Archive for Parenting

“Cleaning your house with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth with Oreos in your mouth.”

I couldn’t help but think of this familiar saying when I looked out at the carpet of yellow on my newly-raked lawn. Couldn’t those trees give me a break for just one day to enjoy the tidy look? But, alas, the wind came in and released several more loads of leaves to lug to the fire pile behind the barn.

It reminded me of those endless-seeming years when five little boys kept our house lively. Homeschooling meant the little mess-makers were nearly always at home, so nothing stayed tidy for very long. We developed strategies to keep chaos at bay, but never achieved the magazine-perfect look.

It is the nature of homemaking that we will never truly be “caught up.” As long as our family is wearing clothes, the laundry won’t be caught up. As long as we continue to serve three meals a day (plus snacks!), seven days a week, the dishes will never be caught up. As long as we have little boys and little girls, the bathing will never be caught up. As long as we keep giving assignments, the paper-grading will never be caught up.

And so we continue to wash clothes, wash dishes, wash little bodies, grade papers, and yes, rake leaves–knowing that the next whirlwind, whether an outdoor breeze or the little whirlwind we’re raising, will continue to bless us with work to do.

Perhaps that is why we so look forward to Jesus’ return–we will finely be “caught up!”



It’s no accident that boys, noise, toys, and joys are rhyming words. My husband and I were blessed to raise five sons, and we certainly had our share of all of the above. I often thought that God must have chuckled as He looked down at Marcia, raised in the suburbs with one sister, now on a farm with all those boys, not to mention all that dirt. And keeping those hungry guys filled up was a real challenge: every night I was faced with six of them (my hubby included)!

I will be speaking about The Joys of Raising Boys May 15-16 in South Dakota and again in Denver on June 20. If any of you have questions, comments, or stories to pass along, I would love to make them a part of my presentations. Post your thoughts right here or write me directly at I would especially like to hear your insights on the differences between homeschooling boys and girls from those of you who have raised mixed gender families. Thanks!

Blessings to you,

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