Monday, January 28, 2013

Hate Clutter. Love People.

You won't believe what I did a couple of days ago. I don't know why my room turns into the central hub where every one dumps their stuff. It drives me nuts. I'm good at keeping up on the rest of my house but my room is always my last priority.  Dead, dead last. I will homeschool, clean, take care of my babies all day and rarely take a step in my room.  Later I'll walk in and be bummed I never got around to it. I even had laundry stacked up that I would keep forgetting to put away. One day I walked in my room and while I'm hopping over something on the floor I told Ivy she needed to clean her room. She says, "Mommy, you need to clean your room too."  Ummmm.... Yeah, that's just sad.

I tend to hold onto things not because I love things but because I'm afraid something will happen and I'll regret I threw that item out.  I'm sick of cleaning so many THINGS but I'd rather be doing more stuff with my kids. It sounds crazy that I say that because I DO spend a lot of time with them. I'm with the kids all day! (Its funny that people think having a large family deprives kids of time with the parent. That totally depends on your priorities).  I don't crave things, I crave relationships. I'm not gonna regret that I didn't have a perfect house, I just don't wanna regret not building up better relationships with my kids, my family, friends, new converts.  I never long for a day off from my kids, I long for days off with them. I have this dream to take my kids a few times a month to a nearby orphanage to volunteer or visit families that might like some help in one way or another.  My kids are learning to be excellent cleaners and bakers.  There are lots of different ways to reach out and encourage people spiritually, by showing acts of love along with Scripture.  I don't know if I'm explaining my heart but I hope you get my meaning. There is JOY in serving. If you are having a hard day, try to do something for someone. Bake some cookies for a neighbor and tell them you just want them to know you are thinking of them and you care. It'll pull you out of that depression pretty quick! 

Okay, the other night I grabbed some large black bags and THREW everything away in my room. Everything except what was in my closet. Seriously, if it was on top of my dresser it went in the bag too.  If it wasn't a bed, dresser, or crib then it went in the bag. I have no idea what I threw out. I refuse to look but man, it looks good and it solved the problem of me talking myself into keeping STUFF.  Ha.  I love it. Charles told me I'm dramatic and that he married his very own Anne of Green Gables. Anne with an E!  LOL. 

I'd rather be loving people than dusting a bunch of silly old knickknacks!

P.S. one of the pictures is of a cut out my 11 year old son Ryan made for his daddy. Charles really loved it and put it on the mirror so he can see it every morning before work.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Our Critical Calling as Mothers

Sometimes I question my abilities as a mom.  There are days I looked around me the mess on the floor or the laundry pile that's needs to be washed.  I ask myself what made me so crazy to put such a huge task on myself. Was it the tap water? 

Raising children isn't some light thing that can be thrown around. God gifted me these seven little souls. I don't know about you but to me the task of showing them to Christ is a big deal. Living my life as an example for Christ is an even greater deal. How can I teach them?  I have seen legalism and I've seen grace. I've seen both taken to extreme. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that their Christianity is based on how many services they attended but to understand that it helps strengthen us. I don't want them to go door to door so they'll look forward to a pat on the back from someone who saw them do it. I want them to WANT to share because they love souls. 

There are days the kids teach me lessons and it shocks me to the core. Kids say what is on their heart.  Although I tell them to have tact, I still want them to know that what is important to them is also important to me. No matter how small it may seem, even if its about how zombies are just actors in movies or how busy ants are on the ground. 

Embarrassingly,  one of the things I didn't like doing years ago was reading to the kids at night. I was a busy, busy mama that had late night tasks to finish. One day I realized that someday they'll stop asking me to read to them. I may have read Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs an awful lot but now I have fun making all the different funny voices. Sometimes I'm so caught up in the acting that the book is over before I know it. Just like raising them will be.

Giving birth to a child doesn't make me a mother, a mother should never take this job lightly. How they think about love, courting, marriage, church, having children, friendships, how to handle rough times is taught from us. Man, I knew I wanted kids someday but no one told me what a fantastically humongous job it really was. Someone probably did but I was naive.  :)  I cannot do this great task on my own, I need God. Thank God He doesn't call only the mighty. I would've never been offered the job.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walking 9 Ducklings to Water and Winter Fun

The other day I was pretty desperate to get my kids and their two friends out of the house for some fun. Our community center that we have a membership with was about a mile and a half away. The kids really wanted to swim in the indoor pool and after some thought (and a softened heart) I said yes.

