Get to Know a Mama: Joni from Six Cherries on Top

Welcome to my second Get to Know a Mama interview!

Get to Know a Mama: Joni from Six Cherries on Top! 

– Who is this Get to know a mama: Joni and I am 31 years young.

– Where can we find you:  Blog wise:  Six Cherries on Top (  and recently at my friend Christy’s blog Skinned Knees sharing my ideas about Family Fun on a Budget. Otherwise, you can find me in my kitchen cooking 3 meals and two snacks a day, in my laundry room with a scowl on my face because I hate laundry (and I have a lot of it), or in front of my computer (I google everything…EVERYTHING).

– What are the names and ages of your children: Mackenzie Allyssa (12), Ryan Russel(11), Jacob David (8), Phoenix Alliyah (5), Tyler Ashlynn (3..4 August 21), Elijah Gabriel (11mo..1 August 4)

– Anywhere else we can find you on the web?  I always find myself reading family blogs and photography blogs and websites.  One of my absolute favorite blogs is The Lazy Organizer.  I love her style of parenting, her outlook on life, and her minimalistic lifestyle.  Unfortunately, she has recently vowed to give up her addiction to the computer which means I am forced to feed my addiction of her by reading older posts.  She has been blogging for some time, so I should be good for awhile.  I am totally not up on fashion, but I also love xoxo, Trina.  I find myself migrating there to read her posts all the time.  Perhaps, I want to be Trina.  I love her style!  

My absolute favorite place for inspiration and awesome photography is my friend Jessica’s blog, Magnolia Queen.  We knew each other in high school.  She has really grown into one of the most beautiful women I know.  On her blog, she writes about life…100% honest in every aspect.  I encourage everyone to check her out because she will blow you away with her beauty, her inspiration, her love of life, and her relationship with our Lord.  She is also a Pro-Life advocate and has a passion for saving the lives of unborn children.  She truly deserves some kind of award. She also has her own photography website, Magnolia Queen Photography.

I have tried the whole Twitter thing, and sometimes I use it a lot and then the joy just fizzles away and I jump back over to Facebook, where I spend a lot of my time.  I am a nosy person, so I love to see what everyone is doing.  I even have updates sent to my phone of course.

– Why did you start a blog?  I originally started a blog to do exactly what I am doing now, to document my life, especially the life I share with my children.  Along the way, I figured that my educational background in Early Childhood Education and the fact that I have so many children, put me in a great spot to share parenting advice as well.  I am still learning myself though, so it is good that we can all learn together and share our successes and downfalls.

– Any blogging tips to share?  I truly am not a super blogger, but my advice is to just be real.  Of course most people aren’t going to want to read a daily dose of your poor miserable life, but we all know that no one’s life is absolutely perfect.  Don’t be ashamed to ask your fellow bloggers for help or to talk about your problems (to some degree…we don’t want to contemplate whether or not we should be calling paramedics to your house because you and your husband just separated and you have considered downing prescription medication with vodka). The most successful blogs are the one’s with those who are completely honest.  We all have ups and downs.  We all have our talents and there will always be someone better…darn those people who are better….just when I was getting the hang of all this crazyness. *sticking out tongue at you*  But, that is life.  We can’t be great at everything and some people forget that.  Write about what you love, what comes easily, and what is real.  Don’t try to be like anyone else except yourself.

– Where do you see this whole crazy world of “mommy blogging” headed?  I believe that mommy blogging is an amazing thing.  First of all, no matter how many children you have, finding the time to squeeze in blogging time can be difficult.  I have less time now that I am a stay at home mom than I did when I worked.  I got a one hour lunch break when I worked…I don’t get that now! 🙂  I believe that moms all over can be an inspiration to other moms out there and sharing their stories is a beautiful thing.  It is always good to see that you are not the only one out there that may be struggling with a particular issue at home, or contemplating quitting your job or even going back into the work field.  I believe mommy blogging has the potential to do great things for everyone.  Now if I could just get paid to do it. 

– Are there certain things you wont write about on your blog?  I am really not opposed to writing anything on my blog. There may be a few things I haven’t shared just because they haven’t come up yet or they just don’t fit into the overall theme of my blog.  Nor do I want you to think I am a nut for randomly telling you all about that “one time at band camp”. I also have yet to share the story of my 11 year marriage with my ex husband, only because his death is still fresh in my life and those years were some of the worst I have had to go through.  I try to keep an upbeat feeling at Six Cherries. 

What do you think of Vlogging? Love it when others do it, hate the way I look to much for me to do it.  I read a lot of blogs who also Vlog and I love them. I don’t know if I would ever have the courage to do a Vlog myself perhaps one day.  I do love to show video of my children though. They truly do some of the funniest stuff. 

