Archive for June, 2011

(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

We left the house this morning at the uncivilized hour of 5:30am. Wash traveled beautifully. He had a couple crying jags, but other than that, the trip was smooth. We rolled into New Orleans about noon.

I got Wash his own press pass.

We went to a poster session and a happy hour. Wash was, of course, a big hit. I was able to see all my geeky librarian buddies. It was fabulous.

I was hoping to make another drinks thing at 9pm but Wash was awake until 9:45! and I am exhausted.

I miss being a librarian, but mostly I just miss getting to see some of my favorite people as often as I wish. Life is always about the people.

Shockingly, the weather has been less hot than in Houston, though all the yankees were complaining. It was a nice change from the melting weather at home. I hope it lasts.

I must go to sleep.

Good Night, love.


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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today went as I thought it would. A couple bumps and some anxiety, but I got most of the things done on my list and I am packed, I think and it is about 11, way past my bedtime, but, still.

To get Gideon out of the house, we went to the park by the house this morning. It was humid, the kind of air you an swim through as much as walk, but at least it was not hot. From there, we went to Kroger, to get the few things I needed before the trip.

The day proceeded onward. Ranger, Tapan, and Laura came for dinner. It was lovely to see Ranger and Tapan again. I miss them. We need to have a party soon so we can gather our friends together and be joyful, preferably over beer brewed by us. I made an eggplant casserole with fake sausage (Ranger is a vegetarian) and it turned out quite nicely. I am sorry you missed it. Laura and I had some good chats while I cleaned up and packed.

I picked up our produce co-op today and we got blueberries and peaches. Blame your parents (who are staying with Gideon and the dogs) if they are all gone before you get home.

I am exhausted. I think I am ready for the trip to NOLA tomorrow. I hope I am not forgetting anything. I wanted to write a post about ebook publishers before I left, but I may have to do it in the care while Mom drives.

Jennifer, sent me this blog, about giant metal chickens and towels. Well, really about being married and finding humor in the times when you disagree. You will be less amused than I was, but someone else reading this will love it. I accepted her offering of this humor intake, and raised her a pain scale explanation. If you peed in your pants, as I did when I read the preceding link, in my defense I WAS pregnant, You. Are. Welcome. What’s your excuse?

Good night. I have to get up in 5 hours to drive in a car with a 3 month old for 6 hours. The coffee is already prepped and I am on half caff now (after a year hiatus from caffeine, thank you pregnancy and infant!) and it is glorious.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today was a much better day. After a small chat this morning, immediately following Gideon trying to start an argument with me, things went along fine.

It rained almost all day. Good rain too. The grass will definitely be 2 feet before you get home.

We went to Grammy and Papa’s for dinner. It was nice to get out of the house. Gideon was a bit ornery but ok. Grammy trimmed my hair after dinner and cut Gideon’s as well. Now I will not look so raggedy for my conference

Blessedly, the boys both fell asleep on the way home.

I have not packed a thing for NOLA and I have a ton of stuff to do tomorrow. I am a little anxious about balancing everything tomorrow, but I think we will muddle through.

I took this picture yesterday.

They are sweet boys. We are so blessed. I hope the well digging went well. I know that tomorrow is the day of the ceremony for the well, so I pray that the digging went well. Well. haha.

The Aggies lost to South Carolina.

I found this hilarious post, PR from the Death Star.

Also, I have a really bad joke for you: Mr. T’s keyboard does not have a control key. Mr. T is always in control.


Saint Arnold is releasing some Christmas Ale after the first of July and Boondoggles will have a cask of DR11 on tap Tuesday, July 12th for $1 a pint, which goes to charity. I put it on our calender.

Since it rained all day, the sunset was amazing. The weather cooled off enough for it not to be blazing. All I was missing was you to sit by me and share a drink after the day.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today started out better than yesterday, but ended badly.

I woke up this morning around 4:45 to a sound I could not immediately place and then it dawned on me, it was raining. Actual, honest moisture from the sky. It rained for about 5 minutes! This was the 5 minutes the dogs decided, of course, that they had to go out right away or they might die.


Gideon had fun with Chloe and Miles this morning. And guess what, it rained again this morning. At this rate, the grass (which has hardly grown since February) will be 2 feet tall when you get home.

The afternoon was a series of arguments Gideon wanted to have with me. For instance if I tell him the container of juice we have is pineapple, he will argue that it is apple. I wish you were here to help me with this arguing. You know the baggage I have that makes these encounters especially trying. I try not to argue back, however gently, because it is useless and soul sucking. He neither cares, nor wants my opinion, regardless of its truth, and wants to argue for the sake of… whatever I have not yet deducted. Regardless of how I avoid the argument, he is right there with another. I want him to feel like his opinion is valued, but he has to understand that constantly arguing is both hurtful and disrespectful. I am going to try a new approach tomorrow that will involves a heart to heart with Gideon about how arguing makes other people feel.

We had dinner at Lupe Tortilla with some of the ladies from Bible study and their kids. Gideon was great during dinner, even though our food took forever. We sat outside, by the big sand and play area they have there so the kids could play after they ate. I gave Gideon a warning when it was time to go, but made a huge scene and then disobeyed me again when we got to the car. To top it off, he had peed in his pants at some point, though did not tell me and then did it again when we got home.

It was a less than stellar ending to a pretty crappy afternoon.

I hope the well digging is going better than the home front. No amount of chocolate ice cream will make up for me being alone after such a day and waking up to start it again in the morning.

