And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 27-28

Monday, November 11, 2013

Where is Thanksgiving?

          Thanksgiving is a time to remember all the the things that God has blessed us with. For me its also a time of preparation. Preparing myself that I can not give my children everything that that would love to have for Christmas. With Black Friday ads in full force and people making maps and planning store routes for the best deal, I am continuing to tell myself that I can get through another year with out all the extra stuff.

          I can of course, all the stuff doesn't matter and not long after Christmas has passed parents will be returning gifts that they don't want or need and toys will be left in the corner or under a bed forgotten.

          I have to admit that it is hard though. We have such a large family that I can't provide all that I would like too. But, I do know that God will provide all that we need.  My kids have always been healthy, which is a huge blessing. We are living in a state I love and going to the church that I have a deep passion for. What else could I want for?

          Its hard living in a society where we are so bombarded with STUFF every day. The entitlement attitude is astounding in America. I DESERVE is shouted from the mountain tops and we take it, drink it down and then force feed it to our children. "thats right honey, you need that new game, you need that newest, latest XBOXWIIUDSIIPAD. I will get it for you and go further into debt because you deserve it. Next year I am sure you will want something bigger and better and expect to get it, but that's fine

          I was appalled last year when talking to someone around Christmas time and she told me her experience with Santa Clause the year before. "Susan" said she had asked her daughter what she wanted for Christmas and her daughter told her a certain toy. So wanting to please her she ran out and got it. Then a couple weeks later they went and saw Santa at the mall. Well she told Santa that she wanted a train, which she described in detail, which was not what Susan had tucked away 2 weeks ago. So Susan is running around trying to find a certain train at the last minute because Santa needs to deliver.  She was saying that they had to find Santa earlier this year so she didn't have to go through that again this year. Wow, I was shocked. What if she asked for a Pony? Or a baby brother? Or World Peace? How can you deliver that? and when does it stop? I just merely smiled and said well, my kids never get what they want from Santa, but they are OK with that.
          Now I am not trying to bring up the "SANTA" discussion. I personally think he gets a bad rap sometimes. We do include Santa in our Christmas and the older ones like to help. But we also tell our kids the meaning of Christmas and do activities to instill Christ in our Christmas every year. You can feel and do what you want. But I am thinking that its absurd that you have to get whatever your child asks from Santa or not, simply because he or she asks.

          I love gifts, I love to get them and I love to give them. We even take down our tree Christmas Day every year because I can't stand to see the naked tree after the opening extravaganza. But there has to be a stopping point. Black Friday has now become Black Thursday and Thanksgiving is gone. Who can resist a good deal? Not many. So now a holiday that was about being thankful, spending time with our family, eating too much food and watching football is gone, and instead we buy gadgets we don't need possibly for people we don't like, because its a good deal or we need to keep up with the Jones'.  We get the stores in the black and our family in the red.

         I'm sure I've upset people, but I am OK with that. Life goes on. When my husband asked my dad if he could marry me my father replied, " I don't care, shes going to do whatever the hell she wants to do anyway". Yep, haven't changed.

         I would invite you to share your thoughts, don't worry I can handle it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Less is More

The number one question we are constantly asked is how do we do it with such a large family? Well, that is the #1 question after I am asked if they are all mine, do I own a TV, or am I Catholic or Mormon. But over and over people ask how its done. I don't really ever know what to say. I don't have a magic formula, I do it because I have to. This is what I have chosen and have been entrusted with and so day by day I trudge on.
I have thought about a few things and I know as a family we aren't concerned with all the stuff that alot of people are. We only have one vehicle which we've made work for almost 2 years. My kids hardly have any toys, as they don't play with much.We don't have beds for everyone of our children, as a couple kids sleep together on bigger beds. Everything in our house is used. We don't buy new, and for our family it really doesn't make sense when the kids have the possibility to trash it at anytime. Most of the things we do or own aren't conventional and I think that makes it hard for others to understand. For us it isn't thinking outside the box, its living outside the box!!
I know a lot of people just wouldn't be willing to do or give up what we have and I am OK with that. Our table is a conference table that we bought on Craigs list and sadly matching isn't in my vocab when it comes to decorating. Kent and my room is the smallest of the house so we could all be on the same floor, which is what I wanted. We even made our room in the dining room once. Dressers have more than one kids clothes in it because really how many clothes do we need anyway. Kent and I have shared a dresser for years. We have never paid for cable. Our one luxury is our phones, that is the one thing we have yet to give up. But in pretty much every other area of our life we have tried to live on less.
 I know that God has blessed us with these children because all the STUFF isn't a big deal to us. Don't get me wrong I like the stuff as much as the next person, and sometimes I cry over the stuff we don't have. I fear that our children are missing out on the stuff that others have. But at the end of the day the stuff doesn't matter, family does.
 We have learned that I can live with out it because we have had to. But honestly if we had an abundance of money I still wouldn't by all the stuff. I would spend it going places with my children and making memories. That is what is more important to me.
 Please hear my heart,  I don't say this to judge others, I am just explaining just one of the things that we do to make it day by day with such a large family.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


