Some of you know us and our adventures well, and some of you are new around here. Whether you’re a long-time friend or a new face to this space, welcome! Just to change things up a bit, we thought we’d try something a little different and give you a glimpse into our everyday — journaling the weekly mess, the mayhem, and the blessings that overflow. As we reveal our day-to-day, our hope is for this community to find heart-awakening connections, that we may learn from one another and find ways to support each other through this craziness called motherhood.
Last week, Anne-Renee shared one week of her life as a mom. This week it’s Amanda’s turn. Happy reading!
I wasn’t sure how to weave the all-day, every day loving, discipling, and training of children into this. It would overwhelm. That’s just life right now. We’re up to our eyeballs in it. Aren’t we all? You can be sure as you read, there were lots of hugs, talks, encouragements, arguments settled, chores being completed, apologies given, prayers prayed, and maybe even a nose or two stuck in corner for a bit.
Ahhh, Saturday. The only day of the week I don’t set an alarm! As usual, Jeremy gets out of bed before me and heads out to make breakfast for the crew. It’s tradition. He does this every Saturday morning while I laze around in bed as long as possible on this one sacred day of the week. He’s a really good cook and loves to serve people (especially his people) in this way. We hang around and play outside on this day and then load all ten of us up to head to town so I can make my eye appointment. Weird for a Saturday, but one of two days my Dr. works! Plus, Dad’s there to wrangle the crew. So I’d much rather do this on a day he’s home. We run errands as a family after my appointment, then head home for a nice afternoon outside in the sun. The weather has been amazing. So perfect. I plop down with a book in a camp chair out on the lawn, while my oldest girls bring their guinea pigs outside in the pen on the grass for some open space and grass munching. I’m so distracted by the giggles and antics that I can’t read. It’s futile for me to attempt to read anything with eight kids awake. It just isn’t going to happen. And that’s okay. I don’t want to miss what they’re doing. It makes me laugh. We eat an easy dinner outside and relax until bedtime with some working in the garden and the rest working on playing.
Sunday morn. Ten people getting ready for the early service at church. Well, you can imagine. Here’s the normal protocol. We get up a bit later than we’d hoped. Jeremy gathers the troops for a simple cereal breakfast while I take a shower or decide to forget it and throw my hair in a purposeful ponytail after using some dry shampoo. (I love the dirt cheap stuff from Suave.) After helping four girls with their hair, wetting and smoothing the younger boys’ hair, and brushing little teeth, we have the younger kids sit on the couch with books until it’s time to go. Ugh. I did it again. I forget to eat until it’s go time. A protein smoothie it is for me and makeup in the car. Hoping Jeremy doesn’t hit any potholes while I’m attempting eye liner and mascara. We go to church and I cry buckets of tears I can’t contain during the sermon. It was a first for me. Music makes me cry. Never sermons. But they just won’t stop. Jeremy catches my eye out of the corner of his, concern written all over his face. I gave him the “Please stop looking at me, I don’t want to draw attention or start crying more because you care” look. You know the one. After church we stop at Home Depot to continue our search for new flooring for our living and kitchen spaces. We think we found the one. Or two. So we buy a box of each to line up across our floor to see which we like better. Yep. Found one. Then we attend a volunteer appreciation luncheon at church after going back to grab our boys from their middle school Sunday school class during the second service. Awesome. Lunch we didn’t have to make! Then it’s home for naps. Neighbor kids come to play. Frozen pizzas for dinner and me catching up on a couple days of the the One Year Chronological Bible I’m reading through this year. Crazy, I’m almost half way through the whole Bible. A first for me. I’ve never quite made it past Leviticus before. I’m sorry, Lord. 🙂
Hey, Monday. The school-bound kids arrive in my room at 6:55 a.m., it’s the second to last day of school. I try not to get too excited. But the mere thought of no more school drop-offs and pick-ups makes me so, so happy. After ten years of homeschooling and this new thing God has called us to for some of our kids, it has really been quite a thing. Bring on the lazy mornings with nowhere to be. At drop-off, the principal is there standing at the front gate shaking the hand of every student as they enter as she always does. Shake, greet by name, shake, greet by name. It’s beautiful. She catches my eye to wave as she does each morning, but this time she mouths, “I need to talk with you.” Uh oh. Did little mister throw a pencil for the last time? Did he stuff more tissue in his ears in the bathroom? (Gasp) Did he hit someone again? Now this, my friends is why I always put real pants on in the morning. Even though it’s the early morning, always wear real pants. No pajamas. You never know A) when you’ll break down (see my entry on Day 5), and B) when you’ll be waved down by the principal for an unplanned chat. Back home, my teens are holding down the fort while the little ones sleep. I scurry to get a shower and eat before they’re up and wanting breakfast. We get everyone clean, dressed, and fed and I settle in to work a bit on my computer for 30 minutes (which is never enough time) while the preschoolers watch a LeapFrog learning video. Sigh. I think I need office hours. After bedtime, the schedule is clear but so is my brain. Empty that is. I have nothing left to give after 8:30 p.m. We make it to lunch and then school pick-up time all in one piece. No homework for the school people, hooray! Tomorrow’s field day. I always loved field day.
