Tag Archives: children

when the kids come home…

18 Jun

Busy with preparations, the music plays.

My heart soars in anticipation.

Randomly, I hear the cars approaching the drive.

Piled into the kitchen, like sardines in a can, we crowd …

Chopping veggies, bumping elbows, weaving through the maze of family to find the salt.

The music changes with each person’s taste.

My heart again full, as one more – unexpected, arrives. His plans have changed.

Behind the voices the music continues.

Sounds of laughter in the yard sing through the window.

The smell of the smoker lingers in the air enticing the men, tall and small, to monitor the meat.

Finally, we gather.

Hand in hand, thanking God for His provision.

The music replaced by the steady hum of voices and the clinking of dishes.

Pockets of conversations filter through the air.

Caring words of concern,

Thoughts of passion and zeal,

Surface chatter of insignificant things.

The sun begins to set.

Reluctantly the day comes to a close.

Silently, we rest.

But the music is still heard as a memory…


trusting enough to let go

29 May


In closing, I drew a butterfly next to my signature.  The letter was off, off to my love in Brazil.   He would be back in a few months,  what felt like a lifetime.  Our insatiable desire was to be together, yet too young to be married.  Somehow, through the distance – our love had only grown.


Watching our grown children arrive home to visit, one by one (or two by two), I remember the mixture of emotions as they moved away.  The heart wrenching pain was combined with a joyful anticipation for their future.


A butterfly lands on my 5 year old’s hand. Her brother explains, “Just enjoy it while it is here, if you try to hang on to tightly, it will die. Give it some room to fly and it may even come back to you!”

The joy comes in fully trusting God while watching the flight.

The richness keeps increasing, the love continues to grow.

My second podcast with Shara: Respecting Your Husband

26 May

Sitting here in the waiting room of the dentist office (with my new ipad in hand – of course), I have the luxury of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting. Part of the process of deliberately encouraging others in marriage and family life is how it causes me to reflect on my own life.

How did I do this morning in sending off my hubby with kind words? Did I take time to encourage him? Did I focus on his strengths or pick apart his weaknesses? Did I take time to draw him close or drive a wedge between us?

A month ago I had the privilege of doing another podcast with my friend, Shara. The last interview was on the adventure of going from 5 – 14 children. This time, as you might guess, it was on marriage. The focus is on my journey of learning to treat my husband with respect and how that continues to affect the rest of our family. Shara has some great insights as she also endeavors to continue building on the strong foundation she and her husband have laid for a healthy marriage and family.

As a result of a few technical difficulties, like my Internet speed for one, the sound is a little soft. Be prepared to have a quiet place to listen.

Please take a moment to visit Notes at Naptime … with Shara and be encouraged!



How in the world did we end up with 14 children???

26 Apr

Recently a friend of mine invited me to be a guest on her web site, Notes at Naptime with Shara.  She had been getting after me for a couple of years now to do a pod cast.  As much as I love and appreciate Shara, I wasn’t real excited about hearing myself on a recording, much less sharing it with anyone else!  Finally, when she asked again, I decided to swallow my pride and go for it.  This story is about the incredible way we came to now have 14 children.  If you take the time to listen, you might want to get a cup of tea and put your feet up.  It takes close to a half hour.  I happen to think it’s a great story and worth your time!


Stop and visit Shara, Kirk and their beautiful family at Notes at Naptime.



the good, the bad, and the ugly

11 Jan

The target area I chose for my positive “molding experiment“, was the children’s bedrooms.  Yesterday I told you we had instant success, and that is true, but you would think I was crazy if you actually walked into their rooms.  The bedrooms were ten times worse than before we started!!!  I tried not to laugh as I looked for something to complement them on. They were so excited!

I had given them each 5 focus points on their chart.   So, each evening they have the potential of filling all 5 squares.  The challenge is for 21 days, but to keep them motivated, I broke it up into 7 day sections.  Whoever has the most points after the first 7 days gets to make a dessert of their choice.

1. Beds

2. Clothes

3. Toys

4. Closets

5. Bathrooms

I assumed they would try to conquer all 5 areas right away to receive 5 points.  Instead, they simply made their bed look great! Then… started emptying closets.  Today the little girls were so excited to show me their clean closet.  Beautiful! They had done a super job, but boy oh boy, the floor was a disaster! The boy’s room was very similar; they also were digging deeply. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give them a point for a job half done.  I made sure to notice the nicely made beds and let them know I was confident they would achieve a full closet point tomorrow after they put away all the things they pulled out of the closet! In a house with a bundle of kiddos, a bit of competition also comes into play.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and is motivating me as well!

Hats off to all of you that have picked up the challenge!


20 Sep

One of the expectations for our 4-6 grade English class includes writing in a journal.  This assignment is not graded or evaluated for penmanship and spelling, I just check to make sure they are making regular entry’s.

Over the years, I guess off and on since high school, I have kept a journal.  Sometimes months go by, and I write nothing. In other seasons, I write daily.  It’s not on the “must get done” list,  it’s just something I enjoy when the time is right.

This year,  my journal has taken the form of  Not Without Aim  using a computer rather than a neat looking book and fancy pen.  The writing takes me much longer. I edit, and edit, and edit again and still find mistakes. The penmanship has improved dramatically though!  ;)

A few of my journals are timeless.

One in particular is a record of significant events that have happened in our lives.  At times I’ve done a good job keeping it up, but it has tons of gaps. Never-the-less, I enjoy looking back through it, and maybe someday the children will too.

The little pocket journal , very little, fits in a side pocket in my purse.  This one is specifically for names. When I meet someone new,  I often will write down their name and a little something about them.

Then there is the journal that I like to bring when I go to my sisters’ homes.  They have so many good ideas – books, movies, places to go, recipes, fun things to do… so I  jot them down.

One of my favorites though, is my journal for quotes. I’m not sure if it is because I like the feel of this particular book, or the fact that my sister gave it to me. Likely, it has to do with what all is written within it’s pages!  As I read a book, I take note of key points or sayings. Upon finishing the book, I try to narrow them down to just a few key passages that I especially appreciate, and record them.  It is becoming a wealth of wisdom from various authors all wrapped into one little volume!

I don’t know if my children will ever take to journal writing, but no doubt, one day they will enjoy looking back to what they wrote for this year of English class.

Set Priorities for your Family and Stick to Them!

18 Aug

Living in such a fast paced society, if we are not careful our families will be swept into the current and pulled places we may not want to go.

“Are we asking questions that help evaluate the priorities of our lives?”

– What is most important in our lives? Are we living in such a way to preserve or enhance how we spend our days?

-How does our family spend time together and is there any way it could be improved on? What is stealing away our time?

-What are the most important things we want to teach our children? Are we  prioritizing the time to teach them in an effective way?

-What could we change to better serve each other and others, as a family?


…just a few things to think about at the start of a new school year