October 14, 2009

A Day in the Life

A lot of people ask about how I schedule my day and get things done. There really is not much of a trick to it. I just start moving and don't stop.

A few time savers for me... I don't watch television, which is a time sink and offers little to no edification. I find my pleasure in the things I do here at home and with my family. I have no outside interests to take time from my day.

I try to keep all my errands and appointments to just one day a week, Thursdays, so that I don't have interruptions throughout the week. It seems once we leave the house the day is shot. When scheduling appointments I know to always make one on Thursday and that keeps everything simple. The only catch there is that Thursday is usually my husband's day to work from the home office and so I miss having lunch with him.

I do not answer the phone during my "work" day and handle as much as I can by email in the way of correspondence and scheduling to prevent wasting time on hold.

I had a request to do a post about a day in my life. This is likely to be very boring for most of you. Here it is anyway. You can skip to the end and find a clever way to tell me how boring my life is.

This is not the most typical day, since we started school for the semester and of course were returning from all kinds of travel. I had much catch up to do for class. Normally, I would have done the weeks baking and lots of laundry today during the time I was watching class video.

For the really dedicated, here it is...

When we got in from our trip late last night, I still had to stay up later still to start watching some of the nine hours of class video I need to catch up on. Since I was quite tired my day didn't start until well after six this morning.

I like to wake up before everyone else and have my quiet time with God and a cup of coffee. I would usually dress and do my makeup but I didn't want to wake Allen who was sleeping in this morning.

I let the kids sleep in, as well, so I spent a few minutes working on my post for today while I finished my coffee.

Nathaniel came out as I was getting ready to start breakfast and asked if we could have a date. I offered him the choice of making breakfast together or practicing his reading. He chose breakfast.

I went to wake the other children and they started on their personal care and chores.

Allen needed to go to his office for some meetings today so I fixed him a bagged breakfast and coffee in a his travel mug.

Then, together Than and I made sourdough pancakes with grape syrup, cantaloupe, tea and juice. While things were cooking and we were waiting for the others to come to the table we wiped up the kitchen, hung hooks in the cupboards for wet tea towels, lit a candle, jotted shopping items on the wipe board, put flowers in a vase, fed my sourdough starter and filled the straw jar.

As the children came out, I cooked their pancakes and went over their assignments for the morning. I also discussed with Kaitlin the music she was going to add to the movie I was working on. Brianna and I discussed her assignments and the transitions for the video.

I woke Elisabeth and she colored in her high chair while I made her breakfast.

As the children finished breakfast, they started on their assignments for school. Elisabeth played in the kitchen while I answered questions and finished cleaning the breakfast dishes.

Since I couldn't dress earlier, I went to dress and sent the children to brush their teeth, do their personal Bible reading and finish their chores. (Each child has a detailed check list and is paired up with another child. They check off each others items. Later, I go over each chart to be sure things were completed.)

Elisabeth played with her basket of toys, I keep in my bedroom just for this purpose, while I got ready for the day and made the bed.

In her room, we tried on several fall outfits to find one that fits and I left her in her crib with her books to play for a while.

I still am fighting the fringes of a week long migraine so I made another cup of coffee and cave in to take some medicine.

The girls now took ten minutes each listening to Nathaniel and Aedan read (each boy gets thirty minutes of practice.) I used this time to read Bible to Samuel and do a page of Math lessons with him.

While he worked, I sat beside him and typed up this post. When he was finished, Sam asked to go play with his hobby horse. I went to fetch Elisabeth from her crib but she was asleep so I let her stay. She was up quite late last night because of our traveling and I knew the extra sleep would make for a pretty girl.

When the reading practice time was over I worked with Nathaniel at the table on his lessons while Sam and Aedan went to the playroom. In between explanations, I answered questions for Kaitlin about music and Brianna about my new blog background. I wrote out lesson plans and answered Emma's questions about Bible, Grammar and Reading. I also wrote three thank you notes.

Meanwhile, I heard a scream from the playroom as Samuel pinched his fingers in the bridge to his train track. Don't ask me how that is possible. Since I was looking at his fingers anyway, I clipped his nails and called the other boys to have theirs done.

Now, Nathaniel's thirty minutes was up so I sent him to the playroom and called Aedan to the table. Ellie was awake and Emma asked if she could take her to the playroom while I worked with Aedan on his reading. Kaitlin and Brianna continued working on the computer.

In between helping Aedan, who sat on the stool at the counter, I worked on making lunch. Kaitlin asked me to view the video for Tuesday's post with the music she had added. All the kids tried to sneak a peak but I told them they had to wait for the family viewing.

We sat down to lunch at noon. Tuna salad, chicken salad, carrot sticks, grapes and home made bread.

While the children finished their lunch I tidied the kitchen and made an excel spreadsheet for my grocery list. I was not happy with the one I made last winter and so it was on my list of fall projects. This will also be helpful for Allen when I am away in November.

After putting the kids down for their naps I cleaned out my purse and tended some paperwork while Ellie played in the kitchen. I cleaned up the odds and ends that have collected on the counter throughout the morning's work.

When Emma was ready, I did a math lesson with her and made sure she was ready to do her assignments on her own for the next couple of days.

Since Ellie had a longer than usual morning nap she hung out with me for a little while yet.

