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Fabulous Family Friday!

I’m starting something new!


I remember years ago asking a Godly older lady in our church, who had every single one of her 33 descendants at that time (children and spouses, grandchildren and spouses, and great-grandchildren) professing to be Christians, and many were serving the Lord.


I asked her her secret!


Her answer?


A humble, slightly embarrassed, "Oh, I don’t know!  I just trusted the Lord a lot!"


I was disappointed!  I wanted seminar notes!  I wanted the syllabus!  I mean, this lady was proven successful!!!! 


I determined that if I had that glorious fruit, I would make sure I wrote down "what I did" so I could someday help young moms!



Now here I am…NOT a grandmother or great-grandmother, and not having raised all my children yet, but having fruit in my older girls.  And people are asking me, "What did you do?" 



A clear light of understanding dawned on my soul—"Oh, I don’t know!  I just trusted the Lord a lot!"



Oh, Mrs. Grandlinard, I understand now!  




We don’t always know "what worked", and sometimes it’s different for each child!



But I can look back and see some things that I really believe the Lord helped us to do right–although we certainly had no idea at the time!    And don’t think for a minute that we didn’t also make our share of mistakes!!!



So I thought I would devote Fridays to share tips–resources, child-training, homeschooling, life…..maybe even a recipe or two now and then!  



The three areas I want to try my best to cover each Friday are relationships, homeschooling, and practical tips to help the home run smoothly with little ones (and bigger ones!) in the mix.




If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I preach the "3 Rs"—Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!!!!  Specifically, your relationship with God, your spouse (if you have one–if not, God gets a double-portion!), and your children.  If those aren’t in order, it doesn’t matter how good of a job I do on the academic 3 Rs, or if my children make lots of money, or if they are successful according to the world.   If they don’t love Jesus with all their heart, soul, strength and mind and others as themselves, I have failed at the most important "subject" I can teach them. 



Yes, I know about free will.  Yes, I know I won’t be perfect (I know I have not been, many times!).   But overall, I should have no major regrets that I disobeyed something the Lord was showing me because I needed to "get school done" or "get the laundry done" or "minister to someone".   I am not pointing a condemning finger at anyone who may have children not serving the Lord.  We do the best with the revelation we have at the time.  I’m not talking about those of us, who, however imperfectly, still were trying to teach about the Lord and His ways.



 But if we choose to focus more on head knowledge than heart-relationship, that will set us up for failure.  I’ve seen too many moms stress over whether their children met the local high school standards for graduation, but they didn’t take time for relationships because they were too busy "doing school".



I didn’t start homeschooling to have smart kids.  I wanted to homeschool even before we had any children!   And the main reason?  To totally have their hearts and turn them to their Savior.   Anything else was the "all these things" that the Lord Jesus promised "to add unto me" if I sought HIS Kingdom first.


In 18 years of homeschooling (and soon to graduate daughter #3!), I have been what many would call "irresponsible" by letting some "schooling" go.  But I’ve also seen, in 18 years of homeschooling, that my children have learned all that is important to know, often without my having to micromanage every step of their education!   Yes, we’ve had seasons where they are not very self-motivated.  I have some that have been more so than others. 



What about "gaps" you say?  (To which I say, "Phooey!"  The public school has gaps!  I mean, very few, if any, of our local high school grads could milk a goat in less than 5 minutes!!!    )




Here is my antidote to "gapitis"!     It’s the bottom line, and the best homeschooling advice I could give, borne out of my experience (so far!):


1. Model and lead them to love the Lord (a living-love relationship with the Bridegroom King!)


2. Teach them the basics


3. Train them in good (and Godly!) character



And they will have the basics and the character to learn whatever you miss!  



There you have it in a nutshell!  



` ~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`



Now who needs a laundry tip?!   I will say that my laundry never piled as high as the ceiling–our laundry area was our back porch/entry for years!  So we couldn’t just let it pile up!



That’s not to say, however, that I always kept it up!



I would have the girls help me fold, and then as the oldest ones got a little older, I would put them in charge of white/light colored clothes, dark clothes, and towels,   and the younger girls would help fold.  Depending on the season, one of them would usually be inundated!    Then we had these wars where no one wanted to fold someone else’s underwear!       Soooo…..we bought everyone their own nylon mesh lingerie bag.   That didn’t take care of all the problems, but it helped!



Nine and a half years ago, I was sharing my woes with my dear, sweet husband, and he suggested that everyone old enough have their own laundry day.   He said the 2 oldest girls could help do a younger girl’s, then I would do ours and the baby’s (when she was born).   I think at first I did towels, too.   I didn’t know if it would work, but God was teaching me to listen carefully to the counsel of my steady, very laid-back husband (who doesn’t usually have a syllabus or seminar notes!   ).   So we tried it.


Monday was Cassia’s day, with some help (she was 7 at the time). 

Tuesday was Susannah’s (she was almost 9).  

Wednesday was Leah’s, and she also did Anna’s (Leah was almost 12, Anna was 3).

Thursday was Jessica’s, and she also did Bekah’s (Jessica was almost 14, Bekah 1 1/2).

Friday was for me to do mine, towels, etc.



Of course there was the learning curve!   Jessica and Leah helped me to train the younger girls (Susannah and Cassia at the time).    Believe it or not, for the most part, it started working very well!   


As our towel load increased, we added that each of them do a load of towels on their day.  



Anna has now taken Fridays, and she does Isaiah’s.   Bekah has taken Saturdays, with Charissa doing her own on Tuesdays with Susannah.  Cassia does Noah’s laundry on her day.




It is a bit harder for me to jump in sometimes–especially when some people leave their laundry in and don’t keep it going!



So although there are a few glitches now and then, this system has worked very well for us for 9 1/2 years!



There was, however, one particular "sister" who for 7 years could not seem to remember which day was her laundry day….. 



But just so you will have hope–*smile*–she is now one of the most organized ones in the bunch!!!



I’ve heard some moms right away say, "Oh, that won’t work!"     Well, I just ask you to consider it and maybe try it for awhile.  Give it 3-6 months for training.   You might be surprised!!!   The younger girls helped all along, but their "serious laundry training" started at about 7 years old.  By 8 they should be able to do it with little supervision!  



We don’t use anything dangerous on our laundry.   Just good old Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and borax!   We do plan to make the laundry soap with those and the Fehls Naphtha soap that is the all the rage in the homeschooling circle!   We use white vinegar for the rinse.   So nothing with dyes or perfumes or anything seriously toxic.    No bleach!





I would like to share a beautiful resource with you–one of my favorites!  It is out of print, apparently, but available used on Amazon.com! 






I love Emilie Barnes’ writing style and her practical loveliness, and this book is full of beautiful thoughts and ideas for creating a warm and lovely home atmosphere.



I hope something here encouraged you this week!



May you be blessed as you seek to live out your calling as a HelpMeet to your husband, a Co-operator with God in loving and training your children, and a Co-Creator with Him of a home that speaks of welcome, beauty and His love!





7 Responses to “Fabulous Family Friday!”

  1. farmgirls says:


    I can only wonder who in the world that "sister" is! It couldn't be *me*, could it?! :-D

    Love you lots :-)

  2. Mirage says:

    Thank you for the tips! I do love reading things like this. Would you consider maybe occasionally including tips for moms with only toddlers? As in young families? I know that's not where you're at right now but please read this post: http://everypreciousjoy.blogspot.com/2010/04/large-family-bloggers-call-to-stand-in.html which is my explanation of why this is a wider need in the blogsphere and pray about it.

  3. Mama9blessings says:

    Mirage, I posted on your blog, but I'll post here, too, for any other younger moms in those precious but tough years!

    Yes, I will be glad to go down "memory lane" and share anything that I did that saved a little sanity! I would be the last person in the world to say, "Oh if you just do this this and that, everything will all fall in place forever and ever, Amen!"

    Um…not quite! LOL!

    So yes, stay tuned for next week, and I'll try to have a few tips for you younger-in-the-trenches mamas!



  4. MamaMirage says:

    Thank you! :) Thank you for reading my post and keeping us "newish" moms in your heart for future posts! :)

  5. rcrosswhite says:

    Trisch ~ you are a jewel … thank you for not hoarding all this wisdom :) I look forward to reading more .

    Are you finished with your Daniel fast ?


    Heather (Rachel's Mom )

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lovely post, Trisch! I have another friend who did the same thing with her children, the boys too, and was really happy with it.

    I made a deal with my oldest that she could do laundry instead kitchen work, which she disliked, and she did it all for several years. It worked very well, and we were both happy with it. When she started thinking of marriage, she was ready to learn cooking. Since she quit the laundry detail, we are back to me doing most of it, though I have tried to start training my 13 yr old. I suppose I should enlist ds 15, as well–not sure he knows how. Thanks for reminding me! Ds 18 does know how to do laundry, but he doesn't have time any more.

    Btw…you seriously can get clothes clean and nice-smelling with just soda and Borax? I am really struggling with the homemade detergent. I think maybe it's our water–too hard–because mine come out still smelling just like when they went in. Blech! Dd doesn't seem to have the problem, but I have to use a little commercial detergent just for odor, which irritates me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    oh, I forgot to identify myself. That last comment was from Ronda (Homefire) :-)

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