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I don’t remember quite how old I was.  I believe it was late grade school, fourth or fifth grade.  It was the third night in row that she had forgotten and by then, I was pretty upset.  No tears…yet, but very disappointed.  I took the tooth downstairs to my mother and in a slightly broken voice told my mom (thankfully no older brothers were around) that The Tooth Fairy had failed to visit 3 nights in a row, and that I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t sure what was going on.  My mother, bless her, looked both shocked and embarrassed.  Starting with an apology, she told me the truth, that SHE was the elusive Tooth Fairy and that SHE had forgotten my tooth, three nights in a row.

And how, might you ask, did I react?  Tears or shouting?  Sobs or anger?  I remember it quite well: What she said made sense and it kind of “clicked” in my head, and everything was okay.  And that’s what I said, “Oh.  Okay.”  And walked off to throw my tooth in the trash.  I’m not sure why, but that truth really didn’t bother me.  Maybe because I already knew that Santa wasn’t real.  Ah, the wonders and innocence of youth.

Christians have very diverse opinions on the classical mythical characters of Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy.  I know because I have heard and read the gambit; from vehement, total rejection to passionate, total inclusion.  In my home, we have leaned toward inclusion without blatant lying.  Yes, a hybrid of sorts.  For example, we put presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, but don’t say “From: Santa” on the tag.  Just leave it blank.  But I have never been one to blatantly lie to my children.  If they ever asked me point blank if there was a Santa Clause, and they have, I tell them point blank “No.”

Now this may seem shocking, but it has never been shocking to my children.  When my older two girls asked me about Mr. C., and I told them he wasn’t real, they laughed.  Hard.  And said, “Oh Daddy, you’re so funny!”  Yep, I told them the truth and they wouldn’t believe me.  And that routine went on for the next 4 years until they finally asked someone else about it, and they believed them.

When I forgot to get the tooth for my oldest daughter 2 nights in a row, and she was upset, I decided enough was enough, told her the truth and gave her extra money.  Yes, I “bought her off.”  She took the news well.  I’m pretty sure I repeated this financial exchange for my next daughter a year later.

Now years later, we come back to the present.  Last week, to be exact.  I had, not surprisingly, repeated my mother’s error of forgetting a tooth 3 nights in a row for one of my younger two daughters.  To her great credit, she was not as upset as I once was.  But, instead of dreaming up some fancy tale as to why The Tooth Fairy didn’t come, that night I decided it was time to tell them the truth.  I took a quarter and an extra dollar for each of my twins (Couldn’t break the news to one and not compensate the other!) and went to them.  They were upstairs waiting for me to come and say goodnight.  The tooth was under the pillow.  With the lights full on and them watching, I pulled a shiny quarter from my pocket, reached under the pillow, and swapped it for the tooth.  The reaction was immediate.

Shrieks and giggles.

“Daddy, stop!  The Tooth Fairy won’t know where to find it!”

“Daddy, you’re so silly!”

“Daddy, you’re not The Tooth Fairy!”

And more giggles.

“Yes I am.  I am The Tooth Fairy.  I have been The Tooth Fairy for over ten year!”

Even more giggles.

“Daddy!  Ha, ha!  You’re no fairy!”

I was getting absolutely nowhere.  Just like their older sisters, they took my offering of truth as a joke.  I decided to enlist some help.  If they wouldn’t believe me, maybe they’d believe their older sisters.  I called them both upstairs and shortly they stood before me and their younger siblings, who were still giggling.  Can you see the train coming?

Knowing my older daughters penchant for dramatization, I set the stage by stating, “I’m going to ask you a question and I just need a yes or no.”

They looked at me, and then at each other, and started giggling themselves.

“Is the Tooth Fairy real?”

There was much commotion after this question, with laughter by all four girls, so I felt the need to repeat myself.

“I only need a yes or no.”  My oldest is grinning so broadly that I know I’m in trouble.  “Is there a Tooth Fairy?”

Both older daughters loudly say, “Yes!” and emphatically nod their heads.  Oh, the giggles.  I was utterly defeated by 4 young girls.

“Fine.”  I was prepared for tears, prepared to pay, and prepared to cuddle.  I wasn’t prepared to be laughed at.   I sighed, put the tooth back under the pillow, and put the quarter back in my pocket.  I thanked my older two “For nothing!”, kicked them out, finished saying “Goodnight” to the twins, and went downstairs.

A few minutes later, the older two were, between laughs, telling their mother what had happened.  It was a classic set up, and if I was in their position, I probably would have done the same.  It was great situational comedy which they thoroughly enjoyed.  At my expense.

But I couldn’t leave it that way.

“Just remember, you will both grow up, and some day be married, and some day have your own children.  And they’ll ask me, ‘Grandpa is there really a Santa Claus because mommy says there isn’t.’  And I’ll remember this night and how much you helped me and said to your children, ‘Yes, there is a Santa Claus.  Your mommy’s only saying that because she was very naughty when she was young and got mostly coal in her stocking.’”

