Friday, January 27, 2012

(9 Months)

Oh I love that kid.

And his (hovering) big sisters.

They're a pretty good bunch :).

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You May Be Up To Your Eyeballs In Motherhood If...

You received a final notice from the library saying one book is 64 days overdue. It's crossed your mind to call them and invite them over for a "book search" palooza.

You said "Thanks, buddy" to the cashier lady at Target.

(Thanks, buddy!?)

(I called her BUDDY)

Moving on.

You would pay for your items at the check out, but to find your wallet you have to first pull out a diaper, a jar of baby food, a stuffed animal, 4 pacifiers, an extra pair of 3T underwear, and a bag of pretzels.

Your purse looks like a piece of luggage.

This morning you heard yourself yell, "why are there Dora underwear on top of the coffee maker!?"

There is gate at one set of stairs and a chair laying in front of the other set to tame a little crawling and curious child.

You've waited an hour for the diaper fairy to come change the baby but she never seems to show up.

The price of gas all the sudden doesn't seem so bad now that all the kids are asleep in the car - so you drive around in peace and quiet for 45min.

You use a wipe to clean your kids face only after you've tried to get the job done licking your thumb and doing it. (why do we do that??)

The term "Pedi" has been replaced in your vocabulary with the term "Pedialyte".

After hours of kids chatter, you drive through Starbucks to just remember what an adult sounds like.

You're convinced texting was created for moms.

You get up in the morning, get kids moving, dressed, fed, washed, bathed, combed, kissed, hugged, picked up, carried, fed again, loved on, chased, squeezed, disciplined, laundry in, laundry out, dishes done, beds made, floors mopped, dinner cooked, kitchen cleaned, homework, flash cards, play Sorry, play peek-a-boo, play tag, play Simon Says, pj's, teeth brushed, bedtime....and somehow you STILL wonder why you don't have the energy to make it to the gym.

You have spit up and/or slobber on your shirt. And down your sleeve. And possibly even on one of your pant legs.

"Me time" is also known as "grocery shopping".

There's been a time when you've said to another mom, "I don't usually let her just eat packet after packet of ketchup..." in the middle of Chickfila. You've realized though that some fights aren't worth it in a room full of curious bystanders.

You find a chicken nugget under your drivers seat.

Multi-tasking is like a 6th sense.

Your heart is never running on empty in the love department.

You'd do it all again...and again, and again.

Oh the craziness of motherhood :). Crazy...but so worth it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'd Like To Do This...

for as many years as possible...

(a few of you already heard me say this on facebook :))

I'm sure so many of you feel the same, right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sleep And Other Things That Don't Exist

1. Sleep.

At least not an uninterrupted full nights worth. All the kiddos sleep through the night, a full 10ish hours. But lately it seems that someone is always sick, throwing up (on my side of the bed), having a bad dream, up to use the restroom, etc. That's ok though, I always try to remind myself at 3am that I can catch some zzz's later, they will only let me rock them back to sleep for a short while. Right??

2. Using the crockpot too much.

I love that thing. And it has come in handy lately since the neighbor kiddos often stay here as well...

I've got some new recipes I'm going to share soon!

3. Self control when it comes to Valentines Day candy hearts.

Some hate them, I love them. However I decided lately to kick the candy-sugar habit. The conversation I had with myself about it went something like this...

"I'm giving up sweets.

Well, maybe I'll let myself have something on the weekends.

Alright, I'll allow myself one treat 3 days a week.

Fine, I can have one sweet every night after a long day.

Never mind, I'm back on sweets."

It was a stressful convo.

4. Hearing Lincoln laugh at this gear-toy-thingy...

Anyone else have kids that looooved the gear toy??

5. Clean floors.

I had forgotten when a baby starts crawling they eat everything off the floor...its like a constant reminder of how dirty my floors are! Wait, did I mention that Lincoln is crawling?? Well, he is!! He is like a human vacuum, though. For real. I have to follow him all over the place...he's wearing me out :).

6. Cheeks that are too chubby...

Speaking of the little guy, he's got some squishy cheeks that get loads of lovin'...

Don't you just want to reach in there and squeeze them :)??

Well that's all for now.

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You Are More...

than the cook...

more than the chauffeur...

more than the referee...

more than the cleaner...

and more than the lady chasing her kid down aisle 8.

A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31: 10-12)

You are more than a number...

more than a size...

more than an exercise...

more than the latest trends.

and more than the worlds pressure to be perfect.

Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31: 29-30)

You are more than a soccer mom...

more than a pto volunteer...

more than a field trip chaperon..

and more than the one who's always pushing a stroller and wearing a baby while cheering her kiddo on.

She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31: 15-16)

You are more than the sock sorter...

more than the lunch packer...

more than the math teacher...

more than the cupcake maker...

and more than the one who tucks their shirts in, wipes their faces off, and sends them on their way.

 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (Proverbs 31: 20-21)

You are more than  the potty trainer, bath giver, and the crumb cleaner.

You are His.

Living in His sweet grace.

Clinging to this giant role.

Bringing up these little treasures that call you mama.

Sought after, chased down, cuddled up next to, kissed on, waited for, and adored by those He's entrusted to you.

You have the most important job with the greatest benefit package.

And today is another day to embrace that gift...this calling.

Enjoy it, it's fleeting.

Just a re-post today...because I've had to remind myself of these things this week :).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Going Public

I never really thought I'd write about school. Mainly cause I don't want anyone to ever think that we feel there is a "best option" or only "one right choice" for school. We feel the exact opposite.

And honestly, it can be a touchy subject. And touchy can turn into mean comments. And mean comments make me want to throw things at the computer screen. You understand.

So lets come at this from a "this is what God has led our family to", and not a "our way or the highway" approach. Lets discuss what He has called each of us to, shall we? Awesome.

Our kids go to public schools.

It's true. And for a long time I didn't talk much about it cause it can almost feel taboo among some Christian folk. Not ALL, I said SOME.

Please hear my heart when I say this, I do not mean it in a bad way, because I too am a hovering mother...I can hover with the best of 'em, my friends. I just think that it is easy to get comfortable in our Christian circles, to obsessively shelter our children, and sometimes forget that there is a whole world, not to mention a community that you live in that needs to hear about Him.

Public schools need Jesus too.

We don't look at it as "sending our kids into the warfare of public schools" like I've heard so many times from other moms who have choosen not to (that statement makes me a tad crazy, btw), we look at it as sending our family into a place where we can shine His light for hearts that may need it.

Our kids are leaning at a young age to stand up for, and share their faith. That can't possibly be a bad thing.

Do I think its possible that they will get exposed to some things earlier than if I homeschooled? Sure. Do I know that they will hear things that need some extra explaining from us at home? Of course. But do I believe that Jesus smiles when Ella tells a classmate that we don't treat people in a certain way because God wants us to love each other? With all my being.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't just give them a good-luck pat on the head and send them on their way, we are actively involved. I have sent some emails and talked to the teachers about things that I'm sure when I walked away they said, "wow, that woman needs to relax." But that's ok, I just want them to know I'm always there and asking questions. I even went on a field trip to a museum when I was 38 1/2 weeks pregnant with Lincoln...that had flights and flights of stairs...and no padded benches for my aching hips...and my only pair of jeans that fit were SO tight. Ah, memories.

A child's core beliefs, morals, and faith start at home, and are nourished and strengthened at home.

I am a firm believer in that which is why we talk a lot around here about anything and everything. We talk a lot about our faith, our family values, and what is expected of everyone.

I have also tried to start talking to the girls very early about things that might become embarrassing, tempting, or heard at school later on down the road. Just the other night when I was washing their hair we talked about appropriate things and inappropriate things, and what you do in those situations. I try to keep our chats laid back, calm, and very matter of fact so they don't ever think twice about asking me any questions.

Not long ago Ella pulled a feminine product out of my purse and inquired about it. After I thought for a second I said, "well, grab a juice box and pull up a chair, kiddo." Ok, I didn't really use those words, but I did tell her what it was, although I didn't go into a long explanation. I figure I have a year or two before that convo gets here.

I'm rambling, aren't I? Sorry.

Every school has trouble. Every school has partying and the "wrong crowd". And every school is going to have good and bad qualities. Deciding what is best for your family is between you and the Lord, no one else's opinion matters. Go with your convictions.

And for the record, we have talked a lot off and on about homeschooling, cause I am completely open to it if the Lord calls us there.

