Here is a little glimpse into our life as a family of 9.
Table for “9” please. Yes, that is us. My husband Ricky and I, have 7 awesome kids. They are ages 4 months, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 11. They will all be even numbers this year which makes it a lot easier for us to remember! Our children go in a perfect pattern so far, going boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, and boy! People always ask how did you guys plan THAT?? Ricky loves to reply “that’s easy, we did lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off…..” 😉
I knew from the time I was a young girl that I wanted lots of kids! I grew up with 4 brothers and wanted my children to have lots of siblings too! My husband grew up as an only child and hated it, and wanted to make sure he had lots children so that they could have plenty of playmates. 🙂 We married and had our first sweet boy a year later. We have had a baby every other year since. Our children are all about 22 months apart which I think has been the perfect spacing for their friendships with each other. Yes, I have either been pregnant or nursing the last 12 years of my life and we have been changing diapers for the same!
Our home may sound similar to your home or we may sound very different and that is okay! We have good days and bad days and tons of in between days. We have days where everything goes perfectly well and we have days where everything goes horribly wrong. If you spend time with us you would see our children get along great and you would also see our children get a long, not-so-great. You would see me be supermom and think “Wow”, you would also see my not so supermom moments and go “Ohh”. You would witness a whole lot of laughter, excitement and fun but you may also witness tears, struggles and chaos. Having a family, whether big or small is challenging but worth it! I have truly grown to know how to just RELAX and really embrace this life I have been blessed with.
We take our “job” as parents seriously, therefore you will always find us PRESENT in our childrens lives. We do very limited electronics. Instead, we engage, play, cook, read and spend time with our kids. Ricky and the kids love it when he can take them to work with him! We are always looking for opportunities to reach our kids hearts. Being this present takes a lot of work, we know! That is why we need to be there for one another as parents, to help each other, to fill in the gaps when we just cannot. I really believe it takes “a village”. Life is SO much sweeter TOGETHER. I need you just like you need me. So let’s please exchange numbers. 🙂
Due to our large number of children, we have to have a system in the way our family operates. We have bedtimes, we have nap times for the little ones, we have quiet times, we have rules to be followed, we discipline and everyone of us helps out. We also make time for one on one time with each child, we call those times special nights. My husband and I believe that we must live out what we expect from our children. Therefore if we want them to be kind, well-mannered, generous and respectful, we are going to do our best to model the same. We want to daily teach our children about God’s love so they may know & understand it, therefore be able to freely show that same love to those around us. Our world desperately needs more love and kindness!
Our children know that my time with Jesus comes first and our marriage right after. We know from experience that in order to have a happy, healthy home, it starts at the top. Therefore we do not feel bad for their quiet times or set bedtimes because we have to have time for ourselves and our marriage. It may be more challenging for us to find alone time with having 7 kids but we find it! They can always count on us going out on dates and making one another a priority. Hello, our daughters are going to be wives and moms one day, what are they seeing? Our sons are watching too….what kind of dad and husband are they seeing? This is why we have to allow ourselves time away from our children, in order to refuel and refresh ourselves so we can do our best to tackle these important roles we have.
We know that there are few people that will invite us over due to our size and that is okay! Therefore, we will always have our home open and ready for families and friends to come! We want our home to be a home that attracts those around us because of the way it feels. You dont need a big, fancy or new home for that. I am talking about the atmosphere. We want everyone and anyone to know they can gather at our home, knowing they are safe, loved and always welcome. It may be crowded in the RV for now but that’s okay, because it feels good. 🙂