Charles' car recently broke down so he been taking our van to work. I got us all ready, tried several times to leave but I kept remembering something I forgot. Just when I thought we were about ready I looked down and realized I was wearing two different shoes. Um..... I ran back inside, fixed my shoes, and we finally headed down the road with 9 kids either walking, being pushed in a stroller, or being pulled in a wagon.

We were gonna be stuck there (so fun though) till Charles got off work and rescued us five hours later.  It was great!  Except for a few times dealing with some little bullies it went pretty smooth. I'm always amazed when a kid can bully right in front of their parents and they not bat an eye. I finally walked up and kindly asked the girl to not bully my kids.  This seven year old little girl started yelling at me with her mom only two feet away. Wowee.  Her teacher at school must have her hands full.

I longingly looked up at the gym since I could see it through windows on the second floor. I haven't been there for awhile. Some remember when I posted that I was working out there when Ivy was at home and got burned by the soup from the crockpot. She had to be taken by ambulance.  I felt so bad that I was gone when it happened that I haven't worked out since. Well, she healed so well that there will be no marks as long as her leg doesn't see the sun for another year. This is another reason why we only swim indoors.  Anyway, it was pretty sad and nightmarish having to change her bandages every day.  She would scream in pain. From now on, no matter who is watching my kids, nothing cooks even in a crockpot while I am gone. Horrible memories.  :(

Anyway, the place does so much for kids and is the most active community center I have ever seen.  Every single person that tries to sign up there goes through a background check.  I love that safe feeling. You just never know if that nice person could be a preying creepo. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is Taking Aways Guns the Answer?

I wanted to bring up the very controversial subject of guns. There are basically two sides I've been hearing.  You either believe having guns is your right or you think they should be banned.

I have always had guns in my house.  Not growing up but once I got married we had them in our own home. Because we have kids we keep our guns in a safe.  That's common sense I would hope. 

The picture of my son Ryan and his friend are on this post for a reason.Both these boys have seen major bullying in school. Both have been really hurt by them. The other boy shared with me about one time watching a kid use a knife to cut another kid's throat.  He is just in elementary school.  Its scary that these kids are using assault rifles and I get that they want to eliminate them.  The only problem is that I worry that's its one step closer to them taking our rights to owning guns away. Do not disarm our nation. Outlaws don't abide by any laws so taking away guns is not the answer.  You'll just leave us law abiding citizens unarmed.

Guns don't kill people.  People kill people. If it's not guns, it'll be knives, bombs.... while at our church conference, a lady had to leave because she found out her dad had been clubbed to death.  This goes back to the Bible story if Cain and Abel.  Murder has existed long before guns.  

I get that's its not smart having open access for kids to get your guns... lock them up.  So many special needs kids have the guns just laying around in their house.

What are your thoughts on guns?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mommy, Will You Have Tea with Me?

I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I get asked these questions at the worst times. I'm either washing dishes, changing a diaper, homeschooling someone, or doing laundry.  The list goes on and on. The first couple of times Ivy asked me I had some reason why I couldn't.  The third time she asked me I realized how pathetic my excuses were. All that work will always be there but my little girl won't be. Someday she might just stop inviting me to tea.  Realizing that awful possibility, I had tea with my little girl.  If you notice that I tend to post a lot of these same realizations on my blog, well, that's how often I forget. 

