being a mama



“the way the ice melted (down the middle)”

The beautiful spring came;
and when nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also.
Harriet Ann Jacobs

April hath put
a spirit of youth
in everything.
William Shakespeare



“Grace and David climbing a tree”

Spring’s greatest joy
beyond a doubt
is when it brings
the children out.
Edgar Guest


“going on an adventure”


“looking for the fish”

I’ve been a stay at home mom for 17 years and here in the Northeast, the arrival of blessed spring time is always whole heartedly welcomed by myself and the children.  It’s been a cold spring so far this year but little by little we are spending more time outdoors.  It is almost impossible to keep socks and shoes on the children, and jackets, too.  They are so full of energy and joy in being outside again.  They love the ponds, the stream.  The dog likes to scratch rocks out of the edge of the pond and run off with them.  We haven’t seen a turtle yet, but we’ve seen fish and some bullfrog tadpoles that woke up from their winter sleep.  We are starting to hear the spring peepers and frogs in the distance, too.

As for myself, I am feeling content, even if a little frazzled.  I have no anxiety, just the feeling of needing to take one section of a day at a time.  Ethan has been sick over the weekend and through this week, with *either* bronchitis or pneumonia, we are not exactly sure which.  I took him to a walk in clinic on Sunday and he was put on antibiotics, but as of this morning he was not perking up like he should so I took him to his own pediatrician for more advice.  Good ol’ Doctor P helped him out and reaffirmed my instincts that he wasn’t shaking the illness like he should.  He sent us home with things for breathing treatments and a list of things to do for him like; motrin (for a sore back), vicks (for the cough), probiotics (to use with the antibiotics), lots of fluids (soup and gatorade), saline (for his sinuses), and of course plenty of tissues and motherly TLC.  I have the couch made up with a clean sheet and blankets for him to lay on, and a nice clean pillowcase for his pillow.  He sleeps and rests.  Right now he is watching Duck Dynasty.  I hope and pray he feels better soon, he’s been pretty low for about 2 weeks, but like his Dad does, he has been trying to tough it out, only to have his body crash “enough is enough”.  He won’t be able to go back to school this week, doctor’s orders.

It is sort of fun to have someone to fuss over.  🙂

Every afternoon I have Jacob to pick up from track practice at 4:30 and Grace to pick up from music at 6:30.  David and Caleb also have little league practices, too.

A word of advice for (oftentimes distracted) moms of many:  don’t forget to nurture your children.  I feel bad because Ethan has been complaining of a backache for 2 days and I never even touched his back or looked at it… the doctor’s office the doc had me feel his muscles….on one side of his spine the muscles were relaxed and normal, on the other side (lower back) his poor muscles were so tight, it was completely obvious!  If only I had done this simple thing at home, I could have helped him much sooner with a massage.  Just because I have seven children doesn’t mean I can skimp on attention and nurturing each and every one of them.  I have a responsibility to care for them all, not “over the top” spoiling, but simple, practical, loving care and attention.  THEY didn’t ask to be born into a big family, it was my choice, and the sacrifice of time and energy is something I MUST give to them as they grow……..this is something I have been convicted of.  A mom MUST sacrifice and do her best to take care of her children …. and the more children she has the more time it will take.   There is so much satisfaction in doing our very best with our families, caring for them.

I go from one thing to another, yes, but nothing is more important than the children (and husband, too, of course).  The cooking and cleaning can wait.  Today for lunch I gave Seth and Sarah a piece of bread with peanut butter and a glass of milk.  Simplify when in times of sickness or trial.  Give up a clean house, give up the more complex meals, in order to redeem the time for the child who needs extra care.   And even on “normal days” a family of seven children still needs a lot of time to be invested in each child; checking on them, talking to them, clipping the nails, checking the ears, going over clothes to be sure they are fit to be worn to school, NURTURE, NURTURE, NURTURE………….they cannot be left to themselves when they are so young.   They need Mom.   Those little extra things like a massage, or essential oils, or brushing my daughter’s hair for 20 minutes, these things don’t always come to my mind, but it is something I want to improve on in my mothering.  (any tips)

Yesterday I sat next to Caleb, checking him all out (he’s 8) and he finally said, “Are you done checking me like I am an ape?”  LOL



Seth and Sarah and I went to the thrift store last week and got all this for 2 dollars and fifty cents.  A 5 by 7 frame, two Easter baskets, 3 stuffed bunnies, four books, and a wooden “chicken/egg” decoration.  Sarah also got a plastic snow globe.  It was fun.  We like to walk there after I get my Post Office business done.



This is our new boy, Billy-Cat.  We love him.  He is soft and interesting.  When we pick him up we never know if he will nonchalantly bite us.  David made this toy mouse for him by hand.  I just had to tie the knot on his threads.


