A Week Away

March 9-16 I was away helping a family while the dad was gone. They have 4 children, 7 and under. It was so much fun (though tiring!) to play with them and help them. While I normally don’t like having to cancel music lessons and try to avoid it, this was well worth canceling. I had said before it would be a good opportunity to serve, and learn, and that I was feeling like I needed a change of scene and different routine for a bit. And all that was true. And I said that it would be good for my heart. And it was. God rooted out something that didn’t want to come out. I learned why heartache is called ache. But it’s gone now, and in its place, more of Him. But I never thought how much I’d enjoy it, or learn, or how much I’d love the kids. I really hated leaving them, glad as I was to be heading home.
I did take a lot of pictures, but they aren’t for posting. And even if I could post them, half of them aren’t worth posting because a noisy ISO doesn’t show up ON the camera, only off it. So some of the ones I thought were best are really noisy (but ArcSoft is wonderful at fixing noise!). Silly me. And do any of the photographers out there have any techniques for focusing more quickly?
Some of the pictures may show up later but not identified…

The days went something like this: wake up, exercises, shower, get breakfast ready, eat, dishes, watch the littles while the mother took the boys to school. Play with littles all morning – playdough, stories, train sets, puzzles – help with lunch prep. The boys get picked up and brought home from school. Eat lunch. Littles down for nap. Homework, trampoline, video/computer with the boys. Then we’d trampoline and play games like Ninja outside until it was time to come in to straighten up before dinner, after which were baths and stories, then bed. The oldest was in bed at 8 and then I would read and pray and practice oboe until 10. One night the mother and I watched Sense and Sensibility, which was fun.
Every day was almost the same, with little differences like how long I jumped on the trampoline (I averaged about 40 minutes a day), or outings like shopping or playing for the music classes at the school (which is a small Christian school, more like a daily homeschool co-op!). The boys wanted me to do everything with them, even if I just sat and watched them play their few minutes of computer time or read in the family room while they watched cartoon Spiderman. Evenings were so nice and quiet with the kids in bed and books to read and many many things to pray for (more on that later).
I’d brought Origin of Species (reading it out of curiosity… and taking notes and writing lots of questions), an alternative medicine book, my French bible… and then a book the mother said I should read, called “Mao’s Last Dancer,” which was fascinating – I devoured it in every spare moment… and loved it, though it made me miss ballet very badly.

Some about the kids…
no. 1 is a math whiz and loves making up games based off of his favorite computer games, like cover orange and red ball. He makes levels on paper and with blocks and then plays them with balls and brooms outside. His favorite pasttime while I was there was helping me through levels of RushHour and doing high jumps with me on the trampoline.

no. 2 loves cooking, stories, and superheros. He masquerades on the playground as the dragon spider monkey. He has the dearest chin and dimples ever. I started reading “The Silver Chair” to him while I was there.

no. 3 is the only girl – lively and girly, with the same dimples and chin as no. 2. One of the first things I heard every morning was “Kyleigh, Kyleigh!” from her. She calls the trampoline the ‘jumpoline’ and makes up all sorts of games to play on it.

no.4 is the sweetest baby ever. Big blue eyes, wispy blonde hair… he’s ticklish and cuddly and roly-poly and kissable and laughs a lot. He always tries to look around the camera and at me when I took pictures of him. Balls divert his attention from anything else (except maybe his bottle of milk).

The mother was wonderful, open, kind, and had an aura about her that was very settling.

I hope to have another post up relatively soon about some of the things that have been going on in our region, but we have a picnic, a desert outing, and a ball this weekend, and maybe camping this week, and a potluck next week, and I’m babysitting tomorrow night. All of that will probably be talked about… eventually.
Until then –


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