A place to be real about a life of chaos, with eight beautiful children, homeschooling, special needs, adoption, sanity or the lack thereof.........a rubber hits the road sort of journey that I thankfully do NOT walk alone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken or Pig?...Tales from the parenting trenches!

Before I begin...I know...yes, it has been made abundantly clear to me, I have been absent with NO excuse for far too long! With that in mind and of course with the beginning of yet another "well-planned" home school year, I am endeavouring to set new routines in place including this blog. I have found it quite therapeutic and to more than a few of my bloggy friends I have provided a hearty chuckle or two.

This past Sunday our preacher delivered a message that included visual aids. Much to the pleasure of all of the children, two live barn animals...yup, you guessed it, a chicken and a very unnaturally clean and quite feisty pig graced the stage. I have to admit I was uncertain whether this was indeed the Sunday he'd finally lost it. But after an hour and a half realized "losing it", was simply the goal.

The much condensed version of the message is simply this...are we spiritually a chicken or a pig? Are we content pecking at bits of nothing while wandering around aimlessly and often alone, or are we willing to truly be hungry with a voracious, "pig-like" hunger for God, desiring the company of others just like us? There was much more to it but essentially a chicken even when giving eggs isn't wholly dedicated to the task. It's just another "offering up" with no real sacrifice. But a pig!....now when he offers breakfast sausage or bacon he's, as my preacher says..."All in!". A complete sacrifice! This is what we are called to do as fully devoted followers.
As I absorbed (translated: "was smacked in the face by!") this message I couldn't help but draw many parallels to my call as Mom to my eight awesome kids. My role must be one of full dedication to the task or I am not filling the shoes I am meant to fill. To be set apart from the status quo I have to realize the "cost", take "action" and quite often be misunderstood by those that don't agree or simply don't "get it".
For those of you that know me well, you know our story, you know the blessing of our only biological child and the heaped upon us multiple blessings of our seven adopted children that followed. Being a parent to this tribe requires being "all in" ALL THE TIME! There is a personal cost to be sure but like the pig, I'm on a mission....I have an important job to do and I must be willing to stay in the trenches and complete the task. As for "losing it"...I lost it ages ago! Some of my friends would argue what I lost was my everloving mind, but what I refer to is the selfish control of all circumstances. In order to be the best Mom I can I have to wake every morning recognizing my job is to love, to teach, to discipline, to live my life by example. Controlling all simply does not occur! I have grown to understand that living each day coping with the challenges that present themselves as they arise with a "pig like" focus will better serve my family.

An aside.....

My dear friend just yesterday messaged me concerned that all stories I was sharing of late had a certain focus...a common thread...a theme shall we say....."poop!"

Now before I lose you let me share ....

Last week I took seven of the children to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned. Yes, I had temporary loss of sanity when I booked them all together but it was too late to cancel when I finally flipped the month to September on the calendar and noted the appointment so off we went. It turns out six of the seven were due for x-rays and of course the many consults with the dentist regarding the plethora of imminent orthodontic treatment dragged the time on to about one and a half hours before the inevitable...."I have to go to the bathroom!". I quickly left the five year old with his older sister in the waiting room promising to return before it was his turn and directed the potty going child to the appropriate bathroom and instructed to lock the door and come directly out when finished. Within three minutes she returned with this distraught look on her face. "Mommy, something happened when I flushed the toilet and it's overflowing"! I raced into the bathroom to find the contents resembling an infinity pool just hovering at the lip of the toilet bowl! I cranked the shut off valve and held my breath hoping to see the level lower and the crisis to pass. It was not to be and I soon came to the realization that the last of my children to use the bathroom had deposited the paper hand towel in the toilet not the garbage and it was neatly blocking the hole from allowing the "contents" to flow away! What choice did I have but to remove my watch........

At the beginning of this week as I set my sights on early rising to have some quiet time, do some reading etc. I went to bed set the alarm extra early and looked forward to a refreshing new routine. I managed to get up without stirring the other nine heartbeats, bathe, dress and head down the stairs. What met me in the front hall I can only assume was the result of a rather elderly dog enjoying the scraps left around the picnic table from snacking with friends the day before. Every olfactory nerve ending was hyperstimulated as I hit the bottom of the stairs and I spent the next half hour on my knees cleaning and scrubbing. What choice did I have but to have my quiet time right there, being thankful for the food the dog must have eaten, thankful for the ability to get down and back up again although a little slower than years gone by, and thankful for the quiet time..........

And just this morning....I rose early without waking anyone and was just closing the door behind me to go downstairs and a wee voice from his crib in the dark greeted me with "Hi Mommy...Mommy.....MOMMY!!!!!.....POOPY" Remember that lack of control? I am simply Mom......all in!!


  1. Karen you are truly a blessing. You are a wonderful example to all of us. You have 8 very lucky kids there.

    Very glad you are back to blogging my friend. I too am working on a new routine and hoping to get back to regular blogging.

    Love you sista!!

  2. I am so proud to be one of your lucky kids!!!

    Luv ya