For those of you not yet familiar with the Hoffman Family, we’d like to introduce you.
Keep in mind this is Mom’s point of view, you are free to make your own observations. Of course, I’m going to focus on the positive!
For your own uplifting family experience take time to make a list of the wonderful things about each of your family members too!!! (Even better yet, spend time doing one of our favorite family nights: spin the bottle and give a compliment to whoever it points to, then it’s their turn. Simple concept, great rewards!)
So here it is: a picture of our crew:
Michael: the Dad. Mike is the hardest worker I know. He believes in doing his best. He works hard and does his best as a doctor, as a leader at our church, but it seems the thing he works hardest and does his very best at is being husband and father. He knew before we were married that those were (& are) the roles he would keep forever, husband and dad. I see Mike sacrifice his own comfort and well being constantly for people in our community, friends at church, and most especially for our children and me. He’s taught me how to have a happier life by living for others. He gives our family happiness every day by putting our welfare before his own. I’m SO grateful for Mike!!
CaMarie, me: The Mom. Yes, I’m the mom of this crew and I really, thoroughly, love my job too. Exhausted and overwhelmed is the rule, not the exception, but real joy and deep satisfaction are my constant companions! Perhaps someday I will pick up horseback riding or finish a whole book at once again, but I’ve happily resigned those things for more precious times now. My recreation (in other words, sanity savers) involve playing with the family, texting close friends, writing (has always been my outlet), & of course, my favorite break, dating my ‘handsome husband’.
So first we met! A blind date! (Say yes to those now and then! We owe a mutual friend, Heidi, the credit for our miracle meeting!) We dated 9 months, then got engaged! We married 8 weeks later. Wow! That was awesome!! It’s been a whirlwind of challenges and great joy ever since. The greatest thing that ever happened to us, in these almost 20 years, are our children! So here they are, one at a time!
Isaac: the big brother, the oldest, and our only son. Isaac’s thrilled to be getting ready to serve a mission for our church. Isaac is loads of laughs when you get him going, he’s a whole lot of help around here too! He’s well versed on everything from … well, on just everything it seems like to me! If there’s ever a dispute among the girls they just ask Isaac; his word goes ‘cuz Isaac knows. Isaac loves music! He’s played the piano since he was four, sings in a few vocal ensembles at school and has had a lead in the annual school play these 4 years of high school. Isaac enjoys soccer and running too. One life changing event for Isaac was a medical service trip with Dad to Tanzania, Africa last spring!
Emily: twin, sister, and oldest daughter (by 20 min. or so). Emily has an organized, deliberate way of doing things that makes for real progress on all fronts of her life and ours! Emily is a planner. She’s a huge help to our family because she puts even more energy into working then planning. I feel I could completely trust Emily to take over and things would run smoothly. In fact, Emily had somewhat of that chance, as much of the pregnancy I had to take it easy and spent a few weeks in the hospital with the twins. We are immensely grateful for Emily.
Anna: twin two, sister, shares the role of the oldest girl. Anna is a delightful human being! She is super small but packs great energy and drive into that little being. Anna is determined and works very hard to accomplish what she’s set her mind to do. Anna LOVES her family, and the whole concept of family, with the deepest devotion. Anna enjoys running cross country, dating, phone calls and friends. I LOVE her zest for life and spunky energy of spirit! Her favorite, and best friend is her closest, Emily.
We can’t talk about Emily and Anna, identical twins, without mentioning them together because they share sooo much! Emily and Anna have always loved singing together. They started doing this together at 6 months old in the back seat of our Golden Oldie (car) as we drove home from Grandma&Grandpa’s, perfectly synchronized “ahh ahh ahh”s! They’ve taken it to stage recently as leads in the high school musical along with big bro Isaac and sister Mikela. They laugh a LOT together (every night’s a slumber party here). Emily and Anna have a great LOVE for children and vice versa. They shower love on all the little ones they meet and have many adoring underage fans. They both hope to be teachers one day. Emily and Anna share a love of horses and riding also. Together they bring a LOT of energy, enthusiasm and excitement to our home!
Mikela: Kia, Mikla, Fird. When Emily and Anna were little they would often yell, “Me first, me first!” Of course this was always an issue with two. When Mikela became old enough to talk, they still yelled out “me first, me first!” Mikela simply consented by yelling out, “Me Fird!” She’s taken the role as third girl in perfect stride. Mikela brought peace with her when she came to our family,and restored my confidence in mothering. She has always been a blessing to all of us. Mikela has an extraordinary mind and fantastic grasp of the deeper meaning of life. We’ve seen miracles happen for her as she underwent surgery for a ‘tethered cord’ at age 8 and regained full recovery of her whole lower body. Mikela loves the harp, piano, singing, and reading. Mikela is extremely independent and on task. She’s always ready, done with her jobs, and asking how she can help everyone else. Her little sisters know they can trust her and often ask for her help or request her company on a game – everything from homework to dress-ups, Mikela has been willing to be there for them.
