Days at home.

Well, I`m just sitting here on a lazy Saturday morning drinking my java. There is snow outside. Snow makes me happy in the way “going to Florida” makes some people happy. No, really, I get a little lift in my spirit when it snows. And, this will not be a long post about snow- something every person round here has- (it`s not real news). When it snowed last night I was going to write about snow in my Facebook update, then I decided I won`t, because snow is probably the new “Tebow”.

Speaking of Java. Has anyone noticed it`s now an event, not just a food? Especially with women. You can have it as part of an outfit ensemble in Pinterest, and when you drink it, it worth posting about. Like I just did. And you can go out and do it, and it`s a thing- like sushi. No one ever says,

“Hanging with friends at Molly`s- drinking milk.”

“Just sitting here around the fire together. Everyone is eating grapes.”

“Stopped in Richmond to meet Roger for a quick grits date.”

(Except the grits date might actually be kinda cool, because it`s so random. Strike that one. You know, grits is like, their “thing”.)

Which goes to show, even food deals with cliques and cool groups. Poor meatloaf.

I do think coffee is a social drink for us, Mennonites need their wine equivalent! Everyone needs a social liquid to tap into, that alters their personality just a little.

And please, I do all of the above. So don`t think I`m making fun of you- I`m making fun of ME!

One time I was going off about this whole subject with one of the high-schoolers (my husband is a high school teacher). And we talked about how the travel coffee mug is now the adult man`s security blanket- (wrap your hands around it tight) and etc. Later, he told me he saw I posted a photo and a blurb about theΒ  coffee I drank on my blog. I think he thought I was a real hypocrite.

“No”, I said, “I was making fun of myself. It`s the funnest person to make fun of, because then no one can get mad at you when you do it!”

Self deprecation. Other people like it.

Things strike me as the oddest- when they remind me a little bit of myself.

But anyway, this is not even remotely what I was going to post about when I sat down. It`s ok though.

Rambling can be good.

Awhile back, I was reading my blog when it was on xanga. I missed it. I felt like it was an old friend that I had completely forgotten was there. I also think I liked my style better back then, because there was none. It was more just like a rambling, messy, chronicle of life at home. Not really a lot of structured subject material. I don`t know why- but I think now I feel like I have to follow a subject head in order to post. I don`t know why. My favorite posts of others are when they just TALK, about whatever/whenever.

So maybe we’ll get back to that here.

Maybe that`s why after all these years, this lady is still my favorite blogger. And please don`t be offended, I have probably 25 favorites and then another 50 adores.

Exaggerating to make a point.

I was really inspired by ALL the comments on my last post. I was out walking one morning before light, and had little frozen tears of joy on my cheeks around my eyes. Yes! From the sweetness and words of TRUTH from you all.

But something that came out of the comments and stuck with me is: what if we women are being TOO HARD on ourselves (sometimes)? There are 20 more paragraphs that could be written to expound on all THAT, but what I have been struck with lately is the beauty of SIMPLIFYING.

And here is a good place for my #2 favorite quote right now:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.~Leonardo da Vinci

(Taking a break here for a “mommy eyed” Laila, holding a silky blanket, with a forbidden nippy in her mouth.)

I was saying,

Simplicity. I have been really blessed by it lately.

The other night, good friends of ours had people over for desert and coffee. Then, earlier this week, one of my girlfriends text ed me, and asked if we want to come over for pancakes. Both events, an extra fun time and yet, so simple. I was so inspired! So.

I have literally stopped having friends over (have some of you noticed? ha) in the last year, because cooking up a big spread was just too overwhelming for me. By the time I had myself in order, cleaned the house, and had the girls in clean clothes… ok…. it`s time to COOK.

Maybe I don`t do something right- but by the time I had started on that part (cooking)- the first 3 parts had went to ‘h— in a handbasket’. I just gave up.

Wednesday morning of this week- I had my mom and sisters over for breakfast, and so inspired by above, all I made made for my ‘company’ was a pan of Red Raspberry Baked Oatmeal with yogurt. Very easy to make. And I had juice an coffee, but that was ALL. And it was great. I made it the night before, so when my family came, I was rested/happy/eager etc.

I will be doing this simple thing more.

