Monday, February 2, 2015

A Day In the Life here...

Hello friends,

I thought you might like a peek into an "average" day in our lives.  I say "average" because our days seem like they are anything but that.  I mean, anytime you've got a family that has to retrieve their pet cockatiel from the rooftop in the middle of winter, you know there very rarely is an average day.  Just in case you don't know, we have four daughters, aged 9 (Blossom1), 7 (Blossom2), just turned 5 (Blossom3) and 21 months (Blossom4).  (You can check out last year's day in the life post here.)

5:30am - Daddy's alarm goes off.  I roll over and nurse Blossom4.  She's sleeping great most nights, and is weaning.  We try to catch a little more shut-eye until

6:30am - Daddy leaves for the day.  Saying "bye" helps me start to become conscious.

7:00am - The girlies' alarm clock goes off.  We usually pile into Mommy & Daddy's bed where we all have some devotional time separately but together.  Blossom1 and Blossom2 read their Bibles.  Blossom3 listens to the audio Bible and Blossom4, well, she's all over the place!  I share a little word or snippet, we pray (for more unity and love in our family!) and sing and then hit the ground running for chores. 

8:00am - Usually by now, I have Blossom4 ready to go and we head to the kitchen.  I pull out whatever needs to thaw for supper, tidy the kitchen, throw in some wash, start breakfast and supervise chores.  Oh yes and I peel Blossom4 off of counters, end tables, pianos, etc. 

As part of her their chores, Blossom1 takes care of the outside animals, while Blossom2 and Blossom3 take care of the inside animals.  They bring out hampers, make beds and such - the types of things that keep Mommy from going crazy.  Running a household of six requires assistance from everyone (and, as we say around here, if you don't work, you don't eat.  Just sayin.) 

9:00 am - Once breakfast is cleaned up, we migrate to the schoolroom.  This is our sacred block of schooltime.  I work with Blossom1 and Blossom2 individually. Their work is already separated into individual and assisted work, so that I can send them to their desks to do a big chunk of stuff without me.  We get together on the couch to do the assisted work. 
I work with Blossom3 in this chunk of time too.  I know lots of people believe in delayed academics, but that just doesn't cut it around here.  Thus far, the Blossoms have been very motivated to learn, especially to read.  I do what I like to call, "Floor School" with Blossom3 and Blossom4.  We camp out on the floor of the schoolroom with flashcards, number charts and blend books.  Blossom4 climbs on me, plays with her own set of flashcards and repeats her vowels with Blossom3.  She feels involved, we aren't too disruptive for the older Blossoms and we get it done.  I can't argue with that.  Eventually, we move over to the Littles' table so that we can quench Blossom3's thirst for workbooks.  Oftentimes, Blossom4 will scribble a while.  Either that, or she'll insist on nursing for a minute or two.  Since I follow my babies' lead on weaning, I'm good with that.
I occasionally will send a few emails during this time, IF Blossom1 and Blossom2 are good to go.  Otherwise, I try to keep my email minimized, so the internet doesn't suck my day away. 
When Blossom3 and Blossom4 aren't being worked with, they're off to play dress-up, play with little play sets, play a designated blanket time or something else non-interruptive I've planned for them.  Lots of times the schoolroom floor is littered with miscellaneous items, but I try not to let it bother me until it's time to clean it up and move on to lunch.

Noon - We try to wrap up the morning session of school around now and hit the chores again.  This really helps to keep the house from getting completely out of control.  I get lunch going, tie up loose ends and tidy the kitchen (it seems like I'm doing this constantly :)  Sometimes during lunch I read aloud from our current read-aloud, sometimes not.  It depends on how cooperative Blossom4 is being.  After all, she's getting drowsy by now.  The Blossoms help me obliterate the traces of lunch in the kitchen and then...

