Showing posts from January, 2012

A Toast to my Godmother Sally Dixon

Sally with her 8 Great GOD Children, the Otis Kids Jan 2012 My Godmother Sally is turning 80 this year and she has been a wonderful source of light in my life. I use her quote that I believe was her mother's almost daily, "The truth will suffice."  After college I started working as an assistant to the executive of a nonprofit organization and was brought into the busy pace of office life before I even graduated. I remember the hectic transition and taking time weekly to meet with Sally and read psalms together. We shared a simple meal, often fasting beforehand and would read and talk about the verses. It was a bit of a spiritual cocoon for me, a time to nourish my spirit quietly in communion with a gentle guide. I am often poked fun at good-naturedly for my optimism, or for my desire to see a positive around something difficult and I see that so deeply in Sally. Where is the beauty in a person, how can we turn this experience into dance or into art? Is God

Mess VS Breath

J-L writing in his journal in Maine I need to get better at balance in stressful times. I guess it makes sense that things get busier and frantic when so many people have events at the same time. Games, Reconciliation, riding lessons, dance, a birthday party and then....the van breaks. Lucy did relatively well for the reconciliation service today but still it was busy and I wished she would be a bit less explorative. That was peanuts as the day went on. Doing my best to get to Costco in-between game 3 and 4, before birthday party 1 and during nap 2 the van's new transmission went kaput. So toddling along at 65 suddenly its like I am sliding on ice doing my best to navigate to the side where of course my only option was an off ramp going up. Sigh. It worked and I made it home, but clearly frazzled. No food for Lucy's first birthday and a van I was scared to drive. I did stop and pray. Sometimes, or often, I get wrapped up in the events. Concerned with who I was able to con

Terms of Endearment

Markie to me: Hey Baby, could I get a Tiger Tattoo? Me sputtering: What? What did you call me? And no, no tattoos. Markie:  Well when Dad wants something, like a sandwich, he calls you Baby, I thought that might be like a special trick. Me:   Well, no its a term of endearment. Something to say that's sweet, like me calling you sweetie. Markie:  Bummer. I didn't think I'd get a tattoo but I thought maybe a cream cheese sandwich. Me:  I'll make you a sandwich sweetie. Markie: Thanks Baby Mom!

Singing while we work

Getting the big boys to sing while they work is harder now, but they do still work hard:) Kids pair 100% of socks around here. No they don't always match but it gets done! Learning how to be productive in the middle of the baby phase is likely the only way we are still standing 8 kids in. I remember having a couple toddlers and an infant for the first time and thinking "Uh Oh! How the heck am I supposed to get anything done" Then I started ...singing. No not in a Deirdre peppy way but in a survival keep little ones entertained while running around getting things done. Songs for clean up, songs for meal time prayer (Johnny Appleseed is awesome!), songs for rumbling tractors to make the vacuum fun, songs to find and fold socks to. Someone popped by and asked why on earth the house was clean (they only looked at the front room)! And a huge part of it is the old whistle while you work adage. Singing also seems to make us all work faster, weird but true. The trickiest

Pre Teen learning curve

I guess we officially have a pre teen, not the easiest stage we have had, not the hardest. The oldest truly is the litmus test for the other siblings. When do they get a phone? An I pod touch? The ability to babysit? To stay up late or make their own calls? We run on the conservative side of these questions but that is in part due to size and family dynamic. No phone yet (oldest turns 12 this summer), no i Pod touch, no phone calls, lots of staying up late:) We had an incident where a group of boys was disrespectful in class, moms received an email and were told to talk to their sons at night. Great teachers, great quick response. I decided to pick my son up. In part to have one and one time to talk about what happened, and in part because respect is such a paramount value for our family. Mouthing off to a parent or teacher is absolutely 100% not OK, in any situation. I am not your friend (as much as I am working on that this year:) I am my child's parent. End of discussion. That


Brothers, sometimes the best of friends:) One of my goals of 2012 is to foster friendship. To support and encourage the friends I have, and get to know new people better. Seeing the children navigate the world of youth relationships can be wonderful and heartbreaking on the same day. Overall I think being in a big family has made it much easier. The built in play dates, the referees who love the deviants equally, the activities and adventures with built in partners in crime. Still, school and sports teams take a road map, and as lucky as we are to be in a wonderful parochial school and supportive athletic teams, we need to model the importance of relationships, even at a young age. Markie (5) is already a force to be reckoned with if you step on his buddy's toes. He has gotten in a scuffle or three already in kindergarden but it seems he is the go to man if someone is bugging you. Sheff and I were able to go out to meet some new friends for drinks last night and I noticed M

Daisy Explains Time

Daisy serving tea, which is likely perfectly hot Daisy (4) handed me her sippy cup saying "Mama please heat up my hot cocoa it got cold in the middle of a sentence." I asked what she meant. Really trying to buy time cuddling with Lucy. "Well, everything happens when other things are happening. My Hot cocoa was hot, then it got cold." I nodded and asked "Whose sentence was it when it got cold?" She rolls her tiny eyes, "MOM anyone's sentence silly! Its all about TIME like the commas, now can you heat up my cocoa?"