Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Homeschooling and the Curriculum of Love

Have Fun, Learn Stuff, Grow: Homeschooling and the Curriculum of Love by David Albert caught my eye for obvious reasons. I had no idea that he had a book out that was so close to the title of my blog ... so that was a reason to read it ... and I also have read and enjoyed his other book And the Skylark Sings With Me. When he also happens to live in the same town I do, and I've occasionally recognized him in the public library .... well, obviously I have to read his book.

This book is a collection of essays, which made it easy to read just a bit and then set it down and then come back to it ... not always a good thing in a book when I am so busy and there are so many calls on my attention, but I did manage to read the whole thing before I owed massive library fines on it. And I quite enjoyed it. Albert is opinionated and has a very strong point-of-view, and I don't always 100% agree with him. But his writing is so lyrical and impassioned that I enjoy reading even the ideas I would have to argue with, and I find many kernels of truth and new ideas of value in his writing as well.

And here is the quote I loved the most:

The curriculum of love is not about externals. It is about what is essential in each individual human being and in every child. Its watchwords are communication, inquisitiveness, acceptance, joy, honesty, courage, and, curiously, perhaps above all, intimacy. It demands that we minister to our children in their seeking to embrace a world that is their own, and prepared to render up her secrets. It is about surprises, unveilings, moments of spontaneous recognition, journeys completed and new ones waiting to be undertaken. It is about being at home - in oneself - and going home - to a larger world that awaits us all.

The curriculum of love is about you as much as it is about your child. It takes two to tango. Yes, you will be equipping her with skills and tools and knowledge and insights. You will be protecting her from dangers. But more than that, you will be creating a warm place in which will be housed the great treasure trove of memory, the place where her individual and unique identity will become - her. You will find yourself becoming, too, and coming home as well.

It's time to lay out the welcome mat.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My kids and my work


Oh, this is such a balancing act. Everyone who has family and work has to balance the needs of both, but my job happens a lot of the time during family time (evenings and weekends). And the congregation expects to see my family as part of the church community - they will actually remark on their absence if they don't come to church or to various social events. This is hard on my husband, who is not a UU or a "church person" (his way of phrasing it). But he's supportive and so he shows up, often enough and when I need him.

The kids are with me a lot more, and most of the time that's great. They have friends at church, so we are part of the playdates and birthday parties and so forth of the church community. And that's good - for them and for my work relationships.

But then there is the down side, like last week when I was trying to do the RE Recognition reading in the worship service, and Hypatia came up and stood at the pulpit with me and was trying to look over it. The congregation thought it was cute (mostly) but I could have strangled her. Of course, the DRE can't halt in the middle of praising children in order to turn and strangle her own child in church. Urgh.

Today Carbon joined me for part of the Flower Communion in worship, but he was pretty much OK. He stood at my side while I accepted the flowers - it was probably sweet looking. I just worry about how to keep that balance, when I'm teaching or leading worship, between having my children there and part of the community and having my children be distractions or "make me look bad".

A male former-pastor that I know remarked that there is some sexism at play in how much slack the congregation cuts me. When he was a pastor, people weren't so forgiving if he had his kids with him while he had to work. As a man, he was expected to be more dedicated to his work and free of other responsibilities. I feel like he's right, and that bums me out a bit.

On the other hand, I'm happy they do cut me some slack, so I can be a good mom and still have a full-time job.

So it's worth it. I love having my family be part of my work. So sometimes the kids aren't perfect, but the congregation likes to see them there, and it's all good in the end.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Work Camping Trip

(practicing fire-building before the vigil)

This weekend the Coming of Age group (an 8th grade Rite of Passage program through my church), did its culminating project - a camping trip with a lone vigil for each youth. This meant that I got to/had to go camping for work. And because of my husband's schedule and new job, I had to/got to take my children with me on this trip.

Overall, I am so fortunate in my job. How cool is it that I get to go on a community camping trip as part of my job? How cool is it that I share this experience with a bunch of 8th graders and their families and mentors? I've been mentoring one of the youth myself, and it's been a real privilege to be her mentor and meet with her weekly.

And how cool is it that I can take my kids on things like this with me? And someday, they will get to do these things themselves.

It was a really cool experience for me and for my kids. I had to leave early, in order to come back to town and get ready for Sunday worship and religious education classes. So right now, I'm thinking about the folks who are camped out on the beach, and wishing them all good weather and safety. Each youth is sitting in their own little space and trying to fast and not sleep for a 24 hour vigil. The adults on the beach are keeping them supplied with firewood and water, and are there in case of emergency. But this is still going to give the youth great stories to tell, and a very cool experience to look back on.


A youth "shelter" during the vigil

Friday, May 27, 2011

The emotional landscape


This week I harvested this from my asparagus bed. It's not much, but it's only the 3rd year and asparagus takes a long time to establish itself.

Because asparagus is a long-term project, we never grew it in any of my childhood gardens. My parents would say that they didn't even know if we'd still be living there in a few years ... they said that over and over again as we proceeded to live in the same home for 10 years. But before those 10 settled years, we had moved a lot, and they never seemed ready to put down roots.

I have longed for roots. I've longed for a place where you can plant asparagus, or fruit trees, and expect to still be there to see the harvests. I've longed for a geography to match the longings in my heart, with no thought to "resale value" or "general market appeal". Why should we all live in soulless boxes just so there is no offensive mark of our personality on the place that might put off a potential buyer?

So these asparagus spears are much more than just a pitiful little harvest to put out on the dinner table. To me they represent the roots I've put down here. They are the mark of me on this land, and they are my intention to stay here and continue to make it my own.

In the last few weeks we put down an offer on a 4 acre parcel of land, and tried our best to negotiate a price we could afford. It didn't work out, but leaving that disappointment I come back to my asparagus. This little city lot is not large, but I still have the asparagus.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mixed Feelings About Membership

My minister recently told me, basically point-blank, that he wanted me to join the Church of the Larger Fellowship. The CLF is a "online" or "distance" UU church for all those UU's who don't have a congregation close enough to where they live.

I did go ahead and join - but mainly just to avoid another conversation with him about it, and not with a completely happy heart about it. I'm not sure why - other than the obvious "I don't want to do it just because you say I have to" - I'm reluctant. It did give me serious pause when it came to the point of designating my pledge to CLF, but that is mainly because I already pledge what I consider a substantial amount to the church which employs me as a Director of Religious Education, so making another pledge then has to come out of my personal spending allowance, based on the way my (non-UU) husband and I have set up our household budget. Since the personal spending allowance is for coffee, eating out, clothing, etc, and it's already a pretty small amount of money, making that pledge cut into my ability to get a massage once in a while or go out for lunch instead of packing one.

But, paternalism and money aside, why haven't I ever officially joined a UU church before? I've been a UU since I was 15 years old, but I've never been a member. That means I've never counted in the number the UUA tallies for the number of UU's in the country, because if you aren't an official member, you aren't an official Unitarian Universalist.

When I was young, no one even suggested I be a member - I might have been excited to be asked as a teen or a twenty-something. Of course, you generally have to pledge money in order to become a member, and as a teen or a college student I had very little of that to spare. So I attended two different UU churches during the years that I was too young to be considered for membership.

I started attending my current church ten years ago, when I was still an undergraduate college student. No one suggested I join or invited me to membership classes, although they did invite me to join the Young Adults group. I had been attending off and on for a couple years, and still was always being asked if I was a first-time visitor, when I was first "canvassed" for a pledge. That was hard - I was a stay-at-home mom of a new baby, with no income of my own, a husband who did not attend church with me, and I was asked what I could afford to pledge ... um, nothing? I couldn't pledge based on his income - he had no interest in supporting a church.

After that, the "interfaith marriage" became a major factor in my not becoming a member. It just never felt right to join, although I did start contributing a pledge as soon as I had my own income stream. Once I came close to joining, and took the membership class, but they had misplaced "the book" that members sign so at the end of that class no one could sign, and I took that as some sort of sign that it wasn't meant to be.

How many people are out there like me, that have slowly grown into congregational life and feel awkward about the official membership process? It feels like having a wedding after you've lived with someone for more than a decade ... why bother?

I basically understand why my minister feels membership is so important. Intellectually, I hear his argument that in a faith without doctrine, what we have instead is the covenant of membership ... instead of a statement of faith we are asked to enter into that covenant and that relationship. OK - but I still don't really feel it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

If mom will give you lemons ...