1:00pm - Glory, Hallelujah, IT'S NAPTIME!  Blossom1 and Blossom2 get a rest time to read and play quietly in their room.  The length depends on how much schoolwork they've accomplished - "almost done" and they get a longer time, "too much goofing around this morning" and they get a 20 minute rest and then back at it!  I tuck in Blossom3 with her books and then I nurse Blossom4 to sleep.  If the morning was too crazy, I sometimes have quiet time with the Lord now, but otherwise, I read, rest my mind or nap too.  The door to my room is open.  This took some getting used to, but I found it necessary to making sure that Blossom3 follows the naptime rules, "Lay still and be quiet" and to have a slight handle on the progress in the schoolroom.  Overall, Blossom1 and Blossom2 are trustworthy enough to get busy at the appointed time, while I continue to rest. 

2:15pm-ish - Brownie in a Mug time!  Just kidding.  I do often come out and grab a bite of chocolate.  I tie up loose ends, see to the wash, the kitchen, the schoolroom, etc.  This is normallly when I check schoolwork and make sure mistakes get corrected.  If needed, I'll "crack the whip" to make sure that schoolwork is finished or being finished up for the day.  We used to faithfully have tea time around now.  It seems like we've only been hitting that occasionally lately.  I loved reconnecting with my daughters again during the afternoon.  I'm not worried about it.  There are seasons in raising children.  Right now, Blossom4 takes up lots of time (have I mentioned peeling her off counters, pianos, etc?), but I know we eventually come back around to things. 

3:30pm - Usually after I've gotten all the schoolwork corrected and the goals written for everyone for the next day, I will do computer work or whatever extra projects I need to delve into on that day.  It could be an email for our local homeschool co-op, an article my brother needs me to edit, some sewing to finish for a friend, etc.  By now all Blossoms are awake and/or done with schoolwork, so they are off on their own pursuits.  Reading is always a number one choice, heading outside to play with each other and the animals or scheming up another entrepreneurial endeavor.  The girlies and I usually straighten up the house a little now too.  I try to hit my house-cleaning rotation now too.  Sometimes though schoolwork takes precedence so I have to squeeze a chunk of cleaning in here and a chunk in there til it's done.

4:30pm - Someone sings out, "Daddy's home" and shouts of delight, a veritable stampede, shrieking (from the girlies and the cockatiel) and barking (from Jake, the Golden Retriever) ensue.  Mommy meanders to the kitchen and gets supper going.  Daddy and I pow-wow (with lots of excited interruptions) about what's on his agenda for that evening.  I get the Blossoms to help me with supper and we sit down to eat by 

5pm-ish - Supper time and someday I will get a word in edgewise!  :)  Lots of chatter and banter, honestly, it's one of my favorite times of day!  Daddy and I usually adjourn to the living room to chat while the Blossoms finish up.  They clean up the kitchen too - yes really.  I gotta say that I really appreciate this.  They even pack Daddy's lunch!  The evening seems to get muddled for here.  There's playing on the floor in the living room.  There's wash that gets folded.  There's hanging out as a family.  There are any of my daily house-cleaning tasks that didn't get done in the afternoon.  Sometimes I have to tie up loose ends on things (I think this is the definition of being a mom), but overall by...
7:30pm - I have the Blossoms put away clothes and head to showers.  I lay out Daddy's breakfast stuff, clothes and anything else that needs to be figured out for the next day.  The girlies hit up their bedtime routine of tidying up and doing personal hygiene stuff. 
8:30pm - Mommy is tired of corralling, so Daddy corrals the older three back to do the "ritual" of praying together, singing a song and talking about their day.  There may be tickling and giggling, but I hear it from afar.  I am nursing Blossom4 to sleep while I'm reading.  (and probably repenting for my 8:00pm digression of patience.)
9:00pm - Mommy and Daddy retire to the living room to wind down.  It's go-go-go here so we appreciate the time to read and chat and stare.  We usually listen for footfalls and reassure Blossom3 that she really has to go to bed now and remind her what comes if she doesn't...
9:30pm or 10pm-ish - We head back to bed.  The house is usually basically tidy by now.  I do my tour gathering missed items as we head back.  While my Rugged Mountain Man of a husband tends the fire and shuts the chickens in for the night, I check all the children, try to remember to brush my teeth and wash my face and then crawl into bed, praying for grace to live holy and be Godly again tomorrow.