We will be taking our youngest child to college in Dallas at the end of August.  My husband and I are not looking forward to the quiet that will replace all the activity he has brought to the house these last 18 years. 

He keeps us hopping, but we really hopped over the last 11 days while Ian and Paula went to the Catholic Marketing Network show in New Jersey.  We kept the 6 older kids, ages 9 and under.  They took the baby.

Here are some of the things we learned:

·    God gives us children while we are young for a reason.  It is a huge mistake to put off having them till your biological clock is ticking its last few minutes.

·    It really is easier taking care of several children than a couple of little ones, because the older children can be such a help.  In the short run, this may not be true, but over a period of days I think it is.

·   Stick to a routine—it is too easy to get out of one and too difficult to re-establish the one you let go.

·   Telephones bridge the distance between the children and their parents.  How sweet it was every night to hear them pray with Mommy and Daddy by phone.

·   Have one easily accessible place for dirty laundry.

·   Set aside lots of time if there is hair to be braided—it took me one full hour to do “Aunt Becka hair” on four little heads.  You have to be extra careful with tender heads.

·   Have everybody get up at the same time rather than allowing for the stragglers to make it to the breakfast table.  The first day, breakfast took about 2 hours from the time we started preparing till the last one finished eating—then we had the mess to clean up.

·   Serve small portions on luncheon-size plates so large plates don’t intimidate the littles into thinking they can’t possibly eat all of their dinner.  They can always have seconds and thirds.

·   Try as much as possible to follow the rules from home.  Hopefully your children will appreciate that and there will be less confusion for the children.

·   Start getting the children ready for bed a half hour earlier than you think you should.  You will still be in the process by bed time, no matter what time that is.

·   Buy battery-operated flameless candles  for each of the bedrooms which will be inhabited by the children.  I am amazed at how comforting these things are for the kids.  They sooth much better than a nightlight (perhaps it is the mimicking of the candle flicker).  My sister-in-law has given me three of these which is just the number of sleeping rooms occupied by the children.  How convenient!  Thanks, Karman.H02139 - Candle Impressions S/3 8" Embossed Flameless   Candles w/Timer


·   Don’t give snacks within 3 hours of dinner… , particularly if there is a family rule about eating all your dinner.

·   Use email to send pictures of the kids to their parents and for the parents to send pictures of themselves to the kids.

·   Pray for patience every morning and throughout the day.

·   Pray in Thanksgiving every night for the blessing of grandchildren.

·   Be grateful that your children are living with the mind of the Church, open to life, and raising such wonderful youngsters who will inherit the future. 


 I haven’t learned why when I use bullets while posting, they don’t always line up.