Showing posts from July, 2009

Well, he's not dead yet . . .

Allison rescued a mouse on Tuesday from the clutches of our cat. His prospects weren't looking so great. He was cute, healthy, and active, but he was also very small, so young that his eyes aren't even open yet. We've been feeding him formula from a dropper (you know, that free stuff they send you in the mail even though you're breastfeeding?), and Allison loves him with all her heart. In her prayers Tuesday night, she said, "Thank you I caught a mouse, and please bless him not to die."

So far, so good. Allison is in charge of the mouse, but I've made Joseph responsible for feeding him every few hours because I'm not totally stupid. Allison is very enthusiastic but a bit too much enthusiasm could kill little Scampers.

Watch the video to hear Allison describe her mouse-catching technique:

"Can I Color, Mommy?"

I hear those words often at my house, and I don't know about you, but kids' art supplies can get SO messy. Crayons never quite make it back into their box, marker lids are easily lost, and kids are often raiding my stash of pens and pencils so that just when I need one, I can't find it.

We solved some of these problems a couple years ago by introducing each child to their own "art bin." We keep them in the office closet for them to pull out and bring to the kitchen table when they want to color. Inside is a notebook, some paper, coloring books, and a pencil box to hold their own art supplies. Every six months or so, when the bin gets overflowing and the crayons and colored pencils are mixed in with the layers of papers, we go through and purge a lot of the extra papers, and organize again the crayons, markers, and other supplies.

On my "to do" list all summer has been to re-organize the kids' art bins. Yesterday, I was happy I'd put it off, be…

Backpacking (Wordless Wednesday)

From two weeks ago, when my husband took our five oldest kids out in the middle of nowhere with our neighbor and his three oldest. They did great!

Q&A: What is the biggest challenge of having a large family?

From the Depews:
What is the biggest challenge you face with large family? I can imagine the logistics are daunting - finding cars big enough to fit everyone, figuring out how to get everyone where they need to be and when, cooking, cleaning, finding the time to get it all done, while still having a little time for yourself, too.
This is a hard one for me to answer. There's lots of challenges with having a large family, but which is the biggest?

I thought about writing about the loneliness I feel sometimes as a mother of a large family. I have a few close friends who also have their hands full, but otherwise, I usually feel I'm headed down a path with very few mentors to guide me. I know personally only a few women who have more children than I do. I sometimes wish I had a list of a dozen mothers who had done this before that I could call with my questions. But I've also discovered that I can learn from lots of amazing women who have all sorts of family dynamics, from…

Q&A: Car

Finally, an easy question!

from Jaradoron:
what kind of car do you have?

Our largest family vehicle is a 15-passenger Chevy Express. It looks like this:
and this:
The inside looks like this:
and this:
Right now, it only seats 11 passengers, since we took out the back seat to make more cargo space.

What I drive most often, though, is my 8-passenger Toyota Sienna.

Surrounded by Donkeys -- Movie Monday

I mentioned that last month my husband took five of our kids on a trip. They went to Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park, and many pioneer trail sites. At Custer State Park, they were assaulted by potato-chip and pretzel eating donkeys:

Q&A: Advice for those expecting twins and Do I want another set?

from Rebecca:
Do you have any good advice for someone with a 2-year-old and expecting twins soon?Yes!
#1: Don't listen too much to any advice about twins. Individual variation is a huge part of what you'll experience as a mother to twins. Some have colicky infants and barely hang on for the first year and then tell everyone else, "The first year is the hardest." I heard that so many times that when I found the first year hard, but manageable, I congratulated myself and thought I was home free. It didn't take long for the the REALLY tough years to humble me -- my mellow, fun, active babies turned into fighting, hitting, tantrum-throwing, strong-willed, stubborn-to-the-extreme two and three year olds. Those years, I almost never left them with anyone else because they were so hard to handle. But some mothers find the twos and threes to be fine. Your children's personality will play a large part in this. If I'd had Eliza and Michael as twins instead o…

Q&A: Kid's Activities

Thanks for all your questions, everyone!(Didn't ask one? Go ahead, ask away.) I've started writing the answers to each question, but it will take me a few weeks to get through them all. In other words, don't be offended if I don't get to your question right away.

I was surprised to see some things come up that I'd never thought about addressing, especially the one question that was asked the most.

From Dina:

So, as my kids get older and busier (I have a high schooler and middle schooler now), I physically can't be in as many places as I need to be with them and my younger kids. There are times that are less than ideal. Little boys eating sandwiches in the car for the 3rd night in a row as we drive to baseball games, or just wanting to stay and watch my high schooler practice with her dance team, but I have to drop off and run because the little boys need me, etc. I know that you don't have your kids in sports or a lot of outside activities. What if they sho…


It's quite a responsibility to name a child, and some names are safer than others. You can name your child George or Brian or Kayla, and they are free to become whatever they want.

But give a child a name with certain meanings, and the pressure's on. Your Nike had better be athletic, Mason had better be at least somewhat handy, and Prudence had better have a head on her shoulders. Likewise with names like Charity, Joy, Justice, or Faith.

Take the name Harmony, for instance. A girl like that just won't get very far unless she's a little bit musical.

A mother might worry, What if she doesn't even respond to music?

I think we'll be okay.


As seen on Main Street in the small town of Franklin, population 600, which boasts that it is "Idaho's Oldest Town."


So . . . I know there are people reading this blog. Some of you even make my day and leave me comments!

Next week, I'd love to do a post where I respond to any questions you have for me. Ask me anything -- how I feel about world peace, why I picked my kid's names, how many kids we want, how we handle discipline issues, or even if I'm crazy (I'm used to that last one!). I don't promise to answer everything, but I'll try. I'd like to make my blog more interesting for my readers, but I don't know what interests you unless you tell me.

By the way, I hesitated to write this post, because what if no one responds? That might be embarrassing! But here I am, going out on a limb, so maybe you could meet me halfway and leave a comment or a question?

Five (Nearly Wordless Wednesday)

Five Years Ago Today:
(that's 11.5 lbs of babies in that 38-week belly!)
Five Years Ago Tomorrow:
(after my easiest delivery yet!)

Five Years Ago This Month:

Five Years Ago Next Month: