It seems to be an oxymoron that your family can keep you sane.  It would appear that more often than not that your family is very much the source of your insanity.  But let’s think about times when calm has set in and laughter ensues.  Peace seems to have been found, if only for a brief moment, and memories of these moments are accessible any time one would want to return to those feelings.

Those of us with children have no problem identifying the times when our children can drive us crazy!  They seem to know exactly how to push our buttons and at the most inopportune time to do so.  But, those moments when family time is deliberate, and we might be a bit more forgiving, there seems to be a time of happiness, comfort, good times and peace.

This past weekend there were a few moments where I was able to enjoy my two youngest boys.  The 3yo helped me bake banana bread.  It was a first for both of us, baking banana bread.  He had a great time being a baker that morning and the bread turned out absolutely delicious!  I think he is having an even better time eating the bread!  

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The best time was when we were waiting for the bread to bake.  I took and mixed some water and cornstarch and divided it into 3 different bowls.  To each bowl I added a different color food coloring.  There was blue, green, and red.  I gave a bowl to each boy.  I took off their shirts to avoid that clean up.  To catch the mess on the floor, I laid newspaper under their chairs.  That was it!  We were ready to explore, learn some science, and get messy.  And, because I was mentally prepared for a mess, and because I did some planning, I did not flip out when I had to clean up afterwards.  Clean up was a breeze and I expected it.

Each of us got our own color.  Then they boys went to town seeing and feeling how the goo, as we called it, could act both as a solid and a liquid.  It took a while for the 21 month old to want to get goopy, but once he did, he was all in.  We had a blast.  I let them do everything but throw it. Though I know they would have like to have thrown it at each other! 

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The timing was perfect.  The goo started to dry and remain a solid, so it was time to clean up.  An unexpected benefit, bath time complete!  No bath that evening because, with them covered in goo, bath time was now.  Just then the bread was done.  Took it out of the oven and it cooled as the boys were in the bath. 

I smile just remembering this small bit of time.  Most often than not, I am scolding my boys for doing something that a crazy boy does.  It is nice to have those times that make everyone happy and remind us of how much we really love each other.  I wouldn’t change my family for the world.

The oldest works just up the street and we will stop in and say hi.  That makes the boys feel connected to their much older sister and lets her know that we all are thinking of her even when she is not with us.  I love this picture.  I warms my heart and reminds me that even though these siblings bicker constantly, they truly love each other and there are moments of peace.

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I need this, and I believe everyone does.  Be it moments with their children, their spouse, their parents, or their siblings, these times are necessary.  I also enjoy all my sisters (4 of them) and my brother (only 1 boy!).  We always laugh when we are together.  I know that I will have a good time when I see them and, for that reason, always look forward to times planned with them.

So, take a moment to relax and enjoy those family members that drive you crazy.  It may just be what you need.  Then, in moments of chaos, you can reflect on those peaceful times and find quiet and calm amidst the chaos.  You can get through with the love of family.  Carry those times with you, forever, and you will always have a place “to go” when the world is a little crazy.  This could get you just that much closer to a not so average life.

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