Friday, November 23, 2018

The Future

We are approaching a new milestone in our lives, when our eldest works towards launching from our home.

She will get her associate's degree this spring.  After that, we're not sure. She's not sure.  It seems likely she will get a full time job and then work towards moving out of our home.

It's quite a stage to be in as a parent.  Part of me wants to fold her close and keep her here because I love her dearly. But of course the rational part wants her to fly as God intends her to do.

Brick and mortar college (which is to say, a college with a dorm a significant way from the parents' home) is a natural transition for many young adults. Both Kevin and I went 'away' to school, and lived in dorms for at least a year.  In some ways, its a cocoon.  On one hand, the student has to learn to manage her own schedule without parental supervision. On the other hand, meals appear at regular intervals, so the food part is taken care of.


College is very expensive, isn't it?  Since we are blessed with 9 children in less than 15 years, we cannot afford to send all our kids to 4 year brick and mortar schools. They could hypothetically get scholarships and maybe some of them will.  We can afford to send our kids to local public colleges and have them live at home, too, and some of them may do that.

It's just not simple.  We are praying for the Lord's wisdom and asking Him to guide our steps, and, more importantly, our children's steps. As they mature to adulthood, they will have to make more and more decisions on their own.

One thing we will not do is go into debt for our children's college education.  I've been reading horror stories about parents with tons of educational debt on their shoulders going into retirement. What a nightmare.  Given that our kids were born late, we will be in our early 60's when Rose graduates from high school.  We just can't make it work to send our kids to Harvard.

Not that Harvard would touch our kids with a ten foot pole.

I have strong, strong views about college and truthfully, I think community colleges are often a better route the first couple of years.  In big schools like U of M and Ohio State, profs are focused more on research than teaching.

I'm not going to fully get on the soapbox about THAT.  My point is that this is a hard time, but a good time.  Our goal is for our kids to become functioning adults.  It is hard for me because I love having a big family at home but I also know that this next step for Naomi is an important one. And after her, Lydia, and after her Isaac, and down the line.

And someday, if we live long enough, we'll be empty nesters.

But Rose is 4.  So it'll be awhile :-).

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

And they are off!

My parents very kindly have paid for a trip for our older boys, Isaac and Joseph, to Hawaii for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.

They left yesterday and made it without any problems.  They are staying on the Big Island of Hawaii.

In a week or so, my brother will join them; he lives on Oahu permanently.

Neither boy had ever been on a plane until yesterday!  And neither could remember an ocean.  Kevin and I took our 3 young children to Florida back in 2003 but Isaac of course doesn't remember that. He was a baby.

So this is a big and exciting deal. We are good parents, but I have to admit we haven't given our kids many exciting vacations in recent history.  We're just too tired and it is too expensive.

So yes, this is delightful and wonderful.  Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Large Family Logistics: Medical Care

I took Angela and Joseph to 'well child' checkups this week.  Doctors recommend that a kid/teen be brought in once a year to check for growth and to get vaccinations if necessary, that kind of thing.

Both these kids have August birthdays but I was in the throes of my ectopic pregnancy/miscarriage then hysterectomy in August, so they didn't happen.

Since Angela and Joseph are growing up, I decided to take them separately because Angela would prefer a female physician and Joseph a male physician.

So a couple of trips this week, on top of working, etc. etc.

One of the interesting facets of having a bunch of kids is that we have more medical appointments than most families with fewer children. I say "most" because of course there are special needs kiddos who require a lot of medical appointments.

I often struggle with having a good attitude about such things, because I don't enjoy leaving home for doctor appointments.  We drive somewhere, sit in a waiting room, sit in an office, see doctor, go home.  It takes time and effort.

But, I remind myself often, we are so blessed because a.) I can be a stay at home parents so can easily make time to take kids to the doctor and b.) we have good health insurance and c.) we have access to good medical care!  What a blessing.

Angela and Joseph had very mellow appointments, but most profound area of interest being that both are growing like weeds.

Joseph is 90 lbs and almost 5 ft. 8 inches tall!

Angela is 80 lbs and has sprouted to almost 5 ft. 2 inches tall!

Angela is taller than her next older sister Miriam.  I think Angela may well be quite tall.

So that's that.  Healthy kids, skinny kids.  Blessed to have access to good medical care.

Ice Storm

First we got an ice storm, one of the heavier ones I've experienced.  Ice everywhere, and many trees lost limbs. This was 2 nights ago.

Last night we got a little snow, which covered the ice.  It is like a cold fairyland out there.

Some of the trees were pretty unhappy. Look at this poor tree with limbs dragged low by ice.

It is gorgeous, though!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Kevin's Surgery

Kevin had surgery last Friday. He's battled a problem with a tendon in his arm for years now.  Whenever he tried to do something with his arm that required repetitive motion or a lot of strength, he was in danger of dealing with significant pain.

So the surgeon cut a sheath surrounding the tendon and opened it up and it is healing.

We were all ready for a really rough recovery given what a challenge my own surgery was.  SO FAR he is doing well.  Really well. I mean, he is in a little pain but he can move his fingers and thumbs and he is sleeping and all that.

So we are thankful.

He can't move his wrist for a full month so he needs a brace (the bandages came off Monday.)

All in all, we are grateful for a good surgery.