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August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 58

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
--- 1 ---

I need to have a challenge every week if I am to get a  post up here all week! Goodness. But I think I was plum out of ideas. I don't have any drafts right now. But I do have some ideas percolating. But, summer is winding down. In just under 3 weeks, the kids will be back at school and the craziness of our life will begin at the school year level. Wow. I just started three consecutive sentences with the word, but. I must be tired.

--- 2 ---

It was a week of discernment around this house. I think when school starts, I always find myself reviewing what else is going on in our family activity-wise and do a bit of an assessment. And this year...it was giving me a panic attack. Sarah had already tried out for, and made her club team for next club volleyball season. Helen had begun a new year of ballet and Dani has continued to take guitar lessons. Craig and I had been doing Crossfit. And Dominic has been asking if I was going to put him in soccer.

Well, Craig and I discussed things and we've decided that our family is not going to do non-school / non-community center activities for this school year. It's a tough decision to cut back. I hate the feeling that I am disappointing my children (well, let's face the music here -- I don't like the feeling that I've disappointed anyone). But, basically, everyone is sacrificing a little bit to maintain the sanity and a reasonable level of money in the bank account around here.

--- 3 ---

The talk with Sarah about no more club volleyball went about as well as I could expect. I started crying because I saw what I interpreted to be that disappointment in her eyes. I don't know if I was projecting my fear of her reaction or not. But sometimes I forget that she's such a good girl, so responsible and smart. I know she understands, even if she's not happy about it. She'll still get to play Parochial league volleyball and if she wants to play rec league volleyball in the winter/spring, we can do that. Or maybe she'll really focus on her grades. She can workout at the community center (although, she doesn't seem to care to do that...)
There is a part of me that fears raising kids who resent the fact that they were born into a large family. I think I am too in tune with the outside world and what they say or write on the topic and I just need to check out of that. Craig and I haven't raised our children to be that way and they've never shown the tendency. But I sometimes wonder if there's going to be some sacrifice we ask our kids to make that's going to "put them over the edge." So I guess that's where my anxiety on this sort of stuff comes from.
--- 4 ---

The expense of some of this stuff is really mind-boggling. I am sure this is why we never did stuff like club volleyball growing up. And we only did the swim team as long as it was mostly run by the YMCA -- because they never turned anyone away for inability to pay. As soon as the swim team turned into swim club, we were out...

I had always considered the club volleyball the bigger expense, but I realized I spend the same amount yearly on ballet and on guitar lessons -- it's just that those are monthly payments and the volleyball payments are all at once. The Crossfit cost for Craig and me to participate was triple what we paid monthly for a family community center membership. So, the community center it is!! But, when we sat down and crunched the numbers, I kept wondering how I had juggled things to make it work for so long...but juggle no more!

--- 5 ---

Helen's pageant is next weekend. I'm really happy to have it over with, mainly because it's been one of those "looming" things all summer. She's been practicing her personal introduction and she is very cute. I'm not sure she's Miss Missouri caliber, but she wins my heart every time.
I was going through the material and there is a WHOLE PAGE dedicated to counseling parents on how to behave through this ordeal. Really? I know I see this stuff in reality shows, but I thought that was all just for T.V. I'll be interested to see how it all pans out.

--- 6 ---

I was looking through old photos in my iPhoto app and came across this one from Easter 2012:
not sure where that date comes from...
It's really in Sarah that I can see the biggest development, of course...she looks like a baby in these older photos, compared to how grown up she is now...

--- 7 ---

This weekend will be full of school supply shopping and all that other good stuff. I hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!



  1. I am so inspired that you guys made that tough decision! I've been feeling that already and Alex is really the only one who's in anything. Well, not entirely, but...we have so many adult commitments between my husband teaching piano in the evening and both of us leading the choir, that it feels like we never have any free evenings. I'm sure we're going to hit that point in the not too distant future.

    As for b ig families, a couple of things. First, you're right, the cultural standard of how much kids can or should do isn't healthy for any family, no matter how few kids there are. Second, in a large family it's almost inevitable that someone of your kids will end up griping because they feel they were deprived of something that was their God-given right to have. They'll grow out of it. And if they don't, well, that's their choice, not your fault.

  2. That must have been tough to tell your children but I know they know you are loving parents who are looking out for the best for your family. ((hugs))

  3. You are doing the right thing cutting back and I say this after just signing my child up for another activity. But seriously, it can get so crazy so fast!

  4. The good news is that I bet your kids will always be happier to have another sibling for their entire life than a lesson for a few months.

  5. Whew! I feel like things are busy now, but I know that when the kids are old enough for all this activities it's just going to get crazier... We tried soccer this spring and it was SO hard to get all 4 kids out of the house to get to the practices, so I'm seriously considering not signing up for anything again until all the kids are older!

    A friend suggested we sign my 4yo up for violin lessons, at $75 PER LESSON!!! So... I'm thinking he's going to get piano lessons from his mom. For free.

  6. Life can get crazy with outside activities even in small families; it seem no one can play w/out a coach and a schedule these days.


Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)