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**Larger Than Life Families**

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Love the thread.

I am from a large family.(6 kids) Been the oldest and 21 years between the youngest and I.

I found that my mom could have showed me more then she did. She never showed me how to cook or do laundry. I did help with the younger kiddos. I just made sure they where not crying and hurting themselves.

I just made sure I was up first and dressed before anyone esle. ( one bathroom) :o


When we got home from school everything was done, we only had to do dishes after dinner and that was like a war zone. "I had no idea what she did to keep us going." :o

I do remember we had a lot of pasta.


So the day I moved out it was like a train hit me. :0327: I had no idea what it took to run a home. Well I have learnt a lot and I am still learning.

I have only one child dd 9 ( wish I had a house full of kiddos ) and I have been on a mission to make sure she knows what it takes to be part of a family unit. That we all do things for each other because we love each other. Cooking together, cleaning together and doing the garden together.

That means more time for play as a family. :darlenedance:


I think the most important thing to do in a large family is to let each child have alone time with Mom or Dad, they love that. :wub: Make a date with each child even if it is a walk down the road together. When one is sharing a room with 3 other sisters, alone time is important!!


Edited by Mel
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Mel, Having one on one time with your children when there are many, is a very important subject to discuss. I'd like to hear what others are doing as well to address this challenge.


Here's some of what I am doing. First of all, I don't send them off on that School Bus. The first year that the girls were here and still foster children, I did send them to school due to many factors. It was very challenging to spend any time with them at all during the week. They had to get on that bus so early that I had to put them to bed early and then let them sleep until just enough time to get ready for school. They were home and awake about 4 hours or so in the afternoon and that was filled with bath time, supper time and homework. It was a pain in the patooty.


So, my first insurance that I have time to spend with each and every one of my children individually, is to home educate. It works really well for us.


We also do special outings with just one child on a rotating basis. We also chat and visit while we are doing chores together. I have a pond (fairly small) that takes 8 laps to make a mile. So, we also take "Walk and Talks", one lap per child and then one altogether. Good for exercise and heart to heart talks. Also, we read together. My goal is to read with each child every day, even the older ones who are reading to me. We sit close to each other and share the moment together.


When it is a child's turn in the kitchen, I hang out with them. I am busy doing the stuff that they don't do, refilling canisters, straightening my spices, etc... The whole time we're both busy and productive but they are telling me a new joke or experience. That way, the time passes quickly and we've shared another few moments.


I also cut all of their hair (the boys ) and braid the girls. They once again then have my undivided attention. When you start working on someone's 'head' they can really start talking! :) This is when I often find out their plans for the future or get asked some pretty deep questions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This weekend as my family was working together I thought of this thread.


If your family suddenly grows for whatever reason (there are many possibilities), routines are lifesavers as well as tremendous time savers!


Routines can be simple or more complicated according to age and ability.


Routines are things you always do at basically the same time every day.


Routines are things you do that you don't have to 'think' about or plan or discuss...ONCE they have been established.


A good example would be brushing your teeth. How many of us really have to schedule that in? Hopefully not many! :D


It's a wonderful thing for the other people you live with to KNOW in advance what is expected without you having to constantly TELL them.



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I have to say that I am fascinated by this thread. Growing up, it was my sister and I, but mom and dad each came from families with 4 kids and a 10 year span from oldest to youngest.


We were taught at a very early age to help - from folding laundry to sweeping to whatever mama was doing in a child version.


As we grew, we did more and more running of the house - laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. I remember my mama being able to work outside the home during summers when I was a teenager because my sister and I did such a good job. One day she called at 1 pm and told us she would be bringing work folks to dinner. We raced around like maniacs. Dad showed up 30 minutes before the company did. He did a walk-through and saw that he only needed to vacuum. :)


Ironically, DH's mom did EVERYTHING for him. I'm still working on him to clean up after himself. Moms - if you do NOTHING for your child, make them self-sufficient! This teaches respect for work, respect for others and that everyone makes up a home!

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Hi, New here, well, newly registered... I've been a lurker for 2.5 years.

This thread made me register. I finally found something I could offer experience at.

We are a larger than life family, or a mega-family, etc.

We have adopted over 18 children total... not all are at home, some have been offering grandbabies to the mix.

Anyway, I immediately clicked on this thread wondering if there would be good ideas at prepping when you are constantly feeding a ton of people, it is that much harder to store food, garden enough to preserve for a year, etc.


Glad to be here,

Amanda in IA. First time poster.

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:woohoo: Now THAT is what I call a LARGER than LIFE family!!


I'm sooo glad that you joined and posted! :welcome4:


One thing that I'm learning more and more to do, is streamline, I've mentioned this some other places. Instead of stocking countless food items, I'm stocking ingredients that can be turned into countless recipes. We've talked so much about variety, and I understand that we don't want to face food fatigue. But, I'm realizing you can have a LOT of variety with some basic food/pantry items.


What are the ages of your children Mommaplus?


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Now there is a BIG family!


You should start with basics, grain, beans, milk, sugar, salt, spices and add dried veggies. I buy dried onions in 6 gallon buckets, we use a lot. Same for potato pearls and other dried things. When you store your grains, skip the buckets and go for 55gal drums. You can put 375# of wheat in one drum. 400# of sugar goes in a drum. Get a big grain mill. I think a greenhouse is in order for sure!


It is doable, if you have the funds for it. Having lots of helpers to do the work makes a difference too.

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Lots of helpers is definitely one of the advantages of a Larger Than Life Family.


Chores can get rotated. Our method is, once you 'master' a chore, then it is passed on to someone else. That encourages them to do the job well! :D


Recently we passed on the unloading and loading of the dishwasher from my older two boys...they are thrilled!! ;) The middle three are excited to be doing the 'new' chore and feel all grown up about it. Works for me!!

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Lots of helpers is definitely one of the advantages of a Larger Than Life Family.


Chores can get rotated. Our method is, once you 'master' a chore, then it is passed on to someone else. That encourages them to do the job well! :D


Recently we passed on the unloading and loading of the dishwasher from my older two boys...they are thrilled!! ;) The middle three are excited to be doing the 'new' chore and feel all grown up about it. Works for me!!


That sounds like a neat plan, Stephanie, but what happens when you run out of kids?




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Hi, my children are 1 to 20, and my oldest has made me a grandma :)

Enjoying the thread here.


We stock food because we have to, and we buy in bulk. Once they "master" a chore, they can "teach" it to someone younger. We mostly just rotate chores now, but as my big ones are leaving, I definitely am noticing that I didn't get the chores passed down... my oops! And one we have been working on for the past month or so... (Sent off #4 just recently, some returning to college, others workforce).


Sorry, I'm pretty busy. We homeschool and so have gotte back into school this last week and didn't remember ot check the boards.


Hope to be reading more. I want to thank all of you veterans here on the board for the help you have given all of us as I used stocking and prepping lists from here. I'm no where near "done" or even "ready" but I am more knowledgeable.







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  • 4 weeks later...

I was thinking about this thread last night at Sonic.


This is a very rare thing for me to do, but on the way home from church I spontaneously pulled in to treat the children. They were thrilled, naturally. :wub:


So, I order 7 burgers and 7 green apple slushes and one diet cherry limeade for me, seemed easy enough. :)


The fellow at the window says as I am paying, "If you're going to have a group order like this you can call ahead so we'll have it ready."


I said..."This isn't a group, this is my family."


He looked at the van and back at me. I said, "These are all my children." He smiled politely! :D


Once at our old house, I had someone stop to inquire about the day care I was running! :lol:



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LOL Stephanie I can tell you all about teenage boys I had three of them and you are right they have hollow legs. Some of my meals...


bean burritos- home made flour tortillas and home made refried beans.

shepherd pie- little meat lots of green beans and lots of cream taters on top

chili - lots of beans - served cheesey corn muffins, or cheese toast, with oranges and cookies

beanie-weenies - lots of beans, little ground beef and a pack of chicken dogs.

potato soup - lots of chunks, throw in some ham and cheese, corn muffins lots of corn muffins

veggie soup - would buy neck bones and throw in the veggies for flavor and a little meat.

waffles and more waffles and even more waffles. I had a large waffle iron that would make 4 squares they would eat 3-4 of those each (12-16 squares)


biscuits and gravy - 1/2 pound of sausage could feed us all especially if I served hashbrowns with this.

beef noodle casserole.- 1# ground beef 2 packages of egg noodles, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and 2-28oz cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups cheese mix 1 cup in and top with the other cup. Serve with corn and green salad and bread sticks.


Keep muffins made as snacks, cinnamon rolls are good for snacks also. I use the angel biscuit recipe for cinnamon rolls just roll it out and spread a thin layer of butter then top with cinnamon and sugar roll, slice and bake. top with cream cheese or powder sugar icing.


make your own trail mix - 1 bag pretzels, 1 bag gold fish (I would add DG brand cheez-its), 1 jar peanuts, 1 bag plain m&ms, 1 cup raisins, 1 box chex cereal


PASTA- lots of pasta, my guys "snacked" on a box of pasta, can of cream of chicken and a box of chopped broccoli. Cook pasta and broccoli, drain stir in 1 can of cream of chicken soup and serve. Pasta is cheap.


