ABOUT US

beth equals bossHi.  I’m Beth. I’m a mother of five.

I never planned to be a mother of five.

Not ever.

Greg and I were going to have two kids. Maybe  three. 

But life is funny and things don’t always go according to plan. That’s OK; plans are for reasonable people and it turns out we’re totally ridiculous.

This picture, for example? I’m in a chicken coop. Standing in chicken poop. Which exemplifies our life, really, because we can kind of pull off looking like we’ve got it together, but we’re also ankle deep in crap. The trick is learning to find the magic in the mess and the wonder in the wild. If that’s what you’re looking for – weird truth-telling, a whole lot of laughing through the muck, and an entire Village of like-minded friends, you’ve come to the right place.

I started this blog for my dear, sweet friend who called me one day and said, “If I see one more blog full of pretty ballerinas, I’m going to vomit. Where are the blogs about kids smearing poop on the walls?  Where’s your blog?” That made me laugh, as the truth often does, and started me on a mission.

I’m here for you: to provide the comic relief, the grimy truth, and the sweet reality of parenting.  Because if it can’t be easy, at least it’s awesome. You know, eventually.

Our kids are adopted and biological, singletons and multiples, and some have special needs. Most importantly, they’re all our very own.

Welcome to the mess!

Here’s my cast of characters: 

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Greg is my husband.  He’s pretty great.  I like him almost all the time.

As if putting up with me and our myriad children isn’t enough, he also has plans to protect us when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives. I rest my case, ladies.

 

 

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Abby‘s our oldest.  She was born in Vietnam and joined the family when she was nine weeks old.  She made me a mommy, and I’m forever grateful. Abby is beautiful and graceful. (My ballerina. See? We’re not all poop-on-the-walls.)

Abby’s also sarcastic and hilarious.  In fact, I blame her for the fact that we had four more children; if she wasn’t so great, we wouldn’t’ve gone and had more.

 

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Ian‘s next.  He’s named after my dad.  You can tell they’re related by they way they both clomp up and down the stairs and can’t regulate their volume. We adopted Ian from Guatemala when he was three and a half years old.

Ian has expressive and receptive language disorders and has led us on many, many adventures in learning how to advocate for kids with special needs.

 

 

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Aden‘s our middle child.  Her name means “fiery” and “beautiful.” Be very careful what you name your children is all I’m saying.

Born in Guatemala, Aden joined our family when she was 15 months old.  Aden is endearing and mischievous, which is a nice way of saying, Watch out, World!

 

 

 After adopting three kids, we decided to have one the old-fashioned way.

He came with a twin brother.

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Cai‘s our fourth child.  He keeps us on our toes, and he’s joy personified.  No one in the world laughs as purely, deliciously, and delightfully as Cai.

You can challenge him to a laugh-off.  You’ll see.

 

 

 

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And Cael‘s our fifth; he was born three hours and seventeen minutes after Cai, which, for those of you keeping track at home, means that labor shut down after I delivered one baby, and I had to do it AGAIN. That’s right. That can happen. Still traumatized. Turns out, Cael’s my snuggler; as soon as Cai vacated my womb, he just snuggled himself right down and took a long winter’s nap.

Cael is my cautious and logical child.  He’s as sweet as sugar dipped in honey and spread on a cracker.

 

I blame Cai’s and Cael’s matchy twin-names on lack of sufficient prep time and the fact that I choke under pressure.

And that’s it.

Just the 5 kids.

If you’re still reading, I have a gold star with your name on it and your invitation to Thanksgiving dinner ready to pop in the mail. (Love you, Mom!)

Truth is, I’m very glad you’re here because this life is a whole lot more fun with friends on the journey

If you’re new here, you can always begin reading with these favorites. And if you’re curious why people read Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids, here are some of the unreasonably kind things people had to say:

  • You capture the mom experience with all its pathos and humor!
  • After reading your blog, I feel like I’ve just had a good laugh with a girlfriend.
  • I read this blog because it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I appreciate your complete honesty on topics that I’d probably lie about!
  • Because kids basically have a knack for making us question our sanity. And it’s great to know we’re not completely wrong at this parenting thing; and if we are, we’re not the only ones! We’re in great company.
  • Your blog is hysterical, and I relate to it so much that sometimes it feels like you’re writing about me.
  • You are authentic and genuine; you share things that a lot of moms deal with but just don’t admit or talk about. You have a fresh approach and optimistic look at life and it is refreshing.
  • It is comedic and real. I’m not a mom, but I often find connections to my own life in your stories.
  • I love your blog! It usually makes me laugh. I love that you can find such great humor in the craziness of raising 5 kids. And it makes me feel less alone when my kids do crazy things. Oh, and it makes me feel even more grateful we stopped at 3.
  • I greatly enjoy the tone of your posts, and the “message” that you constantly are putting forth, which I would describe as “Family, it’s why we’re here.”
  • I’m your dad… and Mom makes me. 

