Recently, a few of my friends have called my family a mega family. At first, I was like no we aren't that big. You see since God blessed me with my kids, mostly, one at a time, I never realized how big we are. It is just everyday life here. I guess though since, we are expecting baby number thirteen, we are a pretty large family. So, I was thinking about the questions people ask me all the time about my family. Here are a few:
How do you do all that laundry?
One load at a time.
Seriously, we are blessed with a great washer and dryer. We average about three loads a day of laundry. Right now, Jeremiah is assigned to laundry duty. He is nine and that is a great age to start doing laundry. Every morning after breakfast, he goes around the house gathers any dirty laundry and sorts it. Then he puts a load in the washer, and folds any laundry from the dryer, and puts it away in the family closet. He does a second load again after lunch, before dinner, and if needed before bed time. If there isn't enough to do a load he just skips it, and checks at the next assigned time.
We will re-wear our clothes if they don't get dirty or smelly, like in the winter months when you tend to stay in more. We will reuse towels and pj's too, unless they stink. We just hang them up each morning until they need washed.
Do you use disposable plates, diapers, etc.?
I think is funny what questions people have on their minds, I am not sure I would think of this one myself, but a lot of people do ask it.
I don't buy paper products except toilet paper. But if someone blesses us with them, we are so happy and grateful to use them.
We use cloth diapers most of the time, but again if we get disposable ones as a gift or at a really good discount we will use them. (It isn't about being green or health, those are bonuses, but for us it is about saving money.)
How do you feed everyone?
This is one of my favorites. It cracks me up every time someone asks me it.
Anyway, we are frugal to say the least. But, we are also seeking to live a healthy life, and to teach our children good eating habits. I have been accused of being "crunchy." So, we make a menu weekly, and stick to it. We shop local, and no I don't coupon, but I do try and shop smart. Our monthly food budget is $1000. We usually stick close to it, some months even spending less.
We eat a mostly gluten free and dairy free diet, we eat fruit, veggies, and meat (we don't buy pork, and we have cut back on beef.) We try and stick to the no processed foods rule, and read labels, if it has more than five ingredients we usually don't buy it. But, we are real people we do eat out on occasion, we do eat pre-packed foods on occasion, and if someone gives us food, or invites us over we never turn it down.
When we go to the store, we know where everything we normally buy is, and we try and stick to only going to those aisles so to keep from buying things we don't need.
We eat three meals a day, and often three small snacks as well. Snacks are usually fruit, potato chips, or pop corn.
The kids enjoy baking and often make bread (we don't buy store bread or cereal, mostly cause of cost), cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Someone usually makes/bakes something everyday from scratch.
We are growing our first garden this year, in the past we have enjoyed farmers markets and local farms produce, and stock up on it in the Spring and Summer. We do apples, berries, and corn in the freezer for a year.
We enjoy meal time and eat as a family around the table for each meal.
Do you work?
Another one of my favorites. I know what they mean is do I work outside of the home, but it always cracks me up anyway.
No, I don't have any official job outside of home. We are a licensed respite care provider, and often have extra children in our home, or we go to them to provided a break for their families.
But, other than that I don't do a job that pays any money. That is the real question. People usually want to know if we are a one income family. Yes, Jeremy is our sole income provider (actually Jehovah Jirah truly is). God has blessed Jeremy with a great company to work for, and good work to do. We are always grateful for his job, and the hard work he does at it.
Are they all yours?
What people want to know is did I give birth to all of them. A better way to ask this question might be to ask how did God bless you with so many children.
Sometimes when people ask me such questions I am not so polite, and say things like we stole a few.
But, it isn't a secret that three of our children are adopted (a couple of their stories are here, Daniel, Davey, still working on Lydia's story). It just is maddening that some people have no tact in asking nosey questions. We are very blessed to have been able to give birth to many children, and also blessed to have been able to adopt as well.
Do you and your husband come from big families?
Yes and No
My parents were blessed with three biological daughters, I am the middle of those three daughters. But, they have also had the privilege to be foster parents to over 300 children over the years. In our teen years they began adopting some of those foster children and adopted a total of 14. Two of my siblings have gone home to be with our Lord. But if your adding that means I am one of 15 living siblings. We always enjoyed a full house as children, and my siblings and I are very close even now.
Jeremy is the oldest son of his parents. He has two younger brothers. Growing up he always had lots of cousins around to play with too. His family is very close.
Are you Catholic?
Hehe, no. We are not Mormon either.
We do believe God has asked us to let him decided the number of our children, and even though we have sometimes struggled to trust him in that, we are so very grateful for each and every child He has given us.
Are you going to do one of those reality shows?
No way. This is so not me. I have no desire to have a camera in my house and life all the time. If I did do a reality show, people would think it a comedy I am sure.
Ok, so those are some of my favorite questions people ask me. Most of them just make me smile and laugh. But, maybe you have a question you are just dying to ask me. Go ahead and ask. I am a curious person, and totally understand. I can't guarantee a great answer, but I can try my best.