I know that today is not Friday, but that is just how things are going right now.
So what happened in my household this week?
The toddler was thirsty, and as nobody was filling her cup with water, she took matters into her own hands. She toddled to the bathroom and filled her cup to the brim with toilet water and enjoyed a nice, long draft. No matter that someone’s bowel movement was still floating around in there.
During this week’s snow storm, Child #4 wandered around in the garage because he was bored. He decided to test his jumping skills by climbing onto my husband’s car and then mustering all his strength, leapt from there to the doorway landing. But he miscalculated, overestimating his strength and missed. Instead, he landed half in a recyclable bin and half out. Evidently, this was painful for him.
I almost got stuck in our driveway with our Sweet Ride – our 15-passenger van – because last week some snow melted and left a muddy mess and then this week, it snowed again.
I have a son that thinks this muddy snow is awesome. Every day he throws his boots on and rides his bike up and down the driveway in the mud. He loves watching the mud fly everywhere – all over his bike, all over him. And I get to do extra laundry.
It’s the end of March, and it’s still snowing here, by the way. I’ve decided that we live in Narnia – prior to the arrival of the four children and the great thaw – and I am the White Witch. Yikes. Hence the previous post!
As a homeschooling mother of seven little children, there are are just some things that I don’t need to buy anymore. In fact, I don’t even allow these things in my house, for one reason or another, and it’s not because I’m a Fun-Hater. It’s just because something has to give when one lives in a small house with a lot of children!
List of Banned Items
1. Markers. At the risk of offending Marker-Lovers…here I go. Now markers top this list because they are very destructive and bothersome. Not only do they generally make for bad art, but they ruin any coloring book that my toddler wishes to scribble in. And I’ve got some sweet coloring books. You know, the Dover ones. (Click HERE for the Eldest’s favorite.) And not only are markers destructive, but they are also the least economic form of color, as one must continually buy them because they’re forever losing their lids and going dry. No, I do not buy these anymore. And if any should happen to find their way into my house, I promptly donate them to a second-hand store.
2. Paper Napkins. I got rid of these years ago. I was tired of the extra garbage, so we went with cloth napkins. Color-coordinated too. Every person gets one napkin a day, and they must be color-coordinated because nobody wants to use the boys’ napkins. And lest you think I’m a bit off my rocker, please know that I do keep paper napkins on hand for certain events, like say the birth of a new baby, when I’m dreadfully behind on laundry.
3. Nice Vehicles. We gave up on this one long ago. In fact, we have never had a nice vehicle. But with the birth of Baby #6, we went all out and purchased a used 15-passenger van. We figure, why buy something nice when the children will only spit-up on, wet their pants in, and barf all over it? Well, and who wants a car payment anyway. Besides, we can really haul some stuff around with this big, bad machine. When I cruise around town with my posse in tow and a Catholic radio bumpersticker slapped on my rear, people better slide on over. Watch out Caribou drive-thru. No, this is not daycare. This is a family. (By the way, click HERE for a post on my sweet ride.)
4. Watercolor Paints. Now this one closely resembles Number One. For watercolors are just messy and annoying. Should I have a child that shows true artistic talent, then I will gladly purchase real watercolors, or other paints for that matter. Until then, nope. The children can “watercolor” away at Grandma’s House.
5. Bap Soap. Who wants to scrub soap scum off of anything? Not me.
6. Orange Juice. (Or any other juice.) I just don’t have room in my refrigerator for this one because I have to buy five gallons of milk a week. (Click HERE for a post on my refrigerator problem.) And lest you think we’re milk hogs, I only allow one small glass of milk at breakfast and another at supper, and that’s it. Well, once a week, on Sundays, the children do get cold cereal, and that does drain away a good gallon or more at one sitting. Furthermore, orange juice is expensive, and I’ve got a grocery budget that doesn’t allow for it, because I prefer to have other important things on hand, like Asiago cheese. And wine.
Anyone need a bit of joy on this cold, cold day? If so, check out My Sweet Ride, which should be enough to cheer any dreary heart.
Top 7 Reasons Why My Van is Awesome
1.The Hail Damage.
We purchased our van very cheaply because there was hail damage on one side, which is awesome. I recommend seeking out vehicles with hail damage. They still run perfectly well and are easier on your pocketbooks. Of course this is also educational because it teaches your children about How to Save Money. When we were looking at this Great, Wondrous Van, I just asked myself, “Kim, would you rather have a respectable, good-looking van and drink no lattes for the rest of your life, or could you be satisfied with This Thing and feel free to cruise the Caribou Drive-Thru every now and then?” Hmmm…not a difficult decision.
2. The Seam Rip.
The seat on the driver’s side had a huge, 4-inch rip along it’s edge. This was also awesome and educational because I had to dust off my sewing box to find a heavy-duty needle and thread, and then I had to actually sew it shut. This was heroic and virtuous behavior on my part too because I hate sewing. And it was great for my children to see their mother sacrificially laboring away.
3. No Interior Carpet Whatsoever.
Yep, there is no carpet to be found in our van. This is great because then the children can spill all they want, on the floor anyway. And what about vomiting? No problem! Easy, fast clean-up.
4. The Extra Cup Holders.
When I cruise around town with my posse in tow, I have three cup holders all to myself up front. One coffee for me. One for my husband, to drop off to him at work. And one for my Coffee-Loving Friend. (Nothing for the children of course. They can drink water.) It’s good to teach your children to sacrifice and to share.
5. The Cigarette Burn Hole.
No, I do not smoke, but yes, there is a gigantic cigarette burn hole on the passenger-side seat. Come to think of it, it might be a cigar burn hole because it’s so big. In any case, this is educational because I can point to it and tell the children about the hazards of smoking. “Look, children, see this hole? This is what happens when you try to flick a cigarette out the window, but the window is still up. Always make sure your window is down before throwing things out of it. Or you’ll wreck your interior.”
6. No GPS.
Of course this van does not have GPS. You had better know where you’re going or how to read an Old-Fashioned Map, which we keep in the cubbyhole. We are terribly behind the times, but this way the children can more easily relate to and understand what it was like for Charles and Caroline Ingalls, as they drove all over the prairie looking for a place to live because they didn’t have GPS. Or cell phones.
7. It’s Like a Public School Bus.
This van is so big that I can haul around all the neighborhood kids in addition to my own. We are like a Party Bus, even though I’m convinced that most people think that my van is a Public School Bus, as I’m forever answering such questions as, “Are all those children yours?” Yes, ma’am. All of ’em. And, “Don’t you have a TV?” Uh, no, actually we don’t…why do you ask?
If any of you are out in the cold, cold dark, I hope that cheers you up a bit! Please feel free to ask any other burning questions that you may have about our van.
Oh yes, and my husband’s favorite thing about The Van? It’s hitch. He uses it to drag stuff around, like huge telephone poles to make ice skating rinks in our backyard.