Friday, November 21, 2008

Yummy

the best blueberry muffins
this is a recipe I found in a favorite magazine - we have made a few adjustments and it is now a family favorite...easy for little ones to help with and oh, so delicious!
You will need:
  • 2 cups flour (we use whole wheat, increase to 2-1/2 cups if freshly milled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we use sea salt)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar (we use Sucanat)
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups of blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with muffin cup liners (or two 24 cup mini muffin tins) - this recipe does not work if tins are unlined...too sticky. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Melt together butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat (about 3 minutes). Let cool about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Beat eggs with sour cream then add brown sugar/butter mixture and beat until combined.

Stir in oats.

Fold in flour mixture and then berries.

Sprinkle a pinch of sugar onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 25 - 28 minutes (15-20 for mini-muffins) or until edges are medium brown and tops are firm. Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.

ENJOY!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life flow no longer in our souls.

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton,speech to the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1890.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Politics

The Left mocks the Right. The Right knows it's right. Two ugly traits. How far should we go to try and understand each other's point of view? Maybe the distance grace covered on the cross is a clue.

~Bono. lead singer of U2

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today's Thoughts

O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others; open my ears that I may hear their cries; open my heart so that they need not be without succor; let me notbe afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong, nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich ... And so open my eyes and my ears that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.
- Alan Paton


No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew - Albert Einstein.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can't find $25 billion dollars to save 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases. ~Bono

Great social forces are the mere accumulation of individual actions. Let the future say of our generation that we sent forth mighty currents of hope, and that we worked together to heal the world.~
Jeffrey Sachs The End of Poverty

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Long Old Friend

We said goodbye to our beloved family pet this weekend. Jake has been with us almost 14 years, since he was 6 weeks old. He was a great companion and a loyal friend. The boys are taking it in stride. We've encouraged their questions and sharing their thoughts and feelings about him. They each had some time alone with him to say goodbye and I think it helped. B assured him that he was going to be with God and we have all found some peace in knowing he is no longer in pain. His final days were difficult and we are all grateful he is not suffering now. He joins Max (our first dog who passed away just before I became pregnant after 10 years with us) so we are also comforted that he is with his old friend. Here are some pictures of Jake (and Max)...



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what is the use of seeing?

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The only dream worth having ... is to dream that you will live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead ... To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or to complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

- Arundhati Roy
From her book, The Algebra of Infinite Justice

Send a Letter to Your Congressional Candidates

Nearly nine million children in America do not have health coverage and millions more are underinsured. The elections in November provide an extraordinary opportunity to bring attention to this critical issue. We must seize this historic opportunity to ensure that every candidate running for a seat in the U.S. Congress understands that providing coverage for all children is something the American people want, that our children and nation can't wait, and that their commitment to children is a condition of your vote.

Send a letter to your Congressional candidates today asking them to sign the Children's Defense Fund Action Council's pledge.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vote Out Poverty

From September 10-16, 2008 people of faith across the country will be mobilizing their communities to ask their local, state and national candidates what they will do to address the pressing issues of poverty and opportunity in America in their first 100 days in office.

In communities across the country, people of faith will be calling and writing the candidates, holding forums to discuss these issues with civic and political leadership, engaging in interfaith community service to aid those in need in their communities, and otherwise highlighting the need for increased leadership on these issues.

What will YOU do?

With the convention spotlights dimmed and the partisan parties over, we still have two long months until Election Day. Don’t stay on the sidelines – now is the time to get involved. Get behind something meaningful this election season, something that goes beyond partisan politics.

Sojourners’ Vote Out Poverty campaign asks voters and candidates to make the needs of our neighbors living in poverty a national priority and to follow the lead of the church in serving the needs of all people.

The Vote Out Poverty pledge says that we want a national plan from the next president and Congress that will:Cut domestic poverty in half over the next decade, and Provide the leadership necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, a set of international goals for reducing global poverty.

Commit today to help put poverty on the national political agenda by signing the Vote Out Poverty pledge!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dinner Talk and More

C: Mom, why is Jake [our very old dog] dying?
Me: Jake is very old and his body is tired. One day his body will stop working and then he will die.
C: What if his body stops working while we're taking a shower?
Me: I don't think that will happen but I really do not know when he'll die. He might go to sleep one night and not wake up or he might get very sick and we'll have to take him to the doctor and he might die there...
C: Another [dinner] roll please.

What kind of transition is that?!?!

