Posts Tagged ‘Family’
After the adoption of our 2 boys, I have been asked MANY times if Larry and I are finally done having children. We are told OFTEN that 7 kids are a lot … A HUGE family! I have to disagree with them. We are not finished if God wants us to have more. We know that God will only give us what we can handle and Larry and I after the birth of Shelby knew that we were destined to become parents – the best parents that we could be. We look at families with 10 or more and and I am in awe of how they all work together.
We have a dynamic in our household that people with 2 children just don’t understand. Is is chaotic? Yes, at times… but when is it not chaotic for someone with 2 or 3 children too. Is it loud? YES! But again, I wouldn’t change it for anything. We always have something going on… we always are on the go with activities together. I have a home office where I do 75% of my work from. … I am essentially a stay-at-home mom. We have 4 children who are homeschooled and 3 who are public schooled. We are back on the foster care and adoption lists for a little girl (or 2) under 4 years old.
How with work, school, homeschool, and everything else on my plate do I juggle everything that I do? Recently at a CFT (team meeting for our boys with CPS and therapists) Larry and I were asked what our strengths were of each other. Larry had one for me that I was not aware of… He said that he thought that my greatest strength in the household was my ability to juggle all of the kids and get them to where they needed to be while still being an amazing mom. WOWWIE! I am honored to think that my husband “sees” everything that I do with the kids.
I have been asked an MANY occasions what the essentials in my household are. Here is my “mom” list.
- I know that my house will never be spotless, nor should it ever. Our house is very well lived in and it is NOT a museum. Our house will at times be cluttered and really messy. Do we clean, YES, all of the time! Everything does have a place and will make it there as soon as I stop playing with my children!
- Kids schedule organization is essential. With any number of children in your household, you need to be organized with a calendar. I have both a print calendar that I keep on my desk and take with me in my “Mary Poppins Purse” and I put everything online on my Google calendar that my husband and oldest daughter can access from their phones. Everything is color coded by person.This makes it SO much easier to know who needs to be where and when.
- Take time to do something fun with your children every day! I try not to get stuck in a mundane routine… Over and Over and OVER again causes for BORING! However for many children routine is very important so block a “time” every day.
- Get a hobby that you can include your children. We cook… and BOY, DO WE! All of my children cook. We make everything from scratch and make up so many recipes. They don’t always turn out. But we do write down all that we do create together.
- Always, always, always eat and pray together every night. This will allow you to visit with your children, learn who they are all over again. You can have your “family meetings” during dinner. Our are loud and full of laughter. We do not sit quietly and I love every minute of those giggles and talking about your day moments. Soon enough they will no longer be at home to do this.
- To deal with the loud and crazies, create a “quite area”. In my office, I have a chalkboard wall, a glider rocking chair, children’s books and quite felt and wood toys. This area is a quite zone for all children who need to have alone time.
- To streamline your household, plan out your meals in advance. I know what I have in my pantry, in my freezers and in my refrigerators all of the time (unless I have an older kids help themselves to something. Last week I was missing 2 bell peppers… come to find out my oldest 2 kiddos ate them for a snack – REALLY? A Bell pepper for a snack? At least they LOVE veggies!) We know exactly what we are making for dinner when I get up in the morning to make my day go easier. Most of the time, I load up my solar oven pans in the morning and let it cook all day!!!
- Recruit children to have their own toys, help with clean-up and to help others with their chores. With as many little hands that are in our home, I know that we can accomplish ANYTHING! Use children in the skills that they are best at. Elwyn LOVES to be in the garden. She loves to pull weeds and calls that her private time. Berlyn does NOT like to do yard work, but he is really good at organizing things in bedrooms. We use each child with their own special gifts.
- Make the most of time that you are kidless. I work when Larry is off. I work at night after kids are in bed and during “brain-rest” time. I chose to work like this so that I can give 100% to my kids.
- Lastly, remember that every day is a new day. It has to be or you will make yourself go crazy and pull out all of your hair. You will NOT accomplish everything that you planned every single day, but you can give it your best shot each and every day.
With 7 kids at home during the summer time (Yes, I know that we homeschool 4 of the kids but that does leave 3, all special needs, that are normally gone all day!), I have been finding activities to do every day with them. As a child, I loved playing hopscotch. I started thinking – I have a TON of cement driveway around my house and I was sure that I could make one fairly easily. I mean… I draw them all of the time with chalk anyhow!
Hop scotch is one of those age-old games that can be found around the world as well as in every language out there. There are no set rules, as a matter of fact I was amazed to hear how Breckin learned the game at school too!
Today, we taped the ground outside on the driveway and created a hopscotch on the sidewalk. I had left over blue painters tape from the girls room and my office chalkboard wall (I will post about those soon!)
