Okay, so that's not my better side! Paul here. Tell you what, after 11 kids, you tend to stop worrying about how your backside looks when pictures are taken. You're just happy if the point of the picture comes through! The point of this picture is quite simple. When Christy and I aren't busy with the kids, we're very busy keeping the house running. A maid comes in once a day to clean up the messes we can't get to, but aside from that, I'm the repairman and gardner, and Christy is the seamstress and mediator! The kids are all old enough now to fix their own meals, I just make sure there's plenty in the fridge or juicer to keep them happy. Our little farmhouse is bursting at the seams, but we couldn't be happier!
This picture may or may not have made it's appearance already, I'm too tired and too old to figure out if the picture is a repeat. Suffice to say the kids like it when it snows so much that school gets cancelled. It has to snow pretty bad for that to happen though! They all gather around on the playground in our front yard and by the end of the day, we're feeding half the neighborhood!
Our Kenny and Jenny both celebrated their birthdays this go-round. Kenny was first....
He's become such a handsome young man. Christy's worried about all the young ladies who've started calling here for Kenny. I keep trying to tell her she has nothing to worry about. The boy is always going to love her, after all, she is his mother! But, you know how moms and their sons are!
Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of Jenny before she transitioned. You hear the girls talk, they'll tell you it's because all we care about is Kenny because he's the one who will bring the next generation in our home. Not true, but that's girls for you. I've learned to just keep quiet, 9 daughters will do that to ya!
Our girl Gabrielle moved out of the house just after the twins celebrated their birthdays. She's gone to live at TRU with Frankie for a while. I'm not real sure what she's decided to study, you'd do better asking Christy about that. I seem to remember some talk about teaching, but I find myself left out of a lot of those conversations. Christy tells me if I stopped talking to the trees I'd know what's going on, but let me ask you this...have you ever heard a tree talk back?....I think not.
Here's my last four at home. From left to right, Isabella, Heather, Kenny and Jenny. Kenny rather enjoys being the only boy in the home. I talked with Andy the other day on the phone about how Kenny struts around like king of the house and he tells me that's how he felt for the longest time. "Dad, as the only boy in the house, if you don't show that you're the tough one, the girls will barrell right over ya!" I never noticed my girls being anything but loving towards the two boys, but of course, parents don't always see everything.
One thing I can say, our kids do a lot together. From skill building to just hanging out, they are a real close bunch of kids. Even when their nieces and nephews come over (some of them are older than this bunch), they tend to find themselves off in a corner chatting away.
Our girl Emil came over with her husband for a short visit the other night. They left their girls at home with a babysitter. "Mom, I don't know how you did it with eleven! It's so hard with just two!" My wife loves when the girls come over and show their appreciation to her. She went so long crying herself to sleep at times worrying over those girls. I'm so proud of our kids! They've grown into such amazing teens, adults and parents!
And just for the record, this really is my better side!
I'm sending you off now to see what our Frankie and Gabrielle are up to at TRU.