This is the nature of all our conversations these days. Very serious questions, me trying to be as honest as possible while still age appropriate, them moving on to something completely insignificant and unrelated...it's kind of funny and a little un-nerving too :)

Also, God really is the maker of all things as noted by H in this recent exchange in the car:

B: Why does green mean go and red mean stop?
Me: I don't know but we always stop for red and go for green
B: And slow down for yellow
Me: Yes, we slow down for yellow
H: Well, God made it like that! (this was said in a tone that implied - DUH, Don't you guys know anything?)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What I am Thinking About

The little boys are back in school. And as the summer wore on, I must admit that I was ready for their return. I've got a "to do" list that is miles long and limited time in which to accomplish these things that are so much simpler without small children in tow. But I am also learning to cherish the time I do have with them. To give to them - joyfully. And this is a hard lesson for me as I sadly default to resentment when I feel stretched too thin. This came to my inbox this morning and I am considering it slowly, thoughtfully that I may take it to heart. That I may keep it at the forefront of my mind. Both as a mother and a daughter. Another hard lesson, one that I am reminded of daily on this journey of mine as a mother, is grace and thankfulness for my own mother who plucked so much of herself for her little ducklings. Thanks Mom - I love you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Go Outside and Play

Because You Never Know


SafetyTat is a fun and colorful kids temporary safety tattoo that’s uniquely personalized with your cell phone number. When applied to the arm of your child or loved one, SafetyTat provides an immediate, highly visible form of identification that stays in place even when wet and lasts for 1-5 days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.

This makes it hard to plan the day.


E.B. White

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Break

I am intentionally disconnecting for the summer. Planning to spend my time enjoying these little boys who are growing up at warp speed. Not sure how I will use the blog but it will definitely not be a top priority for a few months. Here's a picture from our recent (amazing) vacation to the Florida Keys. Have a great summer!






Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Bother?

Going personally green is a bet, nothing more or less, though it’s one we probably all should make, even if the odds of it paying off aren’t great. Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can’t prove that it will.

Read the rest of this article by Michael Pollan here...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vocabulary Continued

As I handed out bottles of water to take with us to the playground yesterday, B proudly let me know that he was being very respectful for his water today. Helping another child and checking off my mental list of what we needed, I thought I'd misunderstood and asked him to repeat himself. "I'm being respectful for my water"...what? And then I realized what he meant. We have had multiple conversations about being respectful and responsible (as in for your own stuff - Mommy cannot possibly keep track of and carry everything!), though not necessarily at the same time. When I asked him if he meant that he was being responsible for his water he looked at me like "duh" and said (in a tone indicating the "duh"), "yes, I am being responsible for my water".

While picking the boys up from school today, B rushed out to greet me exclaiming that he had caught "so many holy molies today"...the translation for that would be roly polies (aka pill bugs). His teacher had a good laugh at that, as did I.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Picture Memories - H

The biggest of our babies at birth, H weighed in at 3# 13 ounces. He had a head (and body) full of hair and the round cheeks of a little chipmunk stocking up for winter. In appearance, the most durable of the babies, now our smallest little boy - our firstborn son - is the kindest, and most gentle of our brood. He has a compassionate heart and striking blue eyes. A personality that can charm the socks off ya and a passion for numbers that is quickly exceeding my mathematical abilities. His true love is baseball and he is always thinking or dreaming about it (he has actually told me that I will be watching him play baseball on television when he is bigger - and that I should wave to him). He is one amazing little boy. Here are a few pictures of his beginning and one captured just a few days ago...

Birth Day
Bonding
Snuggle Bug
My Sweet Boy

He's already breaking my heart with those eyes...

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Vocabulary Lessons Part 2

After dinner last night, B climbed in my lap. I gave him a kiss and then squeezed him in a bear hug to which he responded, Do Not Do That Mom! I'm trying to vibrate my food! After a few clarifying questions, we determined that he meant digest when he said vibrate.

A few more common phrases with words that get mixed up:

There's a mustache in my eye! (instead of eyelash)

I want to wear my invisible shorts today. (he means reversible)

Really, we laugh a lot around here...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Sad Truth

Did you know that a baby is born into poverty in America every 35 seconds? Did you know that almost 13 million — one out of every six — children in America live in poverty? Test your knowledge about child poverty in America






Vocabulary Lessons

Yesterday morning, approximately 7 AM

B: stomp, stomp, huff, snort - I do Not want to go to school today
Me: Why not?
B: I do not want to go because school is boring!
Me: Really? (a mix of disbelief at both the allegation and his use of this word that to my knowledge has never been uttered in our home)
B: SCHOOL IS BORING, and I don't like it (loud voice)
Me: What is boring about school?
B: Pause, deep thought
Me: B, what does the word boring mean?
B: Very loud sigh, stomp, look of defeat, gets dressed as he realizes he is so busted because he has no idea what boring means but it seemed like it might get him out of going to school when he initiated the conversation.

