Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life as viewed from a sardine can

Right now our family of seven is living in a two bedroom apartment. My husband said it is roughly 900 square feet. It has been an adjustment for us all. Before, there was always somewhere to go if someone was annoying someone else...just to be alone for a while. It is pretty nigh impossible here! I have found as well, that, with boys, they like to have their own space. It doesn't matter how big or small, just something to "rule" over. Their own territory. Joey has designated the top of his dresser as his area. He has an elaborate display of his toys that are "untouchable" to his brothers...all piled on top of one another. Oh the arguments that has caused.

It seems like whenever I am in the little kitchen, there is always a baby, (Ellie) or Nathan holding onto my legs or getting their little hands in something they should not be in. My counter to prepare meals consists of the top of a microwave cart...pretty small.

I've always been pretty adaptable. I tell myself, this is only temporary, I can handle this. Does it really matter if I only have a small space for a few months? No. I can make it work. I just wonder on some days if I will still have my sanity!!

Last night Kevin was playing with all of the children. Derek was giving piggy back rides to Ellie and Nathan. Their were children EVERYWHERE it seemed...all laughing and having fun with each other. Ellie couldn't figure out which back was the one she was supposed to climb onto. I loved just watching them all play and laugh.

For bedtime, we have one bunkbed for the older boys. Then we place a twin mattress and a crib mattress on the floor, and the other two boys sleep there. It's perfect. Everyone has their own little bed, blanket and pillow. Ellie sleeps in her pack and play right next to our bed. At night time before I go to sleep, I always go and check on the children. I see them all sleeping peacefully....bodies and beds everywhere, and I smile. Ellie wakes me up in the morning by touching me (yes, her bed is RIGHT next to me), and I am happy. I'm thankful for my family, thankful for my children, and thankful for a nice place to live.

Although we are pretty tight in this little place, there are moments when I is good to be all together, squished but happy in our little sardine can.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I do love balloons. They are so nice for a party of any kind. My children all love balloons too. We had 8 for David's party, the helium ones. For a few days now, they've been floating around through the different rooms like part of the family. Today was their farewell day...farewell to the helium that made them so perky and fun.
I heard all kinds of commotion during Ellie's nap, (my nap too!). I peeked out the door to see what was happening, and there were the 3 older boys and Kevin on his knees, playing volleyball with 5 balloons!! They were having a great time! This evening after baths, I was getting clothes out for church and here they come....the fat, waddling, and lopsided little boy bellies. They stuffed balloons in their shirts and pants, and were bumping into each other. All the laughing and fun got Ellie's attention, and then she brought me a balloon. I was interested to see what she would do, so I took the balloon and said, "Thank you sissy!!" She mumbled something in her little baby way, then lifted her shirt!! She wanted a lopsided belly too! So I stuffed a small balloon in her shirt and off she waddled, laughing like all the boys!

Isn't it amazing how children will just squeeze every ounce of fun from anything! Be it cardboard toilet paper tubes, deflated balloons, or a peice of gravel. I need to be more like that myself. I think I take myself too seriously sometimes. With all the responsibilities of running a I ever "squeeze" all the fun I can....out of anything? Do I ever laugh (like my children) to the point of loosing my breath and having to sit down for a minute? Somewhere along the road of life, I think I grew up too much. Pretty soon, my little ones will not be interested in balloons so much...and I'll remember when they were, and wish I had been.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My little sweetness

There is nothing like having a girl. Especially after four boys...there is nothing that even comes close to the joy she brings to my life. She is the sunshine of my soul.

Tonight we decided to go to Cracker Barrel for the first time in months. We took up two tables...and they put us right up front for a nice "dinner show" for the other customers that were eating. I sat Ellie next to me on one side, David on the other. While we were looking at menus and deciding what to order, she kept putting her hand on my arm. I'd look at her to see if she was trying to get my attention, she wasn't. She just laid her hand on my arm, and was looking around the restaurant. When I buttered her corn muffin, and handed it to her, she kept touching my arm as she was eating. Just loving me.

When we were done eating, she was looking around at the tables around us...smiling at the people, making friends...all the while resting her hand on my arm. I love that girl.

David's Pet

We finally had some time this evening to celebrate David's 6th Birthday. He was so excited! We invited some children that were in his Sunday School class. I bought him this huge birthday hat and a pin that said, "Birthday Boy". We always decorate a special chair with balloons and streamers. I love red streamers, I think they are my favorite....I like them especially if they are paired with the bright yellow streamers. I found these streaky colored helium balloons too...very festive looking! I am not a very good birthday cake I bought one! It looked like a cake, but was actually cupcakes that were just completely covered in frosting and decorations...again, very festive! He was just sooooo excited! A party for him and friends coming over!!

We decided since we couldn't get a puppy, we'd get him a hamster. I had him in his little box he came in, inside of a gift bag, with tissue paper. Then I put the entire bag in Ellie's pack and play. Right before we opened gifts, Kevin went to check on our rodent. Well, let's just say he was GONE....and had chewed his way through the box! So with all of our party guests waiting on us and eating cake, Kevin, Derek and I were on our hands and knees in my room trying to catch the little varmint! We finally chased him into a wipe box and closed the lid.

We have taught our children manners about opening gifts. We've told them to be thankful, regardless of what the gift shouting, "but I already have THIS!!" thankful and say Thank You! So after David opened all of his gifts from his guests, we handed him a wrapped bag of liner for the hamster cage. It looked like a bag of hay. The kid smiled from ear to ear, hugged the bag and said "Thank you" with a huge cheesy smile!! We then gave him a hamster ball...and he wasn't quite sure what it was. When we gave him the hamster...he saw the little paws through the wipe box...and just stared for a second or two. Once I opened the box though, he was ecstatic. We set up the cage, and he has been staring at it, petting it, and trying to get it used to him all night. He really likes it. Tomorrow is naming day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is my life long lesson. My ever present reminder that I am not yet perfect. Just when I think I have learned the fine art of being "flexible"...I am sorely reminded, by my frustration...that I have so much more to learn.

We arrived back in the states on Wednsday, February 4th. The noble plans I had dreamed up in my organized mind. Starting back up homeschooling. What to do with the little ones, while I worked with the three older boys. Where they would all work the most productively. The first suitcase I unpacked and organized on two shelves...was our school materials.

In order to make up for all of our moving and packing this year...we started school the second week of October. We planned it that way. We were moving to another country, packing up an entire house, putting our things in storage, and packing for our trip down to Jamaica to live. Instead of starting and then stopping...then starting again in less than a month, we just decided to wait and start later. It works well, because we try to do year round schooling with just a few weeks of a break.

So here we are. Instead of doing school work, everyone is sick. Really sick. Little David has slept for 2 days straight. We have the flu...the 5-7 day flu. My house is a disaster area because I have been so dizzy, I can hardly stand. I thought today it was easing up a bit, so I cleaned up the kitchen...then had to lay down. I made a pot of homemade chicken soup, with Ellie holding onto my legs crying. No one really wanted to eat it though. I had a bowl, then lost it all. Kevin is feeling achy...but ate LASAGNA AND CHOCOLATE CAKE today!!! I can't even keep down Jello.

So I'm learning to be flexible, although in this situation, I really do not have much of a choice.


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