Snickers is the only one who will tolerate Billy-Cat.  Billy is so new that the other 2 cats run away from him, yowling loudly.


I’m turning into a crazy cat lady!!!!!  We have four now.  🙂


And of course, the chickens.  I sat outside and watched them enjoy the sunshine.  They settle down into the leaves, lift up their wings, roll around, they just love being outside in the sun.  We get about 5 eggs a day, which is a nice amount.  We have just enough so I don’t have to worry about what to bake in order to use up 3 dozen eggs!  LOL


Rich had a business meeting here at our place on Friday and one of the men brought me this beautiful bouquet of flowers.


I made a nice lunch for everyone.

1.  Deli platter from grocery store
2. homemade buns (these were a BIG hit)
3. sliced tomato, seasoned with salt and pepper (for sandwiches)
4. mayo, pesto mayo, mustard
5. tossed salad
6. jello salad
7. pretzels
8. boiled baby potatoes, with plenty of butter, salt, and pepper

For dessert I bought 3 dozen baby cupcakes from the bakery.



And that is all the news from our place.  How are you doing?  I hope you are well and enjoying these early spring days.  xo
“You will show me the path of life.  In your presence is fullness of joy.  In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.”  Psalm 16:11

13 thoughts on “being a mama

  1. I have a cold today, I would like to curl up on the sofa and have some soup and tea, OK? 🙂 Don’t forget the Vick’s on the bottom of the feet with socks trick. I have tried it, and it is amazing. Really helps the cough. I also always recommend the extra Vit C, because I read that our body burns more when we are sick. Hope Ethan perks up and feels better. So good to have a doctor that cares for the need of the patient and their body.
    Such a good mommy you are. May God give you energy and grace to continue to minister to your family. I know they will bless you in return.
    The luncheon is so lovely and yummy!

    • Thanks, Jenny, and I think Ethan would say I am quite a good nurse, so if you’re sick we will make room for you. LOL Hugs to you, dear friend. Hope your cold is going away now.

  2. Thanks for the reminder that it is MY responsibility as a mother to nurture each and every child of mine to the best of my ability. We just had our fifth child two weeks ago, and it can be hard to remember all the details that I need to remember just now. But I guess there’s nothing else to do but try to be as organized/on top of things (namely, keeping all the children fed, clothed, groomed, loved) as well as I can.

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s grace this morning and how as believers, we have Him leading us and covering for us and our faults. He knows your heart, Sarah, and knows how much you want to be the kind of mother He desires you to be, and I have to believe that even our “worse” moments and days are beautiful because of Him. Bless you as you care for your new baby!

  3. Yes. Thats what I need to be working on with my six. Amist theater practice and plays, voice and piano lessons, tutorials, and everyday life. Also to stop and smell the roses with my kids, not just full steam ahead, which I am ooh so good at. Connection, daily bonding, and nurturing.

    • All the running around can be an opportunity as well, I’ve discovered. As we wait for one boy to get done with practice, I can watch the little ones play at the playground, etc. Praying for you today, Christina!

    • So amazing, Bobby Jo, because I was JUST thinking about YOU yesterday, as well. I read your post about the maple syrup! then, I got a comment from you! I love God’s little surprises, don’t you? xo

  4. This is something I have to make myself stop and do, give each one their own special attention! It’s also the reason I haven’t forbidden the 6 and 7 year olds from occasionally sneaking into my bed in the middle of the night. We get a few snuggles before we fall back to sleep.

    • I absolutely LOVED that picture you shared of your boys, and YES that is exactly all it takes to get those mothering loving feelings going again! Just enough slow-down time to savor the blessings of having young ones. Thinking of you as you are in baby month!

  5. I think exactly what you are doing is right…we, as moms, never have it all together. I have to constantly re-asses my parenting and make time for what is truly important. Sometimes I lay in each of my kids beds when they aren’t around and just examine their rooms and try to really imagine what it would be like to come home to this room, to this mother, to this home. It helps me put things into perspective and I think that as long as we are always striving to be better mothers then that is a great thing! The trouble lies in beginning to believe one has everything all figured out. Impossible! Those flowers by that window are beautiful and I would love the recipe for the rolls. 😉 Much love to you and yours sweet Shanda. Praying for your boy and his healing. -Chris

    • Chis, look up “amish white bread” on all That is the recipe I use, but I decrease the sugar by half. I’ve never had a problem with this recipe. Thank you for your encouraging words, I think you are exactly right! There have been a few times lately though when I felt I dropped the ball..however, my kids are generally very happy and healthy so if I take the time to consider, it truly isn’t all isn’t that bad. HUGS. xo

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