I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.


When you are a kid, weeks take too long, a month seems like forever, and years are just too large to fathom. How is it then, that as you get older, those years go by in the blink of an eye? How is humanly possible that my baby boy was born three whole years ago. When I can remember so clearly looking down at the wild-haired dark-eyed blessing God had given to us. That I can so clearly recall bringing him home from the hospital, and him meeting all his siblings. Even Brendyn can remember his first birthday so vividly. Wyatt, looking down at that cake as if to say, “Is this really all for me?”

It is so amazing to me, that even after six kids, that each kid is so different, with their own personality, their own quirks, their own “special-ness.” Wyatt has been a charmer since the day he was born. And he was the baby who was our baby for the longest time. So, it may be possible that is a little spoiled. He makes us laugh daily with his antics, or his looks, or his playing. He eats everything we put in front of him. He is happy to help and even happier to entertain. He loves to play with toys and with people. (Although his knock, knock jokes still need some work.)

He is a good big brother to Cassidy (he wants to play with her and kiss her, touch her and hug her, let her run her fingers through his crazy hair.) He is a good little brother. He adores his Bubby! It is often Brendyn that Wyatt wants to tuck him in, or Bubby who is his favorite (even though I keep trying to change his mind.)

Wyatt was baby number five. The baby that according to modern preconceptions, was too many. The baby that made us from a large family, into a too-big family. Imagine if we would’ve listened. If I would’ve stopped after four, or even worse, three, like “normal people” are supposed to do. I can’t imagine my life with out that big-headed, wild-haired, doe-eyed, smiling little boy.

We have been blessed! So Blessed! Happy Third Birthday Wyatt.

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Time Flies

…when you’re too busy! Austin has been laid off again, so we are putting all our efforts into farming and markets and enjoying getting to spend lots of time as a family. We have been in this season before (for three years – from two weeks before Adreya was born until the Monday after her third birthday) and we are not fearful about being in this season again. When Austin was out of work for three years, we saw over and over again how the Lord provided for us. And even though it has been just one month now, we are still faithful and He has been faithful to show us already how we are in His hands. So in the last month, we have prepared our ground, planted seeds, and have little sproutlings up. We are doing a second planting today to stagger our crop. We have started doing markets (right now by buying and reselling to secure our position until our own crops are in) and are enjoying the fellowship and friendly atmosphere, but mostly enjoying being together as a Family.

Somehow in all of that going on, even though we DID celebrate my middle princesses FOURTH birthday, I forgot to get on here and make a tribute to her. I love that no matter how many children you have, they each end up different … with different personalities, different attitudes, different likes … Adreya is our charmer. She is the one who people levitate towards. She is so beautiful with her silky dirty blond hair and has a sweet personality. She is a nurturer and quick to help, happy to please. She is the best at doing a job through to completion, and often is the one I can count on to do a job that her three bigger siblings would leave unfinished, or complain about – Adreya will take on the task, with a good cheerful attitude and see it through, smiling, and talking all the way. She makes my Mother’s heart happy.

Recently, when I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered “a very nice queen”, which I thought was a great answer!!! Brendyn answered that question with a chef (he loves to cook and try out new recipes – he has quite the repertoire of meals I can completely turn over to him now.) Tyler had a hard time deciding, because he just doesn’t know yet, although for the sake of an answer, he told me a police man. We’ll work on the strength and endurance that comes with that later!! Madelynne answered ” a homeschooling mommy” with four kids: Violet (her favorite toy), Virgil (grandpa’s middle name), Virginia (Grammy’s name), and Victor (the only other  boy v name we could think of). She also wants her husband to farm and do markets that way he can be home, although, she says, if he has to work for long times, she will “just have to look after all my four kids by myself.” Wyatt said he wanted to be a soldier, with his Bubba (Brendyn says he would like to go do a short military tour before becoming a chef and Wyatt idolizes his brother!). Cassidy couldn’t answer for herself, so I decided for her she should attempt to be a princess. She is already so good at it!

We have been blessed. Beyond all that we could EVER ask or think.


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31 candles

31 does not seem like a great number. The general consensus yesterday while receiving my birthday wishes seemed to be “31, really? Wow!” I know, I am getting older! But even though the number went up one and my sweet Adreya told me that I was “really old now. As old as Grandma Doane.” (Who, just as a reference, is 76!!), even though I got older …. yesterday was a really great birthday!

My kids tried their best to be sweet yesterday and indulged me with as many hugs as I asked for! My dearest best friend brought over her five children and we spent the day together and despite being in the house with ELEVEN children, I really enjoyed it and had so much fun! They brought a spa to my house, they baked me a pink lemonade cake and even brought my favorite flavor of ice cream! And then she brought over everything we needed to do Tie-Dye (which I had never done before). So soon I will have a new long tie-dye skirt to add to my wardrobe and all the kids will have a neat T-shirt of their own creation!

Once Austin got home from work, he and my Mom took me out for dinner where I had a very yummy steak! Sitting at dinner surrounded by the people I love the most, and then reminiscing on the way home … I could only come up with one thing – I really am SO incredibly blessed! Happy Birthday to Me.

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Turning Seven

It seems like it couldn’t have possibly been a year since this post where I talk about my fantastic boy turning six, and now he’s seven! I don’t really see or understand how this is possible! He’s in Second Grade this year, although I am not sure I have him convinced of that. Tyler is smart. I mean really, just naturally, gifted smart, so he is actually doing third grade work. Third grade Math, Third Grade Spelling, Third Grade English. And he’s tall. (“I’m at least as tall as an eight or nine-year old!” He often says!) So, even though I keep telling him he has to stay in second grade for now, I think he knows, he is too big for his britches!

I remember so much about the baby he was. He had the hardest time gaining weight (He still does!) and we took him time and again to the doctor for another and another weight check. But he was always happy and for the most part, healthy (although he has always had his Daddy’s allergy problem!) He loved his Brendyn. In fact, “Bubba” was his first word!

As a toddler (and a new big brother), I remember how much he adored his “Nani”, his nickname for Madelynne! He wanted to share everything he had with her (including sippy cups and tortilla chips with his infant sister), and was content to talk to her, sing to her, play with her, and hold her. (He is still like this with every other sibling that has come along. In fact, I am certain, Cassidy is his favorite toy!)

As a little kid, his love for Jesus was astounding (It still is!) Tyler could pray better than a lot of grown-ups I know. And when he prayed, he knew God was going to answer his prayer. He went to the Lord, for everything, realizing that nothing was too small, or too big, for his Jesus. (“God, please move those clouds. I wasn’t quite finished looking at the moon.”)

I love this boy more than words can tell. And although the part of me that misses the little boy he was, the toddler, the baby – another part of me cherishes every moment and can’t wait to see the Big Future that God has for Tyler.

I have been blessed.

Five Special {Memories} Blessings for Today: Tyler giving me three kisses each night (A regular one, A butterfly one, An Eskimo one), Tyler asking Jesus into his heart at the precious age of Five, Tyler always being attentive and being my unofficial babysitter, Tyler for amazing me daily with his faith and love for Jesus, Tyler for prioritizing his family in his life (right after God)

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The Biggest Boy

On Saturday, our Leprechaun turned eleven. It is so easy for me in my mind’s eye to still remember him Wyatt’s age! Eleven seems like a good number though. He is so capable and helpful, but not in the rebellious teenage years! Yesterday, all our boys got haircuts (he now qualifies as an ‘adult’ haircut!), and I had such clarity about ELEVEN. While Austin was getting his haircut, and I was dealing with Wyatt (praying internally that he would let the lady cut his hair), it was nice to know I had Big Brother Brendyn to hold Cassidy. He is not like the littler ones, who will come over and stare and are attracted to her like a magnet, but while he sat there and held her, he ran his big fingers down her arm, and let her curl her fist around his finger. He looked at her and cooed at her, and I knew she was safe with her big brother, and I could focus on Wyatt’s haircut.


Brendyn at two and a half (the age Wyatt is now)

Wyatt (for his bribe, oops, I mean reward) got a lollipop after his haircut. While walking around Wal-Mart, he dropped it, and we threw it away. On the way home he fell asleep and must have been dreaming he still had it, because when he woke up, he was frantically looking for it, and crying …”My Lollipop, My Lollipop…” In that same moment, I could recall Brendyn at the same age…fell asleep with Lolli in hand. In his slumber I gently tugged it out of his hand, so it didn’t end up in his hair or poking him in his eye, and he woke up the same way, searching. It was like Deja Vu. And I think Wyatt favors Brendyn a little bit anyways. What do you think??

