Often my ideas are huge and unattainable. Like, I want to paint beautiful mosaics on Betty’s bedroom wall, even though I own no artistic ability to do so. Or, I want to create the perfect backyard getaway, when in reality the constant flow of dirt and water equals mud, and the small stones that used to all be contained in one small two-foot square, are now covering practically every square inch of the backyard. I see myself moving entire gargantuan pieces of furniture upstairs alone, or maybe strapping a couch that I find along the side of the road to the roof of our van, but I know it’s not possible. I envision a lot. Then I often get frustrated at myself for not doing whatever is needed to make that vision become reality. So, I’ve been implementing two new techniques. The first one is to not get bogged down with what I can’t do when all around me are a hundred and three things I can do. The second one is actually not that new. I’m sure it’s as old as Eve. It’s called the “do it now” method. Here’s the gist: I walk past a pair of grimy socks on the living room floor. I either walk past them another ten times, or Do It Now and pick them up on my way to the laundry room. Here’s another example. I wake up and leave my bed crumpled all day, or I take thirty-eight seconds and smooth the duvet and fluff my pillows. I know this is complicated, so here’s one more go at it: I can either think of a really cool idea to do with my kids, or I can by gum do it!
Last Friday I decided to by gum do it.
It took some planning, but not tons of time. The hardest part was sneaking stuff out to the car without spilling the beans that I was up to something. It began when I gathered the kids together and gave them a clue: “In the front seat of something blue, within an envelope lies a clue!”
The kids raced to the car and found an envelope with another clue, which then led them on a series of clues until they found themselves in the van, on their way to Grandma’s house for lunch! After lunch, we got back in the van and headed to their other Grandma’s house. No one was home, but another clue awaited them, and they trekked over to their favorite local jaunt/nature preserve to look for more clues and to find both Grandma and Jacob who were missing! We had a blast at Briar Bush, and made our way back to the house, where a treasure map led the way to the “treasure”, which was a box full of odds and ends that tickled their individual fancies. It was a lot of fun!
We were able to squeeze it all in before the abundant amounts of rain began to fall over the weekend. That night Matt, Jacob, and Granddaddy took the kids running in the rain. Our kids’ love tanks are filled to the brim when anything that involves out of the ordinary, coupled with getting wet and muddy on purpose, is on the agenda.
The next day we enjoyed visiting with our cousins. The rain was falling in sheets again around suppertime, so the men grilled with umbrellas and raincoats!
I think she’s beautiful even when her tears match the rain.
We celebrated Abby’s 5th birthday with love, a wild game of sardines, and chocolate cupcakes that made even the heaviest rain-cloud-shod day seem like a day of perpetual sunshine. Wow. Those things were amazing.
When we left the cousins’ house Irene had decided to come in earnest and I had a small melt-down driving home. I don’t do well driving in strong rain/wind/snow. Once my windshield wipers have to be on that third little notch, I become unglued. Anyway, thankfully we made it home safely. Then began a long night for me where I got up often, breathed prayers over my kids, glared at the tree that kept brushing the side of the house, prayed some more, and saw two circuit boxes blow outside my window in a spray of electric fireworks. It was pretty wild. The whole craziness of the night compounded itself when somehow 3 out of 5 kids landed in our not-built-for-five double bed. I ended up on Jack’s top bunk and finally willed myself to sleep around 4:30am. I was pretty bleary-eyed the next morning. Thankfully our electricity was only off for about an hour during the night, so we were able to enjoy hot beverages and crepes while the wind blew crazy tunes and the rain filled our little fish pond.
While most of the area had to cancel their first day of school, we were hitting the books on Monday morning. This is our first year of homeschooling without the aid of cyber-school. We have two 3rd graders, one in Kindergarten, one in pre-school, and one in la-la land during it all. As Nadine would say, “It’s been SUCH a blast, and even though we’ve only done two days of school, I just LOVE it.” Me too, sweet girl!
So, we started with a hurricane, and are settling into a routine that is new for us. I’m excited to see how everything smooths out, and when we are into our rhythm I’ll be so glad to share our school day with you! I’ll also be sharing some more of those Do It Now success stories as I experiment with this extraordinary technique that makes piles of junk diminish, dishes get clean, and some not-so-ordinary things happen!