Being a large family with 11 of our 14 kids living at home I often get questions about how do you do this or that? You must be really organized! Mostly I am not organized I just have a good memory. I Do have a few things I do to make things easier. I thought I would share some here.
meals. How do you cook for such a large family? Well it's been so long I have been doing it I don't know how to cook for only a few people! One thing I do is make a menu for 2 weeks(sometimes I do a month, depends how ambitious I am at that moment). Then I list all ingredients needed to cook those meals. I also buy cereal and milk just about every time I am out. I often buy milk 10 gallons at a time. I have started to save that menu and list in a binder so that later I can go back and grab a menu and list without having to sit down and write it out. WHy didn't I think of that sooner? I keep favorite recipes in the binder as well as the menus and lists. I cook in 8 and 10 quart pots. a four quart pot would not cook enough of anything for our family. I have a few small sauce pans the kids use when making something for just themselves. I have also started making bread. Homemade bread is filling and adds to a meal and makes it go further. I have been known to roast a chicken for chicken dinner, save the brother and make chicken soup, use the leftover chicken for a hot dish, and then have one night we eat leftovers. that's four meals from a couple roasted birds. This year we do not have any birds in the freezer. I will miss that in the cold dark winter.
Laundry. It's never done. There are approximately 2 times a year for about 5 minutes when all laundry is done. Just before the kids go to summer camp is one time. the other time is usually just before school. I missed both times this year. Came really close before camp but didn't quite make it. Not even close before school. The girls do their own laundry. Jaeger has begun to do his. I do household and the boys' and Sophie's and Eric's and my own. It is still never done.
Cleaning. My kids are slobs. I do a lot of picking up tidying up but they have not been great about helping. Recently we are trying new chore chart to see if that helps. So far its going ok. It breaks everyone up into teams. Then each team of 2 has two jobs to do. We tried boys night and girls night doing the dishes but that wasn't going so well. Pairing up some of the difficult kids has been hard in the past because no one wants to work with them. So far this pairing is going ok. Our house is never spotless but it is tidy. and the dishes are done daily. With this many kids that's really all I can hope for.
Sports and activities. There aren't any ! no one is playing sports at the moment. and music lessons come in the form of band lessons at school. With many doctor and dentist and orthodontist and therapy appointments in addition to rides to friends houses or activities with friends I don't see how sports can factor in. There are just not enough hours in the day. No one has shown a great interest thus far in sports but if they REALLY wanted to do something we would figure out a way. At the moment no one is interested.
pets. Yes we have pets. Dogs cats and rabbits currently. Mocha is a springer spaniel and Australian shepherd mix. Java is a lab and pit bull mix but really looks more like a rat terrier of sorts. The cats are Maisy and Fiver. There are 8 or 9 rabbits at the moment. Frosty and Simon had 9 babies. one died and 2 went to new homes. Everyone who said I want a rabbit I want a rabbit backed out when the babies were born.
School days. 5am wake up gets everyone out the door by 7. most of them are self sufficient and lunches are made the night before. Busses come at 6:55am. Homework if there is any is done at the dining room table after school. As long as I remember to wake everyone up and they have enough clean clothes its not too bad getting them all out the door. most of them are ready, all of their own accord by 630 or so. Only Sophie and Juno need assistance.