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, June 20, 2010

Birthday Catch Up and Birthday Simplify Ideas

On Friday, our sweet Alyssa turned 11. Alyssa, as most of the kids, has not had a birthday party with friends in several years; something about several adoptions and building a house took our excess energy. Not that I'm oozing in energy, but I have hosted or am planning on hosting several birthday parties this year. So, yesterday we took Alyssa and five friends to the Y water park that we have passes to. Then they came home with us for a cook out and sleep-over.
Alyssa is a wonderful big sister to her five younger siblings! When we started discussing adoption, Alyssa was only three or four when she asked if we could please adopt a Chinese or black baby, because having all white kids was too boring. Funny statement, but I agree.....I'd still love to add a Chinese, but that's another post for another day.

Alyssa really wanted a Steeler jersey for those rare moments when her Dad gets to stop working and watch football with his kids. (Someday the house will be done...someday.)

While we are on the birthday topic, I want to combine my missed post yesterday on living simply. Linny at www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com came up with the plan of sharing ideas about simplifying our lives and allowing time for what really matters. My old plan for birthdays when I had four children was to host a party every other year, then do something special with just our family in the off year. We have never had expensive parties, like Chuck E. Cheese or anything, just usually some friends at our house for dinner, games and cake. Actually, the off years that we took our family out to dinner often ended up costing more than the party years.

Since the last few years have been taken "off" I am having one party for each child either this year or next; then we are starting our new party guidelines. The problem is that I am not sure what our new guidelines should be! On one hand, having nine children and working towards a more simple life-style seems to lend itself to the need for less parties. On the other hand, birthdays are just a good excuse to prioritize what I really love to do anyhow - have people over and feed them.

The other thing I have going for us at this point is that we have plenty of fun right here at home. We have pool, ping-pong and air hockey in the basement. We have a swimming pool outside. We have tons of room to run around and play games, so it's fairly easy to host fun birthday parties inexpensively here at home.

So, I guess my living simply tip today is really a question....what ideas and balance do I adopt for my big family? Any ideas?


  1. Happy Birthday to Alyssa - thanks for sharing your birthday ideas - we enjoy birthdays with the family as well - parties are for "big" birthdays.
    I found your blog through Linnys & am enjoying "meeting" your beautiful family
    God bless

  2. This year we are going very simple for birthdays. I got this idea from a friend. I called two families that my daughter loves to play with. They have a combined number of 6 kids. I made sure they signed up for free bowling coupons over the web. You can google free bowling for kids and see if they have it in your area. We are all meeting up at the bowling alley on her birthday. The parents will pay to rent shoes for their kids. After we are done. I am handing out cupcakes in the van and singing to Hattie. I think she will throughly enjoy it.