Thursday, January 26, 2012

As Sands through the Hour Glass...

(You know you finished the sentence in your head!) *hee!*

So, as usual, I am late to this blog game, but better late than never, right?

(If you are curious as to how I schedule our days, while still allowing myself to be the "free-spirit-who-despises-schedules", see this post I wrote for the Latter-Day Homeschooling blog.)

I read Cocoa's post about her typical day late Tuesday evening, and so I'm recording what happened in our house yesterday...

Good Morning!

I began the day by squinting one eye open at the sound of a little 4 year old voice whispering, "Can I have a banana?"

I mumbled a heavy "Yes," and rolled over to try to catch more shut eye. Ha! (It should not surprise anyone when I relate that all attempts at getting more rest were fruitless.)

A new day had begun!

Sleepy Morganne being awakened by happy Eryn
I found my big kids in the living room, waiting for their biking buddy, Mark, to join them in a ride to seminary at the local high school. (We only have one vehicle, and the school's not too far away, so they get a little exercise each day.)

Working on one of his compositions
Morganne (age 18) likes to go back to sleep on the couch after getting ready, and Brennan (age 16) plays on the piano while waiting. Our Lliam (age 15) was getting ready a bit later than the other two.

Prepared to brave the "cold"-- which is luckily not very cold here.

The youngest kids (ages 8, 6, 4, 3, and 19 months) are usually busy playing hard and making messes just before 6am. Even if we went to bed with a clean house, it will be destroyed before the big ones leave at 7am.

Rumpled Grayse and Ava
Lately Russell has been getting up earlier to get more hours in at work. His New Year's resolutions are to avoid going out to eat and to eat healthier, so he's usually making himself breakfast and packing his lunch of leftovers before the big kids head out into the dark morning.

Since most of us are out of bed, we gather for family prayer. We always sing the Primary song "Family Prayer" before Russell calls on someone to pray, so often still-sleeping kids will get up and rush in at the sound of the song. That's not its purpose, but it does make me smile! :-)

Ronan is up!
The big ones ride off to seminary as Bonny, Dierdre and I get our buddies changed and ready for the day. Russell heads in to work, and I decide it's time to get showered and dressed.

Mornings are for Organization

Bonny busily baking
While I'm getting ready, our Miss Bonny (age 13) starts making breakfast (her daily stewardship).  She wants to try a new recipe, and asks me what she should do about the brown sugar filling. I look at the recipe, and could see that it would not work with honey or maple syrup, so I tell her to go ahead and make it as is. I'll find something to eat on my own. (Yup, I'm still sugar-free.)

Unfortunately, because it's a new recipe, and because I didn't take note of how long it needed to bake, breakfast was destined to be VERY late....

To do...
While Bonny is busy cooking, I begin the daily nagging of "Get your jobs done!!!" and load and start the washing machine. I gather the things I'm hoping to accomplish this morning: two baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded, and a box of my mom's photos I need to scan in to create a promised Christmas present for my baby sister; a photobook. (Hi, Abby Sue!)

Photos of the amazing Abby with her nieces and nephews
I start scanning, and mess with Shutterfly for far too long-- so the clean laundry was temporarily forgotten. The big kids are home from seminary just after 9:30am on Wednesdays, as opposed to 8:30am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. There are no classes on Thursdays. (Yes, we have a very dorky school district we have to work around. :-p)

Bonny calls everyone to come eat her breakfast masterpiece, and I get off my rear to reheat some leftovers for my own breakfast. (It's now 10:30am. Yikes!)

She doesn't make it easy to resist, does she?
After breakfast, I take it upon myself to begin the chore-nagging once again. "You guys only have just over an hour to finish your jobs! Get busy!!!" This is when the kitchen gets the attention it needs. I finish eating, and decide to quit scanning and scrapbooking for the day.

Middays are for Education

Bothering Petting our Katie-Kitty
The kids and I get our chores done, and "school" begins. The little kids go outside to play, explore, and get filthy in the gorgeous Arizona sunshine, and the big kids get on the computers and/or hit their books. I require that my older ones from 11 years old on up do 1 hour of math before they do anything else online. (And if they start hanging out on Facebook before their other studies are done, they get to face a Mad Mother. *grr.*)

Brennan helping Gavin (age 11) with a math question
We have three computers in the Family Room, and my husband has a work laptop he brings home to use. But we have five kids who use the computers for their study, so we just have to take turns. Those with their jobs done first get to use the computers first. (Usually. Most of the time, they ALL have their jobs done by noon, and it's just a matter of who grabs which computer first.) 

