Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fitting In

So many times, when I read this blog I think to myself "it's as if she and I are living parallel lives!!"
When I read her post last Friday it was no different. Well, except I certainly wasn't skinny and awkward. I was plump and awkward.
Still am.
But you probably already knew that.


Back to the issue at hand...

Here is an excerpt from her post:
Don't get me wrong. I have friends. But, I still so often don't know where I fit. I still feel awkward. Some of it may have to do with being an introvert. Some of it probably has to do with having a life that most people think is nuts. I feel it at church. Like no one knows what to do with me. They can't figure out how to be my friend. So instead I get treated like this sort of enigma. It happens at parks and homeschool outings. It happens pretty much everywhere I go. There have been situations where I have literally been surrounded by people bombarding me with questions. You know. The questions I always get asked. Are they all yours? How do you do it? Are you a superwoman? Is your house huge? What do you drive? Is your husband a doctor or a lawyer?

There are times when I am literally blown away by the questions people ask. One time, a woman asked me--seriously--if I remember all their names.
I should have asked her "do you really not know more than seven people?" (We *only* had seven children at the time.)

There have been times when we have been eating at another family's home or at a church dinner and things get a little hectic dishing up for so many little people and I start feeling so conspicuous--I usually try to crack a joke (can you say Chandler from Friends??) like "Bet ya didn't know you'd get dinner AND a show, didja" tee-hee, nervous giggle...

One of the very helpful things that some are very good at doing is coming up alongside and offering to help dish/carry a plate. That is so helpful and can really ease my fear of my kid being the one who spills at someone's house or at church.

We sang at a little church recently; we've been asked to sing there a few times a year for the last 8+ years.
Each time, it seems we either have a new baby with us or one on the way. Everyone just gushes about how all the kids sit so nice for church, or how well behaved they are...they're just so shocked to see a big brother who can carry a little sibling up the stairs or help them with their coat. (I don't think this should be shocking--it should be commonplace.)
Anyway, this Sunday was no different--until a kind, middle-age woman came over after the service, oohed and ahhed over Ivy, looked up at me and asked,
"So, do you ever think that, well, you know, that maybe you'll be, well, you know, ah, done?"
I really wanted to say, "done with what?"
Instead I said "We will take as many children as God chooses to bless us with."

Right after I said that, another lady walked over to see the baby and the first woman told the second about our conversation.
Except her version went like this:
"So I asked Melissa if they were going to be done now that they have 8 and she said 'I don't know...' "
Well, now, that's not what I said so I felt I should clarify.
So I did.

I told the two of them that about five years ago, we both felt God asking us to trust Him with our family, to let Him have His way in that area of our lives.
At which point the first lady chimed in with "And He has!!"

I just don't see why people feel it is so important to know whether we are "done".
Why does it matter so much to others?

Today in the grocery store, the checkout lady asked me again--as she does every time I go to her aisle which I avoid like the plague but Dennis was with today and doesn't know that I do--what number Ivy was. When I told her again that she is number 8, she asked me if we were going to be done now. And I gave my standard answer again.

I think I should start poking into other people's lives by asking questions like
"Have you cleaned between your toes lately?"
"How old are you? How much do you weigh?"
"Wow--I see your plate is really full! Are you really going to eat all that? Just you??"
or maybe
"How do you afford your new car?"
or even
"Whoa, that's a lot of earwax you got goin' on there. Can I get you a q-tip or something?"

But of course, I would never do that to anyone.
Because that would just be rude.

Another excerpt from Courtney:
Then of course there is the whole defensive thing. I find often people feel defensive around me. They want to explain why they don't homeschool. Or they haven't adopted. Or why their family is small. It doesn't matter that I don't ask them that. They just seem to feel the need to explain. And that makes things really awkward. Because if they really knew me and my heart, they would know that I am not judging them. In fact I really like having friends that have different lives from me. Clearly God does not have the same plan for every family.

I really don't get the explaining why they don't do everything just like me--when I didn't even ask. Which I wouldn't do anyway.

And when Courtney talks about how she can't talk about her struggles because she chose this life--oh, so true!!
It's true that I lose my patience. I yell at my kids. I get overwhelmed. Our house gets dirty. We have had to learn to make do in SO many situations. We don't get our school work done every day.
But I can't share this (well, except with everyone with the whole world on the internet) because I chose this life.

That makes for some lonely days.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's okay to ask questions. I love to answer genuine questions about our family.
But please don't treat us like a circus attraction.
And please, please, p-l-e-a-s-e don't ask us if we're "done"
'cause I'll really consider asking you how old you are and how much you weigh.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Just Isn't Right

It seems a cruel irony indeed
that I cannot use my clothesline
on this gloriously sunny, breezy day
because he is hauling manure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ivy's Baptism

Baby Ivy was baptized on Sunday.

Pastor Mark sang with me, Dennis, and my mom.
Oh--and Ruby, 'cause she wanted to be with Grandma.

We sang "I Know Whom I Have Believed" and "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow".

My mom made her gown and the matching bonnet; isn't it gorgeous??

I was oh-so-glad that Ivy got that baby acne just in time for the occasion.

Our friends Steve and Jen are her godparents, but they live FAR FAR away and couldn't come.

