Sunday, October 19, 2008

Digest 4

crispy said...
I have asked before and still wondering what the answer big is that table and where did you get it? How many does it seat?

Our kitchen table, which is actually two put together is 16 feet long and always has seating around it for 16. However, it can easily sit 22. We bought it at a local oak liquidator store where we were able to special order the fabric for the chairs.

Mary said...
I'd like to know what cooking for a large family is like. I usually cook for four, so I can't imagine what it's like to cook for three times that number of people every night! Do you find that it's pretty similar to cooking for a smaller group, only you just make more of each dish, or does it require a very different approach?

Cooking for a large family is not that different than cooking for a small family. Over the years as our family grew, the amount of food that I prepared naturally grew too. It is not like I had to learn overnight how to cook for a crowd. Sometimes the prep and clean-up work can be a little tiring, but thankfully I enjoy cooking so much and I have plenty of helpers that it isn't that big of a deal. Soon, I will be sharing some recipes that I have found to be especially yummy, crowd pleasing, and fairly easy to make.

Nikki said...
I have a question for the next digest in response to the one asked today regarding the girls speaking Russian. You said they barely know any anymore... do you have any plans on getting them in lessons so they can keep the language? Do you do anything with them to keep the Russian culture in them alive, if that makes sense? I plan on adopting my kids in 5(ish) years (although probably from Haiti and Ethiopia) and find it really interesting to hear adoptive parents thoughts on language and culture... although that probably also has a lot to do with me getting a degree in cultural anthropology :) Thanks, and I look forward to reading more as always :)

First off, I am thrilled that you have a heart for adoption. What a wonderful road you plan to travel. As far as re-teaching my kids Russian, I don't think we will be doing that. Spanish would make more sense where we live, LOL. But I do believe in keeping their Russian culture alive. I am Russian myself, so this isn't very hard. We talk about Russia and Ukraine on a regular basis because it is a part of who my daughters are. Since they were older when we adopted them, they have a lot of memories and I don't want them to forget them. I try to cook Russian food like borscht, compote, Stroganoff, and potatoes. We have Russian trinkets around the house, and we play games to see who can remember the Russian names of things. I suppose if they wanted to re-learn Russian we would let them pursue this as long as their other studies were fairly strong.

Denise said...
I am a stay at home mom with 3 adopted children from Russia. Well, they're toddlers.. I find it so hard to live off of 1 salary. How do you do it. Any suggestions.

Our family is blessed that I am able to stay at home. John's salary has continued to meet the demands of our growing family in the form of raises, and to honor his hard earned money and stretch it to meet our family's needs, I have learned to run a tight ship. For the most part--- we don't try to keep up with the Jones'. I am constantly looking for ways to cut costs and live within our means without making our kids feel like being part of a large family makes them do without. I would say that my top three secrets to being a good steward of our money is tithing, using things until they have completely worn out (the kids do not automatically get new backpacks every year just because it is a new year), and helping my kids to realize that there really isn't anything that they need that they don't already have.

Connie said...
Hey sis, I nominated you for
a blog award :-)

Thank you so much. I feel honored. I am so glad that I inspired you to start blogging again because you do an awesome job. I think it is a wonderful way to keep in touch. I pass this award to Heidi, Maleri, Kathy, Carrie, Jen, Rachel, Carla, and June.

But the real question is, did you go and vote for me? Just kidding. :)

Faith said...
"I couldn't even think of starting a new project until my first book was done---- and I finished it last night!"Umm...what? I never heard about that! Please do dish!!

I'll share in a couple days, I promise.

beth said...

Questions I have:

1. Do any of your children take medications for behavior issues?

2. Your table, that everyone is interested in, does it happen to be a Broyhill-Attic Heirlooms piece? It looks a lot like mine.

3. How do you handle the constant "noise"?

4. With so many kiddos what things have you learned to overlook?

(1) None of my kids take medication for behavior issues. When William was in kindergarten and we insisted he be evaluated because of Autism like behaviors, the school wanted to have a pharmacologist be part of the IEP team. I was adamant that I did not want to go down that slippery slope and would not allow a pharmacologist to be part of the team. William, with his issues now recognized has done a total 360 in school and is now the best behaved student in his class--- no joke. I'm not sure why he still struggles with certain behaviors here at home--- but nothing is even remotely bad enough to warrant any kind of medication in our opinion. I think he feels that home is the one place that he can be himself which still includes saying Binky and Dad at least 100 times a day. If one of my children all of a sudden became really aggressive, suicidal, or had a change in behavior that was totally out of character for them and medication was the best option, I think we would definitely consider it after exhausting all other resources.

(2) Already answered. (3) The noise level is naturally loud in our house. For the most part I have come to accept it and ignore it-- accept when the phone rings. That is when I get louder than all of them and shout, "BE QUIET RIGHT NOW!! I AM ON THE PHONE!!!" Great example, huh? (4) I have learned to overlook very little. I run a tight ship. My kids know I run a tight ship. My husband is 100% onboard and he is an equal co-captain. But, we honestly try to practice what we preach and we dish out tons and tons of love while we are parenting. Our kids are really good kids and because they know how the ship operates, they don't do too many things to make it go off course. And I must mention that we are all about grace--- but that is different than overlooking something.

dj said...
My husband and I are thinking of adopting. Most of my family is against it and two of my friends think it's a wonderful thing. What are your feelings about adopting out of birth order?

