Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thoughts on being a mom to many....

I never planned on having 9 kids, I just knew I wanted a large family. My first experience with a large family was while I was helping the Harris family with their 4 kids (piece of cake!). I guess you could say I was kind of like their nanny. My responsibilities were laundry, cleaning, picking up and helping to watch the kids. My time with the Harris family was an experience that prepared me for my future as a mom to many children.Thank you Harris family for that investment in my future!

Being a mom to many comes with a lot of sacrifice. When I share with people that I have 9 children, I get one of two responses.... a look of pure horror or total amazement and joy. I prefer the amazement over the horror any day. God says " Children are a blessing" and I truly believe His word is true. It doesn't mean my kids will never drain my time, energy and finances. But all those negatives will never compare to the never ending hugs, laughter, watching my kids share their faith in Jesus and watching them worship Him in their daily lives. If all my children choose to follow Christ (I pray that they do every day), just think about how many lives God can change using my kids as a tool to reach those that are in need of Jesus!

I could sit here and write all the things we don't get to do as a very large family,but my goal with this blog is to share with others all the positive things that come with having a large family. For instance...How do we get our many many loads of laundry done and put away? Where do you go out to eat without going bankrupt? How do you keep your grocery budget, so you can have something left to keep the power on? What do you do to make time with your spouse and some activities you find that are inexpensive,but investment into your marriage? This is a very important question, time with your spouse should be at the top of your list no matter how many kids you have. Reconnecting with your partner on a regular basis will keep your marriage healthy and your children happy and healthy. Kids are very in tune to what is going on with their parents. On another note... what do you do to make time for yourself ? Was it Susannah Wesley who would pull her apron over her head for quiet time ? Her children knew then to not bother her until the apron came down. Mommy guilt can sometimes get the best of you if you let it. Telling your kids NO will not hurt them! We do this quite often with our kids. Yes they get mad at us when we do. They are kids and they want to go, do and have just like their friends. However time and money doesn't always allow a "yes " to their request. 1st John 2:15 says;Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Being a Christian doesn't mean we can't enjoy life or do and have things and stuff. I think trying to keep up with what our friends have and do can become our focus in life, instead of living our lives to please the Lord. Now, back to the questions.... what does your very large family do for fun? If your family is large enough, do you ever get a group discount? How do you clothe your family? What vehicles do you drive (make and model)?
These are some questions many probably ask you when being fascinated with your family.

Large families usually bond real well together. We often meet parents with a large family and immediately feel a bond. Who else could understand what life with many is all about, than someone who has walked that same road? Do you have other large families you fellowship with? What activities might you do when your large group is together?

When posting your comments you are more than welcome to post anonymous. Time to time I may post your comments here, if you are not comfortable with that please let me know in an email. Thanks for your help! Walking the road of a very large family can be lonely at times ( I know this sounds impossible), Hopefully this project can help to make others more understanding and comfortable when encountered by large families.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here We Go!

Today, my husband and I were on a date for lunch, We take every advantage to spend time alone with each other. As we were driving, my creative husband had a great idea. That's all it took to get my creative juices flowing! Like I needed one more project! I am very excited about this and can't wait to see how it turns out.

So, here begins The Great Big Family Project!

We would like to hear how other big families save money, have fun, develop character in their children, and grow in the Lord. We would like to compile some of your adventures, both spiritual and mundane. Post your stories in our comment section,click on the word comment just below this post, and share so others can benefit from your experiences. You can also email me with your comments, please put The Great Family Project in the subject line. We look forward to laughing and learning with you.

Our story: Kelley and I have been married nearly 25 blessed years. We have 9 of the most awesome children any two people could ask for. Our older two are boys and then we had seven girls! All nine still live at home. The older three are in college, one graduates this spring, two others are in public school and three at home. We have home schooled all of them for some parts of their education.

Early in our marriage, money was very tight. We had four kids in five years and three were in diapers at the same time. We were constantly looking for ways to save money, time, and sanity. Feeding, clothing, and nurturing our children took some real creative thinking. I always found family and friends willing to give us ideas for saving money and time. Sharing ideas to help make living this life easier and cheaper is my idea of true love. We have had so many things shared with us over the years. Some ideas were great and some were just plain crazy. Now, we can laugh about it.

My husband's parents lived during the depression and world war II. Mrs. Holcombe was a wise woman. Along with Kelley's dad, they raised 9 wonderful children. We did have the privilege to live with them a couple of times in the early years of our wedded bliss. During that time, I had the honor to glean some truth from my mother in law. They passed away several years ago and we miss them very much. I especially miss having someone who knew and understood what I was experiencing as a mom to many.

My family was much smaller. I was the first born. I grew up with two sisters and my mom and dad. When I was thirteen, my dad was killed in an automobile accident. My mom later remarried. I then became the fourth of seven kids. My mother taught me about the love of Christ and what it means to really follow Him. For me, choosing and following Jesus is how I find my peace in everyday living. My wonderful mom taught me to sew as a young child. She always made us beautiful clothes. Craftiness runs in my family and I guess I inherited some of the creativity. It has helped us because I have been able to sell my creations to garner some extra dollars. Thanks mom!

In all the phases of life, our relatives have been a major influence in how we have raised our very large family. We think that we have done more than just survive. We have been blessed and would like to bless others the way our folks have blessed us.

Our hope is that The Great Big Family Project will at some point be a tool for anyone to use in raising their great big family and for those who are thinking about having a large family!

Thanks so much,
Kelley and Karen....and all 9 Holcombe Kids!