Let me start off by saying there is no desire in my heart to have 19 children although I believe God has placed this passion (and ability) in Michelle and her husband's hearts (and body!). I just know my body is not made for carrying babies unless God sees fit.
I enjoy watching the TLC show "18 Kids and Counting" in the afternoons if I have a break. If I could sum up what I like about the family, I would note:
#1) Love and respect in marriage
Michelle and Jim Bob's (sorry, but doesn't 'James Robert' sound much better??) love and respect and visable affection for each other. It is difficult enough for Dan and myself to prioritize our marriage sometimes, let alone with so many more children. Jim Bob often is holding his wife's hand or her waist, and I swear Michelle still blushes when he does so.
Michelle's patience for the kids. In the 'line up' of children, there are six boys from age 11-5. She often remarks that the children just need a place to get out their energy. Granted, the children have acres of land and thousands of square feet in their home to run and place, but they are very noisy nethertheless. She and Jim Bob discipline for sinful behavior and not just childishness although sometimes the line between the two is thin;-) This has been a good reminder for me during the day when Russell's crazy and silly side emerges!
#3) Godly direction
I love the clips of footage of Jim Bob and Michelle sitting at the table with their family and reading just a few verses of scripture and then talking about the meaning of the verses and conversing with their children about daily life application. JB gives them enough to think about and not so much to only hear "wah, wah, wah" (as in Charlie Brown...).
#4) Enjoyment of children
Michelle and Jim Bob love spending time with their children and truly enjoy their children. Yes... sometimes this is very hard to do! They don't see the kids as a bother and through work and play, are with their children guiding them and nuturing them. JB and Michelle have taken their kids on flight across country, on mulitple bus trips (to DC, LA, NYC, and the midwest). If they can take their kids on vacation, anyone... yes, anyone can:-)
So's here's to the Duggars, one positive Christ-centered family on TV:-) Yeah, TLC!
A few days ago, my friend Nadyne brought over her boys, Caleb (3.5yrs) and 3 month old Matthew (above). Matthew is two weeks older than Camille. These babies are only two of the miracles born in the 2009 year. Such wonders!
And yesterday (Saturday) long time and very dear friend Laura (we met in '96 in San Diego as teenagers) came for an overnight visit:-) She was in Vegas for a trade show and decided to return to Nashville via San Francisco.
I've spent many a New Year's Eve with Laura and we've met up with each other in Greyhound stations, Amtrak stations, ferry boat landings and more than a few airports over the years. It's been over 18 months since we've seen each other but our time was sweet. Thanks for taking the time, Laura!!
How important relationships are to each of us. They are the essence of life.
In the blur of late-night feeds and diaper blow-outs, three months passes so quickly. We've settled into a new routine that works for our family.
Camille doesn't like tummy time but holds her head up well unless she is tired. She coo's and 'talks' in her own way and loves to have one-on-one time. She loves to be held and dance and watch herself in the mirror.
Russell is her number one fan and he says that "Camille is my best friend." If he is in the room, she follows him with full attention. I hope their affection for each other continues all throughout life:-)
Times like these, with so much loss of life in Haiti and when a loved one passes away, it is difficult to always be mindful of the big picture God has drawn. I heard this song today on the radio and wanted to share it... I hope this encourages you and causes us to continue in prayer and support for those left behind.
Little boy, six years old A little too used to being alone Another new mom and dad, another school Another house, that'll never be home When people ask him how he likes this place He looks up and says with a smile upon his face
This is my temporary home, it's not where I belong Windows and rooms that I'm passing through This is just a stop on the way to where I'm going I'm not afraid because I know this is my temporary home
Young mom on her own She needs a little help, got nowhere to go She's looking for a job, looking for a way out 'Cause a halfway house will never be a home At night she whispers to her baby girl Someday we'll find our place here in this world
This is our temporary home, it's not where we belong Windows and rooms that we're passing through This is just a stop on the way to where we're going I'm not afraid because I know this is our temporary home
Old man, hospital bed The room is filled with people he loves And he whispers"Don't cry for me, I'll see you all someday" He looks up and says "I can see God's face"
This is my temporary home, it's not where I belong Windows and rooms that I'm passing through This was just a stop on the way to where I'm going I'm not afraid because I know this was my temporary home This is our temporary home
Songwriter(s): Laird, Luke Robert; Maloy, Zac; Underwood, Carrie
I 'met' Anna through BabyCenter during my pregnancy with Russell as we were both on the January 2006 board. She was a frequent poster and her posts were full of personality. I connected more with her in this last year when we both found out we were pregnant and both due on October 28th- with girls. She had lost a pregnancy at 16wks the previous year so she also understood the pain of miscarriage and loss.
