Sunday, May 28, 2017

First week of Summer

May 21-27

I love summer!  It's so nice to have a little slower schedule and to have the kids here with a little more free time.  It has been toasty HOT already which is a crazy contrast from the long cold winter we had this year.  No complaints from me though!

Okay, first of all.  Look at Sadie.  She is spayed.  These puppies are Annie's puppies not Sadie's but she can't resist nursing them.  The crazy part is that she actually has milk.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?! I love natural mothers...

I am so happy to have kids home!!

I have tried to figure myself out--why do I feel so much more balanced with the kids home?  It wasn't always this way for me.  When everyone was really tiny and I was nursing babies and not getting nearly enough sleep it was really stressful to keep kids occupied with something that wasn't fighting, TV or video games.  I didn't always succeed.  We used to have to have a seating chart for the car just to keep kids from killing each other as they tried to get to the front seat first.  Yikes.  It was super worrisome then but now I find it oddly charming.  I miss those days when I regularly had a car packed with six kids.

As the boys got a little older, they started driving themselves and making their own schedules.  It wasn't long before Austin was in all the same activities as Dallin and Landon and suddenly I only had three kids in my car!  It's crazy how fast that happens.

I've really enjoyed having older kids as well as younger.  It's a different type of parenting with 16, 17 or 18+ year olds.  I enjoy more of a support, encouraging and re-directing role.  There are definitely the moments where choices have potentially long reaching consequences that are terrifying for a parent. But those moments have also bonded me to the Savior more than almost anything else in my life.

So back to the nuts and bolts of summer.
We have the same system that we figured out when the twins were about 12.  Everyone gets a zone.  It used to be just a room when I had five kids who needed assignments.  But now we have zones.  Front room, entry, dining room and hall.  Kitchen.  And back family room (that includes puppies).  Jackson has the bathrooms and he's actually really excited about it.  I think we'll just keep him with the same assignment all summer!

So how is the system working? So far Jenna earns an A+ for always doing a great job in her zone.  Benson is a C+ and Austin isn't even on the grading scale yet.  He gets his jobs done but requires constant reminding. That kid is ridiculously busy! He has his Jump Company play and football workouts and young men.  I'm really hoping we can find a way to have him participate more in Young Men next year.  It feels like he misses everything. We need to have a good, better, best discussion...

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