– What is your favorite thing about being a mom? 
The hugs, the kisses, the smiles.  To be honest, as a teenager, I used to tell my mother that I would never, never, NEVER, NOT EVER, have children.  I was going to be a truck driver and drive all over the country and enjoy the scenery and NEVER have kids.  When she would ask me what I wanted for Christmas, I would tell her…a hysterectomy.  SERIOUSLY!  So glad she didn’t fulfill that Christmas wish list.  You can just never prepare yourself for the impact that a child has on your life.  It is THE greatest feeling EVER.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I think that feeling is what gave me six children.

– Any advice for a new mom? My advice is to stay home for at least the first year if you can.  There are so many milestones throughout that first year that you aren’t going to want to miss.  Take lots of photos.  Bask in the joy of every moment.  It will be gone before you know it. Always get a second opinion.  We all know “that someone” who thinks that they know everything about being a parent, but just because they think they have the answer, that doesn’t mean it is right or it will work for your family.  Go with what you think is right or ask several people before you make a decision.  Even the advice I give with six children  may not be the best but it is what works for us.

– What’s one activity you do with your family that all 6 children enjoy? Just being together is a joy in itself.  We love to go to my grandmother’s house and spend the day in her yard.  She has the most gorgeous yard on earth.  The kids can throw or kick balls, play hide-n-seek, blow bubbles, run (crawl), and just have the best time ever. It is one of my favorite places to take pictures of them.  We love to go to the park, to museums, and to the drive-in.  The greatest thing about the drive in is that I can bring Eli.  It is almost impossible to bring a baby (that’s not a newborn) to the movies. My kids love to go Geocaching also.  We try to do a variety of things that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

– Would you like to have another baby sometime in the future? Sure.  I would continue to have kids if I could afford to.  Not just financially, but emotionally.  One of my biggest struggles now is finding time to spend with each of my children individually.  There are times they need some one on one time and there are times when I am just not able to give it.  I am happy with six, however, I do leave it in the hands of the Lord and if he feels that another child is right for us, then he will give one to us.  It’s up to Him.

– On a serious note: is there any advice you’d like to give a woman in an abusive relationship?  GET OUT!  This is a very personal question because I have been through it.  Although I have never discussed it on my blog, other than a brief mention of it in my About section, but I was married to an abusive man.  My eleven year relationship with him was completely different in the beginning, and the first time he hit me was way out of character for him.  However, after that, it only got worse.  My mistake…I kept going back because I thought he would stop.  I mean, he told me he would, and I  believed him.  What made me see differently?  A metal rod in my jaw. He literally threw the television remote at my face one afternoon, so hard that it shattered my jaw.  I had to have surgery to reconstruct my face and have a metal rod inserted to hold it together.  Six weeks of eating through a straw because my mouth was wired shut.  The worst part…the emotional scars it all left on my oldest daughter who has been seeing a therapist for several years now to overcome the abuse she witnessed though the years.  Sadly, the cause for all of his problems was drugs, and they took his life this past April.  The saddest part…The day my oldest daughter told her therapist that she was “glad he was dead because she never has to worry about him coming back to get my mom and hurting me”.  It made me cry.

– What gets you really excited? a great shot with my camera.  I love going back and looking at my photos and finding those really great ones.  Traveling.  Not just being somewhere, but the actual riding in the car TO the destination part.  Not so much the coming back part though.  Don’t you just love that feeling you get when it is finally the day to leave to go on vacation and the relief of hopping in the minivan (in our case of course) and setting off for your destination.  LOVE IT!  Food.  Food is good!  Why do you think I have been struggling to lose all of this baby weight?

– Is there anything you could live your whole life not having to deal with? Laundry.  If I could just hire someone to do it for me, that would be great. 

– Can you tell us something surprising that your lovely followers don’t know about you?  I am a very open person so there isn’t much that they may not know.  Here is a list of random things about me.
I a extremely OCD.  I know I am but I can not help it. 
I hate knick knacks. I don’t own a single one.
If I get stressed, I get rid of stuff.  Someday I will be sitting in an empty house.
I watch about 5 hours of television a week, but the TV is on 24 hours a day. I do go to the movies though, and I do watch the movie when I go
I wish my boobs were smaller…not bigger…smaller.  I am a 36 DD.  I am thinking more like 34 B.  Sorry for sharing that! 
I drink my coffee black.
My favorite food is Mexican food, I love chips and salsa. I could live on that alone.
I had two miscarriages before I finally had my second child. I actually had surgery on my jaw while pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know I was pregnant.
I was told that Elijah had a high chance of being born with Down Syndrome.
I HATE scrapbooking (with paper, glue, scissors), HATE it.
I have some kind of weird obsession with horror movies, ghost stories, unsolved mysteries, freaky stuff, but I am EXTREMELY scared of the dark.
I smoked for 7 years, my first cigarette was in sixth grade.  I can’t stand, YUCK CAN’T STAND IT, cigarettes or cigarette smoke now. 

