Category Archives: Funny Stuff

Artichoke trauma

Ah, those artichokes…  Who knew they could be such trouble-makers?

My seven-year-old daughter, Audrey, is still recovering.

Actually, it’s not the artichoke’s fault.

Having a wee bit of organic gardening experience under my belt, I can often (not always, but often) discern the difference between beneficial insects and harmful ones.  More squeamish minds may disagree, but it always pleases me when I see a beneficial, crawling in the weekly produce I get from Crooked Sky Farms.  It just makes me think, “The food is alive!  It was just picked!!  These bugs are HAPPY here!  It’s a GOOD bug!!”

I usually scoop up these little garden treasures on a leaf and have one of my kids go deposit it in my own garden.  Lately, I’ve been telling them to put the bug right on one of my dill plants, which are now in bloom and are (hopefully) operating as an aphid trap plant

However, during a recent family dinner, while Audrey was happily peeling back the petals of her ‘choke, dipping each in mayo, she encountered a ladybug.  A dead one.  Dead from me cooking it, encased in its previous home.  Loud wailing ensued, along with accusations of heart-heartedness, “HOW COULD YOU KILL A LADYBUG??  HOW COULD YOU COOK HIM???”

~sigh~

And of course, being seven, she is just not letting this drop.  It has been nearly a week now, and she still isn’t letting me live it down.  “Remember the cooked ladybug I found?  Mommy, why would you cook a ladybug?  Couldn’t you have found him first?  I don’t ever want to eat a ladybug.  I don’t think I want artichokes anymore.  If you make artichokes, will you please make sure that all of the ladybugs are out of their homes?  Open up each artichoke and check it first.  Please don’t cook anymore ladybugs.”  And this patter is still frequently accompanied by tears.

And, yes, this is the same daughter who will no longer eat pork, since we read Charlotte’s Web about a year and a half ago.

—————-

In related news, I think the CSA members are getting tired of artichokes;  quite a few traded in their allotment of five.  As the CSA coordinator and host, I’m the recipient of the cast-offs.  Plus, I think the farm shipped extra yesterday.  The result??  I have FORTY-SIX artichokes.  Forty-six.  Plus, they’re all quite small.  Not quite babies, but still, quite small.  I’ve been looking at my crate of ‘chokes, and decided that I needed a new recipe.

I usually prepare artichokes by the fairly standard method of cutting off the top 1/2″, steaming cut-side-down in salted water to which I’ve added lemon slices and garlic cloves….  Then dipping the leaves (petals, actually) in mayo (homemade is best, of course, but I usually purchase mayo from Trader Joe’s — all natural, in a glass jar).

I decided to Google “cooking small artichokes” and one of the first options that popped up was this:

Drool!

Immediately, it made me reconsider the bounty, and that so many artichokes aren’t a bad thing at all…

The recipe, Sautéed Baby Artichokes, calls for Herbes de Provence — of which I have none.  I will cook these tonight, and use minced fresh basil instead, and subbing pecorino romano for the called-for parmesan cheese.

In the meantime…  I’m trying to give away 20 of the artichokes on Facebook, but the only takers so far are from out of state.  😀

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Indoctrination. It’s working!

When I was a child, my mother — an only slightly-recovered hippie — was a health nut.  At least I thought she was a health nut.  I spent my childhood thinking, “When I have kids, I will let them drink Kool Aid and put Twinkies in their lunch boxes!”  I was tired of peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread, sliced apples, and plain potato chips in my school lunch.  I envied other kids’ white bread and jelly, sweetened applesauce cups, and the lovely, perfectly-formed, hermetically-sealed chocolate cupcakes with a swirl of white icing adorning the top.  I was certain she was skewed in her perspectives and couldn’t wait until I could make my own decisions about what I ate.

Given my own experiences, I have been quite surprised about my own children’s apparent buy-in to my own health nuttiness, which has MORE than raised any bar my mom ever set.

