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4 Moms Interview Kim Brenneman, Author of Large Family Logistics

The 4 Moms are super excited to be interviewing Kim Brenneman, author of Large Family Logistics!

Remember, we will be blogging through the book each Thursday in August and you can join in too, because we will have a linky so you can share your thoughts on each section.

Here is the schedule we intend to follow:

  • August 4 - part 1: foundations and methods
  • August 11 - part 2 (chapters 18-27: planning your week)
  • August 18 -  part 2b (chapters 28-47: the nitty gritty details)
  • August 25 - appendices
  • It’s still not too late for you to order your book! Use the exclusive promo code “4MOMS” at Vision Forum and get Large Family Logistics for 40% OFF through Wednesday, August 3rd! (You KNOW I love y’all because I’m not even making any money off this one!)

    Kim has graciously answered a few questions for each of our blogs, PLUS she will be popping into the comments throughout the day to answer ADDITIONAL questions you leave there!

    Here are the questions she has answered for me:

    What motivated you to write your book?

    My daughters were my original motivation. Years ago I started a journal for my girls detailing all the things that I was learning as a parent and home manager. I felt like I was learning everything the hard way and I wanted it to be easier for them. I was on the MOMYS email group for several years and learned a lot there. At some point I realized that the same questions kept coming around again and again. That led to starting a yahoo group that sends out email reminders of what home and family tasks to do and when. And that led to a blog which filled in the details. And that led to a book so that it was all in one organized location and available to a broader audience.

    What has been the response so far?

    I receive a lot of grateful emails from moms. They take it and use it as a springboard to fit their life. That makes me so happy. Not every person is the same, not every home, or family situation but there are common denominators among us all and we can learn things from each other that lead to making life more simple, more peaceful, more time efficient. I love to hear that someone has taken the book and wrote in the margins and highlighted and is applying the ideas to create a better family life.

    Was it hard to find time to actually sit down and write a book, or did your own tips prove useful?

    I wrote that book one blog at a time over a period of years. I blogged early in the mornings before I fed the kids breakfast. Then I organized and edited it bit by bit the same way. There was a month in which I planned out detailed meals and assigned my kids to certain things for only that month and I spent more time during the day editing it and making it flow better. We do projects in that manner a lot around here. We will plan that a certain week or month we are going to work on a project of some sort (i.e. Reorganize the laundry room) and we will make a special plan of assignments and menus. We get lots of stuff done and usually eat much better than normal because I’ll include fun foods and desserts in the plan. We need treats to make the work motivating.

    Now, be sure to visit the other moms to see what questions Kim answered over there:

    Remember to leave a question in the comments, and check back to see which one she answers!

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    Comments

    1. Just want to subscribe to the comments :-)

    2. OK, I have a question that I have yet to see anyone write about in regard to large families. We have 5, our oldest is 16 and our youngest is 1. Our kids are not overly involved but as they each approach the age of activities it gets increasingly difficult to stay plugged in for each of them (son- baseball, daughter-dance, daughter- church activities, etc.).

      The patent answer that I see most often is that large families don’t find it necessary to be involved in these sort of activities (so they aren’t). This won’t jive with our family and I think would create a very resentful attitude about large families in general (which I have seen in other big families and I certainly don’t want to create in our own). Is it not possible to do both? Have a large family and also be involved in activities that are outside of the home?

      I know it is a delicate balance and everyone has to figure out that balance for themselves but I am curious what your thoughts are with this. I am a tad discouraged these days about being run ragged and really missing the sweet days at home with babies. I guess after all that rambling, the real heart of the issue of it is being caught in what seems like two worlds.

      Blessings,

      Kim

      • It sounds like you and your husband should sit down and set some priorities. Then get your family together and present the problems that come with all of the activities and get their input. Together make pro and con lists for each activity. Are any of them family integrated? Or at least something that everyone enjoys going to and watching? How long is the sports season? Is there a future with the activity that would make it score more on the pro side of the list?
        Our oldest boys wrestled for a lot of years but we have decided “no more”. Our children are involved in 4h and that is family integrated. From the high schooler on down to 4th grade. Younger children can be Cloverbuds. We are 4h leaders for our club now so its all in. 4h isn’t jus about livestock, you name an interest and there is an aspect of 4h for it. All that said… I too miss the sweet days of little children and babies when we were all home and busy at home. Now that I have older children that drive, have work, etc. It’s so much busier. Fun! But busy in a very different way than the busy with little children was. And my current little children are being raised in a completely different home than the older children had when they were babies and little. It’s natural–go with it.

    3. Looking forward to this series! Kim, looking back, is there anything you would have done differently with your first child that would have made things easier for the second and third kids? Or maybe a habit you’d recommend establishing, even when a family only has one child so far but are planning for more? Thanks!

      • Plan your days. I did a lot of flying by the seat of my pants until I wore my pants out. Don’t be rigid but know what you’re going to do each day when you get up. : ) And enjoy your young family. I enjoyed those days but I would love to go back and enjoy them more. : ) Life with big kids is certainly different. Busy-er. And more intense. More thinking.