For Brendyn’s birthday, he chose to go to The Melting Pot (good choice, as it is also Mommy’s favorite!) We ate like kings and had very full bellies afterwards!! He also got to go out to dinner with Grammy on his cowboy-boots-and-hat shopping trip, and then again as a family to Sonny’s, because he wanted Ribs!

We went to the Flea Market today, and it was so funny to me to see people count the kids. You’d see their eyes dart from kid-to-kid, tallying them up and get to six, and get that wide-eyed look that usually means they think I am crazy! But I know the truth! I am blessed! Blessed with six beautiful, healthy children, who I get to spend every day with. Who make my life full, and my heart fuller!

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Number 3 is 5

Madelynne Jade - 1 week

Time really flies. Especially seeing baby Cassidy, who looks so much like Madelynne did as an infant. It is so easy for me to remember Maddy being that small, making that face, having that hair, sleeping just like that….. so how is it that the baby I remember so well, turns FIVE today??? She is such a good ‘oldest daughter’. She can hold her own with her two older brothers and yet, has that nurturing quality about her that makes her great for being the oldest sister. Madelynne looks after Adrey and Wyatt and has told Cassidy “I am the Junior Mama.” She loves to ‘babysit’ for me when I have to go into the kitchen to make dinner, or go check on what the other children are in to. She will sit by Cassie, and just look at her, telling Cassie how cute she is. On Wednesday, Maddy told me that Cassidy was the cutest that day (a Big compliment coming from Madelynne, who knows without doubt she is beautiful, after all, her Daddy has been telling her for years!!) For fun, I have put Maddy’s baby picture alongside Cassidy’s and there is definitely a resemblance. What do you think? 

Cassidy Joy - 1 week old

These last three weeks, having all six of them, I feel like my heart is busting out of my chest. I had worried a bit about whether or not I could handle it. Could I really take all six kids to a doctor’s appointment, or the grocery store. Could I manage to get anything done around the house? But the truth remains, that God truly does NOT give you more than you can handle. He blessed us with Baby Cassidy, and I could indeed handle it. And my heart is overflowing with the love I have for my kids, and the knowledge that God has blessed me so richly!

Watching Madelynne love on her baby sister thrills my heart. One day, a very long time from now (and assuming that I do indeed

Madelynne now (with Adreya)

survive the teenage years!!), I can see Madelynne as a really great Mommy! At last check she was going to have at least four kids (named: Stop, Go, Snowman, and Snowflake … The number seems great, but I do hope with age and wisdom, she does choose different names … LOL)

I am sure I say this over much, but I am SO blessed.
Maddy is excited about her birthday, although she doesn’t believe me that she is indeed Five today. She thinks she doesn’t get to turn the numnber until tomorrow when we have her actual birthday. But for today, she is telling her siblings that she is “Boss #2”. and she has chosen what we will eat for dinner – Pork Chops, Cut Potatoes (a baked potato cut into cubes), and asparagus. (She really does have good taste in food!!) I also found some Easter Chocolate chip cookes that have pink chocolate chips, so I am going to make those for her for dessert.
SIX Special Blessings to Me Today: Madelynne, Brendyn, Tyler, Adreya, Wyatt, and Cassidy
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Baby Cassidy

I know that I have had a long hiatus in this blogging thing. I have been either waiting out those last couple miserable weeks of pregnancy, where all I could think to write was how ready I was to hold my new baby girl, to the last nine days, of enjoying her! She is so beautiful and sweet and calm.

Her birth, on February 6th, was just a reminder that even though she was number six, that I don’t have it all figured out!!! I was sure she would be born Monday morning. But as morning ticked away, and my body made SLOW progress, I realized and remembered that I am NOT the one in control! It took all morning and most of the early afternoon just to get to 4 centimeters. But once I got there (at about three in the afternoon), the rest moved along QUITE Quickly. At 4:23, my water broke, the baby was ready to be born, they called the doctor, and she LITERALLY came jogging into the room, gowned and got ready to catch the baby. She was born at 4:38 and I got to help deliver her by reaching down and pulling her onto my chest. It was remarkable!!! She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces (our second smallest baby) and an even 20 inches long.

All through the slow progress of the morning, mentions were made that she was a “stubborn” baby. I kept insisting it was because she was mellow and laid back. She saw no reason to leave the place where she was comfortable! It turns out that I was right!!! She laid on the warmer after being born and looked around. She wasn’t crying like all my others have done while waiting on that warmer. She was so content. She still is. She rarely cries, and in her quiet time, she is happy to look around and take in this new world she gets to live in.

