March – celebrate daddy’s birthday and the daddy extraordinaire that he is, instead of a nice grown up dinner where he could eat good food while still hot, he opts to celebrate his special day at a place no one goes to for the food, but where it is noisy, filled with flashy lights, tons of kids and a big stuffed rat! The kids had a wonderful time and looking forward to daddy's birthday next year - we did get him a second dinner of his favorites! I am so thankful that the Lord chose him to be the father of our kids – he is a wonderful dad who loves playing with his kids no matter how tired he is and really enjoys spending time with them.
April – celebrate Easter and again skip the customary Easter baskets and instead focus on what Easter is really about! We did go Easter egg hunting and my little Ms. OCD took one look at the grass filled with thousands of easter eggs and got really upset that someone would make such a mess! She did do a good job cleaning up though! A new member joins our family – our sponsored girl in a Ugandan orphanage and we begin daily praying for her and praying that mommy and big brother might be able to take a mission trip to visit her next year.
May – a time to celebrate my role as a mom and oh what joy it is having a day where I don’t have to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or washing dishes! And as an extra bonus, I got a week’s worth of laundry folded! What bliss! Enjoyed a marvelous lunch at a Pakistani/Indian restaurant and homemade cards and flowers from the chief.
June – celebrate another birthday and I am now mommy to a 7 year old! Where did the time go? Another trip for pretend fair food at a mini amusement park (which said 7 year old still does not know is recommended for 0-5 year olds)! But the kids again had a great time and birthday boy’s special day also coincides with a whirlwind visit from overseas friends and family and he gets to go on a Duck Tour in the City and is serenaded by the captain. This also marks the college graduation of the world’s greatest babysitter and we are happy as clams at the homestead! Mommy and daddy are happy that the kids are once again in excellent hands (she was with us 2 summers ago) and it also does not hurt that she is an excellent cook! Not looking forward to when she leaves for grad school, but in the meantime, everyone is dusting off their musical instruments and making some noise (she majored in music)! We also had big brother’s piano recital and he looked oh so serious! Celebrate father’s day and once again enjoy Pakistani/Indian Cuisine – I think this might be a family tradition. We don’t have to contend with crowds, long wait times or having to remember to make reservations weeks ahead of time. Daddy also manages a couple of trips to Universal Studios - sans mom who nfortunately has to work and misses out all the fun! We are able to do a few excursions to the beach and the kids are fearless around water - I really need to sign them up for lessons. Big brother was in our local swim team last year, but a pool that is not heated + early morning swim practice = a shivering boy who was not too excited to return to the team this year.
July – enjoy out town's Fourth of July parade, lunch with friends and fireworks at the park! I also sort the kids’ clothes and toys and clean up the garage. After spending 14 hours doing this, I am glad that we are in the "no more toys" phase! Large families on both sides + 4 kids + birthdays + Easter + Christmas = a house and garage filled with toys! Looking at the possible thousands of dollars spent on toys that we were giving away (and which the kids rarely play with and sometimes forget they have) I wish this was an ideal world where the money spent on the presents would be given in the kids’name to either a family adopting or an orphanage. We tried suggesting that last year without much success - the kids are well loved and I think adults get so much joy giving presents to kids feel like the children might feel cheated if they don’t get presents! We have so many educational toys which cost a pretty penny and if there were all they were cracked up to be, I should be raising 4 Einsteins! The kids are very simple in their wants - give them a ball, some bubbles, some play clothes and mommy's tupperware and they are entertained for hours. It is amazing how creative in play they are with just a few cheap items. We also enjoy God’s amazing creation amidst the California's redwoods on our annual family camping trip. The kids once again do amazing and have not stopped talking and asking about camping! Hoping I can rustle up the energy to do a quick weekend camping trip about an hour away.