Sheff using a child for resistance training, an entry into the world of sports.
Sports. I have entered the world of youth sports head on, rather like being catapulted into it. I really have no knowledge of sports. I love dancing, walking, even running. Understanding the rules of sports is where I am hopeless. I refer to a goal in basketball and a touchdown in soccer. I encourage the boys to pass down court when we are on a field and to shoot when they have a football. Hopefully they love me and my snacks enough to forgive such transgressions. Sheff loves sports. I was not aware of just how much until we had kids. He really, really enjoys throwing and catching things. We have 4 playing basketball this season, with Sheff coaching or assistant coaching 3 of the players, and will have 6 playing next basketball season. Football was blissfully light with only 3 in gear. Baseball is our highest level of participation. So far Daisy dances, I am better at this lingo. I should probably get a 101 book on each sport. But then I might care too much. Right now I fully buy into the idea of enjoying the game, having fun, being a good sport. If I understand the ins and outs I might start sounding like the parents who actually know what they are talking about and the kids might miss excited slightly confused mom on the field/court/rink.
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
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
Finding out our family of ten is going to be at home together for the foreseeable future lead us to brainstorm some structure. This schedule allows kids ranging baby to senior in high school some level of routine. We have a clear plastic tote for phones for the two hour afternoon slot in the kitchen. Our daily and weekly chores are not changing. Over the summer we are much more relaxed. For our family, accustomed to athletics, faith formation, and being on the go, this will be a challenge. We are doing our best to meet it head on with: ~ 1 Hour Outside activity (at least, can combine another requirement such as chores) ~ 1 Hour Reading without a screen, can be a book, comic, printed out article. ~ 1 Hour Fitness, this can be walking the dog, weights, running, list choice: ~ 1 Hour childcare slot, or playing with one of the youngest three ~ 30 min MATH related time, online games, worksheets, watch Kahn academy, Youtube ~Help the household r