Afterward, I hosted dinner at our house.
Oh--and did I mention that the cows were out when we got home from church?
Yep. They were.

Getting to church was a little tricky because our van died on Friday. Thankfully, my dad let us borrow his car and so between that and Dennis' stinky,dirty farm truck, we made it. Early, even, which is a rare thing for us. Very rare.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Little Farmer Boys and Their Little Farmer Toys

Little farmer boys
and their little farmer toys...

Elijah loves to drive his skid loader in my former flower box, which is now the boys' waist-high dirt box.
I'd say "sandbox", but there is no sand in it--just plain ol' dirt.

(by the way, dirt is so much, well,
dirtier than sand. I'd rather just put some sand in the thing, since I won't be using the area for flowers anymore anyway 'cause the stupid dogs just dig them up but Andrew said dirt makes for a better--smoother--field for them. And hey--I'm all about having smooth fields.)

And not to be outdone, Little Miss Ruby in her pretty new dress from Denise and Ralph, diggin' in the dirt right next to her brothers.

One day, I will think back to these days and really miss the dirty little fingernails and hands and dirt-smeared faces that all happen as a result of playing in the sanddirt box.

And for now, I'm going to smile about all of that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandpa Wayne

My dad is probably one of THE silliest people I know.
And today is his birthday!!

It has been
one of the great joys in my life
to watch him be Grandpa to our kids.
The above picture is one of my favorites.
Dad and Andrew were being silly at Christmas--
it was taken a few years ago.

The children know that Grandpa will do just
about anything to make them (or Grandma, or just about anyone, really)

He is the man responsible for teaching Nathaniel
his first sentence.
You'll never guess what it was...
"Mine ga-pa is won-ful"
translation: My Grandpa is wonderful.

He is the consummate tease.
Oh, the banter between Grandpa and grandchild!!!
His "thinning" hair just isn't sufficient to
cover how shiny his head gets
whenever he talks about his grandkids.

My dad LOVES his family;
each and every one of us!!
And we do our best to love him right back.

This is of Grandpa and Ruby when she was
just a couple months old.
Where has the time gone??

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Other Mighty Hunter

Nathaniel shot
his first turkey this morning!
27 pounds!!!

So proud of both boys;
each getting a turkey on the
first day of their seasons,
their first year out on the hunt.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Mighty Hunter

Isaiah shot his first turkey yesterday morning!!
It weighed 22 pounds!

It was enough to make our very sober
even smile a little.

(I wish I had gotten a better picture.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So We're Not the Only Ones

Sometimes the way we live our life can feel a bit isolating.
Not everyone feels the same way that we do regarding children and letting God determine our family's size.

So it can feel downright lonely.
Like we are the only ones who feel this way.

And then I read a post like this one and I think

"So we're NOT the only ones!"

Go ahead and click on over to Courtney's blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Smelly Diaper Pails--Be Gone!!

I saw these on sale at Target a couple weeks ago.
Thinking it was worth a try,
I bought them.

Wow, am I impressed!!!
It says it's for use in the baby's room or anywhere
where there is odor.

Well, there is certainly odor in a diaper pail!
I wasn't sure how I was going to use them at first,
whether I would just hang it in the room
or figure out a way to actually hang it in the diaper pail.

I figured out a way to hang it in the pail itself.

'Cause this is my diaper pail:
a regular old
flip-top garbage can.
I line it with a plastic garbage bag, for now.
On my wish list is a specially made liner for diaper pails.
(and I bet you liked that picture of the dirty dipes, too.)

There are virtually no odors
when that sachet is hanging inside it!

Definitely worth those few dollars at Target!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Male and Female, He Created Them

Linnea was walking around
with some rather fancy-schmancy
cast off, high heeled ladies boots.

She asked Andrew
"Don't these make me look taller?"

He said, "Taller than what?"
(typical male...)

Exasperated (typical female?),
she says,
"Than USUAL!!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Different Perspective

Linnea (9) asked us if we had ever had a dream
in which we were crying,
and then you wake up to find you actually were crying.

I said, yes, I thought I'd had dreams like that.

She told me that she had had a dream in which
she was very sad
and woke up to find the pillow case was wet
(from her tears).

Christopher (4) on overhearing the conversation,
and having a different perspective on bedding that is wet,
said, "ahhh---'tuz ya peed?"

Ah, nope.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Miss Hollywood

What 1 1/2 year old (Ruby) wouldn't want a
nine year old fashion consultant (Linnea)?

And what nine year old girl
wouldn't want a real live dolly to dress up??

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miss Ruby Throws a Fit

Ruby climbed atop the counter
to push some buttons on the radio.

I told her to get down.
She covered her face with her hands
and silently "wept".

If it weren't accompanied by a delay in obedience,
it'd be really funny.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One Month Old

I can't believe Ivy turned one month old on Monday.
It seems as if she just arrived yesterday,
and yet has been with us forever...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Four Babies in Four and a Half Years

I snapped this picture on our "old fashioned" camera (film camera)
shortly after Ivy was born.
After I took it,
I realized I had
four babies in four and a half years.
I hadn't even thought of that before!
Christopher was born in Sept. of 2005
and now Ivy in March of 2010.
I'm thinkin'

While this isn't a good one of Ivy,
I love Ruby's face.
Isn't it great????
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...