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We are a family of 10, who love God and each other with all our hearts!


Friday, December 2, 2011

$300 Giveaway From Vision Forum!!!

Last year I received one of my all time favorite gifts from my kids; the book "Large Family Mothering".  So many of the things in it were already part of my life, but it is so encouraging to read another mother's tips and helps.  Plus, I can always find new things I need to be doing, or be reminded to get back on track with some things that I have let slip.

This book was refreshing because it was written by a mother of a large family, to large families!  This book and many other Christian books are available from Vision Forum.

My good friend Kelly Crawford is hosting a $300.00 giveaway for Vision Forum on her blog.  Hurry and enter, it ends tomorrow!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Birthdays and my girls

I wish I could write well what is in my heart. I wish that I could tell you the way Mrs. Robin does what my world means because of Jessica, Rachel and Erin. I don't have that gift. I can write and I can give you a glimpse of my world, but I cannot make your heart leap the way mine does when I see my girls.

Jessica's birthday quietly slipped by in the midst of parenting 16 children. A daughter on the precipice of life. A woman wanting to be a mom and have a new life, but not wanting to walk away from the childhood life here. She is precious and wonderful, and we talk about the day she is not here because we don't know how we could possibly live a day without her to give our life stability.

Rachel's and Erin's birthday arrived much like them - with flare and gusto. They have made birthday demands that Jessica would never have imagined making. Still Jessica loves them more because they are this way, and she is not.

Rachel- my twin - in so many ways, but still I pale in comparison. Rachel who I tortured through a ridiculous time of trying to make her learn to read. Now with wisdom and mostly age, I know I would only hold her in my lap and read to her constantly. For when it was time to read, she read and has never stopped.

Rachel who brought me to tears over wondering if she would ever stop getting into mischief. She is now the family worker. She works even when she does not know she is working. She just accomplishes so much. She is competitive and fearless. One day a boy will come along who can out run her. Heaven help him. Her daddy has promised to talk him through all he faces for he has survived it with me!

Erin, who sees life in a different way. Her humor has begun to surpass her father's wit. She hears all even though she pretends that she does not. She eats, sleeps and breathes music. And she irons!!! She has built quite a lucrative business ironing for the family. She makes her biggest profits on Sunday morning when she charges double the going price!

Erin is a rock in the midst of chaos. She is calm to a point of frustration for me, but it is a blessing beyond compare. She patiently cooks with Michael when I would have put him in front of a Rescue Heroes and gotten my work done in half the time.

I am learning the this side of parenting is 200% harder than the 12 and under days. Girls looking to me to let them have enough room to fly, but to be waiting at the nest when they come home. The wounds of the world are much deeper than the cuts and bruises of a fall off a porch on a scooter or a pencil through the foot. These wounds are of the soul.

Our talks are deeper. Sometimes they dread the conversations that begin, "I have something to tell you." But they are better. How wonderful to have the laughter and support of a Christian home. I make so many mistakes. Forgive me girls. I have no idea what I am doing. Maybe by the time Sarah is here, you will have your own daughters, and we can try to figure out all of this together.

Until then, I thank the LORD for you each moment of the day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mothering 16

This is my new family.  We adopted 8 more kids this week.  For now anyway.  Their mommy needed some pretty serious surgery, and my family has been blessed beyond measure to have the Smith Family in our home.

If I could choose 8 kids to adopt into my family, it would be these kids.  We have older girls with my older girls,  middle girls for my middle ones and lots of little boys for my boys.  And a baby in the house again!

For now their mommy is healing and their baby sister is growing in a NICU, and we are loving needing 2 big vans to go anywhere. 

For the body of Christ who has come forth and fed this crew, and prayed for this crew and for Mrs. P next door who has taught us a lot about diabetes, we are forever grateful.
To our Lord who has restored friendships after a very hard few years, we give Him all the glory.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crazy's Daisies

These are my Crazy Daisies.  My husband has nicknamed them Crazy's Daisies - no further explanation needed.  I love them.  They grow wild and free and multiply like, well, like crazy.  Hmmmm.

They are there growing and pretty and green almost all year.  They are good to have when everything is in the bleak of winter because they are a promise of beauty to come.  They need care and love and then space to do their own thing.  They grow best in the confines of my garden, but every once in a while, one will grow outside of the planting area.  I just let it grow and flourish where it wants to.

Sometime during the heat of the summer, they need pruning and straightening up.  Sometimes when everything else is blooming and bright and beautiful, you hear these doubts creep in your mind.  Would it be better to just clean up the yard?  Would it be better to just have a few of these?  Then that day comes.  This year it was the first of October.  You look out and their beautiful sunny faces are bursting out to welcome you to the garden.  They are beautiful, and we picnic outside and just stare at them.  I open my blinds in the morning eager to see them.  One of my girls sits in the midst of them to do her school work because they are beautiful and inspiring.  Sometimes when the moon is full, I can see them at night.

