New Years Day

We spent an hour or two of the morning cleaning up the house. The boys were instructed to help and I reiterated to them what they already know. When they fuss, I ask, “Do you live here?”

They already know the answer. They reply, “Yes.”

I start to ask the question that they already know the answer to, “What does that mean, then?” In the middle of me asking, they always reply, “Then we have to help clean.”

Exactly.

It only took about an hour to get the house cleaned up. We typically keep things relatively neat and orderly, so it never really gets hard. Didn’t do the floors or the bathrooms but the rest looks alright. When we were done, I started looking at things we could be doing. At about 1 p.m., I decided we should just go. Take the boys and head back to the hills of snow.

I called one friend, told her to give me her daughters to go. She said they were busy helping her.

Called another friend; they were busy cleaning house all day. In their defense, one of them we called was sick. Having just gotten over sick, I wanted nothing to do with someone else who was sick!

Called more people. Every single person we call was “getting this house cleaned up!”

I started thinking. What is wrong that it takes an entire day to clean a house? Or, is it a matter of straightening up and getting sidetracked? I make the babies work their tails off for an hour, no more than 2 and we’re done. House is cleaned up and we’re ready to go play. Am I an aberration? Am I strange? Is my house not “clean” because I don’t spend all day on it?

Looks clean. Floors could use a washing. Bathrooms might need a wipe-down. Otherwise, looks pretty good to me and I was taught how to clean by my mother. Let me tell you, she was tough! She taught me things that just aren’t taught in today’s world. I won’t go into details but I learned about the “woman who goes to the bathroom and drops her rings washing her hands.” That’s what I learned on how to clean.

Maybe that’s why it doesn’t take me an entire day to clean. Having learned under her hand, my house stays pretty nice. Usually.

We didn’t end up going. It was a “don’t want the boys playing all alone” type thing. We stayed home.

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We shot fake bullets at a wind chime hanging in the dining room – just for fun. I tried about 5 times, gave up and handed it to my 4 year old. He hit the wind chime 3 or 4 times in a row – no misses! I was floored. The 6 year old tried and failed a few times then the 4 year old tried again. He managed to get a few stuck in some interesting places.

Let me say this: the one stuck to the picture is actually stuck TO the picture. There’s no glass in that picture. I framed that myself and I am not interested in cutting glass. It is just a picture in a frame. Now that’s talent, little Brendan!

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One of Brendan’s used gifts from the second hand store: water coloring. The paper already has the colored lines on it. You use water to spread it out to color the picture. That was a bit of fun until Caiden bit the end off his paint brush.

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They were allowed to play the Wii fora little bit. Looking at this picture, I’m surprised. He knows he can’t point that thing at people!

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We smashed some peppermint. Today, we’re going to try to go to Caiden’s class and show them how to make their own hot chocolate. Have to have peppermint to do so.

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I canned Pico de Gallo, just to see what would happen. You have to add some vinegar or lemon juice before canning it and, afterwards, it’s softer than you’d make it fresh. The cooking does take the crispness out of things. No matter. It was another experiment and we typically eat the ones we won’t save for a long time.

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My friend Meg’s girls came over a bit later on and they played a little bit on the Wii. In the middle of that, we made hot chocolate for them to take home.

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They had a bit of fun with it, made a mess and then went back to playing the Wii until they were picked up. It was a practice session for what we did today (Wednesday). Jen and I, that is. We took all our supplies to the school and taught 45+ 1st graders how to make their own hot chocolate. More on that later.

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While they were playing with the Wii, Jen and I came up with a great idea. We melted some chocolate chips and marshmallows in a bowl on the stove and then put it between two Nilla Wafers. We threw them in the fridge to cool off and, after the girls left (we were under strict instructions to not feed them a bunch of junk), we gave them to the boys for snacks.

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They were yummy and terribly like S’Mores. The boys gobbled them up after a late dinner and we shoved them in bed by 7 p.m. They were asleep so fast and got up looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, this morning. Brendan threw a small fit about getting up so early; however, you could tell he was playing. He was wide-awake.

While they were asleep, I made my first homemade bread. White bread. A recipe from one of my 1924 cook books – the Priscilla Cook Book. It turned out amazing and I was very pleased. Now, I can make bread when we don’t have money to buy bread!

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Homemade bread with canned butter. Oh, yeah. It was that good!

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And yeah, they liked it this morning when they saw it. Brendan is actually trying to eat his and Caiden is trying to decide if he’ll get in trouble for eating it. I’m officially the bread-maker for the family!

We went to Caiden’s class today and taught all of the 1st graders in the three classes how to make their own hot chocolate. It was hectic so we only have a picture of the before. They appeared to like it and only one boy got mildly burned when he spilled his hot chocolate.

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Getting set up. Right after this, it got so hectic, not one more picture was taken. Sorry.

It was alright, though. The teachers helped keep everyone in line and we made quite a few; however, we didn’t have enough to send some home with everyone so we just shared with the kids there and three of the quietest kids – one from each 1st grade class – got to take a jar home with them. I enjoyed it and would willingly do it again. When we have more supplies to send everyone home with some, that is.

Now, a stiff drink, a bath and a long nap to recover from dealing with that many children for 45 minutes. Things are looking up, my friends. Health is on the mend and I’m doing great.

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Categories: 1950s, American, Canning, Dinner, Family, Socializing, Trips | Leave a comment

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