Here are a few things from just this past week:

  • Chow down, baby!

    I tend to worry that when my children see commercials for junk food on TV, they’ll be swayed.  It turns out that concern is misplaced, at least with my six-year-old, Audrey.  Upon seeing a McDonald’s commercial the other day, she remarked, “The box for a Happy Meal is more nutritious than the food inside!!”  This made me laugh!  And, NO, I have never said anything like that.  As far as I know, this is her own analysis.

  • My 15-year-old, Ethan, went home with a friend after church on Sunday.  Upon his return, he reported to me, “Guess where we went for lunch after church?  Taco Bell.  Jacob became very exasperated with me because I didn’t understand the menu and he had to explain the whole thing to me.”  We couldn’t remember the last time Ethan had been to Taco Bell, which in his own mind, ironically enough, is even an even more nefarious food-offender than McDonald’s.  “I had a Burrito Supreme.  It wasn’t very good.  It was about 30% water.”  Well, at least it hydrated him…
  • I published this tidbit on my Facebook page;  forgive the repeat, if you’ve heard it already.  My four-year-old, Fiala, ran a fever for about 48 hours. No other symptoms. I saved a (gluten-free) cake pop from a little friend’s Saturday birthday party.  I took Audrey, but Fiala missed out, though the mother of the birthday girl sent us home laden with a goodie bag.  Fi keeps asking to have the cake pop, which she calls a “lolly cake”.  At the best of times, her body has a hard time handling sugar, so I told her she has to wait until well after her fever is gone. “Why do you have a fever?” I asked her. “Because my germ-fighters are working HARD!!” she said. “And what makes germ-fighters weak?” I asked. “Sugar!!!” she replied with no hesitation at all. I was proud of her for remembering all my indoctrination, even if she still wants the cake pop.

Inception: Pink World

Today is our last day of the Christmas holidays break from school.  We took three weeks’ vacation.  Because we can do that.*

I have a number of errands to do today, and was intending on doing them this morning… but knowing this is our last slow day for weeks to come, I’ve been dragging my feet.  Or, rather, dragging my rear end, which stayed planted in the loveseat for several hours.  My favorite part:  Snugging.  Various children come and go, dropping in for a cuddle and a chat.  We’re covered in blankets because it’s cold (even in the Phoenix area) and we’re cheap, so the heat is set at 67°, which is actually two degrees warmer than last year.

My six-year-old, Audrey, stopped by.  She proceeded to tell me about a girl from SuperChurch** who looks just like her.  I was surprised, as I am at least acquainted with most of the children who are regulars, as I lead worship in there, 2-3 times per month.  “Yeah,” Audrey continued.  “And her name is even Audrey!”

I went immediately from serious interest to skepticism laced with humor.  “Really??  She looks just like you and her name is Audrey??  Let me guess.  Her name is Audrey Sophia [our last name].”

“Oh, no,” Audrey disagreed emphatically.  “Her name is Audrey Sophia Doe.”

“Doe” is the suffix Audrey invented before she was two, meaning “this is someone I really love.”  “Daddy-Doe” was the inaugural “Doe.”  ‘Doe’ became a good indication of how Audrey was feeling about someone, and it was quite the honor for a non-family-member to be christened a ‘Doe’.  We still call Audrey, “Audrey-Doe,” frequently.  Or just ‘Doe’.  Or, as I often call her, “Rosy-Toesy-Cozy-Doezy.”

It’s one of those family things…

Anyway.

With her insisting that the other Audrey who looked like her had the “actual” last name of “Doe,” my suspicions were confirmed:  Her imagination was in full swing.

