Friday, May 29, 2015

A lovely rhubarb sauce

We've been enjoying eating out of the garden again: lettuce, spinach, scallions, parsnips, cilantro, dill, rhubarb.  It has been so delicious and quite refreshing, such a nice change of pace from the winter's cabbage salads and sauerkraut.

My favorite treat this spring has been rhubarb sauce, sweetened with raisins and dates.

Rhubarb Sauce
  • 1-1.5 lbs of rhubarb
  • A big handful of raisins, chopped
  • A small handful of pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 cloves
  • 2-ish cups boiling water

:: Chop the rhubarb and combine everything in a pot that "just fits", pouring boiling water up to the half-way point.

:: Bring to a boil, then let simmer 10-15 minutes or until the rhubarb has broken down into a saucy consistency.

:: Enjoy warm or cool, with butter and maple syrup or coconut oil and honey.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Contingency plan the thousandth

I thought more about my What a diff post and realized that, duh, I now have FOUR children, ages ranging from 2 years old to almost 10 years old. 

In 2009, I "only" had two children, an almost 4 year old and a two year old.  Wow.  Double the laundry, double the food prep, quadruple the clean up and fighting.

No wonder.  One would have thought that was obvious.

Not to mention that they are all boys, energy abounding, with a preference for wrestling and racing all around, led by the oldest boy who has freely admitted that he stirs things up to a frenzied pitch on purpose if and when he gets "bored".

Or the fact that I am trying to keep up with a preschooler and a toddler while simultaneously trying to stay on top of a homeschooling schedule for a 9 and 7 year old.


The one thing I have to remember, always remember, please please please remember, is that life is constantly changing; and with that, I have to be continually adapting to keep the pace.  It is hard, as I usually feel like I am adjusting woefully late in the game.  I need to get better at that: the continual re-address and problem-solving part of parenting.  It never ends, but somehow it slips off my radar on a semi-regular basis.

Furthermore, as a homeschooling mama of four, everything depends on me.  There is no outside structure.  It is all me.

This is good and bad.  Good, in that I prefer autonomy.  Bad, in the fact that I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, inspired-to-action kind of gal.  I can do routines, but the day always seems like it gets away from me.  And I think it is making life harder.

It feels like we are all floundering, particularly in the morning hours.  I have a skeleton outline for the day, but reeling in the boys for our various tasks and assignments can be arduous.  Set expectations make everything easier.  I know this. An established, daily structure makes everything easier too.  Instead of having to think about it or question "what's next?", we flow.  Like a stream. 

And with all that, I need to actively impose further order to my life, for all of us.

My plan is to start parsing out the day with a timer.  Seriously.  I am going to use it as practice to divide up our hours into manageable chunks, giving the boys an understanding of what to expect so it isn't pulling teeth to move to the next phase of the day, or for me, to wonder what we should be tackling next.  I will do this until it becomes normalized.

I need to identify hot spots, hone in on our routine, and make sure that I have plenty of down-time with the little guys to be able to give them my full attention.

And now . . . I post.  Speaking of the devil, I've got a little four year old wiggling all over me who obviously needs my attention. ♥

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What a diff

I try to re-read posts from each particular month from years' past on my blog.  I like to reminisce, compare notes, remember phases and stages, and gain a bit of perspective every time.

Tonight it was the months of May.  I came across this post from 2009 called "What I've been thinking about recently..." and felt amazed I had enough space in my mind to contemplate that long of a list.

My mind is clogged with trying to stay on track with schoolwork, chore routines, housework, attitudes and unruly behavior, mitigating fights, and all the endless problem-solving that goes with all of it.

Things have changed.  There's no doubt about it. I've been feeling as much, but wasn't quite sure if it was just a sense of overwhelm or if I honestly have less space in my life for . . . what? Fancy? Extras? Contemplation? Freedom of thought?

Whatever it is, the difference from May 2009 to May 2015 is distinct.