Family Matters Day 5: Austin

Austin holding his nephew Landon.

My 5th child, Austin, will turn 16 tomorrow. Happy (early) Birthday, Austin!

Austin brings so much joy to our lives and music to our home. He and friends Mitchell and Jake spent hundreds of hours writing and playing music this summer. In addition to singing and writing music, he plays piano, electric bass, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar. He’s teaching himself mandolin and viola and taking voice lessons.  You can hear one of his “spoken word” songs here.

Austin took this of his niece, Rilyn.

Austin also loves photography. He got a nice camera for his birthday last year and has been pursuing the art of photography.  I love some of his pictures…if you’re interested you can see them here.

Austin may be the “baby” of the family, but he’s always tried to keep up with his brothers and sisters. He’s done a pretty good job of that and now he loves being a “hands on” uncle. When Rilyn leaves our house, she wants a constant playmate at home after she’s had a “Uncle Austin” as her playmate for a few days!

Austin loves his routine…in fact, you don’t want to mess with his routines. He’s an introvert and values his “alone time.” He is spreading his leadership wings and is occasionally leading worship on Sunday mornings.  When he’s not leading, he’s usually playing some instrument on the worship team.  If we even talk about being gone for a weekend, Austin protests….he doesn’t want to miss being on the worship team!

Austin’s also an avid biker. He rides his bike to school nearly every day in the fall and spring. In May, he helped organize his high school’s first ever “National Bike To School” day complete with a police escort!

Do you have five or more kids?  I’d love to hear about each of them today!  Do me a favor….if you have more than five children, share about each child in separate comments. They deserve their own “love fest” and it’s good for you to think of them individually. (If you are reading this in email, you can leave a comment here. Simply click and then scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on ‘comments’ to share!)

I’ve loved sharing with you this week and I’ve loved hearing from you this week! Some of you have even sent pictures on Twitter and Facebook and I’ve love seeing them!  Thank you for being your child’s cheerleader!


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20 thoughts on “Family Matters Day 5: Austin

  1. My first son, Noah James, was born when I was 29 years old. I had Endometriosis, surgery, was on Lupron for six months, and took one Clomid pill to get pregnant. We were so excited! When he was born, they had to use that plunger deal on his head, so he had a fluid-filled bump for several weeks. He cried a lot until I figured out that I could give him gas drops. He was born on his due date after I was induced at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, 22 inches long. He was just beautiful to me!
    He’s now almost 18 (in January 2013), and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. He has a compassionate heart, which draws the hurting to him. He has a hard time not being involved in his friends personal lives because he cares so much about them. He still kisses and hugs me, and even calls me Mommy sometimes.
    I am so proud of him and the man he is becoming, and I’m finding it very hard to let go of him. The name Noah means “rest.” My husband and I split up 4 times in the first 2 years we were married, and as soon as we “rested” in Jesus, we got pregnant with my beautiful first-born son. Love him so much.

  2. My second-born son, Jonah Matthew, was born when I was 30. Having Endometriosis before and having to take Clomid to get pregnant with my first son, I never considered I would pregnant without it. But I did! Noah was 6 months old when we found out we were having another baby! It was unnerving and exciting at the same time. My husband was in college full-time and working a variety of part-time jobs to support us. I was so scared I couldn’t love another baby the way I loved Noah.
    We were told that Jonah was actually a girl when I had an ultrasound at 20 weeks. I was happy, but I wished that I was having another boy because they were so close in age. I had to be induced with him, too, and he had distress through the process, and he was blue. He was okay shortly afterwards, though.
    When the nurse said it was a boy, all I could do was cry! I was so excited that my little Hannah was actually my Jonah.
    He was sick with ear infections for most of his first few years. After a family doctor told me that he didn’t think anything was wrong, I persuaded him to send him for a hearing evaluation. It’s a good thing we went because he had (reversible) hearing loss because of the infections. He wasn’t talking well at 2. He had tubes in the morning, and by the afternoon, he was talking clearly and hasn’t stopped since!
    He is a very popular kid, very handsome, and he can get you to do about anything he wants you to. It’s kind of funny, but we are onto him. He has several friends he’s had for years, and while he has a lot of acquaintances, he appreciates the friends he’s had for a long time. He also still calls me Mommy and hugs and kissed me frequently.
    He just turned 16 in March, and I am proud of the young man he is becoming, too. I feel so blessed looking at these boys and knowing that God entrusted them to me.

