Whenever I’m talking to people about motherhood, or homeschooling, and I’m trying to encourage them, I tell them about a friend I have that has 9 children. I let them know they can take on the marathon of motherhood and homeschooling their children, because I’ve seen it done gracefully by my friend who does it everyday with 9 children. People usually say Wow… OMG…How?!… Well, for my first interview of the year I decided to ask my friend Kelly How and a bunch of other questions!
Kelly and her husband Chris are college friends of my husband Thomas. Thomas would always tell me stories about his college life and his friends Chris and Kelly. Before Kelly was a mother, she was a Dean’s List student at Virginia Tech and earned a 4.0 at UNLV. She loved studying and learning new things and while she was a student, she would work minimum wage jobs. Kelly always loved to organize and clean and has such a great sense of humor that she says she inherited from her mother. While in college Thomas tells me he, Chris, and Kelly started to really develop in their walk with Christ. At the age of 19, Kelly was a new Christian learning to fully trust Christ for salvation. Kelly may not have know it then, but God had so many blessings getting ready to come her way!
I believe becoming a mother changes so many of us in various ways. When asked how motherhood changed her, Kelly stated, “Motherhood has given me a more humbling and forgiving outlook on life. I can see my kids do silly things and think to myself, "What were you thinking?" Then I am reminded that I have done foolish things just like them and have been given grace”. That is so true. Your kids really are daily reminders about God’s love and grace.
When I met Kelly she was a stay at home mother, but she tells me that wasn’t the original plan. It wasn’t until after their first baby that Kelly desired to be a stay at home mother. “I was diligently studying to obtain a degree in biology and wanted to work in some type of healthcare career. I remember leaving our newborn baby with my husband while I went off to class and yearned to not be separated from him. I remember leaking breast milk in the lecture hall and wanted to run out and never come back. I remember pulling up to our apartment building after class and hearing newborn cries from the parking lot. My heart was torn”.
After the semester ended and after quitting her job, Kelly began spending her studying time, studying God’s word. “I started to come across verses like Titus 2:5 where God calls his daughters to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home. 1 Timothy 5:14 says, "I will therefore that the younger women get married, bear children, guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully”.
Kelly told me she realized the reason she had such a desire to be with her baby at home, was due to it being a law of God written on the canvas of her heart even though she had never heard those scriptures preached before or had read them before. I believe that’s one of the gifts of motherhood. God will give vision and insight to mothers for plans and ideas needed for the home. That’s why wise men always say, “Listen to your wife”. Ha!
After reading the scriptures Kelly and her husband Chris came together to make a life changing decision. “At the time we were buried in student debt from my husband's degree, and didn't know if we would ever live a comfortable life on just one income, but we decided to trust God's word and I completely abandoned my career plans and vowed to be home with our babies no matter what financial cost may come because of it”.
When I met Kelly she was not only a stay at home mother, but a homeschooling mother as well. She became my inspiration to decide to homeschool or children before we ever had kids! Kelly says a couple in their old apartment complex is who introduced her to homeschooling. At first she, like many people hadn’t heard of it and thought it was illegal or for Amish style communities only. Listen, I cannot tell you how many people have looked at me with such confusion and concern when I tell them I homeschool our boys lol
After Kelly’s neighbors introduced her to the idea of homeschooling she sat and thought back on her experiences in school. She remembered, “…The perverted things students would joke about, the bullying, the fights, the sexual harassment, and the atheistic teachers pushing their beliefs”.
Once again Kelly and her husband came together to make a decision. “After studying the Bible on child rearing it was clear that parents are the ones God commands to teach their children. In Deuteronomy 6 we are given the command to be teaching our children all throughout the day, when thou risest up, when thou walkest by the way, when though sittest in thine house. How could we be teaching our kids all throughout the day if we were to send them off to a school? Although school was years away for us at that point we decided we would again follow God's word and homeschool our children”.
