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Finding Joy in My "Season"

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to share with a few dozen women what brings me joy during this "season" in my life.
At the time I was going through a rough spot with one of our children who was not living up to her potential.  Added to that, another child has been dealing with self love issues that have proven to be serious, and Matt had been out of town for months on end.
I was drowning and felt like there was little joy during this season.
With seven children there is never a dull moment.  No time to sit and relax or to stop and just be with them.  Especially with Matt gone, and because of punishment, I was two drivers down.
At this time in life it is all about the children.  They are growing and becoming more independent.  It is scary for a parent to consider a child faced with a serious situation that they will have to deal with without us right there by their side to help them.  All they have is what they have learned from us as parents, and from the influences tha…

Too Much Guilt

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Too Much Guilt
I don't know what my problem is, but if I can't be perfect, I feel guilt.  We each have a different threshold for how much we can handle, but no matter how much is put on our plates, we try to do it all.  Because if we don't, somehow we aren't living up to our wife and motherly responsibilities.

Some things that make me feel guilt:

Not making a homemade dinner every night, having a maid come and clean every other week (Matt doesn't even know about this one, but he's about to:), not being all made up when Matt gets home (he doesn't care, but I do), not having energy to do more during the day, not having graduated college (I'm working on that), more one-on-one time with the children, not feeling like I can handle everything on my plate sometimes.  I struggle to understand why I can't handle everything on my plate.  I should be able to, right?  What's my problem? 

These are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.  T…

What is "Family Home Evening" (FHE)

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What is "Family Home Evening (FHE), otherwise known as "Family Night"?
There has been interest among some friends from my youth, who are now parents, to explain what exactly we do on Monday nights with our families.  What is FHE?  What is that thing we do with our families where we set our phones aside and hang out with our siblings and parents?

First, every family is different.  I'm just going to tell you how our family does it.  We do what works for us.  Which means, sometimes we do it on Sunday evening because that's when everyone is home.  This week we did it on Wednesday evening because it worked for our schedules.  It is best to nail down one day of the week that the family can sit down together and catch up, or at least spend a little time together.

We give assignments out so things are somewhat orderly.  We start with a song.  Usually a primary song from church.  Wheels on the Bus may be a song your children know.  One of the children will be assigned to…
Hurricane Harvey has come and gone.  We live in Houston, Texas.  Our home was not damaged in the flooding.

I have never lived through a natural disaster of any kind.  I grew up in Olympia, WA. where nothing ever really seems to happen.

When we were warned about the hurricane, my husband, Matt, was in Maine where he is currently working.  He had no choice but to stay and watch and pray as Harvey continued to progress and flood our city over the course of many days.  There were no flights coming in or going out.  Even if he had gotten a flight in, he never would have made it home through the flooding.  Watching from afar was torture for him.

Here I was, sitting at home with our six children who still live at home, wondering how this storm would affect us.  What would I be forced to do alone, without the help of Matt?

Through the years we have accumulated everything that I think we would need if power went out, or if we were stuck in the house for days on end.

I sat the children down …

Selah at the Louisville Slugger museum in Kentucky

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Selah could barely hold it, but she had to take her turn holding an authentic Mickey Mantle bat.
During Spring Break our family went to visit Matt's cousin, Aaron, and his family in Kentucky.
I had never been there before. It was beautiful and we all had a great time with the cousins.

Brower turned 6!

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Brower had a great year in Kindergarten. He loves to learn and can't get enough. He is very patient when he wants to know how to do something. He will sit and watch until it is finished. The picture above with Uncle Aaron, Brower is watching how he makes waffles from scratch. He'll do the same with electricians, builders, athletes, and anything else.
The two kids sitting next to him are a couple of his best friends. Francisco is his best buddy and Rachel is a little sweet on him. And I think he likes her too (although he would never say it). She is a very forward little girl, but so cute!

Sumner's Birthday...

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Sumner loved the candle on his cupcake. He kept reaching for it while the family sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He got really frustrated and started crying until we finished singing. As soon as he got his hands on the treat he was just fine!