Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How To Fill An Empty Nest

It's only Wednesday and I seriously feel like this week is actually the equivalent of two weeks instead of one.
It's been a great week, so far, loaded with good activities, but I'm already exhausted!
Could this be a clue that I need to slow down a bit?
This is our first week back in the saddle after vacation, and it went from zero to full speed first thing Monday morning!
I jumped out of bed early on Monday, packed lunches, and loaded up the two younger boys. We drove into town for a shopping trip to the Gleaners, and then descended on our daughter, Brandi's house, to hang out with her and the grandkiddos.
We all had lunch together. The kids played outside in the sprinkler, road bikes, played on the swing set, and had a great time in the summer sunshine
Love the little puppy with the bone ^^ :)
Lunch time!

Jack Jack!

Our granddaughter, Alahna, came home with us for the night and our son, Noah, spent the night with his nephew Kyran.
All packed up and ready to go spend the night at Papa and Nama's house!
We took the Golden Girls for a walk that evening


When we came home, Auntie Natalie made popcorn and we all snuggled up to watch a movie.
Well, everyone else snuggled up to watch a movie. I was busy doing laundry, packing up stuff for lunches for the next day, making kombucha, and doing other various chores. :)
On Tuesday, I was in the shower at 6:30 a.m., and had the kids all fed, dressed, and loaded up by 7:45.  Off we went to Brandi's house where Christine and I took care of nine kids, ten and under for four and a half hours, while Brandi and Brittany worked down at the Gleaners.  The good news is that we all worked off nine hours of volunteer time which takes us all the way through September with our volunteer hours. Wahoo!
The interesting thing about being a grandma long before emptying your own nest, is that you don't forget how crazy life is for moms of little ones.
This helps me understand how important it is to help my older daughters out whenever possible.
For anyone who may need a refresher course on this subject, let me provide just a little reminder:
As soon as we arrived that morning, I took the younger kiddos with me to the store to purchase some breakfast food while Christine held down the fort with the older kids. This included transferring car seats from one car to another, and strapping in an active toddler. What a fun time, though, taking my  adorable little grandkiddos with me. They were so excited about picking out breakfast food with Nama, and their joy over a simple, every day activity, was so refreshing! Gluten free French toast topped with strawberries and whipping cream became the breakfast menu.
Once we arrived back at the house,
Christine kept an eye on the little ones (nine months, 1 1/2 years, 2 years, and 4 years), while the older ones (5, 7, two 8 year olds and a 10 year old, all played in the back yard), and I made breakfast.
Have you ever attempted to make plates for that many kiddos at once? It's like their radar goes up that food is coming and mayhem ensues.
Christine had her hands full with two babies crying, and after settling one of them in the arms of  seven year old, Alahna with a bottle on the couch, she managed to get the other one a Sippy cup with water.  At that moment the two year old came racing into the kitchen, begging to be held as I was up to my elbows with exactly 7,986 various breakfast making activities at once, including tripping over a 5 year old who was currently unloading the dishwasher.
The two year old immediately began to make it known to the entire universe that he was unhappy about not getting to be in Nama's arms in that exact moment.
In the next few seconds, five more kids descended upon the already crazy busy, breakfast making, space to announce that they were hungry, and began begging to know when breakfast would be ready. "Well, if you all choose to stand here and whine at me, it will be exactly seven hours and forty-six minutes, before I can possibly have breakfast ready. However, if you choose to high tail it back outside and entertain yourselves until I can have your plates ready, it will only be about fifteen more minutes," was my patient response.
Somehow between Christine, Alahna, and me, we managed to calm the babies down, get plates filled and on the table, and feed the entire crowd, including second helpings, in a fairly short amount of time. This included feeding my son-in-law who happened to pop in just as we were pulling hot French toast off the griddle. Once breakfast was consumed, Christine took all of the kids, minus the baby who already had his diaper changed, and was down for a nap, outside and kept them busy while I cleaned the kitchen.
Five minutes later (or so it seemed), it was time to make lunch.
We kept that meal pretty easy by preparing hot dogs, carrot sticks, fruit and chips for the meal. This time I served it all on small paper towel portions.
Once lunch was served and everyone who was capable, had helped with clean up, the older kids settled in building Lego creations, while I read books to the younger kids and Christine did a Spanish class.
The cutest little two year old in my life right now, showing off his best berry and whipping cream face:
The crew of older kiddos, enjoying their chips on the swing set

Kyran and Cooper

Afternoon lunch wind down time, watching Veggie Tales with Auntie Christine
I had plans for this morning, but two of my boys woke up with sore throats.
I didn't realize how exhausted I am until it became apparent that I needed to cancel my plans.
In that moment, I realized that while the last two days were good, and yesterday was rewarding because I got to spend time with a bunch of sweet grandkiddos and a couple of other cuties, along with my own kids, and work off my volunteer hours in the process, it was enough.
It's time for a break.
God designed our bodies to need rest, and as a mom, I know how important it is to stop the merry go round and get off from time to time.
My laundry needs to be done.  My house needs to be cleaned. My kids obviously need to rest up and be cared for, and I need to give my body time to recuperate.
 Life revolves in seasons.
Three thoughts come to my mind regarding this subject:

 1. If you have an empty nest and you know some moms with young kids, consider spending time with them. Get to know the kids, and realize what an amazing ministry opportunity you have to love on them, and help out with acts of service and mentoring.
2.  Remember your body needs rest. Slow down as needed, and take time to refuel.
3.  If you are a mom to young kids, embrace any older, seasoned, moms, that God places in your life, and let them help.
It's a gift!~
Accept it, open it, and enjoy it!
Blessings to you!



  1. Your breakfast prep description really made me smile. It is complicated enough for me and I only have 3 kids, and only two six and under! You are right- what a great ministry it would be to a young mom to just go over and watch her kids so she can make food, or whatever.
    I am curious what Gleaners is?

    1. Lisa, it is a sometimes overwhelming job, with just one little one! I am always amazed at how much time a baby or toddler needs, let alone two or more. :) Gleaners is awesome! It's a Christian based organization that was formed in our area for the purpose of being good stewards of the abundance of food that would otherwise get thrown out. For $35.00/month and three hours of service, you get to shop up to three times a week. It has saved us hundreds of dollars a month, and it's wonderful to know that we are using food that would otherwise be thrown out. I babysit my grandkiddos and the children of our friend, so my daughter can go down there and work, and we both get hours counted. It is a truly amazing program. :)

  2. Hi Mrs Taft. this is Allie, you have been nominated for the summer blue jean award. here is the link to the post;

    1. Hi Allie! :)

      I tried to go to this link, but it said the blog had been removed. :(