“I could do it”


Let me tell you about Grace. Grace is 13 years old. She is a very responsible, well behaved and respectful 13 year old. She makes us so very proud on a regular basis. But, she is still 13 and definitely has her moments of acting like a young teenager. We are thankful for the great kid she is, but we are also constantly looking for and praying for teachable moments that will help her grow into a well rounded adult who loves Jesus. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about expectation and entitlement. We are all learning where we can do better in this area as we guide her along.

At dinner on Monday night, Dad was talking about all I do in a day. Grace piped up with, “I wonder if I could do it. Mom, tell me the list of everything you do in a day. I bet I could do it. I want to try.” I laughed and told her I could never make a list because it isn’t that cut and dry. Dad just said, “Do it.” She was confused and asked what he meant. He said again, “Do it.” Through the rest of dinner the plan was formed that the following day, she would do just that. She would try to be me for a day and see if she could do all I do in a day. Little did she know how much farther beyond whether or not she could do it this lesson would extend. I also had no idea how much I would learn from this experience. IMG_1817That night, I wrote up some lists for her so that she would really experience a day as I would do it and she went to work writing up some plans of her own with colored pens. She was excited and ready, and had no idea what lay ahead of her. We sent her to bed reminding her that she would start when the first kid woke up and Josiah was usually up by 6:30 am. It is important to know (if you don’t know our family) before you read that Hope is 10, Madalyn and Meredith are identical twin 5 year olds, Josiah is 4, and Charlotte and Faith are 3 (three weeks apart in age.)

6:48 and the first knock at the door comes. Josiah has slept in today! I hoist him into Grace’s top bunk, go back to my room, and hear Grace say, “what?? It’s 7 o’clock!”

7:18-Grace is watching Lilo and Stitch with the now 4 awake kids. We called her to the room to make sure she remembered they could only watch one movie a day (mom’s summer rule) to which she replied, “what?!?!” I could smell the dismay.

7:30-As I left my bedroom, I kissed my husband, told him how much I love him, and told him if he needed anything at all…to just let Grace know! IMG_1819
I passed on his request for coffee which led to Grace finding the note I left her on the Keurig. “Yeeeeessss!!” Ahhhh…I know that feeling. With that the young one begins to understand my coffee obsession.

When I got to the living room, I let Grace know that her dad was up and getting ready for work so she needed to make sure his lunch was ready when he was done. She got up and read the list I left her of what goes in his lunch. I hear, “The last muffin??” See, she doesn’t realize she is getting lessons in more than just patience and endurance today. This would be a lesson in self-sacrifice and putting someone else above yourself.

While making dad’s lunch, I hear the washing machine making the error sound. Josiah threw up in his bed last night (asthma/coughing related) so I had started a load of bedding last night. I let Grace know what the sound means so she can take care of it.

7:48-Josiah just came to me and said, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” This is something I hear about 52 times a day. Such satisfaction came from being able to say, “Ok hunny, go let Grace know.” Thus began a 3 minute conversation convincing the four year old boy he could wait a little longer. She survived this one, but he will still remind her about 51 times today.

7:51-Dad has come out and after chuckling at me for being perched up on the dining room table with my laptop on my lap ready to document and supervise the day, he goes to his lunch box and starts to open it. Grace calls a foul: “Are you checking your lunch??” He replies that of course he is. It passes inspection.

While he was checking it, Faith had come out with the pair of panties that Grace had given her claiming that there was poop in them. Grace kneeled down to check and said, “It’s ok. It’s clean poop.” David, who hadn’t been listening , hears just that last line and responds quickly with “No…?” Grace explains that it is a stain, and the panties just came out of the laundry. He concurs.

After this conversation, David asks me how he looks. He asks me every day before he leaves to make sure he chose well. I told him to ask Grace and she tells him the stripes on his shirt with the pattern on his tie may be a bit much. He looks at me with a face that says, “Oh no, is she right?” I tell him that she is right that he has two different patterns going, but that pattern mixing is actually very in right now thanks to Lularoe. He walked away as I snickered. (But really he looked great-he always does!)

