Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a little link luv

Check out this article by my dad (it may be the first in a series; I'm not sure).  Anyway, it's about Bible study, so check it out!

pumpkin chronicles?

Yesterday was Day of the Pumpkin at the Butterworth house!  It was kind of like Thanksgiving in March!

It started with pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfast.  Sarah woke up with a slight sore throat, and this oatmeal is not only jam-packed with nutrition, but I figured the hot cereal would soothe as well.  (I add a little bit of maple syrup to the recipe; the girls and I love it!)

But the pumpkin oatmeal only uses part of a can of pumpkin puree.  So I thought an afternoon treat was in order--pumpkin spice lattes!  Oh, the girls went gaga over this.  I drank most of it, but both of them loved what I let them drink (I used vanilla almond milk so that Natalie could partake.  Boy, was she thrilled with her special drink!).

But I still had leftover pumpkin!  And I'll be honest--I really didn't want to cook supper last night.  Ever have one of those nights where you just don't want to?  I didn't have a good excuse--just wasn't in the mood.  But we have to eat, and since I hadn't had the foresight to defrost something it was looking like boxed mac and cheese was going to have to do it.  :-p  (Thankfully I got a SLAMMING deal on Annie's at Kroger last week!)

But I got to thinking.  Sometimes I can convince Nelson to make omelets when we do breakfast-for-supper.  And since I had pumpkin puree, I could make pumpkin waffles!  Yummy!

So that was how one can of pumpkin fed us three times yesterday.  We may all turn orange.  Won't we look like dedicated UT fans then?  ;) 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

the logic of children

I have a pen that I absolutely love, a silver Cross pen.  It is beautiful and feminine, and I really enjoying writing with it.  I use it to make notes, plan school lessons, jot recipes, and so forth, but its most common function comes as I write in my daily planner.  I am one of those people who is completely lost without a detailed plan for my day. 

Natalie got a hold of my beloved pen last week.  Naturally, she lost it.  Every time I asked where my pen was, she would say, "Where it go?" and "Find it!"  She found part of it (yes, she took it apart).  But she could not remember where she had put the other half.  I had seen her with near the recliner in the living room, so I dug around in it and moved it to look underneath.  No luck.  I looked under the couch.  Nope.  After scouring the whole living room, I still had no clue where my pen was. 

I spent much of the week planning my days with a pen of Sarah's.  She was less than thrilled about this turn of events, and I couldn't claim to be crazy about it either.  I didn't want to be using her pen anymore than she wanted to lend it to me; I wanted my pen back.  But Natalie had no clue where she had stashed it.

I finally found the pen a couple of days ago--in a location so logical, it should have been the one of the first places I looked!  My planner has a back pocket for stashing receipts or notes or whatever.  I was digging out an old receipt that I'd stowed there and lo and behold, there was my pen.  Why on earth hadn't it occurred to me that Natalie would put the darn thing back with my planner?

I am reminded of a similar incident from when Sarah was about Natalie's age.  We lived in an apartment, and Sarah liked to help me taking clothing out of the dryer.  This particular dryer had the lint filter in the door, not up on top.  So when the dryer door was opened, the filter was well within Sarah's reach. 

Well, one day she took off with the lint filter and hid it.  We looked and looked, but could not find it anywhere.  Nelson finally went to a parts store and purchased a new filter; I had to be able to use the dryer.  Months later, as I was cleaning the not-so-new-anymore lint filter, I noticed something down in the now empty compartment.  I pulled it out and yep, you guessed it, it was the original lint filter.  It was mangled beyond words from being shoved down so far into the door, but it had been pretty much where it should have been all along. 

So the moral of the story is that if your child loses something, you'll probably find it "hiding in plain sight" in a perfectly reasonable, logical place. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the innocence of children

I have already mentioned several times how much we love The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Natalie even will ask, "Watch Dyke?"  The other day we watched an episode from the series titled "That's My Boy??"  For those unfamiliar with the show, this is one of its most well-known and well-remembered episodes.  It contains a scene which made the list of "100 Most Memorable TV Moments" put together by TV Land and TV Guide several years ago.

The story is told as a flashback.  Rob (Van Dyke's character) remembers the birth of his son Ritchie and the early days after bringing him home from the hospital.  Through a series of events, Rob becomes convinced that there has been a mix-up and he and his wife have brought home the wrong baby.  He believes that they have the baby of the Peters  family, and that the Peters likewise have baby boy Petrie.

Rob finally talks with Mr. Peters on the phone and arranges for him to come by the house.  Mr. and Mrs. Peters arrive at the Petrie house...and it turns out that they are an African-American couple.  The studio audience laughed so long at this big reveal that the film crew had to stop the cameras for a few minutes to let the commotion die down.  And even though this was the 1960s, it was not the black couple who were looking foolish in the scene; Rob was the one who appeared to be the dolt.  In fact, Mr. Peters is clearly depicted as the one with the upper hand: when Rob stammers, "Why didn't you tell me on the phone?" Mr. Peters retorts, "And miss the expression on your face?" 

