Friday, February 14, 2014

OH!!! Sweet, Sweet Baby!

Babies are just delicious! I love they way their skin feels, the little way they curl up, the way they look at you. Preciousness. And today I got to savor some sweet baby! She doesn't have a name yet...well, she did, but it was Timothy. Because she was thought to be a boy, until she arrived and surprised everyone. What a great surprise!

She was born yesterday to one of my dearest friends, who is my age. Her momma called me early this morning to come visit this afternoon and I was glad to oblige! I love visiting with my friend, but oh, to hold that sweet bundle and feel her and smell her, and see my girls hold her and her siblings hold her.... It was love.

I am so perfectly content with my five kids, but for years I felt a constant yearning for more. After the last child was about three, I realized it was not a yearning anymore, but a strong sadness and longing for the days that had passed by, missing the wonderful time of babies and toddlers. But yet, I had a contentment with the ones I had been blessed with. Part of me will always be joyful at the thought of another baby, but the larger part is content to meet the daily challenges of the five I have. And that can make me feel very overwhelmed at times, and like I am not fully equipped to do what I need to do to raise them well. So I am content.

Also, we as a couple originally decided to have four kids. And truthfully, my dear husband would have agreed if I had felt that motherly contentment after two were born. But God had different plans for us. We "planned" two of the kids, hoping for four, and the Lord sent the rest. Five in all. And even if I were not content, my husband is. His quiver is full. And I am good with that. Dads can feel content, too. We love every kid and want to be fully present to focus on the raising of these blessings.

However....should the Lord ever see fit to bless us again, I certainly would not be distressed. I would rejoice and be exceedingly glad. Babies, little humans, are such a gift to the world. I am so happy for my friend and her sweet family!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Day

Well, today is slow. Because it is snowy. SO I am blogging again. This has been a colder than normal winter. I am kind of enjoying it. I like a good, cold winter with snow. Especially here in the suburbs. A definitive change of the seasons does my heart good. Although there are things I like better than others in each season.

Winter: love the cold air, the snow, the playing in the snow--do not like ice storms
Spring: love the blooming plants and cool/warm temps--hate the severe weather, insects, snakes, and high pollen counts
Summer: love the sun, time at beaches and pools, being outside, lots of daylight, wearing shorts and dresses and sunglasses--hate temps over 95, sunburn, bugs, creatures and bugs (especially bees/wasps), heat, heat, and heat
Autumn: love the temps and the colors of things, being outside a lot, fresh air and open windows--don't like...ummm...if I think of something I'll tell ya (besides football season)

One thing they all have in common is God's beauty of a changing creation. It is like watching those kids grow up. Seasons of life passing by, each one with good and bad times, likes and dislikes.

Today, on this snow day, I already drove to the store once, and am about to go out again, just for the fun of it--and to get CANDY. All that playing in the snow needs sugar energy!
And I want to get out of the house for a bit--and see if the teen can learn a bit of snow driving :)

My biggest concern is that tomorrow is our co-op orientation and our standing policy is that we close if ANY surrounding ISD's close...and several shut down today. I really hope they don't close tomorrow. We need to have orientation. Otherwise we will have to do it on an alternate day next week, which messes up the schedule. But it has to be done before Friday the 14th, first class day.

Anyway, I am off to get some candy, then settle in for the completion of homeschool work, watching movies, eating good food, and hanging out with the family!

 Hope you enjoy the day, whatever it is bringing.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Growing Up

The kids are inevitably growing up. I have loved watching it each day. Their development fascinates me. Ok, so sometimes it makes me scream and want to throw stuff in frustration, but mostly it fascinates.
A real truth is that the older your oldest gets, the more you realize they have to learn to start breaking away with their friends and becoming their own person rather than a family unit member. not that family isn't important. Our family is with us always. We will most likely see them on holidays if not more often, for the rest of our lives. But once we are grown, we each should be ready to be married, develop careers, become parents...and our kids rapidly move toward that. It really hits home when they turn 13 for me. I realize that in 5 years they have to be independent people.
While they were all young I had them as a family unit most of the time, and they played together daily. Where one went, we all went. Not all the time, mind you, but I reinforced family togetherness often. But to require always being with just isn't healthy, or fair to them. It gets really  awkward when they become teens, if not before. Continuing to move as a unit and stick only with family members, in my opinion, really hinders development toward independence and outside relationships.  I don't want that for my kids.

I know when kids are really young, like under age 10, they do better moving with family units --most of the time, (and I did that, often for convenience), but I want my kids to know that they should have their own friends, they need them, and to be able to interact well socially, apart from parents and their siblings. Siblings should never expect that because brother or sister gets to go here or hang out with this group, or do this activity,  it is appropriate for them to be there too. That goes for always being in the care of their own parents too. As a parent I am also someone's wife who wants time away with my husband. I am a woman with my own interests that don't always involve  them, and one day it will be just me and husband again. I won't be mom all the time anymore. And my kids need to understand that my life involves raising them to be independent humans that can make their own life in the world, not wrapping myself up in their every need. Our world should never revolve totally around the kids, and they need to know that.  They fit into our life. Then they find their own life.

We are blessed to  have a large group of friends who get their kids together regularly for social time and learning time, with distanced parental supervision. They are all comfy interacting with each other, and the adults alike, but mainly amongst themselves. Our church youth group is similar. I never have to worry about where my kids will go or if they will be well supervised when they are with our youth minister. He is great at appropriate supervision and fostering them toward independence. It starts when they are 12, and it has been excellent for my kids. Our older ones are still very close to family, but they are branching out very well. I don't have worries about my oldest two entering the adult world. (The youngest three are works in progress ;) ) They know how to be sociable and work hard and choose right paths.

I often pray for some of my friends whose kids don't seem to do well without all the siblings present. They almost always move as a unit--even though some have kids close to teen years and some already have teens. If the family can't all go, no one goes.  I wonder how the ones who leave home first (if they go) will be able to form appropriate outside relationships for marriage or workplace. 18 is an awfully late age to start getting used to being apart, to learn how to fit in to your own social setting.  I just pray for them.  But it is their choice of how to raise their kids into adults.
It is hard to walk that line of protecting/sheltering, and letting go, as a parent.
It caused me many tears, and I am sure there will be many more to come, but watching our kids grow and become wonderful, well adjusted,  faithful, Christian adults with careers and marriages and families will be so rewarding! Each season has its many blessings.