A Day in the Life . . .

This post is part of a link invitation/challenge from Our Busy Homeschool.

Most of my posts are kind of a day in our lives.  But here goes my best effort to include some of the nitty-gritty details.

6:04  I roll over and look at the clock.  I've slept in.  I feel both the luxury of a good night's sleep and the pressure of a later start to my day.

I finished studying Preach My Gospel (such a pleasure--why did I wait so long to do it?), so on this day I gather up my new journal, my scriptures, a copy of Church History in the Fulness of Times, and the Doctrine and Covenants student manual for BYU's religion 324-25.  I'm about to start the Doctrine and Covenants for my own personal study!  Something I've wanted to do for 3 years but have had bumped aside for general, stake, and/or ward challenges to study other materials for a season.

I study for a time.  Then set these exciting new materials aside to fulfill my other exciting commitment to read the Book of Mormon every day in 2014.  My older 4 girls and I are doing this together--3 of them to fulfill Personal Progress goals (2 of them will be 12 this year)--and little J10 just because she can.

In keeping my goal to not be a clock watcher I don't have many more specifics about time.  What happens next just happens next.

Sometime during my study I2 wakes up.  He asks for animal crackers, and I give them to him.  He eats and plays next to me as I study.

I move to the computer to check emails and blog.

S11 wakes.

I hear E13 and M11 showering and dressing.

I kiss my husband good bye as he heads up north to our old house for a meeting with the insurance inspector.  We're hoping for at least a little money for repairing our finished basement in which pipes burst 2 weeks ago and into which tenants are supposed to move in 1 week.

It is time for chores and personal care.  Not many kids are working on chores.  I encourage them from my seat in front of the computer, then realize my own hypocrisy and get up to set a good example.

H4 and A6 wake at varying times.  A6 is motivated this morning.  She gets dressed, makes her bed, and cleans her room with no fussing and very little prompting.  Her efforts get H4 moving too.  They come to me with huge smiles, "We're done, Mom!"

I realize that A6's motivation is a deep desire to play with the beautiful Barbies Grandma sent us last week.  Each has on a handmade costume.  They are kept on a special shelf and are only played with once hands are washed and faces are clean.  A6 is frustrated because by the time she has done all of her morning work it is time for breakfast, so she will have to wait.

As we do our chores I find 3 little bracelets on my nightstand.  They're those linked rubber band bracelets that are all the rage these days.  I realize that my 8 year old niece gave them to me last night while I was talking with her mom, my sister.  I'd asked her to wait one moment while I heard the rest of her mom's story, but she'd gotten distracted and then never came back to me.  She just left the gifts quietly.

I run to the computer to send her an email apologizing and thanking her.

I get my bed made, my bathroom tidied, gather laundry, put water on to boil for oatmeal, and supervise kids doing chores.  I have to remind J10 that she needs to empty the dishwasher first thing in the morning because my chores depend on an empty dishwasher.  She quietly complies.

I wash some sweet potatoes so I can roast them and use them for soup that night.

I run the compost outside and find a truck idling in our driveway.  Who?  I go over to ask if I can be of service and find that it is the insurance inspector--the same inspector who was supposed to be at our other house an hour ago.  I restrain my deep irritation at the apparent incompetence of our insurance company and send him in the right direction.  I call my husband who is equally frustrated because he has several other tasks to get done.  We commiserate for a moment.

Eventually we gather for breakfast.  E13 refuses because she doesn't like oatmeal.  We have to call her twice to come to the table anyway because of devotional.

H4 says her tummy hurts.

"Are you hungry?" I ask.  She says yes and eats.

We pray, eat, sing some Articles of Faith, discuss a General Conference talk, and recite Moroni 7:45-48.

We go over the plan for the day.

The kids point out that I haven't checked yesterday's work yet.  I am dismayed because I thought I already did it.  I immediately sit down to do that task.

I finally put the sweet potatoes in the oven.

The littles have (hopefully) brushed their teeth and washed their hands because they are in the front room playing with the special Barbies.

I find out that E13 did not understand her math assignment.  I call her up to go over it immediately and tell the other girls that their books are ready for them.

M11 is dressing H4.  What?  Wasn't she dressed already?

This makes me realize that I2 is still in his pajamas and overnight diaper.  But E13 has just arrived to go over her math, so I choose to ignore the pajama/diaper situation a few moments longer.

