Friday, October 30, 2009

Comments I've Heard As The Mom of a Large Family

*Disclaimer: This post is NOT meant to point fingers or rant at anyone in particular.  Maybe it is a rant, but these words are not meant to hurt, scald, or alienate anyone.  Thank you for understanding.*

The title of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but really, I'm not kidding!

I wanted to write this post because, in times past, we've been showered with all sorts of comments, rejoinders, and sayings that people think are so funny and cute, but we really think they're rude, cruel, perverted, or just plain crass!

I know you may not have noticed, but my husband and I have a lot of children.  Many.  Several.  Half a dozen plus one, here on earth.  We do not subscribe to any particular theory, such as the "Quiver Full" movement, we just want to allow God to choose the size of our family! My husband, as a young man, always used to dream about having 12 kids.  

I want to do a post like this to let you all know something most of you don't know about me.  Getting to this point was not easy for me.  Becoming the Mother of Many has not been an easy, straight, or fun road.  I'll tell you why: As a girl, I didn't dream about getting married.  I never once thought about having kids.  Babies scared me and other kids were brats.  I was the worst babysitter you've ever seen! My mom was a career woman from as early as I can remember.  She'd put nice clothes on and do her hair and makeup every morning, and that's what I wanted too.  I was frightened of men and mistrustful of them all, in general, after having a father who walked out on me when I was two.  Two years old, without a Daddy....

But God works, sometimes against our will, and in every circumstance.  The Word of the Lord will never come back void, and He never breaks His promises.  He quietly stands waiting.  He gently knocks.  He pursues.  For me, He pursued, knocked, and waited for me to surrender my whole self to him for many, many years.  In the area of marriage and family, I was a selfish, sniveling brat who would shout at God with both fists raised.  I was NOT letting Him have my fertility!!!

Once I let Him talk to me and I began to hear His voice, my heart began to be changed.  What I want you to know is, if He can change MY heart, He can change anyone's heart! The thing is, I didn't know I was blind, walking around in the dark.  My eyes had to be opened!

And here I am.

I am the Mother of a large family.  I have been pregnant 10 times.  I have had one stillborn baby, born at almost 27 weeks gestation.  I have had secondary infertility and experienced two miscarriages, one at 8.5 weeks and one at 15 weeks, the last of which almost caused me to bleed to death on my bathroom floor.

I love my life.  I am proud to be known as "that lady with all the kids".  

Just today, while dining with my oldest daughter at a local diner, the waitress thoughtfully cocked her head at me and said, "aren't you the lady with all the kids?".....and usually, this would cause me to bristle or be very cautious....But she smiled and said, "I thought it was you! I thought we were almost even with the amount of kids we have!" She has 6, 2 of which are hers, and 4 of which are her husband's.  Then she said, "and you're married to that Mailman, aren't you?"....Ha!

We get lots of comments.  Almost everywhere we go together we get stares.  We're used to that.

Here are some of the things we hear:

"Do you KNOW how that happens?"
"Man, every time you come in here, our waiting room looks like a nursery or something!"
"Are ALLLLL of these yours?"
"Hmmm, must be something in your water!"
"I'd better not drink the water at YOUR house!"

"Aren't you DONE yet?"
"ALLL of those girls?"
"Poor boy!" (to Russell)
"Your husband must have a good job!"
"Are you going to try till you get another boy?"
"Are you going to have anymore?"
"You must have GREAT pregnancies!"
"Sheesh, I can't even handle the one/two/three that I've got!"
"You're crazy!"

Most of the time, Dave and I can just laugh and shake our heads as these people spout this stuff, right in front of our kids, as the kids stand there embarrassed, with their mouths agape...

I guess I wanted to do this post because I really don't like to hear those things.  I've stopped going to the places whose employees would make comments.  These type of comments stress me out and are embarrassing and hurtful toward my children.

Makes me think about things that the parents of multiples say when I tell them that we have been praying for twins for some time now.  Usually, they say some variation of "You're stinking crazy!" Or, my personal favorite, "I wouldn't wish twins on my worst enemy!", all while their kids stand right there!

I'm a Christian, not Mother Theresa, people! If someone makes a rude comment to me on the size of my family or my "prolific fertility", they risk a snappy rejoinder! 

Once, when someone said "Don't you know HOW that happens?" to me, I shot right back

"I sure do, and man, is it fun! That's WHY we have all these kids!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ode to Fall

I love Fall.

Fall is my favorite season, by far.  

I love the bracing snap of pristine, cold days.  The foggy mornings are so peaceful and as I look out the window of my home, I'm glad for the reassuring closeness of my house, and my fireplace whose flames comfort me.  The exquisite colors and elegance of the trees decked out in magnificent garments takes my breath away every time I leave the house and drive anywhere.  I love the familiarity of old sweaters taken out again and worn, like old friends and dear companions.  I look forward to the fresh picked crispness of homegrown apples and the spicy, benevolent pumpkin goodies that come out of my oven on these sweet days.  The smell of the loamy, earthy leaves as they slowly melt and fade into the soil is the perfect foil for the rich, drifting scent of wood smoke from so many random chimneys.  

I grew up in Orange County, CA, and I never knew there were such things as different seasons.  I'd never known the patter of rain on the roof or the lacy whiteness of frost on the eaves.  I just didn't know the poetry and poignancy of each different, starkly defined season! I'd never seen a vividly colored tree or the flutter of golden leaves floating softly on the wind.  I thought all the world was blue sky and palm trees and beaches.....

Until I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

And I so thank God that I ended up here.  I'm thankful and I remember the joy of learning that indeed, there were seasons, and that each one was different and appealing in their own ways.  I remember the first golden tree I saw, and how I marveled at its gaudy, brilliant leaves.  There was nothing shy about that tree! And thus began my love affair with all things Autumnal.

I would love to have Fall all year 'round......

What's your favorite season and why?

Monday, October 19, 2009


My stars!

I actually have TWO followers!!

It's actually quite gladdening to have followers.

So this post is a nod to those two out there who follow my blog.

Thanks for caring about what I write.

Even if you're lurkers, it still made me smile to see that I had two of you out there!

In other news....

I'm working on posting more often....I'm working on balancing this need to blog with the rest of my life that needs to be attended to first.

And oh, I'm working on remembering that I set out to make bread this afternoon, and the start is still on my counter!

See what happens? Forgetting to do that moreimportantthing because I'm on the computer??

Do you have trouble with this too??

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


See the moon!
How it sparkles
on the water so fair!
Rest, my little one,
drift off without a care.

The beams
how they glitter
and shine so bright.
Close your eyes
I'll be here
to watch through the night.

Sweet dreams, tiny one
is what I pray for you.
Snuggle down, cuddle up,
till the morn
is fresh and new.

And the moon, all the while
will smile and play,
ever steady
always waiting
for the sun to warm the day.

Baby love, don't you fret
for the Lord He holds you tight.
Close your eyes
and do not fear,
for the Lamb of God is light!

The sun and the moon
they dance at His command,
so sleep on , dear heart,
He cradles you in His hand.

Copyright 2009 by leeswords.

Dedicated to Lucie Lynn Gilchrist on October 2, 2009.  Written at Willow Grove Beach.  Photo of Lucie courtesy of Emily Heinl.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Am I Doing Wednesday

Today I....

~got those apples made into Caramel Apple Butter.  My house smells fan-TASTIC!

~found out that, to mail my son's package First Class, would cost $70!!! Um, methinks we are not going that route!

~am feeling really tired and rundown and am giving myself permission to be lazy.

~have talked to Mother twice.

~taught Fourth Daughter how to count by 5's.

~have only checked in on Facebook twice!

~have fed Seventh Daughter three times.

~brought my favorite blankie out to the living room with me and bundled up in it this morning.

~did language with Second Daughter.

~answered baking questions for Oldest Daughter.

~admonished Fourth Daughter to stay on task and stay focused no less than three times.

~took Third Daughter on a short errand.

~made pumpkin biscuits for breakfast.

~Helped Sixth Daughter pick a miniature punk-pin out front.

~meditated on the Word.

~washed two loads of laundry.

~read a couple of blogs.

~cleaned up the kitchen.

~made Husband lunch and made his breakfast.

~Prayed with Husband.

~watched Second Daughter do a beautiful job teaching her three younger sisters.  She really is a super teacher.

~eaten once.  Had a 4 oz Big Train.

Okay.  That's some of what my day looked like.....and it's not over yet!

I love my life!!!!!!!!