Make lemonade!

I don't know where the idea originated, but Carbon informed me that the Lego Corporation (the group of students and staff concerned with all things lego) at his school wanted to have a small fundraiser and sell lemonade. He had volunteered himself to bring the stuff for this sale - which of course is actually volunteering ME, but we'll let that pass.

So yesterday I sent him to school with a bag of lemons, a bag of sugar, a juicer tool, two pitchers, and a few paper cups. Apparently they found a recipe on the internet and made the lemonade. There was a little left when I picked him up, and it was very strong. Not bitter really, just really thick and strong and concentrated. It was so strong that Carbon said people bought one cup of lemonade and then just kept adding water to dilute it all day long, making a never-ending-cup.

The Lego Corporation raised $6.50. About my cost for ingredients. :) However, the experience was priceless, and Carbon was very happy with himself, the event, and the results.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cock a doodle doo!


We ordered some heirloom breed chicks - Egyptian Fayoumis - with our spring chick order. The reason we like heirloom varieties is that we generally want to preserve biodiversity as we believe monoculture is dangerous and makes us all more vulnerable to disease and famine.

But ... we also just think rare breeds are cool. :)

So we ordered these birds, and the ideas was that we'd have one rooster and three hens. Once we knew which was which, we'd give a breeding pair to my mother, who lives in the country and was interested in trying to breed them. We'd keep two hens, since we are urban dwellers.

The breed is known for maturing quickly, so we weren't too surprised when we got our first little cock a doodle doo. The little rooster sat there, and seemed just as surprised by the noise as we were. But soon, we started hearing a lot of crowing. None of our neighbors complained, thank goodness, but we had ten crows in a row at 5am!

It turned out there were TWO roosters. Since one chick died early on, that left us with two roosters and one hen. So we had to send them all to my mother's house. They were beautiful birds, and we miss them already. Hopefully they will breed and do well, and maybe we can have a hen next year.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Your First Real Knife



For Carbon's 8th birthday we gave him his first swiss army knife. His dad still remembers the first knife that his dad gave to him ... it's part of childhood, and in our culture especially boyhood, to carve and whittle and mess about with a pocket knife.

So far he has peeled the bark from a few sticks to make wands, and has gifted those to his friends. Watching that I am struck by the parts of childhood that aren't a "fad", the parts that seem unchangeable and classic ... and how much more meaningful those classic activities seem to be.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Song of the Dandelion Fairy




Here's the Dandelion's rhyme:
see my leaves with tooth-like edges;
Blow my clocks to tell the time;
See me flaunting by the hedges,
In the meadow, in the lane,
Gay and naughty in the garden;
Pull me up - I grow again,
Asking neither leave nor pardon.
Sillies, what are you about
With your spades and hoes of iron?
You can never drive me out ---
Me, the dauntless Dandelion!

-- Cicely Mary Barker

And how true is that? I will always be behind the curve in pulling these beauties up - I even tried setting a bounty on them and paying the kids a dime for each dandelion they pulled and brought to me. We cannot defeat them - only live with them, and maybe even admire them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Family Dinners


I'm trying to put more emphasis on our dinners as a time for the whole family to gather around the table, practice some more refined manners, talk to one another, and avoid other distractions for awhile. In this effort, I'm inspired by recently having The Family Dinner by Laurie David. The Family Dinner is partly a cookbook, but also a loving account of how one family made dinner the foundation of their family life. I didn't have time to try any of the recipes before it had to go back to the library, but I was inspired by the message none-the-less.

So I'm trying some new recipes - looking for things that feel fun, that invite participation at the table, that will surprise the kids a bit, and that are also healthy and economical.


I borrowed The Earthbound Cook from the library, and had one good recipe out of it and one disappointing recipe out of it. But the whole family liked the red curry chickpeas recipe, and it was pretty easy to put together quickly, so that was a winner.

Stuffed peppers from this recipe were fun, and the kids were mostly OK with them with BBQ sauce.

And we all really enjoyed Chicken Chutney Wrap Ups from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Dinner.

What are your favorite fun meals for family dinner?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthday Boy

My boy is about to turn 8! And so it was my maternal duty to throw him a party (or two, after tomorrow's family one).




