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January 30, 2009

Daily Dynamics

If you have a large family you know what that people are intrigued by large families and the way they do things. Really I feel quite ‘normal’ until people start asking all the questions (not to mention gaucking with their mouths open:) I inform people they only came one at a time, we got used to them one at a time and adjusted one at a time. When it was requested that I share on this blog a bit about how our family functions, scheduling and things of such my first thought was “I don’t feel qualified to share about any of these things.” I don’t feel like an expert by any means and even though people think we must be super organized parents and have a super organized household, the truth is I sometimes feel like things are far from that. Yes we have schedules, yes we have routine, yes we have lists (my hubby thinks I overdo it in this regard sometimes :) But honestly, there are days when I feel nothing is functioning according to plan, and the house is falling to pieces. And so even though I am going to share some of our tidbits with you in regards to how we do things around here, I want you to know that it isn’t all perfect. I think one of the biggest things I have learned in having a large family is that I need to relax. My house will not always look perfect, there will be finger prints on the windows (why is it that kids love to ‘finger paint’ in the moisture on the windows?), that there will be dust and cobwebs, there will be toys on the floor, there will be odd smells, and there will be days that it seems like nothing got accomplished. It took me awhile to get to the point of relaxing and if you ask my family they probably think I need more practice in the relaxing department, but I feel I have come a long way. But in saying that, I have a long way to go. There is a balance between perfection and messy. I like to think of it as the ‘lived in’ look. I used to be a perfectionist. Having lots of kids has slowly weaned me from that. If I want my kids to help out, I have to let go a bit, okay…A LOT :) But I have learned to be okay with that. There are times where I have had to walk away while a job is being done so I do not ‘nag’ about the way I would do it so much better. And granted there are times, because I have had years of experience, that there are tips I can and do pass on. But too many times I nit-pick and frustrate the people around me, so it is better for me to not watch. And of course as they get older, they do better, in fact ALMOST as good as me and it seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel! So after saying all this…I will plan over time to share how we run ship around here. Some stuff has been trial and error. Some stuff has worked for us for awhile while other things may only be for a season. So to start, here is a sample schedule of our day. Of course being that we live on the farm, schedules can be thrown out the window pretty quickly. Just like the other morning when the house was abuzz because an unexpected calf was born. It is days like those where I have to smile at the excitement and realize that maybe today we won’t get everything accomplished that I may have wanted to. And that’s OKAY. And since Josiah has joined things have gotten shuffled a bit. But normally this is what our day consists of.
7:00-8:30 -Dad and Mom milk -Boys do rabbit and chicken chores -Girls make breakfast, dress kids and start on the laundry. SIDE NOTE: Each week the girls have their area of responsibility. They rotate between kids (dressing, changing diapers, and whatever other help is needed), meals and laundry. -After chores, everyone who wants to, eats breakfast. Our breakfasts (unlike the other two meals) is not a sit down together family kind of meal. 8:30-12:00 -School 12:00-1:00 -Lunch -Boys clean off table -Girls do dishes and sweep 1:00-3:00 -Boys pick eggs -Girls do their daily job 3:00-5:00 -If weather permits, outdoor activity -Otherwise games, reading, puzzles etc. -Mikaya naps 5:00 -Final supper preparations 5:30 or 6:00-6:30 or 7:00 -Supper -Boys clean off table -Girls do dishes and sweep 7:00-8:00 -Free time -Get younger kids ready for bed 8:00-9:00 -Girls (2 of them) milk 9:00-10:30 or 11:00 -Often games or individual reading So there you have it. Our day in a nutshell. So, is there something you have been wondering about our family and the way we do things? If so, here’s your chance :)


Laura said...

I am the prefectionist by nature, and I'd say Arthur is the Fly by the seat of your pants guy. He has his own schedule and way he does things but often thinks mine are over the top and unlikly to happen or achive. So over the years like you we have both grown very much I became much more relaxed and fluid, Arthur has come to see the need of my scheduling..I'm very thankful we work well together :)

Now we have some kids who are like me and some like him...so it works. As far as a clean home ours is for living in NOT a show place. Yet, we know we ALL function better with some sense of order. When things get out of wack, we seem to get it back together in a timly manner. Having said that we have 11 people living under one roof, if you drop by to visit don't think everthing is going to be in place...it won't. I hope they came to visit and not inspect our home :)

As far as the smudge windows...why do kids love the moisture on them? We have snow flakes on ours from William's last art work, yesterday.

Now that I just wrote a mini post in your comments I guess it's time to go!

The Mayo Family said...

How sweet! Hubby & I enjoyed reading your day, late last eve as his now 2nd jod is " farm hand"...due to economic crunch...wishes he'd of started younger! Ha! Thank you for sharing. Yes you are qualified to share! When one see's the happy countenence on you children's faces...the joy there and love of Christ, the working together because " we get to attitude" say's you've worked hard! As parents, yes there are many trial & error fields but when they are older and joyful still- God is in!
That's why I asked you,to share as it's alway's so encouraging to sorta "get to know others" if you will, who are in the like minded type boat(smile) for Christ in raising up His next generation! Smile! We see so many areas for ourself that we wish we would of focused on less and more on others...by God's grace our children thou...our older ones live for HIM! Praise the Lord! Well from our home thanks for the glimps and it was enjoyed! Also on the school, we live in a small town w/ eyebrows raised as to "how many hours" do you school, so it was great to see not everyone schools from 8am-3:30pm! Ha-after all we "homeschool". Hope this finds all well & enjoying your sweet new baby boy!
Momma of 8

Anonymous said...

What is your approach to homeschooling? For example: favorite curriculum/resources, do all of your children sit together or in separate areas of the house, how do you teach so many ages at once, do you school year round, etc? Anything you want to share, I'd love to hear! :) We are new to homeschooling and things are going well, but I would love to hear how you choose to homeschool your family, as I admire how you raise your children. I'm also curious as to whether you immunize your children? (please don't answer if that's too personal). We have so far, but have recently read that it has some risks. I'm asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance as to whether we should continue with the vaccine schedule...a couple of our children are due for their boosters soon. Thank you so much for your blog and for the opportunity to ask questions. I have been so encouraged each time i check in and have learned so much from the wisdom you pass along in your writing. May God continue to richly bless your family!

The Mayo Family said...

Wow...that is what we were wondering about curriculum & such.
Hubby had a question, congratulations on the up-coming marriage of your son, on this is the question...courting? Do you mean son ask's the father of the young women he feels God has brought? Also, do you all homefellowship or go to fellowship? Seems we are nosy! Sorry.
Have a wonderful day...Also hubby say's hats off to all of you who milk! Ah the below zero temps are something in themselfs now have to run back & forth to the barn...he's a helper and a line broke so he is getting to shovel...you know what! He knows God has it all planned as a lesson in life! Smile!
Momma of 8