All in a Day: House Cleaning

How do we keep our house clean…well… hmmm.. I’ll be back in just a bit (looking around)

In theory, we keep our house clean by:

1) being responsible for ourselves, picking up after ourselves. If you get something out, put it away.

2) spending a few minutes throughout the day tidying (10 minutes to clean at any point)  – this is especially necessary with 14 children at home, 12 of whom are homeschooled and 2 who are…  messy makers.   Figure 12 students with a minimum of 6 subjects – 72 books plus pens, plus notebooks… especially since we are book lovers, and so some subjects have a lot of books! Everybody helps with this. It is part of living in a family 🙂

3) chores – our chore system is a paid system.  It is 3 tiered.  If you are a little – you don’t do a chore.  You also don’t get paid AND you miss out on some things we do for just bigs.  They’ll get it someday – when they are old enough or responsible enough to do a chore.  Even in the chore system, there are 2 more levels, entry and professional.   Entry level gets paid, but doesn’t get benefits. (think hourly employee!)  They make $5.00 every other week and they do a fairly small chore.  Professional levels make perks!  They make significantly more money.  The people who help with dishes at my house make significanly more money than the person who empties the garbage.  The person who is currently on dishes does all the dishes for a family  of 16 every day with no dishwasher!   He makes 25$ every other week.  Other perks we have – late night snack :), movies,  etc.

4)  it is my responsibility to ensure cleanliness in my home.  I cannot “expect what I don’t inspect”.  Below is an example of a chore gone BAD!!! ((“THANKFULLY THIS IS NOT THE NORM!!))

Sometimes I am gone, sometimes I am busy or gone, sometimes I am tired. It isn’t an excuse. There are times where our house just doesn’t get clean.  I try but recognize I am human, and that the bodies in my house will still be here tomorrow. I also try and recognize that disorder in the house makes  others cranky (especially daddy who dislikes things under his feet!)  Those are his feet in this picture and this is the only picture with him, his feet and floor).

5) keep my priorities right 🙂   be a Mary first off!!! Value family and relationship above all else.  Here is our most recent family picture! (Vacation post forthcoming!!)

 

Williamsburg family

2011 @ The King's Ball

Check out the other All in a Day Bloggers…

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

 

Hope to see you more this week, as we recover from vacation, laundry, lack of sleep and photo overload…

Momma

 

All in A Day: Crazy Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings – a quote my husband likes (I think Chuck Swindoll?)  is that some of you lose your Christianity on your way to church.   I will admit that we have our definite moments where it is crazy!  It actually used to be crazier, we had 6 children under 7 at one point, and now we only have 2 under 8 so definitely different stage of life.   Most all of our children are fully capable of getting themselves ready in the morning now.  Actually doesn’t it seem like the teenagers are the worst!  (at home 18,17,16,14,14,13)

My husband works with the youth at our church and he teaches Sunday School.  His long-term goal is entering the pastorate (separate post there!)   It is imperative that we are on time.   Here’s what we do:

1. Set out our clothes ahead of time. This means ironed, this means shoes ready.  This prevents arguing over clothes on Sunday morning. (Mostly me – saying it isn’t appropriate).

2. Have our Bibles and our hotebooks ready to go.

3. Have our lunch ready to go into the oven.  See this post: on Sunday cooking. Use the roaster where appropriate.

4. Our Sunday breakfasts are very simple, it is cereal, oatmeal packets, etc.  We eat whole meals every other day of the week, but this makes sure that the children are motivated to get to the table 🙂 and it takes less time to prepare.

5. Set a timer, and keep giving time reminders.

6. When in doubt, dad goes on ahead and mom follows with all stragglers. grrr… Well, it’s an honest blog, we’re not always all on time.

I think the best advice I’d give someone trying to make Sundays less crazy would be to find systems that work for you.  Look for ways to make your morning easier.  Yes, in my world, that includes bribing someone to start the coffee!

God Bless, we’re off on vacation for 11 days in 2 days!  I’ve got posts in the hopper on preparing for spring, dehydrating foods (love this!) and ways to prepare for vacation for a LARGE family.  We’ll see if that gets done as I’m pretty busy making sure everyone has what they need for vacation.

Don’t know how much internet I’ll have along the way, but hope to post soon.

Momma

Check out the other All in a Day Bloggers…

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

 

All in A Day – a Typical Day

My first thought on this topic was… well, I’m off the hook, I have nothing to write! There is no typical day at our house!

But then I thought about it. I am just not off the hook that easy.  YES! There is a price to be paid by trying to be open to God’s leading and following Him each and every day, and sometimes that price is “normality”.  BUT – we do have a routine, and even if I, or my husband, or the children have specific needs or are gone, stuff still gets done.  It is because of the stuff getting done part that comes the knowledge that we have that routine.

So, in essence, even though not a single day looks like this… here is a typical day 🙂

7:15 am – alarm – ignore ignore ignore… yep i’m a late sleeper!  Brian’s already been up and going for hours! We used to do family time about now but with Brian’s new work schedule,  he’s already working.

8:00 am – coffee in hand, stumble towards computer.  breakfast going (probably by a pre-teen although my 8 year old LOVES to cook breakfast, and serve it to everyone. Personal care – cleaning your room, etc.. Farm Chores!

9:00 am – school starts, I start with youngest and work my way up.  On good days, where we can stay home and DO school, I am loving the Before Five in a Row for the little guys.   This is a must drop if I’m doing running, helping with ministry stuff, etc.

10:00am – work on checking off school, kids keep plugging away.  I plan to share in a future post my ideas for getting through school with lots of kids.

11:30 am – Family Devotional Time – some bigger kids and Dad have theirs done by now, I usually do mine at night, preferably late but I sure do enjoy a cup of coffee and early devos too.  My problem is I like to do it uninterrupted (seriously!)

12:00 – lunch

1:00 – today we were babysitting a grandbaby (actually we have all week) and he needed a nap…  keep going on school,  my children use charts or check lists depending on age to know what they need to accomplish.

This would be the time that I like to work on family subjects of read alouds and history!  This hasn’t worked as well for me this year as it has for the last 4, but we’re plugging through!

3:00 – crazy time starts, snack, sports practices, Dad is off work with his current schedule. the afternoon will include all sorts of things, soon I hope to have in including gardening, On Wednesdays we are consumed with church prep stuff.

We eat supper around 6.  After supper, assigned chores by those who have them!

We start bedtime at 8.

I’m so amazed that as hard as this year has been, as crazy!  Brian working 2 jobs, myself doing an enormous amount of support work, the adult children and their needs, the children at home and theirs, more obvious… we have gotten a lot accomplished.  We do get school done, we are working in ministry and looking at ways to expand that even more.  We do love making meals for others, or helping other families, especially babysitting little lambs.  This routine is why we are able to accomplish so much!  With the huge upcoming change for Brian’s job and our need to cut our expenses, we are developing more and more skills and the need to be able to provide more for less. This all needs to fit into the same 24 hours we get every day!

Enjoy looking at other people’s typical days by checking out the other All in a Day Bloggers…

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

All in A Day: LAUNDRY – how we escape the Mammoth Mountain

One of my favorite topics! Seriously, there is nothing I love more than clean laundry!
Too BAD in my large family it never stays this way!

This was one of the biggest accomplishments of my 2010 year. I got to do this::

Amanda Friedl: I have NEVER been able to post this since I’ve had facebook… I AM CAUGHT UP on Laundry!!!! WHOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!
December 31, 2010 at 5:01pm · Friends Only · Like Unlike ·
37 likes and 25 comments later, I realized what this meant. Most of us large families don’t ever see the end of what has been called Mt.Never Washed.

A family with 16 people living in it, had nothing dirty to wash in the house minus the clothes on their bodies. Unfortunately, it was already 5 pm, and pretty soon the preschoolers would be heading to bed, followed by a lot more…

We do 6 loads of dirty laundry a day on average. Each room has a day of the week that they do their laundry. The oldest child gos first from the room, followed by younger siblings. They are responsible for remembering what day it is. I have someone who is responsible to be the laundry helper as his chore. He helps people who haven’t mastered the washing machine.

I know the Duggars have 4 washing machines, but I only have one. I love my washing machine and dryer.
Here is a picture of my washer:

We have the GE Profile Washer and Dryer.  We first bought this set in 2004, when we added the laundry room.  I love my washer and dryer so much.  We moved in 2007, and then had a house fire (obviously another post).  We lost our washer and dryer in the fire.   I replaced them with an identical set.  They keep up.  They are HE machines, and they have the front loader technology with a top loader system.  I definitely prefer this to the front loaders I’ve tried, especially with cloth diapers.  (again, another post… and I don’t currently have anyone in diapers).

Here is my laundry room.  The back side.  I’m trying to find a front few but… until 12/31/10, never had laundry actually caught up so I wanted a picture.   Opposite the buckets are the washer and dryer, and probably 4 tall baskets.  At our house, we use tall baskets for dirty and short, flat baskets for clean.  I’ve also done a little fixing since this point, and there are small dish tubs labeled for each smaller child on shelving.

If we are doing a “family” load, I sort their clothes into their buckets, and have them come grab them.

Well, I love folding laundry, and I love clean laundry.  I hate clean laundry in the dirty baskets and I apparently don’t like that every day, there is more dirty laundry again.

As far as soap, generally I use an HE soap.  I have made my own but usually sales and coupons, I do some stocking up.

My son, who is my helper, helps me fold my towels, sheets etc and is old enough to swap it out during the day.

My biggest laundry advice is to

1) swap the laundry when you wake up

2) swap it at every meal –

3) set a timer if you are really far behind.

