Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christy Family Christmas Letter 2020


What a year! It began with an exciting Superbowl win.

I feel like ending the letter now. Lol.

Let’s skip, hop, and jump over the elephant/s of 2020 and just talk about all the changes in our family this year.

Roy was deployed for Kuwait in March and will be back in mid-January. I have to say that the timing was perfect as there was really nothing else to do this year. Our family’s biggest fear when he gets deployed is not his safety (sorry!). It’s knowing that he will be alone with his thoughts. We have no idea what grand ideas he will be daydreaming about. One deployment, he insisted on our family starting a shrimp farm. A shrimp farm!! In the mid-west. With a family that hates shrimp. I had to crush those dreams real quick. This time, he is dreaming up plans for our family to live completely self-sufficient. That is at least better than a shrimp farm. He is divvying up jobs among all the big kids in the hopes that no one really notices how many jobs he has out in the field. Well, I NOTICE!

After losing my job due to one of the elephants, Matthew and I started doing Instacart and Doordashing to make money for all the kids’ activities……that all got canceled. SO, I spent my money on redecorating the house – new counters, painting, new bathroom, new carpet, updated pictures, happy sh*t on the walls, etc. I took up drinking this year. I’ve been trying to be a habitual drinker for years but failed repeatedly. I’m better now. I knew I got to a good point when I was trying to break up a fight-to-the-death brawl between 2 of my boys and Mary Kate yells, “MOM!”. I look over and she is handing me a glass of wine. I stopped cold, grabbed the wine and drank it while the boys continued their carnage. My homeschool moms would be proud.

Nick lost one job but quickly found another. Audrianna has been able to work from home all year. I hope home jobs are going to be a new norm after this experience.

Mary Kate lost her Camp Barnabas, Special Olympics, and T-Ball. She talks about missing it all the time but I tell her she is fine and she is happy. All I have to do is tell her how she is feeling and then she agrees and feels how I told her to feel. Lol. Why can’t that trick work on all my kids? What a gift. You should be jealous.

Samantha lost her job and moved back in until she left again for NET in August. She travels the country, putting on Catholic retreats for High Schoolers. She’s been to 22 states so far. She loves it even with the challenge of plans changing unexpectedly. She is meeting great people and having independence from her family has really helped her gain confidence and grow spiritually. She snagged herself the finest young man I have EVER met a week before she left for NET. I pray that relationship stays strong during her missions. She will be back permanently in May.

People still needed their lawns mowed so Max was able to continue earning money. He graduated from the Fire Academy and just has his EMT test to pass before applying for jobs. He is so excited and my impatience to get that done is wearing him out. I feel like my job as a parent is complete after he passes that test! He is dating a girl that we’ve known for several years in the homeschool community. She is one of 11 children so I’ve already been one-upped. Literally.

Theresa lost her job (can you see a trend?) so she stole her brother’s identity and started Doordashing with Josie. We will have fond memories of passing each other on the road and having Doordash competitions. I kept her home from St. Michael’s for her senior year because I didn’t want to waste money where I foresaw most days on zoom calls in her bed. It was replaced with homework and stupid YouTube videos in her bed with a bag of Cheetos nearby but at least its free. She also snagged herself a boyfriend that she can surprise Daddy with when he comes home.

Ben made the lead role as Tom Sawyer in his Theater program but it got canceled. He took it well but that may have been because I sobbed for days to make up for the both of us. He got a job at Chick-Fil-A and he was only 14. Impressive. It’s good to know people. It is very good for him. He says “my pleasure” ALL THE TIME and he can’t stop. He finally gave up trying to not say it so much and embraces the habit. He has to walk a lot outside with a basket of food in whatever the weather is – cold, rain, etc. But that’s ok. It’s all for the good of our health, right? <insert eyeroll> Ben began an all boys academy for High School. He goes twice a week and “does his homework” on the other days. We are working on that homework issue. Saying, “wait till your dad gets home” didn’t do the trick the first semester. Now he is scared out of him mind because he WILL be home 2nd semester.

Josie is 13 and has been such a blessing. She cleans, plays with the kids, does her homework – sometimes she finishes while I’m still in my PJs and eating breakfast. She pays attention when I teach no matter how boring it is. She is always happy. Never sad. She is an amazing friend to her friends. We all tell her to stay exactly how she is. Don’t change! Her volleyball team came back together and went from a season that couldn’t win a game to winning 1st place in their pre-season tournament – with the same team!! Is that even statistically possible? Her teammates loved each other just as much as the year before. No drama. Just sweet girls that wanted to be together win or lose.

Matthew had a big year. He knows all the restaurant employees in Raymore because he in the face of Doordashing. He keeps them all up-to-date on his progress with saving a buying his first dirt bike (& 2nd & 3rd). He started going to different dirt bike tracks in the area. He wiggles and giggles and speaks incoherent nonsense as we drive to another track.  After disappearing on the track for long periods of time, he comes back for a quick 30 second rest and we lock eyes and smile. We don’t have to say anything. We both know - he is having the time of his life. He says, “I love you” more times than I can count when we are at the track.  I converted our 12 passenger van into our camper for volleyball tournaments and dirt bike track days and overnights. It doesn’t matter if we are sandwiched between $50K toy haulers/RVs, we both are perfectly happy with my make-shift, 1999 Ford 12-passenger camper. We watch a movie together and fall asleep in our warm sleeping bags and propane heat lamp nearby.

Andrew made 3 new friends this year – one we picked up at a garage sale. Lol. He’s a popular kid. He’s just as loveable and sweet as he has always been. He and Juliana are nearly inseparable. Juliana is sad when Andrew is gone. They are little buddies.

Overall, our family has gotten closer whether we wanted to or not. We maneuvered around the crap that surrounded us, like shopping in a county without a mask mandate and finding a church that snubbed their noses at the mandates. We tried to turn lemons into lemonade as much as we could. It was difficult but at the end of the day, we all had each other. I physically hurt for people that are lonely. Being broke can and does hurt but nothing is more painful than loneliness. Our family does not have that. We can each have alone time by force – hiding in a closet or a car. But a lonely person can’t force the household of loved ones. I pray fervently for the 99.7ish% of the people that were ignored this year. God bless them.

God bless you all.

God bless our country.


The Christys – Nick, Mary Kate, Samantha, Max, Theresa, Ben, Josie, Matthew, Andrew, Juliana and Mom & Dad


Thursday, January 25, 2018


I remember hearing about this thing called the “Internet” back in 1995. I didn’t understand what my friend was trying to tell me but I distinctly remember him telling me that I could “buy things on there” and that was it. We bought our first computer and hooked up to this internet and got my very first e-mail account with AOL in 1996. It was fascinating but still a relatively boring new thing. There were only a handful of websites and only my Aunt Mae had an e-mail account.

Now it is 2018 and look where we have come. There is nothing I cannot find and order and have it within a couple days. My goodness, I can even order groceries from my phone and have a magical fairy put them in my car at Wal-Mart now. My husband has used YouTube to build 2 different types of stoves to heat our barn – to tear down and rebuild our bathroom – to cut and apoxy a new countertop, etc. etc. I can fill this blog with 10,000 examples with how the internet has improved our life – one of which is how I can find anything I am looking for within 5 seconds flat.

But here lies the problem. Let me rephrase. Here lies one of the many, many problems with having such easy access to anything on Earth.


The pornography industry has grabbed hold of the internet and is out to grab the body and souls of whoever they can get their hands on. When our country fell into a recession back in 2008, every business and person suffered. Everything except the porn industry. It remained recession free. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that won’t quit. What is more sad is that no one just read this paragraph and said, "Really? Wow. I didn't know that." EVERYONE KNOWS THIS ALREADY!

In our family, we have several ways of trying to stay ahead of the evil arms reaching to clutch my kids, myself, and my husband. One of these is to have a good filter for our computers and electronic devices.

I had struggled to find a good filter for years. was always recommended and I know that several of my friends use it and are happy with the results.

Here, I want to give you my reviews about the device I was introduced to several months ago. Its called, The Circle by Disney. I know….its Disney. Just stop. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Disney did good this time.

 This is my home page. As soon as I plugged in this little cube, I had so many devices connecting to our network that I thought they were only listing every device that had ever been in existence. But no. Each device actually belonged to us and connected to our network. I don't know what dream world I had been living in that thought only 5 devices would appear but that was a wake up call. 
Each colored circle represents what filter they have. Purple stands for no filter at all (Mine & my husband's phone and our personal laptops).
Each laptop, tablet, phone, ipod, TV, and Kindle now is identified and controlled at my fingertips. 
I am able to put time limits on specific web sites and social media sites. There are bedtimes where the device loses its internet and wake-up times that I make in the afternoon so the kids get their homework done without any distractions. Or, at least, no device distractions. 
I can add and subtract or add time limits at will and wherever I am. If my daughter needs more laptop time to finish an essay, I can add it quickly from my phone. I put time limits on particular applications and websites. So, even though Theresa is given a 3 hour time limit on her laptop, she may only be allowed no more than 30 minutes on YouTube or Facebook. 
One of my favorite features is when anyone drives up my driveway with a smartphone, it connects to the Circle and I am notified. Wherever I am, I can see when someone has just arrived at my house when I get the notification that "Joel's iPhone has just connected to your network". And yes, I can control all of those devices too. I am counting on my Circle to send me a message in the middle of the night if a bad guy wants to break into my home. He will connect to my network right there in the driveway and I'll have my gun in hand before he makes it to the front door!
What I don't like.....
#1 Any of my kids can simply unplug the device. It sits on the open computer desk for anyone to see and touch. BUT, my phone is also immediately notified that that just happened so heads will roll if I see that.
#2 I want to see exact websites my kids have been on but it only tells me the main home page. I can't see the specific YouTube videos. I only see "" or "". I have to literally look at the YouTube and Netflix history to get those answers. 
#3 I have to pay $5.99 a month to include controlling data. My oldest 3 kids have data so if I want to control their data, I do it from my Sprint account. Not Circle. I'm cheap. I paid the one time fee of $100 and do not pay any more after that.
A question that I often get asked is probably the same question that you have been asked too. What do you do to keep your kids safe? What social media outlets do you allow and don’t allow and what restrictions do you put on them? Let me answer this for you because it has been so heavy on my heart lately……

