- (idiomatic) From the beginning; starting with no advantage or prior preparation.
- There were so many errors in the program that the programmer decided to rewrite it from scratch.
- When the writer finished writing his book, it was stolen and now he has to rewrite it from scratch.
- He had no money and no rich friends, so he had to build his business from scratch.
- (idiomatic) From basic materials or raw ingredients.
- She said she wanted to build a new house from scratch.
- He was out of pancake mix so he had to make the batter from scratch.
We did several things "from scratch" this weekend, mostly akin to that last sample sentence.
Saturday morning, I wanted to make a nice, big breakfast, only to discover we were out of pancake mix. So I googled it (so much for the nine cookbooks in my cupboard) and found a recipe to guide me in making pancakes from scratch. They turned out okay. A little doughy in the middle. Probably my fault. But I did make them in the shapes of my diners' first initials, and a bunny rabbit, and a purse (which started as a mediocre bunny and Kate instructed me to connect the ears with a line of batter).
Sunday morning, we began a rare and joyous day off for my husband. Matt hardly ever takes a Sunday off, and if he does, it's because he or we all are going out of town. So a Sunday off at home is extremely rare. I have an intense fascination with "how the other half lives," i.e. the people who don't go to church on Sundays, or at least don't have to be there for seven or eight hours of the day. So before heading off to worship together as a family at the delightfully late hour of 11:00am, Matt decided he wanted to make muffins for our family breakfast. We had no muffin mix, so the googling began again, and Matt ended up making us some wonderful mixed berry muffins. Because we had frozen berries instead of fresh, their juice dyed the batter purple, so they are quite interesting looking, but very tasty.
The third thing we did from scratch—more akin to the first definition above, "starting with no advantage or prior preparation"—was start caring for a teenager. We got a call Friday night around 9:30, asking if we could take a 16-year-old girl. Because of our bio kids' ages, our social worker advised we not take teenagers (especially boys or kids who've been sexually abused, neither of which applied here), so Matt and I took a few minutes to talk it over before calling the placement worker back. We were both inclined to say yes, but nervous.
I was mainly anxious about how to relate to a teenager. I know how to connect with little kids, but I could barely connect with other teenagers when I was one. I told Matt it felt like someone who had never had kids suddenly getting a toddler—she didn't get to ease into it, getting the hang of things, etc.—only in this case, the child would be judging me if I screwed up in some way! Matt was more anxious about the logistics of getting the girl to school each morning, which would involve leaving the house with our girls and our guest, at 6:00am. (High schools start insanely early. The school day is 7:05 to 2:05. That is ridiculous.)
So this girl, "Theresa," we'll call her, arrived on our doorstep at around 11:00 Friday night, and more or less went straight to bed. Saturday, she met our girls over our made-from-scratch pancakes, and our first impressions from the night before were confirmed, that she is a very sweet girl, kind of shy, sad and anxious about being removed from her home, of course. After going out to get her some things that her sister didn't remember to pack for her, we started our Saturday plans of working on various yard projects while the kids played on the swingset. It was then we discovered just how boring our house is for a teenager. She's spent some time on Facebook, watched some TV, and played with Kate and Claire. She's very good with the girls, reading a lot to Kate, and holding Claire. They both enjoy interacting with her.
I still struggle with what to talk to her about, especially since she's very quiet, but we're doing okay. Matt and his car full of girls got away at 6:05, so we're doing well on that front! In a way, having a teenager is easier than having another toddler, like we did with Faith. To the kids, it's more like having a grown up guest than another child in the house, and she's a lot more low-maintenance than a toddler! But, it's tough in different ways, mainly emotional. Whereas Faith didn't really know what was going on and attached quickly to me, Theresa is understandably shaken and sad. We go to court on Thursday and hopefully she will be able to go live with her older sister at that time.