In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Parenting Both Ends of the Spectrum

This stage of parenting is sometimes a bit overwhelming. It's the first time, in 18 years of parenting, that we are parents of a young "adult" at the same time as a baby and about every stage in between. Gabriel is turning 18 in just a few short days and he just bought his first car! We are proud of his final selection because it is not a sports car, but a conservative, won't-raise-your-insurance-rates sedan. Although the car is 10 years old, it has only had one owner and only has 31,000 miles on it. Here's a shot of James helping Gabriel wash it yesterday.

Gabriel spent most of yesterday cleaning it to perfection. He even had JD give him a waxing lesson and then put his new found talent to work. Funny how he had no interest in waxing the Explorer that he's been driving the last year!

At the other end of the parenting spectrum is Elijah. He loves his family, but isn't big on strangers; especially old, bearded strangers in red suits! I didn't expect him to care for Santa, but his scream could be heard down the mall! Santa is obviously accustomed to crying babies as he just smiled.

I scooped him right back up after JD snapped the picture and he immediately stopped crying but kept his eye on that bearded man! He certainly didn't trust turning his back on him.

While we do not "do" Santa Clause in the manner that we allow our children to believe that he delivers presents, we do enjoy a trip to see him each year. I believe it's about the same as seeing the dressed up characters at the theme park to my children.

I won't take the space to display every one's Santa picture, although we did take them. I'll just show this shot that I took after being in Bath and Body Works a bit too long with my older girls.
The happiness on their faces is that we get to leave the mall! You would think that JD's smile would be the biggest of them all!

We were planning on eating pizza at the mall, but it was such a beautiful day that we picked up pizza and took it to a park instead. It was a nice treat for everyone.

Alyssa -

Alei and Elijah- Our baby boy just turned 16 mos. a few days ago.
It's hard to believe now, but one day he'll buy his own car just like his brother!


  1. Precious Pics! Your Elijah looks like such a happy little guy! Congrats to your boy on his new wheels...yeah, it's funny how when they pay for the car it's treated like royalty but when they use ours they never see the dirt! LOL!
    We haven't seen Santa yet but I'm sure our youngest will have the same reaction that yours did. :)

  2. I think it is so wonderful to be parenting on both sides of the spectrum. It makes dealing with the challenges of both ages easier. I enjoy the moments of stranger anxiety knowing that soon enough they will be running to quickly to strangers. And it's impossible to hold a grudge against a sulky teen when my two year-old screams with delight when she sees him. She reminds me to match her enthusiasm and greet him warmly. What a blessing!