Sunday, August 16, 2009

Running out of room

A common question when you are about to have your 5th & 6th children

Do you know where you are going to put them?

Will you have enough room?

All of our children have had the experience of sharing a room. Even the twins have already been womb-mates with their brother...

Our house is 1976 square feet with three bedrooms, two and a half baths and two bonus rooms on about a 1/4 of an acre. Nothing huge. Apparently, from the statistics I could find, slightly below average.

From an NPR article:

"The big house represents the atomizing of the American family," he says. "Each person not only has his or her own television -- each person has his or her own bathroom. Some of these houses are literally designed with three playrooms for two children. This way, the family members rarely have to interact. And the notion of compromise is simply out one of the very many windows these houses sport."...."I always wanted a house big enough that my kids could be in their room screaming, and my wife could be in a room screaming, and I could be somewhere else and not hear any of them," he says. "And I think I have accomplished this with this house, because this house is so big that everyone has their own space."

It might seem tempting to want to escape the noise of family, but if we can't learn to work with our family, I don't think the rest of the world will be any easier....

...and besides! I like our house. It has been our home for over 7 years, and so many memories in those 7 short years! Our house is great. Someday we might consider getting more space, but probably not any time soon.

Now, where there is a lack of space is for my two little womb-mates. The suburban lets me program my seat position for driving, so with one push of a button, it's comfortable every time.

......well, it was every time until recently.

we are running out of room - less than an inch between my belly and steering wheel

I thought you might enjoy a progression of the "double-baby-bump" over the last several months.

me (14 weeks) and Suzee, (about 12 weeks) our neighbor
15 weeks

16 weeks at Grandma and Grandpa's in Lincoln, NE

17 weeks

18 weeks with Kathi - a blogging buddy - we met by chance at the zoo!

19 weeks
20 weeks
Fathers Day - about 21 weeks

22 weeks - 4th of July

25 weeks

26 weeks with Julie C (about 30 weeks), Tracy (about 14 weeks) and me at a Girls night.
27 weeks
28 1/2 weeks with Julie C - about 32 weeks and me - out to celebrate a special friend visiting from Texas who we miss so much!

I hope this doesn't seem like vanity... maybe it is! I am amazed at the way these guys are growing and the differences in this pregnancy from the others. I just want to capture as much as can!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

teaching compassion

I feel fortunate to be able to so easily teach my children compassion.

I am fortunate to have so many opportunities to teach my children compassion.

I was delighted earlier this week, on a day in which I was less than energetic, to look out my kitchen window and find all four of my children - ages 7,5,3 and 1 playing hide and seek in the front yard. They were all having a great time, and the older kids were happily including the younger.

As a mom, it brings me to think of III John 1:4

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

I know the truth of the gospel is to receive the love of God through Christ and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, to show that love to others. I know that Noah would prefer to find older boys to play with, and might prefer a video game, or so he thinks. But I see joy in him, and in his siblings, that they might not understand, when they get to play, including everyone and think about the joy that the other experiences before considering their own.

I saw a process of breaking away selfishness as Noah was commissioned with the responsibility of getting Zak buckled into his car seat. As I progress in my pregnancy with the twins, climbing into the 3rd row of the suburban isn't impossible, but it certainly requires more effort than it used to and I just don't have as much energy. So it has become Noah's job to get his brother buckled before securing his own seat belt.

This has taken time. It began with battles. It almost always seemed to result in Noah frustrated and Zak not buckled and me climbing back there anyway. But in time, they began to learn. Zak learned to let himself be helped and to trust someone else. Noah learned to not get frustrated with the 3 year old who is frustrated with him (most of the time). And his compassion towards his brother has increased.

I do not have everything figured out, I am sure that I will not parent my 6 children perfectly (haven't so far!). But I love this lesson that I have learned:

By giving them the responsibility of care for each other, they learn to love each other more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

if you get blog posts via email...

Just a quick note, if you get the blog posts via email, I don't think you are able to see the videos we have posted. In this case, please go to and you will be able to view the videos there. Sorry, I didn't realize you weren't getting a link.

kids growing gills

I grew up with a big in-ground pool in my back yard.

Summer is not summer with out a place to soak your head.

We have managed to have some kind of pool in our yard every summer that we have had a yard.

that's Noah at about 2 1/2 yrs old and my Dad on a visit after Hannah was born

Last summer we invested in a slightly larger pool. Between our porch and fence is 15 feet. We got a 14 foot round pool, 40 inches deep. GREAT BIG POOL, itty bitty little yard.

By last summer:
Noah gained confidence swimming under water

Hannah liked being in the pool - as long as she was wearing a life jacket and was close to the edge or holding a floatie

Zak wanted to be with the other kids, so he would wear the life jacket and cling to the edge or stairs, making it difficult for anyone else to get in or out of the pool.

Maggy hated life jackets, was not fond of being in the water and insisted on clinging to whatever crazy fool would put her in the pool with them. She really preferred the kiddie pool.

The first few weeks of July in Oregon were seasonable - mid 70s, maybe peeking into the 80s, one or two days in the 90s, but quickly returning to "normal temperatures". This made the pool temperature generally less than 70. I could not convince my children of this, but 70 degrees is COLD!

The last two weeks though, we have had quite the hot streak. Breaking records for having over 8 consecutive days over 90. We are very grateful for the pool (and air conditioning) during times like this. As you might assume, the pool temp went up and the amount of time in the water was greatly increased. Just as quickly as the temperatures rose, the kids confidence expanded and...

.... they have grown gills!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Zak Sings

For your viewing pleasure:

You may need to double click on the video to see it play.