Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My New Years Resolution: NOTHING!

That's right, you read the title correctly. I am not making a resolution this year because I'm pretty happy with myself the way I am. Sure, I could stand to lose a few pounds or learn to skydive, but it's not vital to my happiness in the coming year. I love my life fully and completely.

To me resolutions just seem like trying to force yourself to do something you really don't want to do. If you really did want to do it you would have well before New Year. I wanted to quit smoking for years and it wasn't a resolution that made me quit. It was seeing a family member die of lung cancer. I could say I'm going to read more in 2015, but the coming New Year isn't going to magically give me more time to spend doing it.

According to government these are the top resolutions made each year:

Just to go over a few of these, volunteer to help others. We should be doing that without making a resolution to do so. It's part of being a good human. There are so many opportunities to help that the need extends well past the New Years season and spring when people tend to forget all about their resolutions. You want to make sure you volunteer more go make friends with a homeless man or woman. Look into the face of a homeless child at a soup kitchen. Take them some food here and there. Trust me you'll volunteer a lot more after that reality sets in. 

Drink less alcohol. Um, if you have to make this resolution maybe it should be to join AA instead...just saying. 

My next issue with this list is people have things all messed up. There is never a one part resolution like the manage debt one. It goes along with the save money one. So it should be save money and manage debt. Instead of making this resolution hire a professional to help you manage it all. 

Lose weight, get fit, eat healthy food. Really don't all three of these work together toward the same goal? So again this would only overwhelm me and make me fail at a resolution. It's sort of like how I quit smoking you have to want to and have incentive to. Hopefully not someone around you dying from it. 

In the end what I'm trying to say is love yourself just the way you are. If you need to change things do it because you want to and give yourself the right inspiration to do so. Only 8% of people succeed with their resolutions whereas if you really set your mind and heart to something there is no way to fail. Do things because they are the right thing to do not because you're trying to force yourself and then you'll have a great 2015!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Genetics are crazy!

When Janelle was diagnosed with a genetic condition I became very interested in everything genetics. I sometimes thing I have as much knowledge as a genetic counselor. This was never a subject I thought I would get into, but now I find it all so fascinating. I mean to think that one little spot of DNA being altered in any way can change so much about a person. I was just watching a documentary where a scientist want to bring back the Woolly Mammoth  by altering the DNA of an elephant egg. Can you imagine the possibilities that the future of genetics holds when they are able to do things like that?

That's not really what this post is all about though. This is more about how genetics is passed down in families even over periods of hundreds of years. Now it's common to have parent children look alikes or siblings with the same features. My one daughter got in trouble at a park because an old friend of mine caught her doing something bad and though he'd never met my child knew she was mine because she looked just like me when we were kids. Yeah, freaky right! I want to share with you something I discovered while I was doing my family genealogy.  

On Feb 23rd 1881 My great great grandfather was born in Jefferson County, PA. My mother was named after his mother. Benjamin died in the 1960's almost 20 years before my birth. Now my son was born in 1998 117 years after Benjamin. Below find their pictures side by side. 

Kind of spooky right? I am in the process of finding more pictures to compare how genetics is passed down. I can find relatives with the same eyes, nose, hair, but none quite as similar as these two. I often wonder if their personalities are similar as well. Was he an introvert like my son? Did he love to read like David? I know these are questions I most likely will never get answers to, but it's kind of cool to imagine them as very much alike. 

Have you looked back in your family tree and found any hauntingly past to present pictures? 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy birthday grandma! Wish you were here.

December 28th, 1941 my grandmother was born. She never did anything in her life to make her famous or to win any major awards, but she really was great, amazing actually. I was blessed to have had her raise me and teach me the morals she held dear. It is because of her that I am the mother I am today. It's her that made me love my strays and speak my mind. I could never be half the woman she was, but even if I am a quarter as good then I'm doing pretty well.

