So far so wonderful this blessed summer. Happiness in my heart to have my kids home every day. I love having them around, taking them to exciting places, hearing their stories all day, watch them play together. I love the non rush mornings now where each one wakes up when they want and come into my room and either get in bed with me or give me a big "good morning" hug.
Do I want the children to go away and watch TV sometimes because I just can't handle them anymore? Yes. Do I push them outside with a popsicle so I can think straight and not have to deal with their petty problems and constant nagging? Yes, sometimes. Do I get annoyed and raise my voice from time to time out of frustration? yes. Do I long for nap time so I can assure peace in my world for 2 hours a day? I love my Sammy but I know he is safe in his crib and not causing messes, getting into the fridge and dropping eggs on the floor, not running out into the street, trying to drink all purpose cleaner. Yes, I want the break!!!
But I feel so grateful that I feel more and more linked and tied to my children as they grow- and the desire to pursue a time consuming hobby or to leave the house and make money becomes less and less. I have learned to know and appreciate this small time in my life when my kids are small. They really are so fun and entertaining. Their innocence and their thoughts and words melt my heart. Their easiness to giggle and cry really make the life experience come alive. I love all their emotions. Before I know it, I will suddenly have more "me" time and I will get to focus on other parts of my progress on this earth, but for now- this is what I really want. In the end, spending all this time with my children and strengthening home and family will bring the greatest reward. Despite it being the hardest thing I have ever done- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I can do hard things!!!
*We have been swimming almost daily at the health club. The kids love love it. I actually love it too once I get this big body into a swimsuit. Ahhh what a feat!!! Hauling 4 kids is a challenge- since 2 of them don't swim at at all. Kenzie and Julia are a little behind because we were basically "swimless" for a couple years due to tubes in everyone's ears except Kenzie. But I figured the more I take them, the more they will learn. This fall I will put them in private lessons since they are booked for the summer.
*We've had some great summer rain so far. We are so blessed by all this rain! Thank you Heavenly Father for providing all this moisture. The best part is the air is still warm- the kids got all muddy in the rain yesterday. Dad pushed them on the tire swing in the middle of the storm. It was so exciting for them. I can't believe how much shelter our tree provides. I love our big tree in the backyard.
*I love all the time the kids are spending with each other. School really separates the siblings. They are getting along really well- little fights here and there but that is usually because they are tired, hungry or hot. Mckenzie does Julia's hair in the morning. Julia loves having her hair played with. Me too!! I saw Kenzie scratching Julia's back just because Julia loves it. It was really sweet. Julia also has a huge heart and plays with Xander a lot. They play well together but I also think she is just a really kind person and wants her brother to be happy.
*Kenzie and Xander built a "shade" fort in our front yard. It was creative. I'm sure our neighbors were kindly waiting for the mess to be picked up. It was pretty redneck looking. Old towels and blankets stretched over an old card table.
*Tons of bike rides around the neighborhood. A lot of scraped up knees and elbows, itchy mosquito bites, and sun kissed skin. Love the freckles.
*Even though we go to a nice outdoor pool at the health club, Chay decided to fill up our kiddy pool one afternoon and guess who played the most in it? Kenzie, our 9 year old. Ha. They all played in it. Dad put it in front of the slide.
*I taught Kenzie how to use the washing machine the other day. I'm just worried she will wash a stained shirt without spraying it first and putting it in the dryer- Letting go of laundry is hard for me. But I am trying to not be a control freak so my kids can learn the skill as well. I have never sorted kids clothes by color. Just throw their dirty clothes all in together- besides their nice nice clothes- which are very few- they all wear second hand, hand me downs anyway.
*Terrace Days- once a year the city celebrates itself. Blow up Bouncy houses, a climbing wall, vendors. Fried Pickles!!! SO GOOD!!! We lost Samson for 10 minutes- it felt like an hour. My heart sank. I could not find him for so long. Chay got the police. I was screaming his name but everything was so loud. A couple nice people started helping me. We finally found him way out in the middle of a baseball field far away from us. Oh my heart. Oh my heart. His head was buried in his small hands and stream of tears were coming down his face. Oh I just couldn't stop crying for the longest time. What a nightmare. I love that kid so much and to see him so scared and alone broke my heart.
*We watched a big firework show that night. It was awesome. The kids loved it. Julia was being her worrisome self again thinking the world was going to catch on fire or we were going to get hit by the fireworks. Dad pretended to be hit and she freaked out. Julia just likes to worry for some reason. She is always concerned about something. She was a wreck when we lost Sam.
*Oh and the climbing wall. My kid's favorite. Especially Julia. She scaled it like spider man. They love the challenge besides Xander- he kind of follows the girls around and so when he got up pretty high he got scared. But I told him to finish it until he got to the top!! He did. He was so proud of himself for accomplishing something so great, even though he was super apprehensive about the whole thing. Xander has really improved on riding his bike. He loves it. I can't believe he will be 5 next month. How exciting to see my beautiful boy grow up and learn.
*The kids decided this was going to be the slumber party summer. They took off the mattresses from the bunk bed and laid them down next to each other on the floor to make a king. They sleep together every night. They are up their giggling for the longest time. They like to tease Julia and steal her silky pink blanky. But it's fun tease, I think. Anyway- I've decided to just let it be for the summer. They still have to "make" the bed in the morning but it just gets jumped on and ruined by midday anyway. Chay decided to join them the other night and he fell asleep with them. Mckenzie who is a snuggler loved it and kept talking about it the next morning.
*Scripture study is getting a little weak as a family. Now it's a quick verse with a small explanation and kisses good night since bedtime suddenly went from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. The cool nights that don't get dark until 9 are so tempting to enjoy. We have a goal to read the entire book of mormon by the time Julia gets baptized this fall. I am determined to make scripture study more meaningful again. We usually gather around the table and I try to have a coloring sheet for them to color or they need to draw what we're talking about. I ask millions of questions so they stay focused. It's hard work. But I really do feel the blessings and protection that come from meaningful scripture study. It is our duty as parents that our children learn to love and know the scriptures- so we keep on plowing through. But some days it is hard!!
*I want to be better at Family Home Evenings too. I am kind of scattered brained about life and so I don't prepare very well. Since our children are not very busy yet and our life isn't chaotic like some families, I kind of lean on the idea that we do a lot together as a family- but I want more spiritual and gospel learning centered family home evenings. I got on Pinterest looking for new ideas for a quick lesson, and then I just felt inspired to have Mckenzie teach the lesson. She grabbed the Friend Magazine, and I kid you not- she gave the best lesson. She was an amazing teacher. She asked good questions, she had 2 activities- the kids listened to her better than they do with Chay and I. She shared neat stories and even bore her testimony at the end. It was so wonderful to see my daughter act so grown up and to see a talent developing. On my to-do list is to write her a little note and tell her how much I enjoyed her lesson. No greater joy.