This is what I am thinking today as I finally sit down to rest. This is my debriefing.
Sometimes my kids play so hard I am amazed. Their imagination is going so nonstop I think that soon smoke will be coming out their ears. I have now gotten to the ripe old age in which I say things like, "I don't know where they get all that energy!" It's exhausting to be old with munchkins running around. This is how I feel today. Tired, but happy to have munchkins.
Tonight as Jimmy was serving everyone their food, he warned everyone that they were driving him crazy and that if they weren't careful he would drop them all off at the bus station. I hadn't heard that one but I totally appreciated the sentiment. Libby proceded to pray for our meal and added "please help dad to feel less like dropping us off at the bus station."
Things didn't really get much better and at the end of this chaotic dinner during which multiple people were talking simultaneously and the baby was cranky and rubbing carrots and applesauce all over herself, I pleaded with everyone to please, for me, try and be quiet for 60 seconds. I told them I needed to know they were capable of it. Well, it took restarting about 3 times, but they were quiet. And I thought they would say, after doing it, "Wow, Mom! That was so great! We like the peacefulness of quiet!" But instead I got "so-and-so was reading" and "she was eating so it doesn't count" and such. Oh well. One day maybe they will appreciate quiet.
And paper. Today I realized we're are nearing the end of a huge box of paper we bought at Sams. We go through so much paper, home schooling 5 kids...with one of them being quite the artist and pulling everyone else along with her. I'm making copies of math drills, coloring pages, Jimmys printing out leases or property information sheets...the amount of paper we go through is staggering. The Alleys do NOT live in a paperless world.
Jimmy got home from running Jackson to youth group tonight to find all the rest in the driveway. He started playing basketball and they sat and watched him. We have a crowd of kids. A big enough crowd to cheer on a basketball game. This is how Jimmy related it to me later. That he was proud to have a crowd. It is very humbling and fulfilling.
Then we played "airplane" and Libby was the stewardess. I asked Penelope where she was going ("California") and if she had business there? ("Yes, and also in Alaska") Then I turned to Juliet. I asked her where she was going ("Florida!") and then I said, "Are you going to make some money there?" And she said, "I am going to make quarters!"
And now that I've read my bible, written a blog, and told the kids to brush their teeth and get ready for bed (I let them play so I could steal quiet minutes), I'm going to try and make a dent in the mounds of laundry that could, if need be, be fashioned into enough cloth to cover the Great Wall of China.