– Any hobbies that you just LOVE and want to share?  Other than photography, I don’t do much as far as hobbies.  I own a sewing machine, I love to sew, but I don’t do it often.  I have tried knitting, crocheting, and several other things and I just can’t stay with any of them.  I am sure my Marine will be glad when I have figured all of this out so I stop buying all this stuff that I never use and then eventually get rid of.  I collect postcards, so send me some if you could.  Email me and I will send you my address.

– Can you give us a list of things you recommend and why?
  • Diaper brands:  I was never a cloth diaperer. Just couldn’t get into it with children in childcare at the time. We use Huggies diapers and Huggies wipes.
  • Most of my online shopping is done at a variety of Etsy shops, Kohls, and Old Navy.  I buy most of their clothes from those three places. I also enjoy clothing exchanges. I find a lot of great name brand clothes for next to nothing at kids clothing exchanges. Those usually occur once a season in my area.

– List a couple things on your mommy wish list…
a smaller camera I can just throw in my purse for on the go.  A new kitchen because the design is awful for maneuvering around and preparing food all day, someone to come and do my laundry.

– Any favorite local shops you’d like to give a shout out to? One of my favorite local shops has to bebe Lily Mae’s. It is basically a handmade goods store.  You can find jewelry, clothing, candles, keychains, etc.  A lot of the same items you can find on Etsy.  My step mother owns a cake decorating shop called Cake Dollies.  She bakes and decorates some of the most delicious cakes ever.  If you live in the NC area, and are interested in a cake for any occasion feel free to email me for more info.  She has the best prices too.  Contact Magnolia Queen Photography if you live in the Raleigh, NC area for great prices and a photo session with Jessica.

– Can we get a couple links to a few of your FAVORITE blog posts you’ve done?

Three Day Weekend
Who Says You Can’t Make Your Own Fun
A Day in Court & My Pink Scissors
Official Mirena Owner…No that’s not a Car

And, what every mom wants to know: 😉

– Do you have a censored curse word you like to use? Farkle and Frack.  We were playing the board game, Farkle, with the kids one night and I kept saying it to be funny and it stuck. Frack comes from Battlestar Gallactica.  My Marine is a HUGE, probably the HUGEST I know, Sci-Fi dork and LOVES him some BG, Stargate, and Star Trek.  Basically EVERY show on the Sci-Fi channel.  UGH!  I care nothing for any of them except Ghost Hunters.   I am terrible about using the actual words.  It’s apparent by my 3 year old’s excessive use of the word that rhymes with Spam and Spam It.

– Where is your favorite place in your home to get away from it all? The bathroom.  The secret is…I will go sit on the toilet to “supposedly” but not really do my business.  As long as I am “busy” I can’t get up.  Whatever someone wants me do to will have to wait, because I am busy doing “busy work”.  Sometimes I will fake some pretty severe stomach pains just to get away from the chaos.  Sadly, that leaves daddy to tend to it all, but I know he does the same to me.

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  • Shawntae on said:

    Oh my heck I love this lady she is a crack up and six kids. She deserves a huuuge mama award!!Thanks for introducing her I can't wait to read her blog!

  • Mother★Lode on said:

    So sweet, and what a crack up! I enjoyed getting to know Joni more! Thanks so much for featuring another great mama Chelsey!

  • Natalie on said:

    I love this idea and the interview was fantastic…definitely makes me want to know Joni since I've never visited her blog. I can't wait to check it out 😉

  • Christy on said:

    Joni, it was so nice getting to know more about you! Two things we have in common that I found out by reading this: I hate knickknacks too! I'd rather have an empty house than one filled with little junk! Also (though backwards) I'm a 34B that wishes I was a 36DD! Wanna trade?! lol!Chelsey, thanks for helping us get to know Joni a little better!

  • Christopher And Tia on said:

    Great interview!! Six kids… wow. I bet that IS a lot of laundry.

  • Mara on said:

    aw what a sweet family!!

  • Mandy on said:

    Seriously, what a beautiful family!! I love getting to know other Mama's! Thank you for these posts! 🙂

  • Jackie on said:

    Just found your blog via Ericka at Alabaster Cow & love it. I'm just starting to put up buttons for the first time on our blog & will list yours!

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