I have decided it is OK for the house not to be perfect. I just asked M to straighten the blocks as I write this so I might be a bit off base but overall I am trying to let go a bit more on the household ambiance. I still try to keep clothes put away and the front room and kitchen tidy before I sleep. I have decided forts can be left up overnight, animal zoos left for playing with after school and clean diapers left on the bed for future folding. I have more fun hearing about a school story or having Daisy teach me ballet moves than vacuuming and washing the windows seems to happen a couple times a week rather than a couple times a day (as is actually needed, imagine 16 hands you get the idea). Sheff woke up early the other day and announced that life is short and we need to enjoy each day more fully. I squinted open one eye and wondered if an odd alien reversal had happened when we were sleeping. Usually I am the one with the lists and ideas and annoyingly peppy demeanor at 7am, what if my husband took on this persona? I wasn't sure how I would like it. But as luck would have it Sheff's epiphany has led to a "man cave" in the garage equipped with a new lat pull down machine and the desire to gain lots of pounds of muscle. I am not longer worried we switched personas. But I have decided to let up on the perfectionist leanings. I will make sure the house is tidy and kept up but I will put off vacuuming for a good story, let wash go an extra day and have a stack of papers on the counter at all times. Life is precious, kids grow fast, husbands build man caves and I don't want to miss any of it.
Today as we celebrate Veterans day, I wanted to talk to the kids about both what it means to serve and how we can help our troops. Having family serve in the military can be a source of fear and pride. The kids do not have immediate family abroad but have heard from their Grandfathers and family friends about both war and leadership serving in the armed forces. We made a list of what WE could do from home. ~The kids' school has a program to send care packages to the troops. Shop, Ship and Share has lists of helpful things to buy and send to the troops. We got beef jerky, sunflower seeds and baby wipes for the kids to bring in to school for the program. Many locations participate, google to find locally! http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/press_room/e-zine/articles/index.php?item=4518 ~ http://www.operationgratitude.com Check out for more ideas and programs happening to support our troops. ~Sending Halloween Candy to the troops, google the closest locations. We found a
I had an aquatience last week remind me I had a lot of children, and said she was hesitant to celebrate our family because it seemed like too much . This was a chance run in on friday. For those of you who know me, know how much I struggle with that assessment. Girls with eating disorders often say: "I feel like too much" kids who have behavioral problems know people say they are "too much" and big families are often seen as really neat from a distance but too much . First, everyone has their own too much threshold. It is ok that my passion is not yours! Spending all day making Kombucha like one of my fiends is too much for me, or singing in a show, but I am able to celebrate this difference without judging this difference. Welcoming children into our home with a 100% chance of heartbreak (sadness over them leaving or sadness someone I love is loosing a birth parent) is not for everyone! My response to negativity is very often to retreat, get off social media, tr
We welcomed eight children into our home between March 2020 and today, we have had twenty five children placed as foster children since 2015, and an additional five as respite placements. These numbers look so bland on paper. Thirty children have been part of our daily living in the last six years, we have nine of our own children. In putting some thoughts on paper about what these numbers mean, it boils down to acceptance and hard work. If anyone is new to the Otis family speak, "our own" is a loaded term. We have five biological children and four adopted children. Early on one of our sons told us the power of the question "which ones are your own?" And the fact that I answered without hesitation all those years ago, "they are all our children" from birth or adoption, feeling fully accepted and claimed has become the way we walk in this family. This does not take away the respect and open conversation about birth families, first families and sacrifice. F