On the bright side, Wash grabbed for and held onto a toy today. He was very pleased with himself when he shoved it in his mouth.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

I think you might kill Wicket. For real this time. I let her out when I got up to feed Wash, about 3:45. We fell promptly back to sleep and forgot about her. I woke up after 5 to the sounds of Wicket flinging herself at the door. God forbid the dog just bark to be let in like a normal dog. Why can we never have NORMAL dogs? I let her in and noticed dirt on the porch. Uh oh. I turned on the light and noticed a very deep 1’x1’x1′ hole off the right side of the porch. I guess she was punishing me for leaving her out there. I filled it in as best I could after we got up for the day, but then Gideon dug some of it up again later on. Sigh. As if the drought was not enough to kill the grass.

The day went downhill from there. While we did not have any out and out three year old tantrums, I did spend all. day. long. arguing with Gideon. Contrary to popular belief, I hate arguing. I hate being adversarial with a three year old. I hate that I spend all day either arguing with him, ignoring his arguments, or punishing him for direct disobedience. It is exhausting and not the way I wish to treat my child but I know I can not let him think it is ok to argue and disobey. (if there are other parents out there with advice, I will happily take it)

I know I was this way when I was younger. I am blessed with a child that has my personality. I want to foster his opinions and strength but also teach him authority and respect. It is a fine line. I do not want to crush his spirit. He has a right to his opinions and they have value and I want him to be secure in that knowledge. However, he also must learn that he is not always right and he does not need to argue about everything. Sometimes we have to do what we do not want to do. In our family we call that, “Tough crap, that’s life,”or for older folks, “Tough shit, you’re an adult.” Unfortunately, crap and shit are not words I use around Gideon… yet, and this is not an easy lesson for a 3 year old who is by nature selfish.

Gideon is an awesome kid. He is smart and has a truly amazing imagination, but he is exhausting. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. We have a play date with the Martins so we will be out of the house. Bless you, Nancy for calling me this morning.

Wash cried when he was not asleep or eating and that did not help my mental state. He fell asleep early (thank you, Lord) and took a long afternoon nap earlier.

I am drinking a glass of port (beautiful alcohol!) and I will have some ice cream, chocolate, later because that is the kind of day it has been.

I miss you, and not only because I have to drive this crazy train myself, but because it is lonely without you here to talk with in the evenings.

Oh, and in case you have not checked ESPN yet, that Rory McIlroy dude, completely smoked everyone and finished with a -16. Also, South Carolina beat us 5-4 in the College World Series opener.

‘Night, Lovey.

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Recipe: Kale Chips

My friend Jessica suggested this as a way to use up some of the Kale we have been getting in our produce CSA. I loved them. Ries and Gideon were less enthusiastic. The kale shrinks quite a bit so next time I am going to make enough to fill two baking sheets. I do not think they will keep well, but they are quite crunchy out of the oven.

Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 300.

Wash the kale well. Remove the ribs and tear the leaves into potato chip size pieces.

Place the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the kale, about 1-2 tbls. Sprinkle salt over the kale. Mix well with your hands, making sure that all the pieces are covered.

Place the kale pieces in a single layer (that is very important) on a baking sheet. The pieces can touch, just not overlap.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.


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Ries left the house this morning at 5:45 to join a team from our church going to El Salvador with Living Water International. Living Water sends teams to villages all over the world to dig wells in places where they do not have safe, clean water to drink. I am very excited that he is going on this trip. It is the perfect mission trip for him since it requires little talking and lots of work. Please pray for his team, that their actions would show the love they have for others and that they would all return home safely.

Ries will be gone until Saturday, but I leave Friday for New Orleans and a library conference. We will not see each other until Sunday, the 26th. This is the longest we have been apart since we got married. We usually talk a lot during the day and in the evenings. I decided I would write to Ries on the blog, to keep track of things we do during the day and also to make sure I do not forget to tell him things when he returns. My memory, after two kids, is not as sharp as it once was and I know I would forget some of the more interesting, but small tidbits over the course of a week.

I will write the posts like I would to Ries, with notes in parenthesis where the reader (you) might need clarification.



I did not tell you this morning, but Happy Father’s Day. You know I think you are amazing and wonderful. It is such a joy and blessing to watch you with the boys. I know you are cherishing this season of our life, though challenging, as I do because it is so filled with hugs, playfulness, and love in abundance. You are a fabulous Dad.

Thank you for throwing the diapers in the dryer. I appreciated that a lot. Wash slept ALL NIGHT and did not wake up until 6:15. Seriously. This can not be our baby. He obviously takes after you. We had a quiet morning. I was able to drink my coffee, fold diapers, eat breakfast, and get ready for church without much effort. Without the entire troupe, we arrived on time.

The lesson was on giving in relationships, even when it is not received well or expected.  Holly made a point to remind the kids (10th graders) that dating and family is practice for marriage in many ways and they should begin learning how to have good relationships now.

Brittany’s (my cousin) shower was very nice. Wash and Elijah were big hits with the ladies, of course. Gideon had a great time with Gammy and Gampa. He threw a tremendous fit because he did not want to leave. I am chopped liver. He was very tired. I had to stop the car on T.C. Jester (about 3 minutes down the road) and spank him because he was screaming at the top of his lungs, “I don’t wanna go home!” It did not phase him, but I put on “All You Need Is Love” and he was asleep before the first round of the chorus.

The evening went fine. I am not too tired and I miss you. I think I shall watch Sherlock and eat some ice cream.

Good Night, Love.

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