Mission Accomplished!

It’s been way too long since our readers have heard from us.  Why?  Because our lives have been moving way too fast: work, kids, and the outside attacks on our marriage/family since that began when we first got engaged.  The attacks never seem to dissipate, however, we are getting much better at dealing with them.

We have some amazing news to announce.  After beginning to blend our family together in August of 2017, we can now comfortably and publicly state: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

That’s right!  We have reported on some pockets of success in the past, but today, we are a solid family unit.

When we started this site to share our lives, we referenced what the experts said about blending families.  “The average family takes 5-7 years to combine; some take longer,” renowned Stepfamily expert Ron Deal.

Believe it or not, we even had leaders in our church tell us that “there is no such thing as blended families, it never works.”  Did those words get us down?  You bet they did.  We hoped for encouragement from our church.

But we kept at it.  We worked on our marriage so we could love and serve each other better.  This is no easy task with the relentless attacks against us.  We parented our children the way we know is right — with rules and boundaries.  This also is difficult when we only have them 50% of the time.

Most importantly, we prayed for God to bring our family together. And He did!

With the grace of God, we successfully combined our family in about 2.5 years!

Here’s what we see in our family now:

  • Loudness and laughter at the dinner table instead of quiet and forced discussions
  • All the kids teasing each other
  • All the kids teasing the parents!
  • The stepbrothers sending each other tons of texts when they are apart
  • The boys ganging up against the one tough girl we have
  • The stepbrother sticking up for his stepsister
  • The stepbrothers scheming together to get what they want from the parents
  • The stepbrothers wrestling instead of coming to the dinner table
  • And they now look forward to vacations – TOGETHER!

Of course, those are just some of the highlights of the more typical sibling interactions.  One thing we did recognize — they haven’t begun to fight with each other yet. This would probably be the ultimate in “coming together” when they can fight and yell, and then love each other the next day…or day after that.

One thing is certain: WE ARE BLESSED! And we thank God every day for His phenomenal work in bringing our family close.

Stay tuned for our posts in the weeks ahead which will detail some of the things that worked for us in hopes that it may work for you!

The Sibling Whisperer

That’s right.  We have the “Sibling Whisperer” right here in our home.

We have known for a long time just how special Liam is to us.  But his abilities, or gifts we should say, never cease to amaze us.

As we enter the third year of blending our family, many challenges remain.  We have written quite a bit about the difficulty in bringing four very different kids together to live and love in one family unit.

However, we had a breakthrough during our summer vacation.  And that breakthrough was led by our very own “Sibling Whisperer”.

Let us tell you a little more about Liam.  He was born with Down syndrome.  Continue reading “The Sibling Whisperer”

LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry

As you know, we made a commitment to try to help others who are remarried, blending families, and going through the ups and downs of marriage in a different way than the traditional first time marriage struggles, by sharing our experiences, being transparent and open to anyone in need.

So we decided to fly to Little Rock and attend the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry, which is dedicated to teaching people the best ways to help people like us who are remarried and living in blended families.

Let us say up front that many of these lessons are applicable to all marriages in one form or another, but stepfamilies do have many unique issues: ex-spouses and stepchildren being the two biggest.

Here are a couple of quick first takes: Continue reading “LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry”

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