The Laundry Basket

It’s been pretty cold outside lately, but today I’ve been thinking back on those beautiful summer months.  Specifically, I’ve been remembering Ethan, my little 2-yo-buddy, as he helped with the laundry last summer.  I would empty the contents of the washer into a laundry basket to carry out to the line.  At that point, Ethan was bound to show up.  “Me help Mama!  Me help Mama” he would exclaim.  His demands were hard to put off, and if I tried, it ended in tears.  So, with great difficulty, but also with great joy, I would let him help.  As soon as he assumed the role of ‘helper’, my simple chore turned into a complex task.  He insisted that he, and he alone carry one side of the laundry basket, while I carry the other side.  Certainly, 20 lbs of wet laundry cannot even 1/2 be carried by a 2 year old, so that required that I, his mother, carry all 20 lbs of laundry by only ONE handle.  Not only did I have the entire load to bear, with half the tools needed, but I was also required to steady his fumbling gait.  I was required to walk the long way around the yard in order to avoid any bumps or dips.  When he stumbled, the load fell on me, holding one little handle of a heavy laundry basket to hold him up.  And when we eventually arrived at the clothesline, we would set down our load, he would beam up at me with those big eyes and bigger smile while proclaiming, “Me help Mama!”  And then, he would ‘help’ me as we hung laundry on a line that reached above his head.

Since last summer, my little buddy has turned 3.  I expect that this summer will be easier as we walk out to the clothesline.  He won’t stumble so much, and he might even be able to hold up a little of his half of the chore.  It will be easier to have him help, but it will not be more precious.  No, the most precious days of his helping with the laundry are just about over.  That simple white laundry basket will live on in my mind for the rest of my life.

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Snow School

Snow, snow, and more snow fills our days around here!  With about 18 inches of snow on the ground (and up to 3 foot snow drifts), what else can we think about?  I decided that if it’s going to fill up my day, I might as well enjoy it!  So we’ve been doing lots of snow-related activities.  Such as:

Learning about Eskimos – Where do they live? (Geography); How did they used to live? (History)

Learning about snow – What is it’s temperature? In the freezer, refrigerator, on the counter? (Science)

And my favorite – Snowball Algebra

But this one might be easier seen than explained, so here’s the video of our school time:

I Want to be a Yes Mama

The alarm started beeping at 4:15 this morning.  I agree, that is early, but it’s not unusual in our home.  In fact, the alarm goes off at that time every morning, 7 days a week.  When I tell people what time I usually get up, I receive that ‘crazy person’ look and the question, “Why?”  It truly doesn’t make much sense.  Here I am, a stay-at-home Mama, with children who would sleep till 7am if I worked the schedule correctly, and a natural-born Night Owl.  Why would I push myself to be up and going by 4:30 EVERY day?

It’s because I want to be a “Yes Mama”

A Yes Mama laughs

A Yes Mama gets excited

A Yes Mama asks for help (especially when the munchkins can’t give much help)

A Yes Mama runs races, throws snowballs, and makes daisy chains

A Yes Mama plays hide-and-seek, reads a book, and builds towers

A Yes Mama spends time on Pinterest (or with an art or science book) to find interesting things to do

A Yes Mama ignores Facebook, her blog, and maybe even the telephone when her little ones are awake

A Yes Mama gives hugs and kisses and cuddles

I don’t have time to be a “Yes Blogger” and a “Yes Facebooker” while I’m being a “Yes Mama”.   So, my alarm sounds at 4:15 every morning.  I’ll spend a little time on Facebook, and a little time on blogging, a good amount of time finding things interesting for my children, and then the day will start, and I will strive to be a Yes Mama.  Won’t you join me?

Awesome related article:  Be a door opener, not a door shutter

“For all the promises of God in him are yea [yes],

and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us”

~2 Corinthians 1:20

Accumulations

Yesterday all that white fluffy stuff spilled upon us like sand in an hourglass.  It just kept coming and coming, with no end in sight.  It wasn’t a particularly hard snowfall, with limited visibility, but it certainly added up to a lot before it was finished!  As the children go tromping outside today, I expect to see one or two of them fall, and struggle to get up in the massive snowdrifts.  Our driveway will be a mess for quite a while, and the animals will require extra work with the frozen water and no pasture to graze.  However, the snow will provide snow-ice cream, sledding trips, ice skating parties, rosy-red cheeks, and quiet, peaceful evenings.  I enjoy winter as long as no driving needs to be done.

I had to think about that snow as it was falling.  The constant, repetitive snow.  Hour after hour.  What a reminder about how we are to raise our children!  Every concept, every situation is to be like that snowfall.  Gentle, consistent, regular.

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little”  ~Isaiah 28:9-10
Here’s for today:  Let us make it a day of repetition.  Give hugs on a schedule.  Smile at your little ones over and over and over again.  Choose to laugh.  Don’t be worried, Mama!  All you need to do is the ‘little stuff’ over and over again.

Mr. Google’s Snowflakes

After two years, I’m pleased to finally say that I have internet access on my home computer!  Wow – You’d think we just stepped out of some African village into 21st century, America. 

We are having so much fun researching school topics online, and learning new things, such as how snowflakes are made and what kinds of shapes they are made into.  This is definitely getting the kid’s minds working hard on questions to ask “Mr. Google” as they call it. 

I really don’t have time to be writing today, so I’ll just close up for now, and leave a cool tidbit for you to watch (Be sure to click on “Launch”):

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.snowflakes/snowflake-physics/

Update on Edelweiss

One week later, and life has found me back at the library.  After a brief spell of reading to our children, I get a chance to check e-mail and goof off online for a few minutes while Caleb takes over the reading department.  (Soon, I think, we’ll also have a couple other little readers in our family!  It’s so exciting!)

This week has been so much fun!  We spent some  most of it watching a little lamb jumping around in the field!  She’s adorable, and we can’t help but spend quite an ample amount of time gawking out the kitchen window.

In the other moments with our sheep we’ve been working on milking our Mama Ewe.  She’s becoming difficult, and not giving us enough milk for me to do this all the time, but I suppose I will keep at it until either I prove her wrong, or she proves me wrong.  At this moment, I have no clue who will win the game.  Perhaps I will know more by next week…

Edelweiss

We have a new little one on our farm!  Our first baby lamb.  She’s a ewe, part of a triplet set.  Unfortunately, her sisters died during delivery.  Which, leads to lots of questions on our part:  What did we do wrong?  What can we do better next time?

However, we are thankful for little Edelweiss.  She’s snow-white all over, just like her Mama; and sweet as anything!  I think she must have inherited that from her Mama too.  Her mother, a first-time Mama is doing wonderful!  She loves her little baby, and hearing her nicker and tend to the little one is heartwarming.  The photos are gorgeous, but Alack!  The library won’t let me download pics.  So I’ll sit here and cry until I decide to go get internet service at my home!  Someday, I will add photos of little Edelweiss.  What a joy she is!