Connecting With My tweens: Zootopia Edition

I will confess that our family has watched Zootopia at least five times since it was released on DVD a few weeks ago. We loved the movie when we saw it in the theater and Grandma bought it for the kids when it was released. And, surprisingly, our active four-year-old will sit and watch the entire thing. We don’t watch it every day, but he would love it if we did. 

Although I write a lot about my four-year-old, because he is still a preschooler, we also have older kids, girls nearly 11 and 13 years old. They are fabulous girls who love their little brothers, but they also crave time to be just themselves and not an older sibling. 

Earlier this week, after our girls’ Bible study was over, my oldest and I were chatting with one of the other girls and discovered (SHOCK HORROR!) she had never seen Zootopia! It took me about 10 seconds to decide that we were having a tween showing on the next Saturday night. I texted my daughter from the living room to invite five friends for a movie on Saturday night at 6pm. She texted back from her bedroom three minutes later “They’re coming! THANKS MOM!” We ended up inviting a few more and so we currently have eight girls sitting in our living room, along with my three little boys, watching Zootopia. And eating so much popcorn I can’t even measure it.

If you are the mom of bigs and littles, it doesn’t have to be complicated to let them know they are a valued part of your family.

Write a few Facebook messages, send a few texts, pop some popcorn and they will come. 

Side note: My oldest told me thank you about 23 times this week and she also told me what a fun mom I am (which was a surprise, because I honestly don’t feel like it most of the time). The interesting thing is that even though this night was for my big kids, my oldest daughter has had her littlest brother sitting on her lap almost the entire evening. Sibling love. 

-Michele

Kendra says: Michele is one of the most hospitable women I have ever known. But do you know what is so special about her hospitality? She just does it. She has a heart to welcome people into her home and she doesn't fuss over the details. She pops the popcorn and invites the tweens over. People over perfection! 


A Brief Update From Michele

Back in January, when I wrote this, I never intended to actually drop off the face of the blogging planet. I truly did think that I might at least be able to type out a few sentences once in a while. Kendra has been so very gracious and never once texted me to say HEY, WHERE ARE YOU?? And I love her for it. 

Our family has been through the wringer the last five months. We are still on the road to adoption of two precious little girls through the foster system. It is a long road. We have been surprised by some of the medical things that we have discovered, that no one knew about, which have required more specialist appointments and testing. We have been worn down by the behavior problems that we have witnessed due to trauma and transition. We have been exhausted because of multiple night wakings and screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. 

Because of all these things we have just been in survival mode. Trying to keep our older kids from totally falling apart, while giving the little girls what they need, too. And, of course, keeping our marriage healthy so that we aren’t strangers at the end of this road. 

I have been faced with seeing the ugliest part of myself, which is probably the most painful. About a month ago, this is what I texted Kendra:

“What I really want to write about: How the hard things that God asks us to do will rip us apart and then He slowly puts us back together and we are raw and more complete and a different shade of the person we were before. One who no longer cares so much about what other people think, who might think a lot more swear words in her head, who loves more fiercely because she has been a shell of herself after being slammed in the face with all of her inadequacies and come out the other end knowing that she will never be enough, but God is always enough.”

So, this hard thing that God has asked us to do is truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. All my former ideas about what is important have been torn down and God is slowly building me back up again. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ is the Rock on which I stand. 

I really do hope that I can write here more often. If you’re ever curious about our life with seven kids, special needs, adoption, feel free to find me over on Instagram - @micheleonthemove  I post there pretty frequently, about important things like my empty coffee cup or our new obsession Ticket To Ride. 

Michele


How Adding Two New Daughters Has Changed Life For Michele

. . . bringing the total in the White home to 7 kids, 2 adults.

1. Adoption is hard. We spend a lot of our time snuggling our little girls so that they will learn they are safe and loved.

2. The amount of fruit that we are going through is tremendous. I felt silly buying this many bananas as Sam's Club the other day. They are almost gone now, just three days later.

3. We do a lot of story reading. And muffin eating, as we try to learn what the girls will eat. And that baby gate? It's getting a lot of use again, too :)

4. That beautiful hair is now my responsibility. So Mama is on a steep learning curve!!

5. Those little hands are learning in the kitchen, just like all the other kids did. She loved the flour :)

6. The laundry has grown exponentially. I forgot that little people get so dirty! Our youngest doesn't know how to use anything but a bottle, so we are teaching her, resulting in a bunch of wet shirts or bibs. And the 2-year-old is a daredevil outside, frequently needing a change of pants because she rolled around in the mud. Again.

7. I got a FitBit when I bought my new phone a few weeks ago. It records the number of steps I take each day, to help me reach the goal of 10,000 by the end of the day. I frequently hit that goal by 2pm. Mama is moving all day long!!

8. And, lastly, my oldest daughter spoke my love language for Christmas. I'm not getting a lot of sleep at night and programming the coffee pot the night before is one of my favorite things to do :)