Many Hands


How do you clean miles and miles of neglected tile, tile that probably hasn’t seen a mop in many moons?

The tile on the bottom middle of the picture, has been cleaned, the others around it are filthy, this picture doesn’t do it justice.

Why, lots of littles of coarse!

Each child got a section and got to work scrubbing.
This is Boo working on her section

Lou doing hers, she was the best helper and had been working on little sections all week.

Sassy, my little neat nick, her tiles sparkled

and Monkey, always wanting… no insisting on helping, so she got her own scrubber

…and she helped

…and when she got bored she tore up the scrubber

silly Monkey


Moving Day

Spring Break at our house isn’t a week loaded with vacations, activities and general fun.  It isn’t all bad, the kids have plenty of time to play with friends, and there are late nights, with movies and popcorn.  It is  a nice break from the regular grind.  Usually I have some big project that we all work on during spring break, typically it has something to do with spring cleaning and packing away winter clothes, cleaning closets, that kind of stuff. 


This year was a moving day for my girls.  Because baby sister is coming and needs a little room we used our week long vacation to move the big girls around.   Right now our home has 4 finished bedrooms: the master bedroom, little brother’s room, and the other two were shared by two girls a piece.  We (I) decided that all 4 of the older girls could share the basement room, when it was built we make it rather big with a big closet and it can easily accomidate 4 growing girls, that way the baby can have a nursery, and won’t be interupted when she is napping, on the other side an older child won’t be locked out of their room while baby is napping or woken up by baby durring the night. 


A lot of people express suprise and wonder (out loud) at my general sanity, putting 4 girls in one room.  At those times I am reminded of my own pioneer ancestors who slept many people in a room, infact I just finished reading a biography where one family was so excited and happy that they had finally built themselves an 8×10 foot cabin to sleep all twelve of them, and that they no longer had to sleep in tents.  I would dare say that it has only been in recent history that it was felt that children were intitled to their own room or to only have to it share with one sibling.

That being said, I did want to make the move and the room special for my girls.  They are good sports about the whole thing, and I haven’t heard a single complaint durring the whole process, infact I have had a couple of them say how excited they were to all be together.  The biggest adjustment that has had to be made was the older girls learning to be quiet when they go to bed when the littler ones are asleep, also the first few nights they were up giggling and playing games.  One of the first nights they were down there together they asked if they could “play quietly in bed”.  This is something I let them do often, and it means that they can read or color quietly in bed until they are sleepy.  Well after a little while Dadzoo went to check on them and found all 4 girls sitting on one bed playing card games.  They were promptly sent to their own beds to sleep, but we weren’t mad at them, I love that they are making friends with each other.

Anyway, I will stop talking and show pictures of their new room.  It has never been completely decorated before, so I am excited to have decorated a very girly room for my girls!



Menu Planning

I didn’t do a menu for this last paycheck.  Life was busy and I never had time to do a big grocery shopping, only a short trip for some fresh items, so I have been mostly flying by the seat of my pants and cooking out of our food storage.  Usually I have the menu for the next two weeks posted on the fridge and my kids are able to check it, but since I never made one, well they are out of luck!  My 9 year old isn’t happy with this arrangement at all.  So a few days ago she decided to take matters into her own hands, she sat down with my recipe book and made a list of dinners.  Somethings she put down because she knew she liked them, others just sounded interesting, like “Red Beans and Rice” (what 9 year old asks for beans and rice for dinner?).  I have made a few dinner off of her list, and she is so excited when I do that, otherwise I have used her list to help me think up other meals that I have the items for on hand.  I thought it was sweet of her to do, and when I am done with her list it will be tucked away for safe keeping.

How do you menu plan?  Do you let your kids help with the planning?

How To

When establishing a family schedule you have to figure out what your priorities are for the space of time you are scheduling. For example, in the evening, our priorities are family dinner and scripture study. If, for instance my son has Karate practice from 6:00 to 7:00 on Tuesday night, my Tuesday schedule would look something like this:
6:00-7:00 Karate, Bathe small children,Homework
7:00-7:30 Dinner
7:30-7:45 Scripture Study and family Prayer
7:45-8:00 Family Read out loud
8:00- Bedtime, Karate Kid shower and bed
9:00- lights out
Or something similar to that. To make scheduling work you need to be flexible (I know that sounds weird when talking about schedules) and adaptable. Figure out your priorities and family goals and work your schedule around that. Be willing to try different ways of scheduling and tweak things as you go along.

I find my motivation by keeping my eye on the goal: a quiet, mostly picked up home with kids tucked into bed by 9:00. Seriously, that is my sanity. Does it happen everyday? Nope, but we probably hit it 90% of the time. There is no magical trick to making and keeping a schedule, it takes sheer dogged determination and a lot of really good chocolate.