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**Larger Than Life Families**


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Your definition of a large or XL family will likely vary from mine. But what happens when your family, as you know it suddenly grows? Are you ready for the adjustments and are you aware of the advantages. Both are big parts of big families.

 

Two years ago I felt I had a large family, we had adopted 4 boys and that seemed just about larger than life to me! But, then, we took a sibling group of three and our family grew from large to XL overnight. Now there were nine of us, we could no longer all fit in the minivan! And there were now little girls in the mix of 5 (count'em) I said 5 boys!! Egads, it was a big mess.

 

At MtRider's suggestion, I have started this thread where we can discuss what it takes to run a household with MANY personalities, quirks and issues. Everything from transportation to laundry to meal time has to be handled a little differently!

 

I'll post more later, but this is our spot to discuss **Larger Than Life Families**

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A "large" farmily (haha) requires at least 1,000 quart jars.....seriously. :mellow: A garden big enough to fill them. :huh: A sturdy place to put them when they are all full. :o

 

I think an outdoor cooking space is also a necessity when there is no AC, which we have never had. I set up a space using sawhorses and planks for counter space, the propane burners from underneath salvaged turkey deep fat fryers and an unfoldable shipping crate with a tarp tacked to it as a shield for the burners from the breezes. It is a very slick operation that is working well for us. We partially cool the done canners-full on the unlit burners because they cool faster. We take the canners inside when they are half cool and cool the jars on counters or on the floor when the counters are full. We put a full undone canner on as soon as the half-cool ones come off.

 

A side note: Amish country stores generally sell the cheapest jar lids I have ever seen except the one time in 30 years we found them at an auction. They sell them either by the case or in long paper sleeves (ours are in groups of 36 dozen).

 

On that note, I need to go get my deputy operators operating my operation. :D

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As many restaurants are going out of business this might be the time to acquire large stainless steel cooking pots and serving dishes. Even if you don't plan to have a HUGE crowd, the larger pots are needed for food processing for storage. Some can be used to scald poultry, for instance or to make pickles or hold beans for shelling or fruit that needs to be peeled.

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I'm just sitting here wondering how many canning jars Westie and Darlene have? :D I think I remember Darlene having a pallet delivered to her! :o As for me....errrrmmmm...evidently I'm lagging far behind in that department! :huh:

 

One thing that applies across the board to large families, whether they are combined households or just one momma and poppa with a buncha kiddos...team work. Everyone has to be involved, everyone does there part. You are not robbing your children of their carefree childhood by giving them some responsibility. Work is a good thing, it gives us purpose and a sense of belonging.

 

Children flourish withing routine and boundaries. They like knowing what is expected of them, just like we do.

 

For my family, the three most important bulk preps would be

 

1. Flour or Grain (if you grind)

 

2. Oats (in whatever form you prefer) aka Oatmeal

 

3. Popcorn (which could also be ground in a pinch)

 

 

The reason I choose these three is because of something my mom told me when she realized I was bound and determined to have a whole bunch of kiddos. She said "Learn to make biscuits, teach them to like oatmeal and stop buying processed snacks." She was right. Kids do NOT like to be hungry, they almost panic at times when they do get hungry, especially children who are use to eating regular. With those ingredients listed (along with yeast/milk/oils/honey) you can fill a lot of tummies.

 

Biscuits, Pancakes, Tortillas, Rolls, Oatmeal, oatmeal muffins, oatmeal cookies, and Popcorn.

 

Did you know that popcorn is consided a whole grain! You can buy Act II Popcorn at Sams for 17 dollars for a 50 lb bag. As I mentioned that popcorn can be ground for grits and cornmeal in a pinch as well.

 

Well, that's just a few thoughts. Who else has a Family Larger Than Life??

 

 

 

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I don't have a large family, but I can think to when I have guests or extended family visit.

