I woke early and rested this morning.
(Sleeping near my husband is not a blessing I overlook these days. Months in the hospital reminded me how lovely it is to have a warm body near to cuddle into. Mmmm.)
Two things were clear in my mind.
1- Work. 2- Individual Time.
One was an echo from my mother in law who reminded me last night to let my kids help.
This morning, we will have an active half hour morning devotional. If each kid pitches in 30 minutes that will save me 3 hours of work.
Here is what I'm going to ask them to do happily before school...
Jakob-clean downstairs bathroom and unload dishwasher
Drew- sweep and mop kitchen floor, bring pictures from behind the couch to master bedroom storage closet
Anna- gather pillowcases and sheets from beds, fold laundry in drier
Ellie- sinks and mirrors of upstairs bathrooms, be sure her clothes are all put away
Leah- pick up anything on the floor and vacuum living and family room
Lily- empty trash around the house
Eve- put away silverware
Ben- supply smiles and cuddles to kids who need positive reinforcement
Todd- snow plow and hang a few pictures that are currently leaning against wall
The second gentle whisper I had was a reminder to spend individual time each day with each child. This won't change much of what I do, but it will change my focus.
At night, as I'm bathing the little girls, recognize this is my moment with Lily. Take time to look deep into her eyes, smile, talk to her, listen about her day. Times this by eight.
One game of ping pong per day with Jakob. Some focused, positive talk/touch time with Drew. I can connect with him positively for ten minutes or spend three hours chasing him as he touches and teases his sisters.
On Sunday, Leah was disconnected and a bit wild at church. After church I took a moment to hold her on my lap, hug her tight, look in her eyes and tell her how much I adore her bright, cheerful spirit (and I do). She melted. The rest of the day she was my best helper.
As the holidays approach, it is easy to let my kids melt into the background. How grateful I am for a gentle reminder this morning to invest a few minutes each day with each child. I feel the difference this investment will make.
We are all so excited for my family to come tonight!
I only wish that my home could hold as many as my heart.
(This is how Mormon's party.)