Thursday 10 February 2011

Large family logistics

During the first few years of my marriage, I worked 100+ hours a week. Housework was fitted in on Saturdays and during annual leave but, probably not surprisingly, not done well or to a plan. Survival was the name of the game.

Once we had children, I worked fewer hours but often, although theoretically part time, over 40 hours a week. We went down the paid help route-sometimes good and sometimes less so.

Over more recent years things have changed, we have had more children, a move to a larger house in order that we could have an elderly relative live with us and have come to the conviction that I should come home.
The legacy of our previous lifestyle has been that I haven't had a proper agenda for keeping house and I haven't trained the children as well as I might otherwise have done. It isn't all complete chaos; we eat regularly and have clean clothes (just in case you were wondering!) but things could be better.

Last autumn, my friend Jennie Chancey visited and recommended a new book called "Large family logistics" It sounded great but was American and wasn't sold in the UK. I'm not anti-American, at all, I have good friends from the US but some books from across the Pond are so, well, American. You may know what I mean; the cookery books that ask for one package of yellow cake mix and two of brown. Cakes are made from flour, fat, sugar and eggs-aren't they?

Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered the book. It is great, really worth the hassle and expense of ordering from abroad.

Kim Brenneman has written the book in two sections: the first is about principles for being a Christian wife and mother and the second with very practical details. She suggests implementing in small steps. I've read the book once and implemented a home management book which so far contains a basic 28 day meal plan and a list of days of the week with their special tasks-just like my Mum used to do. There is so much more to do-we are working on regular tidy up times, making meals times more pleasant and an evening schedule. There are so many ideas-the book is A4 size and over 300 pages.

The book is mainly designed for large families but most of the principles apply to anyone. This book is a great help and is warmly recommended.

The complicated part: I spent a fair amount of time researching this! Large Family Logistics is available from Vision Forum and
When I brought the book, it was cheaper from Vision Forum but their postage was more expensive so overall it was cheaper to buy from It is worth checking both sites before buying for sales and shipping.
When I ordered, January 2011, it was not available in the UK.


  1. THat sounds just what I need! I really like the idea of a 28 day meal plan. I know a lady who has a slimline calender and at the beginning of each month writes down what she will cook for each day. She also has a very large deep freeze and shops monthly for frozen meat. I've done weekly (at the most) plans before and have to say when i'm really organized and shop online accordingly for all the ingredients it really works well. It's a relief to know what is going to be for dinner even if it hasn't been made yet and not having to resort to a bag of pasta, pesto and grated cheese (again! although I never get any complaints!)
    Re. cleaning- I have similar problem as we have had help for a number of years with cleaning and ironing. Also having had 5 children v close together it has been a case of it's quicker to do it yourself as time is short when there is a lot of homework and music practice etc. Now they are older it's harder to get any system going of chores. It was easier I think when my siblings and I were little, ie little to no homework, no dishwasher so a strict rotation rota of washing, drying and putting away the dishes! The boys had to clean the shoes and the girls had to do clean the bathrooms!
    To be fair to my 5 now they do help out when asked, albeit reluctantly like any child sometimes but as to a system and weekly plan for it I think i'll do well if I can do the meal one!!
    Do let us know how it goes.
    Love Charlotte
    PS did you get the magimix?

  2. Yes, I did get the Magimix. It is great and currently being used several times a day between soups, grating and smoothies.