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Kids are a blessing from God!

Updated on January 17, 2015

My journey to becoming a mom of seven

I am blessed to be a 47 year old mother of seven children. There was a time when I thought I never wanted children. I wasn't sure that I knew how to be a good mother, or any kind of mother at all. I married at age 26 to a lovely man. I had a great job and made good money. I was pretty sure that children would get in the way of all that I wanted. Little did I know how wrong I was! When I turned 30, I re-evaluated. Maybe I did want children. At that point I had an excellent career, but realized that if I ever did have children, I would never see them. I'd be at work. Was this really what I wanted for my life? I didn't think so. Growing up, both of my parents were school teachers, so I decided that a teacher was a good job for a parent. My husband and I discussed it; the only way we could become parents was for me to get a teaching job. One problem, I didn't have a teaching degree; I had a business degree. And we weren't sure we could afford for me to go back to school unless we did something a bit drastic. Like move in with my in-laws for 2 years while I got certified. So that is what we did. We lived in my in-laws basement for 2 years so I could go to school.

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The next step

I get certified to teach, I get a job, I get pregnant!

After 2 years living with my in-laws and going to school, I was ready to student teach. My husband and I decided to look for an apartment so we could have our own place once again. We found that we would pay the same amount in rent that we would for a mortgage. So we ended up buying a house. And I spent the next 6 month student teaching. I should say that teaching is in my blood; my father was a teacher, my mother was a teacher, my aunt was a teacher. I got my elementary education certification from West Chester University and began my job search. I spent a year substitute teaching in any and every school district that would have me. After one year of substitute teaching, I was hired at the school where my aunt had taught for 30 years. And what do you think? At the end of my first year teaching, I found myself pregnant! I was on my way to motherhood!

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The first blessing

Our precious firstborn son Ellis

The first time wasn't so easy! I found myself bleeding at 7 weeks gestation and I was sure that I was losing the baby that I had not even told my parents about yet. I had to call them to tell them that I was pregnant with their first grandchild, but I was sure that the pregnancy was coming to an end. I called them on my way to the hospital where I was to have an ultrasound. They arrived at the hospital as I was in the middle of the ultrasound. Praise God, we saw a tiny, beating heart of a viable baby to be born the next early February! I finished out the school year and did not tell my fellow teachers I was expecting. By the time I returned in the fall, I was proud to be wearing maternity clothes and planned to teach as long as I could while waiting for our first baby. I was due February 8. December 20 was the final day before school let out for Christmas break. I planned to teach until January 30, so I figured I had another month to plan for my long-term substitute. Instead I found myself bleeding again that night and in preterm labor at just 30 weeks gestation. I ended up in the ER, they kept me for 12 hours and sent me home on bedrest and medication to stop the labor. In just 12 hours I was back in the hospital because the medication couldn't control the contractions and I was back in labor. I stayed hospitalized for 4 days and finally the doctors got it under control. I came home on strict bedrest and medication that made my heart race. After 7 weeks on bedrest, I made was considered full term and allowed to resume normal activities. After another week, our precious son Ellis made his entrance into the world perfectly healthy on January 28, 1997. What a gift God had given us.

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him."

Psalm 127:3

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The second blessing

Our sweet first daughter Anna

Once Ellis was born, I returned to teaching part-time. I taught Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Monday thanks to an all-day, alternate-day schedule our school had for kindergarten. I continued in graduate school while I was teaching, working on my Master's of Education degree. After another year teaching, I found myself again expecting. This time I was due in July. I could finish the year and have the baby in the summer. In December that year I finished my Master's program and earned my degree. In June I finished the school year and took a 2 year maternity leave. I never thought that I could afford to stay home with my children, but God was stretching us. A 2 year leave would give me time with my babies but allow me to return to my job if needed. On July 9, 1999, our sweet daughter Anna was born (right on her due date!) I was again blessed and in awe of a God who gave such good gifts to us. What more could I ask for? Of course now I had a son and a daughter and thought that this would be my family. Thankfully, I was wrong!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