It’s Tuesday. The Tuesday I’ve been waiting for for months. The last day of school. It was a rough start to the day. One kiddo had to stay home and miss it. When mom and dad say not to do something or you’ll get an immediate “nap” but you do it anyways, you’ll get an immediate nap. (Or at least some time spend laying on the couch with books.) Even when you’re too old, and it’s the last day of school. Bummerrrr. Oh, it’s so hard to follow through sometimes. But necessary. I’m reminded to love in the midst of foolish behavior and encourage even when one is crazy mad at mom. After an incident of much weeping and gnashing of teeth by the couch napper, we collected ourselves and had a great day anyways. Right before pick-up, we ran to the store and bought tulips for teachers. I teared up on the way to collect my kids thinking about all the ways this school and these teachers blessed our family this year. I kept it together in person when I thanked them, because, well you know. It’s awkward for a parent to cry on the last day of school. One might get the wrong idea.
Wednesday! My favorite. It’s the day the littles and I drop the big boys off at rock climbing class and bum around town for an hour and a half. But on this Wednesday we had the whole crew. Upon arrival at the rock gym, I smelled something mysterious and ominous and burny coming from the hood of the van. To make a realllly long story short? The car broke down at the park as we were waiting for the boys to be done with class, just minutes after I was on the phone with the auto shop getting a price quote for the work we knew needed to be done. The van was in the shop last week getting a diagnostic test run to see what the problem was. They said it’d be a week before they could fix it. Then just like that, we were calling to say Larry (our van, like the cucumber) would be towed there within the hour. It was done. We were rescued by my Dad, who was in town already. Have you ever wondered how 9 people would be rescued if they were broken down and stranded? I hadn’t. Who can fit 9 extra people in their vehicle? My Dad can, apparently, after making two selfless trips to town and back to shuttle us all home. We had Larry back that night. Our auto shop pretty much rocks. That afternoon I was in the mood to eradicate the house of extras, so I went through clothes (kids’ and mine) and got rid of two garbage bags full. Amen. Feels so good. This day was hard. The van, one particular kiddo having a really tough time, and some marriage communication issues. Ugh. But there were so many blessings. There is always hope, even when there appears to be none.
Finally. Thursday: a day at home. Admittedly, I was scared. I love having my kids home with me. It’s what I’ve known all these years. But school being out had me quivering a bit. For reasons beyond our control, the dynamic between a few of our kids is one we have to watch closely. School created the separation we’ve needed for a time, and now I was thrown right back into vigilant Watchmom. Not a role I love. We had a great day anyways once I got my attitude on straight about it all. Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, it stinks. But it’s the job God entrusted me with. These kids are who God entrusted me with.
Friday. Garage sale-ing with kids. We raid piggy banks and wallets so they have some money to spend. I’m looking for a dresser, they’re looking for a treasure. We find no dressers, but each finds a treasure or two. We head home and I spend precious time chatting on the lawn with one of the dearest women in my life. We shed tears, laugh at kids, and just enjoy being together. The day also brings freezing cold kiddie pools and frozen sprinklers. A cute neighbor kid, catch up on this season’s last episode of Call the Midwife, then falling into bed realizing I forgot to read the One Year Bible today… again. Boo.
A week in the life. There you have it. How is my life similar to yours? What stood out to you? I’d love to hear.