Saturday, October 5, 2013

Evening As A Family Of Eight. First Respite Care Experience

A head full of curls and a cute button nose hopped out of the car and greeted me with a pint sized hug around my knees. Her oldest brother came around from behind, hiding behind his foster dad. A smiley little boy followed and headed off to meet our dog. 

And the fun began.

Our little visitors had no trouble settling in. They did not falter when their f-dad said goodbye. I was relieved and sad for them all at once. 

Amos took the boys out while he grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. The girls stayed inside with me and helped set the table. The little head of curls helped move kale chips from baking sheet to bowl and surprised me by popping them one after another into her mouth. 

When 8 sets of hands were washed for dinner, I began making plates. Each kid wanted their hotdog served a different way. Each wanted different fruit and veggie choices. Everyone was finally served, prayers were offered, and we shared a simple meal full of kid-friendly produce, cheese cubes, and barbecue. 

In our family, Amos and I serve meals on plates. Our kids must eat everything on their plates before getting seconds. It's been a great plan for getting them to eat well balanced meals. The system proved rather impractical with twice as many kiddos to serve, especially given the complication of hotdog toppings! Kids were finished in no time, one off to play with RC cars, one ready to set up train track, one running back and forth between baby dolls and cheese.

Amos and I juggled supervision responsibilities for the next hour until we gathered everyone back in the kitchen to watch the air popper make popcorn for a bedtime snack. The whole gang settled in for an episode of Veggie Tales. Noah sat off to the side, finding his novel of more interest then the talking produce. Middle man ate cup after cup of popcorn. Shy guy and Miriam sat quietly and attentively. The head of curls sat on the couch with her little feet propped up on the coffee table. 

Bedtime was a whirlwind. Teeth were brushed (those kids were awesome brushers!), and Amos and I split tuck in responsibilities for the little ones. PJ's on, bedtime stories, prayers, hugs, songs. A check in, a night light, and the head of curls was asleep. Miriam and all the boys weren't so easy. An hour later, we had six sleeping kids. 

The morning was surprisingly easy. Although it took forever to get everyone ready for the day, all the kids were patient as we waited on each other to finish tasks before we went outside to play.

Nature Walk

Before we knew it, snack time had passed, then lunch time, clean up time and time for goodbye! 

Reflections and thoughts are on the way... 

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