Monday, March 2, 2015

Molly "Kitchen, Kitchen, Kitchen" Joy here!!

Molly Joy here!!
How've you all been? I hope things are less nuts at your house than they are at mine! 

At my house we are gettin' a new kitchen and that is ALLLLLLL my Mom and Dad can think about. Kitchen, kitchen, kitchen, kitchen, 24/7 I'm tellin' ya. I am not sure what it all means but they seem awful excited about it but stressed with picking out the things. There are a lot of things, I guess, that need picking out. I have offered to help but Mom seems to think I am not wise enough to handle a decision or two. Honestly...I'm not the one responsible for the Great Paint debacle of 2015. (It was ugly...well, lots of it was ugly).

Needless to say, there's not an awful lot of attention being paid to yours truly so I'm left to entertain myself. I snagged Mom's phone the other day and took some pictures of me. I thought it might be a good idea to remind her of her I left them on her phone to surprise her. Wonder what she'll do when she finds them... 

...It's hard to tell what she'll do...but the chances are that when she does find them...

she'll be at Lowe's. 

I heard her say something about getting a job there sometime soon...

Like I's crazy here! 
Hope your kitchen isn't broken and that your mom isn't twitching!
See ya next time!
Molly Joy

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Quick Hello and a Kitchen Promise

Tonight I cooked a pot of soup on my new stove. It was the first time I. A few weeks that I've prepared any food above ground and it was thrilling.

Cooking in the basement has been an adventure and a task that has taken some getting used to...
Boiling pasta in the microwave takes forever.

So does toasting dinner rolls for seven in a two slot toaster. When your kitchen is in the basement it is possible to make a cup of coffee, put a load of clothes to wash and reheat leftovers at the same time! My crock pots have been slowly cooking all manner of soups and meats and have become very important members of our family.

The current family MVP is of course Pappaw. He drives 90 minutes to our home each Monday and arrives at breakfast time and works until way too late every evening until Friday rolls around and then he returns to his home to spend the weekend with Mammaw.

After two weeks of this schedule the progress in the kitchen is pretty impressive for a one and a half man crew. My Man has been around a little to assist as have Kate and Cole but only on a part time basis. Pappaw is a renovatin' machine.

I, however, am not a machine and have been working on maintaining a little bit of order in a home that in normal circumstances is not very ordered. It's taken a lot more doing than I'd anticipated. I haven't read a word from a book (except for the kids school books) in nearly a week, this is the first post on the blog in almost two weeks, and I've not gone for a run since last weekend. I have been to Lowe's daily and during the Great Paint Brain Freeze I was there three times in one day.  My Man has been to Lowe's twice as much as I have and soon, I think, he will snag a part time job at the paint counter since he has now memorized 87% of the paint color names.

The kids are loving having Pappaw around and laughing at his jokes and learning the correct names  of tools which their parents have never had the smarts to teach them.

We've a few weeks left in the  journey to our new kitchen and I'm eager to see the final product. Stay tuned for some before and after pictures very soon...I promise!!

Until early (?) next week...have a good weekend!

Monday, February 9, 2015

You Just Might be a Preacher's Kid...

When we eat at Chick-fil-a we do things a certain way. It didn't happen on purpose exactly but more over time as we have learned what works best. Usually my Man takes the lead position at the front of our queue of 6 and I bring up the rear. Standing at the end works perfectly for me because I'm an indecisive orderer and it allows the most time to come to a solid selection. The other reason my man stands at the front of the line is so that he can monitor the children's orders and prevent Molly from ordering say, an ice cream cone and an order of fries with a large soda for her lunch or to lend a word of caution to a growing teenaged boy who thinks it best to order say, two milkshakes and 4 chicken sandwiches. 

Often, because there are so many of us and because I'm not standing next to my Man, another Chick-Fil-A employee will quickly arrive behind a neighboring cash register and look directly at me and say, "May I help you?"

I answer pointing, "I'm with them."

"Oh," says the red-clad employee, "then I'll help him!" and begins assisting the poor kid who is attempting to take and gather our order. Ya gotta love Chick-Fil-A initiative. 

Last week we made our way to one of the few areas in the seating section which will hold us comfortably. As we began to arrange ourselves a small dust up occurred as Cole sat where Molly was planning to sit. 

"Cole!!!! I was gonna sit there. You KNOW I like to sit on the PEW!!"

Rising to appease, Cole muttered, "How do you know you're a PK! (PK = Preacher's Kid)"

NOTE: Kitchen project is underway! Pappa has arrived and is working in his normal fashion 157% effort! Stay tuned.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Kitchen Comes Apart...

Stacked on my bare kitchen floor and in our school room/dining room are many boxes of wood flooring. They arrived on Wednesday and must sit in the kitchen, or on the same level in the house as the kitchen, for a week so that they can adjust to the temperature and humidity before they can be put into place and nailed down.

 Cole understood it differently ...

"These have to lay up here, why?"

"To get used to the kitchen environment."