Down the road, will I pull one of the kids out of school and teach them at home if we thought it was necessary? Absolutely. But right now, I don't feel called to homeschool our kids, which can be looked down on at times especially since it is pretty common among bigger families. I've come to be ok with that though. I know that we are doing what God is calling us to for the time being, and that is what matters most.

We know that God placed us right where He wanted us when we moved a little over a year ago. We are in a nice community with solid schools, and I am thankful for that.

I love our "Christian circle" of friends, and I love being among company who share our passion about our faith. But I completely feel drawn to build relationships with other mama's who don't have a relationship with Him. I just can't imagine where my joy would come from on my worst mom days without His promises and confirmation of my calling - and if I can, I'd like to share that.

Our hearts feel pulled to jump right into the middle of our public school and get involved. And that is exactly what we have done :).

So now it's your turn. I shared where God has us in the school department, where does He have you??

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Night...

has turned into Family Game Night...

(although we play games everyday here)

and it is always such a fun time! We love it, it is a must have in your house if you don't have it already :).

Our Holiday Night Out...

with other mama's...

who know you...

who understand your life, your passions, your madness, your faith...

and maybe with ones who sat with you 3 weeks postpartum while you cried and sifted through the jungle of hormones that now controlled your life.


Last month we had an Ultimate Mom's Night Out here in our town, I know, I'm a tad behind on sharing about it :).  I teamed up with Amy and we worked hard to put on a fun night of encouragement, pampering, giveaways, and fun conversation for all the mama's in attendance...

My passion runs deep for moms, and I just wanted a night where they could come together and eat, laugh, catch up, and love on one another. Those women that night embraced each other...and if there is one thing I've learned this past year, it's to not just love your mom friends, but embrace them.

Embrace their kids, embrace their growing family, embrace their hard times, embrace their good times, embrace the ever changing seasons, and embrace who they are. 

Be there, and be involved. That kind of friendship is irreplaceable to us mama's, and it's good to get a night to chat, laugh, and be together.

You know the one who is standing there when you come out of the shower crying after a c-section? Yea, she loves you, embrace her.

That picture makes my heart happy :).

So anyway, thanks to the amazing and generous Pedi-Derm, Lifestages, and Pine Brothers (along with many other sponsors that you can find HERE), we put on the Ultimate Mom's Night Out...

and it was fantastic...and wonderful...and just plain fun :).

You can keep up with things on our new facebook page - Ultimate Mom's Night Out! 

Questions about the party? Want to be involved if we do it again? Feel free to email me at!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Be Encouraged

We are getting ready to head out of town, did I mention that? We're taking our crew to the Knoxville area for a few days to catch some R&R at a family lake house. And I use the term "R&R" loosely when it comes to our lively crew. It's a cheap getaway and we get to spend some time together thats uninterrupted by our usual schedules - its a win win :)!

(Oh, and we will have limited to no internet till the weekend. I KNOW. I'm not in love with that idea. Its good to have a break, but lets face it, I like my internet. Anyway, I have every intention to answer the school question among the others about our schedule and such when we get back in a few days :). Promise.)

(Also, I looooved hearing all about how you named your kiddos, I even read some to Eric the other night. And the fun names for the picture of Lincoln and the girls cracked me up!)

As I was packing yesterday, and stressing about packing, I was chatting with a friend about the ins and outs of the week....and the ups and the downs of our day at home with the kiddos. When days are long we often text funny things back and forth about our madness, and how we are so glad to have the encouragement of each other and other moms walking the walk of motherhood.

So it got me thinking and I decided to ask on Facebook and Twitter (some of you might have seen), "What is the best advice/encouragement you've ever received as a mama??"

I think I read through them 100 times. Here are some good words for your day from other mom's...

