What I’m Reading: Intro

I’m reading a book with a different cultural perspective on parenting, and I love it. (Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman) Pamela, a journalist in NY, fell in love and married a swarthy British man who lived in Paris. She moved to Paris, they had a daughter, and she realized that young children in Paris, and other parts of France were not having tantrums, and could sit quietly at a restaurant and eat with adults. She found this quite different from what she had seen in NY and writes this book with the answers to her questions. 

(I get really excited about what I’m learning, and that is why I share it with you.)

She writes:

“For me, the evenings are for the parents,” one Parisian mother tells me. “My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it’s adult time.”

“Within a few hours of meeting him, I realized that “love at first sight” just means feeling immediately and extremely calm with someone. (She shares her love story. There is much more to the book than dry parenting advice.)

“By the end of our ruined beach holiday, I’ve decided to figure out what French parents are doing differently. Why don’t French children throw food? And why aren’t their parents shouting? What is the invisible, civilizing force that the French have harnessed?”

“…there’s something about the way the French parents make it less of a grind and more of a pleasure.”

I’ve read into the first several chapters, and what she has discovered appears to be common sense to the French parent, but in the U.S. we have so many perspectives and parenting-styles that we don’t follow the same basic unspoken rules. I’m excited to share these simple concepts and hopefully put them into practice with my children. Stay tuned for simple and straight forward thoughts on sleeping, eating, the art of waiting, and her findings on Parisians very different (from women in the US) take on pregnancy!

(All italicized text from the book Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, photo)


Vaca Part II: At It’s Finest

Family time at it’s finest. Our friends left this morning, and we had a blast with them. Instead of having this sadness that they were gone, Michael said…”Welp, it’s just the four of us now…” and then I followed with “Let’s put ’em in…” and we did a “Go Team,” but instead said, “Teammmm Jones!” (like we were pumping up for the big game) After that we packed up and went fishin’, boys fished and the girls played under the rain fly. Then lunch and relaxation. 

Michael packed the kids up in “the mule” to go get the tent on the back 40 acres and as they were getting back in the mule, Tegegne says he wants to run all the way back to the house! Michael agrees, but is unsure he can. It’s a long way uphill and he has no shoes on. With permission Tegegne takes off running, Michael and Hensley following behind, honking and cheering. Tegegne ran and ran. I look out of the house to see what the honking was about and Tegegne is smiling from ear to ear, running my way! 

He ran all the way from the back pond to the house. I don’t know the actual distance, but its a long way. Michael was blown away, not as much by what he did but by his determination. Tegegne was soooo proud of himself. He talked about it all night and it was seriously cute. 

The evening ended with gooey brownies, a bon fire, and the boys asleep in the tent. This is a great vacation.

Hensley is exploring so much as well. She had many walking spurts today, learned to climb back down the stairs, and loves the long mealtimes where she can eat at her pace. 

I had the itch to go to the beach, or do a real vacation…but I’m realizing that this totally counts. It’s all in my perspective. Wherever we are on vacation, the point is to kick back and enjoy each other. Of  course that couldn’t happen as well at Motel 6, but I’m just sayin’. 

Go Team Jones! Love you three. 


Vaca Part I: Gourmet Food & Good Friends

Lemon zest…a special ingredient in Micah’s blueberry scones!

Well, Taryn has the photos to prove of our great weekend. It was grand. Six married folk, two small children. Green grass in our toes, fine dining on the porch, huge blue sky and cool breeze, frisbee golf and reading books, a bon fire and baby guitar, discussing the stars, quiet and serene, full and fantastic.

In honor of Taryn’s birthday Micah made melt-in-your-mouth blueberry scones + tomato, avocado omelets for Saturdays breakfast, smoked brisket + Jacob’s baked beans for dinner, and a banana cream pie. Then this morning Taryn and Micah made french toast from a loaf of polenta I purchased at Fervere (the place to buy bread in Kansas City). All of their recipes came from the tried and true Cook’s Illustrated.  

