McShort Pants

It started around supper time.  My kids had spent the day on the lake and were famished.  I had packed all the fixings for chicken fajitas and was ready to cook up a delish meal that would be devoured.  It was at that moment that the powers to be decided to draft for our family’s fantasy football league.  Kinda a “What the crap are you thinking?” moment.  Undoubtedly, being a mom outranks kicking FF butt, so I stuck to the skillet and handed my drafting duties over to JP. 

Why JP?  He doesn’t know anything about football and from what I hear, wasn’t even following the draft process because he was deep into a texting conversation with some girl who I have yet to meet.  You should see my team list.  It is very sad and losingly.  I know that isn’t a word, I don’t care.  The one thing he did right was to draft a namesake.  Last year,  team McNutt did pretty well.    This year, team McShorty Short Pants (named after Cecil Shorts) SUCKS.   Sidenote:  JP also drafted Montee Ball for me because he thought that McShort should have balls.  This is how it is going down this season.  I am 0-5.  And he thinks it is very funny.  I have become that girl who doesn’t even change my starters when players have bye weeks.  Don’t care.  FF ‘13 is dead to me.

So on Sundays, instead of watching football, I have gone back to the kitchen where I kinda am a big deal.  Pinterest + me = fun new stuff to feed the little minions.  Easy supper recipes that have been big hits include Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Cajun Chicken Pasta,  and One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole.  I sent these Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars to a XC team meal and JP said they were good but very rich so they couldn’t inhale them, which I think is a win-win – Yummy and slows down the ravenous teen collection – score.

I am working on a whole new list of recipes to try and will pass them on if they are good enough for the Pieper kids.  Or at least 3 of them.  We all know by now that daughter #2 isn’t about to try anything new.  Except saxophone.  She is blessing our home with the sounds of another reeded instrument. Why not? 

And that is what is going on around here.  Minus Princess’s play, JP and Curly’s running, Crazy Man’s hunting and all the little things in between like football games, pep band, Stampede week at school, bonfires, chili feeds, drum lessons, school meetings, Scout meetings, youth group, and all that makes life worth living.   Loving my kids more and more, even when they draft me completely unworkable FF teams.

 

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What is important?

This weekend, we were slated to attend a very important family wedding.  Why so important?  Because it involves family, family we haven’t seen for quite some time, and family we would really have liked to see.  We knew it would be impossible to get all of us down there, so we RSVP’d that half of us would come, hoping one of us could sneak the non-runners down to the farm while the other stayed home and did parent duty.  As the day got closer, we had to accept the truth that we weren’t going to get there at all.  My dad decided to buy Crazy a bow and introduce him to bow hunting, which I was in favor of, not realizing this weekend was opener – so up to Northern Minnesota Crazy went.  JP has XC and Band practice Saturday.  Curly actually had a XC meet.  Princess, after learning we would be staying home, booked herself a trip to the mall and an overnighter with a friend.  All doable for a single parent.  But then Bill ended up working the majority of the weekend and it was all over but the crying.

I thought I would feel guilty, but I didn’t.  I felt sad.  We missed something that was really important to attend, but didn’t have an option.  We really wanted to see everyone.  Our kids’ activities run our lives right now, and that is ok, that is how it is supposed to be, right?  And guess what?  Princess just got a part in the fall play, so add drama at the other middle school to the list.  We will be picking kids up all over town for a while, and again, that is ok.

Sometimes what is really important just isn’t doable because of a busy schedule.  Coming to realize that is just the way it is sometimes, even if we really want to be there.

That is what I am wrestling with this weekend.

With a little self-inflicted kick in the butt today, I got around to getting some cooking and cleaning done since I was home. 

New recipes I made the past two weeks:

Homemade Egg McMuffins  Haven’t tried these yet – they are in the freezer waiting for the kids to devour them.  I did use ham instead of sausage because I had it in the house.

Skillet Lasagna  An expensive recipe for sure!  I liked it, but it was very rich.

Spicy Sausage Pasta  This was a total winner!  Spicy and perfect.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole   Another great win this week.  I think the grown ups liked it more than the kids, thus, it also made great lunches for us.

Cilantro Lime Chicken, Chicken Cacciatore, and Freezer Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie  This site actually has a ton of good lookin’ food!

Hopefully, this is enough prep work to get us through another week of life.  I just love following my kids all over, cheering for them whatever it is they choose to do.  Never a dull moment.

sometimes??

