Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit our family blog.
This blog was originally created to post updates on our newborn daughter, which was 4 years ago. God has started using this blog as a ministry and outreach plus a way to record the journey that God is allowing our family to live.
To Our Lord, may He get the Glory and Honor!

Blessings from Shandee

Update: We have been led to further sharing our online journey with posts from the entire family. What started out as a simple blogging journey from a Mother & Wife's perspective has blossomed into a family journey. We now welcome you to The Childress Family Blog.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Blog Update

FYI: It's taking our new host longer than expected time to set up our new site and we're not sure why there is a delay.  We are experiencing a longer than usual wait time, but we are still working to get our new blog up and running!  Continue to enjoy some past posts from this blog.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Posts from years past

In case you are wondering, I am posting from years past from this  blog in earlier years. I hope you enjoy reliving them with me as we post this week.


"Yes, they are all mine!"


Yes, they are all mine!

Can I just say or should I just wear a tshirt that says, "yes, they are all mine" and "yes, all girls(I've recently started saying so far)" and "I KNOW I HAVE MY HANDS FULL, I ACTUALLY PRAYED FOR THIS!!!"

Goodness, today is the day I am fed up, Rick told me I was going to go off on someone if I heard that again. Everywhere we go, whether my children are in their best behavior or embarrassingly rowdy, we are stared at, laughed at, told we are blessed, or on one occasion prayed over. We are the center of attention, it is like we are the entertainment, can't we just look like normal people? There's only 4 sweet little girls, you'd think I had a dozen the way others act. Madison has actually taken the part of answering ages now, when we are asked, she looks at me and smiles and I say, "go ahead". People are amazed. Then, they ask for the names, it was so funny today, for the first time, each daughter knew to take the turn of saying her name. We are going to laugh at this story times to come and generations it will be passed down.

Oh, and this is my favorite "You going to have more" and then they laugh like she is OUT of her mind, she would never want anymore, and then when I say "YES", it blows them away. Sometimes, they are even bold enough to say: "better you than me" Maybe it's because my girls are all so young, I don't know. I really got a good laugh at a lady one day at the dr's office... She asked if they were all mine and I replied, "No, I'm bored so I just get neighborhood kids". Oh, the look on her face, it was blank and her mouth must have been hanging open for like 2 minutes. Finally, I told her they were all mine. Geesh, who do they think they belong to?

I remember when we were prayed for and annointed, the minister asked the Lord to let our child be a testimony and how that has came to pass. Amazing!

OH, OH, and when they find out we homeschool, that is a look too. I think they're thinking, yeah right, how do you do that? When we have appointments, we carry our work with us and people are amazed when I tell them the things my girls can do. They just sit there watching us and staring like we are tv and then I'll catch them looking and give them my biggest Shandee smile even when my girls are disobeying and then quickly turn away like they are so embarassed I saw them watching us.
Little Sophie was the best little helper as soon as her feet learned to walk at 10 months old. I have no idea, but I can tell you:

1. we are NEVER bored
2. we will never be lonely
3. there's enough of us to have a birthday party just by ourselves
4. my wardrobe will be plentiful(ma and i already wear the same size shoes)
5. i will grow old treasuring each moment i spent with my girls and remembering how much fun we had
6. there is always a laugh at our house
7. i have 4 little ladies that will help me with anything i need
8. i'll always having a shopping buddy
9. i will soon have live-in baby sitters
10. when someone is hurt, one of the girls beat me to comfort the other
11. there will always be food to eat, i have 4 little chefs and gardeners
and the list goes on

Yes, we do have our hard days, today was one of those and I do fail. Since I became a mother, I lost Shandee, but the change made me self-less and pulled me closer to God than I imagined. Any job has difficult times, but my job is worth it- I am investing in a soul for eternity.

Dedicated to all my mommy friends, especially those of large families :-)
And to the encouragement of my dear friend, mommy of 9, you are such an encouragement to us ALL!

Past Blog Posts-the first blog entry, by: Shandee

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007

I finally did it!

I finally created my own blog. I've been meaning to do this since my 4th daughter was born and here I am recording my daily walk with HIM! God has blessed me in more ways than I could possibly ever dreamt and I can't wait to share my journey! And my precious stories of the love for my family and the grace God gives me every day, it is truly AMAZING!
Looking forward to learning how to add pictures and give this blog my own touch. Until the next time...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Thanks for not aborting me" linked article.

My mind is flowing with back-to-school thoughts. And so, I stumbled upon this amazing link on the- oh so ever loved, Sonlight  blog.  It's quite funny because I don't know how I found the article, it must have been a God thing because I couldn't find the post again that brought my attention to it. You must read this, you will be very blessed with this beautiful adoption story!  I actually did not know it was a story on adoption until I read the article.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coming to a close

As we move from  this blog, we are preparing to begin a new journey with our family blog refresh. When the refresh is set, this blog will remain online and you will have a link directing you to our new site.

