Let’s Just Pretend…

Let’s just pretend, shall we, that the week ahead will not look like this:



Rather, let’s imagine that March actually means Spring, and that the following will be waiting for us tomorrow when we open our doors:











I can almost feel it, smell it, hear it, can’t you? Open windows, warm breezes… shoots breaking through the dirt… blossoms on the trees… hyacinth, tulips, lilacs… the smell of new, damp grass… the sound of little children laughing outside (as in, NOT cooped up indoors)…

It’s it amazing?

Let’s just hold on to those images for a bit. Maybe they’ll help keep us warm.


This is post six of the 7 Posts in 7 Days challenge at Conversion Diary. Stop there to check out the hundreds of other bloggers who are also participating.

Five Favorites (Vol. 1)


I’m linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife for the first time today. If you aren’t familiar with Hallie and her beautiful writing on marriage and family (amongst other subjects), go check her out! And also be sure to visit the folks linking their Five Favorites!

— 1 —

This newly-minted little THREE-year-old!

B as green monster

I intended yesterday’s post to be an ode to my little guy, but I soon found myself heading in a somewhat different direction. So I’m going to take this opportunity to share three things I love about my new three-year-old: (1) He loves people. From his daddy to his friends to the UPS delivery guy, he loves them all. I have honestly never met anyone more outgoing than he is. (2) He loves to show people that he loves them. Hugs, cuddles, kisses, “I wuv you”’s – we’re so lucky to get them from him all. the. time. The other day I even heard him tell one of his birthday cards, “I wuv you, Thomas and James and Percy. SO much. Dee end.” (3) His imagination is really taking off lately. Just in the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed him narrating his imaginary play, which is mostly full of pirates and fire trucks and “ress-you-ing” people.

— 2 —

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

I seriously cannot heap enough praise on this PBS spin-off of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. For one thing, my boys LOVE it. It’s the only show that captures their attention completely. No matter what else happens, I can count on at least 60 minutes of quiet per day – 30 minutes at 11 am when Daniel Tiger comes on one of our local PBS stations and 30 minutes at 5:30 pm when it comes on another. The boys don’t even care that they’re seeing the same episode twice in one day – they love it that much.

Also, I love it. The show teaches a bunch of little life lessons tailored to the pre-school set: how to share and wait and play nicely with your friends, etc. Each episode focuses on one of the lessons, which is set to a short song. We find ourselves singing them all the time: “Clean up, pick up, put away. Clean up, every day.” Or “When you have to go potty, STOP and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.” (I know, I know, I’m a dork to be reciting lyrics about going to the potty. You don’t need to remind me.)

— 3 —

“The Royal Sandbox” episode of Daniel Tiger

This episode teaches children how to make a good apology: “Saying I’m sorry is the first step. Then, ‘how can I help?’” And boy, did it come at the right time for us! At this point my little guy has learned the ropes of the harass your brother/get a time-out/apologize sequence of events. But I’ve been getting frustrated because he doesn’t seem to take his apologies very seriously. Enter Daniel Tiger! Since this episode aired, my boy has been following “I’m sorry” with “How can I help?” On his own! With no prompting from me! The other day at lunch, he purposefully crumbled his chip and dropped the crumbs all over the floor. When I told him that I was unhappy about what he’d done, he promptly apologized and asked how he could help. I suggested that he retrieve his toy dustpan and brush and clean up the mess. And whaddya know? He DID! Thank you, Daniel Tiger!

— 4 —

Family Reunions

This past weekend my extended family marked over thirty years of bi-annual, weekend-long family reunions. We had our usual campfires and card games and pool time and shared meals and hikes. And it was a blast. I feel so fortunate that my family has this tradition. What a way to demonstrate the importance of family. And what a way to foster friendships between family members who might otherwise never interact. This weekend we had nearly 100 people come for some portion of the reunion: four generations, a 90-year age span, relatives from the West and East Coasts, from as far south as Florida and as far north as Wisconsin, relatives who represent different tastes and religions and political stripes. I’m so happy that my own little family was able to take part in it.

— 5 —

Okay, this one’s a little silly.

G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popped Corn


At the tail end of this weekend’s reunion, the family gathered at our house for an after-party. So we became the repository for all the miscellaneous snacks, chairs, games, etc. that were gathered from the camp. This (very large) bag of “Chicago Mix” popcorn was one of the miscellany. And, oh my word – amazing! Maybe I’m totally out-of-the loop on this one and everybody else has heard of mixing caramel and cheese popcorn together, but the idea was near-revolutionary to me. Thank goodness the bag was almost empty when I found it, because I was compelled to finish the job! (And yes, in the photo the bag is entirely empty.) Warfields: Please do not tell me who brought this most delectable of snacks. And under NO circumstances should anyone tell me where it can be purchased!