And that is what it it like to raise our family.  They are pretty and wonderful all the time, but it is the promise of who they are that makes your heart leap with joy.  Souls made to worship a living God for eternity.  I sometimes just get used to their being there, and sometimes I just stare at them because they are amazing and beautiful.  There are days that are like the ones when the daisies bloom.  Days where the beauty of my life takes my breath away.  Those are the days when there are no words to tell God Thank you".  It seems so inadequate.  Those are the days when my heart leaps for joy.  They are my field of daisies with a beauty beyond compare.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Psalm 139

For You formed my inner most parts; You formed me in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

Twelve years ago today, we heard the wonderful NEW words, "It's a boy!" From that moment on everything changed. Rescue Heroes and weapons, Bob the Builder and trains, Star Wars and Lincoln Logs had entered our world.

Still the Biggest change was LEGOS. For every Lego block I see (or step on) I am reminded that Ryan lives in my home, and for that I am eternally grateful. Thank you Lord for every LEGO creation I see, because it means that the Creator of the universe had knit a little boy together in my womb 12 years ago. For that gift of God, I am thankful beyond belief.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Man I Love

There are moments where you catch your breath with the love you feel for someone.  When I see him slow his steps to walk with Michael and tell him about tools.  Michael will not remember tools, but he will hold the memory of tool talks - moments where his daddy slowed his pace to tell him a little about the world.
 We have months where the sameness of who we are together crowds in.  As if I have known him all my life, and he is just there.  We kid about the day one of us is not here - how he won't know how to pay a bill or balance a check book.  The reality, of course, is that it is I who would suffer the greater loss.  It is I who would be wondering how to breathe again, how to laugh again.  Though I might be able to balance checkbooks for our family - he balances the world for us.  That is the moment when I cannot fathom loving him more.

It will come and go -  the intensity of the feeling.  Life is rushing forward, and I cannot stop too long to dwell on this love.  I think it is a glimpse, a taste of God's love -  of the love we will one day feel before Him - for we shall see Him in all His glory and know He is the one who balances all of the world.

Monday, May 30, 2011


"I am privileged to have had her sit at my table for 18 years." I overheard a mother speak this of her daughter the other night at a friend's graduation party. I thought it was the most beautiful way one mother could describe life with her child.

I am privileged to have 8 that I hope will sit at my table for years and years to come. I hope I am privileged to have them bring their children and spouses to sit at my table for years and years.

That joy at my table is one of God's most precious gifts to my life. Thank you for them Jesus.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Ordinary Man, part two

"The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children."

I think this quotation from G.K. Chesterton describes the Tom Lee family more than anything I could say.

This was a man who lived and worked and just loved his family and loved his Lord.

We love them for who you were and for who they are. We know that some of them are so young that we will be the ones to pass on the legacy of how great their dad was.

Laughter has not come as easily at our home as it did one week before. An ordinary man has died proving what we all knew...he was not ordinary at all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Ordinary Man, part one

"The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children." G.K. Chesterton

I have seen a lot of extraordinary people in the last few days.

Extraordinary men and women were the ones who walked through piles of rubble for their friends. The extraordinary are the ones who picked up china plates that survived a tornado where a father did not. The extraordinary men are the ones who looked through piles of rubble for a wedding ring because a godly man had once loved this family. Extraordinary men are the ones who are crying and working because they love their families and would want someone to care for them if the roles were reversed.

The extraordinary men are the ones who took chainsaws and flashlights and cut through miles of trees, so an ambulance could get through to these precious families. The extraordinary men are the ordinary men who serve an extraordinary God.

My hero is one of those men. I remember the hurrying, the realizing things had gone terribly wrong for our friends. But it was not until I put him in the car in the storms with a chainsaw that I knew for a brief moment that this could be our last time together as well. We had no idea what he was facing. We laughed (as we always do) because we were just throwing everything in his car. To break the tension, we quoted our favorite Toy Story line, "don't forget your angry eyes" But that was the last of laughter for a while even for our family.

My hero is ordinary because he loves his family and knows that Tom loved his family. For that my extraordinary hero sat in ambulances, drove to different hospitals looking for children for a mother who needed to know where her little ducks were. My hero sits at my table and cries because two of our dearest friends are in wheelchairs.

All of those people you see on t.v. have a story. The ones whose homes are gone and the ones who are helping them. Take the time to see what Jesus sees. A world that needs His love when all else is crumbling.

Then go be an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and together you will be extraordinary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Garden

Maggie: Isn't she SO cute?

The Dog Kennel!

The "Long Garden" (We also have the Short Garden!)

Well, it is warming up fast here and we are beginning our garden. Our potatoes are growing wonderfully, the strawberries are starting to produce, the onions keep getting taller and taller, and it won't be to long before we have blueberries!!!