 

First of all, space is an issue - one that I'm sure Mt_Rider is especially aware of right now! lol

 

If we cram the desk chairs and the piano bench around our dining table (and add the leaves), we could "fit" (and I use that word loosely) eight people. Truely, though, only six could eat in relative comfort. In that case, we sometimes seat children at the table and adults in the living room. We might also have to eat in shifts. That was common in the past. Mom and children prepared HUGE amounts of food for the threshing crew, which ate in one or two shifts. Following them, Mom would pull out one held-back pie and she and the children would eat the leavings - plus that one pie. Another option for feeding a crowd is to place boards over sawhorses. That was done for picnics of old. Of course, that will only work seasonally. Speaking of seasonally, we do have an outdoor table and chairs...that gives us another option for seating for meals.

 

Sleeping space is another issue we face with guests. Beds are made in "living" areas and need to be picked up during the day. We might all need to adjust our idea of what a space is "for."

 

Bathroom use is definately an issue. Just getting everyone's elimination needs taken care of is difficult when you have 12 people and 1 bathroom (been there, done that). You need a schedule for showering/bathing. Nevermind the impact on the septic system! :0327: Seriously, if it were long term, I'd probably have the men establish an outdoor area for urination. The ladies would need to be trained to put wet-only TP into the waste basket.

 

Chores. Many people make much work. An equitable system for chores is essential to keep peace.

 

I also recommend weekly "family" meetings to discuss everything. These meetings should be chaired by the household authority.

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You might want to set up a sawdust toilet in two or three locations if you have more people than the bathroom can handle. You can empty them into barrels, put in enough sawdust to absorb excess moisture and put a lid on tight. If you live in the country, you can dig a pit and put an outhouse over it.

 

Overwhelming the septic tank is not good.

 

You might also see about setting up a shower in the garage or an outbuilding and running the grey water to the lawn or garden.

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I have been a ranch cook, [out in the 'real' boonies], not just 20 miles from town. When you have a large amount of people to feed, run a tight ship, use a menu and use a lot of one pot meals using dried and stored items.

 

Use 1 staple per meal in large quantities. As beans...chili; .....potatoes =stew. When I fed hay and branding crews of 25 to 30 the workers expect taste, and large amounts of food.

Forget lettuce, most wont touch it. Cabbage slaw is ok, but not frequently.

 

Use potatoes for breakfast, 3 lasagna pans of hash browns, figure 3 eggs [med. w/half runny yokes] cooked in the oven for each. Toast or pancakes are ok, most guys prefer biscuits...and they are easier to make by the panful..figure 3 each as a miminum.

 

That much bacon is real expensive, actually small steaks, cube or chunks of round are easier. Ham is best. Use the oven, roasters when there is electricity. I used to fire the wood stove and start the coffee every morning at 3:30. Breakfast is at 5. The cook is busy all day. Supper is at 6pm. It would be rare to be out of the kitchen before 10pm., by the time you do setup for the next meal. Each meal needs meat, and potatoes, and bread. And lots of it!!

 

Ranch hands dislike rice, oatmeal, salads and anything slathered in mayo.

Huge pots of stew, chili, meatloaf, fried chicken, [think 16 fryers 'on the hoof'...so to speak, waiting for you in the hen house.] NO lamb, sheep or goat. Serve pie, and you can get away with a ho-hum meal. Figure 2 pieces of pie per person, out of a 6 slice pie pan. 8 pies a meal is about right.

 

Usually there is abundant beef on the ranch, and that is what men need when they are doing hard physical work. They do not want water or tea. Gallons of coffee and lemonade are customary. Carefully observe the amount of food left in the serving dishes. If all are empty, you are not serving enough food to them.

 

Just reduce the menu for large families. Most [or all] foods need to be from scratch, use 'wreck pans' for everyone to put the dirty dishes in as they leave the table. Use child labor,...it's free and you are feeding them anyway. Use a fairly structured routene, and hold the family and yourself to it. The more you have to potty, wash, feed, sleep and occasionally burp, the more structure you need. Especially in tight quarters. After all, they didn't call me sargent grandma for nothing!

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I don't have a large family. There are just three in my house.

 

But, I came from a home where my parents were always taking in people from the church or had foster kids living with us. The most we had in our house at one time (with one bathroom) was 8 people. This was for a period of nearly a year.