Feeding the Flock

 

Kids eat a lot.  I mean a lot.  Nights I am sure we will have left overs for lunch, I am left with an empty dish.  That is all good – teenagers need their nutrients to do all that teenagery stuff, ya know, like sleeping a lot.  And playing Xbox, there is always time in a day for that.  A little running thrown in there amps up the appetite. 

I am always making stuff I know I will like and I hope they will like and let me tell ya, there is one in every crowd.  We generally can please all but Curly, unless it involves only peanut butter, bananas, chocolate, or brown sugar – then she is all over it.  She makes herself a lot of toast.

This is just a little linky list of a couple of the Pinteresting recipes I have made recently:

Italian Drunken Noodles – this was tonight’s supper and although I can’t taste a thing, it seemed really good and JP ate about a gallon of it.  Bill said it tasted like pizza.  The trio wasn’t minding the meat part of it, and also the noodles, but they don’t like peppers.  Too bad, I do.

These two recipes are super similar in that they taste about the same and are not fat free:

Chicken Alfredo Skillet   Creamy Garlic Pasta 

This was my favorite:  I made the chicken and ate it with refried beans, which were really easy and good.  And I cut up lettuce and tomatoes to top the stuff and it was an awesome lunch to take to school.  I will do this often – a supper of chicken tacos and lots of yummy left overs.

Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken with Crockpot Refried Beans 

I am just trying to fuel these kids of mine so they can kick school butt and run like the wind. 

Back to School Photo Shoot

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It was the first day of school and this is how we girls roll.

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These are seriously different the “fun” shots of the boys.

Four kids and one mom, back to the grind.

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Our big guy is finishing up college this semester.

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And thus ends the first day of school Pieper round-up 2013.

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Oh, Sunday, Thou Day of Rest

I really wonder what God meant when he said, “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  I mean, it wasn’t a suggestion out of the praises of David, “Psalms 174:23: I praise you Lord for you created Sundays which are my holy day and also my nap day.”  Nope, it is right there in the 10 Commandments.  #4 even – not lowly #10, not part of the amendments, smack dab in the middle of the list.

Holy:

  1. consecrated: dedicated or set apart for religious purposes
  2. saintly: devoted to the service of God, a god, or a goddess
  3. sacred: relating to, belonging to, or coming from a divine being or power

(I like how #2 lists God with a capital, and then “a god…” because we all know there is One God and then we fight our tendencies to have many other gods.  Enjoy how that is pointed out here.)

Trying to get back in the swing of how to run this fine oiled machine means Sunday brings a day of weekly prep work.  Is a spending spree at Costco holy?  Is prepping and freezing meals for the upcoming weeks holy?  Is surfing Pinterest for new recipes and then getting sidetracked on Facebook holy?  None of these things are for religious purposes.  But I do have to feed my family and M-F don’t always have time in them to make a meal.

So what does this command mean in 2013?  I don’t even know.

The one thing we hold tight to on Sunday is that we go to church.  If we are home, it is a priority.  My kids still ask Saturday night, “are we going to church tomorrow?”  As if it is an optional thing.  Of course we are going.  We set apart two hours every Sunday and dedicate them to religious purposes.  How is that for following the commandment? 

Yesterday, I even went all Old School and wore a dress to church.  I must look like a total pig every other Sunday because I had more people comment on the fact that I was wearing a dress.  We don’t even go to a church that cares at all what I am wearing (within reason, of course – bikini top, no – swimsuit under a dress, yes I have done that – a smart girl is always prepared for an afternoon of boating.)  So when people noted my dress, I was pretty impressed with myself for making the effort.   My grandpa, who never let go of the “good ole years” when women didn’t wear anything but dresses, would have been so proud of me. 

Pride comes before a fall.  I was holding my sweet baby Alice (who I steal from mom and dad as often as I can) during worship.  We have a sweet connection, she and I.  I cant even explain it, but it is a God thing.  I hold her and pray over her and sing worship songs while she listens and isn’t old enough to understand I am not a good singer, or maybe she is but she doesn’t talk yet so she can’t tell me to pipe down, or that I am ruining her worship experience.   When we all sat down for announcements, I happily plunked her down on my lap – me in my dress, her in her dress.  (I called her up and told her to wear her pink and white striped dress so we could be all matchy matchy buddies.) And then she peed on me.  Yep.  Right there on my leg.  Peed.  On my dress.  Flooded the diaper and peed on me.  This is why I don’t dress up for church.  Why bother. 

