Well, so far I've done laundry, swept and mopped the kitchen/dining room, vacuumed cobwebs and corners, picked up the livingroom and hall, cleaned up various messes, including a 6 child playdough fest and some chocolate bunny eating....and prompted the boys to clean up the utility room. We have a brand-new hottub that I bought in the fall, thinking it would really help get us through a rough, cold winter. It sits there happily on its nice little deck, unfilled and not wired up. I told the boys I'd try to get their uncle to help us (he will, he's great), but they have to get that room clean. See, you have to walk through that room to reach the back door, and the bunny is in there, and the woodburning stove, complete with wood, and dust and dirt, it's the room where Champ the stinky dog sleeps, too.
On a day like today, everyone is here (except Sam, 12, he's fishing with some friends), so they help with Charlotte and and Jon, and I'm freer to get things done. The thing I hate: I barely get the kitchen shined and they're coming in for lunch. If I don't organize lunch, they'll be eating in groups all day. What about a few of the big kids who slept 'til noon? Their lunch will be at 4:00, and 4:15....I guess what I'm saying is: when you have 16 kids, the kitchen is open all day long. Of course, I still have some control over Camille, since she only nurses....And Charlotte, who's only allowed to eat in the highchair...the kids are only supposed to eat at the table, but sometimes I let them eat at the floor at the coffee table, like the four little girls on school mornings, watching Curious George....But absolutely NO eating on the furniture for anyone. And no drinks out of the kitchen, except for Paul and I, and water for the older ones. And no shoes on in the house.
It's interesting to find a balance between being too strict about things, and just letting things go. I can't maintain a house that looks like a furniture showroom, FAR from it. But I also don't like sticky, or dirty, or crumby floors....and I also like to have fun, not just clean house.
Thankfulness chases alot of evil away. So many things that want to drag me down are powerless when I start counting my blessings. The house is too small, the carpet looks awful, there's no room for the pans in the cupboard...I have a nice cozy house, with a bunch of funny sweet kids.
I adore my husband. I have two great kitty cats. I don't have to work, I get to stay here and enjoy these guys. I have excellent friends. I have brothers and a sister who are always there for me. I have a 15 passenger van that fits most of us, and I can take the kids on adventures. And right now I have a sweet, plump, smiling and drooling little bundle of joy. She just woke up from her nap, and wants me. That in itself is beyond joy: nursing and cuddling little Camille.