and they all stopped and stared.

can you picture all the excitement and hullabaloo that occurs when a celebrity has been sighted?  it's like "ohmygosh, LOOK! there's so and so!"  and pretty soon cameras are flashing as everyone stops to ogle at this famous person.

well, I get to experience that on a regular basis.  but not because I'm famous

 it's because I have a pile of kids.  and while it may not be as glamorous as a celeb's life, it still garners the same amount of attention that the pope would when we're all out and about together.

seriously, we've had more random people stop and ask if they could take our picture because "gosh, we've never seen so many blond-haired, blue-eyed kids! and they're all so well-behaved!"  well thenwould you like to take a couple home with you? the two year-old is especially sweet, let me tell ya. hehehe.

it never fails.  every. single. time we venture out with the troops, it creates quite a stir amongst everyone around us.  heads turn and jaws drop as we herd our nine kids around.  the air suddenly becomes a-buzz with chatter: "look at all those kids! they all look to be about a year apart and wait! is that the mom? she looks like she's twelve!"  it's true.  people don't think I look old enough to have that many kids.  twelve, thirty-four. what's the diff? as long as they're insinuating that I look young, I'll take it.

here's a funny story.  when we moved to Flagstaff, we opted to fly down and have our vehicles shipped (and only because the company Gary works for was footing the bill.  btw, I think they lost money on that one:) anyway, as we were waiting in line to check in the dozen or so bags we had, I overheard two women behind us gasping over how many kids we had.  and then one of them leaned over and whispered to the other, "wow! and SHE EVEN WASHED HER HAIR!"  um yeah, true story.
and naturally, people are curious.  so we tend to get asked all sorts of questions... most often it's this: "are they ALL yours?!"  I like to answer this one by saying, "no..." and then I pause a second or two before adding, "I have to share them with my husband."  and that's when their eyes bug out of their head.  nine kids?  all from you?  but you're...you're so, well, thin.  

btw, does anyone want a crazy busy super cute two year-old?  after chasing him off of roofs and out of neighbor's houses, I guarantee you'll drop a couple pant sizes.  or maybe you'll just drop dead.  either way, he's available.  lmk.

we also get told quite frequently, "boy, you sure have your hands full."  again, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  but hey, thanks for the reminder because I had forgotten how busy my life is! 

for the most part, the comments we get are very positive.  every now and then we'll come across someone that is downright rude.  this can be upsetting, but then I remind myself how fortunate we are to have nine beautiful, healthy children.  as for the stares, it just comes with the territory of raising LOTS of wee ones, I guess.

 and well, if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!

and speaking of little blessings, here is adorable Nikita.  taken last sunday at the park.  so sweet!

and a few of precious Maisy.  newborns are so squeezable!




Selma said...

Omigosh! Since I'm a spinster, I don't get to experience the "are all those kids YOURS?!" situation, but I do remember taking about 4 of my nieces and nephews out at the same time and getting stares and comments. I was in McDonald's once and my charges were behaving like humans rather than hooligans and I overheard a dad ask his kids, "Why can't you be like those lady's kids over there?" Lady? What lady? Oh...he's talking about ME and MY kids!

Adorable pictures! Those blue eyes can't be real!

Erica said...

I get comments all the time too... and I have less than half of what you've got! ;) Can't tell you how many times I've heard, "You sure have your hands full!" I just say, yep, WE sure do (so it's understood that the hubby is actively involved in this family operation) and if I get negativity, I just say, "You know, I think we're MEANT to be busy." I really believe that, BTW. I feel so much more fulfilled when I am accomplishing things, whether it's a school assignment, cleaning a bathroom, making a nice dinner, or clearing one square yard in the kids' room. :P When we don't have enough to do is when we get whiney and get into trouble, not much different than our kids, I'd say. Love this post!

Briita said...

We went to the library last night. As the crew raced ahead of me into the library a guy was standing at the door and tells me as I walk up (a pg belly pushing another baby in stroller) "who could be so lucky, lady, are these all yours?" (and I was even missing 3) Yep, I said, we sure are lucky! Then he said, "wow, a miracle, yes, a miracle!" Those nice comments are so good to hear and put things right back into perspective.

jen said...

Great post! It must be natural to stare at families with lots of kids, since I've caught myself doing it! ("How many kids are in that bunch? I wonder why they have so many kids in this day and age? Blended family maybe? And look, the mom isn't even cranky!"). But then I have to smile, because it is so nice to see. Children are truly blessings, each and every one. It is a huge responsibility to raise a large brood, but the rewards are enormous.

jessica said...

that's an excellent point, jen. i didn't intend to come across as "boy are you clueless" when someone happens to ask if all the kids are mine. that question definitely has some validity especially in this day and age with so many blended families.

Chet and Laura said...

When I get negative comments (with my 3), I ask the person which kid I should get rid of. It usually works.

Amy said...

Since I am too an *ahem* old spinster and haven't piped up in awhile I figured what the heck ... I'll take the rowdy boy but can ya throw in one of the sweet little girls just to balance things out? Not sure how calmly Rowan would take to wearing frilly dresses and hair ties. (and just for the record I am reminded everyday of something you said when we first met and I inquired about your mental status and having so many kiddos ... You simply looked me right in the eyes and said God gives us what He knows we can handle. Think you should get that printed on 11 t shirts. Maybe that'll shut people up.)

Kelly said...

...and, positivity breeds positivity! I have almost never gotten a negative comment about my family size. I just try to be honest and upbeat and never assume someone is being nasty, maybe they're just clueless!

Barb Makela said...

ahhh... love Amy's post about the shirts! and I live vicariously thru you and your kids. Frank & I sure would love to have a handful, so if you're ever tired of 'em, send 'em to us! (Then we'll be thankful for our childless life after we send them home!)