Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Set The Table First

A friend told me something a few weeks ago that has really stuck with me.  "Set the table first, when making dinner, to bring peace to your husband."  This is something her mother told her, and I'm starting to realize how true it is. 

I mentioned this thought to Dan one night, who reconfirmed the validity of this statement.  He told me that when he comes home and sees that the table is set, complete with drinks on the table, he knows that everything is alright.  It brings him peace.

Peace from setting a table.

I have really been pondering this lately.  Any one of the mothers out there will know that the time between 4:30 until 6:30 in the afternoon is chaotic.  Loud.  Frustrating.  Anything but peaceful.  At least in my home.  So I have been putting this little rule into practice.  I set the table, sometimes with cloth napkins, sometimes with paper.  I light a candle.  I set out the drinks.  While I'm at it, I also light a candle in the kitchen.  Last but not least, I made a playlist on my iPod titled "Quiet Time".  Soft music that I can sing to if I want, or not, but that isn't going to just add to the rising level of noise in the house.

Do you know what I've found?

Everyone is calmer.  Yes, the baby is still screaming to be picked up.  Yes, the pot is still threatening to boil over.  Yes, the older kids are starting to get loud.  None of that has changed.  But it has a different feel to it. A calmer feel.

And I'm realizing something about myself as well.  When things are chaotic in my home, I have a choice.  I can add to the chaos by spouting my own frustration, or I can choose to set a different atmosphere.  I'm amazed at how well it works.  Honestly, the person it affects more than anyone else is myself.  But I am the thermometer in my home.  My husband may be the leader, but the level of peace is set by me.

If I am more at peace, I respond to things better.  And soft music and candles go a long way to calming me.  And knowing that the table is already set during the crunch time of getting food on the plates and the baby nursed and wanting to have at least a smidgen of conversation with my hubby brings a little bit of order.  Which brings peace.

My husband goes out every weekday and faces a culture that is anything but peaceful.  All around us are things clamoring for our attention.  Buy this.  Eat this.  Do this.  Especially in this time of Lent, I crave quiet.  I crave peace.  I crave simplicity. 

What is more simple than setting a table?  Fork, Knife, Spoon.  Of course it can get complicated, just look at the beginning section of any cookbook, but even a paper napkin folded in half with a fork on it is better than throwing things out at the dinner table last minute.  Or having to get up every five seconds because you forgot to put out the salt and pepper, someone needs a spoon, and napkins are nowhere to be found.

And my husband having peace when he walks in the door and sees a set table, because he knows that he doesn't have to worry about what's for dinner?  Priceless.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Hike

After Mass this morning we decided to take a hike.  One of the perks of living in Arizona in February.  Sorry if you're up north and freezing.  Really, I am.  :)

Ladybug enjoying her apple.

Mountain Fritter.  He's on top of the world!

Dan with a snoozing Sunflower.  It must have been comfy up there.

Sunflower and me taking a break.
She's awake now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy St. Valentine's Day

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated.
It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Down For The Count

Yesterday I woke up with a minor but annoying cough.  Today I woke up with the chills, and a few dizzy spells.  Why, oh why, did I have to go and get sick anyways?!  Thankfully the kids have been cooped up for so long, I think they might happily play outside for quite sometime.  The key here is "happily".  Maybe if I lay still for awhile, I'll feel better in a few hours.  Ug.  Somebody pour me some tea.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All In A Day

After almost two weeks of sick kids, we are all *sick* of being in our house.  So this morning we took advantage of an opportunity to meet a friend at the park.  Before heading out the door, however, I realized I was completely out of diapers for little miss Sunflower.  No spare diapers in the diaper bag (why do I even have one of those anyway?!), no spare diapers in my purse, no spare diapers hidden somewhere in the van.  What to do?  And then I remembered the bag of cloth diapers I just recently packed away.  Yes!  I think Sunflower liked the lovely softness of that diaper, and I remembered how much I like cloth diapers.  Of course, I wasn't really thinking, and didn't pack an extra in my purse.  What kind of a mother am I anyway?  :)

After a lovely time at the park, I wanted to take advantage of already being out of the house, so we decided to do some grocery shopping and run a few errands.  But I hadn't done my menu planning for the week yet, I didn't have my grocery flyers with me, and I also didn't have the handy free coupons from Fry's.  So back home we went.  I again forgot to pack another diaper.  I did remember to had out snacks to everyone.  Priorities.

I made my menu plan and grocery list outside of the store, nursed the hungry baby, and then my little troop headed inside.  Grocery shopping with three little ones is never any fun, especially when two of the three are still recovering from their colds, and the youngest has missed her morning nap (and was in need of a diaper change).

We zoomed through the store (as fast as one mom and three little ones can zoom), but we weren't quick enough for the baby.  Halfway through she was whining.  Three-quarters of the way through she was fussing, and by the time we got to check out she had had it and was screaming.  The older two unloaded our cart, while I held the grumpy (and wet) baby.

The kids loaded into the van, I ripped open the box of diapers and changed the baby, and then handed my two wonderfully helpful older children each a bag of peanut M&Ms.  They totally deserved them.

After a quick lunch of dry Cheerios while I unloaded the groceries, I sent them all to bed for naps.  And me?  After a nice cup of tea (which I totally deserve), I will commence the folding of the laundry.  All in a days work.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What Do You Think?

...about my new skirt?  I made it myself, so if you hate it, I don't really want to know.  OK?  :)

*And now I need to hurry up and post something else, so my silly picture isn't at the top of my blog.  Too bad I'm having writers block....

Speaking of Costumes

The latest in little girl fashions.  How do you like the princess/fairy/construction worker look?  I think it's lovely.  :)

Super Fritter

Saving the world, one construction site at a time.  This super hero doesn't see the need to even get out of his pajamas first.  :)

The funnest thing about this is that the cape was made by a dear friend who has since moved away.  Both the construction hat and the cape were gotten as birthday party favors.  I have the most creative friends. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good Question

All three kids are sick.  Fevers.  Runny noses.  And I've gotten almost no sleep in the past three days.  So why am I not in bed yet?  Pinterest may be the death of me.