Here is a rundown of the past 72 hours:
1) Ran to 4 different schools to drop off and pick up kids
2) Oversaw decorating and managed a church Halloween Party with 35+ in attendance
3) Helped a friend plan travel for a mission trip for 20 people
4) Had 8 kids sleeping in my house last night
5) Took 7 kids Geochaching today
6) Went to parent-teacher conferences
7) Had a grand total of 15 kids in my house at various times baking cookies and making mud pies
8) Battled Walmart for grocery shopping
9) Answered approximately 50 emails (conservatively), a couple being detailed answers to specfic adoption related questions
10) Swept the kitchen floor at LEAST 12 times
11) Typed notes for the past two Church Council meetings
12) Ordered Cub Scout supplies
13) Created a blog for our Cub Scout Pack
14) Made meals for 8 (as well as chili for the Halloween party at church!)
15) Had more laughs than I could begin to count
Whew!! Holy Moly, no wonder I am a little tired! Hahaha! While life isn't usually this busy, it often comes pretty close. As I re-read the list myself it is hard not to laugh...as it doesn't even include laundry, dishes, boo boo kisses, referreeing, etc.
What a gift it is, this life of mine. It is a life I never really dared picture for myself and incredibly almost missed. Yes, my life was neater and far more organized as a DINK (double income, no kids), but it was quieter, much less happier, and far more serious. The addition of a third child has really helped me get my priorities more in order, and the last vestiges of DINKhood have fallen by the wayside. No longer do I worry if the socks are paired with the exact match or if the soup and canned milk in the pantry is aligned in neat, straight rows. The toy room floor is seen about once a week rather than daily...as the legos and books and train sets are piled high. The van...well...let's just agree not to go there and hope that one day I can actually locate the mail from 2 weeks ago that is buried between the seats. Behind me sits the laundry hamper with the underwear still not having progressed to the drawers and the kids coming in the past two mornings digging through it looking for clean socks. With all that being said, believe it or not our house is relatively pretty clean 90% of the time...maybe not every room all at once, as that is asking too much but the areas we live in most are picked up daily and the other areas weekly, and the underwear usually does eventually make it into it's proper drawer just as the next load is due to be washed.
What a privilege it is to be in my shoes! I know, to many folks it would be enough to cause them to pull out every hair on their head. For me, it means that the vision I once had of long, quiet, empty years ahead with nothing more important to do than plan our next vacation or while away the hours on craft projects for which I showed no real aptitude has been banished forever. Instead it is replaced by scrapbooking supplies sitting untouched in the hall closet waiting to be brought out when I have a spare moment, and 2 sets of Leap Frog letters scattered across every available space on our fridge. Instead of adventurous vacations we have a living room floor filled to capacity with sleeping bodies burrowed under blanket tents and giggles lasting long into the night.
I have had tons of hugs and smiles this past 72 hours, intimate conversations with subjects being tentatively explored and used as opportunities to share our faith and beliefs. I have had graciously offered thank yous and been begged for bedtime stories by kids from ages 4 to 15. My hair has been spiked and turned into horns with hair gel, I've had a 13 year old young friend tell me "I love coming to your house, I always have fun here even if we don't do anything!", and held hands around the dinner table as we listened to the prayers of each of the children in our midst thanking God for their friends and family, for our presence in their lives.
Now tell me...really...despite the hassles and the chaos, the work and the dirt...who wouldn't want to be me?