This morning, same time

B: I don't want to go to school. It makes me nervous.
Me: What does nervous mean?
B: On the verge of tears (the angry kind) - lots more stomping and a loud I DON"T KNOW BUT IT MAKES ME NERVOUS!!!
Me: trying not to laugh at his frustration, sorry Buddy, let's eat breakfast, it's almost time to go to school...

I should clarify that B has never had a problem about going to school and still does not. He loves school. C, on the other hand, has legitimate anxiety about it. The last few days, C has been very distraught about going to school and we are trying very hard to figure out why while comforting and assuring him that we still love him when he is not with us, that Miss Laura (his teacher) loves him too and that his little brain needs good stuff in it to grow just like his body needs food. His teacher assures us that he is fine all day and I have witnessed this myself as I observed in the classroom last week. The psych 101 of this situation is better saved for another post. Just wanted to point out that we are not disregarding any legitimate issues on B's part...he is simply trying to get in on the action and experimenting with new vocabulary - leading to a lot of internal laughter (and eye rolling) on my end.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ordinary Miracle

I am so moved by this song right now. Opening my heart to the ordinary miracles everyday. We are so very blessed...

B, C, H - Red Top Mountain 4/24/08 - 4 years old

Monday, April 28, 2008

Growing Like Weeds

October 2006 (C, H, B)
April 2008 (H, B, C)



It is so important not to let ourselves off the hook or to become apathetic or cynical by telling ourselves that nothing works or makes a difference. Every day, light your small candle.... The inaction and actions of many human beings over a long time contributed to the crises our children face, and it is the action and struggle of many human beings over time that will solve them—with God's help. So every day, light your small candle.


- Marian Wright Edelman
Guide My Feet

You Think You Got Game? BRING IT!!!

Thanks to the 2 participants on the blog, and several in my multiples group...we have a name winner for the above photo. It was submitted to Kodak for "Picture of the Day" - if chosen it would be on a screen in Times Square. No word yet...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Perhaps everything terrible is, in it's deepest being, something that needs our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Did You Know...

  • Worldwide, 1 child dies every 3 seconds due to malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases. One billion children, almost every other child in the world, live in poverty. (source: UNICEF)
  • Fourteen million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS. (source: UNICEF)
  • Ninety percent of war casualties are civilians — almost half of these victims are children. (source: UNICEF)
  • Everyday in the U.S., more than $1 billion is spent on the military while 1,700 babies are born without health insurance and 2,500 babies are born into poverty. (source: Children’s Defense Fund)
  • Fifty-seven percent of the U.S. 2006 discretionary budget goes to military spending — everything but Medicare, Social Security and a few other small-ticket items (source: U.S. Office of Management & Budget.)
  • The U.S. military budget plus additional funds allocated for the “war on terror” is as big as the defense budgets of all other countries combined. (source: Institute for Policy Studies)
  • In 2006, U.S. taxpayers spent $535 billion on national defense and $19 billion on international development. (source: U.S. Government, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
  • Seventy-eight percent of Americans favor helping poor countries develop their economies as a way to fight terrorism. (source: Center for Global Development, 2004)
  • World leaders have committed themselves to a set of eight targets called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which if adequately funded, will halve extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. (source: U.N. Millennium Project)
  • More than 60% of Americans believe that contributing 0.7% of the GNP to meet the MDGs is the right thing to do. 0.7 refers to the repeated commitment of the world's governments to commit 0.7% of rich-countries' gross national product (GNP) to Official Development Assistance. (source: U.N. Millennium Project)
  • On average, humans use around 20% more resources than the Earth can replenish. Americans use 500% of their share, Italians 200% of their share and Mozambicans use around 40% of their share. (source: Global Footprint Network)
  • Women spend 83% of the money in the U.S. We can use this economic power to create enormous change. Inspire women to flex some economic strength on behalf of children! (source: Time Magazine)
  • The percentage of female representatives in national legislatures is: Rwanda: 48.8, Islamic Republic of Pakistan: 21.6, US: 15

