Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Celebrations

Easter morning was quiet because we'd gone to service the night before.  I enlisted help with preparations where I could.

 And then the family descended, totaling 41 people!!

 Not enough chairs?  No problem!

Shaun staggered the kids being released to help make it fair.


Awesome Uncle Nathan came early with ropes and put up two swings in the yard.  They get used a ton and hopefully having the second one with alleviate some of the fighting.

 Uncle Nathan created a scavenger hunt for the teen boys.  They went out on foot and didn't return for several hours, except to refuel.  They definitely got more than they bargained for.  :)

 In total, we had 19 1/2 kids!  Here's 18...
 ...the is sweet #19
...and this is #1/2 ;), who we'll meet in July!

Then the sorting and swapping begins.  The bigger kids tend to profit from these negotiations.  :)


 Love, love, love having the house and yard full of family!  We are blessed beyond measure!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Project 365, Week 16

This was an eclectic week!  There was school vacation, we had S for the week as somewhat of a trial, Shaun was doing the last push of tax season, we were scrambling to do our own taxes, we had four performances of Passion of the King, Shaun had a birthday, we met a new cousin, we got Shaun back, we celebrated Easter.  Full, even by our standards.

And my heart is so full.  My soul is smiling having my friend back from tax season.  Its also kind of handy having the father of my children around.  He came down to the kitchen one night this week and said with a smile, I just read my kids a story and put them to bed!  And I smiled and said, Yes, and I did NOT.  :)  He's the best and we're reveling in having him back.

I could gush about him for a while, but I'll send it over to the photos from this week.  I saved you four days worth of Passion pictures....I'll do that separately.

April 13
Took all the kids to the home improvement store to take advantage of their weekend plant sale.  We picked up a few things, but it seemed like much ado about nothing.
 Ready for Passion.  Yup...I totally let him leave the house like that....he'd put a lot of thought into it and was happy.
April 14
Feeling SO blessed that I can just go to the grocery store four minutes down the road and buy an abundance of fresh fruit.  Its just not like that for so much of the world.

Speaking of food, holy moly!  Teenage boys can EAT!
 Celebrating school vacation we met up with my brother and sister and their families.  Between the three of us, there were 15 1/2 kids.  Insane and so amazing.  We all love hanging out and the kids do so well together.  Blessed!

8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2  (I think!  :)

 April 15
The dumb dog was keeping me company in the early hours of the morning going through documents for taxes.
 Last day of tax season, also Shaun's birthday.  I don't even have a picture of him...that's how much we saw him.  :(
 I took the kids to meet their newest cousin and they were smitten!

 Then we met up with some of the Passion cast for $5 Tuesday of God's Not Dead.  It was too intense for the kids and finally in tears Avery said she had to leave.

I rewarded her decision to listen to that quiet inner voice prompting her to get out of there by buying candy and we hung out in the lobby until the boys were done.  They reported it was great!
 April 16
I picked up Z for his first overnight with us since he left in August.  It was SOO good to see him!!  He seems to be doing well and was equally happy to see us, though we all wished it'd been longer.
 April 17
Six hungry-for-breakfast kids.  Grateful to have a houseful.

At one point they were outside playing and I was downstairs doing laundry.  I heard someone come in and I knew he/she was looking for me before they said a word.  Instead of thinking what now, as I sometimes do, I thought how blessed am I to have little ones who need me.  Before I know it, I'll do laundry with no interruptions, without the pitter-patter of little (or big!) feet above.

 They are indeed sitting up on the roof. :)

Later, when the big boys had returned from their training class, I was sitting in the living room meeting with two social workers.  I glanced out the window and saw a pair of legs dangling off the roof.  I excused myself to go tell S where the boundaries are.  I think we still have our foster care license.  :)

One of the social workers is new and was watching the household goings-on in amazement.  Seven kids, calling me a combination of Lisa, Mom and Auntie in and out, telling on someone, looking for Passion sandals, asking a question.  I watched with humor as his eyes got wider.  Just another day.  :)

 April 18
It'd been a while since the girls had had a check-up and they needed one for camp this summer.

Amanda made it a hilarious experience and had both the doctor and nurse grinning by the time we walked out.  Two healthy girls!  Five inches and 1.5 pounds separates them.
 Last performance.
 April 19
Lots and lots of yard work at the new and old house.  R worked so hard!
 Thankfully, Grammy and Bobbi were able to take the girls to clean up day at the softball field so I could cook for Easter.

As we have for many years, we went to Easter service on Saturday night.  My beautiful kids....
 ...and all of us.