4) train your children to follow your system, and to respect it (ie – put clean clothes away so that you aren’t washing them again, dont’ hide dirty clothing, etc)

I guess there is nothing brilliant about this post.  The problem with lots of laundry is that you have to do it.  And then there is more.

Momma

Check out the other All in a Day Bloggers…

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

All in a Day: Spending Time with Hubby

INSERT HEADER

How do we spend time together?

1)Blackberry!  Thank you Verizon Wireless.  We communicate multiple times during the day via text messaging.  Also, our cell phones are an integral part of spending time together!

2) Teenagers – when all of our children were younger, it was primarily other moms of many who shared with us (Thank you Terri Camp whose oldest daughter one night practically saved my life or my marriage or both!)  After a while, my older girls got to be teenagers, and I hope they too were helpful to other moms with little children!)  Now my teenage girls are adults.  Some of them are now moms out on their own.  I’m raising up a new group of teenagers.  We start by giving them responsibility – maybe at church or a buddy time at home to train in care-taking.  Actually, we start years before that with modeling and pretend housekeeping skills but as we grow in maturity, we are allowed more responsibility.  Babysitting at our house is always a paid chore unless it is a gift of the heart by the baby-sitter (birthdays, etc that will happen!)

3) Family ~  the lady in this picture with all of our kids is my aunt.  She is a person who has blessed us very much.  She has been on vacation with us twice, will host us when needed at her own house and even covers us for homeschool  conventions, romantic date nights and  last summer big time helped us when we had two teen boys both needing a parent on the same weekend…  She was graciously accompanied by my  next resource.

4. grandparents

I realize that not all people have grandparents that are able, close enough, or willing to help babysit.  In fact, my parents are not necessarily able to watch all 20 of our children in one fell swoop, but they are willing to entertain them.

5. kid swap – find a friend who  needs the same and be willing to host!  We had a great couple we did this with frequently.  Made a huge difference when we both had only littles.

well that is the how we spend time together, what do we do when we have time together?

1) talk (hence the blackberry!)

2) go out for breakfast or dessert  🙂  these are ideas for if all of your kids can’t be watched at one time, but perhaps you can leave while some or all are sleeping

3) regular date nights – not a necessity but they are surely wonderful!  uninterrupted conversation with only your husband, warm food and no cutting the meat!

4) our annual special weekend away – we usually try and get this to be a conference we’ve wanted to attend.  We stay at a special hotel, have a special meal and enjoy being refreshed as parents and as a couple.

Everyday – regardless of babysitters, time and desire, its important to be in the Word and be in prayer together.

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many 

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage 

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ 

ALL IN A DAY: GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery Shopping is one of my favorite things to do (HAHA!) so I’m sure I’ll like writing about it just as much *grin*.

We have done a variety of things for grocery shopping since the years we became a big family.  In our beginning… my husband and I would go together. We enjoyed the time spent and we’re both frugal minded so enjoyed doing coupons or finding good deals.  As we began to add children relatively quickly (3,2,1 and baby in the beginning) we soon found that the 2 of us – if we went together – would need all hands on deck just for parenting and child training.  At that time,  I began to go alone.

I used to really enjoy my time of going alone.  I was at a spot with a lot of littles at home and that was sometimes my only time alone 🙂   If I had more than 1 cart, I would go up to the customer service and ask them to hold my extra cart. I (on purpose) chose places where I could drive up for my bags so I wouldn’t have to push out more than one cart.  I no longer go alone, when I started having teenagers, I enjoy taking 1-2 older kids and making it a special time. For years, this was my oldest daughter, who is now 22 and made me a grandma 2 years ago. She was adopted at 14 and we went through many turbulent years and this time was an opportunity for us to be alone and have some amazing conversations.  She moved out at 19 1/2 and it switched to a variety of my other then teens.  I love this time. We frequently go out for supper afterwards.  I have almost always gone every 2 weeks for regular groceries (on paydate).

I live 7 minutes from a mostly open store.  In my same small town, there is a Christian based store that isn’t open on Sundays and is open in shorter hours during the week, I do try to frequent that store as I appreciate their stance.  I do go to the Aldi’s and SuperWalmart for somethings – those stores are approximately 1/2 hour away from me.  Any savings warehouse stores (Sams or Costco) are approximately 2 hours from me.  I do not maintain a card for either one. I have in the past, but I go less frequently now and therefore it isn’t cost effective when I can be someone’s guest. I  also purchase from a Blooming Prairie Food Coop  some bulk purchases.  Lastly, I have purchased in bulk from a wholesaler. )

I maintain a menu (thinking we’ll talk more about meal planning at another time) and shop from a grocery list that is saved on my computer. I look at loss leaders from my local stores to make my list before we go.  I plan my meals around them when possible.  I do try to keep to a very tight cash budget  (thank you Dave RAMSEY!)

Check out some other All in A Day Bloggers:
Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Ants on a Farm

Elizabeth @ Yes They’re All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many 

Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage 

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

See you next Wednesday with another All in a Day post!!!
Momma