Nov 2, 2009

A (very long) Day in our life...

I have wanted for awhile to do a Day-in-the-Life post, but life was always in the way. But finally, today, I remembered to start paying attention to what happened early enough to write about it. :) Today was also a good day, because the teens weren't coming because of a doctors' appointment, so I would have a little more time to write and a little less to write about, not to mention that I would catch all sorts of flack from them if I wrote about them, here. Teens have such privacy issues. So, here you have it...

7:45 Kids start appearing in my room. One announces wetness and is sent to change undies. One wants to talk about exercise and muscles. She is reading a book that she feels the need to share with me, and the fact that my eyes are not open doesn't deter her in the least. One just wants to cuddle. :)

8:00 I give up on sleeping and arise to fix breakfast. This action is greeted with much cheering and applause! The kids pick the cold cereal they want to eat, and I pour milk and pass out bowls and spoons. Today is a good day because there are four identical purple spoons, which means no fighting. I have to go and wake up Nate. He is my late sleeper and I have to wake him more often than not.

8:15 The kids are settled and eating so I take a breakfast drink from the fridge and sip it while I open blinds, check in on the computer, and piddle around the house a bit. Dad goes through the house kissing everyone good-bye and leaves for work.

8:30 Everyone is finishing up with breakfast, so I circle the house, guiding children in their morning routine. They all must put their bowl and spoon in the sink, wash themselves, and dress themselves. They are all expected to put their dirty clothes in the laundry room/bathroom. Then they must make their beds. In addition, Kaytie rinses the dishes, Nate wipes the table and chairs, and Daniel and Abbie work together to make sure the living room is picked up. Today, all goes well. Kaytie and Nate do their work with little trouble. Daniel and Abbie, however, slip off into the playroom, and dump the dollhouse bin, the dinosaur bin, and the small car bin. So I spend most of the rest of the morning working with them to get them all picked up again.

9:00 Once the kids are well on their way into their morning routine, I start my own chores: loading the dishwasher, shifting laundry, sweeping the kitchen, and one or two big chores according to the day. Mondays are mop the kitchen floor day. But vacuuming needs to be done more. However, neither actually gets done today. The kids put away their clean laundry, and scatter to various pursuits. Kaytie finds a book, Nate sets up various scenes of gore and violence, involving dinosaurs eating each other and then being run over by trucks. Daniel and Abbie are still working on their mess. This is a source of tension. Well, for me at least, they only seem to feel the tension when I am in the room with them. As soon as I leave, they seem to be able to relax just fine.
As I work, I field various requests for guarding Nate's toys, and I listen to Kaytie read interesting bits from her book. She is already composing, in her head, various exercises for us all to do in order to be stronger and more healthy. She keeps stopping to compare my muscles with hers, and I can tell by the look on her face that I am falling woefully short of her standard.

10:00 By now, I am finished with the chores and ready to start school. Nate has a math test to finish up, Kaytie is shocked and delighted to discover that she doesn't have a math sheet. She settles down to reading Math Fables. I work with the little kids to finish cleaning their mess. Because they are not done, they miss out on Circle Time for today. Nate reminds me to put on our Bach CD. It's a good thing I have kids, or I would forget my head, most days.

10:15 Kaytie is reading Misty of Chincoteague. Nate is struggling through his test. I am taking pictures of the little kids working. Mondays are always their best days because they have so many fresh things to work with. They are exploring all of the new stuff I set out, then they settle down to their regular mode of coloring, coloring, and more coloring. I'm a little concerned about their future education, though. I don't know how they will make it through college without me by their side, since they have come to the conclusion that everything they do must be photographed. I have ruined my kids!

10:20 Daniel is fussing for MORE paper, while Abbie wants me to write her name on her paper and simultaneously draw a ballerina in pink. I deal with them in between calling out spelling words for Nate, posting the teens' weekly assignments on their blog, and helping Kaytie with her science experiment on reading color words written in different colors.

10:25 I discuss with Nate the blend "wh", listen to Kaytie read aloud from her McGuffy reader, repeatedly remind Daniel that I will help him with his stamping in. one. minute., and rejoice in Abbie's triumph over correctly sorting all the magnetic letters by color (a self-imposed task).

10:30 I take more pictures of the little kids, correct Kaytie's Spanish colors activity because I forgot to make a control sheet, and forgot that I hadn't made a control sheet and put the activity in her box.

10:45 I write names for the little kids, admire the pictures Kaytie is making with magnets, and listen to Nate read aloud. I am almost finished posting the teens' work. I remind Abbie to go pee.

11:00 I help the little kids with their stamping, and explain the science experiment to the big kids.

