Seriously. They know nothing.
But although the whole point of this blog is to share some of the wacky and unusual things my family does, most of what I talk about is the gigantic scale on which we do everything, from cooking to laundry to road trips. But although I write about this a lot, I think a lot of times, people don't quite grasp just how big we do things. They hear the number thirteen, but they don't quite understand what that means until I start giving the numbers.
The size and scale of our garden, for instance, is something people regularly underestimate. You almost have to see it to believe it, but on a year-to-year basis, this is what we put in it.
|This is about half our garden. Sadly, it's buried in snow |
right now, so I can't really take a more accurate pictures.
And these are just the foods we can in the largest volume. I didn’t even mention how much jam and venison we put up. But think about those numbers a little, and then consider that the Clan eats about six quarts of applesauce at a meal, or five quarts of vegetables. Trust me, we do a lot of canning, and it adds up to a lot of jars. Dad did a count last year and came up with just over one thousand jars.
How about another area of everyday life—laundry? The Clan does laundry on a huge scale as well. On an average day we run between three and four loads of laundry. If everyone changed their clothes that day, we might have five or six loads. And I'm talking full loads. We don't mess around when we're running laundry. There's a reason the washing machine wears out so often.
And with this much laundry being washed, our two enormous laundry baskets get mounded with clean laundry every day. To give you an idea of what I mean by enormous, these baskets are big enough that I can almost fit underneath one if I curled up tight.
Sadly, I’m not that flexible, so it ends up looking more like a turtle shell, but you get the picture. They’re BIG baskets.
|I would say this is a mostly-full laundry basket. It could be fuller.|
So we fill that storage room to the ceiling. Whether it’s seasonal clothing or just a lot of t-shirts and jeans, we usually have around twenty plastic bins in our storage room. And it used to be more, but now that we don’t have to keep baby clothes or toddler sizes around, we’ve been able to cut down quite a bit.
While we’re on the topic of storage, let’s talk about the size of our house. Even I will admit that, compared to normal houses, we live in a BIG house. I’ve written before about how we only have two kids’ bedrooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. My sisters and I all sleep in the same room, but that room is quite large for a bedroom. If you got rid of the bunk beds and shelves in the girls’ room, you could probably park a pickup truck in there. And the boys’ bedroom is way bigger. It’s smaller than the garage, but it’s still pretty darn big.
Speaking of the garage, take a moment to consider how we get places. There’s no way we’d all fit into a normal van, and it’s really not cost-effective to have to drive two vehicles every time we all have to go to town together. On long road trips or when we go camping, this is usually a different story, since we need a second vehicle to haul camping equipment, etc. But for little trips, it’s just better to have a vehicle we can all fit in.
Enter the “School Bus,” our fifteen-passenger van that just barely manages to hold us all. I don’t know what we would have done if there had been one more baby, but at least we all have a place to sit and a seatbelt to ourselves when we have to drive somewhere.
These are just some of the mundane, everyday things about the Clan that would be normal and ordinary if they weren’t so HUGE. If the numbers I’m throwing out there are surprising to you, well, get used to it! The Clan is full of surprises, and you should have guessed that by now. Because of the size of our family, everything we do is just bigger (and better) than what everyone else is doing. Big bedrooms, mongo gardens, and hundreds of canning jars is just the way we roll.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Mom and Dad for helping me research this post, by the way. I mean, I kinda knew how much of everything we planted and stored, etc. But fact-checking the numbers with them has made sure I've got everything right. Turns out we don't have thousands of jars, just hundreds.