"Go with the flow and do what is best for your family not what someone else says is the best." -Kelsey

"Make sure to take time for yourself....." -Jennifer

"God gave your children to you, because know one else could raise them better. They are a unique blessing only you can receive." -Sarah

"This phase you're all going through? It's ONLY a phase. It will morph into something else entirely before you know it :) (And I repeat this to myself all the time!)" -Sarah

"Housework and laundry will always be there...your kids will not." -Shelbi

"When I had my first baby I had post partum and felt like I was a horrible mom and Jesus follower (wasn't having quiet times and just was struggling to trust and had zero joy) and a friend shared Isaiah 40:11 with me" He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; HE GENTLY LEADS THOSE THAT HAVE YOUNG." (emphasis mine) She reminded me that the Lord is gentle with those who have young and that His grace was abundant. It literally saved my life. LITERALLY." -Moe

"They are only little for a short while, it may feel like forever in the middle of it, but they will never need you in quite this way again." -Stacie

"Fully devote myself to my children while they are growing up, and I will never regret it. Now I have the most wonderful, mature, loving adults that God could have ever given to me. What a great Blessing they are to me." -Kathy

"Not to worry about housework because they don't remember how clean the house was, they remember if their momma was present and playing with them and doing things, those are the memories they remember... not the dishes being done..." -Laura

"Without a doubt it was this: Let your husband take care of the kids THEIR way... in other words... don't try to correct the way he puts on the diaper or how his bath and bedtime routine might be different than yours!" -GoOutMom

"Don't compare your children to others. every child develops at their own pace." -SageMom

(Amen, Amen, and...Amen)

"This too shall pass" - SarahPJs

"Not to be judgmental of other moms and not worry what people think of you as a mom as long as you are doing the best you can." -MomsInHeels

"You've got this thing! You're doing great!" -momwithaminivan

Good, right?

Feel free to share the best advice/encouragement that you've received as a mama - We all need to hear it :)!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Think This Photo Needs A Name...

Don't ya think?? :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

These Hips Were Made For Birthing (More Kids??)

Is this your last?

Are you finally done now that you have your boy??

What if you have another set of twins??

You know what my answer is to that last question that I get asked ALL the time??

"Well...I guess we'll love them and raise them."

The truth with a little sarcastic undertone. Nice, right? :)

I get why people ask those questions though. And I would imagine that every mom gets why people ask those questions - because every mom gets how hard her job is, and every mom gets that more kids might equal a tad more craziness. Especially when you have a newborn, and you're a week postpartum, and you haven't showered or brushed your teeth, and the baby is crying, and your other kids are fighting over who is mommy's biggest helper, and the washer just ate your only pair of post delivery net underwear.

Not that we've had that scenario played out in our own home.

The real answer to those questions? I don't know.

While our hearts are open to bringing more children into our home, we know that the great Author is the only one that knows what that plan would look like. We don't have any definite plans, and we haven't done anything permanent.

I know that society doesn't often view children like we do, and I know that we are judged for having a bigger family. After all, children take your time, your money, your sanity, your plans, your vacations, your freedom, and your dreams, right??

That is so wrong.

Those views make me sad. I feel that these kiddos have been a way bigger blessing in my life than I have been in theirs. They give me hope, they make me smile, they point me to Him, and they remind me to embrace the small things in this life.

Is it hard to see other couples or families go on lots of dates or getaways? Sure.
Is it near impossible for us to find a sitter to care for all 6? Clearly.
Are there moments when I pray for one stinkin' minute to myself? Yep.
Does our budget accommodate kids needs and wants more than our own? Of course.

But would any of those things trump the giggles coming from babe #6 tonight as I blew bubbles on his stomach? Uh, no. Not even a chance.

I will say that since we moved, our eyes have been opened to things we have never thought about. As much as my womb will always flutter a little at the sight of a round belly full of newborn goodness, I have also had the chance to spend some time this past year with kids who are just looking for a home environment to come to.

(our kids are in public schools, and YES, we have specific reasons and convictions for that decision if you'd ever like to know.)

One little girl in particular has changed my heart. I don't know the whole situation at home, and I don't know exactly what she is looking for, but I do know that she always wants to be here, and I want her to feel like she is always welcome. There are kids in your own backyard who need love.

A friend with a large family who's kids were grown told me this once, "Be the go-to house. Be the place that the kids and their friends know they can always come to and hang out." I really want that for our family, my home growing up was like that and I plan to carry it on here.

I don't always do this mom thing with a joyful heart or full confidence, but I'm a work in progress and I know that God will continue the work He started in me. At least that's what I cling to.

Maybe I will carry more babes, maybe we will foster or adopt, and maybe we will just be the home that loves on kids that need love while we raise our own 6. The Lord only knows.

