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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

God, You Know

In Family, Scripture Thoughts on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Last Thursday, Erin came over to show me her rash.  “Mom, I think I have chicken pox.” 

Now, that’s not a normal thing to hear from your 30-year-old child.  Even if she is the oldest of our seven children AND NONE OF THEM EVER HAD CHICKEN POX! 

Yes, they all were exposed plenty of times.  And when the immunization came out later in the 1990’s, the three youngest had the immunization. 

Here’s the hard part….Erin is 12-13 weeks pregnant.  She gets her blood results back today telling us for sure whether or not she has chicken pox.  Her doctor was honest and clinical about the risks to the baby from the virus.  And Web MD isn’t favorable at all.

It has my mother-heart wondering, why now?

But, Erin shared with me yesterday that she took a long walk and cried and prayed.  The only prayer she could pray was “God, You know,  You know.”

 And she rests in that.  

 Her hope and faith is not in what the doctor says or doesn’t say, and it certainly isn’t in Web MD.

 Her hope is in God alone.  He knows.

 Whatever you are facing, no matter what anyone says…..God knows.  Take a lesson from Erin’s faith today……I am.  ~Robin


She sent me this post this evening:


You know those times when you are going through something super hard and you just don’t know what to do?  Your mind won’t settle down, you know you should be in the Word and praying like crazy, but frankly you can hardly make yourself function.  What do you do at times like this?
I had moments like this over the weekend as I was faced with hard and bizarre circumstances.  I kept thinking where’s that book that tells me step-by-step how to act and what to do when you possibly have the chicken pox (at 30 years old, pregnant with my third child, of all things), and the chance that my unborn child may come into this world scarred, handicapped, or with mental retardation.  Where in the heck am I supposed to get answers?
Well, for me, when my mind won’t settle down I need to get my endorphins going and this means some sort of exercise for me.  I went on a 4-mile power/prayer walk and even though I tried hard to pray, about all I could get to was, “God . . . you know.”  And really I kept repeating that phrase over and over for the 45 minutes that I walked.
I came home and sat down with my Bible and just chose a Proverb.  I really wasn’t getting anything out of it until I read Proverbs 16:20b “Things work out when you trust in God”. (The Message)  I closed my Bible.  That is all I need to know.  I prayed that God would keep that verse in my head all day, and He did.
He was able to calm my mind by me just praying, “God . . . you know.”  And He would answer, “Things work out when you trust in Me.”  And that’s all I needed.  I truly believe this.
What do you do when things seem out of control?



First, Second, Third….

In Family, Moms on Monday, March 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm

The Differences in  Your Third Pregnancy Compared to Your First


With your first suspected pregnancy you take a test before you actually miss your period and take a billion just to confirm that it’s positive.


With your third you remember a week after that you’re late and that you better take a test (maybe that will be a good excuse for how cranky and tired you are lately).


With your first . . . you plan each and every meal with organic and safe ingredients to make sure your new unborn little one is getting proper nutrition.


With your third . . . you’re just glad if you manage to get food on the table for your family and scarf down whatever leftover PB & J’s or mac n’ cheese your kids left for you.


With your first . . . you read every pregnancy book you can get your hands on, spending every waking moment  thinking about being pregnant and having a new baby.


With your third . . . you forget you’re pregnant amidst the wiping runny noses and dirty bottoms, cleaning, laundry, playing, schooling, cuddling just until you have time to run to the toilet and puke up that last food you managed to scarf down and then get right back to the hard business of being a wife and Mommy.


TheFirst . . . you call the Dr. and schedule an appointment the day you find out you’re pregnant and wait in anxiety until that day because it seems so far away.


Third . . . you forget to schedule an appointment, and when you finally call they want to see you that week, “Can you come tomorrow?”


First . . . you take your time getting properly groomed and arrive at your appointment early in time to sit down and relax before you go into the examination room.


Third . . . shower?  I had one of those last week when I decided not to nap during my kids’ naptime.  I’m clean enough.  Relax?  I’m just trying to keep my kids from jumping off the walls in the waiting room.


