I came from a family with four siblings. I never knew how incredibly hectic and chaotic our lives were. My parents never made mention to the craziness. I do remember weekends when they would say we were staying in for the evening, but what kid hasn't heard this statement? We all rolled with the punches and I am sure all four of us thought nothing of it.
The last 10 months have been interesting. There has been an addition of three children in my daily life. Josh has one son and two daughters who live with him. In a few short weeks we will have a total of four children. One of the interesting parallels between our children and my siblings is the age difference. The age difference with our kids is the same as me and my siblings.
So here I am parenting a six year old--still working on developmental language and reading skills, dinosaur shaped PB&J sandwiches, Saturday mornings of Phineas and Ferb, feeding the ducks at the duck pond, Toys R Us, Chuck E Cheese, etc...and then three more children bless my life: a 12 year old boy, an 11 year old girl and a 9 year old girl...all are now a year older. My time and conversations went from Bible storybook moments, one-on-one dates with Brayden and what shape do you want your sandwich TO phone rules, being a Godly example within your circle of friends, giving advice on how to protect yourself when girls are being mean and just drama, drama, drama, group dating boundaries, achieving our best in academics--not just what gets us by, and here is the BIG one...demonstrating and talking to each child about what it means to be spiritually minded.
I am having to learn to take things in stride. One of my strengths is organization. My daily calender of activities and reminders quadrupled over night. I had reminder tones on my phone, but I shut those off! My monthly calenders are color coded. Each child is represented by a color on the calender. At night I get lost in my conversations with the Father. I often think...Lord, don't let me get to the point of being overwhelmed of raising Your children. The color on the calender is for me, the organization within each calender box is for me...not for the kids. Our four kids want the reassurance that we care about what is taking place in their life. Each of them are watching us and making sure we are engaged in their life.
I keep a calender on the refrigerator. I have watched each child run their finger along the calender to see if I have missed putting anything on the calender that pertains to him/her. I have been handed the calender to have "things"
added as "things" come up during the month. It is our way of saying to the kids "We have not forgotten." In the very beginning I would hear them say, "Karri, don't forget." I figured out early on that my actions with Colt, Kara and Kass would have to speak louder than my words. Time tells all.
The summer months are here...YAY!! The calendar for June got posted to the refrigerator and each of the four kids are thrilled with the activities planned just for them.