Rice, we used to go through 10 lbs of rice a week, maybe that is why I don't care for it now. I would cook 3 cups of rice, shred 2 chicken leg quarters and add a can of cream of mushroom soup. I would also add a bag of chopped broccoli. Never had left overs.


Mac& Cheese, tuna and peas fill them up also. Especially if it is homemade mac & cheese. I don't know why but home made stayed with the boys longer than those boxes of store bought.


This is when I started baking bread they loved cinnamon toast or french toast. I went through 10-15 # of flour a week between muffins, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, rolls and bread. The guys could eat 2 homemade loaves of bread a day in addition to rolls and muffins.


During this time we home schooled so I was cooking 3 meals a day. My budget was $80 a week. I bought the large cans (#10 size cans) of veggies, mayo, ketchup, and fruit. It was cheaper to buy those than a bunch of little cans. I could get at least 3 meals off a can. There are 5 in my family but the boys counted as 2 each so I was cooking for 8-10 depending on if all 3 of the boys went on an eating spree at one time. DS#1 went from wearing 16 slims with elastic in the waist to 28-32 jeans size 7 shoe to 9 1/2 shoe all with in 6 weeks the summer he was 13. DS#2 went from wearing 16 slims to wearing 32-30 jeans and from 9 to size 13 shoe when he was about that age. DS#3 I have no clue he just wore what fit with two older brothers he had a lot of hand-me downs. All 3 grew so fast during that growth spurt that the muscles in their legs did not have a chance to grow as fast as the bone so we suffered through lots of "growing pains" and wore a lot of knee braces because the muscles were pulling away from the bone.


As for your septic tank situation I would suggest that you start a gray water system. You can use the gray water to flush the toilets and water the garden. Disconnect your sinks, showers and washer (dishwasher too if you have one) from the sewage lines and let them go into another tank. It will cost some to get this system going but it will save you money in the long run especially if you are on city/county water and it will save your septic tank from over use.


You can always check into composting toilets also.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was just in the kitchen cooking like a wild woman and thought of this thread. Sure glad I came and pulled it up, I had missed that great post with so many suggestions. Thanks M23boys! :hug3:


The reason I thought about this thread -


If you are going to cook for large numbers of people, you need the right equipment and tools. They take up room a lot of room, and you may be crowded as it is, but you really need those BIG pots and pans.


For instance, cooking pasta. I have to cook two lbs at a time and that takes a lot of water and therefore one big stock pot!


Here's a small appliance that I got a while back and it's not that expensive. It's really helped to make my life easier, plus you can bake in it, fit a whole turkey in it, set your cake pans and bread pans right in it for an extra oven.




This looks pretty close to mine, there are several styles/brands.

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My parents gave me one like this for Christmas last year. Our oven is electric so this one saves on energy AND you can take it outside on the covered porch [not in the rain!!!!!] and save the house from heat!

But I can see how the extra oven would work so well in large families.

About storing your large sized bakeware, stockpots, etc.......WHERE do you find room? I have a log cabin with log rafters so I store enamelware/cast iron/oddments on the wall or overhead on the rafters. Note...cast iron is NOT stored over our heads! :frying pan: And some in the living room coffee table, loft, bedroom cabinet..... It's a tiny house! LOL

MtRider [finding I'm using larger pots and pans...even without our former guests here....]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Storage is a big problem for me too, although I don't live in a small cabin, this place is filled to over running with people and pets (remember one of those pets is Aslan). :D


I've had to get creative and do things differently. For instance, my kitchen cabinets have been decorated (at the top) with these baskets that I have collected over the years and a little fake greenery, very charming. ;)


So one day made them all scooch over and I used that space for a number of my small appliances (foodsaver, etc). I decided to keep these in their original boxes to help prevent dust way up there and now that part of my kitchen cabinets look like a Walmart shelf, not so charming. :huh:


I bought this very nice wooden book shelf at a yard sale, it sits in the room connected to my kitchen (which use to be a dining room) and holds the toaster, the tortilla press, the oven I showed you, the crockpot, etc... Definitely not going to be featured in a decorating magazine, but it freed me up some counter space and keeps my stuff accessible. My only problem with this method is that these things are exposed to the dust and etc... I wish it was a closed up cabinet, maybe I'll find one of those soon. :)

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