Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Drivers Ed X7

 As soon as they start driving it will

be my civic duty to warn all Minnesotans!

Look out everyone!!!

The roads are not safe! 

The Mulvahill teens, are behind the wheel!

(Melissa is in the dining room)

For now they are just taking the class, 

so you can exhale and not have a heart attack, quite yet.

(Sam is in Dad's office)

7 kiddos taking Drivers Ed remotely

can be quite challenging.

(Jenny is in her bedroom)

We needed to round up 7 computers,

(Abby is in her bedroom)

7 quiet rooms,

(Ava is in the master bedroom)

7 very excited teens,

(Ben is in the piano room)

and get started!
(on time)

(Anna is in my little office)

The hardest part is,
 that we have to get everyone fed before it starts
because it goes for 3 solid hours
and only one short break!

Madeline just missed the age cut off..
So she will wait and do it another time...
Don't worry, she's really not upset about it.
(I asked her to pose and give a look!
she's quite good at "the look"...
note to self!)

(Nuttin but trouble!)

We most definitely, are not getting 7 cars!

Not practical and not possible!

Sharing a vehicle should be really interesting!

(The sweet sisters were sitting so nicely and along comes the bro...)

Ava and Melissa will be our first to work on their "behind the wheel"
and get their actual license.
They are older than most of the kids.

(Movin 'em on over!)

Jenny is going to wait and see 
if she is comfortable driving with her vision impairment.
She is so smart and capable but
her safety and the safety of others is number one!
Her eye dr told us she could drive, 
but that night driving might be hard...
It still worries me a bit...
We will see?

Did you know that laughter is a stress reducer?!
They make me laugh! 
It's a good thing!

Sam is just, too funny...
and sometimes annoying, 
to his sisters!

Ben is as sweet and kind as can be!

Thank you Orono for helping us make this possible!
We are so grateful!

Then, we will see who is ready after those two.

Maturity and responsibility matters in this decision

and we are not in any rush to add too many drivers...

But we are thankful to get this portion(the class) done!

So proud of our hardworking kiddos!

Keep up the good work!


Monday, October 12, 2020

More Answered Questions!

Unknown asked~

Coming from a large family, not large like yours, but large by 2.5 kid standards.... 
Which siblings are besties? Which siblings rub each other the wrong way? 
Do the bios pick favorite littles!?! 
(We have had foster kids and my bios, (apallingly) ((ha ha)) pick favorites! 
Not that the little kids know, but I KNOW!) How much external help do you bring in? 
I am fascinated and totally jealous & impressed with your family. 
Amazed that all your children (always) look fully loved and happy. 
Only peace and hopes for your joy, from me to you.

Thank you for asking "Unknown" (lol)!
We are so thankful to have for the most part,
a beautiful harmony with our 16 kiddos at home.
They actually get along really really well!
It's surprising!

We have the normal teen and tween loud voices, bantering, laughing and all
but we have very little actual fighting.

Sometimes I feel like our home is a middle school cafeteria with the noise level!
They are an energetic, interested, lively group!

A little bit more discord comes from the younger 3 boys
as the vie to be the one that's right, 
hold the remote control or have extended time of video games.

The kids tend to hang with the others around their age.
So the middle 8 (Jenny, Ava, Melissa, Anna, Abby, Sam, Ben and Madeline),
are quite close.

Mia really enjoys this group of kids, too!
Although she is older than them by 3-4 years, 
they still have a lot in common and
have a lot of fun together!

Mia and Ellie are really getting along well!
They are less then a year apart and have matured nicely! 
Ellie also enjoys the middle group of girls!

Mia did move out for a short while. 
It wasn't quite what she thought it would be, 
so she decided to move back home.
She feels safer at home and enjoys the busy household
with plenty of sibs to talk too!

Emma and Ellie are sooooo glad she is back!
They both said it's way more fun in their room
 now that Mia is back!

Luke, Joey and Mary!

Jake, Grace, Mary and Luke

The younger 5 (Mary, Grace. Jake, Luke and Joe), enjoy hanging out together!
Sometimes, Emma likes to do things with this group!
Emma likes everyone! She has a sweet spirit!