My grandparents married young and had my mother in 1961. They worked hard and raised their three children. I assume they thought they would be grandparents one day that would love on their grandchildren and then send them home. Little did they know they'd raise not only me, but also their great granddaughter. Their doors were always open to us and our friends. The kitchen was always stocked with food and treats and as a teen all my friends would come to my house because of that. My gram was always honest about how she felt about people. She was never two faced or gossipy. If she had something to say she said it. I admired her for that even if at the time I didn't appreciate that quality the way I should have. I hated when she she said things to my friends that they or myself didn't agree with. I remember saying if my gram calls you an a*$hole well, you're probably being an a&*hole.

90% of the time she was right about people especially boyfriends. Of course I was a stubborn teen and didn't listen. She had no idea what she was talking about after all. Yet every time my heart was broken she was there to smooth back my hair and tell me it was his loss. Sometimes I long for her to be here still so she could do that now! She gave me a solid faith in God though and I turn to Him now, but still a hug from gram was always a bonus.

My gram always struggled with illness. Weight, diabetes, and effects from that. She was sick a lot and spent time on and off in hospitals. Still she was strong. Her mind always stayed sharp and she didn't let her illnesses hold her back. We knew one day on of her illness would take her. Then things started to go south. The doctor said her kidneys were failing. My grandfather had just retired and was prepared to take care of her as she did dialysis. He always had taken care of her after all. Then it happened he was diagnosed with leukemia. It was an aggressive form and we knew he would die. God knew he needed her now and it was her turn to take care of him. She got better enough they could hold off dialysis. She spent the last year with grandpa caring for him the best she could. I have never saw a love like they had before or since.

After he died she became really sick really fast. I remember being so mad at my husband and saying I wish he'd go away and my gram said don't ever wish that you'll miss him more than you'll ever know. In the end I helped take care of her and she always apologized. I told her I was paying back her taking care of me. Without her God only knows what would have ended up of me. I know I wouldn't be where I am in life now. Gram passed away August of 2011 and still to this day I forget and go to pick up the phone to call her. I've never made it out to her grave as it hurts so bad. I'm happy to hold onto the memories of her still alive and the lessons she taught me. The ones I pass onto my children.

I'll see you later gram, but until then Happy birthday. 

Christmas hit and misses

Moooommmmmmmmy! I want that! Tell Santa to bring that. That has been the battle cry at my house for the past three months when the little kids see something that catches their eyes on a TV ad or computer ad. Me being the mom who wants them to get a few things they really want pays attention and runs to the TV. Little did I know it was the moments outside of our home and not on the TV that would make their presents special. 

Mathew wanted the paw patrol rescue center so bad. He squealed with delight every time he saw an ad for it. $40 on Black Friday we were the proud owners of this piece of plastic I just knew would bring him great joy. While we were out shopping I saw a train table and remembered how much Mathew loves watching trains so we grabbed that too. Guess which toy he plays with? That's right the train table, while the paw patrol rescue center sits in a lonely spot in the corner of his room forgotten. What bugs me most is the train table was $10 less than the the cheaply made rescue center. 

Devony is our Frozen girl. She told Santa she wanted everything Frozen! So of course we had to get the Frozen castle. Mind you this is the same child we bought the clashing tree topper for because it was a Frozen snowflake. So you may ask, what was her favorite toy? Her brothers Batman Imaginex jail. 

Taryn fell in love with Devony's Frozen dress up case (see a pattern here?). She also freaks out every time we make Let's Rock Elmo play for the baby. She acts like it's going to eat him or something. Which as mean as it sounds we find to be hilarious. I never claimed to be the best mother in the world. Now just before Christmas we took the kids to Santa's village and they had a toy room whre Taryn was obsessed with old fashioned, plain wooden blocks. I searched and found these blocks, which have been a hit with all the little kids. 

