What an exciting month! My favorite thing to do is sit on their floor and watch them play. They are interested in everything and I mean, EVERYTHING. It's so wonderful to observe their little brains trying to figure out how stuff works. They want to touch, feel, grab everything and put it straight into their mouths.
This is scary, too and requires quite a bit of diligence on my part. Now that they are rapid crawlers, I have to be extra careful. It's particularly challenging when they are both crawling in different directions at the same time! Sometimes I wish I had four eyes and eight arms just to keep up with them!
The best part about having a big family, though, is that we all work together. The older three children have become indispensable helpers. Jewel, especially, is a huge help to me. She changes diapers, feeds, clothes and plays with the babies. I guess I had this false notion in my head that big families were more difficult than small families because it meant more work for the mother. What I am discovering is that the older children are maturing more quickly as a direct result of being given more responsibility around the house.
My older children are able to: 1. clean their rooms; 2. tidy their bathrooms; 3. straighten every room in the house; 4. set the table for meals; 5. change diapers; 6. play with babies; 7. make lunches; 8. read to each other; 9. sweep the floors; 10. load and unload the dishwasher.
Before the twins were born, I didn't really require the older children to help. Now I absolutely NEED their help and they have proven themselves more than capable. The best part? They love it! I set the timer, turn on some happy music and we bust through our chores happily. When Daddy gets home from work, the children are proud to show him what they've accomplished.
I used to think big families were a burden. Now I know they are an enormous blessing!
Yes, we don't have extra money for eating out, or new clothes every month. But what we do have is better than all that. One of our favorite things to do is spread a big blanket on the grass, bring out a pile of books, paper, pens, markers and just read and draw outdoors for an entire afternoon.
We eat at home and I do a lot more cooking these days. But I really don't mind. I cook simply---casseroles, beans n' rice, steamed veggies w/ baked fish. It's not gourmet, but it's healthy and nutritious. Our meal-times are loud, happy and full of children-noise: talking, baby laughter, sharing stories. I like our home meals better than eating out.
Here's our favorite meal: Enchilada Casserole, steamed broccoli, homemade pinto beans, canned pineapple chunks. I can make this meal for a fraction of the cost of eating out. Sweeeeeeeet!
When the twins were newborns, I didn't know how I was going to survive. There were so many days when I felt like I was drowning. But what I've learned in this past year is that when I seek to honor God, He provides all that I need. I don't have to be afraid.
Indeed, this life has become everything I ever wanted.
For these and all His gifts, I am truly, deeply thankful.