We went simple: a pool party at the YMCA, a little juice and snacks, cupcakes, and those little Dover thrift books as party favors. It was fun, and just about right. I don't always have to work my fingers to the bones to make it fancy - the kids really have pretty simple tastes.

A bit of garden beauty





Each time I come home right now, I am struck by these lovely blooms in my front yard. Even the fairy bells, which are little more than aggressive weeds, are lovely this time of year as they ring the tree in our yard. A bit of beauty is good for my soul, and I'm glad to have some right outside my own front door.

Friday, May 13, 2011

and more institutional awareness ....


Pardon the photo quality ... all I had was my phone camera. But I wanted to show you these pictures from our Monday tour of the county government offices. We toured the Permitting Office (not too exciting for the kids), the Court House (where they got the coolest pencils with gavel shaped erasers), the Commisioners chambers, the Juvenile Courts, and the Coroner's Office (where there were real dead bodies). It was a long day, but the kids held up and were pretty polite and well-behaved, and they got to see how some of our government really works!


Real Judge's robes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

speaking of institutional awareness and kids ...

Last Sunday at church I tried something new and held an Annual Children's Meeting for all the kids in the religious education program.

As Unitarian Universalists, our fifth principle is The Right of Concience and the Use of the Democratic Process. For the kids, I usually translate that as "Believe in Your Ideas and Speak Up for Them, and Listen to Others' Ideas as Well", but really - how better to teach this than to do it.

And there is no point to practicing democracy if there are no real choices to be made. So on Sunday the kids had real choices: what program we would do in religious education classes this summer, where to send the money they collected this year in their children's offering, and what the homecoming party in the fall would be. I picked topics and choices I thought they would be interested in.

Then at the meeting we sorted into three committees, just like how the adults at church work on committees. The committees were:

The Open Minds Committee

The Helping Hands Committee

The Loving Hearts Committee

I had pre-written instructions for the "Chair", and whichever was the eldest child on that committee was chair and had those instructions for how to run the meeting. They asked for volunteer Recorders to keep notes on the meeting, but in the end only adults volunteered for that task. Oh well.

All the meetings went very well, and some cool decisions were reached. For the offering, the Helping Hands Committee created posters for five possible recipients they had selected, and then every child (all committees) got a sticker that was their vote, and they placed their vote on the poster they wanted the money to go to. The final vote was to send the money to relief efforts in Japan.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures taken of the action. Also, because it was Mother's Day our attendance was low - which made it easier to do this but fewer kids got to take part. I'm excited though, to make this part of our tradition in this religious education program, and to perhaps even give committees of children and youth more authority to make real choices and help design the sort of program they want to have.

Monday, May 9, 2011

our first unit study planning session

(After I was done taking notes, Hypatia had to see if she could make her handwriting as small as mine)

Both of my children have a great deal of institutional and democratic experience - they see it all the time at church and then the Sudbury school excels at democratic process. So, I shouldn't be surprised that they brought a lot of this savvy to the process of planning our first unit study. It started a bit like this:

Me, at breakfast time: "I think we should do Ancient Egypt as our first unit study, because we know we want to go see the King Tut exhibit when it comes to town." (Idle conversation, really.)

Carbon: "I like that idea too!" Hypatia: "Yeah!" Carbon: "It's unanimous then - we'll do Ancient Egypt."

Hypatia: "Can we do the Ancient Romans after that?"

Me: "Maybe, we'll have to see. Ooooh - you know what I saw - hieroglyph rubber stamps! Wouldn't that be fun to work with for this unit study?"

Which then led to a session of me googling educational kits and toys with an egypt theme, and finding out that a lot of them are pretty expensive.

Me: "I don't think we can buy all these."

Carbon: "We need a budget. What's our budget?"

We don't currently have an annual budget for our homeschool, so we ended up just adding up how much it would cost to buy Everything. Too Much. They each went down the list then and said what their top priority was, and we added just those things up and found that the number was more reasonable. We got the Daddy in to the meeting at that point and proposed that budget, then all voted.

So we will be studying ancient Egypt this summer - and we have a great precedent in place already for how we will proceed going forward with planning and choosing topics in our homeschool.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

craters of the moon6

pumpkin patch

fort casey7

Seven years ago, I had my first Mothers Day as a mother. It's a hard job, and I celebrate all who do it. At the same time, it's the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and I cherish the joy my children have brought to me.

