The Amish are growing in record numbers. The growth is not due to new converts, but to a Baby-Boom. What if Christians began to have more children than the world? Could we effectively take back the culture? Could we change the nation for the next generation?
Design Your Home for a Large Family around an Open Floor Plan
You never know how your family may change and grow over the years. Some large families simply have lots of children, while others may have several generations living in the same household, ranging from grandchildren to great-grandparents. How will you plan your future home’s living space around your families changing needs?
Planning a home that accommodates the needs of a large family can feel like a near-impossible task. Adopting an open floor plan will help your family better adapt to its living space as it grows. Here are some ideas to keep in mind about open floor plan designs to help meet the needs of a larger family.
What is an open floor plan? Also called a great room, an open floor plan is found in a home designed around a shared central area that incorporates the kitchen, dining area, and living room into one open room, as the name implies. A great room may also incorporate a foyer and several additional high-use rooms for convenience, such as a powder room and laundry room.
The advantages of open floor plans are that they save space, create an open, airy feeling, and bring family members together by combining the rooms where people spend the most time. Family members can still retreat to bedrooms and other corners of the house for privacy, while those who want to be social can spend time in the shared area of the home.
Open kitchens are the crux of the open floor plan. Kitchens are high-use areas, especially in large households, and an open floor plan devotes more space to the kitchen while opening up the room to the rest of the house. Mom and dad can prepare meals and clean while keeping an eye on the little ones, helping with homework, and sharing stories from the day.
Open kitchens often incorporate a large island or long row of cabinets to create more countertop and storage space, in addition to providing a partial barrier from the rest of the great room. Limiting the number of walls in a great room creates more floor space and more room to work with for your furniture design.
How can open floor plans help large families?
Tiny kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms don’t accommodate larger families very well, but when three smaller rooms come together, there can suddenly be enough space for a large dining table, kitchen pantry, additional living room seating, and even room to expand a bathroom or add a laundry room.
A front entry or foyer attached to a great room can often be closed off into a mudroom with cubbies and other storage solutions that help contain kids’ gear. Since people don’t spend a lot of time in this space, it makes sense to keep it and the mess that can build up inside in its own separate room.
Open floor plans also leave more room for bedrooms. The great room usually takes up more than half of the main level but often provides enough room for the master and a guest room or suite on the same floor. This leaves the second floor and/or lower level to adopt more of a closed floor plan, with a central hallway that has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms branching outward. A home with an attic should consider converting the space into additional bedrooms or a home office.
About the Author: Joaquin Erazo, Jr. is the senior vice president of marketing and public relations for Case Remodeling and Design. He discusses a number of different interior space planning issues on his company blog, Remodeling Tips & Trends.
Buy in Bulk and Save Big
A while back I shared with you about Zaycon foods. Zaycon is a Washington based company that works directly with farms to bring bulk pricing to the consumer. We are putting in our order this week for a couple cases of chicken. Different areas of the country offer different items, at different times of the year.
I have heard many wonderful stories from families that we know who have purchased cases of chicken here in Georgia.
Winter Savings Event
Zaycon is offering their signature savings event, which includes fresh chicken breasts, lean ground beef, premium bacon, Alaskan cod fillets, sockeye salmon and spicy wings in many locations around the country.
How do I order?
Go to Zaycon Foods website and register an account. When you do please tell them that Carrie Redman referred you! Find out what meat is for sale at an event in your area. Some areas have boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.49 a pound and some areas have hickory smoked bacon for $2.97 a pound. All cases are easily split if you are unable to use the quantity! Contact friends and family, those you see at church on Sunday and share the deal! Send them the link above so that they too can be referred by us!
For those in north Georgia, we will see you at the next chicken pick-up! By the way there are now 25 locations throughout Georgia that will be pick-up locations for the cases of chicken breasts.
Is Your Family Protected?
Recently our family received council in our adoption process and even more recently we have referred more than one family in need of legal council over to Heritage Legal Defense. I hear many families say they already have HSLDA, but as you will see below Heritage and HSLDA work together in differing areas of representation. Please consider joining Heritage Legal Defense and protect your family today!
Join Heritage Defense and Protect Your Family
Are you prepared to protect your children when social workers threaten their sanctity?
