Here Comes Fall With Ten Kids, Watch Out! ~ A Day Of Photos ~

We all stumble in many ways.  Anyone who is never at fault in what they say, is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well James 3:2

Fall came in like waterfall after a dry spell in August. Done with siblings, car trip joys waning in the heat, itchy mosquito bites and too many hot dogs. The lament of the midwestern kid. Ready for school. The water starts pouring, new football schedules, permission slips, syllabi to sign for credit, new locker combinations, High school and being marked off for run on sentences...

Ten children all marching to their own tune. Those marches all require sustenance, clean clothes and rides. Meeting everyone's needs, feeling like an individual in the mass, and maintaining positive energy for our kids, foster kids and the community. For a bit of perspective a friend recommended a snap shot diary of a day in the life as a mom of 10, here goes...

Day starts with a very full mudroom. This week we have picture day, the Kindergarden student wearing colors specific to the day and birth family visits for the toddler. Clothes to find, and choose. Bows to match.

She does not walk to the bus with these guys, but glad kids walk in pairs. No time for breakfast today.  Most don't use alarms so it is everyone waking up together. Then finding socks, if mom is frying eggs standing as close as possible to get the egg, finding bread that shouldn't be where it is. We ran out of jam, Jalapeño jelly was not a hit. Left over Lasagna was the majority choice. 

One missed bus, 3 schools, 8 students it happens often. Mama and baby caught in the rain. He loved the sound on the van. It made me smile. Baby girl had part of a lemon bar in the car and was silent, knowing Mama made a mistake with this amazing treat before protein. 

NAP ONE! Quick time for Doctor scheduling, made the new wave of dental appointments the 12 of us over three days.  Clinic was accommodating. I took notes and pushed the Little People school bus button with my toe for baby girl. I think I pushed in 2 million times on hold and scheduling. Then on to calling if weighted blankets are covered by insurance. Baby girl managed to get in the vase cabinet, crash, she was fine but clean up and yup, crash woke baby up to get him!

I barter with myself for downtime, unload and load, four loads washed, dried and folded (not sorted) then sit for some reading or Bible time if babies are amenable. At Church we are studying James, I choose this chapter of James and this verse stood out for me. The humility of imperfection gives breath to try harder each day. I need to find more pockets of down time. Many days I meet a friend, or friends, to walk. 3 miles of movement a day is typical, it is a way to schedule mental health and makes me connect, always a highlight in my day. 
NAP TWO! Both babies nap, I package up some eBay sales and respond to questions. I try to sell last season's basketball shoes in great shape, things I am done using and sometimes a great thrift store find. I have not had anytime over the summer but the tradition in the last ten years is the sales from eBay or consignment go into Pay-pall and fund the kids sports programs. Having a big family can make it hard for kids to do camps, sports and so on. We feel like it was a choice to have these kids, anything we can do to give them every opportunity, we will! Finding thrifty deals or selling what we are not using is green, and helps keep these kids on the courts and fields!

Having promised to bake I had things set to go when kids got off the school bus, we made two blueberry pies with crumb crust.  I use tapioca for fruit pies and butter. For the crust I use apple juice 1/3 part of the water. I always have a snack out for the kids and we try to dive right into homework. This is a difficult time of the day getting to everyone and then the 5 older kids start coming home after 5, hungry and with their own homework. I find I am ON non-stop from 3 to 9 pm, usually not sitting down.
Getting football gear ready, 3 high school kids play sports right after school, 2 Jr high as well then the three younger all on teams. Keeping sports gear relatively clean and sorted is a big job. We use garage hooks. We also hang a built an board for each child IN THE GARAGE on the wall for individual sports schedules. Sports are 6 days a week on average 6 kids in activities per day with older kids being in daily programming. Upside, the older they get the more transportation seems to be available. Ride help is always such a gift for the family.  DOORBELL! It's Mr R to pick up for football! The player ate early because he was picked up at 5 and dinner will not be on the table until 6.
As kids focus on homework and some practice, I sorted our upper red bins for season, I keep football, soccer and baseball socks sorted as well as rain gear and string bags in these bins. Things when you need them you need them ASAP, but are not underfoot.
Dinner! I made a bunch of lasagna's, Chili, cakes, baked chicken and tater tot casserole (an odd but family favorite)Lasagna served as breakfast for many so I pulled out a shrimp/broccoli cream base and added it to cooked rice. 80% of the kids really liked it, the others had buttered noodles and apple squeezes. 
What good sisters! The rain did not keep away the cheering section. Cold, not their sport, but they did it, we laughed about it and got home drenched.
After dinner and game, mom and dad snuck out for a 3 mile walk. We actually got turned around and did a jog through the very dark woods. 6miles later we came home, self sufficiency had waned and kids needed focus to get ready for bed. 
Time for bed, melting down. Mama up rocking babies checking in with older boys. Difficulty with the oldest boys clashing,fighting and needed mom to be a sounding board. Praying for discernment and guidance to help them. Younger ones watching the faith and family show about the Bates Family, sweet show, funny moments. Perfect timing for some blueberry pie, milk, tea, prayers and BED. In the summer we read Proverbs or Psalms for the day of the month, searching for new habits to weave scripture into daily life. I'd love ideas. Mom and Dad catch up on chores, work and talking to the older kids, bedtimes roll from 8pm to 9pm to 11pm to and Dad midnight.


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