A Few Reflections on Raising Children

(in between the paragraphs of this article are a few random pics of my kids/family through the years)..

Leanne left on Wednesday morning for Denmark to spend 3 weeks with Emily. To say I was stressed for those nearly 24 hours of flights and layovers is an understatement. She arrived safe and sound and is currently with Emily enjoying her time in Copenhagen. But it made me reflect a bit on raising children.

I thought it was tough when they were young. I had to make sure that the home was safe, no sharp objects for them to get a hold of, make sure the cleaning supplies were out of reach, keep the baby gates in place, teach them to play nicely and not be rude, obey the rules, potty training, diapers, nap times, sleepless nights, etc.. Then we move onto spending the nights with friends, outside influences and activities, and keeping a stable home and during it all you think, when they get older this will be easier, I won't fret so much about them… well not quite..…

Then they learn to drive! And you wait up for them, pace the floor not able to sleep until you hear the car pull in and they are home.

Or they join the military and are deployed.. You worry everyday for their safety and pray continually for them. And then praise and thank the Lord when they are finally home.


Some marry and have issues that you listen to and pray for and try and give godly advice. They have children and you now you have grandchildren who you think of and pray for.

And then.. some decide to go and spend a year in Europe! When you don’t see them pop onto Skpye or Facebook for several days you wonder.. is everything ok? And you pray some more… and then they call you and there is peace in your heart when you hear their voice.

And as I was taking my 19 year old daughter to the airport and putting her on what would be a nearly 24 hour flying and traveling experience with little contact.. well.. I prayed some more.. and realized that being a mom never does really come to an end. Your children’s well being is always first and foremost on your mind. And I also realized how simple it was in the days that the biggest challenge was keeping them away from the scissors and cleaning supplies and keeping them happy, well fed and living in a clean home.

Not to confuse simple with stress free.. no those days had their stresses too… I remember one day when I had several little ones in the home and I was pregnant with Jacob. The day was stressful and my father stopped by to see me. He saw my stress right away and said to me, “Can I take the kids for a walk?”… heck yes!! I said.. and as he was leaving with them all (after spending a half hour trying to find shoes and get everyone ready to leave :). .. he said to me.. “Remember Crystal.. These are the Good Old Days.. these are the days you will look back at one day and remember fondly”… aww.. such wonderful words of wisdom from my father. He passed away 5 years ago and I miss him terribly.

But how true his words were! And you know, one day I am sure I will look back at these current days and say the same thing.. “those were the Good Old Days”.

Moms… treasure EVERY day no matter how difficult, stressful or how hectic.. Believe me with 8 children I KNOW hectic and crazy.. .. But, really the years go by quickly and they grow up and new challenges come our way..So when I start to feel stressed by it all.. I remember.. treasure these moments today and ultimately I remember ONE most important fact…

Jesus is in control.. How awesome is that! It goes way beyond anything I can handle and it is so comforting to know that He cares for them more than I can comprehend. He is watching over my children and grandchildren!



  1. Crystal, thank you so much for the reminder to enjoy the moments. I have 4 boys, and I need to remember to enjoy it, rather than get caught up in the stress & chaos. I know that my babies will be grown before I know it.

  2. Now you have me in tears, my friend. Yes, I miss my little people so much...and parenting older children is so different that younger ones. I'd go back to younger years in a heartbeat. But, I know I can't. I loved the photos and your words. I have gleened much from you over the years. You are a most excellent example!! :)

  3. yup, tears here too. It's been a hectic last couple months and sooo easy to get caught up in how hard life can be when I lose focus on the reason I do what I do and why I do it! I feel especially bad when I KNOW how fast they grow from watching my nephew grow up from my baby to a teenager now....I know it's going to happen to my own boys sooner than I like but it's so draining some days being a mommy to just two active toddlers (and over halfway there with their sister!) BUT, I am living my dream and love being home with them!! I love reading these "reality checks" they're great for me, thanks again Crystal: )

  4. A wonderful post and a great reminder for us all! Savor it all!

  5. Crystal,
    What a beautiful post. I loved seeing pictures of the kids through the years.

    I sure can relate to this post. Thanks for sharing your feelings with us.

