Almost as long as I can remember, I've wanted 10 kids. My mom used to just smile when I told her that. Now I'm starting to feel my biological clock timing out. At this point I will fill absolutely blessed to have just as many as we can.
This last week I got my wish...for 5 days! We watched Jeff's brother's kids while he and his wife went to DC for an "outing." They have 7 kiddos, but took the baby with them. So with our four and their six, we had 10 kids! It was life like it would be if we would have had 3 sets of twins and my youngest two 11 months apart.
The best part of it was...I enjoyed every minute! I know, some of you may question this. I was at the grocery store one night and ran into a gal in my ward, we were talking at the checkout and when I mentioned we had 10 kids under the age of 10 at home, I think the checker just about passed out. But really, I never once counted the days left or the hours until bedtime. It was great! The only issues I had were (of course) with my own children.
We did a lot of fun things. The best part was (and this is the teacher in me) NO SCHOOL! Hooray! We did crafts in the morning and went to the park a couple of times (when it wasn't snowing), and even braved the crowded streets of Denver to go on our Homeschool group field trip to the Molly Brown House. (Jeff helped me with that one, there just weren't enough seat belts). We also watched a movie every day, since movies are rare at both our houses, the kids thought it was a treat. The rest of the time the kids just played and enjoyed each other.
My favorite part of each day was the 30 minutes of personal reading. The first day, I walked into the family room to see this:
Noah read to Samuel every day. I loved it.
Mealtimes were a little crazy,
But with help like this, prep and cleanup were a snap!
I do have to say though, that the fabulous experience was made possible by my amazing sister-in-law. Her kids were so helpful, obedient, happy, never fought (seriously!), ate all their food, went to bed on time, and even the not-quite-two-year-old was as patient as could be. She is doing an amazing job raising her kids. I've said for several years now that I want to be like her when I grow up. Now I want to even more :)
I think through the week, I learned to be a better mom. I learned to be more slow to anger (you think twice about blowing up when other kids are around!), how to delegate, and how to focus more on my prayers (I knew I needed extra help!). I hope I can remember all these things and try to be more organized in every area of life!
On a crafty note...I even got a few scrap pages done, a skirt finished, and a baby quilt started. Woo Hoo!
By midnight Saturday when the extra kids were reclaimed, I felt like I had accomplished a lot and had a wonderful week!
The hardest part? Setting the table for lunch on Sunday with only 5 spots...it seemed a little empty.