James 1:17

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The third blessing

Just One more! Our wonderful second son Braeden

I found that I really enjoyed being a mother. I liked everything about it and I loved staying home with my kids. I decided we needed just one more baby. My husband came from a family of four, so he didn't think that having three kids was unreasonable. Soon we found ourselves expecting again. At the end of my 2 year maternity leave, I informed my school district that I wouldn't be coming back. Of course by the time I told them, I was already in my third trimester of another pregnancy. This time I was due in December 2001. At the 20 week ultrasound, we discovered I had a low-lying placenta. Not to worry, the doctors said, it still had time to resolve itself. Because at this point I was considered AMA (Advanced Maternal Age) and because I had a low-lying placenta, I had additional ultrasounds. The previa never did resolve, in fact it turned out I had complete placenta previa (where the placenta grows across the cervix and blocks it completely) and would have to deliver by cesarean section. That was a bit scary to me; I had never had a major surgery before. God had his hand upon me and my child. I never had any episodes of bleeding or trouble from the placenta previa. Our second son Braeden was born (4 weeks early to prevent labor) by c-section on November 21, 2001. He was a beautiful baby and I again thought our family was complete.

The fourth blessing

Three just wasn't enough! Our lively third son Kellen

My husband was a good father and a good provider. But since we were now a one-income family, he felt that three children was enough. Oh how I longed for another baby! I begged him, I reached the point where I nagged him about it. But he still felt 3 was enough. After some wise counsel from some older women, I decided to close my mouth and submit to my husband's desires. Funny how God honors us when we honor him; after submitting to my husband's desires, my husband turned around six months later to say that he thought we should try for another baby! He knew that was the desire of my heart, and he didn't want to deny me. We were again with child and due in March. This time things were easy, no bleeding, no previa, no bedrest. This baby was going to be my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) baby. I had been having a nice pattern of contractions, and the doctors felt that if they broke my water, birth would be imminent. However, this baby had a different idea. He was sideways. So I ended up delivering our precious Kellen by another cesarean section on March 10, 2004--our 14th wedding anniversary. What an anniversary present that was!

"Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

Colossians 1:18

The fifth blessing

Five? Our Feisty second daughter Maebrey

I was enjoying my four children and remember remarking to my husband that I was so going to enjoy Kellen since he was the last baby. My husband replied that he didn't have to be the last baby. God had been working in my husband's heart and he was feeling the desire to accept children that God gave us. So you know what happened next. Yes, without too much trouble we conceived again. I knew that this baby would be born by a scheduled c-section since my doctors did not allow any VBAC attempts after 2 cesareans. Somehow, with four children to make arrangements for, the scheduled birth was almost easier. On May 23, 2006, our second daughter Maebrey was born. My Anna finally had a sister to love.

A time of Sorrow

Things don't always go as planned

After five relatively easy pregnancies, I assumed that we would have no trouble conceiving another baby. When Maebrey was just 9 months old I found myself pregnant again. We were thrilled! I had no reason to believe that there was anything wrong, but something just didn't feel right. It took a week longer for the pregnancy test to come up positive, I felt better than I thought I should have. After 10 weeks of pregnancy, one night I dreamed of a miscarriage. The next morning I woke up to blood and cramping. An ultrasound confirmed that our precious baby was already gone from my womb and in the arms of Jesus. How hard that was for me. I can say there is no comfort like God's comfort in a time of loss and hurt such as miscarriage causes. At this point I was already 43 years old and did not know if I would ever have another child. But Praise God, that was not the end of the story!

