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, March 29, 2017

what??! no photos??!!

I really need to start snapping more pictures. Yesterday, for example, was a wonderful day, and now I'll just have to describe it.

The kids were busy and didn't want to get ready to leave the house. The girls were playing in their kinetic sand. So of course we had to look up DIY recipes to make our own, which is now on our To Do list. Charlotte Claire was in and out of the house, rain doesn't bother her, she was practicing her back handspring. Jonathan is reading a good book, and was training Sunny and cooking breakfast. It was just the sort of day to just LIVE.

Anyway, they all showered and ate, and out the door we went...first to the thrift store. I found a nice little cooler, a small-ish one, that seems like it will be very handy in the summer. The kids found a Jeopardy! board game, and the game of Life, both in excellent condition, for just a few dollars each. They could not wait to get home and play. (Evelyn played a game of Jeopardy! with them after the youth meeting last night. Then she said, "Do you want to know a secret? I took a huge nap after school today!" Camille said, "No wonder you're so happy!")

They also found a few nice gymnastics leotards, and a pair of nice shorts.

Then a coffee for me, and a few donut holes for them, they knew they each got three and one was left over, and I did not want one (yes I did! yes I did! but I said NO, thank you, like a good girl!), but the girl gave two extra, and let's just say it does not take much to make them happy. Four each. It was a good day. They ate two, and saved the others for after gymnastics.

Then the dollar store...there were huge bags of stuffing for a dollar, and huge bags of croutons, and huge bags of mini marshmallows, and huge bags of chocolate rice crispy cereal, and some good Easter candy, and some nice bowls from Target, and a few useful things like onion powder and new salt and pepper shakers. (We plan to make the chocolate rice krispy treats for Easter, Sam will be home!)

And...gymnastics class...then, grocery store for dog chow, milk,cheese, broccoli, bananas, chicken, corn, oats (I don't eat them anymore, but the kids do occasionally).

While we were in the grocery store, Jonathan was online on my phone putting in a pizza order. The three homeschool kids get their monthly free pan pizzas through the reading program, and when you order online, the large two topping pan pizzas are $7.99. So Jon ordered two large, and the three personals, and we picked them up on the way home.

Now this is a fine plan for a ticket out of making dinner for the family. And it's a good way to make your kids totally and completely love you. They see those pizza boxes, and YAY! Although I think Jonathan may have leaked the info via snapchat.

The problem is, I am not going to just eat pizza right now. So I had to keep my eyes off the boxes, and make some eggs for dinner for myself. A lot of good it did though, I ate pretzels later while they were playing Jeopardy! dang it. But not too many, and I had a decent day, calorie wise. is a new day, one that started at 5:58 a.m., thank you Duke. I did go back to bed, although I shouldn't have wasted the time, for all the sleep I didn't manage to get, but my bed is warm and cozy, so I couldn't resist.

Now I am up, the sky is clear and blue, and it is cold, 38 degrees (3.33 c). I don't want to clean the house, AGAIN, but I want it to be clean, so I suppose I will take a whack at it. My laundry hampers are pretty empty, it's like after all these years, the laundry is caught up. Even the little girls know how to do their own laundry, although I help them a bit. Jonathan is a champ, he is learning how to hang it all up and fold his home clothes and put it all away. Now there were years, kids, I find myself saying, when there was a laundry mountain in the doorway of the laundry room. An actual mountain that one would walk up one side of and down the other, in order to get into that laundry room. The room itself housed all the clothes for all the kids, until they got old enough to decide they wanted their own things in their own rooms. I just found it easier to pick out school clothes for 9 kids all from one room, and when we all went somewhere, I would just pick out everything at once, making sure it all went together nicely, ha. I hung almost everything up, there are racks on all the walls. It got messy, oh boy did it ever. I would clean it and say that it would stay that way forever, but life was so busy. I would do laundry day in, day out, and never get to the bottom, because day in, day out, the kids were wearing clothes and the bedding pile would be added to even as I tried to get in at least one load of it daily. I remember standing in that room looking at every single hamper, all sorted...the whites hamper, the lights hamper, the darks hamper, the towels hamper, and then the mountain of bedding...and when there was a newborn, a small bin of baby clothes, because I didn't wash those with the other clothes yet...I would stand there trying to decide which hamper needed to be washed the most urgently. They all seemed to be screaming PICK ME! And more than once I wished I had more than one washer, more than one dryer.

But, as much as I couldn't imagine it happening, those days passed into memories.

