Church was crazy today, with all the kids extra squirmy and loud, as if they were still vibrating from Christmas.
The baby was all over me like a jungle gym again, with Jessica and 5 fighting over my lap, my attention, my anything that either if them thought the other got but they didn’t. It was exhausting!
No one got “reverent dessert” today. Reverent dessert is where you earn half your extra special Sunday dessert by getting ready quickly and nicely for church in the morning, and earn the other half with good behavior during church. Today there was no dessert for anybody!
But then the baby stayed in nursery the whole time today, which meant Nathan and I got the best date ever all through Sunday school and third hour.
That nourished me enough to be filled up with more patience and generosity, so that while everyone slept after lunch I made mega-cookies for the kids that woke up much happier and cooperative than they had felt this morning.
I actually let Jessica stay up a little bit of naptime to help me start the cookies. It’s our tradition, and the girl needs some one on one time. She has been so patient and mostly good, suddenly having to share me with six other kids she doesn’t even know.
So she helped me dig out all the unfinished Easter candy, Halloween candy, and Christmas candy, and we chopped it all up. Then we made my Grandma’s best oatmeal cookie dough, added coconut, then threw in all the chopped up candy and made some crazy awesome mega-cookies.
We played games after quiet time, trying out some new ones we had been given for Christmas. The kids had a blast, and I dropped out the last round to make dinner. I made mom’s BBQ chicken this morning, and it was in the crockpot all day. We used food storage potatoes to make sour cream and chive potatoes to go with it. I can’t believe how fast seven kids go through groceries, and it makes me so grateful for food storage!
Every Sunday night at dinner one of the kids teaches one of the values from For Strength of Youth. Tonight it was 17’s turn, and she chose the “Music and Dancing” topic. Her lesson was so good that it made me cry! She really got the kids involved, and was so sincere and tender that it made me cry.
Then we practiced I am a Child of God in sign language again. They almost have it down, so we will pick another primary song to practice soon. Even the baby can sign the whole thing, and we think we have heard her singing parts of it.
Afterward, we gave all the kids candy canes so they would be still and have something in their little mouths to keep them quiet. Nathan then went from child to child, and gave each of them blessings for the new year. They were so good and quiet, waiting their turn, really receiving, and some of them even cried. It was very tender and special, and the kids hugged and talked for a long time before family prayer.
My blessing said that 2014 will be as much about receiving and reaping as this year was about grieving and sacrificing.
I cried, of course.
And then I cried again when I thanked Nathan for marrying me, for being a righteous priesthood holder with authority and power for special blessings, for being a tender husband and father.
And then Jessica interrupted with some hilarity about trying to explain to 5 how she was his cousin and he was her cousin, but that he was also a son and a brother.
Well, which one is it?, he wants to know.
He makes me laugh so hard, that kid.
It was happiness, this day, even if exhausting.