Your burning questions answered


I have a long list of questions that arrived via comments and email over the last several months. I intend to answer them all, eventually. Someday. I’ll start today and see how far I get.

Long ago, Heather M. asked the following questions. I wonder if she believes a person is capable of procrastinating for as long as I have.

Who cooks? Do you have regular menus?
Menus? uh- er, I…
I am working toward having regular menus. Right now, I’m doing very well if I know in the morning what we’ll be eating that evening.
The girls do much of the cooking, and I’ve recently made that rather more official. I typed up a list of “kid dinners” since Hubby and I are low-carbing, and I let each of the 4 older girls (down to 9yo Megan) choose one dinner to prepare for the week. This covers Monday through Thursday and works out well because Hubby often gets home late at night. The children can eat earlier and all the lovely toasty carbs are gone by the time he gets home.
Due to longstanding family tradition, Friday is Pizza Night.
Saturdays are a family day, so I cook something that the whole family can eat together. On Saturday evening, we prepare food for our church’s fellowship meal after the service every Sunday.

What type of outings is your family able to take? You recently mentioned visiting your out-of-town in-laws, and your day at the zoo. How else are you able to get out of the house?!?! Options are limited with so many children- people don’t generally invite us over, and we have a small home like you, so can’t have many over (especially during the Cleveland winters, when I can’t kick them all outside LOL)! There’s the zoo on occasion (the indoor rainforest during the winter), the mall (to go up and down the escalators or throw pennies in the fountain or visit the pet store!) Occasionally the library, but even that is a challenge. . . .

Even though our house is small, we love to have people over! We’re lazy about issuing formal invitations but we love it when friends drop by spontaneously or when we actually do talk somebody into a premeditated visit!
We really don’t go out often since we live so far from town. A trip to town costs a pretty penny in gas, so I try to make every trip count. I also want our children to be content at home and to think of being at home as the “norm,” rather than what you do on a boring day when there’s nothing better to do.

Psa 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

As for other outings, we love to run errands, especially if we don’t have a long list of important items that simply must be done. Shopping trips can be fun and provides plenty of opportunities for training, witnessing and learning. We usually pack a simple lunch of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and make day of it.
As you mentioned, we also love dropping in on pet shops to browse. I even call it “the free zoo.” You’d think our recent trips to the zoo would tarnish the effect of the pet shop, but that has not been the case. Seeing lions and alligators from afar has not at all diminished the thrill of seeing an angelfish or baby hamster up close.
And one other outing that we try to do regularly during warm weather: swimming! There are several local swim holes nearby, relatively unknown to the masses. I hate public pools and crowded beaches, but thanks to country living we can nearly always find a place for a quiet swim without being forced to see things that really shouldn’t see the light of day.

And a couple from Quietromance:

I guess my question would be…what is it like to have 7 children? What advice would you give for a first time mom-to-be?

It is not, not, not 7 times as much work as having one child. Really, don’t scare yourself by imaging that! It’s fun, it’s busy, and sometime it seems like I never have a quiet moment with my own thoughts. But that’s only because I forget that I’m the mom and I can say, “Children, I need for nobody to talk to me until the timer beeps. If you need something, just wait quietly.”
Spend time training your children right from the start. Little issues that seem unimportant when you have one or two children can become a big deal when you have a houseful, and by then you will have thoroughly ingrained habits to train out of your large and ever-growing family.
The world would have us believe that a large family is an overwhelming burden and a sacrifice that only the supremely patient should attempt. This is not true. Children take work and they are a great responsibility, but any parent will tell you that they are worth it – including the parents of more than 1.2 children.

Pro 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

Is there any hope for getting your body back in shape after pregnancy? :-)

Hmmm…I’ve not had much trouble, but I hesitate to take credit. I’m not a highly active person and I despise exercise (oops – did I say that out loud?).
I will say that my kids have helped me stay in shape. It’s hard to be too lazy when little people need you, and it’s hard to eat too much or mindlessly munch when everything gets divided between 8 little birdies with open mouths.
Of course, you could hide while you eat your goodies, or Just Say No, but that still takes work. No matter how you look at it, a mom of many has to spend calories before she gets to take them in. Trust me, it helps.

Comments

  1. Joyful Mom says:

    Kim, great post and great advise. I get asked these types of questions all the time, and I often rarely stop to think of what the real answer is, I usually just smile and shrug. This was a fun read for me! (I have 8 children under 12 with our 9th due in about 5 weeks, all born at home! ;))

  2. Kim….what a great post! If you don’t mind, I’d like to springboard, if you will, off of your post, and do a similar post on HSB about having a large family, which we do, 6 with #7 on the way in April! I love our life and wouldn’t have it any other way, and I feel supremely blessed that God saw fit to give me so many children and hopefully my childbearing days are not going to come to an end anytime soon!

    Thanks for answering those questions, the thing that I hear the most is “I don’t know HOW you do it!” in an incredulous tone, which always amuses me, because it they really knew me, they would hear me saying that sometimes to myself too at the end of the day!

    Take care!

    Leanne in Longview WA

  3. jesnicole says:

    YOU OFFERED GREAT ADVICE!! I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO A LARGE FAMILY, WE JUST HAD OUR FIRST CHILD OVER TWO YEARS AGO. I KNEW I WAS MADE TO BE A MOMMY (AMONG MANY OTHER THINGS) WHEN I WAS A VERY LITTLE GIRL. BOTH MY MOTHER AND FATHER GREW UP WITH ELEVEN OTHER SIBLINGS BESIDES THEMSELVES. I’VE ALWAYS ENVIED BOTH MY GRANDMOTHER’S FOOTSTEPS. :)

  4. Thanks a lot, I love that post! A slight variation on the new mother questions… what would you tell a father of two who would say two is just fine and no other child is needed? Especially when mommy would be willing to have “just one more”…lol

    I always enjoy your blog! Thanks again!

  5. Kim,
    I really just wanted to thank you for leaving a comment on my page. I have long been a secret stalker of your page but I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment because, until recently, I didn’t have a blogspot of my own. Anyway, in response to never taking children for granted, I cannot begin to imagine how much more awful losing a child is than struggling to get one in the first place. Our boys are only about a month apart so it’s fun to see what yours is up to.

  6. Myfriendconnie says:

    I’ve often quoted the verse you listed, “Where there are no oxen, the crib is clean.” I say, “This is a ‘working ranch’, not a dude ranch just for show,” meaning, yes, there will be crayons, dolls, puzzles, and what-not about.

    Once, some ladies at church talked me into having a ladies Christmas brunch for over 100 at my house. They “helped” me decorate in a way they thought was appropriate (lots of extra stuff) and wanted me to move all of our school desks to the garage! They were even shocked when I let our own little ladies attend the brunch. Imagine that!

  7. "Neena" says:

    The one thing about having a large family is that you have to accept the responsibility. We know a couple of large families who really didn’t think it was worth it, and they didn’t turn out too good. On the other hand, we know families (ours included) who have a larger than average amount of kids and raise up, most of the time, people who are actually better in many ways than smaller families.

    I agree with everything else you said!!!

Don't just think it: say it!

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