Your questions answered, round 2

Mike and Ramona said…

I also am curious as to when in the world you get to take a shower.

* I shower whenever I need to! I’m pretty easy going and my kids know the deal… no trouble when mama’s in the shower! I have Miss TattleTale (ahem.. I mean Miss Sophie) on duty when I shower most of the time, otherwise I just lock the door to my bedroom with a Dora DVD on for the kids, put them up on my bed and pray for the best 😉

And 2nd one, how on earth do you keep everyone’s socks straight? I can’t do that and there are only 4 of us!!

*Obviously the boys and girls are easy to keep organized. And since the boys share a room, they also share a sock organizer. I usually get their socks for them in the AM, so I pick the small ones for Dalton and the big ones for Asher, I know I shoulda been a rocket scientist 😉 Jude’s are the hardest… they’re so small! And he’s a sock/shoe addict, he’s constantly sneaking into his sock drawer and trying on every pair of socks he can get his hands on…

Patricia/NYC said…

Oh this is fun! OK…how do you manage to get dinner on the table for everyone at the same time?

*We do ‘family style’. I leave everything in the pot or bowl and put it on the table. Then we pray and Chris and I divide and conquer, each of us cutting or fixing everyone’s food just so. We try to think of every condiment that might be requested during the meal beforehand so we don’t have to get up 50 times, but we usually have to anyway. We don’t get to eat a lot of meals hot anymore 😉

Rebecca said…

What do you guys do for family vacations?

*We don’t! At least not lately. We’ve wanted to, we’ve planned on it, but haven’t been able to put one together since Isabelle came home. We did visit the beach one weekend, but I guess our last vacation was a one month visit to the Ronald McDonald house in Iowa City 😉 We’d love to go to Disneyworld, but other than the obvious cost issue, we keep adding little ones and saying, “Well NEXT year we’ll go..” but the next year we’ve got a new baby!

AnnaB said…

How about what do you do for fun? (meaning just you, or with Chris?)

* We went to a Christmas party last year! It was the first time we’d been out together alone in a LONG time. It’s hard to find a babysitter that is competent with so many kiddos! Plus, I’m sort of a freak about my kids… I don’t trust ANYONE with them, so that limits our options big time. Chris and I are banking on the fact that we’ll both live to a ripe old age and we’ll have plenty ‘together’ time in the future, but we’ll have to see what God has planned!

How OLD are you? How old is Chris?

*Nosy. Nosy. Nosy. But since I love you I’ll answer. I am 39. Chris is 39. He was born one week before me :)

Tish said…

Do your biological children ever get resentful of adopting since it can mean less mom and dad time for them individually?

*Never. Not once. It really has surprised me how open they have been to the whole process. They are so enamored with their siblings that I don’t think it has even occurred to them what they have had to give up in growing our family through adoption. I think a lot of families make the mistake of feeling *sorry* for the bio kids and I believe kids pick up on that sort of mindset. We’ve always been very positive about the way God has chosen to add to our family and, thankfully, we’ve yet to have any issues arise. Interestingly, Dalton has mentioned several times that he sad he came from my tummy, he wishes he was adopted!

When/how do you ever go shopping just for yourself? Like for clothes that you will need to try on?

*What is this you speak of: ‘shopping for oneself’? I do not understand?;) Actually, I don’t shop often and when I do it’s desperate times.. in and out of Old Navy in a mad rush, usually. When I really need something new, Chris will stay at home with the kids. In a dressing room with a couple of toddlers is one place I do NOT want to be.

Amie said…

I want to know what you do for fun.. what are your interests.. other than kiddos, and adoption and horses?

*I really don’t have any. Really. I mean, I love to learn about adoption, special needs specifically, love to read blogs, love to encourage others on their adoption journeys. I am a non-fiction girl so when I do read, it’s for information purposes only. I just think anything fictitious is a waste of my time, I need reality! I don’t dig the TV, so much junk. Definite waste of time, in my opinion. I think that as God grows me, He gives me new passions for things that He wants me to pursue. So for now, my heart is set on SN kiddos from China, I’m just waiting on Him for further instructions!