Her sisters and brothers are absolutely enchanted and captivated by her. There is very few times during our day that I don’t have a little person looking over my shoulder or standing guard to stare and talk to their newest baby sister! Even Wyatt, who I really thought would go through some sibling rivalry and jealousy is in love!


Five Special Blessings to Me Today: The newest addition to our family –  Cassidy Joy, Siblings who love her almost as much as her Mommy does, A Daddy who is content to watch her make those cute baby faces in her sleep, A Grammy who is always on hand to rock, cuddle, or hold, and that I get to be the Mommy – whose heart is absolutely overflowing with love!!!

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For the first time …

For the first time since Tyler has been born, I have no one in my house under two years old!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Wyatt!

My baby turned two. I have no babies, except the one I’m still growing! Now I have a toddler. A cute, smart, adorable, genius little toddler, but a toddler, not a baby. We love Wyatt. He is so cute, with a genuine smile for whoever looks his way! We had fun celebrating his two-year old birthday with friends, Chili, and Cupcakes!

For the first time ever in my life, I shot a gun. I shot a child-sized 22 gauge. (It was pink). Austin set up some cans for us to aim at, and I even clipped the top of a can on my first shot. I also shot his Judge Rifle, but decided I needed ear plugs to shoot that one. I have never really handled a gun before, so I was thankful for a teaching patient husband.

We're off to See the Wizard!!For the first time since Austin and I have been together, the kids got to go Trick-or-Treating. It was kind of a last minute decision. The middle kids are finally at the age where they really wanted to get a costume and go. I knew that I would want them to coordinate somehow and also have costumes that would not be considered creepy or spooky or scary. After some online research, I found these costumes and LOVED them. Madelynne was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Brendyn was the Scarecrow, Tyler was the Tine Man, Wyatt was the Cowardly Lion, and Adreya was Glinda, the Good Witch.  They had so much fun! I had fun dressing them, taking their pictures, and watching their faces.

I am reminded again and again How Truly Blessed I am!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: New Things, Getting to keep my children home with me, Enjoying the moments, Happy Kids, Chocolate in the House!

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Turning Three

This is a busy time of Birthdays for us … from July to October … Austin, Tyler, Me, and now our Beautiful Addy girl!!!

She turned three on Friday. It has been a fast three years! She is so cute. With her perfect skin and blonde hair! And smart! She has a remarkable vocabulary and even says some words better than big sister Madelynne! (Although don’t tell Maddy I said so!) She loves her family! She is a good little sister, and a GREAT big sister! She is a good sharer (not-so-common for her age) as long as you ask and don’t take!! She is quick to give hugs, kisses, and smiles.

We are blessed to have such a beautiful little princess! She had a good party filled with most of her family and a few good friends!

Oh, and for those that actually read these ramblings of mine … you can be among the first to know we have decided upon a name for the new baby. She will be Cassidy Joy.

We are so Blessed!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: My Addy girl, Austin getting a job, Hugs and Kisses, Cooler Weather, Hot Chocolate

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A Whole New Age Bracket

I have two more days….Two more days to still be in my twenties! And then I enter a whole new Decade of years. It’s almost as if I am aging 10 years. But the logical side still says, in 2 days, I’m only going to be two days older! It’s just that it sounds so much older! I have no reason that this number should bother me. I’ve been using it for six months now. When people question me about the quantity of children I have, I feel like it gives me more merit to say, Yes, this is number 6, but I’m going to be 30 soon! As if six children at thirty is somehow more socially recognized than six children at twenty-nine!

It’s been such a remarkable ten years, my twenties. I started my twenties with only a six month old, and now I’m working on number six! I got married in my twenties (and we’re blessed to have already celebrated Seven years together!) I drew so much closer to God in my twenties! I grew spiritually as God provided for us, and answered my prayers time and time again.

I became more of who I am, and I am happy with that person! So, even though, I have to check the box that says 30-39, instead of the one that says 20-29, I am going to rejoice and look forward to what another ten years brings me.

Happy Birthday to me (in two more days!) I am so Blessed!!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: a FREE trip to the Zoo tomorrow with the people I love the most, Birthday cards and cake and flowers, Baby #6 Ultrasound on Thursday, Family and Friends, and a Saviour who loves me!

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