We are so excited about our garden. The work is hard. The weather is hot and humid during the summer. The fire ants HURT!!! OW! But, it is very worth it to have fresh tomatoes, potatoes, and onions from the garden!

How are your gardens?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mommy's Hero

A little man to bring joy to our day, smiles to our faces, and warmth to our hearts!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fresh Food

Fresh Fruit Straight out of the Garden!

The Red Berries are full of sweet juice, they are SO much fun to find out in the garden after weeding for a while!

And they make for great photo-ops! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What will they remember...

When they are older,
When they have flown the nest...

What will they remember,
What will they smile over?

The work,
the Toil of Everyday Life?

The sorrows,
The Curse of Fallen Man?

What will stick out to them,
remind them,
cause them to laugh,
What will they tell their kids?

Will it be the tears,
the time you finished the mathbook,
the time all the socks in the house were put away,
The time all the tasks you had wanted done were done.

Or will it be the boring times,
the unscheduled times,
the crazy times,
The times you didn't plan for.

The times that seem unsubstantial,
there are other things to do.

The cuddles on the sofa,
the talks late at night,
the surprises,
And the walks in the afternoons.

As a mom, you want to have it together.
To keep up with the Jonses.

But, remember... what will they remember?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day!!!!

3.14 = Pi Day!!!

  1. An irrational number
  2. The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chau , a 24-year-old graduate student from China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of π without an error.
  3. Open Question: Is it a normal number?
  4. It is a GREAT excuse to make a pie - which I did!!!! Key Lime Pie is on the menu!!!!!

Happy Pi Day!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mothering Gone Wrong

My mom was reading Mothering in the Trenches yesterday. The author was talking about how kids relate well to stories, analogies, and the like. My dear Mother decided to give it a try...

After a time of listening to three little people in our house have a dispute, my Mother decided this would be a great time to impart wisdom in story form to these young sinners.

Mommy: Guys, do y'all know what chickens do to each other? They pick on the those beneath them. It creates the pecking order. The hurt they weak ones and leave sores. They pull their feathers out. It kills them eventually.

Completely missing the point, dear daughter #1 interrupts here.

Dd1: Do they eat them?

Mommy: What

Dd1: Do they eat the dead ones?

Mommy: No, I don't think so. Now, I want to think about how you all are like the chickens. You are tearing each other down with your petty arguing.

Dd1: Who eats them?

Mommy: I don't know.

Dd1: I think its the hawks. They're the ones that eat them.

Do you think she got it? Haha!! Life as a Mother!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snapfish has a Surprise for YOU!!!!

Okay, this is a short break in normal blog posts to let you know about the wonderful deal on Snapfish this week!!!

We LOVE Snapfish! They are so easy to work with and their prices are so wonderfully low!!!

Right now they are offering a special: A FREE 5x7 Photo Book with the purchase of a 8x11 2011 Calendar.

Free 5x7 Photo book with purchase of 8x11 2011 Classic Wall Calendar Code: WC5X7 2/28

They also have other deals that I will be revealing this next week. Keep your eyes out.

We usually order things and keep them hidden for birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and other "special days"

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Bates Family

Some of you who have watched the Dugger TV show (we borrowed it from a friend on DVD and loved it) will remember the Bates family. This special family is a close second to the Duggers for World's Largest Family.

This movie was really neat and I thought you all would enjoy seeing it!!!

I think it would be the neatest thing in the world to have 18 - 20 kids! What a wonderful life!!!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 15th is a great day to have a baby especially on January 14th! It, however, does not seem to be a great time to have a birthday once you are a kid.

Sarah has been extremely sick on 3 of birthdays, and when you are only 7 that is quite a high percentage.

This year Sarah has the tried and true flu. You know the one with 103 fever, headache, backache and chills. She has been a trooper and stayed in quarantine though. We set up a monitor and made a wonderful sick room for her. Her wonderful Daddy brought her tulips and a Toy Story Birthday balloon. I read Edith Schaeffer and know all about making this a good memory for her.

Until she is well, the celebration will be quiet. But I celebrate her in my heart because I have lost 5 babies now, and I know that life really is a gift from God. That each breath, each footstep, each moment when I hear those words, "it's a girl, it's a boy" are the moments of life.

There comes this moment when you realize that life is a vapor. There will be no 7th birthday for my 5 little souls in heaven. And yet their birthday was with Jesus. That is a hard concept to grasp when you are earth bound. One day, "we will be like Him, and we shall see Him as He is" then there will be no more tears.

So for the incredible 8 gifts I have on earth, I celebrate life. I teach them to celebrate a God who walked the earth. A God who had a birthday!!! That is what makes our God an incredible God.

A sober birthday post for Sarah. I will make a peppy one for when she is peppy!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Homeschool Family!

This is SO us!!! Anyone who knows us will agree!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reading A Story

I (Jessica) am reading some very good books right now!! Go here to see the titles and look for the reviews that will come soon!



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