We quickly find the gap in her understanding.  I think we are both relieved that it was an easy fix.  She goes off to complete her work for the day.

M11 shows up and points out that I haven't checked her books yet.  I got distracted by E13's errors and never finished my work.


I check M11's work and call the littles to finish our paper plate owls.

They are so excited.  They cut one painted paper plate in half for wings and leave the other whole.  I cut out eyes and beaks and pass out glue sticks.  The kids happily assemble their owls.  I am pleasantly surprised to see that I2 even put his eyes and beak in the "right" places to make a face instead of randomly placed.  Just a month ago he couldn't have done that.  The kids are so proud of their owls!!!

It was an easy project, so I find a National Geographic documentary on owls to watch online.  Just as we get settled I realize the older girls might like to watch, too, so we pause and call them out.  E13 refuses, but the rest join us, and we ooh and aah over owls facts and videos for the next 45 minutes.  We're all fascinated.  I2 holds his owl in his lap the whole time, hooting softly when moved.

While we're watching, my husband calls with the good news that the insurance company handed him a generous check for the damage to the house.  We can definitely fix it within the budget allotted.  I offer a silent prayer of gratitude.

I have M11 turn off the oven so the sweet potatoes don't burn.
After the documentary ends I send the older girls back to their independent work.

H4 says her tummy hurts.

"Do you need to go potty?" I ask.

She says yes and goes.

I finally dress I2.

A6 joins me for her school.   She reads and narrates Amelia Bedelia, practices her spelling words, and does an alphabetizing activity that reduces her to tears.  That was not my goal.  She was happy to start it, but got stuck when 2 words started with "J."  I reassure her that she is smart and walk her through how to find out which word is next, but she is heartbroken, and the lesson that started so happily ends in ugliness.

I hate that.

She feels better when she gets another turn with the special Barbies.

S11 and E13 are outside on the deck wrapped in blankets against the cold.  They are soaking up sunshine.  S11 is waiting for math help, and I assume E13 is done with her work because she is out of her room.  Because they are having a sisterly moment, I ignore them both and start lunch.

J10 finishes her work and comes down to read and play.

We eat leftover baked potatoes, sliced, covered with cheese and few bits of leftover pepperoni, and tossed in a hot oven to warm.  I make a quick fruit salad and offer leftover green salad dressed with avocados and rice vinegar.  The kids ask me to slice some fresh avocado, and I am able to because avocados were on special last week, and they are now ripe.

After lunch M11 goes back to her room to finish her schoolwork, and E13 reveals she isn't done either.  I lecture her about responsible behavior, help S11 with her math question, and clean up the kitchen when my husband gets home.  I help him fix a quick lunch.  He heads off to shower and take a nap--he has to work tonight.

H4 says her tummy hurts.

"Do you want to rest for a while?" I ask.

She says yes and takes a book to her bed.

I call the older girls for New Testament study.  We read about Jesus calling the 12 apostles.  We find out that there is a name discrepancy in the list of the 12 between Luke's report and Mark's.  We talk about Simon Peter having two names and how people often had name changes in other cultures. 

I glance at the clock--1:54 pm.  There's time for another bit of mom-school.  I decide to start the Landmark History of the American People.  It's a book we've had for a long time and started but never finished.  I think the kids will enjoy it now.

They do.

Though they grumbled when I started reading, they are disappointed when the timer goes off and I stop reading.

"You can read that to us again, Mom," they say as we dismiss for the day.

I go downstairs to find that E13 is reading a novel and hasn't done her morning chores.  She gets another lecture about responsible behavior and goes to work.  I grind some wheat for a banana cake to go with dinner.

I make the banana cake while kids play with Legos and those special Barbies--new toys are treats!

I print out directions for my husband to the youth temple trip meeting place.

I2 is getting tired, but he's not allowed to nap because then he doesn't sleep at night.  He asks to watch Curious George and I almost say no, but then I decide that's a good idea because I really need to work on the curtains I still owe J10's horseback riding instructor in exchange for the lessons she had in December.

I measure, cut, sew, and iron as PBS Kids holds my children's attention--even the older ones.

I'm clock watching now, because dinner has to be early so that Dad can get E13 to the meeting place for tonight's temple trip and then off to work on time.

I tell the kids to turn off the computer.

I2 cries but gets distracted by following his big sisters about.

