John was gone for over a week for a meeting in Pennsylvania in the latter part of June. Admittedly, I was nervous about it beforehand, partly because I was still adjusting to having five children (which still sounds weird to me when I say it, lol), and maybe just as much because we'd just bought a new-to-us 12-passenger van. I wasn't sure whether I was ready to handle driving it. It was a little scary, especially at first, but thankfully we survived. I guess I'm speaking of both things with that last sentence, ha.
As I think about it now, I suppose one could draw some analogies between learning to drive a larger vehicle and learning to manage a larger family. I'm pretty sure I'm not the best person to do that though, b/c I'm definitely not any kind of expert on either one. I did have to conquer some of the things that presented challenges in my mind as far as the driving went, while John was gone -- parallel parking, driving in the dark and the rain, and driving on a busy highway. That last sentence makes it sound like I'd never driven before, but it was really an adjustment because the vehicle sits a lot higher than our minivan did, and it seems to have been made for someone John's height or taller to drive. I feel like a little kid sitting in the driver's seat. I comforted myself with the fact that I KNOW other ladies no taller than me drive these things. Yeah, I see an analogy coming through, do you? And to top it off, although it presented some challenges, we're very grateful to be able to have this vehicle. It's a real blessing, just like our large family -- only to a lesser degree. The challenges it presented were more easily overcome, but the rewards smaller. Meanwhile I'm still working on learning how to manage the big family, and I imagine it may be a long while before I really feel that I've might have gotten the hang of it. Do people *ever* feel that they really get the hang of child rearing?
Here are some very casual pictures taken while John was gone:
"Why, hello there!"
Tirzah loves her little sister.
Liberty is pretty fond of her, too. Love this look, though. Both of their expressions frequently crack me up.
Peter with one of his many airplane drawings.
Oldest and youngest
Zion and Liberty, Tirzah in the background
This one made everyone laugh. I don't think she was really upset but she sure looks it, doesn't she?
I had to get an ear picture. I love baby ears.
Especially from the back. I just think they are darling. Babies are pretty darling in general, though. :)