The older kids are easy. Clothes, makeup, and games. It's always the little kids that get me. Next year instead of buying what they beg for I'm just going to pay attention to what they really like and save myself the wasted money. I also learned something else this year that I have been blind to in years passed. It really isn't all about the presents to the kids. They smiled and laughed more with all the events leading up to Christmas than they did opening the gifts. Next year I think we're going to spend a lot more time thinking out events than gifts! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The worst things about having a mega family

There are so many wonderful, beautiful things about having a mega family, but there are some bad things as well. Thankfully the good has always outweighed the bad! So here's my list of the worst things about having a mega family.

Finding a table big enough! Short of using huge folding tables we're kind of at a loss when shopping for a table big enough to seat us all. This spring we are taking on the challenge of building one. On the plus side we can add seats to make room for all the stray kids that find their way to our house at feeding time. That old saying about animals is true for kids too, if you feed them once they keep coming back!

Family says stupid things sometimes. I heard we ruined being a grandma for one of the grandma's because she couldn't get to bond with so many kids. Don't ask me how teachers do it year after year apparently 9 kids is just too many! Or the we don't want you to have anymore in case you die! This isn't the 1800's and I'm healthy the chances of me dying in childbirth are pretty slim. I could make a whole blog post about stupid things family says, but that's not what this one is about. I'm just going to move on.

Stupid jokes people make which they think is funny, but really isn't. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the vagina clown car joke. Oh, and the ever popular they must fall out by now. When I'm pregnant the snickered warning of don't sneeze. Some of the jokes are so mean, yet friends put them out there like it's the funniest thing they've ever heard or said. I want to scream YOU'RE NOT FUNNY, but usually I just ignore them.

Being told we're selfish for having so many. This one I really don't get. The definition of selfish is:


: having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people. How exactly does having a mega family make one selfish? I suppose I should take other peoples opinions of family size into consideration? Yeah not going to happen!

The pews at church are not big enough for us all to fit into one. We did it on Christmas though and I was quite impressed with myself for making it happen. Even if it was 200 degrees. 

The next thing on my list is people who think they have a say on if our family is complete. They will say we have enough, are we crazy, don't have anymore etc etc. I don't know why having so many kids open the door to people feeling bold enough to interject on our family planning. I could never imagine walking up to someone with one child and being like you have to have more children! I have a sister who wants no children and I would never dream of telling her you must have children how could you possibly want no children that's not normal. 

In the end as I stated before the good outweighs the bad. There are so many beautiful, wonderful moments that make all the stupid things disappear. Moments I will remember forever. And I will share one right now. THE LOVE!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A long winters nap

Oh Christmas how I love you, but after a month of running here and there this mother is tired! Getting nine kids ready to go anywhere is crazy, but doing it over and over again throughout December is just exhausting. Then the shopping, the cooking, oh and the never ending wrapping. It's very clear that I am getting old. Back in my younger party days I could stay up for two days with just a quick nap. Now one beer added to any activity proves to be the thing that makes me think I possibly developed a slight case of Narcolepsy. So why on Christmas I decided to drink some cheap wine at the dinner table is anyone's guess. All I wanted to do was sleeeeep!
Newton's law states an over tired mother will have a house full of wide awake children. The little kids were on present overdose and trying to play with everything for just a little while which kept them up way past bedtime. The teens were on movie overload and sat buggy eyed to the screen watching the list of classic movies on all the channels that they'll never play again **eyeroll**. So I finally get into my bed and roll up in my blanket just for the two youngest to decide it was time to stay up ALL NIGHT! Taryn just couldn't sleep and William must be going through some sort of growth spurt and wanted to eat every two hours.
So this morning I crawl out of bed and watch the news waiting for hubby to get out of bed. He does the running around since we were almost out of formula and milk. By two I couldn't hold my eyes open. I told the teens they were in charge, grabbed the baby and we took a well deserved long winters nap. Woke up at 5 feeling like I could conquer Christmas all over again! Don't get me wrong though I'm glad I have 365 days before I have to do that again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa from the perspective of a child

We wonder why little children freak out when sitting on Santa's lap, but lets take a look at it from their perspective and maybe we'll understand. Here are the top 5 things that must go through a small child's mind when visiting Santa.