Mary Beth said…

How do you stay motivated and not become overwhelmed? And perhaps a related question is: Are you exhausted? :)

*I DO become overwhelmed… constantly!! But I’ve just had to learn to cope with the ‘I think my head is about to explode’ feeling of being overwhelmed and realize that it will pass. I sounds simple, but as I have learned not to panic when I feel that way, I cope better in the meantime, the experience passes and all is well again :) And yes, some days I do feel exhausted. But exhaustion is a relative thing and when I’m feeling sorry for myself, I am reminded of how stinkin’ BLESSED I am, how blessed we ALL are here in the US and I get over myself, cancel the pity party and get back in saddle. I think so much of it is attitude and perspective. I remind myself, “I don’t HAVE to care for all my kids… I GET to care for all my kids. I don’t want ANYONE else doing MY job.” Perspective really makes a difference.

Lisa Osborn said…

I think I am most interested in your ability to maintain calm and patience and get anywhere on time.

*Start early! I am sadly having to learn and relearn this lesson constantly. I seem to forget some days that what used to take me 30 minutes to do, now might take 90 with so many little bodies! Getting everyone fed and ready and out the door is a challenge. But I really rely on my boys to help. They corral the girls while I get ready and then help me get them to the car when it’s time to go. They also buckle their siblings carseats, since mama ain’t so agile reaching into the backseat anymore 😉
Now calm is another thing. I have been told that I appear very calm, which really surprises me. I often feel that when we are out and my kids are being psychotic (ie just being kids!) that I get very stressed as one of my pet peeves is parents to ‘forget’ that their child is running amok in the doctor’s waiting room, for instance. I insist on my kids behaving appropriately in public and have been known to take one outside for a car ‘timeout’ if necessary.

How do you remain patient with all the messes and delays and inconveniences that I am sure come with having so many young children and such an active household.

*How do I remain patient you ask? Is that a requirement?;) I am not patient. I strive for more patience on a daily basis. I guess I am fairly laid back, so that probably helps to balance my lack of patience. Plus, my kids can tell when I’m serious, and when they see ‘the look’ they get a move on. I think much of parenting so many is tolerance. I have learned to tolerate more chaos, more clutter, more craziness. Just like working out or anything that requires strength and endurance, you have to build your ‘ability’ up a bit at a time. When I am asked, “How do you DO it? I could NEVER do it!” I say, “Oh yes you could… if you wanted to!! You just have to get used to it!” :)

I’m working on the balance of questions… more to come :)



  1. thanks so much for takingthe time to answer!!!

  2. You may just think we are nosy nellies (and we are! LOL) but this is also really helpful. I have no idea if our family is complete or not, but reading this, I sorta think, yah, you just suck it up and do what needs doin and whats one more. You may just inspire me to take that leap into #4. I mean if you can manage 8…eight…8 (LOL), we just might be able to swing 4. 😉

    In the meantime, my hat is off to you. I am often amazed by you. Add to all of this that your dh is often away for work and oh my! You are a wonderwoman.:)

  3. Love these answers. I know it was awful to ask you how old you are. I had you pegged at not a day over 29!! :-) Although I think that means you would have been 10 when you had Tori! Hee hee. I am with you on the whole perspective thing. When my first three boys were all five and under I thought I would dissolve under the chaos. Some things happened in my life to help sharpen and change my perspective and I have grown so much since then. It is a privelege to have these six youngsters call ME their mom! It feels so good to know you get that too. Although, seriously, I am having the hardest time keeping my house clean these days…lol!

  4. Thanks so much for your answers. You are not the only one who “freaks” about leaving their children with a sitter. My husband and I live 600 miles from our CLOSEST relative, we have 4 children ages 12 – 2, we just moved to a new state 2 years ago, so needless to say, we don’t go anywhere without children in tow. I hear there are actually restaurants that DON’T have crayons and kids menus! Is that true?! I keep telling myself that when my children are grown that they will realize what a special family that they grew up in where there parents actually enjoyed being with them!
    As for a great crock pot recipe, Southern Living has a Homestyle Potato Soup that cooks in the crock pot that is to die for… (go to their website and search for the recipe by title)
    I enjoy your blog and appreciate your candid honesty :o)
    Best to you and your family,
    Amy from Michigan

  5. Thank you so much for providing more “nourishment”, and keeping it so real! You are a true testament to how God can bless your life when you follow His path, and how one’s attitude toward situations can make such a difference! God bless.


