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Erika Shupe

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About Erika

I have been married to my wonderful husband, Bob, for 19 years, and I am a Christian mama of 9 children. Bob and I co-author this blog together. I write, and Bob is the editor and blog technician. I have a BA degree from Western Washington University in Early Childhood Education. I love to organize, I enjoy singing, scrapbooking online, camp fires on the beach, tennis, taking walks, spending quality time with family, and coffee with dear friends. I'm very practical. I enjoy the simple. I love my slippers. I like to eat Pop Rocks candy and laugh with the kids. I love to laugh and cry in the same movie.

Christmas (or Birthday) Shopping Plan!

By | December 1st, 2016|Family Fun, How Do We Do That, Organization, Schedules and Routines, Toys and Activities|

Do you look forward to Christmas and birthday shopping but have been increasingly confused or overwhelmed with the whole process - especially if you're doing it large-family style?  Wondering how you can shop for just the right items for each person while not overspending the budget, purchase items the kids need but balance that with [...]

Favorite Recipes: Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas

By | December 1st, 2016|Favorite Recipes|

I personally love, love SOFT, frosted gingerbread cookies.  My mom has been making this recipe my entire life, and she has perfected it... I decorated these cookies as a girl, and am now doing it with our children, my siblings and their families.  What a joy.  *smile* Here are photos of our girls and I at my [...]

Scheduling Weekends: what to do

By | August 18th, 2016|Family Fun, Schedules and Routines, Time Efficiency, Toys and Activities|

I've had many questions about whether or not I schedule weekends.  The answer to this is yes, and no.  *smile*. I'll share with you what our plan was like with mostly very young children since that is the season most of our readers are in; but these principles apply beautifully also to older children as [...]

Scheduling for Fall – How I Create Our Schedules

By | July 22nd, 2016|How Do We Do That, Schedules and Routines, Time Efficiency|

Having a weekly schedule (click here for what that means and what it doesn't mean) for our family of 11 is crucial to fostering family life and healthy relationships.  With a schedule we have productivity, predictability, consistency, and on average - balance.  It helps to produce peace and eliminate chaos.  Not that we don't ever have [...]

Family Practical How-To’s: Professional Photos, Meals, Errands, & Bathing Kids

By | July 9th, 2016|Family Fun, How Do We Do That, Mom Tips, Organization, Schedules and Routines, Surrender and Blessings, Time Efficiency|

We personally love to network with other large families for ideas that enable us to be more organized or more time efficient.  It’s encouraging, and it helps give vision for what large families can be like.  If some people are reading our blog only because they’re curious about what large families are like, then by [...]

Family Practical How-To’s: Transportation, Birthdays, Hair cuts, 1-on-1’s, & Laundry!

By | July 4th, 2016|How Do We Do That, Large Family - Small House, Organization, Surrender and Blessings|

When people see our family of 11 people out and about doing life, they often tip their head to the side, get a puzzled look on their face, and ask, “…How do you do_____?”  This always makes us chuckle because we’re “just us”, and we’ve become the larger group of “just us” gradually, one person [...]

Scheduling & Routines: You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too. – Part 1 of 2

By | June 25th, 2016|Large Family - Small House, Marriage, Organization, Schedules and Routines, Time Efficiency|

In this part 1 we will look at: Why I began scheduling How I began scheduling My overall scheduling framework Additional benefits to scheduling In part 2 I will cover: Winging it vs. planning it The blessings of planning Common road blocks Additional benefits of scheduling You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.  This is what we desire in [...]

Naps & Play-Alone Times

By | June 18th, 2016|How Do We Do That, Schedules and Routines|

Our sleep principles  Older children who need less sleep A young child who needs unusually little sleep 2 or 3-year-old's who "quit" napping Enabling naps, not forcing them Napping alone Napping twins Sleeping in on Saturdays My "play-alone time" strategy When I gave birth to our third baby our two oldest girls were ages 3 [...]

Large Families On Budgets – Making More Out Of Less, Part 2 of 2

By | June 10th, 2016|How Do We Do That, Large Family - Small House, Surrender and Blessings|

In part one I began addressing the topic of how a family can do life well on a small income.   Large family - small income - can they co-exist?   The answer: absolutely.   I would love to share with you what we have learned from the Lord on this topic. * smile* There [...]

Large Family Matters: Parenting Young Children While Successfully Managing Your Home

By | June 4th, 2016|How Do We Do That, Large Family Matters, Organization, Parenting, Schedules and Routines, Surrender and Blessings, Time Efficiency|

 Here is the question I will be answering this time: "I was wondering if you had any insight to those hard years when you have a lot of littles [only] but still need to teach the foundational subjects.  I'm looking for practical helps.  I'm really struggling right now.  My children are 11 mo., 3 yrs, [...]

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