Thursday, November 5, 2020

A Few MORE Answers, to Your Questions!

My favorite season of all,

is FALL!

The colors, the temps, football, long walks, fires in the fire pit, 
upcoming holidays, back to school
and so much more to look forward too!
(Second favorite- summer! 
I love, love summer, too)

(The view down our driveway)

Alisonsze asked~

I love your blog too- your captions always make me smile and often giggle. 
The “kids” are growing up so quickly and looking bigger each time you post. 
Thank you for posting and sharing. I don’t have any specific questions 
but wondering if you’d be able to share more about 
parenting tips, discipline, boundaries, prioritizing marriage and personal care. 
Best wishes to you and your family! 

Let's see... 
parenting tips, discipline, boundaries, prioritizing marriage and self care...

Really good question!
For parenting tips and discipline- here goes.
There is no exact right answer...
There are options, based on your personality and 
your child's personality and temperament.
What works for one child may not work for another.

(Front yard)

Believe me, I've tried what worked for one child, 
on another child with a completely different temperament 
and it didn't go well.

So with raising 22 kids you can imagine
all the methods we have tried...

We all have our own motivation, 
so I would say, 
find what motivates that child, 
what speaks to them,
find what that child needs and 
fill their bucket up as best as you can.

Words of affirmation, gifts, love and hugs, 
great conversations, etc...
I guess you could say the 5 love languages
are for kids, too!

Utilize that positive energy, 
as motivation towards teaching them.
Don't assume what motivates one will motivate another...
or what motivates you will motivate them.
(Done that... doesn't work ;)

Our two oldest bio kids were night and day different than our third child.
After our first child, I thought, "Yep, I got this parenting thing down!"
Then came the others!
I couldn't have been more wrong!

Love, acceptance, belonging, trust are universal
necessities in relationships.
Fill their buckets with all of these!

(Breath taking! God's artwork))

Pray, Pray and Pray some more!

(Autumn joy!)

Have an abundance of patience!
(When I'm not feeling very patient... I pray...)

Even though you don't want to say the same thing
2,376,548 times, realize that you will most likely, 
need too...
It's a fact of life...
with kids...

"Put your shoes away..."
"Put your shoes away..."
"Put your shoes away..."
"Put your shoes away..."

"Brush your teeth?"
"Brush your teeth?"
Did you brush your teeth?
"Brush your teeth?"
"Brush your teeth?"
You didn't brush your teeth?
"Brush your teeth?"

Yep, they forget instantaneously!

So, bring your sense of humor
everywhere you go!

Parenting is more about unconditional love,
safety and health (mind and body) then it is about control.
Remember that.

You're not always right
but you are trying and you're there.
That's important...
don't sell yourself short on this issue
and don't let others...
You are there with them,
constantly trying to do a good job!
High five and a huge hug!

Give more hugs!
Tell your children you LOVE them
and laugh with them as much as possible.
It all goes by, way too fast!

Oh and let them get dirty!
And this is from a clean freak!

I also have learned that getting mad...
doesn't work.
Pick your battles wisely... most issues are not worth fighting over...

Forgive yourself for your mistakes

Save the relationship.
Learn how to apologize and give yourself (and your children) 
as many redos as you/they need.
Love unconditionally.

Time outs are more for the Mom than the kid...
but sometimes they are good for both.
Don't over use them.

Keep it simple
Realize that you are NOT responsible for someone else's happiness.
We do our best for our children, we give it all we got
but that still doesn't mean they will choose 
what you are hoping they will choose.
They may turn away from all that you have taught them.
Love them anyways...

Praise God all of the time.
Have a thankful heart and focus on the good.

The enemy will try to steal your joy...
don't let him.

They are very important and are needed for balance, safety
and harmony.
Most kids will follow them,
however, I have had a few that didn't pay a bit of attention to them.

Don't make yourself crazy when this happens, be calm and keep trying.
That child may never understand them...
at least you know you have tried.
And then maybe it's time for that child
to be independent (if they are 18 or older).

Prioritizing marriage and self care!
Crucially important for you, your spouse and your kids!
The best gift you can give your kids is to love and respect your spouse.
Showing your kids what a healthy marriage looks like, is a gift.
Make time for the 2 of you, 
and make time for yourself.

Bless you and know the God is near!

(Fungi and Moss Day at our Nature Class)

Jill Funkhouser asked,
"Would love to know how you do it financially?"

As a larger family,
we need to make choices that smaller families don't have to make.
Small choices and big choices.