"You mean we should spill red Kool Aid on them and drop sticky food and maybe an iron and let it make its mark?" His eyes were twinkling as he made a fine point. Life has not been easy on the kitchen floor at The Wright Place where Kool Aid and all other manner of stickiness has abounded. Well, before our kitchen flood it abounded. After our flood... things are less sticky and a bit more splintery!

Cole and I had carried up the 13 boxes of flooring while my man was at work. We wanted to give him the "gift" of having a big job already accomplished when he got home. Halfway through the job though, we began to regret our decision. I've never lifted anything so heavy before and those boxes had to be hauled up the stairs one at a time, each box seeming heavier than the last.

About four boxes in to our job Molly who was perched on the couch yelled to us, "Hey guys, can you stop bring up those boxes? All of that moaning and groaning you are doing sounds horrible!"

Though we were terribly sorry to be bothering the delicate ears and sensibilities of her Highness, we finished our job and my Man was tickled to see that the job was accomplished when he arrived at home later that evening.

The arrival of the flooring marks the first item that will be installed as the kitchen begins its make-over. We've been getting ready to be kitchen-less for the next month or so by filling our freezers with slow-cooker meals and by planning the configuration of a makeshift basement kitchen. Meg's been making some sweets and I've been bagging the meals...

Yesterday Kate began to pack things up and today more of the same will continue.

We are all pitching in ...

...and are all excited and looking forward to a kitchen that will make feeding our  people even more fun (and easier work) than it already is!

Stay tuned! Pappa arrives on Monday!

Mario Batali

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Witness to a Wipeout

We use the phrase don't be that guy around our home an awful lot these days and for good reason. When we hear stories on the news about bad choices made or terrible actions taken we say Don't be that guy. Every now and then one of the kids will tell a tale on another kid who acted inappropriately and hopefully, before we get to the point of judging the person, someone will cut the conversation short by saying..."Just don't be that guy!"  When we see less-than-honorable behavior as we are living our lives outside of our home, the return trip in the car involves the don't be that guy warning.

Highlighting choices poorly made teaches powerful lessons to my children and to me as well. Watching a teenager in a grocery store treat her mother with disrespect teaches my teen how terrible the action is much more vividly than me telling her that she should be respectful. Nearly being sideswiped on the interstate by a young man driving too fast and texting and then hitting the guardrail in a dangerous stretch of road screams to my soon-to-be driving son, don't text and drive! far more effectively than the well-intentioned TV commercials.

Calling attention to the What Not To Dos is a good plan but I also know that following good examples of folks who are living life skillfully is a vital practice too.  I often forget to note the honorable, the good, and the worthy that happens all around me because ...well, because I've become a lazy noticer of good and noble and worthy, choosing to focus instead on that guy I don't want anyone to be.

I am the mother of a noticer however, an active noticer and I was reminded of that today.

This morning as the kids and I were leaving our homeschool co-op we began to notice that the parking lot was a bit icy. It had rained while we were all in class and when the rain hit the freezing ground ice happened. The older kids were walking ahead of Molly and I and I'd been squalling warnings sweetly cautioning them lest they fall on the ice. The five of us were alone in the parking lot except for a friend who was taking a load of supplies to her car and then was heading back inside to feed her kids lunch and then, I think, to teach her third class of the day.

I grabbed Molly's hand to keep her upright and then I went down kersplat. I landed on parts of my body that the Dear Lord saw fit to equip me with...abundantly. From my wet seat on the ground I told Molly, who was looking down at me screaming, that I was fine. My friend had seen it all and was coming my direction to check on me but I was already to my poorly shod feet (I'd forgotten to change my shoes before leaving home earlier in the morning and was wearing little more than slippers!) and I told her I was not hurt. She asked once more and I assured her I'd landed ... skillfully.

Once we'd achieved safe entry to the van Meg said, "Mom at least if you were gonna fall, Mrs. _______ was the perfect one to be the only one to see you. She's just so kind."

We carefully headed home and then I went to lunch at a friend's and the kids and my Man went for haircuts and lunch on their own and eventually the kids and I were all home again together and they finished school and...and... and... the day rolled on and I forgot all about my short-lived career this morning as a figure skater.

My friend from the parking lot had not forgotten. Just after dinner I got a text from her making sure I was ok. I wasn't surprised. Neither was my noticer. "See Mom, I told you she was the perfect one to witness your wipe out."

Yes, I thought to myself, to be thoughtful and kind and attentive and to be SO much those things that it's what a teenaged girl expects of me...
I want to be that guy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Different Kind of Snow Day

I asked lots of teachers at church Sunday if they were excited about the possibility of snow days this week. The great majority of them said no, explaining that it generally complicated things for them and their students later on in the year. 

Others asked me a similar question as they headed out the church door, "Do you give your kids a snow day when all the other kids get one?" I often do not give my kids snow days as our school generally prefers to take its weather days when the weather turns sunny and warm such as on those chance days in April or early May when it would be impossible to focus on our math or science studies. 

Yesterday, however, I didn't want us to miss out on the specialness of the snowfall and so we did school only halfway. I took a few subjects off of the kids' must do list and declared that they were to read as much as possible from some books of their choosing.

