Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lucy & the Snow

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Note

This morning the very last thing in the world I felt like doing was sitting down and reading the Bible. I was thinking of all the reasons I really shouldn't have to. Sheff is working all weekend as a site coordinator for basketball, thus I am solo with the 8 and, well thats a lot! And the house needs some love. Papers from 7 emptied Friday folders, cupcake crumbs, lonely socks under anything that has an under and the list goes on. There are emails to return, calls to make, bills to pay. You get the idea. Then I even started down the lane of feeling lackluster faith. How connected have I been? Maybe I need to change my Lenten goals because so far I am 2 wins 2 loss for days on track, thats not such a hot record.

What changed was a note on the fridge. One of the kids had written a note "Mom bible remember that  every day for Lent!" Every outlined in pencil by another sibling. So I took my coffee and plopped down in the middle of it all with my new birthday Bible from Sheff. Cartoons were on, a large box blanket fort was being constructed by my feet and Lucy was alternately kissing and biting my arm but I opened up to Joshua 23:16 and got to it.

In summary the message was it is wise to identify our weak spots before we break down. What a perfect message for me today. One of my weak spots is rationalizing away what I know I need to do. Also, letting mess and business take away from prioritizing prayer time.

The other amazing thing for me was how my sitting down and reading the Bible changed the energy around me. Questions of what I read, what it meant, lots of good job mom and way to go! Taking the time to show the kids I value follow through and how as a family we can really support each other's goals, all it took was a note!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Balance Dreams

Surfboard Balancing
After a very busy weekend the house can feel a bit like a pressure cooker. A big school event on Friday, a birthday party Saturday, going out, church and Scout adventure means not a lot of time to keep things on the grid at home.

I had a dream last night that I was chasing a bouncing ball with the words BALANCE written in large block letters. It would bounce from child to child, to Sheff, onto the desk, the laundry pile, back out of reach. All the while everyone is happy, having fun watching mom hop all over trying to get the ball. In the dream I felt content if not slightly giddy, feeling like as long as the ball did not hit the ground it would all work.

I don't need to delve very far into my psychoanalytic roots to know life in a family of ten requires a juggling act. I think needing to see the block letters, putting balance out there as what can't fail is important. Keeping kids feeling loved and happy while we manage is also paramount. I want to make sure there are moments we can put the ball someplace safe and take a breather.

Hoping for a week of well synced calendars, time for family highlights and all balls moving gracefully through the air.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Working Late, Working Together

Sheff came home for 45 minutes tonight and had to turn around and go back to work. He had to clean up a job sight so new work can start in the morning. Perks and pit falls of being an owner, harder to clock out mentally, if not impossible. Most nights all 10 of us sit down to eat together, not always at the same time, not always a perfect meal, but we are together. We might be late to dance, miss a study group, cut a meeting short but we make it happen. Sheff and I also are up very late, getting work done, being social, whatever did not get accomplished in the daylight hours.

Little workers age 8, 6, 6 and 5 building the play set out back.
Tonight, going back to finish up, Sheff took James. James can clean better than most adults, he is fast and strong, a good worker. Last summer he went to a job with Mick and John and they cleaned up debris after demo. I remember them coming back filthy and happy. I am glad when there is real work for them, kids need work as much as play. If it was all the time of course it would not be healthy, but when they know they are essential, needed and useful they truly take PRIDE in what they do.

Tonight James asked me quietly "Mom, can I go help Dad? I can cheer him up and get it done fast, please?" I am glad to send them off together. I know Sheff has to do what he has to do and if he is not here I love that he is still spending time with one of his kids. As these guys grow I know everyone will help out a lot as they all ready do. Laundry, the kitchen, shoveling, it is all a group effort.

Someday this work ethic will pay off for each of them, either way we are in it as a family:)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Re Set Button

Lenten goals 2011
One of my favorite times of year is Lent because it is a chance to re set so to speak. Our family uses it as a time to clean house. Words that have slipped easily into our speech that are hurtful, or habits that are not helping us stay on top of our game we try to sweep out the door. Kids find things they want to work on and we write down goals as a family. We try to give up one thing and take on another.

Last year Annie gave up candy and took on playing nicely with Daisy. The best part is that new patterns are formed that stick! Annie and Daisy figured out they liked playing a pound puppy game that a year later they still go play and are engrossed for hours. Our bad language jar gets lean towards the end of lent, and creative putdowns are common "You hog nosed ninny wit!!"replaces other less imaginative slander. Sheff usually needs the most reminders to stay on top of his Lenten goals, but years ago Lent gave way to his first Triathlon.

This year I need a big push. I am feeling different aspects of life slide every which way. Too much time on catch up and not enough efficiency. I have put off cleaning my desk so long it looks like I am attempting paper sculptures and my lofty goals of re organizing the fire place room have been replaced with hopes of simply vacuuming said room weekly. Sigh.

This Lent I really do want to find new energy for the mundane.

Lent is also a time we try to eat simpler food, out with the processed snacks.
Time to shake off the complacency get a little better, a little cleaner in word and deed. Going to try reading Fly Lady, or other motivational cleaning & from scratch cooking web sights (send me ideas for this if you have them!). Going to use Facebook and Pinterest only when I am on the treadmill working out. We will stick to tradition of attending Mass at least twice a week during Lent with the kids. I am going to support my family as they brainstorm and outline their own goals.

It's all possible, I just need to push that re set button and get back to basics!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our New Ride & the Best Car Models in the Biz

Daisy & Lucy show off the new ride, the whole time Dad saying, "They really shouldn't be up there it could scratch the paint!" We are sure grateful for this ride and these sweet girlies!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Getting Out & Loving What's In

My first Pro Basketball game. Very fun I liked the big Slavics. 
Sheff and I have taken on a bit of college fever going out and remembering how to connect and laugh during the week on a regular basis.

It has been great. We have invited people out that we did not know and every single time it has been nothing but fun. It is so easy to get into habits of who we know socially, but the fact that Sheff's college friends are on the east coast for the most part and our extended families are not close by calls for a little effort. This has also been a chance to reconnect with our closest friends.

Then in the morning to wake up to these kids? The best part. Getting Lucy out of her crib, how sweet and soft her cheek is when I kiss her good morning. And the kids ask me who we saw what we did. We curl up on the rug with hot cocoa and coffee and they tell me the ins and outs of the night, each detail we missed. What the baby-sitter taught them about high school, which sibling started a fist fight, which sibling made peace. Who helped Lucy, who spilled, who cleaned it up.

Annie asked me what I thought was the most important thing about being a friend. I had to sit down and think about that one. Well I had to sit down because Lucy can now open the toilet and I wanted to pay attention to Annie while saving myself from Lucy's 3rd bath of the day:) I told her I think friendship is about loving someone up, at least my version. Remembering what they care about, asking about what they are worried about, helping them when life gets crazy, sharing your talents freely and generously. I also told her that friends forgive each other when they mess up and learn from the journey.

I am glad I am not a 10 year old girl, whew. She has a long road ahead. Its so important that Sheff and I show how we enjoy the kids, how we enjoy going out, how we simply and basically love LIFE. While at the same time teaching respect, generosity and service.

Maybe we don't have it all figured out, lets meet up and you can give us a few ideas. :)