In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shopping Room

 I am driving the largest reasonable family vehicle on the market. The problem is my 15 passenger van has zero cargo room, unless you take the back seat out; and with my family size, I have to have the back seat in at all times. The shopping room answer thus far was been to move the booster kids to the back and pack the front seat or two with groceries. I don't move Elijah because it's too difficult to buckle his car seat in way back there. My new issue will be Selah and Bella will both have Elijah type car seats and there won't be near as much packing room around them all, (and they step on the food getting in and out.)

Yesterday I took only half my children on my Walmart and Commissary run. Here's the front seat  packed at the Commissary.

Seat #2 packed at Walmart - there are also bags on the floor. 

Seat #3 and 4 - Tori's seat was packed also and let me tell you, it's not exactly convenient to load and unload from the back, back seat. We had the little back cargo area filled by only two cat food bags and the stroller. I now understand why Michelle Duggar takes her vacation trailer grocery shopping. It would be much easier than packing around the kids in the van and having them step on the bread. I'm only about a month away from leaving the kids at home or shopping that way. I'm pretty sure the base police will make me pull over, open the trailer and make me answer lots of questions for security purposes before they will even let me on the base - that will be rather embarrassing. 

How do other big families do this? I'm thinking most must leave the little guys at home, but mine love to go and yesterday they were all so good for a full three hours of food shopping! (No, that isn't always the case!)


  1. Yep. Leave the kids at home. :) Or, take a few each time so it becomes a special Mommy & Me time.

    Before I had any teens old enough to babysit, I would go grocery shopping after everyone was in bed at night (even my hubby). I loved the quiet grocery store at midnight. Seriously.

    Another option: have you seen the type of "shelf" unit that attaches to your hitch? Ours has a nice canvas bag with 3 compartments. The shelf runs the whole width of the 15 passenger van, and the canvas bag holds a LOT. We use ours for vacations, but it would most certainly work for a shopping trip, too. We bought ours at Target for only about $50.

  2. I only have two kids (up to six when we fostered) but taking the trailer is super logical. It will make loading/unloading much easier and you won't have to move kids around. I'd go that route.

  3. I agree w/ Mama D.. Grocery shopping is one of my treasured moments! I used to go after the kids were in bed, now I squeeze it in when I can. But it is MY moment!
    Sometimes if I go during the day I will let one child go and we get some "mommy & me" time. And you may find that your 3 hour trip, turns into a 2 hour trip!

  4. I have the same problem(s). When we were traveling across country with three littles under two, I read the fine print and we cannot put any carseats in the rear seat of our 12 passenger at all. The owner's manual says not safe. So the car seat juggle gets trickier. And groceries? At one point, one of my kids hadn't been to Stuffmart in over a year. Oops. I tried to get her out a little more after that. We all go, now that I have enough bigs to pair up with littles.
    We used a similar hitch and put 4 large totes on it with bungy cords. Worked wonderfully. Happy Shopping.

  5. I feel your pain=). We buy at Aldi 1x a month, I go on a Thursday afternoon after DH gets home. He cooks supper, or it's crock pot. The next day I go to WM, for whatever Aldi didn't have, and to use coupons. For me to go alone, DH works 1/2 longer every day, so he can stay home on that Friday 1x a month. For supper that Friday, and again in 2 weeks, we go to Sam's and eat pizza combos, and get our Sam's items.
    This works most of the time=)

  6. I got into the habit years ago when my kids were all little that "stuck" & I still do it! I would put the kids to bed on a Friday night & then turn over the parental 'reigns' to my husband & leave for the store. I usually shop at Walmart & they're open 24/7 so it wasn't a big deal if it meant not getting there til 10:00 sometimes. It became my own personal GNO & I loved it!