The parents of the clan...
Scott Sr. (a.k.a. "Daddy" or "Doc")
I am the head of the Stipe clan and count myself as being blessed beyond measure.  God has not only blessed me with a beautiful, loving and totally supportive wife, but she also wonderfully cares for our eight beautiful children as well.  I work as a veterinarian and enjoy farming as well.   As much as I enjoy veterinary medicine and farming, I view my most important job and highest calling as raising my children to love, honor and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. (Deuteronomy  6:5-9)
Back when I was a teenager and didn't even know yet who I would eventually marry, I wondered how I could be the best father I could be, someday.  I received alot of good Biblical teaching on the family, but couldn't understand how I would see families - that I knew received the same teaching - that had children who totally messed their lives up in various ways, causing all kinds of heartache and misery.  For this reason, I decided to pay close attention and "take notes" of the practices and habits that I saw in parents that appeared to be successful in raising Godly children.
From my observation, I believe that the most important inward thing we can do for our children is to impress upon them, both in word and deed, the importance of our faith and the importance of the family.  I sincerely believe that regular family worship and Biblical character instruction (woven throughout the day) are the biggest influence for good for our children.  Trying to instill character in our children with one or two church meetings a week, simply does not work.  Living out Biblical character and learning to apply it day in and day out within the family is the best way to have a lasting influence with our children for their lifetime.
I believe the most important outward thing we can do for our children is to guard their hearts.  Even the tender seedling needs protection as it grows until its roots are deep enough and its branches are developed enough to survive the storms of live.  Children are no different.  I have seen over and over the first step that leads to trouble is when parents
become complacent about their children's acquaintances.  We must be very selective in who we allow our children to associate with, because as Proverbs says: "Evil communications corrupt good manners."
Lastly, I believe that it is important to teach our children to have a servant's heart.  So many these days are self-centered and take no thought for the feelings and rights of others.  All you have to do is read the new headlines to see the widespread selfishness of our day.  We as a family are always looking for ways to minister to others so our children will see that true JOY comes from first serving Jesus, then serving  Others, and thinking of Yourself last.
Ralanda (a.k.a. "Mommy")
I am blessed to be the wife of a wonderful, God-fearing man who has dreams and desires for a great God-centered family.  I am his completer and love to be with him and helping him.  I am also blessed with eight healthy children.  Keeping up with chores, homeschooling, and basic discipline can be challenging, but will someday be rewarding (Proverbs 22:6)  Each new day is a new challenge and will only turn out as well as my faith and trust (Proverbs 3:5-6).  I also help with the accounting for my husband's business and assist as much as needed there.
Overall, I am thankful to God for His overwhelming grace and patience as I try to grow in His grace and learn His patience.
I enjoy reading, sewing, making decorated birthday cakes for my children, and being outside, when possible, to enjoy God's creation.  My favorite song is "Day by Day" because it reminds me I need Him to be what I should be and that every trial or success has a purpose in His plan for me.
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