Thoughts on Mothering A Large Family

I can honestly say my husband and I are joyful because we answered a particular call to parent a large family of nine children. Many small experiences kept reinforcing the truth; God called each of our children into being with our cooperation. I stumbled blindly at times and then a burst of clarity would shine…… Continue reading Thoughts on Mothering A Large Family

Family Fun: Dinner and a Movie at Home? Yup!

It is a simple fact; there is no better way to form deep relationships and a sense of family unity than conversation over a home-cooked meal, then sharing a good movie afterward. It was our large family’s version of going out for dinner and a movie in town. Life around our dinner table was relaxed…… Continue reading Family Fun: Dinner and a Movie at Home? Yup!

The Joy of Gardening With Kids

The joy of gardening with children can be experienced in pots on a balcony, in a garden the size of a sandbox, in a community patch in the inner city or in a country garden. Often farmers will rent space to city dwellers to garden. No matter how large or small, children will be just…… Continue reading The Joy of Gardening With Kids

Dowdy, If Not For Daughters

My sense of fashion withered while raising nine kids on a hobby farm. I did not have time to do more than throw my hair up in a quick updo and pull on pantyhose in our big van on the way to Church. Then my daughters slowly embarked on an ongoing,  long-term fashion intervention project. Now…… Continue reading Dowdy, If Not For Daughters

Are They All Yours ?

I laughed when a friend sent me an amusing video, a song composed by a family of 12, sung to the tune of the Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas”.. . The video is hilarious because it is composed of phrases directed to large families, phrases I have heard for decades.  . You must…… Continue reading Are They All Yours ?

Don’t Let the Dog In and Don’t Let Daniel Out

Life was especially chaotic after the birth of our eighth and ninth children because everyone was still fourteen and under. It was difficult to keep a sharp eye out for my new bundle of energy, Daniel. As our second youngest, Daniel’s basic character has always been pleasant and easy-going. His eyes are still twinkling and…… Continue reading Don’t Let the Dog In and Don’t Let Daniel Out

“ So, What Does Jesus Do With Ghosts?”

Michael’s father, a police officer, had given our family free tickets to a large three-ring circus production the police department were sponsoring. Of course after a few hours, the flashing lights, loud music, breath-taking suspense, excitement and cotton candy overstimulated all six kids. Rather than playing like they usually did, everyone was hyperactive, yelling and…… Continue reading “ So, What Does Jesus Do With Ghosts?”

Shopping With Teens

  Ah, the secret delight I experienced every time one of my oldest three daughters took their younger sisters shopping for a dress for a special occasion. After a particular stressful shopping trip, they would stumble through the door, complaining about their hard to please younger sibling. Typically, they’d roll their  eyes and sputter, “…… Continue reading Shopping With Teens

Oopsy Daisy

Life at the Juneau’s farmhouse was often overwhelming with eleven personalities living, working and playing together. Luckily, Melanie had a wicked sense of humour and just enough grace to remain serene in the eye of the hurricane, the CEO of a chaotic domain. She has written hundreds of short stories, insights and articles which only…… Continue reading Oopsy Daisy

Joyful Chaos: Dining With Eleven

Listen as I struggled to gather my crew every night for a family meal. “Oh good, you’re done barn chores. Perfect timing; dinner is almost ready.” “Two more minutes, everybody!” “Joseph I’ll help after we eat, okay?” “Mary, please run up and open Jean’s door and shut off the music.” ‘Dinner is ready!” “Grace, I…… Continue reading Joyful Chaos: Dining With Eleven

Laughing, Loving, and Crying Through 36 Years of Marriage

My husband and I answered 5 questions about marriage for Karee Santos on her blog, Can We Cana? A Community to Support Catholic Marriages. This post was part of a series. Today we welcome Michael and Melanie Jean Juneau to the series How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some. Michael and Melanie live on a… Continue reading Laughing, Loving, and Crying Through 36 Years of Marriage

New Life for Unpaired Socks

I always have said that the only thing that will kill a mother of a large family is attempting to pair all the socks. Thank heavens I had a wicked sense of humour and an army of free labour. Sometimes we would line up literally hundreds of socks of every possible size and colour as we…… Continue reading New Life for Unpaired Socks

Large Families in ‘Tolerant’ Modern Society

In my experience as a mother of nine children, I have met more condemnation than acceptance and more questions that understanding. Perhaps it is because I do not look like the mother of a large family. I am tiny, look younger than my age and all my life people have labelled me as cute. So…… Continue reading Large Families in ‘Tolerant’ Modern Society

Experiencing Death During the Season of Joy

One of my husband’s brothers died a few days ago. The thought that birth and death are similar kept circulating in my brain as I realized that birth and death are intricately connected. We enter the world and leave it by surrendering to a force which sweeps us along. All we can do is let…… Continue reading Experiencing Death During the Season of Joy

Christmas Past

When you live with nine children, even the most crusty curmudgeon cannot resist the magic of Christmas. As I clean and get ready for our adult children to come home from university and work in the city, it is nice to remember the magic of Christmases when they were little. In fact, the scent of…… Continue reading Christmas Past

Sock and Laundry Humour

To Pair or Not to Pair That is the Question   When all the kids were at home, I had 154 stinky socks to wash every week, at the bare minimum and socks disappeared into mountains of laundry. I could never find them all. Do you have any idea where 154 socks can hide every…… Continue reading Sock and Laundry Humour

Shattered and Reborn

I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, with his hands together in prayer and said in a high, mocking voice, ‘Oh,…… Continue reading Shattered and Reborn

Those Bothersome Bugs

Once again the school had sent notes home about another outbreak of head lice but of course I was confident that we had never had and never would get lice. Over the phone, the school secretary asked me to check Rachel’s head. Since she was in morning kindergarten, Rachel had missed the head check that…… Continue reading Those Bothersome Bugs

Pro-Life IS Pro-Women

Perhaps I have finally discovered a label to describe myself – a pro-life feminist. At first glance theses two terms seem to oppose each other but true feminism is not the antithesis of motherhood or a pro-life stance. Contrary to standard stereotypes, one is pro-woman  precisely when one is pro-life. My story is simply a…… Continue reading Pro-Life IS Pro-Women

Ingenuity And Creativity Are Birthed In Boredom

Relax, bored kids never stay bored for long Children thrive when they are given ample unscheduled play time. Free time to explore, use their imaginations to amuse themselves and even time to be bored because boredom is the birth place of creativity and ingenuity. Surrounded by babies and toddlers, I was not always free to… Continue reading Ingenuity And Creativity Are Birthed In Boredom