Thank you everyone for submitting questions - Steve and I were both overwhelmed by the response and grateful for the opportunity to share our story. Because there were so many questions, we decided to break them up into categories. Over the next several weeks, we'll attempt to answer all of them. If they are related questions or the same question, they are bulked into the same answer. If our answers bring up more questions for you, feel free to ask. We are committed to being open and transparent so that God can work through our lives.
This week, we're answering "Where are we now" questions.
1. Where are you living? Are all the kids with you?
You stated recently that you are combining houses...are you moving down there or staying here in Michigan?
I think I remember reading that Steve lived out of state from you. So, did you move to where he was, or did he move to you in the house you just purchased? And, what about his job?
How did you decide where you would live, and how to blend the families in general?
Vee: We combined houses and are now living in my house in Rochester Hills, MI. Steve moved up from Indiana with his girls since I had more adequate space for our large family. We’ll talk a little bit more about how our family is blending in the ‘family questions’ section, but the short of it is that things are going really well and we’re really happy with our new crazy, wonderful, loud, always messy, loving family.
Steve: One of my long-time best friends works at the church where Vee attends and had been urging me to move here for quite some time. So, just over a year ago, I had applied for a position with the church in hopes of moving to the area and getting a fresh start in a new surrounding. As Vee and I began to talk, it was clear that Michigan was a great place for our new family and a place that I felt God had been calling me to for quite some time – little did I know it included a relationship with a wonderful woman and an amazing new family!
As far as my job goes, I was sad to leave the people and co-workers in Anderson. I had worked with many families for a number of years, but I know that God will provide another opportunity for me here in the Rochester Hills area, so I continue to pray that He brings along the right job that is both fulfilling and works well for the needs of our family.
2. Have you been working at the daycare you were at when Jeremy was alive? If not, do you work somewhere else, or at home being a mommy?
What are you doing now? Are you a stay at home mom or are you still teaching?
Vee: My last day at the daycare was the day that Jeremy died. It was also my last day teaching at the preschool. When Jer and I found out we were pregnant with Carter, we had talked about me finishing out the school year and then taking time off so that I could be home with him, like I was for my other two. As long as I’m able, that will continue to be the plan. I have been blessed to be able to stay home with the kids so far.
3. Has it been a difficult transition going from a small family to a much larger one in regards to finances?
I am curious how do you financially do it with such a large family? I stay home with my children because daycare where I live is very expensive and with two babies in diapers, the cost would eat up my entire paycheck. I know though the loss of your husband you had such awesome support. Now that you’re married, how do you both blend finances?
Vee: First of all, I don’t think I was starting with a small family! Any family that has more children than adults, in my opinion, is a large family...and then when you have more kids than arms to carry them in – that’s trouble! I am used to the chaos that comes with 3 children under the age of 5 and have learned how to make that work. That said, I imagine that our finances work just like everyone else’s. It’s definitely tight right now, but we find ways to make it work. We joke about how much toilet paper, paper towel, milk, and bread we go through – we’re at the grocery store stocking up on these things the most! Since Faith now has two older sisters, I didn’t have to worry about shopping for her much, and Carter has clothes handed down from Caleb, so that’s helpful. We try to find ways to cut costs and make extra income (meal planning, haircuts at home, hosting a garage sale, the little bit I make from this blog). I can’t say we’ve got it all figured out already, since it’s still new and we’re still adjusting, but we’re committed to going through our FPU program together and working as a team with our finances.
Steve: Well, the biggest transitions that I have noticed is that I have to take out the trash 2 times a day… everyday… along with our recycling bin, there is NEVER toilet paper in the bathroom when I need it there, and if we forget to lock the bedroom doors at night, there are 10 beady eyes peering at me as I slowly open my eyes in the morning J Honestly though, the transitions have been largely easy! Cost of extras (such as going out to eat, babysitting, etc) are WAY more, and so we try to plan meals and eat at home as much as possible. I have been committed to taking Vee out on a date at least every other week for just the two of us, so there is a little cost there, but really just seeing where we can cut corners and not spend money where we don’t have to. Caleb has joined the efforts in saving money and has graciously agreed to stop wiping his bum after going “number 2”… so I guess that’s less t.p. we are using J
Part 2 of our Q & A will be "getting to know Steve." I'm excited for you all to get to know this man that I am crazy about!