    4. Okay , so here’s kinda a wierd question- I know that one pot meals and casseroles save money and feed more kids all around. But my hubby is a picky eater and cannot stand casseroles!!! So if you were me would you still make casseroles or would you not just to save the peace ? I personally would love to make them as I do not want the children to grow up picky.

      • Okay, forgive typos cause I am typing with baby in arms.
        My dh also does not do casseroles. At all. He also does not eat anything that has been in the same area as broccolli. We compromise, I can do crockpot all in one meals, but not casseroles.
        I can chicken and rice, keeping at least one big chunck of chicken breast for dh. rost pork or beef with all vegies cook nicely together, chicken and vegies and serve over pasta or rice to make it serve more people.

        Also things like enchaladas don’t count as a casserole? Dh likes them and I vary it with red or green sauce, flour or corn tortillas and different meats usually cooked up in the crockpot.

        I know this wasn’t asked of me, but since I have a picky dh, I feel your frustration.

        • We don’t do casseroles here. I grew up on casseroles with cream of ____ and Velveeta. It’s really not very healthy food at all. My one pot meals are a hunk of meat (beef, pork, a whole chicken) and a bunch of veggies thrown in such as potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, green beans on top, and lots of herbs to change it up. Instead of potatoes, rice. Sweet potatoes or squash in the fall. Cabbage. It’s more inexpensive than casseroles also. Go for the whole foods in season.
          Stir fry – cut up round steak thin. Marinate it for a few hours so it’s more tender. Then put it in a big skillet that is HOT. Add bags of frozen stiry fry veggies. They don’t need to be fancy. However, the “no broccoli man” won’t go for that. You’ll have to cut up your own stir fry veggies. :( Or put your kids on it. I have kids that love to cut up veggies. Or get a food processor. I’m getting off track here now.
          What does your husband LIKE to eat? Do that and then variations of it so he slowly learns to branch out. If it’s an expensive dish, then have it on Wednesdays or something like that. He won’t feel deprived and has something to look forward to.
          To grow kids that aren’t picky–get them involved in the cooking. Watch a cooking show for your homeschool. Alton Brown is great and includes lots of chemistry. You can get seasons via Netflix. Watch a show and then go to the kitchen and have fun. Kids that have fun with food learn to enjoy it and are unafraid to try new things.

    5. If I am correct, I believe Kim lives in a city or town. ( not country) I am wondering how a large homeschooling family handles neighbors kids? Or neighbors when it comes to being out playing while others are in school. Or even maybe not wanting the negative influences of some of the neighborhood children????

    6. Never mind my last questions! Totally embarressed…. Believe it or not….This is not the “Kim” I ment for the question…. *blush* so sorry…. Now how about them dirty dishes….

    7. I have three littles. Ages 4 1/2, 3 and 11 months. Most days I feel like I am spinning in circles going from wiping up one mess to the next and how on earth is there ever time to just sit down and read the Bible?! Or do homeschool or anything?! I am feeling a bit over-run and overwhelmed lately. I love my children so much, but I just want them to listen to me and obey! With my middle child (boy) he can be so wild with his baby sister-he says he is just loving on her, but it’s really a rough love! And when I rebuke him or discipline him-however gently I do it, he get’s all “hurt” and runs off to his room. I’m just feeling sort of lost and wondering how on earth to get it all together!!!

      • Hi Sarah,
        Read the Bible to your kids. You’ll all get something. Put a Bible beside your chair and your bed. Read a bit before you get out of bed in the morning and a bit when you get into bed at night.
        You are already homeschooling. Read the Bible to them. Read good books to them. Teach them to love Jesus. Teach them to obey. Role play good manners and obedience games a bit every day. Simon Says, Mother May I? and make up your own versions. Explain to them that obedience is very serious to God. Read a Proverbs chapter to them every day. And then choose a verse out of the chapter and explain it to them so that it will apply to their world. And then say, “We’re going to work on this today.” Do some role play of the verse with them.
        Get them involved in your work and while you work teaach them numbers and letters. Talk to them and explain to them what things are, what their purpose is, why things are the way they are. Answer the hundred thousand questions that little ones ask. : )
        Role play with your little boy how to play with his sister. Tell him that he is a big strong boy and that his job is to protect his sister from getting hurt. Show him how to look out for her.
        Put some structure into your day. Make a list of events building on whatever is already working in your home. Have breakfast at the same time every day, and then add something for your family to do right after breakfast and so on to Lunch Hour. Teach them that after a meal we clean up. Give them small things to put away. Give one a wet rag and have him clean the high chair. And so on.
        One day at a time and Pray Without Ceasing! God gives wisdom to those that ask for it! : )

    8. I want to subscribe to the comments. :)

      I’m great at seeing what needs to be done, making lists, making schedules, making a great (even reasonable!) plan….but when the time comes to do it, I resist. It’s a character and habit problem, so I know the answer is just to buckle down and do it. Any tips or helps for the inertia-impaired, though?

    9. Subscribing to comments…can’t wait to see some of these answers! :)

    10. Hi! I read your blog a ton…I actually found it through raisingolives–I am hosting a tomato recipe link up and thought I’d invite you over…it’s my first one!

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