One of the big reasons I decided to homeschool our children after seeing how highly Kelly spoke about it is, I remembered what a preacher said one day during a sermon at church. He talked about the greatest influencers in a child’s life. The preacher discussed how teachers are one of the biggest influencers in a child’s life. I went home and thought about it..most children spend 7-8hrs, 5 days a week with their teachers. I thought to myself, those early years are so important to a child’s development, and I would love to spend those precious moments with my children. Not only teaching them the traditional education subjects, but lessons about Black history, Christianity, and how to navigate life and be a person who leads and makes wise decisions. I know homeschooling may not be what works for every family, I am just so grateful to be blessed to teach our children, and of course I always encourage: if you can, give it a try! Best moments ever!
Ok back to the interview tehehe…
I was sure being a stay at home mother and homeschool teacher of 9 children raised many eyebrows and started lots of side conversations. Kelly shared she has faced opposition from her decision to stay at home and homeschool her children and has experienced haters from all sides; family, friends, church members, and strangers. “Chris had some family warn him about me taking "the easy way out" and not finishing college and living off of him. Wonder if they still think this was the easy way out now that we have 9 children …lol. People always coming up with off the wall scenarios of the dangers of me not having a career like, "What if your husband turns out to be a serial killer, drug addict, lazy bum, womanizer, or psycho." My answer to that is God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind and I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor seen his seed begging bread. Then there are all the homeschool haters, questioning socialization, academics, and independence. We had a cashier at Walmart ask if we had a certificate to teach our kids *eyeroll*”.
I cannot tell you the countless stories Kelly has shared with me over the years of people being people and doing way too much lol
Now for the section you’ve all been waiting for! Just how does Kelly manage a household of 11 people and 2 dogs?! "Life managing our home is loud, expensive, and full of unpredictable events daily. I pretty much expect something to be damaged or totally destroyed at least once a week lol. I can't say I enjoy all the times things are broken, but I chalk it up to the cost of having a large family and our 9 children are worth more than 1,000 broken couches lol. The 2 dogs just add an extra element of crazy to our home, but I love it. Our home is also filled with laughter, imagination, love, and memories that will last a lifetime".
Fun Fact: Kelly’s goldendoodle Molly is our goldendoodle Everest’s mother!
Chris and Kelly’s children are all so well behaved, intelligent, and kind. Whenever we get to visit their home, it is always organized and clean, and smells like some type of fresh essential oil blend! Their home runs like a well oiled machine, and we always have such a great time. I wanted to know what a typical day looked liked for them, because I had to know how she does it!
“I get up about 9 am and let the dogs out to potty, and do any chores left from the night before. Kids start waking up slowly and will want cereal. Our 2 teens are independent and work a self paced curriculum alone. I'll gather all the younger kids together for Bible lesson, history and science. Then we break off and do math and language on grade level. We struggle through the day with many interruptions. The baby is fussy and wants to nurse to sleep, someone needs a snack, diaper changes, phone calls from hubby at work driving in his truck, laundry, dishes, trash, it's never ending. Eventually I'll make dinner and try to grade all the school work. At the end of the night I do most of my cleaning, and take a shower”.
Kelly shared her husband works a fluctuating schedule and often comes home from work late at night between 10pm and 12am. She says the family waits up for him and he plays games with the kids before sending them to bed.
With all that needs to be done on a typical weekday in the Logan household I wanted to know if Kelly ever experienced being overwhelmed and how she deals with those types of feelings. She told me everyday does have the daunting task of being accountable for keeping the home clean, kids clean, dogs clean, self clean and completing school lessons on top of that. "When I am very overwhelmed I usually will vent to my husband and he'll come home and help with housework and school work. Sometimes taking a nap and eating something healthy like carrots and hummus will re-energize me enough to push through”.
I’m glad she said carrots and hummus, because I definitely reach for chocolate! I will try it! I am also glad her husband Chris is able to be home more to lend help and comfort. It is so important that every mother has someone in their corner cheering them on and able to help when needed. Chris is retired from the military now and I remember hearing about his long deployments. I’m a mess when Thomas is gone for a week for work, and I could not fathom having your husband away for months at a time. I asked Kelly about being a military wife and if she had any advice for other military wives out there. She said the frequent deployments felt so unnatural to have the family separated from each other and being away from his family so much was one of the reasons Chris decided to retire out. The advice Kelly had for the military wives was, “I would suggest moving near family to make the deployment go by faster and have the kids enjoy family members they don't usually see at their home base”.