  6. Stefanie – this just make me ‘love’ you more…you are a real person that struggles with patience. You are awesome!

    My offer of the gift card still stands…just let me know.

    You are my hero.

  7. Michelle - Blessed Mother of Two says:

    Ok, Stefanie. I didn’t ask you a question during the first round. Now I have one… or maybe it’s more of a request… please let us know when your big 4-0 is so we can all help you celebrate your big day. And Chris, too. He deserves a big celebration as well. All your blogger buddies will throw you a big ol’ blogger birthday bash. :-)
    By the way, loved the post, as usual.

  8. Patricia/NYC says:

    Stefanie, thank you so much for taking the time to answer so many questions!! You have no idea how inspiring & helpful this is!! Your answer on “patience & calm” was wonderful & thanks for answering about serving dinner…I KNEW I was missing something big…get everything on the table that could POSSIBLY be asked for!! Will try that from now on! 😉

    Thanks, girl! You are SUCH AN INSPIRATION in SO MANY ways to so many of us!!
    You ROCK!

  9. Would it be rude to ask how long it takes to adopt a SN Child, and how much does it cost? Usually questions about money are not appropriate but I have really wondered if we could swing it if we decided to go for it.

    Melissa in MO

  10. WOW!! That is awesome that you took the time to answer some questions! I think you are an amazing witness for the Kingdom of God & you (and Chris’) heart for SN adoption has changed the way that SO many people feel; you have no idea. I’m with Michelle in thinking we should have a “virtual” birthday party!! That’d be fun!

  11. I knew I’d learn so much from you, but I must say I am so glad (at least right now) that I only have to be concerned with managing with ONE!

  12. Bonnie'n'Clyde says:

    wonderful and thoughtful answers, Stefanie. I especially like your “this will pass” attitude at those moment when you feel like your head will explode. That’s an important thing to learn in any aspect of life. …to just sort of “breath” through it and know that the toughest times will pass.
    I too have no use for TV. If there’s something I feel compelled to see (usually nature programs) I download them. THere is just too much life to live to spend it in front of the screen!

  13. I do the same thing for the showers..LOL. Love my shower time.
    I didn’t know we were “allowed” to shop for ourselves..good to know. 😉
    love your patience post and perspective… it is so true. when you think about how blessed we feel to be the one to stay home with our gaggle, it makes it so much easier get through the day with a smile. :)
    I third the b-day bash… I will hop in my family mobile(not a flier), head on south and throw you a kickin 4.0. I will even share with you my chocolate. That is how much I like you.
    cool stuff!

  14. Stefanie,

    I loved the comment about doing “timeout” in the car…I have done them pretty much everywhere if needed. Olivia is a bit of a drama queen sometimes, so I have had a few moments in public that were embarrassing, but I just find a (somewhat) quiet space and pretend that no one is staring at me and proceed as if we were in the privacy of our own home. Didn’t take too many of those before Olivia realized that rules were rules no matter where we are.

    I also very much identify with your comment about things being much easier if you WANT to do them. I have had comments by many people about how hard being a single parent must be, how they could never do it, yada yada yada. But I WANT to be Olivia’s Mommy and although we have our challenging days, I don’t generally think to myself how difficult it is to be her Mom…it is precisely the opposite. She makes me smile and laugh everyday and I marvel in all that she does. Yes, sometimes I would like 10 minutes to myself and I don’t get it, but that’s just life. I adore my daughter and I would do anything for her (even give her timeouts in public!). I’m very blessed to have her as my daughter and I will thoroughly enjoy (almost) every moment I have with her because I WANT to. I think it’s the best gift that I have ever received. :)


  15. Do you know how much I loved this post??? You answered all those burning questions that lurk when I come here and everything looks so calm! I think you are just really obedient and content in this place where you are – I think that is God’s finest work.

    We leave our kids with my more to say.not are not the only one. (the big difference is that I have 2 and you have 8:)

    I think you are just a gracious, strong, amazing woman of God married to a strong, fatherly man of God and somehow, it’s all good. We learn from you and you minister to us – I thank you for that.

    Have a happy weekend

  16. Don and Lisa Osborn says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful answers. I am learning…


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