Our tax dollars at work: The 2008 US budget request for military spending, now referred to as “security” spending is projected to be $699 billion – bigger than all other military budgets combined. This represents a 61% increase since 2001. For a number of years, experts have confirmed that 15% of the budget could be shifted to programs that nurture & protect the lives of children without weakening the strength of the US military. SHIFT HAPPENS!!!! Mothers*, it’s our job to decide how we want to spend our tax dollars, because business-as-usual just got an urgent memo from its mother saying her children will no longer be ignored. Learn more at Mother's Acting Up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Farm Bill - Action Needed Today


Please call your representative and senators by noon Eastern time Friday, April 25, at 1-800-826-3688. Tell them we must pass a new farm bill now, and must not lose the nutrition increases and food aid changes already passed. At a time of sharply rising food prices, these increases are especially critical. Modest commodity reform could pay for these increases without resorting to tax increases or other cuts.

Background information and talking points are available here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

World Hunger Crisis

It's being called the "Silent Tsunami." In three years, prices for the basic staples that feed the world—wheat, rice and corn—have risen by a staggering 83% and this week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that if left unchecked, global food shortages could set the world back seven years in the fight against extreme poverty and global disease. For people in the developing world, affording enough food to eat is becoming a daily struggle for survival. Without action to stop the upward spiral of food prices, 100 million people around the world will face deeper poverty and hunger, and hundreds of thousands will confront famine and starvation. Help the ONE campaign reach a new goal of 100,000 ONE members urging President Bush to rally the G8 to take emergency action against hunger and to invest in agricultural productivity in the developing world. Click on the the image...


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Healthy Child Campaign

By the end of today, one million children will have been born without health coverage since the start of the 110th Congress — a Congress in which the House of Representatives was convened on January 4, 2007 with these words, "For all of America's children, the House will be in order." Unfortunately, Congress has not yet succeeded at being "for all America’s children." Despite attempts last year to expand health coverage for children, Congress was unable to override vetoes by President Bush and today 9.4 million children in America are living without health coverage.

Every 41 seconds, a child is born uninsured. To emphasize the stark reality of this crisis, I have added a "counter" to my blog that has been counting the number of uninsured children born since the start of the 110th Congress. Later today… that counter will hit one million.

In honor of those one million children and the millions of other children suffering in America without health coverage, I ask you to step up, take action and help solve this crisis. Tell Congress there is still time to truly make this a Congress for all of America's children by supporting legislation to ensure health coverage for every child and pregnant woman.

During this busy election year, send a clear and overpowering message to our Members of Congress today to make children's health coverage a priority. Children cannot wait.

Please take a moment and send an email to your Members of Congress today then ask your friends to do the same.

You can also help spread the word by adding a Healthy Child counter to your own website, blog, or social network profile!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Photos

A few recent pictures I finally uploaded from the memory card...

Not Really A Contest...

I have no "prize" to offer the winner. But, if you're feeling witty - I'm looking for a name for this photo taken a few days ago. All six of these kiddos (2 sets of triplets) are 4 years old. So help me out here and name this picture...(leave a comment and I will post the "winning name" later this week).




Sunday, April 13, 2008

Random (Like My Life)

Okay, I may be the worst blogger on the web in terms of regular posting, writing anything interesting, analyzing what I've written (on the rare occasion I do), offering wisdom, insight, humor - anything of value (legitimate or entertainment) to any reader (if there are any) who happens upon this site. The world wide web is full of blogs that can offer all of the above and more and there is an ever growing list of links on this site for you to choose from.

Incidentally, though you would never guess it from this blog, I am a decent writer. And I am pretty analytical by average standards. I am also very guarded and tend to withdraw into my own thoughts and feelings when pondering something of great significance (if not to the world at large, at least to myself and my family). So I tend to stick to the factual information, the advocacy I believe in (via links to other sites - rarely of my own analysis), pictures of my boys (who I believe to be some of the cutest kids alive so who wouldn't want to see more of them), and random posts where I say I am going to post more often, more substantially - and then never do.

Also, my head is so full of the things necessary to our daily existence that it "hurts my brain" to think too much beyond the obvious - at least in terms of being able to articulate it somewhere (here). I'm full of random thoughts, ideas, feelings about things that are so incohesive they sometimes do not even make sense to me so trying to make sense of it in a user friendly, readable format seems like a lot of work that I am not overly inclined to take on. Not to mention the constant interruption (happening even now) that diverts my attention from the task at hand - and it is increasingly more difficult to find my way back to whatever I was trying to do before the interruption. I'm not sure if this is due to aging, laziness or triplet induced insanity but my ability to focus for long periods of time is waning and if interrupted cannot easily be attained again. So I have a blog full of half finished (or barely started) drafts of things that I meant to document, to discuss, to report on that I have never gotten around to completing. And probably never will ...

Seriously, I meant to pull this all together - to possibly post a complete thought - or even - sit down f0r this- several thoughts pulled together with great insight and wit...you may roll your eyes excessively now :) But there is a little boy - a very cute one - who is insistent about sitting on my lap. Who very much wants my undivided attention and while I do feel some frustration at yet another interruption, I recognize that he will be little for a very short time. And he will not want (or fit in) my lap much longer. So I am off to snuggle an adorable 4 year old who cannot wait, nor should he. And so the blog will wait again. Maybe a day, maybe a week, a month - who knows. Life is happening all around me and I am logging off now to be a part of it.


Have a great day - or week or month....I'll check in later (likely, much later :).

H - my currently needy for his Mama little snuggler - how can I say no to this?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ONE is launching a petition campaign to tell our senators that we want them to support record increases in funding to treat and prevent the spread of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Please sign ONE's petition and ask your senators to join us in the fight against these deadly, but treatable diseases.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Enjoy a Good Meal for a Good Cause



On April 23rd, nearly 200 restaurants in the Atlanta Metro area will participate in Dining Out for Life donating a minimum of 20% of food and beverage sales to Project Open Hand.

Open Hand is one of the largest producers and distributors of home-delivered meals in the United States. Each and every day, the organization -- with the help of over 125 volunteers -- prepares and delivers more than 4,500 freshly cooked, nutritious meals to people in metro-Atlanta whose health complications have impaired their ability to prepare meals for themselves. Clients include homebound seniors, dependent children and persons with chronic, critical and terminal illnesses - 93% of whom live below the federal poverty level. With only 30% of Open Hand's annual budget coming from corporate and government sources, the organization relies on contributions from individuals in order to continue to serve the community. Dining Out for Life -- their largest annual fundraising event -- plays a vital role in helping bridge that funding gap.

Make a point dine out on April 23rd in support of Open Hand!

Photography


This is a photo I took on Easter that was re-touched by my friend Theresa at Cherry Berry Studio. She is a gifted photographer and mother to twins plus one. Her work is more than photography, it is art. She has captured the true beauty of my children since they were a year old. I highly recommend checking her out (and some more pics of my boys in the gallery) at Cherry Berry Studio.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Call to Lament and Repent

Next week will mark five years since the United States invaded Iraq. We all lament the suffering and violence that continue after these five heartbreaking years, and we all share in responsibility for a war that has been waged in our names and with our tax dollars.That's why I've added my name to a public statement repenting for the Iraq war, which Jim Wallis and other Christian leaders will be releasing next week - with the signatures of thousands of Christians of all theological and political stripes. Support for U.S. wars and foreign policy is still the area where Christians are most "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2). We must commit to put our love for Christ ahead of obedience to a misguided government, and to ask our brothers and sisters to join us in working for peace.

Will you join me in signing the statement? Just click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random Photos

Here are some pictures that have been hanging in suspense on my camera - I finally got around to locating the cable required for uploading. These are not apearing in the order in which they occurred because I can't make them upload in sequence -I am a serious slacker folks. Enjoy!

Game Face
They were so excited that the flowers were blooming that the boys' ran from our car to the fence to check them out.
We had a fun filled Saturday with the grandparents a couple of weekends ago visiting The Wren's Nest and Imagine It! in Atlanta. We happened upon these very patient policemen while walking through Centennial Olympic Park. They were gracious enough to make two of the boys' big dreams come true - "riding" a motorcycle, and being a policeman.





Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Call to Action

What shalt thou do? ... Do good. Do all the good thou canst. Let thy plenty supply thy neighbor’s wants; and thou wilt never want something to do. Canst thou find none that need the necessaries of life, that are pinched with cold or hunger; none that have not raiment to put on, or a place where to lay their head; none that are wasted with pining sickness; none that are languishing in prison? If you duly considered our Lord’s words, "The poor have you always with you," you would no more ask, "What shall I do?"

- John Wesley"On Worldly Folly"

Act Locally, Think Globally


Here's a chance to act locally. If you are a Georgia resident, please consider making a donation to this campaign.

