Last week all 7 of us were afflicted with a horrible bronchial flu which put everyone zonked out in bed and miserable for at least 3 days. The week, to put it succinctly, sucked. Big time. Lord help me if I have to say "Cough into your elbow sleeve," "Wipe your nose with a tissue and not with your shirt collar" or "Wash your hands!" one more time.
I don't know if it was because I was run down and not particularly myself, or if the boys were just "off" because they were sick or recovering, but my goodness gracious! I can't remember us every having such a tough go of it all. By Friday I was so wholly irritated and frustrated that I didn't know if I could make it one more day stuck inside the house with two cranky little boys who were testing me at every turn and three other children with major cases of cabin fever.
Fortunately, Saturday came and we were blessed with Fabulous Weather: Sunny and in the upper 60's! I can't ever remember weather like that this late in November. I was so thankful because it gave the Mister and I the chance to finish all of our neglected yard work. Normally I love doing yard work and jump at the chance to be out there, working away in my gardens. But this summer and fall, with the boys' homecomings, the yard work definitely took the back burner and it showed.
By 9a.m. I had the children outside,breathing in the fresh air, basking in the sunshine and pulling up weeds and dead plants in one of our larger vegetable beds. The kids made it a game, turning it into a race and making up a song to go along. The singing is in large part to Keenan and Miles. Those two boys are always singing and making up songs about things, and their singing enthusiasm has spread through all of our children.
I will never understand parents who do not give their children chores or assign them household tasks. Beyond the fact that work teaches the children responsibility and obedience, helps them develop a sense of duty, a sense of service, a sense of familial teamwork and contibrution, etc. and prepares them for the "real" world, it also greatly contributes to the successful running of a home (which otherwise might not run that successfully at all.)
My 5 little worker bees had pulled that entire bed clean and deposited it all in our compost bin within 20 minutes flat. Had I done it myself, it would have taken me well over 2 hours just for that bed alone. Throughout the morning, in between playtimes, I had the children help me out with the other garden beds, and they were able to get ALL of them done in less time it would have taken myself to finish just that first one.
While the kids alternated between playtime and worktime, I managed to spade 4 of our garden plots. The Mister mowed and raked up the lawn, and spread the mulched leaves over my spade beds. I was nearly giddy at the sight, knowing that under those huge snow drifts that will blanket my garden in less than a month's time, all those beautiful leaf and grass nutrients will be decaying and enriching our garden soil.
By the time we tumbled inside the house for dinner last night, we had 5 happy, dirty, grass-stained kids who ate huge plates of food and then readily jumped into bubble baths before they fell quickly asleep.
And you know how the weekend got even better? Today we woke up to the same weather, and after a great service at church, we were able to do it all over again. The remaining garden beds are spade and mulched. The Mister not only climbed up on the roof to replace our chimney cap, he de-gunked, hosed down and repaired all of the roof gutters.
All the kids were tuckered out and asleep early tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and a start to a new week, which has to be better than last week. At the very least we'll be able to get out of the house to school and other activities. And really, anything is better than 7 cranky, sick people cooped up in a house and coughing all over each other, right?
Here's to a happy, healthy week!