Friday, March 26, 2010


Clutter. Stuff. Junk. It permeates our house to the same extent as air and dust. Rather than taking the nuclear approach to clearing it out, I have been trying the lifestyle-change approach. Just about every day I send the kids off to go find three items they can get rid off. Since over the last few weeks I have not been able to discern any difference in the level of junk in our home, today I asked the boys to go find 11 items (the girls were off at a Spanish lesson). Here is what the three boys brought to throw out.

Maybe tomorrow I should ask for even more . . .

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Traditions

“Dad,” Anna was saying, “don’t forget to say what you say on somebody’s birthday.”

I had just tucked Anna in on the eve of her birthday and I was trying to get the door closed so I could get on with my evening.

“OK, Addison. I won’t,” I replied. Then, after a pause, “Can you remind me again what I say on somebody’s birthday?”

“You know, Dad. Like what you said to K.D. ‘Here comes the birthday boy!’”

K.D.’s birthday was just a month earlier, so Anna had picked up on what she perceived as a very important tradition that happens on somebody’s birthday.

“Yeah,” I said. “That’s right. And when do I say this?”

“When I come down the stairs in the morning. Just like you said it to K.D.”

“OK, Anna. I won’t forget,” I said, very relieved that she had filled me in on the details.

Now while I would not put saying “Here comes the birthday girl!” on our birthday tradition list, we do have several traditions surrounding birthday events in our home.

First, when the birthday child comes down in the morning (and I greet them with Anna’s new traditional saying) they find the window by the kitchen table decorated.

That night for supper, the birthday child gets to have mom cook the meal of their choice. This year K.D. picked an Ethiopian meal and Anna picked tacos.

When we open presents, the birthday child always sits in the brown chair in the family room. The child who is giving the gift joins the birthday child on the chair when their gift is being opened.

Unless the gift is from mom and dad. Then they have to sit there by themselves. . .

And as if getting to request a meal is not enough, they also get to have mom make a cake of their choosing. This year Anna requested a princess cake, and, as you can see, CrazyMom went all out. It was certainly a stunning cake.

Now those are just the birthday traditions that I can think of.  Maybe I should check with Anna and the gang to see what they would say.  I hate to think about all of the traditions that CrazyMom and I forget to do each year because we did not know it was a tradition!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bridges to Prosperity

I just came across this. It is one of those great stories about the tremendous impact that people can have when the reach out and lend a hand to others, even if they are as far away as a remote part of Ethiopia.