Monday, December 7, 2015

Ordinary Days

No we are NOT getting another dog (for the rest of my life. over my dead body, never ever), but Patrick LOVES these books and I want to remember how excited he is every time he comes home from his school library day and shows me what new dog book he checked out.  Although dogs are not my favorite subject, we've learned so much from these books, and I've found them interesting because they go into the history, geography, etc.  I think besides sports, Patricks favorite thing to do is to have me read to him.  He loves books, and begs to go to the library.  He is the sweetest nicest boy ever still and a joy to be around.

Janey does her homework with the kids every afternoon. 

Andrew is my kitchen helper and loves to cook. He will do anything I ask-he's the most helpful kid ever, no matter what. He follows instructions and is so interested in it all.  I will always remember going to conferences this fall because I could have just cried-the teachers all said the nicest things ever about him-he's kind to all, so helpful, loves to learn, the first one with his hand up when a teacher says, "I need a helper" even before he knows what the chore is, he diffuses situations, he comes to school excited to learn every day.  Yes, this is him to a T. 

We had our own very simple Thanksgiving the day before Thanksgiving-older two home from college and just us-so nice to have them all around the table again, even if it was a lot of co-ordination. I am often so tired when the older ones come home-it always seems so chaotic to me and is a whole new schedule/meal adjustment and maybe I am not good with those things, but I am trying to figure it out so I don't feel so scattered.  It seems no matter how prepared or scheduled I try to be, something throws me off.  I felt like I went to the store a dozen times and forgot laundry detergent each time which is not conducive to two college kids coming home with laundry, something I love to stay on top of.  The chute was backed up past the first floor.  Ick.  The younger ones are all excited about their older siblings coming home and so the house takes on a party atmosphere-harder to get them into bed for sure, harder to keep our schedule.  And then the older kids have their own schedules also, like eating breakfast at lunch time, and that doesn't fly here. Any advice from moms of big families with older kids in college, bring it on. I'll take it.  Like maybe there is a special concoction to make them all little again? Yes, that is what I'm looking for. :)  There are no secrets I know that-it's work, and then you figure things out, and then a whole new stage of parenting comes on, and then you figure it out again-and then you are a master at every stage, but it is all over.  Learning, growing, stretching, lessons, knowledge, wisdom.  

My helper again. And poor Jeff-maybe we should be fake tree people. I said that to Abbey and she said,"No, please, don't do that to me."  Our tree is always crooked.  This time I slipped some toy blocks in the base and it held it straight. 

She loves it. So fun seeing things through their eyes for the first time. She wouldn't have remember last year at just 2, so now everything is new again and wonderful.

These two are best friends. Janey adores him and never stops following him everywhere.  She loves all her brothers.  Just today she said, "Where are my boys?"  She watches out the window for them to get home from school, and she has to see them get off on the bus in the morning (she is so disappointed when she sleeps in and misses it.)  She laughs so so hard at Matthew, he still cracks her up the most, and she gets so excited when "Idee" comes home from college. (She can't say s's yet.) She will wrangle them all into playing with her, or reading her books. 

She has to talk to Abbey on the phone every time we do. It is the cutest thing. I think their relationship has grown stronger with Abbey going off to college just because they don't take each other for granted. 

I always find neat photos on my camera, thanks to Matt. He figures things out I could never do.  He has always been good at this sort of thing-from Legos to electronics, he can figure it out on his own. He is learning so much in high school it blows my mind away. When did high school get so hard? I tried to proof read a literature paper a few weeks ago and I was so so impressed, I don't think I could ever write anything like that at any age. 

Red shoes. She was so so excited for this dress and these shoes, which have been waiting for weeks in the closet. 

St. Nicks Day

I thank God for my mother-in-law who has her annual party every year where Santa visits. This makes it so easy for me-no trips to the mall or other horrid places or lines etc. The group of little ones around his feet get smaller and smaller but this is life, as they grow. It's so sweet to watch their faces. Janey was too scared to sit on his lap, she was petrified when he came in the room. She stood next to him with me holding her. You wonder what goes through their heads. 

It's the second week of Advent already-it's amazing how fast this season goes. 

14 comments :

  1. I have been reading your blog for years, and am truly thankful for your calm, wise voice... a much needed respite from all the blogs today full of materialism and self-promotion. I am a 33 year old mother of 3 (my youngest boy and your Janey were born around the same time), and find so much wisdom in your blog... not only mothering wisdom (which I truly appreciate), but life wisdom. The way you approach life/children/family is very encouraging, and I feel very much the same way as you (particularly concerning a mother's role in the home and in her children's life). Thank you for all of these glimpses into your world, for all of the wonderful advice through the years, and for being such a refreshing voice (and advocate) for mothers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. I love it when I see you have posted. I also appreciate so much the recent gift guides and your book recommendations. What a wonderful mother you are which is reflected in your wonderful children. Thank you so much for blogging. You are a wonderful voice from whom I learn.

