Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things, I think make my house smile!

I wonder what my house would say if it could talk.
I try to make it smile.
I think my little house in the country notices that....

I have way more time to enjoy the laundry.

When I fold the clothes, I think how grateful I am to have the time and energy

to fold them neatly and put them in stacks.

Sometimes, I think of putting in a little peice of paper shaped like a heart on top of the neatly folded clothes.

It would say:

Glad to serve you today.


I enjoy pulling out the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and creating a new meal.

Cooking from scratch, chopping and cutting, fruits and veggies, nut and grains all that good stuff.

I especially love when my Little says we should eat Royal tonight...which means we get out the china.

(Does not matter what we eat but last night we had chicken and rice with broccoli for our Royal dinner.)
We use the "wedding" crystal stemware and cloth napkins.

We had a toast and enjoyed a meal together by candlelight.

“Now that is Royal!” Little G says.

Little G came up with this idea all on her own.

She sets the table all on her own...except that I get the china out of the hutch.

She is so pleased with herself and loves how fancy it looks.

I also enjoy baking when it rains... and lately it has rained!
All but the last batch of cookies turned out just fine.
The last batch is on parchment paper as black as the night, when I burnt them.
It never fails I always burn one sheet of cookies!!!
Mr. D laughs at me and says he'd buy me an instant cookie maker like my rice maker if they made one.
We had a good laugh as he sees me run out of the house with the cookie sheet smoking.

I enjoy reading stories to the children after their bedtime routine.

They don't want me to stop...and instead of putting them to sleep, it keeps them awake.

We are currently reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods.

Boy, talk about a mothers work...Ma's chores were brutal!

They ask me lots of questions...and I explain and I am so glad
I don't have to churn butter and salt meat.


I could think of more but I know your busy too.

So tell me.......
what makes your house smile?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I am A Mother

In April, I will be hosting a book club.

The book I have chosen is I am A Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson.

A couple of years ago my daughter and I went to "Time Out" for mothers and daughters.

Jane was one of the speakers and she was delightful.

Sometime afterward, my sister gave me this cute pink book written by Jane.

I flipped through it a couple of times but it did not call to me yet, it sat lonely by my bedside,
literally inches from my grasp for months.

When the announcement was made at church looking for hosts for a monthly book club I immediately thought of this book. I signed up and was then assigned April!

SO…I started to read it. I am surprised how it applies to me,

and how my roles have changed over the past year.

I have always prided myself as a mother but I always had other titles as well.

But now I can say:

Yes, I am a mother!

- Full time-

It must have been just the right time because it seemed fitting as I read it.

Let me give you some background.

I have always been a worker.

I have worked since I was 12.

I became a mother at 20 and worked.

Now at 40, I have calculated that I have worked about 28 years! - more than half of my life!

My first day as a mother, I was a worker too.

My boss brought my work to the hospital when my first child was born, and this set the tone.

I worked from home for 6 weeks and then took my baby with me to work.

I was working for a company that had contracted a job with the Defense Depot close to where I lived. When the contract was finished, I was offered to move to the next project in Hawaii. I said No.

Then I was home until I found a new job about 4 months later.

Then I worked as a single mother for a couple of years.

When Mister D and I got married, we started our own business, Universal Property and Estate Services! We worked together for about 6 months, it was so much fun, but it didn’t pay the bills or health insurance. He continued while I went back to the work. This new job was full- time -plus  (sometimes 50-hour weeks) coordinating loans for a Mortgage Company.

In this world, everything had a deadline, every detail was crucial. I was surrounded by words and numbers. Month end was crunch time, all the loans needed to be closed. Then at the beginning of the month we had to double check everything for compliance purposes.

This would require staying until complete and those days would last 10 hours.

Mister D picked the girls up from school.

He would be Mr. Mom, help them with their homework, and cook dinner.

He was doing all this while I sat in an office and worked on someone else’s’ "very important tasks".

(Oh dear)

When we found out, I was pregnant with our first child,
my Mister D said that he did not want me to work anymore.

He wanted me to stay home with the baby, I wasn't so sure.

I ended up on bed rest the month prior to the birth,...stir crazy happened sooner than I anticipated.

When he was born...I fell in love...I read to him all the time. It seemed like he was always nursing or sleeping and I was always reading...I went through most of Jane Austen's works...the ones I owned and then 6 weeks post labor, I wanted to go back to work.

The girls occupied my time as well, but when they were in school, I was bored!

Crazy, I know but that is the life I knew for so many years. I went to my boss and even asked if I could just bring my little one, (as I did once before). I told him my baby slept most of the day,
I had a private office...I could just bring a playpen.
Sadly, he said, NO.

I then cleaned the house, like room after another, and then going back again to see if I forgot anything. Just at this time Donny Osmond came out with his diagnosis for OCD and I felt akin.

So...that was not good thing! I forced myself to stop being so crazy about the cleaning

and figured out what I could do to keep me busy, that seemed less crazy!

I SAT DOWN...without a book...

and turned on the TV. Flipping through channels, I discovered Martha Stewart.

Ah, she is a different kind of crazy, but one that I would feel more comfortable emulating.

I would watch her show and then write down the recipes, this was way before I was Internet savvy.

Then whatever she made that morning at 10am I would make at lunchtime if Mister D could come home, or I would make it for dinner. I learned quite a bit from her.

This went on for a while until one day I slipped while carrying Little J, and trying to protect my babies' head I reached out to catch myself and hyper-extended my thumb and had to have two pins put in my hand. My hand throbbed and cooking wasn't as enjoyable. Not being able to open a jar or cut food and stir...pretty much meant cooking was out, at least for a while.

Then we moved....that's another story.

Then, I was contacted by a colleague who needed a Liaison, simply a go meet with clients when she couldn't and I could take my little one with me. YEAH! I was a worker again.

(OK...So if you've always been a mom, you are probably thinking I am crazy
but, if you are a worker or ever have been, I think you'll completely understand.)

From there I ended up working with several different Real Estate Finance companies.

Then when Little J was 2 1/2, I started working for World Financial Group servicing their mortgage clients and then later received my license as a California Life Agent. I would work from home; coordinate with Lenders and clients, on my time and took the amount of workload I desired.

I thought this was the bee’s knees!

I was able to do all the motherly things and when the kids were in school and Little G was taking a nap I could work and then in the evenings when Mister D got home I would work 2 nights and early Saturday mornings. This went on for 7 years, until the market took a dive and Lending criteria changed and then a death in the family and then a move and now I am here.


but working over time in the home front, as a MOM!

I have finally settled into being a full time Mother and I Love it!

Even though I have thought about working again…
I have thought WAY more about having another baby
or what to fix for dinner
or how to make the house smile with happiness.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Precious Moments

2010 began beautifully!

Amoungst a group of friends the day before my birthday,
I was asked to make a birthday wish when I blew out my candle...

I wished for precious moments instead of things,
and time to spend with my loved ones
celebrating anything and everything!

Here are some precious moments that happend the next day when Mr. D took me
on a "holiday special".
Pacific Grove

The best Chinese restaurant ever is in Carmel, Tommy Wok rocks!!

Asilomar Beach at sun down

We went to the movies and then made it to Baskin Robbins just before it closed... 2nd scoop 99 cents!!

The next morning with the top down. The weather was beautiful!
My Mr. D!

The Paris Bakery! oh my goodness, the chocolate criossants are heavenly!

Used bookstore...was closed...darn...they had Kipling in the window! (my set is older)

This just goes to show what great fun we have together.
Now, I do not like this picture but the fact that Mr. D wanted me to try this fur coat on so bad was worth it!
He said if it didn't smell like cat pee and was $100.00 less he would have bought it!! LOL!!
Oh, Brother!! I tried on jackets while he picked them out...He bought a jacket. I bought shoes!!
I have passed by this garden store many times and always wanted to go in, but not with all the kids.
Well, wala.. we went. I now know that I have mexican sage...tons of it right out my back door.

We took a walk along the beach. The weather was fantastic, 70 degrees in January!

Mr.D put my camera on the timer and we took some pictures on the rocks.

We made a rock sculpture like always..
It represents our family being together even when we are apart.

After this we walked back leisurely and drove home.... off into the sunset.

Just when I thought it couldn't get better........

When we got home my Biggest Little, Big Little, Little J and Little G cleaned the house and made a me a birthday cake.
My camera battery was dead by then, but Big Little did a fantastic job... she followed the recipe for her grandmother's chocolate frosting and it turned out marvelous.

These truly were precious moments.