Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Day in the Life

It is Monday morning. I am documenting this day in order to link up with Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool.

Sometime around 3 am I2 wakes up and comes into bed with Daddy and me.  It is a little bit unusual because he's been sleeping mostly through the night lately, but it is a lot unusual because he didn't fall immediately back to sleep.  He tosses and turns and says,"I hun-gee, Mama," more than once.  I don't want to feed him; he'd had a good dinner and Family Night treat the evening before, and there is no way I want to open the door to middle of the night snacks, but when he says, "I hun-gee, Mama.  P'ease, eat?" I think, "Who am I to judge?  Maybe he really needs to eat."

Once I am up, I am up.  However, my husband can get up, be fully awake, and drop effortlessly back to sleep again.  I debate for several minutes whether I am being selfish or wise to ask for his help, and eventually decide that as he would get to sleep in the afternoon before going to work today, I will go ahead and wake him.

He gets I2 a snack and a drink, and takes him off to bed.  A short time later he returns to our bed and falls right to asleep.  I am still struggling to get back to sleep, so I feel less guilty about waking him than I did at first. (Though I do wonder why I woke him if I was awake anyway . . . )

I do sleep again because the next thing I know it is 6:16 am.  Time to get up.

I make a cup of my favorite herbal tea, grab a cookie left over from Family Night, pull out my scriptures and journals and start the day with prayer.  I read 2 Nephi chapter 8 as part of my Personal Progress reading (I'm going to earn the award right along with my daughters) and journal my reaction to it.  I then turn to Doctrine and Covenants section 45, read it, journal it, and follow that up with reading from the student manual left over from my college days.



By this time I am hungry for something better than a cookie, so I make some toast.  I sit down at the computer to start keeping track of this day, but first I check out what other bloggers have written over the weekend.   M12 wakes up as I began writing and reads over my shoulder.  Shortly after than S11 joins us.

Good morning, girls!


I check out the clock--7:23 am--time for me to get moving.

M12 and S11 start their chores.  I start my favorite chore of the day--opening the window blinds to let in . . . whatever light there is on this cloudy Monday.   Oh, well, some light is better than no light.

I realize that I forgot to start the dishwasher last night because we were in a hurry to have Family Night.  I load in a few more dishes and start it.

While I am checking the last of Friday's schoolwork in preparation for school today, I2 wakes up.  After good morning hugs he says he's hungry.  I set him up with graham crackers and milk.  Then I finish checking schoolwork. 


The next hour and half is a flurry of chores and personal hygiene for the whole family.  Daddy also gets up, eats, and heads up north to our old house.  The carpet is being installed today--the very last of the repairs from the incident of the burst pipes in January.   He wants to make sure that the work is being done correctly and see if the renters are satisfied.

We finally sit down to the breakfast table at 9:08.  Toast and cold cereal with milk, blueberries, and bananas. We pray before then have devotional while we eat.  We review the day ahead.

I sit down at the computer to help E13 with the dragonfly lesson she is co-teaching with a friend for our science club meeting on Wednesday.  We find an image that will work to help her teach the morphology of dragonflies and turn it into a poster with this site.  Later today she'll use the poster sized image to make puzzle pieces that the kids will put together as she lectures.

The older 4 disperse to their independent school work while I clean up breakfast.  I find that I cannot face making a fresh batch of bread for lunch, so I scrub some potatoes and put them in the oven to bake through the morning.

Time to help the littles with their chores.

We cleaned and vacuumed their rooms and gave their bathroom a complete scrubbing down!!


I also peek in on the older girls to take some pictures of them working; I hardly ever do that anymore.  I am very disappointed to find J10 and M11 playing games on the tablet instead of working.  I silently confiscate it, and they get to work.

However, I find E13 perusing a bookshelf in search of  "something good."


At 11 am Daddy is already home.  He's full of news of how the renters are upgrading and giving the house much love and many upgrades. (they're under contract to purchase the home in 24 months so the upgrades are for their own benefit).  We're happy to see that they are happy and settling in for the long haul. 

I move some laundry.

The littles and I are making snakes out of paper plates today because it is "S is for snake" day.  I have to leave because Daddy calls for my attention to ask my advice about the vanity he is making for the older girls, but I am back quickly and we settle into decorating our snakes and giving them cool forked tongues.



I find S11 done with her school and curled up next to the warm oven.



It is cold outside today, and our house is drafty.

A6 reads from Dolphin by Robert A. Morris.  She and H4 laugh loudly at finding out that dolphin babies are called calves, the mothers are called cows, and the fathers are called bulls.  They shout with joy at each new fact they learn.  A6 is disappointed to stop reading half way through the book, but I want her to narrate back to me about what she has learned.  I'm glad we stopped; by the time she has narrated, copied spelling words, and done some copywork, she is ready to be done with formal school.

In the mean time, S11 does her multiplication drills and keyboarding practice on the computer while I2 alternates between watching her and playing with tangrams.



At noon, and after I have moved some laundry, we gather for lunch--baked potatoes with cheese and plain yogurt.   Daddy and I add great big plates full of chopped salad to our menu, but none of the kids join us.



After lunch the little girls head off to the land of make believe.  They turn their room into a camping ground--horse, tents, a campfire, marshmallows, and even snakes curled up near by.
Daddy heads off to shower and take a nap.  He will work from after dinner tonight through to breakfast tomorrow morning, so his nap is well-deserved.