First . . . you try not to get uncomfortable and nauseated and pass out during your exam and lab work.


Third . . . you’re just trying to keep your kids at the head of the exam bed and tell them you’ll explain later why Mommy has to wear a sheet only.  In the lab you’re just trying to keep them away from playing with the needles while keeping one arm totally still – that takes major skills!


Though the differences are vast.  I still treasure each one of my little ones just the same.  It’s just nice to know I can relax a little more with my third.  I feel I’ve stepped into the veteran mom status just a bit more.   Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.


What else can you think of that changes with each consecutive pregnancy or childbirth?




(who is expecting Baby Simms #3 around Nov. 6, 2009)

The Only Thing That Matters

In Family on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 11:02 pm

For nearly 7 months now, Andrew and I have been planning our wedding (less than 100 days to go!). As a naturally creative person who LOVES planning parties and events, I have done several DIY projects and designed everything from the stationery to the bridesmaids’ gifts to the cake. I’ve stressed and I’ve cried (though only a little) over all these details that are Oh-So-Important. Poor, sweet Andrew has listened to me wax poetic about the differences in turquoise, cerulean, teal, and aquamarine and wonder aloud why everything immediately doubles in price the moment you say the word “wedding” to a vendor. ((Fact: the average cost of a wedding in the USA is $27,490!! Can you say R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S?!))

And the truth of the matter?

NONE of it matters, except one thing:  at the end of it all, Andrew and I will be married.

My gorgeous gown will be worn once. No matter how good the cake tastes, it’s still just a cake. The ceremony songs we’ve spent hours choosing will be forgotten the moment the reception starts. The beautiful flowers will eventually be torn apart and discarded. The copious amounts of catering will be devoured without a second thought. The thousands of dollars we’ve spent will be gone forever, invested in one magnificent party that lasted only a few hours but signaled the beginning of a whole new life.

And for that reason, the stress and the drama and the expense is worth it to me. By remembering the real reason Andrew and I are doing all this (because we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives growing and learning together), I have been able to keep things in perspective. I have grown to accept the fact that things won’t always go as planned, no matter how much time I put into planning them. When I’m even remotely tempted to spend a bunch of money on something extravagant, I tell myself “It’s only a party. Don’t worry too much about impressing your guests, they already love you.” After all, a fancy wedding does not a marriage make.

What do you remember about planning your wedding? Where did you splurge and where did you scrimp? What details mattered most to you?




We’re Gettin’ Many-er!

In Family on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Our family is growing! 


Erin, Jon, Kaden and Will will be welcoming a new precious blessing into our lives the end of October. 


Which will bring our ManyMeadows’ up to 20!


Mimi and Grandpa are quite proud! 🙂


Think pink!!

Happy Birthday Mom, Robin, Mimi!

In Family on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

Wish her a happy birthday today!

Robin Meadows is special to so many people in so many ways. She is a wonderful wife, mother, mimi, friend, couselor and a devoted child of God. She is kind hearted but tells it like it is, she is spunky, silly and fun to be around, and she knows way more about this blogging thing than me! Her example of a christian woman overflows out of her heart and on to every person she comes in contact with. If you have met her, you know when I say that you do not come away untouched or unimpressed. She not only birthed 7 children–naturally, but she is mother to countless others in some capacity. She is one of the biggest tools God has used to make me the person I am today and I know all of my siblings would say the same.

Happy birthday Mom, Robin, Mimi! We’re happy you were born 😉

How has Robin influenced your life?
Tell her happy birthday!

Happy Birthday!

In Family on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 12:00 am


Her birthday is today.  25 years ago today, Ali Elizabeth was born in Oklahoma City.  Erin was six, Andrew was 3.  Ali was our first home birth.  And the very next day was MY birthday….what a present!  Really!! 