I feel it would be a good thing to recapture the heart of this current blog.
For approximately the next week, we'll be reposting some of the favorites and most popular posts of all the blogging journey this far.

What are some of your favorite blog posts since the beginning of the blog?
List it under COMMENT section.
(You can comment as an anonymous user and do not have to create an account to comment.)

Many Blessings,

Mommies have down days too

Today, I am feeling very low. As a Mommy, we have a huge duty in caring for our family and home.

My family has been battling sickness with sinuses since November. We had a break of two weeks where they seemed healthy, but  the symptoms  have come back. I'm so exhausted from medicine dosages and the effects that illness has on our family. Also, I just want them to feel good.  Straight from our doctor, "Children with asthma seem to get sick easier and stay sick longer."

Overload of messes. If you have young children, no need to explain. If you have several young children,  you're probably like us; no space to put everything!

Letdown of the buildup of Christmas. We worked so hard to prepare to celebrate and as odd as it sounds, I feel like we didn't get to celebrate. I was wiped out on Christmas morning(as usual and as hard as I tried for it not to happen, it did) because I had sat up till after midnight for about a week shopping online, wrapping gifts, and working on lists. It seems like I was so extremely busy preparing for Christmas that it slipped by without being able to enjoy it.

Daddy is back at work. His presence is missed really bad and I feel lost without him here. I wished he could be here this week and have an extended vacation time like so many other people till the New Year. I am thankful that he has a job and we are blessed by it. I just miss him really bad today.  The presence of a Father at home leading his family is irreplaceable.

Laundry piles, more than usual.

Cabin fever. We've been housed in for at least 5  6 days now.
Cold weather. It's cold and windy outside and it makes me feel trapped inside because I am fearful of getting the children out in the cold and making them sick or others sicker. I feel trapped indoors this time of year without being able to go out for several days.
Does that make sense?

School prep ahead. I have a lot to do to prepare for school to begin again. I had hoped to be back this week, but we need more time to organize and prioritize.

I wrote the above post yesterday. This morning, I discovered a gift on my bathroom light switch. My guess is that my 5 year old did this.  Children speak to us in so many ways!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lime Sherbet Punch-Our Favorite!

Citrus Punch


2 packs Lemon-Lime Kool-aid mix
2 cups sugar sweetener(I prefer organic cane-juice crystals)
1 Large Can Pineapple Juice
1 Large Can Orange Juice
5 cups water
Lime Sherbet for topping

Mix all ingredients except sherbet. After mixing well, top punch with sherbet to float.
It is so good!


Home-made Holiday Gifts

Our family enjoys blessing others! This year, I felt the Lord wanted us to bless businesses that have gone above and beyond to bless our family this year. 
Below are some pictures of home-made gifts that we have put together. 

Family Dinner Converation Jar, idea and directions from this site. This is a great gift idea for families. Kids LOVE to hear their parent's stories.
An all-time fav that we make is the Original Party Chex Mix. This mix is wrapped in a cellophane bag on the left corner of this picture.

Chex Mix Party Recipe from Chex Mix website.
3cups Corn Chex® cereal
3cups Rice Chex® cereal
3cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1cup mixed nuts
1cup bite-size pretzels
1cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6tablespoons butter or margarine
2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4teaspoon garlic powder
1/2teaspoon onion powder
Did You Know?
The original recipe includes Corn Chex®, Rice Chex® and Wheat Chex®. You can mix and match to suit your taste—just use a total of 9 cups of cereal.
Health Focus
To reduce the fat to 2 grams and the calories to 80 per serving, use 3 tablespoons margarine instead of the 6 tablespoons butter, omit mixed nuts and use fat-free bagel chips.
Special Touch
Make enough of this favorite mix to package up as gifts for special friends—it’s so good and always a welcome surprise!
Preparation Directions
1.In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
2.Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.
Oven Directions Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Mmmm....chewy brownie bites. Simple. 
How to:  Make brownie batter with any store bought brownie mix, toss in chocolate chips, and bake in mini muffin pans. I bought the food gift boxes at Dollar Tree.

Ball canning jar layered with assorted candies and tied with raffia ribbon for a finishing touch.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Wish List

Most kids wish for a doll, maybe an adorable new puppy or even the popular pillow pets, but not my girls...

Below is a video that my girls posted today.

So, what is this video about?

Here's the inside info. straight from Mom.
That would be me ;-)

One day, I heard these angelic voices singing this sweet melody. It was TOO cute!
This melody is actually a tune from the Christmas Play, my girls just changed the words.