IMG_1856Grace then asks if we like the outfit she picked for today. She is wearing camo. Dad asks if it is so she can try to hide from the kids and she says it is because she is going to run today like a drill sergeant!

7:58-Dad is walking out and saying goodbye to everyone. One child remains asleep and dad heads down the hall to kiss her goodbye. Grace follows him begging him not to wake her up! He comes back out and tells the kids that are watching Lilo and Stitch to behave for mom but have at it with Grace. Grace comes out of the kitchen in protest so he turns on his way out the door and says in an amazing Stitch voice, “Ohana means family!” and closes the door. fce78f1e8483f5fe2876cd3921d1ee82-d6adnac

8:02-The third child has announced their hunger. At the same time, the buzzer on the washer goes off. Grace goes to sit down and watch a few minutes of the movie when I let her know about the buzzer. She flips the laundry then asks me, “So when do you usually get dressed??”

8:15-Grace pauses the movie gives a speech in the living room explaining her chore system she has decided on for the day.  She has a color coded list that she has great confidence she will have them complete. She lets everyone know they have chores to do before breakfast can begin. Chores are dealt and the masses split. I sip my coffee and wait. IMG_1820

8:17-And there it is. Josiah is screaming injustice. *Sip, sip* Good coffee this morning.

8:18-There is now crying. It’s Josiah. He wants to help someone who doesn’t want the help. Grace handles it calmly, then Faith enters the living room proclaiming that she will not be doing her chores, plops down and crosses her arms, and looks at Grace with finality. She was picked up and returned to her bedroom. *Sip*

8:25-They have made it to the living room now. Two have cried in the last minute. *sip* I may actually finish a cup of coffee today! I hear Grace saying, “Why did you have that? I asked you three times not to play with it right now. I don’t understand.” She looks at me and repeats that she doesn’t understand. I step in to remind the young ones I am still here and they need to respect their sister. I look at Grace and she recollects her confidence and gets back to it.

8:32-Grace has called everyone into the kitchen and told them they need to pick breakfast but they all need to agree. She then directs them to talk among themselves and figure out what breakfast will be. Wanna guess what happens next? That’s right-they don’t agree. Grace is now trying to convince them they DO all actually want the same thing but they aren’t buying it. She finally makes an executive decision-cue the whining!

8:35-Grace is trying to put the movie back on so she can make the breakfast but she is dealing with Madalyn crying because she didn’t want oatmeal and Hope arguing with her about unfairness over a toy. I was about to step in, but she stayed calm and handled it well. There was back talk aimed at her as she walked back in the kitchen and she looked at me and said, “I think I just had one of those I know how you feel moments.” I encouraged her that she was doing well.

8:39-Grace is making 7 packets of oatmeal and each packet needs 2/3 cup of water. I hear her over there, “7 times 2/3…that’s 14/3…that’s 14 divided by 3…uhh…mom? Can I please just ask you how much water I need? I don’t want to do math.” I helped her out :).

8:45-Uh oh! The movie has ended and breakfast isn’t ready yet!
“Grace! It’s over!”
Grace to the kids: “no its not! Watch the credits!”
Grace to herself to herself: “Anything, just stay entertained. Boil, oatmeal! Mom, it’s not working. The oatmeal is still liquid!” She then realized there were 12 minutes left until 9am and I wrote that breakfast had to happen by 9am and they could watch tv till then. She directs Hope to put on a show till she is done. It seemed so easy, but before she knows it she is refereeing show choice. At the same time, Josiah tells her that Faith knocked over the house he was building. Her solution: After making her apologize, she tells Faith to build a house. Then she lets Josiah knock it over. Faith screams and Grace says, “See, that’s how he felt.” She cries and runs to her room. I am not sure this one will go in the good ideas column. Faith always bounces back quick so she returns happy in less than a minute!

8:55-Grace directs Hope, Madalyn and Meredith to set the table and Madalyn refuses. A cartoon was just started after all! After a minute I step in on this one because Madalyn can be quite stubborn.