Today, Ali is a wife to a lucky Brad Ruhman, a mom of two beautiful daughters, Lily and Sadie, a wonderful hairdresser (for real!), a fabulous cook!   She is a loving, loyal friend and daughter.  She has the cutest giggle you’ll ever hear, and still delights us just like she did that morning she was born, February 9, 1984. 


Happy Birthday, Ali…All us ManyMeadows’  love you!


Do you have birthdays close together in your family?  How about February birthdays?

“That Boy”

In Family on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:07 am

It all started about 11 or 12 years ago, when Jon started pursuing Erin. 


The phrase originated with Dirk.


It’s used in this manner, always with a bit of a smile.


And about 99% kidding.  Ok, maybe only 90%. (After all, no one…and I mean NO ONE is ever good enough to marry your precious daughter!)


“Were you talking on the phone to that boy again?”

“Is that boy coming to see you tonight?”


Erin married that boy.


We experienced it again when Brad pursued Ali. 


Ali married that boy.


When Alexander started coming around he received the same title of “endearment”.  That boy even worked with Dirk the summer before he and Katie got married. 

During the week of their upcoming wedding Dirk even asked his youngest daughter Katie, “So, you’re going to marry that boy?

She married that boy.


Now, it looks like we have a new that boy.  Anyway, he’s sure been hanging around an awful lot! 🙂


I even heard Dirk use the phrase on Anna the other night. 


“So, is that boy coming out to see us tonight?”


He did.


Dirk really likes these boys.  In fact, I know he would really tell you that he loves these men.  (OK – maybe he wouldn’t tell you, but I know he does).

These are the men we prayed for since our girls were very young.  The men we know will lead our daughters to be the women God has called them to be.  The men that are and will be the awesome fathers of our grands.


We have three sons of our own, one of which is already that boy to another family.  We only pray that our sons will be as much of a blessing to another family as all four of the men that have chosen our daughters are to us….even if they are that boy.







Camping Update–Lake Skiatook

In Family on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 9:32 am

Camping actually begins with a food-planning lunch the week before we leave,  and the making (and testing) of a LARGE amount of trail mix.


This was our first time to camp at Lake Skiatook.  It’s a beautiful lake, only about 1-1/2 hours from our house with a beautiful drive along Highway 33.  If you ever go, check out campsite #53 at Twin Pointe.  It’s a great corner site with plenty of tent room….and it will never be the same 🙂


All the grands!  Many hours of fun spent at the park. Uncle Kody and Uncle Jacob took them to play many times!

Watching for mermaids.  Lily was convinced they were in the lake. 

Throwing rocks at the mermaids?  Oh, and notice the shoes.  Perfect for a princess on a campout!



Our kids love games.  A few games of cards and dominoes…..until it was time to eat again!

Grandpa showing off his campfire making skills.


 Drinking coffee (and hot chocolate and apple cider) around the fire.  It was pretty cool on Saturday morning.

Gotta have that flavored creamer with our coffee….even on a campout!


One of our camping favorites….biscuits on a stick.

Oooo…they’re good!


Camping as a family is a great time of focus.  No outside interruptions, plenty of campfire talks when the kids are asleep, lots of playing time, great food, reading and napping. 

Does your family camp? 

A Long Prayer

In Family on Monday, September 8, 2008 at 9:07 am

Celebrating the Labor Day weekend the ManyMeadows-plus gathered around the table full of steaming barbecue ready to bless the food and dig in.


Sadie (2 years) decides she would like to say the prayer. So, with bowed heads and maybe one eye open she starts mumbling words barely audible to the rest of us. I made a mental note in my head:  pray louder around little ones so that they actually know we talk to God and not just mumble a few words and then start to eat!


And deciding that sister’s prayer was not enough, Lily (3 years) starts praying over the food. Hands folded and eyes tightly shut she starts reciting the prayer like she does at home,



“Jesus, thank you for today, help tomorrow be a good day, thank you for our hearts, thank you for mommy and daddy and sister. . . “


she pauses not quite sure what to say next but with a little help from Grandpa pointing at himself and whispering, “Grandpa, Grandpa” she continues.