Mary keeps everybody in line!

All of the kids intermingle with each other 
and play games, watch shows and help each other out!

I love when the older kids help out and/or 
share an interest with the younger kids!

As far as besties go~
Emma adores her bio sib, Ellie.

Whereas Ellie, sometimes seeks more independence from Emma.

Our two younger girls, Grace and Mary are besties
and absolutely adore each other!

Except on the few days that they don't... (haha)!

Ava and Melissa have always been quite close.
They are close in age, intelligence and capability.
They banter back and forth like two old ladies!
One is bold and the other is soft spoken.
Both are witty and very funny!
That being said, Jenny, Anna, Abby and Madeline, 
also fit in perfectly with them.
Each having their own delightful unique personality!

(2006 before we brought our kids home)

The older bio kids tend to be closer to the kiddos 
that were home when they were home.
Mark and Johnny lived at home when we brought 
Anna, Sarah, Emma and Ellie home.
Johnny was home with Sam and Ava.
When they travel to China and meet them there, it makes a special bond!

Katie and I traveled to adopt Sarah!

Katie traveled with us to adopt Emma and Ellie!

Anna and Sarah went to China with us, too!

It was a blessing having us all there together!

Katie and Mark traveled to China in January 2013
to bring home Mia, Melissa and Madeline!

Sarah went with us!
She was an awesome interpreter!
On this journey, she almost forgot her Mandarin!
Thank goodness it came back to her after the first week in China!

Hubby and Mark traveled to China
for Ben and Joey!
I stayed home and took care of the other 11 kiddos!

The 2-3 weeks in China are definitely bonding!

Mark had everything under control!

And he knew how to wrestle two overly active 
young boys at the same time!!

Our kiddos that have come home more recently 
are not quite as close to the older bio kids 
because the big kids are adults now. 

They have jobs, some are married and some have children.
Three live in different states.
(These two are my Minnesota Boys!)

We are all FAMILY!

We all LOVE each other!

We couldn't ask for better big siblings!

All the younger boys adore the big bio boys!

And obviously... they all adore each other!

With bio kids and adopted kids...
we are abundantly blessed!

When everyone was younger it was like a litter of puppies playing!

I am so glad that you can see that our children are deeply loved!
Loving, raising and being with these amazing kiddos
is a priority in our lives!
They are such a blessing to us and 
we pray that they will always see us as a blessing in their lives!


Jennie asked~
Wondering if there are any picky eaters and if so, how do you handle this situation?

Some of the kids were picky eaters when they first came home from China.
They were "use to" a much different type of food, different smells and tastes.

During the first months home we would try to accommodate them 
and serve food that was simple and familiar.
(Rice, noodles, ramen, watermelon, eggs, chicken, etc)

When they would see the other kids eating regular(American) food 
they wanted to try it!
It didn't take long for them to just eat what the rest of us ate!

For some foods and for some of the kids,
it took longer.
Abby, Luke, and Jake had her likes and dislikes...
It took them a little longer to embrace our food.
Milk, pizza, mac and cheese and morning cereal 
took quite awhile for many of the kids!
They don't eat cheese in China and their milk is much different.

Sometimes, we would give them a little bit of the food they 
weren't fond of and let them try it. 
Mac and cheese and cereal were the last ones to be accepted!
I would not fix a different meal for them, 
so they just ate more of what they liked.

I have been known to say,
"I'm not a short order cook,
you eat what the family eats."

That works at this point because they are all 
young adults, teens and tweens!

Now that they are older, they just state their preferences.
We try to fix what the majority will enjoy!

For our family, food is celebratory!
It's an event with everyone helping out!
It's a gathering with good conversation!

(Christmas 2008)


Charlotte asked~

Hi Jean! Been following your blog for years and years now. 
Did Sarah move out? I didn’t see her on the recent pictures.

Yes, she has! She moved out in February
seeking more independence.

We understood and agreed.
We know she is happy and doing what she wants to do.

We heard from her in the beginning
but we do not hear from her now.
We wish her the best.

Thank you for your questions!
I think there may be a few more to answer?
I will get to them, as soon as I can...!

Blessings to you!