The $10,000 Challenge
All gifts made online between now and March 31st will be matched by a special challenge grant, with a goal of raising an additional $10,000.
Please be as generous as you can to help us receive the full challenge grant so we can feed more of our hungry neighbors today! Please spread the word! Click here to make a donation using our secure server.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Want to Be an Activist?

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities in which we live.

Bread for the World members write personal letters and emails to and meet with our representatives in Congress. Working through churches, campuses and other organizations, we engage more people in advocacy.Bread for the World works in a bipartisan way. We enjoy the support of many different church bodies. Bread for the World collaborates with other organizations to build the political commitment needed to overcome hunger and poverty. For example, Bread for the World is a founding partner in Bono's ONE Campaign.

Here's how you can help.

Monday, March 10, 2008

And Now, The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

Okay, I am unable to follow through with a time commitment of any kind. Now that we have established this, be prepared to wait an extra few days whenever I say a post is coming soon :)

The last week (month actually) of our crazy life has been...well, crazy. The boys have started going to school 3 mornings a week and you'd think an additional morning without kiddos would lead to greater productivity for me. This has not proven to be so. I am perpetually trying to catch up on all things neglected (everything organizational), stay on top of all things necessary for daily survival (you know, like feeding this brood and making sure they have clean underwear), and I have been attempting to carve out some me time for my own physical and mental well being (I have actually managed to get to the gym more times this month than I have in the last year). Throw in our usual geriatric dog care, sick kids every other minute, traveling Daddy, dentist appointments, doctor appointments, veterinary appointments, travel plans, garden planning (because it is almost Spring and I am anxious to get outside in the dirt - we have a delusional plan for growing much of our food this year) and this is the tip of our iceberg. Of course, I cannot imagine anything else so I want to clarify that this is not really complaining so much as assessing the chaos and pondering how to manage our (okay, my) time more efficiently.

Cs eczema (which I have not yet written about in detail but has been an ongoing struggle for him) is getting bad again. Unfortunately, his face has it the worst this time and has become a source of embarrassment and shame for him. 4 years old is not a time when being different is okay and he has said a few things that lead me to believe he may be getting left out of playground games at school. His own brothers have told him that he cannot play with them because they do not want to catch his "itchies" ( a conversation I overheard a couple of weeks ago that broke my heart). I've spoken with H and B both about Cs eczema, explaining that it is not contagious but is something that C has to live with just as H has asthma. We've talked about how he (C) must feel when his brothers and/or friends are unkind to him, when he is being left out and we have talked about how they (as brothers) need to always stick together, to take care of one another. How much of this they take to heart I do not know. I knew this day would come when one of our boys would be faced with a hurt that we could not protect him from. I did not expect it so soon and my heart is in no way prepared for the pain of watching it happen. Not sure where I am going with this - I am still coming to terms with it and looking for a way to address it sensitively with C.

H has had a weird stomach virus that had him puking for half a day (and he is usually at least a 24 hour puker) and then just lethargic and not eating - but no longer throwing up. He has not had a legitimate meal in 5 days and he is not a picky eater. I finally took him in this morning and the pediatrician said she's seeing a lot of this right now. She checked him out and feels he is probably just nauseated still - poor kid. We're hoping his appetite will return soon. He has already been surpassed in height and weight by his brothers...he needs all the nutrients his little body can get. And I need him to go back to school. Though in all honesty, it's been kind of neat to spend a little time alone with him as he convalesces.

B is full of imagination - telling stories and creating pretend scenarios for his brothers all day long. Well, most of the day - the rest of the time he is firing off questions at me about every possible thing imaginable. This child makes my brain hurt! I am thrilled at his inquisitive nature - it is much like my own. But his need to understand everything in the universe coupled with his inability to look it up and find answers for himself are wearing me down. "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer either. We must look for the answer - at the library or on the Internet (which, by the way is so crazy that my 4 year old knows that this is a way we can use computers - I don't think I knew which end was up at 4 years old) and then discuss it - ad nauseum - for days on end. I've never been interrogated, but I am beginning to see how it might make a person crack up after long enough.

On a group note, the boys started soccer last week. This is the funniest thing I have ever witnessed. Really. 15 four year olds "practicing" (code word for free for all) is comic relief for me as I am on the sidelines watching some poor innocent soul's (their very patient coach) attempt at "herding cats" (this is how Kelly refers to efforts at any organized drill with preschoolers). As twisted as it is, I revel in seeing other adults experience a slice of my daily life while I relax and do absolutely nothing to even hint at helping manage the chaos. If only I had a cold beer in my hand it would be perfect. Since their soccer league is through the church, I am thinking that beer at 4 year old soccer practice/games may be frowned upon. Too bad.

