Monday, February 27, 2012

Large Family Logistics: The Weekly Schedule

In the spirit of the fantastic book, Large Family Logistics, I'm trying to get our family on a weekly routine.  Or maybe I should say that I'm trying to get myself on a weekly routine.  Lent is always a good time to build new habits, so it seems fitting to embark on this journey now.

Kim Brenneman offers the sage advice that mothers should adopt a rhythm of life not unlike that presented in the Little House on the Prairie books.  Sunday is the Lord's Day, and should be set aside for worship and family.  Her other divisions are Baking Day, Laundry Day, Town/Errands Day, Lawn Day, Office Day, and Cleaning Day.  So, while our normal day-to-day activities like cooking meals, changing diapers, and schooling the kids are maintained, each day has a particular focus.  It gives us a chance to take on one big thing at a time, and I see that as making so much sense as my own family becomes a "large family"!

So, here's my own weekly schedule:

Monday: Baking day
Tuesday: Laundry day
Wednesday: Office Day
Thursday: Errands Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Lawn Day
Sunday: The Lord's Day

Monday: Baking Day
I'm trying to get back into the habit of baking my own bread...from scratch...from flour I grind myself.  Yes.  It is a big job...but it is SO worth the effort!  The health benefits alone would convince me to do my best to make this work, but the taste difference is so amazing!  I always appreciate when effort = results pretty's a great motivator!

So, since today is Monday, I got the following things done:
  • made a 1/2 gallon of homemade yogurt, which is still setting up as I type
  • made a loaf of whole wheat bread and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.  We enjoyed half the cinnamon-raisin version as an afternoon snack, and my boys all said that it was the "best bread they'd ever had".  We've come a long way from the long, disgusted faces as they down a slice of fresh-ground wheat bread!  I can't wait to get my huge mixer so that I can make 6 loaves at a time...we go through a loaf in no time flat, and this is a task that ideally I'd do just once a week.
  • cooked pinto beans for homemade refried beans.  Boy B will not eat canned refried beans.  I love making bean burritos for Friday nights, and I was so thankful to discover that making my own beans results in a dinner that everyone can (and does) enjoy!  Once again, super nutritious and super easy!  I'm making a huge batch so that I can freeze a bunch.
Doing a happy, happy dance right now.  This is the first week in a really long time that I've been able to do these things!  Several things made it a success, so I'll share those with you here.

First of all, I got up early.  It helped that Baby Girl slept all night (finally, thank God!!!).  Hubby took the older three boys to Mass at 6:10 am and I got up at 6:20.  If I can get up when I have the house to myself (save sleeping Baby Girl and Mr. Energy), then my morning and my whole day just run more smoothly.  I was done with showering and prayers by 7 and then had coffee ready by the time Hubby and the boys got home.

Second, I had a plan.  I knew what I wanted to accomplish today and from experience I know how long each takes.  So I was able to plan my day around the tasks involved in yogurt and bread making.  We got school done as I rotated between the school room and the kitchen.

It really can be done!  You can do the things you really want to do for your just have to DO them!  So...strap into your seats, because tomorrow is Laundry Day!


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