Tag Archives: parenting

A Sweet Little Moment

In the midst of chaos a sweet little moment can be so rich. I had a moment with the girls tonight. With the littlest one in my arms, the others took turns giving me hugs and kisses, and just like that I knew I was exactly were I was supposed to be.

These moments don’t last, but I can only hope and pray that I cherish them while they do last. Next week we’re sending our oldest off to a week-long church camp and I am struggling with remembering that the boy who was just a baby only a few short moments ago is growing up and becoming more and more independent every day.

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So Many Helpers

I got a glimpse into my former life when I parked at the grocery store the other day. A young mother, with an infant in a baby carrier and a toddler, was trying to get a cart with a car attached to the front of it out of the cart corral. The basket of the car would not open so that she could put the carrier into the cart and so she was forced to head into the store carrying the baby carrier and making her son very unhappy when he had to get out of cart. When I had only two kids I remember struggling with two kids to make a trip to the store. The struggle was definitely real then but it is much more real to me now that I have added 5 more kids!


We don’t have a lot of storage space so we tend to make lots of trips to the grocery store. Trips any where with seven kids are an adventure.  Depending on how much stuff we need I put the baby in the stroller or in the back of the cart. On trips for more groceries the 2-year-old sits in the front seat of the cart and the 9-year-old pushes either the stroller or the cart depending on the mood of the 2-year-old who is very opinionated about who she wants to push her in the cart.  All the others walk with us. The three-year-old is usually the one who likes to run ahead and lag behind us so I usually have to assign her the job of holding the side of the cart or stroller and if that doesn’t work I stick her into the cart with the groceries!

I know my crew is quite a sight to behold! I field questions from strangers almost every time I go any where with all the kids but people are mostly friendly. I enjoy watching the kids interact with the cashiers and other staff at the store. I use trips to teach them about grocery shopping, budgeting, and meal planning.

The other day a gentleman asked me, “Why did you bring so many helpers to the store,” to which I responded, “We do what we have to do sometimes.”


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Encouragment for Today

smDSC_8597b It’s feels like it has been a really long week, but I got several doses of encouragement just when I needed them!

My kids folded a whole couch full of laundry and two laundry baskets full of laundry and they put almost all of it away! After dinner one of my girls started putting away the dishes that were in the dishwasher without being asked. Then she asked if she could do the dishes. I said YES!  I wish someone could have taken a photo of my face when I asked her why she wanted to and she told me that she wanted to do it for me. One kid has been really wanting his Minecraft time so he’s been helping clean up around the house for the past week. It is encouraging that my kids want to help out around the house!

Today I took the kids on a little walk for a fall photo super mini session. I have to confess . . . These are totally my “beautiful” confessions here . . .  It was a extra tiny session because my camera battery died but I was able to take 40 photos in 5 minutes. I got some really good ones along with some that are just plain funny!

While we were on our walk we met a white-haired gentleman who was sporting a black NRA hat and walking his little schnauzer. He smiled as he let all of the kids pet his dog and he asked me, “Are these all your children?” I proudly replied, “Yes they are.” Oh my goodness he said. He told me that when kids grow up and move away they will start repaying you. He said, “That is what my kids did, they repay me so much.” He told me right now I am paying while they are young. I am sure the gentleman didn’t know at all how much his words meant to me. In the chaos of every day life I can’t look ahead at what life might look like some where down the road, but I am encouraged when I think about how blessed I will be some where down the road.

I’ve been sharing some recent photo shoots with my oldest son and asking him what he thinks after all the other kids have gone to bed. The other day I asked him to choose a favorite of three different photos and he shook his head no. He couldn’t pick a favorite and told me they are all great. Tonight I was showing him photos of our family friends and he said, “You are really good at taking photos.” I am so thankful that people trust me to take photos for them, because they think that I’m a good photographer.

It is so good to be encouraged!

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Never-ending Chaos

The sound of my fingers hitting the keys of my laptop . . . That is all that I hear. My sons are getting a taste of loading the dishwasher after dinner so that I don’t have to stay up doing it after everyone goes to bed.  Life is pretty crazy with six kids. A friend of mine who has 4 kids and I were talking about how people ask us, “How do you do it?” I don’t know how I do it. I just do and lots of chaos happens.

Yesterday’s chaos started with little people asking if they could have breakfast. I can’t think of any time when I have ever said, “No, you guys can’t have breakfast.” I think there are only some times when I tell them that they need to wait, but even that doesn’t happen very often.

For about the millionth time my son could not find any pants to wear. I do not have any idea how this is even possible because he has way too many clothes. I also know for a fact that he has more than 3 pairs of pants.  For a while he had been putting pants that didn’t fit “just right.” back into the laundry hamper. I have no idea how many times I was re-washing clean pants. I don’t really want to know at this point.

Another son could not find his library books. He was blaming it on our resident monster before he remembered that he left the books at school.

I fluffed an entire load of wet laundry without heat! I asked one of girls to empty the dryer into a laundry basket and so she did. When I tried to move the basket it weighed a lot more than it should have and that’s how I discovered that everything was still very wet.  I checked the dryer settings. The monster that lives at my house apparently discovered how to turn knobs on the dryer.

I pulled a various assortment of things out of the baby’s mouth. I have 5 other kids and I still do not understand the fascination of picking random things off the floor and putting them in your mouth.

The same monster was found using her brother’s booster seat to climb on top of her dad’s desk.

The monster and her sister were caught using the bathroom step stool to get lotion out of the closet.

A little girl threw a fit because she was not going to get a snack unless she ate more of her dinner, and so if only by some miracle she came to her senses and just at more of her dinner.

