What is it like . . . .?
One question that Jason and I are often asked is some variation of this question:
"What's it like to be house parents when you have biological children?"
So we thought the best way to answer that question would be to let you hear from our daughters themselves.
Meet Everlyse and Elianna and hear what they think about being house parent kids.
1. How old are you?
Everlyse - 10
Elianna - 9
2. How long have you been at Joy Ranch?
Everlyse - 6 years
Elianna - 6 years
3. What is your favorite part about being here/being a house parent kid?
Everlyse - We get to go to the beach and do fun things and I have people around to play with. And that my parents have a job where I can be with them all the time.
Elianna - I like that I get to play with friends.
4. What's the hardest part?
Everlyse - When we leave the boys like when we visit friends and family in the summer or when we have our days off. Other times, it's hard to get along with the boys.
Elianna - Sometimes it gets loud. Also I don't like when people get angry with each other but sometimes that happens in a family.
" . . . . . sometimes that happens in a family"
5. Do you have a funny memory or story?
Everlyse - One time, the boys were doing their usual bedtime thing where they hide so Daddy could find them and then carry them to their rooms. One of the boys was like Spiderman and hid up above the bathroom stalls. Another time, we went to Carowinds (amusement park.) I had never ridden a roller coaster so one of the boys went with me so I wouldn't be scared.
Elianna - That's the same for me - when we went to Carowinds and one of the boys rode the roller coaster with me so I wouldn't be scared.
6. How do you feel about living with a house full of boys?
Everlyse - It's just like having siblings - sometimes it's a lot of fun and sometimes you annoy each other. Sometimes it's gross.
Elianna - It's like a happy, mad, sad mix...it's just like in any other family.
7. What would you want to tell people about being a house parent kid?
Everlyse - Most of the time it's a lot of fun!
Elianna - I like it!
8. How do you feel about sharing your parents?
Everlyse - Most of the time it's okay but there are times it's hard. It's good, though. I like that they (the boys) want to hug or talk to Mom & Dad because they're good parents.
Elianna - Sometimes I get mad or jealous but sometimes I'm happy and I like it. Overall it's good.
9. What would you say to some kids whose parents were thinking about being house parents?
Everlyse - Sometimes it can be rough and crazy but at the end of the day you end up loving the life of being a house parent kid. There will be some kids you get along with better than others but you have to learn to get along with all of them and accept that they are your family, too. And that's a good thing to learn.
Elianna - It's fun and cool - just be careful what you say sometimes because you don't want to be rude. It might be hard at first but you will get used to it.
" . . you have to learn got get along . . . and accept that they are your family, too. And that's a good thing to learn."
10. Do you feel like you get a lot of time with your parents?
Everlyse - Yes.
Elianna - Yes.
11. Why do you think your mom & dad are house parents?
Everlyse - Because God brought them here and chose them to be at Joy Ranch.
Elianna - Because they like it and because they like being with kids. God called them here.
12. Do you think your mom & dad are good house parents and why/why not?
Everlyse - Yes, because they let them do fun things but they also make sure the boys don't do stuff they shouldn't. They love even when it's hard and they teach me and my sister to do the same.
Elianna - Yeah, because they're good with kids.
13. Would you want to be a house parent when you grow up?
Everlyse - Maybe. You have to do a lot of paperwork/office work and I don't like that part. But you can also do fun things with them.
Elianna - Yes, I think so. Because it's fun and you get to work with kids.
14. What's your favorite time of the day?
Everlyse - When they boys get home from school because we can play and settle in for the evening together. Everyone is home and together and I like that.
Elianna - When the boys get home from school so we can play.
15. What would you want to tell the boys?
Everlyse - Sometimes it's hard for me, just like it's hard for you but in different ways. But most of all, I like being here with you and I'm glad we are a family.
Elianna - Being a house parent kid is hard but easy and it's fun. I'm glad that we are here.