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May 5, 2011

How We Do Things

It's come to my attention that people are interested in the way we do things around here. Day to day things. To me life is just life and we live it every day....pretty much normal. But I do remember being kind of fascinated of other large families when I was a young mom and so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people are curious about us. I know I have mentioned this before, I don't often think about the size of our family. In fact sometimes I will look at a photo of our family and I am kind of taken back and say "Wow, that's a lot of kids" :) Yup, this is just what normal is to me!

On that note I plan to do a few posts on how we do things around here. Again, if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer.

Lets start with daily chores.

Our oldest three girls take on either laundry, meals or helping with kids each week. When the week is up, they rotate. I try to help them out when I can, but most of the time they are on their own. It is a great help for me to know that these major areas of our household chores are taken care of. In the afternoon they do their house cleaning jobs. We deep clean 3 rooms of the house every day (except the weekend). I used to have Saturday as our cleaning day but I like this better as it doesn't feel like the house is so messy by the weekend. And of course now that our girls are older, they take personal responsibility to tidy up throughout the day and see what needs to be done and do it (and they also get the littles to pitch in).

In the summer the work load doubles as we have 2 big gardens to take care of, a yard to maintain and flower gardens to make look pretty! Not to mention helping out their Dad when he needs an extra hand around the farm.

Our girls also take care of the milking chores morning and evening. Jen most often milks and Meg and Kerri take turns going out and feeding, watering and cleaning out.

Caleb, Zachary, Jesse and Nathan take care of our laying hens, turkey, goat and broilers (when we have them). They do most of the chores in the morning, except for picking eggs till mid afternoon. They also have to clean their room, organize their clothes (we have them on shelves in a closet), put away their laundry, make their beds, comb their hair, brush their teeth, take out the garbage, plus do some tidy up jobs around the house. This is all to be done by 8:30 am. After meals they clean up the dishes, put food away, tidy our mud room (yes, needed to be cleaned twice a day. I think it's part of living on the farm!!!), and sweeping or shoveling off walkways and the deck.  After dishes are done, they help the older girls do their house cleaning job, and anything else that they need help with. I dodn't make this a rule, but they just kind of keep helping!!! Most of the time they are more than willing to lend a helping hand and are often asking, "Is there anything I can do?" Now they don't always like the job they get, but they are learning if they are faithful in the little things, they will be entrusted with the bigger things! And now that things are getting busier around here with seeding hopefully starting soon, the boys will be helping their dad and doing yard and garden work as well.

Brooke cleans her room, makes her bed, does her hair, brushes her teeth and organizes her clothes before 8:30 am. After lunch and supper she wipes down the bathroom and the laundry room (which is a half bath) and washes all of our white doors in the house (man they get dirty fast!!!). And throughout the rest of the day she pretty often sticks by my side, or the older girls and helps out where she can.

Mikaya doesn't have any structured jobs right now. She of course is expected to clean up after herself and is often found being our go-pher-it! 3 year old legs can save these old legs a lot of steps :)

Some of the goals we have in teaching our children to work:

-That they would do all their work as unto the Lord
-That they would have a cheerful attitude while working
-That they would do their jobs quickly, thoroughly and completely
-That they would develop the ability to see what needs to be done and do it
-That they would know that work is 'not' optional
-That they would feel a part of the family because they help out
-That they would be in training to someday, Lord willing, be a godly spouse, father/mother and/or employee
-That they would know that "a little hard work ain't never hurt anybody" :)
-That they would get their work done before play

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23


Clarissa said...

great post! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for putting this up. It definitely gave me insight into how I can get more done, namely by teaching the girls to help out more and more. Lately I have found out that they are so willing to learn and want to help. I think they enjoy being entrusted with some job or chore that is theirs' to do. Seeing that Brooke, your 6 year old, does the bathroom, inspired me! I'm like, why in the world has it never registered with me that my 6 and 7 year olds can do that. So thanks again and I'm really looking forward to hearing more. Love Joni

Laura said...

I love hearing about how you do things! Sometimes I wonder if I expect too much of my children, but after reading your post, I feel better. :) People seem to be shocked when they find out that my almost 5, 6, and 7 year-olds clean bathrooms. I'm glad yours do to!