In their speeches on parenting my parents often tell this story that happened a while back one week when they were at church in Dingle, Idaho (the place where we attend church when we’re up at Bear Lake over the summer):

In Sunday School some visitor from out of town kept bragging about his kids and all the wonderful things they were doing. He went on and on….and on.

Until finally one annoyed, humble farmer raised his hand and said to him: “Well, God sure must not have thought much of you to send you all those perfect kids!”

As a follow-up to that last post, I have to say that sometimes I feel like that braggart visitor…and that man alive, either I sure lucked out with my kids, or God sure must not have thought I could handle the tough ones.

But I also hope to keep it real on this blog. I hope that it comes across that even though I like to celebrate what I love about my children, we have our issues.

Lots of them.

And I know they’re still young…life is long…we have a whole bunch of room for some serious problems in the future.

How I hope Dave and I can be deliberate enough in our parenting that we can be on the offense rather than the defense. How I pray that we can know them well enough to help divert our family from some serious problems in the future.

But for now I’m cherishing that they love each other so well. That they generally look out for each other and get that twinkle of love in their eye for each other on a regular basis. Sure, they argue and they tease. But we work hard on taking care of each other.

Because we are a family. And I believe that this family of ours can be together forever if we fight to take care of each other and honor each other as we should.

How lucky we are that God gave us families.

And that we have the opportunity to learn from each other and the unique trials and hiccups that come along the way.

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  1. I love your blog and I don't feel like you're bragging. I really feel like you are sharing what works so well and can help so many of us. My children are much younger than yours, but I feel like I'm in the same boat often–we have really good kids and I love them and feel so incredibly blessed that they are mine!

  2. I have been blessed with 8 amazing children and I know God loves me so much and knew that I needed them to help me become the best I can be. They are a beautiful example to me of how I should live my life. I know He loves us all but He also knows how to help us grow to be like our Savior and each of us will achieve that in different ways.

  3. This is interesting. I feel like the thing you've made very apparent on your blog, is that the family you have now – kids who MOSTLY get along, kids who are helpful and productive, kids who know how to make goals – is a result of your efforts early on.

    Surely you have been blessed with good Spirits in your home. But if I've learned anything from this blog, it's that hard work and preparation FROM THE START will yield desirable results. It's not a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen, but it is dang good insurance.

    Don't feel like a braggart! You've sown the seeds, just enjoy the harvest. That's what I plan to do:)

  4. So HOW do you get your kids to be friends?? (on the good days!) What do you teach/do/say? I am NOT really friends with my siblings…I'm not sure why, so I don't have a model. Is it the spending time together, or the parental interference during the petty, silly, rivalry arguments? I am desperate for a more cohesive family unit that my nuclear family. My kids are little still…help me start out right!!

  5. I have never felt that your blog comes off as "my kids are so awesome look at how awesome they are!" I think you work really hard to have the type of family you have. And I am trying to get those skills in action because my 2 yr old is fighting me every step of the way it seems. I want to have wonderful children in the future, but will I make it through these toddler years??? ahhhh!!!! My immediate family had great years growing up, but it seemed like about age 16, we few went their own ways and caused about…8 yrs of pretty big heartache in my family. Looking back, I never thought we could go through with it. Now, we have all kids endowed and active, and 3 married in the temple. It is amazing how much faith my parents had to keep us on the right track, even when 3 of my siblings did their own thing for awhile. They realized that family and the Gospel is the most important thing.

  6. I think the thing that makes your blog stand out among the throngs of "braggy" blogs is that you are willing to put in the time to show why you do have such good kids and a happy marriage. Sometimes bloggers just show all the greatness of their lives without explaining what they did to get there. Thanks for your hard work.

  7. How funny! I was listening to BYU radio this weekend and heard them tell that exact story. 🙂

    Echoing the comments of others, I appreciate how you acknowledge the work and effort and deliberate steps that help make your family a happy one.

  8. TIME=LOVE and you invest that time for sure. Your kids feel loved! I don't think it is bragging at all. It shows people that you can't get a great result without putting in the time and sometimes even when you do things can still happen. At least knowing you put in the time it will make anything you face easier to deal with. Your kids will know you love them know matter what!!

  9. What they all said!

    You definitely don't come across as a braggart! What shines through is your incredible love for your family, and how hard you (are willing to) work on it.

  10. I have never commented on your blog before but I do love it so much.

    I think you are exactly the opposite of a bragging mom. It is so apparent you have done an amazing job with your children starting early on. I look at families like yours and wonder how they do it all the time. The only difference is you are taking the time to tell us just exactly how you have done it and the product of your hard work is really great kids. I love that you are taking the time and effort to teach your children yourself (along with your husband of course) and not waiting for the world to do it for you. I think that is one of the biggest problems with kids these days is lazy parenting taking the easy way out.

    Great job to you and thanks for such an amazing blog!

  11. Thanks so much for this blog post. Two things you said really helped me today. I have four small kids who are darling but incredibly difficult. Sometimes I feel like a total failure. But I guess the Lord must think a lot of me to send me such hard ones, right? I hope I'm up to it. Also, I love your Mom's saying about life being long. I've got a long way to go. It's nice to know there's plenty of time if I just keep trying.

  12. Well said. You are an example to me. I don't expect you or your children to be perfect and that's why I keep coming back. I can relate in many ways. We are blessed to come to life as part of a family.

  13. Would never consider you bragging! I don't think ANY parent who has a large family has it "easy". And you have a special needs child…you are enrolled in Parenting 505 (thank you Elder Robbins!). You just happen to take the time to spend much effort in parenting your children!

  14. I think you do very much keep your blog real. You are humble and never act like you have all the answers. You probably have no idea really how many you influence by your blog, and I'm sure by the way you choose to live your life.

  15. My Mom used to say she always wondered if she was a good Mom because she had a great kids or if she had great kids because she was a good Mom…

    I think you do a great job of keeping it real on the blog without bragging. I just posted myself about how blogging is just a slice of our lives, and not necessarily everything that happens in our lives. There are some things that might happen in my life that I simply won't blog… not because I want everyone to think that my life or my kids are perfect, but simply because the people these events involve don't want them to be made public. Make sense? My kids are old enough to care about what is shared and what isn't shared. My husband has a preference about what is and isn't shared about him.

    But also, I think the best thing that you share about your kids (that I feel so immensely about mine too) is gratitude. You talk about your kids like they are gifts. And even though I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume your life isn't perfect, I appreciate your positive attitude and your efforts to do things the right way, even when it's hard. I think it's important to share that perspective, even if it means that a few people assume you simply have model children.

  16. Love that story. It works so many ways. God musta thought quite a lot of YOU sending you all those periodically hard issues. He knew you could work them out! Love you!

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