Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Im sooo excited. My VERY FIRST EDITION OF ASK GAPGIRL.I actually got questions!! And alot at that. Looks Like I will be breaking these up into 2 or 3 different posts so I get to answer each and every one. You were all so kind to ask me something, I want to make sure everyone gets a response back!

Im grouping the questions into topics because it seems I received a lot of the same topics. I will try to answer all questions very specifically so to not still keep you wondering....

here goes....
Dear GapGirl, Do, you have a cleaning schedule? Do you use chore charts with your children? How do you get them involved in maintaining the home?

Dear GapGirl, How do you stay consistent with chores? I have tried a chore chart but within a week it falls apart. How do you keep the kids motivated??

This is a hot topic with many moms I know! YES!!! I have a chore chart and have had one for MANY years. Maintaining a home of 8 people is hard work and if I tried doing it all myself I would go NUTS!!! Even if you only have 1 or 2 kids, keeping house keeps you busy. I am a BIG believer in kids being involved in the home-maintaining process. To my knowledge a maid does not come in the lease agreement and a nanny doesn't follow you home once you sign the hospital discharge papers so it is up to us moms to teach our children these very basic life skills.

Chores are done right after breakfast and right before school. Before the kids come downstairs they are to be dressed/ teeth brushed and bed made. This is not considered a chore, just what they need to do. If they don't do it or forget there are consequences. For instance today they didn't make their bed, so off to bed an hour early because of it. The older kids HATE this... and I can guarantee their bed will be made tomorrow =)

Same with chores. How Do I keep them motivated? How do I keep it from not falling apart? Easy! I make sure it gets done. PERIOD! I explain to them that its a team effort. Its our home and our responsibility to help maintain the blessing God has trusted us with. If chores do not get done then they have consequences. Its MY responsibility as a parent to make sure it gets done. No arguing with them, no debating with them, no nothing. Since we have been doing it this way for a while, my kids usually don't fuss. YOUR the parent and don't let it fall apart. Simple! We have exceptions. Like Monday we had a major snow storm so our schedule was out the window but we resumed today. Right back on track. I also ask them sporadic things if need be during the day as well. I do need to remind them but its such a routine, that its just part of the morning.

Im in the process of re-structuring my chore chart as Molly is older and able to handle a bit more. Hannah, on her own , has had Abigail as her sidekick to help her with her chores so Abigail thinks putting away laundry is SO MUCH FUN! LOL. Beds need to be made. The younger ones do it as well. Perfection is NOT necessary. Just effort.

For those moms who DON'T homeschool and realize their kids schedules are just too crazy. Simple solutions are great. Make them responsible for their room. Have an alarm clock in their room and have them up, dressed, bed made and room tidied before they go eat breakfast and catch the bus. Thats one less thing that Moms have to do (besides just going in and fixing minor things)

Teach them to pick up after themselves. With the exception of baby toys/equipment. I try to enforce the NO TOYS OUT OF THE ROOM rule. Maybe just one if your playing with it but then up the stairs it goes. This eliminates clutter in the living space.

After school, have the laundry already folded and have them put theirs away and laundry that is not theirs in the appropriate room. This helps GREATLY! and helps keep laundry under control... especially in a big family. On the weekends give them one or two chores to do that will also help you out.

I don't follow a strict cleaning schedule. I am cleaning all the time. I clean the kitchen every day. I windex and clean the appliances almost every day and clean the bathrooms about once a week. I do laundry 24/7. My laundry room is right off of my foyer so im in and out switching loads and I fold when I get a chance (im famous for leaving piles in my living room but at least the clothes are clean right?)

I like my bedroom clean along with my master bath, so I try and just keep that tidy. I HATE a cluttered foyer so whenever I walk in it I pick up or go tell the kids to pick up their OWN SHOES and place then in the basket. I pick up ALL DAY LONG and with 6 kids, my house is forever in need of cleaning. Ha!

Dear GapGirl,

How do you stay so fashionable/ take care of yourself/find time to shop? I have let myself go so bad.

