Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Day in the Life of Mom

As I was doing laundry this afternoon I thought, "It's been a while since I did a "Day In My Life" post.  Why not do it today?"  So, here it is, in real time!

5:50am--I wake up and dress for my twice-weekly walk with my mom, who lives 4 blocks away.

6-6:45am-- I walk around the neighborhood with Mom and her dog Dai.

6:45am--We arrive back at my house and we go in to pray since we end our walks with prayer together.  The kids, who are all awake, clamoring around Daddy, join us and it's sweet to hear them pray.  I feed Kate a bottle while we pray (my milk has recently dried up completely).

7am--Josiah leaves for work.  I change the baby's diaper and put her down for her first nap of the morning and get breakfast cereal lined out for all of the kids.  I fix myself a bowl of Grape-nuts with banana slices.  Then I read 7 verses of the Bible to the kids as we eat and my daily "Jesus Calling" devotional to them.  I have to tell them several times to be quiet and to listen.

7:15am--I wash Justus up and tell the other kids, who wash themselves, to get dressed.  I clean up breakfast stuff and mediate a fight or two or three.

7:25-7:45am--Now I do morning sit-ups and exercises.  While doing them I dole out instructions and consequences to Alathia who is harrassing her brother. 

7:45am--I check e-mail and fb messages.  I e-mail my fitness partners who hold me accountable to good diet and exercise with my weekly goals.  Then I check www.moneysavingmom.com for some deals and get inspired by a neat alphabet mat project I see a link for.  But instead of sewing all of the letters onto a flat sheet I think I would paint them on to save time!  I mentally file away this idea as a project to make in August in preparation for our school year. I get interrupted, as usual, by a kid needing me to wipe him.

8:30am--I throw a load of laundry in the washer.  Whew!  I'm breathing a sigh of relief that swimming lessons are over as of last week.  The kids love them and they are super-important and they have learned to be excellent swimmers for their age but hauling 4 kids to the pool every morning at 9am for 3 weeks was quite the workout for me!  I ask Alathia to clean her room which looks like a paper and clothing bomb went off in there.  I get the baby who has woken up and go outside with the baby and the boys.  I draw the alphabet with sidewalk chalk and we play a hopscotch game on the letters and practice saying the letters several times. 

9:00am--Now I call my mom and ask her if she still has posterboard.  One of my projects for the week is to make a 5-Day Club sign for our club next week.  She does, so I say we will walk over. 

9:15am--I eat a homemade protein bar quickly before loading Katri and Justus into the wagon and helping Jer put his shoes and helmet on.  The two older kids ride their bikes and I pull the two little ones.  It's a very hot day, and muggier than usual due to a rain last night.  But pulling the wagon is much faster than letting Justus ride his tiny bike all the way there (ask me how I know......).

9:30-9:50am--We visit with my mom aka Grammy.  She gives the kids a popsicle and we pick out some posterboard.  Then we head home.

10:05am--We arrive home and I get the kids a snack of bananas and goldfish crackers.  I feed the baby another bottle.  I clean up the kids and the snack and wipe a kid's bottom when he uses the restroom.  I hold a screaming Katri who is having trouble going potty due to eating lots of cheese last night and coach her through the ordeal and then change the icky diaper and comfort her.  I lay her down for her second morning nap.

10:30am--Feeling pooped from the heat (we don't have A/C, and thankfully don't really need it most days because it's dry here and not humid) I let the boys watch a 30-minute Veggie Tale show (Ali is grounded from a movie today) and I sit down to catch up on a couple of my favorite blogs www.passionatehomemaking.com and www.homespunheart.com.  I'm trying to find a good brand of liquid trace minerals to buy and I know the first of these blogs is a good resource to look.  I spent some time on www.vitacost.com looking for natural bugspray, minerals, spirulina powder (to add to our yogurt smoothies), kelp powder, and bee pollen.  I save the items in my cart as payday isn't until Friday and spending my grocery money ahead is a great way to get into trouble and have no money left for food at the end of the week!

11:30am--I start tackling the 5-Day Club signs.  Ali is excited to help me.  Unfortunately, even though she has been instructed to glue the letters on a certain way, she gets mixed up and glues them on wrong so I have to un-do her work and re-glue them.  I lose my patience over the mistakes she has made. 

