Tag Archives: family

They Learn Young

Anyone with a toddler knows that shopping of any kind becomes a headache quickly. Your delightful two year old goes from simply chattering to asking for every. single. thing. I suffered through it for years with my first five kiddos. Now I am nearly incapable of running errands with my youngest two or three in tow. I don’t buy them stuff on a whim, so I’m still unsure where the “I want all the things” comes in. Maybe it’s just toddlers and that’s that.

Hubby and I had to make a quick stop into Walmart the other day. Okay, that’s ridiculous. There’s no such thing as “quick” and “Walmart,” just as there’s no such thing as spending less than $500 at Costco when all you need is honey. Anyway, Walmart. We decided to take the youngest 3 in with us instead of leaving them in the car (yes with AC on, calm down). We figured since usually it’s just me running around, surely two of us can handle them. Nightmare. I did try to warn him but he didn’t believe me. Oh well.

After being asked every second for things like dental floss and pink plates to candy and clothes and shoes, coloring books and toys (we got lost trying to find our items)… we were both ready to scream.

But the last part of all shopping experiences is the worst, hands down: checkout in the evil product placement aisle.

The youngest, my beautiful, busy 3 year old, gasped and shrieked, “A TROLL!! A PINK troll!!! PLEASE?!”

At this point, hubby had enough and issued a firm “No!”

She sat in the cart quietly for about 4 seconds.

“I’m sorry. I love you so much. Can I hug you?” She asked.

Ugh, he’s such a sucker. He fell for that hook line and sinker. He hugged her happily and told her how much he loved her too.

“Can I have a dollar?” she asked sweetly. And do you know what happened next? He gave her the dollar!

We turned out of the checkout and I began scolding him for giving in to her after we told her no for the last 30 minutes. But I was cut off by said 3 year old…

“Can we go back and buy the pink troll with my dollar?”

I WIN!


Understanding Death

A few weeks ago, our precious dog passed away. What makes her passing even harder for us all was the fact that we were away and so was she when it happened. The kids were visiting relatives, and I was out of town. Our dog traveled with us often, but considering the amount of travel we had been doing, we decided to leave her with a friend for the last few weeks.

She was an old dog, adopted about 8 years ago when she was already a little over a year old. My best friend agreed to keep her, and updated us regularly on how sweet and easy going she was. And oh was she sweet. In fact, I blogged many times with pictures of my children loving on her. However, after the second week, her health took a sudden turn. Within a few days, our dog was gone.

I wasn’t with her for her last days. My children weren’t with her. The heartache of suffering with her and preparing for her after life care was put on the shoulders of my friend. I grieved from another state, choosing to delay telling the kids until after my son’s 14th birthday.

The older 4 (out of 7) understood what the death of their dog meant: they would not be returning to her in a week and she would not be returning to them. As for the younger 3, the understanding of death is not something they can truly grasp, especially without seeing her sick. The last they knew of their dog was walks through Mount Lemmon.

My very busy, smart and chatty 3 year old has come up to me nonchalantly a few times and said, “Nala is dead.” My 6 year old, who is verbal but autistic, asked where Nala was yesterday. I told him, but he had left the conversation before hearing my reply.

My 4 year old loves dogs. He hugs every dog he sees. It’s been so hard losing our precious family member and she will be missed forever.

But I am going to wrap up children’s understanding of death with something sweet, funny and curious:

Yesterday, the friend who was watching Nala when she passed, stopped by the house. The 4 year old said,

“I want my dog back!”

She crouched down and said very sweetly, but with much sadness, “oh baby, your dog went to be with Jesus.”

The four year old demanded, “why did Jesus take my dog?!”


Sigh… And Cry…

As I begin to write this, I am sitting in the car with my 5 year old autistic son. It’s the 4th of July, which means fireworks and panic for this sweet boy. Three of my boys are with their dad, or who knows… the heartache of divorce… 

I’m okay sitting in the car with my little boy.

I’m coming to terms with a failed marriage (twice attempted, twice failed, with the same person).

What should matter is my children, my relationship with them and moving forward. And what should not matter is the negative flurry of slander, hate and anger behind me. 

But it does. 

It hurts. It hurts real bad. And I hate giving power to that pain by acknowledging it… But I guess healing comes with acceptance of pain and failure. 

I have seven children. Two of my boys are autistic, my 16 and 5 year old. The oldest has grown to be such a delightful young man. He is smart, humble, quiet, gentle and kind. My 5 year old is still struggling through his emotions and anxieties, and this is also a great struggle for me. It’s hard to reach him at times and even harder to calm him in the midst of his “moments.”

What’s also hard is the backlash I have received from those closest to me.  My family seems to only be able to tolerate the older children in doses, and the youngest three scarcely at all. They are quick to point out my short comings as a parent… even quicker to jump on the backs of these three for simply being children. 

And then there is my ex husband’s side of the family… although only his parents have ever come to visit – and no more than a week a year, at most – there certainly wasn’t a shortage of pure evil, hateful messages from the siblings (who have NEVER visited in 16 years and never met the younger FIVE children). Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep a mostly loving and positive communication with his parents. As for the others, I should be strong enough to dismiss their unfounded judgment and just focus on the beautiful, innocent faces in front of me. 

