Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gettting 12+ People to Church On Time

It's quite an event trying to get all of us ready on time for church Sunday mornings.  It seems like Sunday is by far the craziest morning in our house.  This is usually because we have extra kids here that have spent the night.  Everyone has stayed up a little later than usual so we're not too good about waking-up early on Sunday mornings.  Then I have all the kids to feed and get dressed in nice clothes.  I know I should probably get some things organized the night before to make Sunday monrnings run a little smoother (this is what my precious mother-in-law tells me she always did when she was raising her 5 children.)  Well, this morning we counted 11 children (5 of these children teenages, so they seem rather big) plus 2 parents, all in the kitchen at once fighting over the homemade oatmeal I had made and the few biscuits that were left from yesterday morning.  I ended up with nothing to eat, but I did get the last of the coffee.  Then we had 2 more teenagers show up wanting a ride to church.  It was quite crazy!  So, here are some other things you may see at our house on a Sunday morning before church.
Matthew is dressed and looks rather cute but is eating a plastic horse for breakfast!

Teenagers drinking OJ straight from the jug.......why do boys do this?!

The baby screaming over all the noise.  It's a good thing that God gave #10 a really loud cry.  I think he didn't like his hat : )

My little Caroline always my little helper!

So please, if you know any secrets to making Sunday mornings run a little smoother and a trick to actually get us on time to church, please let me know : )


  1. Sunday morning is crazy. And living 35 miles from church and needing to be there by 9:20 am is definitely a challenge. Just getting them in the van is a feat but when you have to buckle them too then you add that to the time. When my twins were born I had 4 kids in car seats. Fun!! I find that getting them to church alone is victory but the bad thing is is that once we get there is when I finally notice all the discrepancies in their dress!! I suppose by then though it's too late!! I still have not learned to do add in time for 'inspections' before loading up.

  2. My husband has to be there early to do sound. I finally decided that we could go early with him, or stay home because I cannot seem to be able to do this without him. The good news is that, because he's the one who has to be there early, he's the one who gets stressed and grumpy, instead of me. :-)

    We do lay out all the littles' clothes and shoes the night before, and I splurge and buy generic fruit-n-grain bars for breakfast so they can grab and go.

    It's still a zoo.

  3. We are never on time for church...well almost never. I lay the littles clothes out the night before all the way down to their socks, shoes and belt. Even if we are headed out on time something happens and we are late. This morning we were only going to be a couple min. late and I picked Britton up to put him in the van and he had poop. Happens all the time. Oh well. I try to be on time but I do think it's better to be late than not at all so we go no matter how late we are going to be.

  4. Why is it always harder to get to out the door Sunday mornings? I don't have as many people in this house and I probably don't have anything to say that you haven't heard before, however. Things that I find that make it easier but don't always do:
    1. Simple breakfast, bagels and cream cheese or cereal, something that is quick to fix and clean up. I used to try and make a big breakfast b/c we were all together but then I would get behind on everything else and get stressed, come home to a dirty kitchen.
    2. Lay out clothes the night before, find all the tights, hairbows and a full pair of church shoes for everyone. Or do it first thing when I get up or if I am really on top of things when this stuff comes through the laundry keep it as a set.

  5. I just today had to get myself and 9 kiddos ready-by myself. My husband and 3 big kids were not at home!! We do have a routine we regularly follow Saturday night and Sunday morning.

    -clothes, etc. ready the night before. We have 2 bins for church shoes-1 boy & 1 girl. I also have a garment rack thing that only houses church clothes. That way I don't have to search individual rooms, it's all right there.

    -our church has snack time between services for kids and the big kids grab something before we run out the door. Before we had snack time, one big kid was in charge of toasting 1 frozen waffle per person. That was enough to tide them over until our big Sunday lunch.

    -each of the 3 big kids and myself have a "job" other than getting ourselves ready.
    *16 yr old boy is the van starter and kid
    loader after I fix hair they are his
    responsibility to get in and buckled
    *14 yr old girl selects outfits for everyone
    on Sat. night
    *11 yr old girl helps 3 little girls get
    *I am the hairdoer of all under age 11

    The big kids want to get to church on time or early to talk with friends, so they are more than willing to help out!

  6. Yep, pretty much the same here. All mine are littles so I lay out everything on Saturday -if I don't we are late :) I lay out every item that each of the children will wear including hair bows/flowers for the girls, pack the babies' diaper bags, make sure my kids' church bag is still stocked, and often even lay out breakfast. I try to get my own clothes ready as well so that I don't delay us with my indecisiveness. We also splurge on breakfast -quick and clean is my goal since I often end up giving it to the kids in the car. Crumbs are fine since they brush off, I just try to stay away from wet & sticky! Cheese sticks & cereal bars are favorites. Sunday AM hubby & I get ready together and then work together to get all the kids dressed. My trouble is how to get everyone ready in the AM without leaving the house a mess behind us...

  7. My trick to getting 9 kids age 12 and under to Mass on time: we go to the 12:15 service.

    Also I bribe the children with quarters to locate shoes. Somehow even when we find ALL the shoes the night before, someone's missing one or two the next morning. I still don't understand it.

  8. Love it! Not that you run late for church but that someone else out there can now understand why we are always late for church too. My house is so very much like yours! My 10 children and always a friend or two overnight.
    I do try to lay out their clothes the night before, the little ones, and have my 5 teens help get little ones dressed and then into their seats in the van. But there is always something unexpected, but thats ok, I would rather always be late, I love having my large family! :)

  9. Did you see the recent All in a Day posts about Getting to Church on Time?

    Maybe you will see something there that will help you. Bottom Line is it is a CHALLENGE! :)

  10. Thanks so much for all the suggestions : ) Now I'm motivated to try.....Easter Sunday was a wash, so we'll try this week. Y'all are grea!

  11. Try to skip the Sunday morning breakfast and eat after you comme back from the church. It's a small "sacrifice" (not eating) that you can do for The Lord, Jesus Christ. This practice (not eating on Sunday, or in any other Hollyday before the Holly Liturgy) it is a standard in the Orthodox Christian Church. Give it a try, mybe it helps. I know that maybe it's sounds strange, but this is the norm where i comme from! Joy!

    1. Actually, that's a really good idea. We've been going to an earlier service that starts at 9am, so we've been eating very light beforehand. But the thought of fasting for the Lord on Sunday mornings is something we may try. Thanks!

    2. It is a good idea, especially as they get older, but my issue with why this doesn't work now is: if my kids don't get breakfast, they are a MESS. And somewhat understandably so. The are 7 and under and their little bodies just need the nutrition I guess. Maybe when they are a littte older we will make it on time:) Hey, at least we are only late 3 out of 4 instead of every time!:)


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.