Archive for October, 2010

Another Crazy Day with JoKars Wild

It is the wee hours of the morning, and we are so grateful that JoKars Wild Crazy 8 got to sleep in till 7:30 before waking the dead aka Daddy. I have a crazy day of running around planned while the older kids are off of school, but wanted to take a moment to share with you some blogs of note.

I previously shared with you a post from my eldest daughter. Since then, she has decided to come to the world of wordpress and share her thoughts as a teenager. I hope you will take the time to check out her new blog. She loves writing and gives insight to a world few are able to see.

I also want to share with you the blog of a new friend of mine. I am completely humbled by her writing. In one post, she shared about her son getting hurt at a football game (incidentally the team my husband coaches). But it isn’t some boring detail of a kid getting hurt. Here is an excerpt:

Where once I used to fly from the sidewalk to whisk my children out of harm’s way before a barreling car could shatter all our lives, I now find myself having to swallow hard that same instinct to fight when some 185-pound man-child with facial hair and an Adam’s apple wants to make mincemeat out of my babies on the gridiron.  I may be smiling on the outside and answering Dan Tooley’s “WE ARE!” with a hearty “CC!” but inside my heart is stretched to the limit and diving out-of-bounds somewhere behind the stadium in a desperate attempt to grasp the facemask of God so I can remind Him, in no uncertain terms, of how unequipped I am to navigate the minefield also known as a Mother’s heart.  And most Friday nights this leaves me feeling like I’m on a direct flight bound for crazy with a layover in berserk!
I mean, Wow. First off, I can really relate. But more importantly, she just says it so well! Please check out her blog, MooBee. It is awesome.
Most of the troopers are up and running (and crawling) now. Nehemiah has resumed his continual series of screams and squeels to get attention from me and the other 7 kids.
So off I go into the whirlwind that is my family. May you all have a blessed day!

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Entering the Mission Field

My eldest daughter, Michaela, has been attending public school part-time since the beginning of September. It has been an eye opener for her protected, innocent mind. While we told her about some of the things that she would experience, it still has been quite a shock. We knew based on the experiences that she has had over the last year that she was ready for public school. She has an intimate relationship with Jesus as her savior. Like a missionary going into a foreign land though, no amount of training can prepare you for the stark reality of the mission field. The toughest thing for Michaela is the sense of being alone. She feels like she can’t trust anyone in her school. She has tried to make friends, only to find them high, flaunting their sexual escapades, or crude.

It isn’t all dark and dreary for her though. In her 3 main classes, she is excelling and even being requested to do more outside of classes. This was why we decided to have her attend, so that she could pursue her interests more. There are opportunities that we can’t provide for her in our home school classroom.

So for now, Michaela will continue (and this is her choice) in the public school world…praying for those around her and hoping to find someone whom she can laugh with and talk with but holding on to the One that is always there for her.

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“The Good Kid”

I was reading my daughter’s blog and came across a post that I really wanted to share here. She has such insight into the teen/public school world.

Michaela Jo

The Good Kid

So i am what they call at school “a good kid”. Because i dont cuss, dont smoke weed and dont date. So as i’m walking to my classes and the boy next me is going. “I hate this f-ing school and all the f-ing teachers.” I am blasting “good kid” music through my headphones to drown out all this cussing. Then your walking down the halls and you see a girl pressed up against the wall with her boyfriend kissing her and you just want to scream at them. Or your friend walks up and is singing extremely loudly, and i dont mean like good loud but like obnocsious loud, and she’s like “Dude i am so high!” and your mouth is just hanging open.

And evidently getting high, making out in the hallway and cussing makes you feel good??? Whatever! Oh how i detest the kids at my high school. Dont get me wrong some of them are nice and kind but the majority of them are just losers.

Forgive me if i am being mean but this is the truth. Some of them have even been in jail before, not kidding. Just makes me want to cry. Well i will just keep on being “the good kid” and pray for those lost souls.

~Michaela Jo
I really don’t know what to do to help her. I don’t know whether to pull her or keep her there. Do you continue to subject your kids to this all for the sake of education? There has got to be a better way.

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Help for the Unemployed’s Wife

I got such a kick out of this list!

I have seen and read articles about what to do if you lose your job, but I have never seen an article telling a wife what to do if her husband loses his job. When a man loses his job, it affects everyone in the family, not just himself. So I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learned in response to my husband losing his job.

  • One of the first things I had to understand was it is not my job to get my husband a new job. That’s his job. There were times when I have been tempted to ask what jobs he has applied for or what websites he has visited. Sometimes people would tell me of jobs they knew about, I would pass it along and leave it at that. I knew if he was interested he would find out more. I didn’t nag. I view his job searching like my cooking dinner. My husband doesn’t come and hover over me as I cook; making sure that I put in all the right ingredients. No, he just comes when food is ready knowing that I have done the best I can with dinner. Job hunting is his job not mine.
  • Sometimes my husband will get really down on himself. He will beat himself up and say things like, “My life sucks.” I have really struggled with not taking it personally and not making it about me. I have had to bite my tongue on numerous occasions from saying, “Gee, love you, too.” (Said with much sarcasm.) And I am sure I have let it slip a couple of times. I can guarantee you that it will start a fight. My husband’s feelings of being a failure have nothing to do with me or our family. I just keep on loving and supporting him and telling him how wonderful I think he is.
  • It has also been hard for me to come to grips that my husband is not going to be doing more housework. My mentality was “If he is going to be home, then he should do half of the housework too.” But this brings me back to my earlier point, it is his job to find a job. If he had a job, he wouldn’t be here anyway to help out, so why am I bitter? As soon as I realized this, when he does help out it has become a blessing and not me feeling like “it’s about time.” And now I feel like he is such a tremendous help to me!
  • Whether my husband has a high paying job or can only make minimum wage, he is still my man! I still hold his face in my hands and tell him how proud I am of him. Nothing and no one can convince me otherwise. He’s smart. He’s sexy. He’s talented. And even if the world may not see it, I show him that every chance I can get.
  • I have also struggled with feelings like, “Aren’t I worth you going and getting a job you hate?” I have catered to the thought, “Oh, it would only be a season of not seeing you…” I have struggled with my desire for fine things. I have struggled with seeing other people get things I want. But they are only things. It is far more important to have a husband who is around to be a daddy. It is far more important to have my man around to be my husband.
  • I have had to come to terms with trying to fix our financial situation. Again this comes back to letting him do his job. For us and our beliefs, it is my husband’s job to provide for our family. Not mine. I have had part-time jobs during our season of financial cutbacks. And, once, instead of doing the job as a way to get out of the house, it became a way to make money. What happened instead was the kids started fighting; they started getting crabby; I became resentful. I had to come to grips with the fact that it wasn’t my job. I had to let it go. I had to give it over to God…all of it.

That is what has brought me through this season. I rest peacefully in the role God has given me as a wife. I am my husband’s help meet. I am to help him, not take over. My job is to take care of my home and my children. I find so much peace in this. I know that God will provide. I know my husband will do his job. I trust that God will guide him. After all, I didn’t marry a dud…I married a stud.

Are you embracing the role God has for you as a wife? Read the Word and ask what role God wants you to have. Rest in the confidence that He will provide all your needs.

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Drive Gone Bad (Then Re-routed!)

I was driving around town with my husband. I was really excited about this morning. For weeks, my husband has been gone EVERY day. But today the kids didn’t have school and we were able to go and get out for a little bit. Now Joe gets out every day, but I don’t. I am home EVERY day. So I was very excited to just get out and explore and talk with each other.

But then my husband got some bad news early into our adventure, and this put him in a bad mood. I challenged him and said, “Are you going to be in a bad mood all day?” (Most people when asked this would say, “No, but since you put it that way, YES!”)

No response.

Wives listen up! Here is how my thought process went…

Well, then I will just have to have fun with out you. I don’t need you. I can go out by myself. I can have a life with out you. I don’t need you to make me happy.

I was rather hurt that here we finally had some time together and he was grumbling about how awful his life was. For women this translates, “…how awful my life with you is…”

This little conversation went on for a couple of minutes in my head.

Oh the things I could do…without you.

Then I had a realization…

This is how people end up divorced.

  • “We grew apart.”
  • “We have nothing in common.”
  • “We’re not in love anymore.”

I reigned in my pity party. This isn’t about me. My husband needs my support. He just got some terrible news. He has every right to be upset. There will be other days to go out and explore and have fun. Be supportive. It isn’t about me. And that is what love is about…

Love is not self seeking.

After a little bit, his smile came back, and we had a nice time out. Thank goodness I didn’t listen to that little voice.

What about you? Do you pull away from your spouse because you think you’re not important or needed? Do you plan ways to “get away”? Or maybe your trying to get even. What way can your put your needs aside and be there for your husband or wife? Look up 1 Corinthians 13:4. Are you loving your spouse?

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Baby Runner on Board

A friend of mine recently ran her first marathon and blogged about it. After reading her incredible story, I saw a link called “Run Like a Mother” which had a post about a mom of 12 who was training for her first marathon. As I read about this mom with 3 biological kids and 9 adopted children, there is one thing she said that greatly inspired me.

“running is definitely my “me time.” There’s no kids, no phone, no emails, no laundry, no dishes, and no one that can need me to do anything. It’s a beautiful thing!”

Since having Nehemiah, I have found it very difficult to exercise. Sometimes, as I try to do Pilates, the kids come and try to sit on me or just ask questions. Nehemiah already gets up very early and I am not willing to get up earlier. Also, he is a light sleeper, so he would wake up. I have been doing Wii Active, but I was still frequently interrupted by the kids or had the dull roar of them in the background.

So reading this motivated me to do something I had thought about doing for a long time…start running.

I am only taking baby steps. So far I am up to running 2 blocks…pitiful, I know, but it is a start.

After all if a mom of 12 kids under 14 can do it, then a mom with 8 kids under 16 can do it too!

What about you? Is there something you’ve been thinking of doing and just wasn’t sure if you could? Start today. Take baby steps.

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Where You Lead

I was talking with someone the other day about my posts on adoption. She gave me some advice about adoption. She told me how you should never adopt a child older than your youngest child. It is detrimental to the birth order. Statistics have shown this to be damaging to children.

I kind of stared at her blankly.

While I agree that this is true, I don’t know that it pertains to our situation.

If you are trying to increase your family size and add children into your family, I agree…don’t adopt children into your family older than your youngest.

If your son’s best friend is in serious need of a loving home environment, please do not inform him, “Sorry, you are older than our youngest child, so you need to live in your harmful home or on the streets.”

If God has put a child in your life and He has told you, “Adopt this child as your own.” Do not tell that child, “Sorry your too old.”

I need to make something perfectly clear…

We are not seeking to adopt. We are only keeping our hearts open to having other people’s children in our daily lives. This may mean feeding a neighbor child pancakes for dinner.

Or cheering for a football team that we don’t have any children on. Or maybe someday, it might mean having a child into our home who doesn’t have a safe place to sleep. I really don’t know.

All I know is that we are saying to God, “Where you lead us, Lord, we will follow.”

What paths do you not follow because studies have shown, or statistics say, or your friend says that it is not wise? What ways have you followed God in spite of what society would have you do?

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Other People’s Children

One thing I strive for in my posts is transparency. My hope is that our lives will be an open book. So I need to make a confession.

I don’t always like other people’s kids.

Often times people tell me I must really love children to have so many…Well, I love children, but I don’t really like all children. Actually, I don’t always even like my own children.

I just don’t have the patience to put up with a bunch of crap. I actually consider this character flaw to be to my advantage as a mom. But it is not an advantage when dealing with other people’s children. I can’t scream at them, spank them, or give them a time out (all of which I have done to my own children). I can’t even just tell them to shut up.

Shortly after moving into our new home, a neighbor girl was coming into our house every now and then to tell me of some wrong doing that my children had done to her. After about the fifth time, I was quite exasperated and said to her, “You’r right! Since my children aren’t being very nice, I think that it would be best that they stop playing with YOU!” And I had them all come inside.

Needless to say, she ran home crying.

Yep, I am THAT evil mom.

So how does a woman who doesn’t like other people’s children welcome them into her home?

Only through God.

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Adoption on My Mind

When I was a little girl, my family was friends (and still is) with a family that had one biological child and three adopted children. My family was also a foster family. I have many, many foster siblings that I have long lost touch with. I also have an adopted sister, who is no longer a part of my immediate family, but will always be very near and dear to my heart.

I also had a fascination with stories of large families…like “Cheaper By the Dozen”, “Acres of Hope”, and other autobiographies of adopted families. As I entered into marriage, both my husband and I had hoped to have a large family mostly through adoption.

But as I began having children and realized that I was extremely fertile, adoption always seemed like a distant option. The time was never right. We didn’t have the money. We didn’t have enough room. Like they say, “God’s plans are not our plans.”

And you know what…the time is still not right, and we still don’t have the money or room, but for whatever reason the desire is becoming stronger. It is no longer in the back of my mind. It is not just on my mind either. 

About 6 weeks ago, my husband texted me out of the blue and said, “I think we need to look into adoption.” How bizarre! We hadn’t talked about it for years. 

For Joe and I, we both have no desire to adopt internationally. We also don’t want to adopt an infant. Somehow I think that God would bring the right child to our family at the right time. I’m not seeking some private adoption agency. I’m not on some waiting list. But our hearts are open. And we are praying for income and a larger home for our family.

Will you join us in praying for God’s will? Will you pray that God will bring the right child(ren) to our family at the right time? Will you pray for added income for our family? Will you pray that we move to Prineville?

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A Dream

I was around 10 or 11 years old and a family with 8 children wanted to adopt me into their family. I was overjoyed as they were a very loving and close family.

Then many years passed.

I was now an adult at a banquet for my adopted parents. I sat next to my father. Someone spoke about how great it was that this family who had 8 biological children went on and adopted 4 more children. I turned to my father and realized how grateful I was to have been adopted into this family. A family who loved and accepted me as one of them. I began to weap with gratitude. I laid my head on his shoulder and wept and wept.

Then I woke up.

What do you think it means?

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