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

Isaiah 40:11

The sixth blessing

The gift of our third daughter Eilley

It didn't happen overnight. In fact it took almost a year to conceive our next baby. I wondered if it would ever happen again. I turned 44 and still wasn't pregnant. Somehow I felt God's whisper that we would have another baby. My husband felt the same way. I did my best to trust God's plan for us and for our family. God is amazing. Exactly a year from the date I found I was pregnant with the child we lost, I found myself pregnant again. I would turn 45 before Eilley was born. She was such a blessing and a gift. Our Eilley was born December 30, 2008. What a wonderful new year's celebration we had that year. We had six precious children, six blessings!

The seventh blessing

God is so good, our fourth baby son Declan

I guess I should not have been surprised when I turned up pregnant at 46. I had just had a baby the year before. But I was surprised and felt truly amazed that God should entrust us with yet another precious child. My doctor wasn't surprised to see me. She knew that we allowed God to open and close the womb. Except for the fact that I was older and tired and already had 6 children to care for, this was a perfect pregnancy. The older children helped tremendously. Sweet baby Declan was born July 27, 2010. Declan is like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. We already had all we could have ever hoped for, and then we get another blessing. I am amazed and almost speechless at the family God had graciously given us. I am often tired and overwhelmed, but I wouldn't change a moment.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

(New Living Translation)

So here I am

So blessed

My heart is so full I can barely contain it. And before you start to wonder, yes I am often overwhelmed, overmatched, overtired and I lose my patience. But God has entrusted these children to my husband and me and God's grace will get me through the day. Day after day. My oldest son is about to turn 14 and my newest one is about to turn 5 months old. I homeschool my children so that I can spend time with them and they can know each other. I want them to know the wonders of our precious Lord. I want them to know that each is a gift sent from heaven. But each is also an imperfect creature in need of a Savior. I appreciate you reading my story! Truly I am blessedmombygrace!

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

2 Corinthians 12:9

Here we all are with my parents

Here is my precious family, my sweet husband and my parents at our annual trip to ride the train at Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm.

I LOVE MY FAMILY!

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For my mom

This lens was a gift from my daughter Anna

My daughter Anna has been writing on Squidoo. She saw that you could give a lens to someone as a gift. So she started this one for me. She says, "For you mom! I love you so much! Thanks for raising me so good and telling me about the Lord."

Mom, you are not alone! - Great devotionals for Moms by Sally Clarkson

I have found Sally Clarkson to be such an encouragement for me. The first one of her books that I read was Seasons of a Mother's Heart. I was convicted and encouraged to be a better, godly mom for my kids. I highly recommend all of her books!

Thanks for reading my story! - Leave me a comment to let me know you were here

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    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Wow, pregnant at 46. Glad you made it!

      I've got four kids, I'm 34 and my wife is 30. We wonder how many more we might have!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      What a wonderful story of your blessed life. It's really nice to hear other Mommies that are In Christ and dedicated to their families. I'm a mom of 2 with a third on the way. I feel like God thinks I'm doing something right by rewarding my husband and I with this blessing. Thank you for sharing :)

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      mommateaches 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens! You are a very inspiring mom with a beautiful family!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I just stopped by once more to say hi to you and your lovely family. Spring is right around the corner now and I hope you have an early one.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much for sharing I too have had a previous miscarriage and he/she was my first so from that point I thought maybe I couldn't have children I became depressed the whole nine years but I wanted to keep my faith and that I did here I am thinking I may just be pregnant again if so I'm now 4 weeks I get to test in 2 days I'm excited and nervous either result as I've prayed to God I will continue to praise him and have him in my life but I just wanted to thank you very much for sharing I love reading others stories and you gain even more strength through their story and that's just what you did for me and you truly are blessed and I too hope one day to be blessed with children and get to share my story with other mothers as you have done just thank you so much and you take care and may God continue blessing you in many forms

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you so, much for sharing. I am a mom of 4 and still trying. I have lost about 8 or nine pregnancies. I have learned so many things with my losses and the Lord I use to blame my God. But learned a valuable lesson for that. I am a new creature in Christ and feel very blessed in my life. I pray the Lord finds me trusting again to bare a blessing. Once again Thank you for your story! It has truly revealed to me what I needed to see. Thank you my sister in Christ :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome lens.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for sharing your story and your wonderful family.