After putting the baby down for her nap, I watched some more of my class videos with Kaitlin (did I mention I have 9 hours to catch up on from vacation) while I answered email, read some posts and Brianna flat ironed my hair. I also drank some coffee to try to shake my headache... that just will not quit. I have class tonight and can not imagine focusing like this.

At three o'clock, I got the big boys up and Elisabeth. Sam was still sound asleep, and he is very grumpy if you wake him. I left him in bed, even though I knew that meant he would be up later tonight.

I ran through the house for a quick tidy up before starting lasagna for dinner. And then remembered the exterminator is due between 3 and 5.

With dinner ready to go in the oven, I sent the kids to the playroom to stay out of trouble and Ellie played in the living room with me as I watched some more video. (If you know me at all, you know sitting around watching anything without falling asleep is a real challenge for me!) So, I read my mail. Checked Emma's math assignments and also answered email and read a few blogs at this time.

Allen came home early carrying groceries. I put those away and then he joined us in front of the video. When the lasagna came out of the oven, I put it on the stove top to set up. Called the children to set the table and went to dress for class. Yoga pants just will not do.

The kids usually eat without us on Monday nights and we have a special time out with Kaitlin after class, but trying to get back into a routine, it seemed best if we had dinner together tonight. Just as we were getting ready to sit down at the table, the exterminator showed up. Allen and I spent fifteen minutes discussing with him why thousands of stink bugs in our house was not O.K. - even if they are harmless. He spent fifteen minutes trying to convince us they wouldn't hurt anything and that there was nothing he could do about it anyway.

After spending all that time with Mike, we had to skip making the salad and fruit. We had vegetarian lasagna (my mom left it in the freezer for us while we were away).

Everyone ate quicker than normal so they could preview the video of our weekend in Ohio before I posted it for Tuesday. After it was over, they asked if they could watch the St. Kitts video. We opted to be a few minutes late to class and watch the beginning with the children before blowing kisses all around and dashing out the door.

I grabbed a quilt on the way... for which I was very grateful... because our classroom can be quite cold. We decided to be a few minutes late to class and stopped for coffee at Starbucks. Allen had a toffee nut latte and I got an espresso truffle. I usually do not drink caffeine with the exception of one cup of coffee in the morning. I still had a stabbing in my head so I went for the full tilt. I also got Kaitlin, she takes class with us, a pumpkin spice frappucino.

I was instantly cheered when I arrived at class and got hugs from my folks and a great big smile from my brother, Frank. He has the biggest smile. Class was fascinating, as always. Although, after missing three (and only watching one of the videos so far) it took me a few minutes to get up to speed.

We primarily covered the laws of slavery and the killing of unborn babies in our Old Testament class. New Testament was about Jesus in the temple on the feast of Tabernacles. That lecture gave mind blowing insight to the often quoted, "I am the light of the world." and also the passage shortly after that when the lady is brought into the temple for judgment. We wrapped up our class with our study on the book of Acts where we focused on the qualifications and responsibilities of deacons in the church.

After class, as I mentioned earlier, we usually go to dinner with Kaitlin. Since we had already eaten we filled Allen's car with gas and headed home. On the way home, I outlined for him why I do not need to see a doctor because my headache is the result of traveling, allergy changes, air pressure changes, female changes and not sticking to a healthy diet the last week.

When we got home, even though the entire house was dark, Samuel was still awake. I was not surprised. Remember, I let him sleep too long at nap time. We hugged him, turned on his Ipod and tucked him in. Brianna gave me a run down of their science lesson about the heart and other news from the evening. Kaitlin gave us all another run down of the giant candelabra in the temple during the feast of Tabernacles.

After changing I flopped in bed with my laptop and read email and blog posts while Allen had his shower. We were going to try to watch some more class video, but I decided six hours of class in one day, video or otherwise, was enough for my impaired brain. We cuddled up around midnight and I fell asleep while we watched Get Smart (Brianna highly recommended it) instead.

And that is a really boring day in the life of Art's Chili Pepper.


  1. I'm tired just from reading ... maybe I'll go take a nap now :) Haven't you gotten through all of Get Smart, yet? I thought you were watching that when I was there. Love the new background. Great Fall colors!

  2. SO not boring! loved every detail and tried to make mental notes to get my own life more in order!

    Love your new blog look, btw!

  3. soo not boring ....wow....action packed I must say :)
    thanks for sharing some really handy tips

    get some rest :) now ok

    blessings to you

  4. WOW..not boring at all...busy, fullfilled, happy, so many words I could use to describe your day...not boring my dear...your family does an amazing job at keeping it all together like a well oiled machine.

  5. Kat,

    You are so funny. This is probably just an ordinary day in your life but for others, we would need to take a nap somewhere in between in order to find the energy to get through the rest of your day.

    You are a great mom and wonderful wife!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  6. Wow...that's a pretty busy day...I hope you got a good nights sleep :)

  7. Wow! most certainly NOT boring! i marvel at how you keep things running so smoothly! hats off to you and your family!!

  8. Wow, I am tired just reading about your day! I think that women do so many things, especially homeschool moms, that if we wrote down everything we did for a day, we would be amazed at all we accomplished, and we would know why we are so tired! But, it is often hard, just looking around the house at the end of the day, to realize all that was accomplished. Hope your headache is better!

  9. I love reading how other moms order their days...I always learn something. Love the chores chart - I really need to incorporate that into our morning routine rather than hollering out orders as everyone gets ready for school :)
    You were right: you just start moving and don't stop - thanks for taking the time to share with us!