It's 8:31 and the kids are in bed. There was much screaming and crying involved. Jason had to run to the store, so I was doing the bath/bedtime thing solo. Casper was cranky and wanted to nurse himself to sleep. Klaas was mad that I had washed his "cuddle" (my scarf that is his security blanket) and that it was warm coming out of the dryer. Hazel and I read my Elizabeth book that I found at a used bookstore when I was about 10 years old. She found it fascinating and was excited to point out that the book was "about Elizabeths! Like you, Elizabeth Schuiling!" Finally (after a talk and a correction), Klaas calmed down and puttered while Hazel and I read. Then he and I read one of his animal books. Then it was into bed and then I grabbed Casper for a little bedtime cuddle. He conked out and is now asleep.
I can say I only lost my patience once, but almost lost it at several moments during that time.
And now it's time for me to do...something, anything! I have a kitchen that needs to be cleaned, a living room to be tidied, two half-finished sweaters that need to be knitted, a bookcase in the yard that needs to be painted, three articles of clothing that need to be mended/altered, two quilts I'd like to finish sitting in my trunk o' fabric, and let's not even discuss my simple (yet for me ambitious) plan to start exercising regularly, etc...
And of course I didn't do everything I wanted to do today with the kids: lots of reading and organized, thoughtful crafts where my children sit patiently like 12 year olds and follow instructions exactly. We're getting there, but I do have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 2 month old.
I really feel like I am in the thick of it now, sometimes in a bad way, but usually in a good way. I love the ages that the kids are at (well, every age is a good age). I love the fact that we're going to do more schoolwork with Hazel this year and that while she does a one day a week enrichment class, I'll have a few hours just to hang out with Klaas and Casper.
I guess what I've been thinking about a lot lately is balance. I usually feel when I'm cleaning I should be reading to or playing with the kids. When I'm doing a craft with them, I feel like I should be cleaning. When I try to implement a schedule, trying to keep everyone on track with eating breakfast, cleaning up, playing, reading, doing some lessons, things seem to go haywire. But maybe that's just how things will be right now and I need to accept that.
I also have noticed that I had a lot more patience when....wait for it....I was praying for it every day right after Casper was born. Lately my prayer life hasn't been there as much as it should be and I can tell that I am struggling a bit because of it. Lord, make me remember that without you all of this is futile and it won't happen the way I want it to. But I can't raise our children and keep our home all on my own strength. I can feel when I try to hold things together myself, they just fall apart. But when I trust in you Lord, all things are possible.
So those are my thoughts of the evening. Now to do the dishes! So I can enjoy making breakfast in the morning.