9:05-While Hope is praying for breakfast (after refereeing who wants to sit where) I look up to see Grace mouthing “please” as Hope prays for the kids to obey today. After the prayer, Grace sits down and as she is still in the downward motion she hears, “Ice! Ice! Ice!” The kids had asked for ice cubes in their oatmeal and she forgot. Up she goes. Once she sits again, she begs the sky not to rain.

9:07-Meredith: “The oatmeal is hurting my loose tooth.” Grace: “…..It’s oatmeal. It’s soft.”

9:14-Josiah entertains himself with annoying sounds often and it is the current activity at the breakfast table. Grace asked him to stop three times and when he didn’t, she told him to go to his room. This sends him into a crying fit and she has to walk him to his room while Faith follows complaining that there is oatmeal on her shirt. Grace tells Jo he can come out when he calms down and brings Faith out to clean the oatmeal off her shirt. Josiah returns 2 minutes later calm and ready to rejoin. Grace then announced at the breakfast table that after breakfast there will be more chores. A chorus of grunts broke out. Grace said: “Do you want lunch??” She then read off the lists while they all listened in disbelief.

9:30-After breakfast, Grace gets the kids back to the chore list. At one point she looks to me and says, “Mom, I haven’t crashed and burned yet!” I told her she was doing well and asked her if she was tired.  She responded, “No, of course not! You said I could have coffee, right?”

9:50-The kids are gathered at the table after some chore time. I don’t think it all got done, but I am impressed.

She had Josiah folding his own laundry from his throw up incident last night. She had the kids brush their teeth. She had Hope START going through her clothes to see what she doesn’t fit in anymore. Most of this happened without incident. Now she is doing the one box of the day. See, since we moved, I have left all the toys and art supplies packed up for sanity! I bring one box into the house a day for the kids to play with and then pack it back up and return it to the garage at the end of the day. Today, Grace chose an art box. I watch from the couch as I see finger paints come out followed by kinetic sand…..I am not supposed to get involved, but this terrifies me.

Grace sets them all up with an activity and then asks to look something up on my computer. Two minutes later, kids are already getting bored and switching activities. I look over and she is looking up YouTube videos on how to make slime! After starting 4 videos and not finishing any, she gets up and announces that she will just wing it! She heads to the kitchen and an audience begins to form around her.

10:20-I can hear her in the kitchen. She has failed a few times and she keeps calling out: “Can I use some shampoo? Can I use some toothpaste? Can I use the laundry detergent? Do we have any cornstarch?”

10:23-Meredith comes to tell me she has pooped. She has told me because we are currently monitoring her bowel movements because she has some bloating and a stomach rash. I remind her I am not on duty today and I hear her run and say, “Grace, I pooped and you need to check if it is diarrhea! I don’t know what that looks like!” Grace tried to pass the job off to Hope, but Hope won’t let her miss out on this one!

10:26-Grace plops down on the couch next to me and admits her defeat by the slime. Not going to lie-I am a little relieved. No slime today! After plopping she decides she is going to sit a minute since they are all currently doing one of the activities. I head to my room for a minute. As I walked down the hall, I looked to my left so see pee on the bathroom floor and I looked to my right to see Hope’s given chore now forgotten. Neither of which Grace knows about yet.

I think her rest time is over. Charlotte is the pee culprit (which is shocking because she has been potty trained since before the wedding and doing great! She was having too much fun and waited too long and then debris blocked her from getting to the toilet quickly.) She told Grace her pants were wet so she was taking them off. Grace remained seated thinking it wasn’t a big deal and I told her she should go check the bathroom. She enters and, “Noooo!! You peed!” She comes out of the bathroom holding a wooden toy and says with a disgusted face, “There is pee in it.” She takes it outside and then tells Hope to clean up the pee while she changes Charlotte. Pretty sure that means it was just sopped up with a towel. Mental note made to actually clean the bathroom floor tomorrow when I am back on duty.

10:39-“Paaaaaauuuuuuse! I want everyone to stop what they are doing and clean up what isn’t being played with.” She starts cleaning. “I mean it. Stop and help me or you are going to your room.” She reminded them constantly for the next 5 min with little success.

