Our Large Family Laundry Routine

Our Large Family Laundry Routine

I know lots of large families.  And they all have different laundry routines.  I finally settled on our large family laundry routine and wanted to share it with you.  After all, I didn’t have it all together and I know some of you don’t as well.  You’re looking around trying to find what will work for you.  If you’re like me you’ve tried so many different things you’re ready to settle for mediocre while wanting fabulous.

I found fabulous ladies!

 

large family laundry routine

 

So what do I do?

First, I found a laundry detergent that works for our hard well water, washing my husbands dirty oily greasy work jeans(he’s an electrician and you don’t want to know some of the places he’s crawled through), as well as my sweet little ones diapers.  Let’s face it, very few laundry detergents can do all of these things.  I though Charlie’s Soap was going to be my go to, but alas it couldn’t handle our well water.  My clothes started to smell, and the stains wouldn’t come out of my husbands jeans. 

So I turned to my essential oil company.  I love their products.  But I’d never tried the laundry detergent.  It was worth a try.  I told myself it couldn’t hurt.  So I went for it.  And now I will never go back!

If you haven’t found “the one” laundry detergent yet make sure to give this one a go.  You’ll love it.  Trust me.

What next?

Okay, so after I found the perfect laundry detergent I needed the perfect routine.  I already has a quasi routine.  Each of the kids bedrooms plus the bathroom has a hamper.  There is a child assigned to bring each hamper to the laundry room and my oldest sorts the clothes.  Clothes are sorted out by jeans, towels, whites, coloreds, and delicates.  Simple.  

I do at least one load of coloreds daily.  Jeans and towels are done every other day on a rotating basis.  So say Monday I do jeans, Tuesday I’ll do towels, etc.  Whites are done once a week or whenever I can get a full load.  How often that is depends on how many breast pads I go through and how many blankets and burp rags the babe spits up on.  Delicates are done whenever needed or every other week.  That’s about the most amount of time I can let them sit on the shelf where they collect without it driving me nuts.

Diaper Laundry too

Cloth diapers get done daily or every other day depending on the weather.  I always line dry my diapers.  When we bring them in at night I like to give them an air fluff in the dryer.  This just takes some of the line dried stiffness out so that they’re super soft on the bitty baby bum.  Check out my post on cloth diapers to learn what kinds I use and why I love them.

Speaking of the dryer.  The only things that get dried in the dryer are my coloreds and whites.  I hang dry the jeans and towels.  Previously I’d hang dry the coloreds and whites as well, but I only have one clothesline.  We use the fence that surrounds our yard to hang out the jeans and towels.  There just is not enough room on it to hang out all the coloreds and whites. Plus some of my kids are old enough they don’t want their unmentionables on the fence for the whole world to see.

Anyway, back to the dryer!  I like to use dryer balls in my dryer instead of dryer sheets.  Artificial smells are not good for you or your clothes.  Instead of those stinky dryer sheets I put a few drops of essential oils on my dryer balls.  Our clothes come out smelling clean and fresh without any harsh chemicals.  Win win for all!  I particularly like using citrus scents or lavender on my dryer balls.  Occasionally I spice it up with peppermint or cinnamon bark.

Where does it all go?

Now I feel that I should tell you about my laundry set up.  First, I have never had a brand new washer or dryer.  We buy used.  Mostly from auctions or friends who decide they want to upgrade.  My husband is a handy man and has rigged up my washing area to allow me to have 2-3 washing machines!  Yeap you heard that right.  I normally have at least two washing machines in running order.  Having two makes it so easy to do laundry.

I used to be overwhelmed with laundry.  Creating a routine really helped but I’d often forget to go switch out loads.  Or I’d go hang up the first load and forget to start a second load.  The biggest problem though was the cloth diapers.  They take a while to wash because you have the first wash cycle with an extra rinse cycle(the first wash I use detergent) and then a second wash and rinse where it’s detergent free.  That’s two full wash cycles with extra rinses.  It takes a while and by the time they’re done and on the line the next load doesn’t have time to get dried on the line.