 

My mother used to have us stagger our shower times. Some of us took them at night, some took them in the morning. Everyone had chores. Everyone participated in laundry sorting, washing and folding. She managed the laundry by asking all of us to put our darks in the hampers on Monday, the lights on Tuesday, and each Wednesday, we were to strip our beds for sheet changing.

 

She rationed towels. In other words, we kept our towels on hooks in our rooms until towel wash day on Thursdays. She had hooks in the bathroom so each person had their own hand towel hung there. Everyone got a stack of washcloths for the week.

 

As far as food goes....my mother was the best gardener I have ever known. And she canned everything she grew. We had a lot of stews, soups, meatloaves and spaghetti --but she was great at making bread. She even made wonderful french loaves and these were for meatball subs or Italian grinder sandwiches that all of us loved.

 

We had a lot of oatmeal. She made millions of cookies all of the time. She mixed the milk half and half with powdered milk to stretch it and thought we didnt' know, LOL

 

My mother's policy was that no matter what you had for dinner, it could be made to feed one more if someone dropped in. She always somehow stretched things--like adding more veggies to the stew, or if it was steak and not enough, it became stir fry over noodles or something like that. We picked wild berries and she made pies and jam. Peanut butter and jam were big items on the menu for lunches.

 

In the summer, we almost always ate and cooked outside.

 

I don't remember any of it being difficult or that anyone felt deprived, not even when my dad was out of work for a while during this chaos. I remember being annoyed sometimes but mostly I remember the fun of suddenly having more than just my one brother.

 

In those days, I sewed all of my clothes and I did for the two girls living with us, too. (This got me off the hook for some household chores because it saved so much money--so of course I was delighted to do a lot of sewing! I even sewed church dresses for my mother with nice details and invisible zippers!)

 

I learned to get up early and be first in the bathroom and be all ready by the time everyone else was getting up and waiting in line for each other. My mother had a luggable loo in the basement for emergencies in case someone couldn't wait in the line long. (They all persisted in getting up late at the same time, though. I used to laugh at the lot of them)

 

I don't know how I'd manage a large group now-- The only crowd cooking I do these days is at reenactments. It took me years to be able to make meals for two or three, though. I was so used to helping mom. Seemed like it was hard to not cook for that many for a while, LOL

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Skagitgal, that must have been an amazing experience. You reminded me that I forgot BEANS!! How could I forget BEANS!! :D

 

We do eat a lot of them! Refried Beans out of Pintos (plan this tonight), White Chili out of Northern Beans, Ham and Navy Bean Soup, Red Beans and Rice, Lentil Stew, Black Beans Soup, Hoppin Johhn with Black Eyed Peas, I could go on and on. ;)

 

Judy, I don't think I remembered that your parent were foster parents, very cool! I love the towel idea!! I had not developed a system of keeping them separate. We'd throw them over the shower curtain to try to let them dry and then they were all mixed up. I'll be find a spot for some pegs this weekend! Thanks!!

 

CGA, another toilet system is high on my priorities. I've been looking into the possibilities, so far no decisions have been made. Overwhelming the septic is a big concern of mine. So, even though we might could install a mud room in the back of the garage with a toilet, that would still go right into the septic. Still researching.

 

HSMom, we often eat in shifts. If we're going to eat all together we use one of those small folding tables that the kids play games on or put together puzzles. Often the girls and I will sit there. But for the most part, it's just easier to divide and conquer! :D

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I don't have a larger than life family, but I come from a large family, and lived down the mountain from an XL family in Montana!

 

The family up the mountain from me had 8 children and counting. The Dad once told me that having 8 was easier than 3!! Why? Because the older children help with the younger. These were some of the NICEST children ever, and the older kids had a wonderful work ethic. Teens were well equiped to begin contributing to the household budget rather early in life. All worked in the family garden from day one.

 

All of the children were very active in church activities

 

This family also shared with neighbors from their garden! Mom Dee was not afraid to ask for help. When she had a newborn baby she asked me to help her milk goats. She networked with other home-school families.

 

Dee prepared for a large family in advance, by getting a degree in nursing.

 

I got tired managing 2 children, and so my big straw hat is off to big families!! God Bless you!!

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It is just my husband and me but we have some good friends that live in another state that have 8 children that come to stay with us regularly.

