The Mama Bus

What’s a Mama to Do?

February 22, 2012


A fresh dusting of snow outside, the clinking sound of dishes being washed and smoke filling the living room…

It’s been a busy couple of weeks…who am I kidding, it’s ALWAYS busy around here!  Lately however has been especially so.  School, tapping season, trips to Concord to support the Driver’s Ed Bill, teaching Jeremiah to drive, an upcoming birthday, and a renewed resolve to keep Randy on a low-carb diet all add up to a very busy house, and a very tired Mama.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve had a bout of tennis elbow again, accompanied by some shoulder pain.  Although I’m not sure what brought it on, I suspect too much knitting.  After laying aside the knitting for over a week, I’m still in quite a bit of pain; so I finally took something for it last night figuring I would at least get a good night’s sleep out of the deal.  And sleep I did!

Any day that starts with breakfast in bed is bound to be a good day.

I awoke to the busy sounds of breakfast, the truck being moved to make room for the sap fire, and the general hubbub that goes with a family this size.  Jillian & Jeremiah brought me breakfast in bed as I cleared the cobwebs from my brain.

Next Jillian set about finishing the cake she started last night.

While in the hospital with appendicitis, Jillian discovered “Cake Boss”.  Totally inspired, she has appointed herself the official birthday cake baker.  Jenny’s birthday is tomorrow and she has requested a doggie cake…a blue doggie cake.  Not because of a well-known cartoon (she’s never seen "Blue’s Clues"), but because she loves dogs and the color blue…so naturally she wants them all wrapped up together for her 3rd birthday.

Meanwhile the boys have been busy getting the sap fire ready.

We’ve got a full tote of sap, our first of the season, so today is our first boil.  James & Jordan head out into the woods to forage for low dead branches, Jeremiah & Jonathan line up the cinder blocks and round up the pans. The boys have gotten the fire going...or smoking at least.  Have you ever tried to start a fire in a mud puddle with melting snow all around providing fresh water for more mud?



After much “help” from the little girls,

Jillian is done with the cake and heads out to the woods to help collect wood & sap.



The table and every kitchen counter is covered with dishes, sigh…

I start the air purifier to help clear the smoke that insist on blowing straight into the house and go in search of my tennis elbow brace.  When I come back to the kitchen I see the most delightful sight.  Jessie had assessed the situation and decided SHE would do the dishes “with no help from nobody!”  She pulled up a chair for her and one for Jenny, and started running the water and squirting the soap.  Confidently she announced, “I’m teaching Jenny how to do the dishes!”


By the time they’re done, there will be water & soap everywhere, I have papers to grade, meals to make, syrup to finish off and more messes than I can count right now.  But when I look into their little faces and see those shining big blue eyes, what’s a mama to do?

They’re so sure that they’re REALLY helping!  For now I’ll sip my tea, delight in my little girls and worry about the mess later….

4 Comments for this entry

  • I’m smiling, laughing and a little teary all at once!! They’re growing up into such fabulous humans!! You’re doing an AWESOME job and I LOVE these kids…. and their parents of course!! Can’t wait to see the maple syrup jars lined up on the shelves!!

  • GRAMIE HAUSE says:

    Lois…you are absolutely the best MOM, that I have ever known. Your patience is absolutly the most wonderful thing to see. Wish that I had just a whiff of it….I love you…..Janie

  • Kari says:

    Hi Lois,
    What a sweet post! Your littlest angels helping at the sink and your sweet baker making the perfect cake, your two young entrepreneurial boys building a fire and the other two young boys I am sure gathering wood and taste testing cakes! We would love to see the Sap Tapping Time! You are just amazing to watch and sip while the little loves wash away the mess! Sending lots of love your way!

  • Lois Wood says:

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words ladies! That day I was seriously overwhelmed with it all, and it was good to just take a deep breath, ignore the mess and cherish the moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *