We have had a rough week this week. I know sometimes blog life on the farm can be rather poetic and picturesque. Then there are weeks like this week.
Noone wants to get up before 8am in the morning this week. Chores have been getting done around 9 or 10 in the morning. Some people in our household have been eating breakfast and reading the paper at 10 in the morning. School has commenced at 11:30 more mornings than not. One day we started school at 1 in the afternoon. Some lessons have been interrupted multiple times with exasperated teacher smacking books on the table because of bickering students. "Quit looking at me!" "He took my pencil!" "They're being too loud! I can't concentrate! Make them be quiet!" Someone let Victor in the field with the dairy goats we wanted to breed with another type of goat. Parents of the house begin to bicker. Grrr.
I think we are all a bit tired and burned out. Sorrys were said many times this week. Many times we prayed for God to intervene and help us to have faith, to act sweetly, to behave in a gentle and kind manner, just to turn around and bite someone's head off! I gave a big family pep talk to the kids last night and they all (even Thomas) were up by 8 this morning. Out to do chores right away. Schoolwork done with minimal bickering by children and absolutely no yelling by teacher. We began our new read aloud novel after lunch in front of the fireplace: THE SAMURAI'S TALE by Erik Christian Haugaard. We are studying medieval times, feudal systems in England and Japan. Since we didn't have anyone coming over or anywhere to go I read a couple of extra chapters. Three little sisters spent the afternoon playing together. Thomas and Philip worked on a building project. Patrick helped me with a cleaning project. I cleaned light fixtures then made 4 pounds of butter. Discovered a glitch in the computer that had hidden all my itunes library was no longer glitching and all my music was back where I could access it! Yeay! Happy day! I could listen to Nanci Griffith's Dustbowl Symphony while working in the kitchen.
Thomas and Philip finished up their outdoors work and came in to help me with supper. Philip chopped up homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers and added them to homemade feta cheese for an out of this world greek salad. I sliced up some sweet potatoes grown in our friend's garden and made oven fries. Cooked up the last batch of this years' fresh green beans. Thomas danced with me to Ella Fitzgerald while the steaks cooked. He and I cooked up an unbelievable sauce for the steak. Maybe we should call it Ella's sauce! After taking out the steaks from the heavy iron skillet we added a bit of horseradish sauce, some Coleman's mustard powder, thyme, chopped garlic, lots of freshly cracked black pepper, a spoon of bacon grease and some heavy cream. It cooked down into an absolutely scrumptious, silky sauce. I hope we can remember how to do it next time! We heated up a loaf of bread, pulled out the butter and big glasses of milk, lit the candles and put on the Van Morrison. Everyone told silly stories, the girls made Philip do silly big belly dance, fire crackled, and yucky miserable week seemed to fade far away.
I now listen to Waterdeep sing You are So Good to Me and am so thankful as I write out the thoughts of the day. God is so good to us. Sometimes this mother wonders at the amount of grace poured out over her proclivities, weaknesses and just plain old stubborn pride. I don't deserve it, but the grace flows anyway. Right about the time we think we all want to quit, run away and slam the door, grace pours in, the light shines, music plays, banquet appears, family laughs, hope reigns.
Tomorrow is another day. Philip promises to make pancakes for breakfast. Everyone is slightly recharged. We have plans to head to Tinker Cliffs sometime in the next couple of days. Everyone is friends again. Thank you God for Thursday night family dinner night. There is something about preparing a meal together and sitting down to eat that helps make things right. I hope that everyone out there will stop the craziness, put on some music, light some candles and make dinner together. Make sure someone will do a silly big belly dance, or at least make weird funny faces. And say a prayer! You never know. It just might help.