-Nearly 4 years of pregnancy
-20 months of (24 hour) morning sickness.
-28 combined hours of labor
-7 years of breastfeeding
-12 1/2 years of diapers
-5 rounds of childhood immunizations
-stomach flu, ear infections, colic, pink eye, head lice, chicken pox, pneumonia, bronchitis, fever, diarrhea, bladder infections, constipation, teething, xrays, stitches
-1o0 new baby teeth
-4 trips to the ER
-63 1st Day of School Pictures
-150 Parent/Teacher Conferences
-100+ birthday cakes/parties/sleepovers
-7 new musical instruments
-countless spankings, time-outs, and groundings
-12 years of homeschooling
-15 years of paying private school tuition
-8 years of filling out FAFSA forms
-11 summers of watching swim practice every single day
-20 years of basketball games, swim meets, track meets, wrestling matches, baseball/softball games, volleyball games, soccer games, football games; witnessing firsthand the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat
-more choir, band, and orchestra concerts, parades, speech meets, and plays than I can count
-chaperoning dozens of school field trips
-3 pet dogs, 4 cats, 5 rabbits, 3 parakeets, 3 cockatiels, 5 tanks of tropical fish, multiplying hamsters, turtles and yes, even colonies of ants
-Bible Camp, Swim Camp, Hunting Camp, Band Camp
-40+ Disney movies, watched 20-30 times each
-spelling lists and multiplication flash cards and memory work
-29 years of hiding colored eggs and hanging stockings
-10,595 bedtime prayers
-running behind 5 bicycles as their riders learn to balance
-rollerblades and skinned knees and the hazard of uneven surfaces
-treehouses, couch cushion forts, and tents in the backyard
-thousands of meals and loads of laundry
-gum in hair, on clothes, and also the carpet
-permanent ink on skin, clothes, and also the carpet
-48 family trips to the dentist
-100 loose baby teeth and quarters under pillows
-4 sets of extracted wisdom teeth
-lost pacifiers, lost blankies, lost glasses, lost cell phones, lost keys, lost homework, lost shoes, lost jackets, lost contacts, lost library books, lost gas caps
-sticky fingers, sticky carseats, sticky counters, sticky floors, sticky toilet seats, sticky handles, sticky faucets, sticky faces
-dog hair, cat hair, kids' hair which they cut themselves
-broken toys, broken lights, broken windows, broken glasses, broken dishes, broken curfews, broken fenders, broken hearts
-art lessons, horseback riding lessons, music lessons, gymnastics lessons, dance lessons, voice lessons, swimming lessons, driving lessons, Sunday school lessons, Life lessons
-candy fund-raisers, fruit fund-raisers, frozen food fund-raisers, Girl Scout cookie sales, magazine sales, car washes
-first steps, first words, first haircuts, first crushes, first jobs, first kisses
-high phone bills, high electric bills, high water bills, high gas bills, high grocery bills
-school shopping, food shopping, clothes shopping, car shopping, Christmas shopping
-graduations from preschool, Kindergarten, 6th grade, junior high, high school, and college...
You might wonder, for all the investment, what's in it for me?
Whenever you come home from college, or bring your lovely children to our house...
I am reminded again of the eternal perspective...
That all work is worthwhile, and motherhood returns dividends that have proven to be...
beyond my wildest expectations.
Children are a blessing from the Lord. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Excerpts from Psalm 127:3-5