Thursday, October 25, 2007

Well its been a few days since my last post. We have had some excitment here. We had weddings and then a computer blow up. Fun times. The computer situation was bound to happen sooner or later, it was so old. But now we have one that we can actully count on!! woot for that. The weddings went well , though DH and I got in a conversation about how wherever we go we feel like a parade..lol and its true really. When we went to the weddings, people just sort of look at you in awe. I think its funny how people just cannot beleive how you can do it. I noticed too that people were watching to see how we handled the children and how the children handled themselves. After the wedding people actully came up to us to tell us how well behaved our children were, in a surprised tone, like they were expecting the worst but hoping for the best. Made me giggle.
I love having a bigger then average family. Its so much fun. Plus during the meal we were the only table that had on going convo AND excitment..lol

Monday, October 22, 2007

Big Family???

Yeah, this is going to seem weird to some, and down right crazy to many, but I do not think I have a Big Family. OK, statistically, I have a larger than average family, but maybe the average is small, and my family is actually "normal." I know it is a stretch, but go with me for a minute.

Our life has been blessed with four wonderful children, and yesterday we turned in the paperwork to begin the adoption process to bring home #5. Our kids are like stair steps... 11, 9, 6, 4... one kid at a time, each unique and gifted and as individuals. Each one teaches me something different about myself, the world, and about the way God loves each one of us exactly the way we need it. They love each other, fight with each other, defend each other, and tattle on each other. It would be really quiet around here if even one was not here.

I have always known that I wanted a big family. Coming from a family with three children, my then boyfriend, now husband thought I was kidding when I told him that I'd like to have 9 kids. He has come around, and we both have agreed that we just take it one at a time, and we will add to the "bunch" when the time is right. We had each of our kids for a different reason... including a surprise, but we have known kids would be a big part of our lives. We enjoy the challenge and even the chaos.

I don't think I have a reason for choosing a "Big Family." My life has been blessed with children, and I pray that God continues to bless us with more children. If I can teach them to become responsible adults that do good for others, then I have done my job of leaving this world a little better than I found it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seven Pairs of Shoes


The kids are still in flip-flops. Flip-flop season has stretched into leaf raking season. It’s still warm enough in Smallville to get away with this convenient footwear but just barely, so today I took inventory.

Charlie needs sneakers. I don’t think I’ll bother with dress shoes. A conservative pair of tennis shoes will cover for church and play. Claire has dress shoes. She just needs sneakers. Faith, Lauren and John need both. Wow, we have a lot of slippers!

For some reason my kids are big fans of slippers. They don’t really wear them around the house, they’d rather go barefoot, but I do catch them wearing them in the yard and sometimes Charlie likes to wear his to the library.

We piled into the car this afternoon and drove to Payless in search of eight pairs of shoes. The store manager’s eyes lit up as Stuart herded everyone through the entrance.

“Everybody take off your shoes and put on your socks. I need a general idea of what size you are. Somebody go ask the clerk if she knows where the foot ruler is. When you find out your size please remember it. I can’t keep track of all of your measurements.”

The children wriggled into their socks, put their feet down to be measured and then scattered in search of their size. Claire pulled down a pair of light blue Tinkerbelle sneakers in size 13. Too small.

“How ‘bout these white and silver ones?”

Perfect. Claire brought them up to the counter. She’s my decisive one and the whole process took about five minutes.

Stuart helped Charlie into some brown sneakers.

“Hon, did you see these blue ones? They would go well with all of his clothes.”

The last time I saw him, Stuart was helping Charlie into a pair of blue 9 1/2s.
Good. Two kids down.

The size-two section had some boy’s sneakers, sandals on clearance and a couple of pairs of Crocs. Faith struck out on everything.

“We’ll try Wal-Mart next, honey. Right after we leave here. I promise.”

Stuart and Charlie brought Charlie’s box up to the counter and Stuart moved on to help John. No luck with the sneakers but they snagged an awesome pair of casual dress shoes and added them to the growing pile.

John and Faith came to help Lauren choose dress shoes. Her foot size expanded beyond the children’s department over the summer. We surveyed the expanse of funky, womanly shoes. A little too funky and womanly for my ten year old.

“Get these!" John held out a pair with three inch soles.
“How ‘bout these glittery ones? Look Lauren! Camouflage heels!” Faith pulled some extra tacky shoes out of their boxes.

