Posts tagged children

Quiverfull or Less

Nineteen! That’s how many children the Duggars currently have.

I love watching 19 Kids and Counting, when I get a chance. I love seeing the family dynamics, and getting new ideas on managing the home of a large family. Recently the Duggars announced that they are open to having a 20th child in spite of all they went through with the youngest Duggar, Josie. You see, the Duggar family is part of a mindset called Quiverfull. The belief (and it is back by scriptural interpretation) is that children are a blessing from God. To restrict by use of birth control of any form or sterilization would be to 1) not trust God or 2) withhold the blessings God has for them.

You might think that we at JoKars Wild are Quiverfull minded, but we are not. Yes, we have a large family. Yes, we trust God. Yes, we believe that children are a blessing from God. But there seems to be one missing ingredient to the Quiverfull mindset.

Recently a woman left a comment on one of my posts that said, “Life is already full of inevitable pain and suffering, why would you bring kids in this world, only to have them go through that too?! I can’t believe how selfish people are by having a disgraceful amount of kids. Even one is a disgrace amount!!”

As with the Duggars, I agree on some level. Yes, this life is full of pain and suffering. Why create another being to have to deal with sorrow, regrets, hatred, bitterness, brokenness? There are timess when I have worried for my children. Will we have enough food to last the month? If food prices keep going up, will I be able to afford nutritious food to feed them? Will we continue to have a place to live? As it gets colder, how will I provide jackets and boots? The answer to all those questions and the missing ingredient comes down to one thing.

A relationship.

Comments (2) »

Tree Hunting

“Hey, it’s snowing outside!” said Azariah who has been concerned about snow levels for his 8th birthday next month.

“Where have you been?” Papa Joe asks him sarcastically.

It has been snowing steadily for the last half hour of our drive up into the Ochoco National Forest to get our Christmas tree. I am feeling quite comfortable in the passenger seat as Joe navigates through the snow with our 4 wheel-drive “Sir Bourbon“, which is what one of the kids dubbed our vehicle. The scenery is beautiful. The evergreen trees look as if they have been slathered with white frosting. The flakes coming down are huge. It is a beautiful sight, and I am thrilled to be able to travel in such a wonderful place. Although I have been blessed that most of my life I have been able to go to a u-cut Christmas tree farm, this is my first experience getting a tree from the forest.

In Oregon, for $5, you can buy a permit to go and harvest your own Christmas tree from the national forest. As long as you stick to a few simple rules, the forest is at your disposal. What a deal! The best Christmas tree lot in America and hundreds of trees to choose from…for only $5 and the price of gas!

As we wandered up the forestry road, it was quickly becoming clear that we shouldn’t drive too far up the hill. With each increase in elevation, the snow became deeper and deeper. We saw a wide clearing and decided to back in and park.

Side note: I am a very nervous passenger. I don’t like sliding, cars too close, trees too close, being towed, towing something, etc. If I can, I drop my head into my hands till it is over.

As Joe backed into the spot, the wheels started to spin. I ducked my head down. I didn’t think anything was wrong, but I didn’t want to look either. Next thing I knew though we were sliding a little downhill. I got out of the vehicle to “help direct” Joe, but really I just didn’t want to be in the sliding vehicle.

Another note: Don’t make comments on me being a bad mom and leaving the kids to go sliding down a hill. It was only a little ditch and a tree was blocking our sliding…poor tree. I really am a wimp.

Well, I am of little help in directing and sure enough, we slide into the tree. Thankfully, we have “rescuers” that live about 20 minutes away. Joe tells us we should all go out and explore and find our tree while he waits for his dad and uncle to come pull us out of the ditch.

Michaela offers to stay behind with Nehemiah while the rest of us head for the hills. We had forgotten to bring our camera, but here are a few shots I took with my phone.

Notice the small trees are few and far between.

The beginnings of a giant snowball…

The kids and I were having a wonderful time in the snow, but we still hadn’t found the right tree. The snow was starting to come down heavily, so we decided to head back to the Sir Bourbon. The tree might have to wait for another time.

Our rescuers soon showed up while Josiah was in search for the perfect tree. As the towing/pulling took place, I meandered around the clearing diverting my eyes from the vehicles. The little kids and Michaela had taken to the warmth of the vehicle. Josiah came and showed me a picture of a tree he found and told me to come and see.  Together with Kira and Elijah, we walked down a long hill and saw Josiah’s tree. It was beautiful, but I was unsure how we would get it up the hill and whether we would even be able to get a tree today. So off we trudged back to the Sir Bourbon. I was huffing and puffing by the time we got up there. I thought to myself, “Once up that hill is enough!”

They just about had the Sir Bourbon free after snapping a cable and the use of chains on both 4 wheel-drive vehicles. Joe’s uncle asked if we had found a tree. I told them how Josiah had found one but it was down a hill. He said how it would be a shame to come all the way out here and not get a tree. And, of course, I had to go back down the hill!

Thankfully I live with some strong men and children! With the help of Uncle Rick, Papa Joe, and Josiah, the kids got that eleven-foot tree back up the hill! I am still sore three days later from our little tree hunting experience. But it was worth it. This is the most beautiful Christmas tree ever!

Comments (6) »

Open Mike Night

Well, I did it! I sang in public!

The Madison Coffee House and Laundry in Madras, Oregon was having an Open Mike Night, so my daughter Michaela and I joined forces and prepared 3 songs to sing together. I on the guitar and her on the keyboard. During our preparation for the event, we discovered that we could blend our voices pretty well and make for a fuller sound. So we took our individual songs and worked them into songs from our new “band”…Broken Stream. (Can you call yourself a band when there is only two of you?)

As I prepared for the evening, I was as nervous as if I had never sang in public before. I have, but, well, it has just been a while… Here I didn’t have a worship team to hide behind. Here I didn’t have a choir to blend into. And not only that, it was with complete strangers…not a safe church setting. (Although I do sometimes find it harder to sing for those close to me.)

So my nerves were running high. I decided I wanted to feel really good about myself, so I bought a new top and put my hair in rollers to give some curls. (I think God may have goofed by not giving me curly hair…jk) I applied more make-up than I normally wear in my hectic daily life. Although still less than a lot of other women (and some men).

Michaela and I practiced and practiced some more. We prayed. We prayed for God to use us. We prayed for God to bless our abilities to more than we were capable of. We prayed that the music would encourage and inspire those listening. We gave our music up to Him.

The time finally came for us to go to the Open Mike Night.

My 12 year old, Kira, graciously offered to babysit the little kids as Papa Joe and Josiah were out of town. The kids had movies and snacks planned out for a fun evening.

The coffee shop had a guitar and keyboard for us to use, so we left ours at home. We got there just as things were starting up and were told where we would fit in the line up. We tinkered with the keyboard, which was kind of inadequate, but thankfully another musician brought in his keyboard. Then we settled in to listen to some great and some not so great music.

As we waited, some new friends and their kids joined us. They, like us, homeschool and have a large family…soon to be 7 kids! (Yeah, I know…they’re slacking.) They also like music.

It wasn’t long before we were up. After juggling mikes and guitars and such we got underway.

We started with a song by Francseca Battistelli called “I’m Letting Go.” I chose this song because 1) it challenged me vocally and 2) it fit with what I was doing…”letting go” and “taking a giant leap of faith”. I lead this song with Michaela chiming in on harmony. Next Michaela lead “If I Die Young” by the Band Perry. Then we took our seats and listened to some other groups.

After all the musicians played 2-3 songs, the round started again. We had rehearsed only 3 songs, but Michaela was feeling strongly she should do a song she wrote called, “There is Hope”.  So Michaela started our second set doing her song a capella. Then we finished with Michaela’s song, “Smiley Music”.

After we finished our last song, our friends’ kids were getting restless so they decided to head on home. Because I feel so strongly that relationships are one of the most important things in life, I invited them to come to our house for a little bit. This wasn’t an easy decision. There was a part of me that wanted to stay and get some feedback…i.e. praise. I know it was the right decision though. My kids really enjoyed getting to see their new friends, and we had a great time talking with each other.

So that concluded the debut of Broken Stream. I have no idea if there will be more performances. We are leaving it all up to God. Michaela and I did separately audition for a holiday talent show this past week. We don’t know whether we got in yet though.

Comments (1) »

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!

Leave a comment »

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.

Leave a comment »

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?

Leave a comment »

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.

Comments (3) »

%d bloggers like this: