Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIWW:: Camp edition overnight and under-roos

Mask- homemade
Flash under-roos and shirt: Walmart

Shorts: consignment

It's summer camp time around our house. We found an affordable (yes, a few exist) overnight camp within driving distance and the baintrain raced to sign up. What it really means is for the next few weeks we've got revolving doors with boys coming and going and semi-packed bags, backpacks and instruments stacked by the front door (my excuse why you've gotta kick stuff out of the way just to walk in our door).

Stringbain had to prepare for several camp theme days, one of which is super hero day. We batted around lots of ideas (Super Farmer, Battery Man, the Incredible Hulk and Michaelangelo from TMNT) before a life changing final decision was made.

The superhero under-roos were his idea. He needed them to get in the Flash Gordon groove, he said. I couldn't help but point out - I am the family fashion coordinator, after all- that getting in touch with his inner superhero would be so much easier if he flaunted the entire super suit; not hiding that super light under a bushel.

This simple fact is undeniable: it is beyond thrilling to see your 13-year old planning, enjoying and dressing in a costume.

My heart got caught up in a whirlwind of joy recognizing that my little boy is alive and well down under all that teenage coolness.

linked to lindsey
pleated poppy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

Where we went last week, there were no rides or 
life sized characters. 
No 5 star resort or gourmet food. 

There was a pool.

There was a flamingo statue.

There was our new pet, Kingston.

There was ice cream.

There was brotherhood.

There was family.

There was sand.

There was more sand.

There was coziness.

There was love.

 There was a Papoo.

There was contemplation.

There was pride.

There was fun.

There was my Daddy.

There was airbrush.

There was awesomeness.

There was joy.

There was a giant metal chicken.

There was more airbrush.

There was silliness.

And there was coolness.

Another day, another story,

What 12 years really means.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Sometimes you worry about the boogey man or eating vegetables or bike helmets or car seats when REALLY you should worry about your nearly 6 year old son hurling himself top-rope wrestler belly flop style from your bed in the general direction of his persistently, increasingly annoying, unsuspecting brothers who happen to be standing in front of a large, wooden, sharp-edged encrusted piece of furniture until the moment of lift-off when they move ever so slightly to the right to open the path of direct trajectory for aforementioned nearly 6 year old brother whose head, upon impact, misses aforementioned sharp-edged piece of furniture by approximately 3 inches just as the past nearly 6 years of his life flash right before your eyes.

Another day, another story,

Simple Summer {sugar free} limeade

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere chances are you're experiencing the same hot, dry summer we are in Tennessee. It's fun at the beach, but when the weather on the farm is boiling by noon, the last thing I'm thinking of is turning on a stove.

Keeping cool is much more palatable with an ice cold glass of something. Limeade, in particular. Yes, you could go buy it at Sonic, but that also involves braving the scorching heat, consuming high fructose corn syrup and a handful of other variables, depending on your kids' ages. So why not make it at home? Without heating anything up? And without any questionable ingredients...give it a try.

Simple Summer Limeade
yield 6 cups

Juice of 4 limes
30 drops of Stevia (to taste)
4 cups water
3 cups ice
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

I'll walk you through this. Juice the limes into your pitcher. Add water, ice, and Stevia.
Stir well. Pour multiple glasses in rapid succession. Prepare to make another batch...stat. Though I haven't tried it, I know this would be great served with a no-cook breakfast. Or you could use it for the base of a certain retro cocktail that begins with a G...

Better stock up on limes.

linked to
Designs by Gollum,
Rachel, Jen,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A slice of Loss

I'm sure lots of parents would be relieved.  A week with one less child on the overflowing Mom docket.  But everyday baintrain life feels different without our family all under one roof.  Limabain, the one who sees beauty in a fried egg, who gives me the longest morning hugs, who is sensitive with a wide stripe of kick ass; he's off at camp and our family wheel feels a bit more square than round with him gone. 

And this small slice of loss, makes me think of how the bigger slices are waiting, lurking in the shadows.   It's not straining to try and let this feeling sink in.  I know how quickly the last 5 years have evaporated into the daily rounds.  

So, this year I've got 2 camp weeks.  Two weeks to begin to realize the loss of them is inevitable.  And by loss, I mean the loss of what I've grown to comprehend: every slice of loss I am served is piece of growth for them....

Linked to lisa-jo's fabulous five minute friday

Monday, July 11, 2011

Feet don't fail me now

I love feet.  I have framed pictures of baby feet.  I like to take feet pictures, and cannot help but check out shoes of new and old friends.  I will never invite you to my closet - the floor is usually strewn with countless pairs of my beloved accessory.  

