Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Whole Family!

Thank you Matt!! I love it when he does this for me!! We will send this picture on a pillow(s) to the girls! Who knows when they will actually get it but it still feels good to send them something! Sarah remembers getting her pillow early on but she did not get the other things we sent her until right before we came. Actually what they did is they took pictures of her in the clothes we sent with the camera we sent but did not explain to her what and why they were doing it. She had no idea anything came from us until the night before we saw her. Sarah also told me that it made her nervous when people at the orphanage wanted to talk about her new family. It is very scary for the children, kind of exciting but mostly very scary.

Another post on a friend's blog has got me thinking today. My question to you is what do you do to have a little time with your Hubby? A chance to have a conversation, a moment to regroup and reenergize? Well the couple they spoke of had their children watching a movie at a restaurant on their personal computer. We have tried many things BUT not this AND we won't be trying it either. It just doesn't seem right to me. Maybe this couple was desperate for the time together and then stooped to desperate measures. (We have gone to restaurants with TV but never brought our own.)

Hubby and I rarely leave the kids. The other day Katie mentioned coming over on a Saturday night and watching the girls for us- before she finished her sentence I had said YES! We only stay out for about 2.5 hours BUT we love every minute of it! We get to do this about once every 3 weeks. I also have a wonderful woman come over on Wednesdays and get time to myself and to get a few things done. She has been with us for over a year and we love her! The kids always look forward to Karen day!

A couple evenings a week Hubby and I will sit down in the porch and visit. We tell the kids we are "on a date" but we are here if they need us. The rule is- they cannot come into the porch. They wave to us and ask us important questions only but they have learned to respect our grown up time. It may sound odd to others but it works. Every one is happy, kind of together, and safe! They have had plenty of my time throughout the day and they visit with Dad when he comes home. Just so you know the rule is breakable- we often have someone come in for a huge hug or a short sit on a Daddy or Mommy lap but then we remind them of our DATE!

Sometimes a big kid comes in and all rules go out the window because when a teenager wants to talk you have to seize the moment! We will resume our DATE time later as best we can. I guess flexibility is a key to sanity!

For me it is important is have this time. I LOVE being with the kids. I couldn't imagine not spending lots and lots of time with them- we have already missed out on too much time with them but a moment here and there sure feels good!

What do you do?

PS- take another look at the family pic! Don't you think we need some more front row"ers"!!


Nancy said...

Oh my goodness...your new and improved family looks huge. What a blessing!!!!

Karen said...

Love the new picture. I think there's room for at least another 3 down in the front:-)
As far as time with my hubby. For Christmas my hubby gave us dance lessons (ballroom). (I have been asking for this for 15+ years:-) Every other week we go on our "date" to dance lessons and out for a snack or hot chocolate afterwards. They are probably my favorite "dates" ever! My wonderful neighbor comes and sits with our kids. The next week I sit with their kids so they can go out on a date. I think we're getting the better end of the deal. We have 6 kiddos and they only have 3. I love our date nights and look forward to them.

Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

This is a GREAT subject. And one that we are dealing with right now. It is really difficult for Kelly and I to get time together. With Macy having just joined our family, basketball season, and endless STUFF going on...we can't seem to find time alone. And we need it! I'll be anxious to read the comments you get.

Pam said...

I LOVE the new family photo. And yes, there is always room for one or two more!!!!

We haven't mastered "date" time yet. Every once in a while an oler one will stay out with the littles and we are able to grab a quick bite and run an errand or two. It's always a nice treat, but certainly nothing I count on or expect. And you are right. When a teenager is ready to talk, you drop everything and listen!

And no, we won't be bringing the dvd player with us when we go out as we witnessed last night. :) We don't even have one in the car.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

We try to sit together at the table for evening meals...so we can chat a bit between everything. We get up early before the kids (this takes a lot of effort as we are not early morning people) and do a devo & prayer time. We try to do "dates" at least once a month for real. We put the kids down to bed early by 8pm everyone is in bed. (of course our oldest child is only 10 so it works for now). Can't wait to see other people's replies!!!

