because I want my friend, LL, at Vitafam that she helped make today sweeter by answering my questions. Some time back she asked her audience to send in questions regarding how the Vitafam crew operated. As an admirer of larger than mine families, I was ready to jump on that bandwagon. I feel like I run my own three ring circus, but LL, she's ringmistress of 5. Soon to be 6.
So, here is due reciprocation.
Morning routine & bedtime routines: No matter my denials, truth is, I'm a drill sergeant mom. No bugles but definitely routines. And a lot of the drill comes from having boys. At least that's what I tell myself. Now before you think you hear the Von Trapp whistle going off over here, know that time and experience has shown our family that routine works. For us. We're usually up by 6:30 and ready for school by 8:00. The time between is filled with morning chores, breakfast and family devotions. This schedule only exists during regular school days. Now that we are finished with our 180 days attendance, everything has moved to about an hour later. Even so, on the days I let the boys sleep in to whatever their hearts desire, my two oldest are still up before 8:00 because their stomachs are sounding the bugles.
Bedtime is, "Boys, get ready for bed." They tell us good night with hugs and kisses and after about 20 minutes the elephant herd settles.
Packing for travel: Used to involve crying and gnashing of teeth as I packed clothes for the boys only to have them take things out to use before we left. Now, I give a list to them all detailing the numbers (number of socks, underwear, shirts, etc.) and they lay out the outfits. I survey, approve or disapprove and modify. Then the bag is packed and loaded into the car. Last minute things like the toothbrushes, deodorants, etc. make it into the car on the way out the door. Usually in a plastic bag that gets stuffed into the corner of the duffel bag. Or as Husband says, "There is usually always a Wal**Mart."
What possesses me to ever, ever do arts and crafts? So far nothing has possessed me to do so.
Family dream vacation: Husband used to go to a special family camp in Canada when he was a boy. I'd love to be able to take our boys one day. Current finances make that idea a real dream. In the meantime, we find great pleasure in the unexpected gifts of long weekends at the beach or free weeks in the mountain because of extended family generosity. Since we like being together, time away from the routines makes these gifts a mini-dream vacation.
Clothes organization: I'm with LL on the hyperventilation. Every method I've ever used has also involved some key piece of clothing slipping through the cracks. Needing khaki pants, buying khaki pants not on sale and then finding four never worn pair. Arrrgh! Or my personal favorite is finding 8 pair of shorts in February that would have fit the past summer but won't possibly fit the next. Of course, with the current growth spurt that is occurring over here, the boys are taking on the bulk of finding clothes to wear amongst the current system which is using closet shelves to hold the next size rather than storage containers. That plus an aggressive purging system to get rid of the excess has helped somewhat.
And this wraps up some of my mysteries that you have never wondered about.