Freezer Meals for a Large Family

 Freezer Meals

Click here to download the Freezer Meals Planning Worksheet

Freezer meals have been saving us for years

freezer meals beginning prep

Until recently, Jamin’s music studio and business were located in our living room. This meant we had clients coming in and out of our front door all day every day, and the kitchen was more or less off limits during business hours…which included dinner hour. It was during this season that I discovered freezer cooking, mostly because I was tired of eating frozen pizzas for dinner every night at 10:00 pm.
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Large Family Christmas Traditions

FROM WENDY

We’re pretty cliche in our love for family Christmas traditions around here

Sorry, Thanksgiving. Basically the minute the kids take off their Halloween costumes, Jamin starts pulling out random Christmas decorations and strewing them around the house. I spend the next week or so rearranging until they’re all where they actually belong, and begin haunting all the area garden centers for signs of who will have live trees first. And Christmas music has already been playing in our house since August.
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Christmas Countdown and Advent Calendar

Using a Countdown for Family Christmas Projects

Click here to download the free Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

FROM WENDY:

Our Christmas Countdown Tradition

We have been doing a Christmas countdown in some form since the oldest kiddos were barely big enough to count all the way to 25. This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions with the kids because of the anticipation it creates, but also because of the ability to incorporate new ideas in with old favorites.
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BONUS – Puppy Search Episode 1

The Puppy Search Is On!

We screwed up! Have you ever heard of the fog of war? Any good counselor will tell you that sometimes crazy decisions make more sense in the heat of the moment. In the pressure of trying to sell the idea of the last baby to our kids, we did what no good parents should ever do: we promised our kids a puppy. It’s long overdue now and the pressure is only mounting. So the puppy search has begun.
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Shopping for Your Kids – A Minimalist Christmas Shopping Guide

Christmas Shopping for a Large Family

FROM WENDY:

This post should actually probably be called NOT shopping for a large family…

We are pretty minimalist when it comes to Christmas, or even when it comes to toys in general. We have several bodies in our not-super-large home, and there is not a lot of room for stuff! At some point pretty early on, I made the “we will only have as many toys as will fit in these cubbies” rule, and established regular toy-purging times in our year to ensure that things stay pared down to non-crazy levels.
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Should I Have Another Baby

How We Answered “Should I Have Another Baby?”

FROM WENDY:

I have actually asked Google this question more than once.

I know, I know, we have a lot of kids. Why am I asking, right? But it never fails, baby fever hits one of the two of us when the smallest person in our house is somewhere between three and six months old. The “should we have another baby?” conversations start again, and the decision feels monumental. At this point, we don’t agonize nearly as much as we used to. I fully acknowledge that this could be because we’ve lost our minds. However, I like to think it’s because we’ve realized some really awesome effects of having a lot of kids…or even just one more. So if you’re asking the question, “Should I have another baby?”, here’s why I think the answer should (almost always) be yes.
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Behavior Charts and Free Printable Behavior Plan

Free Printable Behavior Charts We Use Every Day

Click here to download the free printable behavior charts

FROM WENDY:

Less talking + more action = happier parent-child relationships

It’s that moment when you realize that you’ve given the same kid the same instruction five times and he’s still immersed in his Lego construction. You’re trying to decide, “Is this spanking worthy? Or is it a time out? Maybe I’ll just confiscate his Legos for a week.” You hear yourself speak, and realize that you’re probably being over-the-top and are going to need to apologize for this later, but oh well. The constant decision-making of disciplining children can be so exhausting, not to mention the escalating level of frustration with the child who’s ignoring you. This is not what I want for my relationships with my kiddos.
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Gift Guide for Him: What to Buy Your Husband

Christmas Gifts and A Gift Guide for Him

Click here to download the free Gift Guide for Him worksheet

FROM WENDY:

Full Disclosure: I Don’t Buy My Husband Christmas Gifts

Jamin is a super non-traditionalist (is that a word?) and does not like doing things that people do just because it’s what we do. That includes gift-giving on particular days. This is why the kids and I are banned from making or buying any gifts for Papa for Christmas, Father’s Day, his birthday…you get the idea. The kids are still figuring this out, and are more than a little confused as to why he wouldn’t want something special for Christmas. They’ll get there. Maybe.
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Taming Crazy Behavior and Reducing Chaos

What We Do When Behavior Is Getting Out of Control

FROM WENDY:

Six kids can be crazy.

Children in groups have this special way of amplifying one another’s attitudes or behaviors, and when one kid starts getting amped up, things can spiral fast. The key is to recognize the circumstances that lend to crazy and interrupt them as early as possible, before things get out of hand.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling

How We Weighed the Advantages of Homeschooling

Click here to download the Advantages and Disadvantages checklist

FROM WENDY:

The advantages and disadvantages I planned for, and the ones I actually found.

We did not set out to homeschool. In fact, once upon a time (not very long ago), I swore I would never ever homeschool. I’ve worked in classrooms for years, and I love teaching. I loved my job working at my kids’ private school. I worked with my best friends, my kids had teachers I respected and who loved them, and I loved being part of their school. But at some point, it stopped working. More specifically, it stopped working for me to be working. We have a lot of kids, and just running our household with all the small bodies in it made a full-time job in and of itself. I knew deep down, before I wanted to admit it, that something needed to change.
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