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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Michele

Yes we are feeding 3 meals a day to 17 children. It's only short lived. This time every year we take on all our neices, nephews, and great neices for a week for VBS. This year is a slow year :( I really do look forward to having them out here. I think it was 2 yrs ago we had 21 children for 24 hrs. One child left the next day and the rest we took to church with us on Sunday.

For meals here is what we do.......

Breakfast

Pancakes
French toast
Eggs & potatoes
Coffee cake or muffins
Oatmeal & cold cereal

Lunch/Dinner years past

Usually sandwiches or left overs from the night before with some fruit. Usually watermelon. Most of the children don't eat leftovers.

Supper

Tacos/Nacho supreme
Speg w/ garlic bread & salad
Hamburgers w/ beans or salad and chips
Sloppy joes w/ chips, raw veggies, watermelon
Hot dogs, beans, salad and applesauce.

If we had enough corn in the garden we would do corn on the cob.
Drinks at our house are milk w/ breakfast, water and sometimes gaterade or lemonade if it's really hot out, like this week.

Most of these children don't eat veggies so it's always a challenge to get them to eat a meal with them. I know most people would say tough luck but I have to live with these children for a week and crabby hungry children don't make a house fun. I do expect them to try it if they don't like it.

As far as quantities.....
Taco's-5lbs of hamburger & 4 large cans of refried beans
Speg-3lbs of meat, 2.5 of pasta, lots of sauce, 24-36 slices of garlic bread
Hamburgers-8lbs of meat=roughly 32 burgers and will have about 5? left over, #10 can of pork-n-beans, 2 heads of lettuce
Sloppy joes-6lbs of meat, I make my own sauce with ketchup, bbq & mustard, 2 bags of chips, some carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc veggies with ranch dressing and 1 watermelon.
Hot dogs-will cook up 36 hot dogs w/ some left over to put in the beans, #10 can of pork-n-beans, 2 heads of lettuce, #10 can of applesauce.

Pancakes are made from scratch, french toast is usually texas toast bought at the bread store w/ 24 eggs?, eggs & potatoes=36-40 eggs w/ 5lbs of potatoes, coffee cake is made in my huge pan-no idea what size, and cereal is what ever is cheap not sure how much we go thru. Usually buy too much and have extra.

Yes the meat is a big expense but its the only time we do this much meat. I do doctor up the pork-n-beans. I have no idea what the expense is either. Just this past week I was able to get ground beef 80% at $1.69 a lb which was a huge savings for me. Plus they had grapes for .89 cents a lb. They have a popsicle snack in the afternoon at 3pm. Our main meal this year will be at lunch/dinner time. Then we will have sandwiches about 4:30pm each night to be out the door at 5:30ish.

At night anyone older than 14 stays up to have a malt or shake with us. This is our time to spend with our older nieces. We have a fun time with them. We usually go through a bucket of ice cream a night with them but it's worth it.

These meals are not set in stone either. This is usually what we have. The weather is usually hot so we do easy meals. I also have a 2nd stove in our barn so I can cook outside when it's hot.

Let me know if you want more info.

Blessings!

Michele
Crew mom to 11 plus 6
 

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You know, that doesn't sound that hard at all! I guess I am just learning that once you start cooking in large amounts, then adding a few more isn't an issue. :)
And how sweet of you to take them all on for VBS! :)
Now, talk to me about laundry! LOLOLOL
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Laundry for our crew or our crew plus 6? :)

Actually my husband blessed me around my birthday with a new set. My old extra large capacity gave out last Nov. I have a friend, who has adopted 19 children (only had 17 at the time), that told me about her washer & dryer. She told me she could do so much laundry, 10+ pairs of jean, lots of towels, etc.

We checked around and found it close by. It's GE Harmony. I was able to put my load that died in my old washer into my new washer and still had room to put more. I do about 1/2 the amount of loads I did with my old washer. My husband told me he was tired of me being in the laundry room so much. Now on a bad week it takes about a day and some of the next to do all my laundry. Its a lot of laundry. Plus I use less laundry soap. I've been very very impressed with the whole unit. We did buy the matching dryer also.