YOU, as a parent, need to set your own boundaries and decide what is best for your family. YOU. Not me. What I do is different than what my neighbor or friend or fellow homeschool mom does.

Let me tell you a fact that a lot of moms need to hear…..

The mom with the most limits with their kids is not your goal!! You don’t get Mom of the Year because you have the strictest and tightest boundaries. YOU have to do what you know is best for your kids. Only you live with each of your kids day in and day out. You know what they have on their heart and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You know how open and close they are to you which will effect the boundaries you set. 

In this competitive mommy world, we can easily feel inferior to each other which, in turn, leads us to do what other mommas do rather than what we know is best for each individual child. There will be parents out there that will murmur about the mistakes they think you are making with your children. It will happen and you can’t stop it. We long for acceptance. As homeschool moms, we long for that approval from others that we are doing things right. We run the risk of our child falling into sin with something we allowed them to have that other moms don’t allow. It happens. We get back up, dust off the murmurs, and try again.

On the long litany of ways that a momma can fail, one is with that nasty sin of pride. Pride is what makes us feel like no one can do anything better to help our kids than our self. I disagree. Sometimes, I have to turn the reigns over to someone else to help out my children, such as – Dad, a spiritual director, an accountability partner/s, a big brother, a teacher, pastor, or an uncle. We may joke that we would like to be a fly on the wall but only you decide when you need to be that fly. No one else should decide that for you. No one else should make you feel guilty for deciding one way or the another.

Do you want to know what I do with this Circle for each child? I will only tell you this. My end goal is for them each to leave this house with their OWN set of boundaries. Not mine. My end goal is that purple circle around their picture. I can’t tell you if that will happen or not. There are several husbands out their that still need outside help and restrictions. The desire to have their own set of boundaries has to be in their own heart. That has to be our goal and the sooner the better. I want this desire to be in their heart before they become adults and leave the nest. This is just like what the kids learned in the Theology of the Body class last night - Freedom from the Law. You do not need the law if you have no desire to break it. If you love someone, you will freely choose to not hurt them by flirting with other people or commit adultery with your eyes, imagination or lust. A dad who loves his children will freely choose not to neglect his children by acting like a bachelor. My end goal is to have grown, disciplined, mature, holy adults that understand the dignity of the human body and relish a deep love for the human person. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas from the Christy Family!! It’s unbelievable how much can happen in just 12 months. But here we go…..

Roy got home from Kuwait 12 months ago and didn’t miss a beat. He was home for maybe an hour before taking off to buy me cars – A gas guzzling SUV and a more economical Toyota Camry. Roy has not stopped moving since – building and fixing everything I broke. He is currently tearing up my bathroom in the hopes that YouTube will help him rebuild it.

Our huge project of 2017 was building our pole barn. On the very day that it was complete and just a few minutes after the last panel went up, we had our first Theology of the Body class of the year. God had different plans for our barn than we had. We are so blessed that He has been watching over us. Besides having a weekly class of 30+ students, we also had 2 barn dances back to back. We had 156 guests swing dancing over Halloween weekend while taking turns going through our spook trail on our property. We had a special guest, Pennywise, on the tour. (That’s the spooky clown from the movie IT).

The greatest gift of the year was the engagement of Nick and Audrianna!! I don’t really know why but she said YES!! I’ll take it. They met when Nick was 11 and Audrianna was 9 at a Bible Study we had attended every week. They have been friends ever since. We officially add Audrianna to this crazy family on September 1st, 2018.

