So I thought I would pop in and reminisce about the time I got REALLY frustrated after a long shopping day with all the kids. It is good to look back and remember to be patient with people you seem condescending about our choice of life…. After all they have not a clue the joy and beauty we have in our children.
Here is John’s post.
Sadness seems to be encompassing me of late. In part it has to do with the fact that we have difficulties we are struggling with, as do all families. In part it has to do with the atmosphere of the political world. Lawmakers seem to be more and more intent on controlling our lives rather than protecting our freedoms. It makes me wonder what kind of world I will leave my children in, which makes me sorrowful. So I ask you… What do you do to get over this feeling and continue on with your responsibilities?
I have been called irresponsible, stupid and crazy for having so many children. And now that I am facing minor health problems in this ninth pregnancy, I began to wonder if maybe the accusations are accurate. But then I think about my vocation and its meaning in the universe. I am mother to nine beautiful souls. Nine people who would not exist if I or my husband had to taken measures to deny or terminate their existence… and I realized just how selfish those accusations are. My husband and I are building the kingdom of God to the best of our God-given abilities. We fail. We are not perfect, as our ancestors weren’t before us. But is that a reason to not procreate? I think not.
“We are crowding an already crowded world.” False. My husband and I live on a ranch of many acres with other families. We have wide open spaces for our children to run around and play. If we didn’t leave the ranch to go into town, we would not see another person because of how far off the beaten path we live. Being without a vehicle for a week made this observation clear to me!
I am on my ninth pregnancy, I may not be as fast on my feet as I was in my dancing days, or as quick to jump to my feet when I realize what I have left to do before nighttime, (and these things frustrate me) but I have been successfully running my own household for ten years. Now my firstborn daughters are quickly picking up the pieces that are necessary. Maybe that was part of God’s plan for us, to slow me down so that my children would learn to dress themselves and bathe themselves and brush their own teeth, because otherwise I would still be doing so if I weren’t being distracted by their younger siblings needs.
I know in my heart that even though society tells me how I am bogged down by these nine responsibilities, I have made the choice to further God’s Creation by allowing Him to use me as the vessel for these little souls to incubate in. And because of the trust that I have put in Him, the rewards have overwhelmed the sacrifices I have made to bring these little ones into the world.
Our Father in Heaven, I thank you for my Daddy. He was there to raise me, protect me, and guide me all through my childhood and even into motherhood. He played a major role in guiding me to the father of my children. His example of sacrifice and faithfulness caused me to search for a man with the same virtues. I am also thankful for the father who raised my husband, and helped to mold him into the man he is today. Thank you Father of all Creation, for placing me where I am with these generous men who strive to provide for their families in all aspects of life.
In honor of this Father’s Day, I wish to share with you all, the joyous moments of each of our children’s births, making my husband a father each time.
Birth of #1 and my husband as a father.
Father of 2.
Naps with #3
Proud Daddy with #4.
Finally a SON! #5
#6 rocking with his Daddy.
A very tired pair… Napping with #7.
What a blessed time of year it is. As I begin to feel the new life of our son growing stronger and bigger each week, I look around and see new life sprouting all around me. New calves, new kittens and new kid goats show me how life flourishes in the Spring. There are gardens around our home that are sprouting up. Spring is a time to be grateful for new Life. How fitting that I would begin to feel my child at this time of year.
All through my married life I have been blessed with healthy pregnancies and healthy born babies. I do not take this for granted. I praise God for His love and mercy. As I snuggle with #7 in the few chances he gives me (he has learned to crawl) I feel the bond with all of my children and my Heavenly Father grow stronger. My little #7 is a smiley guy with lots of energy and joy. He has much to be joyful about since his big family all love him so much. When he is upset after bonking his head or his Momma is taking longer than he would like to sit down and spoon feed him, he will bask in the love and concern of any of his older siblings. They will, each one of them, give him attention when he asks.
Already there is a bond between my older children and the new baby boy who should join us sometime in August. They call him by name and ask me how he is doing nearly every day. It is one of those moments as a mother that I treasure always. When one of my littles come up to me and wrap their arms around my swollen belly, look up at me with their bright eyes, and ask, “How is he doing today, Momma?” I can’t help but think that their father is the best influence on them concerning additions to our family. The man never bats an eye at another bottom to diaper, another mouth to feed and another body to clothe.
I hope you all have had and continue to have a Blessed Easter season. Now that our Lenten journey has ended for this year, let us all continue to better our lives with the choice of being thankful for our gifts.