 

One of the things that really helps me when they come is to give each child a pint jar for their drinking glass. I write their names on the jars with a green sharpie (washes off ). Each child is responsible for their glass and always knows which one was theirs. All us adults had a quart jar with our name on it. 12 people in a small barn-like structure and no dishwasher there is no way I want to be washing glasses all the time because kids don't know which one is theirs! Obviously if the children are very small a glass jar is not a good idea.

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Wow, great suggestions. Altho I don't have XL family experience, SPACE is indeed at a premium here....even BEFORE we doubled in size. [624sqft of actual living space and a rodent-accessible garage/basement area underneath]

 

One of the things that I do is think vertical. I hang cast iron and enamelware pots/pans on the walls [heavy ones low....not above heads :frying pan: ] and since I've got log walls, it fits my "pioneer decorative". I hang twine vertically with clothespins and that becomes the home for mittens/gloves/hats of winter ...or ballcaps, etc of summer. Everyone must place their shoes in their designated SPOT! Some 'spots' are....not very attractive [next to the pellet stove, etc] but ....just KEEP them outta the narrow walkway thru the living room. By the door are lots of hooks for outdoor clothes like coats and overpants and coveralls. [i want a mud rooooooom!] In summer some footwear is outside but must be sheltered from the damaging sun, rain, and wind blowing them off the porch. :twister3:

 

In a pinch, I use good sturdy cardboard boxes, turned on their sides and stacked for 'emergency' shelving. These can be stacked on top of other furniture [the back of the desk, on top of bookshelves, or even the ledge formed between the headboard of a bed and the wall.] This can give needed space for personal items, clothing, .....and more BOOKS! LOL

 

Loaded totes stacked one on another form my 'night stand' right now. The dehydrator sits on the coffee table and "Sherman-the-Tank" [All American canner] sits in one compartment under the coffee table. Space behind living room chairs can be used to store bedding used for floor/couch sleepers. Or, I store my huge First Aid Totes/duffles in back of one and my BOB's [for each of us and dog and cat and....] in back of the other. Several colorful Kleenex boxes lined on the bathroom shelf give each person space for personal care items. [have NO drawers in that tiny room]

 

Long ago I completely eliminated the small round kitchen table/chairs. It just turned into a "cluttered pantry' anyway. So I designed and my dad built an island sort of cupboard and it's height is suitable for my short stature. :cheer: [Note: my kitchen is about as big as a large walk-in closet] I did design a whatchacallit...overhang for eating on 2 stools. But my milking-equipment basket sits under there as does a stack of canning jars used for milking. The Boy sits there to eat and I join him unless I physically can't sit on a stool at that time. [ow!] But otherwise, we adults scatter to chairs in the livingroom half of that area. Less than ideal but :shrug:

 

We've finally got some of the basic chores off of me and that is helping tremendously. Each family group [2 each] has their own room which helps with having a place to just go read a book and chill.

 

I always had large stock pots, etc. Now, we always use the XL cast iron fry pan. Wish I had an XL sink to go with it! My folks gave me one of those electric roaster ovens for Christmas and it has gotten a LOT of use. Less electric for one reason, but also there is often need of a second oven. And we can carry it outside and eliminate the heating up inside. Again...I wish for a large sink cuz washing that thing is difficult.

 

 

Sooooooo glad I was already economizing by home-scratch cooking and buying in buckets. The ONLY thing that made this sharing of households with our as yet nearly-destitute relatives possible on our already-stretched budget. [sIL initially scoffed and declared that she'd surely be 'allergic' to my homemade laundry soap but....she just made of point of watching me make it this week and wanted a copy of the recipe]

 

Septic....BTDT and had it pumped already. Not that it wasn't due already. Our doors and floors and everything gets more wear and tear too. It's....shocking how much things will wear out when there is a lot for 'traffic'.

 

 

How do you deal with things not getting put back where others are supposed to be able to FIND THEM??? I'm the drill sargent for that one. I have to be able to lay hands on what I need NOW! [pet peeve of mine] When our DD's were teens, the finger/toe nail clippers were TIED to a shelf ..... ;)

 

 

MtRider [scurrying off for my day....]