Mary Kate won the Personal Success of the Year Award through Eitas. She successfully lost 25 pounds through her own discipline and exercise. I would love to take credit but she did this all on her own and she was recognized in a big way – in front of a thousand people in a banquet hall with a long and beautiful biography recognizing her hard work this year. She continues to drink and visit the casinos every week with Grandma.

Samantha graduated High School and began taking EMT classes at Johnson County Community College. She keeps up with her faith and social life with St. Paul’s Outreach. She still works part time as a server around the metropolitan area. You can find her in places like the WW1 Museum, the Ritz Charles, Federal Reserve, other event spaces, and occasionally in private homes. She recently got accepted to move in the Women’s House with SPO next year.

Max has been working hard with his lawn business. He has so many customers that he doesn’t even need to advertise. When he isn’t working, he is “urban exploring” – a fancy name for illegally trespassing abandoned properties and pretending he is a special force’s badass as he kicks open doors with his scary airsoft pistol. He promises that he will be finished with this hobby before he turns 18 and replace it with something legal – buying a motorcycle:/

Theresa has done something I never thought her, or anyone else in my family would ever do –she played her guitar and sang a solo in front of an audience. She has blossomed into a confident and bold young lady. To nurture these gifts, she began taking speech & debate with a local homeschool group where she is encouraged to speak boldly about virtues and God.

Ben has matured this year by leaps and bounds. He hasn’t beaten up anyone (outside the family) in over a year😊 He is making AND KEEPING friends – even after he sends them to the ER! This is a big deal! He is well liked by all of his peers and smart as a whip. If he kept up with his homework, there is no telling how bright his future will be. Without Ben, our family would be so bored and quiet.

Josie is just as adorable as she has always been. All she does is giggle and smile and brighten everyone’s day. She began playing the ukulele and had 2 performances this year. She is an active member of AHG (American Heritage Girls). She attends weekly meetings where she earns badges and life skills and develops a closer relationship with God.

Matthew is in 2nd grade at the local public school. Besides getting himself suspended for bringing a pocket knife to school, he has done well in his class. If he behaves and gets his chores and homework finished, Max lets him run really fast through our land while he tries to shoot him with an airsoft sniper rifle.

Andrew is by far the cutest and most adorable child I have ever had and everyone agrees. He is just as adorable on the inside too. He is always happy and smiling and so patient and calm for being only 4 years old. He loves to color-code, line up and organize everything. He will do that with a package of M&Ms before eating them. 

Juliana has long, curly red locks and big brown eyes. This is exactly what I ordered when I was pregnant. God is too good to me. She has an extensive vocabulary that include “No…..get away from me….go away….stop hitting me….I don’t want that….I don’t like you….”etc. She will fit in just fine around here.

Our family has finally got to the point where we all need to accept that many conversations will be going on and you may never get undivided attention by everyone at the same time. You have to wait for a guitar performance to get that kind of attention. I cannot put into words the joy and exhilaration there is to having a big family who enjoy each other’s company. Everything we do (dinner, prayer time) takes twice as long to get through because of ongoing conversations, stories about our day, laughing, kids doing and saying silly things, etc. I told our engagement retreat class that the reason we can’t put this feeling into words is because God wants us to trust Him first before we reap the benefits of this trust. My words can never express this joy.

I pray that 2018 brings greater virtues and spiritual growth to our family and yours.

                                                                                       Love, The Christy Family

                                                                                       Nick, Mary Kate, Samantha, Max, Theresa, 
                                                                                       Ben, Josie, Matthew, Andrew, Juliana

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


There is a hot topic going around that I can’t get away from. After several weeks of being forced to talk about this with various people, I thought I would stop and put all my thoughts on a page.
I, and my kids, have been hearing rants and raves about the Netflix series of 13 Reasons Why. In the beginning I simply read trusted Catholic blogs, such as, and shared them on my Facebook. From a distance, it looked as if this was a dangerous show for teenagers to watch. Because this subject wouldn’t die among my kid’s peers, I decided to watch the show myself. I figured #1 I was old and mature enough to handle a teenage show in spite of whatever sins they wanted to pollute my mind with and #2 It is difficult to be taken seriously when I haven’t seen the show at all. There are some movies/shows that don’t need your full attention to know they are bad (50 Shades of Gray), but where there is a gray area (no pun intended there), sometimes we have to go the extra mile. So, I watched most of the show....

My kids were having a hard time defending the position that this was a dangerous show to watch because they hadn’t seen it themselves. I also learned that there were parents who did not know their child was watching the series or did not know the content. So here I am!!

I am going to be graphic so if you are under 18, don’t read this unless your mom or dad reads it first! I need to be graphic because I am learning the hard way that there are still good parents out there that believe a little bit of pornography is ok under certain circumstances. (btw...this isn't a "litte bit" of porn). Sigh….. So, if you are that parent, the graphics are especially for you so you can determine whether it qualifies as something you would let your child see. Over here, it is a no. Pornography is a BIG NO even if (fill in the blank).

