Sometimes I forget things… like the fact that I host a monthly link up where we share a peek at a day in our life…ahem. A few days late is better than never, right? Read all about our day and then link up your own post at the end. This recorded day is Tuesday July 22, 2014. It is a bit unusual because Makayla is gone for a week of Girl’s Camp for Church. This is our first morning to wake up with her gone this week. It’s been interesting to only have 7 children ages 1-9 in the house. I’m not sure how I managed to have seven children in eight years but it’s so much fun to mother them all!
6:15am is the time my clock read when Mason started calling my name from his bedroom. He was ready to be up for the day even if I wasn’t. We headed downstairs and snuggled on the couch. I even turned on a dvd of Max and Ruby, hoping I could sneak in a few minutes with my eyes shut. No such luck! “Wake up Mommy! Wake up Mommy!” was his mantra. I grabbed the Kindle Fire to check email and Facebook while we snuggled and he giggled at the antics of Max the bunny.
6:30am the children started trickling down the stairs. It was official, morning had arrived. I grabbed the load of laundry from the dryer and carried it up to put away because I could hear Samuel was awake too. The rest of the children used the bathroom and started making breakfast. I’m so grateful for big kids who will help! Joseph and Emma got everyone’s food ready just in time for Samuel and I to join them at the table. Samuel has graduated to table food. It’s a messy affair but so far there are very few things he doesn’t eat. We did morning devotional at the table today too.
7:15am everyone headed upstairs to get dressed in clean clothes. I gated Samuel in the boys’ bedroom to play with Duplos while I took my own turn getting dressed, made the bed, and helped Caleb find a missing orange elephant. Then it was chore time. Joseph fed and watered hermit crabs and cleaned the downstairs bathroom. Emma, Caleb, and Oliver went outside to feed the cat, then came in to clean the upstairs bathroom (Emma) and pick up toys (Caleb and Oliver). Daniel went to the basement and grabbed a list of food we would need today. Mason and Samuel helped me shelve books that had mysteriously been spread all over the floor of one bedroom. ;) I also cathed Mason, a regular occurrence every 4 hours from 8am to midnight. I’m not going to write it down each time it happens for the remainder of the post, just like I won’t write down the diaper changes for Samuel, just know that the bathroom business happened all day long.
As children finished their chores they were free to play for the morning. I notified them that lessons would happen beginning at snack time and they were free until then. Caleb and Oliver pulled out the Model Magic to make some bouncy balls. It really bounces well and you don’t need to wait for anything to dry.
All my little boys abandoned me, heading upstairs again to play with the older siblings. They had pulled out some Legos and were making microfighters, smallish Star Wars inspired space ships. After taking a few pictures I slipped into my room to read my scriptures and soak in the serenity. Quiet moments are rare in my day, I’ve learned to enjoy them.
As it always does, 10:00am came and we gathered around the table for snack time. I read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to the children. It’s our second day ‘rowing’ this book. Five in a Row is a homeschool curriculum guide that has you read a book five days in a row and focus on a different subject area with each reading. Today was language arts. I asked the children if there were any clues in the story to tell them if it was a real story or a pretend one. Caleb piped up that it ‘has to be p-tend cause the shovel hads eyes’. He was right, of course. The steam shovel is named Mary Anne and has eyes, smiles, and does other things that real steam shovels don’t do.
I told them there was a special word for this trick the author and illustrator were using, it was personification. I asked the older three to look at the word and see if it gave us any clues about what it might mean. They found the word person and so we talked about how the steam shovel was doing things that a human might do. She smiled, she worked harder and faster when people were watching, she was friends with Mike Mulligan. I asked for examples from books or movies where something that wasn’t a person had human qualities. The beginning of their list included:
- Mary Anne the steam shovel
- Mr. Beaver in the Narnia books (okay, they named off most of the characters in Narnia but Mr. Beaver was first so he’s the one I wrote on the board.)
- Dinosaurs in the Land Before Time movie.
- The flowers in Alice in Wonderland (again, they named more, like the caterpillar, white rabbit, card soldiers, and the Cheshire cat.)
We pulled out paper and everyone drew one non-human to personify and tell a story about. Then we took turns telling our stories. Can I just say my kids are hilarious story tellers? Long, drawn out stories with more plot twists than you can follow.
