Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh, Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

Eight years ago I was single (DESPERATELY HOPING TO GET MARRIED) and not really thinking about children (BUT DESPERATELY HOPING TO GET MARRIED). I moved into a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house after walking through the house twice. It was the only house I looked at because, at the time, I wasn't looking to buy a house. In fact I had never before looked through a house and had no idea what I was doing (OTHER THAN DESPERATELY HOPING TO GET MARRIED).

There was no thought put into this decision other than oh, that is a great house and I love it. I would love to live here. It has a great backyard which Joe (that man I was hoping to marry) thought was great (although there was NO INPUT from him whatsoever, he was not so the time.....that came later.....) and it was three streets from my parents which I think they thought was great, although I can'tbe too sure :)

I look back and I have to think it was a moment that was orchestrated or at the very least used by God. A moment in which the rational thing, the seemingly sensible thing to do was the exact opposite of what happened (although I think the Codispoti clan call this a "Kossler Moment".....). It still seems to not make that much sense, that we have 5 in a now, what I call, 2 and 1/2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. We are hoping for another one through the foster care system (I am constantly paranoid that in talking about a 4th child someone will look at me andsay OH YOU ARE PREGNANT - CONGRATULATIONS and then my husband will have to suffer the consequences for about 2 weeks after) and can't say that we have any plans to move.

God, I believe, has placed us in this house - giving us all that we need and much much more. We live in a house that we can comfortably afford on one salary. We are three streets from MY PARENTS, people!!! This takes on a whole new meaning after kids. Not are we three streets from my parents but.....GRANDPARENTS....ahhh, the luxury of it all! And we live in a neighborhood not filled with children but filled with a community. It's amazing to me how God knew that it was not children that would be the best thing for our little ones but a community of people that love and include them in their every day life. We are able to walk in and out of houses. We have babysitters and playmates, none of which are younger than 60 (except for Yumiko - I forget her age but in case she ever reads this she is VERY YOUNG - or at least not yet 60). It's this crazy thing that has us walking up and down the street and chatting and peeking in windows and exchanging baked goods and favors. It's this place where my children run, by themselves, down to my aunt and uncle's house for afternoon playdates. It's this place where Nico can watch Nascar with the 80-some year old man two houses down (one time they both fell asleep in their recliners at the same time :) We are so blessed and it's nothing we would have ever chosen for ourselves. I would have looked for more families or children perhaps - another bedroom :) Joe, I imagine, would want two garages instead of the cramped one car garage we have, at one time he imagined a workshop (HA! I think of the time we thought we would have........, I imagined a room that held all my books and would be a library of sorts - I now call that room our bedroom and it houses whatever library books I have checked out because we sold almost all the books we owned to make more room for the kid's stuff). We would have maybe nitpicked a bit more and looked for something different. But every time I look at this house I feel contentment (now that that nasty carpet is up................) and I think that God placed us here. I don't know what the future holds but I am so grateful for the time we have here now.

Here are a few pics of the "Codispoti Carnival" - orchestrated by the new Big Man on Campus, Nico. Now that big sis is gone for the day he took over making the grand plans.........and you will see what I mean about our neighbors and my parents being such a WONDERFUL community and such great sports. They all came over and let my little man tell them exactly how to play the carnival games. They played the games with enthusiasm and even helped with the clean up.

Nico waiting at the end of the driveway for everyone to come
He thinks this is his "cute" pose.........

The fishing game

Steve and Francesca

The kids in their costumes trying to win for best costume (or just eating the prizes)

Our crazy community - one dog walker got quite a kick out of our front yard festivities!


Willow Tree Photography said...

I'm not sure I can express what this post means to me. Your family, though we rarely see you, has held a special place in our hearts for years. As you know, my grandma used to live in your house. It is a home that I thought I would never be able to go in again and forever miss. Instead, this home is now filled with one of the kindest, most faithful, adventurous, beautiful families I have ever known. I love so much that you live there and love it. Thank you for being such a lovely family to those around you. My other grandma used to save the baked goods you brought her so she could show everyone who came to her house for months on end. <3

mandyc said...

Thanks, Liga, we treasure our house and our neighbors. I still love thinking about the first Halloween we met your family - such a fun time that was, all crammed into the living room with the kids running around and your oh so lovely grandmother. I thought - oh we have found people like us :)