And yes, there is a point to all this.  As I started with, we viewed this episode the other day.  Sarah thoroughly enjoyed the show...but she didn't get the punchline.  At all.  And the more I thought about it, the more completely cool I think this is. 

Sarah has noticed differences in skin color on occasion; once or twice she has even commented or asked questions about it.  But I realized after watching this episode with her that she had attached absolutely no significance whatsoever to it.  At the episode's end, she laughingly said, "Rob got the wrong baby!"  I told her that no, he just thought he did.  Her expression changed to one of frowning confusion.  It really hadn't occurred to her that the arrival of an African-American couple meant that a mix-up of the babies was nigh near impossible.  

How wonderfully color-blind my Sarah is.  I pray she always stays that way. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

menu plan...Tuesday?

So I kind of skipped Menu Plan Monday.  The funny thing is, I DID plan my menus...I did it Sunday evening.  But I never got it posted yesterday...the day just kind of got away from me.  But anyway, here is part of what we're going to be eating this week.  I actually planned more meals than I will need; I like to have options.

Oh, and Nelson spent $15.43 at Ingles Sunday night.  He got necessary things like tortillas and oxygen bleach...and chips.  Okay, so THOSE weren't necessary.  We probably needed milk more.  Oops.

Cold cereal and milk (had this Monday)
Cinnamon raisin toast (this was today's meal, using leftover bread from last night)
Baked oatmeal (this often gets us two meals)
Doughnuts (these are a gift from my parents most weeks and make for a fun Saturday breakfast.  Back-up plan is leftover waffles).

Leftovers or tortilla wraps/quesadillas

Taco soup and cinnamon raisin bread
Omelets and blueberry-lemon muffins
Hamburgers, potatoes, and applesauce
Black bean burritos, veggies
Dinner with my parents
Potato soup, bread
Baked pasta, veggies, bread

A quick note about taco soup: this is becoming a family favorite!  I had read about it on the Internet for ages, but I couldn't find a version of it that I could eat.  A friend of mine finally gave me her recipe, and we have been enjoying it since.  Sarah raves about it when we eat it. 

The cinnamon raisin bread is another winner.  It's a new recipe, but it is sooooo good.  And it makes wonderful toast in the mornings.  :) 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

music baby

In January, Sarah and Natalie started a weekly Kindermusik class.  They are both having a GREAT time.  For Sarah, returning to Kindermusik is like reuniting with an old friend.   For Natalie, however, it's her first Kindermusik experience, and it's been delightful to watch.  She loves the instruments and the games and especially the songs!  

Part of the take-home materials are CDs of the songs from class.  Both girls love to listen to the CDs in the car.  Now that we've been in the class for a few weeks, Natalie is becoming more familiar with the music and is starting to sing along...which is both precious and hilarious.  

One of the songs on the CD is "Skinnamarink."  The lyrics are:

Skinnamarink-a-doo I love you
Skinnamarink-a-doo I love you
I love you in the morning and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening and underneath the moon
Skinnamarink-a-doo I love you.

Or as Natalie sings it, "Dink, dink, wuv you!"

Then there's the song "Toodala."  This was one of Natalie's initial favorites.  It's a nonsense song, with simple lyrics: 

Mighty pretty motion, toodala
Toodala, toodala.
Mighty pretty motion, toodala
Toodala-la lady.

From the very first time that she heard the song, Natalie sang along, "Too-de-wa."  In fact, even as I type this, she is singing “Too-de-wa” into a toy headset.

The last song that I really enjoy listening to her attempts at singing is the good-bye number at the end of class. Those lyrics are:

Sing your way through the week
Sing and sway cheek to cheek
Sing and play, every day
Sing, sing, sing

Good-bye to sisters,
Good-bye to brothers,
Good-bye to grown-ups,
Sing good-bye.

Of course, Natalie's version is simply “Sing, sing, bye.” 

I would love to get a recording of her versions of the music sometime, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that.  She tends to not perform on command.  ;)  But hopefully "recording" it here will at least preserve the memory.  She's awfully cute to hear!   

Saturday, March 5, 2011

it's not easy being pink...

Back in January, Sarah came down with pink eye in both eyes.  We tried to be extra careful as we treated her so that no one else would get it  We were successful, and once Sarah was better, we were done with pink eye. 

In the last couple of weeks, we've all come down with colds.  It's been a humdinger of a cold, and no one is recovering very quickly.  I've been especially worried about Natalie.  Colds have a tendency to turn into ear infections for her.  For awhile last year, she was getting an ear infection every 2-3 months.  It has been about 9 months since her last one, so we had definitely broken the pattern.  Still, the cold was making me edgy...especially when she started screaming one night.

I took her to the doctor (our pediatrician is now in a new office, which is very nice--and closer to our house!).  Natalie didn't have an ear infection, but she did have an infection in her throat...and pink eye. 

Putting eye drops into Sarah's eyes when she had pink eye wasn't a picnic, but it was doable.  Putting eye drops into Natalie's eye, however, has been darn near impossible.  It is a battle each and every time, and it takes both me and Nelson to get the eye drops in.  I will be glad when it is over, and I hope we can keep it from spreading to anyone else again.