How is Home Management Plain and Simple different from your first book Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family?
Here’s the short story of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
- The new and improved edition, Home Management Plain and Simple is different in that I added content because I had several years more experience in home management by the time Home Management Plain and Simple was published.
- I removed content that is more appropriate for a forthcoming companion workbook.
- I edited it several times myself and had two other editors help me with the content.
- My editing goal was to write more broadly because people other than large families have benefited from the original.
- I wrote for everyone with a home. If you don’t have children, skip those parts.
- I added personal stories for each chapter.
- I worked to make it sound more like me in real life.
- I inserted lots of grace. Because life is all grace.
My goal with Home Management Plain and Simple was for you to get the principles and take them as a springboard to use in your life. The meat and bones of the LFL are in Home Management Plain and Simple but there is more heart, soul, and grace in it.
Here’s the long story of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
The blog: Large Family Logistics
The first book developed out of years of blog writing back in 2004 through 2007. I was swimming in little children, middle sized children and teenagers, nine total. Home, homeschooling, farming, wrestling, gardening, sewing, food food and more food, laundry, bathrooms, floors… It was the deep end of the pool and I was treading water like crazy. I learned and I wrote about what I learned.
Babies get up early and nearly every morning I’d drink my coffee, nurse the baby in my desk chair and write a new blogpost one-handed. I’m pretty good at typing one-handed with both my right and left hand because of those days.
I wrote about
- what I was doing and why I was doing it
- how to do different tasks and how to move faster
- about pregnancy and babies
- life with preschoolers
- reading aloud
- homeschooling a bunch of different ages of kids at once
- our farm life
- and how I survived by praying without ceasing amongst other stress management techniques
Blogwriting was a combination of creative outlet and stress relief, and most of all a record for my children so that they wouldn’t struggle as much as I did in learning how to manage a home full of children.
I enjoyed my days because I was intentional at creating a happy and pleasant home. That certainly does not mean that all the days were sunshine and roses but I remember more good days than bad. At first it was scary to hit the publish button but then I started getting a lot of feedback from other moms who were swimming in children and trying to manage their homes. They wrote thank you notes and asked questions about how I handled certain situation or tasks. They encouraged me to keep writing. I kept writing.
For awhile I had an online store for products that I found helpful and weren’t widely available (Amazon didn’t have everything back then). This was fun and fed my entrepreneur side. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make any money, though I did learn a lot.
The book: Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
Then, we had our micro-preemie in 2007 and my focus shifted to giving him a healthy start. I closed the store, rarely wrote blog posts, had more tea parties with my children, and turned my writing towards putting all the blog posts into a book. My blog was named Large Family Logistics and for the book I added the tagline The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. In 2010 it was published by a now defunct company.
At the same time that the book was undergoing the editing process by the publisher, our family was in the midst of a start-up business on our farm, a micro-dairy making goat cheese.
Our whole family worked hard on the goat dairy, from the college student back for summer break who marketed cheese, the homeschooled kids milking goats and making cheese, to the preschoolers who slapped stickers onto cheese tubs. We designed (with the state’s oversight) and built a goat dairy and cheese making facility. The new business involved multiple meetings with the state, certificates, understanding rules and regulations, perfecting the cheese flavor, trying out markets and deciding where to sell our goat cheese, ordering supplies for the best price, deciding on pricing, calculating and calculating again (Office Day was every day), and delegating the right family member for the right job.
My brain was goats, cheese, and business every day all day for the years that we were in production. Everyone got an education in business and marketing!
Sooooo, when the publishing business (that I trusted) sent me edits to approve, I didn’t really look at the edits but just hit the key to accept over and over. That was a really dumb move on my part. Because, turns out, I didn’t fully understand the deeper philosophy of that business or how they were editing the book with a slant towards centering life around the patriarch (not that we shouldn’t honor husbands and fathers, like we honor everyone that we love and care about).
You know that quote from Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That word in this situation is patriarchy.
Well, turns out that I was interpreting the word according to what I was living in reality. I had never been to any of the company’s conferences or those put on by like-minded business cohorts. I read books here and there around the edges of life and I read them interpreting them with my life lens. My reality was that my husband and I are a team. We make decisions together, united, based on what makes sense for the situation.
At that time, I didn’t know about the destructive underbelly of patriarchy. I thought patriarchy meant that fathers loved their families and were involved in their family life.
The book: Home Management Plain and Simple
I’ll gloss over some ugliness involving patriarchy here and get to 2015 when the original rights of the book Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family returned to me. I didn’t have a lot of time to do the editing that I wanted to do because… life changed in many ways, we had moved off of our Iowa farm to rural Idaho for my husband’s off-farm career, I went to nursing school so that someday I can be a nurse-midwife… that’s another story that I’ll tell someday…
Once in a while I was able to get a few days to devote to working on the book. The first time was August of 2015 when I went on a three-day work trip with my husband (he was working in wheat at that time), holed up in a hotel in Bozeman, Montana, read (for the first time) and edited Large Family Logistics. I couldn’t do anything with the book again for a few months and that pattern carried on with edits and writing until I finally had to say, “Enough”, and Home Management Plain and Simple became available in 2017.
My goal is that Home Management, Plain and Simple will help people to have happy and pleasant home lives by tweaking the work at home to be more efficient, joyful, and freeing up time for other pursuits.
The Blog: Home Plain and Simple
I’m writing a bit more regularly now, life has settled down a bit and one of my daughters has joined me in managing the website, social media, and writing with me. There are seasons in life but they aren’t quite as predictable as the regularity of spring, summer, fall, winter. Follow along with blog content here as we write about our seasons of home and life.
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