Sunday, March 13, 2011

3, it's the perfect number

The girls are singing classic School House Rock songs for their music program this year. We've all been humming the tunes and thought this song was most appropriate for this weekend's fantastic event. . . Joel + Jenny + Klaus!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My "G" Rated Vacation

WARNING: This post has been rated "G" for extreme grossness. Readers are warned before proceeding.

Number of nasty bugs in our home: 1
Number of people the bug has visited: 7
Number of days: 5 (and counting)
Number of collective hours of recovery sleep: 24
Number of hours of sleep missed caring for others: 3
Number of surprise 50th b-day parties missed: 1
Number of ski trips aborted: 1
Number of appointments/commitments rescheduled: 6
Number of schools called to report sick days: 4
Number of full Lysol bottles sprayed: 1
Number of times our bathroom has been cleaned: 16
Number of candles burned: 3
Number of people back to normal: 4
Number of days missed from work: 0 (pre-scheduled vacation time)
Number of people naive enough to think it won't happen to him: 1

Saturday, February 5, 2011

30 days 'til K (roughly)

Fun afternoon with the girls celebrating Jenny and Baby-to-be. (The boys had their own fun too.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Laundry to the Rescue?

Note to Heidi.
From: Heidi

A few years ago while figuring out life with 3 small children, Alisha found a fantastic article about how the monotony of folding laundry (and other "meaningless" activities) can teach some great life lessons. Maybe it was sleep deprivation or lack of adult interaction, but it struck a chord with me and I have reflected back to it over the years. (Don't get me wrong, I am not giddy to do laundry each week.)

This weekend as I sorted, washed, folded, found more clothes hidden away, sorted, washed, and folded at least 20 loads of laundry, I thought of that message. Through the monotony of sorting socks I had the time to think about each owner. I thought of the experiences they had in those clothes. I realized those experiences involved me at some point. And then it hit me about our current reality.

It has taken a while to acclimate to each other. To assimilate (as the Borg would say) into the collective. To absorb the physical belongings and organize the remaining space. To understand each other's moods and whims. To know when to give space and when to follow up instead.

In many ways I feel like the parent of a newborn (except with a 2 week gestation rather than 9 months). Not that the kids are helpless. But that I am learning things about myself and the world. Some I anticipated. And some are a complete surprise.

As I thought of the support and love of our family/friends (meal-in-a-bag, the sharing of furniture, the desire to meet the kids, birthday wishes shared to those not even met, the check-in for our mental health, the physical labor of clearing out space, and even offering some temporary distance). I couldn't help but think of the similarities to having a new baby.

And I now feel like I can move forward. I know challenges are in our future. They would be either way. But I am ready. And I have the laundry to thank for this awareness.

What a DECADE!

Our little Avy Baby turned 10 years old this Friday! What a great decade it has been having her in our lives.

Here's our (Slade is helping me) Top Ten reasons Avy is fantastic:

1. The girl is creative. And in a creative way. Just give her random things and her ideas will be NO WHERE near the box!

2. Avy is friendly and enjoys being with people. She has an inclusive streak about her that we hope will continue with her.

3. She enjoys being active: soccer, lacrosse, skiing, bike riding.

4. Avy LOVES to laugh!!! And laugh she does. A beautiful, contagious, infectious laugh.

5. Recently she has learned the art of saving money. It is so refreshing to see the restraint from what she "needs right now" for something in the future.

6. FASHION. In the sense that "fashion" is not "mainstream".

7. Singing is a joy for Avy and follows in her grandpa's footsteps for singing about anything.

8. Avy values her library card. She frequently asks to go and enjoys reading.

9. Avy is a compassionate and caring person. So much so, that she has become a vegetarian. No kidding. And no exceptions since September. She feels for those little chickies and cows.

10. Caring part 2: she was the most excited when asked about adding kids to the family.

We look forward to the next decade and know she will be an incredible adult!

We love you, Avy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Comes Around . . .

Slade and I grew up in a large families. People were around all. the. time. It was just a part of life. By default, I think it also meant some major coordination and organization of and by the parental figures. But I never knew just how much that until this last week.

Here is my assessment of doubling the kids in our home:

1. It is loud. My mom never liked listening to the radio when driving. She claimed it "discouraged talking" and I never bought her excuse. Now I find myself turning off my beloved public radio just to listen to nothing when driving to and from work. The sound of silence.

2. Showers. Who needs a schedule? We do!! Yep, I am now doing the thing I SWORE I would never do.

3. Shopping. We really hate being such consumers but it takes a lot of food (and shelf space) to feed that many kids. I used to buy extra groceries just to have on hand and to have meal options for our culinary whims. Not anymore. If we aren't eating it this week, it isn't making it into the cart.

4. I am a flake. Please forgive me if I miss something, don't call you back or just don't show up. It is not my intention. I just can't remember it all. I try to console myself that my parents had time to acclimate to 6 kids. (But I had my flakey moments before this so I think it is me.)

5. A lot of things are truly an AGE issue. It is nice to see other kids acting similarly to ours. It IS developmental, not necessarily obstinacy towards me.

6. Bedtime is sacred. "Slade time" (Slade's way of saying "your day is over, so I can close out mine") is essential.

7. I look forward to my time with Slade. And I don't take it for granted!

8. Why fight the obvious flow of things? Sure they can do homework as soon as they get home from school and then go stir crazy after dinner. OR they can play, rumpus about, and NOT do homework until after dinner and then things naturally quiet down.

9. Gratitude goes a LONG way. It is very nice to hear compliments and pleasantries so frequently. Twice the kids, twice the nice things being spoken.

10. Supportive extended family makes an amazing difference in our lives.

So with our "week anniversary" approaching tomorrow, we have no regrets. And in fact, are VERY thankful for the blessing to be a part of their lives. It is fun thinking about them throughout the day, wondering how their days are progressing, and looking forward to being with everyone again.

AM's 11th Birthday

Little AM celebrated her 11th birthday today. As requested, we enjoyed "breakfast for dinner", rootbeer, brownies and ice cream. It's been a sugar-loaded evening. (Hurray for Slade taking on post-dinner-homework activities!)

We hope this year brings her mucho happiness and joy!