Family Work Day

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had logs, branches, wood chip and lots of mess left over from the storm.  It felt overwhelming.  But you know what?  It is much less overwhelming when one approaches situations like this as a family – en mass.

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Right from when the children were little, we always wanted them to feel like they were part of something big; we wanted them to know without doubt that we were better as a team than we were individually and they were valued and indispensable members of that team.  At no point has our family been them and us (ie adults verses children), although I absolutely pull rank if I need to (rarely).  In general though, we work as a team.  If one member is unhappy we all pull together to help and support that person.

After the storm, we all felt a bit miserable.  The garden was covered in mess, our bank account was severely depleted, and we were all sleep deprived.  Mum could hardly get her car out of the drive and the chicken run was overtaken by wood.  Yes we were safe, and absolutely felt blessed to have taken the tree down rather than it falling down and causing untold damage to our house, but as we looked around us we couldn’t see the wood for the trees (or should that be the trees for the wood?).  After chatting to the children we decided to call a family work day.

Family work days, for me, epitomise all that is great within a family.  Hard work, complaints, team work, camaraderie, complaints, food, more complaints, aches and pains accompanied by even more complaints (all good naturedly).  But we all work together, the great family team, towards one common goal; the seven of us achieving so much more than the adults could by themselves.  And it’s fun.  Even the complaining is fun when all seven of us are doing it and trying to out do each other with our moans.  This is what families are all about – the making of memories, the sharing of workloads and teaching the children that they have such an important role in our family, that we would not work nearly so well without them.

The little girls raring to go
The little girls raring to go

My aim is to raise hard workers.  Both Gary and I come from families with great work ethics and I truly believe that hard work is one of the keys to happiness.  To know the tiredness which comes from a job well done is so important for children to experience, especially our boys.

Everyone worked hard for a good few hours, from oldest (me) to youngest (B2):

The first thing to do was to move all the logs, branches and general mess from the chicken area
The first thing to do was to move all the logs, branches and general mess from the chicken area

Everyone did what they could according to their  individual strength and stature:

Gary and T12 did most of the heavy lifting
Gary and T12 did most of the heavy lifting
Whilst the girls tackled the lighter loads
Whilst the girls tackled the lighter loads
And B2 did a sterling job with all the twigs
And B2 did a sterling job with all the twigs

We worked at it until all the larger logs were in a pile for Father and son to split, and the rest was piled high neatly at the side of the garden:

L11 standing proud!
L11 standing proud!

We all stopped for tea and toast:

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before getting back to the job in hand:

T12 sharpened the ax
T12 sharpened the axe
which Gary and he used to chop the logs
which Gary and he used to chop the logs
T12 and the girls worked on making room in our log pile for the new logs to be stored and seasoned
T12 and the girls worked on making room in our log pile for the new logs to be stored and seasoned
Oscar did what he could to help, loving being in the midst of everything
Oscar did what he could to help, loving being in the midst of everything

I went inside to do everyone’s indoor chores whilst they did their animal chores from the day before.  Every weekend all the animals have their headquarters cleaned out.  The children had been unable to do this due to the weather and the tree coming down, so the girls fitted it in whilst the boys chopped wood:

L12 cleaned out the rabbits with the help of the chickens
L12 cleaned out the rabbits with the help of the chickens
C11 having a cuddle
C11 having a cuddle
C11 doing her chickens
C11 doing her chickens

Once the animals were done, and the boys had made some headway with the logs, we got onto the business of shifting the wood chip.  Actually ‘we’ is a misnomer.  At this point only the stalwarts were still at it, namely Gary and T12.  We had decided to take everyone out for a late lunch, so the girls were getting ready whilst the boys finished up:

T12 dug the wood chip into the barrow and took it to Gary in the chicken coop
T12 dug the wood chip into the barrow and took it to Gary in the chicken coop
Gary raked it all in...
Gary raked it all in…
And the chicken joined in, turning it over and pecking to their hearts content.
And the chicken joined in, turning it over and pecking to their hearts content.

It was a good job jobbed.  We had achieved loads.  Both the house and garden looked vaguely respectable, we had a lovely lunch out and slept like babies, all of us needing to catch up on the sleep lost on the night of the storm.  I love our team of workers!

  Homegrown Learners Highhill Homeschool

30 comments

  1. I love this post. (Am I saying this about every one of your posts?) This is the heart of what I want to teach my children, too. I have had this particular subject on my mind lately, as in general my kids do work well together as a family, but there are times in which they don’t and I need to refresh their concept of this again. Thank you for the reminder and the examples you show. You are a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me.

  2. Jobs really are so much more fun done as a team! At Christmas I stayed with a lovely family in Norway and one cold grey wintery day we ended up deep-cleaning the kitchen. None of us would have put that down as a fun activity beforehand but we had a great time. I’m very impressed at how fast you got the wood cleared up – all done in time for lunch!

  3. Wow, that was a huge job! I love how everyone pitched in and worked together. You even got the animals in on it! You are AMAZING, Claire:))
    Seriously, I am glad everyone is safe and now you have a nice wood store for next winter.
    Love all the pictures, but I think Oscar just might win out this time.

    Wishing you a most excellent day and weekend. (7)
    (Love T’s comment above.)

  4. We’ve been working at the work ethic here recently. I’ve gotten a bit of pushback from my Princess, but otherwise they’re starting to catch on to the idea more.

    And I’m with the others I love the picture of your little one with her wheel barrow.

  5. I was so sorry to hear about the tree, Claire. Our opposite neighbours had one come down that night, too. Luckily it only damaged a garage roof.
    How like the AngelicScalliwag clan, though, to make something wonderful out of a near-catastrophe. I can just imagine how much you all enjoyed the outdoor tea and toast, lunch out and that night’s sleep! And you have recorded it so beautifully here for everyone to look back on.
    (Loved the Mister Men birthday party, too, btw!) Here’s to a calmer weekend…

  6. I love hearing about your work day. Thanks for keeping it real with the complaints part. It is a relief to know that others complain.
    Blessings, Dawn

  7. Whoa! It looks like you lost a pretty big tree! I love your concept of pulling together for a work day. We do that too, but haven’t had that sort of heavy work to do before. We did have some serious pine straw issues when we moved into this rental house, but after days of driving in the van, they relished in the raking and the dinner out for a treat 😉

  8. I so agree! I love how you approached this. It is less overwhelming when it is done as a family! Since it is only Keilee and I we have help from my 18 year old nephew for yard chores but it makes me feel good at the end of the day to pitch in and help. I love all the pictures of your family working together!!! 🙂

  9. What a great example this post is to us all 🙂 I always feel great when our whole family gets outdoors to get the yardwork done – I will take a leaf out of your book for next time, and make a game of the moaning and complaining!

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