We are crammed for space in our vehicle and not enough room to travel as a family so we have to take two vehicles most places. One day, a vehicle with enough seating for our family will emerge and it will be a brand new season in our lives! I can't believe we've outgrown most vehicles that are on the road today!

Hope you enjoy the video. There are some bloopers too. I'll ask permission before posting, though.

Waiting all Year for a Passenger Van

Posted By: Madison

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Giving & Baking

Oh dear, I had some neat ideas to share with you on some homemade Christmas gifts.

It appears that I"m too tried  tired to tell you all about it. There are pictures, then there are how-tos, and then there are links to add, plus words to type explaining it all. I've been in the kitchen all day working since about 8:30 a.m. so I really just want to sit and relax for now.  Well, that's after I run the possum off again that comes to our porch and eats the cat food while all of the cats sit and stare at it just like it's one of them. Then, I or my strong husband, sneak through the creeky screen door with the broom in hand and chase it off the porch. And what do the cats do? They just sit there and watch, like "no big deal."

What about you, do you have any possums sneaking on your porch at night? I think you have to live in the south to even understand such a thought.

(Photo Credit, not taken by us.)

So, I will go for now and perhaps tomorrow I"ll be able to show you the gifts we have completed in hopes that it blesses several businesses and families.

Goodnight, come back soon...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Family of 14

If you count all the seven cats that have been brought to our doorstep by one way or another, we're a family of 14!  The girls have fallen in love with these pets and eagerly await the chance to sneak one in the doorway. We have not been able to find homes for the 4 kittens so it looks like they are going to be with us.  Pray that they will not disturb our neighbors till we can get a larger home one day.

(Apologies for the picture quality, the top two were taken with a web cam and through the screen door.)

Important Reminder from Leapfrog

I received an email today from Leapfrog.  This is a great reminder to have your gifts ready to go.

Follow this link to connect to Leapfrog's site on connecting your Leapfrog toy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Why does the world tell mothers that their careers at home are wasted? Why does the world tell mothers that they are needed more at the workplace and their child should be left at daycare where they will be taught everything that a mother was created to teach them? Why does a mother receive a Welcome Newborn Baby Packet stuffed with information on how to make the transition away from her baby as she returns back to work at only 6 weeks or on average, younger? Why does it make sense that mothers receive packets explaining every detail on how to pack for the birth of a child and then only a few weeks later, she receives information on how to pack her baby for someone else to care for?

Why would I want to miss out on living every day with each one of my children, praising and seeing each incredible, miraculous thing she does?  And, why would I want to miss one day of the bonding and snuggle time that I can never get back?

I would not change it for one second.  The Lord reminded me this very well today when my youngest cutie snuggled softly against me and drifted off. 

Top Christmas Picks for Children

Here's some  Christmas ideas if you're in need of a Christmas gift for chidren.

  • Pillowpets

Kids love 'em. All ages. Parents do not. To us, it seems like just another stuffed animal, but the kids can't get enough pillow pets! And, yes we have more than enough here and do not need anymore!!
I just discovered there is an actual pillowpet website where you can watch the video and learn way more than you could ever want to know about these stuffed animals. And, if it's not enough, they have now conjured up a new way to sell more by adding a matching pee-wee set. Caution: If you show your child these pillow pets, you are setting yourself up to buy a pillow pet, my friend. Be warned ;-)

  • Electronic Gadgets
All of my children want a digital camera or video recorder. What is the fascination of kids these days and electronics?  The best deal we found for the cameras are at Family Dollar for $10. Not too bad, especially if this camera lives in our house, it's not sure to make it till next year so $10 is a good deal around here.

  • Walmart Gift Cards
I have not seen a child who is not pleased to get a Walmart gift card.

  • Remote Control Cars
Again, Family Dollar is my go-to advice for that. They were featured in the Toy Book for only $5.

  • Mini-Flashlights
As unusual at it may sound, children love flashlights.

  • Legos
Boys and girls love legos. They encourage creativity.

  • Baby Alive
Oh, there are at least 10 of these floating around in our house-no joke. I suggest Amazon for best pricing here. Amazon has free shipping with $25 selected purchases.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just for fun!

Do you have an idea to submit for our new blog name? Leave it in the comment section. You may comment under your name or anonymously. Let's see your ideas :-)

Update on the new blog

I wanted to let you know that we still are planning on making the switch to our new blog. The illness that hit our home last month has taken an impact on us as a family unit which has weakened our ability to work on our new blog. Please know that a refresh is in order and God has given us ideas to share. There is one important part that we are in search of and it is actually the new title for our family blog. We are believing that the Lord will make that clear to us. So, keep in mind that work is happening and we'll be eager to share once we've completed it. Be sure to check in for further information.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Photo Cards

Update:  Our sweet man of the house, Daddy, picked up our cards and I am very pleased. They are the best deal I found and the quality is great.