S11 and I2 soak up some sunshine out of doors (the sun has deigned to make an appearance today).  Look at I2's bare feet!  It is barely 40 degrees out there!  He doesn't last long.



As I clean up the kitchen J10 asks for some math help.  I stop sweeping so that I can answer her questions.  Then she is done with her independent work, and she plays with I2 for a few minutes.



M12 comes down to ask a math question.

E13 is working quietly in her room.

I pause to make notes, update this blog post, and fold some laundry.

At about 1:15 or so I gather the older 4 girls for New Testament Study, History, and Science.  We read, discuss and write about the transfiguration; we read and discuss the differing relationships the colonies had with England in the 18th century; we read and take notes about exponential population growth in insects and how the lower on the food chain an organism is the more rapidly it reproduces--an odd topic, but equally oddly interesting.



We're done by 2:40.  I return to folding laundry as I send E13 and M12 back to their schoolwork and release the others to play.  The littles spend a few minutes enjoying some music videos for kids.  Just before 3:00 pm M12 finishes and offers to pick up the living room before my visiting teachers come over.  I accept her offer and make a big deal of how thankful I am for her act of voluntary service.

Right on time my visiting teachers arrive.  One of the daughters is in H4's primary class.  They are delighted to see each other.  They pick up A6 and disappear into the bedroom to play princess-y games.  One little boy is in my nursery with I2 (I'm nursery leader).  I2 gets clingy and the other little boy disappears into I2's room to play.  It's a good arrangement for them both.  There's a baby girl, too.  M12 is disappointed when she fusses as M12 approaches her.  Her mother apologizes and says the baby is tired.  M12 settles for just staying near so that she can slowly make friends with the baby.

The mothers have a nice visit.  My visiting teachers ask how they can help us settle in.  I answer that we are fine, but I remember too late that I'd like to borrow a sewing machine.  I'll ask them both on Sunday if either has one I can use for a few weeks.

I find out during our visit that a woman I am assigned to visit needs help.  She has not returned any of my calls, and we do not know one another--I am still so new to this congregation.  I am told she is shy and so new to the church that she probably feels overwhelmed in more ways than one.  I pick the brains of my visiting teachers about how I can best reach out to her.  I need to call my visiting teaching companion and work with her, but we will probably fall back on the age-old (but effective) plan of taking her a home-cooked meal. 

At 4:00 I start dinner.  Kids are scattered all over the house playing various games, reading various materials. 


 A few kids still have to finish math drills on the computer.  After she's finished, M12 spends a few minutes looking up pretty hairstyles to try out.
 Dinner, family prayer, and family scripture reading are at 5:15.  We eat spaghetti and salad as we listen to Daddy read about Nephi and his dastardly brothers.  Nephi sure loved them, though.

As it turns out E13 has not been completing her schoolwork all day.  She's been reading Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.  No wonder she hardly came out of her room at all today!  It is one of my favorite books, and I cannot fault her for her single-mindedness;  however, she must finish her schoolwork before she has dinner.  She joins us late, but does not miss family prayer.  She is good natured about her consequence for self-indulgence.  Her pleasant attitude makes it easier for me to be gentle and understanding.

Kids put laundry away, read, wrestle, and play imaginative games as I clean the kitchen.  M12, S11, and J10 help with evening clean up.  I make a note to remember to give E13 an assignment later.

Daddy leaves for work.

I pause to update this post before washing the pots and pans.

I2 comes to me moaning as if he's never been fed before that he's starving and must have graham crackers and milk immediately.  Is he growing?  My goodness!  I give him the treat he asks for, and he inhales it even though less than an hour ago he ate 3 plates full of spaghetti with meat sauce and at least one serving of green salad.

We move into our bedtime preparation--baths for some, showers for others, jammies and brushed teeth for all.  A6 utterly melts down because she and J10 and H4 were in the middle of a game played with toy horses and their imaginations.  I remind her that tomorrow will come ever so fast, but it is time to do what we do every night.

She doesn't care.

She and H4 fight over who sits where in the bathtub.  I have to intervene.  I2 gets frightened and cries.  H4 gets angry and cries.  A6 hasn't stopped crying in quite a while.  The big kids start showing up to see what on earth is going on.  I send J10 off to shower, but accept M12's offer of help.  Between us we get the littles calmed, bathed, lotioned, jammied, and teeth brushed.

I slip away to pray and read and sing with I2.  He is asleep before I can even sing 2 full verses of "I Am a Child of God."  I sing an extra verse just for the excuse of holding him close.

The rest of the kids and I gather for evening reading time.  I read aloud for over an hour from The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang and Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski.  I stop a little earlier than usual because the little girls are drooping, and I did a lot of reading aloud earlier during formal school hours.  Most of them color in coloring books or draw pictures as they listen.  H4 draws pictures to give as gifts to me and each sister in the room.  She is conscientious about remembering each person.

I send everyone off to go potty and say prayers before I tuck them in.  I listen to the little girls' prayers and sing a song to each one before kissing them good night.  I make the rounds of the older girls' rooms singing to and kissing each one in turn.  I remind them to turn out their lights at 9:00 pm, but to enjoy their books until then.  Four for four, their eyes and minds are consumed by their books as I turn out the overhead lights and shut their doors.

I set the house alarm.
I make myself a snack.
I finish writing this post--adding the pictures can wait until tomorrow morning when I am fresh instead of wiped out.

It has been a good day.

(Even though when I read this post over I realized I never followed through with giving E13 an after-dinner chore . . . there's always something!)



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