Showing posts with label Big Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Family. Show all posts

My Morning Routine, If You Can Call It That



One of my goals for this year has been to develop a better morning routine.

I have had visions in my head of getting up before the kids, accomplishing my devotions and a ton of writing work before they even get out of bed, then graciously closing my laptop, giving my darling children a kiss, and going upstairs to make everyone a picture-perfect breakfast.  I look adoringly at my troop while I drink a cup of hot coffee.

Yeah.  That hasn't been going so well.

This is closer to what our mornings actually look like.


6:30 - The sun starts shining through the window, and wakes me up, but I am still exhausted from the night before. This isn't even just Georgie's fault - the three youngest and the dog all conspire to wake me up at least two or three times a night.  I turn my head and try to go back to sleep.

6:40 - I hear little feet pounding around upstairs.  I roll out of bed and call up the stairs, telling the kids to go read books in their room for a while.  I stumble back to bed and fall asleep.

6:55 - More foot-pounding.  I ignore.

7:02 - A child starts to come downstairs.  I want fifteen more minutes of sleep.  I remind them to stay upstairs and try to squeeze in a few more minutes.

7:10 - I realize it is futile to resist and get up.  I brush my teeth and wash my face, put in my contacts.

7:20 - I go upstairs and make the kids breakfast, while reminding them they can't actually eat it until they make their beds and get dressed.  Breakfast used to always be cereal, but then I realized the kids where a little calmer if I didn't hype them up on simple sugars first thing in the morning, so now sometimes I make them oatmeal.  After I make them breakfast, I remind them to put their dishes in the dishwasher.  I go back downstairs to fix my makeup and get dressed.

7:40 - I finish my makeup and go back upstairs.  All the bowls are still on the table.  I remind the kids to put them away again, and then tell them to go play while I drink some much-needed coffee.

7:50 - I sit and read or type or listen to a podcast and try to get motivated to actually start the day.

8:30-9:00 - Georgie wakes up.  I make her a bottle and go downstairs for some snuggles.

9:30-10 - We actually start some sort of school.


Give or take 30 minute on all those time slots, and that's how our morning usually goes!

While I still think it would be wonderful if I could manage to get up before the kids and get some of my own stuff done before the day, our actual morning routine isn't completely terrible.  I would like to be more productive, but there is a part of me that truly loves this slow start to our day.  I'll probably continue to try to drag myself out of bed early, mainly because I would love to be able to squeeze in morning devotions on a regular basis, and I think that is something that truly would be worth making a change for.  As it is, I do my daily devotions at night, which is also fine, but ideally I'd like to refocus my day right from the start.

Do you have  morning routine?  Do you wake up before your kids?  HOW did you become disciplined enough to wake up before them (especially if you have early risers)?

Don't Be Like Bob

(Four of my blessings.)


"Ah, you're Callie.  I've heard of you.  The one thing I know about you is that you have a lot of kids...so I guess I also know that you're insane."

Hardy, har, har.

Believe it or not, someone who was also a fellow Christian, by the way - we'll call him, Bob - actually said this to me once.  I gave out an incredulous "ha!" and then sat there in silence.  This is where I wish sometimes that I was a little quicker on my feet.  What I wanted to say was, "Oh, nice to meet you, Bob.  I guess the one thing I know about you is that you haven't read Psalm 139, where it says children are a reward from the Lord, and a blessing.  Buh-less-ing!"

But of course, I didn't say that, because that would be rude (hint, hint, Bob).

The reason I bring this up is because I saw a sketch on Facebook yesterday that made me laugh (you can see it here).  A stick figure family with six children and one on the way have their mouths hanging open, while another stick figure man says "You know what causes that, right?" Underneath it says "This is Bob.  Bob does not recognize blessings.  Don't be like Bob."

Apparently there are a lot of Bobs out there.  

Of course I thought it was funny because of my own experiences, so I shared it.  And then I sat there and remembered the story I shared above.  And then I had a startling realization.

Sometimes, I am also a Bob.  Because sometimes, I don't recognize blessings.  

Isn't that what discontentment is, after all?  We forget to recognize and thank God for the blessings we have.  We think what we have isn't good enough, or isn't enough, period.  We want more...more excitement, more recognition, more experiences, more things (even good things) - and when we focus so much on what we're missing, we forget about the things that we have.  The things God has so graciously given us.  

Maybe we don't actively ridicule those blessings like my Bob did, we're just overlooking them or minimizing them.  Those are two different things of course, but in practice, isn't it the same thing?  We're an ungrateful people, and whether with derision, or indifference and greediness, we snub God's good gifts as spoiled children would.  And when I say "we", I mean me.  So when I say this next part, it's a challenge to me more than it's a challenge to you.

Don't be like Bob.


Large Family Q&A - 5 Kids Under 7



People are curious about large families.  Curious enough to ask awkward questions of strangers (I speak from experience).  I don't blame them - I am even curious about families that are bigger than mine!

With five kids, I suppose we officially fall into the "large family" category, so I had a little fun with it recently and did a video with some common questions people seem to have about big families.  Now you don't have to ask me awkward questions, because I answered them for you here!  Watch the video (or scroll down for the short answers!).





1. How many children do you have? 
Five!


2. What are their ages? 

7, 5, 3, 2, 4 months.


3. What is your family structure? 
They're all our biological children.


4. How old were you when you had your first baby? 

Twenty-two, and I'd recommend young motherhood when possible. I got all five of my babies in before I turned 30!


5. Were they all planned by you and your spouse, or do you leave it up to God? 

We had to try a bit for the first two, and the last three were surprises (sort-of).


6. What is your favorite reaction to telling someone how many children you have? 
My favorite reaction is when someone tells me how blessed I am, because that's how I feel!


7. How do you usually handle negative comments? 
Um...I don't really notice negative reactions most of the time. One of the benefits of being non-observant. Still looking for a good one-liner for the (thankfully very few) times we get a negative comment.


8. What does it cost to feed your large family? 

Well, our monthly grocery budget is currently $650, but most of the kids are pretty little and don't eat terribly much. It'll probably go up in the next few years.


9. Do you plan to have more children?  
I believe we're done, but hey, I'll never say never! Derek and I have talked about leaving adoption open as a possibility if the Lord calls us that way.


10. What is your family vehicle? 

Minivan, baby!


11. Do you ever eat out?  
Not very often, and if we do, it's usually fast food.


12. How much milk do you go through in a week? 
Two gallons? We probably could go through more, but we drink water more often than milk.


13. How many rolls of toilet paper do you go through each day? 
I don't even know!


14. What is your favorite go to meal? 
Burritos or some sort of noodles.


15. How do you spend one on one time with each of your children? 
I usually take one of them with me for the beginning-of-the-month grocery shopping trip, though we still need to get back into that since Georgie has been born. Homeschooling is also giving me some one-on-one time with the older kids while we do their work, and I totally count that. We bond over math.


16. How do you manage the clutter? 
We do pick-up times at designated times of the day, but let's just say I've become a lot more laid back about messes.


17. Do you homeschool, private school or public school? 
Homeschool!


18. How do you manage the chaos? 
By getting used to it?


19. What do you do IF you get free time? 
Blogging, dabbling in doing these videos, and reading.


20. What is your #1 tip for other large family moms?  

I don't know! I don't think I'm far enough in to give advice. Someone give me some tips!



If you have a large family, feel free to grab the questions and let me know where you answered so I can check it out!


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