Thursday, May 22

Ramblings and Photos

It's perty much a guaranteed thing that when you attempt to put five children together for a photo someone, anyone, or everyone will be looking at the ceiling, blinking or in the middle of saying "cheeeeese" like the small one on the left here.
Our kids are great. They crack us up all the time.
When little Catherine says "Cheese" her eyes automatically close because those round cheeks of hers push them closed.Yes, that is marker all over sweet Catherine's arms. It's all over her legs too. And feet. I photo shopped it out in the foot photo below.
We've had a tattooed friend helping to gut the other side of the house and I think she was impressed.


Yesterday I stopped in to see our Town Clerk with Chase's application for a birth certificate.

And I sat. And sat. And sat while the flustered clerk looked through her birth register paperwork. Chase is Number 1 on the birth register for our town. No big surprise. I evidently have a third eyeball by the way the clerk and her assistant kept staring at me and asking why I would have a baby at home.
I had only brought Chase with me to her office and kindly explained that I had four children in hospitals and did not savor those experiences and that is why I had decided on a home birth. That sent the two over the "you definitely have a third eyeball edge" as she incredulously said, "This is your fifth?"
Yes, we have gone up a few pounds on the oddball scale. I cannot go out with all five without being stopped at least a few times by well meaning (mostly) people asking if they are all mine or causing sweet old ladies to wipe their eyes and tell us we have a beautiful family.
It amazes me how differently society's view of children have changed since my grandparents time! Back then five kids would have been no biggie.
In a favorite thrift store last week, a plain dressed man with a beard came up to us with a big smile and let the questions roll. He and his Mennonite wife had raised seven boys and five girls and I got asked everything from, "Are you a church family?" to "Are you able to breastfeed?" by this elderly gentleman who seemed amazed at us. I'm not sure why.
More than a few times people have disappointedly looked at us all and said, 'Boy, you have your hands full." Without smiling. Sometimes with an upside down smile...
And I smile cheerily and say, "Better full than empty!" and enjoy the puzzled looks.

18 comments:

Karen G. said...

Hannah,
Loved the pictures of the kids with the baby - so sweet! I look forward to your posts. Hope all is well....

Charity Grace said...

Love the better full than empty comment. I get that constantly, especially now that I have 4. I'm sure 5 will push me over the edge into true weirdness!

lkd said...

Hannah -
I love that response, "Better full than empty." I have two boys close in age - with one on the way - and I get the "Wow, you really have your hands full" comment too. Now I have a beautiful and joyful response. Thank you,
Lisa

Pam said...

And when the dust begins to settle and your children and are a tremendous blessing to you and impressive to others with God's rich imprint and shaping on their lives, you will rejoice that you were an oddball!!!

Sarah Jane Meister said...

I get that too with just 2. . .now that I've found out I'm expecting my third baby (the oldest will be a little over 2 when this one is born) people are so incredulous that I would want ANOTHER ONE so SOON! Even from Christians I get this pitying attitude, the shrug, the shake of the head, "I don't know how you do it".

I think Someone said that children were a blessing?

How society has fallen away from following the Lord. . .your children are beautiful!!

Kim said...

Oh yes, we often have "tatoos" on our arms and legs...and face over here. lol

I often get the "hands full" comment too. I never know what to say. What a great response! :)

Elise said...

I have no idea how I got here, but when I saw your comment, "Better full, then empty" I had to reply. I just had my third and I get that hands full mess A LOT. Really, three is not that many. Looking forward to reading some of your archives.
Elise

the7gerbers said...

We've got five and have received the same sorts of comments. Interestingly, women my age are the worst. I try to stay positive. My response to the "hands full" comment is often, "well, it's a happy handful, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

It is sad, and a real reflection of what is going on in our culture, that we get these kind of comments. Hang in there! Your labors are not for the approval of men!!

~Andrea

Anonymous said...

Hannah,
I hear every thing you hear when I go out with my four boys. I just smile at them at say it sure is a lot of fun. But four boys..? Yes they are high in energy, but they are great boys I say. It puts them over the edge when you tell them you homeschool, I have found.
Kudos to you for getting a picture with all of them. That took me a long time since the two year old would not sit for one if the baby was in the picture. The kids all look great and we miss you all dearly.
I love the saying and will probably use it the next time I go out and get the weird eye!
Love you,
Marissa

Tonya said...

Those pictures are precious, seeing a brand new baby is making me want another one so badly! I have a tattoo artist in my house as well, his name is Samuel and he loves to tattoo his baby sister too LOL

As for having a third eyeball, I know the feeling. It always amazes me how forward people are. I don't mind if they are being respectful of my large family, I understand that having 7 children is unusual these days, and I don't mind answering questions. But I could do without the rude comments. I have gotten you must be crazy more times than I care to count ::::sigh:::: It is really discouraging when this comes from a professing Christian's mouth : (

Diane said...

I wonder if some of the odd looks and comments aren't because some people are seeing five WELL BEHAVED children in public. In today's society you can pretty much see anything and everything out there. However, the one thing you rarely see is one, little less five, children acting respectfully and politely in public. Perhaps the shock of your situation causes people to realize, hey it is still possible to have a functional family nowadays and stop making lame excuses.

Janel said...

I had my first in the hospital and one was MORE than enough. The other three were happily born at home. :)

I only had to take one to the clerks office and it was no big deal. Apparently they had dealt with wierdos like me before. :-p

Lovely family!

Farrah said...

I love when you said, full better than empty. That's wonderful!
I love the pictures!
Blessings,
~Farrah

big hair betty said...

I also don't know how I stumbled upon your blog, but I enjoy reading and seeing your pictures! It has been encouraging to read all of these comments, we are not the only ones out there raising other people's eyebrows! And I agree with another comment about how great it is to be out and about with our 3 children, letting the world see that well-behaved children really are a blessing! To God be the glory!

Kristy said...

I agree with you- MUCH better full than empty! I'll have to remember that one; I've been getting a lot of "remarks" from people since the birth of our 3rd child (he was born the day after Chase, by the way!). Our oldest is 4 and our second is 23 months, so people tend to think I'm a glutten for punishment for wanting "so many children".

Hold your head high, mama! Motherhood is a blessing, despite what our culture thinks... and you're not the only one out there with a 3rd eye ball! ;o)

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My daughter has four children (ages one to six) and gets that reaction all the time. She hopes to have another within the next year. :)

She said the only people (where she lives in New England) who say kind things about having a larger family are older people and those from her church.

Courtney said...

what a beautiful family you have! I just came to your blog from The Inspired Room and have so enjoyed reading past entries. Your walk with God is impressive and your skills as a mom are admirable. And of course, your kids adorable. Well done! and congrats on sweet little #5!

Mike said...

Hey Sean and Hannah,

What a beutiful baby... I feel bad that i havent seen him in person yet!!! I was going to stop by today but the whole family seems to be under the weather and i didnt want to pass on any special gifts :) Love you guys..You are the best!

Mike