No matter how you ended up here, I’m glad to have you along on this often-bumpy, always-entertaining journey.

Wishing, as always, love to you and yours,
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106 thoughts on “ABOUT US

  1. Cathryn says:

    Beth,
    I just found your blog today. Clicked on a link about 3 reasons to stop…
    Absolutely loved and agreed with it. So, I went to your home page to read some more and just laughed my way through Fucking, Australia.
    I think I have a girl-crush on you. LMBO
    Never stop blogging for Jesus. I’m just getting started with my own Christian women’s blog. More power to you and may He bless you richly.
    In Christ’s love,
    Cathryn

    Like: Thumb up 0

  2. Terri Lacher says:

    Beth,

    Just had a wake-up call after reading one of your posts, “loving the Sinner, hating the sin.” I raised four stairstep children and then remarried and gained two “bonus” children, bring our total to 6 very different personalities. Your stories made me laugh, remembering some of the antics with my little ones. Just when my husband and I thought we were through raising little ones, we were blessed with the task of raising a 2 1/2 year old and 5 year old granddaughters for 6 1/2 years. I think I know why Sarah laughed out loud when told she was going to have a child in her “old age.” Raising kids is definitely much easier when you are young! They are now young adults, making decisions of their own, some far away from the biblical principles we shared with them. I found it difficult to read our grandchildren (all 12 of them) facebook posts, as they began to take on values that are current and popular. Thank you for bringing my thinking back into focus. I am a freelance writer, columnist, and Christian workshop presenter. There is no room for a judgmental attitude. I am grateful for my friend in Washington who shared your post, reminding me that I learned to love Jesus only after He first loved me! I love that you are able to add humor to life’s situations. May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you in your ministry!

    Like: Thumb up +3

  3. Nancy Plasschaert says:

    Ok I just read two of your blogs and feel like I’ve found a long lost twin sister. I am the mother of 5 (all bio). My hubby and I planned for 3–a BIG family, so we thought. We didn’t know jack then. And I totally resonate with what you’re saying about LOVING THE SINNER. Period. Forget the hate the sin shit, because, like you said, that’s not our job. I never post political or controversial stuff on my fb, but recently I reposted a beautiful article written by a Christian woman, who loves her brother who recently became a woman. I loved her honest writing about her struggles, but the gist of it was that she loves her brother/sister despite being uncomfortable with her sibling’s sex change, and it was written without judgment. I’m so sick of the recent blogs and comments by Christians re: Bruce/Caitlyn. I’m sure those smug and judgy remarks will draw lots of seekers to our churches and make them feel welcome among us “perfect” followers of Jesus with more “acceptable” sins. I totally agreed with your blog, and I felt like you had spent the last few weeks inside my head. Thank you for your authenticity, courage to share your opinions, and your willingness to deal with the crazy haters. I like you.

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  4. Lori says:

    I love love love your blog so much! Whenever I’m feeling worn down after all the children are in bed, I come here and read until I’m falling on my desk laughing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the laughter. I have 4 kids, and our last ones were twins too (Amelie and Analise, so I’m with you on the matchy twin names). I am so grateful you share yourselves with us.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  5. Ann says:

    Wow!!! Someone else whose twins didn’t come “wiz, bam, bom!!!”
    My girls were 45 minutes apart… My doctor had just returned the say before from a conference where he attended a session on twin births. The new recommendation was that you could allow 45 minutes between delivery. …so I got to go 45 minutes. I remember there was a student nurse in the OR with us. She was told that she had one job: as soon as Baby A was born she was to hold onto my stomach and make sure Baby B did not flip. Having twins was hard, but also a slice of heaven.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  6. I might have sent some traffic your way. Your article about pooping in the bathroom was beyond hilarious. Thank you for sharing with the world what I think every mom can absolutely relate to! https://www.facebook.com/ljskool/posts/851503198222098

    Like: Thumb up +1

  7. Trina says:

    Now this is a blog I can relate to! Thank you for keeping it real in a world full of ballerina families 🙂

    Like: Thumb up +2

  8. Camille says:

    A friend of mine shared your blog with me. I have 6 kids and she thought it would give me a good laugh to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t live in a blog land full of pretty ballerina pictures. Thanks for sharing your poop in the closet story. That’s the story my friend decided to use to introduce you 🙂 It gave me a good laugh-cry and well hello, nice to meet you. I look forward to reading your blog and not feeling alone in the world of “Wow! You have how many kids?!”