So vital to have time together- if you want a healthy family.

To answer your question about the front row- i think it looks a little bare?? :)

Hezra said...

OH JEan, we are so dealing with this right now. In fact to the point of I feel a bit out of my element. I NEED time, to talk, think, and just sit with the hubster. But meals are hectic. Our kids are 4-12 and there are 5. (I know it sounds like a few to others and alot to some ) Our conversations make me feel like an air traffic controller, "no it was his turn to talk, ok now you. yes, no, ok her turn...." etc. There is hardly time to chew and swallow, much less time for talking with my man. We have tried the 10 minutes alone thing where we get our room for 10 minutes when he gets home from work and they are NOT to interrupt that.(except for blood, fire or flood of course) We have a college aged couple who help us occasionally. My mom keeps them for a few hrs sometimes. But really, most of our dates are getting the littles to bed and the bigs are in bed but reading, doing hand held vide games or coloring for an hr or so. we get a lot of interruptions, and they get frustrating, but at the same time I guess it goes with the territory. Lately, we have been going on SAturdays to our fav. restaurant. it costs about the same as if we all went to MC Ds but it is yummy italian. It forces them to learn to behave in a restaurant,and gets US a little nice food and atmosphere. And the tiramisu is a like a date all on its own. lol

Sophie said...

I love the picture it looks amazing!! I'm sure the girls will cherish it and it will make them feel so loved and wanted once they see it.
As far as time alone with the hubby, when we are out with the kids we're spending time together as a family, and I personally love it. Sometimes it seems so chaotic at home with homework and sports that going to dinner as a family seems less distracting.
We like to get out at least 2x per month. Just a couple of weeks ago we did dinner and a movie, we have a couple reliable sitters, my mom or my oldest son watch the younger ones. I would definately take advantage of Katie or the older boys when they offer, what better care to be in than with an older sibling!

Chris said...

We need to work on it too! A few times we have allowed the 14 or 18 y.o. in charge of eating the last bites of supper and DH and I ran to the nearby coffee shop for coffee and dessert (cookie). We are lucky cause the place is 5 min from our house. How many times does this actually happen? Not enough!

Sarah said...

What a fun picture!

Our kids still go to bed pretty early (8:00). David and I always have some time to talk. Yana is getting up so early, though. I'm afraid that we're going to need to let her go to bed a little later!


Angie said...

LOVE the new photo...and yes...there is definitely room in the front row for more precious little ones! As for dates, they are few and far between. It's tough finding a babysitter, so we either drop them off at my parents for a few hours (they live one hour away, though) or just sit in our "Archie and Edith" chairs in front of the fire with a cup of something hot. But we had almost 7years of globetrotting before our first child. Our life is our kids right now, and we know that we'll have lots of time as they grow. I want to enjoy this time with the kids as much as I can...they grow up way too quickly! So, how did you send a personal care package to China? I would like to send one to Shasha with our photos, stuffed animal, etc. but not sure how to get it there!

quilt'n-mama said...

I love the adjusted picture:) You all look great together:)Can't wait to see a new one sooner than later we hope of you all really together:) What a joyful day I know that will be!

As for the topic of dates... we struggle so much with this one! Living where we do, very limited child care (ever) and one of our little ones that still gets very anxious if one of us leaves makes it really hard. We have so much going on these days that we really need some time to be able to sit and talk about house decisions, work decisions and family decisions, but it is hard to find.
We would love more ideas on this one too.


Sue said...

I also saw that posting (we follow the same blog). I couldn't believe it either when I read it. I thought why go out to eat then? I cherish the moments I have with my husband. We work around the kids or we find babysitters for date nights and so forth. Sometimes our dates start after the kids are in bed and we curl up on the couch, get some snackies and just watch a movie or talk. I think people sometimes forget that kids grow up to fast and before they know it, they are moved out. The picture is precious and Emma and Ellie fit in just right. You have a very rich family (see my blog posting 2/3/10 about that), with all the love you have.