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Although we Eyres are at a different end of parenting than many of you who are Valuesparenting members, we want you to know that the process of parenting never just gets bigger! I have to laugh when I think about dreaming of all the free time I would have to lay out on the lounge chair on the balcony and read books once the kids were gone! Even though our nest is sometimes empty, our lives are full and spilling over!

This summer at our family reunion (there are now thirty two of us when we are all together, plus another eight when we include our semi-adopted Bulgarian daughter and Ukrainian son and their families) we realized that our numbers, with five kids married and four still single, will always be multiplying!

Along with the joys of a big family, come the complications! We figured that within a 10 day period at our family retreat during our 4 day reunion and the following comings and goings of extended family and friends that we, with everyone’s help, served 840 meals! There is always a continual round of needs for cars (especially because we had several break-downs) and beds and medical attention.

Yet even as we deal with the complications we feel the joy and importance of having everyone together, of spending time on the beach, in family meetings, playing games, having great talks, sharing recipes and life experiences and relishing those few days together, as well as the individual families visits sprinkled throughout the year. Nothing brings greater joy than family…for better AND for worse! There are always “issues”, crisis and difficulties but there is also the joy of overcoming adversity together and working out problems, the process of which binds us together even more tightly!

Treasure the memories with your little children, growing children, teen-age children and young adults because soon they will be gone…and be back…and gone again! I love this quote from Og Mandino: “The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories; those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the white sand and placed in tiny boxes that lie undisturbed on tall shelves until one day they spill out and time restarts itself with joy and sweet sadness, in the child now an adult.” Also this one: “No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives each person time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy.” Anonymous

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