After delivering Camille on October 22nd, she delivered Isabella on the 26th. Such a wonderful time! Six days ago (Thursday), Anna went in for a tubal ligation and returned home. Somehow, her bowel was perforated and sepsis set in. From what I understand, she had a fever on Friday and was seen by a doctor and told to take Tylenol. On Saturday, she was admitted to the hospital as her organs began to shut down. She died on Monday afternoon.
I guess online friends of today are like the old pen-pals of yesterday. Sometimes you never get to meet the person in real life but they still have become a part of your life and thoughts. I'll miss writing Anna and listening to her stories of raising three crazy boys and one precious daughter. My heart aches for Davide, her husband, and the many dark days ahead for her family and closest friends.
A RPL blogger and adoptive mom, Kristen, and friend of Anne's, is currently in Port-au-Prince with her 9 month old daughter while visiting their soon-to-be adopted son in the orphanage. Please pray for her and her family and the children at the orphange while they try and recover from the 7.0 earthquake. In the States, this would be devastating. In Haiti? Unimaginable.
Sorry there hasn't been much to report here. The Christmas lights are all put away although we still have the cards hung because I like to see them. The place always looks a little bland after Christmas decorations are put away.
I've gotten back on the elliptical to ease my conscience. I love not having to huff myself to the gym and worry the whole time what my kids are up to or worry about a time constraint. When Russell was born, Dan was still doing shift work so he was home a lot of days in the month. Now, with him working regular hours, I'd never get to the gym if I had to wait until after 6pm. Glad for the elliptical purchase:-)
Russell will be four in a few weeks. I'm flying up to Victoria on the 31st for a week to see the family and celebrate his birthday. I'm returning back just before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games begin. It would be wonderful to see an event or two but there is no way that is happening. Too much money and too much effort to make that possible. I remember watching the Torino 2006 games from my couch just after Russell was born and I was a new mom. I can't believe it's been four years already. Dan won't be able to join us this time since vacation time is a precious commodity around here.
Camille has been very smiley lately and today, I got her to laugh in the mirror:-) Precious moments. She has chunky cheeks like her mama (sorry, kid) and a calm personality (unless it is 5-7 pm and she is too tired to be happy and not tired enough to sleep). After letting her cry through her 3pm night feed, she's since been sleeping through the night (8pm- 6am) for the last week. I knew it was time to give up her last night feed when she slept from 8pm- 5:30am on her own on Christmas Eve. She sleeps in the living room in her pack-n'-play since I don't want to hear her occasional midnight chirps and Russell talks/sings to himself for so long that he keeps her up if she's in his room. We definitely need a bigger place to live... but that's another story for another day.
Happy New Month, New Year, New Decade. One friend mentioned that the new year is like grace... it gives us the feeling that we can start afresh with no baggage and a clear conscience. Sounds good to me!
December/January is also the time of the year when Dan and I get new running/athletic shoes. With all the walks to the park and Dan's occasional jogging, our shoes are worn out by December. This year I wanted to try Sketcher's new 'Shape-Ups' that have a contoured base and sole. I wore them the other day when I was out and about. Wow- they sure work out the calves! They are super comfy and even make me stand an inch taller:-)
The other pair I bought was a pair of Mary Janes from Born. I'm still waiting for them to arrive from Amazon but the ratings on the shoe were extremely positive. It is sure nice to have something make me feel special. It's hard being a mama and serving the kiddos continually. Might as well do it in a great pair of shoes;-)
One Canadian girl and one American boy who met and married in 2002. We lived in San Diego until November 2004 and then moved to the SF Bay area. Blessed with a son in January 2006. After many miscarriages and early losses, we were gifted with a baby girl in October 2009. Little Brother joined us in January 2012. Thanking God for our miracles!