Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

A day in the life with 7 kids August 28, 2009

Filed under: Mothering — Andie @ 10:22 am

Because Jennifer has 7 kids, it’s a little hard to post weekly, so she sends me posts when she can. This is what her life looks like right now:

“I know, I know. It has been forever since you have even seen a post from me, but life has happened here at the McConnell household! We have gone from homeschooling all 7 of our kids last year to putting them all into school this year. This is the run down. We have them at 3 different schools, 6 different grades and 7 different teachers! We have one in preschool, 4 in elementary school, and 2 in middle school. None of them ride the bus so we are taking and picking up at 3 different times. So you ask how do we do it! Here is the plan.

7:15am- Patrick takes J and N to middle school while I am getting the others up and dressed.
8:15am- I leave to take E, C, M, and B to elementary school while Patrick stays with A.
9:40am- I leave with A to go to her preschool where I also work and help out.
2:00pm- I get A from her classroom and we go home for just a brief moment.
2:30pm- Patrick leaves to go and pick up the boys from middle school.
2:50pm- I leave with A to go pick up the rest from elementary school.
3:40pm- The kids have snack and start on homework.
5:00pm- I leave to pick up Josiah from football practice while Patrick cooks dinner. He loves it and I hate it so it works for us!
6:00pm- We usually have dinner together pending any meetings or other things.
6:30pm- The kids all have chores that they do.
7:30pm- Showers start for those that need them which is usually at least 5.
8:00pm- Girls reading time and boys finish up homework.
8:30pm- Babies go to bed.
9:00pm- E and M go to bed and boys have reading time in their room.
10:00pm- Boys go to bed.

We also have a wonderful college student who has just started coming on Tues. and Thurs. for a few hours to help with homework and that has been such a blessing! I do kids paperwork as soon as I get them home from school and put it back into their backpacks. I love the teachers who get on to me if I miss signing something! We also do not allow TV or computer(unless for school) during the week. This has helped a lot for keeping them focused on things that need to get done. We do not do it perfectly but we try and stay on this schedule. Of course I am home today with 4 sick ones so off to give meds!”


Friday Nights! August 27, 2009

Filed under: Activities,Keeping inspired,Mothering — Gretchen @ 2:51 pm

As we entered a new stage of life with kids in school and a crazy work schedule for my husband we had to seek out new ways to reconnect and rest with each other.  We realized that for at least this stage of life we are all home on Friday nights and we are all REALLY tired by the time Friday rolls around.  So we started movie nights!  There are tons of classic and new family friendly movies out there.  We usually have something fun for dinner that requires little prep on my part like nacho night, pizza night, or appetizer night.  The girls love Friday nights and so do I :)  When school is in full swing movies and tv are rare which make movie night a treat!


Between the pages

Filed under: Activities,Keeping inspired,Mothering — Kate @ 12:03 am

One of our favorite ways to refresh as a family is to read a good book together! During the day, I read the kids books before naps and at the end of the day Matt and I both sit down with the kids and read the Bible as a family. Not only is it relaxing for the kids, but it helps for us as parents to sit down together and really have focused time with the kids.


Recharging- day by day August 26, 2009

I am SO NOT a morning gal…so waking up to bickering children starts off the day all wrong for me and often there can be no coming back.  There are a few ways I’ve found to switch the mood of the day and kind of have a “do-over” (as my friend Christine likes to call it).  One way is simply stating the do-over.  It works suprisingly well for me and my almost-4-year-olds.  :-)

zoo-match-gameAnother thing we started doing this last spring is a little something I like to call after-baby-goes-pTRU1-3555241regdown-for-a-nap-and-before-it’s-time-for the-twins-to-rest-GAME-TIME  (got that?).  After we’ve picked up the house and had lunch, we read a few books and then play a round or two of a favorite game before rest time.  Our currents favs are Castle Candyland (for those days when we’re short on time) and Zoo Match.  Zoo Match is like three sided domino cards with animals instead of dots that you match up.  Our kids are totally addicted.  Playing games with my kids is something that gives us all a chance to sit down, spend uninterrupted semi-structured time together, and reset our day.  If the morning was difficult for one (or more…) people it allows rest time to start on a upswing- rather than entering rest time in conflict or frustration.

One way our family finds to recharge the batteries is by taking a walk to a nearby school or park (this evening it’s the Glendoveer Fitness Trail) and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and the fresh air together.  I’ve found this is especially helpful for my husband and I as we get a chance to talk at the end of the day and there are no dirty dishes or overgrown lawns vying for our time.   Plus, it helps get the wiggles out of the children before they head to bed for the night.


Chill Time August 24, 2009

Filed under: Activities,Mothering,who we are — Andie @ 9:25 pm

This week we are talking about how we refresh as a family. Here’s a recent picture of my kids chilling out.


As you can see, we like to go hang out in the great outdoors. We just returned from 3 days camping at our favorite state park on Lake Superior. There is something refreshing about being out of the city where the kids can run and not hit a fence or a street for quite awhile. It is also a relief just to be with our family for a period of time where we aren’t trying to get anything done and don’t have any engagements or deadlines.

Not just on vacation, but in everyday life we find it helpful to purposefully have down time. Andrew and I tend to be  project-oriented people, but doing non-stop projects wears on us all after awhile (i.e. the kitchen project). We have found that it’s important for us to spend days or evenings with the simple  goal of being together. The time doesn’t have to be  elaborate. Grilling in the backyard is one of my happiest family times because everyone is there, we’re outdoors doing low-maintenance cooking, and we can be together while we’re doing it. Plus, it’s fun for the kids because we call it a picnic.


Crispy Potato Quiche – Mmmmmm, quiche….. August 21, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Leah @ 6:00 am

This is a super recipe…especially if you aren’t a big quiche fan!  There is no soggy pie crust you are asked to palate for breakfast, but instead has a wonderfully yummy HASHBROWN crust…how simple, how brilliant.  :-)

Crispy Potato Quiche

1 – 24oz.  package shredded hashbrowns, thawed

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups shredded cheese (originally it calls for half pepper jack/half swiss.  We like a half swiss/half colby (or cheddar) type combo)

1 cup diced ham OR 4 slices cooked & crumbled bacon

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1/4 t. seasoning salt

Press thawed hashbrowns between paper towels (or actual towels!) to remove the water from them.  (The drier they are the better).  Fit them into a well greased 10″ pie plate forming a solid crust.  Brush top edge with melted butter, covering top edge as well.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with meat and cheese.  Beat together milk, egg, and salt.  Pour over meat/cheese.  Bake 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when middle of pie is pierced.

Our favorite version is using bacon, adding green onion, and sometimes a few sliced tomatoes on top.



Waffles to match the occasion! August 20, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Kate @ 10:35 am




We don’t have a super special recipe, but some of our family’s breakfast favorites are daddy’s multi-colored waffles!  (He makes ours from a Pillsbury recipe from scratch, and often tries out new recipes, but you could tint any waffle mix.)  It is so fun to start a special day with a splash of color!

Usually my husband makes waffles for us on Saturday mornings, but he has also been known to work a later shift so that he can make us a special breakfast on our birthdays or other special occasions!  The kids have a lot of fun making their special color requests the night before and usually he is pretty good with delivering them!

These Christmas waffles were my request a few years ago on a Saturday that we were just spending together as a family.  It was a fun way to start the day and get in the mood for decorating the house together!