Large Family Home Tour: Bedrooms

Sleeping arrangements and room assignments in a family our size are topics I get asked a lot about. Room sharing, while something that used to be commonplace, is not as common today in the world of 4 bedroom houses coupled 4 person families. In bigger families or families with small homes room sharing is something that needs some consideration. We have recently changed up our room arrangements and thought we’d share what has worked over the years.


In the first video HERE I discuss the evolution our house has been through starting from a 3 bedroom home holding a family of 4 to a 3 bedroom house holding a family of 9 and how we made it work. I also discuss adding rooms and eventually having a home with 6 bedrooms that will hold our family of 10 in the next couple weeks when our little Cypress joins our family and run us into the double digits category! Here is a short recap of how we made it work (all in the same house):

When we moved in we had one boy, one girl and a 3 bedroom home. Our children each had their own rooms and we were SPREAD OUT!

Then when our third child was born (a boy) we moved him in with his brother.

Two more girls were added when baby #4 and #5 were born and we had a girls room (3 girls) and a boys room (2 boys).

We got the surprise of a lifetime when we found out our 6th child would join us and he joined the boys’ dorm with a total of 3 girls in the girls room and 3 boys in the boys room.

When our 7th child (our 4th girl) showed up we originally thought we would add her into the girls’ room and just figure out how to make the small closet work more efficiently.

But before she was ready to move in (most our babies sleep with us for 6-12 months) our home school room in the basement was loosing its luster because it had slowly become too small of a space to contain 7 kids all doing different things. I decided to move the school room upstairs and convert our formal dining room into a dining room with a dual purpose. Since we now had a fully finished room where our home school room used to be we decided to utilize that as a room for our older two boys and move our oldest daughter in with our youngest son and leave the little girls room head count at 3 (our youngest 3 girls).

Fast forward to 2016 and we are expecting our 8th child and our older kids are now teens/tweens. Converting the office and finishing off the basement sounded like a good move so we went for it. Hopefully this fall we will have our final (6th room) finished and our oldest 3 kids will have their own room and our youngest 5 will share 2 bedrooms. The shared bedrooms will be set up as follows: 1 “little boys room” with Ezra and Cypress and 1 “little girls’ room with our youngest three girls: Faith, Georgia and Cora.

Now, if that didn’t make your head spin I don’t know what will. You can click on the video links (hyperlinked above to see the previous set ups) to hear the story in part 1 and see a bedroom tour of all the rooms in part 2.




Shoe and Clothing Storage

Many of you voiced interest in peeking into our basement to view how we store our hand-me-down clothing and shoes. I think we have a pretty great system and it is working beautifully for us. A big selling point for any system for our home is the ease-of-use of it. If it isn’t easy to implement it WON’T. GET. DONE. That is just the cold, hard facts of it. Intricate organization systems aren’t worth the cardboard boxes that contain them if they aren’t implemented because it’s not user-friendly. So remember K.I.S.S. – Keep It Super Simple.

This post contains affiliate links (YAY.. I finally found out how to become an affiliate since I CONSTANTLY am raving about my amazon purchases!) LOL!

Link for the boxes I showed in the video:

Shoe measuring devise that was shown in the video:

clothing Shoe organization

Cleaning Car Upholstery on the CHEAP!

Kids are messy.

So am I.

Which ends up meaning my house on wheels, the van, (aka the prison bus) gets really (REALLY) dirty very frequently.

A whirlwind of running around and a very festive July which included 4 birthdays within a month, a national holiday, a camping trip, Lake Michigan sand dunes and another beach outing made for a very sandy, sticky (because eating ice cream in the car is a MUST when it’s hot!), filthy car.

When I looked at the upholstery that hadn’t be cleaned (other than a quick vacuum) for MONTHS I almost talked myself into buying a new vehicle. But then it dawned on me that NO one in their right mind would want to sit in this thing, let alone buy it looking like this.


I thought that with the amount of staining and the time elapsed since it was stained (who KNOWS how long that was there) I would have to rent a mobile carpet cleaner. But I am cheap frugal.  So, why not try to DIY with good ol’ soap and water.

I normally keep a bottle of cleaner mixed up for cleaning anything and everything so I grabbed it. Sometimes it is LOC (from Amway), other times it is Basic H (from Shaklee) and sometimes it’s just plain Dawn. Today it Dawn and water. If I was to guess I would say I dilute about 32 oz of water with a teaspoon or two of Dawn.

I sprayed the seat pretty thoroughly and scrubbed it with a dry terrycloth cleaning rag (just a cheap Walmart bar rag, but any wash cloth or rag would would work). I used a dry one so that it would aid in drying the seat as I scrubbed. AND. IT. WORKED. I have used this method before but it was really bad this time.

2But it really did wonders. It didn’t ALL come out, but come on now, it’s Dawn not magic fairy dust.  And I am not planning on driving around royalty. Unless, of course, you mean the 4 year old with the crown and wand that sometimes sits behinds me and sprinkles food on the floor…

So I guess I am NOT getting a new car. Which is kind of a bummer because I have been eying the shuttle bus that the local nursing home uses. Don’t laugh; I am not joking. It’s awesome. And roomy.

So here are the before and afters:




Recipe Doubling Guide

I have had a few people asking me to post my recipe doubling guide in an easier format. I am pretty sure that now that I am using WordPress I can do so… So here goes nothing:


For those of you who don’t know what this AMAZING piece of paper is, BRACE YOURSELF! 😉 It takes a measurement of something and then shows you what it is if you want to double your recipe…  UP TO 6X’s!!! So say you have a wonderful muffin recipe that yields 1 dozen but you have a bajillion kids like me and need 6 dozen. Well, you just look at the “6 column”. Which saves you from having to convert 23 ingredients x6 while 3 kids are begging to lick the spoon, 2 kids are hanging from the pot rack, 1 kid is eating dog food off the floor and yet 2 more have dumped the entire 25 pound bag of flour onto the kitchen floor and are proceeding to make indoor snow angels. Not that has EVER happened in this quaint and quiet abode…cough, cough. Which will save you from ruining 72 muffins because you forget to sextuple the baking powder amount. Again, not that this has ever happened in real life. Totally hypothetically, of course!

For example if you need to use 3 T of cinnamon in one batch you would need 1 cup + 2 T in 6 batches.

Seriously, it’s life changing I tell you. Life. Changing.

Especially if you’re a larger family and double (or triple or quadruple) EVERYTHING.