While feet may not be particularly beautiful, they sure know how to get a job done.   They regularly perform thanklessly for years, and I dare say you rarely write healthy, relatively pain-free feet into your Gratitude journal.  If one of the secrets to happiness is finding joy in the simple, feet should top the list.  A few other (more famous than me) people think so too.

A spirit in my feet said GO, and I went. (m. brady)

Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. (AW Tozer)
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads (Thoreau)
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. 
(A. VanBuren)
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet
(J. Oppenheim)

There is language in her eye, her cheek, her lip; Nay her foot speaks. 
Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet? (L. Tomlin)
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.  (Lord Byron)
The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
(T. Merton)

Be good
Keep your feet dry
your eyes open
your heart at peace
And your soul in the joy of Christ.
(T. Merton)

Hope your feet take you where you want to go...
linked to lindsey ann and  amanda

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fools for breakfast

I love serving something so delicious for breakfast that it could double as dessert.  I've done cupcakes and cookies, to the total bleary-eyed delight of the baintrain. I've realized that with a few tweaks, most desserts can be modified to brighten mornings in a unexpected way. Usually it's just a sugar substitution or sneaking in a few extra eggs and dessert, I mean breakfast is served.

Though this recipe is protein free, there are plenty of sustaining calories from the cream.   It will whip together so fast they'll hardly have time to ask when it's will be ready. 

Berry Fool
6 servings
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
2 T xylitol or coconut sugar
10 drops vanilla creme stevia
1 t vanilla
2 c berries 
mint leaves for garnish - optional

Whip cream til frothy ( about a minute) then add sweetner and vanilla. 
Gently fold in rinsed berries and garnish with mint leaves. 
We like blackberry fool the best - the tartness of the blackberries balances the sweet cream nicely.  And for the record - not a single one of them ate the mint leaves, though they did lick the cream off off them... 

Prepare to hear this comment float around the table as they gobble it down, "This is the best thing you've ever made!"



linked to Designs by Gollum, Kelli Rachel, Jen, Laura, Kristen 

Friday, July 8, 2011

On Vacation 2011

We're heading to the beach tomorrow for a week of family Visitation.  Hoping to have nothing at all to report for the next 7 days, but based on past experience, I am prepared to have plenty of material. 

Enjoy these while we're gone:

Another day, another story,

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Visitation is for the Living

This time last week, I was still recovering from one of the most wonderful celebrations I might ever be a part of. It was modest by some standards. Extravagant by others.  It wasn't a wedding or a christening. It was way more than just another party. It was a visitation.

My friends and family came together with food, flowers, dancing and gifts for The Cancer Card Xchange to celebrate me and my 40th birthday. I accepted it all (and a few tear-filled moments) with an open and grateful heart.

Like everyone else, I have had loss and sadness. More than my share by some standards. Less by others. And there has always been an equal amount of joy. This party was a celebration, a pause button of sorts, to mark it all. 

I understand the concept of visitations at funerals. People want to get together and remember the good times they had with the departed. People who haven't seen each other for years, catch up and vow to keep in touch. My goal: to make a visitation (after I'm dead) completely unnecessary.

For the most part, I have always made time for and sought out any opportunity for "visitation". Dates with St. Joel, of course. Long drives to visit family, sure. Lunch with friends, I'm in. Movie with girlfriends in the middle of the week, whenever possible. Hour-long phone calls with friends from high school, a necessity. 

I'm doing all the visitation I can while I'm still here to enjoy it because I believe visitation is for the living. You just have to show up.

Another day, another story,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Like Mother, Like Son

I am a firm believer that ignoring your children can be a good thing. Once upon a time, grown-ups did mostly grown-up things and kids did mostly kid things and everything was just fine. It encourages kids to be creative and find things to do to entertain themselves.

Yesterday, I was busy ignoring Numbers 1-4 while working on some Cancer Card Xchange business in my closet-turned-office.

Number 3, "Mama, Mama, hey Mama.."

Me, ignoring.

"Mama, don't you think I should have my own office too? I could do work."

Me, ignoring.

"I'm gonna go make an office in my closet too."

Me, ignoring.

Ten minutes later, "Mama, Mama, Maaaaaama! Come'mere and see my office."

"Now I can do work. I moved all that junk out (now a huge pile of "junk" in the middle of his bedroom floor) and moved my white table in. Here is my notebook. I added my nap mat in case I get tired. I'm gonna need some markers and some Sharpies. I won't draw on the wall again, I promise."

Another day, another story,


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