After a Bar Mitzvah (and since we did a Thursday morning service, we even got pictures!), lots of family (Baruch Hashem!), vacation over Thanksgiving to visit more family, Chanukah, and school reports written and sent in, I think we are ready to get back to some normality again. Not all family was able to come, but the ones that were able to come meant a lot to us. My sister brought over 5 cousins to play with, along with her husband. We were also blessed to have Saba and Savta and one brother over. It is so nice to be able to celebrate with family. We had 16 people stay over in our house and it reminded me of the story The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. I played the video narration of the book for everyone since I could not find our copy of the book to read. I could not help myself and after the first set of visitors left, I transcribed the book, adjusted the words to make it match our family, chose photos to go with the words and voila! I had a photo book full of our memories. Lots of laughs and lots of fun. (My youngest came up to me this morning for he found the missing book!)
It always seems to take a bit to get back into a routine, especially after several weeks of being out of one, though I think we did pretty good this week. We are trying to do as the schedule says, but it does not help too much when I am late at getting myself ready – I just cannot seem to be able to want to get moving in the morning, however, once I am moving it is not too bad. Our schedule has changed over the past month; there is no more Amateur Radio classes for the older two boys, some extra music teaching students have changed days and times, Mr. Bar Mitzvah boy is not laining but he is going to shul for all three minyamin now which is making the late afternoon a bit harried sometimes, and both older boys are happy to be attending chavrusa learning twice a week which has changed some of our evening plans (but I really cannot complain that they love learning!) I really need to be able to sit down and think a little bit about how to make everything work out. Today was a really crazy one and nothing seemed to really work out as it should have.
The really crazy thing is that I am all of a sudden finding spare time during the day – during teaching time! I am not sure how that is happening. I am even looking at the chart I put on the wall multiple times a day to make sure I am not missing anything. I honestly am not sure what is different, though I try not to complain and try to find things to do such as sweeping, mopping, folding laundry, etc. Though I do admit that sometimes I just sit down… and do nothing, and feel weird about doing it.
I have been working on trying to be more organized. I have tried it before with varied success. I hate coming into the kitchen to work with kids and the clean kitchen from the morning is no longer there. I can clean a house, but it never seems to stay anything like it should. I have been thinking about trying to keep the house better in a different light. It seems to me (at least it does this week,) that organizing a house is like going on a diet – one can go on a rampage and do a house cleaning, but it will not likely stay clean. Same for a diet – one can loose a lot of weight all at once, but almost always those “diets” are very short lived. I am trying a different way; I am slowly re-organizing things so it looks cleaner, and trying to keep the new re-organizing before adding new things to the plate. My goal is to eventually get to the point where everything is usually in the right spot, more often than not, and when it is not, it does not take that much time and effort to get it there. I have been thinking of ways that will work for our family, using how the members in our family work. Reminds me of how I teach; I have to use the strengths and weaknesses of each child and tailor my teaching accordingly. I find that instead of thinking, “this person SHOULD be doing this, or that” and then getting annoyed when they don’t, I try to think “this person is not doing what I would like them to do, how can I get them to do it?” I have a feeling that my organizing process is going to take the next, oh, 14 years or so? 😉
Rolling on to a connected thought, a friend posted a wonderful blog from a stay-at-home mom. So, I will not mind if my house is not organized like I want for the next 14 years or so, for I plan on treasuring seeing a 4 year old all bundled up from being outside in the cold and the snow and walking like a penguin, while I walk towards him the same way and we both laugh. I also plan on tucking away memories of putting children to bed and at 11 pm at night I still have all boys up and awake and not sleeping. (Should I get them up extra early in the morning? 😉 )