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Jennifer's Parenting Journal

Entry 8 ~ February 2, 2014
~ Derailed

Hello everyone!

My goodness it's been awhile! Things have been so, so crazy around here, that, unfortunately, some things have just gotten pushed to the back burner. So much has happened that I'm not even sure where to start! And to be honest with you, I'm not even sure when my last entry was. So, I guess I'll just start in the middle.

At the end of September, I helped my mother move from Idaho to Wisconsin, where we live. Samuel and I flew out to Boise, helped her pack up her truck, and we drove it out here. It was a 3 night, 4 day trip, one we were both happy to be done with! I enjoy driving, so that wasn't a big deal. It was that my mother was so worn out (she had been painting her house here the 2 weeks before she left, had been packing, packing, packing the 2 weeks before I arrived, and she wasn't done when she was supposed to be. In fact, we closed the back of the truck for good at 10 pm, the day before we were supposed to start our trip to Wisconsin, after a full day of struggling to get her apartment cleaned out.), she was no help or condition to do much driving. It's been nice, if not a little weird, to have my mother so close now. We have been living about 1,500 miles apart for the last 18 years, so it will take some getting used to the fact that she's now only a 1/4 mile away. I do love it, though. She has taken the children to spend the night and to have some one on one with her, which has been really good for all of us. She said that this is the first winter in the last 12 years that she hasn't had to battle depression. That is a huge prayer answered!

I certainly wasn't intentional, but 2013 was my year to reorganize and remodel the various rooms in our house. I had already repainted our dining room, living room, and down stairs bath in the Fall of 2012, so those didn't need to be redone. But with the help of mother, this last Summer we tackled the front porch (which desperately needed to be repainted!), we repainted both the children's rooms (due to us expecting our 5th boy, we switched the children's room around. Repainting them was in order since I figured our boys didn't want dark pink walls), we repainted the upstairs bath room, and repainted the hallway/stairs.

In November, we tackled the last of my "to do" list, which was the laundry room. The room is right off the kitchen and one has to walk through it to go out the back door or go downstairs to the toy room, so it sees a lot of traffic. Not to mention the 22 - 25 loads of laundry that gets done each week. Plus, we have to have a place for shoes and jackets to live since our front door comes right into our dinning room. So the re-do wasn't just cosmetic. We replaced the back door last year, but not before a hole had caused enough snow and water to seep into the room, causing the sub floor right at the thresh hold to become rotten. We have known the subfloor needed to be replaced, but it's not an easy thing to do just whenever. Thankfully, we just bit the bullet and got things going. I repainted the walls and trim, Adam built me a wall shelf of cubbies right over the washer and dryer, he built floor-to-ceiling cubbies for the children's shoes, he built a table where the clothes baskets can be within easy reach when sorting laundry, and the floor was replaced. All in all, I am very happy with the end result. You can read more about it in my blog post here:

Adam was able to have the whole week of Christmas off, which hasn't happened since we started our business 3 years ago. It was so nice! Because we have the elderly feeding contract with our county, which ties us here Monday - Thursday, and Adam is also a preacher; there isn't much time to get away. Not that we went anywhere. I wanted to, but a person doesn't get much relaxation when you're traveling around (at least when you are traveling with 9 other people, 8 of whom are younger than 12), so we opted to stay home.

I am trying something different for school than what we did in the Fall. For the first 3 weeks of each month, we do our regular Bible copy, spelling, handwriting, reading, and math (we are following a block schedule this school year and it is going so much better than trying to cram all of that school into one day!). During the last week of the month, we do only science and history, and so far everyone is liking this arrangement. I was getting so discouraged because we just were not getting to our science and history stuff. Everything else would be done by lunch, but it's near impossible to get things back together after lunch. And that's just for the teacher! Of course, it's only been for the month of January, but still . . . it looks promising.

We have had some testing of our family's faith in the last few weeks, to which I am still trying to get a grasp on. We are all physically okay, so no worries there. I'm not going to go into details, but suffice to say it was one of every parent's worst nightmares. It definitely was something that came out of left field and didn't see coming, but I suppose no one ever does. We will survive this and we will grow; it just may be painful in the process.

It's my hope that the next journal entry is more "on time" than this one was. It's hard to get back into the swing of things when one is still trying to cope with being derailed in the first place, you know? But life must go on, especially when you are the director of such a full, busy household.

Blessings to each one of you!
~ Jennifer

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