The baby crawled down the hall and into the bathroom twice and into her brothers’ room once.

All of that was yesterday!

To start our day the girls and I worked on cleaning their room. I found the Apple TV remote control shoved halfway the under the toy box and as an added bonus I found our extra van key in the toy box! After finding two toys that go together Eliana said, “It is amazing what you can find when you clean up.” Indeed it is.

The fun and chaos never end!

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Lent Day 3- Giving Thanks

I’m thankful that God has given me a heart for children. I have loved a lot of children in my life. I was usually the doting sibling after my younger sister and brother were born. As long as I can remember my Mom always had babysitting jobs and I was always helping with the other kids. I’ve had numerous babysitting jobs, a daycare job, and a job with at-risk youth. I’ve volunteered as an after-school tutor, and with Boy Scouts. I’ve done a lot of work with youth in church, teaching Sunday school, leading Children’s church, along with leading and working at Vacation Bible school.  All these jobs I did before I had any children of my own with the exception of leading Bible school.

Now I am blessed to care for and raise my own children. I cannot express how thankful I am that God gave me years and years of preparation for this time in my life.  I know I am not a perfect Mom, but I like to believe that I’m pretty good at this job that God has given me.

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Random Wednesday Thoughts

Today I am thankful for onesies and one piece outfits so my kid doesn’t keep taking off all her clothes and her diaper. Quote of the day, “Mommy, Danielle is REALLY naked!”

I am going to have 6 kids in 126 days give or take.  I know this time will fly by ever so quickly because having 5 kids makes almost every day goes by quickly and with much chaos. I wouldn’t change it for all the world!

I keep thinking about some one who once told me that he would just call each of my kids by their number and all the witty come backs I should have given him. At the time I was quite annoyed and thought it best just to keep my mouth shut.  I understand if you can’t remember all my kids’ names, but they are not just numbers!

Yes, I do have my hands full. Random strangers in the grocery store need not comment on this well-known fact.

Yes, I know where baby’s come from.

No, I am not sure if this is the last one.  Is it really anyone’s business? Would any one really be surprised if I go for 7?

Why do 2 year olds feel the need to repeat themselves over and over and over again? “Mommy, I want to sit with you?” or “I want my cup!” fifteen times in a row is just annoying.

Two year olds should come with volume control.

I am the mom that laughed when my 1-year-old tried to hit her 7-year-old brother with a shoe. Maybe I wouldn’t have laughed if she hurt her brother, but I probably still would have laughed. Her brother thought it was pretty funny too and he wanted me make a video of it.

Four year olds have to be some of the most inquisitive people on the planet.  They wonder about everything under the sun and it’s truly amazing.  If only we could hang on to that sense of wonder instead of going through life taking every thing for granted.

It can be very frustrating when a five-year-old acts like a 60-year-old man who is firmly set in his ways you may have a fight on your hands to get him to bend on anything. One of this weeks battles included wearing shorts because it is over 80 degrees outside. Another battle was getting him to have a hamburger after it had been a while since he had one. Guess who asked for a hamburger for lunch today?


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Random Thoughts and Updates

It has been a long while since I blogged so I thought I would share some random thoughts and update you on our family!

Luke Skywalker and a Wookie live me with.

I had to do the subtraction to figure out how old I am going to be on my birthday in a couple of weeks.  I’m going to be a year younger than I thought I was going to be!

You know that sitting a chair against the wall as a punishment is a total parenting fail when after lunch the child proceeds to face his chair against the wall and pretend that he has his own little hideaway and then gets his little sister to join him in the fun. Most of the time I love of having children who love to pretend.

Our family or I should say Andy, Eliana and I have finished off a jar of dill pickle slices in what seems to be the space of less than 2 weeks.  Yes, I eat pickles even when I’m not pregnant.

It is amazing the amount of ketchup that 3 little people can consume during any given meal.  I’m pretty sure that Joshua asked for thirds on ketchup when eating fries and chicken nuggets.

James is a picky eater. Joshua is pickier than James. Isabel has to be the pickiest.  There seem to be more foods that Isabel won’t eat than foods that she will eat.  I desperately hope that she grows out of this, but because Joshua hasn’t I am trying not to get my hopes up.  I might as well file “Short-Order Cook” under my list of long-term job descriptions.

This Friday I will be 20-weeks pregnant.  I almost wish that I had some other interesting pregnancy symptom to report. This pregnancy has been much like all the others.  It’s the same old, same old, with carpal tunnel, extra sensitive gums, extra heartburn, round ligament pains, being more tired than usual. I’m thankful that my pregnancies have been relatively easy.

James has been job hunting.  He’s still doing part-time archeology, also known as cultural resource management.  (No, he doesn’t look for dinosaurs and it’s a lot less glamorous than Indiana Jones . . . those are totally different jobs!) He’s been looking at teaching positions, but also looking at lots of other random things, some of which would totally freak our families out because they involve moving great distances away from our current home.

Looking forward to another baby has been the silver-lining of some sad and troubled times for our family.  Finances are not good.  James doesn’t have a full-time job yet.  James is still waiting to be reinstated into Boy Scouts. We recently found out that our pastor and his family, who has been an amazingly wonderful part of our family, is moving away.

Three crying kids are loud, but four crying kids are louder.

Camp is nearing an end.  I’m going to miss James doing laundry and not having to cook much.  I’m looking forward to being reunited with my dishwasher, my wireless internet, and my Apple TV.

Most of the house is sleeping  so I will end for now! Hope that you are doing well!  God bless!

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