We also have a quiet "study" room for those kids who are reading, studying, or writing-- things they don't need the computer for. (It's also where my husband works from home once or twice a week.) They also often read and study in their rooms.

While she waits for a computer to work on, Bonny teaches Dierdre some of the ballet techniques she's learned in her ballet class.
Somewhere in the midst of everything going on, Miss Eryn (19 months) goes down for a nap.

While the older kids do school work, I finally get to folding the clean laundry. I like to listen to something while I fold, so I put on a couple talks from the last LDS General Conference.

Later in the afternoon, I help our Dierdre (age 10) get going making a late lunch, due to our late breakfast. (Can I say "late" one more time? There.) She does a great job making oven-melted cheese sandwiches, and brings out the cottage cheese and applesauce to supplement. (Lunches are her stewardship during the week.) The baby gets up in time to eat and join in the rest of the afternoon playing.

The rest of the afternoon rolls slowly along, and before I know it, it's time for the younger boys (ages 11 and 8) to get ready for Cub Scouts, which begins at 6pm. I feel a flood of guilt wash over me as I realize the Pinewood Derby is this Saturday, and we haven't gotten started yet. Luckily, that's Russell's department, and I know he'll get to it soon.

Evenings are for Inspiration

Our lovely Miss Morganne has already begun dinner, so I know that's taken care of. (Dinner is her stewardship 5 nights a week.) I look around and realize the kids still haven't put their clean clothes away yet. More nagging! Oh, and it's hard not to laugh at the toddler who crashed in the midst of the laundry piles.

A collapsed toddler and the still-waiting folded laundry
Our Cub Scouts head out, and the big kids try to finish up their e-mailing and Facebooking before they head off to mutual. Five minutes before 7pm, our Morganne finishes making Hamburger Stew, and sadly has to leave before she eats any of it! So the big four go out the door (living across the street from our church building is AWESOME!), the boys come home from Cub Scouts, and those of us at home eat Morganne's yummy soup.

Morganne's Hamburger Stew, ready to eat.
You might be wondering where my husband is in all of our Wednesday evening craziness. Usually, he's hanging out with the Teachers' Quorum on mutual night, but tonight he has a programming meeting after work that's going to last until at least 9:30pm.

Notice the clean laundry buckets were emptied at last?
On Wednesday evenings, I usually let the younger kids watch a movie while the big kids are gone to mutual. Last night, they picked "The Secret Garden". I love this version of one of my favorite books, and they haven't watched it in quite a while. It was a good choice!

While the kids are watching the movie, I take advantage of our quiet living room and settle in to read. It's a good one, too!

The big kids arrive home at 8:30ish, eat their dinner, and finish watching the movie with the littles. (MacKenna, 6, and Grayse, 4, fall asleep before the movie finishes.) At around 9:15pm, the movie is over and I call the kids in for Family Scriptures and prayer. (Usually Dad's job, but since he's gone...) We're in 1 Nephi chapter 15, and had a good reading and discussion session.

Unfortunately, Miss Grayse wakes up angry about missing the movie's end and her turn reading. Once she calms down, I allow her to jump in and repeat her two verses. We sing our song, have our prayer, and Russell calls to let me know he's on his way home (9:40pm).

The kids disperse to brush their teeth and change into their pajamas. Russell arrives home, and everyone shares hugs and kisses. Some of the big kids stay up to discuss politics and some of the things Russell and I have been reading. He's been reading "Beyond Socialism and Capitalism", which goes pretty hand-in-hand with what I'm reading. (NOTE: the link to the book is NOT an affiliate one.)

I didn't get around to the final rounds of chore-nagging, so we all go to bed without finishing the kitchen jobs. But sometimes the late night discussions are more important, especially when Dad has been gone all evening.

It's been a good day. And now it's time to say "Good Night!"


  1. Isn't it nice when the kids are older really are good helps with the cooking (and other chores)?

  2. Busy day. I love seeing typical homeschool days. =)

  3. Cocoa, it is sooo nice! It took quite a few years to teach and train them, but I am so happy with how well they have learned-- and continue to learn-- important life skills.

    It's second on my "To know" list, after the Gospel and getting testimonies of their own.

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! :-)


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