The battle against Christian home educators is expanding. As frustration has grown at our success in legalizing homeschooling in all fifty states, a new strategy has emerged by those with a socialist, anti-Christian vision for America.
This strategy has increasingly taken the form of government social workers who demand to come into our houses, inquire into every aspect of our parenting, and insist on interviewing our children outside the presence of parents, asking grossly inappropriate and permanently defiling questions. These social workers desire to dictate how we will disciple and discipline our children, threatening to take them away from us if we dare to question their authority. Many believe that parents who train their children according to the Bible are guilty of crimes.
Where then do we turn?
Many homeschooling families have made the wise choice to join Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), one of the most successful and God-blessed Christian organizations in America where I was privileged to serve as an attorney for six years. Through the leadership of HSLDA, a tide of anti-home education legislation has been thwarted, and hundreds of thousands of families have enjoyed the peace and comfort of knowing that they had competent representation, should their right to home educate ever be challenged. The very existence of HSLDA has positively changed the landscape for freedom and family reformation in America. Thankfully, families who have HSLDA membership have a staff of advocates to assist them when their right to home school is threatened.
But what happens if a social worker’s qualm is not related to home education?
What if it is an attack on the rights of parents to administer loving, biblical correction to their children through corporal punishment, or a challenge to medical choices like vaccinations and midwifery, and other practical applications of biblical standards within the family that a social worker deems “harmful”?
What is your recourse when you are singled out for scrutiny because of a premature birth or a special needs child — or if you become “profiled” and "targeted" because you have a large number of children and a unique family dynamic seen as “dangerous”?
The answer is that you may find yourself under attack and threatened by officials — without legal representation.
Until recently, your best option was to find a local attorney (remember HSLDA does not formally cover these non-homeschooling issues), and hope that he was competent to handle this type of defense.
Even if you were able to find such an attorney, the attorney’s fees and other expenses for your defense could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, with many cases costing well into six figures to defend. Without outside assistance, this financial burden would bankrupt the typical American homeschool family. Worse yet, they could lose their children due to their financial inability to defend their parental rights.
But things have changed. The Lord has raised up a strong, competent, and important legal organization that complements the type of defense that HSLDA provides for home educators, but does so in the context of defending other parental rights that are fundamental to the peace of your household.
The organization is called Heritage Defense, and it is championed by my good friend, Don Hart.
Today I am recommending that all of the friends and supporters of Vision Forum carefully consider joining this crucial organization in the face of abusive and unlawful intervention into the sanctity of your home by officials who do not respect either your constitutional freedoms or your parental rights.
Become a Member — Join Heritage Defense Today!
Why You Should Join Heritage Defense
The creative strategies for controlling Christian family life go far beyond the right to homeschool and are more than a little chilling. Heritage Defense is prepared to come to the aid of families when they are challenged in these, among other, critical areas:
Including decisions flowing from the belief that life is sacred and is to be protected.
In many states, any accident involving a child which requires emergency room care will automatically trigger a social services investigation.
Despite the fact that corporal punishment by parents is legal in every state, most social services agencies view the loving and biblical use of the rod as an illegal activity for which children are to be taken from their parents.
A surprising number of referrals come because of a child's weight/growth and from differences over eating or other concerns relating to nutrition.
Often, the first action taken by CPS upon gaining access to a home is to inspect the pantry and refrigerator.
Religious and moral convictions
Referrals often flow from disagreeable neighbors and even church and family members who have philosophical differences or theological disagreements with parents.
Many have discovered the devastating tool for destruction available through an anonymous tip to social services.
Investigations in these areas are triggered by reports — often anonymous tips — that routinely proceed regardless of the credibility of such tips or the motivation behind them.
Today there are a host of “mandatory reporters” with whom families come in regular contact who have been ordered to act as social informants on behalf of the state — reporting on anything “suspicious” which they observe in any family. These may include doctors, nurses, dentists, child care providers, teachers, law enforcement, church staff, day care and nursery workers, and a host of others (perhaps even your own pastor) who risk losing their licenses and their livelihood — and even face fines and imprisonment — if they fail to divulge personal details about their fellow citizens. Because of the fear this naturally generates, unfounded reports are rampant — well over 75%.
An “anonymous tip” is all that separates your family from a social services investigation.