1. Wait! Why are my parents handing me to this stranger and walking away?? Don't turn around and smile there's nothing funny about this!

2. Santa, Satan and he's all in red! Hey, I've seen movies I know about this stuff.

3. The kid in front of me in line was in a great mood until they handed him over to that man in red. He must be evil because my new friend lost it so I will lose it too.

4. Elves are short and I am short. They are going to send me off to Santa's sweat shop. Aren't there child labor laws in the North Pole?

5. Wait is this a test of that stranger danger thing you taught me. I'm suppose to scream right?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's my child and I'll do what I want to.

You're going to let her do that to her hair? I can't believe you let your kids watch that. I would never let my kids out so late. These are just a few of the comments I have heard about my kids and my parenting. The funny thing is on facebook and from chatting with people I am not alone. It seems people everywhere have run in's with the perfect parents. You know them. They are the ones who do everything right and think you're a terrible parent for not doing it just like them. They spew their unsolicited advice every chance they get and usually their kids are the furthest thing from perfect you can get, but the parents are blind to it.

I have learned to just nod my head and agree with them while wondering what they'd do if they heard my five year old break out singing Wrecking Ball. Or as he calls it the video with the naked girl. Speaking of naked, what would they do if my three year old ran to the door in his birthday suit? He does it more than I'd like to admit. I know just what would happy Mrs Judgeyparentingpants would shake her head and tell me how her kids would/have never done things like that. I'll smile nod and be thankful my kids feel free and comfortable enough in their homes to be themselves and I'll worry about him running naked to the door if he's still doing it when he's 14.

After nine kids I have come to the conclusion I am not always in control. Kids have to learn, make mistakes, and grow. Sometimes you have to let your kids dye their hair purple and then go out in public with them like that. Don't get me wrong I will draw the line sometimes. No facial piercings or tattoos until they are adults. Other than that whatever. I mean if my fourteen year old wants to wear a green dress with sneakers hey, that's on her. If anything I feel like we'll have some interesting family photo's in the future.

I know sometimes it's hard not to make a snide remark back to the "perfect parents". It's agonizing to not point out their child's flaws, but it really is so much easier to smile and nod. Every now and then I even thank them for their advice and move on. I have found their is no appeasing these people and if you point out their flaws they still refuse to see it. There will be only one way to judge your parenting and that's when your kids are grown will they tell people how great their childhood was or how terrible? Will they parent the same way you have? I like to think mine will. I'll let you know in about ten years how I've done.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Your child sees what I see

I am a social media junkie. This is no secret and anyone who knows me will say that about me. I used to have no filter and would say some outlandish things not only to people, but about people. Then one day it hit me. My kids not only see this as I post it, but will be able to see it in the future too. How can I tell them you can't post this or that and then do it myself. That was a few years ago and I actually find more enjoyment in my social media experience since using it for good instead of negativity. The issue is not all parents realize what I see them posting their child sees as well.

The sad fact is the rules of facebook are not followed and very young children are using social media. When an adult woman posts a provocative photo of herself her children will see it. I am so glad social media wasn't around when I was a teen. Something about my mom doing duck lips in a selfie would have made me want to move to Siberia. Sorry mom. Then you have the drunken or pot head mothers who post pictures of themselves doing whatever they do on weekends. Yeah, your kids see that! Not only your kids, but your kids friends parents. Trust me I see some things and I'm like yep, my kids never going over there. I'm not trying to be judgmental I just want to be sure my children are't exposed to such behaviors. Now not saying I don't have a beer now and then or even take a selfie, but come on people if you have kids have respect for yourself and for them DON'T POST IT!

