Let Him Out And Bring Me An Onion

The brothers that prompted the blog title, standing in front of the pantry, where the event occurred…

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Those boys…oh, those boys…

The youngest guy, Mr. Paul, the one who did not understand what I meant by “Smile” for the above pictures, is a corker. Type-A all the way, I’m sure that he thinks the world would be a better place if he were allowed to be in charge.
He alternately cracks us up and makes me feel like I’m cracking up. His new way of getting attention for 2013 is to step inside the pantry, which is the area under the stairs, and close the door, thus locking himself in. He then proceeds to yell for me or to yell “Help!” Fortunately he has only done it once or twice a week so far.

Yesterday, when the latest incident occurred, I was chopping onions for taco soup and thought about leaving him for a bit. He was confined after all! But, I thought better of that idea and told his next older brother, Isaac, who is every bit the corker and cracker upper, but in a hyper-Energizer Bunny sort of way, “Let him out and bring me an onion.” I thought that was a good statement. Well, maybe it was more of a command. I mean, he needed to get out and one of the onions I had chosen was bad, so two for the price of one, right?

The Blog Engineer, aka Kyle, was working in the living room and immediately burst out laughing and told me that I needed to use that for a blog title. It was brought up again tonight at dinner. I said I thought I added “please,” but that made him laugh more!

So, there you have it–a peek into dinner preparations, Heironimus-style!

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

ps Sorry I still don’t have the hang of photo placement. It’s on my list for the Blog Engineer :)

Again

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday:Again

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. That is like the one rule we all really care about. For reals.

Again.

I have the opportunity to serve my wonderful family. I have been blessed to stay-at-home with my children, beginning with my first-born, almost 16 1/2 years old. Where have the years gone?

Serving like Jesus should always be my goal, but I have sometimes, o.k., lots of times forgotten that. This past Advent season was a very thoughtful time for me. Since then, I feel that I have grown and matured as a mother. Patience, kindness, goodness…just a few of the Fruit of the Spirit.
I served the youngest this morning, by helping him wash his hands and get dressed. I helped three of the middles yesterday, by cleaning up the eggshells that seemed to be all over the kitchen, after they served the family by peeling hard-boiled eggs.
I served my husband by taking care of our home and family while he is away. Home today–yea!!
I served my daughter by making the cough-concoction before bed, so she could sleep better.
I am trying to serve God by loving Him and loving my neighbors, his greatest commandments.
Stop.

Things that go “bark” and “beep” in the night: Dogs and Diabetes

The “bark” would be from the Black Lab/Terrier mix, Buddy, and her faithful, though not-so-smart side-kick, Gus, the blue-eyed Australian Shepherd. They spent the last two nights in the house after frenzied barking attacks.
They think they need to scare off every deer or other critter that passes their territory. I happen to disagree, but can’t seem to convey that to them, so at 1:15 a.m. yesterday morning and at 9 p.m. last night, I snapped my fingers and quietly called, and they obediently (miraculously) came. Actually, Gus went to the dog house the first time, but that was o.k. because he usually isn’t the instigator of the aforementioned frenzied barking attacks.
I was afraid that Buddy, the brains of the outfit, may have decided that this was a great way to get to sleep inside, but really those goofy dogs prefer the outside, so tonight, so far, they have been quiet, but it’s only 11:45…

The “beep” would be from the handy-dandy insulin pump that John wears. His newest meter is quiet, but the pump beeps at me when I bolus him for high blood sugar (anything over 150).
His daddy, the multi-talented, electrical/software, blog AND pump engineer is out of town and I am his stand-in. On a side note, He is also a great lactation engineer, but that’s another story and besides, those days are over and I’m not sharing him ;)

Doing night duty is not the most fun thing to do, but I am happy to be able to take care of my boy. The dogs aren’t earning any points with me though. I would obviously prefer that they sleep through the night. Maybe, just maybe, I have been known to wake them up from their lovely naps in the afternoon sun to admonish them to try sleeping at night, but they don’t take me up on it often.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Six Days of Cherished: Luke Edition

Writing the Five Minute Friday post: “Cherished” for Lisa-Jo’s blog was terrifying, but once it was done, I felt relief. That relief then turned into reflection of the past almost 16 1/2 years of parenting and with it, some sadness and regret. I decided to try not to dwell in that pit, but instead to use those reflections as motivation to continue the progress that I think and hope I have been making, to change even more.
One-On-One time is so important to my children and I have a little here-and-there, but nothing to write home or a blog post about.
So, I gave/am giving, myself a six-day challenge to do my best to make my children feel cherished.

The subject of this first post (Is that professional?) is Luke. He is my #2 son and second born. Unlike his very Type-A, extroverted siblings, he isn’t big on sharing his feelings.
So, when I find something he likes, I need to jump on it. I wasn’t expecting it to be so literal this time, but when your 14-year-old rides by and asks if you want a ride on his old junker bike with trick pegs and no brakes, what is a mom supposed to say?
Maybe that wasn’t the best question.
Let’s try: What would a mom, looking to make her son feel cherished, do? (I asked him is he felt cherished, while we were riding, just to make sure!) We did a lap and had a blast!
Love that boy!

