Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Surviving multiple children takes a lot of patience and organization......This is how we do it......

I recall arriving at the zoo, one of my favorite places to take the children we park our 2 little Toyota Prius' together and get out of the car to stretch and unfold the stroller. I stand as kids file out and find their buddy and I watch folks pass by staring at us like we are crazy and I am sure wondering to themselves do those people not know what birth control is????? To all of those people I say "Yes, as a matter of fact we do know what birth control is! We did not plan our life, we chose it knowing full well what we were getting into, a full on team made up of two divorcees that fell madly in love with each other and our combined 8 children, a Brady Bunch of the sorts with a couple of extra, and this is how we do it...."

The bathroom closet where a normal family would put towels, washcloths and some personal items has been reinvented......shelves with buckets labeled for each child and their toiletries inside, This was a must and I set this up about 2 years ago when we moved in. Our old house was built in the 50's and was a sizable house but lacked cabinet space, closet space and storage. So each day was a challenge. I promised myself that when we moved everyone of our children would have their own spot for their own things so nobody can touch or use someone else's things by accident. There is nothing worse then a frantic kid running to you saying "so and so used my toothbrush now I want a new one!" We went through toothbrushes like crazy even with their names wrote in sharpie as we had some kids that could not read.
Our bathroom closet houses items found at a great bargain....

Closets are labeled by child and clothing....."Makayla Pants, Annie PJ's" and so on.

Bedrooms look like army barracks, and the formal living room and formal dinning room double as a bedroom and office. We have even converted part of our very large laundry room into a bedroom for Tyler who would rather share his room with the washer and dryer then share with his younger brothers......Pre-Teen boy.....who can argue with that?

Laundry is excessive! Can you imagine, let me put it this way out of the 8 children 4 of them are girls, girls change on average 3 times per day so out of one week if you do not do at least one load of laundry per day, you can hang it up your weekend is ruined by piles of laundry! I have this down to a science though, I wash and dry then sort. Avery and Gavin have one hamper, Tyler has another, Savannah has one, Annie and Emily have one, Makayla has her own, Logan has his own and there is one labeled for mom and dad. As I pull clothes out of the dryer anything that belongs to that specific person gets tossed into their basket for them to fold and put away. I fold all the towels, sheets, Logan's items and adult clothes and put those away. It took a long time to come up with this system but it works great and it makes laundry a whole lot easier!

Our table is large, one that is difficult to find a table cloth for but it only has 6 chairs. The company that built the table had since gone out of business so chances of finding matching chairs were slim. I spent some time on craigslist because I can not be the only person with this table but I was unable to find matching chairs and I soon gave up. My parents came for a visit and I asked my dad to build us some benches for the table so we can all eat as a family and we could stop sitting in the living room to eat and pulling computer chairs to the table and so on.

Our built in pantry doubles as a game closet and extra storage for large kitchen items, Tupperware and multiple waffle makers and crock pots. Can you imagine making waffles with 1 waffle iron for 10 people?

Our kitchen is equipped with 2 ovens and a large 5 burner gas stove. We have 2 refrigerators and a chest freezer that is the size of the couch, this is much needed and very much appreciated as we live a minimum of 25 minutes from the store. We live on a large beautiful piece of land in a house my husband grew up in, built with love on land passed down through generations.

The back of our fireplace is all brick and faces the table. I stuck command hooks on it to hold our chore chart, rules chart, behavior chart and reward chart. To the right of that is command hooks for each child where you can hang "items we are most proud of" giving the children again a special place to "show off" their accomplishments.

The foyer houses our calendar, a messy chicken scratched jumbled mess dictating each and every day. Today is the 10th of February and there is very little space to write anything else on this calendar. The calendar taped to the bottom is the children's activities...my car carries a well used 280,000 miles trying to keep up.

Our office was once the "living room" you know what I am talking about. Back in the 70's when they built houses every house had a living room that was set up that nobody used unless there was company and it also had a den which was used by the household daily. Today this large living room is used as my craft space, as well as a computer lab/office and it houses our large food pantry!

One meal in this house to feed all 10 of us consists of:
-2 family packs of chicken legs
-3 cans of corn
-3 cans of green beans
-5 pound bag of potatoes
This does not include the seasonings for the beans, the milk and butter for the mashed potatoes or the flour, spices or oil for the friend chicken. This will probably double as the kids get bigger!

Pizza night is no less then 1 large supreme, 1 large cheese, 2 large pepperoni and bacon, and 2 large pepperoni and sausage!

Breakfast consists of 24 eggs, scrambled, 3 lbs of home fries (hash browns), 2 lbs of turkey bacon, 1 loaf of bread. Meet our breakfast makers......
Yes, we have blue eggs! We have 1 rooster, Bob and 8 hens, Sophia, Nugget, Snowball, Snowy, Snowflake,Whitey, Tiger, and Black Beauty.
Popping microwave popcorn for this gang on movie night can take 30 minutes if you stay ontop of it and consistently remove and add a new bag. I often missed much of the movie making sure everyone had their snack and drinks. That was before.......

Our hallway is home of my best friend....the Command Hook! I owe many thanks to the person who invented this wonderful useful tool. They are used throughout our house.....who wants to put gigantic holes in their walls to hold up jackets?
With 8 children and my love of photography we would not have walls left if it weren't for command hooks. Can you imagine the nail holes that would have been left over after this???
It takes a lot of team work to run this house and no one person can do it alone. Brian and I make a great team which is good for a marriage with or without children, if you make a good team you can do anything!


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