12pm--Josiah comes home for lunch so we stop in the middle of sign-making and pull out leftovers.  He heats up steak and potatoes that I grilled the other night and I make the kids quesadillas.  Then I start to warm up leftover spaghetti for myself.  But then I hear Kate.  So, I go and get Kate up and put her in her highchair and give her some chunks of cheese and some cheerios.  By then, the kids are all hollering for more food.  So, I butter bread and cut fruit and get drinks and it seems by the time I get down to the end of the line, one is done and wants more!  Ali eats thirds on bread, even after 2 small quesadillas!  Finally, I get a chance to sit down and I wolf down my food like a ravenous animal, knowing I only have minutes, if not seconds, until someone begs me for something!  Josiah reads from the Bible while we eat, something we have wanted to make a habit fof or a long time but are only just starting to do.

12:35pm--I clean up the lunch table, wishing I had time to do dishes as the sink is very full since I didn't do any dishes on Sunday, but I decide to leave the full sink for later and read stories to the kids.  They each choose a book for me to read and Ali reads a lengthy one to us herself.  I'm excited to see her progressing in her reading.  Justus is unusually crabby today even though he went to bed on time last night and I expect a fight in getting him to naptime.  I help him go potty, and wipe him.....again...and tell Jer to go potty.  I tuck the kids into naptime, and today, because she has such a negative attitude, even Ali is required to nap.  I hang a load of Josiah's work clothing on the drying rack to try to save electricity and throw another load of laundry in to wash.  I call the bank to order new checks only to be told to call back in an hour.  I find myself daydreaming about my upcoming vacation in 18 days!  I love my kiddoes but I cannot wait for a week of silence and relaxation when Josiah takes the 3 oldest kids to visit his family in MN and leaves Katri and I behind for 8 days.

1:15-1:45pm  Ahhh, I sit down to write this blog post, a nice breather in my day.  I'm interrupted twice by kids sneaking upstairs wanting to tell me something or get a drink.  I make the long trek back downstairs a couple of times to instruct them to be quiet, and lay down.

1:45pm-2:35pm  I haul a load of folded laundry upstairs and sort it into a box for my brother's new baby.  They have just arrived in America and are going to drive out west to see us in a week.  Their baby boy has very little clothing and I hit the jackpot at a neighbor's yardsale this weekend so I washed all the little clothing to get it ready for him.  I handwash some delicates and the kids' swimsuits and hang them up to dry.  I unload the dishwasher, irritated to see that many of the dishes are not clean and will need to be handwashed.  Every once in a while my soap door doesn't open and that means most of the load doesn't get clean.  I return downstairs to admonish the boys to stop sneaking into each other's rooms to wrestle and tell Ali to go to sleep.  For the 5th time of the day, I wipe a poopy bottom, wondering what is wrong with my kid that he has to go #2 so many times a day.  Someone from Bible Study calls and tells me that the location for study tonight has changed.  I call the bank again and get the checks ordered.  I sit down to the computer to write a quick note to a couple of family members and the doorbell rings.  It's one of my best friends, who lives a block away.  She is dropping off a grocery card for 5-Day Club meals next week and we chat for a few minutes and make plans to get together later this week.  I check on the kids again to find them all awake still and turn down Ali's requests to get up.  I load the dishwasher with dirty dishes and start it up.

2:35pm--  I call my other close friend and make plans to go on a hike with her and all of our kids tomorrow morning in the nearby canyon.  We chat for a while.

2:55pm--Jeremiah comes up the stairs and I realize he's not going to sleep today and tell him he can get up.  He plays with cars in the living room while I blog about my day and finally write those notes to my brother and cousin.

3:15pm-4:45pm--I finish up the 5-Day Club signs and allow Ali to get up from naptime.  I make yogurt smoothies with my homemade yogurt and some clearance organic oranges I found in the clearance produce box on my Saturday shopping trip.  I hear Katrielle and bring her up and she sits with us at the table and has some cut up nectarines, some pear baby food, and a bottle while I drink my smoothie.  The kids are still hungry after the smoothies so I root around the cupboards looking for something snacky.  They hear the music of the ice-cream truck and beg for an ice-cream treat.  All summer the truck has been driving around the neighborhood, reminding me of when I was a kid, but I never seem to have cash to buy a treat as it goes past.  Today I say yes, for the first time this summer and go racing to find change in the coin jar.  The kids run out and stop the truck and I come up with $1 so they can split an ice-cream sandwich!  They are soooooo thrilled and talk about the ice-cream truck all afternoon.  I am so amazed at how a simple ice-cream sandwich has lifted Ali's grumpy mood that I wonder if I should invest in tons of ice-cream sandwiches! 