10:47-One of my favorite quotes of the day: “Mom, I made coffee but I keep forgetting to drink it! There is so much to do! Oh! The laundry! Did I even start it? No wait, I started it. I wonder if it’s time to flip it yet. I should check. Hope!” I know what thought trains like this feel like!

After this, Grace announces that every one can stop what they are doing and go outside for a while! You can tell when she says it that she was keeping that in her back pocket for when she needed a break. She couldn’t wait to send them out. It didn’t go as planned though because only two kids actually wanted to go outside.

10:55- Me: “You should probably remind Grace you don’t have pants on” Charlotte falls backward on to the couch as she says, “uggghh…..” Ten minutes after pulling the play outside card out of her pocket, all the kids are outside. She is flipping laundry and calling out, “I am starting to really hate laundry, mom!” She then goes to clean up the table where the kids were doing activities and I hear, “they couldn’t have cleaned up before they went outside?”

11:02-Madalyn comes to the door because Hope “hurted her”. Grace tells her to send Hope in.

11:03-Charlotte comes in to say she wanted to come in, but Grace sends her back out.

11:04-Faith comes in and takes her shoes off. Grace tells her she needs to have outside time and she throws herself to the floor.

11:04 cont-Hope appears. Grace says, “Did you hurt Meredith?” Hope: “Barely…..” Grace goes on to handle it quite well. But while she is distracted, Faith gets away and goes on playing inside.

11:06-Josiah sneaks in while Grace is having Hope apologize to Madalyn. Two kids are now playing inside.

11:07-Charlotte sneaks in.

11:08-Grace tells the three kids inside to go back outside. Charlotte goes. Josiah says he is thirsty. After a little firm convincing, Josiah and Faith go back outside. Grace looks at me and asks, “Did I handle that with Hope ok?” I told her she did and that I was about to step in at one point, but that she stayed calm so I let it play out. I told her I was proud of how she handled it. She said she didn’t like “being mean” and I told her it wasn’t being mean, and that I knew what it felt like for a look to make you feel like you are being mean and that it’s a hard part of the job. I then hear her go to Hope and tell her she doesn’t like being upset with her and she wants to get along today. Hope apologized to her. Grace came out shocked! And smiling so big. This is definitely going in the win column. Well done, Grace.

11:15-Grace is outside checking out a frog the kids found. The table she started cleaning up remains covered and her coffee sits amidst the clutter getting cold again. If I didn’t know our story, I would swear this child was my flesh and blood. I wasn’t sure what to expect from today, but in this moment, my heart is filled with joy watching Grace learn, and be challenged, and be determined, and pretty much rock this.

11:20-Grace returns and is followed by kids saying they are thirsty. She starts filling waters and Charlotte comes out of the bathroom saying she pooped in the potty. Her pants are pulled up and Grace asks if she had anyone wipe her. No response. Another pair of panties bites the dust today. While redressing Charlotte, Josiah and Madalyn snuck in again and started playing the activities at the table. Josiah goes back out when told, but Madalyn goes the stubborn route. Faith shows up at the door crying as Madalyn finally goes out.

11:25-Madalyn is back again asking to play in her room. The answer “No” results in crying. She really doesn’t want to play outside. Grace tells her to choose between playing outside or taking a nap. Off she goes. To everyone who thinks it is as easy as “send them outside for a while. Take a break.”-it’s not that easy!

11:30-“I see you playing with that water over there! Stop!…Yes you are! I see you!”

11:33-Someone comes to the door with a complaint about someone else sitting in a chair a long time and they want a turn. Grace just says, “ok, I am going to go do the bike ride I promised them before its time for lunch.” She exits.

11:36-Grace returns with Madalyn crying. Madayln has gotten in trouble and has been sent to her room for time out.

11:40-Madalyn calms down and Grace shows her grace and invites her to come out and ride bikes. Grace is outside for one minute before I hear Faith crying because she wants a different bike.