Kate: The Baby of The Classic Five, as my brother refers to them. Kate came along at the end of medical school, just before our huge move away from family across the country to start 5 years of residency. “Our residency baby” we call her, she spent her first five years growing up in that challenging, and extremely rewarding time of life. Kate came BEAUTIFUL! Her heart matches her outward beauty. Kate LOVES, purely and deeply, family and friends alike. It’s such a joy to see her growing up before our very eyes now. She’s making the transition from child to young woman look easy! Kate’s loving middle school, friends, even homework projects. Kate LOVES a good craft or creating, a good book, a good laugh, and a good adventure.
Esther Beth: Esther earned the nickname ‘smiley’ as a two year old grumpy girl with a killer glare for anyone but Mama.(Ok, Daddy, ‘aunt’ Kara and big bro and sisters were spared also.) But her smile and songs lit up any room to sparkling! We are very glad they have grown as she has! Now the smiley face is her symbol on every school paper, but she will always be my star… and my jewel! Esther has had a great fascination for jewels, minerals as she accurately refers to them. Her fascination came from an intense interest in rocks from the time she could toddle. Jewels are just the most beautiful ones. I’ve always heard rocks turn into jewels through time and intense pressure – maybe there’s hope for all of us!! You may see Esther often on her ball, as it seems to be a part of her these days.
Grace: as she goes by at school is more affectionately known as Zoie. Zoie Grace has ALWAYS been her Daddy’s girl, his MOST loyal and loving fan! I LOVE her smile! Gracie LOVES funny!! Jokes and games are a favorite with her. Right now, her jump rope is attached to her being. She’s getting good! Grace is THRILLED with learning! She LOVES it! Anything from reading, writing and arithmetic to piano she revels in the learning! Grace came rather precocious and often seems to, or at least believes, she knows more than most adults! I find it pretty adorable.
Clara Joy: She is my joy! Clara was the baby of the family, until our ‘little sisters’ came along. And now she is absolutely elated about being a big sister too. I’ve been elated that she has stayed so elated, despite losing out on so much time with Mom. Just when I think Clara won’t be able to take it (me being completely hands full with babies – she’s always been a mama’s girl) she says with the most sincere look in her eyes, “I’m so glad we have our babies”. Clara is kindness, thoughtfulness, service, radiant light beaming and bouncing around! Who wouldn’t be overjoyed in that?! I’m sooo glad we made it to baby #8 so we could have our Clarly!! Clara loves Momma, babies, and Missy most it seems for they are mentioned in every single prayer.
Adelynn: Tiny Twin, ‘Little Sister’. Adelynn brings a sweet spirit of snuggle with her. Her favorite time of day is nighttime when Daddy puts her in the mobi wrap. Instantly content she snuggles against his chest, asleep in seconds. Emily or Anna give her that sweet snuggle time too and she seems to snuggle back as much or more. She’s been a little more laid back for me as the Mom, and I’ve often found her looking over at Sarah in concern as Sarah’s ‘energetically’ fussing.
Sarah: She was born with her eyes wide and watching everything! Sarah has seemed to love a good adventure from day one. She seems like she doesn’t want to miss anything (hard to get her to sleep with this mentality). A friend affectionately called her ‘energetic’ and it stuck with me, helping to explain her being so vocal at times. She REALLY seems to say ‘hi’ already as several times when someone comes up to her and says ‘hi’ she repeats back with perfect intonation ‘Iii’! An eager one!
We would call both Adelynn and Sarah our miracles. First of all, a miracle that we were expecting, then that we didn’t miscarry (I’ve actually had several miscarriages before), then that these were TWINS! (The chance of identical twins twice is 1 in 70,000 I’ve been told!) This last pregnancy was the hardest (& all mine are hard) of all, or maybe I should say scariest, of all. I went through extreme morning sickness, then side effects of morning sickness meds, then placenta previa concerns, then extremely low-potassium troubles, then pre-eclampsia (which I’d never experienced but is very common with twins I’ve since learned). They even diagnosed me with gestational diabetes for the first time! I feel my life, but even more especially the life each of these precious babies is an awesome miracle and I thank God every minute for them!
I’ve realized and relished more now the miracle of each one of my children, and of my husband and his love.
Recognize and cherish your miracles today!- the family God gave you to LOVE.