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Crazy in love!

A few months ago, Johnny and I decided to splurge (not part of our Dave Ramsey plan) and take the family out to a mexican dinner. Once we were seated, Johnny took the boys to the restroom and I set Gianna in the high chair. As I was getting the two of us settled a woman from across the restaurant stood up and very loudly questioned me. "Are those all your children?!" I was taken back and looked up at her. "Yes, they are." Then again, quite loudly she asked, "How old are they?" I told her, "My oldest is 5, then 4, 2 1/2, 10 months and this one (pointing to my stomache) is due in 6 weeks."

She looked down at her two children (ages were probably 6 and 1) and then looked back at me saying, "I only have two children, you must be absolutely crazy!!" I then smiled and said, "Yes, I am. I'm pretty crazy....crazy about my kids." She rolled her eyes, said nothing else and sat back down.

Johnny and the boys came back from the restroom and we proceeded on with our dinner together, although I could feel many eyes watching us that evening. Much to my surprise and to theirs I am sure, our kids were remarkably well behaved during our meal. Our boys colored nicely, ate their dinner with manners, and even practiced their Dora the Explorer spanish with the waiter, "Deliciouso". Gianna smiled and waived at ever person who walked by and Johnny and I even had some nice adult conversation. There were no meltdowns, spilled lemonade or fighting. I was very proud of our somewhat larger than average family.

Later that night I reflected on the questioning I received from the woman in the restaurant. I should be used to it by now, but I never seem to get used to the remarks or the interesting looks we get when we walk into a store, restaurant or public place.

The question I get asked the most about having 5 children in 5 years is, "How do you handle it!!" As though people expect Johnny and I to be in some mental ward in a straight jacket after having to handle so many children each day. I still haven't discovered a quick and concise answer to this question, but my heart wants to cry out the following response. "How do I handle it? How do I handle the showering of hugs and kisses I receive each day from my children? How do I handle the endless laughter and giggles that fill our house from morning to night? How do I handle falling more and more madly in love with my husband every time I catch him slow dancing and singing to our baby girl in the hallway. How do I handle the pride of watching my children accomplish a new milestone. How do I handle the way their little heart beat feels when they fall asleep in my arms or the way they come to me for comfort because only mommy can make everything better? How do I handle holding back the tears when I hear their beautiful and innocent prayers at night and can only imagine the joy that God is experiencing at that moment? How do I handle it?

I'm not trying to paint a picture that life is all roses and picket fences in the Horn house. Of course, having so many little ones so close together has its share of challenges. It is exhausting, there are meltdowns, time-outs, discipline issues. There are dirty diapers, broken plates, and messy rooms. The house is never clean. We trip over toys and as parents we are certainly pushed to our limits often. But even at the end of each day, when we collapse into our bed and reflect on all that has taken place, we are reminded that the blessings far outweigh the burdens. And oh, how blessed we are for the gift of each of these little ones.

We are also so incredibly blessed to have an amazing support system. Doting grandparents who are always there for us, amazing aunts and uncles who are just a phone call away and countless friends who seem to just be there when we need them most. We have so many incredible people in our lives who are amazing role models for our children and who love them so much!

Needless to say, our life is always exciting and God is teaching us many lessons. Having small children teaches us so much about sacrificial love, patience, humility, and what really matters in life. I doubt that when I die, I will ever be remembered for doing anything remarkable. I most likely will not ever invent something great, win the nobel peace prize or even write a book. But I know that if I love my children and along with their father, help them to grow up to know God's love and to be people of character and virtue, and have great values and a deep desire to make a difference in this world, then we will leave a legacy that is far lasting.

Although having 5 children within 5 years was not exactly what Johnny and I had planned, God seems to know exactly what He is doing. If people think I am crazy, well they just might be right. I am crazy!!! I'm crazy about God. I'm crazy in love with my gorgeous and incredible husband. And I am head-over-heals crazy in love with our children. I can't imagine my life any other way!
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