Welcome!

There are lots of things I hope to accomplish as a mother and stepmother. One of those things was that I wanted to have the house that my kid’s friends wanted to come to. I wanted to be the fun place to go, but I also wanted to know who the kids were around and what was going on with them.

This weekend Sadie Mae had a friend join our family, friends, my nephew, and my brother on a haunted house outing. We had a ball. This would be the second haunted excursion of the weekend and followed a birthday party for Ryder. We were tired, but we promised the kids that we would go and we do not break those promises.

We stay busy and we love having experiences that are just about us. Not just games and school events, but memory-making time. There were 15 of us! Sadie’s friend, Hope, is an only child and I think she enjoyed being our honorary kiddo. She got to experience the loud and crazy that is our family. We loved it!

My nephew wanted to sleep over and my friend’s kids wanted to keep going. I love that. We open our door, our schedule, our wallets, and our hearts and I think that is a service and a ministry in itself. People can leave their children with us and take rest in knowing that they will be cared for as if they were our own. That means a lot to me!

We live for that kind of fellowship and connection. Hope’s questions about our children, our marriage, and how a big family worked truly touched my heart. It was apparent that she wasn’t only comfortable, she was enamored. What a beautiful heart! I am proud of Sadie for choosing a kind friend like that.

The fun house is more than just outings and the best snacks. The fun house is all-inclusive. The moment the kids and any of their friends cross our threshold, they feel like they belong and that they are home. We remain open-armed and ready to play!

Hope rode the fourwheeler and carved her first pumpkin. She and Sadie colored their hair blue and had girl talk. I was their pick when it was time to choose an adult to walk with through the haunted house and they insisted on getting me a face mask, so we could all do them together. My girls even got me a cactus one!

This may seem small, but when I am anxious or I feel like nothing I do is right, I can look at last weekend and know that my best is good enough for them. These things are precious to me because all four of our kids are precious to me.

We ate together, we prayed together, we laughed together, and we enjoyed being together. There were no impossible expectations or double standards. There were no insults or disrespectful attitudes. There was no entitlement or self-centeredness. All of the worldly worry and ugliness was left at the door. We felt joy. We felt love. We felt at home. We were enough.

I always pray that no matter where the children are, they feel loved and they feel happy. I pray that they feel secure and they feel valued. Between shared households, school, and an angry teenager, I pray over the time they are not at home. I just want them to feel love.

This weekend was a treasure because I know we showed all of them love and most of the weekend it was received and welcomed. We have a lot of moving pieces and it gets tricky, so I keep these times deep in my heart. I praise God for the opportunity to raise kind children and to be together at our fun house!

Psalm 55:14

We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.

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