Hi Ho Hi Ho... out the door we go!

 ***Article as published in Serious Life Magazine***

Getting out the door with kids is fun, getting out the door with 6 kids, 5 whom are in car seats, is an all out party!

If I have you whistling the tune of the seven dwarfs in your head then you are right on pace with our party. The whistling, marching to the beat, single file out the door with a pack over your shoulder.  There is an uncanny correlation with my family of 8 getting out the door and the 7 dwarfs heading out to work. It's no wonder I've adopted their song as our get out the door theme song.

Like the gun shot signaling the beginning of the race, when I open my mouth and let out those 4 little words -- "Hi! Ho! Let's Go!" the race DOES begin. I can hear it now, the scampering feet coming from all directions and the chorus of whistlers. The adventure has officially begun. As I sing and whistle and sometime clap my hands if they need an extra boost I find myself chanting "socks, shoes, coat, hat, gloves"

At this point I’m not sure they need the reminder, and then something ends up lost or forgotten in the rush to get on with the show. On occasion I'll catch one of them singing, whistling or chanting to themselves; I can almost hear them doing the same leading my future grand kids out the door to the beat of our old family tunes.

Off to school is a bit different than the trip out to the store or park. Simply add; "backpack & lunch!" to the chant and it's out the door with ease -- that is if we have packed backpacks and lunches the night before! We don't hear very many "I can't find my..." when everyone has their own spot for their things.

Bringing the kids alone obviously equals full hands so extras end up being added on a ‘need to have’ basis; if the kids want to bring along a book, toy, blankie or their 'own' bottle of water it's all on them. We had to pass the "you can't bring it unless it fits in your lap" rule after a few attempts at bringing along a large tractor or duffle bag full of spy gear. Imagine 8 of us bursting at the seams filling every seat in our van so covering the floor with bags or toys is not an option.

 I usually have the van stocked with most of our "necessary on every trip" type items, such as; diapers & wipes, extra clothes, a glass jug of water, dried fruit and nuts, hand towel, park blanket, and a pocket of books for each of the family readers. Unless we're going somewhere that I know we'll need more, getting the kids & myself is all I have to focus on.

Once the flurry of socks, shoes, coats, hats and any other ‘bring-a-longs’ have found there proper place upon our 4 wild little boys. The girls are snuggly cuddled in their infant seats. It is time to follow the leader out the door -- single file with our blue eyed 8 year old taking the lead and mom and dad bringing up the rear and all ‘in-betweeners’ marching steadily... in-between.

The 3 backrow boys hop in their seats first -- giving our youngest boy a boost into his 5 point along the way and then settling into each of their window seat boosters to buckle themselves in while mom or dad secure little blond Z in his toddler seat.

Now we're 3 down 3 to go. Our oldest can now take his seat in the middle of the second row -- nicely placed in the center of it all. Isn't that where the oldest always wants to be anyway!? Next it's the girls turn -- click, click and their infant seats are secure in their place. Hop in, Shut the doors, double check the list in my head, and we're off to work (or play)!

Whew! That was a job! Can you imagine if we hadn't followed the plan? We've strayed from the routine a few too many times and trust me, it's not pretty! On occasion when someone isn't sticking to the beat -- wanting to hurry to the car or stop to smell flowers it can turn into a nice display of complete chaos.

For example, if the girls are clicked in first, the boys have to climb or be hauled over the seats to get to their spot and that does not make for very happy parents or children if they get knocked in the head by a stray foot. The lessons have been learned, routine, order, communication and a few little tricks makes getting out the door with 8 not so bad! Now all you have to do is get there, unload and then eventually do it all over again. 

We all have to work together with a fully packed Van. It's everyone's job to help their seat neighbor; a dropped blankie, toy, book, need a drink, buckle stuck or simply wanting a friend to read with. And with 6 kids, the need WILL arise.

When all goes right we all work like a well oiled machine together -- quite an impressive site. But if not, we'll get to do it again tomorrow. 

Hi Ho - out the door you go with these 7 tips



1 – Use a song or signal to make getting out the door fun and orderly


2 – Use a chant as a checklist that makes it fun (momma drill cadence…)

3- Create a special spot for each Childs Coat [with hats and gloves tucked in the sleeve], backpack & shoes


4 – Bring it in your lap rule


5 – Stock the van


6 – Have a designated order of getting in and out of the vehicle


7 - Help your car seat neighbor


So what did you think? Be sure to check it out in the magazine too... there are super cute picture of Eliza and Ozzie and it just looks better there! {grin}

Really Really.... what did you think? Any suggestions on what YOU would like to see next month?


And now we are REALLY hi-ho hi-ho it's out the door we go! ROAD TRIP! We'll be back in a few days! 

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend and very special Easter!


Random Picture Challenge will be back next week.... I'm running out the door and don't have time to schedule it! Sorry!


and if you haven't done so yet.... GO CHECK OUT THE MAGAZINE!




  1. Sounds a lot like my family getting out the door. I have 5 and all are in car seats. We have special spots and order of things as well, only, when my twins were no longer in infant carriers, life got crazy there for a while! We've got a new order now and it is smooth. I love knowing that we are not alone!

  2. Such organization is right up my alley!! I wish I could see your family;they're so beautiful!! Have a fun road trip and a blessed Easter!!

  3. I would love to hear about the daily flow of your schedule. What does a typical day look like with six babies? ;)

  4. Love that article...and the pics were adorable in the magazine!

    Can't wait for next week and the picture challenge. I was looking forward to participating for the first time this week so I'm excited! Hope you have a great trip!

  5. I just had baby #4 two weeks ago, and already we have learned to have a getting in the car routine. Our two big boys go in the back, and our 6 year old daughter buckles them in their boosters if she's not at school, the baby goes behind the driver's seat, and 6-er goes behind the passenger seat. If she's not with us, I open the back hatch and buckle the big boys from behind. Way easier than climbing over the seats!

  6. I like the article - it's great!
    I would love to read, how you find time for yourself and your marriage with six kids .
    Hope you have wonderful Easter Holidays!

  7. Love.this.post. I'm always interested in how others organize. I only have three little ones, myself, but have noticed that it takes a little extra planning and organization than it did with just two.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  8. Hope you all had a safe trip over and have a wonderful Easter celebration!!

  9. Help your carseat neighbor. I love it! Mylo LOVED sitting between Vance and Gavin that one time in your van...they make good entertainers. :)

  10. Hello!!! I'm in Tulsa, OK and am wondering where you are??? I found your blog last week and have now read throughout your pregnancy with the girly twins to almost today. I love it. I am amazed by your patience and great views on life. Plus when you needed help I thought too bad I couldn't help. You are on an awesome journey and I appreciate you taking your readers along for the ride.

    I wondered where you were but it is the Serious Life magazine that really has me wondering. My email is sunny101877@hotmail.com. Love you hear from you!

  11. I just happened upon your blog. amazing photography!! R u a prof. photographer or just a really great amatuer?! very creative!!!!


Thank you for blessing me with your words!