Friday, December 10, 2010

Kids. One at a Time.

4 kids 7 years and under is.....a blessing. But it can be intense.
Sometimes just the logistics of day to day life is a pretty amusing reality.
How do I know this?
People watch us.
At the mall food court. At Wal-mart. At school functions.
And they make comments.
"Wow you have your hands full"
"So your oldest is...(guessing)... 10?!" (Jon's tall like his Daddy)
" got your girl after 3 boys, huh?"
"Are you done?!" (why hi there stranger...let's discuss our personal lives, shall we?)

The James fam has no intentions of becoming the next Duggar family nor do we plan on having our own reality show
(though some days I think we could provide some pretty entertaining episodes for TLC)....
but really Justin and I spend all our patience on our kids and have none left for cameras in our face!

One thing Justin and I are passionate about in our parenting is that our kids feel loved by us INDIVIDUALLY. That can be a challenge in the day-to-day activities. To make sure we connect with each child-- not as "1 of 4" but as their own special self....amazingly so unique and different from their siblings.
How does that happen when we're talking exactly the same gene pool?
I love how God designed even the family unit to have such diversity!'s one way we accomplish this goal:
You know those annoying errands you need to run where you need like...
4 things from here, 2 from there, and that sacred "bargain you can't pass up" at yet another place?!

Well--those become special trips with one parent and just one kiddo of the James fam.
Sometimes (like today) Justin will run to Pick N' Save to grab Jiffy mix and Diet Coke (Justin's "must-have" drink).
He took Matthias and it was just the two of them sharing time together.....and it always involves a treat (duh). This time it was bite-size donuts.
Last night I realized my ALDI needs were growing... and since we had nowhere to go (YAY), I got out of the house with just Caleb and we pumped out the grocery list in record time. Of course, we added sour gummy worms to the cart....and the bonus was, it was a lot easier than some of my ALDI trips!
Jonathan got his time with just Dad earlier in the week when he needed some new snow pants for recess. I'm pretty sure ice cream was involved somehow....

They (whoever "they" is....) say kids really remember the everyday things.
I want my kids to have good everyday memories.

So this year for Christmas each of our kiddos will be opening up a small package with a coupon inside that says something like this:
I'm thinking they will like the idea.
Even though we'll probably be helping Caleb and Matt understand
"delayed gratification" until their scheduled date!
Speaking of Matt....
I grabbed him for a photo opp
I was going to link up to Anderson Family Crew's "Embrace the Camera."
But I forgot.
I still love this pic of us where I told him to
"show his big, brown eyes."
I have no idea where he gets the big eyes from.


  1. We do this with the girls, too. It's amazing how special just a trip to Walmart becomes! It reminds me of something our pastor quoted that when you disciple someone, you should never go any where by yourself. Seeing as my daughters are the primary people I disciple, someone comes with me all the time. This, however, does not apply to when I desperately need a break at the coffee shop :)

  2. Oh, and I wonder the same thing about Maggie's big blue eyes :)

  3. It's too bad the wee ones don't think picking up toys with mommy is quality one on one time... at least I never convinced ours of that fact!

  4. We try to do the same thing. We usually get pizza once a weekend and Laynie gets to go "on a date with dad" to go pick it up! She'll talk about it the rest of the evening! I'm looking forward to going with just one of them alone more often in the future...preferrably with underwear on and not a diaper! ;) (Thanks for the encouragment!!)

  5. We have recently added daddy or mommy dates alone at the house. (while everyone else is in a different part of the house) Alone time is a wonderful thing especially in families of multiples. BTW I loved your line about only having enough patience for your family that you don't have any reserved for the cameras!!