Tristan and I crashed after a week end at the adoption Retreat. (we have our seat belts on in case you are wondering).
The week end was emotionally draining for me. The topics were on anger, retraining the brain and that sort of thing. Many of the techniques did not apply to our unique situation and I was wondering if it was worth our time to be there. However God blessed me with a group of women who knew about Braden and they cried with me as I grieved the loss of my little boy's heart. It is amazing how crying together can bring you closer to people than laughing together ever can. Trust me, we did laugh later on and that brought its own form of healing. All in all we had a good week end and I am thankful we went.
We left Kobi with our neighbors while we were gone this week end and the thought of leaving their pet, left Kiana and Joseph in a bad mood. The journals came to the rescue once more and after writing, they were both in a much better frame of mind. This morning Kiana said she thinks she is old enough to stop writing in her journal. Tristan muttered under his breath, "No you aren't, I still have to write in mine sometimes."
This morning I was busy doing mounds of laundry. We pulled weeds in the garden as well, which brought about an interesting conversation. The children were grousing about pulling weeds and I told them there weren't any weeds before Adam and Eve sinned. They didn't say much and were soon pretending they were farmers bringing in food (weeds) for their animals. Joseph suddenly piped up, "Mom, I am glad Adam and Eve did sin, that way we have weeds to pull!" I smiled to myself and after a few minutes Joseph changed his mind and said, "Now I wish they hadn't sinned cause pulling weeds is hard work!" Oh for the simplistic view of a child!
The next topic involved trying to decide which is the worst sin. Kiana thought it was probably killing people. I took the opportunity to explain that all sin is equal in God's eye's and fighting and lying hurts God just as badly as killing people. They had to think about that one for awhile!
My sister sent flowers....
...just to let me know she was thinking about me.
Friday morning found me with a long list of packing and cleaning that needed to be done before Dean came home from work. I was trying to think of something that would motivate the children and came up with the following plan: everyone sat on their chair at the table and I placed a dish of Skittles in the center. Then I gave each child a job. When the chore was finished they came back to the table, took a candy and waited for their next command. It worked wonderfully, so much so that I incorporated the same technique this morning.
Over the years I have come up with a few short cuts, things that make packing easier. The most helpful item I have is my "Packing List." I typed up a list of every possible thing we could ever wish to take along when we go away overnight. From medications to lists of clothing, jackets, swimming supplies, hair supplies and a host of small things that I used to forget including finger nail clippers and dental floss. Now I simply print out the list when we are packing and I know I won't forget anything. This simple list takes away a lot of the mental stress involved in packing. If we are going to be staying at different places while on a trip, I bring along a copy of my packing list. That way I can check off the items as I repack and am not as prone to leave things behind.
Another thing I find helpful for my younger children is to put their outfits together. I hang the boys' pants on a hanger and put their shirt on the hanger over them. Their socks get stuck in one of the pockets. If I am packing for church, I put their Sunday jacket on top of the clothing and close the zipper. That way I can hand them the hanger of clothing and they have everything they need to dress themselves.
Having an extra set of bedding that stays packed is always helpful. I used to keep it all in a tote so packing the bedding was as simple as grabbing the tote when we went out the door. Now that the children are older, they take their sleeping bags which is even easier.
My little ones find it hard to sleep when there is a lot of commotion, such as at a cabin. We looked into buying a noise machine but were to cheap to invest one Instead we take our baby monitor along and turn it up against. This makes a white noise that effectively blocks out any sound so the children can get their naps in without being disturbed.
Do you have any tips that make packing easier? If so, please share them I would love to hear from you.