Thankfully, we are not alone in this fight, as Heritage Defense is prepared to meet such social worker challenges head on. After years of defending individual Christian families who were unjustly targeted by CPS for seeking to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, my friend Don Hart felt compelled to address this growing crisis in a manner which would allow Christian families to stand together and defend each other from such abuses.
Since its launch two years ago, Heritage Defense has successfully resolved every social services issue which has arisen among its member families. No home has been entered. No child has been taken or even interviewed.
Heritage Defense is the only national member-based legal advocacy organization that is committed to defending families on such a broad range of fronts. While I often encourage families to join HSLDA to protect their parental right to educate their children at home, there are a host of other dangers which threaten your family which must be squarely and effectively dealt with. That’s what Heritage Defense does.
The average cost in America for one hour of an attorney’s time is $295. The cost for one year of membership with Heritage Defense is only $195. For less than the average cost of an hour of attorney time, families can stand together and be protected from social services abuses by Christian attorneys who understand the issues and are committed to protecting Christians from the terrifying and potentially devastating abuses of CPS.
Heritage Defense member families have access to experienced attorneys who are ready to assist you by answering questions, providing counsel, and defending your family against illegitimate and unconstitutional attacks on your parental rights. If you have a legal emergency, their attorneys may be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of this is included as part of your membership.
Join Heritage Defense today and encourage other Christian homeschooling families you know to do the same. Families who prefer to make monthly contributions may join for $19 a month.
Join Heritage Defense by visiting their web site at www.heritagedefense.org. If you have any questions after reviewing what’s on their site, call Heritage Defense at 1-800-515-5901.
Become a Member — Join Heritage Defense Today!
A Quick Trip to the Thrift Store
Yesterday I went to America's Thrift Store. It was my second trip to this store. The children and I were in the neighborhood running a few errands and decided to stop in and see what they had. I will start by saying Friday afternoon is not a good time to shop. Having a large family I love to find great deals.
As we struggled to get down the aisles, we immediately found a few items that would be great outfits for the children. I even found a skirt! In all we purchased 16 outfits for $50 total! When we walked in the door there was an almost brand new snowsuit for Abigail. Eden already has one but Abigail was in need...under $5 and we were set...let it snow...well not quite yet. Andrew and the boys are installing our fireplace this weekend. Once that is ready and the wood is stacked...let it snow!
Hi I'm Lucy, a 19 year old student. I've just been browsing some of these kinds of websites and blogs and have a few things I'd love to say...
My biggest question is: What about women who believe that God has blessed them with a desire to achieve and make a difference in the world beyond simply raising a family? I for one want to have a career and be independent. If I fall in love, get married and have children too that's great and I will feel very blessed by God and will thank him for it. However, I also thank God for my education and opportunities coming my way. I am just not prepared to have 10 kids, home school them and submit to my husband.
Apart from anything else it would be SO BORING!!!
God just hasn't wired me to think that way. It makes no sense to me that any woman would want to live her life in submission to her husband and become a baby-making machine.
In terms of the 'husband-head-of-the-household' thing, I believe that God made man and woman TOTALLY equal. Husband and wife are a team. There is no head. They work together to raise a family in the love of God. Any woman who is made to think she must subject herself to her dominant husband is trapped and mistreated, and I feel very sorry for you.
In addition, in my opinion, home schooling is a claustrophobic and unhealthy way of educating a child. It gives them no concept of the realities of this world and prevents them from meeting a variety of people. It keeps them at home in a safe environment with no one but their brothers and sisters. Sure, you can say that they make friends at church, but I strongly believe God wants us as Christians to go into the world and experience it. You're raising them in a Christian bubble. It's not fair on the child. It ultimately gives them a poor level of education and a narrow view of the world.
Those are just my opinions!
God bless, Lucy x
Thank you for visiting Our Full House. You are more than welcome to comment on my blog and share your thoughts, as I believe there are many Christians that feel the same way you do. I would like to share some thoughts with you as well.
You said that your biggest question was what if you believe God has called you to be single...well I do believe that God calls some to be single, but this isn't the normative pattern for most people. I Corinthians 7 Paul talks about how it is good for some to remain single for the Gospel of Christ. Paul’s reasoning is that the single women and widows may be focused on Christ alone without the distraction of a husband and children. I don’t believe most women that choose to be single today are doing so for the Gospel. Most remain single because they want freedom and independence from responsibility to be able to pursue selfish desires.
