Baby Conference recap

The Baby Conference

Read to the bottom for a giveaway.  Hey – wait!  No skipping ahead.  I worked hard on this post.

It’s been quiet here on our blog, but that doesn’t mean life has been quiet for our family.  On the contrary, it’s been a whirlwind.  Last weekend was Vision Forum’s long-awaited Baby Conference!  Perry and I attended Thursday evening with just the baby.

On Friday he had to work, but the kids and I left the house early and stayed at the conference until mid-afternoon.  We met a lot of friends, old and new, and managed to take in a few sessions.  Then we checked into a hotel room and swam until it was time to to pick up my Hunney.  We had planned to go back to the conference for the evening, but decided to take Deanna out for a birthday ice cream instead since it was her 17th birthday!

We were up and out early on Saturday morning since it was finally time for the panel on Managing the Logistics of a Large Family.  The girls sat in on the session, while Perry was in and out – he was working as staff.  My sister was there with her girls too, quite an accomplishment since they had to leave their house just after 6 AM.  Is it just me, or do Rachael and cousin Alyssa  look like they’re still half-asleep?

photo by Anna Friedrich

I was much less nervous by this time, and felt even better when the session started and I learned that we wouldn’t be taking surprise questions from the audience (sorry, y’all).  Instead, Beall Phillips had prepared a list of questions, and we would all take turns answering each question.  Better yet, I found myself in third place of four ladies, with Beall moderating.  This gave me time to think about my answers.

Overall, I thought it went well.  I have zero speaking experience, unless you count running for class president during my early public school years, and that was in front of 30 other 8yo’s, not 600 mothers and children.  I know I said “um” a lot, but at least I never did the deer-in-the-headlights stare.  Well, maybe once or twice, but not while I was actually holding a microphone so I’m trying to convince myself nobody saw.

Oh, and just for the record: we do about 3 loads of laundry per day, not week.  I’m not sure who was in charge of my brain when I said that.  I would love to go back and see the looks on the faces of the ladies who believed we really only do 3 loads/week.

Baby panel photo by Anna Friedrich

I’m listening now to the rough audio from this session.  That’s one of the perks of sleeping with the guy who is in charge of audio editing.  🙂

The first few questions (paraphrased slightly):

  1. What kind of preparation did you have for raising a large family? I found the answers to this question amazingly diverse!
  2. Would you describe yourself as a rigid scheduler, a fluid scheduler, or just fluid? We had surprisingly similar answers on this, though each had different reasons and methods for implementing our scheduling styles.
  3. Did you and your husband intentionally and conscientiously set out to have a large family?  At what point did you realize you had a large family? Again, we each had a different take on this, but I was very touched by Victoria Botkin’s answer.
  4. Talk about your pregnancies for a minute: difficulties, blessings, things that you and your children learned. Diversity, diversity.  Multiple pregnancies don’t wreck your body, but it’s not always easy for all of us.  Complications don’t mean you can’t have a large family.
  5. Let’s talk about our husbands for a minute.  Try to describe for everyone the level of participation your husband has in the day-to-day.  Here is where my speaking skills failed me.  My husband has such a servant’s heart, and I don’t think I expressed that very well.  He has been such an encouragement to me during all the trials of family life, both as a source of wisdom and as a leader, taking charge in the home when we need him to do it but never micromanaging.
  6. Do you have any special tips for how to do laundry for a large household? Apparently my sock philosophy is gaining a following.
There’s more – much, much more.  This was a 2 hour session!  I mistakenly thought it would be 90 minutes.   90 minutes would have been just right for Parker.  As it turned out, I had to feed him during the last few minutes.  He also just had time to do something we had joked about.  Something he has never done to me before in his very short life.  Something akin to this, but (thank God) on a smaller scale.
That’s ok.  He was just doing his bit to make sure I had something to blog about, just in case Beall’s questions didn’t do the trick.  Fortunately I had better material to blog.

To enter to win a free download of this session, just leave a comment on this post.
Not sure what to say?  Tell us what questions you would have asked if you had been there.
If you were there, tell us what you learned!
On Friday we’ll choose 10 winners.  Unless we do it on Saturday, or totally forget until next Monday.  You know how things can be in a big family.
Want all 38 CDs?  Order the complete Baby Conference Audio Collection on for $89, or get the complete Baby Conference in mp3 files on 1 disc for just $45!.


  1. I would love to hear this session. I want to know about how you help siblings get along and accomplish tasks together without arguing. 🙂

  2. Emily B says:

    Thank you so much for the info. Michelle B. I appreciate your time.
    I couldn’t find your contact info. on your blog to send you a message. 🙂

    Blessings Emily B.

  3. I’m hoping you haven’t done the draw for this yet 😉

    So, what question would I ask? Hmmm… I think I would have asked what a typical day looks like in each of your homes. I love seeing how big families live and what tricks they have for staying organized.

    Blessings 🙂

  4. My wife really wanted to go since we only live 3 hours from San Antonio. The contraints of having 5 little ones prevented that. This audio will be a blessing, whether we win it or buy it.

    Our question would have most likely been, how do you homeschool older ones with little ones running around? We are just now running into this in our home, since our two oldest are 5 and 7 and we have 3 more little ones….oh….and my wife is pregnant with number 6! Fun, fun!!!

  5. I would love to just have instruction and encouragement in all areas. I know so few families with very many children. We know that children are a blessing but don’t always feel supported by family and friends. Just to hear how other moms manage the pregnancies and workload would be nice.

  6. What a blessing! I so wish my family could have come.

    I would have asked…

    How do you mange to do more than just “survive” each day and really spend time on the family vision? Sometimes we’re lost in just getting everyone fed and laundry moving.

    How do you manage when you have teens, toddlers, and babies at the same time?

    Thank you!

  7. I would have loved to be there – but I live in Australia, and it’s a bit far to travel. But I’m getting them on audio, YAY!

  8. Melanie W says:

    I would have loved to be there. I have so much respect for all the mothers on the panel and I know that the sessions would have been greatly interesting.

  9. Cindy R says:

    As a late in life mom of two that would have loved to have six, I find it hard to respond to people who seem shocked when I tell them I don’t feel like we are done having children. Especially coming from family this is really tough to deal with. Whenever I mention wanting another, I get a ton of negativity. I had my first son at 37, my second at 38 and am now 40 – and feel that I am still young enough to be a good mom through all stages of my childrens lives. But I also know that my “clock is ticking”.

    My question would be, How late in age is too late to be having more children, or is that best decided by when your body goes into menopause? And how do you counter the negativity that taking the step beyond “2.4” kids can sometimes bring about?

  10. I might ask,
    How much variety do you have in your childrens’ personalities? How do you deal with different personalities? (i.e., discipline, recognizing and developing their unique talents/interests, working with their shortcomings, etc.)

  11. I would love to know how you continue to make it through each pregnancy and care for the family.

  12. Roberta says:

    Thanks for the drawing! 🙂
    Hmmm…I am stumped for what question to ask. There are the schedule, housekeeping, laundry questions….always love to hear sucess with those.

    How about adoption. I am only familar with a few of the ladies, and know God has bless you with many children. I wonder if and how the Lord has blessed any of the ladies through adoption.

  13. Heather says:

    I’d love to glean from this wisdom! Just getting our family started with child #2, so I will, Lord willing, have many years to use what I learn! Wish I could have been there!

  14. Sounds like an awesome session!

    If I was a mother there, I may have asked, “How does a mother of a large family have a quiet time (set apart time seeking God?”

Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: