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.

Save the Trees

50 Reasons I will have as many children as the Lord gives me

  1. God gave them to me
  2. Hugs, kisses, and cuddles on demand
  3. We are helping the future generation have enough workers to pay for Social Security
  4. They are so darn cute
  5. They love me even on my worst day (without makeup and in my pajamas)
  6. They have taught me that the world does not revolve around me
  7. They are proof of the love between Austin and Me (and yes, we do have a TV)
  8. Because I like gifts and blessings, and they are the best gifts I have been given
  9. I get to learn things with my children (like shooting a gun – Maddy and I learned on the same day!)
  10. Getting to watch the relationship with my kids and their Daddy
  11. I get to watch them learn and grow
  12. Each of my children is happy I had them
  13. Walking slow so little legs can keep up mean I am enjoying more of what goes on around me
  14. I eat less because someone always wants a bite (or two, or ten)
  15. Get welcomed home like I’ve been gone for days, even when I just went to the mailbox
  16. They love unconditionally
  17. It is never boring at my house (Ever!)
  18. The smell of a kid (especially a baby) right out of the bath
  19. They accept others without prejudice
  20. Homemade friends
  21. They provide constant entertainment
  22. It’s fun to tell stories to children (and they’ll let you, even if you’ve already told them a couple dozen times)
  23. They believe whatever you tell them
  24. Getting to look at old things through a new set of eyes
  25. A sleeping child is one of the most precious things to see
  26. They have taught me to be more compassionate
  27. There is little as miraculous as that moment when your baby is born
  28. Children are part of God’s purpose for creating marriage
  29. Watching my children grow into people I like is a reward of its own
  30. The more we have the funner it gets
  31. Love breeds love, and more love, and more love
  32. One day I will have lots of grandchildren
  33. Being pregnant and experiencing the miracle of a baby growing inside of me is awesome
  34. I am motivated to be the best I can be because someone is always watching
  35. There is always someone to talk to or play with
  36. They teach me how to delight in the little things
  37. The love I have as a parent reminds you how much God loves me.
  38. When people stop us in the store, at a restaurant to tell us how cute, well-behaved, smart our kids are, it is like a job performance review where I got all Five Stars
  39. Unpredictable Surprises
  40. I have the best job security around
  41. Learning that money doesn’t matter, but $1 is a fortune to a kid
  42. “I Love you, Mommy”
  43. Lots of helpers
  44. I’ve never met anyone who regretted one of their children
  45. Young children are genuine. What you see is what you get. They haven’t learned how to be fake
  46. Feeling a baby move inside of you is complete joy
  47. Family is forever
  48. I get to watch my husband be a Daddy
  49. Because we still have enough love in our hearts and in our home for another one
  50. Because I love being a Mommy

I am SO BLESSED!!!!!!

(When I was thinking about how much I am blessed to be the Mommy of *almost* six children, I was reminded of how we have faced criticism, disgust, ugliness, etc. because of our decision to continue having children. I was struck by the idea that we live in a culture where we have activists to Save the Trees, but Children are looked at as disposable or as inconveniences by some. I am so Blessed that the Lord has given me a true, genuine Love for the children he has blessed me with now and the ones to come in the future, Lord Willing.)

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Riding an Elephant

My Maddy loves Elephants. She wants a pet Elephant. She wants to ride an Elephant. (Or so she said.) A few weeks ago the Fair was in town and Mom called me excitedly (4 times) to tell me there were Elephant rides at the Fair. I talked to Maddy about it again. I told her how BIG an Elephant was. How Tall. “Are you sure you want to ride an Elephant, Maddy?” Yes, Mommy. But then, unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us to go the Fair.

But a very kind and generous lady gave us tickets to the Circus. Saturday was the Circus. The kids loved it! (Especially seeing the Elephants, especially the baby (5 year old) one, with the little girl who walked around with it!) There were also tigers, acrobats, trapeze, a four-wheeler tricks (Brendyn’s favorite part), Unicyclers, Clowns, Monkeys, Even dogs and cats who did acts in the circus! And Grammy bought them popcorn, and a light-up sword/wand. Her and I took Bren, Tyler, Maddy and Addy.

During the intermission, what do they announce, but a chance to ride the Elephant. Mom looked at me, I shrugged, we paraded down to the three rings. We get down there and I pull Maddy aside. She is at this point, in awe at seeing the Elephants so close, and

Yes, she does want to ride it! So does Tyler, and Adreya. Not Brendyn! I decide to pass on Adreya (I was afraid she might fall off!!) So we let Tyler and Maddy go. Madelynne loved it! LOVED it! As soon as she got up there, she leaned down to pet and touch and stroke the Elephant (She felt like an Elephant!!!).

She was ear to ear smiling the whole time. At one point Tyler was holding on to the rope with one hand, and with the other hand was holding Madelynne against him (They are kid 2 and 3 in the picture). I thought, “That is the sweetest thing ever, him holding on to her, protecting her. He doesn’t want her to fall off.” I asked him about it afterwards. He said “Madelynne was holding on better than me, and I didn’t want to fall off!!” There goes that theory! It was sweet regardless. Maybe I’ll just pretend I never asked him!

It was a great day. Even on the ride home (over an hour and half), they still had the excitement built up in them, and chatted about everything!

I am so Blessed!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: My children, My Mom, My husband, An almost clean house, The beautiful weather we are having today!

Have a Blessed Day!

