I decided to write down what I do all day so I can see for myself what makes up the hours of my day. So for a week I am going to list the activities that make up my week. I know in later years I will need to remind myself what it is like to be at home with small children.
Wake up and greet children who are already up and running. Eric and I work together to get the children their breakfast and our own. We talk about the day ahead and make plans. Lucy needs to be changed into her clothes. I put up breakfast food and sweep the kitchen floor and wipe the table down. THe phone rings and a sweet youth group mom offers to make brownies for the girls’ teen bookclub that is at our house tonight at 7pm. There is laundry to be done. I did four loads yesterday, and I’m finishing the last two. I fold all the clothes and put mine and Eric’s in our room. I always put up mine and he puts up his- he’s sweet like that 🙂 The last load is towels and once they are finished, we take the loads upstairs to put them away. Olivia has been sleeping at a friend’s house, so the three other children and I work on the house. Cord goes first and puts away all his clothes. I put them in stacks and he puts the right stack in the right drawer. He has been playing with LOTS of cars, trucks, and trains and needs to put them all away too. Lucy goes next. She cleans up the food and cooking utensils in her pretend kitchen while I put her clothes in stacks. She puts hers away and we all head to emma’s room. Emma sorts her clothes and does olivia’s too. I am surprised, but don’t say anything. She makes her bed while I put the laundry baskets away. The kids play pretend a little more while they are upstairs.
I receive a phone call from a hight school friend and have a great 30 minute conversation catching up and making plans for my 20 year reunion on Friday! The kiddos come down and emma begins playing school with them. She teaches them some math using goldfish and cheerios. They go to PBSkids.org and play on Mr Rogers Neighborhood. I take a quick shower. While I am showering the phone rings 4 times. Someone needs a ride to our youth event later today and someone else needs to make plans for a women’s event on Wednesday night. I return a few phone calls.
Lucy wants her toenails painted to look like emma and olivia. While they dry, I work on the house a little. I find materials that I will need for Wednesday night and I talk to Eric about a few changes in the plans of the day. Emma wants to google a few pictures of things that she is curious about. I prepare a couple of sippy cups and a few snacks around 10:00. Cord needs a little wrestling time so we play like he is a guitar and he laughs his head off. I spend a little time with emma to compliment her on all the maturity she has shown over the past day. She has had a great attitude when her sister had a sleepover, she has played with the little ones in a sweet and encouraging way, and she has been offering to help me all morning. I spend a little time cuddling with her and enjoying who she is.
At 11:30 I start getting lunch ready. I bought a watermelon last night and it is the first one of the season. It is HUGE and takes a bit of work to get to manageable portions. Olivia is dropped off at noon and all of us eat lunch together. Each child is asked to clean up his or her area and they put their plates, cups and napkins away. I have to do a major clean up from the watermelon. We are heading into nap time now. I will read to lucy, sing to her and put her down and then do the same with Cord. It should take about 30-40 minutes.
**Update: lucy wanted more lunch- imagine that. She walks around saying “I’m Hongry!” So I cut up strawberries. She finds a dance skirt and Cord finds the CD player and they want to have a dance party. We play the Wiggles CD we have had for years. I have forgotten how fun the Wiggles are to dance to. Lucy wants pigtails and we have to find microphones. After the dance party, I take Lucy and Cord up for their naps. The big girls have to do a math practice sheet and then read until I get back to them. Lucy and I read a book and sing. She goes to bed pretty easily. Cord picks two books. He has them both memorized and sort of reads them to me. We sing and then he goes down easily. I go down and check the girls math. Olivia is reading a shorter version of Pride and Prejudice. The characters are confusing her a bit so we go through them all. Emma and I are about to go through hers when I realize it is time for them to get ready to go ice skating with the youth group! They run off to get dressed.
**Update #2 When the girls leave, I eat a snack and then pull out my material for tonight’s youth group girls’ bookstudy. We are studying Hannah Farver’s book Uncompromising: a Heart Claimed by a Radical Love. I review my notes from last night and find a clip on Hulu.com that I want to use for our discussion of the definition of love. I realize I have about an hour and need to clean before I have to leave to pick up the girls from ice skating. I make our bed, clean the two downstairs bathrooms, and mop the kitchen floor that never seems to look clean. I straighten the den and wipe down the kitchen table from lunch. I check the mail and go through all the stuff. We get a World magazine and I put it aside hoping to get to read that sometime soon. I read a couple of my favorite websites- cnn.com, foxnews.com, al.com. I check facebook and look at some of my friends’ pictures that have been recently posted. I comment on a few. Such a fun break to see what is going on in other people’s worlds today. I change clothes to get ready to go to pick the girls up. I will need to wake up the babies, change their clothes, pack a few things for them, prepare a couple of snacks for the ride, grab Olivia’s dance bag and head to the ice rink.
***Update#3- I load the kids into the car and head downtown at 4:45 on a rainy day in Huntsville. Traffic is backed up and I end up passing 2 wrecks going down and see two more on the other side of the median. I am pushing the time table that I have to get Olivia to dance. I arrive at the ice rink at 5:10 (after making one wrong turn) and switch cars and children with Eric. I load up Olivia and one of the girls in my youth group and we head back towards my side of town. Traffic is terrible, but we are able to drop olivia off in time for her class. My sweet friend and I get coffee and have a wonderful hour sharing what is on her heart and how the past couple of years have shaped who she is and what she wants to be. We leave the shop around 6:30 and head home. Eric calls and has picked up Olivia and is headed to take the kiddos out to eat. I head home to welcome the youth group girls to our book club at 7. They arrive all giggly and full of stories and sounds that only teenage girls can produce. We grab snacks (that were provided by one of the moms) and start our discussion. The girls are fascinating to me and share their hearts honestly. We cover what our hearts are passionate for, what we all-too-often settle for instead of God and His way, what distorted body images do and where they come from, and what the real definition of love is. This is what makes my heart sing. Watching girls grow in understanding of the radical love that their God has for them and the best plans that He has laid for them in His word. Their parents arrive or they drive home and my kiddos return. We visit for 20 minutes more outside with some of the families. We come back inside and begin to put the kids down for bed. Everyone needs to put away their dirty clothes, everyone needs to pick out their pajamas, everyone needs to pick a book, and it seems that everyone is filled with the giggles. I clean up a little from book study. Somehow Eric gets Lucy to bed. I put Cord to bed (although he wants his daddy to sing to him and tuck him in too) and the girls require both of us. They were wired! Eric and I come back downstairs and talk for another hour or so. There is a whole day to catch up on! We talk about the day, about our plans for tomorrow and the weekend, about our sweet youth group, about what he needs to do at work. We laugh alot about nothing really and then decide to both do a little work. He is sitting at his computer. I am sitting at mine and I will study some for tomorrow night’s women’s event. He always goes to bed before me. I take a little more winding down 🙂