Pictorial review

Confession: I don’t often do it this way, but to bring you up to speed on the last few months I’m going to just this once. In brief then, here’s a photographical run-down of our summer.

Let me start with breakfast. When you have half a dozen children, the simple pleasures of life such as waking up in the morning and frying yourself an egg become much more complicated.

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Still a pleasure though. Speaking of food, I had a brief unfortunate experience with kale smoothies. After ten days I decided I adore my greens but would rather be pureed myself than drink them that way anymore.

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We spent a lot of lunchtimes in this kind of paradise.

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We did a little gardening, but not much. Mostly I grew kids and flowers.

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Aarick was my right-hand man. It hurts, how fast he’s growing up. This summer he got good with a BB gun and a swim stroke and a vacuum cleaner.

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And Regan. You know. This kinda thing all summer.

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He is hands down the toughest kid I’ve ever raised but I bet he makes me laugh every single day. When he was bored he got out the dictionary and amused himself by using up every letter on the Scrabble board.

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Kelly learned to comb her hair all by herself (if we’re staying home for the day), and grew zinnias from her own saved seeds, and turned six, and became a fabulous little playmate and babysitter.

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She got a kitten.

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Or maybe Ryan got a kitten. The jury’s still out on that.

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No, Ryan got a haircut. I thought I’d hate him with short hair and instead I found him irresistible. (I hate when that happens.)

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He is a good firefighter. I think of this on 9-11 and am especially proud of his commitment to community life and safety. We liked watching him train.

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Somehow during the summer my baby grew from a sleeping infant to an exploring adventurer. Oh my heart…

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If you ever want to bless a busy mom, send your teenaged daughter or friend to help her out for a few hours. This happened to me. Kaitlyn came once a week all summer, and Annie was hired for several hours by my secret sister from church. This photo shows the day we cleaned the whole house together and drank iced coffee.

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Our two big ideas this summer were family volunteerism and family excursions.

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We got to see the Liberty Bell once (do not pass or stow) and my grandma twice.

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And then this tiny baby… this precious miracle niece whose mother recovered from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and gave birth to a darling… came to see us. She is protesting the camera.


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God is good!

There are many pictures I can’t show you because the twins’ beautiful faces are on them. At the end of summer we packed up their luggage with all their favorite stuff –

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And the three big kids went off to school –

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And life turned a whole new corner. I won’t lie to you: I’m spending a lot of time breathing, and snuggling this baby.

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Tell me a few things you loved this summer.

Why two heads are better than one

In everything from food committees to parenting five kids for the weekend (which is the fun we are currently engaged in) TWO–says Solomon–are better than ONE. And I wouldn’t want to disagree with him.

I made a graph to portray this phenomenon. It’s titled Variations on Reality. Have I ever mentioned that I couldn’t handle life without The Boss?

Shari's Graph

{Click on it to view the full size. It’s too wide to show up here.}

Do you recognize the pattern?