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 4 years ago

      What a wonderful story of God's blessings. God blessed us with one child when I was 38 and my husband was 48. I truly believe that children are heritage from the Lord. Thanks for sharing your story. God bless your family.

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      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      A beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

    • reginaaj2gerica profile image

      reginaaj2gerica 5 years ago

      I truly enjoyed reading your story, you are truly blessed!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 5 years ago

      Congratulation to your big family. You are really a blessed mom. I hope I can have this kind of blessing too :)

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful story

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I would have to Whole Heartily Agree, Children are Gifts and Blessings from God; I have no Doubt of that! What an amazing story you have lived thus far!!

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      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What an amazing journey you've had, with a career change, so many ups and downs, a miscarriage, but in the end, a blessed family! You must be a superwoman to raise 7 kids. Thanks for introducing all of your children to us. May the Lord continue to bless each one of you. Stay blessed!

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 5 years ago

      All I can say is that I am sure that God helped you and will help you from now on. Seven wonders He gave you. I wish you that all your kids to be healthy and to you I wish all the best and power to help your kids to raise their kids as well!

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      Hannah Writes 5 years ago

      even though they drive me crazy, I call my three kids my three blessings! beautiful lens!

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      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      It's been a blessing to read about your lovely family, but you left one person out - your hubby. Thank you for sharing your faith and the scriptures.

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      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      What a wonderful story and I love the photos. Your 'Time of Sorrow' brought tears to my eyes. Your children are very lucky to have such special parents.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      An inspiring story.thanks.

    • MayaIxchel profile image

      MayaIxchel 5 years ago

      Very beautiful! Children are a great blessing!

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      sagebrushmama 5 years ago

      Very sweet lens...I have 8 blessings of my own...what a joy!

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      Stress-Coach 5 years ago

      lovely story..i am the eldest of 7 girls and then 2 boys..that my dad waited for a longtime :-)

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 5 years ago

      What a great story and family! Thank you for sharing.

    • piarejuden profile image

      piarejuden 5 years ago

      You are surely an inspiration! Your lenses speak of love and sincerity and pure affection.. The Lord's grace shines bright ..even through the lens!! So glad I read this! God bless you...more! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been blessed once, and really hope to be again soon. We have been ttc and no joy for the past 8 months, cross my fingers we'll be blessed like you as we adore children. :)

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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great family you have. I have read Anna's lenses and admired her courage during her surgery.

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      Kay 5 years ago

      I love this! I so love the personal stories here. Your children are just beautiful! Just have to bless!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh My wow gosh, all those kids! You are a Blessing and a mother well deserved of a blessed mothers day! happy Mothers Day to and all those gifts from God.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      What a sweet daughter you have to gift you this lens....you have shared an incredible story. May God continue to bless you and your wonderful family!

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      What a beautiful family! You are all blessed to have each other.

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      ginayonque 5 years ago

      I have 4 and I thank the Lord for trusting us me and my hubby that somehow we are doing the best specially in raising up Godly offspring trusting in the precious blood of Jesus for our redemption

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      Kellenmadagan7 5 years ago

      I love you mom.

    • ContentbyCasey LM profile image

      ContentbyCasey LM 5 years ago

      This lens is so touching! Thanks for sharing your story.

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 5 years ago

      Nice story - it looks like your oldest son is very comfortable holding the little babies.....he will probably make a great Dad himself one day.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Lovely story and a beautiful family. God is good! Life is a great adventure when He is our Father.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      AND ... you are still sane. That's right! You earned your bragging rights!! TELL EVERYBODY! :) This lens touches a special place in my heart. :)

    • MissionBoundCre profile image

      MissionBoundCre 5 years ago

      Amen and Amen Sister! I love it. This should be required reading. Our children need to see the Lords Love and Grace in action. You and your family are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Hey mom! Returning with a blessing, and to ask you to please change the picture to me above to a more recent one! lol, love you. God bless!