Here is what you will see if you watch 13 Reasons Why. Take notes….

* Masturbation scene. I went my ENTIRE life not seeing a masturbation scene until last year when I saw about 4 of them in various movies. Guess this is something new that is considered “acceptable”  
* 2 girls making out (which is what instigated the masturbation scene as a 17 year old boy was looking at a picture of this). One of the girls was struggling with lesbian thoughts and the other girl was just going along because they were having fun getting drunk.

* Full blown sex scene between 2 seventeen year olds.(disclaimer: this is graphic) Both were completely naked and he is clearly humping her repeatedly. I thought sex between kids was considered child porn? Am I just old school or something? They were juniors in HS. This is porn guys.
* A detailed rape scene. (graphic) A girl is in a hot tub with the boy. He approaches her and makes a move which she refuses. She tries to escape by turning around to climb out. He uses that opportunity to hold her in that position while he takes off the bottom of her bathing suit with one hand and holding her down by the neck with the other hand. He enters and humps her maybe 20 times or so while the girl narrates her feelings. You watch her go from fighting to giving up. Yeah....

* Another rape scene (graphic). A boy takes advantage of a drunk girl at a party while an observer hides in the closet. You see him take off her underwear and he takes off her underpants. He humps away, holding down her hands while she whimpers and cries. After this terrible scene is over, it is replayed in the mind of the victim and the observer repeatedly so you get to see this over and over again.

* The star of the show takes a picture of a naked boy through his window and posts it to all the kids at his HS in response to what he did to hurt the girl who had committed suicide. This was portrayed as a GOOD response. So, if you think this show sends a message that you shouldn't bully someone, think again. It actually shows that bullying someone 100x worse is a heroic response.
* Hollywood used another opportunity AGAIN to push their gay agenda by saying this girl with 2 dads had "the perfect family"
* A sexual encounter between the 2 stars was made to look appetizing because they both cared about each other.
* God's name repeatedly used in vain
Those are the facts.
Here are my opinions…..
One of the criticisms I had read was about how graphic the suicide was. I actually see that as a pro. Yes it was graphic but it SHOULD be! Life is a BIG DEAL! I’m of the opinion that those on death row shouldn’t die quietly with a few witnesses. Even though I’m against capital punishment, I think that if you are going to do it, do it in a public street for all to see. That is a LIFE. That is a human being made in the image and likeness of God. We need to see a life lost when it is lost.

This show glorifies suicide and this is why. The girl who took her own life, Hannah, had recorded 13 reasons why she had taken her own life. She blamed each of her friends and acquaintances for something they did to hurt her. She got the ultimate revenge instantly – forcing them all to live with the guilt that their mistake killed a girl. This payback for what all these people had done to her easily looked like it was well deserved and everyone learned a valuable lesson BECAUSE she killed herself.   Nowhere in the show did it show that she had hope. WE know that she had hope but the show only portrayed her downward spiral into a pit of depression to where there was no escape. I have no doubt that suicides will be on the rise if it hasn’t already since this show came out.

This show gives no weight to mental illness. MANY people suffer the type of bullying this girl endured without committing suicide. The entire blame for her life was all put on a group of kids that were already struggling through the tortures of adolescence. It is ironic that I am making this point because I am known for complaining that no weight is ever put on circumstances and bad choices and unhealthy relationships that lead to depression. Everyone always wants medication to solve depression and don’t realize that if they stop rebelling from their Father in Heaven and start making better choices, that might be the medication a person really needs. But the tides have turned and here I am on the other end of the spectrum.

Is there a good message through all of this sin? If you dig hard enough, maybe. The one “pro” I can put my finger on is this…..Every encounter with another human being has an impact. We can't think that every bad joke, every rumor, gossip, or bad prank is no big deal because you were "just kidding".

We are at war. We are at war with the lies society give us. We are at war with Satan, who slithers in our lives like a thief in the night. He plays around in our minds like a kid on a playground by simply taking something good and holy and throwing in his lies. The devil doesn’t have his own clay. He can’t create anything. All he can do is take something good and twist it into something sinful. I want to normalize purity!! Don’t we all want to normalize purity with our kids? Wouldn’t spiritual reading and saint movies be more inspiring to our vulnerable teens than bombarding them with sadness and pornography from Hollywood?

“But Katy, suicide is a real thing” Yeah… kids still can’t watch porn

“You can have good and productive talks with your kids.” I don't need Hollywood's help with this

“You can’t shelter your kids from everything” They still can’t watch people having sex…..or masturbations scenes, or rape scenes.

