6:00 a.m.

Do you sometimes have crazy mornings?  You know, the ones where you rush to get dressed, overlook that nobody’s hair is brushed because you really don’t have time to fix it,  ask your 4 year old to help make lunches because it just won’t get done otherwise, and you are ok with allowing the kids to grab a granola bar to eat in the car on the way to school.  And then of course this always leads to extra sibling” affection” as one kicks the other because “she is in my seat” or “he pushed me.”  Yeah, those mornings….

Well, I have found the solution!

Sorry, but you will just have to get your act together.   Have you ever heard the phrase, “You must be the change you wish to see in the World”?  I have decided this applies everywhere, especially at home.

So in our house tomorrow morning I will be the one to make the changes.  First, I plan to get out of bed at 6:00 a.m., before the sun wakes me up.  Secondly, we will all eat breakfast – on a plate and at the table.

Tonight I am going to try for the first time a crock pot breakfast meal.  I’ll have to let you know the consensus on this tomorrow.

Wish me luck, mostly just in getting out of bed on time.  I am sure the kids and the crock pot will be just fine…



Normal Everyday Crazy


This is what MC chose to wear on our walk to school this afternoon to pick up her brother and sister.

I really didn’t think too much of it until several people commented on her “ensemble”.  Then I thought, “oh, well yes, I suppose that is kind of crazy.”  But I am ok with kind of crazy.

Funny thing though, there was a time I would have never considered letting my child step foot outside the door with even a shirt tail untucked or hair out of place.

Now look at me.  My children have definitely changed me.  Some things that would have turned me inside out in the past are now just a part of our normal everday kind of crazy days.  And I am ok with that.

Honestly, I wish I would have learned to be ok with this much sooner.  It wasn’t until child number 3 that I began to embrace the craziness and give my children grace for their (in my opinion) outlandish ideas.

I suppose you get to a point where you realize you are not really the one in control.  Or at least I realized that it wasn’t really necessary for me to be in control ALL of the time.

I like to think of my system now as controlled chaos.  I have control of the situation, but yes, to a bystander it will often look like chaos.

No way in a million years would I have ever been able to convince my single child self of this, but if I could have figured this out sooner many of my days would have much more simple.

My children have taught me that my idea of perfect order is not always necessary.  They have also taught me that when I think order is necessary and it just doesn’t happen, that is ok too.  Because really, most days these things just don’t matter, and a little bit of everyday crazy is absolutely ok.

And yes, just in case you were wondering she also rode the pink scooter with flashing wheels…

Intentional Parenting

I have been very busy lately.  Five kids, a new school year, house guests, a birthday, five committees and two upcoming fundraisers has made the past two weeks a bit of a blur.

In the midst of this blur we have obviously managed to accomplish our everyday goals.  Nobody has been late to school, chores have been completed, agendas have been prepared and dinner has been served.

Although I must admit it was ever so helpful to have my in-laws in town to pick up any loose ends – or children on the days I was scheduled to be in more than one place at a time!

With all of these commitments I sometimes find myself on autopilot.  This makes me question how intentional of a parent I really am.  Am I parenting with purpose, or by default?  Are all of our systems in place so that they are accomplished in the midst of the blur?  Are my children being molded with goals in mind or are they on a path of happenstance?

The Commander and I joke that running a family is really the same as running a business.  Really though this isn’t a joke.

A business makes a plan, sets goals and works toward those goals.  Why not do this with your family?

This week I am going to update our Family Plan.  But most importantly, the Family Plan is going to be written, not just ideas thrown out and discussed.  I want to create an actual document that can be revisited, revised and grow along with our own family’s needs and desires.

I know this sounds daunting.  But, just start.  Include your children.  Make this your mealtime topic for the next few nights.  The beauty of this project is that a Family Plan, just like a business plan, will always be changing.  You can always revise or make an addendum – it is YOUR family’s plan.

If you need some assistance, begin with questions like this:

  • What values are important to our family?
  • What are our family goals?
  • Where or how do we see our family in 5 or 10 years?
  • What are our traditions?
  • What rituals do we have?
  • What activities are important to our family?
  • What rules do/should we have?