Jimmy's 40th

My love Jimmy turned 40 at the beginning of this month.  We had a birthday weekend extravaganza.  Jimmy's entire family was here.  His parents, brother Jon, and brother Gary and family who are visiting from Israel.  (They stayed for four nights and the cousins had tons of fun!)

We started with dinner out on Friday night, no kids allowed.  Except Violet, of course, because she's little and cute and doesn't interrupt your conversation.

Our good friend Christopher flew all the way from the Pacific Northwest to party.  Woot woot!

Saturday we hit the park with lunch put together by Jimmy's mom (who worked like crazy all weekend to make everything happen) and an awesome kickball game with lots of preschoolers, 40 year old men, and everyone in between.

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!  We love you!

Photos only post (12/1-12/18)

The Crazy and the Unseen

I know I have said many times here on the blog that my life is crazy.  I hate repeating myself, but life really is crazy.  I can remember back when I had three or four kids and I'd babysit for a friend who might have two or three.  And my entire afternoon would be filled with managing 6 kids.  I'd be exhausted that evening and would think I deserved all kinds of credit for handling all that for a few hours.  Now, that is my normal.  Managing that number of children all day, every day.  It's no one thing, it's just all the little things together that make for a constant low level of chaos.

In the midst of all the life going on around here are some really cute and fun and wonderful times.  My fear is that I miss these times because I'm too preoccupied with the daily grind...just keeping everyone bathed and fed and somewhat educated.

Today Cash asked me for a snack.  A simple unsurprising request.  But, on my way to try and catch a 20 minute nap, it stressed me out.  Whatever I find has to be enough for everyone.  And if its not somewhat healthy, I suffer mom guilt.  I didn't want to give him anything, but knew nap would be easier for me if they were snacking.  I told him I would pop him some popcorn.  Sighing, I got out the popper to begin the process.  As I was plugging it in he said, "Mom?  What's for dinner?"  Ahhhh!  It never ends.  There is always a dish to wash, a load of clothes to fold, a belly to fill, a diaper to change, a book to read, or shoes to find.

You know what?  I have no idea what's for dinner.  Ever.

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Cor. 4:16-18

I see a mess.  I see closets that need to be organized.  I see laundry, dishes, and dust.  But the unseen will be my focus.  The hearts and minds of these six kids.  The spiritual health of me and my family.  And Jesus.  Because I can't mother anything without Him.


Our Kitchen

This week I have been thinking about our kitchen, which in our house is the kitchen/dining room with the original wall between the two torn down.

We eat in this room.  We home school in this room.  We create in this room.  We edit photos in this room.  We listen to music in this room.  We pretend in this room.  We laugh in this room.  We fight in this room.  We color, cut, and paste.  We use play doh.  We spill things.  We trip over things.  We yell at the dog.  We get haircuts.  We play games.  We shave the dog.  We visit with friends.

It is where all 8 of us spend 90 percent of our time.  (Well, Violet spends a lot of time in her crib.)

We have 9 other rooms in our house.  We could choose to spread out.  Yet we always end up together in the kitchen.  The vast majority of learning in my children's lives takes place in the square footage of my kitchen.

When you are all together so much of the time, and your days seem to run together, time plays tricks on you.  Time seems to be slow one minute and racing past the next.  In my mind I know it is moving at exactly the same speed, but there is some kind of phenomenon that makes it seem to speed up and slow down.

Wasn't it just a few months ago that we came to see this house when it was for sale and talked about tearing down this load bearing wall to separate the kitchen and dining room?  My children ran around and Juliet sat in her infant car seat?  And today she is using scissors and writing and making jokes?

Time moves, and my children grow up without my consent.  It is maddening.  It won't be long and it will be a rare occurrence that all of us will even be in the same room.  I try to live in the moment and soak it all up because I know it is fleeting.  When I have the right perspective, I want the kitchen to last forever.  But in all honesty, it is a loud, crazy place that I prefer to escape sometimes.

May I love the crazy and choose to turn up the music of my life.  And embrace the kitchen for the wonderful chaos it is.