More giggles.

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hello?

tap, tap…

Is this thing on? 

I used to blog here.  I used to work up thoughts and match a photo or two with them.  What happened? 

Life, that’s the short answer.  Since my last postings, life happened.  The girls are still swimming, the twins are still chasing after their older sisters at record pace leaving me both pleased (so much love, so many memories) and sad (time slips between my fingers so swiftly and these days can not be had twice.)  Last summer and fall, I just wasn’t sure I would make it.   Of course, I made it since here I am typing.  I knew then that I would make it, but just didn’t feel it. 

So here is a photo or two for those interested in how my girls have grown.  Hopefully it won’t be months again before the next post.  I’ve blogged since Spring of 2006…no sense in stopping now. 

edited to add that while I would love to take credit for these photos, they aren’t mine.  I can only take credit for the cute kids

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still here in a sense

Let’s see, it started with me working more and more hours to get my mom through spring banquets and to earn some cash for a Disney trip.  Then there was testing for the girls’ school, finishing up said school for the year, end of swim season (did I post about Jane qualifying for regional?), spring soccer,   and who could forget the cold that would not end and managed to travel through our house 2 people at a time for two rounds (that is about a months worth of illness for those wondering.)  In general life just got so busy that something had to give.  I’d say I was sorry that it was the blog that had to be set aside, but I am not.  My family comes first and I am not ashamed to say it.  It was all a good kind of busy, but it pushed me to my limits.  Here’s some quick takes on where we are at right now:

  • My first trip to our farmer’s market was this past weekend.  My haul: chard, green onions, peas (which the twins helped shell), chicken (whole bird, non-GMO), and my one regret was I did not get any of the rhubarb or strawberries.  They looked so perfect, but I already had berries from the Amish and the only way rhubarb is good is drowning in sweetness.  I love it, the rest of the family is not fond, I end up eating it all….you get the picture.
  • Summer swim has just started and the first meet is this Thursday (at home for any locals that might want to watch.)  Did I ever mention I was not in a single sport in all my growing years.  I sometimes feel like the mom that is clueless, but after a couple of seasons of swim and soccer, I think I am getting into the swing of it.  Speaking of swing, they are also taking a golf clinic next week.  Love that my girls want to be active!
  • Twins will be 4 in a month and a half….FOUR!  No idea yet what we are doing for a party, but hoping for something breezy and fun outside. It’s freaking me out a bit how quickly my girls are growing.  Where is time going?  Jane is going to be ten this winter, someone help me please!!!!
  • Currently, I am not working so much, only three shifts this month that I know of and I like that very much.  The money is nice, but my family is much more fun 🙂
  • Plans for the summer are to relax and “Spring clean” so to say.  With school, swim, etc. there was not much de-cluttering or cleaning going on the first part of this year.  Hoping to take advantage of summer when the obligations are less to get some things done around here.
  • We are helping out a couple of times a week with my grandparent’s garden.  I’ve never done traditional row gardening.  It seems like quite a bit of wasted space and lots of weeding, but I am willing to give it a try.  My square foot garden is planted with herbs, scallions, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce.   The row garden out at their place has corn, beans, beets, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, melons, squash, and cucumbers.  It will be nice to spend time every week with my grandparents and good for the girls and I to learn.

So, yes, I am still here and I hope to have more to post soon.  Here’s a photo to hold you over until then.  Aren’t my girls so beautiful!  A better photo is high on my priorities for the next week or two, but it was a last-minute shot and I love the memories of that evening in the park.

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watch your step

Where I live, it isn’t often you see great expanses like this:

I can’t believe I let Jane get so close to this cliff.  She’s just hanging out there with her binoculars looking at West Virginia and the Ohio river, while I take the photo from in the car.  Yes, I didn’t even want to get out of the car with a cliff like that right there.  What kind of mother am I that lets my oldest do what I have paralyzing fear about?  I am not sure if it is a good or bad thing.

Soup recipe coming up as soon as I spell check and try to find a photo to accompany it…noon at the latest.

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colored days

I love to read My Many Colored Days to my girls.  Dr. Suess can get anoying to read (over and over like kids love), but this one does not bother me.  I like Go, Dog, Go, but not again and again.  One Fish, Two Fish is fun, but not again and again.  My Many Colored Days, though, I can read that one every night and be just as happy as they are. 

And this is the type of post you get, dear readers, when my life is just so crazy that I have trouble putting it into words.  Yard sale was a bust, parents’ last days as owners of their business, feeling the need to deep clean the house, want to make bread, need to re-invent the budget, weeds are taking over, and oh the laundry and cleaning I should do…really, it just is muddled around up in my head as a bit of a fog.  I feel stuck in a sense so I leave you with this:

grey day, everything is grey…I watch and nothing moves today

back to regularly scheduled food, family, and fun soon

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does it matter?

