It is now April. We're past April Fool's Day. Nobody pulled a fast one on me, and if they did, I have yet to discover it.
That also means we're past, or almost past, the 5 months of January that Indiana has every year. Don't ask me how it works, but everyone in the Midwest knows what that feels like.
It's the long months of bundling in blankets with a cup of coffee (if you're a mom, it's been warmed over 4 times) trying to stave off the cold, gray blanket of the outside that tries to dampen everything it touches.
Enough of that. No sense in staying depressed.
I'm calling out the utility companies so I can dig a bit of a fire pit. The considerate previous owners of this house left piles of bricks and edging, and since I don't have any good way to dispose of all that hardened clay, I'm making a fire pit.
There's nothing quite like sitting out by the fire in the evening and watching the flames dance around. It's perfect when there's a slight chill in the air.
The house smells like warm honey. Kara made granola today. It's easy if you don't mind a wreck in your kitchen.
Bring to a boil: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup honey.
Take off heat and add: 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Pour over and stir into a mixture of: 7 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats, 1 cup coconut flakes, and 1 cup nuts or dried fruit.
Spread out on cookie sheet and bake at 375F degrees for 10 minutes.
Stir, then turn off heat of oven and leave granola in there as oven cools.
Can't wait to partake in the morning!
For a mom, sitting down after a long day of... Let's see, I can't sit down yet. I picked up dirty shorts that were very close to where they should have landed. Not my shorts.
I found cups and straws and wrappers and nail polish and remotes and a board games and pieces of electronics and wads of wet washcloths and baskets of clean clothes and baskets of dirty clothes (when in doubt, it's dirty) and a bag of chips and hair combs and Starbursts.
Before you think I haven't bothered to train my children to be tidy, that's not entirely the case. We have been working on the tidiness issue for 13 years and counting. But we can still get to the end of the day, and even after they tidied up, the house is a mild wreck.
So sitting down for me in the evening is a joke. A bad joke.
My house felt a bit like a barnyard today with all the noise, but at least it was happy noise.
I read Matthew 21 to the kids today. You know, where Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass? That made the kids crack up for a solid 10 minutes. They couldn't believe I actually said that word.
It was part of my barnyard afternoon.
Sometimes all I can do is sit back and shake my head, or just join in the laughter. What does it hurt?
I'm enjoying the dance fitness class at the Y, or if I don't do that, I walk endless loops on their second-story track. Normal workout videos and routines are joyless experiences in torture.
But dance is fun. So dancing it is.
I did survive a shopping trip with Kara. I came out with a pulse registering, so that was a win.
If you don't know me well, shopping soaks the soul right out of my body, and I'm left in a near-lifeless state by the fifth store and the 255th pair of pants for somebody in my party to try on.
By then, my wallet is definitely in a lifeless state.
To twist that knife further into the lifeless wallet, the shopping trip usually includes some fun food, Panera Bread in this latest case. $6.18 for Kara's 3 bites of warmed-over macaroni and cheese and a crust of bread. She eats bread and cheese everywhere she goes.
Okay, so shopping is #1001 on a list of 1000 favorite things to do.
But #1 on my list is spending time with my children. And that was the real win of the day.