Except for the whir of the washer and dryer, my house is totally quiet.
It's a bit of a miracle considering that right now, under my very roof, I have sleeping a five month old, a two year old, a three year old AND a four year old! I say "sleeping" because that's what I fervently hope they're doing!
Meagan had an appointment that required Joy's presence. So Noni gladly accepted the role of "nap director" for the afternoon. (Please note: I did offer to keep Zachariah and Joy's other charge, Tyce - six months old. But they thought that might be pushing our luck.)
Children make a definite impact - everywhere they travel.
The wall in my hallway has the signs of Noah's artistic bent. I have lost more than one piece of shrubbery to Spencer's enthusiastic Frisbee playing, "Throw it to me, Dad! I'm open!" I find Abby's hand prints on my patio door after nearly every visit. The corners of my dining room are chipped substantially due to high volumes of high chair traffic.
And last night, as I dropped my exhausted body into bed, I felt tiny crumbs congregating in various areas on my freshly laundered sheets. The reason? Three toddlers just knew there wasn't a better spot in the house for viewing a Christmas movie than on Noni's Big Bed!
"Oh my, Sheri! Did you get up and change the sheets?"
"Did you get up and brush the crumbs into a dust pan?"
"On to the floor?"
I rearranged my position and went sound to sleep; bed crumbs and all! Morning is a fine time for dealing with crumbs.
If you don't want messy, then don't have family!
But please understand, it's a trade off. Those little jam hands also grab my face for kisses when my heart is heavy! The loud shrieks mean that the game of chase around my kitchen cart is going splendidly! Walls with chipped paint mean LIFE is happening here!
So what if my landscaping is a bit lopsided. The art work isn't on an easel. The tablecloth must be washed after each visit. Crumbs fill a bed. My ears ring from baby squeals and wails. All those situations are temporary. I'm involved in eternal matters. We get to be part of a life that will live forever. I don't want to waste time nit-picking about walls and fabric and windows. They all wash!
On Friday night, I experienced my very first parade float ride. (No, I wasn't eligible for the beauty-queen car in high school.) But this trip down main street beat the daylights out of any convertible ride I may have missed as a teen-ager.
Our church put a float in the largest Christmas parade in our area. We packed over 2,000 bags of candy to give away to the crowd. Each bag complete with a sticker saying, "Merry Christmas from Garden Grove Church!" And for almost two hours I sat between Spencer and Abby shouting, "Merry Christmas! God bless you!"
It was windy and quite cool by central FL standards. At one point, I tucked a blanket around Abby's little legs. She looked up and yelled to me over the music, "Why ahr we doowin' dis?" I smiled into her big blue eyes and pointed her attention out to the rows of waving, smiling people.
"Because, Precious! We want to tell all these people that Jesus loves them." Just then, she spotted a little girl about her age and squealed excitedly, "Yook, Noni! A yittle girl yike me!" She forgot how cold she was and waved enthusiastically at the other little girl in the crowd. "Merwy Chwismus!!"
A trade-off! And one well worth any inconvenience!