I find myself getting a bit ticked off this afternoon, combing mashed potatoes out of the dog’s hair.  I went to the bathroom during lunch, should have known better. 

“Why can’t food stay on the plate, or least the table?”  I asked my girls this over and over.  How is it that a mother can turn her back for a couple minutes and a mess like that break out.

But, really, does it matter. 

This morning I was on the way to the farm when we came upon someone struggling to climb out of their car.  I take back roads there, as in county and township roads where you do not pass anyone for miles.  It’s a beautiful and peaceful drive most mornings.  This morning, though, started out quite a bit differently.  We had headed out of town, around the curve, and over the bridge when I saw him.  My first thought was that he was having a seizure or something.  The car was upright on the proper side of the road, he was shaky and having a hard time, but trying very hard to stay upright.   I pulled over behind his car to warn oncoming traffic and told the kids not to move.  When I got out, I could see the skid marks and grass all over his car.  He had lost control and visited a couple fields…thankfully between poles and signs.

I ran back to the car to get the towels I had been pestering the girls to bring into the house for a couple days. I  threatened them to stay put while dialing 911.  Poor guy was going into a bit of shock, but no blood.  We talked a bit, got him warm under the bright hooded towels, and he had me call his girlfriend and grandfather.  Just graduated high school, positions he played on the football team, where he was going to college, what his major was.  It seemed like forever (5 minutes in all reality) until another car came up and drove right on by.  The next was the dog warden who stopped and put his lights on, soon after that the ambulance and fire department. 

Poor kid had no clue how it happened, he just lost control.  His arm and shoulder hurt pretty bad, though, and he was still very shaky and acting like he wanted to sleep.  Such a future, though, and how quickly things can change.  The road we were on has lots of ditches, curves, little bridges, and many signs and poles.   This poor guy managed to miss them all and will be okay.  I really hope his injuries aren’t so bad that he can’t play football anymore as I imagine he is on scholarship.

When I was in high school we lost a classmate in a similar manner.  It was prom night, he was my girlfriend’s date, I had taken lessons at the same time slot he had for years, we had worked all week hanging decorations for that night together.  He fell asleep at the wheel on the way home.  Great kid, no alcohol or drugs, had just dropped his date off and was heading home.  Our graduating class was just over 100, so we all knew each other pretty well.  A year later at graduation it still hurt.

So I as I finish picking the mashed potatoes out of the comb, I ask myself: why get so bent out of shape about mashed potatoes in the dog’s hair? 

Sometimes I really need to just chill-out on the little things.

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blog reading

After a vacation, it is always nice to read through some of my favorite blogs.  Here are a couple things that caught my eye..sharing is nice, right?

An good read on the basics of GMO’s.  I plan on reading more on the topic as it interests me.  I found the PLU#  guide  to be helpful and will look more into it as well (to avoid GMO produce do not buy items with a 5-digit # starting with 8.)   I try to avoid GMO products, but it goes pretty deep.  Think of your steaks and burgers, are the cattle eating a non-GMO feed.  For this reason we buy our beef by the half or quarter from a local source we trust.  It is another reason we try to avoid farm-raised fish as I’ve yet to find a source whom I trust.  Anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it is like to have GMO’s as is anything containing soy.   Seeing as nearly all processed foods have soy and/or corn products in them, it is yet another reason to cook fresh meals at home instead of relying on meal-in-a-box items.

A post that mirrors my sentiments on children’s menus.  I could have written this myself, but it would not have been so eloquent.  It bothers me to go to an excellent restaurant and not see tasty, healthy options in a kids portion.  Often we order a couple dishes from the adult menu for the four girls to share.  Three of my girls get excited when we go out for sushi,  all of them eat what we do for supper, and the same three are not afraid to try new foods.   I noticed on this trip that some of the high-end Disney World Restaurants are starting to show a tiny bit of progress here.  Most nice restaurants in our area have the standard buttered noodles, chicken strips (or grilled chicken if you are lucky), and either a hot dog or burger. 

Jane (the oldest) is by far the pickiest and most afraid to try new things (taste or texture.)  When she was little I made her separate meals and did all the things you thought you should for a kid…serve them bland, unseasoned food.  With Liz following quickly behind and being an early eater I felt bad about being lazy and not cooking separate meals for them.  I now see I wasn’t doing my oldest any favors…though I’m working on her.  Thankfully they all love fresh fruits, veggies, and raw milk.  I can barely get them to drink store milk anymore.

 Another from the same blog, some tips on working with sourdough.  My past experiences with sourdough have been explosive and  messy.  In those cases, I was trying to start a no-yeast starter from scratch and in the one case it made it all over a cabinet and wall.  After this explosive behavior the thing would die.  Guess I have some very wild and short-lived things floating around in my air.  We currently make a low-yeast, slow process bread.  It is good, but I would much rather do sourdough.  It would be much better for Jane and really, for all of us.  I plan on ordering a starter soon and giving it a try with an established starter.   All progress will likely turn up here.

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