Creativity, Church, and Community: How one military wife marches on caring for six kids.

“My husband Albert and brother Kenneth serve in the National Guard here in North Carolina. I’m a stay-at-home Mom, raising my three kids: ten-year-old Brock, nine-year-old Raven, and Gabe, who is two. Sometimes Albert and Kenneth deploy at the same time; Kenneth is a single Dad, so then I care for Kenneth’s two boys, four-year-old Michael and nine-year-old Jericho. My stepson Christopher also stays with us on occassion.”

“I homeschool, and yes, it’s a lot of work. But I don’t feel alone. I’m fortunate in that my Mom and Dad are close by and help out a lot. Also, knowing that I’m doing this for my family, so that Albert and Kenneth don’t have to worry, keeps me going, as does going to church. That’s important to me. When Albert’s home, he treats me great, he makes sure I get some serious down time for myself.”

“A typical day for me is: up at 6 a.m., get my nephew to his school bus, play with the little ones, about 5 hours of schooling, we feed our goats and chickens throughout the day, and then there’s reading time. Pretty soon I’m picking up my nephew, then on to prepare dinner, clean up, get everyone to bed — and start all over the next day! What I do love about this way of schooling is I can make learning fun. I teach math by having us do some baking, so the kids get to measure. I use our garden to teach science, and teach history broadly, bringing in ancient Egypt and Rome, and tie these lessons into Bible studies.”

“Some days are more productive than others; I’ve learned to go with the flow! If everyone’s antsy, we just turn up the music and dance around the house! Being tested in this way, I’ve learned a lot: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t try to be perfect. Be flexible. And most important, make time for yourself!”

“Don’t try to be perfect. Be flexible. And most important, make time for yourself!”

“I’ll tell you how I do that. I just got my motorcycle endorsement, so now I’m riding a used Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide. It’s dark cherry — and gorgeous. I get out and ride and clear my head — I get to feed myself for a change, not just feed the family!”

“I’m grateful for the support from family, friends, and organizations like the USO. It was wonderful for the kids to receive new bicycles during the USO / Blue Cross NC Bike Build. A friend told me about this event, and now I’m following the USO on Facebook to learn how else they’re supporting military families. We appreciate it — it just makes life a little easier!”

Blue Cross NC and our VetNet veterans’ employee network have long supported the USO in its work to help our military. We recently hosted a Bike Build at Blue Cross NC headquarters; 100 Blue Cross NC volunteers and 25 USO employees built 124 bikes and presented them to 66 kids in 55 families! It was a great day for community to come together for our troops and their loved ones.

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