Whether you understand this holiday as it was originally envisioned - for peace - or as a time to thank your mother, or as a time to improve the lives of mothers around the world ... Happy Mothers Day to you. I share all three values, and I'm happy to call this a beautiful holiday. :)

quilting memories


a thrifted sundress she wore two summers ago, too stained to re-donate, and I cut up the ruffles and made that pseudo log-cabin square
left-over fabric from our recent My Doll and Me nightgown project, first sewn in one design then cut up and "fixed" (just barely) into this new design, without enough hot pink to really fix it

a fun scrap of jungle print from an outfit I made for her when she was a toddler, a tiny amount of light green scrap from who-knows-what-origin, and an old curtain I had made for the daddy and my first apartment together

More than a year ago, I finished making a Memory Quilt for Carbon. I wrote about it here. I'm not a quilter - AT ALL - but I wanted to do something with his favorite t shirts he outgrew, his little pants, the scraps from projects I made for him, etc. The result was definitely a CRAZY quilt, but he loves it and that is the blanket he sleeps under every night. I imagine that when he grows up and moves on, he'll have that blanket to take with him and remember that whole era of his childhood (I have similar things to remember my childhood by, and I love that).

But as parents, we have to be fair, right? I can't do something for one child and not for the other .... they are keeping track, believe me. So it's time to start a Memory Quilt for Hypatia. And here is the beginning of that effort - as you can see I've been bit by a much more ambitious bug this time. Not that this is quilting like my serious quilting friends would do -

a. I hate to actually measure anything. I really do - I prefer to sew by the seat of my pants.

b. I don't read the directions.

c. I'm very comfortable with wonky seams in a lot of things.

d. I learned to sew by helping my mother make costumes for community theater, so the rule was - will this look okay from 50 feet away? That kind of sewing can be very sloppy.

But this is pretty fun, and I'm actually motivated to put more into the details than I have in the past. Now - if her quilt turns out nicer than his quilt, does that mean I have to make him another one as well?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Say Yes to your children


As we drove home after dropping the daddy off at work and the boy off at school, Hypatia asked me to play a board game with her when we got home. My first reaction was NO. It's so easy to say No - No, I have too much work to do. No, I'm busy. No, I'm tired. No, I don't want to make a mess right now.

It's harder to say Yes. It's harder to get past my first reaction and to go ahead and spend the time doing something I don't necessarily want to do.

But doesn't it feel good when people say Yes to you? Doesn't it feel good to have someone spend time with you? What kind of relationship is built by that word - "Yes"?

It will help your kids feel good about themselves. It will help them have confidence to ask again, to talk to you, to share with you.

It will help them see the world as a more positive place, creating more optimism - a personality trait that has been shown to lead to greater resilience in life.

It will create a closer parent-child relationship. Every time you say yes to anyone, you are putting an investment in your relationship bank. No, I don't want to reduce human relationships to "mere" transactions, but I do find it incredibly useful to remember the concept of "relationship capital" in my life - and saying Yes to your child is building up relationship capital.

And it makes for an environment of Yes. An environment in which everyone is more likely to say Yes. So when I say, "do you want to help me in the kitchen?" they say Yes. And when they say "can you bake cookies?" I say yes. And when I say "I'm tired - will you all be quiet while I lie down for a bit?" they say Yes.

All good reasons to say YES.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Second Nature


My latest book to finish reading is Second Nature: A Gardener's Education by Michael Pollan. Pollan has become well-known as an advocate for sustainable food practices (The Omnivore's Dilemma, and his contributions to Food, Inc), but Second Nature is from 1991, a bit before all that became part of the conversation.

Second Nature isn't about food, but rather about gardening - and about how gardens are the arena for nature and culture to come together in various ways. Pollan writes of weeds, hybrid roses, planting trees, lawns, and much more, but the prevailing thread is how we as humans interract with nature and how we balance nature and culture.

Much of the book seems to be arguing with Thoreau - something I enjoy as I'm often mentally arguing with Thoreau as well :) - about the nature of man and "the wild" and culture. It's beautifully written and deeply thought-provoking. A truly lovely meditation on humanity's history, culture, and nature, all set in the garden.

From the book:

.... finding a good answer to that question will involve a much more complicated set of choices than the usual American alternatives, which seem to consist of either raping the land or sealing it away in a preserve where no one can touch it. That the first approach is bankrupt goes without saying. Yet, right as it sounds, the second one may be a dead end too. Gardening quickly teaches you to distrust all such absolutes, to frame the questions a little differently. Must we always shrink before our own power in nature?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My plan to balance work/homeschool

in the office with kids

Several people have asked for hints about my plan to balance a full-time job with homeschooling the kids. It's a trick, that's for sure. My mother did it two ways: running a home daycare for 15 years and then running a tutoring center for the last 12 years.

I am very lucky, in that I have a full-time job with flex hours and a flexible workplace. My big work-day is Sunday, when my husband is available to watch the kids. If he's ever not, it also works fine for the kids to go with me now that they are old enough to not be hanging on my hip as I do the many parts of my Sunday role.

The rest of my work week is Office Hours, Meetings, Study, Lesson Planning, sometimes facilitating Classes, and a ever shifting assortment of prep tasks (shopping, cooking, crafting, photocopying, etc) for Sunday school. A lot of that is done in the evening, or on Saturday, because we are working around the schedules of other folks who have school and work.

I plan to shift my Office Hours to the afternoons, probably 1-4pm, and work four days a week. One of those days will be a full-day, 10am-4pm most likely. So that will be 15 hours a week of during the day time that we'll be in my office. As you can see in the photo above, the kids can just hang out in my office with me - like I said, I'm very lucky. There is also all the rest of the unused church building for them to hang out in: nursery, Montessori-style classroom, youth room with sofas and tv, empty classrooms, outdoor space, pianos, etc.

I plan to mostly let them do whatever they want during my office hours. We will buy them a simple laptop so that they can be on the computer if they want. I'm also a big fan of borrowing DVD's from the library and letting them watch those at work. If the mood moves them, they have tons of art supplies at their finger-tips there. They hang out there now, and I'm confident they'll be able to keep themselves busy for those 15 hours a week.

So that settles where the kids will go during my work hours. Now - how will we find time for the homeschooling?

We will do "Breakfast School" and do our small quantity of daily work in Reading, Writing, and Math first thing in the morning.

We will do one family unit-study at a time, which the kids will choose the topic for and then we'll let unfold rather organically. Lots of library books to read, documentaries to watch, a field-trip if appropriate, etc. We'll work that all in around our schedule.

I'm going to arrange for a Spanish class for the kids, and for a few other homeschooling friends. That will be one hour a week, scheduled on a morning. We'll do home-learning tucked in here and there as well.

Other mornings will be assigned for a once-a-week nature study and keeping a nature journal, and then a once-a-week science lab time and keeping a lab journal.

A music lesson once a week, some kind of physical activity or class, and one class per week at the Homeschool Connect program that is provided by our school district - yes, there is going to be running around for me to do. Some of it may have to be after 4pm, when I leave work.

There is also a park day with the local homeschool group, and playdates to schedule. I know I'm going to be keeping a big family calendar to keep it sorted out.

Will I be tired? Yes. But I'm going to give myself one afternoon a week off, by hiring a babysitter for four hours a week. Then I can get out and do something for myself, with no kids for those four hours.

That's my plan!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ideas for Mother's Day

Carbon has been saying that he "hates Mother's Day". He groans when we talk about plans for next weekend. "Why?" we ask him, and his answer is that it is "so hard to find the perfect present for Mom". That whatever he gets is never good enough.

Say what? I have no idea where that is coming from! Is it hard to get me gifts? What about:

Kid-made art that can go up on the wall of my office

Flowers - both cut or for planting in the garden

Bubble bath or bath salts

Momma-jewelry, like this

Dish cloths

gift-certificates for doing extra chores around the house

cute puppy accessories for my new puppy dog

Chocolate, red wine, and coffee

yoga DVD's

Framed photos of themselves

Is that really that hard? Their Dad is a hopeless case and will probably leave this until Saturday afternoon and take them out shopping at the last minute only after I gently remind him that the next day is Mother's Day, but still ....

In the meantime, today I'm off to mail some nice little packages and cards to some of my moms, step-moms, and mother-in-laws ....