Monday, May 26, 2014

Today's Science Lesson

Some weeks back, Chris built an incubator out of styrofoam, duct tape, an old 8x10 picture frame, a dowel rod, and a few other odds and ends.

I think he did a good job!  What do you think?

We all have waited very patiently all day to see what would happen....

 Most of the day, it looked like this.  You can see small cracks in the two bottom eggs.

But then, later in the day, one, then two, now three little fluffies. 

We shall see what the morning brings, but for today, we greatly enjoyed our science lesson.

Side note:  This homesteading stuff, it's the greatest!  I love my cozy little corner.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cozy&Content ~ Sharing Space

I remember my mom telling a story about how she and two of her sisters shared not only a bedroom, but one full sized bed. I am amazed that only a short time ago, people made do with smaller spaces, yet they had more children on average.  I suppose today many people don't have  to make do with a smaller space.  There are banks willing to loan some serious money if you are willing to sign your life away!  ;)

As part of our Cozy&Content state of mind, we are choosing to keep it small.  Keep it simple.  We could sell our house if we really wanted to, but we choose to stay here and enjoy our small spaces.  [As a side note: small is relative.  This house is large compared to the house my mama grew up in, and down right luxurious as compared to the shacks we saw in the Philippines.]
So, how in the world do we cram 8 people into a 3 bed/2 bath1600 sq ft house?  Here's how it works.

Right now, the babies share one room, and the older four share the other.  I know, that sounds crazy.  We tried other arrangements...Kati with the twins; the twins in with us.  It was so hard.  The babies kept everybody up.  If you walked into the room after they were asleep and made any sort of sound (even stepping on a creaky board), it was all over but the cryin'.

We really were at wits end, almost desperate.  It was then that God nudged me and assured me that it was OK for the four older kids to sleep in the same room. This was our first arrangement...can't you tell they were hating it?

But then, probably a month later, I saw a post on our local swap and shop site from Chris's aunt of all people selling a bunk bed with a full on the bottom.  It really was an answer to prayer, and the Bigs and the Middles moved to the blue room.
It really isn't as tight as you might think.  We eliminated all extra furniture except the toy box.  That really is a necessity with middles!  ;)
 Boy shoes in a shoe organizer on the back of the bedroom door; girl shoes on the back of the closet door.
 Exit dresser/chest of drawers; enter the wonderful wire shelving units.  Everyone, except HR, has his/her own shelf for folded clothes, baskets for socks/undies/junk.
HR uses the preschool kitchen converted 'cubby' (as she calls it) for shoes and books and, yes, more toys.  The big storage drawers are for toys like train sets, blocks, & toy cars...keeps things together and easy to find.  The small storage unit houses HR's folded things (we hang most of her stuff).  Blue hamper = girls & black hamper = boys. 
Closets have top and bottom rods.  (HUGE help.)  Also, remember those cute little 3M Hooks from here?  Yep, I love those things.  Each kid has his/her own on which to hang his/her own towel. That keeps towels dry and not in the floor in the bathroom. 

The other room belongs to the babies for now, at least until they can handle people going in and out of the room, but there is a set of bunk beds just waiting for new residents to move in.  We have discovered that there is no need for big cribs, just Pack N Plays side by side.  Believe me when I tell you that was hard for me.  I thought they had to have a real bed.  But the truth is simply, they don't.  They sleep just fine, probably even better in this room, in these beds than they ever did before.  The only other furniture in this room is a changing table & a dresser, but neither made the picture!  
 At first, these changes were not easy.  The kids weren't crazy about all sharing at first, but now they love it.  They talk and read together, and no one has to worry about being alone and scared. 

I think this sharing is good for them for a couple of reasons.  First, they have to share and get along, work things out.  Secondly, they are spending time talking and laughing and being kids, AND loving it--most of the time. 

I really did think each kid had to have his/her own real bed.  I had to think back, remember that not so long ago, this was the norm.