Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Life in the Spring

I am trying less to lose my patience and more to remember to occupy the children. We are currently reading aloud the hagiography of St. Maximilian Kolbe in anticipation of a pilgrimage to go venerate his relics in March, so today I printed out beautiful coloring pages to occupy the children while they listened to me read.

I printed out these exquisite coloring pages by Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui, who draws these for his very own children. I couldn't agree with him more when he writes:
"Sadly, many of the coloring sheets available from religious publishers, or set out in the back of Catholic parishes, feature trite or undignified artwork. Many other parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with these to me." 

If you enjoy his work, please check out his webpage and make a donation if you use his drawings.

These particular pages are all a portion of a large (incomplete) picture: I thought it made a wonderful effect to combine the sheets, each colored in different style by different children, into one.

Meanwhile, life swirls around me in a never-ending whoosh! Today, I kept thinking of spring: warm rains, mud, seeds and roots coming to life hidden in the earth, shoots of green pushing forth, riots of blooms, birds darting to eat bugs . . . a glorious, springy mess of life!

That's how my life feels on this totally typical day . . .

Baby and toddler woke up ridiculously early despite both going to bed two hours late last night.

Morning was topsy turvy.

School time--sloooooow but we got through it. My brain is so much mush that I cannot even make sense of the history topic choices for Mary's presentation on Friday. I wish she could present on making blueberry muffins or how to change the toilet paper roll.

Kids play outside and get muddy--repeatedly--when I ask them not to.

Kids turn climbing dome upside down and roll it around the yard--thinking I would actually like this idea!--till the three-year-old gets bonked on the head, could have been a concussion.

Joseph poured out half the bottle of dish washing liquid while I was disciplining the older kids for doing something again when I turned my back long enough to try to start making lunch. Every time I turn my back, something happens!

Someone peed on kitchen floor and left it there. I'm so tired that I don't even investigate who did it, but just clean it up.

Baby is crying all day and won't nap. Why????????

I made a meal for a postpartum mama. You know what? The meal was made from a frozen mix and the baked goods from a boxed mix. And that's the truth.

The older kids have been assigned so many punishment sentences today.

I pruned half the rose bushes, but not all--but all of my arms and legs got scratched up.

Piano practice swirls all around my aching head.

Vacuum the floors, do an art project with the kids, and change the dishwasher load out one more time.

And then we even spontaneously met a friend at the food court at the mall for dinner, and our combined 11 children trashed the floor with a mess, climbed on furniture, and generally embarrassed us, but at least we got to have some conversation.

The children are finally asleep and I survey the house to find beautiful pieces of children's artwork fluttering about everywhere, all the books each family member is reading lying on this table and that counter top, projects here, there, and everywhere.

And this is life! It's a riot of nonstop noise, emotions, movement, activity, mess, projects, plans, and love. I love these babies and this life, and wouldn't trade them for the world . . . even if I would like a bit more peace and quiet!


  1. Sounds a lot like the day I had yesterday.

  2. How very true! This is a beautiful post detailing all of the struggles but also the beauty in large families :)

  3. How very true! This is a beautiful post detailing all of the struggles but also the beauty in large families :)