By this point it was all of 10:40am. The older children were asked to do two things of their choice from their summer subjects. Interestingly enough they each chose scripture study and Life of Fred math. Emma worked in her bed for it all. I can tell she’s missing her big sister and needed a quiet, cozy place to retreat from the six brothers for a bit.
The four little boys spent this time doing what little boys do – playing! Caleb and Oliver were going on an adventure so they made telescopes. They would roam the house and ‘discover’ new places and creatures. My favorite was when they discovered the wheel-a-saurus – that would be Mason in his wheelchair.
Lunch time rolled around at noon and I got fun mom points for pulling out a cookie cutter to shape their sandwiches. Occasionally I remember to do simple things like that and because it is only occasional the kids really love it. Everyone enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with grapes and asked for a read aloud. While we’re currently reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh and loving it, we can’t read it without Makayla. So while she’s at camp I’m reading stories out of Heroes of Ohio by Rick Sowash. Today we read about Johnny Chapman (Appleseed). After lunch the kids cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher while I scrubbed jelly out of Samuel’s hair.
Caleb was thrilled to get his first bracelet in the mail for the Rainbow Loom Creation Gift Exchange I organized (thanks Ellie Fontaine!). We also got three magazines in the mail: The Ensign, The Friend, The New Era. It was now 1:00pm and quiet time. The three younger boys fell asleep and I read for a while, the older four children laid in their beds to read or listen to our current audio book. They are listening to The Mysterious Benedict Society again, their request.
Quiet time was followed by time playing outside. Our grass could use a trim but the kids love when we let it grow a bit because the dandelions go to seed and can be blown everywhere. The kids got good an hot playing with sticks and dirt and all those healthy summer things.
When they came inside we pulled out popsicles and ice cream cones. Yum. They asked for a dvd to watch so in went Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel. Have you ever watched Phineas and Ferb? I have to admit my kids love it with the crazy inventions every day of the summer. I’ve even been known to watch an episode or two. While they enjoyed the show I sat down at the computer to type up the first half of this post.
Dinner prep began at 4:30pm and it was Emma’s day to help. She peeled and cut cucumbers to go with the sliced strawberries and quesadillas on the menu. We cooked and served everyone but mommy because the kids had already asked me to read aloud another story from Heroes of Ohio. We read about Simon Kenton, a frontiersman. In case you’ve never read this book and are considering obtaining a copy, let me warn you this book isn’t sanitized or politically correct. Simon Kenton was a frontiersman who fought with the militia against the British and Indians. In the story he actually stands up for the Native Americans when a drunken man gathers a group to attack the nearby village against the orders of the officers. The militia was working on a peace treaty and the British had not yet arrived in that area. Simon Kenton was helping to keep the peace while there was peace to be had.
Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of this post that sometimes I forget things? Well right about this point in the day I forgot to use the camera. Oh well! Everyone enjoyed dinner and afterward the kids cleaned up the kitchen while I cleaned up the baby. Are you sensing a theme here? I’m pretty sure I got the messier end of the deal.
The kids did any evening chores that needed done, like feeding the cat, picking up toys that had wandered from their places, and so on. I swept the floors downstairs and children went off to play. Daddy arrived home at 6:00pm and the kids mobbed him as usual. Once he settled in it was time to do Mason’s nightly enema. This is the part where you thank me for forgetting the camera. ;) I have to say, poop and bodily functions are quite the normal topic of conversation around here now. While doing the latter half of the enema, the part where Mason is actually on the toilet, we try to be as entertaining as possible. When he laughs a lot it helps the whole clean out. Often one or more of the other children wanders back to that bathroom to help in the silliness. Tonight we ended up with just about everyone in and out of the bathroom playing games, singing songs, and doing silly games to get Mason laughing.
The end of our evening was spent in our weekly viewing of Master Chef as the current season is running online. It’s a really fun show to watch and be inspired by home cooks who can really cook. Bedtime rounds began with Daddy at 8pm (he leaves in the wee hours of the morning to work) and the children at 8:30pm. All the little heads were dreaming by 10:00pm after enjoying booklights and an audio book. Then my day was finished! To bed for me…