By the way, I seriously need to get seen for the pain in my joints. This is not something I want to get worse. Not sure if it is arthritis like the doctor said but its super annoying.  I tend to be more on the hyper side and don't think about joint issues before jumping up so fast.  One day I jumped down from the van while exiting and it really hurt. What the heck?  I'm only 33.  Sheesh.  Maybe I need to drink more tea. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Conference 2013

Every six months our church fellowship has a conference.  We couldn't attend all week but at least made the Friday night. Years ago we would attend the whole week without our kids.  Ohhhhh, how we would miss them! Its been about eight years since we would do that. I'm pretty sure now it'd be super hard to find a sitter but we love taking them anyway!  We plan on attending a whole week soon but our family all together.  ;)

It was soooooo cold there!  Wowee!  We stayed through Sunday and attended church there that morning.  It was neat seeing so many friends I had grown up with. It was hard to leave!  Guess what I forgot to bring on our trip?  Juliet's diaper bag!  I had to buy diapers, outfits, head bands, wipes, socks. Argh.... 

My sister Jodee hadn't had a chance to meet baby Juliet. Juliet is eight months now but Jodee lives out of state. Her and her family lived in South Africa for a bit as missionaries. Since we were attending the same conference we were able to meet up.  It was great seeing her again. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friends in High Places

My family stole another quick visit to see my friend that moved out of town. We also got to attend our church fellowship's conference for just one night. 

Its 7 degrees up here. Brrrrrrrr! That's what I meant by friends in high places.  Ha! I'm not used to so much cold. We meant to relax this Saturday with her but I ended up having to take my friend in to the Urgent Care for some health issues she has.  Well, it was actually good timing so we could help her with the kids and all. ;)  Its hard being the mommy and being sick. Mom's don't get sick days where you can just rest in bed when needed.

Its good being here and just getting myself far away from the norm. It's nice getting a break from the housework.   Heh heh...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Raising a Large Family in a Tough Economy

Christmas 2012 was a little bit stressful but wonderful at the same time. My husband had just started a job with a new company (finally in his field) and that was such a gift. That was the best gift ever! 

These last four years have been some of the toughest we've faced. I'll never forget 4 years ago.  We just found out we were expecting our sixth child. At the same time we find out, my husband's company was going out of business.  Well, we comforted each other by saying it'll pass.  Soon, like before, another job in his field would come our way. Well, it didn't. In fact, it was more like taking whatever came our way. Instead of complaining we knew we needed to just be grateful. 

In our four year trial we learned how much we depended on ourselves and figured a paycheck would always be there. We took so much for granted.  Some people were affected by the economic stress and some weren't.   Its no picnic, that's for sure. All I know is God is amazing and he really does care. I had to remind my kids over and over how wants are different than needs. Sometimes its hard for American kids to get it. We are so incredibly blessed in this country.  I always have to laugh when I get those comments about how deprived my kids must be in a large family. ;)  So silly.  Yes, it was a TOUGH four years but I'm pretty sure there are people in other countries that just wish they could feed their kids every day. Big difference. 

We visited family for Christmas and here is some pics at their house!  :)  My kids were completely blessed.  A couple of pictures show my husband's grandmother.   She had ten kids! :)  Believe me, I have asked her lots of questions on raising a large family. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hobby Lobby Makes a Stand Against Abortion

Wow, I'm so amazed by Hobby Lobby's stand.... you can read more here.

Even if you are not a Christian it is important to know what things are hiding in Obama Care. Everyone should read this! A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.


When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week- after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.

The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.


David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.


Sooooo, on January 5th there was a call for families to go and support Hobby Lobby. We did!  We bought a sweet rocket and engine.  Its gonna be fun to launch it. 

We are so proud of you, Hobby Lobby, for making a stand against having to provide your employees the morning after pill.  Let God be true & every man a liar.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Traveling with Nine

On the way back from visiting my good friend we took a stop for a potty break.  My kids still try to convince me they don't need to potty. Yeah sure. We always make them go anyway because I know they'll ask ten minutes after we leave.  Especially when there is a lot of people in the family. Whether its the mall or a rest stop EVERYONE is going at the same time.  This stop is our favorite because of the view!  Sooooo pretty. Its a pretty popular stop so its fun to see all the different places people are coming from.

My friend is going through a huge change in her life and we hoped we could just give encouragement and lots of hugs.  Changes are not always easy and can be kind of a shock too. I know! 

Well, here are some great pics of the beautiful view!  ;)  Turns out we visited my friend during the coldest times they've had in awhile. I'm glad since half my kids have never seen snow.