Try as you might, my kids can’t watch porn, sex, masturbation or rape scenes, even if _______________.

I am positive that there is a better way to send your child a message on how we are to treat one another without filling their minds with disordered sexual content. You do not need this show to have productive talks with your child about these issues. You don’t need Hollywood at all. I had productive talks with my kids about sex, masturbation, rape, homosexual lifestyle, etc. long before this show came out. God will provide. HE will provide these opportunities for productive talks, not Hollywood. Finding the good-ish message in this show is like buying Playboy for the good articles or supporting Planned Parenthood for......something good they might do. I can't think of anything good they do so maybe that's a bad analogy. Maybe they give free mints at the front desk.

Let’s ask ourselves, what is the BEST answer to getting people to truly empathize with the struggles teenagers are going through. The endorsers of this TV show have said that we need to open our eyes and not shelter ourselves to their reality. We need to watch and see real bullying. We need to share in their pain by watching their experiences and talking about what each person could have done different.

Let me share with you an alternative. Imagine a family suffering the death of a child (for whatever reason – accident, suicide, cancer….). Who are these people coming out of the woodwork to console the family? Who are these people that come over every day to check up on mom and dad, help them with chores, keep them company, cry with them, etc.? Are these people those that “observed” other parents who lost a child? Did all of these people lose a child themselves?

I’ll tell you who these people are. They are people that have kids of their own and who have experienced that DEEP love for a child that no one else can truly understand. Childless couples are left to only imagine and desire to experience this kind of love. It is powerful and deep. To lose this is an unimaginable pain that I can’t begin to ever understand unless it happens to me. But, BECAUSE I have this unique love for my own children, THEN I am in the position of offering unconditional love and support for another parent that has lost a child.

So, your answer to how to treat other people does not lie in watching their pain. It lies in loving every human being as a unique and unrepeatable child of God. Every teenager, every stranger, every rapist, every thief – everyone, is God’s baby. If our goal can be to see people in this manner – always being imperfect just as it will always be imperfect for a childless couple to understand the heart a parent has for a child – than THAT is when we can be the very BEST brother& sister to our neighbors at school, work, grocery store, etc. THIS is how we can be considerate and kind NATURALLY. Our actions will be out of love and not out of fear of a person's hurt feelings.

Turn off the TV. Let us challenge ourselves and learn how to love each other instead.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pre-Roy Christmas 2016

How can so much happen in one year? How can it fly by so fast but be full of 5 years’ worth of changes? It all began with me planting my bottom in my recliner every day and watching one Netflix movie after the other as I moan that I never want to be pregnant again. Then our year truly began on March 7th. I put my order in for a red-headed, brown-eyed little girl and that is exactly what I got. God is too good to me. As if laboring for hours wasn’t exciting enough, Roy got a call that he was going to be deployed for 9 months beginning April 1st. My stunned reaction had to be delayed since I was about ready to push a 9 pounder out of my body. Samantha and Theresa were there to witness the birth of baby #10, Juliana Maria Christy.

As per tradition, we partied all year of Roy’s deployment – signing the kids up for everything, incubating, hatching, and raising 100 ducks and chickens, getting myself a job and dragging Samantha and Max in with me, buying a motorcycle, losing 40 pounds (yay me!), taking over Roy’s truck, his bed, closet and garage, took up the hobby of drinking alcohol, popcorn for Thanksgiving, swiping the debit card 30 times a week, and buying more stuff we didn’t need. Ceiling collapsing, cars breaking down, ducks pooping everywhere, chickens roaming the house, naked babies, messy house, stopped up toilets, etc.   It has been a whirlwind of a year.

Roy is scheduled to come back in January to put a stop to the madness with 40 days off to fix everything we broke, lay down the law, take the wine out of my hands, and try to corral the chickens back into the coop. In no time, he will miss his quiet home in Kuwait.  But I know there is nowhere else he would rather be than right here with his family.

Roy made sure his presence remained in this house while he was gone. He ordered all the junk food that I refuse to buy for the kids and had it shipped to the house. Theresa always had Dad on her mind and heart with each box of macaroni noodles she poured into her boiling water. He bought all of the kids’ Christmas presents online and had them shipped to his mom’s house so I didn’t have to do anything but make cookies all season. He called mechanics and computer people for me so they wouldn’t have to deal with my tears. He was here whether we saw him or not. Sounds like a great analogy for the hand God has in our lives.

We know the time is near when I start ignoring the warning lights on the dashboard and Roy gets transferred to the 90-man bay so his replacements can take over his home.