Another area I am learning about simplicity in is: women friendships. I read a blurb in the Reader`s Digest this month about how it gets harder to make new friends when you are an adult. Actually let me copy it here.

Her name is Rachel Bertsce, 29 and she says,

“I still have this image in my head that my new best friend will be the same as my best friend in grade school. We’ll talk every night, and hang out every weekend. That`s not reality for adults that have other commitments. Seeing someone once a month is good- once every 2 weeks is amazing!”

I thought this was so TRUE. I often think it`s odd that I probably see my good girlfriends once a month (if that) and, couple friends- probably once every 3 months! Like she said, with schedules (and precious nights at home that must be kept sacred)- it`s just hard to find the time.

I like to know- it`s OKAY.

This brought to mind another conversation I had with some girlfriends. We were discussing how in the winter, during the day, we might just be at home for days in a row. I always thought I was weird like that. Once it`s cold, I like to hunker down. My husband has a car, but he likes mine better. So most every morning before school he`ll ask me- if I`m not going anywhere- “Can I take your car?”

I like to treat him often, because secretly, I LOVE when he takes my car. Now Walmart cannot twist my arm to come visit- for something silly like detergent, because I CAN`T GO! It makes everyday life so calm and easy.

It`s unreal how much gas & grocery cash I save, when I just. stay. home.

You know how you`re driving and you see a row of houses and they all look so empty, deserted and quiet from the outside? You think subconsciously that surely no one is home in there. Well, inside there probably is an active hub of people- little and big- that have happily been hunkered down in there for a few days now. Depends on the house you`re looking at, of course.

(I don`t have to drive kids to school yet- that helps me to be able to do this for sure.)

Well, I guess I will close. It`s Saturday and my husband is gone again today at a guy`s thing. all i have planned today is the girls have some little friends coming over tonight. My husband took my car and left me his laptop in exchange. Great trade for me. So yeah, maybe I will go nurture my girls now, and then do something clean-y/artsy!

Sounds like a day I am happy with.

I`ll close out with a few shots.

Little kids made puppets. Elle felt they needed a “theater”, she came up with the idea to use this old thing. πŸ™‚

“Psst! girls, there is a audience member blocking the stage!”

Backstage with the master puppeteers.

To point out Elle`s love for detail- please notice how she colored each one of her turtle`sΒ  scales a different color.

I wanna color too!

We put together a Fun Box for my brother who is at EBI. We hope you like it, Jason! (Who am I kidding, he will never see this.)

Then 4 of us, walked to the post office to mail it. It was blow-y, COLD, and rainy- a fun little jaunt.

The girls last night watching a favorite You Tube video. (something from improv everywhere)

And I will end with this picture. It`s on my fridge and it made my day this morning in a new way. I think it shows well, to me, our personalities.

Have a fab weekend, ya’ll!


PS. Anyone else notice how blogging is a ‘winter sport’- seems like my blogging friends have twice the posts to read these days. Love it.

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  1. Amber says:

    I love this post! I literally lol on the poor meatloaf comment. πŸ™‚
    And I love the freedom of simplifying…now if I could just get it in my head that it’s ok to have friends over when my house is a mess and the food is just ‘normal, everyday stuff”.

    Keep blogging! And happy monday! πŸ™‚

    • Jenny says:

      ha, amber! i think i need therapy to relax about the ‘everyday house for company’ thing. i SO desire to get there one day! one day. and for the record, if you had me over to your messy house- i would love it. and for the record, right now my house is a wreck. πŸ™‚ that was free.

  2. dori says:

    I too hunker down every since day I dont have to work. I was off all wk and my neighbors decided I have the flu! This is our first winter living in town, so they didnt relise I like to stay inside if it snows. We have awesome neighbors and i was glad they were worried! Keep your posts coming they brighten up my day!

  3. Shannon says:

    lol at the meatloaf too! My body revolted at the word coffee when I was a teenager, glad it craves it now. πŸ™‚

    -I love staying home, esp when it’s cold and yucky outside. Slushy snow, kids and me just don’t mix well.

    -Simply meals make me happy! I never mind when I go somewhere and it’s just a simply brunch or something. So why do I think I have to go all out?