The next thing that drives me absolutely insane on facebook is constantly belittling of children by their parents on social media. It's one thing to talk about a messy room now and then or even joke about something they have done. It is a whole other thing when you never say anything nice. Your kid sees that and thinks that is your opinion of them. Even if your child is still young one day they may look abck hoping to see cute little stories about themselves and what will they see? I hope my kids look back on my social media, smile, and say man, my mom really loved me.

I urge you now if you are guilty of one of the social media parenting problems I mentioned above for one week think before you post. Say to yourself what will my child think of me or this picture if I post this? Go back through your old stuff and see the message your sending your children. Are you setting a good example? If not change it. It's your job to teach your children right from wrong and if your not doing the right thing on social media I can guarantee they won't either.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The bare tree.

We used to have the most beautiful Christmas tree ever. USED TO! We used to go out and find the biggest, best smelling Christmas tree we could fit in our house. USED TO! Then we had kids. That changed everything.
We were still able to manage having a Christmas tree when we had 5 kids, even 6, but that 7th one did us in! No longer were ornaments beautiful, shiny, balls reflecting light off the branches. No, they were now weapons, and dodge balls, and even baseballs. The strings of lights we delicately placed as to not leave any bare spots were now sagging from being pulled on.
The water for the tree had become a baby doll bathtub for #4 so that was the first thing to go. We tried again a few years back, but Janelle was allergic so that ideas gone forever. That would have been oh about 2006 or so. Still we held on to those ornaments and just switched to all wood and plastic....plastic breaks too. We gave up ornaments 2 years ago. Thankfully they make prelit artificial trees or we wouldn't even have lights!
Now last year my friend who has triplets was a genus and surrounded her tree with baby gates. I was like THAT'S IT! We can have a real, beautiful, perfect, color coordinating tree again. A magazine worthy piece of art in our living room. Then Dave reminded me that this was our children we were talking about and they can find a way to get a bottle of nail polish off the top of the fridge to paint each other. Point taken our kids are monkeys.
This year however. I wanted something special. I told Dave I was going out to find the most beautiful tree topper I could find. Something that would make people stop and say WOW! Then no one would notice the lack or ornaments, garland, and ribbon...right? So we're at the fifth store we checked (walmart of course, should have checked there first) and there it is on the top shelf a big snowflake and I was like DAVE, do you want to build a snowman. All I could think of was Frozen and how much happiness that movie brings our five year old. SO instead of a beautiful, classy tree topper that would match my other decor I went home with the big, blue snowflake that clashed with everything else. I knew it would make her smile and it did.
It took forever to get that snowflake to sit right. The darn thing was so heavy, but Sara managed to get it up there and I heard Mathew proclaim it's perfect. Yeah buddy, it sure is. We don't need the ribbon, the tinsel, the ornaments. This is our tree and it reflects us perfectly. One day I'm sure I'll have a magazine worthy tree again, but right now I have the perfect one and it makes my kids smile. In the end that's what really matters.

Twas the week before Christmas and all through our house
Mommy was sick and no time to lay down
There were parties to ready, so many teens will be there
And little ones ready to see Santa come near

Ahh yes, the week before Christmas. It's a crazy time for all families but with a mega family things can get out of hand quick. I sit here now in front of my computer just getting over strep (thanks germ infested children) enjoying my last day of relaxation. Tomorrow myself and the teens will start baking for the teen party at church we're hosting. I can't tell you how excited I am to spend a fun filled evening making sure all these hormonal teens stay in line. Thankfully a few strays will be helping out with preparations since it is their party (which comes down to they say they are doing it, they tell me what they want, and I do all the work). I'm exaggerating I'm sure they'll help make some cookies. I better slow down though or I could make this whole post about what has to be done for that party alone.

Wend.- Baby has 6 month check up, some baking for the party, finish wrapping a few bags of gifts.