    Love you my friend,

  6. Tears here too. This was just beautiful and exactly what I needed.

    God Bless,

  7. Beautiful post with SO MUCH TRUTH!

  8. Crystal,
    I love this post! I have also learned much from you over the years of following your blog. I think when I found your blog my oldes was two or three and now he is seven! Sometimes I watch him sleep just to remember what it was like when he would sleep in my arms. I miss the good ol days :)
    Blessings my friend,
    Sarah L.

  9. How very true. You have a beautiful family.

    How blessed you are to have a family who you love and who loves you.


  10. Absolutely true!! A beautiful post Crystal--TY so much for sharing it! And BTW--the photos were great!!

  11. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your pictures and your thoughts. It is so good to know God is always in control. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  12. Wonderful post. I've been reading your blog for several years now and I speak about you like you are an old friend. We regular eat, "Crystal's bean burgers" at our house. I just wanted to say, "Thanks" for letting us share in your life and family with you. You are indeed a blessed lady and I only wish we lived closer so I could know you in person. God Bless dear friend.

  13. Thank you for taking the time to assemble that post. I watched your children grow up through your pictures and I appreciate so much you visually showing me that they do change and grow up, and we should appreciate the stage we are in right now! Thanks again!

  14. Hey Crystal

    I'm not even a mother yet, just an Auntie, and this post still had me in tears :P

    Just wanted to let you know that when I am blessed with children and a family of my own, I hope that I am even a fraction as able as you at managing everything! I've been reading your blog and looking through your recipes for a while now, and have made a number of them with my mum and my sisters. Just thought you'd like to know that you're respected on both sides of the Atlantic, as I'm reading from Ireland!

    God bless and thanks again for your wisdom time and time again.


  15. Lovely! And no it never changes. My son is 37 and is currently on a trip to the East Coast with a group of 8th graders and teachers from the district he is a vice princple in.

    After the horrible disaster in Japan I looked at my dear husband and said "I suppose he is too old for his mother to tell him he can't go?"

  16. What a great post and reminder. I just had my seventh 6 weeks ago and he is the fussiest baby I have ever had. Sometimes when he's in the middle of crying yet once again and I don't know why, I take a big breath and remind myself that these days pass all too quickly. Soon he will be too big for me to hold so even if he's crying I hold and hug and cuddle him.
    I love the pic of your two boys all in camo. That's the way my two oldest boys love to dress all the time. :)

  17. I think you may actually be the first blog I ever read about five years ago and I don't think I've ever commented.

    But this post? How smart of you to post it on a Monday. :) And my Monday, has been very, very, very Monday, if you know what I mean.

    I'm a home schooling mama to four (ages 1-7) and ::shhhhh:: we just found out #5 is on the way. I was very overwhelmed today, thinking I wasn't doing a good job with school or discipline or just being a mama in genereal. And thinking how would I be able to do this with one more? I ended up giving myself a break and just playing and relaxing with my babies.

    Thank you for the gentle reminder that I'll miss these days sometime soon.

  18. This post had me in tears. My oldest child is about to step out of her teens and turn twenty. And I have just realized those little elderly ladies that walked up to me in the grocery store (as I stood in line surrounded by my cranky kids and a frazzled look on my face), "They grow up so fast." were right. I how I wish I could go back and relive those days and cherish every moment!

  19. I just had twins 6 weeks ago which now makes our home have 7 children ages 6 and under. I got on your blog today to catch up from what I've missed over the past couple months and am in tears reading this post, as this is JUST what I needed today! Reading your sentiments, along with others who commented, reminds me again to not get so worked up and caught in the busyness and mundane of little ones that I forget to cherish and enjoy these times. Thank you SO much that reminder!! :)

  20. Your best post ever!!!!! from Wykate

  21. Thank you for posting this. I have read this post several times and it brings tears to my eyes each time. I have many little ones in the home and it is hectic but so nice to be reminded to treasure each day.


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