Anything else? :)

Michele
Crew mom to 11
 

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Michele,
I do laundry daily due to using cloth diapers and only having so many. I may invest in more as we have more funds to cut back. But aside from diapers, I wash a least one or two loads a day. The washing and drying are the easy part for me. The folding and putting away. My eye is twitching thinking about it! LOL I just do not have a system. Let me rephrase that......I have lots of systems, none that are currently working. That includes folding and putting away laundry, organizing my new kitchen & pantry and and and and....... LOL
I am a self professed neat freak and I am constantly working to keep things straight. The problem is, it doesn't remotely stay that way after 10 minutes. I have come to the realization that the systems of cleaning and organizing I have in place are not working! If they were then dishes would go back in the same spot. LOL
My biggest problem at the moment........getting frustrated with the kids not doing a chore to MY level of clean and then just doing it myself. That is MY issue and I need to let it go, but I don't know how!
And here I sit.........waiting for you wisdom! LOL
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Discussion Starter #5
LOL, Ok Michele.....

Let's start with the basics :)

What are the ages of your children?

What are their chores?

At some point in order to keep your house running, not sure that is the word I'm thinking here, and have your children help you need to let go of some of your standards. Yes in our house there is a certain standard for each job. We have 2 types of cleaning in our house. This lets the children know what is expected of them. We have child clean and we have mommy clean. We are possibly working on a 3rd right now of house selling clean.

Child clean is basically a quick clean of the house. Mommy clean means what mom would do. We usually do a mommy clean once a week. During the week we keep it looking nice. Mommy clean we get down and get it completely done. Its probably confusing here but my children know what I expect. Kid clean, at times, means just get the floor picked up with their toys. Mommy clean would mean pick up, sweep and/or mop.

As far as chores, the children get a chore and stay on it for awhile. They need to master it. My 3rd oldest boy is on dishes. There is some things I expect to be done. Until he gets it done my way, meaning getting all the dishes done each meal and wiping down counter too, for a whole week straight he will stay on that job. They can master a job in a day but asking them to keep the job for a week is a lot harder. They usually don't master it the first week they have it. So it takes a few months before they finally get it. Then we move the next youngest person up the ladder on dishes and the rest change jobs.

Here is what it looks like right now......

15yr old, who just got off of dishes, cleans high chair
14yr old dishes
12yr old empties dishwasher and dry's dishes in sink & puts away
Twin 10yr olds clear table and put food away & wipe down one counter & sweep kitchen floor
8yr old clears off 1/2 dining room table, wipes it down & sweeps under table
6yr old clears off 1/2 dining room table, wipes it down & sweeps under table
4yr old doesn't do much at the moment

Now they are not perfect in getting it all done. They do need reminders especially when their cousins are here :) Usually their cousins help out. All the children clear their plate and either put it in the dishwasher right away or left of the sink.

As far as the house goes..... I'm trying something new in having them buddy up with a younger child and take on cleaning a room. They each have a different room each week. They either claim the room or I assign the room. Depends on what is going on. They are responsible for cleaning their bedrooms, bringing down their dirty laundry and putting away their clean laundry. My husband would like to put all the clothes in a family closet in the laundry room but our laundry room isn't big enough. That way the clothes go from dryer to being put away right away. Hanging up dress's, dress clothes, would be done right away.

I do the laundry as that is one area that I haven't let go of yet. I'm very picky on how our clothes look. I don't like wrinkly clothes one bit. Drives me nuts! Plus that way I can always weed out clothes that the children are not ready to give up yet and need to give up. I do let them fold when I'm busy and can't get to it right away. The clothes usually don't end up where they should be.

Anything else? Somewhere I missed?

Michele
 

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Michelle - Do you use the MOTH system - I seem to recall that you do? If your house is not staying as clean as you like, you might need to do some schedule tweaking. That is usually what it takes around here, anyway.

