A Little Bit of Everything

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 which says "'For I know the plans I have for you,' delcares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" But the line, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans," also rings true. I'm so glad God is in control of my life because it means I don't have to be. Join me as I laugh, cry, and play my way through the daily tasks of raising three boys and trying to maintain some sense of order when it comes to my home.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creativity in the Corners of Life

During seasons such as these (snowy, cold, wet, and otherwise dreary), I'm extremely thankful we haven't been able to finish our basement.  The cement floor and lolly columns have provided endless sources of entertainment for my three monkeys over the last five years.

We built our house in 2005 and moved in during December.  Nevin was 5 at the time and Russell was 3 1/2.  As Rodney likes to say, Micah wasn't even a twinkle in his daddy's eye.  The first winter was spent with a virtually empty basement since we had just moved from a trailer and had very little stuff to fill up the space.  By empty, I mean it wasn't full of junk yet.  The oil tank, furnace, woodstove, washer and dryer, and stack of wood lined the room but the center was wide open for play.

Tricycles, Tonka trucks, t-ball, and an exercise trampoline were essential instruments to making the best use of the space.  Over the years, we added bicycles, basketball, air hockey, a futon, and boxes, bags, and racks of stuff.  Forts were built with stacks of boxes and old sheets, blankets, and pillows.  Tents were pitched, and derby cars were constructed. 

Now, we're back to square one.  The basketball hoop proved too large for the space, the futon became to worn and smelly from years of pet abuse, and the air hockey table fell apart.  The trampoline now has holes in it but still makes for a great fort wall so we've kept it.  The boxes and bags have grown and shrunk in numbers but shelves have been built to accomodate them. 

A rug that once graced our living room has been repurposed to protect little (and big) knees while playing Matchbox cars and Geo Trax.  It gets rolled up and stood in the corner to make room for the scooters and the one remaining tricycle.  Outdoor voices are almost always OK in our basement.  It's our little indoor playground. 

At one point I had hoped to finish the basement and make it a rec room for my busy little boys but slow seeping water each spring prevented that dream from becoming a reality.  In retrospect, it's been so much better this way.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Boy Scouts

Well, it's official.  We have a Boy Scout in the house.  Rodney and I spent a wonderful evening at the Cub Scout Blue and Gold where our oldest son, Nevin, crossed from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts.  I couldn't be prouder. 

He's worked so hard for everything he earned as a Cub Scout.  The past year and a half, as a Webelos Scout has been especially busy with his entire den earning not only the Webelos badge but also the Arrow of Light and the Super Achiever Award (they earned all 20 achievement pins for that one).  He's had wonderful den leaders, one of which will be continuing on into Boy Scouting, and he's made some great friends over the last four years.

The next phase of craziness will commence on Thursday when I have to figure out how to get both Nevin and Russell to Scout meetings in separate locations across town.  But we'll cross that bridge on Thursday.  In the meantime, I'm so excited for my not-so-little man.

Treasure Hunting

For those of you who were wondering what I found under the furniture the other day, don't worry, I made a list.  I figured it was too good not to share.  (interruption 1, see below)  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about (interruption 2) (interruption 3), I went on a treasure hunt in my living room this past week.

Here's how it started.  Rodney had a Daytona 500 party for his friends in man-town (the garage) but the kids were playing Wii and watching TV in the house.  Somehow, throughout the course of the day, several rounds of soda, juice, and snacks were spilled in various locations all over the main floor of the house.  We've all been there...just admit it.  So I got through Monday (Presidents Day-the kids had no school) sticking my way from one room to the next.  I've long since learned slippers, sneakers, and/or muck boots are a necessity in my house (thank goodness the whole place is tiled).

Tuesday finally rolls along and thankfully school vacation was cancelled due to all the snow days so off to school they go (interruption 4).  Now back to my treasure hunt.  The floor, as previously stated was horrendous but in order to vacuum and wash the floor, I had to find it first.  I picked up empty soda cans, clothing, (interruption 5) newspapers, etc. and hauled my shop vac up from the basement (there are no Swiffer level jobs in my house). 

When I lifted up the ottoman to clean underneath it, I was greeted with a surprisingly large collection of junk (considering the size of the ottoman). (Interruption 6)This list was posted on Facebook:  jar of peanut butter, a week-old newspaper, 2 Lego's, a couple of Valentines, and a pencil.  (Interruption 7) Deep breath....continue and see what could possibly be hiding under the chair.  It wasn't as bad as I thought:  the arm rest cover to the love seat, one deflated balloon, a grape stem, and one lone peanut (I think it might have been looking for the peanut butter jar when it got sidetracked at the grape stem...it happens a lot around here). 

I vacuumed the dust and proceeded to pull the love seat away from the wall.  Micah would have been ecstatic but he was at school.  One whole outfit was under there (don't tell Micah I'm airing his dirty laundry), the arm rest cover to the chair (I can't quite figure out how they switched places), 2 Tech Decks, a crayon, a pair of 3-D glasses, and the sheet of heart shaped stickers that went missing as soon as the box of Valentines was opened.  Oh yeah, and a bucket worth of dust, candy wrappers, popped balloon pieces, etc.