So while I believe most women are called to marriage, not all have the same calling. The question I would ask, are you remaining single to have independence and be able to advance your career or are you single because God has placed in you the desire to invest your time furthering the Gospel, living a life set apart for the Lord?
As for having a large family, I was not prepared to have ten children, homeschool and submit to my husband many years ago either. I did however desire to follow God’s Word and in His Word He teaches clearly that wives are to submit to their husbands just as the church is to submit to Christ. Ephesians 5:22 and 23 tells us, “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” So many Christians today want independence. They desire to live autonomous lives. Christ has called the church to submit to Him and as a beautiful picture of Christ and the Church; He has called women to submit to their own husband.
Boring? I would have to say that boring is the last thing that comes to my mind when I consider raising arrows for Christ. I must admit going to a job daily, one where men and women are competing to get ahead, where many men and women attribute their importance and self worth from, a place where you are only valued for what you produce…that to me sounds boring. My day is filled with excitement and adventure. I am in a position of leading a wonderful group of children. My children will one day be the leaders of tomorrow. Who knows my children may be called to be missionaries, elders, civil government leaders, business owners, doctors, lawyers or whatever God has for their lives. I have a part in teaching them and igniting a love of learning. Boring? No, my life is not boring.
We do agree here as to your next point. Yes, God made all of us equal in His sight, but He also gave us different roles. When you go work each day, you are under the authority of your manager. The manager is not better than you. The manager is not smarter than you. The manager is not permitted to treat you poorly. You and the manager are equal in importance, but you each play a different part in the success of your company. The same holds true in marriage. My husband is a very selfless leader. He is very concerned about my wellbeing. He loves and cares for me. He desires for me to be successful in what God has called me to be…a follower of Christ. Just like a manager and those under his supervision, we are a team, but every team has a captain.
Your opinion on homeschooling is just that, your opinion. There are so many facts and research out there showing that homeschool students outperform public school students. As for our children being raised in a bubble or having no concept of the world, I would have to ask what concepts you are referring to. Do my children have an awareness of what is going on in the world? Absolutely. We read and talk about current news. They are very well informed about the civil government and the political process. They are also able to think on their own. My children do not live in a bubble. In fact it is quite the contrary. We have lots of time to study together not just what is happening in the news, but how it affects us, what the Bible says about the subject and how we can be involved in steering our culture back to Christ.
Homeschooling has been around from the beginning of time. Many of our scientists, inventors and early presidents in the United States were homeschooled. They knew how to think and reason, something not taught in schools today. As for your opinions on preventing children from meeting people, most homeschool children have more opportunity to meet people due to their integration in the community. My children for instance are not stuck in a classroom with students their own age for hours a day. They are able to be involved in community activities, interacting with people in our area and around the world. My children have been active in 4-H, the amateur radio community, the farming community as well as they have helped with political campaigns and non-profit organizations. My children know how to talk with adults and in a respectful way carry on a conversation, which so many public school children don’t know how to do.
Christ has called us to go into the world and preach the Gospel, and our family is doing that together. We do not believe it wise to throw our toddlers out into the world, to a school teacher that is 1) preaching another gospel, 2) trained and instructed by the state, which does not have my child’s best interest at heart and 3) never given the command in Scripture to train my children. I, on the other hand, have been given the command to train my children. I desire to see them raised up to love the Lord first and foremost.
Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man who walks NOT in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
By placing my children in a public school setting I would be placing them under the counsel of the wicked. I am not saying that all teachers are bad, but most are not saved and not teaching from a Biblical worldview. I will not place my children under the counsel of someone that is going to teach my children to follow man’s law instead of God’s law.
The public schools are full of scoffers. A scoffer is a person who mocks or jeers a person. We see this happen frequently by non-Christians. Teachers and school staff mock Christians for what they believe. Christian children are not even allowed to pray on school property anymore. We are not to place our children in the seats of scoffers.
We are to teach our children to delight in the law of God. We are to meditate on that law day and night.
Don't forget to enter the Fill in the Blankie, free blanket giveaway!Enter once each day!
Frequently we hear...
Oh, well you must be rich to have all those children.
Of which I usually reply...
Only rich in children, unless you compare me to the rest of the world and then, yes I am rich and you probably are too!