I didn't think I'd post again before next week. However, my head is filled with sweet memories and thoughts of today and I'm going to post them so I won't forget them.
this is my favorite retreat at night. I love sitting here, and if I had a laptop, I'd be there right now. I love that I finally have a place to sit where the t.v. is not just hid from view, but where there isn't even one in the room. When I sit in this chair, I can see through my dining room and out the front windows where the chairs on my front porch sit almost calling for me to come join them. When I sit in this chair, I can see the light upstairs that sits on my Grandfather's desk. It is the only light on, as all the girls are clean and curled up for the night in their beds. When I sit in this chair, I can see Richard in the keeping room, where he is engrossed in either a book or a show or an old football game. And Richard, by the way, watches t.v. so quietly. I've never really witnessed anyone who does this. I like to catch a glance of him watching or reading ... I feel like I can literally see him thinking, processing, pondering. I don't know why, but it's peaceful to me. And finally, when I sit in this chair, I can look up at this sole window that is high above our front door where the moon always, always seems to be framed perfectly. There's something new in this spot that is also special to me. If you look closely, you can see a styrofoam cup.
This isn't just any cup. This is Kate's cup from MMO in which grass seeds are planted. I love sweet, simple little discoveries of life that my children are a part of. I hope that while I'm gone these next two and a half days that these seeds get the attention they need. I wonder ...
So yes, I'm starting to grow a little lonely with knowing I'll be away from 57 and five of my most favorite people for a couple of days. Maybe it is because I'm used to being the one to stay behind ... maybe it is because I've done so much in preparation to leave that it feels like I'll be away for much longer than I will ... maybe it is because when I spend so much time focusing on our little world, I realize just how special our family of seven is.
Thursday is family day at ARCENT (Richard's current duty station) so he gets off an hour early. We decided this would be a great day to pick for Patterson and Hanson Ellis' soccer practices. Picking this day meant that he would get home in time to take them, which meant that I could stay home with the little ones (and Parker gets to take a turn being "the oldest" and thus thus primary helper). I love these nights. The two hours he is gone with the two girls, I am able to get the others bathed, fed and Olivia to bed. I am able to pick up quite a bit (funny how when you have five and two are away, three seems like not much at all!). I love having a chance to clean up, place a neatly folded set of p.j.'s out for Patterson and Hanson Ellis on their beds, and have dinner prepared and ready when they all return. It almost seems delightful to have a freshly vacuumed set of stairs for them to return too! I love this night.
Today was especially sweet for me. I had a lot of time to just listen to everyone here. I got to spend some time in Kate's room before she went down for her nap. I was determined to clean out her closet and drawers before I left (again, why this was important for just 2.5 days away, I.D.O.N.O.T.K.N.O.W., but it was). It took longer than I expected (always does) but Kate was right there with me playing with her toys. It is always so enjoyable to just sit and listen to her pretend! Because it was such a beautiful day, the older three played outside for hours. While I was busy in my room, I could hear them playing away outside of my bedroom window. There really is nothing quite like the laughter of children. There's really nothing like it. And finally, even though I felt sick the entire day from my run with Richard last night, we decided that we needed to do a quick 3 mile run this afternoon since I wouldn't get to run again for a couple of days. We chose the flat route, which meant we had to drive to our starting point. Whenever we do this, we typically take the station wagon, which is now Richard's car (hence it is no longer the "grocery getter" but the "black stallion" ... laugh, it's okay!). Anyway, I love riding in this car with him. Even though we tend to scare little children that we drive past and cause numerous Suburban Housewives to pause from their yard work to turn and see what that loud sound is approaching, I love getting in this car with him and going somewhere ... even if it is just up the street. We had another great run. I love running with Richard. I can't tell you how many years I've wanted to run, and run with him, but we've just never had the chance. It is nice .. so nice. It feels good to run, and it feels good to be by his side. On the way home I saw his Alexander The Great book in the car, so I asked him how that was. With the reading he's had for his graduate studies, he's not had that much time to read it, but he had read enough to tell me a little, which lead to other thoughts he had. As we drove home, it occurred to me how nice, NICE it was to just sit and listen to him talk. What a gift to just hear what's on his mind and various thoughts he's had. I didn't know that I had been missing that, but I had. It's been a long time since I've had the gift of time and zero distractions to just listen to him.
God is always richly blessing us, isn't He? I wish I didn't miss or overlook so many of those blessings. I'm thankful that today I noticed them. I hope I will remember them.