Saturday, September 17

Two weeks ago I wrote . . .

This past year, Ryan's been pulled into the sphere of disaster relief utilizing social media technologies -- open mapping systems, text messaging and such that were first used on a grand scale after Haiti's big earthquake to get relief where it was needed. He got to attend a number of meetings this past week on the subject and came home with the following declaration:

"My career right now could go either way -- supporting disaster relief or war efforts. In the Last Days, that's job security!"

I teased him that since our food storage isn't up to snuff yet, he'd better make himself essential so that we'll be essential people to feed when things got dicey!

As our new life as a family of 6 and being back on the school schedule has begun to really sink in, Ryan and I have both come to the conclusion that parenting these 4 little people is really hard work! The evening routine really works us over every night and it's amazing how nice it is to have a partner in this adventure, . . . unless one or both partners are grouchy and impatient. Good thing that never ever happens around here! Phew! So in no particular order, a more/less list has been running through my head. Wanna hear?

More kids = more messes, more fighting, more tattling, more laundry, more teeth to brush, more diapers to change, less hands than are needed, more back seat drivers with differing climate and listening preferences, less sleep, less free time, more gratitude for the oldest child when he's a great helper, more lunches to make, more awe at how beautiful their smiling faces are, more baths and showers to manage, more people with dinner opinions, more of your favorite cereal being eaten or smashed into the couch and rug before you wake up, more melt downs, more chauffeuring to practices and appointments, more dishes, more trash to be hauled away, more giggles on the trampoline and tricks to watch, more "I Love You"s after prayers, more "I'm hungry, what can I eat?" nagging, more Sunday clothes to iron, more missing shoes to find, more snacks to pack for every outing, less patience than is needed, more humility and sacrifice is required. Luckily, I've got one big cute boy to share the journey with!

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September 27

And that cute boy had a birthday this past weekend! I'm pretty happy with the gifts I thought up this time around. Ryan enjoys playing tennis with a coworker or two on his lunch break but has never had lessons. The boys have been taking tennis lessons this summer so I asked Ryan if he'd be interested in lessons through the winter with their instructor.

Ryan came home from his first lesson walking on air last Friday! He was really pleased with the techniques and corrections he'd been taught. His other birthday gifts included a dutch oven, a 220v white noise sleep machine, and some sports pants to match his soccer coaching jersey. I got a sitter for ALL four of the kids and we went out to dinner at our new favorite German restaurant. Alone! We had a lot of fun chatting and just being out again!

On his actual birthday we made his favorite rucola ravioli dinner (I've done better versions) and a big chocolate cake. While this isn't the best picture, it's got all my favorite people in it! I'd say 37 never looked so good!