We have adopted out of birth order four times. Each time it has worked out beautifully. While we may sound totally "out there", we just felt that a child should not be considered or not considered for adoption based solely on their age. When we adopted Rachel, she became our oldest daughter, and if you were to ask any of my kids, it was and is not an issue. What reason could be good enough that would trump a child not having the chance for a family? Would it be that my bio daughter might not be the first to walk down the aisle? Big deal-- what would God say about that? Or might it be that my oldest son might have to let his new sister hitch a ride in his car to school in the morning? He should be thankful to have a car if you ask me. Now, I am not saying that any of my kids have said or felt this way, but honestly, if they did I don't think we should be adopting another child because in my opinion if my kids felt this petty about such non-important things than I should be focusing on raising the kids I already have to have hearts more like Jesus and less like the world before trying to add another child to our family. (sorry for the run-on sentence)

Pat said...
Just a purely educational question, what are your thoughts on professional counseling for the kids. I obviously don't know much about RAD or other emotional disabilities but I don't recall you mentioning it and I haven't seen a discussion of it on other blogs. Have you had to struggle with RAD? This seems, by your posts and how well your children are doing, to be one disorder that fortunately bypassed you.Again, just purely educational for myself

Good questions. Both of my girls were said to have RAD. One family was doing the Nancy Thomas approach including strong sitting. I don't want to go into too much discussion since I am not a "professional", but I will say that my girls do not have RAD nor have they ever been in therapy.


  1. Sounds like you've got one amazing family! And your table sounds perfect. I can understand cooking for a crowd - some people wonder why I don't stress with big groups over, but it's really no different than with my own family of 3, just more. I like your approach with pharmaceuticals...

  2. Thanks. I had always wondered about that table.

  3. It's neat to get more details about how you have your home set up to accommodate your large family. You really have to be organized to keep things rolling.

  4. 2 of our girls were also said to have RAD. They don't. They came with behaviors that were RAD like, and those disappeared pretty quickly.
    Like you, we run as organized as can be home, with loads of room for grace and happiness and creativity. We keep short accounts. If you do something wrong, it is dealt with, forgiven and we move ahead. No biggie. Just move ahead. One of our girls came with nearly a rap sheet and she was only 5. LOL Everybody was in on the accusation band wagon. She had RAD written all over her. She had behaviors for sure, but was never in a home long enough to be taught anything. (domestic)
    She is a delightful almost 10 year old now. :) Delightful, not perfect. :)

  5. I am so glad you took the stand against medications! To us, that would have to be an absolute last resort. God Bless -

    Tony & Dawn
    Parents to 6 Blessings from God
    (and living off a single income below $100K)

  6. Congrats on your award and thanks so much for passing it on! It is fun to read your Q& A!

  7. Thanks for being so responsive to everyone's questions. It is amazing to me that you do it with your busy household. I remember a picture you had a while back of chicken kotlety. I have a recipe for gribnye (mushroom) kotlety which are VERY good, but would love yours for the chicken. Let me know if you've already posted it somewhere else. Thanks!

  8. Hi Christine!
    I love your digest! I have a few questions for you too!!

    #1 - Have you shared your borscht recipe before? I'd love to try it!

    #2 - How do you handle all your family photos? I know that you have the camera around allll the time - so what do you do with the photos? Do you store them online?

    #3 - Do you give your kiddos allowance?

    Loving the pictures! You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!

    Take care!

  9. I love your weekly digests!

  10. The Q & A is always nice because we can all be alittle nosey and you let us know all the details. Less is more and that is what I am learning from mothers with large families.
    Thanks for the award, I really appreciate it!

  11. I have a question! Do your kids know about your blog? Do any of them read it? Do you ever think about what might happen if they found it themselves?
    Thanks! -Elizabeth

  12. Thanks for answering my question.I love your blog and I find it very helpfull:)

  13. I just had to respond to the adopting out of birth order issue. We have 2 bio children and adopted a daughter 4 years younger than both of them and she still walked down the isle FIRST. No guarantees whatever the birth order. We now have 3 little ones from China . Thanks for answering our questions. I am getting good ideas about what is normal and acceptable for some issues I deal with. I have a question I am wondering how you handle eating inbetween meals? It is driving me crazy. Is it just not allowed in your family? I just don't know where to draw the line they are still little 4,6 and the baby 16 mths.(she eats all day of course). How does it work in your large family?
    Cindi Campbell

  14. many years ago, I was married with his kids and her kids. So this is different than adoption but boy did we have problems with out of birth order. one oldest child lost that spot and his youngest and my youngest were always acking younger trying to keep there youngest spot. It was horrible. that question brought back alot of memories. wow

  15. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your recipes!

  16. Just a thought.. You should change the picture on the front cover.. :-)

    Also would love to hear some things about William. He is such a cutir pie.. Would love to see some pics of him when he was younger.. He's my fav.. :-)

  17. Why change your picture? I think it's great.

  18. I have been reading your blog for at least a year now and I cannot believe I didnt know you were Russian!?! Are you full or part? You know what's funny? My husband was leaning over my shoulder a few months back and said, I bet that is one is from Russia. I said No, that one is home grown. I guess we both kinda right. :)

    BTW for what its worth, I love your header picture and I have very fast internet but it does take extra time to "load" before I can start reading.n Sometimes it get's kind of hung up. Maybe it is something else on the page that does it. Who knows. :)

    Anyway, I just love to hear about your big family!


  19. Opps! I hit post without proof reading, sorry for the errors! :)



I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.