We are open, to whatever He has in store :).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Names We Chose - And The "C" Name We Didn't Choose

Colson (cole-son).

That was the name we had picked before we decided on Lincoln. I love that name, but I was a tad nervous of people shortening it and I wasn't sure I wanted that. So we hung on to both names till the hospital, and when Eric sent a picture text to our family after the delivery it said, "Meet Lincoln".

I guess he knew when he saw him what he wanted to call his little man :).

Even though we had looked for a C name, I really wanted to name him Lincoln, and was hoping we would both agree on it.

Unlike the great name debate of 2004 when we had our Ella Girl. Sweet Mercy.

Here is a rundown of the how's and why's of our kiddos names.

All their names, either their first or middle are "classic" in our eyes. We like a lot of older style names and family names.

#1 - Ella's name was old-fashioned at the time, and I loved that. Let me just get all sentimental on you and say that I remember my 23yr old self sitting in that hospital bed thinking, "I am a mom...this is by far the best day of my life". Her middle name is Julia, that's my mamas name.

(1st set of twins)

#2 - The first set was our easiest naming experience. Eric wanted to name the "Baby A" Reese Olivia, and that we did :). She was our first twin, and she has always been our little leader.

#3 - "Baby B" was my choice, and that was our quiet, reserved, meek Charlotte Grace. At home, I often call her Gracie.

(2nd set of twins)

#4 - I knew I wanted to use the name Kinley, or Joya and call her Joy, but Eric wasn't sold on "Joya" so we decided to name the first girl out of my womb Kinley Joy.

#5 - This seems funny to me now because she is SUCH a Raya, but I wanted to name her "Tess"...the nurses actually called her that. I do still looooove that name. But we just didn't feel settled on it, so we went back to the drawing board till I said, "hey, what about Raylin and we'll call her Raya??". We have never really called her Raylin though, she will always be Raya. Her middle name is June, Erics moms middle name and his grandmas first name.

#6 - Lincoln...well, you kinda already know that story :). His middle name is Lynch, that is Erics dads middle name.

and #7 - for this one...

Oh I kid, I kid.




We are not there yet.

I'll get to what we think and how we feel about adding more in my next post :).

Now it's your turn, how and why did you chose your kiddos names??

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lost Titles

This is me with the worst case of writers block ever.

The past few months have been...well, busy. Life moves like a tornado with a half dozen children under 7, and it has worn me out a tad. I have sat down at my computer a bajillion times only to end up staring at it, and then I end up turning on old episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Brain candy. My mind craves it come 8pm.

If I could, I'd like to share what posts could've, would've, should've been titled in the past few months if they would have been written. I like to refer to these recent months as the 30's Fog. Or the Lot's Of Children Fog. Either is appropriate.

Anyway, lost titles of 2011...

"3yr Olds Who Boycott Wearing Pants"

"Is That Juice Or Pee On The Floor?"

"The Newbies Guide To Explaining Why Baby Brother Looks Different Than His 5 Sisters"

"The One About Not Going To The Bathroom Alone Since 2004"

"Local Mother Runs Over 4 Lane Dividers At Chickfila"

"Half Dozen Children Thought To Have Given Woman Gray Hair"

"Gym Member Comes To Spinning Class With Hole In Back Of Her Workout Pants"

"Same Member Wants To Come To The Cardio Theater And Sit And Eat Popcorn Instead Of Working Out"

"Neighbor Kids Move Into The (Savvy) House Next Door"

"Eating Whats On Your Plate And Then Finishing Whats On Your Kids Plates Proves Not To Be The Best Diet Plan"

"Using Your Crockpot Isn't A Time Saver If You Forget To Plug It In"

I mean, those are just a handful. Clearly, life has been crazy :).

So, I have wanted to share more, write more, say more, but the ol' mind has been tired, friends. The holidays were fun, but I'm kinda ready for things to settle down and resume a normal routine.

Any ideas for some posts? I am even way behind on reading blogs, I think my Google Reader has given up on me. I have some emails with questions that need answers...but maybe I'll just post them here? Anyone want to know anything about our crazy little family?? Not that we're real interesting :).

More kids? What do we eat? What do we drive? School? Marriage? Multiples? Do we have a schedule?

I'd be happy to share about anything, you know, within reason :).