The month is nearly over. I've meant to chronicle one day of this month since the month began, but somehow the days simply got away from me. It's now or never!
I wake before my alarm goes off at 5:10 am. That's nice; I find it so much more pleasant to wake on my own than to the sound of loud beeping. It's my turn to drive the seminary carpool. I pull on the clothes I laid out the night before, comb my hair, and head to the kitchen for a snack. I hear the shower turn off and a door open and close, so I know E14 is up and getting ready for the day.
I spread some peanut butter and honey on a couple of graham crackers, pour some milk and sit down to eat in front of the computer as I check my email. In a few minutes it is 5:25 am--time to leave. I grab my scripture bag, call E14, wake M12 so she can climb into my bed to be available to I2 when he wakes while I'm gone, and climb into our van.
In a few minutes we've picked up the brother/sister duo with whom we share rides. We pull into the church parking lot at 5:55 am. The teens head off to their classes, and I settle on a couch in the foyer with my scriptures and journal for my own private study session.
The mornings are too dark for me to go walking alone this early, so when I conclude my studies, I stay indoors, reading Christy for the umpteenth time. It is a sweet, inspiring book that is comfortable in my tired, pregnant state.
Class lets out at 6:50, and by 7:30 E14 and I are home. M12 has taken care of I2 and H5 and gotten her chores done for the morning. S12 is almost finished with hers. J10 is working on hers. I find A7 still deeply asleep, and though I hate to wake a sleeping child I do so to give her time to get started on her chores this morning.
|A7 climbs onto the countertops in order to put the dishes away as she empties the dishwasher.|
We gather around the table for breakfast just after 8:00 am. Our devotional discussion is good, and I am grateful for the small inspiration that Heavenly Father blessed me with to help me prepare my children for the coming conference.
E14 and I get to work on her grammar lesson while M12, S12, and J10 start their schoolwork in their rooms. The littles are free to play for a brief time. After her lesson, E14 and sit down to hash out the details of her daily schedule. We manage to compromise successfully, and she takes off downstairs to work independently for the next several hours.
In the mean time, Dad has come home from work, had breakfast, showered, changed I2's messy diaper, and found the beloved orange toy car that I2 cannot live without today. He finally heads off to bed--as always, he's my hero.
For I2's preschool we read about Captain Moroni and make a letter C out of popcorn.
All three littles are captivated by Captain Moroni's picture,
and all of the swords around him, so on the spur of the moment I make some flimsy little swords out of a cereal box, duct tape, and aluminum foil. The little guys run around killing bad guys for the next little while. Though this would normally be H5's school time, their play session is a blessing because E14 has some math questions, and we have undisturbed time to work together (as long as small people running and shouting, "Slice! Slice! Kill! Die!" is undisturbed. :) )
J10 comes upstairs to me with some math questions of her own. I help her find her mistakes, and the little guys are done with their sword play. H5 and I settle into her book work. A7 and I have a chance to get through her book work as well, but interruptions from the older kids are many--it seems today is a hard math day for all.
Lunch is simple--bagels with cream cheese and carrot sticks with dip. J10 is done with her school work, so she quietly retreats to a corner of the couch with a library book. During lunch S12 and I discuss her geography project; once we realize she needs to make some adjustments for it to be done correctly, she goes back to work (but not without an argument).
After I spend half an hour with M12 and her math book it is time for the littles to have kid school. I find the girls playing with dollies.
They've set up whole households for each of them in their bedroom. I ask if they'd rather keep playing, but they jump up, happy to join me in the kitchen for Bible stories, a song, and a chapter of Plants and Their Children. We also study a painting together--just looking at and talking about it together. We are delighted to discover circles all throughout the painting. (We also get a little timeline lesson because they ask me how old I was 400 years ago when this painting was new!)
Dad wakes up and gets to work on the bathroom floor. He's still stealing whatever moments he can for the demolition work, but at least he's starting to be able to think about when he'll start on the rebuilding.
The afternoon passes terribly quickly. I work on a triple batch of banana bread (to freeze now and then eat after the baby is born) while E14 and M12 continue with their school work. Both have had a very, very difficult math day. J10 finishes her geography report, then joins me in the kitchen with H5 to mash bananas. S12, A7, and I2 spend time outside with sidewalk chalk.
My kitchen crew and I get the banana bread into the basement oven, and then we switch over to scrubbing potatoes for baking in the main floor oven. Dad runs off to the grocery store for Family Home Evening treat supplies. I slice apples for a late afternoon snack because dinner will be later than we're used to. Inspired by the science chapter we read today, A7 and H5 spend time with their dollies in the apple tree. I sit, watching. I consider getting up to take a picture of their feet dangling from the branches but opt to just sit and enjoy them in the moment. J10 comes out to help I2 into the tree.
I come into the house to check on the banana bread timer and find M12 working on her geography report. E14 is holed up in her room, still working on math. I work on checking kids' school work until the banana bread and baked potatoes are done.
Things get blurry for a little while, but eventually we gather at the table to eat. I remember that we did some general tidying up before hand, though, to make the house tolerable again. We go through our usual routine of dinner, prayers, and scripture study.
After dinner I assign kids to various chores while Dad and I fold 2 loads of laundry. In short order we're ready to have Family Night. We've had lessons for several weeks in a row, so it's about time we have a game night. We choose Uno.
It's well past I2's bedtime, so I tell the kids we get one hand only. The game comes close to ending several times, but over and over again near-wins never turn into real ones. Finally I'm close, and Dad thinks he can stump me by playing a skip card. Perfect. I'm skipped, but I2 has only one card in his hand, and it is a skip card.
The win is glorious. :)
We eat ice cream cones.
We get ready for bed.
Dad reads to I2. I read to H5. They are tucked in. Then I read to the older ones. We start The Mysterious Benedict Society. The older ones have all read it, but they're thrilled to listen again so that A7 can have a turn. She's giddy with excitement because the older ones have prepped her for how great this book is going to be. The older ones are giddy on her behalf.
Dad's home, so he does the tucking in while I crash into bed.
Hooray for Dad!