(Interruption 8)
Moving on....the couch was hiding one slipper, one sock, one glove, a moustache comb, a tire from one of the matchbox cars, the little red bear from Don't Break the Ice, one penny, a very squished and shriveled grape (it ran away from the grape stem when the peanut came between them), an enormous rock, and the picture frame that has taken up residence (it almost has squatters rights) in order to avoid getting broken.  Careful examination revealed a sticky substance of unknown origin which didn't respond to my vinegar treatment and seemed to be eating through the grout.  Perhaps it was caramel corn ground in by the process of dragging the couch across the living room?

Needless to say, after four hours of picking up and vacuuming the floor, it was time to make lunch (dinner) and get Micah off the bus.  (Interruption 9) The floor never did get washed that day.

Maybe this week.........

All interruptions occurred during the creation of this post.

1.  Must go open garage for Micah
2.  Micah screaming from garage.  He got what he needed now I can close the door.
3.  Phone ringing.  Brother-in-law looking for my husband's mechanical advice
4.  Russell comes in to ask what I am doing
5.  Go tell Nevin and Micah to leave the quad in the garage (which apparently the opened again)
6.  Have to get a fire going to get the kids warmed up from being outside (we heat with wood)
7.  Nevin, "Mom, look at this" (and this, and this, and this....)
8.  Micah needs an empty laundry basket so he can be helpful by doing a load of laundry
9.  Getting the detergent and fabric softener loaded into the machine for the new load of laundry.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What's in a Name

It's 8:25 and the boys are tucked in for the night.  For the first time in eight hours, I'm able to sit down and write uninterupted.  I have been working on pulling together the beginnings of this blog for the last six hours but buses, cookie dough, scooters in the basement, dinner, and even TV have been pulling my attention away every nanosecond or so.  This is a typical day. 

I wanted to share with you why I named my blog The Scatterbrained Homemaker.  My sister-in-law was commenting the other day on the method my brother uses for cleaning.  Having the same mother (teacher), my methods are very much the same. 

On that particular day, I sent my kids off to school on the bus and headed to the kitchen to wash the dishes.  I looked behind me into the living room where I saw nothing short of an explosion of clothing so I decided to collect it up and start a load of laundry.  The washing machine can be productive while I do the dishes after-all. 

I needed a basket to collect the dirty laundry and wouldn't you know it, both of my baskets were upstairs full of clean laundry.  I tiptoed into the bedroom (so as not to wake my second shift husband) to get the first of the laundry baskets.  Apparently I didn't tiptoe quietly enough because he rolled over and asked if we were still going out for breakfast. 

Laundry abandoned, I climbed into the shower and got ready to go out.  But on our way to breakfast, we would be driving past the bank.  I was going to need to go to the bank later anyway so I took a few minutes to get the checks ready and off we went.  We also stopped for gas and ran into the post office while we were out.

By the time we returned home, I still needed to clean up the living room as well as the dishes because I had a babysitter coming for the afternoon.  I headed back upstairs to get the laundry basket but it seemed pointless to carry an empty laundry basket downstairs so I collected up the dirty laundry from the bedrooms and the bathroom and lo' and behold, that basket was suddenly too full to fit any of the clothing from the living room.  I returned for the second laundry basket and emptied that one as well.

Finally back to square one (almost), I collected the laundry from the living room and discovered another layer of disaster that needed to be dealt with.  School papers, shoes, mittens, dishes, you name it, I found it.  At this point, I'm just trying to get my house navigable for the babysitter in two short hours.  Eventually, I made it to the basement to start that load of laundry and then back to the sink to work on the dishes. 

Now, with my husband being on second shift, our noon meal is "dinner" so he can enjoy a meal each day that doesn't require the microwave (unless, of course, I'm using the microwave on a particular day to cook dinner).  Despite the fact that we had just come back from breakfast, and I was trying to prepare for the sitter, I had to live up to my wifely duties and make the man some dinner.

While cooking dinner, I kept one eye out the window for the half-day bus that brings my youngest home.  In between stirs, I could dart out the door to escort him off the bus and later examine the contents of his backpack from my position in front of the stove. 

By 1:30, hubby was out the door on the way to work, and I was headed out for my afternoon activity.  This is a typical morning in the life of me.  It would be wonderful to hold a train of thought long enough to remember why I walked into a room but I have resolved to getting caught up on laundry and dishes in fourteen years (when my little guy is old enough for his own apartment).

As this blog develops, I hope to share a little of what makes me tick.  Join me to get a chuckle, find out what I'm reading, projects I'm working on, shows and movies I've enjoyed recently, ways I stay on budget, and anything else that stumbles it's way into my quest for sanity.  Maybe you can identify.  I'd love to hear from you.