Linked up to: A Mama’s Story
It is Holy Saturday night and there is so much preparation for a joyful celebration of Easter. In an attempt to sleep in as long as possible I lay out my six children’s church outfits for the 7:30 Mass in the morning… Yes, the 7:30. Because we live about a half hour from the rest of civilization, we cannot leave later than 6:45 for that Mass. If I plan it right, I can try to sleep in until 6am and make it to Mass on time. But tonight, in addition to the usual plan of action for the morning, I have six Easter baskets to fill with treats and hide for our morning scavenger hunt. I wonder if the kids will be able to contain themselves until after Mass… or rather if my Beloved will be able to contain himself until after Mass. There is a high probability that the hunt for their treat filled baskets will happen before any of us are ready to go in the morning.
Even though we have a later start to our sleep tonight, I will most likely be awakened by either an excited child or an excited husband for a bleary eyed search for the Easter baskets. But the joys of such a high Feast Day never seem to outweigh the need for sleep. So I bid you good night and a Happy Holy Saturday.
A very rare and wonderful thing occurred this last Friday in our household… Dad found a babysitter and took Mom on a date. There was a mixture of relief and upset from our children. Relieved that Mom was leaving so they weren’t going to be put to work, upset because they wanted to go too. So I told them, to ease their worry, that Mom and Dad had to keep building our relationship outside of home duties because once our nest is empty we will have to go back to entertaining ourselves. So every now and then Mom and Dad need to be together without so many beautiful distractions. They all seemed to agree that they would survive one evening without us.
It was a Friday in Lent so our restaurant choices were limited, but we enjoyed some fish tacos at Rubio’s. Our beloved babysitter was willing to watch the 7 month old, so we got to watch a movie without worrying about a squawking baby. It was an evening that I was able to really focus and listen to what my husband wished to talk about, but there is no evening in our lives that is complete without some talk of our children and our plan of raising them. Even while we were dating we always discussed our future children, the ones that would be, God willing. Apparently God was very willing. Now that we are expecting #8, a boy by the way, we still cannot seem to pass the day without at least one conversation concerning our little charges.
I feel rejuvenated and loved by the man I call husband. It really takes a lot of effort to go out for a date. But every now and then, he makes sure that we get our time to focus on and uplift each other. It is one of the many instances that I am reminded why I married him.
Photo Credit to Honey Stetson Photographer
Before we were married, my husband and I discussed how our children would be educated. We both agreed that homeschool was our first choice. Since we were both homeschooled, it seemed the obvious choice. At the time, however, we had no idea that we would hit the ground running and add a new student each year once we started. Next year, all four of our daughters will be schooling together. One of the amazing benefits of homeschooling is that our children help each other out. This way they build relationships with each other and they reinforce their own education.
Just this morning, the second grader and the first grader were reading to each other. This is a small miracle that my first grader volunteered to read on her own. I know that these things may and do happen with public schooled children as well, but our children benefit from our home based and faith based education. Some days I feel like I am behind schedule, but then my beloved reminds me that we own the schedule. It’s ok to school on Saturday and through the Summer even. I know we have been thought to be crazy to not only have ALL these children, but we homeschool on top of that. Don’t I want a break?? No. I truly want my children with me and learning from us.
Our children learn to crawl, walk, share, read, write, add, subtract, and clean at home. They learn together and they are learning well. We are a third generation homeschooling family and we are blessed with the opportunity and means.
Linked: The Alabaster Jar
To one, I am Wife; to eight, I am Mother. Every child was on purpose. Each child is an adventure that is unique to them. My life is busy, fast, sleepless, and blessed. My husband is a creative genius when it comes to, well, everything. I mean come on, we have 7 born and 1 on the way! He writes, he fixes broken cars, he fixes broken spirits, he moves earth, he calms a laboring wife, he shelters and feeds a growing family. Somehow he can do it all and still finds opportunity to build for our future and for the future of our children. Am I happy? Yes. Am I tired? Exhausted. Would I change a thing? No. This is where we are meant to be. This is how we are meant to be. I have days where I think that life cannot get any more hectic, only to be proven wrong in the next hour. But this is the life I have chosen. To follow the Will of my Father in Heaven, and so when I cannot seem to go another step, I lean on my Father and husband and somehow we end up here, many steps ahead.
Photo Credit to Honey Stetson Photographer
I am a twenty-something wife and mother. Those titles define who I am and what I do. As an 18 year old blushing bride, I was unaware just how wonderful my life was about to become. I never experienced a college education, but I don’t feel like I have “missed out.” If I had followed the norm and asked my fiancé to wait a couple years, I believe it would have been for the worse for us. My proudest moments are telling my Beloved that we have been blessed with new life, and when strangers in the grocery store ask me if these children are ALL mine. I love the look on my Kindergarteners’ face when they sound out their first word in their ENITRE life! This is me. I am Wife.