I’m so lucky.

Enter my amazing husband and his mad plumbing skills.  It’s not pretty but it’s functional guys.  He rigged it up for a second and even a third washing machine to help make my life simpler and to ensure he had clothes to wear to work.  There may have been some times earlier in our marriage where laundry got put on a back burner but that’s a story for another day.  Our large family laundry routine has come a long way from six kids ages 3 and under with four in diapers let me tell you!  Those were the rough days.

Dryers.  I have one dryer.  With two washing machines this might not sound like a good fit in our large family laundry routine, but it is.  It doesn’t get used as much as it could because I do hang out over half of our loads of laundry.  But it does still see some use.  In the winter I don’t use it except for a fluff cycle on cloth diapers because we hang our clothes up from the unfinished ceiling in the basement near our wood stove.  But during the summer when clothes don’t dry as well inside the house and unmentionables on the fence cause tween angst, my dryer gets some miles put on it.

Let me know if you want to know more about our large family laundry routine!

Content or Contention

Content or Contention

It’s just a hard thing to decipher sometimes.  Are we content?  Or are we filled with contention?  Content or contention.  What’s it going to be?

To start off we need to define both the words.

Content: a state of peaceful happiness, a state of satisfaction

Contention: a striving to win in an argument or a heated state

These two words don’t sound anything alike.  In fact, they sound like opposites.  And yet sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.  It’s hard to know if we’re living in a state of content or contention.  What is your home life like?  Are you content?  Or do you live in contention with your family?

Content or Contention

Taking a moment to find beauty in the hectic everyday life.

 

I think all of us would have to truthfully say at some point that we were living in contention.  It’s so hard sometimes to stay out of that pit.  It seems to just suck us in and want to mire us down in the mud.

Personally, I can confess that there have been more times than I want to recall where I have been filling my house with contention.  Contention with my husband, contention with my kids, even contention within myself and with God.  I’ve wanted what I wanted and I was going to fight for it.  I wasn’t content.  Deep within myself I wasn’t content.  

How can we become content when deep within our beings we’re not happy?  Where can we find contentment when turmoil rolls?

I had to do this.  I had to find contentment.  Life was rough.  It felt like I was out to sea being tossed to and fro by merciless waves.  What I needed was some contentment and to let go of the contention.  I wasn’t happy with myself.  Because I wasn’t happy with myself, I wasn’t happy with my husband or my kids and it showed.  Because I wasn’t content I was making everyone else around me live in a state of contention instead of contentment.  More about how we as moms rub off on and set the tone for our houses in another post.

So what did I do?

I made my mornings count.  I started getting up earlier which was a huge issue for me. I’m not much of a morning person.  Not really because I don’t like mornings, but more because I’m up half the night feeding a baby.  Adrenal fatigue is also a culprit for me not sleeping well at night and not wanting to get up in the morning.  But I made myself.  I made myself get up and spend time in the Word.  I started a good Bible study.  Just by myself.  I have a need to do a Bible study with others, but so far my life hasn’t given me that opportunity so I do them alone.  Even though I don’t have the input of others, it’s still good for me and my life so I highly recommend this.

 

Content or Contention

Never alone, not even to go to the bathroom.

 

So, make the mornings count.  Step one for me was to dig into God’s word just by reading.  Step two was adding a Bible study on my own.  The next step, step 3, was to set a better tone for the day.  Instead of waking up kids with come on it’s morning get up, I started playing praise music.  I diffuse happy oils in the mornings.  I’ll elaborate more on that as well in another post, but think mood oils that uplift and invigorate you.  Basically, I set the atmosphere of my home into a peaceful one.  I set us up to be content.

Contention can sneak up on us and steal our joy.  It makes us feel bad about ourselves and it makes others feel bad about themselves and our relationships.  We can ruin friendships and damage growing emotions of our children.  This didn’t hit me until one day I heard my words coming out of my children’s mouths.  Wow.  Talk about face-planting into a brick wall.  I didn’t want my children to feel that way.  I wanted them to be filled with satisfaction and happiness and peace.  Content.  I wanted them to be content.

Content or contention.

This is going to be a two part-er.  Or maybe you can just keep reading.

Another area of contention in my home was the fact that I was home all day everyday.  My life was and is spent with little people.  All day everyday. Normally this is a wonderful blessing and I love it.  But I’m an introvert.  I need to at the bare minimum get to go to the bathroom by myself, completely and utterly alone, at least once a day.  This was not happening.  I was to put it nicely going crazy for want of a few seconds where there weren’t ten sets of eyes on me or ten sets of hands reaching out to me.  I needed a bit of alone mommy time.  It didn’t have to be much just some.

 

Content or Contention

Stealing a moment alone. On the floor in my room on the far side of the bed.

 

But the big area here was that in needing that me time, I didn’t know how to tell my husband.  He is self employed and gone during the days working.  When he got home he wanted peace.  He wanted(and wants) a bit of quiet time of his own to do his paperwork and decompress from his day.  But I wasn’t giving him that.  I wanted him to put my needs first and give me that five minutes to lock myself in the bathroom and go potty in peace. 

Again I didn’t know how to tell him I just needed that five minutes.  So we got into a time on contention.  We fought.  We weren’t happy with ourselves or each other.  I was struggling with anxiety and depression and was not content with myself.  I had feelings of my body failing me.  And I had feelings, in all honesty, of my husband failing me because he couldn’t see what I needed.  He couldn’t see because I couldn’t tell him.  

We’ve since begun to communicate better.  But to get to this point there were some major blow ups.  I cried.  I’m not ashamed to admit I cried a lot.  But it was a cleansing crying.  It allowed me to voice my feelings and needs.  In return my husband felt able to voice his as well.  We grew as a couple in ways we hadn’t before.  And that’s saying something because we’ve been married for 12 years now and have 10 kids guys!

Content or Contention?

What are you going to choose?  I had to take a long hard look at myself and what I was portraying to my children.  I had to set my day up and go into it with an attitude of content. When I made my mind up that yes I was content.  That yes I was at peace and satisfied, then my attitude followed.  And when my attitude was set it was easier for my children to adopt this new attitude.

Life is still rough sometimes.  But I’ve learned to express myself better.  I’m not bottling(oh whole lot could be said about bottling ladies) as much and I’m learning to help my children express themselves better as well.

What about you?  Are you in a season of content or contention in your home?  In your life? Or how about with yourself?

When Life Hits a Speed Bump

I’ve been off the computer a lot lately.  It makes me wonder what you do when life hits a speed bump in your house.  Keep reading if you want to hear a bit of our crazy roller coaster of a ride since November!

 

When Life Hits a Speedbump

 

My life literally became a game of operation in November.  Life with nine kids is never dull, but my life has been even more so with a surgery for me and Thanksgiving both in the same week!  Due to that we took the month of November off from homeschooling to prepare for my surgery.  We made lots of freezer meals and worked on organizing.

I had a lot longer recovery than we thought because the cyst on my thyroid had caused holes in both my trachea and esophagus.  Immense pain and a long time of drinking and eating only liquids finally became better for me.

Moving into December we again had a month off school for all the festivities and such.  We did do some unit studies on Christmas and Hanukkah though!  We also have some birthdays to celebrate in December!

January brought me back on track!  It was wonderful!  We were doing school on schedule and the kids were getting back into a good routine for chores.  Life was good.  And then. . . . 

Life hit another speed bump.

My husband got shingles at the end of January.  From there the kids all ended up with chicken pox.  Some had light cases and some were covered from head to toe.  It was an itchy time in our house.  Just as we were all getting over those our youngest had a seizure.  It was very scary for all the kids and I.  She went by ambulance to a local hospital where she was life-flighted to a special hospital just for children.

After many tests and lots of prayers 48 hours later we learned she had encephalitis.  She had the chicken pox virus inside her spinal fluid.  It’s a rare complication that is not seen much in the United States.  Initially they thought we’d be spending 21 days in the hospital but we ended up only being there for two weeks.  But that was the longest two weeks of my life!  And hers too I’m sure.  We were in isolation so we couldn’t leave our room.  The rest of the kids could not visit as all visitors must be 13 years old or older.  We were so thankful for loving friends and family who helped my husband keep the home front going and who called, texted, and visited our princess and I in the hospital.

Once she came home we enjoyed two nice days before having to take her back to the ER for some IV fluids as she was dehydrated.  And then that night the stomach bug hit our house.  Two weeks later we were finally getting over that.  It was horrible!

Here we are getting ready to start April and I am ready for some normalcy(not that our life could ever be called normal) but you get the picture!  We’re ready to get back on schedule and back to our daily crazy chaotic normal.  So, when life hits a speed bump you just have to keep on going.

Some things I did to help keep our spirits up and our thoughts positive were to diffuse essential oils in the morning.  I’d get up, put water in our diffuser, drop in some orange, or citrus, or an allergy blend we use and then turn on a CD in our DVD player with some praise music.  Our current favorite is the green WOW worship that I purchased through Family Christian.  I also was so thankful for my L’Bri products.  They helped me have little mini spas at home.  I love the smell of their lotion and body wash so using those in the shower helped me to relax and unwind.  Their facial cleanser and toner plus moisturizer helped to keep my breakouts at bay both at the hospital and at home thankfully because stress tends to make me eat unhealthy and then I break out all over my face!

 

When Life Hits a Speedbump

 

 

Here’s to our speed bumps being at a minimum for a while!

Has your life ever been turned upside down for a few months?  What did you do?  Did you have support?  What do you do when life hits a speed bump in your house?   I’d love to hear your stories!!

 

To New Beginnings

Okay so maybe not necessarily to new beginnings but at least to beginning to a new me!

Yeah that probably makes no sense to you yet but keep reading and it will.  

 

To New Beginnings

 

I have to let you know that I started this post in January.  It is now almost April and I’m still trying to finish it!  You see, my life has been a bit hectic.  But that’s another post that I’ve been writing for a while!

I started out this year with a plan.  I wanted to lose weight.  I am working with a “personal trainer” –she’s a friend’s sister who just happens to be starting out and took me on as a guinea pig.  Totally love her!  Anyway, I’m working with her for an exercise plan.  We’ve also talked about eating.

It quickly became apparent after a day or two of calorie counting, that I was eating WAY under the number of calories I needed.  I’m a nurse, we have allergies, and I was eating super healthy foods.  But, I wasn’t eating enough.  I’d skip meals because I was too busy or forgot.  I’d grab a cheese stick and apple on the go.  Those are not things that are going to be helpful when trying to lose weight.

Along the way I’ve lost some weight, gained a bit, lost more, and had some major life problems come up.  The biggest was spending two weeks in the hospital with my youngest.  You’d think hospitals would be allergen friendly and have a healthy menu you could eat off of.  You’d be wrong.  We had a lot of trouble with getting gluten-free food.  I managed to not gain or lose during that time which was awesome because we were on isolation and couldn’t leave our room so no exercise for me!  Unless playing ring around the rosey until I was dizzy counted!

My workout varies by month, but this month I’ve been running on my elliptical for 30 minutes during HIIT.  This burns for me around 800 calories and logs me over 6 miles.  I’ve always loved to run but it was very hard to fit into my schedule with 9 kids and a self-employed husband.  I’m also doing several strength training exercises like lunges, squats, planks, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc.  I can tell you I’m definitely sweating at the end of these!