But I continued to wear that dress for our Costco run because it was hot and the pee dried quickly.  And it is just baby pee, not like old person pee, which would require a change of clothing.  I wore that pee dress home like a boss, and then ran a load of laundry.  Is laundry ok on a Sunday?  Is laundry holy?  I didn’t iron it, so I did draw the line somewhere.  I drew it at “jobs I detest thus are not holy.”

I just don’t know if God intended us to take Sunday off from household work.  If he did, I really have to add more hours to the other days of the week, or I am in big trouble.   So what am I getting at today?  What is my point? I have no idea.

Parenting II

My last post was all about our parenting style.  Well, not really, it was just one funny story but whatever…

(Side Conversation:  We are watching Strange Addictions and who eats toilet paper???  We looked it up on My Fitness Pal and the calorie count isn’t listed.  When you eat toilet paper, do you still have to wipe when you “go” or is it a perk?)

So how the “love” part of Pieper Style Love and Logic goes a little like this:

JP runs XC and we have been known to be the loud yelling parents.  Generally, very supportive cheering kind of yelling, but once in a while I let out a “Holy crap, the finish line is right there, why aren’t you sprinting.  What are you – an elderly driver out on a Sunday afternoon?”  No, again, that is not true.  I have never yelled that.  Any kid who puts themselves through cross country is pretty much a winner no matter the outcome.

I read the article floating around Facebook about what parents should say as their kids perform and I have been working really hard on putting the advice into practice.  Everyday when he leaves for practice and again when he comes home I say the things the article tells me to say.  And we laugh. Or at least I laugh and he rolls his eyes and ends with, “Yeah, and you love me.”  (Read the article.)

“Yes, the internet tells me how to parent now,” I had to affirm to JP.  “Always room for improvement.”  Another roll eye.

Today, when he ran past me, and it was 95 degrees and he looked like he might pass out or die and I thought maybe I might too because I was sweating in all the wrong places, and he was sporting the look of death, and I was mirroring it, and why are we running in a heat advisory, and by “we” I mean he was running and I was doing the typical XC parent thing of walking from point to point to access the best cheering potential, and forgot to pack proper shoes and was doing it in flip flops…it was at that point when I nicely encouraged him while clapping like a seal, “Great run, almost there, Sweetie.” 

Yes, I did call him that in public and he is 15.  He didn’t hear me, something about being in “the zone” so it is all good.  But that is how I love on my kids.

Parenting I

So many different styles of parenting exist out there from one extreme (hovercraft) to the other (neglect) and so many different theories on how to parent successfully bombard us daily.  Bill and I have read some of the books and of course have plenty of offers to attend training both through our Foster Care connections and through school.   We pretty much chuckle and snort when those invites come because we have developed our own style of parenting: Pieper Style Love and Logic, complete with sarcasm and use of banned words and there is NO COURSE that will teach you these skills.

An example:

The triplets are now 13.  Thirteen-year-olds sometimes need reminders (hello, who doesn’t?) but I don’t DO things for them anymore.  Every morning during the school year, I give them a “FIVE MINUTES TILL THE BUS!” and “Do you have what you need for school today and did you brush your teeth?”  Not once has a child answered back, “I decided I am not brushing my teeth this morning,”  so I assume it is being done on a semi-regular basis.

This morning, I mustered up my best Pieper Style Love and Logic Parenting moves, threw open the girls’ bedroom doors, lifted my fake trumpet and blasted out the GET OUT OF BED song.  One girl moaned, the other shot me the teenage look of death.  I continued, “You both have a dentist appointment at 10:20 which gives you 45 minutes until we leave.  Shower, eat, and brush your teeth.”

Curly replies, “What kind of dentist appointment?”

Me, “Remember your cavity that needs a filling?  That kind of appointment.”

Curly pitches a two-year-old hissy fit.

Me, “Don’t like cavities?  Brush your feakin’ teeth!”  And I walked away victorious, seriously laughing.   Seems that she decided to come clean in the dentist chair a couple weeks back and told them she doesn’t brush her teeth.  Love and Logic.  I love that because she doesn’t brush her teeth, a logical consequence followed.

My job is not to do things for my kids but to teach them to do the right things for themselves and others.  When a decision they make turns into a teaching moment like this, I step back and let the learning happen. 

Tomorrow, more on the Love piece of our parenting style.

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