My standard of clean has not suffered. While my house is almost never spotless - it is always 5 minutes away from company clean. One thing that has helped is making a step by step list for each job that the children can work from. The lists get put in page protectors and hang behind the doors of each room. The key is to be consistent in checking. A job not checked will become a job not done. I also reward effort frequently.

Is it ok that I posted? My name is not Michelle....boo hoo
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Our name isn't Michelle either, its Michele. LOL
I don't do the MOTH. I tried and to be honest it was just very overwhelming for me. And your brought up a very good point, checking up on the jobs assigned. If I am in the middle of cooking and they come to tell me their done, I don't check. I need to. When I find it a mess later its past the point of saying, Hey this isnt right!!! So perfect point! And I think the detailed list of how it is cleaned is another thing I need to do. Thanks Rocky!

Michele,
I think the biggest problem is letting go of my level of clean like you said. I know its my problem and thats why I don't get on to the kids that much. It is something I need to get over. When you have kids, it can not be spotless 24/7.
My kids are 15 DS, 9 DD, 6 DD, 1 1/2 FD and 5 month old DS. So it's basically the oldest 3 whom help me. Though our foster daughter all of 1 and 1/2 is throwing things in the trash and stuff now, trying to be a big girl. It's cute! :)
Today we assigned one chore as I don't want to throw them to the wolves. I figured one chore then once , like you said, it is mastered then we move on. So here is what I did.....15 DS cleans the kids bathroom - he is about to go back to school (my only public schooled child) and splits his time here and his fathers house, so this chore was one I knew did not need to be done daily, but every other day......9 DD she picked folding the laundry - PRAISE THE LORD! LOL.....6DD choose to clean the dinner table off after meals. They already had to the chore of making their beds first thing, then 15 DS makes 6 bottles for the baby a day, 9 DD unloads DW and 6 DD brings in the dirty clothes to the laundry room from around the house. Those chores they have done for awhile and do it with some prodding, but not much now. I let them choose their next chores so there would not be the whole whining that I ask them to do a icky job. I figured any help would be helpful at this point! LOL
Now can you come to my house and get my cabinets in order??? LOL I should post pictures, it is such an unorganized mess!
God Bless,
Michele
 

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yes,
can you send me some of your neatness abilities???????? I am a messy. There I said it. I don't really know why either. I mean no one else is in my family and I was raised like this, so what is my problem?????
Oh well I keep saying that I am going to get rid of it all except the bare basics and that's it.
I have MOTH, and the Chore book too-still need to read it and get the zones assigned.
But I think part of my problem is that I am really tired this pregnancy. Then it gives the boys "free time", or should we say mess time. I just need a swift kick in the pants.
Oh well off to do our reading lesson.
Blessings,
Debi
 

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If the chore does not pass inspection, I don't feed them and the TV stays off until the chore is done properly. Who knew how much they loved getting their meals on time?

Yesterday I came home to zilch chores done for the day. Their excuse was that it was too hot (I can't afford the electric bill if we run the A/C). So, being the accomodating and empathetic mama that I am, I got them up at 6 this morning and showed them how much cooler it is to pull weeds before the sun comes up. Only they whined full blast about the mosquitoes....I just can't win, can I?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Michele,

Yes I find it odd that there is THAT many views no one else has said a word :)
It sounds like you have got the idea and yes letting go of high expectations is the hardest. It takes time. I finally gave up after I was laid up after my hysterectomy. I was down for so long I didn't have much say in my house. My dh isn't a neat freak either. Take baby steps....

As far as cabinets.... LOL what are you thinking as being organized??? What cabinets are you talking about? Kitchen, bathroom, laundry room? Let us know what we can do to help out in that area. If you were closer I would come and help!! It's always fun to do someone elses house than your own and plus company seems to make the time go faster and more gets done. Well I should say sometimes, not always. As my friend says women needs to get in 10,000 words a day and we would probably do more of that than anything else :)


Rocky,

You are welcome to post here even if your name isn't Michele :) If things were not so busy right now I probably could keep it company clean and usually the downstairs is as that is where we pick up/clean up the most. The upstairs/bedrooms is usually the messiest as I'm not normally up there checking their rooms daily unless I'm opening/closing windows or directing fans. So that part of the house suffers more.

