April 4, 2013

Juggling. Overflowing.

We're two hundred-some days into Mitch's current long distant project (not counting prior weeks & months, or the previous year-long project) ..If all goes as planned, we've got thirty-five left to go.
He's been putting in 16 hour work days.  I'm pulling 20 hour days, myself - I keep terrible sleep patterns while he's away. 

Though I don't talk about it often, I must admit that for the better part of the last few years, it's been difficult.  

Consistency & balance are vital in my life.  And while I'm trying to provide those things for the kids, they're very missing in mine.  There is an absence in our family structure.  It's been difficult for me when it comes to my personal ideal of family, our family.  A lot of the time, the kids seem too used to it for my liking.  But it's wearing on them, too.  They miss their dad.
We can't wait for him to be home regularly again.

My hands have been more full than ever, having five kids ranging from kindergarten to teens this school year, eggs in different baskets & all.  There have been days where being the only driver & having only two sets of hands in the evening has been logistically & all-around challenging.
These are words I like to remember:

(This photo is five years old..  Oh, how they've grown.  Mason & Eric have facial hair now.) 

As I was thinking about just how challenging it's been some days (like today), I began to recall all we've accomplished within these past 7 months.

Our first varsity football season.
Drivers permits (times two!)
Teaching Mason & Eric to pump gas & drive in town.
Johnathan's 10th birthday.  He's changing from little boy to more mature, bigger boy.
Teaching him how to have a good handshake.
Beau's big jump from five to six years.  
His first "lost" tooth.
Kindergarten - a huge, new, all-day every-day transition.
Our first varsity basketball season.
I've never washed more laundry in my life.  Basketball uniforms being a major contributor to midnight loads of laundry.
Practice. Practice. Practice.  And more practice.
Safely navigating icy winter roads with teenaged drivers-in-training behind the wheel.
Semi-formal dances.
Re-growth & recovery of a badly broken bone.
Doctor appointments (more than ever in our life.)
Third grade homework - Lilly has had the biggest daily homework load in our house.
Fourth grade math.  (What has happened to math methods? I'm not bad at math, but I struggle from time to time with understanding how to help with these new curriculums!)
Kindergarten homework - surprise bags & clues each & every Wednesday.
9th grade studies.  Mason & Eric are mostly independent in this.. but still, I've had to keep an eye on their grades to make sure they aren't slipping while sports have been so intense.   
They haven't missed the honor roll yet.
We haven't missed THE BUS yet this year either!
Deer processing.  Our first time dealing start-to-finish with a harvest while Dad is away.  We did it!
Snow removal.   Mason & Eric have saved the day with their skid-steer skills.
Birthday parties.  Conferences.  Costumes & Halloween.  Holidays. 
Daily & weekly chores.  Keeping wood in the fire.  Food in bellies.  Showers, haircuts.  Bedtimes. 
My hands are full.
But my heart overflows. 

Counting down the days to family togetherness, teamwork, & the consistency of being under one roof.  Getting closer every day.

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  1. Hang in there Amanda, only thirty-five days to go, that's one more day out of six already covered in this long haul. Times like this build character in all which is priceless. Take time to breathe when you can.....

  2. Yup raising boys is a big job. I know. We had two..:)

  3. You may well have captured the essence of being a mother of five. I love that picture, since I only recently started following you, I didn't know how incredibly BUSY you are. You are very fortunate in your wonderful family. I hope you make it through the next month without incident. :-)

    1. Thanks, DJan! They're the most easy going bunch of kids, so they make any challenge we may face MUCH easier. Most of the time it's a walk in the park.
      (This is not just my biased opinion, but one we hear from everyone who has known them all their lives, or has the chance to be around them for just an afternoon.)

  4. I hope the next 35 days pass quickly and smoothly. You certainly have a long list of accomplishments during this period. Your husband (and you) should be proud of how well the family has done.

    1. I really appreciate your kind words, George. Thank you!

  5. What an amazing shot!

  6. You're my hero Amanda! I'm sure your family feels the same way. Hang in there, this too shall pass.

  7. You sound incredibly and amazingly busy. My brother and his wife also have 5 children - including 2-year old triplets in the middle! I don't know how you ladies do it but I admire you both.