Hubby insisted that I post a "day in the life" so you can see that there really isn't any educational neglect going on. The kids really do learn a LOT even though I'm not teaching them a lot.
I've changed our names for this blog. Rosie is my youngest, at 7. Her next older sister is Christie, 10. Next up is Kate, 12. John, age 15, isn't home much, he's our only public schooled student right now. My oldest at home is Blair, age 17. I do have a grown, married, wonderful son, Marty (27), and his wonderful wife Raye, WAYYYYY on the other side of the continent.
6:00AM What luck! (and what a great alarm clock!) It just happens to be one of my 6AM days! So, I won't put off blogging this particular day. There are ginger cookies for breakfast today, and they only take 20 minutes to bake, so John can have some before he heads off to the bus. Perhaps with enough butter and cinnamon sugar on them he might even eat one. One of my favorite trick-myself-into-making-breakfast tricks is to stir together the dry ingredients for muffins or cookies in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. I refrigerate the wet stuff and leave the dry stuff on the counter with the muffin tins or cookie sheets already pan-sprayed. In the morning, I just combine the two bowls' contents and scoop out batter into the tins. Not nearly as dangerous as really cooking in the AM.
6:45AM Cookies done and cleaned up after. Can I go back to bed now? No, no, I'm fine. I'll hop in the shower before hubby gets up to leave the bathroom available for him to get ready for work. Kids aren't up yet, except John, who leaves for the bus at 7:05. While I'm in the shower, I think about a dear friend who I want to encourage via email today and what I can say to her that will bless her.
7:18AM Out of the shower, hair more-or-less done, makeup on and readyish for the day. Another couple cups of coffee and I'll be coherent. Hubby wants to know if I made juice with the cookies. No, but I made him a quick cup of cocoa. It's chilly here today! YAY!
7:40AM Ah, that last cup of coffee downed, and the girls are starting to stir. I remind them to do their before breakfast chores (make bed, brush hair and teeth, put away PJs and bedtime books) and come up for food. Hubby decides to work at home today because he's not feeling tip top.
8:15AM Girls all fed and cleaned up after, they are doing their morning chores. I sit down to check the email. I have four books from my Amazon site to ship and one eBay sale. YAY! Prep all that shipping stuff and run it out to the mailbox.
9:00AM Done with shipping, email and other business-related work for the morning. I sit down with a cup of coffee (just one more?) to make the menus and shopping list for the week.
9:10AM Yikes. Forgot the laundry. Fold a load, washer to dryer, dirty to washer. Back to the menus. Rose is practicing the piano while Blair works with Kate on her costume for the Fall Festival at church tonight. Christie is having floor time with the guinea pigs after doing a quick clean of their cage.
9:30AM I have a basic idea of menus for the week and have written most of the ingredients I need for them, so it's off to start lunch. We're having steamed cauliflower and broccoli, chilled, with a yogurt dressing. Blair starts working with Christie on costume. Rose bakes sardine-wheat germ cookies for the neighbor's cat who just had kittens. Kate does "PE" on the trampoline.
10:15AM Blair works with Rose on her costume. Christie does "PE" on the Gazelle, Kate makes a "Sorry, no candy" sign for the front door. I check the grocery list against what's in the pantry, subtracting what we have and adding staples we need.
10:35AM We have a snack of leftover muffins and Emergen-C. Rose asks how to count "less than zero," so we have an impromptu lesson on negative numbers while Christie listens in. Kate finishes snack and goes to get a jump on her afternoon chores. Blair showers.
10:45AM All cleaned up from snack now, the kids run downstairs and grab their schoolwork they did at bedtime last night. They love working at night when it's quiet. I take a look at math papers, creatively written stories, their "Books I've Read" lists, and ideas for a science scavenger hunt.
11:10AM I compile the scavenger hunt list and send them packing. All four girls go and check off interesting things they find on their lists, collect leaves and rocks, and sketch birds they see. While it's quiet, I catch up on my home business and sort through my in box. If I can get the filing ready to do, Blair will do it during her afternoon chore time. It's also payday, so I check the account to make sure our automatic bill payments are set up and working.
12:15PM The girls come back ravenous from their adventure. We sit down to lunch and polish off the veggies. A couple of them go in search of more food (it's not lunch without a sandwich, they insist) while I help Christie do dishes. Another cha-cha-cha with the laundry and we're off to finish off the afternoon chore list. Today is "small room" day. We pick up, sweep and mop or vacuum, dust, and organize the entry way, schoolroom, laundry room, halls and stairs.
1:45PM I locate the leftover breakfast cookies and make some cardamom tea for the girls' snack. The chores are all done and we are ready to play! Blair plays on the Wii, which looks more like PE than games to me, swinging a bat, tennis racket and golf club and throwing punches. I determine the next set of plants I want to grow and hybrid in my game of "Plant Tycoon." Kate is downstairs on her computer, writing her plan and plot summary for Nanowrimo. All the kids will participate this year and it will probably take a huge chunk of our time each day.
2:15PM Blair wanders off to work on my computer, the only one with internet access. She is a forum administrator of a website for fans of a certain author's books. She also frequents a forum for young writers, and is quite active there, sharing lots of plot ideas and editing tips. Kate has gone with Rose to visit the new kittens in the neighborhood and bring a treat to the new mama cat. Christie works on her Nanowrimo plot on her computer downstairs. More laundry for me!
2:35PM Kate came home alone after dropping Rose off at her friend's. She wants to play on the Wii, and all her chores are done, so I consent. She likes to play Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon and Wii Sports, but will occasionally play Lego Star Wars or Spiderman. I gather up the contents of the hermit crab cage (but not the crabs themselves!) to wash and boil and return to their aquarium. Then sit to rest my knees with a cup of tea.
3:38PM John is home from school now, ready for a bite to eat before he goes off to work mowing lawns in the neighborhood. We've had such a horrible drought that his income was near zero all summer. But now that the autumn rains have started, there are a few jobs here and there and he's glad to have them! He saves his money to spend at the local magic store where he is learning tricks very quickly and making quite a name for himself. He has applied to be a demonstrator at the mall this holiday season for the shop. Blair is done online and gets to work filing. Kate's friends are also home from school, and she goes out to the backyard to jump on the trampoline and visit with them. Hubby pokes his head out to say he is going to shower now.
4:15PM Well, we had planned to go to the Fall Festival at church, but Rose has come down with a runny nose and looks pale. John says he'd rather not go anyway, and Christie didn't like the costume she worked out with Blair. So, we'll stay home and have a fun night in.
4:45PM I just walked in the door from Wal Mart. I picked up Meet The Robinsons, a movie we enjoyed this summer. We'll eat some Taco Bell, watch a movie and pop some popcorn later. Rose is looking a little worse and doesn't feel like moving from the couch. I made her a bed on the couch where she's comfy cozy. Christie asked me to teach her how to crochet, so I showed her how to make a slip knot and single crochet. That should keep her busy a long time.
6:15PM Dinner is over and cleaned up, we watched Jeopardy, which is one thing we do every single day as a family, and it's time to start our movie. I just did a quick check and one of my eBay auctions ending tonight is up over $500. Hello, Christmas Money!
7:30PM Taking a short break from the movie to pop the popcorn. Rose fell asleep on the couch during the movie, and I don't think I'll wake her to put her to bed. Christie is practicing her crocheting while she watches the movie, but now that there's popcorn she'll have to take a break!
8:30PM Movie over, popcorn gone and vacuumed up. The kids say their goodnights and go to their rooms to read, do schoolwork, talk or play quietly. We turn the computers off when the sun goes down, so that's not an option for them at night. But I hear some nice, quiet music playing and no arguing, which is really nice for a change! At 9:30 I'll holler down a "lights out" and head for bed myself, but for now, hubby wants to watch another movie.
11:17PM That's enough day for one day for me. I'm ready for bed. Oops - tomorrow is Christie's portrait, and I want to get to Wal Mart early to pick up candy and costumes at half price while they last. I'd better go make sure Christie's pretty dress is clean and pressed before I turn in. Good night!