Friday, August 31, 2007

Putting it in words

I am always in awe of Fitz's writing abilities, whether it is a heartwrenching song he has done, or simply a note to one of his students. In the midst of all of our other activities this summer, he managed to run an incredible online writing community, mostly for his students, but also for some of the parents who wanted to be involved. I checked in today because I hadn't in a while and found this. He has such an amazing way of painting the picture of our life.

One on one

The kids all started school this week, except for EJ, who is off to Fenn with Fitz next week. He has had a week home with just Fitz and I and little brother Tommy. With 7 kids, it's not too often that they get pure one on one time. We make an effort to do this, but it is usually a story read, a quick trip to the store etc. And of all the kids, EJ is the least demanding, the most agreeable, the one who is always 'okay'. He's an easy one to overlook because of all those things, and Fitz and I try and make a conscious effort to not overlook what an amazing kid he is. It's one reason why I am so happy he will have this year on his own at Fenn.

So this morning, I walked Emma and Charlie to school, and EJ asked to come along. It was a gorgeous 70 degree morning, and we had nothing to hurry back for. So after dropping the little ones at school, he and I walked downtown to get breakfast. When we do spend time with each of our kids one on one, we quickly remember what a joy it is, and this morning was no exception. I had forgotten how EJ, in his quiet way, notices all of the beautiful little things that we miss in our hurry for life. We stopped to listen to a morning dove, dropped leaves in a drainage grate to watch them wash away, and stood on the bridge going over the river and noticed how low it has gotten with the heat of the summer. He also talked to me in his soft, soft voice about his quiet excitement in starting his new school. He is not much of a talker, usually willing to sit back and listen, letting all of his siblngs take over. From the moment this boy was born everyone has called him an old soul. There is a peace around him, that just makes you relax when you are with him. A morning alone with him was exactly what I needed today with this hectic beginning of the year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Things you don't expect to find yourself saying as a parent...

"No, I will not make scrambled eggs for the turtle... I have enough to do in the mornings!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of School!

Margaret, Kaleigh and Pipo off to the highschool and middle school this morning.

Charlie and Emma off to the elementary school.

As much as I dread the new school year, there is just something about that first day, with a backpack full of new school supplies, and a new outfit. It couldn't have been more perfect either, with a 65 degree gorgeous morning. The kids were all wide awake at 6am, excited to get started. We'll see how long that lasts!

EJ is off to Fenn with Fitz next week. He is nervous about not knowing anyone, but overall, excited about a new school, and even more excited to drive in with Dad every day!

And poor Tommy is left home once again... one more year little buddy, then it's off to Kindergarten!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I took a walk with Emma today, still on her crutches. We had a funny conversation. The doctor in the ER told me in front of her that there should be "no weight bearing at all, until the stitches come out". Fitz and I have reminded her not to put any weight on it, and I thought we had explained what that meant. She has been incredibly good about using her crutches (the girl can fly!) and hopping when she is not using them.

I reminded her that tomorrow we go to the doctor to get it checked, and hopefully get the stitches out and get rid of the crutches. She said "I hope I haven't put any weight on this foot." I reminded her how good she has been, and asked why she was worried. She very seriously replied, "Well, this foot hasn't gotten any exercise, so it might have gotten a little fat... I don't know."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Not the same...

Well, that time is finally here. I think today we will get one last beach trip in, spend time with some cousins, and head home. School begins a week from tomorrow, and I have done no shopping and the house is in disarray. I dread this day every year, and not because of the bags and bags of laundry we will bring home with us. It's because of the drastic change in routine we will be going through. From the 9 of us spending all of our time together, to the 9 of us heading in different directions with all of our school and sports schedules. I lay in bed this morning thinking about it, debating whether we could squeeze one or two more days of vacation out. But I know I can't make it last forever. It's like ripping a bandaid off. I know it's going to hurt, so it needs to be done fast.

The kids are looking forward to school, and I know there will be many more family meals around the table than there have been lately. We'll all ride our bikes over and watch Kaleigh's soccer games when the high school team is playing at home. But it's just not the same. Not the same as that night the thunderstorm hit so hard that 7 kids came scrambling onto the bus in the middle of the night, giggling and dragging damp sleeping bags, squeezing to find room to sleep. Not the same as laying there, waiting for them to settle down, and listening to the thunder rumble in the distance, listening to 9 bodies all breathing in the same space. It's not the same as all 9 of us going on the boat, and telling the kids they all need to go below while we get under sail. And listening to all those kids laughing down there, looking like cargo in the hold. It's not the same as that beautiful, rare 70 degree August day, where we rented a bike trailer to throw Emma and her crutches in, so all 9 of us could go for a 10 mile bike ride, Fitz and I trailing behind, watching the kids all race ahead yelling to eachother and laughing. It's just not the same.

But we'll rip that bandaid off quickly, and get on with our year. And from time to time, all 9 will sit down to dinner laughing and remembering summer, and well huddle around the couch, looking at photos... and maybe, just maybe it will sometimes feel the same.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


A brief summary of my day, with a look at the stats.

I started off the day by taking SIX overexcited children to the local library bookfair, where we came home with FIFTY 'new to us' books. This gave me ONE hour of peace, as the SIX kids were immersed in their new books.

I then overcame my longrunning fear, and learned to drive our THIRTY ONE foot bus (not by choice, it needed to be moved, and Fitz was not here to do it.)

After this, I singlehandedly took TEN even more overexcited children swimming in a local pond, where I proceeded to count TEN bobbing heads about every FIVE seconds, to make sure they were all still there.

I finished up the day with a THREE hour wait in the ER, to get SEVEN stitches put into the foot of a very small SIX year old, and then taught her to use her very first pair of crutches.

All this leaves us with ONE very exhausted mom.