For the first time in nearly 24 hours, I have a lull in the action. We started out yesterday cleaning the third floor. That is our playroom and my storage area for all of our homeschooling stuff and toys that are currently put away. That area of the house had become completely out of control. It was so bad that everyone had pretty much stopped even trying to put things away and if something belonged on the third floor it was either left on the stairs or thrown into the doorway. Plus, there were a lot of the toys that are supposed to come out only one at a time which were out all at the same time. Chaos. And I couldn't live with it any longer.
So up we all went and put it back to rights. It really didn't take that long once everyone started to help, mainly because of the very large toy purge I had done a couple of years ago. It looked as if it would take forever, but that was mainly because of the Playmobile, Lego (the upstairs Legos which live in the third floor, not the boys' Legos which live in their room... those we did last week), and wooden blocks which were scattered all around. (It's all those little pieces!) Everything is back in its bin or shelf and toys are tucked away in my restricted area. It looks good.
We had a late lunch and I had enough time to get everyone to quiet time or naps before I needed to leave with A. and P. for their riding lessons. I had this all planned out. I would drive them to their lessons and after the lessons we would stop at the tack store next door to spend my mother's money and get them needed paddock boots and half chaps. The sneakers worked well enough to begin and see if they enjoyed riding lessons, but the trainers were starting to mention they needed something more appropriate with more support.
At least that was my plan. Not part of my plan was forgetting my purse so that I had neither cash, checkbook, credit card, or phone. Thankfully the lessons were already paid for, but it would make purchasing boots difficult. So we got in the car to go back home to get my purse to go back to the store to buy boots. But wouldn't you know it the car's gas tank was riding on empty. (My plan was to fill it up on my way home, but you can't do that without the items in the purse.) So we crept home, retrieved my purse, and then crept even more slowly to the nearest gas station. On the car I was driving it helpfully tells me how many more miles I can drive with the gas in my tank. Let me tell you how thankful I am that I still have one more gallon of gas when the read out says I have 0 miles to go. Not that I really wanted to have to discover this piece of information.
The boots and chaps were bought and went home, it was just an hour later than I expected it to be. We now had just enough time to eat dinner together before J. and I had to leave to see a show that M. is in. It was one of those days (the second this week) where there just wasn't a moment to do anything but run to the next event. Is it any wonder that I never got a blog post written?
I have a couple of thoughts on this side of my slightly crazy week. The first is that children really do better with a less stimulating, less chaotic environment. I watch every time we do a major cleaning of the third floor. Sure, when it's messy they'll still sometimes go up there and play, but play usually involves just moving stuff around, it's not the actual sit and create for long periods of time type of play. It had been a while since I had seen that happen up there. Well, this morning, what do I happen upon but TM and K. building a huge city with blocks together. It was actual play which was calm and thoughtful, not the disordered and chaotic play which had been happening. I think it is actually freeing to them to only have a couple of choices of toys to play with at a time. It allows them to focus. More is really not always better.
My second thought is that I'm reminded how terribly unhealthy it is to have no freedom (some would call it margin) in one's schedule. Now this week was somewhat of an anomaly but I have been feeling the pinch quite a bit since the new year, and this past week has really confirmed that I need to be a bit more careful about our commitments. I don't end up enjoying anything that we've been doing, everything feels just a bit as though it will spiral out of control, and I find myself being a not so pleasant person. (That is when I'm not bursting into tears at any given moment. Poor J.) I know my tolerance for this sort of life is fairly low, but I'm actually glad about that because it forces me to keep things to a reasonable level of busyness. So, if you're finding yourself unreasonable stressed or angry or sad, it could -- of course if could be other things -- but it could be related to your level of busyness. It's not worth your sanity and health of your family... and if we are really truthful, not one of us is really that indispensable.
And now having written this, and got a handle on the laundry, and spent time with my children, I'm going to supervise some craft making. A friend from church surprised us at the front door this morning with four bags of office/craft supplies for everyone. It's been like Christmas around here. We feel so blessed and thankful.
Does little Chad weigh heavily on anyone else' heart? This little, little boy is nine (!) years old. His medical file has scared away many people because it includes 'arachnoid cyst' in his medicals. Google it, in the great scheme of things, it seems kind of not a big deal, especially compared to the results of the massive neglect he has experienced. (I also confirmed this with our neurologist on Tuesday, in and of itself, an arachnoid cyst is benign.)
But even given that neglect, he smiles, he walks (this is astounding considering) holding onto someone's hand, and a mother who recently visited him called him a 'cheerful little monkey'. He sounds adorable. But he is in an institution where the pronoun 'it' is used to describe him. IT!. He is a person, not an it, and he needs a family!
He looks like a sweetheart with his curly hair. Pray, pray, pray that his family finds him. You can see his information on Reece's Rainbow.