We all have seasons in our lives. It comes straight from the Word itself. (Ecclesiastes 3:2). And some of those seasons are very hard and last a long time. Like the winters in North Dakota where I am from, but through all the seasons in our lives God is there to help us. Kent and I recently went through a relatively short season of time (4 months) where he was flying back and forth from Texas to Montana to work. He was gone from 2-3 weeks at a time and only home for 1. It was much tougher than I anticipated. Having to deal with the stress of being in the last stages of pregnancy, 12 kids, homeschooling and just trying to make sure everything is up and running was very hard. It seemed that the only time something major would happen was when he was gone. Sick kids the moment he left and ER visits late at nite when my 14 year old could handle the house for a couple of hours. No kitchen sink for a week (that was a fun one) and having to empty my washing machine during the spin cycle for a month by hand until we could get a part for it, were just some of the fun things that I dealt with. 
As I write I think really it wasn't that bad....but in the midst it was hard to keep that perspective. My church family and the mercies of God each day were the only thing that kept me going. 
I don't know how you do it, are the words that I hear most often from other moms that I am talking too. I do it because it is what I have been called to do, its the blessing that I have been given. I don't know how military families "Do It". How single moms and dads "Do It". How parents with kids that have disabilities "Do It". How parents that have lost children "Do It". As that is not anything that I have had to deal with. But I do know that God does only give us what we can handle, even though at times it seems he trusts us with a awful lot, and we weren't meant to do it alone.
For those of you that are reading this, thank you. Thank you for the support, for the compliments, encouragement and prayers that I have received when I needed it most. Please know that I love you guys and am truly blessed by all of you.  
We are now heading into a new season with Kent here in Texas to stay and me at 39 weeks and waiting for the next family member to arrive. I am anxiously awaiting what God is going to do now....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sometimes your Up.....

Have you ever had a really good day? I'm sure everyone has, and didn't even have to be that you got something great in the mail or checked off a to do list item. As for me I didn't even leave the house! It was just one of those days where the craziness didn't affect the outcome of still getting stuff done. I wasn't stressed and the kids were almost obedient. It wasn't anything spectactular, it was just a day where I went to bed and felt that I had accomplished something. That is rare when your day consists of vaccuming and picking up constantly to have it look a train wreck 1 minute later when the toys are just dumped out and everyone needs a drink or a snack when the dishes were just done and put away. Laundry is NEVER done, only under control.

And then there is the other kind of day.....where even the smallest thing doesn't go right and you burst into tears. Like the item that you ordered on ebay isn't coming because of a inventory lapse and it will take 3-4 days to return the money even though it wasn't your fault. (this actually happened to me today, sadly even the crying part). I don't know about men (I'm not one) but I know about being a woman and we have mood swings, but its not our fault, God made us that way. Combine that with having 1 husband, 11 kids which 1 is a TEENAGE GIRL, and being 37 weeks pregnant (today). and its enough to make your head spin. I have to admit that being pregnant as much as I am I have enormous mood swings.....often. Keeping it together isn't easy, and I am not proud to say that my kids have seen me meltdown.
I am often told how much patience I have, and how great my kids behave. It is only the grace of God and His mercies everyday that me, my husband and all of my children make it through each and every day. I am not superwoman, I can't even remember my childrens age when asked at a park. My reply is I don't know, how old do they look? I do know that God has blessed me with the household that I have and so to not press on would be an insult to Him.

I pray most of your days are bright sunny laying on the beach with a drink in your hand days. When the bad ebay days do come, heed the words of Walt Disney and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Learning to Fly

Because I have so many children there are many times that I get so caught up in the day to day survival mode....some days its minute to minute. I often don't slow down, let alone stop to look at how much fun my life really is. Children are so full of energy and do the most amazing things, and way to frequently I forget the innocence that surrounds them and I look at the mess that was made.

We have an age range of the oldest being 13 and the youngest will turn 1 in two days. Its hard to remember the fact that they are just kids and not adults. They don't have the reasoning skills that I do. Logic isn't in their vocab, though it is my lifeline. When my 7 year old son, who the expression a bull in a china shop was written for, puts his baby sister on his shoulders, he doesn't think "this probably isn't a good idea". He thinks, "She will love this."

As I try and teach my children responsiblitly and logic, They teach me to lighten up and not be so serious. Though it stinks to clean up a 22 month old repeatly because he has gotten into the peanut butter jar that wasn't put away properly, its not the end of the world. Life will go on.......Take a picture that you can laugh at on a different day.....

Life is hard enough without worrying over the small stuff. My house will never win any awards. It is always a mess, and we are constantly just trying to keep it livable. I tell people that walk in "I'm sorry for the mess, I would tell you it will look better next time but that would be a lie" But my home is filled with blessings that most do not have.

Thank you to my 11 wonderful children who without them I wouldn't be able to Learn To Fly!!