Debi,

As soon as neatness gets here I'll send it your way next :)
I do have MOTH but haven't had time to read it all the way through and implement it. Yes during pregnancy you can be tired. I tried taking a short cat nap during nap time with my children. It helped. When are you due? Both my sister and my mom are neat freaks. I will be one eventually.

Take care ladies!

Michele
Crew mom to 11 plus 6 till Wed pm.
 

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I'd give advice but your systems seem to be better than mine. So I am just here to observe.

sara
 

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Just watching, learning and trying to see if I can even contribute anything that would be helpful.
Be happy some arent posting. They must be takeing a break from the nastiest. :baby04:
 

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Managers of Their Home or MOTH
"Universally, homeschooling moms face a daunting task as they fit school into already busy days. In this book, Managers of Their Homes, which comes with a unique hands-on Scheduling Kit, Teri Maxwell shares practical, proven time-management methods. As a homeschooling mom since 1985 with eight children, the Lord has taught Teri these simple, but workable solutions to the difficulty homeschooling moms have of "getting it ALL done." It doesn't matter whether you have one child or twelve, this book will help you to plan your daily schedule." This is just the beginning paragraph on what this book it all about. www.titus2.com
Blessings,
Debi
 

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I will post more after the kiddo's are in bed, but for right now.......my kitchen cabinets are a MESS. You know...pans should be by the stove but aren't cause there isn't enough room and the mess goes on.
DH suggested we hire an organizational specialist to come help me if I feel like I'm overwhelmed. I dunno. Kinda feel stupid for not knowing how to do this!!!
God Bless,
Michele
 

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MOTH is also used successfully by women whose children attend Public School, people who run homebased businesses, etc. It is just a way of looking at your life and figuring out what you need to do, what you want to do, and how to fit it all in.

After years of using that system, I am still amazed at how easy it is to keep my house clean, laundry caught up, the garden done, the schooling on schedule, etc. It really did change my life. And NO, I do not get a kickback, LOL.
 

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Rocky,
Doesn't all those colored little slips of paper make your hinney tingle or eye ball twitch? Or is that just me? LOL
And to be honest it wasn't the DOING of the schedule that overwhelmed me, but the MAKING of it that terrified me.
God Bless,
Michele
 

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All those little colored slips never came out of the plastic bag! It gave me the willies just thinking about it.

After making all the lists the book recomends, I sat down at the computer and made a spreadsheet. I filled in each block right on the computer, in pretty colors, with Bible verses, and pictures for the little ones that can't read. I printed it out (I think that first one took 8 peices of paper that I had to tape together) and got it laminated at the school supply store. My "paper trail" consists of one large schedule hanging on the kitchen wall, and one peice of paper in each room that tells how to clean it.

If I remember right, she recommended writing "cleaning" on the master schedule and then having ANOTHER piece of paper that said Monday - floors, Tuesday bathroom, etc. Here is my 9:30 time square on the spreadsheet schedule:

M-water plants/dust
T-fold socks
W-Make menus/shop lists
TH-Gather school materials for next week
F-Record grades

Thursday actually says Materials - but I was trying to explain better. If an activity takes less than the half hour, I get to check HT. :D

I think she also recommended 15 minute increments and that gave me a headache! I do half hours, at the least. If something does not take that long, I just put two things in the slot. If something takes an hour, I remove the outline of that segment so I have one large block - it looks neater. My schedule is pretty!

The most important things to remember about MOTH are:

It is a schedule - not a slave driver. IT is supposed to work for YOU, not the other way around.

If you don't get to something today, that is OK. Since the living room gets vacuumed twice a day, if I miss once - it doesn't show and I don't stress. Think of a garden....if you weed it ever day, and have to miss a day, the weeds don't pile up to an overwhelming amount. But if you only weed when company is coming, you dread it and it seems insurmountable.

:shrug: works for us!
 
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