Just a simple family day today, domestic, good conversation, just good to be here with them. Samuel had a very bad night last night--fussy much of the night, so we were all tired this morning. This doesn't stop Adriana from doing the usual: fresh squeezed orange juice for all, breakfast freshly cooked, as usual, for each as well.
I do my best to keep up with her in the kitchen, cleaning after each meal, and today doing multiple loads of laundry. I also told Jonathan that I wanted to get the garden planted today and figured I could do it in about two to three hours without help, and about ten hours with help (remember, my 'help' is 16 mos, 3, 5 and 7 years old, assuming the cousins came over today as they generally do daily). Since he needed to work on a presentation for work, and Adriana needed to do some shopping, and I actually get quite a kick out of teaching my helpers about the garden, we all decided I'd take the longer, slower route.
As it turns out, Samuel decided to have a terrible morning to go with his terrible night, so Jonathan juggled him for a while as Joshua and I began to get the vegetables planted in the beds we prepared a few days ago. Eventually, Samuel fell asleep, and a little later, Katie came over, so Joshua and Katie worked alongside me. Joshua quickly figured out exactly where he could and could not step so he wouldn't hurt the little seedlings, and Katie turned out to have a very gentle and aware touch with the plants. I think she'll make quite a gardener someday.
Later, Jonathan and I went out and purchased several bags of bark mulch and Katie and Joshua did a marvelous job helping me to spread it out. We did both a small vegetable garden in the back yard and cleaned out and planted a small flower garden in the front yard.
A little while later, Samuel woke from his nap (fortunately in a better mood) and went outside to play. Naturally, he headed straight for the vegetable garden and sat down in the middle of it and began to dig. It was just too cute to get upset about--and Jonathan now knows for sure he needs to get a sandbox built for the children. But a few of the plants will surely make it, and if nothing else, things got cleaned out and weeded.
All the adults have shared laughter and conversation today about child rearing and its impossibilities--little ones will indeed have temper tantrums and there are no real good ways to deal with them. Adriana told me about how her father handled them (we really don't want to go there), and I pulled out memories of the days when I just knew I was going to go over the edge with my own frustration with the children. Miraculously, most of them do grow up despite our parenting to become reasonably mature and contributing adults in our society.
We had another simply beautiful day here today but the forecast is for rain tomorrow. We plan on worship in the morning and then I know Jonathan and Adriana must do their weekly grocery shopping sometime tomorrow. Perhaps while Samuel is napping and I can stay here with him.
I feel very much a part of this sweet household here. Certainly, I miss some of my conveniences and routine and will be glad to return to them and I miss Keith very much, and yes, it is much more quiet and orderly at home. Actually, after one particularly rough time this evening with all four children here (generally, Rocio and or Ian and the children all eat together here on weekends. This house is bigger than theirs, and it is easier to get together. Adriana and Rocio just trade off on cooking), I mentioned that having 36 children at our church's Children's Day Out might be calmer than this and everyone got a good laugh out of that.
So, that's the news from London today. Just Kingdom of Heaven living with family and friends and being still and watching the children play and enjoying an unusually lovely English spring day.