Sunday, July 11, 2010


 If you don't know what 'KATE*VERSATION' is, check out the first one HERE!

I am so excited to be bringing you KATE*VERSATION #2! We spent the last week camping...and if you remember I HATE CAMPING! So, it was so nice to plop down on the couch and check in with Kate while my husband got all our little campers to bed. Thanks Kate, nice hanging with ya!

Kate ended the first Kate + 8 by saying,
"There's no manual, there's no right or wrong, you just have to feel your way though it and see what works."

What a poignant way to lead into tonight's episode or Kate + 8. This was the CHICKEN episode and in my honest opinion, a really good example of a skill I do not come by naturally. A trick of the mom-trade that I would LOVE to say I have down to a science, but sadly I lack this virtue that I am SURE would make my life run smoother and prepare my children for life outside our house more effectively.

So, I am declaring that this CHICKEN episode had a WORK ETHIC message, and a dang good one!
If you know anything about the Amish, you know they never stop working and NOTHING is ever done half-a**ed! Kate and I can attest to that, we share Berks County, PA, Amish country!

Two of my favorite Amish sayings are:
"God has work for all his children, regardless of age or ability."
"If you want life's best, see to it that life gets your best."

As I watched this week's show, I couldn't help but admire Kate's work ethic. She is not a woman who would walk past a stray shoe in the middle of the floor to get to the laundry waiting in the other room. I would bet a good deal of money that she wouldn't pick up that shoe.


You thought I was going to say she would pick it up and put it away. No, I am pretty certain she would call in the troops and the one who left it behind would be carrying it to its home.

I have to admit, as much as I want to be THAT mom, I would most likely trip over that shoe a couple times before I would NOT call the kids to get it, I would sigh, feel sorry for myself and trudge...shoe in the appropriate child's shoe bin.

And what is that teaching MY children? Not a darn thing.

I watched as the little mini barn (coop) raising was in progress and how the eight children pitched in and carried pieces of the structure off the truck. One of the boys started by simply grabbing the piece closest to the edge and like little army ants, the rest of the kids followed suit! BEAUTIFUL!

Have you ever seen an Amish barn raising?

Did you notice that the sun never went down in that video? That was only 10 hours of work. THAT is the kind of ethic I want my kids to have, how about you?

I think Kate's chicken coop was a mini lesson in working together to get the job done and doing it with a smile! They had fun. Yes, it was work. But when Collin was struggling with how to get the water jug, that weighed almost as much as he did, from the hose at the house to the coop in the pasture he uttered, "I love these chickens but this is really heavy." He then turned the jug on its side and started rolling it. This is when Farmer Daniel stepped in and showed one if HIS tricks of the trade. He had raided the toy bin and found a foam bat. He had the boys slide the bat through the handle and work together to carry what then weight HALF of their combined weight.

While racing back to the house and having fun with the kids it was evident that Kate wanted this project done right, done well and done efficiently so it was only done ONCE! She even had the farmers move it six inches to the left so her view out of the kitchen window would be JUST as she wanted it. And why wouldn't you insist on YOUR things being the way YOU want them? Looking out the window and having the chicken coop that brings back such sweet memories sitting exactly where you want it would be a gift. Peering out every morning and being annoyed because you didn't speak up because you just wanted it DONE, would NOT start your day off the way it should. A seemingly little thing that could make or break your sleepy morning.

Here is a run down of the things I noticed that I would have just thrown my hands up and sighed:

When the chicken coop was done, there were specific instructions given which included that a new discipline tactic would begin immediately. Anyone who disobeys is on chicken poop detail. Instructions and consequences delivered plain and simple. Done RIGHT, Done WELL, Done EFFICIENTLY and Done ONCE!

Immediately after children were done eating lunch Kate retrieved the hose to hose down the picnic table and patio only to find the hose was not working. She then went, got another hose, hooked it up and finished the job. SIXTEEN little brown eyes absorbing the work ethic along the way. Done RIGHT, Done WELL, Done EFFICIENTLY and Done ONCE!

Then, my Mom Goddess Kate, speaks a language a wish I shared... "The Gosselin Household's Systems аnd Maintenance Manual: Everything a Single Mom Needs tο Know tο Rυn ουr Lіttlе Piece οf thе World.”

She explained that she is not someone who just wants to "have it fixed;" she wants to know WHY it stopped working, what it NEEDS to be fixed and how to MAINTAIN it so it stays functional. Done RIGHT, Done WELL, Done EFFICIENTLY and Done ONCE!

When she finished her day of manual writing, learning about the maintenance of her water softener, having privacy shrub plans approved, power-washing the house, she said, "I did what I set out to do and my goal was met."

Wouldn't it be nice to lay our heads on our pillows at night and KNOW we Did it RIGHT, Did it WELL, Did it EFFICIENTLY and we only had to Do it ONCE? (Well, if we are talking cleaning toilets and doing laundry we will have to do it more than once...)

And wouldn't it be a gift to one day see our grown children with that same WORK ETHIC? Done RIGHT, Done WELL, Done EFFICIENTLY and Done ONCE!

Well, now as I head to bed with a resolve to improve our work ethic gently but effectively, I will also be taking up first project? A pillow stitched with this,"I did what I set out to do and my goal was met."

Keep it up Kate, you are inspiring great moms to be even better moms! AWESOME!



Baby Mama said...

Michelle, this is such a wonderful thoughtful recap of this months show. I was wondering if I could use your post as a recap on my fan site. You did such an amazing job in describing in full how seeing the kids work together was the best part of the episode. I would love to share it with those that would also appreciate your talent and admiration of Kate!

Anonymous said...

I have always been a huge fan of Kate's. I LOVED this episode where the Amish built the great chicken coop. I wonder where I can get one?

The ONLY complaint that I had was that Kate didn't offer to feed the two Amish men. I think that it would have been a lot better if the men had been able to stop for lunch!