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In the top picture we were joined by Gus, the Australian Shepherd.
Background: The lovely (creative, educational) tree fort.

In the bottom picture we were joined by #4 son, and fifth born, Isaac.
Background: Our house and lovely (practical, adventuresome) big van.

2 Timothy 3:14-17: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Cherished

Five Minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. That is like the one rule we all really care about. For reals.

This is my first time participating in Five Minute Friday. I have always chickened out before. The blog engineer is asleep, so the formatting may not come out perfectly, but I did all of the writing in five minutes. Thank you iPhone timer.
Here it is:

Cherished.

Do my children know that they are cherished. My husband and I work, sometimes better than others, to cherish each other, but I fear that my children do not feel cherished. Loved, yes. Cared for, yes. But cherished? Not so much.
Why? So many, so close, so overwhelming, so unorganized, so impatient, so imperfect, grumpy, lazy, etc. I simply have not taken the time to cherish them. Individually. I so want to change that. Things are better than they were. Definitely. But while I have the time, the short time that they are all still with us, I want to do better.
Psalm 127:3 says that children are a reward, a blessing, a heritage, depending on the version. I truly believe that, I just forget to act on it in the chaotic everyday of live.
Today was a reminder as I took my only daughter to the doctor for a “slight” case of pneumonia in the lower lobe of one lung.
I am reminded every day how fortunate we are to be able to care for our son with diabetes.
Six beautiful, unique, creative, wonderful blessings.
They are cherished.
Oh, they are cherished.
I am going to show them just how much.

Play dough, painting, Legos, deep, theological talks…whatever it takes.
Stop

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On the bridge at Fassnight Park in early June.

    (Photo added after I did the writing! )

My Girl

My sweet daughter has been sick since last Saturday, progressively getting worse. Following is what I just sent to our “everyone” e-mail group at church:

I took Rachel to the doctor this morning and she was diagnosed with a slight case of pneumonia in the lower lobe of one lung. I was hoping that this would not be the case, but knew that something was up with a persistent cough and no sore throat turning into a mild wheeze.
We are relieved to get a diagnosis and as far as pneumonia goes, this case isn’t as bad as we have experienced in the past. She has started a 10-day course of amoxicillin and the doctor expected that she would feel much better by Monday.

We would appreciate your prayers.

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From September: Rachel and her daddy on a date at Panera Bread and at the beach house in Florida.

Top 12 in 2012

These are listed in chronological order, as I would have a hard time choosing one favorite.

One–Bible Gateway reading plan app: I found this on-line, I think from the blog Preschoolers and Peace. Though I didn’t make it completely through the Bible this year, I came close. The app is free and there are a number of plans to choose from. It felt good to have structure to my reading time.

Two–”Unto the Least of These:” A play written about the life of George Mueller and performed at the Stained Glass Theatre in Ozark. The director wrote the play and patiently instructed our three oldest children, who did not have any prior acting experience.
This was an exhausting experience in a way, but the story couldn’t be beat. We fell in love with missionary biographies when Adam was in kindergarten, beginning with George Mueller. We read it again (for the third or fourth time) in late 2011 and thought this would be a great play to do and it was. The children would enjoy performing again the next time a biography comes along.

Three–Memorial Day Bash: This was gathering of church friends. We were inside, outside, talked, played and enjoyed bbq chicken legs and sides, with watermelon for dessert. The tally was 25, which included our crew.
I have a tendency to need a paper bag for my entertaining preparations. I have hyperventilation issues. This would be the main reason we don’t entertain often, after my organization issues, that is. But…in the end, I am always glad we did it. Though I don’t appreciate my husband reminding me of this while I am in the midst of one of my “episodes!”

Four–Good Morning Girls Bible Studies: I completed three in 2012–Proverbs 31 in the summer, Colossians in the fall and an Advent study. I am in a small group of homeschoolers that keep in touch via e-mails. I had really missed being involved in a concentrated study and this has been such a blessing.

Five–Kyle’s new job: In June, after 19 years of writing software for a security company, he made the plunge into working from home remotely. He found the time to update his resume and search for jobs, while attending one of the children’s numerous play practices.

Six–Ellis Family Reunion: Held every two years, this is the first I had attended in six years. I did have really good excuses–Four years ago, I was a few weeks away from Paul’s arrival. Dad came all the way here to get the older three so they could represent our family. Two years ago, Adam brought home camp crud and we had the rare occurrence of all being in respiratory/sinus/fevery distress at once. Not fun.
So this year, I made it. My dad’s three sisters were all there and his brother’s widow, plus their children. Two of my dad’s cousins and a cousin-in-law came also. I’m glad we went. My grandmother has been gone for 12 years and we don’t get together often and I enjoyed visiting and catching up.