Happy Birthday, Taryn! We love you!

Dear Owen: Then and Now

Dear Owen,

Back then you had doggie sleepovers, your very own birthday parties, many many walks, and lots of personal attention. Now you eat the food off the floor after our children’s birthday parties, get chased by small children, but best of all your new playmate is Tegegne. Hensley is recently growing quite an affection for you as well. Thanks for being a part of our ever changing and growing family. We love you.

This weekend we get to be at your favorite place of all time. A place where you run wild and free. You drag very large sticks, or large tree branches, around all day and night. And you swim. Swim and swim.

Road Trip: And Shopping Tips

Where she wished she would have been when we were out shopping all day!

So it was a rainy day and Hens and I took a “road trip” out of the city into the fine county of Johnson…aka Johnson County. Where they are charging 9.something% sales tax. One of those things I never look at until I bought a pair of sandals and thought I’d just paid for shipping on a pair of shoes I purchased in the store! 

I got some great tips from sales associates today. We are in the midwest where folks are just plain friendly, but it was extra noticeable today! Or maybe they just worked off commission. Either way, they sold me! 

Did you know that when purchasing vitamins, capsules will get you more of the nutrients than hard pills? And of course the liquid form gives you the maximum percentage of vitamin absorption. 

The shoe salesman suggested that a slight heal (like just 1/2″) would be much more comfortable and better for my feet than a flat shoe. I did not know this.

And this is not a tip, but have you tried Nature’s Path Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon Cereal? Yum. A friend is doing a diet with no oil, and this is one of the few cereals that doesn’t contain oil. It was a sampling item at Whole Foods, so after Hensley and I had nearly a cups worth of samples, I bought a box. I’m so glad I did. I mean the word Optimum is in bold capitol letters on the box!

On a less healthy note, I’d love to try these easy peasy cinnamon rolls soon!

Good Evening: And Good Night

Tegegne, Spring 2010

Good evening. There are many signs of spring here in the midwest, and we are so grateful. Folks are getting reacquainted with their neighbors and the grass is nearly all green. I’m wishing for a garden so badly, but then I remember that I’ve tried that before and I did not put forth the effort to make those poor plants grow. We do have a great farmers market a few blocks away. 

Things are well with the Joneses. Spring break for Michael next week and we are looking forward to a retreat to Big Sky with dear friends. Fishing, bon fires, reading, frisbee, and relaxation. We will hold down the fort while Grandpa Ben and Gramma Debby are in the Big Apple. 

I asked Tegegne if he thinks this baby in route is a boy or girl. Tonight he thought boy. I asked him if he still wanted to adopt, or just have 3…because 3 is plenty, right? He says for sure adopt. A boy and a girl and he wants to have bunk beds! Michael and I are thinking that if this baby is a girl, then we will adopt a boy between Hensley and Tegegne’s ages. Someone for Tegegne to really wrestle with, because Hensley is only in the mood for that 1/3 of the time. We will find out the sex of our baby soon enough!

I go to the doctor for my 12 week check up Wednesday. This pregnancy has been pretty similar to my last one, aka, not a walk in the park. Not unbearable either. The nausea is lessening, and I do have energy during the day. I look forward feeling this growing baby’s movements. And then I remember that we must name this baby, but where will I look for inspiration because we rarely go to movies and I used to write down so many names when the credits would roll! Neither of our kids were named via movie credits, but still. 

Michael and I have really enjoyed our small group. Last night we sat for 2 hours and had an informal marriage counseling session. A good discussion that spurred after reading this article found via A Cup of Jo’s Articles Club

Well, good night.


P.S. Turn down the sound b/c it’s a windy video, but look at that little guy run!

Flexibility: A Virtue

The Virtue of Flexibility 

Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field.  But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and are standing up again when the storm has calmed down.

Flexibility is a great virtue.  When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken.   Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy.  It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground.   A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people.  Let’s be flexible while being deeply rooted.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen