"Large Family Logistics"

Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family by Kim Brenneman is an easy, enjoyable  read.  Kim's ideas are encouraging and practical.  She starts with the reality of where we may be as women and systematically presents principles and ideas that will help us grow.

Kim, mother of nine, and her husband run a farm and micro-dairy in Iowa.  She home-schools her children and enjoys a variety of gardening and sewing activities.   She offers a variety of ideas and suggestions for household, personal, and learning management. 

Kim starts her book with a section presenting principles that can help you be the women, wife, mother, and manager that is God-honoring.  Her premise that we need to be grounded in Scripture helps to bring the focus back to the reality that all we do is for God - even the care of ourselves and our home.   The second section of her book focuses on presenting ideas and plans for the organization and running of your home.  She approaches everything with the idea that we are to be working together as a family and, as a mom, we have the responsibility to teach our children the maintenance of a home and family and allow them the opportunity to "practice" by working with their siblings to help mom and dad run the house.  
I enjoyed the easy reading of Kim's writing.  She wrote in a way that is very familiar and it was almost as if she was having a conversation with you.  The chapters are fairly short, some only a couple of pages, which makes fitting a moment of reading in easy amidst everything else of life.  She has excellent ideas and lays them out in a very understandable and easy to implement way.  

There are a few times where Kim's strong feelings about how something should be done, came across very clearly.  It is important to remember in everything we read to measure it against the Truth and our own priorities.  What she says is great! but if you are not sure of where you stand you could be lead to feel badly about where you currently are and choices your family has made.  

I would recommend Large Family Logistics to most any wife and mother who is seeking to improve the management and function of her household.  It is especially helpful to those who have a large number of family members and/or a variety of responsibilities.  Her ideas can easily be translated and modified to apply in a smaller family setting as well.  

My Newest Lasagna Creation

We love lasagna in our family (well, four of the five of us love it, one will force it down when required to do so and motivated by the thought of dessert).  I have recently found a couple of different recipes for lasagna meals, and several weeks ago (actually months now) made an attempt at one of them.  

I love cooking with my crockpot - the fix it and forget for the day idea works well with my brain, since I usually think about supper when I am cleaning up from breakfast.  And I love the ability to easily get supper on the table in the evening when we are all very hungry and I usually have a toddler wrapped around my legs or am attempting to assist with homework studies.

The recipe I tried was very tasty, though more like chili.  I added my modifications below and would even suggest trying it with a different large noodle next time.  Also, watch the cooking time carefully.  It burned easily along the edges once the noodles were done cooking.  Of course, our cheese loving family topped each serving with a pinch of parmesan or mozzarella cheese.  

Lasagna Chili (modified from Easy Crockpot Lasagna)

1+ lb. gr. turkey and sausage (½ and ½)
½ c. onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 – 26 oz. jar of Prego traditional pasta sauce
½ c. water

1½ c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cottage cheese
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley
1 egg

6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

½ c. mozzarella cheese
1 T. grated parmesan cheese

    1. Cook ground turkey and sausage.  Add onion and garlic until cooked tender.  Combine with pasta sauce and water, simmer for five minutes and set aside.
    2. Combine mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley and egg.  Set aside.
    3. In 4-6 qt. crockpot pour 1 c. of spaghetti meat sauce.   Place half of the noodles in, breaking them as necessary so they fit.  Top with half the cheese mixture. 
    4. Place remaining noodles and top with 2 c. of meat sauce, and remaining cheese mixture. 
    5. Top with remaining meat sauce, and cook for 4 hours on low or until noodles are soft.  (I would start checking it after 3 hours.)
    6. Top with mozzarella/parmasen mixture and let it sit for 10’ covered with the heat turned off.