    Like: Thumb up +4

    • Suzanne Brown says:

      HI! So glad I found your blog!!! OK, so I only have ONE child -a boy…and I have a saying that I always say, “ONE is a lot”. I think I had such a realization of the HUGE magnitude of the responsibility that being a mom is… He’s 17 mow, very challenging, very smart, and very strong-willed. I teach 5th grade in an F-rated school, so my days are pretty much filled with brattiness (that’s being nice, because they are full-on thugs) and then I have my own (UGH)…please GOD, I want my son to get out of this teen phase-little by little he’s almost there. I just need to hear that there is a light at the end of this!!!

      Like: Thumb up +2

  9. Melissa says:

    Hi Beth. I have been following you for a while and just wanted to say how much joy your blog and Facebook posts bring me. Our Bible Study is doing Restless by Jennie Allen…it’s a great study that talks about using our gifts and places and people and struggles to minister to people and serve God’s kingdom. And I told my group about you and your blog. I live on the opposite end of the country and you have never met me but you minister to me all the time. You make me laugh and what is a better ministry than that? So thank you Beth Woolsey for your words…all your words that bring a smile to my face.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  10. eve atabay says:

    My friend just introduced me to your page. its made me laugh out loud. 5 kids. you are one brave mamma. I have two and feel like I possibly might go insane. I love to share and read other peoples stories and opinions.

    thanks for your blogs.

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  11. Leisa says:

    I saw one of your blogs on facebook and laughed till I cried! Reminded of the time my infant son painted my newly painted pink walls in the bathroom with my sable paint brush and used the poop in his “big boy underwear” as the paint! lol

    Love the story of your children. I am grandmother to 5 children, some adopted through foster care, and I have been on 2 mission trips to Guatemala and love, love, love the people there! My best friend is a missionary there!

    Thanks for the laugh!
    Leisa

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  12. sara says:

    I’ve had 3 kids one in heaven 7 yes old now rip haylee 48 hrs off pain then 6 days old lost her born at 24 weeks so small and tiny A yr later I had another girl who just cried all the time drove me mad . And just a screamer still now at 6 a little boss but my princess and 2 yrslater a boy who a dare devil loves to climb and a sweet talker both kids ware me down but I love them to bits . I would love another one in 36 now and don’t want to wait till I’m to old I’ll say bout 2 yrs or 3 at the most that’s If I will. and 3 one had pre claims a and baby for very sick due to dusty house and bad doctor . So if I was to have another one and only if I do what will be my mum had 4 3 boys and I enjoy girl she found It a lot easier then me I’ve always been martial and since I was 6 wanted 3 kids did not matter what they were well my firstdiedd and I have a girl and boy so I don’t bi ti have a 3rd as muchl as I love kids and more .so what do peoe think is trying for a 3rd worth it when o email died and one was just so sick . And they fight so much my daughter said u would live a sister and I joke with her saying goes wait till in and nanna. And she will have and baby but I have dreamoff baby’s and lot twins baby’s who die and by and be lot off dreams my mum tells me not to bother said a I have and be girl and and and boy but who to say that I feel there room in my life for just one more baby and what I went threw with 3 my fourth one would b loved and adored and despite what 1,2,3 were lime 4 one will be different . I’ll be older I was 28 with my firs 29 with my 2nd and 31 with my boy and if u was to have one more 38,39 is that to old well my manna had her last at 38 and she had 5 so what do u think should I or not only God will make that sir me I want one more but norush yet .It would be nice for my kids to have a you get brother or sister to play and love him or her . my partner is 42 6 yrs between us he said 2 enough I gad 3 brothers and I love them all we gave grown apart but when we were young we used to b a happy family my partner nun had 3 two boys and a girl who has passed and 7 yrs between the first 2 and 4 yrs between the last. Is it really hat hard having 3 and that’s all I want 2 or us 2 plenty today with the world the way It is.

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  13. Karen says:

    Hi,

    Right now I am kind of in the crazy place in the beginning of the adoption process… all hope and prayer and no promises lol! Myt husband and I will be 40 and 42 respectively by September and I can’t carry children. We’ve applied for foster to adopt with our local CYS agency with a particular child in mind. I am an LPN with over 8 years of special needs nursing experience and he is special needs. We are in one of the early waiting periods.. will they accept? Will the TPR not go through? Will they change their minds about letting us apply for his adoption? Have they already?
    No hard feelings if you erase this comment since I took a way I could find to reach out for help. I am wondering if you already know of any other special needs adoption blogs that offer info and support?
    Thank you! Karen

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  14. Shef says:

    THANK YOU! I needed this today:)

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  15. So, this is totally creepy. But I wrote a blog post um, like, kind of about you today. Just pretend we’re already friends and go with it, okay? 😉 I just discovered your blog today and really loved every word….and then I felt all inspirational and chatty, and couldn’t contain myself, so I, ahh, wrote a post about you. 🙂

    http://loveisnotareward.com/2014/02/06/real-live-courageous-beth-woolsey/

    Thanks for being you and writing you and living you…. it is SUCH a blessing!