Lauren ignored her siblings and the dress shoes and picked out a pair of sneakers. We trouped to the front and bought two and got two for half price and headed for Wal-Mart where things got ugly pretty quickly.

Faith is my finicky child and this time even though we found lots of size twos they did not meet her specifications. I held out a pair of pink tennis shoes.

“I don’t like pink, Mom. BLAAAUGH!
“They have Velcro and they’re cute.”
“BLAAUGH!”
“How bout these?”
“They’re still pink!”
“Just a speck. They’re mostly brown.”
“BLAAAUGH!”
“Would you stop making barfing noises and make a decision!”

We struck out again with the sneakers and only decided on a pair of black Mary Janes after a long argument. Faith had issues with their wavy decorative stitching.

John found sneakers and then harassed Lauren as she searched for a pair of dress shoes.

“There’s a black pair. There’s another black pair. Black, black, black, black….”
“John will you hush and let us concentrate!”

Lauren slipped on a comfy pair of Doctor Scholl's and grinned. We were done.

The ride home was quiet except for the sounds of rustling boxes and paper and socks and shoe tying. When the kids got out of the car, I noticed Charlie’s new shoes for the first time. They were blinking. That’s funny. I didn't notice that the blue sneakers blinked. I looked closer. A giant Spiderman head peered from each side.

“Honey! You got him Spiderman sneakers!?”
“They were cheaper. And he wanted them.”

So much for conservative, go-with-anything shoes. Charlie’s happy. Blinky too. Shoe shopping is almost over for another season. I won’t prolong it with returns.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Growing our Family

We were asked to write a post about how we made the decision to have a larger family. My first response was, "What, there was choice here?"
Ok, with a little less sarcasm, we really didn't set out to have a larger than average family. If I was being completely honest at first we didn't even mean to start a family. We are a statistic, a teenage pregnancy statistic that just happened (blood, sweat, tears) to beat the odds. Our first child came as a huge "surprise" and then we were married. I was 18, he was 21. Life was hard and we went through a really bad year and thought hey let's have another baby to celebrate the fact that we made it through. It didn't matter that at the time we could barely pay the bills. So that is where Griffen came in. With Kieran, I was ready long before Brian was, it took me about a year to convince him to try again. We had some rather large family issues at the time (on my side) and it was not a very good time to go ahead with another pregnancy but it gave us the kick in the butt that we needed to make some changes. Since Kieran was born our life has been pretty much smooth sailing so we felt like a fourth would round out our family. Hence, Alainna. After four we decided that we were done, let me rephrase that, Brian decided that we were done. So 6 months after Alainna was born he went in for a vasectomy. All done, curtain closed, right? I mean yeah we have a bigger family but not too bad. We were only getting a handle of comments, you know the type, the are they all yours? Or you know what causes that right? And my favorite you don't look old enough to have that many kids (seriously it is my fave) But no, about a year ago my husband came up with notion that we should adopt a child. I knew that this is something that he had talked about doing when we were first married but I kind of thought the door was shut on that after he was adamant about being done. So now we are on a journey to number 5!! And whoa baby the comments we get now, not only are we apparently breaking the world record for number of children (I think I will send people over to the mega-family blog!) but we are adopting from another country and not even a Caucasian (Ethiopian)! The sad thing is most of these comments are from friends and family. It is sad to see how relationships with people we know change every time we add a child, this started when we added number 4, I already see the writing on the wall, the time is coming to find more people who understand that children are not a burden, even though some days it feels like it. But that they are EVERYTHING they are the greatest gift that I was ever given and even though I might not treasure every moment of it I come pretty close. In retrospect our desire was/is not so much to have a large family but to have our family whatever that may be when we are done.

Jillienne

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sometimes being open to life hurts

Apparently, I am having a miscarriage. We have been trying for 3 years to have another child to love. My doctor doesn't believe it was a miscarriage because my labs don't prove it, but I know. I find it odd that after having 4 chilren in 5 years, that one can go on to have problems staying pregnant. After I did finally have number 5, I had problems getting pregnant at all. I didn't even know I was pregnant until I started an unusually heavy cycle. Before I even knew I was pregnant, it was gone. That makes 4 babies lost to miscarriage for us.