 

[edited to correct errors in my hastily written post ....sheeesh! ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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My experiences with XL families come from my childhood so have to do with children. There were 7 kids and 2 adults. We always had a job jar and once a week we would draw to see what our duties would be for the week. Jobs were basically--cooking--laundrey--dusting--floors--straightening and picking up--cleaning bathrooms-- and manager (who made sure everyone did their jobs, picked up slack) and got paid a little more. If the youngest one picked cooking, an older one would help. It pretty much worked out.

 

We also had a game that worked really well for a large group of young kids. It was called Sardines. One child would go hide and 6 or more of us would hide our eyes and count to whatever. Then we all set out separately to find the hidden one. When we did find them we would squeeze in wherever they were hidden as best we could (trying to be quiet)LOL When there was only one child still looking for the (sardines) they would be the next one to hide!

 

I also recall putting on skits for the adults since there were enough of us for an entire cast like Wizrd of Oz. If I think of more, Ill be back.

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I love all of these ideas! I wanted an XL family, but hubby had other ideas and "snipped" that idea in the bud (literally) after our second baby. :( Oh, well, maybe if I get five babies left on my doorstep somehow, I'll be able to put all these ideas into action. :D We didn't have a really big family when I was growing up -- three kids -- but when my mom and dad were both working, they had some good ideas for how to keep things running smoothly. My older sisters helped a lot with cooking, all three of us helped with cleaning up (chores were based on our abilities for our age), and my sisters always helped take care of me (I was a lot younger than they were). Each of us was responsible for keeping our room clean; my mom came into our rooms once a month, and Heaven forbid we left anything out that we didn't want her to get, because if it was on the floor it went in the trash! LOL We learned REALLY fast on that one.

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I knew a family with 10 children that lived in a 3bd/1 bath mobile home in a trailer court. They put all the girls in the biggest room with two of those bunks with a double on the bottom and single on top. The boys had the next size room with one of those bunks. Mom and Dad and current baby had the smallest room.

 

THe oldest helped with the younger. They each had three changes of clothes and did their own wash in the tub except for the babies. If something was brought into the house something same size had to leave. Buy a new shirt, give up an old one, etc.

 

They ate rice and beans nearly every meal. They did have a small garden.

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We are empty nesters now, and only have two grown children, but DH is the youngest of eight and we have done our share of family gatherings over the years, so I have a good supply of huge stock pots, mixing bowls and serving dishes.

 

They come in handy for canning projects, too. I can stew four chickens at a time when making chicken soup!!

 

I've given a lot of thought to managing the crowd if some of the family ended up here post SHTF.

 

For one thing, even if we still have electricity to power the hot water heater and well pump, it will be out of the question for everyone to have a full shower and hair washing every day if there are several folks here. The electric bill would go sky high and that would put an additional strain on the septic system.

 

Same concept with clothing. Other than socks and underpants, most clothing can be worn more than once or twice before laundering.

 

Before such a scenario, ( PSSSTTTTT!!!! - Stephanie!!!!! Over here!!! :wave: )if I still had boys at home, especially if I was homeschooling, I think I'd give them a summer project of constructing a latrine, just for fun. Boys like to dig holes and also like to pee outside, based on my recollection. Could come in handy!

 

 

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So many, many good thoughts and memories! I love this thread!! :wub:

 

I just wanted to comment about the teenage boys!! Two of my 7 children are teenage boys! <_<

 

I just wanted to verify that they are NEVER NEVER NEVER full and always hungry. My boys are lean and muscular, no fat whatsoever (I can't say the same of their Mom :rolleyes: ).

 

Case in point...my 13 year old (who is taller than me and wearing a size 13 shoe) just finished lunch about 15 minutes ago. He had two large salads and 4 nice pieces of deluxe pizza. He just came up to say, "Can we have some cookies now?". They eat hamburgers for snacks, plates of food to tide them over until meal time, it is amazing. Oh for their metabolism!! ;)

 

SOOOO....when you're figuring out portions/servings....keep in mind the appetite of the folks you're serving. A dozen lumberjacks vs a dozen toddlers vs a dozen middle aged women vs a dozen teenage boys....would change drastically what and how much you need to serve.

 

Another ADVANTAGE to having a Larger Than Life Family, I believe that the children aren't as prone to be spoiled. No one throw a tomato at me (unless I can keep it to slice up and eat). I am NOT calling your child spoiled. I was raised in the home with just one sister...I was spoiled. I spent most of my time reading and writing and thinking. Mom, didn't care, it kept me quiet and she took care of most all of the chores by herself. :blush:

 

In an XL family, everyone has to pull their weight, Momma just can't do it all (like my mom tended to do) and I think it is good character development! Earlier today one of the older boys went to work on a project outside. He automatically went and asked one of the little ones if they wanted to come be his helper. Little one was thrilled, naturally and big one was feeling mighty grown up as he was 'in charge'.

 

 

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Large family ideas.

 

I came from a family of just four kids. LOL "JUST"

When I was a fostermom I had 6 kids.

 

Here are some things I did to make things easier.

 

Each child had their own clothing basket. They lugged it to the laundry room, if they were old enough they did the laundry and folded it, and then they lugged it back to their room and put it away. Even the four year olds could put laundry away!

 

Each child was assigned a color. I had toothpastes, tshirts, towels, cups, all in thier color.

 

Each of the kids shared white socks. It is still the ONLY color I buy. We have a sock bin, and we match socks daily. No arguements. All the socks go in one load, and they get hot water and bleach. Luckily all my kids are in 'basically' the same size since they were little. There has been little variation in sock sizes, but they manage.

 

All the kids have chores. They have a chore chart and chores are rotated.

 

My kids (Now) are 11, 12, and 13. Each of them cook dinner, clean the kitchen, and mop their way out of the kitchen twice a week. I have Sunday dinner and breakfast.

 

The kids are helpers in the front yard and back yard. They take out the trash, they feed the animals, help with picking up, and do their own laundry.

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Before such a scenario, ( PSSSTTTTT!!!! - Stephanie!!!!! Over here!!! :wave: )if I still had boys at home, especially if I was homeschooling, I think I'd give them a summer project of constructing a latrine, just for fun. Boys like to dig holes and also like to pee outside, based on my recollection. Could come in handy!

lol I LOVE this idea!

 

In regards to food for teens vs middle-aged women vs lumberjacks vs ranchers....consider the event you are prepping for. If you're prepping for combining households due to an economic downturn, read no further. However, if you anticipate a big change in lifestyle that includes hard labor (gardening, digging, walking long distances, etc), please plan for hungrier mouths. For more info on stretching food, see this thread: http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=21484

 

 

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I haven't read all of this thread yet. I'm going to type this out then read the thread in leisure.

 

We have 8 kids, 4 grandchildren, and tons of nieces and nephews 15 years and under that are constantly at our house. I see that food stuff has been covered pretty well. Here's some other tips.

 

*For an extra table, or just a bigger table....

****Keep 2 sawhorses and 2 or 3 old doors. Put it together and cover with a table cloth.

****Buy one sheet of plywood, 8 ft long, and some 2x4s. Make a simple table. Sand and varnish if you like (we did). Benches...one sheet of thick plywood. Cut them up and divy them out. 2 long pieces for the top of the bench. 4 pieces cut into a trapezoid shape (triangle with the top point cut off). Attach to bench. Ours are all still standing and sturdy since 2001 and maybe hundreds of kids eating, drawing, gaming, schooling, even crawling on them.

 

*Laundry

***Get a line up somewhere for summer use. Even just one, to keep the swimsuits and used towels on.

****EVERYONE hangs out laundry. EVERYONE folds. EVERYONE puts away

***Use fabric softener in your washer; it will help clothes not be so stiff after hanging in the sun

***Run "wrinkle free" clothes in the dryer after hanging in the sun...just a few minutes will soften them up and get out the wrinkles

***Find buckets or laundry baskets or something and make a PERMANENT place for laundry separating, and train everyone to put things in the right basket.

***If people have items they need washed special, then they pay for the dry cleaning, or they handwash it. No room in a big family's day for specialty washing.

 

 

*Linens

***Never ever throw away a towel, hand towel, or washcloth. These can be recycled into smaller washcloths and handtowels, rags, dish cloths, layer together and zigzag to make bath mats and drying mats for dishes (much better than those drying racks that get so icky)

***Collect blankets. Again, too many uses for recycling, including diapers and window coverings for really cold/really hot days. And of course, the more people who need you, the more blankets you will need, especially without electricity

***Ditto with sleeping bags, both cheap and expensive.

***Collect sheets, even ones that are ugly or don't fit. Again, many many uses.

 

*Water down

***You might be careful of how much you use of shampoo and dishsoap and other liquids, but your kids and your visitors will not. So water everything down. This will help keep your resentment and frustration down when people just won't listen! If you've ever tried to figure out who used 2 inches of shampoo in the shower out of a dozen people in your house, you'll know what I mean.

 

*Office Supplies

***Especially with non-young chidren living in your home. HIDE THESE. Staples are pretty cheap. Till you don't have any more and no way to resupply. Pens belong to everyone....NOT. Find a safe place that only you are allowed to go (this is where Mt. Rider's old fashioned housekeeping keys will come in handy) and put away all offices and school supplies. Pop your matches, batteries, and other "valuables" of the kind in there. It's incredible how people will not think twice aobut using these things because they are so cheap to replace...even when they are not the ones replacing them.

Edited by Shandy
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Cornbread and syrup. If you have a crowd and they get hungry 'tween meals, bake up a huge pone of cornbread with the meal and leave the extra out with some syrup. Make 'em wash their own plate. Nice thing about the old woodstoves was that the oven would be hot anyhow and they always would bake a big pone of cornbread. I remember when I was a girl, there would always be a plate of cornbread on the table or stove with a dishtowel over it in most of the older folks' homes.

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Hot coffee or hot tea or hot liquids of almost any kind will create a "full" feeling that will last a little while. Helps to carry folks to the next meal.

 

DO NOT allow free access to your first aid kit!! Assign a "nurse". That will probably be you. No one else touches anything in there or applies anything to themselves or anyone else. I'm not kidding. Not even aspirin. Some folks pretend aches and pains they don't have, and tiny owies that need soap and water and nothing else gets swathed in bandages with way too much cream that isn't even needed.

 

First Aid Kit: Off limits!

 

Forget the paper plates. Unless you have no water, there are more than enough hands to wash up the dishes. Paper anything,,,even toilet paper,,,will be gone thru like Donald Trump is the head of the house. Why bother?

 

Keep candy on hand to keep spirits up, but store them with the batteries and hold the key. Consider spoiled rotten sisters-in-law who don't know how to say no to handfuls of sugar when they can't get their Pepsi or cigarette fix.

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I just saw the latrine idea!! Thanks Cricket! You're probably right, they'd like the whole idea! :D

 

One a more serious note...I wanted to repeat a concern that I have had for some time. I believe that we will see many more children in foster care, up for adoption, abandoned and left to fend for themselves as the pressure increases and most certainly if there is a serious crisis.

 

So, consider what you are willing to do and not do. You may not be a 'Larger Than Life Family' now, but who is to say what later may bring. I know Turtlemama was joking about 5 being dropped on her doorstep...but what if that became a reality? It might be a good idea to discuss such a thing now, before faced with the decision.

 

 

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by HSmom:

..if you anticipate a big change in lifestyle that includes hard labor (gardening, digging, walking long distances, etc), please plan for hungrier mouths. ..

 

Boy THAT'S for sure! I've been eating like the proverbial horse this summer but cuz my energy levels [had] been up and I was really active, I've actually dropped weight.

 

 

MtRider [ pass me the chocolate cake please! ]

 

...oops...didn't see that there was a page two yet.. ;)

 

I'll back up what Shandy said: "It's incredible how people will not think twice aobut using these things because they are so cheap to replace...even when they are not the ones replacing them."

 

And Stephanie....about kiddos being abandoned at a much higher rate when times get really tough.....that is something definitely on my mind. I know a couple right now planning to give up their expected soon twin girls. :( Due to their homeless situation despite his job.

 

OK, now I'll sign off.... :curtsey:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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