Spring Break is wrapping up here at the troops, today. Along with a newly tiled shower in the girls bathroom. I'll post some before and afters this week. It's looking great. And it gives me a good excuse for all of the dust.
But along with those 70's era tiles that are now in the dumpster (a lovely shade of green), there are lots of other things changing here at the troops. I'm not keeping up well, but life keeps marching on and the kids keep growing and changing while the Coach and I are just more and more tired.
One big adjustment is that my grandma passed away a week ago. We miss her. She hadn't recognized us in a couple of years, but she still loved watching the kids and was the most content, grateful, happy person I've ever known. She didn't complain and was so thankful. It will be hard to not have her with us. She was our last living grandparent. Hard to imagine we had 5 grandparents at our wedding 20 years ago. So many changes.
The Coach and I are often like ships passing in the night. But he's still my favorite. His constant reminders that busy is ok and to take a deep breath are so needed. Even if they come via text message. He's such a good daddy. I watched him at the farm this week. . . teaching the kids how to shoot handguns, fixing vehicles, working puzzles, playing ping-pong. I know they don't realize how blessed they are.
Son (#1), is contemplating college choices for Fall, while finishing up his final semester at Impact 360 in Atlanta. He spent January in Brazil. We had a great visit with him in TX the first of this month. Wonderful to see him and catch up a bit, in spite of the cold, icy weather. He's waiting to hear about a job in Colorado for the Summer. I'm rooting for him, but also thinking a job here wouldn't be such a bad thing, either. I can't help it.
While visiting LeTourneau University with Son (#1), we also missed Daughter's (#2) very last high school basketball game. Seasons end and it was a good one. This week she's off in Haiti holding beautiful children and sharing love with the people at Mission of Hope. She's planning on college in the Fall and then nursing school. With a trip to East Asia this Summer.
Sitting here beside me, Son (#3) is filling out paper work for a Leader Treks trip to Honduras this summer, along with a job application. He's also going with his sister to East Asia. I'm so grateful that God has given me kids who love the gospel and have such a heart for missions. He's in the Spring play at school and working out for football next Fall.
March Madness is a favorite time of year for all of our troops, but most of all for Son (#4). He's checking his bracket non-stop and right now he and the Coach and two of the little girls are at a Thunder game. He loves all things basketball and football. Along with sleeping in his hammock in the yard (Son #3, too). Can't believe he'll be in high school next Fall.
Daughter (#5) is finishing up her first year of Jr. High. Crazy. She and Daughter (#6) are playing volleyball together and asking to re-do their room this Summer. She's started wearing contacts and even though she's smaller than Daughter (#6) she's spunky for sure. Her sarcastic voice sounds JUST LIKE her regular voice. She doesn't get that from me (just ask the troops).
Life with five teenagers is a challenge, but also great fun. Not sure what life will be like with three teen GIRLS in high school all at the same time. Which is why we are getting the bathroom down NOW.
I'm headed to Washington DC, again this year. This time with Daughter (#6). She just turned 12 and is finishing up 6th grade with great enthusiasm. She's almost as tall as her biggest sister and loves to borrow clothes and shoes from her. I'm not sure that it's appreciated, but it does keep things exciting around here. Since our non-driving kids don't have phones, I get texts from their friends all of the time. Or something like that.
By far, the happiest, most cheerful, and earliest riser at our troops is Daughter (#7). She's loving 4th grade. I pretty much can't imagine life without her constant optimism (something I greatly lack). Her constant desire to play games (and win!) is contagious. And besides, it's fun to have someone around here who is still young enough to be excited about something.
And what can I say about Little Man? His birthday is on Tuesday. He'll be 8. And in spite of the fact this I'm his mother, he hasn't gotten kicked out of 1st grade (yet!) for not having something signed or done on time. When three of the big kids had science projects due a few weeks ago? He wanted to get a poster to do, too. Because anything that's a project is his favorite. He's super happy to keep himself entertained and still wants me to sing to him night. I'm so glad.
Starting next month, we have the DC trip for two of us, Impact 360 commissioning in Atlanta, Senior trip to Boston, 6th grade graduation, and high school graduation. Followed quickly by two going to Haiti, family vacation, two going to East Asia, and one to Honduras. Before I can catch my breath we'll be starting school again with only six troops at home and two away at college.
These constant changes and adjustments are where we live right now. We are balancing life somewhere between college kids and 1st graders. But we're unbelievably grateful in sprite of the challenges.
OH! And we got new couches last month! Much needed update, for sure. Sometimes the laundry is even all put away and you can SEE them. Ha! But I can pretty much guarantee that if you stop by to see us (which we would love!) there WILL be laundry out. I do that just to make everyone feel comfortable. Or something.
Thanks for letting me catch up a bit. There are always things to write about, but rarely the time to write it.