And this will have to do for an update as I can hear the little hooligans getting a little too crazy in the next room. I will try (and we have already established this means nothing) to post some pictures, at the very least, before the end of the week. I have several good ones on the camera that I will happily download if I can ever again find the cable to connect it to the computer...

Thursday, March 6, 2008




Worth Checking Out


Kids Talk is an award-winning weekly column dealing with childhood development issues and written by Maren Stark Schmidt. Mrs. Schmidt founded a Montessori school and holds a Masters of Education from Loyola College in Maryland. She has over 20 years experience working with young children and holds teaching credentials from the Association Montessori Internationale.

If you have preschoolers, this is a really good site full of information about learning (particulary reading) at this developmental stage and you can sign up to receive a weekly newsletter.

Plan B

Clearly I am not keeping up with daily posting. I do want to keep the blog and I do want to use it for journaling this process of little boys growing up (and Mommy too), so my new goal is to post weekly...possibly more often if time allows but weekly for sure. Not even ready to commit to a day of the week - it may be Monday it may be Friday - who knows, but I will post at least once per week. This little ramble is not my post for this week. I will have a week in review up tomorrow - seriously, I will (try). Here's a sample of things that may be in that post:
  • The boys started soccer (1st time) and it is a hoot
  • New mommies - as observed at the playground and memories of my first year as a first time mom
  • sick kids (this is a winter long theme)
  • faith and politics - because I am feeling crazy
  • higher education - as in, I want to go to grad school next year but I think it may be a little delusional to think it possible, we'll see
  • whatever else I can come up with that seems slightly interesting even if only to myself

So check in tomorrow (night) and see what made the cut.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Monday Memory (a few days later)

I missed this Monday past for my memory post. I'm barely getting the necessities done around here so blogging has fallen to the bottom of the to do list. But check out this picture (above) taken sometime in the first couple of weeks after the boys all came home. Don't I look so - I dunno, stupidly calm, optimistic, joyful that I have three infants dependant upon me for survival? I had no idea what was coming. I have no recollection of this photo being taken. The entire first year is a blur. I do remember how grateful I felt that all the boys were home and healthy. I feel that gratitude even now as I recognize how blessed we are. Also I feel exhausted - but I'm trying to focus on grateful. And how can you not be grateful for such cuteness (photo below).





Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Quest for Perfect

I have issues. Who doesn't? But I am struggling with how to keep my balance, my calm (this is not something that comes to me naturally) under pressure. The daily demands of raising three young sons, a husband who works a lot and travels often, a home that has never been described as organized (even on our best day), and the list goes on. Meanwhile, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up but am desperately trying to find a way to define myself - for myself - as my identity seems to have been lost in the delivery room. I read self help books, I lurk on mommy blogs, I pray - sometimes beg - for patience and acceptance of things I cannot control...and life goes on. I try to be grateful for everything. The little things as well as the obvious. I try to remind myself that this is only a moment in time. It will not last forever and while some days seem eternal, I will be sad when they are gone. Just as I already miss so many things about having babies although the first year of life with triplets is something I doubt I have the strength of character to ever repeat! I am not inclined to discuss these things or even to write them down (I am a terrible journaler and even worse when I think of everyone being able to access my thoughts and feelings online - as if anyone reads this...). I am struggling. Whether or not peace and (internal) silence can ever be achieved I do not know. But growth - now I have lots of that going on. And that is good right? I think it is. I hope it is.

I just started what so far seems to be a fantastic book - The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood by Ariel Gore. Here's a brief excerpt from the Preface (titled Chaos Training):

Motherhood is not what we imagined. It is more delightful, more
heartbreaking. It ruins everything. It's not the calm after the storm we have been led to expect. It's almost more than a person can bear. Almost...

Our intuition isn't always accessible. We need each other's support and helpful words. What we don't need is junk-food advice that tells us to ignore our feelings, that undermines our confidence and insults our intelligence. It's just a recipe for depression. Because what is intuition? It's a capacity of the spirit. It's knowledge...But there is also a jumping off point from this circular equation, a point where we can recognize our exhaustion for what it is, give ourselves a break, and in that quiet hour begin to transform the energy our culture has taught to use to scrutinize and blame ourselves, and turn it outward, into something revolutionary.