I’m all for imagination, and Audrey’s is the most active amongst my children.  Since before she could really talk, she has had an imaginary friend, Rabbiana (“ra-bee-AH-nah”).  Rabbiana started as the girl in the mirror;  Audrey’s reflection.  Aud named this other girl well before she understood that the reflection was her own self.  She seemed to honestly think that there was, indeed, an entire land in addition to our own, held in the mirror.  Over the years, her imaginary world has broken through the boundary of being limited to the Mirror World;  Rabbiana’s world is typically found on the rooftop of our own house and is quite detailed.  Rabbiana has an entire family — the key member of whom is Rabbiana’s brother, Loy.  Other family members, friends, and pets come and go in this imaginary place.  Also, most everything is pink there, named — unsurprisingly — Pink World. 

I have pushed countless apparently-empty swings at the park for Rabbiana, while Audrey gushes second-hand thankfulness…

“Audrey Sophia DOE??” I repeated.  “It sounds to me like this other Audrey who looks just like you is one of your imaginary friends.”

Audrey was indignant.  “She’s not MY imaginary friend.”

Pause.

“She’s Loy’s.”

In case you’ve lost track of the layers, that means that the other Audrey is actually the real Audrey’s imaginary friend’s brother’s imaginary friend.

I told Audrey (the real one) that she had a future ahead of her as a Hollywood script-writer.

————

*Of course, this just means we add an additional week to the end of the school year…  Except in Arizona, they recently lifted the requirement of 35 weeks per school year.  “You can be done when you feel like you’re done for the year,” the Maricopa County homeschool liaison told me, a few years ago…  I still officially stick with 35 weeks, but last year, I was DONE after the second week of June, which made 34 weeks.

**This is the Sunday school at our church for children ages 6-12.

Sheltered foodies

In some ways, the clichéd accusation is true:  my homeschooled children are sheltered.  Two events happened in the last 24 hours, though, that made me chuckle while thinking, “Being sheltered isn’t such a bad thing.”

  1. Yesterday, I took the five children to the Prescott area, about an hour and a half north of here.  Among other things, we picked up my nephew and went to Costco.  So, I had six children, ages 3 – 16, in the store with me, and everyone was fabulous.  I was so pleased with how smoothly everything was going, and wanted to bless them.  So, I decided that everyone could have a frozen yogurt or a berry smoothie.  Oh, I laughed as my children inadvertently reminded me how infrequently we do this sort of thing — both because of cost, the sugar, and because who knows what’s in “yogurt” at Costco??  I usually avoid that sort of stuff like the plague.  But, this was a special occasion.  “Chocolate, vanilla, or swirl?” I asked each child.  “What’s swirl?” replied two of them — my six-year-old, Audrey, and my 15-year-old, Ethan.  Swirl.  They didn’t know what swirl was.  Adding to Audrey’s confusion was the whole topic of “yogurt.”  She is familiar with plain, whole milk yogurt, which she very often has for/with her breakfast.  “Yogurt can be ice cream??” she marveled.  Once we got it sorted out what swirl and frozen yogurt was, we could proceed.  Ethan and Audrey both decided to try this novelty of an idea:  swirl.  I had chocolate and gave Fiala (my three-year-old, who has almost kicked a systemic, REALLY BAD candida albicans yeast infection) six little bites.  Everyone else chowed down, and by the end, two of my children were saying it was too sweet and they had a stomach ache.  Ha!  It was a learning experience for all of us, and a really good ~$8.50 spent.
  2. Yesterday, we also received a package from Riega Foods for us to review*.  Now, this isn’t the official review, but I had to share:  I wanted to finish cleaning bathrooms before getting lunch ready, and the clock was ticking, especially since I sat down after being 80% done and chatted with my sister for a half-hour on the phone, which I absolutely do not regret.  😀  My oldest, Ethan, was especially interested in the cheese sauce mixes, and asked if he could make some macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I thought this might be a good idea, especially since my dairy-free child is gone at a friend’s house for the day.  Well, we didn’t quite have enough of the right sort of gluten-free noodles to make a whole meal of it, but I decided that he could work on that to be a “lunch snack” while I finished cleaning the bathrooms.  Now, you need to understand something:  Ethan is my sous chef.  He is a great hand at food prep:  washing, chopping, slicing, stirring, flipping, mixing, pretty much anything I need him to do at the cutting board and the stove top.  Very often, I’m the brains behind making a meal, and he’s the brawn, doing a good portion of the actual work.  So, it’s not like he’s inexperienced in the kitchen.  However…  he continued to come to me to ask me a question or two or three about the process of making what is the (almost) natural equivalent of Kraft Mac & Cheese — powdered mix combined with ¼ cup milk and a couple of tablespoons of butter.  I was partly annoyed that he was having difficulty with such a simple kitchen task when it dawned on me, “He has very little experience following the directions on a package!!!”  We make virtually everything from scratch, and I can’t remember the last time a “cheese sauce mix” was in our home!!  He’s more accustomed to, “Slice these ¼-inch thick and sauté them in butter.”  I finally had to stop what I was doing, and go over in great detail how to make boxed pasta.  I also completely abandoned my annoyance, and was amused and rather pleased that, in his fifteen years of life on this planet, he has virtually no experience with “cheese sauce”.

