Nancy is a woman I have known my whole life. I have always admired her gift of being able to create beautiful things. She has a knack at being able to take items and turn it in to a thing of beauty! Her home is gorgeous and surrounded by equally gorgeous flowerbeds!
By Nancy's own admission, she didn't experience any major difficulties as a young wife and mother, but I'm sure you'll agree that there is value in what she has to say still. In her life, we can see a woman who is dedicated to serve her family and care for those around her. It doesn't always take a exceptional circumstances to bring out the exceptional qualities that we possess.
Nancy's life is a reflection of that. She found value as a wife and mother and in creating beauty for others to enjoy. Here's what Nancy had to say...
My name is Nancy Nunemaker, and I have been married to Brian for thirty-three years. We have 2 grown children, John & Emily.
John lives in Mishawaka, IN, with his wife, Stephanie. He has his own business, and it's technical computer stuff that's way over my head. He is a Computer Programmer, does Web Developing, Consulting and Speaking.
Emily lives on our home farm, near Burr Oak, MI, with her husband, Brandon, and their 3 children, Nicholas (8), Sadie (5) and Jack, (6 months). She is a Dental Hygienist, but is currently a stay-at-home mom. We are happy to have the grandchildren growing up in the same home that our children did.
I have always enjoyed listening to my children talk. They said the funniest things. Here are a couple of favorite memories from when they were small:
When John was quite young, we were driving through a small town, and saw a Postal Worker, on foot, delivering the mail. John was intrigued because we had a rural carrier, he'd never seen one walking. He asked me a few questions, then turned to me with a look of utter disbelief, and said, " You mean he has to WALK to deliver the mail?"
I responded, "Yes", and was kind of shocked by how horrified he was. He loved to be outside, so what's so bad about this job?
His next words made it clear to me why he was so shocked, "Even if you send a letter to Indiana?"
When Emily was little, she went through a phase where she wanted to do everything herself. She was quite proud of herself when she learned to use a cheese slicer and I had to watch that she didn't help herself to the cheese too often.
One morning, I was getting ready in the bathroom, when she came in carrying a piece of cheese. I was about to scold her, when she declared that she had cut two, and this one was for me. She said, " I'm giving you this one, because it's the biggest". Now, what mother could turn that down? I felt my heart burst a litte with pride, since I had raised this unselfish little girl, so I took a bite to please her. Then, she turned to go, stopped, and said, "It's also the one that fell on the floor".
Some of my very favorite times when they were little, were after their baths, when they were freshly washed, sweet smelling little bodies all snuggled in with me in our recliner, and I would read to them before they went to bed. I am a huge believer in reading to your children. I read to them from the time they were babies. They don't even have to understand the words, to appreciate your tone and the cadence in your voice. I think if you develop a love for books and reading in a young child, they will do well in school and even life.
I spent a lot of time with them in that rocking chair. I always loved to rock my babies. Later, statistics showed that it's even good for their inner ear, and in developing good balance. I always knew it was good for them (and for me).
I, also, loved to hear them playing in another room. John made all the loud banging, motor and crashing noises that are common to little boys, and Emily sang as she played. Now I enjoy hearing Nicky and Sadie play in the same ways.
Other good memories were in their teen years. I did a lot of driving to and from games. I heard a lot of information on those drives. I knew about them and their friends. If you make the effort to be available to them, they will share a lot of good things with you. We had a lot of late night talks. Develop a relationship early, if you don't listen to them when they are little, they won't be interested in talking to you when they are older. Also, pick your fights carefully. If it's not indecent, illegal or immoral, then leave them alone. It isn't worth damaging your relationship for personal preferences. Hair and clothes are not really that important in the grand scheme of things. I'm sure everyone has worn or done something that their parents didn't like.
The challenges that I faced as a young mother, were common to young farm wives of that time. (Maybe still). We didn't have cell phones and radios starting out. I would cook 3 meals a day, starting early with the breakfast, at home. Lunch and Dinner were served in the field. It felt like I spent all day cooking, packing up the food & the kids, and hauling it to the fields for Brian and whoever was working for him at the time. (They were never in the same field!) I didn't always go to the right field either :) Then I'd haul it all back to the house, carry it in, put the kids down for a nap, clean up the lunch, and start cooking supper, just to repeat the whole process. It was a lot of work. At least the kids got to see their dad often. I had to remember how my mom's generation had to do everything the hard way, and I actually had it pretty easy compared to them!
Now, things are much easier and on the rare occasions that I need to go to a field, I can call ahead, and he can tell me exactly where to go. I'm also, very seasoned, at spending time alone. Not only do I not mind it, I actually like it! I had quite a few years of feeling like a single mom. When things were more difficult, I always tried to never complain. I think children will emulate you, and if you complain about their daddy working too much, then the children will complain. If you make the best of it, and mention how hard he works for your family, then they will appreciate his efforts too. Try to be content in whatever your situation is. The best thing you can do for your kids, is to love and appreciate their dad. It's also best for you, because he will be there long after the kids are gone.
Our nest has been empty for some time. It was a little tearful initially, I loved every minute of having my children around me. I still do. I now enjoy their adulthood. Our lives have gotten easier. Two of the benefits of an empty nest are, more time and more money. (Two things you never have enough of when they are young). We have a lot of interests, so we have been able to do some of the things we've always wanted to. We especially enjoy traveling. It's nice not to have to always plan around someone else. We can pick up and go whenever we want to.
What would I say to the 25 year old me, if I could? I'd say," Enjoy it! It goes really fast!!!"
My goals when my children were young, were first and foremost, to raise children that loved the Lord. I also, wanted them to love each other. Don't worry, it does get better. My kids don't fight at all any more :) I also wanted them to like reading and to do well in school and life. I think I have accomplished those goals.
I had the best childhood ever. My parents loved each other and me. I've tried to raise my family in the way that they raised me. Hopefully, that legacy continues.
Have always admired Nancy and her family. This is a great series Lynette and you've picked some fantastic examples for us to read about and emulate.
How contented and at peace! Very few actually are able to count their blessings and also be thankful for them. I think I might just quote this sometime: If it's not indecent, illegal or immoral, then leave them alone. :)
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