Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Other Stuff We Do

Saturday, August 29, 2009
Mike is outside mowing the lawn...Abby and I are sitting at the kitchen table sharing a snack. We watch him mow through the big windows in the kitchen. We observe, critique and grade his mowing technique.

"Mom...why is Daddy wearing his pretty clothes to mow the lawn?"

I didn't know the answer, but we decided to dock him a few points for it.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I have been wondering for the past few weeks what in the world could inspire me to take a time out from the busyness of my life right now and put together a post. Well, there have been many inspirations, but the subsequent "time out" never comes.

Today is a new day, friends! I had an impromptu day off today which I have used very productively. Of course it's 2:30 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas, but we don't need to talk about that right now. As an added bonus, Mike just offered to pick up the kids from school...I feel like I just won the lottery.

So my productive day has left me with a bit of a moment to do something I've wanted to do the past few days. What is that, you ask? Participate in a collaboration with the readers of The Land of Lost Luggage. We are setting out to document a single trees journey from Summer to Fall/Winter to Spring.

And you know how I am ALL GEEKED OUT about my trees. I can't even go into it right now.

Let's look at our contestant. This beautiful lady hails from the great state of Tennessee. She's modest in size, but full of lush green leaves. She likes swaying in the breeze and providing shade to the adjacent playground on a hot summer day. Sometimes, you can catch our gal being especially frisky and letting the local squirrels onto her branches. GASP!

Here she is:

I'm sure JeriAnn will have no problem telling me what kind of tree this is by looking at the leaves:

We will be taking pictures of our trees again during the week of November 8 and again during the week of April 4, 2010. I can only pray there might be a snow here so I can snap off an extra credit pic!!

Would you like to participate with us? Get your entry in, pronto....head over and see Julie at Lost Luggage and put your deets in. If you don't want to participate with your own tree, feel free to just stalk all the rest of us who are participating. I won't tell.

Arbor-iginally yours,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I hit a very hard wall today...it was one of realization (or if you are British, it would be wall of realisation).

I realized that my home can no longer contain the multitudes of pictures, paintings, drawings, stories, noodle designs, pipe cleaner butterflies, paper plate faces or hand turkeys.

I knew this day was coming. I have been in denial for too long - today was the day of acceptance. It was time to reduce.

My heart ached at even the thought of it. How could I choose? What would make the cut? What would Abby say if she saw me taking her masterpieces and putting them in two piles? This reduction must be done under the cover of darkness...a covert op of the most classified kind. She must never know that lives would be lost this day.

I sat down. The art monster in front of me...scoffing at me...daring me to try and start what I had been dreading since the day that precious girl lifted her hand to create. Oh the pain.

It must be done, though. It's only been 3 years of school projects and Sunday school take-homes and already the art monster dominates and entire corner of my office. Surely, this can be managed. Certainly there is a compromise. God commands it in His Word: Subdue it.

I pick up the first piece...my heart seemed to scream right out of my chest: NO! Not the glitter covered rainbow fish project! NEVER! Then suddenly, it was as if a peace came over me...I began to realize that it was a piece of construction paper, cut out by a teacher that was sprinkled with glitter. Will this be the art that Abby pulls out of her memory box 20 years from now to say, "WOW...thank God Mom saved this!"

I chucked little glitter rainbow fish into an empty box. There will be no memory of this fish for my daughter.

I pressed on. One piece of art after another. Evaluating each project with a critical eye. Does it display a special skill for this age group? Is it a picture with special significance? Is there a story behind it? Or is it just a piece of construction paper with a few scratches?

As my piles began to become more defined I knew that victory was fast approaching. I felt confident with my selections. Precious stories, brilliant pictures, meaningful cards, fun crafts, math and spelling...a great sampling of them all in a nice 5 1/4" accordion file, labeled with year and school name that will behave itself on a shelf of my choosing. And although I could barely bring myself to think of what would be happening to the other pile, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Art monster...gone.
Office corner...reclaimed
V-day at Club Amaro.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I must write quickly...my mind is like a sieve.

10 minutes ago I had the most fascinating convo with Abby. It's one that will probably not translate that well into a blog post, but why not try.

The background: It was the tucking event...that's where the covers are placed over the child in a very specific way. You know, just enough so as to cover the neck....but not to be too much over the stuffed lamb and certainly not over the buddy pillow. The tucking event is the last frontier before the turning off of the light and the parental unit room departure. The tucking event comes after the situating event which is where all 283 of the stuffed animals, babies and pillows are arranged such that each will have a proper night of sleep. No telling where all this fussing comes from.

During this whole process, there are what I like to call breakpoints (do I have any programmers in the crowd??). These are places where the entire thing is brought to a halt due to some action of the child. This action (could be any number of things) is one that has been refined and perfected over the last 4 years or so. It could be something like her water not being "fresh" or one of the 283 stuffed something or others has been left in the living room. Lately, the thing that really is working for her is the, "I forgot to tell you what I learned in school today". Yeah....what am I going to say to that? "Um...I'm not interested, go to sleep". That'll win me Mom of the year for sure. Of course, I love to hear about things that she's learned and want to be eager to encourage her that learning is fun...yadda, yadda.

SO. That's where we were tonight. It was the "I forgot to tell you" breakpoint at the tucking event procedure.

Now that I got all that out of the way, I forgot half of the conversation. I will try my best to reconstruct. I will start off by saying, this was mostly a monologue, in true Amaro fashion. There were so many hand gestures going I thought I was going to have to take a pill. Throughout the entire thing, I was wishing I had my video cam setup because it would have been the perfect content for a Sunday Convo video. I wish, wish, wish I could somehow convey her voice inflections and facial movements.

"MOM. I forgot to tell you what I learned in school today. "

"Ok, why don't you tell me quick about it since it's getting past your bedtime."

[sitting up, placing her hand on her hip] "Do you know what MATTER is?"

"Well, isn't it stuff that takes up space?" [note to readers: I did graduate from high school...just so you know]

"[picking up her buddy pillow]
THIS IS MATTER. [picking up her doll] THIS IS MATTER. [picking up her book] THIS IS MATTER. [picking up a glass bowl and knocking on it] Matter is everywhere. There are 3 types of matter. Solid, liquid and gas. [continuing to knock on the bowl] THIS is solid....do you see? It's not moving around like all crazy. [picking up her water bottle] THIS is liquid....THIS is a whole nuther story. See how the water is just moving around? The air. The air is a gas...you can't see it. Well, sometimes you can see it. Like when water is boiling...the bubbles. But it's all matter. Matter is everywhere."

At this point, she proceeds to pick out everything she can in her room to tell me it's matter.

"This book? MATTER. The dresser? MATTER. The fan? MATTER. My clothes? MATTER." And so on, and on, and on. And on.

I'm thinking to myself, at what point can I interrupt her without seeming insensitive to what she's saying? Is she going to move on to the matter in the hall bathroom? How do I win here?

"Hey." I interrupted. She looks at me...that precious face so excited about her new knowledge with only the slightest hint of irritation that I butt into her list of matter.

"Yes?" she says.

"I can tell you something that is NOT matter".

She looks at me - in utter amazement as if I had the keys to unlock the universe.

"REALLY? What?"

"My love for you!" I say.

It took her a moment....it was like she was putting that data through that little processor of hers. But once it computed she SQUEALED...at which point I tickled her and gave her a kiss and said, "Sleep tight!"

Breakpoints cleared.
Program execution continue.
Parental Unit OUT.