————

*Stay tuned for a whole review and a giveaway!!!!

Thus ends the most French-filled blog post I think I’ve ever written.

MoFiN and SooP

Saturday was the 17th anniversary of marriage to my dear, integrous, handsome, and highly talented husband, Martin.  We enjoyed a fabulous day trip to central Arizona, where we enjoyed wine tastings at Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery and Page Springs Cellars.  Javelina Leap was more instructional and intimate.  Page Springs was more impressive, large, and put-together.  Page Springs had WAY more wines, but I think I enjoyed the experience at Javelina Leap better.

There are other wineries in the area, but we thought we’d better halt it at two.  🙂

We also very much enjoyed an hour or more meandering around the Page Springs Fish Hatchery nature area walking on the close, wooded trails, and watching the birds in and around the ponds.  We saw a Black Phoebe, six or so Great Blue Herons, dozens of American Coots and American Widgeons, many Mallards, several White-Crowned Sparrows, and perhaps hundreds of Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, which were a new add to my life birding list.  We likely would have ID’ed more birds had we given it more time.

We spent the late afternoon and evening in old town Cottonwood, where there was a festival of some sort with a variety of interesting people, booths, music, art, and general funky, small-town atmosphere.  We bought some Peruvian wool yarn for my sister, who was staying with my girls, and had dinner at the Tavern Grille.

It was a great day.

On the drive home, we stopped for Starbuck’s and watched the moon rise over the bare hills of central Arizona.  Perfect.

When we got home, we discovered that my sister nearly died watching my girls.  Not really, but she was in tears.  Of course, she never let on about any of this while we were gone.  😦  She requested that she never watch the girls again without the help of at least two of my boys.  We then sort of laughed over the apparent oxymoron of how it’s easier to care for five children than two.  Plus her own 15 month old daughter.  My sister Robin has a bad back, and she said that she realized that, most of the time she watches my children, she stays on the couch and gives orders to the older children, intervening when necessary.  🙂  Much easier than chasing around one-, three-, and five-year-olds, nonstop, for about twelve hours.  She was in pain and a little horrified how Audrey in particular took advantage of Robin’s less-than-availability, instead of sympathizing and helping more, especially in light of how Robin had carted Audrey around to all sorts of special things that day — a birthday party, a paint-your-own-pottery place, the park…

I felt badly for Robin, and badly about raising a daughter who isn’t appreciative of the good things provided for her.  I’m still sorting that out in my mind, and in a couple of conversations with my sister regarding parenting…

This provided a giggle, though:

When my sister was preparing dinner (“soop”), Audrey — who had attended a birthday party earlier that day with her own gluten-free cupcakes in hand — decided to petition Robin for a better dinner.  “Mofin?  Yes!  Soop?  NO!”  It’s a “sparkle muffin” with frosting and sprinkles (a.k.a. a cupcake).  Note the appropriately-placed smiley face and frowny face.

Overall, a good day.

Next time, I’ll definitely have mercy on my sister by leaving behind some helpers for her.  🙂

Spin

I am a firm believer in NOT manipulating one’s children.  Someone I know used to tell his daughter, when she was much younger, that everything was “chicken,” because the girl refused to eat anything except for chicken.  So, rather than telling her it was, say, watermelon she was eating, or a hot dog, he’d say it was “chicken.”  Hm.  Not into that.

To this day, years later, he laughs over that season in his little girl’s life.  But to me?  That’s too close to lying.  And, too high-maintenance.  My style is more along the lines of, “Eat it or go to bed hungry.”  And, well… I guess both sides have merit, though mine is particularly less merciful, so perhaps I shouldn’t be patting myself too hard on the back for my honesty.

There is certainly a fine line there, I’m discovering, especially for little ones for whom appearance and perception truly matters.  In our home, that would be Audrey.  She’s almost five (gasp!), and this has been the case since she was very young.  I have to be careful not to wield unwisely my power to get her to do what I want her to do.

For instance:

  • She used to fight me tooth and nail when it was time to wash her face.  I had a little revelation, and, appealing to her vanity, I solemnly explained that she had so much muck on her face that I couldn’t see her “pretties”.  As I gently rubbed her cheek, nose, and chin, I started to exclaim that, bit by bit, her pretties were shining through!!  Audrey was genuinely excited.  After I washed her, she insisted on looking at her glowing face in the mirror, happily admiring her pink, clean little self…  It stuck.  We’ve been uncovering her pretties, after mealtimes, for years now.  It works with Fiala, too.  Fi is not quite 2½, and has never been quite as enamored with the idea of beauty as Audrey.  So, getting her pretties to shine through isn’t quite as effective, but nearly so.
  • About a year ago, I bought a pair of brown jeans for Audrey.  I couldn’t pass up the deal — the cost was less than $2 for them, brand-new!  I anticipated a bit of a struggle, though, with Audrey.  Brown, according to very small girls who have a very persistent “girlie” streak, is not a very feminine color.  She looked very dubiously at them, and proclaimed brown to be a “boy” color, because it is the same color as dirt.  “Oooh,” I cooed conspiratorially, smoothing the rich brown fabric, “These aren’t dirt-colored.  They’re chocolate-colored.  These are chocolate jeans!”  Instantly, Audrey’s face was all delight;  she changed her tune completely.  “Oooooh!  Chocolate jeans!  I looove chocolate jeans!”  And, she’s loved them ever since, calling them “chocolate jeans” every time she wears them.
  • I bought Audrey a pack of undies, not too long ago.  There was an assortment of patterns and colors, most a variety of pinks and purples.  One, though, was not to her taste:  The pair featured a number of different sizes of elephants, colored various shades of blues and reddish-pinks.  Elephants, I could hear her thinking, are boy animals.  And, to make matters worse, some of them are blue.  Blue is a boy color.  Everyone knows that.  Disdain clouded her face, and she opened her mouth to protest.  Preempting her, I pointed out, “These aren’t just elephants.  They’re elephant families.  Look.  The larger blue ones are the daddy elephants.  The lighter blue ones are the brother elephants.  The bigger pink elephants are the mommies, and the littler ones are the sisters.  And, look!” I continued with a tiny, tender gasp, “There are itty-bitty elephants, too!  Those are the babies!!”  I do know my daughter.  “Ooooh!” she squealed, eyes open wide, anticipation filling her whole self, “Baby elephants!  Elephant families!  Oh, I want to wear them right now!”  And the pair of underpants which, at first blush, she would have gladly chucked into the trash, unworn, became her favorite in an instant.  They are, still.
  • Audrey takes a nap on my bed.  The two girls share a room, and while that works fine for night time, when they both sleep, room-sharing during naptime is not nearly as successful, especially since Audrey actually sleeps only once out of every three or four days.  Normally, I time it so that I’m not doing laundry when she goes down for a nap;  somehow, I knew it would bother her if the sheets were missing.  But, on a recent Saturday, it just happened that the linens were in the wash when it was time for Audrey’s nap.  She walked into my room and balked.  “I can’t sleep on that bed.  It has no sheets.”  Now, I could have put on an old set of sheets just for her nap, but I balked at the extra work.  Instead, looking at the mattress pad — a new one, bright white, soft and puffy — I whispered conspiratorially to Audrey, “Look!”  I patted the bed.  “You get to sleep on a cloud!”  Instantly, her eyes lit up, and I knew I had sold her.  “A cloud?!?” she asked, dreamily.  “Oooh, it’s so soft.  Just like real clouds.  Do you think real clouds are soft like this?”  She napped, like a dream, on a cloud…

Manipulation?  Yes, a bit.  Spin?  Definitely.  Lying?  I hope not.

Have you ever dissuaded someone from homeschooling?

I built up a head of steam yesterday.

Perhaps it was a bit misplaced.

I still haven’t decided.

The shortish version is that I read a blog post from someone — we’ll call her Rosie — who was “inspired” by the blog post of another blogger — we’ll call her Patience.  Patience’s post had sung the praises of the benefits of homeschooling, and had said, in essence, that every family would benefit from it.  In Rosie’s response, she took each of Patience’s numbered points, and rewrote and dismantled them, supplying her own life as a better example, which was, in short, homeschooling for the younger years, and public/charter schooling for the older years.

I didn’t entirely disagree with most of Rosie’s suggestions.  I was, though, aghast that she would publicly take a specific blogger — a friend, no less — to task.  And, that she would say, in essence, “I have learned much better, grasshopper.  Mine is the more excellent way.”  Though Patience responded and didn’t seem miffed, I couldn’t help but feel for her.  I would be horrified if someone I had known personally had done that to me.

One thing, though, about which I did completely agree with Rosie, was that homeschooling is not for everyone.  I have steered an inquiring mother in another direction, on more than one occasion.  One, which made me giggle at the memory, was from a mother who

  • said she had zero budget for homeschooling
  • balked at my suggestion that she go to a library:  “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a library.”
  • didn’t have a clear reason about why she wanted to homeschool
  • did not have the support of her husband
  • did not research or follow up on any of the material I gave her, over a couple months’ period

What it came down to was that this mother wanted:

  • ME or some government entity to supply her with an entire curriculum (she didn’t want to participate with one of the assorted charter “homeschooling” programs, where the school provides the curriculum, and often a computer, and then checks up on the student, like Arizona Virtual Academy or Connections Academy).
  • ME to tell her husband that she should homeschool.  She figured that, as I have a (small) leadership role in the church, I’d outweigh his authority on the matter.

Her audacity made my jaw drop.  I declined to help on either count, and never heard from her again.

Now, the story makes me giggle.

Do you have any similar stories??   Or, do you, too think that homeschooling is for everyone?  (I won’t rip you apart if you do!)

EDITED TO ADD: Names have been changed to protect the parties involved, of course.  “Rosie” has only very rarely ever been to my blog, and I don’t believe “Patience” ever has.  I don’t think it likely that either will ever see this post.  And, even if they do, no one would ever know it’s them, unless they out themselves in a comment, or something like that.  So, I think the dignity of the bloggers is protected.

Kitten balls, and a peek into parenting an Aspie child.

A few minutes ago, getting Fiala ready for a nap, she spied some white fluff on the bathroom sink.  “Mama, may I have a sof’, sof’ kitten ball?”

I hand one to her, correcting with a hearty laugh, “They’re cotton balls, not kitten balls.”

