summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

home again...but phew, that was fun!!!

Miss Camille and I...

We had the pool all to ourselves...Sonja 12, Jonathan 10, Charlotte Claire 8, and Camille four youngest, went with me. I would have taken a few more of them, but the minivan was in the shop. I was ready to call the whole thing off because of that van, but Kathryn assured me that she was totally fine if she didn't get to go, Suze too. They said they would stay home with Joseph, and Evelyn, and that we could just go with the little kids because they were so excited to go...

So we did.

And it was interesting, going with just those four younger ones of mine. It was like having a small family. It was only 25% of my kids:) When there are older kids, sometimes the younger ones don't get as much attention. And this worked out wonderfully, because Miss Sonja K. and I had a great time together.

This was taken from the room where the pool and hot tub are at the hotel...oh the contrast between the frigid day outside and that warm humid room.

Miss Char enjoyed fixing cups of tea for herself.

Both of these girls enjoyed the breakfast...those Belgium waffles, with strawberries and whipped cream. Scrambled eggs and bacon (what I had, along with a "diet" yogurt with berries and raisins...and a little whipped cream:)). As we walked down to breakfast I said to them, "Remember, take what you will eat and eat what you take...", and they already know this so they said it along with me. I don't think it's nice to waste food, but I also don't force them to eat it if they really don't want to. I just want them to be conscious of not just taking a bunch and wasting it. If they really like something, they can always go get more.

This little guy, my ten year old Jonathan, is a sweetheart. He is like a little adult, in so many ways, yet he simply delights in things like this little trip. He had it all mapped out on his tablet, and told me where and when to turn. He likes to have the room key, and he got to sleep in one of the beds for the first time ever, he has always gotten the floor on hotel trips.

Sonja and I enjoyed watching the Duggar family on 19 Kids and Counting. We were fascinated at this family so much like ours, yet so different. We only have three less children than they, yet their house is easily twice the size. Their laundry room...never mind. We agreed that Jim Bob is too bossy. If a girl is old enough to "court", is she not old enough to be trusted to behave herself? Do they not believe in victory over sin at all? To send the little siblings along to spy for, it seems strange.

Anyway, to each his own I guess.

Our little getaway was refreshing and relaxing. Spending time with Sonja was time extremely well spent. She is the fifth girl in the five-girls-in-a-row-in-five-years. Margaret 18, just graduated and is going to France tomorrow with Emily, then to Norway a week. Kathryn 16 is more outgoing, she WILL get her attention. Plus, she homeschools this year and has lots of time with me. Evelyn 15 is full of drama. When she is around, she will not be ignored:). Suzanne also homeschools this year, so I see her more. She tends to be quiet, but she is very thoughtful. Then there is Sonja. She is SO funny, quick with the jokes, and also she is clumsy. She slips and drops things and bumps into things. A few years back one of her brothers started this, "Sonja's home!" thing when there was a crash or something broke. She laughs at herself too, and readily acknowledges that she is clumsy. She is also lovely....

Anyway, it was nice to get away and bond with the younger ones. We really had a nice time. It's probably good we don't do this too often, they so appreciate it and I wouldn't want them to get spoiled and not delight in it the way they do.

Home....I walked in the door with groceries, had to stop on the way home for dog food. I also got strawberries and apples and cereal and turkey breast and crackers. After putting away the groceries and sweeping and mopping and hanging up wet bathing suits and unpacking bags and straightening up, it was time to make dinner...we had taco salad, and pasta, and kielbasa, and strawberries. There were 12 of us here, so we each got three. There are a few leftover ones, I think I get dibs on them. I hate rationing things out, but if I don't, there will be someone who doesn't get any. Shh, but it has happened more than once through the years that we would be at the table eating dinner, and one of the kids would walk into the dining room and be like, "Seriously? No one told me we were eating!"...and oops, we didn't notice. Or one of the other kids will say, "Mom, I TOLD you that such-and-such wasn't here, and you didn't listen to me!" I do have superior drowning-things-out skills. It's a coping mechanism. How can I remember the salt and pepper and the spoons and napkins and to thicken the soup and way back then, take care of a baby and a toddler...AND listen to everything everyone said to me?

Anyway. One my most embarrassing moments was because I tuned someone out when she was telling me something that had happened in school. Abigail was in fifth grade. Now, in my defense, she was like ten years old. I was pregnant for our ninth child, Margaret, and Sam was only a year old. So I was busy. Anyway. Abigail won a pencil in school, for some reason that I forget now. She did tell me. She said she did. She said she did when her teacher asked me at Open House if Abigail told me about the pencil, and I said, "No, she didn't.", and Abigail said, "Mommy, I did too tell you!" The teacher just smiled at me...but I knew what she was thinking. I tried so hard to make it look like I could handle things. I wouldn't want the teachers to know the truth, I was in way over my head! I couldn't keep track of everything! Permission slips and lunches and sneakers on gym days! Valentine's cards and cupcakes for class parties and library books and signing and returning those pesky report cards! It was too much! I got through it one day at a time. I made sure they got to school well fed and neat and clean and brushed, with nice clothes on....while the house was a tornado. I couldn't do it all! And when I got the chance, I left this tornado of a house and took them on adventures. Which got me further behind here, but life is short.

Anyway. Life is still short, but it certainly is much easier now. While floating in the pool with only four very well-behaved children, I had this sudden longing for all of my children, back when they were all young and all needed Mommy so much. It was too quiet, too easy...these kids of mine had a wonderful childhood. There was always someone to play with. When I took them on little getaways, or even just to the beach, they had each other.

I am sitting here in the quiet...the dogs are snoring, the dryer is running, but other than that, just the sound of my keyboard. The kids are at activity club. Any minute now they will come bounding in the door with their stories of what they made or heard or did or had for snack...and these days, I listen.

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