Throughout the morning the little girls had to be threatened with "a full day of school" if they didn't sit and read but by afternoon they'd figured out that I was serious.

It is always fun to sit near by as the kids are reading and listen to them talk to or about their books or, since we've still got a new reader in these parts, often I'll listen to questions whose goal is to confirm the proper decoding of a word.

"Mom, what's this word? L U G G A G E..."

"It's luggage. Like your suitcase."

"I know WHAT it means Mom. We have read that word in so many things."

Every so often, I'll hear a comment like the one above which insures that far, far into the future there will still be reading in our little world, both aloud together and to our own selves, no matter what is happening in our days whether the sun is shining or the snow is flying! 

Wishing you the warmest of snow days and the most loveliest of stories!

NOTE: What we are reading from under our blankets...

My Man: Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Robert Benson
Molly: Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. 
~Mason Cooley

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Help a Sensitive {Read: FREAKING OUT} Child

I'm leaning some very interesting things from the book Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

One of the most enlightening things I've discovered is that I live with a "highly sensitive child" as Cain labels personality types like Molly's. She poses that there are some in the world who are more affected by outside influences than others, causing them to react a little differently to situations because they feel things more deeply than most.

I knew my youngest reacted differently than the other children after being out in a group for an extended amount of time (she needs a nap afterward) and I've often watched her slip away from a group of kids to spend time on her own, but I didn't quite understand the extent of the "sensitive" part.

As we were in the midst of the cleaning up process in the kitchen I saw proof after proof of Molly's "high sensitivity." The day the crew came to remove the kitchen carpet and detach the cabinets and sink from the floor to allow it to dry off Molly broke down into tears time after time. "What's going to happen to our house? It's all broken!" We reassured her time and again that these folks were helping us and making our home better but she was still a mess. Finally we sent her to her room to sleep which is often a good reset for her. After she'd rested a bit and spent some time in her room on her own, she returned to us in much better shape.

When her Pappa arrived to reset the cabinets and sink, Molly broke down again, first thing in the morning, I was perplexed. Surely she knew Pappa would make things better.

"I just feel like our whole house is going to fall down flat!" she wailed. I was lost for a solution so I reached deep down and turned to the source from which I'm confident every Christian mother and definitely every pastor's wife draws...

"Molly," I said taking her face between my hands, "what kind of house did the three little pigs build when they wanted to be the very safest that they could be?"


"Yes, brick. What is our house made of?"


"Yes, brick. See we are safe and sound!"

{Tears began fresh once more.}

"Molly, go get your Awana book and let's look at some verses."

When she returned we looked at the verse that said, "Give thanks in all circumstances..." and I explained that what was going on in our kitchen was definitely a circumstance and that we were to be thankful.

It helped a little.

Molly turned some more pages in her book saying, "There's another good part back here..." She pointed out Psalm 23 which she'd learned the month before. We watched her calm as she read about her Shepherd and as her Daddy and Pappa continued their work putting things back together.

I was thankful for the bit of reading I'd done which helped me to understand what was going on in my kiddo's heart but I was beyond thankful for the reading she had been able to do that actually calmed that heart and gave her stability in the circumstance that had made her little world feel like it was crumbling.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kitchen Chaos!

"I hope that when I grow up and get married that I DON'T marry a man who likes kitchen carpet. But probably most men like kitchen carpet so maybe that won't work."

Molly was, in her way trying to process all that has gone on in our little world since we returned home from our vacation and things very much involved our much maligned, much spilled upon, much despised, green kitchen carpet. Later in her life, when it comes time for marrying I hope that the issue kitchen carpet is not still on Molly's list of suitable characteristics but if it is I can assure her that few people in the first world would choose kitchen carpet on purpose.

Ours came with the house.

But it is here no longer and that's a good thing. The event that caused the carpet to be a thing of the past was an alarming thing and it happened while we were on the first part of our two day journey home. Despite the best, most diligent efforts of the kind folks who were house sitting for us and who babysat our touchy pipes in the frigid temps while we were in the sunny south, a piece under our dishwasher cracked and a neighbor drove by and noticed the flood coming from our home into the street...he called the church and the church called us and we called our house sitters and they got in and turned of the water and dried things up the best they could.  The next day, before we arrived home, they left us a warm cozy meal of homemade soup and bread with all of the fixings.

The water did quite a job and therefore...decisions have to be made...specifically about the kitchen carpet. So far...the carpet has been removed and the floor beneath has dried (thanks to the help of another wise friend and his crew).

We spent the last few days eating from a make-shift kitchen we assembled in the basement ...

...and yesterday Pappa arrived to put things back in useable order. 

{Picture taken in 2010 at the completion of the bathroom makeover Pappa accomplished.}

I'm so happy to have the sink and that pesky dishwasher back ready to be used and the thought of some kitchen changes ahead is both daunting and exciting.

So this weekend we work on a plan and celebrate (?!) the demise of the kitchen carpet that has been soaking up sticky KoolAid for more than a decade.

I might miss this reminder of when the Boy was younger and he knocked my iron off the ironing board...then he ran to get me instead of picking it up... sister suggested that I frame it but I don't think I'll miss it that much

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