11:15 I remind Daniel that he needs to work at the table and not the shelf. I show Abbie how to make a pumpkin with the pattern blocks. I watch Kaytie practice her sign language, and correct Nate's Spanish color activity.

11:20 Daniel puts the wipe-off book away (after his third time to use it) and declares himself done with school. He wanders off to play.

11:21 Abbie is also finished. She puts her work away and picks up a baby doll.

11:25 Kaytie is done, and puts on her shoes to go outside. This creates a mass exodus. So I seize the moment of peace to start writing this post. Nate decides to be done with school, but asks for "free choices", he chooses to play with the pattern blocks, and for a few minutes, life is peaceful.

11:30 Kaytie comes in, asking for a match to light the leaves in the yard on fire. I explain why this is not such a good idea. She counters with the information that "Nana's daddy used to do it". Totally guessing here, I say that he had a special place to burn them so that he could contain the fire. She departs, satisfied, at least nominally. I am ever so grateful that there are no matches in the house.

11:31 She returns to tell me that the babies have scattered the newspaper all over the living room. Daniel comes running to tell me that Abbie pushed him off the couch, but is in too big of a hurry to go outside and play in the leaves to stay for much more than a kiss.

11:35 Kaytie comes in to have me feel how fast her heart is beating.

11:40 Nate is finally finished. Kaytie wants the magnetic wand to explore what is magnetic in the front yard. So I wander off to be available for emergencies. We spend a goodly amount of time in the yard, throwing leaves, raking and jumping in the leaves, and just enjoying the beautiful weather!

12:15 Dad shows up for lunch, so we follow him inside. I chat with him a bit while the kids mill about, bringing us "food" from their play dishes. An ambulance and firetruck scream down the street and the kids run out to watch. There is some discussion about the hermit crabs who apparently died recently... how did we know? Only because of the smell. Now there is a sad life, when you are so sedentary that the only way others know you are dead is because you stink.

12:30 I fix the kids a quick lunch. Daniel asks to pass out the forks. Letting him is a calculated risk, since there are two purple forks and two red forks in the drawer. Will someone be upset? The suspense is nerve-wracking. DUN DUN DUN DUH! Today is a good day because everyone "Gets what they get and they don't get upset". Whew!

12:33 While the kids eat, I unload the dishwasher. Ideally, this job is done in the morning chore block, and Daniel puts the silverware away. However, Mondays are rarely ideal. I pause at one point to remove the toy blender from Abbie. She was using it to eat her peach. Sadly, I only noticed because Daniel was complaining that she wasn't sharing it with him.

12:50 The "fast" eaters are done so I start herding people to the bathroom to wash and pee. It's an assembly line of cleaning off the table, cleaning off yourself, and heading to bed. Kaytie picks a book to read. I'm still encouraging Nate and Abbie to stop playing and eat. Daniel bounces around the house while I try to guide him in the correct direction.

1:00 Two down, two to go. I remove a cardboard box from Abbie's head and start my own lunch, thoughtfully leaving the "good leftovers" for Steve in case he wants them when he emerges from wherever he has disappeared to.

1:10 I start clearing the table. Nate finishes and goes to pick a book to read. They are on "trial" for reading in their bed again. It has not been allowed for some time, since I found a book torn up in their bedroom floor. I put the good leftovers in the microwave for Steve's lunch.

1:15 Everyone is finally sent off to "nap". I hurry and eat before chaos sets in. Steve gathers his lunch and leaves.

1:20 A friend brings some clothes for Abbie that his granddaughter has outgrown. Interesting tidbit #1: this granddaughter is a few months younger than Abbie. Interesting tidbit #2: a third of this box of clothes is made up of outfits that are too big for Abbie. :) We chat for awhile.

1:40 I sort through the clothes and try a few on Abbie, then send her back to her "nap".

1:45 My nephew shows up to be babysat. I hear about SIL's badly sprained ankle.

1:50 I settle back at the computer to update this post.

2:00 I realize I have forgotten to set something out to thaw for supper. I pull a package of hamburger meat because 1. it thaws faster than anything else (how sad that I know this!) and 2. it doesn't matter so much if it doesn't thaw completely before suppertime. Looks like we are having Hamburger Helper for supper.

2:15 I refresh the kids' boxes for the afternoon session of school. I don't always do this, but they only have three boxes left, and I had forgotten to put in a couple of things they really needed to do today (like piano practice) and they will be wanting more fun stuff to do. Have you noticed that I forget things a lot?

2:30 I get the big kids up for afternoon school. Afternoon school is much less stressful than morning school, since I only have half the kids to deal with. We start with a quick Circle Time. We do our Group Work, which means I read aloud from our Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day book, a book about Peru, On the Mayflower by Kate Waters, and a few pages from The Light and the Glory for Children, we are up to the part about the Pilgrims (perfect timing, huh?) We also go over pronouns in First Language Lessons.

3:15 The kids start their boxes. They are delighted to find their Bible activity sheets in their first box. We whip through it quickly. We are discussing Joseph. They remember the answers to all of the questions except for what he named his sons.

3:30 In their second box, is a "together" game called Double It that I found in Games for Math by Peggy Kaye. I forgot a small detail or two, so I make it up as I go along. They have fun, but we HAVE to play again because Kaytie won the first game and Nate couldn't let that stand. The little kids get up around this time and I send them outside to play with a handful of crackers.

3:50 Nate hunts down the keyboard and all of its parts and Kaytie colors, cuts, and alphabetizes a group of paper leaves.

4:00 I help Nate practice while watching Kaytie show off her cutting skills, struggling to herd the little boys out of the playroom since I still have Abbie clothes scattered around in there, and trying to convince Abbie I can not help her every three seconds to dress/undress/redress her dolly.

4:15 Nate is finished and starts cutting out his leaves, we have a sharp discussion about READING THE INSTRUCTIONS and FOLLOWING THEM! sigh

4:20 A fight breaks out over table space. Once that is settled, Kaytie gets frustrated with her cutting and I show her how to cut off the small portion she is working on so she isn't dealing with an entire sheet of paper.

4:25 I call an end to school, and have them put their stuff away. They run off to watch Ruff Ruffman. There are only three boxes left, and they are all "fun" stuff, so I don't mind at all leaving them until tomorrow. I take a minute to update this post and then go stop a few fights/arguments/mild disagreements in the living room.

4:45 Kaytie chooses to forgo the last part of Ruff Ruffman to get piano out of the way. The little boys go outside, Abbie listens quietly to the music, and Nate is watching tv, so it is a peaceful practice.

5:00 Abbie takes her turn at the piano. I watch a bit of Maya and Miguel with the kids, then they go outside. I switch the laundry again.

5:30 Dad comes home from work and the kids flock around him. Abbie snuggles up in his lap and promptly falls asleep. She just can't make it the entire day without a bit of sleep!

5:45 I start supper. It's quick and easy... Hamburger Helper (with a extra noodles thrown in. We need more than one box, but two is still too much) and frozen veggies.

6:00 We sit down to eat. H. H. is a favorite, so supper is fairly painless. Abbie must be encouraged to finish her veggies. The boys have three helpings apiece.

After supper, the kids have some Halloween candy and I clean up the supper dishes. Alex is collected by his mom. The rest of the evening, we pretty much just hang out. Kaytie is deep into a book on healthy eating, exercise, and germs. The little kids draw on Magnadoodles. Daniel is awesome at this, Abbie is more whiney than anything. Her nap wasn't long enough, apparently. Nate just bounces around, flitting from thing to thing, trying to convince me that it is a rule that I have to do whatever he says because he loves me so much.

8:45 The kids pick up toys. Since it was such a nice day and most of their playing was outside, this is not a big chore tonight. Steve runs to pick up a package of diapers for Abbie since we realized we are out.

9:00 The Bedtime Sequence is initiated. I read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to the big kids while he reads Thomas to the little kids. Teeth are brushed, songs are sung, prayers are said.

9:45 Abbie starts crying and won't stop. Daddy goes to investigate and discovers a small, pink (of course) bead stuck up her nose. Why? Where did it come from? These are deep dark mysteries of the universe that will never be resolved. Steve digs it out effortlessly. I tuck her back into bed and then spend a lot more time soothing Kaytie's trauma over the incident. She is such a tenderhearted little soul!

10:00 Little people are finally asleep. I read blogs, check my email, finish this post and then head off to wrangle some chatting with my husband before bed.


Julie said...

I am exhausted just reading this! What a day. And I thought I had it rough with just my two littles. ;) Wonderful post, I really enjoyed it. Oh and thanks for the award!

Anonymous said...

Busy, busy, busy! Great "Day in the Life"! Homeschoolers have so much fun and are so creative :)

Thanks for sharing and have a very enjoyable 2010-2011 school year!

Karen said...

I too, am exhausted just reading this. I can't believe you do all this every day!
I so admire you and all HSing Moms with multiple kids. My ONE runs me ragged at times. I am a single mom, but you still do all of this alone while Hubby is at work.
Great glimpse into your life. Your family is adorable.
Hope this is a great year!!
Homeschooling Rocks!


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