    Like: Thumb up +2

  16. Amy Scott says:

    Hi Beth,
    I found your blog via a post on Huffington Post and I LOVE IT!!
    It’s so full of love and humour. Thank you for writing!

    I would like to follow your blog – so I get alerted when you add a new post, can I do that? I can’t see the right button!
    Please do let me know if I can?

    Thanks!
    Amy – Founder of http://www.treasured.com – for all your precious memories!

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Greg says:

      Amy, you can click the gray hand under Beth’s photo in the top left corner to subscribe to posts by email, or the orange hand to subscribe to the RSS feed.

      The blue hand takes you to her Facebook page, where you can follow her and see new posts as well as the awesome conversations that don’t make it into full blog posts.

      Glad you found us!

      Like: Thumb up +3

  17. Judith says:

    I stumbled across your blog…by accident but am glad I’ve found it. I’ve been a mom to 5 now grown children and parenting 3 grandsons, which means I’ve never not had a child under my roof or in my heart since becoming a mom 37 years ago. That makes me feel ancient just saying that!

    Like: Thumb up +1

  18. AdenaF says:

    Yea!! Another mom to five kids!! Hubs and I have five also, now aged 24-6. Big spread there. My only regret is I wished they had been all closer in age (my last surprise was 8 yrs later after what I thought was the last!!) or put some more in between 🙂 I would have loved to have been able to adopt internationally. Large families always have the best stories, off to enjoy some of yours now since I just found your blog and immediately went to this page to “meet” you.

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  19. Kudos to you. I found you because of the sunshine award. I’m a mother if 10 children and it’s always fun to see how other families do things. 🙂

    Like: Thumb up +2

  20. I want a gold star!! I have been reading your blog for a while, but tonight …
    after choking with laughter, my daughter asked me where you lived
    and I didn’t know!!!
    She wanted to know what town had YOU in it…
    I’m not sure if it was for visiting or avoiding purposed … LOL

    we LOVE your blog, but tonight the “bad smells happen to good people” had us in stitches. I think it’s our favorite yet. I still can’t get through reading it out loud cuz I laugh too much!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  21. Hello Beth –
    Like Melessa and you, I too am a mother of five – all biologically – plus a semi-mom to three others – my husband’s kids. Plus grandma to 12. All eight kids are now between the ages of 24 and 44, grandkids run 5 months to 19 years, and I’m here to proclaim that there is life after raising eight kids! But I digress. I’m all about getting that gold star.

    Thank you for your blog, your story, your generosity in adopting those wonderful beautiful souls, and for your response to Mrs. Hall. I look forward to connecting with you in this cyber world on a regular basis.

    Blessings on your family!

    Like: Thumb up +2

  22. Melessa says:

    Like so many others, I found you because I read your wonderful response to Mrs. Hall (who I hope reads it and joins you for coffee). I too am a mother of 5: 15, 13, 11, 9, and 4. The boy is 13, all of the others are girls. I don’t know why I provided a link to my blog since it’s rarely updated anymore. And I’m not entirely sure why I left this comment except for my compulsive need for gold-star validation.

    Like: Thumb up +4

    • Stephanie says:

      Yeah! A five kids club! I also have 1 boy and 4 girls. Boy is the oldest, 17 and has Asperger’s. He has come so far though. The early days were hell on earth most times. The girls are 15, 11, 9 and 4. Everyone always says I look tired. Well, duh! I am exhausted and worn out, but have to keep going. They are ALL moving out one day. Must prepare them. Our youngest, surprise baby we call Hope. The joke is that she is our last hope for someone to take care of us when we are old. We’ll be 60 when she leaves for college (God willing!)

      Like: Thumb up 0

  23. Emily Kim says:

    Ok…I guess I’m invited to Thanksgiving!! That’s my favorite holiday! 😀 So cute….saw a link on a friend’s FB page and read your letter to Mrs. Hall…and then saw the rest of your blog…would love to hear Cai’s laugh someday! Haha! Awesome adoptions, too! Women like you inspire me with your bravery and love…hope to adopt one day, perhaps…still haven’t ventured into child-world yet 🙂

    Like: Thumb up +1

  24. Karmen M. says:

    I always wanted to adopt children, instead we just popped out 7 of them the old fashioned way, maybe someday the adopting will happen. Glad to have found your blog.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  25. OK. You are the first person to experience something I had a chance to experience and chose not to, and have been curious about it ever since. I had my twin boys without any interventions until 30 minutes after Baby A was born, and Baby B was still snug in his amniotic sac. The doctor told me if she did not break his water to move him along, I would have to go through labor again. I let her do it and he was born shortly after, but to this day, I wish I would have let him stay as long as he needed to. I’m very curious about your experience. Do you write about it somewhere else?

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