Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun Breakfast

Children across the state had their STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academics Readiness) and Benchmark tests this week.  I thought the TAKS test was bad but apparently this test is more difficult. If the homework is any indication of what will be on the tests I just pray that God helps all our children. I'm having to look up stuff on the internet just to help my 5th grader.  And forget about helping my junior.  My brain has decided to delete the information I once learned in chemistry and geometry since it hasn't been accessed in over a decade.  Blame it on the politicians to give our students a test that puts more emphasis on standardized testing rather than actually learning all in the name of money. I won't blame any particular party as I think both have contributed to the downward spiral of our education.  But I digress from the subject....

I wanted to start the day off on a positive note so I arranged breakfast into a smiley face or at least I tried. Note to self: curve bacon before cooking so it will look like a smile.  Did the smiley faces go unappreciated?  I don't know. They're big boys and I think it's all the same to them.  But I think that somewhere deep inside they appreciated the effort.  And yes, those are Veggie Tales place mats.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lite Pina Colada

The other day I used 2 tablespoons of lite coconut milk for a recipe and then I was left with almost an entire can.  I didn't know what to do with it but today I was super thirsty and looking for something sweet to eat. So I threw the following ingredients in a blender and had a lite version of non-alcoholic pina colada.

Lite Pina Colada
13.66 fl oz Lite Coconut Milk
1 can of ice (I used the can of coconut milk so not to dirty a measuring cup)
10 oz of canned pineapple chunks  (fresh pineapple is aprox 1 cup)
1 banana
2 tablespoons Smart Sugar or any sugar substitute
Pinch of salt

Blend all the ingredients in a blender.  Pour in a cup.  Add maraschino cherry juice (optional).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Farewell Christopher Robin

Change happens whether we want it or not; seasons, people, minds, friends, and life changes. There's an unwelcome change happening in our household.  My 11-year old son's voice is changing.  I am jarred to my core every time his smooth childish voice cracks and a deep voice breaks through in the middle of a sentence.  I don’t recognize this new voice.  This deep voice clangs as a warning bell of a new chapter entering my life. The deep voice also symbolizes more changes:  the process of emptying toy boxes, buying deodorant, loss of control, cell phones and data plans, making room in the closet for fashionable clothes and shoes, and worst of all, not being able to kiss or hug the grown up hurts away. Then it will be me alone living with 3 men.  I am NOT ready for this!

Every night I give my son a good night kiss and as I walk away the practical feeling of he’s getting too old for bedtime kisses fights my emotional ties.  I just want to hold onto the adolescent for a few more years. It’s times such as these that make me regret not cherishing more moments before tweendom. I wanted him to grow, mature, and catch up with his peers so I never expected this melancholy feeling.   

In this moment I feel like Winnie the Pooh saying good bye to Christopher Robin. I feel as if I'm standing in the doorway of the last chapter waving a tearful good bye to a small child who's walking away.  It is a bittersweet moment and the tears are one-sided.  I'm saying goodbye to softness, good bye tickling/cuddling, good bye stuffed animals and good bye to being the center of my child’s universe.  The child is smiling and eager for new adventures and happy to be independent and saying “Hello, world!”

As I'm sadly watching the child getting smaller in the distance there's a tween with a cracking voice who is as tall as me trying to enter through the doorway without an invitation. I look at him, pause and accept that children grow up and I welcome him inside.  Before I shut the door I look out once more to see the child cresting the horizon into a bright future.

Excerpt from "The World of Pooh"  Chapter 10

Christopher Robin was going away.  Nobody knew why he was going; nobody knew where he was going; indeed, nobody even knew why he knew that Christoper Robin was going away.  But somehow or other everybody in the Forest felt that it was happening at last. 

"Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
Pooh thought for a little.
"How old shall I be then?"
Pooh nodded.
"I promise," he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt for Pooh's paw. 
'"Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I--if I'm not quite------" he stopped and tried again----"Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?"
"Understand what?"
"Oh, nothing" He laughed and jumped to his feet. "Come on!"
"Where?" said Pooh.
"Anywhere," said Christopher Robin. 

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