We’ve been busy around here. Beyond the ins and outs of normal life, we went to the very first football game my kids have ever experienced, we spent an afternoon at the zoo, we’ve been to the park numerous times, and we spent one day at the George Washington Carver monument. I’m trying to do those things that give us a chance to enjoy each other instead of the constant stress of craziness we’ve had too much of lately. It’s been fun.
One (homeschool team vs. Christian school team) football game later, the only photo i took of the experience was Elliot hanging on the handrail hollering “Look at me momma! Take a picture!”. Sad but true.
The zoo? Yeah. I got a photo of Elliot’s “I’m too tired to walk, momma.” We’d gone to town without the stroller for something else entirely, and the zoo was a spur of the moment thing… Without a stroller. I already had Stellan on me. Liberty begs to wear the littles often. She was pretty pleased to get her chance.
Stellan loved the little airplane springs! I couldn’t get him to hold still for anything. It’s fun to have him getting big enough to find things fun and funny.
Like figuring out how to get the puff snacks container open and dumping it everywhere. Hilarious, for sure.
See that little plate behind him? Yeah. That was my attempt at civility. It would seem that he did not approve.
The kids got to make candles, wash laundry on a washboard, and shuck corn at the George Washington Carver monument. Fun times! It was such a fun day.
Liberty candle dipping – she’s the one who quickly figured out she had to dip it in all the way to get a full sized candle. She worked hard to get it just right.
Elliot’s candle – she was so proud of her work.
Washing towels on the washboard was the highlight of the day for several of the kids. Taking your frustrations out on a washboard would have it’s benefits!
Meanwhile, when asked if she scrubbed her towel, Elliot got indignant. She just scrubbed the washboard down with soap! I think she thought she was doing dishes.
Mmm, yep, fun now, in 70° weather. Sounds less fun come January.
The kids all wished we could wash laundry like this all the time. I can’t even imagine what that would look like. I washed four loads of laundry just today. In machines, it’s no big deal. That would make laundry a full time job! (Next, they went and pretended to iron… Ugh. Nope. I iron only when I sew, unless I’m really, really desperate.)
Anyway, I’ve been reminded of the joy of parenting, having fun together too. I have to do this far more often, and be purposeful in this mothering thing. The day to day stuff gets the better of me and the joys slip away.
A bunch of my kids are now fighting colds and a vomit bug is making the rounds in co-op and elsewhere around here. Praying colds is it for us and we escape the rest! Ten people, one bathroom, vomit, and diarrhea does not make for anything fun or good, unless practicing patience and compassion in extenuating circumstances counts.
Holding onto that joy… Even in the hard days.
And I need to buy stock in Kleenex. Because wow.
Charlotte Moore says
Good for you to get to enjoy those times. Looks like all of you had a good time as well. Making good memories.
It looks like so much fun. Liberty will be a great mom someday. 🙂 I think I will add trying washboards to my bucket list.
I’m sorry to hear the sickness is going around. How do you manage with just one bathroom?
Do you have any space saving tips? I’m having my 5th next year. We only have 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and no car. I have a lot of clutter (mostly my craft stuff) and it’s overwhelming to even think about starting this. Also I don’t feel done with babies or kids. Some people say they know when they are done. I haven’t felt like that. So I need to make space.
Also how many chores do the kids do?
Thanks for your blog. I love reading about it. This is my first comment!
Nice to “meet” you! Congrats on your fifth!
One bathroom… You kind of just do. I’m forever telling kids not to wait until they are dancing – there’s no guarantee it’s going to be open when they finally can’t wait any longer! There’s no locking the door during showers, and often kids are warned to stay put while someone uses the bathroom, but beyond that, you just learn to wait your turn.
Organize up! I have lots of shelves, using wall space as efficiently as possible. Purge! If it’s not serving a good and useful purpose, it’s not working here. Very little is merely for pretty here. It’s a constant process, but we donate things often to keep the clutter down and I’m forever trying new things to help organize. I have one set of shelves with sewing supplies that is constantly a work in progress, but having a home for those things and keeping my crafts in that space only helps.
Chores… I don’t have a ton assigned, but everyone helps. The six older kids, ages 5-13, each have a day of the week that is their bathroom/hallway/laundry room cleaning day. Older kids are mixed between younger ones so that it gets cleaned well at least every other day. There’s a list behind the kitchen cabinet door with each child’s job during meal clean up, and the kitchen can be cleaned without my assistance at all if need be. The 11 and 13 year old do quite a bit of laundry, the littles (2-9, but I try to always ask the youngest available and capable child to do any job, since the older ones will always get asked to do the most) get the laundry from the dryer. I almost always fold it, but everyone except the two youngest put it away. Their clothes are put away by siblings.
Long story, but we operate pretty fluidly here, and as school work burdens fluctuate, so does my help. Whomever is available and able is asked to help, but the kids do a great deal around here.
It’s taken eight babies and a few hmmm, maybe I’ve changed my mind, followed by another baby – or four!, but I’m finally in a place that I’m completely okay with the thought of being done having children. We have not taken measures to permanently prevent pregnancy so things can obviously change, but I’m content. I know not everyone reaches a point that they feel complete, ever, while others are very certain. It’s a personal journey. I never expected to be here! You’re wise to continue to plan for the future and what that might hold.
Thanks for your lovely, thoughtful and detailed comment.
You are amazing.