About John

A husband of 1, a father of 10, a son of 2, a disciple of Christ.

With Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving come and gone, a bit of gratitude is just what the season needs. And we have plenty to be thankful for in our household. Life, family, prosperity, and at the moment we have one aspect that looms before us that we are all so grateful for, modern medicine. Continue reading

#3 Vs. The Ants

#3 lay on our bed, text book opened before her, chewing on the end of her pencil. At the edge of the bed Wife sat, waiting to see if #3 understood the lesson. #3 carefully wrote out the equation, working through the problem with more deliberation than most juries. Then she jumped up like a startled cat, hackles raised.

“Ouch, ouch,” she cried.

Moments before calamity struck

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#8 Blames the World

Early one morning, just before the sun peeked its face over the horizon, #8 pushed open our bedroom door. He sidled up to the bed, staring at his sleeping mother and began to say very softly, “Mom… Mom… Mom… Mom…” until she woke up.

Why you wake me up?

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Plans for Pumpkins

At the onset of October, Wife bought three pumpkins for the older girls’ school projects. Observing the child to pumpkin ratio, you might see a few children were not carving pumpkins this year.  Their grandmother also saw this fact, and could not bear any of her grandchildren missing out on the Halloween tradition. Planning to give all the children part of the season’s festivities, she bought the rest of the children pumpkins. And while she visited with her daughter, I found myself elbow deep in pumpkin guts. Continue reading

Those Who Play

While at his grandmother’s getting babysat, #8 imparted his wisdom to his grandmother. He held up her phone to show the photo she affixed to the backside. Pointing to one of his uncles, he said, “You don’t have him anymore.”

To be clear, the uncle he referred to is still quite alive. He joined the Army and is away at training. But to a little boy, distance is the equivalent to the lack of possession.

His grandmother leaned over him chuckling. Her own experience with nine children led her to understand him with the clarity of a composer reading a symphony. “No, he’s not here anymore is he?”

#8 shook his head. He stared at the picture like an old friend.

“Do you remember him very much?”

He nodded, a wide tooth grin breaking his face like a river through a desert. “Yeah,” he laughed, squinting up at her. “He played.”

 And that much is as true as gospel. Before my brother enlisted, he was one of the ringleaders to start games with our children. Whether they were battling out a spirited game of “Bang-Bang-You’re-Dead,” or skulking outside playing “Hide-N-Seek,” the games were always led by their uncles. And before they started to go off for their own careers, all four uncles were engaged in the games outside.

Now that one uncle had joined the Army, another in the Navy, and the third working full time, our children’s game leaders are greatly diminished. However, that does not mean they forget them. Though #8 was only three when his uncle enlisted in the Army, he knew his uncle.

He played with him.

Catholic School Here We Are

One thing Wife and I admired, but never thought to attain, was a traditional Catholic parochial school. And then, through the encouragement and hard work of a special parish priest, we were given the opportunity to enroll the children in a Catholic school. If you had seen Wife’s face when we found out, you would have thought the skies had opened up and the Second Coming was at hand.

First day!

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Laundry Duty

Laundry has always seemed an uphill battle. As soon as the washing machines shut off and the dryers finish their cycle, more dirty clothes inexplicably appear out of thin air. Of course, no one seems to know who dirtied their clothes. Almost as if little people paw into the children’s drawers and pranced outside in them during the night.

A never ending battle

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A Potty Mystery

We have had a little mystery in our house lately. Specifically in the front bathroom. The lid on the toilet water tank had been moving. Not when anyone was there to witness. No, it simply would be askew when someone came in. It might shift left or right. And on one occasion, it fell side long into the water tank.

Evidence that something was amiss.

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The Zookeeper’s Confusion

Wife and I took the children to the zoo, joined by my parents and most of my brothers and sisters. All together, we made up a party of nineteen. Not the biggest party the zoo had seen, I’m sure, but large enough for us. We traversed the San Diego Safari Park like a pack of escaped monkeys, jabbering and pointing, with small children hanging from our backs. Continue reading