Today was a catch-up day–catch up on work, catch up on chores, catch up on reading (blogs and mail included). So, as I tuned in to a bit of the A Woman Inspired conference (amazing, as usual), breakfast was simple enough–pancakes and turkey bacon. Then I began to catch up on cleaning and straightening up the kitchen.
The older I get, the more I find myself cleaning like my mom, who would begin one activity only to flow into another, then another, then another. She would turn one chore into a day where 18 jobs would be completed. In summary, here’s my own trek through kitchen-related chores: I cleaned the stove and all the countertops. Cleaning the countertops meant putting away the crate-sized box of fresh fruits and vegetables into the fridge. Putting away the fruit meant cutting the cantaloupe that made the kids swoon, then performing a mini-refrigerator cleaning project. I once heard that as a money-saving tip, you should base your menu planning on what already exists in your refrigerator. It looks as if I need to make a stuffed cabbage and/or vegetable soup soon.
I folded several loads of clothes and picked up the family room. Then there was school–had to fit that in somewhere (smile)! Our youngest has been studying the ancient Greeks, and we focused in on the Olympics this week. As a purposeful digression, a couple of days ago, I put on a pair of pants and sped off to work. Thank God I placed in my pocket a couple of safety pins–my pants were too big! I couldn’t think of where the inches went, but thinking about my day with my high schooler, middle schooler, and elelmentary schooler, I know where I lost the weight! Seriously, I have had to come to a painful reality that I heard years ago–you can’t focus on every child, every year. At least, I can’t. My last two years have been consumed with fixing some areas I broke as I prepare my oldest for increasingly independent study (with a goal of college). This has come at the expense of the younger two. Our son is fairly well self-managed, but the youngest will sometimes have a day of little or no school when life gets too busy in other areas. Of course, she’s not leaving us tomorrow, and she still is learning and growing, but I sometimes feel bad when I think about all the fun that the two older children got to have at that age–cooking, field trips, networking with other homeschool groups, etc. It was a different season in my life as a homeschooling mom, and with two smaller children and her in my arms, the school days were a whole lot more carefree. Fast forward 6-7 years with much more on all of our proverbial plates, plus a high schooler who’ll never be accused of not stopping to smell the roses, and we simply don’t have time to do those things. So yesterday, I thought it’d be nice to do something with a younger one in mind. Hence, we birthed our first
annual Olympic races.
I learned quickly that our girls have picked up my lack of spontaneity. The oldest resisted doing too much more than taking pictures, and the youngest got upset when she didn’t win a race. I spent my time somewhere between trying to encourage everyone to join in and just have fun and surrendering to the girls’ needs to moan and groan. Funny how they carried on so outside, but then rushed to tell Dad all the details of their time outside as if they’d been belles of the ball. I’m convinced that spending so much time with Mom allows kids to know exactly what buttons to push. Anyway, though they didn’t voice it until later that afternoon, they had a blast. Here are some highlights:
Game face for the straw race
ready to take that egg all the way!
in the hunt for a medal
teamwork on getting the balloon across the yard
in the end, we’re all winners