11:42-Faith wouldn’t obey, so Grace now brings her inside to lay in her bed. Ten minutes after deciding to ride bikes and still no bike riding happening. Grace goes out to get everyone lined up and Faith starts yelling that she is ready now. I relay the message to help Grace out and she calls her out to join them.

IMG_183911:50-They finally leave on the bike ride!

11:56-Aaaaaaand they’re back! 😂😂😂
Grace: “not doing that again!!”

12:00-Grace calls everyone to the table to start lunch. I hear her say, “Man, I timed that well. It’s actually lunch time!” I say, “I’m sure though you didn’t expect to be back in only 6 minutes.” She says, “…..that was only 6 minutes…..?”

12:04-Grace announces that there is only enough turkey for 2 sandwiches and everyone else will have to have salami. At least 4 don’t like salami. She convinces 4 to have salami and 2 to have turkey. And now we wait. Correction: She only had enough for 1 sandwich.  She had to convince another to have salami.

12:15-Grace has run out of salami (which is her favorite) before her own sandwich. Welcome to “motherhood”!

12:23-The kids have decided to call Grace “Gracie mommy” today and call me “Grace” for fun. They start finding excuses to have to use the new names over and over and Faith screams “No” every time because she doesn’t like the new names. “No, her mommy!”

12:30-Grace finally sits down on the couch by me with something to eat. She takes a deep breath and then looks at me and says, “Oh….I forgot to finish my coffee.”

12:38-Time for naps! This isn’t easy anymore on any day. Charlotte still likes her rest time, but Josiah and Faith do not. Faith cries. Josiah resists. I want to step in, but I want to see what she does first. She puts Faith in her bed and lets her cry. She tells Josiah she will be giving Dad a report and she would tell him about this. Josiah stops what he is doing immediately and says, “What??” She is then able to put him in his bed.

12:45-Grace uses “phone a mom”. Nap time has proven too much so I step in and handle one of Josiah’s classic fits. Now that they are in their beds Grace has time to…..wash the dishes. She delegates laundry folding to Hope, Madalyn and Meredith.

1:10-I was in the bathroom putting on “my face” when Grace entered (after telling the littles, which means Charlotte and Faith, to lay down for the third time), sat down on the closed toilet, and said, “My feet have never hurt so bad.” Maybe a bit of an over exaggeration, but she is totally feeling it. Next she said, “Mom, do you ever get a break?” I told her, “Honestly, before you-no. When it was just me and four little people that were not independent, I never got to take a break. Even when I hid in the bathroom there were fingers under the door. But then you came along, and Hope, and Dad, and now I get little breaks. I am not looking for you to learn from this that being a mom is hard or that you need to do ‘more’. What I hope you learn is that we as a family are a team and us working together is what makes life best for all of us. Different ages have different responsibilities, but we all need each other. I even need you. Maybe next time I ask you for help, rather than a grumble, I’ll get a smile of understanding.” She liked that I need her and said, “I think I can do that. If I can do all this, I can help out when it’s back to being all you.” She admitted, “You know, I am actually kind of having fun.” I said. “You know why, because you know you don’t have to do it again tomorrow!”

1:30-Grace checks on the littles again and I hear. “Really?! Take a nap!” She came out to me and reported with shock that they were talking again. I just nodded. It’s a lot more frustrating when you actually care what their moods will be like later.

1:37-Grace helped Hope, Madalyn and Meredith build a fort in the living room. She says she will finish the dishes and other chores later….
She climbs into the fort and about a minute later:

1:45-Josiah wakes up crying. He always wakes up from nap crying. Always has. I don’t know why. She goes in and gets him, moves Charlotte to his bed so the littles are separated, and runs back out to keep working on the fort. As soon as she returns, Charlotte starts to cry. Back she goes again.

1:55-The first sign of teenager of the day. She got a bit snippy with her 10 year old sister, who got snippy back, but they stopped it before I got there.



“Mom, it’s happening. I’m getting the twitch you get!”

2:15-My friend Crissi came by to spend some time with us so I wasn’t keeping as close a watch. By this time, all but one kid was out of the rooms (though the one still in wasn’t sleeping).  I noticed things were starting to change. Grace’s list of chores (Mom’s everyday chores) was still sitting in the kitchen. Grace was playing with building toys and a little checked out of what was happening in the room. At one point she turned around to me and said, “Mom! Will you please tell her to give those back?!” I asked her, “You want me to get involved you mean?” “oh….no.” She had forgotten what she was doing. She handled it, but remained in the distracted mode. She had been dying to build a specific thing with those building toys since we got them over the weekend. She did it, but we will see if it affects her ability to “do what mom does in a day” by the end of the day!

2:24-She is still playing.

2:28-She let the last kid out of their room and told her that since she wouldn’t lay down and take a nap, she would not be allowed to watch the movie later. That punishment has not sunk in yet. Grace asked me if I thought that was a good decision and I told her we’ll see. She said with surprise, “What? You don’t know??” I explained to her that a lot of parenting is trial and error, then told her good luck!

2:40-Mood is still changed from what it was this morning. I am having to point out things that need to be dealt with and not ignored. She kind of deals with them and then goes back to what she was doing (which is now working on the slime again). I think this game has lost its fun factor!

2:50-“Gracie, I’m hungry!’ “Gracie, I’m thirsty!” “Me too!” “Me too!”
She couldn’t hide forever!

3:09 Grace is still playing with slime, which is now playdoh.
Crissi, who is visiting us, pulled her back to reality by asking her about her lists. She realized how behind she was and started yelling out tasks while she continued with the playdoh. This wasn’t able to last long before she had to go into the bathroom to help someone because she had already asked Hope to do something else. Upon entering the bathroom, Crissi and I just hear, “Oh my… ugh…”

4:30-Crissi has just left and at the same time I get a text from David saying he is on his way home. I announce to the house that Dad is coming and Grace panics. I wrote on her guide papers for today that I make sure to have the house picked up before Dad gets home every day and I start dinner before he gets here.

4:35-“You are the one that had babies and moms every day-I need help!” This wasn’t said as disrespectfully as it looks in type. She was joking and smiling as she tried to juggle all the things for dinner.

IMG_18494:43-Grace is cooking hot dogs, tater tots, bakes beans and corn. She finally has Hope back to working on the chore she had her start right after breakfast. She has forgotten about the picking up and she still never finished the chores, BUT she did make two batches of homemade playdoh.

4:50-At this point in the day, I almost need to sit on my hands to keep from intervening! I see messes I want to clean! I see half done projects I want to finish! I see easier ways of cooking dinner. I hear behavior I want to correct. I see chores I want to delegate. I want to wash all the playdoh hands! I want to sweep the kinetic sand up off the floor! Oy. Y’all.

img_1851.jpg4:53-Dad arrives home and he hasn’t had a great day. He greets us and heads to the bedroom to change and collect himself for a minute.

The kid-made mess in the house did not get cleaned up before he arrived.

5:03-Grace comes and puts her head on my shoulder. Girl is beat. But so much still lies ahead….she is reading this over my shoulder saying, “No…I’m not ready for the rest….” But, she can totally do what I do in a day. She said so last night, so it’s all good. 😉

5:04-Dad comes back out and starts to show Grace why I appreciate him so very much! He jumps into dad mode-playdoh collected, hands washed, kids to the table. Grace can breathe!….a little.

5:10-I see Grace with two pot holders trying to pull open the steaming bag of corn. She sees me looking and says. “How in the world???” Me-“Scissors, hun” “Oh.”

5:15-All the food is finally on the table but  I notice the condiments haven’t made it there. I am forbidden from helping. She figures it out and shouts, “Ketchup!” Dad says, “And mustard! You can’t forget the mustard.” She walks to the fridge while joking sarcastically that of course she will get the mustard, how could she forget the mustard, it’s never enough.  Dad: “Mom always responds with kindness!”
Pretty sure there was an eye roll we didn’t see LOL

5:18-After David prays for dinner Grace added-“and thank you for mom! I’ll be more grateful for mom!” Grace spends most of dinner catching Dad up on how each child disobeyed through the day. I find it much harder not to mom now that David is next to me. We have gotten so used to working like a team at dinner that I keep going to default mode and have to cover my mouth  mid sentence.

