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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Picking, Purging, Preparing, Peeling and Planning--The Joys of Large Families

Update: I tried and tried to publish this last night, but it insisted on 'saving' instead. I eventually gave up and figured I would try again this morning. Then I began to get email comments from those who have subscribed to receive the blog by email. I thought that it must have published after all. Turns out, it didn't. So, if you receive this in your email box twice, that's why.
Blogger has been frustrating lately. If I weren't so tired I'd try to figure out another platform. Never mind....carry on. Enjoy the read.

When you have twenty-six kids the extra work is not limited to peeling 5 pounds of potatoes at a meal. When all those kids are growing--and some of them at fantastic rates--you have to keep up with the clothes. So many clothes.

We don't have big season changes so we don't have to switch out warm and cold weather clothing, but every 3-6 months we go through all the clothes and see what fits, what has been grown out of, what is worn out, what is ready for the rag barrel.



The big job starts with the nannies pulling off the shelves anything they think doesn't work for the kids anymore. Because they don't have a lot of experience with clothes sorting and purging I have them just pull off anything that they feel doesn't fit the children in their care, or that are looking shabby.

This round filled 3 large hampers.


I brought the hampers into the living room and, while watching Style Network shows, I slowly and methodically went through every item. Those that were in really good condition were sorted by size and gender onto my coffee table. Those piles represent newborn up to 3T.

I will take them from here down to our storage room which contains trunks of clothes separated by size. This is like a little mini-store that we can access as children need larger sizes or more clothes. This has been made possible thanks to donors who have given clothes, and volunteers who worked hard with us  to get everything sorted and labeled.



These are clothes that are in good but not great condition. These will be passed on to another orphanage an hour away. They will be very grateful for the clothes.

The exciting thing is that the clothes we receive are often gently used by families before making their way to us. Then our kids enjoy them and eventually they are passed on to even more needy children. That's at least 3 lives for the clothes. Isn't that fantastic?


Some of the clothes are beyond repair or reuse so I grab my scissors and turn them into rags for cleaning projects. I hate waste.

Any clothes that are in good condition but just need a bit of mending are tossed into this bag for my extra moments in the evening. I don't get to the mending bag very often (I'm not very good at it), but whenever I do I love it. There's something affirming and 'I am woman, hear me roar!' about it. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to Tom's latest babies.

Exactly One Year Ago: Zambia's Day--Happy Independence Day!
Exactly Two Years Ago: A Walk on the Wild Side
Exactly Three Years Ago: Absentminded, Perhaps?

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