In search of deals for photo cards, I have not found a great deal like I did last year. I do have a CVS deal (for the Norton VA CVS only)to share with you, though. Just another reason to love CVS ;-)

The offer: 12 photo cards for $12.99
Go to cvsphoto.com and sign up for email to receive a 25% OFF  code that you will receive in an email.
Use Promo Code DEC20 to get 20% OFF and free express and same day pickup on your photo cards, calendar, photo books&gifts!
note: only one code can be used per order

Don't forget to have your CVS Extracare Card scanned when you pickup your photos!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Everyone better now?

Many have been asking how we're doing so I thought you would like an update.

Thankfully, the girls are doing much, much better! Praise the Lord. I am so thankful. Finally, last week, we were able to stop administering breathing treatments. My hubby seems to be recovering as well.

Unfortunately, I came down with illness quickly. I knew that I had been fighting it for a while and I was hit hard yesterday that prompted an Urgent Care Visit. I am in recovery from sinusitis. I do not have asthma like the rest of my family so it makes my recovery time much easier, but I am also taking care of seven people so I have got to get better!

We still do not have a tree up nor our home decorated; although, the sweet man of this house worked on the outside this afternoon. This is probably the latest we have ever been on our decorating, but we are doing the best we can and that's all that matters.

After we are completely well, the girls and I have a ministry outreach planned that we do each year during the Christmas season. This year, we have decided to give a small gift of thanks to businesses that have blessed us through the year. Some of those businesses are in Kingsport so I"m sure Mr. Childress will be in on this outreach as well.  :-) I personally want each business to know that we are grateful and thankful for everything they do to help care for our family throughout the year. We receive the most excellent, loving care from two special dr's offices and I want to somehow bless them with a small token of gratitude.  I will be happy to share some ideas as this opportunity unfolds.

Our Christmas play is only 1 week away. I can't believe it! We are praying that lives will be touched and that someone may come to know Jesus as never before after seeing this play!  It's actually a musical and all the children have really enjoyed it. I am so proud of them! I am just gleaming with joy when I hear each sweet little voice!

Happy Christmas season...enjoy!

p.s. I'm searching for some bargain photo cards, I'll let you know what I find!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Online Shopping

Are you shopping online this year?  If so, I encourage you to check out an online site called Ebates.
Ebates costs nothing to join and as a matter of fact; right now, Ebates will let you choose a free bonus just for signing up.

I joined Ebates last year and have loved it!  Each time that  I shop through ebates and complete my transaction, Ebates gives me back a percentage of the sale. After a certain amount has accrued, Ebates will send me a check!  Last year, I got a check in the mail for around $24! Check out my post from last year's online shopping with Ebates.

You can visit Ebates through the online link I have provided below.

Visit Ebate's Link 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homeschooling when Ilness hits the family...

When illness strikes all or most of the family unit, it is very hard to carry on with the normal routine.
If you are a larger family, like us, having many sick and/or young children is very difficult. Through our journey of parenting, we have learned to pick up and carry on. I have found that there are times when the children do feel well enough to do some school. We can still continue with our schooling in a slower pace.

Here are some ways that our beloved Sonlight helped us carry on with school these past few weeks. We were able to continue homeschooling in a less demanding way than our normal school days.

  • Reading!   Sonlight is a great encourager of reading. Rather than doing no school at all, I chose to bring a reading book to life with my children. I was able to read and let the others follow along. We had one copy of the book from our Sonlight Core and I borrowed other copies from our local library so the others could follow along. We read a fun, adventurous book called Tornado. We laughed and I cried. It was very fun for the children. We learned new vocabulary words and was inspired by the fact that it is a common thing that children enjoy owning a pet. My two year old and five year old took turns sitting in my lap and listened attentively while I read the book aloud. The key to keeping their focus is using expression and tone while reading.

On another sick day, we further discussed the book and completed an art project of their choice from a scene in Tornado. With my student's permission, we are sharing some of the completed work. It was a fun and memorable project for my students and myself!
(Pardon the picture quality, it was taken with my webcam.)

And last but not least,  we viewed segments from our Mathtacular DVDs.  I scanned the title cover and we watched videos that pertain to the math lessons we have been studying.

My girls thoroughly enjoy watching Justin's outtakes and they are amazed that technology allows Luke to view our blog! My students are also very impressed that the creators of Sonlight have a large family AND have homeschooled!

{A sidenote from my kindergartner who just had to add her own touch to the blog... :-)