Sunday, February 5, 2012

Photographic Memories

I used to be a woman who welcomed change and adventure. Not saying that I no longer do...but more these days I am a little slower to warm up to change and adventure has a entirely new meaning. With all certainty it has been the addition of each beauty that has made me this way. Once you have a full house of little ones it is important to have routine and schedule of day to day activities, but somehow you lose all sense of organization! So strange how that works out.

Around our home has been a busy time getting settled a new place and a new schedule! New routes to school, new obstacles out the door, new rules, so many things are new new new!

Yet there are MANY things that remain the same in HollyHome! Kids everywhere thrive on knowing what to expect (unless it involves ice cream or Disney anything). Keeping the little ones in a solid routine great reduces fits, attitude and confusion. In return making happier and healthier children (so said the girls first pediatrician). Taking that advice and applying it has helped me tremendously as a mother. Bed time got easier, potty training was a breeze, dinner time went smoothly and all around makes us happy. The handsome pilot and I have found these tools to be beneficial in our lifestyle. We relocate for work. We both have ever changing work schedules. We can be known to change directions with a shift in weather just while driving to dinner. We confidently know that our children will easily adapt because the core of what we do and who we are as a family does not change.

Recently I have seen how these intangible gifts of routine are even ever changing...we can introduce new routines and new traditions without a huge disruption in the girls lives. WELL ALMOST! Some changes are out of our control and we do not give up our efforts of healing the uneasy parts of life.

In prayer lies the core of our routine. Every night and every meal we say prayer. I have mentioned this before in previous posts and when I say EVERY I mean MOST. There have been some spans of time where our routine was so fast paced at bed time that 'prayer' was a God bless you said on the way to the bedroom. Followed by me sneaking in later to make the sign of the cross on their foreheads whispering to them each individual prayers that I wrote after G was born. Other nights we just all pass out watching a movie or having the Sing It Karaoke Championships. The through line is that we don't forget God at bed time or meal time no matter how busy we get and no matter what has changed around us in life. Sometimes it's me saying prayer...sometimes it's Daddy...sometimes Tim. On lucky enough summer nights Grandma G is with them and it is a collection of songs to include 'Amazing Grace'...and that is her special gift to them. They love it and look forward to every visit because of that special time.

After our recent move it has been more important than ever to stick to our beloved bed time routine, as extra assurance that this is home! We also added in a little Shel Silverstein back into the routine, which dates all the way back to the days each of them was brought home from the hospital.

A few nights ago as I put the beauties to bed to say prayer they all decided that they would be sleeping in the same bed. Dru in her chosen spot crunched up tightly in the middle of her big sisters. All three pillow pets squeezed in a straight line across the top of the twin bed. Two empty beds stripped of stuffed animals and beloved blankets. One mommy moved to tears at the sight of three beautiful faces with eyes closed gently, hands clasped so God could hear them, and gentle whispers of The Lord's Prayer filling the room. I would give anything for a photograph of that moment! Any thought I had of moving them to their own beds after drifting off to sleep were removed and for the first time since we moved I felt completely and sincerely at HOME once again!

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in taking photos of events and fun times that I lose track of the TIME I am having. I forget to be involved in those moments. Don't get me wrong...I took a hiatus from extreme attachment to my camera for that reason...I know it's important to have those photographs. I sometimes wish I had more photographs, but there are so many moments that I am lucky enough to always close my eyes and go back to immediately. Having moments like that make life worth living.

Our family has finally found a rhythm again. We all know what is going to happen. How long it takes to drive to school. Which days we need to pack an extra snack for the car. Most importantly we have learned that while the world CAN and WILL change around us, we will remain the same. I am proud that we as parents never took the word FAMILY lightly. The Lord knows that with separation and time our family could have lost full sight of what we built our home on from the beginning...LOVE and FAITH. Coming back together again has in no way been easy, but it has not been a challenge either. When we feel out of touch...not at home...scared of the unknown future...we turn to prayer knowing that it will take us back to HOME where we feel safe and grateful for all we have been blessed to have and know as a family.

For us it's prayer. For Grandma G it's songs. For my Daddy it was morning talks. With Mama K it is coffee and chatter over the table. I am amazed what providing consistency can do for children and for a whole family. Being consistent and having a routine does not mean that things never change, it simply means take some things remain with you as it does and if you don't like what has changed then CHANGE IT BACK to the way it were!
Audree 2010

Grayce and AJ 2007

**To my beauties I would say... Enjoy every moment you are given in this lifetime. Take photographs of the great moments. Always remember to be a part of the amazing moments. Know your family has faith in all that you choose to do and be. Most of all say your Prayers and brush your teeth before you go to's the fastest way back 'home' again! --All my love Mommy

A rare photo of bedtime with Grandma G during a visit 'home' in 2010.

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