One of my Fav blogs (which I don't think I've added to my sidebar yet) is doing a weekly Help For Growing Families, and I'm trying to help.
One thing I know of that we do "right" is how we go out in public. I put "right" in quotes because I'm quite sure there are several right ways to do this. But I say we've got it right because everywhere we go we get looks, smiles, comments - usually positive ones.
So, how do we do it?
We line up. Bob goes first, leading the way figuratively and literally. The children are in order from oldest to youngest in a straight line behind him, with me in the back to catch any stragglers. When we don't have the stroller, one of us will carry William and the other will hold Ella's hand. When we have the stroller, they are both in it, and I push it. This does put some distance between me and the two boys, so sometimes we'll have one of them walk at the front of the line to keep them separated.
This works because everyone knows their place. And because we aren't all bunched up, it is easier to get through narrow isles, work through crowds, etc. Sometimes people cut through the line, but this is usually only when we are straggling and there are big gaps.
Being at the back of the line, it is funny for me to watch people's reactions as they realize we are all together (and hear them counting).
It's really cool when I can tell them to "stay in line" and walk past the children to consult with Bob about something and they all stand there looking angelic but bored. :-)
Yes, there are times that they forget to line up, and we have to remind them frequently (especially the boys, who tend to climb and touch), but in general I'm happy with the system. We practice at home if anyone needs a reminder.
If I have to take the children out without Bob, I go in front and Taryn (my oldest) takes my place at the back.