After snack, I clean up, throw ingredients in the bread machine to make homemade pizza dough, take some frozen veggies out of the freezer for pizza toppings, and thaw a frozen coffee cake to take to our Bible Study tonight and then ask Jeremiah to come outside with Kate and take some pictures.  They look soooo much alike, particularly today, and I try to capture that on camera.  I love taking pictures! 

Then the kids head into the house to get into swimsuits to swim in the backyard inflatable pool.  I feed Kate and then put her on the couch with toys and throw in another load of laundry and listen to a phone message and try to return the call of someone who called when we were outside, but they aren't home anymore.  Justus wakes up and wants help with his swimsuit and wants a snack.  I help him and then go outside and re-inflate part of the pool that has deflated, due to a plug being missing.  The kids splash and play. 

4:45-5:30pm  Josiah arrives home and plays with little Katri.  He keeps an eye on the kids out the window as they play in the pool, mediating a few splash fights that get out of control.  I remember a praise report I wanted to share on fb and quickly write a status update.  Then, I pull the pizza dough out of the bread machine and start putting it on pans and getting pizza ingredients lined out.  I put the crusts in the oven to bake a bit before adding sauce and toppings and decide to jump in the shower.  Normally I shower in the mornings after breakfast when Katri is napping and the kids are busy with duplo blocks or something but today is REALLY hot and sweat is running down my back soaking my shirt.  I take a quick cool shower, which feels wonderful, and get dressed quickly and take the pizza crusts out.  I finish making dinner and the kids come in and change into dry clothing.  Josiah puts Katri down for an evening nap since we will be up late at Bible Study tonight.

5:30-6:00pm We have a nice family dinner of homemade pizza, garden salad, and applesauce and share some family jokes and some laughs.  We don't get a lot of thunderstorms in WY so the kids are excited because all through dinner we have torrential rain and thunder and lightning.  I have to jump up in the middle of dinner to get an umbrella for Ali so she can run outside and rescue her sidewalk chalk that was left out there.

6:00-6:40pm  I clean up after supper, unload the dishwasher and re-load with dirty dishes.  Josiah takes a shower and the little boys join him and everyone gets ready for Bible Study.  I quickly do my hair and make-up and get the baby up and dressed in pj's and we all jump in the car and drive to our friends' home which is a few miles out of town.

7:00-10:00pm  Family Bible Study usually begins with a hymn but since we are talking about the role of men in marriage and fathers in the home tonight we watch a music video together of "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real.  After the music video and a prayer time the kids head downstairs or outside and we listen to a Voddie Bauchum sermon together and then have discussion time and treats.  Kate is such a great baby, sitting and playing happily with her toys and smiling at the adults, even though she is normally in bed at 6 or 6:30pm every night. 

10:00pm--We get home and Daddy puts the kiddoes to bed.  Because we enjoy the teaching and fellowship of our Bible Study so much we have made the exception for allowing the kids to stay up late on Mondays but they normally go to bed at 7pm every other night.  I upload some photos I took and update this post.  Before bed at 11:00pm I will probably watch my favorite old sitcom, which is free to watch online and has a new 20 minute episode every day, and then read a little in bed before falling asleep.

I forgot to include in here helping Justus get dressed a few different times, changing diapers on Katri, comforting kids who got "ouchies" many, many times, and ignoring 3 calls from sales-people.  At the end of the day, I may have washed and dried a few loads of laundry but lots still needs to be folded and I have about 5 more loads to wash.  I may have ran two loads of dirty dishes in the dishwasher but it still needs unloaded and there are still many in the sink that didn't fit in the last load.  The kids have strewn toys and clothing about the house and I just don't have the energy to pick it up tonight.  So, at the end of the day, I sometimes wonder how I could be sooooo busy all day long and still feel like nothing got done!

I failed today.  I yelled at my kids, I was selfish and short-tempered, I didn't treat them with as much gentleness as I should have.  The whining, fighting, and constant interruptions grated on me.  I resented my husband for silly, small things.  I struggled with the self-sacrifice involved in serving my family.