Having babies and toddlers and school kids and teenagers and appointments and meals to make and papers to sign and and and, for all those years...even when I sat to put my feet up, I had a baby or two or three sitting with me. I do not regret a minute of it, but it explains why I still cannot believe it when I have times where there is nothing URGENT to take care of! Yes, I am still busy, and there are things to do...but the intensity of those years has softened into a lull of slow busyness. And I am still the mom of 16 kids..butmost of them are independent. When Evelyn Joy turns 18 this summer, that will be eleven of our kids, 18 and over, leaving only 5 under 18. Miss Charlotte Claire will be 10 in May, and she has only Camille younger than her, heck when Benjamin was 10, he had EIGHT younger siblings.

Yes, life has changed. Now I have more time, but I want to use it in a good way. Today, I may take the kids to the pool, maybe for a long walk to check out if anything is blooming in the woods yet. There were things sprouting during the last warm up, and the grass here is surprisingly green. We need this sunshine to dry up the mud, thus keeping 12 paws cleaner, ha.

And that is the end of today's ramble.:)


Pamela Wade said...

I love reading your stories Della! I love the laundry part! I can sympathize...although we only have half of the kids you do it seems that the laundry is just one of those things that's always been hardest to get done. It is getting easier though...we just have 3 left at home...Gabby, who is 19, Gideon-15 and Abigail, who just turned 11. Our oldest is 35. We have 4 boys and 4 girls. I'm the oldest of 8 kids, also 4 boys and 4 girls! My mom came from a family of 8 kids also. When we kept having babies everybody thought we were trying to catch up to my mom...truth be told we would have passed her if we could have! I had Abigail when I was 44 years old. No more came after that! We've been homeschooling for about 22 years. The last 5 kids have been homeschooled their whole life. I love having them home with me. I've been reading your blog for several years. Just thought I'd tell you a bit about my story. I have a blog but I usually just talk mostly about my eBay/Etsy business on that. You are such a good mom! Your kids are really blessed to have a mom that enjoys her children so much! ~~Pam

Michelle in Florida said...

It is amazing, isn't it, when we spend years thinking that things will never change, and one day we realize those "good old days" (ha!) are indeed over. I only have 2 over 18 and 5 under 18 and it gets old sometimes with the homeschooling (teaching Algebra and all that fun stuff)...I have worries about how certain ones will make it in the Real World, but I had those same worries with my grown up kids, who are doing just fine. And sometimes I just feel tired...bored...wishing certain phases would just end But that day will come when it does end. And then we'll look back with rose colorered glasses and wish for those days back, right? Ah, life. :) :)
Your colder weather sounds nice to me right now, it's hot here. We should switch. ;)

16 blessings'mom said...

Pam, I love reading about what you sell! I browse the thrift store, thinking and wondering if this or that would sell, yet I never do it. I really should sell some things I have around here, like the perfectly nice leather SAS shoes I bought for someone and they didn't fit. I really should do this. And I love knowing you have homeschooled for so long, and your kids came out okay, ha. Seriously, I have the doubts sometimes, but then I read about kids growing up and being successful, and it reassures me.
Michelle, I was talking to my older daughter yesterday about the Real World, wondering how dramatically different it's going to be for my happy homeschoolers, but Em thinks they will do fine. They have a lot of friends, and a good social life, but I tell you, they have too much fun. Algebra...blah.:)
And yeah, I could use some heat today...the skies are supposed to clear up but it won't get out of the forties...I just want some warmth! Tonight, rain mixed with snow.

Pamela Wade said...

Della, I used to worry a lot when we first started homeschooling. I think my oldest was in 9th grade and then the two boys were in 3rd and 4th when we started. I had lots of days when I swore I would send them back to school! Then when our 4th was ready I was worried I wouldn't be able to teach her to read...that seemed like it would be the hardest thing! Well, she learned to read, and then the 5th one learned, and the 6th and 7th and 8th! The older kids are doing well out on their own so now I don't worry as much....but I probably should! It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with schooling your kiddos! I'm sure they will do great! ~~Pam

Joybells said...

Spring is late here in Oregon too. Although I think we have it better than you. :) The trees are finally blooming and the daffodils are doing the same. The cloudy gloom finally gave way to sunshine today and we got ourselves out in it, with a cheerful disregard for nap and dinner schedules! Hallelujah for spring!

I chuckled at the laundry description. My mom appointed me "laundry queen" and it was the best job ever. In between loading the washer and folding clothes, I got to curl up on the dryer and read books to my heart's content. Those were happy afternoons! We did have some mountains though!

16 blessings'mom said...

Emily was like that too, Joy, she would find a place to curl up with a book...sometimes she had to sneak out the door and climb a tree.