Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Fun

My brother and his family spent a few days with us last week. My boys adore Uncle Jeff and Aunt Laura and their 4 kids: Morgan (17), Zack (8), Grace (6), and Lillee (3). The kids rode bikes, played trains, pretended to "cook" many meals, ran around inside and out, played hide and seek, and had some serious fun. Can you imagine the fun with one teenager and 7 kids age 8 and younger all under one roof? :) We had a blast and my boys fell into bed each night from exhaustion! Woot!
Morgan celebrated her 17th birthday with us - so fun! We had a little party, complete with cake, candles, and ice cream. She is a lovely young lady and we all love her a bunch. Hard to believe that she is 17 already. She is not your average teenager ( well, she is attached to her cell phone at all times, she never leave home without her music, sleeps late, never cleans her room, and she must check her e-mail daily) - she is super cool. She plays with my kids and even makes time for her not-so-hip Aunt Tina from time to time. Wow! Love ya, girl!
I'll add some of the pics from our family fest later today.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Summer Fun & Camp Jamie

The pace of daily life around here is fast to say the least. There are daily things to be done: making beds, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, changing diapers, cooking, etc... If I neglect these things for too long - it gets out of control and I get overwhelmed. The mountain of laundry and overflowing sink full of dishes make me want to run and hide. I struggle with finding balance between daily responsibilities and fun! I don't want my boys to remember the "spotless home" of their childhood (ha! fat chance!) - I want them to remember me playing with them...not just cleaning things and running errands. So, I am making time and creating energy for playing each day - and it's been rewarding! We've been tickling, wrestling, chasing one another around the house and baking treats together. It's hard work to have fun - but, so worth it!

Last Tuesday, we decided that it was time to mix it up a little. We arranged for Miss Phyllis (babysitter extrordinaire) to come over to care for Caleb and Matthew while we headed out on a "family date" with the big boys. We put on our suits, grabbed out towels, packed some snacks and juice boxes...and then we were finally ready to go to the local pool for some fun! The water temperature was FRIGID!! We couldn't get Sam into the water and we couldn't manage to keep Luke out of it. Sam allowed me to carry him around a bit - but nothing other than his feet got wet. Luke, on the other hand, was a wild man! His body was quivering with excitement when we arrived...and shivering from low body temperature when we left! :) He had a blast and didn't want to leave. We're making plans to go again soon. Brad and I feel like it's important to create some "big boy" time for Sam and Luke - and they LOVE it! My only regret? I didn't take the camera!! ugh.

Sam and Luke have been enjoying "Camp Jamie" for the past couple of weeks. No, we haven't shipped them off to summer camp - they are a bit young for that! I have not found a way to get all 4 of the boys outside to play with great success. By the time I get babies loaded into the stroller, sunscreen applied, shoes/sandals on, and everyone outside - a baby is fussy or sleepy, Sam has to potty, etc... Luke is only 2 and still fairly unpredictable - certainly can't be left unattended outside (our yard isn't fenced in). So, if one of us needs to come inside - we ALL have to come inside. It's labor intensive, to say the least. The boys need to be outside enjoying the sunsine, fresh air, riding bikes, and playing baseball. I prayed like mad, asking God to help me be creative and to provide the help I needed in order to meet each boy's need. God has provided and I am learning to think "creatively" and "let go" a bit. That's how "Camp Jamie" was born. Jamie is an amazing 13 year old boy who lives next door to us...he loves Jesus, loves his family, and he loves playing with my "big boys." We've hired Jamie to play outside with Sam and Luke twice a week. "Camp Jamie" is a huge success! Sam and Luke LOVE Jamie - and jump and squeal with delight when they see him coming to our door! God is so good to meet my need!

So, I am learning to "let go" a little - and allow God to bring some other folks along to help me from time to time. My boys will be richer for it and I will too. God is so good.