Small choices - kids share some clothing items (they are similar in size)
kids share rooms, which activities are affordable, 
what activities can a few kids partake in,  
what's for dinner, etc

Big choices- our home, choosing to homeschool, prioritizing our faith life, 
adopting, health insurance, etc

(Joey and Mom)

We try to make wise decisions and 
to get necessary items when they are needed 
and at a price that works for us. 

I cut the kids hair.
But, sometimes they will ask for a professional haircut, as a birthday gift.
And, sometimes we need to take the boys in for a haircut
to "get a fresh start".

We LOVE "hand me downs" and 
we are so very thankful whenever we get them!
So please keep us in mind
if you live near us!

Everything we would like to do is multiplied by many. 
Braces, drivers ed., cross country running, an ice cream cone treat, dinner,
 it's all expensive.

We ask for help if it's available.
In the past we were able to do these things without assistance
but with Covid and the changing times, 
we need to be more careful with our expenses.

(yep, this is why I am a volunteer!
trouble, trouble and more trouble!)

It's not feasible that we can live a life 
similar to families with 2-3 children...

Vacations are no longer in the budget
but a family adventure is!
(Day trips, hikes, cookouts)

Eating out is no longer part of the budget 
but trying out a new recipe, now and then, is!

(We worked super hard raking and blowing leaves!
Only problem is... look how many are STILL on the trees!)

Movies at the theater is not
but Netflix, and Disney Plus, is!

New Prom dresses are not,
but recycled prom dresses are!

New computers are not
 but generous big kids and aunts 
giving us their computers, 
that they are not using anymore, is!

Belonging to a health club is not
but belonging to the Orono Activity center, is!

We wouldn't change it for the world!
The kids are not missing out because we are a large family.
They will always have the love and support 
of their parents and MANY, MANY siblings!
A different life is still a GREAT life!

It's okay that we don't live the life of a smaller family.
I grew up dreaming of a life, like the one we have now! 

I was the youngest of three and my two sibs were much older.
Although, we played together sometimes,
I missed having a sibling close to my age.

To me, to us, to them,
it's worth some of the small sacrifices we have made!

Take two...
with a photo bomber and a flash!

Life at our house is never lonely!

Our children have parents that LOVE them! 
They are happy, safe, fed, clothed, educated, 
have medical care, necessary medications and know Jesus.
Just like other families!

We spend a lot of time together!
We play outdoor game in the yard and board games inside!
We make banquets meals everyday!
We read books constantly
and the local library is one of our favorite places.

Smiles and laughter are key components,
especially with teens!
We cannot ask for anything more.
God has blessed us!

I have to be honest.
These kids, this life, is NOT a burden...
A true burden is the heaviness in ones heart 
as they walk out of the orphanage with one child,
leaving hundreds, even thousands behind...
with no family to care for them.

That is a burden that's hard to live with...

One more quick question--
why is Jake included in blog posts, 
but his picture is not on the sidebar with the others?

Good point, very good point!
That would be my mistake!

I just haven't taken the time to update the side bars.
There's old blogs and links that don't work anymore...
There's No Place Like Home-
needs some work done!

The blogger format changed and
honestly, I'm concerned about making changes for fear, 
I will ruin the whole blog and not be able to fix it!
Yikes, that's a scary thought!

Now that you have brought it to my attention,
I will work harder at getting Jake on the sidebar 
and updating the other photos and info!

Thank goodness, he hasn't noticed it!
Shhhhhhh, mums the word!
It has no reflection on our love for him...
just my mistake!

So much has changed over the last 2-3 years!

Now, we have teens and tweens instead of littles!

It happened too quickly!
(As every parent would say...)

We mourned the loss and simplicity of younger kids!
But, the good news is, 
we are embracing this season of teens and tweens!

These kids are so much FUN!

Check out our left sidebar!
Updated photos of all our kiddos!
Check that off the list!

Now, back to leaf blowing and raking!

MC said...

You seem to have so much space in your home and so much land! Can you write about that?

Our journey to this home was "all God"!

We are thankful for this home and the space it provides!

We rent it and we love it!

We have acres that surround the home.

Plenty of space to play outside and not bother neighbors!

Our dogs love the fenced in backyard!

And they are happiest when the kiddos play in the backyard!

 A big yard means lots of yard work...

We all pitch in and get it done together!

We have no idea what God has in store for us 

but for now

we are just plain thankful!

Bless you all!

More questions will be answered in the near future!


MayLynne said...

The new pictures and updates on the side bar are really lovely (and Jake looks great!) -- MayLynne

Jennie said...

Fantastic update~what a lovely crew! And, yes, jake looks great! I still remembered when you and hubby sponsored him over Christmas, and the tearful goodbye at the airport.
I knew then, that Jake would be back as an adopted son. To God Be The Glory!