Saturday, August 27, 2011

On Kindergarten

Two weeks ago my boy, Beck, had his first day of Kindergarten.
All suited up with his favorite plaid shorts and new monogrammed LL Bean pack he was ready for the adventure of his first day of school.
...and, in the process, ready to break his mother's heart.

This kid is totally his teacher's favorite. How could he NOT be?!
It really wasn't in my ideal plan to send my little ones off to preschool and Kindergarten...
it's funny how my ideal plan is rarely ever God's ideal plan. 

I'm not totally sold on the whole formal schooling idea.
I mean, yeah, the kids need to learn, they need to be educated and "socialized" and all of that business.
But does it really require 7+ hours a day 5 days a week?
I am beginning to despise dropping my boy off at 8:30 in the morning and not seeing him again until 3:30 in the afternoon.
It's not natural, leaving my child under the influence of someone for more hours in the day than even I am with him.
I'm sure the teacher is a lovely woman and a perfectly capable teacher...
but...
she is not me.

I have so many other thoughts and feelings about all of this.
But this post wasn't meant to be a "bash-traditional-schooling-and-anyone-who-partakes-in-it post."
{I've read many of those and I'm totally not into it.}

What I'm trying to say here is:
My boy started Kindergarten.
He is doing wonderfully and adores it.
 It's not our ultimate plan,
but I truly believe it is what we're supposed to be doing for the moment.
As soon as I get the "go-ahead" to pull the babies out and bring them home for schooling I will do so.
Until then, we are blessed and happy and living a life of lunchboxes, parent-teacher conferences and daily 3:30 homecomings that make the light come back into my day.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mangoes for Dinner

I've been wanting to blog for a few days now...
but I don't have anything to write about.
Nothing to say.
Me.

So, I thought I'd break the silence by writing about dinner.
That's safe, right?

Here it is...
The Post About Dinner.


Tonight we had mangoes for dinner.

I'm always unhappy with my mango-cutting technique. Can anyone ever cut a mango to look pretty?
I mean, I've seen Giada do it once on her show and it looked lovely.
Like the most proper chopped mango I've ever seen.
Like a mango that was just begging to have tea with the Queen.
But I can't do that.
Mangoes that go under my knife get hacked and sliced beyond recognition.
Baby helped...


He was happy with the juices dripping down his arms and clear to his elbows.
Summer isn't Summer til you get juice to your elbows.


Then I grabbed a ripe peach for good measure and haphazardly diced that little baby (I'm not very peach savvy either...it's that darned pit).




And they made the prettiest little salad tossed together in a bowl.
The sherbet orange and pink.
Like a sunset you could taste.

I turned on my "folk" playlist...which happens to be made up of mostly Patty Griffin and lit a candle for the table.

This setting-the-table, lighting-the-candles doesn't happen much midweek because my hard-workin' hunk of a husband works quite late during the week and the kids and I are solo for dinner/bedtime routines.
{Don't think this little fact doesn't give me massive amounts of mommy-guilt whenever I hear about those studies done about families that eat dinner together.
Their kids are smarter, more loving, more respectful and generally more worth living on our planet.}
Anyway, I pulled out all the stops for our mango dinner.
It was a fancy mango dinner...that makes it okay to serve a fruit as an entree to your children.

Okay...
no, it doesn't.
It's never okay to serve fruit as an entree to your children.
They're worth more than that, even if you don't sit down to cozy family dinners every night.
So I made my mom's Spinach {Not-Really-}Quiche to go along with the mangoes.


If you haven't made this recipe yet, please do.
It's not real quiche, really it's an impostor if you want to be totally snobby about it.
{I know some people who would.}
With its crust of crescent rolls...
How American in Paris is that?!


But really, it's totally yummy and the kids completely devour it and kiss my face and declare me the "best cooker in the world" when I make it...
every mom should have that experience with the secret knowledge tucked away that it's made of mostly spinach and eggs and, therefore, one of the best things your kids can eat.
{Minus the lame crescent roll crust.}

So, our mid-week dinner was delish and there were seconds and thirds and...well...fourths.
And even the baby said "more" in the sweet way he does.


See?
I'm not a total failure as a mother.
We may not eat dinner as a family every night but my kid knows sign language.
And sometimes having taught your child sign-language {even if it is only one word} is all you have.


I have so many other things I'd like to share here.
Like, Beck started Kindergarten and I have cute pictures and a lot of thoughts about that...
I finished yet another semester of school.
And other random ramblings that may or may not be blog-worthy.

Until then, enjoy the end of summer and eat mangoes until the juices run down your arms.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Movie Night

I've got the feature for your next family movie night.
{Do you do this? If you don't, start!}
We do it about once a month - gather the blankies, the pillows, bowls of popcorn bigger than our heads, a homemade sweet something-or-other and settle in for a little family Q.T.

Our most recent movie night made me so excited.
Netflix delivered our chosen flick early in the week and I could barely wait until the weekend to share it with the kids.
One of my family's favorites growing up, Mr. B's favorite...
destined to be our kid's favorite.
It didn't disappoint.
Behold, the perfect family movie night feature:


Disney's old-timer,
The Swiss Family Robinson

Shipwreck, pirates, family values, animals and a tree-house that's to-die-for.

I wanna live here mmkay? Mmkay.

My kid's were rapt.
Alternately giggling, covering their eyes and shouting commands as to how best defeat the pirates.


This is one you don't have to worry about bleeping out the lone curse word you forgot about.
{Another of our movie nights featured The Sandlot...hum. I don't remember it being so risque.
Flaunting booties, "sh--" and too many, "shut-up"s and "you idiot"s to count.
Not my favorite.}
This one is completely family friendly.
Even for my "sheltered" brood.

And you have no idea how many snake wrestling matches and pirate invasions have been happening at our house since we first watched...