I'm not who I was.
I was never one to consider myself a homebody. The busier, the better. In fact, I have been known to be so disappointed about having to go home, that I would cry. (Yes, even in adulthood!) Health stuff has forced me home more than I prefer over the years, and I’m sure there is a valuable lesson to be learned in that. Something magical has happened in the past year particularly: I have become more and more homebody-ish. I still enjoy going and doing. But I also delight in being home. I genuinely enjoy it. I’m not saying that I never go stir crazy anymore, but I am grateful for the home that God has blessed us with, and I enjoy the people in it. I am learning how to rest without it feeling entirely awkward all the time. (Although if I’m completely honest, sometimes I have to force myself away from home to rest, or I’ll just keep finding things that need to be done. And I can also get waaaaay too bored and anxious in the resting. But I’ve made a vast improvement.)
No month has reminded me more about the joy of resting than December. Our lives pretty much stay at a constant busy state, but in December it is kicked up a notch and I long for a little more rest. There are obligations, festivities, productions, sports and sickness all thrown into the mix, often with many days being double and triple booked. When the kids got sick a couple of weeks ago, I was sad that they were ill, but I was glad for the excuse to rest… except that really only lasted one night for me as I had days full of out of town appointments and commitments in the days following, and thankfully, I never got sick. But I was immeasurably grateful for that one night.
Part of the magic of becoming somewhat of a homebody is found in the home-schooling. J is particularly enjoying science right now. Each chapter has an experiment or activity at the end which can typically be safely conducted with household products. We opted to go the chemistry route first (on a very basic level), so J has been learning about atoms, molecules, chemical reactions, and most recently acids and bases.
This experiment called for baking soda water, mineral water (I couldn’t find any so I picked up spring water), alka-seltzer water, distilled water, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, milk, and white grape juice.
It also called for red cabbage juice boiled in distilled water as the indicator. At which point I learned two new things: cabbages are really beautiful on the inside, and I like to eat them boiled. Who knew. (Well, maybe if cabbage is a regular in your kitchen, you knew. But I didn’t.)
The tall glass with the dark purple in it is the indicator in distilled water. So the closer to that color, the more neutral the liquid. The more pink the liquid, the more acidic. And the more blue/green, the more basic.
J was really surprised when the baking-soda water turned teal as she had started from the other end and everything else was pretty much pink or purple.
I, for one, was rather surprised that the (off-brand) alka-seltzer water (third from the left) turned a lighter purple with a slightly pinker hue to it… I thought for sure it would be more basic, or at least remain pretty neutral. So I thought maybe we just hadn’t added enough alka-seltzer.
So we added more alka-seltzer. And more. The more alka-seltzer we added, the more pinkish it became. I was confused how something that is supposed to settle your stomach would actually be more acidic. I finally looked on the ingredient list and I discovered that citric acid is actually one of the ingredients. I won’t pretend to understand why this would help settle one’s stomach, but at least I know why it kept turning pink.
Being the geek that I am, I couldn’t let it go, so I conducted my own experiment. Should you be interested in how acidic or basic different antacids are, from left to right:
Tums Kids (most basic… turned the most blue/green), Tums Extra 750, Equate Extra 750 (I find it interesting that although the main ingredients are supposedly the same and in the same amount, the Tums brand was much milkier in appearance and a lighter shade of purple. The Equate showed the least change, which makes it the most neutral.), Kroger antacid and pain reliever (a.k.a. off-brand alka-seltzer), Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula (the Kroger brand was slightly more acidic, but not by much). And then the far right jar is the indicator: the red cabbage juice on its own.
There is something about the turning of the clock into the new year that compels us to change for the better… like before we didn’t have permission to change, but now we do. So in addition to my theme verse for the year, I’m going to make it a point to keep practicing the art of resting a little bit more, and delighting in home. And maybe if I notice something that needs a change, I won’t wait until the new year to give myself permission to change it. I hope your 2015 is a magical one!