Christmas, Not so simple.

Well, it’s over.  How did you do?  We were able to simplify some of what I wanted, but it seems as the children get older, it just seems that much more complex.  I wish I had the benefit of wisdom. My childhood Christmas’ were beautiful memories but as I was talking to my mom, she mentioned it was always rush rush as well.  I don’t remember that, just the food, family and fun.  I don’t even remember much of the presents ~ a few very special ones.

present (Christmas)

The rush rush rush of the Christmas planning and shopping is gone in a few moments. I called someone on Christmas day to wish them a Merry Christmas and she said they were just about to open gifts, and would call me back when they were done.  They called back 15 minutes later, gifts done.  Several children, all older… That Christmas was probably hundreds and hundreds of dollars, literally for 15 minutes.  I know the gifts will last longer, but some don’t. I spent 20$ on a gift broken in 7 minutes.

Thank you China…

Adoption is hard, and sometimes holidays amplify the hardness. Inevitably, some people can’t have the one thing they want most, their family of origin and therefore they aren’t happy with anything.  Others thrive on routine, and if you change tradition, or drop a tradition, it is upsetting.

Just try to remember just to focus on Christ and He gets the Glory.  God is good, no matter what day He was born.




All in a Day: House Cleaning

How do we keep our house clean…well… hmmm.. I’ll be back in just a bit (looking around)

In theory, we keep our house clean by:

1) being responsible for ourselves, picking up after ourselves. If you get something out, put it away.

2) spending a few minutes throughout the day tidying (10 minutes to clean at any point)  – this is especially necessary with 14 children at home, 12 of whom are homeschooled and 2 who are…  messy makers.   Figure 12 students with a minimum of 6 subjects – 72 books plus pens, plus notebooks… especially since we are book lovers, and so some subjects have a lot of books! Everybody helps with this. It is part of living in a family 🙂

3) chores – our chore system is a paid system.  It is 3 tiered.  If you are a little – you don’t do a chore.  You also don’t get paid AND you miss out on some things we do for just bigs.  They’ll get it someday – when they are old enough or responsible enough to do a chore.  Even in the chore system, there are 2 more levels, entry and professional.   Entry level gets paid, but doesn’t get benefits. (think hourly employee!)  They make $5.00 every other week and they do a fairly small chore.  Professional levels make perks!  They make significantly more money.  The people who help with dishes at my house make significanly more money than the person who empties the garbage.  The person who is currently on dishes does all the dishes for a family  of 16 every day with no dishwasher!   He makes 25$ every other week.  Other perks we have – late night snack :), movies,  etc.

4)  it is my responsibility to ensure cleanliness in my home.  I cannot “expect what I don’t inspect”.  Below is an example of a chore gone BAD!!! ((“THANKFULLY THIS IS NOT THE NORM!!))

Sometimes I am gone, sometimes I am busy or gone, sometimes I am tired. It isn’t an excuse. There are times where our house just doesn’t get clean.  I try but recognize I am human, and that the bodies in my house will still be here tomorrow. I also try and recognize that disorder in the house makes  others cranky (especially daddy who dislikes things under his feet!)  Those are his feet in this picture and this is the only picture with him, his feet and floor).

5) keep my priorities right 🙂   be a Mary first off!!! Value family and relationship above all else.  Here is our most recent family picture! (Vacation post forthcoming!!)


Williamsburg family

2011 @ The King's Ball

Check out the other All in a Day Bloggers…

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen


Hope to see you more this week, as we recover from vacation, laundry, lack of sleep and photo overload…



Sad News New News

As of yesterday, I’m newly listed on Mega Family Blogs!

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting, Brian’s mom passed away this past week, and life has been a bit zooier than usually.

Donna was a wonderful wife to her husband, and a devoted mom to Brian and his 2 brothers. She loved all of her grandchildren and will be missed.

Grandma and 2 grandchildren last year.

eta – I changed the title, was going to do 2 separate posts but lost time…