13 April 2010

Ground Zero: The Mom Tip Tuesday Edition

{Warning: This is a long post.  But there is a reward for getting to the end.}

Almost everyday of my parenting life, I have said...

"We can't go on like this."      

And yet we have.

Right, now there is a child pouting and muttering to herself in the upstairs bath/laundry room while she folds beautiful, fresh, sweet-smelling laundry.

It has gotten to be a disease in our home...this open-ended, you-have-all-day-to-complete-the-task, mentality.

I would love to crack a joke here, but this is no longer funny.

I wonder if other homeschooling families struggle with this madness.  Time is out of control and everything is out of control.

Time is what life is made of.  We are wasting our time.  I am just so mad about this that I can't even think of an example.  Wait, Maybe I can...

Work Time, Play Time, Me Time, Quality Time, Family Time, Nap Time, Football Time in Tennessee (ick), TV Time, Computer Time, Free Time (don't believe it..), Leisure Time, Bed Time, Breakfast Time, Lunch Time, Dinner Time, Time for my show, Time for your bath, Time is Money, Time to go, Time out, Time In, Overtime, Halftime, School Time, Home Time, Comp Time, Personal Time, Sick Time, Vacation Time. Save Time, Timewaster.

Just to name a few.

We don't have a specific time for anything and this has been after me for a long TIME.  We need to schedule our days and I just don't want to put up with the emotional displays that can be dished up by the "Young Divas In Residence" (I am no diva*.  I have no idea where this comes from).

We have a clock and a timer and a calendar and a watch.  I think we have all the tools we need.  I have the credentials, the intellectual "guns", and the support of my community.  It is really a battle between the governing authorities(the State of TN and myself) and those who are governed.  I am ashamed to say, I have voted myself a holiday from dealing with this and returned to session to find myself with a filibuster of the constituency.

I even have the vision.  What we could be if we could get the basics done.  The family I dreamed of before God gave me the twins I dreamed of, as the result of a nine hour psychological pregnancy.  Somewhere along the way, the vision had to "make room on the bench" for chaos and drama and burnout and loneliness.  I never have found someone I could trust to leave my kids with that they wouldn't let them entertain themselves.  Even those I felt I could trust implicitly, have left the girls unattended with disastrous results.

Not that they are necessarily disasters waiting to happen, but we just don't live in the world of my childhood.  We could leave the house after breakfast and take off for the back corner of the farm, hop the barbed wire and walk until we wanted over another fence.  Around lunch time, we'd turn back toward Grandma's house and go eat.  After lunch,  maybe walk the mile to an Aunt's house.  Nothing to do.  Go back.  Basically ranging around the countryside.  Not really doing anything, but busy and moving and talking and in the sun. Safe.

Not like now, we can't let them outdoors unattended.  They have practically no chores, because the house is small and so is the yard. I don't believe in video games(It is as addictive as heroine, I have heard tell, and the reason became obvious to me last week.  The brain is searching for a random solution to a non-existent problem.  There is continual artificial success.  Everything in real life is harder to solve.  Success requires effort.). We live in the "Historic District" (read: 'Hood).  They think they need something that requires batteries or a plug to be happy(in a world encouraging us to reduce our carbon footprint; we teach our kids they cannot be happy without a TVComputerPhoneiPod of their very own.  Ironic, no?).  Boredom is a sin in the world today.  That is just too @#$%^mn bad.  Tell it to:  Beethoven, Einstein, Bell, Edison, Mozart, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Mandela, Kennedy, Graham.  What about the guys who built this...
None of those old guys had anything like what I am told children need to live.  Food, Clothing, Shelter, Fresh Air, Clean Water-- most of them didn't necessarily have all these and certainly not all at the same time.

I am not making my life impossible.  I am allowing them to.  We have more than ample, available books and reading materials, more than ample markers, pens, paper, craft supplies and they can cook.  They used to have quite a few toys, but as they have grown, they have sort of abandoned them for no replacements.  We have a basketball goal and jump ropes. (Seriously, go to the link for an absolutely amazing video)

To hear them tell it, they have ALL the chores.  I have plans to take them to a friends house to help with the hay baling this summer. Hopefully, they will come home loving the easy life they have, and we will be able to get down to the serious business of getting an overachiever's academic training and finding out who the heck we are.

Today's tip????  Fix your face.

No,  Not you.  You.

(nice teeth).

Pull up the big girl panties and get a thing or two done.  Start with dinner and go from there.

Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream Gravy

10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
½ c. butter or margarine
1 can cream or mushroom soup
1 8oz carton sour cream
1 can durkee dried onion rings

Salt and pepper chicken and sprinkle with lots of paprika.  Top with butter patties and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Remove chicken and make gravy in drippings with the mushroom soup and sour cream.  Top with onion rings and bake 20 minutes more.  Serves 8-10.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

2 cups sliced Rome apples
¾ c. sugar
4 T flour
1 egg, beaten
1 c. sour cream
½ t vanilla
1/8 t salt
1 9-inch pie shell

Arrange apple slices into unbaked pie shell.  Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over apples.  Bake @ 350 for 1 hour.

Note: fat free sour cream can be substituted.  But why would you want to.  It’s pie.

See there's another tip... it's really easy...

*I haven't asked anyone else what they think.  I just don't really think I fit anyone's definition.  I am beginning to think I need a little more of this in my life.


  1. Your chicken breast in sour cream gravy sounds divine! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have a scheduling problem too and I don't home school...yet. I write out schedules and can't make myself stick to them.
    I do make the kids do a lot of the house work...cause I have quilts to make...but you still need to trail after them a bit to make sure the jobs got done.


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