Monday, May 18, 2015

PODCAST: "Large Families Living in Small Houses", with Tom & Keri Lamar of A Happy Home Media

Bob and I were honored recently to be invited by Tom & Keri Lamar (homeschooling parents of 8), of A Happy Home Media, to do an interview together with them via podcast about how our family of 11 lives in an 1,100 square foot house. *smile* We had such a fun time as we laughed together, related together, shared great information and just generally brought mutual encouragement and vision. I hope you enjoy listening to the Lamars with Bob and I together as we talk about strategies for fitting into a smaller home, principles for getting it done beautifully, and what the value is in doing so. *smile*

Large Family House Cleaning - Getting it Done, & When To Do The Big Jobs

When I had a college roommate we would have a cleaning day where we got into our sweats, put on some upbeat swing dancing music and danced and sang our way through the whole house in one blow!  I enjoyed this plan this for many years.  In the next season of life, after I married Bob and we had our first 2 children, I had a cleaning time for about 30 minutes a day where I rotated through cleaning one area at a time:  the bathroom, the kitchen, etc.  But once we had our 3rd little one I no longer had that time even and needed to bump cleaning to Saturdays.  Plus I was trying to teach the children some cleaning skills which meant not being very productive by the end of our cleaning times myself.  *chuckle*  So over the years and as our family has continued to grow to 9 children so far I have created a new plan of attack for myself and new ways of thinking about it to get the house clean.  

I generally have small blocks of time in which to get the house clean - so how does a large family mother get it all done?  *smile*  Here are the specific questions I'll be addressing in this post:
  • Managing my time & utilizing a schedule
  • What do the blocks of cleaning time look like?
  • How do I get to the big, deep-cleaning jobs?
  • How do I keep up?
  • Learning to include the children
  • How much to expect from a child

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Wonderful Announcement From the Shupes!

We are so amazed and excited. *beam!* Baby Shupe #10 is on the way! One of these two outfits will be filled by a precious little person in January 2016.

I'll share with you our story over the past 4 1/2 years since we had our twin babies, and then I'll answer some common questions people usually have for us, 
"Will your other 9 children be as excited as you are?"

"Aren't you concerned about having a baby at age 44 (which I will before this baby will be born)?"

 "Aren't you concerned about the size of your 1,100 square-foot house and adding another person to it?"

"Isn't the thought of 'starting over' with a newborn overwhelming to you?"
"How will you handle sharing the special announcement...when others don't celebrate?"
I'll share with you the answers to these questions and about how we feel being blessed with our 10th baby...  *smile*

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Incentives & Rewards for Children's Behavior, Part 2 of 2

I strive to bring as much delight as I can into all of the children's character and behavior training.  So I look for the little things to praise for and try to jump at those with affirmation.  Now I am very aware that there is value in children doing things simply to develop good character; but we also do not think there is anything wrong in offering a tangible reward sometimes.  When daddy goes to work, he is rewarded for his effort by his paycheck.  Likewise it is also fine for children to experience rewards when they do good work or have personal successes. 

I've been asked many times for specific strategies for incentives and rewards with the children, so in Part 1 I presented to you 9 ideas which we implement in our home. In this Part 2 I would like to share with you our Points and Rewards System to be implemented when older siblings are babysitting younger ones.  *smile*

I'll share with you:
  • The general idea
  • The rules
  • Ideas for reward containers
  • My chart for keeping track

Monday, April 20, 2015

Choosing Thankfulness

Being thankful is a choice.  We may not always want to be thankful in a situation or circumstances (not thankful for difficulty, but thankful in it), but we can learn to be if we pursue it - and this will bless us deeply, as well as everyone around us...
Let's consider,
  • Does choosing thankfulness doom us to stay in the difficulty?
  • Why and how to choose thankfulness
  • Two examples from my life
  • Teaching our children to be thankful 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Favorite Recipe: Mexican Soup

** Makes 12 cups **
 This is one of our family's favorite dinners!  It's incredibly flavorful, and really good for you. (If you are doing Trim Healthy Mama, this is a "Fuel Pull" meal! *cheer!*) It's also really great re-heated later! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. *smile* 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Homeschooling: HOW We Do It: K-2, Part 3 of 3

Homeschooling kindergarten through second grade was probably where I've grown and changed the most in my homeschooling career of 11 years so far.  I've been asked about this many times specifically regarding kindergarten through second grade, so let's sit down together for coffee and I'll share with you:
  • My first strategy for homeschooling kindergarten
  • My current strategy for homeschooling kindergarten 
  • How I homeschool 1st grade 
  • How I homeschool 2nd grade
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