I don't actually always mind messes--the ones I can see a way out of easily don't stress me out too much. It's when everything starts piling up, and I feel like the tally marks are in favor of the piles and clutter and laundry and dishes, that I start getting tight in the chest. The summer has been flying by. I've been longing for a day of no obligations: the blissful indulgence of being able to do anything or nothing at all. The kids and I had been trying all week to work on a project we had seen on a fun website the little boys like to watch: www.chalkpreschool. It had been put off over multiple days. Finally, how appropriately, our free day landed on Sunday. So after a late and yummy breakfast we set to our task of creating some reusable napkins. Some acrylic paint watered down in a spray bottle coupled with lots of edged off squares of cotton and voila--happy kids, happy mama. We made a mess and enjoyed the sun, the summer day. I did feel carefree, like summer days felt when I was a kid. I keep remembering Ginny Sheller's (www.gsheller.com) words, "nothing bad will happen if I can't clean up this mess today." In fact, something so wonderful might have been completely missed if we hadn't allowed for the mess and the time to wallow in it.
Well, this isn't rocket science or anything and probably somebody has already thought this up! But if not, enjoy! We were trying the whole gluten free thing hoping it might have a positive effect on the behavior of one child who will remain unnamed, however, we have failed miserably in our attempts to stay at it! But, this was one good thing that came out of it: good with yogurt and even over salads and just by itself. It's so simple to make: toast (separately) and mix together whichever of the following sounds good to you: pepita seeds (Never had them? They're the green seed from inside a pumpkin seed--super healthy and tasty!), sunflower seeds, flax seed (ground), coconut (everything I find here is finely ground hence why my mix looks a little funny), sesame seed. After it cools, add some dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, any dried fruit. And, of course, I always add a bit of chopped up dark chocolate --hey, it's a health food! Some things that might help: the pepitas toasted really quickly for me, so watch them; a little oil and salt before toasting is tasty; if you won't eat it quickly, add the flax as you go because it goes rancid quickly (how quickly? not sure, but it gets eaten fast in our house!); without the dried fruit, ground up in a coffee grinder and mixed with yogurt, this is a super health baby food. Roasting may or may not be intuitive for you, but I just throw my seeds in a large roasting pan, drizzle some oil, salt generously and try to get everything in as thin a layer in the pan as I can. Pop in an approximately 400 deg. F oven and then just watch them closely because it doesn't take long. I don't oil the coconut, sesame and flax. Enjoy!
I'm returning from the fog, maybe! I had to laugh when I realized it had been well over a year since I posted here. The people-pleaser in me is ready to apologize for my long absence, but my guess is nobody was too surprised by it:)! I am horrendous at staying on top of emails and regular letters, much less a blog. I knew that starting out, but I don't want to give up. Regularly, posts float through my head. There were some good ones! I wish I had written them down! Sometimes that paralyzes me from returning--I'll just fail again. Perhaps, but perhaps I will write down at least one wise, sage word of wisdom that will impact some individual out there. I read Ann Voskamp's guest blog post today by Ginny Sheller--http://www.aholyexperience.com, and as usual, I come away blessed by words. Ginny's mantra: "Nothing bad will happen if I can't clean up this mess today," invites me to grace and freedom. So, tonight, some dishes still sit in the sink (not all thanks to my Delaney!), laundry still sits on the floor waiting to be folded, the toilet should probably be washed (who am I kidding--it could be scrubbed every night with 4 boys plus the rest of us using one toilet!), but instead, I am blogging and drinking tea. I am resting in some creative outlet, which is rare, though I'd like that to be different. When I read Romans 12:11 "Do not be slothful in zeal..." I become discouraged as I feel my zeal slipping away. And why is it? Not because of what God "imposes" on me, but my own empty efforts at creating peace amidst the chaos of a household of nine. And I am eating away at everyone else's zeal while I'm at it to be sure. Nothing bad will happen if I can't clean up this mess today, or maybe even if I choose not to because it isn't really the most important thing.
I'm not sure what the coming weeks and months will bring in terms of my blogging. Sometimes the most random things occur to me to write about! I think perhaps somebody might have some interest and as this blog started as a "chat over a cup of tea," those are the kinds of things that come out of those conversations too: parenting, cooking, reading, crafting, living life, homeschooling. And who knows what else! I'll just keep you guessing! Good-night from my side of the ocean.