Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 + 3 = Tons of Fun (and way too many pictures)

This was the best picture out of the approximately 8092170432957430957 that I took. Eight children who have been playing at the park extremely hard are somewhat difficult to photograph. :)

A few months ago, Mark preached at a sister church and after the service visited with a really nice family who was new to homeschooling. Mark mentioned our family homeschooled and suggested they contact us.

He brought a card back with their information and after waiting way too long (my perfectionist personality thinking I had to write a novel LOL ) I finally sent an e-mail.

We corresponded through e-mail a few times and then met at a conference for homeschooling families. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the other couple and our 8 children got along really well. Their sons even tolerated my sons' constant tractor chatter. :)

Some more time passed and we wrote a few e-mails and were ecstatic when Mrs. Jessica called to let us know they would be passing through our area and would like to meet for dinner. We met at a Chinese restaurant and I think we were there over 2 hours. They were ready to close before we finally gave in and ended our conversations.

Last week, my van had some issues so I took it to the dealer where we purchased it for warranty work. I contacted the M's to see if they could meet us at a park and they took it a step farther. Rather than confuse me with directions :), they came to the dealership, helped me get everyone loaded in the rental car and let us follow them to a very lovely park.

Mrs. Jessica and I must have chatted while the kids played for over 3 hours. The kids ran all over that park, most of the time with Mr. Jake right behind them. It wasn't until Griffin started telling me he was hungry that I realized how long we had been there.

Let me just say right now - we feel totally blessed to know this family. Our family doesn't really seem large to us (the whole what's one more thought) but entertaining or dining with a family of 7 is overwhelming to most people.

Aiden and Austin are some of the best behaved little men I have ever met. And sweet Miss Ava is already betrothed to someone in our family (we can narrow it down to one of the 4 boys in a couple of years :).

I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I love my children, I love my husband, I know that I am blessed beyond measure to be at home with them.

However, that can also be a lonely lifestyle. We don't take fancy trips, we can't carpool with another family for a trip to the beach, even going to WalMart can be a production. Jessica and Jake understand all of that. They are going through the same life stages we are and it's so great to have another family to share the journey.

It's human nature to want to belong, to feel included, to feel "normal". That's how we feel when we're with the M's. Sure when we show up somewhere to eat with 8 children we get lots of looks and comments but those looks and comments are much easier to take in the company of friends.

We have since met up with this wonderful family again. This time they invited my crew to their home. Again Jessica and I talked for hours. I was shocked when I saw a clock that said 6!

I think that's something I've been missing as a stay at home parent. That time of sweet fellowship. It seems others we know are too busy to just hang out. Everything minute of their lives is structed and orchestrated so their is no time for fellowship.

It has thrilled my heart to hear my 4 older children talk about visiting their "fiends" as Ben calls them.

I can honestly say that I've never been around another family whose children played so well with our children. Of the multiple hours we've spend together the last few weeks, I haven't heard a single fight.

We've even been so brave as to take 8 children to restaurants and have gotten nothing but compliments on their behaviour.

Words can not express how thankful we are for this fantastic family. We can see ourselves planning many more activities with them.

Everytime we leave at least two of my children ask "How many more days until we get to see the M's?". The countdown begins before the van is on the road again.

1 comment:

  1. It certainly is a blessing to have a relationship like that with another family. Fellowship with like-minded people is so sweet and so rare. We have a family like that back home and we miss them so much!

    Have fun!