We can juggle, run in circles, we can make ourselves manic, burned out, bummed. But here's the thing: Chaos comes anyway. It comes whether we want it to or not. It comes even if we pretend we don't see it coming. And here's the other thing: Chaos is good news. It's movement. It's change. It's revolution. It's scary. But like intuition, I think we can trust it.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hooligans


Daddy's away and mutiny prevails....



I'm Still Here

But I have not been able to blog in awhile. Partly because I have been on my own for long stretches of time as this is the busiest time of year for Kelly and he is traveling more than usual. And partly because I have so much to write about - or at least to think about - that I do not know where to begin and am uncertain if these are things I want to share in such a public arena. So, I have not disappeared from this blog but am wrestling with what it is that I want from it and really short on time. In the meantime, I will try to keep posting pictures of and stories about the boys. There's always entertainment in the words of these little nuts and I'd like to remember it later - when I can use it against them :)

Here's an exchange we had in the car recently (I'd just put in a CD):

B: Is this Bob Marley?
Me: yes
B: Is Bob Marley in Heaven? (we have already had a previous discussion about BM no longer being alive - that was fun)
Me: I'm not sure - maybe
B: Is he playing music in Heaven?
Me: I think probably yes
B: Why is he always playing music?
Me; Because he has a gift. He is a very gifted musician. Everyone has gifts. Something you are very good at and that you love is a gift. If you can do something you love well then you will always be happy (or something to that effect - I was totally making this up on the fly)
B: I have a gift
Me: What's your gift?
B: Yep, I have a music gift too. My favorite instrument is the guitar and I am really good at it.
Me: Really? (He has never played the guitar)
B: Yes, the air guitar - I am really good at that and I love it - it's my gift

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Memory - Baby B

under the lights for jaundice treatment (aka the tanning bed)

Birth Day

first bath (2 days old)

3 1/2 years old (at the beach last summer)

One of the things I remember about B is how laid back he always seemed in the hospital. Honestly, had he not been hooked up to a monitor I woud have been checking for a pulse. The first to progress to room air and an open bed, he seemed to coast through the checklist of things he needed to accomplish in order to come home. The majority of his time in the nursery was spent getting bigger. And he did this well. Not the biggest (length or weight) at birth, he very soon overtook his brothers in both. Still at least an inch taller and a few pounds heavier than H or C, he is often mistaken for the older brother of twins. B's was the first diaper that Kelly ever changed - in his life. Through the arm holes of an isolette, it was no easy task. He (B) was the first of my babies that I bathed. Two days after his birth, I walked (very, very slowly) into the NICU and his nurse was just getting ready to bathe him. She asked if I wanted to do it - of course, I said yes. He was so tiny! Once the boys came home, there was a period of time that I wondered if this was the same baby. Always easy going at the hospital, B was our colic baby at home. His lungs got lots of exercise in those early weeks and I was more than a little scared of what was to come. Just like in the nursery, he has continued to thrive. He is the healthiest kid I know. And this brings me to another memory that is heart breakingly sweet and was a revelation to me just how much each of my little boys needs to feel special in his own right. H and C have had their share of chronic health concerns. Asthma and allergies kept us very busy with appointments to various specialists in addition to the pediatrician. Both have had multiple visits to urgent care and the ER as well. B, on the other hand, has been to the pediatrician maybe 3 times outside of well checks in all of his 4 years. So we're sitting in the kitchen one evening not long after one of the other boys had been to urgent care for something I can't even remember and B falls off the stool at the counter. I should note here that he's a bit dramatic about everything so hysteria over a stubbed toe is common. On this night, he hurt his finger. After attempting to comfort him and asking him a series of questions about where it hurt, having him squeeze my hand, feeling around, he was still pretty fired up. He insisted that he needed to go to the doctor. Alone. With me. And I realized that in his mind, every time I left with one of his brothers to go to a doctors appointment, that child was spending time alone with Mommy and he was not. So to the doctor we went - sort of. It was after hours and I seriously doubted this needed urgent care but I did not have the heart to tell him we were not going anywhere together. So I offered a stop for dinner in the way. We had a wonderful "date" at a local restaurant without a hint of pain in the finger. As we got back in the car, I mentioned that I thought he was going to be okay and maybe we should go on home. It was a lesson I keep with me as these little babies have become little boys. And the inspiration for dates with Mom (and Dad) that we try to plan with each child individually as often as schedules allow. B is still a little dramatic though these days it is more imaginative. He tells amazing stories with great detail and he is one of the coolest kids I know!