And yet, I prayed today.  Earnestly and passionately.  I connected on a deep level with my 5 closest women friends.  I asked forgiveness of my kids when I blew it.  I hugged them, kissed them, and marveled at their tiny little faces and darling smiles.  I captured beauty in photos and wondered at God's creation.  I discussed hard topics with fellow believers and was encouraged and also encouraged others.  We laughed together as a family and Justus told me a few times that he loved me soooo much and Jer told me I was the nicest mom ever to let him get ice-cream from the ice-cream truck.  Ali had a rough day of being disobedient and a drama queen (declaring at one point that "this is the worst day of my life!!!" and yet recovered to being thankful, cheerful, and sweet and pointing out a beautiful rainbow in the sky.  I fell in love with my hubby all over again as I watched him read a tiny duckling book to Katri and saw his eyes dance with laughter over supper, heard him discussing God's Word with earnestness, and remembered the hard physical labor he does every day to provide for this family.

I often remember only the bad points and mistakes I made during the day, so this exercise of charting out my day has really made me reflect on the good things and the fun we shared.  The things that are most important to us, God, our marriage, our children, our friends, etc. were a priority in our day and though I often feel overwhelmed and overworked, I still saw glimpses of God's grace and can end the day with thankfulness for these many blessings He's given.

A typical day in our home.....a day in the life of a mom.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birdies and Deer

The mama birds really inspired me!  They are such good moms to their babies!

The kids were excited to watch the deer but scared enough of him that they wanted to be on the picnic table!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Happenings

So much for summer being a time to kick back and be lazy!  We're staying plenty busy, and I've been too busy to blog lately as you can see! 
We had lots of picnics and events on the 4th of July!
A parade, fireworks, and fun with friends!

Alathia and Jeremiah are in swimming lessons 4 mornings a week for 3 weeks

We have had many fun playdates, like this one where Ali and her friends played dress-up

We do a few pool parties every week, which the kids love!

The kids love to ride bikes.  They packed their water bottles in their backpacks and went riding up and down the alley behind our home in their swimsuits.

A light-saber in one hand and a popsicle in the other!  A summertime boy!

Every day the kids are catching bugs, worms, or butterflies for pets

We were blessed to see our friends who moved away to Kansas.  They came to stay with us for 4 days, and on Sunday all of our girls wore similar dresses to church!

Will my hubby ever mature?  Not likely!  He and the youth group boys rigged up his motorized bicycle to our old bike cart and gave each other rides.

Our good friends from Kansas, Jesse and Shiloh

We celebrated our 8th Anniversary by going out on the town in our wedding clothing. It was so much fun!

The kids with my Dad

The kids and their Daddy

Josiah's birthday was on Father's Day!  Ali made him a dirt/gummy worm cake in a bucket since he loves it!

In addition to the activities above, we do the summer library reading program which I have been doing since I was a little kid!  I also host a weekly Women's Bible Study here which is such a great encouragement to me!  My mom, aunt, and cousin attend among other wonderful ladies and it's been going for a few summers now.  I started a monthly frugal club called Frugal Friends which meets to share ways to save money and swap coupons/clothes/curriculum.  Josiah and I both will be leaders at some purity retreats our church is doing in a couple of weeks (the girls are going to a "big city" and the boys are going camping).  We are hosting a 5 Day Club again the last week in July and we have 6 teenage girls who are the club teachers coming to stay for a week.  We're also trying to squeeze a camping trip or two in and a trip to the Dinosaur Muesum.  And we're all greatly looking forward to seeing our favorite missionaries, my brother and his wife and new baby boy, when they return from Honduras in mid-late July!  Yay!  In August, Josiah is planning to take the 3 oldest kids with him to visit his folks in MN, while I stay home to have my first week off as a mom!  I'll still have Katri but it will definitely still feel like a vacation!  I plan to paint the kids' bedrooms, organize homeschool stuff, have a scrapbooking marathon day with friends, and pamper myself a little bit! 
For the last 6 weeks of the summer I'm also challenging myself to go walking at 6am as a way to make exercise more of a priority.  There are 4 other Christian women friends on my street and I've invited them to join me for a 30 minute walk followed by a brief prayer time 2 days a week.

What have you been up to this summer?
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