      Delete
    2. Yes Allison, I completely echoe all your sentiments!! It is so nice to read a blog that ISN'T flashing ads and ISN'T full of self-promotion. I am a 54 year old mother of three and wish I had been able to read this blog when I was a young mom!

      Delete
  2. I just love the picture of Janey doing her homework with the big kids after school. And the little nurses hat. Heart melt :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a beautiful family you have! We have 6 and only one in college. When she comes to visit they are so excited but I understand the chaos. I wonder how were things when she was here all the time only 2 years ago. I try to make her favorite foods. With her being on her own things are quite different found I had to put some more "guidelines" in place to peace.

    I need yours and other moms thoughts on something. How do you handle a college age kids brining a girlfriend of boyfriend to visit? Do they stay in your home? My daughter has an apartment in college and boyfriend is coming to visit her and stay there. I don't like it at all and we've had many heated debates about it. Thoughts and good ways to approach this and also a visit to our home?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen! I wish I could help you and I feel your pain, as these issues are always more complicated than just saying no. I haven't had to think about this all yet but I think you are right to express your dislike of the apt. visits-I would feel the same as you. So much of the home visit depends on who this boyfriend is, how serious they are, etc. My mom has told me this excellent advice-ask questions, lots of them. Make them think about things from other points of views (siblings, parents, etc) and examine the purpose behind their actions.

      Delete
  4. awesome post!! I CANNOT and will not admit that Janey is that big!!! What?!?! As far as college scheduling, I think it's different for each kid. My oldest is away at his 2nd year of college and when he comes home, it is like a party here too!! He usually gets up early, but he stays up late...and I hate to go to bed before he does...he's only here a few days at a time. We are fake tree people..much to my husbands disappointment. BUT, I have severe allergies to pine soooo...... no alternative. At least our fake tree is pre-lit and quite pretty! I hear ya on the dog business too...when this one passes away I do NOT want another one. We will see if I am out-voted at that point...but hopefully that is a few years away. Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy all those sweet kiddos and when you find the magic potion to make them all toddlers again I will be your 1st customer!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Merry Christmas. It's so great to see the kids. Janey is just precious. I too can't believe how big she has gotten. I like what you said about everything about Christmas is new again to her. I can relate to that feeling. At 49.. Sometimes when I pull out old Christmas decorations from my childhood, I get twinges of those same feelings again. Somehow I can still feel how magical it felt when my Mom would pull out those decoration boxes. Like one song says, Christmas memories, they are the sweetest ones I know. All God's blessings to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just love this posting. It's like everything that is right in this world shows up here in the words and pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I absolutely LOVE your "ordinary days" posts! They always warm my heart!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my goodness, I loved this post SO much! I love all your thoughts, pictures, etc. It makes me feel like all is right in the world and that I'm not alone in my efforts on the home front. Hope you are enjoying a marvelous December!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for saying that about the college kids!! We have 6-- one on his own (basically) at 23, two in college (senior and freshman), and three at home (ages 15, 13, and 10) I find myself both anticipating and dreading their visits because of the upheaval it causes in the home. They come home ready to relax and unwind and the others are still in their normal schedule of homework and sports and bedtimes etc.-- so basically someone is awake AND asleep pretty much 24/7 in our house right now. I am trying very hard to enjoy the flux of this life and not hang on too tightly to my beloved routine. But oh it is SO hard!! #typeAmom #challengebreedscharacter #gladitsnotjustme

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this post. The family with all it gears spinning and turning...it's a beautiful thing. We are in "party" mode here, too. 2 college graduates and 1 college student mixed with 3 younger siblings. Lots of cooking, lots of laundry, and lots of laughter. But truthfully my laughter is often on the verge of hysteria. The days all end the same though...with me crawling into bed exhausted but thanking God for this bumpy, crazy, wonderful life as a mother.
    PS My oldest 2 girls are just now able to afford living on their own. It is getting easier. They "get it" a little more and are really helpful when they want to be :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been a terrible blog reader and writer over the past several months---but of course, as always, I come back to yours! So love this post and seeing your babies all growing up! :) Your tree reminds me so much of our tree! The love-filled handmade ornaments and ones gathered over the years--just beautiful! Love, from down South!

    ReplyDelete