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My two, her two, and Twins...it is expensive especially putting them through College. My twins Victoria and Lauren amaze me and I couldn't be more proud of them wIth GPAs above 3.9. Now they are enjoying there summer in Hawaii where Lauren received a Scholarship which pays half her tuition. Nicole my step daughter and Lauren moved to Hawaii last July after Nicole received her Masters in Social Work. Nicole is now working with a Hospice organization. I could go on and on...

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Lauren and Victoria

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Nicole
 

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We could not make children and at first this was a big deal for my wife as she would have been a great mom but I was fine remaining childless. Over the years wife got past the reality and here we are with all our friends, brothers & sisters who all have children. We won't have anyone to take care of us in old age but we sure as heck have missed so much of the drama our friends and siblings have overcome and are still dealing with. Between sex, drugs, rock and roll and legal issues we have been very fortunate to have missed so much of those pains along the way. Given my intolerance of bad acting I am rather sure I would have strangled an offspring for some of the crap we have seen others children pull but I remain a free man not in prison for murder or child abuse. I can't even imagine the many thousands of dollars we have saved over all these years remaining childless and the jury is still out deciding if the good outweighs the bad in this regard. They all have grand children now and I do see some joy but I sure have seen so very much heart break along the way that I have to wonder if it was all worth it for them. I consider us the lucky ones of this bunch today because the drama never seems to stop for my brothers or my wife's siblings with kids. We missed the expensive weddings and even more expensive divorces with all the legal costs and child support battles. We missed the drug addictions and associated drug busts and legal costs. We never had to make mortgage or car payments for the kids or go through vehicle repossessions or home foreclosures. I never had to bail a child out of jail but sure have accompanied others in that task. Maybe girls are more expensive to raise in some instances but boys are no real bargain either from what we have witnessed. Being a parent just never seemed like a real bargain from where we sit but we applaud those who have gone through it.

GaryL
 

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Denice and I made our plans for kids when we were still in junior high and for the most part it went as planned. We were blessed with two healthy and happy daughters spaced just under three years apart. They were a joy to raise and still continue to be a source of laughter and smiles as they are now both married and raising kids of their own. We made the choice to be involved with our kids and never to leave them alone, so Denice was an old fashioned stay at home mom. We always said we wanted them to have what we never had when we were growing up. So from the time they were crawling to where I had to walk them down the aisle and we saw them married off, we were both there ever step of the way. Both girls went to college right out of high school and both have great careers with good paying jobs and great husbands. I will admit it wasn't always easy but Denice and I supported each other and we did lots as a family unit. It didn't matter if we were dirt biking, racing, camping, etc, it was always as a family. Many of the kids friends growing up were left to fend for themselves and seem to end up at our house for days at a time, which was good cause we always knew where our kids were. Many of these kids became "adoptive" family and to this day we still take them camping and trail riding like the old days. It was a big sacrifice to make sure they always had their needs taken care of but it was done with love and pride as we watched them transform from helpless babies to moms with babies of their own. We have never regretted the money or the time it took to get them where they are today, but we promised them both that if they did well in school and "behaved" as they were raised that we would take care of all the post schooling costs (which caused me many sleepless nights) but the end results have been better then we could ever have imagined. The only downside is that Denice is now working as well and we are scrambling to make our "golden years" enjoyable. We have always been blessed and of good health, and long as we can both climb onto the TW we will still be laughing !

So for those with young kids or just starting out as a couple thinking of having a family, my advice is not to miss out on this wonderful experience. Your time and expence required to raise a family will be more than returned in hugs and smiles. Now that we have three grandsons the dividens are once again returned with hugs and smiles three times over! Just be part of your childrens lives and active in your roll as a parent and not just a ATM for out of control kids/teens. Time invested = years of smiles.:D
 

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Having kids and raising a family, then having grand kids... Explaining the joy is like trying to explain why you love motorcycles to someone who hasn't ever ridden one or has the desire to. If you don't want to, then you don't want to. But if you do want to, you'll never be able to articulate the sensation to someone who doesn't want to.

I can't recall any 'bad' times with raising my family. I'm sure there were plenty. But sitting on my front porch, watching my grand kids perform a show for 'Papa' on father's day, well, life can just NOT get any better.
 

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What I was never able to wrap my head around with kids is how is it that 2 of 3 children turn out to be good as gold and the third one is bad to the bone? Same exact upbringing in the same family structure yet one takes a left turn, gets involved with a bad crew and ends up in trouble and a dope addict while the other two are just fine. Two of my friends have daughters who went bad and in my immediate family we have a couple boys that are heading in that direction. My brothers and me all are doing fine while our sister is a complete mess. I guess you don't have the answer and may not have ever thought about it until issues like this hit home. Why one nephew is a complete A hole and his brother and sister are great kids eludes us all. I just can't point a finger and blame the parents when 2 out of 3 do well but the third causes nothing but life changing problems for the entire family.

GaryL
 
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What I was never able to wrap my head around with kids is how is it that 2 of 3 children turn out to be good as gold and the third one is bad to the bone? Same exact upbringing in the same family structure yet one takes a left turn, gets involved with a bad crew and ends up in trouble and a dope addict while the other two are just fine. Two of my friends have daughters who went bad and in my immediate family we have a couple boys that are heading in that direction. My brothers and me all are doing fine while our sister is a complete mess. I guess you don't have the answer and may not have ever thought about it until issues like this hit home. Why one nephew is a complete A hole and his brother and sister are great kids eludes us all. I just can't point a finger and blame the parents when 2 out of 3 do well but the third causes nothing but life changing problems for the entire family.

GaryL
In my case; I turned out bad. I have a sister (Sue) who you guys know about who turned out good. (I think she just didn't get caught doing bad stuff..haha) My little brother John, much like myself; also was led astray, but he is now on the straight and narrow.

I think we need to go back to the old fashioned ways...

Proverbs 22:6 says: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
(They may stray; but in the end; they remember what is the right thing.)

We all have to learn our own way. In my case; I always learned my best lessons the hard way...:D

I believe there is a great deal of truth here that is life changing and very needed in these times. The best way to raise kids is be a Godly example for them. ;)

I presently have 4 sons who are finding their way now. I did my best to be an example for them; now it's up to them. I pray for them everyday.
 
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