Managing Traditional Cooking, Squabbles, Tantrums, Mother’s Helpers and Wills: 4 Moms Q & A

Today the 4 Moms of 35+ Kids (the official total is currently 37) are answering reader questions, plus I’m adding some random photos.moms of many manage

Sara asked,

“I know you have taken some of the GNOWFGLINS ecourses, and was wondering if you might like to share how traditional cooking looks in your home. “

We’ve always leaned toward whole food cooking, but our GNOWFGLINS membership provided me the motivation and knowledge to make several significant changes.

As far as managing day-to-day traditional cooking, I fill in this super handy chart when I make our menu plan. This ensures that everything gets done for each meal. (I did not include lunches on the list because we have easy, boring lunches.)

The breakfast and dinner slots are filled in with the menu for that meal and then we simply fill in the preparation that needs to be done for each menu and add it in the appropriate space.

For example, we’re having pancakes with fermented cranberry-apple-orange relish for breakfast on Friday morning. I would put that in the ‘BREAKFAST’ slot for Friday. The relish needs to ferment for 2-3 days so I would put “make relish” on the ‘AM PREP’ for Monday and I would put “put relish in the fridge” on the ‘PM PREP’ for Wednesday. I would also put “feed starter” on the ‘PM PREP’ for Thursday.

One tip that helps me keep things straight is that I number every meal on the chart. Then as I’m filling in the PREP that needs to be done I add the number of the meal I’m doing it for. This helps if we decide to switch a meal for a different day, it helps combine preps and it keeps me straight. (For example, I may need to feed the sourdough on Thursday evening for pancakes Friday morning AND for pasta Friday afternoon. If I have BOTH of those meal numbers on that Thursday ‘PM PREP’ then I will be able to look at my recipes and know exactly how much starter I’ll need. Just trust me on this, it helps!)

Our CSA shares for the week (plus an additional bushel of broccoli)

Growing things for traditional cooking:

  • Every morning as part of our morning routine, we switch out kefir and the fresh kefir is served with breakfast.
  • Once a week we switch out and serve kombucha.
  • I manage my sourdough on an as-needed basis and don’t have a regular routine with it. Sourdough crackers, sandwich bread and English muffins are things that we try to keep on hand all the time. Sourdough pancakes, cookies, cakes, bagels, pasta, etc. we make as we need them.

Amanda asked,

When you soak oatmeal is it just the old fashioned oats that all stores sell and do you just soak in water overnight?

Yes, regular old fashioned oats. We buy in bulk, but it’s the same thing that you find in the grocery.

We soak in water with a little bit of buttermilk, kefir or yogurt added.

Michelle wondered,

“How do you deal with all the little squabbles (he won’t stop singing even though I asked him respectfully, ect.) without getting worn out and wanting to crawl in a hole? I really want my kids to love and serve each other. We have been using your scriptural model from Matthew, but I get so tired of all the LITTLE offenses.”

Sometimes I do get worn out and want to crawl into a hole and  sometimes I want to stomp my feet and yell, “Why can’t you just be nice and love each other?” (ironic, isn’t it?) Sometimes it’s hard, very hard and ultimately I don’t think that will ever completely change.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

One thing that helps me get through some of the daily grind, tough parts of disciplining the children is to remember that I am not responsible to change behavior, I’m only responsible to respond in a biblical manner. Yes, our desire should be for our kids to love and serve each other, but that will only happen by God’s grace as He works in the hearts of our children.

In other words, my purpose in biblically disciplining my children is to obey God, not to affect a change in my children’s behavior. We trust and pray for a change in our children’s behavior, but we know that it must be God’s work.

On the practical side, in your example I would exhort and admonish both children. I laid out a couple of scenarios in my post “Bossy Older Siblings“.

Our desire is for our children to act toward each other with kindness. In the above scenario, it’s possible (and likely) that BOTH children are acting unkindly toward each other. Neither of them are thinking of the other as more important than themselves and that should be corrected. Continue to point them to Jesus. Continue to  respond to their sin (and their obedience) biblically and continue to pray that God will change hearts.

Another Sara asked,

What do you do about a 9 year old telling you no and throwing horrible tantrums when Dad is at work?

By God’s grace, we haven’t dealt with that specific behavior. However, God’s Word has the answer for everything we will ever face in this life and here are some of the ways we’ve tried to apply God’s Word to disciplining our children.

Ask God for wisdom to handle this matter. He will give it. (James 1:5)

Katie asked for,

Ideas of how to use a mother’s helper? What things do your children enjoy doing when helping out other mothers with young kids?

This is a hard question for me…

  • Let them watch the kids so you can take a nap or do some planning
  • Give them some deep cleaning tasks
  • Plan an errand day
  • Plan some fun activities with the children and work together to control the chaos and mess 🙂
  • Work together to accomplish tasks that are difficult to do without interruption
  • Bathroom cleaning/floor mopping
  • Make lots of meals for the freezer

My children each enjoy different aspects of helping others. Often I will send a particular child based on what the mom wants to accomplish for the day. Sometimes I will send a child who has that as their strength and sometimes I will send a child who has that as their weakness. (It’s beautiful how this can benefit both the mother and the mother’s helper.) Often two of our children will go to be a mother’s helper, one to help with the children and one to help with the work.

Erin asked,

Have you done wills, and how did you determine who to be guardians for your kids? Will one person take them all or will they get split up?

Gulp. It’s on our to-do list. We have asked someone to be guardians for our kids, however, both of our families have grown and we probably should have another discussion to make sure that they are still fine with the idea. Family is a huge factor in determining who we asked to take our children.

Our boys with my grandmother: Matthew (13), Carter (10), Colby (6), Valor (3 months), Nick (4)

Our children will not be split up. The older ones help care for the younger ones and if they were dealing with the loss of their parents they would need each other.

Our girls with my grandmother: Alyssa (12), Amber (16), Kaitlin (14), Savannah (7), Sadie (9) and Isabella (2)

More answers to your questions coming shortly.

You may also be interested in:

Visit the other moms of many to see what they have to say:

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6 Responses to Managing Traditional Cooking, Squabbles, Tantrums, Mother’s Helpers and Wills: 4 Moms Q & A
  1. Jama
    November 29, 2012 | 4:31 pm

    Love the family picture! 🙂


  2. Sue Farr
    November 29, 2012 | 10:30 pm

    I loved seeing the pictures of the children with your grandmother. The only thing that has changed since I last saw her (40+ years ago) is her hair color:)


  3. Jul
    December 2, 2012 | 8:43 pm

    hi kim,
    could you post or link to your actual menu plan? i would love to see the sorts of things that you make that your family actually eats. do you have the same menu weekly? monthly?


    i have been trying to get raw/cultured foods into our diet for some time now, so it was really encouraging/inspiring to see some simple ideas to do so. thanks!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Jul,

    Currently we do not use the same menu plans at all. We do this mainly because we’re still fairly new to completely whole food, traditionally prepared and are working our way through lots of new recipes. That will change soon.

    I generally pick 3 meals from the GNOWFGLINS weekly menu plan (I have a file of past menus and we pick 3 meals that sound good to us.) and 3 of our old favorites.

    Here is a recent menu plan for a week. As I said, we’re still adjusting and learning.


    Jul Reply:

    thnk you!


  4. Naomi Hunt
    June 2, 2013 | 10:40 pm

    Loved your answer in the discipline question, about how I am not responsible for my childrens behaviour, only in my own response in training them. SO freeing for me! thanks!


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