Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life Now

I feel as though this blog has gotten lost in the pace of life these days. A picture or two, a quick update here or there, but nothing really "meaty" to share. If only there was a way to capture all the ideas that run through my head each day followed by the thought "I really should blog about that!"

In an attempt to describe the current reality of life in our home, I will share that our weekly schedule looks something like this. By 7:45 a.m. Pedro leaves the house with Eva, Isabel and Owen to deliver them to their respective schools. He then goes to the office to study. On Tuesday and Fridays mornings around 9:30 a.m. he teaches conversational English to several professional men at his office. I for the most part stay home with the little boys. At 12:30 p.m. we pick up Owen from school and between 2 - 2:30 p.m. we welcome Pedro and the girls home for lunch. We've switched over to a Chilean schedule and eat our big meal of the day at this time.

After lunch, if all goes according to schedule it is naptime for the little boys and homework time for the older kids while Pedro returns to the office. Later in the afternoon we have sports schedules: on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays I take Eva to her swim class at 6:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays Pedro takes Owen to soccer practice at 4:30 p.m. (Isabel resumes physical therapy on April 13 and that will add a whole new twist to the schedule, as she will need to be at therapy by 8:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from there will go to school.) Pedro also teaches another conversational English class on Friday afternoons.

Our goal is to have the kids in bed by 8:00 p.m. every night. Our activities don't end with their bedtime, however, as Pedro teaches conversational English to a neighbor at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays; has soccer with the men from church at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays; teaches a Bibliology class at church after prayer meeting on Thursdays; and we just finished a counseling/discipleship series in our home on Fridays nights (which will soon be replaced by a parenting series.)

Saturdays are semi-restful days. This year we don't have an early morning commitment so we can start off the day a little more relaxed, which is nice! We do have activities three out of four Saturday afternoons a month, however. The first Saturday is set aside for kids' club, which will be starting soon. The second Saturday is free. The third Saturday is split in two: mornings for men's prayer breakfast at church and afternoons for ladies' tea and Bible study. The fourth Saturday is our much-anticipated married couples' meeting in the evening.

Sundays are a time of worship and fellowship at church. Our "celebration service" starts at 11:30 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m. as is followed by a brief snack time so everyone gets a chance to visit a little longer. Soon we will be starting a new Sunday school series at 10:30 a.m. prior to the service. This year we have changed the format of our outreach to Alto Hospicio and are no longer holding a Sunday evening service but rather we are organizing small-group Bible studies in homes, which means our Sunday evenings are currently free. This allows us to frequently use Sunday afternoons for hospitality and have families in our home for lunch.

Wow! Writing all that out helps me understand a little better why I've been so tired and easily confused lately. Some days really are whirlwinds around here! Last year we set aside on night a week as "family night" and this year we are working on finding the day that we can consistently do that again. We were recently introduced to the ministry of Seeds Family Worship and are trying to incorporate that into our time with the kids. While our new schedule sounds very busy (and it is) there are a couple of positive aspects. One is built-in one on one time with the older kids through their sports activities. Another is that I am no longer teaching English so I have no commitments taking me away from home at night on a regular basis. I have also stepped back from teaching Sunday School this semester so that I can be more available to my children on Sunday mornings.

A downside to the new schedule is that Pedro and I no longer have a convenient time for a weekly date. Last year we found that a breakfast date worked well for us while the kids were in school, but with a couple of new toddlers in the house that is no longer an option! So we will have to work a little harder to squeeze it in, but we will, because it is worth it. It doesn't take me long to feel lonely and stressed when we don't have those times to connect together.

That's it in a nutshell ... "Life Now" at the Garcia house. Busy, but good. Challenging, but blessed. Wouldn't trade it for the world! :)


John and Perla said...

Well, no wonder you're not blogging. Who's got time with all of that going on. It sounds as though it's all well balanced with family & ministry. We are getting ready to go to Haiti for a year. I hope that our schedule there is as rewarding as yours sounds.

HollyMarie said...

Stephanie, you are very busy indeed! Wow! I hope you and Pedro can figure out how to squeeze in that one-on-one time. Hey! I just noticed that in your right column your pics of the kids are still divided into "our kids in Haiti" and "our kids at home". During your mountains of spare time you should change that! ;) Hang in there!

Life with Kaishon said...

It does sound busy! Such a whirlwind. I am so glad you do have individual times with your kids at their sports : ) You are such a great Mommy and I can tell that you love them so much!