I have tried in the past to explain to some that experiencing secondary infertility is painful. Generally, it is taken that I expect that I do not want anyone else to ever announce a baby on the way and that is just not true. I think I take offense to the attitude that just because I am a practicing Catholic that I should be pregnant, if that is what I really wanted. So, it is funny, I get a rolling of eyes from some who think I have to many, but want more and I get a rolling of eyes from some who are realizing I have a rather large age gap between 2 of my children and my baby will be 4 in March.

I do hope to be announcing a new little one before to long to all that read this blog and to all the family at lotsofkids.com who understand my want for another baby...

Yesterday was an interesting day. Woke up bright and early to get some work done and to see DH off to work and our youngest (1) woke up and was vomiting and all of that. So we spent the day nursing him back to health. I am still not so sure what was wrong with him, but it wasnt good none the less. I love having a large family on days when everyone is healthy , I really do. But its on the days when someone isnt that you really see how close we all are. I love that we are so connected. I watched my older children really truly care for the baby brother. They showered him with love all day. It was wonderful.
My challage lately has been trying to MAKE time to execise. I feel this intense need to get back in shape but I just am not making the time. I wonder how someone with more then 4 children makes the time. I know I can throw the baby in a stroller and the older children adn ride bikes and I can walk. But I dont. Why dont I do that. I think my commitment today as a mom with LOTS on her plate is to ignore the plate and go for a walk.
lol
Off to start my day..
Phoenix

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wow.....
Its 2:00 in the afternoon here. My wee one, Oliver (1) is napping. My three others ages 10, 7, and 5 have had an ongoing game of store/town/neighbourhood/too many to list going on for about a month. They are out doing that. Making buildings out of sheets and money out of stones. Dinner (a cabbage roll type casserole thing) is in the crockpot. It has been cooking since this morning, before the kids got up. So dinner is ready....there is a fire in the woodstove so the house is warm. Laundry is on the line...and its quiet.......
I dont mean like normal chaos quiet...I mean like I can hear myself breath quiet. I am going to go and read some of my book while I am waiting for another load of laundry to finish...wow....What a great day.
Not all days are like this one...but for right now, this is good.....

An Intro to start

Hello
We are an Unschooling family of 6 living a farmers life in Ontario Canada. We have 4 children, Tyler (10), Ashleigh (7), Heather (5) and Oliver (1). I am married to my bestfriend Graham and we are celebrating our 15th ani this year! We also have 27 chickens, 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, 1 guinea pig and 5 cats. We have amazing, interesting, intense, calm, exciting, tiring, and sometimes boring days. Some days are a mix of all the above depening on whats going on. We are life learners and believe in living each day as it comes and to the fullest.
I look forward to sharing our days with you!
cheers
Phoenix

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Journey Begins

A few months ago I wanted to get a better of picture of who was visiting Lotsofkids.com. Through a series of surveys and interaction with visitors, I learned quite a bit. Beforehand, I had suspected that simply due to the law of averages, a good deal of our regular vistors were actually small families (1-3 kids), and singletons (no kids). That was confirmed. What I didn't realize was that the vast majority of the large families who utilized LOK have only 4 or 5 kids. Realistically, that shouldn't have surprised me. Juggling 4-5 kids is quite a challenge, and from a financial and emotional standpoint, many families feel a family that size is do-able and comfortable. Mega families (8 or more kids) are few and far between. That is not a bad thing, just a simple fact. So, initially when I dreamed of doing a blogging project, I had hopes of a single blog with different moms and family sizes represented. As this new information presented itself, and as I saw the volunteers for the blog come in favor 2-to-1 to the "smaller" large families, I realized the need for separate blogs. I wanted a place where this significant group of large families could see the world of others like them--others they could relate to more intimately. And thus the 4 or More blog was born.

The group of ladies who will be participating is wide and diverse. Some have the low-end of 4 kids, with others at the top with 7. There are moms from the States, as well as mums from abroad. Their family makeups are just as unique. I hope that they will give you a window to peek into the life of a large family. As we start this blogging journey, please be patient as we all get our "group blog" footing.

I will note, I am the webmaster of Lotsofkids.com. I am part of this 4 or More blog mostly in an administration capacity, and as a result, most of my postings will be "site" related. If you want to know more about me on a personal level, you can find me at the LOK Mega-Family Blog.