and went back to bagging.

The next thing I heard were soft smacking sounds coming from below. Jane had dug her tiny fingers right into the corner and was grinning up at me around her chunk of bread. Ahhh, so in this case "num-num-num" actually did mean, "Please, might I have a bite of bread?"

The bread already being unfit for sale and Jane's grin being oh so charming, I slid the bread closer to the edge and enjoyed watching her eat to her heart's content. Eventually, Jane involved Elias in her breaking of the bread and the two of them easily polished off the top of the loaf before the rest of the locusts descended, leaving exhibit B in their wake. You just can't plan that.

No, baking 16 loaves of bread and watching one be nibbled really wasn't in the plan today. But I have learned that Plan B days tend to be a whole lot better than any plan I originally came up with. They make for far better memories.