  4. clarita says:

    Oh, I loved this. And cracked. up. about the food pictures. No kidding, we will never post a status about anything food related other than a g.o.u.r.m.e.t. meal that we have just cooked (which I rarely do, and which I never post a status about if I do) or that we’re drinking coffee. Funny funny. πŸ™‚

    And I liked your “saturday morning at home” post. It was so cozy and warm feeling. And I’m with you – snow makes me happy in a way that sunshine makes other people glow. I so “get” that. πŸ™‚

    And the food simplification… please talk to me more about that. In the last three weeks since we’ve been back from Colorado/Penn, I’ve enjoyed cooking more than I have in years. I think it’s just that I’m so happy to be back in my own kitchen and not in a rental apartment. πŸ™‚ The other night we spontaneously invited our neighbors over for supper since she was over for coffee anyway, and all I had been planning on was breakfast burritos for supper. It really cracked me up inside – here was this guy in military uniform sitting at my {menno} table eating a simple little dinner. We’d been talking about getting together for a meal for months and it never happened, and said after dinner that what we needed was a simple little supper to make it happen. Anyway, that is NOT typical for me, to have company and be okay with it not being much at all. But I really really want to learn more about that. So often I think being hospitable means having a fancy affair of food as well as x, y, and z lined up perfectly. But it is so not that. And I want to learn to be rid of the unrealistic voices of expectation in my head that make me think I have to measure up against all the glamorous cooks who make it look so effortless. Rachel Ray I am not, or the food network, or any such thing. But love my family by serving them well I will. It will just be rice and beans and chicken instead of a French pastry. πŸ™‚

    And please don’t take such a long time between posts. πŸ™‚
    Happy Monday!

  5. clarita says:

    how embarrassing. i had no idea my comment was so long.

  6. carmen says:

    Really love the simplify thoughts! I need this.
    Love the little puppet theater.
    You deserve a restful happy week now, goodness, I had no idea you had all that going on last week! The children really really loved their time at your house. I hope they weren’t too wild. Ravi reported that they were wild for awhile. Believe me, it can get crazy at this house. And then Elyse’s accident. so sorry. Then Ravi said you had to hold Cedrych so he wouldn’t cry, for a long time….. I’m a little worried that things weren’t as easy as it sounded when we picked them up. I know though that you know first hand what it’s like w/ little ones, and can handle it just fine. So, thanks again for giving us that lovely evening. Also, so glad to have you guys be our new ‘Elder and wife’!! You’ll do great!! (why am I writing all this in a comment to your blog??)

  7. Jan says:

    we don’t get snow, so i love my nice rainy days (nice being it’s not ten in a row, or with violent things a transplant can’t handle)

  8. Michelle says:

    Oh, I loved this post, Jenny! And just like everyone else, I cracked up about the poor meatloaf! πŸ™‚ Just b/c I know you would like this, my favorite translation of grits (and yes, I love to eat them) is Girls Raised In The South. That might just make them post worthy. πŸ˜€

  9. Dawn says:

    the whole simplifying thing spoke to me too. i have also all but stopped inviting people over because it feels like i can barely keep my head above water these days, and to imagine fixing a spread just does me in. (not in love with cooking!) you guys doing something this weekend? πŸ™‚

  10. Aug says:

    So, I have noticed that if I want to get a “reply” comment from you, I will have to be one of the first three people to comment on your blog. Maybe next time? Ha, ha.

    Totally loved this post! You are such an awesome writer! I love when people just write about random sh** that they have going through their minds. And you do SUCH a good job of making it funny and interesting too. That whole “coffee” thing…as being an event or reason to get together or whatever. Totally get that.

    And about friendships as adults…how they are harder to make and harder to keep up with, I am realizing that more and more and trying to be OK with it. I think there is a part of me that STILL wants a “best friend” who I call every day (maybe several times a day) and get together with on a weekly basis. Maybe there is no one that can handle that much of me. On the other hand, I am SO blessed with many friends, both near and far, and I do have two or three girlfriends that I get together with every single Wednesday for about 3 or 4 hours. It is a high-light of my week.

    And simplifying — such a good thing to learn more about. In many areas of life. But yes, I think people would much rather come over for a simple meal and you actually have them over, than to wait till everything is perfect, which probably never will happen. Sometimes lowering your standards can be a good thing! πŸ˜‰

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