She gives me a mischievous look, grinning while stroking her cheek with the “kitten” ball, “Mee-ow, mee-ow.”

🙂

And this is awesome.  I could easily see myself having a very similar conversation with Grant.  (My son Grant has a learning disorder that is very much akin to Asperger’s Syndrome.  It’s called Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and it’s like Asperger’s MINUS obsessions, but with the ADDITION of fine and gross motor skill issues.  He was diagnosed when he was four, and is now 11.)

Sweet/Sad

I keep telling Fiala that she’s a genius.  She’s smart, but I am more impressed by her… emotional intelligence.  She’s two years old — just barely — and often more perceptive than any of us.  She is the sweetest member of our family, deeply concerned when someone gets a boo boo, or gets in trouble, or has a hard time with something, ready to give hugs and words of consolation, celebrating — with visible relief and joy — when the difficulty has passed.  Likewise, she notices and files away into her memory things that make people happy, and will frequently say something like, “Great dinner, Mama!” simply because she knows it brings a smile to my face, and she’ll receive sincere thanks and some lovin’ in reply.  She acts with similar kindness and encouragement to everyone.  Recently, she has started asking just about everyone, “Hi!  How are you doing?” because she has noticed how happily everyone responds to a two-year-old who is sincerely concerned with their well-being.  She is simply a gift of God to our family;  I become more and more convinced that God knows we need.  🙂

Her restricted diet gets more and more difficult to manage as she gets older.  If you’re 12 months old, and you’re eating something different than the rest of the family, you’re not that likely to notice.  But, if you’re 24 months old, and you really like eating, it becomes a source of frustration and sadness that you can’t eat what everyone else is enjoying.

Countless times, Fi has asked for a food item, only to have me respond, “Oh, Fi… I’m so sorry, but you can’t have that.  It will hurt your skin!”  or, “It will hurt your tummy!”

At lunch on Thursday, we had a similar exchange.  Fiala had her Fi-safe lunchmeat, carrots, and farinata.  She was particularly desirous of the pepperoni and cheese that others were having.  I sometimes give her a bit of sheep’s milk romano, but she really wanted a whole slice of provolone.  “No, Fi.  I’m so sorry.  This cheese will hurt your skin, honey.  And your tummy.  I can’t give it to you.”

Fiala was quiet for a while, thinking.

Then, she piped up, in a heart-achingly hopeful voice, “Cheese makes me better, Mama!”

I about laughed and wept at the same time.

Precious child.

Wes Gems

Wesley will be nine years old, later this month.

He’s an interesting little cookie, that boy, and if there is one of my children who I’m afraid I just don’t “get” well enough, it’s Wes.

Three things have tickled me in the last couple of days about Wesley:

  1. Last night, as I was making dinner, Wesley asked if he could help.  “Sure!” I said, handing him the veggie peeler and a pound of carrots.  After that task was completed, I asked him if he wanted to learn how to use the knife to slice about 8 oz of mushrooms.  His face lit up.  Mistakenly, I thought it was because of the knife.  He set me straight, saying with enthusiasm, “Girls like boys who can cook!”  Um, yes, Wes.  Yes, they do.
  2. Wesley’s Teaching Textbooks Math 5 arrived in the mail, late Tuesday afternoon.  I loaded it onto the computer yesterday morning, and by the end of the day, Wes had cranked out four lessons.  Today, he has already done an additional four lessons, plus a quiz.  He has spent virtually all of his spare time doing math and, in two days, he has accomplished about two weeks of math.
  3. On Monday night, I took Grant to a baseball game (he had won a free ticket in the summer reading program).  During the game, I took a few pictures of Grant with my phone.  Upon reviewing the snaps, I saw that Wesley had confiscated my phone and taken about 15 photos of himself, his sisters, and at least ten of various Lego men.  I laughed hard.

(For those of you who didn’t catch the title’s reference…)

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