“Thank you for Grandpa, and Mimi, and Abbi and Do-do.”(the cousins’ name for Andrew).   Long sigh. . .


“And Kody and Alec and Kate-Kate and Alexander.”


She continues on down the list until each one in our family has been prayed for.  She even remembered Jacob who had skipped the prayer to take a quick shower after the backyard football game.


When she finally finished her prayer we all laughingly proclaim, “AMEN”!


Lily’s sweet prayer reminded me that we should always be praying for our family members, even if there are twenty of them. It made me think of three very special women in my life, great examples of prayer warriors for their families:


-My awesome grandmother,  Laura Lee Thomas Marks

-My gracious mother in-law,  Nancy Mansour and

-My beautiful and hardworking mother,  Robin Meadows


All three of these women pray for their kids and grandkids with diligence, covering them with blessings and protection.


I’d like to challenge everyone to pray for each member of your family, individually, everyday this week. Pray for their successes, lift up their weaknesses and pray protection over them.  See how it makes you get along with your siblings better or gives you more grace for your children.


I’m excited to see how God will use this to change our hearts toward each other.



Time to Eat!

In Family on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

Since there are 10 writers here, this will be a rather lengthy post.  But check out what each person will “bring to the table”.  We don’t all agree with each other on everything, but we do agree to love each other, no matter what!


Most everyone works, either part-time or full-time, and some are students and work part-time or even full-time! 


You’ll probably hear from the girls more than the guys, because, well….we just talk a lot! J


From me you’ll still hear the encouragement that you can make it as a home educating parent and live to tell about it.   Things on gardening, Bible, raising kids,  and life in general.



I plan to bring practical ideas and maybe even alternatives to status quo thinking to the table. Subjects such as finances, politics, raising and managing a family and ideas of decision making will be my areas of concentration.








What I  will bring to the table:
 ~My perspectives on growing up as the oldest in a large family, a homeschooler who is homeschooling her children, and a country girl; oh and any other thing I feel like giving my perspective on . . . because believe me . . . I always have a perspective on stuff!
~Tips on fitness, nutrition, weight loss, cooking, gardening, scrapbooking, debt-free living, homeschooling, and living life with purpose
  ~My journey in being a wife, mother, child of God and full-time stay-at-home homeschooling mom that is pretty hip and cool – ha ha, well you can be the judge of that!



What I will bring to the table. I will be sharing an endless supply of yummy recipes, weight loss tips, reviews of books I love, fun and easy craft projects, hair tips, things about my adorable girls, tips on organizing your chaotic life, and sharing in my walk to become a woman of God.



What I will bring to the table. What I learned in college, lessons of a young father, adult league sports, my life as an accountant, current events in sports, and my lessons with the Lord.



Off the top of my head, here are ideas on what I could contribute:
Do-It-Yourself craft projects
Nifty/Thrifty gift-giving
Creative ways to recycle/manage your time/avoid clutter/get organized
Tips on being frugal
Cake decorating (of course)
Book/Movie reviews
Seeing God’s hand in my life








What I will bring to the table:
-Stories from the ER
-Ways to keep you out of the ER
-Adventures of nursing school
-Quick recipes (especially using the crockpot)
-Lessons I learned in Israel/Egypt








What I bring to the table:  My thoughts on some theological issues, traveling stories and tips, and maybe some random quotes or facts. 🙂








What I will bring to the table, besides the good looks and the outstanding wit, okay I’m kidding… ½ way kidding.)  I will be bringing many insightful and encouraging stories about our culture of students in today’s world. I will also share my experiences in losing 75 pounds and the things I learned during that long and difficult time.  Plus, fun spontaneous thoughts about what it was like growing up in a family of seven children, of which I am smack, dab in the middle.








What I will bring to the table:  Things that I’ve come across in my life that mean a lot to me, and random thoughts that go through my head everyday.


So?  What are you looking forward to hearing?