Stay tuned for Christmas letter #2 – Post-Roy Christmas 2016 and see all the changes that took place while he was deployed. It has been an interesting year to say the least.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Girls.....Be the Bell

Today, I got to serve at Cerner, a large company that helps young adults get experience in the field of computers and technology. They had a 3-hour event outside full of games and food and fellowship.

There were plenty of servers working this event. So many, that my only job was “pop and water”. Since there was free beer there, my job was really only to watch the ice melt on top of the pop and then put more ice on top of it. 3 hours of watching ice melt!

While I was working hard at watching Coke and Mountain Dew get cold, I also found time to people-watch. Out of the 500 employees that came out to this everything-free event, about 490 of them were between 21-25 years old. There were so many young men that were tall, bearded, and wearing plaid shirts. Then, there were the women with colored hair and skinny jeans. No matter how much effort we put in to try to be different, we all really end up alike.

 There were groups of young men playing catch with a football that flew my way a couple times. I got my chance to shine as I spiraled the ball back to them and did my victory touchdown sign. That took about 20 seconds off my 3-hour shift. Then, there were those huge balls you jump in and run inside like a hamster. I want those so bad for my property but my dream-squashing kids would pop them - $500 down the drain in 5 seconds flat.

But then I spotted this little gem....

You know this game. I didn’t google how old it is but it at least dates back to the Grease movie, right? It is nicknamed the Strong man’s Game. The player hits the lever and a puck flies up with the goal being to hit the bell at the top. The harder you hit the lever, the higher the puck goes. After making sure my pop was safe, cold, and lonely, I watched the men and women play this “game”. The only reward is to hear the bell ring at the top of the tower but there is something very intriguing about this game that keeps people coming back to it and has kept it popular among carnivals for decades. On the surface, it looks rather boring and useless. What exactly is accomplished here? The only goal is to hit it hard enough to hear the bell. So??

Here is what I observed and learned during my people/pop-watching. The men and women were consistent. One by one, a woman would hit the lever with the mallet and the number would go up to a certain number. She would hit it again and again but only got weaker with lower numbers. Even with cheering and encouragement, they never pounded the hammer more than 3 times.

Then, there were the men. One by one, they each went up. Their first slam of the mallet never hit the bell but here is where they differed from the women. They never gave up. Each man stayed and kept hitting the lever over and over while the puck ascended higher and higher until it hit the bell. No man gave up. Not one. Once the bell was hit, he swung the hammer with a smile and pride. There was no need to keep hitting it anymore because the goal was accomplished. He had reached as high as he could go.

This was totally a Theology of the Body lesson for my teens!! I repeat over and over again to the girls….”Raise your bar and the man will rise to the challenge.” Too many women lower the bar so every man can hit the bar with the first try. But the woman who has her bar set high attracts the men to her. That is where the challenge is. How many men would find the game fun if anyone who hit that lever were able to ring the bell? Once the word got out about how easy that game is, no one would play it. It would be boring and unrewarding.

I ran this blog through my head as I people-watched this game. Girls need to be that bell. Girls need to raise their standards and men will start lining up to try to reach that bell. Sure, some men might give up but none of them did who chose to play that game today. If a young man didn’t think or want or care to ring that bell, they just didn’t play at all. The type of young men interested in my daughter are the type that see the high bar and don’t walk away. They stay and rise to the challenge. They stay until they hear the bell – the wedding bells.

And as I ran this analogy through my head, someone else was pouring ice over my pop. I only had one job……..

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas 2015

It boggles my mind how much can change in just a year. The only thing that has stayed consistent for 3 years is how deliriously happy the family is about living in our home that still seems so new to us. I still smile when I turn down my street and see the Dead End sign. Even the No Dumping sign brings a smile to my face. I still turn my head in all directions as I cruise down our street – looking for deer, checking the river level, observing the wildlife and trying to spot the blue pelican that periodically graces us with her presence. Just outside our front door, we have a turtle habitat on the left with guarded turtle eggs that the kids anticipate will be hatching any day now. There is a duck habitat under our bay window and a ramp that leads in and out of one of our 3 koi ponds that Roy built over the summer for all of our baby ducks. We hatched ducks and chickens all year long and watch a momma hen take care of her little chicks. Bridges have been built, 4-wheelers fixed, new trails blazed, a sniper stand and walls added to the air soft war, etc. We look for every excuse to bring people over and share our blessings with them. God has blessed us beyond measure but he has blessed us infinitely more with the people He has brought into our lives – our own family.

Nick has temporarily moved into a house just across the state line with 4 other young men to be a missionary with the St. Paul’s Outreach. It is a Catholic young adult program that ministers to the students at the local community college as they struggle with faith and relationships. Nick doesn’t talk much but he does make visits here and there to pick up props for inspirational talks he gives to the students, takes some time to play Frisbee with the kids, and get his monthly haircut from Samantha. He’s happy, safe and faithful.

