A few weeks ago a mom of eight I know invited me to a meeting at our church for "moms of five or more". It was just a fun night out with a salad supper and good conversation with women who could really understand what we were all going through. We plan to make it a quarterly meeting...interesting tidbit: Of the 14 moms there, our children totaled 109! I thought that was quite impressive!!
Today I received a phone call from a woman who writes for our church newspaper wanting to interview me about our group and about raising a large family. One of the questions she asked was why I thought raising a large family was such a blessing. Honestly, it caught me a little off guard...I mean that's a big question with a pretty big answer. I'm certain I didn't answer it very well, but it did remind me of an ABC scrapbook I put together a couple of years ago. So, I thought I'd share it with you.
Just remember, two years ago we were just a small "big" family of five...
26 Reasons I Love Our BIG Family!
Arrows...Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. - Psalm 127:3-5
Blue-eyed Babies...Now that we have five children, I guess we qualify for having a "big family". And though people are shocked when we say we want more and we get lots of funny stares at the grocery store, I wouldn't have it any other way! Our blue-eyes babies are a precious gift!
Cuddles...When we took this picture (left) of G8 and A7 cuddling on the couch, it reminded me so much of the above picture we took of them when A7 was just a couple weeks old.
Dimples...E5 is our #3 and we were so shocked when he was born to see his deep, deep dimples. I remember when he was an infant that I couldn't wait for him to begin smiling so I could truly see them. Since then we've had two more children with one dimple each. Just think...if we had stopped at two, we never would've known.
Encouragement...I love how the kids encourage each other and us. The picture above was taken on Christmas morning at Dad's house. The kids were in the kitchen while we were in the living room talking. We just so happened to walk in the room as the kids were all lifting their cups and saying, "Cheers...to Jesus' birthday!"
Formorrows and Lasterdays...I think its funny how our children have their own form of communication. I like how G8 says "hoo-man" instead of human and how H3 pronounces all her 'r's' like'w's' (just like I did when I was little). But my favorite is that they all say "formorrow" instead of "tomorrow" and "lasterday" instead of "yesterday". It's so cute, why correct them?
Generations...With each new baby our family legacy grows and grows. Above, Grandma holds E2.
Homeschool...I cannot begin to tell you how blessed we are that we get to teach our children at home and watch them learn.
Introductions...Oh, how sweet introductions can be! Here E5, A7, and H3 meet E2 for the first time. They were so excited and took turns holding him.
Just the two of us...(at least for an hour!) Having five kids definitely makes date night a special event. We know couples who go out on a date once a week, but that's not currently possible. We're doing good when we can get away once a month!
Kisses...Toddlers never seem to know how to give neat, polite kisses. They're always big and sloppy! I still remember being so surprised the first time G8 kissed me on the cheek without being prompted to. The boys like to make up kisses - a "Spiderman kiss" is when you kiss and then rub your noses together. H5 pats you on the back when you give her a kiss and A7 just likes lots of kisses!
Little Toes...Of all the stages of childhood, I think the infant stage may be my favorite. Tiny bundles all swaddled up in a blanket. I love to lay them against my chest, listen to their heart beat, feel them breathe, and imagine all the wonderful things God has in store for them. Nothing could illicit truer praise than when holding so precious a gift as a newborn baby.
More...We live in a society where enough is never enough. We seem to never be satisfied and always want more. Well, we may not have more according to society's terms, but we definitely have more! More kids does mean more tears, more challenges, and more frustrations. But it also means more laughs, more lessons learned, and more to love.
Naughty...Our kids may be beautiful, but they're not quite perfect. Chad walked into the bathroom to E5 (he was 3 then) looking very guilty and saying "I'll pick up the pieces!" E5 had shaved his head with Chad's beard trimmer!
Oh, how we love our dad!...We have a house full of Daddy's little helpers and Daddy's wrestle-mates. Here, Daddy poses with his princess, A7.
It's my Party...It's always a party at our house whether it's "just" the seven of us or we're celebrating one of our many birthdays. G8 turned 6 with a super hero theme.
Quiet time...Okay, I admit it. Certainly one of my favorite times of the day is quiet time. After lunch all of the kids curl up on the couch and my ears get a much needed rest.
Raising a Godly heritage...We often hear the argument, "The world is filled with too much evil to bring children into it." That's exactly why we want to raise even more children who will grow up to impact the world for Christ and be a positive influence.
Share...Ask any one of the kids and they will tell you...our family shares! From toys to colds, there's simply no other option!
Teamwork...It takes a lot to make a big family work...Teamwork is very important. A lot of hands make our jobs get done faster. Luckily, our little ones are usually always ready to help.
United...I feel as though having a large family has given our kids a sense of belonging. No matter the disagreement they will always be united as siblings with love.
Very loud!...I remember trying to talk to a guest of ours one evening. As the kids got louder and louder, I in turn got louder as well. Before I knew it our friend's eyes were as big as saucers and I realized that I was actually yelling at him. We are a loud family!
What a mess!...Having toddlers can sometimes be a messy experience. But a mess is usually a sure sign of a lot of fun. Above, H3 helped me celebrate my birthday. She enjoyed the cake more than any of us.
fleXibility...The best advice I've heard about raising a large family is to have a schedule, but don't be too rigid about keeping it. Planning is nice, but often the blessings come in the unexpected.
Yep, they are all mine...and answers to other questions you've always wanted to know. Yes, we are crazy, but that happened a long time ago and has nothing to do with the size of our family. No, neither one of us come from particularly large families. Yes, my hands are full…usually of dirty diapers and baby wipes. No, we are not Catholic. Yes, we do know how his happens and we actually do have hobbies. Yes, we’ve seen Jon and Kate Plus 8 and the Dugger's show. And finally (try not to be shocked now) YES, WE DO WANT MORE!
Zzzzz...The end of a long day and the kids sleep sweetly in their beds. How I love to curl up next to them, pray over them, and give them kisses making sure not to wake them...just enough to make them stir.
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