Many people know my husband and I always say we want 8 kids, and we’ve said that since our courtship days. Thomas mentioned to me back then that his friends Chris and Kelly wanted 10 kids. Kelly said she and her husband jokingly said they wanted 10 kids when they first met, 5 boys and 5 girls, but in reality she was planning a career path and after their first son she picked up birth control pills at her 6 week check up. Kelly shared that while she was reading scriptures that supported her transitioning from the career path to being a keeper of the home, she began to see scriptures about large families. “In the Bible children aren't looked at as a burden but an heritage of the Lord”. She said she even discovered a man named Onan was killed in the Bible for practicing a form of birth control. (Genesis 38:8-10) Kelly continued to learn about birth control. “I also learned that many birth control pills caused silent abortions by allowing conception to take place, but cause the uterine lining to not allow implantation thus flushing out the baby. I had only taken a few of the birth control pills before throwing them in the trash and we were blessed with the next baby 16 months later!”
Even though they jokingly said they wanted 10 children, they are close to having what they said! Ha, the power of words! I asked Kelly if they would like to have more children she said, “We are still trusting God with his blessings for more children, but if 9 is what He has given we are happy with that too!”
Chris and Kelly have 6 boys and 3 girls. Kelly has gone through the labor and birth process 9 times! I was curious to learn about her different birth experiences. Kelly has experienced hospital births, home births, and an unassisted home birth. She has had 7 hospital births and 2 home births. Kelly has also experienced placental abruption, preterm labor, and an emergency c section. She’s strong on all levels! Kelly first opted for a home birth after having 4 natural hospital births that had no medical interventions. The hospital births she encountered had unsanitary conditions, fear mongering tactics used to speed up her labors, pressures for Pitocin, and she faced ridicule for going against hospital birth medical procedure recommendations. Kelly said she loved their first midwife and home birth, but her last home birth experience made her go back to hospital births for their last 3 children.
“When we moved back to Virginia we hired a midwife team who ended up abandoning us due to a stalled labor and we went unassisted. Although it was unassisted on paper we did have a friend who retired from midwifery en route to our home during labor and checked everything out for us after the birth. I personally don't recommend going unassisted without the care of an experienced midwife. If you are healthy chances are everything will be fine, but birth can be unpredictable at times. Midwives are seen performing their roles in the Bible, most famously Shiphra and Puah in Exodus and God blessed them for their fear of Him”.
Kelly says she believes midwives are valuable, but plans to do hospital births for any future babies.
As a home birther myself you betta believe I was upset to learn they had a rough experience with their second home birth team! I am glad God’s protection was over them and their baby. Whether you desire hospital or home births in the future, having a great birth team is my prayer for Kelly and all of you.
When it comes to motherhood, no matter the amount of children you have, faith can be a source of strength and guidance. “My faith is the only reason I even am a mother. I never would have wanted children in my worldly mindset of feminism. I watched firsthand my dad's alcohol addiction and infidelity destroy our family and I said I would never want to ever be tied down to any man by having children only for him to be a deadbeat. Faith is everything to me in my role as a mother. It is of great comfort to me to know the will of God laid out clearly in the Bible for mothers and to walk in it”.
Being called mother is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and I feel so blessed to live out that dream everyday. As the interview draws near to the end, I asked Kelly about the rewarding things of motherhood. Kelly stated the most rewarding thing about motherhood for her was, “That magical moment when you first hold your new little one fresh from the womb. Nothing really compares to that moment for me, but a close second is when I see my children making the right biblical decisions”.
I enjoyed learning more about my friend and hearing about her life as a mother. We ended the interview with one last question. I believe every mother should not only have dreams for their marriage and children, but they should also take time to have personal dreams/goals for themselves. I asked Kelly what was a personal dream/goal she had, and what was something special she does for herself. “Some goals I have are to learn Spanish fluently, enjoy life, and be content. My most recent adventure outside of motherhood has been puppy breeding as you already know…lol”.
Here is a photo of Kelly’s beautiful family below! Also, if you are interested in goldendoodle puppies, Kelly is the absolute best breeder you will find! If you have any more questions for Kelly be sure to comment them below.