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The Strawberry Vegetable

Yesterday, Mom called and asked if the kids and I would like to go down to the Strawberry Festival. It’s been a few years since I have been, and I don’t think Maddy or Tyler have ever been to anything like that (except maybe once in Michigan as babies). So, together, her and I took the three big kids down.

I gave them each $10 to spend on rides, games, food, drinks, junk. I wanted to eliminate the “can I have”  and the “I needs”. They had $10 to spend how they wanted and when it was done, it was done. Grammy bought tickets for them to each ride two rides, and a Strawberry Shortcake. Mommy got suckered (by the booth attendee, not the children) to buy them one game of throw the dart at the balloon. And they still got their $10 Whole Dollars!!

Here’s how our night went: On the Way there, Tyler (the analyzer) had lots of question about the Strawberry Vegetable (he got confused with the word “festival”). We explained the $10 concept. I showed them each their envelope with their name and their $10 in it. We talked about holding hands, and staying with Mommy and Grammy and what to do if you get lost (“Stay where you are!!”), something we have never talked about, because I guess I don’t take my kids very many places!!

Once we got there, we were right there in the Midway, so we had another talk about looking at things and thinking about what they might REALLY want to spend their money on, versus throwing it away on the first things they saw.

So we walked, we looked. Madelynne wanted to ride the Carousel. So she cashed in one ride from Grammy and I took her on the Carousel. They had that thing running fast!! She was holding on for dear life with her face plastered against the pole. (She was holding on with two hands and a chin, and Mommy was holding on to her too!!) After the first go-round, she said “Mommy, I don’t think I’m going to make it!! Then we talked about where she was riding her horse to (Wal-Mart), if she was winning the race (yes), and what her horse’s name was (Princess). We waved to Grammy and Brendyn and Tyler or said “hi” every go-round. She loved it. Her first carousel ride!!

After that they watched a few minutes of a puppet show (Garbage in, Garbage out … Good stuff in, Good stuff out). Then Strawberry Shortcake time. We like to go to the place where you make it your self. Maddy got the cake and the whipped cream (no strawberries – silly girl!!) We walked around a bit more, looked at some of the booths.

Tyler was the first to spend some money on a Root Beer Float ($4). And he did drink the whole thing. Maddy spent money next on a pink and white polka-dot flower hair clip ($3).  Then they played their game of throw the dart at the balloon. Maddy just couldn’t get it, so Mommy had to help her. (I think one dart almost landed in the worker’s ear!!) They each won a tiny toy, probably sells for a quarter at the dollar store, but they were happy. It was the reward of something they had accomplished!

Then we went and rode the Ferris Wheel (all 5 of us). The kids loved it. Tyler said we were as high as the moon! It’s been a LONG time since I was on a Ferris Wheel, and I have to admit the view from the top  IS pretty good!! About that time we were ready to head back to the midway to do Brendyn and Tyler’s 2nd ride when the voice from above said “In 15 minutes, the Festival will be closing, make your way to the exit.” We stopped to ask some deputies where our gate was (the exact opposite corner from where we were standing), Maddy started crying because she didn’t want to be arrested. This prompted another talk about how policemen are “good” and they like kids, and they only arrest bad guys, not good little girls!!

Brendyn was next to spend money ($5) for a Foot Long Corn Dog. Maddy and Tyler copied with regular sized corn dogs of their own ($3 each). Then at the exit, they knew they had money left to burn!! Brendyn says “What do you have for $5”. And just his luck a sword in a sheath. Purchase! Then little sister wants one but only has $4. The man gives it to her. But wait, Tyler only has $3, what can he get. A light up, push the button, make noise laser gun!! (And for free because there was a small crack in it!)

On the way home, we had three exhausted, happy, full kids. It was a great night.

Five Special Blessings to me Today: Festival Food, The view from the top, Laughing with Maddy on the Carousel, Happy Children, A warm bed and husband to come home to!

Have a Blessed Day! Make Memories!

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What are you Wearing?

A few days ago a man was fired from National Public Radio for making a statement about being frightened on an airplane when he saw someone in Muslim Dress. This prompted the radio station I was listening to to ask the question, “Is it fair to judge someone by the way they dress?” My answer: Absolutely.

We know starting at a certain age of childhood that our clothes and the way we look help determine the impression someone is going to have on us. Most people dress purposely knowing what impression they are hoping to give, or not give. The choice of tight-fitting clothes, low-cut shirts, baggy pants, all black, etc. give off on impression.

I have made a choice to only wear long skirts. Why? It is not because I think that this is the uniform required for modesty. I believe a nicely cut pant suit on a woman could be modest. There are jeans and T-shirts that could be modest. I don’t choose to wear skirts primarily as a modesty issue. I wear them because of the impression that it gives. When strangers see me and judge me by my dress – their assumption jumps straight to Conservative Christian – without a word out of my mouth, without carrying a Bible under my arm – because of what I wear, that assumption is made of me. I choose to dress a certain way, because God has allowed to me have minutes of witnessing and testimony given to complete strangers who asked me about God, Jesus, my church, etc. Based solely on the fact that they made an assumption of me based on my clothing and I dress purposely to create that first impression.

What impression are you giving? And this goes so much beyond our clothes. What’s on your face – a smile, a frown, a scowl? I hope to always try to make the right first impression!

Five Special Blessings to Me Today: Austin!!, the kids, my parents and in-laws, sisters and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews

I Hope your Day is Extremely Blessed!

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