I always find time to take care of myself. P-E-R-I-O-D! Some people call it vain, I call it sanity. Make-up, clothes and I are besties. You will never ever find me out and about in my raggy clothes, no make-up and messy hair. Its just how I always was. Its how my sister is and how my mom is. Its just in my blood. We WILL be late to ANYTHING we have to go to if I am not ready.
I also do not hang out in my home all bummed out. (with the exception of just having a baby) My "I just gave birth " excuse lasts for just a couple of months and then Im right back to it. Miss Pretty Penelope is quite high maintenance so I have found it sooo challenging but it WILL be overcome. I do have no make-up days and comfy clothes day. Especially in winter when Im locked in the house but as soon as the sun is out and we have school outside and go for walks and im gardening in the yard... you bet your bottom dollar im lookin good. I do it for myself and of course for my hubby. Its bad enough to be a frazzled mom but do I have to look like one?? Does my hubby have to look at me like that?? YIKES! Heck no! Yes, I agree Husbands need to love you no matter what Blah blah blah, and for better or for worse yada yada yada but honestly gals... if I came home and saw him dirty, messy, unkempt, on the couch with his hair a mess EVERY DAY of my life I would most certainly would wish my hubby looked like so and so. Neat and clean... its just a place you don't want to go. Men are visual and you gotta give them the visual they first fell in love with. PLUS you HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOURSELF. You will feel sooo much better. Plus make-up is FUN! Who cares if you have no where to go. Get dressed, doll yourself up, spray perfume.... watch the reaction you get when your man walks thru the door... its priceless.

Oh and please spare me the womens lib stuff..... have you noticed the womens liberation advocates that were famous back in the day?? They looked like MEN! They looked like they spent the day sucking on lemons ...And they were single.. no wonder why.. WOOF! Just sayin.... I for one do not follow the "I am woman here me roar" motto. Call me old fashioned. Call me barbaric or better yet, call me HAPPILY MARRIED!

*** I will be posting more answers to questions tonight so stay tuned!!! ***


  1. love it- well said.
    I would love you to break down your food shopping schedule and budget.

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!! :)

    Yes. I want to see your CHORE CHART!!! How brilliant!


  3. Love it. I follow a lot of the same rules. But the last few snow days we had off I did look a little frumpy. Once in a while is ok.

  4. you are really funny.
    AND i totally agree with you.
    you just say it perfectly.

  5. great post!Funny too!glad you are doing well.I had my little one three weeks ago!

  6. Love it, yes I shouldn't make my hubby look at me like that everyday, yikes! Now if we can just get everyone to follow the chore char, myself included! Thanks!

  7. Ok so toys are kept in the bedrooms, how do you organize school books and all the other homeschool stuff?

  8. Jasmine- Homeschool books are kept on bookshelves that I have in my living room. They are labeled and I do my best to keep them in order. This doesn't always happen but I try. On my bookshelves I have nice pretty bins and inside they contain learning games, math manipulatives, puzzles and such. I also keep arts and crafts and anything else they might need in a closet off of the living room.

  9. I had chores for my kids as well when they were growing up. I still make my adult daughter help here cuz she lives here and I expect help!
    I am one of those people that don't go out of the house without makeup on. Even if it's to the grocery store, it's foundation, blush and mascara at the very least. I want my hubby to see me as looking good and so he won't look somewhere else. He's told me that all other women are uglier than me but I don't believe that for a minute! :0)
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. I think I can glean a lot of good tips from you! I love the idea of using an earlier bedtime as a consequence. It would definitely have an effect on my boys.

    I also like that your kids are expected to be dressed and have beds made before coming downstairs. I was going to ask you how they get all that done without waking the baby in the morning. But, I just saw your newest post that Penelope is still with you guys in your downstairs bedroom.

    I would love to have my boys do the same thing, but all our bedrooms are upstairs, the baby usually sleeps until 8 - 8:30 and my boys have a really hard time with the word 'quiet'. Even when they are trying to be quiet they sound like a herd of elephants. So, I just usher all the big boys downstairs as quickly as I can...which means that their beds do not get made before they leave for school. (We pick out clothes the night before and have them waiting downstairs).



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