what family means to me


Once again, never to be taken for granted, Rich and I and all seven of the children were together in our warm and cozy living room — to decorate our Christmas tree, purchased in town at the Fire Department for 30 dollars.

It was delightful chaos.  Talking, bossing, laughing, non stop movement to and from the tree to the ornament boxes which were all along the couch.

Seven times we experienced the miracle of birth, births of our own flesh and blood, baby girls and boys from a man and woman whom God joined together as one.  As the children grow and develop into their own individual selves, we are all the more thankful for each and every moment with them.  They teach us so much, they remind us of what we have forgotten–that life is an adventure from sun up to sun down.  Very little worries, seldom any cares, only exciting things to look forward to and absolute trust that Mom and Dad will love and nurture them.


From the oldest to the youngest, we are their Parents until death do us part.  To support, guide, enjoy, and yes…even step away (but never too far away) in order to give space for them to make their own decisions in life.  They will become stronger and independent, knowing that we are there to cheer them on their journey of living.


Firstborn Jacob’s 19th birthday is the last day of the month.


While the youngest, Sarah, is only five and a half.


Each child is a gift, so unique, so amazingly precious to me and to their Dad.


They have brought so much gladness and light into our lives.


As their Mother, their pains are my pains, their joys are my joys.  Their love is my love.  One of the most romantic things I have witnessed occurred last night and oh, last week at this time I would have never dreamed that my darling daughter would very soon have a loving, Christian boy humbly ask and receive the blessing of her very protective Dad to get to know her……….and my heart gives grateful praise even as I sneak upstairs to read their text messages after she goes to school.  *sigh* soooooo sweet


taking off the hats


discussing the hat with Ethan the 17 year old.


still discussing the hat


I gave the hat back.



3 thoughts on “what family means to me

  1. I have loved watching your children grow up. Grace’s suitor sounds like a real catch. I’m so happy for her. 🙂 Sweet family photo. You are truly blessed, Shanda.

  2. Awww, the sweetness of family at Christmas. As Bob wrestled the tree into the stand he said, “where are those big boys we had?”. I am so glad you savor these times. Enjoy seeing you all! Happy, as I am sure you are, that a young man that sounds like minded and dear is getting to know Grace.

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