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      Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

      Your lens is very special and wonderfully shared. The scripture chosen was very profound and timely and truly added to the wonder of your story. My only comment would be that you are actually the mom to eight wonderful children. Even though your sixth child rests with the Lord I believe there is still a place in your heart for the memory that they were with you this short time. Only society could tell a mother otherwise and we know 'they' often get things wrong! Many good wishes to your wonderful family. So much love!

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      mbwmag 5 years ago

      A wonderful story thank you so much for sharing

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful! Just beautiful! <3

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you for sharing your story woven with your trust in the Lord and His care for you, your husband and children. It's so true; the Lord is the one who opens the womb and closes it too. He is good always. Wish I was a SquidAngel so I could bless this lens. :) Your daughter is so precious to gift this lens to you.

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      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      What a beautiful lens, thank you for sharing!

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      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've read some of Anna's lenses. Now it's good to meet you Mom. What a lovely family you have. I am about to become a Grandma for the first time so I enjoy all this talk of babies.

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      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      Yes indeed they are Blessing! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful lens of yours. You seems to manage pretty well with all of your seven kids. I'm sure they think your are a blessing as well. Great job Mom!

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      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      P.S. I just had to bless it, mom!

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      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Awesome lens mom. Children are a HUGE blessing from God. I LOVE YOU!

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      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Very sweet! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Very nice. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

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      Kaafscorner 6 years ago

      Lovely lens - thanks for sharing your story. I was particularly blessed by your comment that the Lord entrusted you with the care of your children. And yes, they certainly are a blessing from the Lord! This lens will also encourage those trusting God for the fruit of the womb.

    • DelightfulDanie profile image

      DelightfulDanie 6 years ago

      I agree! Children are blessings from God!

    • lizziehumphreys1 profile image

      lizziehumphreys1 6 years ago

      your lenses are so lovely :) i loved reading your story!

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      A very lovely and engaging story. You are truly blessed with your family. I bet your kids are all really good friends, too. Congratulations!

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      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      I love your family, you have been blessed by God.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      What a lovely story about you and your darling children. And such a sweet gift lens from Anna.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Yes it is a blessing, congratulation for beautiful family, love the pictures, everybody look so happy

      Regards

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      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      Congrats! That's really amazing - and 7 is a magic number :)

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      You are truly blessed. 7 gorgeous kids growing together in a family who love God, they will become amazing women & men of God. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story --- Blessed ---

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      BW Duerr 6 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      You are indeed blessed to have such a wonderful family. I just met Anna through her lens and thought I would come over and say Hi and thanks for sharing her with us at Squidoo. I also visited Kellan and can't wait to see what he'll write about. :D

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      I grew up in a family of seven and love each and every one of my siblings. I miss them as I have moved away from the home base, but they are always in my prayers.

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      tssfacts 6 years ago

      What a delightful and inspiring lens. I have read many of Anna lenses. And she has visited mine as well. Great job to the two of you. God bless you more richly in this new year.

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      Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Anna has visited some of my Squidoo pages! She's a sweetie!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I already knew your story and I loved reading it again! :-) God surely has blessed you and Joe!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Found my way over here from Nightowl_john's angel blessings page- what a beautiful story. Thank-you for sharing your life -:)

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      What a wonderful story! Great lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      What a GREAT lens! Congratulations to you both on a beautiful, loving family. Squid Angel blessed.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Beautiful job, Anna and Carol! I'm in tears of joy! =D

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Carol~ my life is blessed because of the love you have for my brother, and the precious nieces and nephews I get to love. I love you and miss you all very much!

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      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      I am the original author of this lens!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      Love you.

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      brmadagan 6 years ago

      I love you mom