  3. Jill,
    You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing with us this week. It’s been a real blessing and a good break for me every morning. God Bless!

  4. My third and middle child is Caleb Joseph. I wrote about him the other day, but he is a darling and always has been. Curly-haired sweetheart, glasses and now braces, he has the best laugh and can make you smile.
    He has been bullied for several years, and I know this year will be different for him, as he’s at the school where my husband is a teacher. And his 2 older brothers will be there to watch out for him. He just turned 14 this summer, so he’s at a precarious place in life where he’s trying to figure out who he is and what he believes.
    I’m proud of him for the things he has come through, and I hope that he will be able to help others someday.
    I should have said this before… All of my kids have OT first names and NT middle names. Also, either their first or middle name starts with a “J” because of my husband, James…

  5. My fourth son is Jesse Thomas, and he is the first-born of twins. We planned on having 4 kids, and we never dreamed we would have 5! Nor did we dream we’d have all boys.
    All of our boys were born within a little more than 5 year period. Our oldest, Noah, was 5 when Jesse and his brother were born.
    I was so sick my fourth pregnancy, and we figured maybe it was a girl. Having 3 boys, we sort of wanted a girl to end it all, but we had no clue what was coming. At 20 weeks, we went in for the routine ultrasound and found that not only were we having twins (!!!), we’d have to wait another week to find out the sex of the babies.
    We dreamed all week long of it being 2 girls, etc. I wasn’t surprised, however, that when the technician said that Baby A was a boy, Baby B was, too! We had them named immediately, and we were so excited.
    Jesse and his brother were born 3 weeks early, and Jesse weighed in at 5 pounds 14 ounces, and was 18 inches long. He had this crazy dark hair, and it got curlier the older he was. Jesse was the calmer of the two, though he was very sensitive to over-stimulation.
    Now, he is 12, and he has a love for theatre, just like his dad (who is a theatre teacher). He’s always been happy, and I think it’s so handsome.
    He had quite a temper when he was young, and when I told him to go to bed one night when he was 4, he stood in the hallway with his hands on his hips and yelled, “Thanks a lot for ruining my life!” It’s funny now, but not so much then.
    Again, I am so blessed to be his mother. He’s so sweet and funny, loving and kind.

  6. Thanks for sharing about your children this week, Jill. It has been really nice to read about them and getting to know them a bit.

  7. My fifth-born child, and my last, is Isaac John. He was the second-born twin, youngest child in two ways, and is a typical youngest child comedian.
    He and his brother were 3 weeks early, and Isaac weighed in at 5 pounds 5 ounces, and was 17-1/2 inches long. He had very dark hair, and his brother and he looked so much alike that no one could tell them apart except me.
    Isaac cried more than anyone else, and I think he was very very sensitive to over-stimulation. He didn’t appreciate infant massage (I thought I’d try it, but he hated it), and he had quite the temper when he was younger.
    He is so smart, funny, and sometimes doesn’t know when to stop, when things aren’t funny anymore. But at 12, he still likes climbing up into our laps and watching TV, and hugging us.
    I am so grateful for Isaac. God knew what he was doing giving us 5 sons instead of 4. If I would have gotten my prayers answered, I wouldn’t have my Isaac. God does know better than we do. He says he’ll live next door to us when he grows up, and he is going to buy me a Mustang when he’s rich. Oh, the dreams of little boys who love their Mom!
    From the time I was a little girl, all I wanted was to be a wife and mom. I’d say God answered that prayer times 5.

  8. Jeremiah is almost 3, and he is the big brother. He loves to sit and read, and will go off by himself for alone time, then come back 5 seconds later rejuvenated and happy. 🙂 He is my cautious one, and needs lots of encouragement to try something new. But once he tries it, he thrives on praise! He is so smart, and could talk better than some 5 year olds at age two. He likes to collect all sorts of treasure, and dislikes when little brother Judah tries to get in his space.