6:20-After dinner, David and I did Grace’s usual kitchen chores so she could keep momming. Much to Grace’s chagrin, we were sure to to say all the same things we hear her say every night and ask the same questions while we did!
Not gonna lie-that was fun.

Part of Grace’s responsibilities on her list today was to bathe the 5 little kids. While she is doing that, we decide to help her out. David and I finish the kitchen, clean up the playdoh mess, sweep up the kinetic sand, clean things up leaving a small pile for her to finish. I let her out of finishing the project of the day (On her list I told her I try to tackle one project a day outside of the everyday tasks. The project I picked for her was to go through Josiah’s three drawers on clothes and pull out the 3T and 4T clothes and make sure the 5T clothes that looked small still fit. She had only done one drawer so far and it was still sitting on the bedroom floor). I let her out of making Hope finish the chore she had been working on off and on all day. After baths, I help with hair brushing and David and I send the 5 youngest to bed. Grace tucks them in and returns to the living room. As she is sitting down I point out the small pile of things we left for her to put away just to have that feeling of the job isn’t done when they go to bed. I don’t think she even realized all we did while she was doing baths. I smile at the blessing it is to me as a parent to be able to come along side my children and help them when we deem it necessary (or we just want to), and the beauty hidden in the fact that sometimes they don’t even notice because they are used to being taken care of and supported and protected (even from themselves when they take on too much).

7:21-Grace is still on duty until they crash. We can hear chatter from one of the rooms and Grace just sighs. Dad says, ” Go get ’em, Gracie!” Up she goes to tell them to stop talking and go to sleep. She has a great mom voice growing. She isn’t allowed to yell (for her own good!) so she is learning the effectiveness of a strong controlled voice.

7:29-A child is brought out to stand before us. Back up is needed. Dad voice time.

7:34-Dad: “Time to go get ’em again Gracie.” Grace: “I don’t want to. I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore. I don’t like being the bad guy. ” Dad: “Neither do we.” Grace: Realization.

Grace: (in an evil whisper) “nooooooo……”

7:48-Dad: “They’re still awake, Grace.”
Grace: (In the same evil whisper) “I know!!”

8:01-Dad: “Grace, you are off duty.”
Grace throws her head back and starts making snoring noises.
Mom: “Grace, one thing you learned today.”
Grace: “That we should respect our parents and all that they do for us.”
Dad: “Don’t ever forget the sacrifices that are made for you.”
Grace: “I won’t.”

After she gets ready for bed, she gives us both big hugs and genuine “Thank you”s. Before she goes to bed she turns and says, “When Joey comes to your door in the morning, send him to my bed.” I know she meant it tonight, but I have a feeling she won’t mean it anymore at 6:30am! But even the thought shows that even if nothing else was learned, she went to bed thinking of us and not herself. I’ll take it!

Tomorrow I will post Grace’s account of what she learned from this experience and I will share what I learned as well. Be sure to check back!




Posted in

Ashley Karaffa

Ashley is mother to a blended family of 10 and appreciating the beautiful chaos of it all. She enjoys creating systems - because how can you survive a family with 8 kids without systems - and spending time celebrating her family.


  1. Barbara O on June 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Genius! A one day lesson full of revelations. Loved following the day as Grace (and you) responded to each “event”.

  2. amaywilson on June 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    LOVED all of this!!!! Great lessons for everyone. 😀

  3. Edwina on June 22, 2017 at 2:41 am

    This was the coolest thing ever! Well done….to you and Grace!❤

  4. Andrea on June 22, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Dear Grace! What you did is absolutely awesome! I don’t know ONE teenager, who would have the guts to do,what you did. Trying, to do one day, what mommy is doing everyday. You did better than great!

    • becomingblended16 on July 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I was amazed she didn’t give up. We had to call it quits for her. When stubborn meets determined haha.

  5. Learning from Each Other – Becoming Blended on June 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    […] “I could do it” June 21, 2017 […]

Leave a Comment