Sunday, August 10, 2008

Miscellaneous Summer Thoughts

The kids are really growing up and changing, and there's a marked difference in our home lately. Although they're still normal, fighting, annoying, picking, poking, etc at each other incessantly, they have turned an imaginary corner of maturity. When it's time to put away the dishes, I suddenly have 6 hands willing to put away the pots and pans, sort the silverware, or stack the bowls on the shelf. When the laundry is laid out from the dryer, three little kids grab their piles and head off to their rooms to put them away. The groceries get put away family style, the washing machine get fought over from little fingers "wanting" to load it, pour the soap, and push the buttons. Brooklyn cooks most lunches, (fabulous I tell you, just fabulous,) the dishes usually make their way to the sink from the table without my help, and I've witnessed the boys actually wiping their pee drops off the seat without Brooklyn and I having to yell at them first! It's miraculous. I think I began to notice the change about four weeks ago when the kids got it in their heads that they wanted new backpacks for school. They were perusing the flood of catalogs we get and oohing and awing over them. I told them they would have to earn the money to buy them, at which time Brooklyn created a chart with different activities that would earn a quarter, 50 cents, or even a dollar for the terrible things like cleaning the garage with daddy, or picking up someone else's mess. Immediately, when I asked one of them to do this, or do that, instead of an onslaught of whining like I was used to hearing, I heard strange noises like, "Sure!" and "Yes, ma'am" coming out of their mouths. Or even more shocking, when I would say, "I need someone to pick up the living room," I actually heard, "I'll do it!" freely flowing from their mouths. And what's even more amazing, it hasn't stopped! It's been over a month now, and they still have a great attitude about helping out, doing for themselves, and taking on special projects. One day, I was sick of the dvd's spilling out from the tv cabinet, and the video game controllers spewing from the basket each night. So, I asked for two volunteers to pull everything out, make sure the correct dvd was in the right case, and to wind the controllers and reorganize them. Nathan and Brooklyn took on the job, which took them close to an hour to complete. Jason and I giggled at each other the entire time. Brooklyn: "This is so much easier to find movies to watch when they're organized, it's so good we're doing this." (As if she invented the idea) and Nathan: "I didn't know we had this many cool things, I'm so excited!" and on and on they talked back and forth. "Mom, the cabinet needs to stay like this from now on so we can find what we're looking for!" ("Really? What a novel idea" I'm thinking, or really I'm thinking, "Oh! Well, it's certainly me who messes it up, thanks for the instruction!) But guess what, it's been two weeks and that cabinet is still clean! Today Brooklyn bombarded me with request for this type of hook to organize this, or a shelf here for this, and they hauled in shelving units from the garage to organize their clothes for the week so they don't have to waste time picking them out every morning when school starts. To them, they've invented the idea of organization, and I'm going to let them think it, because then they own it and they keep it up!
It's really Brooklyn who's instigating all of the helpfulness and really maturing, the boys just enjoy following along, but I'll take whatever I can get! She's growing emotionally too. On several occasions lately she'll be in the middle of whining about something, and she'll stop, sit for a minute or two, and then say, "Mom, I'm sorry for ___________." PRAISE THE LORD! I still struggle with apologizing for my behavior in the heat of the emotion, and here she is practicing it at such a young age. It still catches me by surprise every time, and I feel convicted by her. Tonight the conversation went a little differently. On our way home from dinner she asked what we had going on tomorrow and I replied it was Sunday, to which she quickly blurted out, "I hate church." We immediately matched each other in the looks of shock on our faces, and she quickly got the saddest look on her face and said, "Oh, no, that's not what I meant. I mean, it's so hard going to two services, and class time, and I need to take a shower which means I'll have to get up really early, and I'm always tired." It was sweet to see how sad she was that her words were such that they could have been misinterpreted, she loves the Lord and our church family so much.
Speaking of getting up early in the morning. . . with gas prices as high as they are, we've cut some major corners. Giving up the Expedition has been the hardest on the kids who now fight over who has to sit in the middle. Inevitably we travel early in the morning or late at night when they're wanting to sleep, and having a door to lean on is a hot commodity. Corban lost on this morning, but took advantage of his sleeping brother anyway! Jason likes to be at work around 7, which means we all have to leave at 6:30 so we can drop him off, drop the kids off at Nana's and then I go on to my office. Thankfully, Jason's been a little lenient with us this summer and we've usually gotten to sleep in and leave at 7!

Here's the kids at Let's Jump one afternoon last week. It's a great indoor activity when it's blazing hot outside. Emmy and Evan joined us this go around, which means I now have to borrow their mommy's truck just to haul everyone. There have only been two occasions since giving up my SUV that I've run into an issue, and both times it's been over hauling Emmy and thankfully Erica has come to my rescue!

O.K. I think that catches me up with our summer. I've been entirely too busy and slowed down by a migraine to keep up the blogging, but I believe I'm back in the swing. Only thing left to do is complete my tagging assignment my sis-n-law Amy sent over a few weeks back and I'm good to go!


Amy Woods said... worries!! You can do it while you are here next weekend. THAT will something to blog about right there! Congrats on that pee thing. Miracle!!!

Mimi Martin said...

What's with you girls - Gina sending postings in the middle of the night and Amy commenting at 5am because she's up too??? ; ) Anyway, loved ALL the blogging catch-up. The kids are incredibly fun and growing in maturity and responsibility. The key word is fun. Might as well enjoy all that family teamwork and organization. Love you all! Mimi

Linda "Grammy" Woods said...

Be careful, Gina, if you turn around they will be graduating!!! They grow up so fast. It is great to see them growing and being nurtured in the manner they are. You have reason to be proud of your three. Glad you all had a wonderful summer and hope you all have a great school year.