Also with my diet and exercise I’m using essential oils(would love to share if you’re interested) and an awesome prenatal to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need.  I have a favorite greens powder and protein powder(both dairy and gluten-free!).

I just wanted to finally get this posted and to find out what you guys do to stay healthy and maintain a healthy body weight.  Do you exercise?  Watch what you eat?  Don’t care?  Blessed with a high metabolism?

I want to hear from you!

Comment with what you do to stay healthy and if you’re putting any emphasis on it this year!!

Here’s To New Beginnings!

 

DoTerra Essential Oil Review and Giveaway- The Pitch List

 

Essential Oil.  That’s a phrase you’re hearing more and more around the internet and in person.  Read on to find out more!
I love essential oils.  Before doing this review I had never heard of doTerra though.  I was intriqued to learn more about them and their standards.  You see, not all essential oils are created equal.  There are some oils that you can only use externally and some you can use internally as well as externally.  doTerra can be used both internally and externally which makes it a very safe oil. 

Do you know what I’m talking about?  Have you even heard of essential oils before?  If you’re new to essential oils you might want to check out this free ecourse to help you learn a bit about the oils and how you can use them.

I personally have never used oils internally.  I love them for aromatherapy and use them externally to help us feel better.  Let me introduce you to three different oils that I received to try out!

Essential Oil

Lavender

“lavender has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities. For topical, aromatic, or dietary use.” 

The quote above comes from the doTerra site about lavender oil.  I personally love lavender oil.  It has long been a bedtime or fussy baby favorite of ours.   I have been known when the kids don’t want to calm down and sleep to drop a bit of lavender oil on top of their nightlight bulb to diffuse throughout the room. But, aromatherapy is not the only use for lavender.  It is also a wonderful headache reliever.  I get migraines.  At times they can be really bad and I hate taking medicines for them.  Lavender oil, mixed with a fractioned oil such as coconut oil and rubbed on the temples offers wonderful headache relief!

Lavender Essential Oil

Melaleuca(Tea Tree Oil)

I have long used tea tree oil for numerous things.  Get a sore on the skin that isn’t an open wound?  Well we dab some tea tree oil on it.  Poison ivy?  Really it itches?  Well put some tea tree oil on it!  It also works wonders for treating fungus as well.  Any fungus from  ring worm to athlete’s foot.  I’ve heard some that will put it in their homemade diaper wipe solutions to help clear up yeast infections on babies bottom, but I have not done that.

According to the doTerra site, tea tree oil or melaleuca as they refer to it, “melaleuca has been revered for its cleansing and regenerative properties, especially for the skin. Composed of more than ninety different compounds, melaleuca has limitless therapeutic applications. For aromatic, internal or topical use.”

Melaleuca Essential Oil

On Guard Blend:

The on guard blend is described on the website as “a unique, proprietary blend formulated to support healthy immune function. Wild orange essential oil, combined with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary offer a fragrant, natural and effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support. On Guard, with its unique aroma, is one of our most versatile blends. It is also safe to use on counter tops, as a non-toxic way to cleanse surfaces, or to purify the atmosphere by diffusing. On Guard is superb for eliminating and controlling pathogens due to the potency of its constituents. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use.”

In other words this is a great oil to have around my house where we are often sick.  We just got done with a bout of strep throat and I had some serious cleaning to do.  I have long used some oils in my cleaning solution.  This time I put a few drops of on guard into my mix and it smelled wonderful leaving me knowing that my house was pure and done with the sickness. 

Oh and the added bonus is that it smells awesome!!

On Guard Essential Oil

You can also find these more essential oil information on facebook and twitter.  Like what you’ve been reading?  Feel free to enter the giveaway below.  Only one winner per household or IP address.  Please note that you will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email before a new winner will be chosen.

NOTE: The advice shared in this document has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. Kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to “treat” medical problems.

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