This will prove to be hours of fun for any number for the kids and will probably drive Berlyn a little crazy with OCD and Autism. As a matter of fact, Berlyn kept peeling and straightening my lines for me.
Step 1 – Blue tape the outline of the hopscotch. There are many different patterns that you can find online for a hop scotch.
Step 2 – Create the inside lines. Remember to put one tape down, then a space and a second tape down to form lines that you are going to paint.
Step 3 – Tape around the entire outside to make a space between the step 1 line and this line.
Step 4 – Take scissors or a blade and remove any over lapping tape to make a continuous line form.
Step 5 – Spray paint the open lines to form a permanent hop scotch on the cement.
NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT spray paint while it is windy like I did or you will get stray spray!
Step 6 – Remove the blue tape – Fun for the kids once your paint dries… Breckin was right there to volunteer for me! And he even took it to the garbage for me as well!
Step 7 - ENJOY!!!! This can prove to be hours of fun for your littles!
Found a cool site with some FUN information:
Hopscotching Around the World
As mentioned the game is a bit different around the globe, and variations are plenty, from the French version which features a spiral instead of the usual set up, to Ekhat-Dukhat in India which only has two squares.
The New York version of the game is Potsie, which comes from pot or the home base which a player gets too (if he doesn’t fall off). The New York term for hopscotch, which is played pretty much the same as the English one, dates back to the late 19th century.
The French version might be a bit harder to play if you are used to English hopscotch. The course is a spiral, much like a snail’s shell, and players need to hop to the centre and back. A player can also pick out a square of choice and can land on this square with both feet; this is because there aren’t any squares side-by-side.
Hopscotch in German-speaking countries is called “Heaven and Hell” and has different rules; players need to kick the stone from square to square when advancing, and cannot stop at the “Hell” square which is the second-to-last in the game.
In Cyprus and Greece, they play Ayaktasi (try saying that with a mouthful) which is similar to how the Australians play hopscotch. The player throws a stone into a square in the usual way, but the game is played in stages and only ends once the stone has landed on all possible squares.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about HUMMUS… My sister is amazing and for the last 3 years has been trying to get me to even try hummus. It is UGLY and (I think) smells FUNNY. But, then I gave in and now, for the last 6 months we ALWAYS have homemade hummus and pita chips for a snack. Yes, I admit, I was wrong!! It is SO GOOD! Thanks Jen for finally just shoving a chip with hummus down my throat. I am sorry that I acted like a 2 year old and wouldn’t try it.
Hummus and chips is a good snack for kids in the summer-time. We make the chips from scratch along with the hummus… when have I not made anything from scratch!?!?
Since Pita chips and hummus are now a staple in our home, I wanted to share with you how to make BOTH! It would even make a good snack to take on a picnic this summer!!
Hummus is VERY easy!!!
Who said that you need to leave your driveway and go into nature to go camping? Surprise the kids with a backyard BBQ and camp out.
The only thing that you need is a tent and a flashlight… I have a 4 person one that the boys in our family use for these mini-camps. My nephews normally come over too and they sit outside with their flashlights and lanterns and giggle and tell jokes.
So, even if you can not venture out into nature… This is the perfect alternative!! And MOM still gets to sleep in her soft bed!
Our local children’s library website is: http://www.chinoaz.net/library/childrens.shtml
The library in Chino Valley, Arizona (where the kiddlings and Larry and I live) has an FANTASTIC summer program. We attend the Special Needs one for Berlyn and Trystan. (Autusm and ADHD are interesting things to try and get children to sit still… but the program for the special needs in not terribly busy and allows the kids to move around. The best part is that there are a lot of “get up and dance” . )
Today, the Prescott Heritage Park Zoo visited the kids! They let the kids touch the snake, hissing cockroach and the tortoises. They also brought a pink-footed tarantula and 2 prairie dogs that were in a rolly exercise ball.
The Chino Valley Library has an AMAZING Children’s Librarian by the name of Darlene Westcott (better known as Ms. Darlene to the kids.) I have known Darlene for 20 years. Her daughters went to school with me. In 2010, she won the 2010 Arizona Youth Services Librarian of the Year because of all of her phenomenal work with children.
Here is a link to the Chino Valley Summer Reading Program – http://www.chinoaz.net/library/pdf/2013_SummerReadingProgram_Tri-Fold.pdf
Here is a link to the Chino Valley SELF Club (SPecial Needs) Summer Reading Program: http://www.chinoaz.net/library/pdf/2013_SelfClub_Tri-Fold2.pdf
So if you have kids at home this summer… call your local library!
You never know what they have in store for you!