But it’s hard. Real hard. 

I wonder… do my parents, his parents, [some of] my siblings and his siblings, random acquaintances, etc, ever stop to remove the log from their own eyes? Do they really think that through their actions they are lifting up a woman and her children? Or worse, are they trying to bring her to her breaking point?

I may be weak. They may hurt me a lot. But they will not break me. Let me be clear on that. They can block my messages and not make eye contact in church. They may say all manner of things behind my back – deserved or undeserved. They may try to turn my own children against me with their poison. Yes, they can do all this and more, while pretending to be righteous, saying their morning and evening prayers daily…

Meanwhile, I struggle to pray, struggle to bring my children to church. I wake up daily and make my kids food adherent to a diet for those on the spectrum. I cry and work through the tantrums of the little ones. I struggled for 8 years to home educate because I felt it was best for my kids. I try to help a very moody and emotional, freshly-minted teenager navigate through his complex emotions and new life changes. All the while, trying very hard not to let myself succumb to the negativity and hatred from those I love the most, outside my children.

Sigh… And cry…

Life is always a struggle. One beautiful struggle after another. And if I can come out of one, I trust that God will carry me and mine through the next battle. 

And when I cannot pray because in that moment my faith is lost, I hope that God sees me through those moments as well. 

And when I want to hate in return those who have hurt me over and over again, I beg that God give me the patience and love not to do so. 

After all, none of us are in any place to judge another. My struggles may be unbearable for many, but for sure, there are so many families in the world who face much worse. 

We are all broken. And those of us brave enough to admit that are just trying to find our footing each day. 

At the moment, it’s sitting in the car with my sweet boy so he feels safe with me from the noise of the fireworks… tomorrow I don’t know. 


Family Pics!

I’ve been neglecting my blog for far too long! I plan to start easing back into writing, as time permits. Until then, here are some proud mama pictures, taken by my good friend, Desiree. Enjoy!




Happy Days

When life is chaotic and uncertain, it’s important to be thankful for the beautiful things (or people) we’re surrounded by. They are easy to overlook, especially in difficult times.

Deer in our backyard!

Turning boxes into forts ๐Ÿ™‚

Peanut butter and jelly – yummy and fun!

Sister time, just missing one ๐Ÿ’•

What do I say? I appreciate his love for bugs that I’ll never have!

And that love he’s passed on to his brothers…

Precious moments ๐Ÿ’œ

Nap time with Grandpa.

Eager helpers ๐Ÿ‘


Pre Christmas Fun

The weather has been GREAT! I hate the cold, so a December full of 70 degree weather is a good month ๐Ÿ™‚

My six year old was bummed when he couldn’t go swimming.  He simply didn’t believe that it would be an unpleasant and  cold experience. Although, later in the day, I did allow him to get in the pool – you know, to prove my point; )  He wasn’t in very long before realizing that while the air was warm, the water was not.

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We had a contest to see who could best pull off a brown wig.  Some members don’t want to be pictured, so here’s a few of us:

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Baby took her first bites of food from her dear grandfather โ™กโ™กโ™ก

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And finally, my sister dug up an old picture of my now eight year old daughter in her Christmas dress many years ago. She had a runny nose that winter, and the camera caught her in mid wipe at just the right moment….

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Birthdays, Friends and Dogs

This week, my oldest daughter turned 8 and my baby turned 6 months. Where does time go?!

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My oldest daughter’s birthday began a few days earlier with old friends celebrating at Dave & Busters, and a furry owl present.

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Her birthday morning was complete with many phone calls from relatives and a lovely gift from her cousin.

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Later we went to the park, where another homeschooling group was meeting for their weekly park day. She made some new friends, which is always the best present!

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In the evening, another family came over to share in the cake and song celebration. They brought Twister, which has kept the oldest kids entertained ever since.

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I made the most fabulous gluten free, flower power cake ever, and it was delicious!

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And yesterday we drove a few hours to meet friends we miss dearly from our old hometown. We spent a wonderful day at the zoo with them โ™กโ™กโ™ก

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Little Baby is now a Crawling Baby! And she’s quite pleased with herself.

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She now crawls up to our sweet dog, who is never missing attention and affection from the kids.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Little Linus

Some babies carry around blankies – I’ve had three who did.

But I guess other babies, like my nearly two year old, prefer their pillow.

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It seems to come in handy for little naps here and there!

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Pink Nails and Pirate Masks

What are little boys made of? Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.

David pirate eye

And what are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Alexandra and Yana

I had the pleasure of having my sister and her three kids visit for a few days this week.ย  They live on the other side of the world, so it’s always very special to see them.ย  The girls had fun playing dress ups and spraying “fairy dust” (perfumed body glitter) all about the house.ย  Meanwhile, the boys drove trucks around, built with their Legos and drew dinosaurs.ย  As for me?ย  I had fun painting all the girls’ nails ๐Ÿ™‚

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