Thursday- Phone appt about Janelle, 2 eye doctor appt's one for Mathew, one for Sweet Tee, mad rush to bake 10 dozen different kinds of cookies

Friday- Get everything ready for the party, hit the dollar store for prizes, get to the church to set up the teen room and the hot cocoa bar. After the party bring all the girls back here for a big old slumber party (even now my excitement about that is overwhelming)

Sat.- Try to get some shopping done before going to a big holiday festival at the fairgrounds an hour away by 5.

Sunday- Church to do a small party with my preschool class and then more shopping!

Monday- Hey, that's next week I don't want to think about that yet!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Your assumptions about my large family make my expectations higher.

Yesterday the school principle told me that if she had a daughter she'd want her to be just like Emma. A smile spread across my face and I beamed with pride. I didn't bother to mention that at home Emma can be a typical moody pre-teen. I left out the part that just before we'd gone to the school concert Emma gave me a huge attitude for something that wasn't even my fault. Nope I just smiled and said thank you. You see, sometimes I feel like I need to have higher expectations of my kids than a normal sized family and I take these compliments as proof that the facade of our perfect family is working. We're not perfect, but I want you to believe we are and this is why:

1. People assume I am so organized and who am I to ruin that fantasy. I am in fact scatterbrained and would lose my head if it wasn't connected to my neck. I forget things all the time and sometimes never remember what I was trying to think of ever again. Then again if I did think of it later I probably forgot I was ever trying to think of it to begin with. I do not have all my crap together just because I have more kids. I am just as irresponsible as most other mothers.

2. We are more judged by our kids behavior and I make a point of teaching my kids that. People feel like when you have so many kids they should be perfect and well behaved or else what right do we have to keep bringing kids into this world. What are we trying to do populated the world with unruly monsters? It's other peoples opinions that make me remind my children often of their manners in public, but man do they let loose in private. In public we are quiet and smile. In private if someone calls they probably think they called a war zone. Our house is LOUD!!!!!!! 

3. If anybody asks we only watch an hour of TV a day. People already assume children in small families are babysat by the TV. Can you image what they think we do to keep our kids occupied? I have been known to leave Nick Jr. running all day. I'm not ashamed. We have a lot of laundry and dishes to keep up on. 

4. People assume our older kids raise the younger ones. Yes, our older children are expected to help out when they're home, which isn't often. They have lives outside our home and those lives are really busy and they have no problem telling me that. Even if they are just texting I'm told how important these texts are for their social lives and what I need will have to wait. Yeah, for the record I never wait

5. You think we have our hands full and guess what we do. There are days I sit back and think how am I going to do this. When 5 kids have the stomach flu at once I feel like a zombie going through the motions. When the kids are fighting I want to bang their heads together, but I know these bad times pass quickly. I blinked and my oldest is almost 17 and now I dread the day he moves on. I am scared to death of the day my hands our empty.

In the end there is nothing I can do to take away peoples assumptions about us or ease the high expectations I have because of them, but I can say thanks. Thanks for making me work harder to raise kids who know how to act in public and how to treat people. Thanks for the fact my kids know how to treat others and do well socially. In the end your expectations make me a better mother.  

It's booger season Mucinex Review

Recently I was able to try Mucinex Multi-symptom cold medicine. My sample came at just the right time as cold season has hit our house hard. I had three miserable children all at one time. No one could sleep well and they were just overall mean little beings transformed by the dreaded cold virus.

I grabbed my bottle of Mucinex Multi-symptom and lined the kids up. All three went to bed and ended up sleeping better than they had in days. The Mucinex brought almost instant relief. I was sad that I couldn't give it to my three year old, but it's for children six and up and it's always best to never give a young child medicine that is not recommended for their age group.

