Take your self to the mall. Buy 4 jackets, 4 ski pants, 4 hats, 4 gloves and 4 pair of boots. Be sure to purchase vibrant colors. Girls love light blues, pinks and whites. Wait for some snow but don’t rush outside yet. Wait until it’s melted a little. You want the grass to show through the snow with a touch of mud. Now take the new clothes and tie them to the rear of an ATV. Drag them through this area for two full days. Now wash them as best you can. Keep in mind, girls won’t wear them again if they are stained or torn after washing. If you aren’t careful you will be headed back to the mall with your half empty wallet. This is what it is like having 4 kids. Enjoy the snow!
What a great time with family. We have an auntie and a grandma staying with us for the holiday. They are eagerly cooking everything for thanksgiving dinner. My sister and brother in law have blessed us with their presence. My four girls are playing in the snow. My sore throat hasn’t kept me from playing in the snow with my kids this morning. My oldest just discovered she can handle the ATV sledding just fine with out dad. They are becoming more independent all the time. My warm cup of tea is soothing my dry sore throat. I stare out the window at all the fun taking place autonomously. I was always the provider of this fun. Now it seems my presence is optional. It’s good to see them learning. I truly enjoy these moments. My wife must be feeling the moment as well. She has hugged me several times this morning. Happy thanksgiving everyone. I’m thankful for today and any day with my family. I hope all of you are getting hugs today too.
One of the worst times for me is when my pager from the fire department sounds. I must expedite myself to the fire station as fast as safely possible. I instantly start running a small check list of things I need to Grab. My EMS radio, get a jacket, and put on my shoes. While I sort these things out an amazing ritual has started to develop. My wife grabs the car keys and gets the car out of the garage. One of my older two girls hold the front door open. My two younger daughters start chanting, “go dad go”. The only thing better than helping people in their time of need is having my entire family supporting me as I do it. My family has turned into a NASCAR pit crew. What a fantastic team we make. When I return home there is a meal waiting for me. My kids are eager to hear my often edited tails. They don’t understand the sound of that pager means some one could be having one of the worst days of their lives. All they know is dad will get there and help out. That’s good enough for them to be excited. It’s easy to be your best with so much support. They truly make me try harder.
The best part of a fireman with 4 kids is hearing all four of them cheer me on as I scurry off to the fire station.
I love my family.
I also love the brotherhood in my department. We have an incredible group of men. We work like a well oiled machine. We are men of few words. We work fantastic together. We all jump in where needed. There is no job we can’t handle.
The Firefighter’s Prayer
When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.
I dropped my daughter off at preschool. The teacher tells me what a joy my kid is in class. She always knows what to say to keep the other kids cooperating. She smoothes out disputes and is a peace keeper. She try’s to keep all her classmates happy. When taking her home I asked the usual questions. How was school? What did you Learn? When I asked what she wanted to do today she answered shoot. Alright, I couldn’t get the BB gun and target out fast enough. she is a decent shot. She’s been shooting a couple years now. Then it dawned on me, she wanted to shoot because she knows I enjoy it. My 5 year old is manipulating me. The teacher even gave me a heads up about it earlier this day. I didn’t connect the dots until later. This kid is going to get away with murder. I’m such a sucker!
Imagine 4 kids and the dad watching a movie together. The youngest one gives dad a flying elbow. This instigates a flurry of WWF wrestling moves. Arms, elbows and feet are flying. We were doing great at not drawing moms attention. Then the younger two girls take off their shirts and scream like Rambo. They take their places at the point in the room furthest from dad. They let out a grunt and beat their exposed Tummies like an overweight drunkard. They squat down like they are in the starting blocks of an Olympic sprint. They scream and start running at dad. Just as they leap into the air, mom appeared like a Drill instructor. This exercise is over. Get your shirt on, stop running, get ready for bed you have work in the morning. Then she tells the kids to stop it as well.
Life is good. I don’t even mind being in trouble with the wife.
RNR (Red Neck Ranch) is going strong.
My family was at the local super giant grocery store. We apparently attract attention. The story starts like a corny joke. A husband and wife walk into a grocery store with 4 kids. A stranger approaches and asks if all the kids are ours. (Insert sarcasm) Do most couples pick up random lost kids during entry to this store? We politely answer, “yes, they are ours”. This is a great time for stranger to exit but she just can’t help herself. She points at the male (myself) and asks, “All with him?”. My wife promptly responds, “Oh yes.” The puzzled stranger is struggling to cope with our responses. Just to ice the cake I mention the fact we got married prior to the kids. We walked away from this rude person.
So you want to know what it’s like having 4 kids? Prepare to be judged. The assumptions can vary widely. Such as, they must run an orphanage, they must be on food stamps, they must have adopted the pretty kids with that ugly daddy, I bet they have 4 daddy’s and the list goes on.
My experience says foster families have huge caring hearts. Adoptive parents would give anything for their kids. A large portion of the country is on food stamps. Let’s stop the judging and start the helping. If you want to help my family at the store, push the cart:) the store is not the time to quiz strangers about their family’s design. It’s none of your business.
People, I don’t care how you assembled your family. We all need loved. Take care of those you love. Build your family how ever you can and cherish it. Don’t let the gawkers get you down. Regardless of income, marriage, adoption and life’s little nuances love your family.
I will post two light stories to make up for this rant.
Would you like a glimpse into my electric bill? My garage has 6 double 8′ light fixtures. That’s 96 feet of light bulb. Turn them all on in the morning and go into the house. Turn on 8 lights in the bathroom to brush your teeth and leave them on when you are done. Turn on any room or closet light. Turn on every TV in the house. As soon as the electric meter on the house is spinning like a top, go outside and read a book all day. Dad will slowly turn off the lights one by one when he gets home from work.