Mary Kate is still attending Developing Potential – a program for adults with special needs so she can continue her education and stay busy with activities and field trips. The whole family loves to call her boyfriend “her spoochy-spoochy” so we can see her go nuts. She is still the kindest and most generous person you will EVER EVER meet. She is always happy, even in the wee hours of the morning when no one wants to hear it.  

Samantha had a summer that changed her life forever. She spent 4 weeks at two different Catholic retreats. She came home a new young, confident woman. She read the stack of books about her faith and purity, goes to daily Mass, helps me without me having to say a word, cares for the kids, is joyful all the time, studies hard and has very high expectations for her life in matters of faith, modesty and chastity – the only components of life that really matter. And even though the boys seem to be lining up on our doorstep, she is perfectly content having her daddy be the only man in her life.

Max is 15 and has a permit! He grew quite a bit over the summer and was constantly asking me for new clothes at the thrift store. I couldn’t keep up! He is a freshman in High School now which stressed him and inspired him to try harder with his school work. He spent a week at Camp Savio where he was the popular man on campus. When I arrived to pick him up, I heard so much murmuring from boys, girls and staff about Max and what joy he brought to the camp. One of the leaders told me about a girl that Max sat down with to talk about her dignity and worth.

Theresa is 13 years old. She also attended the same camp as Max and had the time of her life. She wants so bad to do everything that Samantha and Max do and gets so frustrated when she can’t. She loves her friends and tries to love her enemies even more. She is always reaching out to people, especially if these people are challenging (quiet, unsociable, or simple don’t work well with others). She is there to bring them around. She is not scared of anyone no matter how big or old they are. She could back a grown man into a corner if she needed to.

Benjamin is 10 years old and still a handful. There is always a lesson or 2 or 20 to be learned by him every day. He has inspired us to make a list of grueling punishments taped on our refrigerator. #1 is to listen to Mary Kate for 15 minutes lecture him on doing the right thing. Yeah. He lasts for about 2 seconds and is ready to pull his hair out. In March, Ben played Michael Banks in Mary Poppins with Calvary Bible College. Ben was the perfect choice. Michael is a noisy, mischievous boy – just like Ben. There was not much acting on Ben’s part. He made me the happiest mom on the planet.

Josie is 8 years old and still cute as a button. She loves the attention we give her about her cute chubby cheeks. She is at our local public school for her last year before coming home for 3rd grade. She is a confident girl that never gets her feelings hurt and always happy. She is easily pleased, playful and helpful. She got the traditional “8 year old ‘talk’” and feels more grown up and part of the older kids ‘club’ now.  

Matthew is trying to keep up with 7 older brothers and sisters. He fights and wrestles all the time! One time he went to school with 4 black eyes and he only has two eyes! Yes, I got a call.  The public school is not well educated on big family dynamics. He sneaks up to any one of his siblings, whacks them with something and then runs like hell in the hopes a wrestling match will ensue. He gets his wish 100% of the time. We have added glasses and a nifty looking pirate’s eye patch to help fix his vision.

Andrew is 2 and being so dang cute! He is talking more and more and we all surround him to watch the new thing he has learned. He loves looking at his large audience and then shy’s away with a big grin on his face. He isn’t throwing tantrums yet. I’ve been pretty blessed to not have any terrible two year olds since Max. Max made up for everybody though. I deserved a long break.

Roy got to have an amazing summer at Camp Savio with his kids, Boy Scout camp, and a high adventure 70 mile hiking trip with Max in Philmont, New Mexico. He escaped another year from being deployed but we know another deployment is in his future. He still works his tail off every day and night. He can’t stand to rest or even play with the family if he knows there is work to be done. He always ropes in the kids to work too so there is plenty of time to bond. Whenever a boy comes to visit Samantha, he is dragged off by Roy to split wood for hours while Samantha puts up her feet and eats a bowl of ice cream. If a boy is ever able to get close to one of his daughters, it will only be after years of blood, sweat and tears.

I am very blessed to be 43 and carrying another baby in my womb. I don’t deserve all of these kids. I fail as a mother and a wife daily but God still gifts me with everything I have ever asked for and still gives me exceedingly more than my imagination has ever ventured to imagine for myself – house, land, fertility, faith, health, husband who spoils me, kids who bring everyone joy, etc.  Roy and I are very busy with teaching our chastity class every week for our 8th year. It is so much fun and the kids really enjoy it. I can’t imagine ever giving that up.

I pray you had a fabulous 2015 and an even more blessed 2016.


Love, The Christy’s

Nick, Mary Kate, Samantha, Max, Theresa, Ben, Josie, Matthew, Andrew and baby #10