I'm here! I'm here! Stealing a few moments to write a little ditty about Jack & Diane and Vince... Trevor... Vinny... Nick... Hope... Kyle... Kirby... Feliz.... and who ever else lives here. I have lost count. This place is hopping! Wow. We are trying our best to keep some assemblance of order, and I think we are seeing some success through the whir and blur of kids and dogs and husbands.
"Whir : to go, fly, revolve, or otherwise move quickly with a humming or buzzing sound." Yep, sounds like our kids.
"Blur : to obscure by making confused." Yep, sounds like me.
Honestly, despite what our garage full of boxes may tell you , we ARE settling in and slowly making progress at getting things unpacked and put where they belong. We even have some curtains hung and some things on the walls! Finding the time to do this is not easy. One would think that since we live here, we should have plenty of time to unpack and be alot farther along than we are. In theory that is true, however with Nick and Kyle fully immersed in baseball, much of our evenings and weekends this summer have been spent at the park watching them play ball. It can be hard sitting at a two hour game (or an all day tournament) when all the things that need to be done at home are gnawing at our brains. But no matter what's going on, we are committed to being there for the kids' activities whenever possible. It's important to them to see us cheering them on, and it's important for us.
Vince is working pretty much 12 hour days...he leaves home by 6:30am and gets home around 6:15pm. It's a very long day for him, but he really loves his job - and they love him - so we are thankful! My days are just as long, since I get up to see him off to work then get myself ready, wake the kids, make lunches, get everyone where they need to be for the day, then after work...pick up kids, sometimes stopping at the store on my way home...then there's dinner, clean up, and pretty soon it's showers and bedtime and we are exhausted! I don't think Vince and I have gone to sleep before midnight since this crazy thing began!! But he keeps reminding me that it's just a season...we will eventually be unpacked, baseball will eventually be over (and then football starts.......sssssh! I didn't hear that!), and we will someday get to bed before midnight again.
Honestly, it's really not as chaotic as I am making it sound! We have been holding all of the kids responsible for helping out around the house, picking up after themselves, keeping their rooms clean, folding laundry, and even cleaning toilets! We are developing a system for rotating chores each week, which I think will work really well at alleviating complaining and arguing and the "I did it last time! It's not fair!" stuff. We are also enforcing respect from the kids...not only for Vince and I but for eachother. Sometimes there is alot of nit-picking going on between the kids and that does not make anyone feel good. We sat them all down in the living room last night and talked about respect and the fact that we are not asking for it, we are requiring it. We discussed the difference between a right and a privilege. Things like computers, video games, tv, and activities outside the house are privileges that will be taken away if they are disrespectful, disobedient, or don't follow through with their responsibilities. We also talked about what is important to us in our home. Of anywhere in the world, Home should be the place where we feel loved, accepted, and safe....where we build eachother up, not tear eachother down. We established a rule in our house (which I learned from a good friend of mine who is the mother of five...count them...FIVE boys!) That rule is this: before you say something to someone, think about these three things: Is it TRUE? Is it NECESSARY? And is it KIND? If it doesn't meet all three of these criteria, then don't say it. It will take some reinforcing and reminding and probably some consequences before it truly sinks in and becomes a way of life around here. Note to self : we need to make some sort of addendum in there about whining....actually we already have one. It's called "whiners get nothing". I've always said that to my boys and it's pretty effective at stopping the whining. Now we just need to figure out how to prevent it in the first place! I'm open to suggestions on that one =)
And lastly (this has gone from a little ditty to a long ramble!!) Vince and I have realized, again, how critical it is that we stay connected to the Vine. Without receiving our life blood from Him, we quickly become parched and our strength (and sanity) withers. We NEED to make time, daily, to be in the Word. To be in prayer...for eachother and for each of our kids ~ our AWESOME kids!! We need to keep our eyes and hearts focused on Jesus so that we can teach our kids to do the same.
This new journey we are on has just begun...and it is sweet! Amid the whining, complaining, and discipline....there is laughter, hugs, and love going on here and it's wonderful!! Wow, all this and I haven't even rambled on about how WONDERFUL my husband is!!! He truly is....Sometimes I just look into his eyes in awe and say "are you really here? are we really married? do you really love me this much?" And with a smile and a kiss he says "yes I am...yes we are...and yes I do!"