Category Archives: Creating Tradition

Getting Ready for December Festivities!!

We love the holidays! We just get all into this season. I make sure its magical! Yes, I have a great relationship with Santa. I know some people teach that he’s not real, but in my house, he shows up. It’s fun, and the magic they experience is priceless! I don’t think it takes away from the glory we give to the Lord. My opinion.

Christmas season is multiplied in my house by the number of birthdays around and ON Christmas Day. There are 4 kids with birthdays within 2 weeks of Christmas, including 1 on Christmas Day. Fun times for US! Takes a little creativity on my part. We try to make it special for them, so planning starts waaaayy back in September. We plan the amount of gifts, for birthdays and Christmas. My kids like to count gifts on the days leading up to Christmas, making sure they are not left out. It’s not really about the price for kids, as it is about the quantity. (At least right now, while that are clueless about the value of money.) So, we strategically wrap gifts so that everyone has the same amount of packages. I may put a scarf and hat in 2 boxes just so that they will not compare and complain before they open the gifts. I better have 6 wrapped before placing one under the tree, baby! Everything even and everything fair, or else there will be some tension!

Now, we do try to teach that it’s not about the gifts. It’s better to give than to receive. That message is received, but I am not sure how well, based on the lengthy Christmas lists I still get from a few of them. Smh.

I not only have to plan my Christmas and Birthday gifts, but also the gifts from other people to the kids. With good intentions, some people give gifts to different “sets” of children, in different quantities and qualities…….. And there goes my planning efforts deflated. Some people get it, and some people don’t. So, in anticipation, I will have to have spare gifts put aside to prevent feelings of rejection that may last a lifetime. (Small, but it’s not the value that matters. The younger they are, the more vocal they are about their feelings of rejection. We spent many birthdays and holidays dealing with tears with the older group!!! Omg! Tears of rejection and overwhelming guilt, too. The older kids will now express that they know who they will and will not receive gifts or acknowledgment. They understand it’s not personal now. There is nothing they did wrong or can do differently to make other people change. We teach them that they are one family, but other people see them as they want to.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we are grateful for any blessing we receive, but they are still kids with feelings. I don’t like this division, but I just use it as a teachable moment. Character building. I tell them to be the change they wish to see in the world. When they have an opportunity to bless someone, they should remember that feeling. Keep it moving with love!!

Seasons greetings to you all!!! The hubby said you will be hearing from him soon on this blog!! Yay!

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” ~Gandhi

Soooo, He’s The Oldest?

I get that question a lot! lol. Its funny, because people are really saying: “your kids all look like you, but he’s the only one that doesn’t resemble your husband. He must be the first born from a previous marriage and you and your husband had more kids OR you had some explaining to do!”

I usually just tell them the truth and say, no actually, he is the third oldest. (I’m referring to the my firstborn son that is a few shades darker then the rest, so it throws people off in their wondering.) It’s really exhausting to have to explain our story every time that confusion happens. Especially knowing that the kids do not like to be looked at with that awkward sad face, when they tell someone that their biological mother passed away. Or for the third oldest to explain why he’s different than his sister and brother. Its sometimes just out of place.

The same type of responses are warranted when someone says your daughter looks like you or your son looks like you. We just say, “I don’t see it. hmmmm” or “Yes, he does look like his mom!” or “I think she looks more like her dad than me.” I’ve learned to just agree and keep it moving. Blend.

It is weird how we do favor a little. What’s more scary is the fact that after all these years, the kids have picked up on our mannerisms and characteristics. So we act alike. There are a few of ME in the house!! And the boys act like their dad. We all know each other well.

Honestly, with the number of blended families in the world (and in the bible too actually), I am not so sure why people need to ask how a family is formed. I wonder how many people knew that Jesus and His brothers did not have the same dad? He had to look different. And I don’t recall reading about Jesus referring to Joseph as “stepdad” either. He just loved him as his own son. For some reason, that’s how the world is.

Family Mission Statement

1st Rule of Families, blended or not is to have a common mission. Express your mission and love of your family to your children. The days of “them” and “us” are gone! Everything is all inclusive. Everything. No one wants to be left out. There is no secret that the children have experienced death, lost, rejection and pain. We encourage them to express their feelings about those experiences (which I will share in later blogs). My point here is to foster a spirit of togetherness, against all odds. No matter what different paths we took to get together, we are a family.

My husband and I have a mission statement. As vague as it is, it does give guidance and a map when making decisions. Keep God first.

Mission statement
“Our mission is to be a devoted Christian family and to strengthening our community as lead by Jesus. We will set strong examples for our children and we will raise them with the proper mounts of nurturing and discipline. We will give The Lord praise daily for bringing us together for his glory.”

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25

Write the Vision, and Make It Plain

I made a new year’s resolution to start my book about our blended family. I did start it! However, I don’t think that a paragraph will exactly qualify as a best seller. One thing we like to do as a family is write our new year’s resolutions or goals, every January 1st. There are 4 categories: Spiritual, Financial, Mental and Physical. I teach the kids to write their vision and make it plain. One of my physical goals was to run a marathon in my father in law’s honor. I ran a marathon! Whoa!! With the family goals posted to the fridge, which the children frequent a lot, they can see their progress and something tangible to keep them focused. I love it! Most of all I love to see them cross something off the list.

The goal sheet is not only for goals and resolutions. What I love about the sheet is the amount of growth we can share together as a family. The initial meeting. The follow up. The accountability. The seeds planted. Our own Toastmasters.

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:2 KJV