Today is the day! I will be answering some of your burning questions. Thanks to those of you who wrote and asked and to the rest of you--feel free to keep emailing me. I will try to do a Q & A post every now and then. I'll answer if you ask!
Please bear in mind that these are simply our beliefs and our opinions. We don't expect you to believe the same or even agree and we definitely don't judge you if you take a different stance on any topic! I love that we all feel differently about different things; that is what makes life & discussion so unique and interesting.
What are your thoughts on family size? Do you and Daniel plan on having more children? What is your ideal number?
"Behold, children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." --Psalms 127:3-4
Plain and simple, that sums up my thinking on family size. Children are a gift from the Lord and I believe we should always recognize them as such. However, the Bible also talks about a wife being a gift from the Lord but that doesn't mean that it is not ok to be single. I wholeheartedly believe that we have to be good stewards of that which is entrusted to us. I also believe that God is just as much in control of our family size whether we are or are not using birth control. I believe that it takes great wisdom on our part as believers to seek out God and His plan for our life when it comes to increasing the size of a family. If God gives us 6 children of our own and then asks us to adopt 6 more--we would do that because the bottom line on this issue is that we want to be obedient to God in whatever He has for our life; including family size. However, we also want to use wisdom and make good choices that are directed by God and not just by selfish desires to keep having children.
Since this question wasn't directly about the use of birth control, I'll pass up going into my thoughts on that for this post. For now, I will say that Daniel & I were convinced that we were done having children after Braden was born. However, deep in our hearts I think we both knew that wasn't so. I will not say now that we are finished after Mabel is born either. I will say that we aren't planning another child and certainly not right away. I know that God spoke to me about having a son named Thomas. We thought that when the Dr. told us that Mabel was a boy (at 14 weeks) that He had fulfilled that promise right away. That just wasn't so, but it certainly doesn't make it any less true. I have heard God many times in the past and this was more clear than ever before. I believe we will ultimately have one more child but God will have to quicken us in His timing.
[[For those of you reading who have an opinion on us having more children I say to you--it is not your concern. You do not offer any sort of help financially, emotionally, spiritually or even physically, and neither does anyone else for that matter. We are a self-sustained family, dependant upon God alone. We are blessed beyond measure and are thankful for the opportunity to raise our kids in such an awesome way! Please keep your opinions to yourself because hearing your comments is quite honestly becoming exhausting.]]
For now, I am abundantly blessed and content with the babes that I am raising and couldn't possibly ask for anything more!
Oh & my ideal number (in a perfect world) would be 7 children.
But that's not happening. Don't panic.
Why does your family choose not to vaccinate?
Again this seems quite simple for me to answer. It was an easy decision. I know that many families have alot of different reasons as to why they do or do not vaccinate their children. The foundation for our decision is based solely on the fact that our own spiritual convictions led us in this direction. It is not based on medical research or statistics, although we have definitely done many hours worth of research. We wanted to make sure we were making a solid, informed and educated choice even though we knew very early on in our marriage that immunizing our children was not part of our parenting plan. I am not completely against vaccines. In fact, I understand the importance of them. I am, however, against vaccinating our children minutes after they are brought into the world and continuing to do so before the blood/brain barrier is completely formed. That side of my argument is medical. And although our stand on vaccinating our kids is not about medicine, after months of more medical research I did learn things that confirmed our desires for not immunizing.
Our children will not attend school and so, for now, there is no need to vaccinate. However, I am not completely opposed to them getting their shots later on a delayed schedule. More than likely this will not happen but again, I am not opposed to it entirely. Like I mentioned, vaccinating newborn babies and small children whose immune systems have not even had a chance to thrive is just not something that I am comfortable with. It is my responsibility as their parent to protect them and injecting them with a foreign substance minutes after birth seemed just as irresponsible to me as not vaccinating may seem to other parents. I believe it all comes down to conviction, research and personal opinion.
That's where we stand but I certainly don't need to hear any one's take on how our choices are harmful to others, irresponsible or neglectful. That is simply tacky and untrue. We have made our choices, are confident in them and have healthy children. If any of that changed at any time, we would certainly act accordingly.
How do you plan meals for your family? And what are some of your favorites?
I love this one!
www.kraftfoods.com is a great tool for me! They have simple recipes that are quick, delicious and affordable. I love their 1 bag, 5 dinners idea and have used it many times in our house!
Also, last year at this time I made my own recipe book. I re-wrote recipes that I had cut out of magazines and attached pictures that matched those recipes. I put them in page protectors and inserted them into a handy binder. Super domestic, I know. It has been a HUGE help in preparing meals that I know everyone enjoys already.
When I am not pregnant, most of you know, we eat pretty healthy around here. We eat alot of baked or grilled chicken and prefer not to eat anything fried. Oh, and we don't eat much red meat except in a few family favorites.
Some favorite meals in our home include:
-Potato Chip Chicken (thanks to Aunt Rachel).
-Crispy Parmesan Chicken (or pork chops).
-My very own 6 cheese lasagna.
-French's Fried Onion Chicken (baked.)
-Tacos or Baked Taco Chicken breasts.
-Lots of turkey for lunch usually on flat or pita bread.
and many many more!
Maybe I will put together a one week meal plan and share here that is affordable and that everyone will enjoy. What do you think?
Now that you've gained weight with Mabel, how do you plan on losing it with three kids? You only have a double stroller, right?
Good question! But as with everything else, I have a bit of a plan. Thankfully, Weight Watchers has a breastfeeding weight loss plan. They do not recommend actively trying to start losing weight for at least 6 weeks post pardum which is fine with me. I will naturally lose what I'm supposed to anyway. I need to build up a good milk supply and recover from delivery before worrying about my weight. This is a healthy step for my thinking! Their plan is great and I lost alot of weight after I had Braden while doing weight watchers. I plan on having great success following their plan once again, but focusing only on losing the healthy 1-2 pounds per week.
Oh and as for exercise...I will be able to walk when Daniel gets home at night. I will still take Nora & Braden in their stroller until Mabel gets old enough and then I can take whoever wants to go. They DO, in fact, make triple strollers but by next year Nora will probably be too big for it anyway. So, I'll have to make time to exercise where I can (and you know I will.)
Why do you let the kids run around with little to no clothes on?
Hmmm. Why not?
With 2 small children and one on the way, how do you and Daniel find time to keep things romantic?
Well, in case you haven't seen him, let me just say that my husband is pretty easy on the eyes. We have been together 10 years this year and I still am passionately in love with him (not to mention completely attracted to him.) We really don't go out alone much. The kids stay up late with us. So there isn't a whole lot of time for romance. However, sometimes we sneak in a good kiss at the kitchen sink or hold hands while watching America's Got Talent. Seems to me that when we find time to get too romantic, we tend to create children. We're going to steer clear of one another for awhile.
Ok, that's it for now. I LOVED answering these questions. I LOVED hearing what you guys wonder about while reading my words here. Please, keep them coming. When I get 4 or 5 more questions I'll make it a point to do another post.
We have a pretty chill weekend ahead of us, aside from "Rock The Square" tomorrow night from 5-9 pm. Even if hardcore Christian rock is not your kind of music, I encourage you to come out and support our young people. Remember, the next generation of Christians is a dying breed and yet we have a handful whose hearts are for evangelizing and reaching this community. They need us to join with them not only in prayer, but in body. This is going to be an awesome event and God is going to be present and moving!
Catch you all on the flip side.