    Judah is almost two, and is the wild one! He is so adventurous, and will try just about any daring feat. He is loud, he is cute, he gets away with A LOT! He has a big smile that just lights up a room, and laughs easily. He just starting to “talk” and says cute sayings like “hep meee” and “I hep you, I hep yooouuu!” He loves to wrestle and body slam, even his 6 month old little brother…

    Jericho just turned 6 months old yesterday, and he is our delight! He is always smiling! He is so happy, and everything makes him grin and laugh. He’s a pretty tough guy already, having survived being dropped at 4 weeks old by Jeremiah, and being body slammed, and slapped and punched by on a daily basis by Judah. He loves to cuddle and Mommy is his world.

    I am so, so blessed!

    Happy birthday to your Austin!

  9. Jill, I met Austin when our sons were babies in the Eastside Christian Church nursery . It was very apparent that Austin was not your first child and that our son Jackson was our first. I would watch you put him in the crib and leave and I would make our departure last over 20 minutes. Motherhood took awhile to figure out, but our son is now almost 16, and God blessed us with two wonderful daughters, that are 13 and 10. What a journey!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Quinn is my 5th child. The youngest of 5 boys, he learned early on that he needed a loud, dynamic personality to get much attention around here. He is 2 1/2, and is an incredibly sweet ball of energy. He loves to jabber jabber about anything and everything all day long, and has quite the zany personality. He loves music and dancing, and has a rock star personality. Currently, he is crazy about “his Go Fish Guys”, and puppy dogs.
    He adds so much joy to our family and is adored by all! We are so thankful for the blessing of Quinn!

  11. Jill,
    Thank you for sharing about your children this last week. It seems crazy to see how grown up they all are! I have been a H@H goer since 2001 and almost feel like I know you and your family. Thank you for all that you do!!


  12. Our 5th child is our foster daughter Alyse. She is 4 months old and is the 1/2 sister of our 2 1/2 yr old daughter we adopted in February. Alyse is a very healthy, chunky & happy baby. She even weighs more than her 15 month old foster sister MaKayla. Alyse has been a joy to have and it has truly been a blessing to see her reach her developmental milestones. We are praying that we will be able to adopt Alyse as well.

  13. Our 5th child is our 1st boy! Carsten is 6 months old and every bit spoiled and cute! We found out thru many, many tests that our sweet son has a hearing loss in both ears. He just received his first pair of hearing aids a week ago Wed. He’s already shown improvement! We’ve entered a new aena as a family of a child with hearing loss, but have been bleesed with tremondous support from various programs. Carsten is such a happy boy and is so fun. Daddy’s raising him to be a Yankees and Star Wars fan, as he is even his girls! That wraps up our little family. We struggle and plod along like anyone, but we LOVE our journey.

  14. Our fifth child is in China waiting for the paperwork people to move it along and let us bring him home. He is 8 years old and has been in an orphanage all his life. With some degree of scoliosis, he still is able to run and play. The pictures we have of him show him smiling in the middle of a bunch of other children. He is our peace bug and his verses picked out for him are Ps. 22:9-10.

  15. Christy H.’s comments above made me laugh as they are very similar to my own. I have six children. I had to do a lot of fertility drugs to have kids 1-5. I, too, was thinking of 4 as the number of children that we would like to have. The first 3 were girls, and #4 turned out to be twins, thus #4, and #5, who we had found out through ultrasound that they would be two more girls. I had a lot of trouble with the fertility drugs and the dosage that I was put on was quite high. After #5, we thought we were done, and my doctor even said that since I had to be on such high dosages of fertility drugs, I wouldn’t get pregnant. But, without fertility drugs, to our surprise, I had #6, a boy three years later. To write about all my children would be lengthy, but I would say they never cease to amaze me in their differences. I wonder what Dr. Kevin Leman would think about them, since they don’t follow the typical personality traits of he described in his Birth Order book. Our first daughter, 16, is very athletic and creative and personable, yet not so much on responsible and organized. Our second, 13, is so very much like the first. Then comes the third, 11, who is so much more like a typical first child, orderly, organized, self-motivated, responsible, and kind. Our fifth girl, 8, is very much like the third. Her twin sister, girl #4, older by 8 min. and she doesn’t let her sister forget who is older, is one-of-a-kind. She is hard to explain, she marches to the beat of a different drummer. Our last, #6, our only son, 5, is extremely social, he will carry on a conversation with anyone, he is very loving, and very easy-going.