E13 reveals that her schoolwork is not done yet.  I remind her that she can only go to the temple if she's done.  Does she want to go?  She says yes and disappears to her room to finish.

H4 says her tummy hurts.  I hug her and start to wonder if something serious is wrong.  I ask her questions to see if we can narrow down what kind of hurt it is, but she can't answer well and she seems okay, so I kiss her and send her off to play. 

She goes back to bed and falls asleep, but I don't know this at the time because I am sauteing onions and celery, mashing roasted sweet potatoes, whipping up lemon glaze for the banana cake, and calling kids to help with afternoon tidy up time.

The house is mostly straightened.
E13 finally turns in her schoolwork.
Dinner is ready.
Dad is awake.
The family is gathered around the table when I learn that H4 is sleeping.

How sick is she?

We fold our arms to pray, but H4 cries out.  I leave the family to Dad's care and find H4 crying and pointing to vomit all over her bed, "I threw up, Mom!" she wails.

I am relieved to find throw up.  Now I don't have to worry about appendicitis or something else wretched.

I soothe her and clean her up.  I put her in her jammies for the night.  I make her a little nest on the floor in her room so she can sleep while I strip her bed, disinfect her mattress, and wash her bedding.

In the kitchen Dad and the rest of the kids eat, have family prayer, and read the scriptures.

I scoop up a bowl of soup only to see H4 come into the living room.  She's lonely.  I fix her up a little bed on the living room floor so she can be close to the rest of the family.

E13 gets ready for the temple.
Dad gets ready for work.
Between bites I beg E13 to find a ride home tonight so that I don't have to leave the rest of the kids.  I don't know who else might be getting ready to be sick next.
I fix my husband's lunch.
I co-sign the insurance check.
I make sure E13 has her cell phone and reassure her that I will pick her up if she needs me to, but to please ask for a ride.
They leave.

It is 5:38 pm

The other kids point out that E13 is gone and H4 is sick so can they please, please, please watch Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella if they get ready for bed really fast and help me clean up?

I say yes.

We all get to work.
M11 bathes and dressed I2 and A6.
J10 and S11 shower then help me clean up.
I text E13 "Do you have a ride?"
She replies, "Yeah."  It isn't very informative, but at least she'll get home.
I change into my pajamas.
We all settle in to watch the movie.
H4 throws up 2 more times.
I2 falls asleep in M11's arms.  I realize I missed praying with him and singing him to sleep; I am sad.
I gather H4's clean laundry out of the dryer and remake her bed.

I tuck the littles in bed without stories because H4 is wiped out and A6 says she's really tired.  We manage to pray and sing songs though.

I come back to the older girls and tell them we can't read aloud tonight because E13 and A6 are missing.  They'd be heartbroken to miss The Fellowship of the Ring.  S11 asks me to read aloud from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  I decline, informing the girls that we can read silently together tonight for a change.  They're disappointed, but I'm so tired that I curl up on the couch next to M11 and fall asleep reading Birdwing by Rafe Martin.  I wake when J10 says she's tired of reading and is going upstairs to knit.  S11 follows shortly thereafter.

I doze again.

I wake to my responsibilities when S11 comes back downstairs to ask when E13 is coming home.  It is 8:50.  I answer that I expect her sometime between 9 and 9:30 and tell all three girls to get ready to be tucked in.

Just then we hear the garage door open--E13 is home.

I go downstairs to visit with her.  She's happy and had a good experience.   I'm glad.
I tuck in the 3 upstairs.
I go back down to say goodnight to my eldest.
I check all of the doors.
I set the house alarm.
I realize I am very, very hungry so I eat a piece of banana cake.
I pray.
I get up and check on my youngest 3.
I fall into bed.

It is 9:43 pm.

I get up 7 or 8 times before midnight to answer calls from H4, I2, and a frightened A6 who had a bad dream.  But no one throws up.  Everyone is safe.  I pull I2 into bed with me so that I don't have to get up with him again.

We sleep.



  1. I'm tied just reading that. Poor sick girl. I hope she feels better.

  2. This sounds so familiar! Some days I feel like I bounce between children nonstop and it has become a common occurrence for me to remind children to get my attention if they need something. Getting my attention means they must touch my arm and hold on until I notice and answer them. Yes, I get distracted too. More on some days than others. I'm so glad you linked up!


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