I've been asked to share what a typical day is like for us. Today was as typical as any, so here we go ...
8:20 There's a pizza in the oven. I'm gathering the ingredients for the butter cookies. The older boys are brushing their teeth (supposedly, but it sounds a bit lively down there). Earlybird is "scrubbing" the kitchen sink - merrily, I might add. Bill has left for work; before he left he put out all the trash and recycling. Birds at the feeders: rose-breasted nuthatch, sparrows, juncos and several squirrels. I peruse the Globe, pull out the Shaw's ad and place it in my in-box for later. Earlier, I worked with EB ~ letter magnets, spelling words, numbers on the wooden clock, cutting paper. EB's now looking at a cookbook (Mama, wook! They're making gingeh-beh tookies! Pause. I make gingeh-beh tookies, too?)
8:35 Pizza's out and cooling on the counter. Boys are playing Legos as they eat (cinnamon toast and granola bars). Bookworm is counting down with EB. (10, 9, 8, 7 etc. ... BOOM!) I'm going to give my mum a call (provided the phone works again; it was out all day yesterday) in a few minutes. Popping my coffee cup in the microwave. Laying out math lessons.
Yelling calling down the hall for the boys to get dressed. Checking to see if 4Real is up yet. Nope. Gave Midget his (insulin) shot.
8:45 Threw our new duvet and shams in the wash. Vacuumed the living room. Gave Penny her (thyroid) pill. Served EB his first piece of pizza and turned on Little Bear.
8:55 Boys pick up family room. I vacuum FR. Warm coffee cup again. Pull marketing list/menu plan worksheet from binder; set on clipboard to work on today. Third piece of pizza for EB.
9:15 Off the phone with mum. She'll be here later to stay with EB while the older two and I go to the Nature Club meeting. (When the weather warms, EB will attend with us.)
9:20 All boys officially working at table. EB eats last piece of pizza.
9:35 Math underway. Starting the cookie dough with EB's assistance. :) Slight Lego mishap (EB played too roughly with CJ's Lego creation; it broke. Lego "house rules" discussed once again.)
10:00 CJ moves on to phonicsvbnm,./,./ (that was a monster truck running across my keyboard). BW is half finished with algebra lesson. EB is playing at the sink with measuring cups and bowls. Cookie dough is in the fridge chilling.
10:25 There's a Carolina Wren at the feeders; BW tries to get a picture. I go downstairs to change laundry. Large crash from upstairs. Apparently EB & CJ crashed into each other somehow. EB: "I so sad, Mama." He gets upset as CJ insists on telling me how it really happened. Trampoline time! CJ and EB each bounce (counting 1-10 Boom!) in trampoline in EB's room. A few minutes later all is forgotten. Sweep up bathroom floor. Start dishwasher. Start warm bath for EB; fish out walrus toy because it scares him.
10:35 Think about supper: grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, butternut squash soup (in pantry), fresh baby carrots. CJ finishes phonics lesson; asks to take bath now that EB's done. Fish out octopus toy; toss back in walrus.
10:40 Consult hot chocolate recipe; note we need to stop for whole milk on way home from Nature Club. Open liturgical notebook - assemble craft materials, readings. I notice the red squirrel out the window and we scramble to take pictures. Miss a phone call coming in amidst the hysteria.
10:50 BW done with algebra; puts on shoes and socks and goes out to bring in recycle bins. I get CJ out of tub, look out window to see BW standing back from bins and looking up at house. I call out; apparently something is moving in bins. I pull on boots (and grab camera just in case) and run outside. Turns out it was just chunks of ice. We move bins. It's cold, but not terribly. I smell woodsmoke in the air and hear a siren in distance. (Say a quick prayer.) Return call to a friend wondering if Nature Club was meeting today. (It is.)
11:00 Assemble cold weather gear and outfits. Lunch is being requested. Put chicken in oven; pull out bag of corn chips and three bananas. Assign boys history: BW read and outline 2 pgs in Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (Life in Athens). CJ read in Usborne Book of World History (Life in Athens).
11:10 Dig out field guides re animal tracks. Start filling backpack. Alert EB to trash truck coming down street. He races to the door and watches the trucks come and go. I jump in shower. BW works on a creative writing assignment on the computer, keeping one eye on his younger brothers.
11:45 Lunch is served (chicken sandwiches, bananas, corn chips). I get first batch of cookies in oven. (This way they'll be ready after we get back.) Start coffee pot. Vitamins all around. Nana's here! (Back later ...)
12:30-3:30 Nature Club Meeting at nearby reservation. Drive over (listen to SOTW on way over) and meet up with homeschool friends (10 families this month). We get animal track handouts from my friend Heather (who's leading today) and then set out on the snowy trail. Several sets of tracks are mysterious enough to get the kids buzzing. The day is cold, but not unbearably so - the woods are unbelievably picturesque. An hour and a half later we're heading back out of the woods - mums chatting, kids throwing snowballs. We pack up and drive home ...
3:30 Home again! The little boy across the street who plays here almost every afternoon is already here, keeping Nana and EB company. We peel off our cold wet jackets, gloves and hats etc. and I start the cocoa (a white hot chocolate recipe from Ina). Mum and I chat, the boys slurp and play.
5:00 Bookworm is putting on boots to walk our little friend home. I run downstairs to tumble-toss the duvet and shams. I do a quick kitchen cleanup. I check my email.
5:25 I neaten the living areas, Bookworm unloads the dishwasher. Crackerjack picks up Lego creations and helps EB with cleaning up books and monster truck. I prepare Earlybird's supper (he's been going to bed very early lately so I feed him before suppertime to be sure his belly is full) and he digs right in. I turn on afternoon news (online). I load dishes into the dishwasher and wipe up around the sink. I clean up school work and turn out lights in the learning room. I reschedule our faith tea for tomorrow.
5:45 I burn a whole bunch of calories getting the new duvet around the comforter. Sheesh! Bill calls to tell me he's stuck in traffic. EB is calling "I need jammies!" so I get EB into his pajamas. CJ is having his allotted evening video game time (Lego Star Wars from the sound of it) and BW is reading. EB is noshing on his baby carrots, mac and cheese and crackers. I sort the mail and lay aside my evening reading pile. I google a brownie recipe for tomorrow (we're having friends over for lunch). Print it; add it to the clipboard.
6:15 Seemingly done for the moment with housekeeping and childcare etc., I move the laptop out to the family room and start uploading pictures from the camera. EB announces
"I'm ready for bed!" and after kisses, hugs and I-love-you's he jogs down the hallway, grinning from ear to ear. (The boy loves food and sleep.) I sit down to look over the pictures from today.
6:40 Bill home! Finish inserting pictures to this post. Suppertime. (I can't remember grilled cheese ever tasting this good.)
7:15 I wrap up this post. We're watching a show about Antarctica with the boys. Time for pj's and washing up. All that's left to do is to get the boys off to bed, take care of the cats, lock up and then sit and relax with Bill. I will probably read. He will probably watch MSNBC or the NFL channel. We'll turn in around 9 p.m.
It was a good day! Thanks for joining me! :)