Prairie Wife of the Year 2014
Posted October 31, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 8 comments
You know that friend that you have where every time you see them you realize it’s just not enough? That’s how I feel about our first ever Prairie Wife of the Year. Every time we get a chance to chat, whether for an interview or just running into each other around town, I’m always left with a warm glow…and the thought “we need to get together more!” As we met for this interview I realized again why Katie was picked by our readers to be our winner. Her passion for life, her quick wit and ready laugh, as well as her honesty and ability to truly listen to others all combine to make her a woman to be admired. Add to that her unfailing drive to be the best woman, wife, and mother she can be, her unwavering Faith, and her longing to find each and every orphan in the world a place where they can feel secure and loved…and well…you can see why the honor of Prairie Wife of the Year doesn’t begin to cover the awards this woman should have! Take a moment to read this interview (it includes some great questions from our readers) and get inspired!
Prairie Wife (PW): Since our last interview with you in February how has your family been?
Katie (K): We’ve been good! We have four kids that are in school right now and four that we are homeschooling so, we are busy as always. Of course we are all looking forward to the holidays!
PW: Congrats on being our first ever Prairie Wife of the Year, why do you think your story resonated so much with our readers?
K: I hope it’s because it was something that stirred their hearts. I think that it’s a sign that people are not only becoming more accepting that families are looking different now, but that they are actively embracing it. I think that my honesty and openness about the adoption process, the trials and tribulations, the cost and about how we went through the process of deciding what was right for our family, was refreshing for people to hear…and interesting too I guess!
PW: Time for a few questions from our readers…
Erica: How many children did you want before you had any?
K: I’ve always had 13 on my heart and it looks like I’m well on my way! I have always wanted a big family and have always envisioned a house full of kids. We are so thankful for each and every child and truly see each of our children as a gift. Something we take seriously is being able to adequately provide both emotionally and physically for our children but I have to say that every time God asks us to add to our family, and it seems like it doesn’t make sense, He makes it work! I love seeing the dynamics of a large family. Our children are constantly being challenged to be patient and understanding. They learn that the world does not revolve around them and to pitch in and help even if they don’t feel like it. The only way this ship is gonna sail is if we all pitch in and help! Balance is key and while we enjoy seeing shared responsibility, we are mindful of not putting too much care of the younger children on the older ones.
Pat: What do you like best about your family life now, and what helps you through the hard days?
K: I love that even though there are so many of us, and such a range of ages, we still like to be together. It seems like when we are all in the house we always end up congregating together, whether it’s in the kitchen or spread out comfortably on the couch and floor. We are always laughing together; even the little things can set all of us off. When someone is gone we can feel it, and I notice them being missed by the other kids. The genuine closeness is a joy, and makes me feel like we are doing it right.
There are hard days with kids, and hard days with me. Just like everyone else I take a deep breath and try and make it through until bedtime the best that I can. Our faith in God is paramount for all of us; He is always there for me to rely on for strength. He may not pick up that broom and sweep the box of cereal that spilled on the kitchen floor BUT, He gives me the wisdom to know it will be there in an hour when I have time to sweep it up or the smarts to let the dog in to eat it. Sticking to our routine is important, you need to have some flexibility and have fun, but especially with our kids that have challenges, routine equals safety. Just getting back on track and keeping the kids and I (and Bob) focused on what needs to get done can help things get back to rolling along somewhat smoothly!
Riley: What is the most challenging thing about a family of 10?
K: When I think about it there are so many things…how can I pick one lol?! First and foremost… Laundry!! We have major laundry issues! It’s seems to be an ongoing challenge for us. Other than the mountains of laundry, I think keeping track of the schedule is particularly challenging for our large family. It can be hard to balance our extra-curricular activities combined with school and the assorted appointments here and there. We want all of our children to have something that they enjoy and are successful at, something just for them, but with our large family the logistics of it can be very interesting. I’ve learned to limit how many things they can pick and we use it as part of our behavior reward system. The kids have to earn the right to have these extra fun activities by showing us they can handle it with good choices and self control in our day to day lives. We also see extra activities as a way to build self esteem and self control so……. it’s a balance.
Erin: When do you get time for yourself, and for you and your husband?
K: I think as a mom, whether you have one kid or 20, you have to have something every day that you look forward to or a time that you know is just for you. Maybe it’s sneaking a bite of your favorite chocolate while hiding in the closet, maybe it’s a break during naptime where you can just zone out in front of the TV or on Facebook. It’s the key to sanity! I have a set time everyday that is my time and I spend it how I wish. I don’t clean or do anything productive even though I may want to. I might use it to sleep or to just read for an hour or two. Knowing I have this break in the middle of every day has kept me going through many rough days.
For Bob and I, getting some grownup time alone is vital to not only our relationship, but to the strength of our whole family. I strongly believe it is important for our kids to see us actively taking time to be together and work on our marriage. We make sure and take Saturday night as our night each and every week. It can be something as simple as hanging out on the porch, and the kids know they have to leave us alone. We go on a “big” date about once a month. By that I mean we actually leave the house. Sometimes it is dinner and a movie, or it could be a grocery store date. We use this time together to catch up on the week, focus on us, and talk about our kids.
PW: What are your hopes for your family in the next 5 years?
K: Our family’s motto is, “to love and serve.” We try and live our daily lives by this standard and use it as a litmus for our relationships and activities. If we are out in our community how are we loving and serving those around us? Are we being kind, respectful, and helpful? In our home are we showing and being examples of those same qualities of love and service to each other? I hope that in five years we are still, every day, trying to love and serve each other and those around us. I can’t wait to see where we are and how we are doing this in five years!
PW: You are a loud and proud advocate for adoption, what can people do to help some of the 100 of millions of orphans around the world?
K: There are always organizations that could use your support. If you personally know that adoption is not right for you, there are so many ways you can still help. You can donate to organizations both in and out of our country (please do your homework and pick one that is ethical). You can sponsor a child, help with grants that specifically go to families in the adoption process, send items to an orphanage that have identified that they are in need of items such as diapers, syringes, clothing and other practical items. Many orphanages have milk funds that specifically go toward purchasing formula, and medical funds for specific medical needs. Helping provide for basic human needs will give any child a chance to live until their forever family finds them. Find a local family that is trying to raise money and support them. Be a kind ear or an extra set of hands to the heroic foster parents that are in our community. The power of prayer is so important too! Pray, pray, pray that the children in foster care and orphanages find their way into the loving arms of a forever family.
Some great places to give:
PW: Any last Prairie Wife Words of Wisdom for our readers?
K: Find what you love and go after it with wild abandon. Focus on God and He will show you what His heart is for you and the Grace will be there. Ask for help when you need it and make sure you don’t forget to care for yourself in the process of following your passion. Take what you have learned, even the hard and yucky stuff, and share it with others because you never know when it will be a blessing to someone else. Have a sense of humor and eat chocolate every day! And last but not least, a favorite quote from a favorite example of love and service, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” The dear Mother Teresa.
Photos taken by, and used with permission from, Erin Potter Photography.
Categories: Prairie Wife of the Week