summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

pictures of the season....


We went to a fun museum on Saturday!  I can't mourn too much about missing days-gone-by outings with my previously small children, now that there are grandkids to be delighted by what would now produce sighs of eye-rolling boredom in mine.  Here is Tennyson in the stroller, Wulf and Anya, and Elise.  I invited Molly to come with Lydia and Ophelia but she had things to accomplish in her weekend off.

Benjamin and Ashley and Anya and Elise. cute!
Margaret and her boys...(Adrian was home studying for a final...)(Wulf thinks all men have to study, he asks Paul frequently if he has to study for his test or do his homework...)
Anya the crazy tractor lady.
This truck is just photogenic!
They had to try out all the tractors.
I loved the dollhouses, of course!
And all these miniatures, we couldn't touch, only look.  I told Anya that I was definitely tempted to disobey!
She really liked this old fashioned communication device.
There were over a hundred decorated trees, I think 135.

Children's joy is contagious, and I love them.  

Our Christmas feast/party for the children on Sunday was a roaring success.

My niece Susan (one of my sister Cheryl's seven daughters) (she's the mom of Will, the twins Sebastian and Linnea who I've watched here for a few of their vacations/trips, and little Theo)
Mariel, our good friend Joannie, and Abigail, at the coffee/cocoa booth.
Tennyson with Sonja K....

Yesterday felt extra lonely after all the weekend fun, but hey, I went out and about all by myself...and it was kind of fun!  I haven't been to BJ's in months, my membership expired and I didn't feel like plunking it down to rejoin, so I just didn't.  Then they lured me in with a $20 rejoin fee, why not?  I got my coupon books and walked up and down the aisles, with no one to huff and puff at me to move along!  As we all know, prices have gone up, burger was $3.99 a pound there, ouch.  I waffled about buying a bag of chicken tenders, then decided not to, it's so much cheaper to make your own out of fresh chicken.  I did buy a big bag of frozen meatballs, because their brand is so yummy and there was a coupon.  I bought the Stubbs barbecue sauce, too, because...barbecued meatballs in the crockpot is a nice festive snack for Christmas Eve...

I am still not finished with my shopping.  It's hard, can I just say that here?  I am not complaining that I have too many kids, because I love each and every one of them, but there is the crux of the matter:  I WANT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM TO KNOW JUST HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM.  And sorry, but one dinky little gift like a travel mug or a pair of gloves all wrapped up does NOT say I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT TO ME.  I feel like I want to extra bless, because there ARE so many of them, and I have this fear, that I'll forget someone, or just get them one thing, and there's nothing else there for them to open when we're opening presents.  It's awful.  Once, we did Secret Santa, I was responsible for several of the kids' S.S. gifts, helping them, keeping track, ect., and I totally forgot to purchase MY OWN SECRET SANTA GIFT.   This is true.  When it was my person's turn to get their gift, she sat there all happy and hopeful, and no one moved, and I realized that it was ME that had to give the gift, and I had blanked out completely, and never gotten one.  I jumped up and grabbed one with her name on it from under the tree, but I don't think I fooled her, and it broke my heart.  I have lived many years trying hard not to do things like it's real.  

I spent the past few months saying how I wasn't going to get much for anyone, but then I picture each one of them and I just want to give them everything they could want, and obviously I can't do that.  So I shop the sales, and try to get a few things for each...I haven't been babysitting or anything, so I don't have "my own money" this year, so I have only gotten Paul:  a new pillow.  I mean, what do I buy him with his own money?  I hope at least the kids get him something.  

It's not all about the gifts, they say, but when Christmas morning comes, it's ALL ABOUT  the gifts.  

Christmas cookies, I want to bake more Christmas cookies!  We are frosting/decorating them with the small children tonight at Activity Club, because there were lots leftover from Sunday.   I don't want to make them too early I'll wait.  I am not going to eat them, just enjoy making them.  

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what Jesus' life here on earth really meant.  It's not just a one-and-done, accept Him as your savior, and keep sinning thing.  It's an ongoing salvation, but it's such a hopeful and freeing process, not hard and heavy and difficult!   All through the days, to sift through those thoughts, to listen to what God has to say, and be faithful to those let go of grudges, and be thankful for things, it's all very simple, but it brings such joy.  That's the joy that Christmas brings, and it can last all of our days.  Yes, I am very very thankful!


Terri D said...

You are so connected to all of your kids and grandkids and that is such a blessing! I see our youngest and his girlfriend (maybe) once a year. Our oldest and his wife don't celebrate holidays and the grandkids, though I see them every couple of months, I don't know what they like or what they would want. It's hard. I enjoyed my visit here!! xo

Unknown said...

Hi Della! The museum looked like fun for everyone. Yes teenagers would sigh and roll their eyes 👀 They are ALL good at that I think. Your children all know you love them Della, they don’t need gifts to prove that dear………..🥰🥰 you prove that every single day 🥰😊

Have a great evening…

Marilyn from Canada 🇨🇦

Kristi said...

Have you ever talked about having so many children? Did you know before you started that you wanted a bunch or did it just sneak up on you?

16 blessings'mom said...

Terri, your youngest and his girl need to get down to visit you, asap! They don't know what they're missing! :)
Marilyn, yes, the universal teen language...and thank you, you are so kind.
Kristi, do you mean did Paul and I ever talk about having so many children? Yes, we both were on the same page...we made a conscious decision to accept them as the gifts they are. I remember being pregnant with our first, and I was still working in an insurance agency. I was young and bold (and probably a bit silly too) and I told everyone at work that we were planning to accept the children from God, as many as He had for us. I ended up with all-day morning sickness, running to the back to the bathroom to throw up, multiple times, every day. My boss teased me relentlessly, asked me if I was STILL going to have a lot of kids. I would always just answer, "If that's what God sends." We certainly didn't have lots of kids because it was easy for us, but we did find just strength each day, in each situation, although it always felt like not enough, if that makes sense...