Seven–Kohout mini-Family Reunion: I hadn’t seen two of my Chicago cousins in eight or so years, and one of their children graduated from high school and invited my parents to his party. My mom was sick and couldn’t make it that weekend, and I had been talking about a trip to Chicago, as it had been 10 years since our last visit. Voila!!! A trip in the making!!
We stayed at Mom and Dad’s on Friday night, they took us to see The Lion King, performed at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, which was quite a spectacular event, even taking into account the odd story. Then those brave souls got back into our van for the trip to the Chicago suburbs!
Mom and I packed food and the children did well, as usual, with the trip.
On Sunday, we met my mom’s brother, sister-in-law and their three daughters at a beautiful park, Catigny. We spent the whole day there and had a great time. My uncle said his three-girl event staff would take care of everything and my cousin e-mailed to confirm this. I told her not to worry, that I would bring food for us, since we are gluten and sugar-free. She quickly replied that I had been over-ruled. I have never had an outing post-diabetes and celiac, that was so relaxing and stress-free. With the exception of some gluteny bread for the masses, EVERYTHING was gluten-free.
My uncle did the shopping for the sandwich supplies and bought Luke a loaf of delicious Udi’s bread. My cousins all brought the sides and dessert and it was perfect. They learned the art of entertaining from their mother, who had just arrived home two days before from spending almost a week visiting her brother, then attending his funeral in Arkansas.
Needless to say, I was floored and blessed.
On Monday, we went downtown to the Museum of Science and Industry, and there were fun things to see and do for all ages. We went back to the hotel in the suburbs, then Kyle took the oldest three BACK downtown (crazy man!) to see the lights, go to the top of the Hancock Building and have Chicago deep-dish pizza. They also visited Chik-fil-A and the Ghirardelli store.
The trip home on Tuesday would have been good, except for the driver’s issues. Well, maybe his wife had some too. My poor parents. They think (or know) that we are kooks. I like to have a plan, call it an itinerary, if you like. My other half likes to wing it. These two very different modes sometimes complement each other and sometimes not. This was a not. Fortunately it was pretty short-lived and only involved a bathroom break. Argh!

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The Kohout clan, sans the St. Louis crew. (Used without permission from my extended family!)

Eight–Business trip to Glen Allen (Richmond) Virginia: Kyle had a meet-up with his co-workers and the younger five and I tagged along for a field trip/vacation. (Adam was on a birthday trip with Grandma and Grandpa to the Grand Canyon that had been scheduled for many months.)
Daddy worked and we played! We found a beautiful county park and visited twice. I locked myself out of the van (first time in forever!!), fortunately with cell-phone in hand and a nice AAA driver quickly saved us. The children weren’t really fazed, since we were able to continue to play until we saw him coming!
The highlight for the children was when I braved the five-hour round trip to take them to Virginia Beach, subversively stowing swimming suits in the van. They had never played in “open” ocean before, only the gulf. And…The Blue Angels flew over several times for us! Pretty amazing!

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Storming the beach!!

Nine–Family vacation to Grayton Beach: For our third trip to this area, we were blessed to find a vrbo house that was reasonably priced. Our first trip in 2007, was to a state park cabin, then we outgrew it and tent-camped the next trip, 2010.
This time, Kyle went all-out and rented a very pretty home that had a washer and dryer, which was a sanity saver. There was lots of room to spread out, a beautiful master bedroom, complete with a master bath!!! (I don’t have one irl!)
We did this trip the first full week of October and had such a nice time. The first time with no diapers!

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Adam and his mother on the beach.

Ten–Watching episodes of This Old House and America’s Test Kitchen on the iMac. These are my favorite PBS shows and are truly educational. TOH is available free on their website. ATK was, but doesn’t seem to be this season. We haven’t had “real” t.v. since we moved here in 2004. It has been reserved for a travel treat, but I have become disillusioned with HGTV and The Food Network and we didn’t even turn on the television in Florida, though we had six to choose from! Every.single.bedroom, plus the family and living rooms! Incredible!

Eleven–Patricia St. John books: We ordered the deluxe (sounds really fancy!) package for school from My Father’s World this year and three of her books were included.
Not being ones to be tied to a rigid schedule, (ahem!) we finished them all before we were supposed to have completed the first! Even the older boys listened in, so we knew they were winners.
We ordered five more of her chapter books, two early-type readers and two picture books from Amazon for Christmas.

Twelve–Christmas Caroling and Fellowship: Another church get-together, this was the second year of hosting this event. The evening consisted of singing at the home of one of our favorite friends and 90-something fire cracker that doesn’t get out as much as she used to. Then, walking and caroling around a nursing facility near our home, and finally, eating, visiting, playing games and singing more around the piano. There were 23 this time.
I thought I did better with the prep and wouldn’t need my paper bag. But I did at the very beginning of the party, when the realization that I wasn’t quite ready and had a houseful of people standing around awkwardly hit me. Hosting something after being at church most of the day, then caroling is an area I need to work on. (That organization thing again.) Egg nog watered down with almond milk saved the day!

Bonus–Baking: This is an on-going activity, but this year I had a lot of fun with new-to-me flours–coconut and almond. I made our tried and true mini-dark chocolate cupcakes and coconut macaroons numerous times, as well as several cheesecakes for birthdays. I tested new brownie recipes, and made lots and lots of muffins, some new, some not.

Well, that’s it for my quirky, kooky list! Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out how to put links in!