I am so happy with Mucinex that it is our new brand. I went out and picked up another bottle just to be sure I had some on hand all winter long. I used the $2 off coupon I got here:

I received a free sample from Smiley360, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Give them the gift of respect

Oh the life of large families. This week has been crazy to say the least. Two of the kids have Christmas concerts while hubby is on overtime and we get a snow storm. On the plus side we survived! The teens behind us at the concert almost didn't though. No matter how many dirty looks I gave the mother those girls just giggled and talked so loudly I couldn't even hear the singers. Then maybe a bit loudly I announced to my husband I thought they needed to up my meds because I was feeling a strong need to yell at other peoples kids.
Parents I get it I have teens and they are a pain. I get that they don't always listen, but come on, they aren't 5 year old's. If they are being rude in public and disrupting others do something about it. Sometimes I seriously think their are parents who are afraid of their teens. That makes me sad to think our society has come to a point where kids run the roost.Give them the gift of respect!
It's really simple if they are being disrespectful tell them so. Are you worried about embarrassing them? Too bad, trust me the way they are acting is embarrassing you. They are still at an age they need guidance. If you don't give it to them guess what, they guide themselves. Think bad to when you were a teen. Would you have been able to guide yourself down the right path?
Everyday I meet teens who have parents who haven't taught them any respect. They are rude to adults, don't care who they disrupt, and only care about themselves. And we wonder why kids think it's acceptable to sit on a phone while their parents are talking to them or at a dinner table. I told my teen once if she didn't put her phone away at the table I  was going to smash it and she knew I meant it.
So seriously, if you want to give your kids a gift that will last a lifetime and will benefit them in years to come give them the gift of respect! And best of all it doesn't cost a dime, unlike that stupid cell phone glued to their face.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Teens teens everywhere!!!!

We are that house. The one that all the teens want to hang out at. We have all the things that attract them. We have other teens, multiple TV's, a porch, and most important food. They have been known to appear in packs and stay for days on end. Sometimes I think they forget where they live or the fact that they are in fact not one of my children. They all refer to me as mom and I call them my strays. We once counted and at that time I had 17 strays all of whom I love dearly.

These teen come from different types of homes and backgrounds, some with better home lives than others. I have been known to stay up late into the night talking with any one of them when they are having a hard time. My heart aches for them sometimes and other times I have to tell them when they are wrong themselves. I guess when you spend so much time with so many kids you begin to realize how bad some of them really have it and how hard the thing they have to over come will be. I just do my best to be a kind, nonjudgmental ear and a warm hug. Maybe in the end that's really why they keep coming back.

I just want to encourage everyone to take time to get to know your children's friends. Make your house the one they want to be at. Be the mother that when in a group someone yells mom and no matter who it is you look. These strays can make you feel as loved and needed as your own kids do. You'll find yourself thinking of them as your own children. And sometimes they tell you they wish they were your children.

I can not express to you the pain you'll feel from time to time when you hold one of these strays in your arms as they cry. When they tell you about their pain or horrible things that have happened to them. Your heart will break and you'll search for the right words and sometimes you won't find them so you just keep hanging on. I'll tell you what though, in that moment you are giving that child exactly what they need.

Then one day out of the blue you'll get a Facebook message saying thank you for being there. Thank you for listening and telling you you're love. that's the moment you realize you made a difference. That in years to come you will have impacted this child's life and they will look back fondly on the things you've told them and pass that onto their children.

This Christmas take a minute to really think about your children's friends. Do you know them? Do you know their back story and their parents? Do you know if they'll have a meal waiting for them when they get home or will they go hungry again? Can you make room at your table for a few more. There are days I have fed 17 or 18 kids. Mind you nine of them are mine.

Be the difference this year. It's really simple. Just take in a few strays!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Where has mother been?

I have been away for two years. Two years!!!!!! I have a really good excuse though. I dove head in on working with foundations that help children with the same chromosome conditions as mine and also started a foundation! I have had 2 more children too. We are now at 6 girls and 3 boys. I'll add the new comers to our zoo page. I am determined to stick around again and post daily...almost. Trust me I have some funny stories to tell oh and I should add I am confirmed crazy now ;)