What an honor to be able to share an excerpt of my book with the Not Alone audience.
You can find it here!
|Our look for this week! Super cute and girly.|
One of the easiest decisions I made was to give each child a day of the week. If it is their assigned day then they get to make special choices, they get to serve snacks and meals to the other kids (one of their favorite things to do), and they get to be the line leader when it is time to go. This completely eliminated arguing over who's turn it was to do something special and fighting over every single time there was a choice to be made.
Now they all ask, "Who's day is it?" And problem solved! With five kids we did the weekdays and my husband and I got to make choices or it was a free-for-all on the weekends, but now we have seven kids to fill seven days a week!
Lining up to go out the door for school can be chaotic when you have tired kids. So to eliminate the pushing and shoving I created line up spots that give each kid their own bubble space. I started after the door mat so I have the space to unlock the door before everyone piles out. The rule is that if it is their special helper day as mentioned above, then they get to be the line leader that day. The rest of the spots are free choice. When the kids are ready with their shoes, coat, and backpack they get to go line up and I know they are ready to go. They love it and it has worked so well! This is one of my favorite ways we control the unneeded chaos. No more crowding each other, knocking each other over, there is a perfect amount of bubble space marked with painters tape on the floor.
|Our style for the week!|
|This was our main attraction. I am all about the sit down activities with a big group of kids. Granted 7 of them were mine. :) Aprons over the chairs, and each child had their own set up ready to go. When it was time to get settled in their spot I let them choose six colors of acrylic paint to put on their pallet. We did this activity first and let them dry on the counter so they were dry when it was time to go. I did forget to put down napkins for drying their brushes when they rinsed them.|
|I spent the day before making over 20 of these cups. So one large box of each jello color was a perfect amount. It took about 90 minutes for each layer to solidify so I could add the next one. I had a ladle that was about a 1/4 of a cup and it worked well. We didn't do the white whipped cream layer in between as you often see because several of my kids are dairy free so I was happy this turned out just as pretty! |
|I put together these buckets to help people know where to line up for food. I made signs to change out for every meal. The signs had scripture, quotes, thoughts, all about prayer. Unfortunately, it rained after the first breakfast and well, I didn't laminate my signs. :) I was able to use them though for the last meal after church on Sunday, once the sun shined through. :) |
These five gallon buckets were easy to put together. Thankfully my dad provided the buckets and filled them with dirt he had on at his house. I got fabric and tied it around them. The signs were stapled into the sticks. The ground was too hard to put the signs into anyway and we were able to move the buckets around as we needed. :)
Ultimately, if the lines were long, I wanted to provide something for them to read and ponder while they waited.
|A picture I happened to get of some random kids playing down the beach. |
I love how it turned out.
|Waiting for the event to start. :)|
Each of the kids got a bandanna, a hat, and a train whistle to take home.
We had lots of finger foods in train cars that went all the way around the table.
I have been storing awards, important papers and art work in all of the wrong places; the top of the fridge, junk drawers, cupboards, and even in the garage.
Today, after months of this project sitting half done, I finally finished all of the tubs for each of my kids. I wrote signs with their names on the outside of the box and each kid and color coordinated as best as I could! :)
|Two Pink, Purple, Blue and Green.|
I am always a little bummed when I can't find 5 different colors! :)
|I bought several boxes of assorted colors and pulled all the yellows together, blues together, etc...|
|BEFORE: Wow, that was long! And all natural. |
I think I was 12 the last time I had my own hair color. :)
|The kids taking one last look off the front porch of our cabin, before we head home.|
|Sitting in the sun with Robert snuggling in my arms. |
Oh it felt so good!
|Our amazing view.|
|Walking down to the lake|