Ordinary Time


Life in the Big, Ugly House with 10 children... I write about parenting, adoption, homeschooling, homemaking, and lots of books.

Elizabeth is a winner of Top 25 Moms With Big Families - 2013

What has having a big family taught you about motherhood?

To focus on what's really important. I used to think it was making sure my children were well-dressed and presentable all the time and that my house looked as close to a magazine as possible. When you get to a certain number of children, it helps to clarify what is really important... focusing on who each of my children is and how to help them become the best person they can is far more important than whether each child's socks match.

What tips do you have for meal planning?

I find it works best if I make a weekly menu and make my grocery list from that. I have a large collection of recipes that I look through when I'm planning to help me remember what I cook. I also keep a pretty well stocked pantry with the ingredients for several meals for those days when the plan doesn't work.

How do you get your children involved with chores? Please share what age these tips are appropriate for.

I make lists of what job each child is to do and we switch each fall. The biggest key to children helping? Check what they do. It takes more work, but it is really the only way I've found to encourage follow through and teach how to do the job correctly and appropriately.

How do you organize the area in your home where your kids do arts and crafts? Please share a link to a picture along with your response.


I tackled this last summer. It involved lots of paring down and making easier, more accessible storage. There's a lot more description and pictures on the post where I wrote about it.
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