At one point I received a suggestion to live-blog about a typical day around here. Well, since the computer is off most of the time, the live part won't work, so I did the next best thing. I took notes through out the day, so I could recreate it for you. I kept waiting for a day that would sound pretty spectacular and earn me my blog readers' everlasting awe and admiration. Since that day never came, I decided just to pick a day and let you see the real stuff and let go of the whole awe and admiration-thing. Without further ado, here is what our day looked like around here yesterday. I would say it was pretty typical, though with little disregulation, for us on our more relaxed summer schedule. I will also say that I find this long and not terribly interesting, because really a day around here is not any different than in any other family with children. But, some people say they are interested, so here it is.
7:30 J. wakes me up and hands me a cup of coffee. For the next half hour, my brain slowly begins to function while many small children jabber at me and jump around the room.
8:00 I get up and head downstairs. Small people are eating breakfast. I turn on the computer, refill my coffee cup, and begin responding to email.
8:15 I start writing a blog post.
8:30 J. leaves for work on his bike. Older people start to stagger downstairs and fix breakfast. D. and TM are awake but are in their room in sorting through their trading cards (which go along with a game that M. taught them to play).
8:45 M. leaves to catch the bus to head down to school. She needs some papers signed for her summer internship and then will spend the rest of her day with her boyfriend. Since she has to work tonight running sound for band rehearsal at church, we won’t see her until late tonight.
9:00 D. and TM come downstairs and eat breakfast while playing their card game. HG takes the energetic younger people outside to play.
9:20 A. begins the cake she is baking for a party tomorrow night. I erase the blog post.
9:45 After a little more dithering, I finally head upstairs to get dressed.
9:50 A. discovers we’re out of sugar and leaves to get some at the grocery store.
9:55 Younger people come running back inside announcing a neighbor stopped by with some new toys for Gretel. They both squeak… dog and children are overjoyed. Gretel begins the toy demolition process.
10:10 Game of Uno begins at the kitchen table with HG, HG3, L., K., and H. (G. is looking at books.)
10:11 D. and TM take their game back upstairs.
10:12 P. takes the computer upstairs to work on Japanese. (She is taking this seriously and everything in her room is labeled.)
10:13 L. has a great big noisy fit (GBNF) about the color of Uno card which has just been played. A. returns from the store with the sugar and continues working on the cake.
10:25 Uno game ends, and K. HG3, G. and L. begin playing ‘Car Trip’ with the kitchen chairs, effectively blocking all paths through the kitchen. After discussing cake carrying arrangements with A., I take D. and TM to the local craft store to pick-up some cardboard cake rounds. B. gets up. First dog toy official destroyed.
10:52 I return from my errands, during which I was told by the same child, both that, “It took too long,” and “We never spend enough time looking in that store.” B. is now working in the garden and A. has the cakes in the oven. I decide we need to do something towards finishing the books we have been reading and start to photocopy coloring pages of sea creatures for children to color while I read. [An aside: this week has been a little wonky because of the extra cleaning and room prep for painting. I plan on getting back into more of a routine of working with H. and K. on math and reading each day next week. Just in case you were wondering.]
11:00 I read about shells and mollusks while people color… or not. Do not imagine this is a calm and serene scene. Every other paragraph or so, you must add in the sound of the dog barking, or a child poking the dog, or the phone ringing, or the dog barking.
11:30 We finish reading and I get out our basket of shells for everyone to look at.
12:00 Insist younger people pick-up from the car trip game. I stack the summer picture books back up (again). Boys are upstairs in their room measuring (and arguing) about how to rearrange it once the painting is done. Threaten to take the dog toy squeaker from a certain boy if I hear it one more time. A. comes upstairs inexplicably humming, “Close to You.” We stop to sing it together and I realize that I can’t remember the last verse.
12:20 Everyone is waiting around for the corn dogs to bake. (HG had brought them as a treat.) New Uno game is stared along with a new GBNF from L.
12:30 Lunch and A. leaves to go babysit
12:40 TM and D. decide to join us. TM drops his cards down the stairs (again)
12:45 Everyone settles down and I read a chapter from The Bronze Bow. B. leaves to go watch the Thin Ice Theater rehearsal.
1:00 A friend’s child comes over while she has a meeting. TM, D. and friend head upstairs to play Nancy Drew on our ancient computer. I read two pictures books to G., L., and H. before quiet time.
1:10 I pick-up more stuffing that Gretel has strewn around in effort to destroy her toy, then change the sheets on my bed.
1:30 I go to help a girl in the bathroom and then start to bring up four loads of laundry from the basement to start folding.
1:40 I go upstairs to tell the boys it is time to switch players on their game. Continue to fold laundry.
1:50 P. starts to follow me around saying that there is nothing to do.
1:55 P. asks if I have any way for her to earn money. I say that I thought she had a lot of money, but it turns out it is in 20’s. She has a ‘thing’ about getting change when she buys something and wants to go buy a magazine. They are only $5, so she wants to earn $5… thus no change. I suggest she straighten and clean the back porch. She seems to find this a suitable occupation and heads off to work on it.
1:59 P. asks which cleaner to use and where to find supplies.
2:10 Friend comes over to pick-up her child. I offer to make tea and we sit and visit for a while.
2:30 D. makes another artist trading card when he discovers our party is tomorrow.
3:00 Say good-by to friend, inspect porch to see if P. is done, give suggestions for improvement, and go back to folding laundry. Younger people play in the back yard.
3:05 P. finishes porch and leaves to take care of the cat she is sitting and stop at the magazine store.
3:08 “Discuss” with L. over whether or not it is time for a snack.
3:09 Tell the little girls they can’t play out in front with only K. outside for supervision.
3:11 Repeat snack conversation
3:15 Offer to pay D. a dollar to watch the small people out front
3:45 Finish folding laundry. Agree that L. can now have a snack and brace myself for the onslaught of other people wanting snacks
3:50 Everyone else shows up wanting snacks. I apply one band-aid to an injured knee and try to negotiate snack desires. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth follow.
3:52 G. carted upstairs to rest and collect herself
3:54 G. returned to bed once again
3:55 A. returns from babysitting
4:10 A. starts to work on her cake again and discovers something went wrong with the layers she baked that morning. A. realizes she needs to start over. I try to offer sympathy and turn on the computer to try to do some work.
4:15 P. returns
4:18 I sit and stare at a blank page on the computer trying to come up with something to write for an article that is due tomorrow.
4:19 I can’t think of anything to write and eat a handful of chocolate chips. A. feeds failed cake to the undiscriminating, snack-obsessed masses.
4:30 Search the phrase, “Questions people ask about homeschooling’ in an attempt to come up with a topic
4:40 B. returns and asks if he can invite his girl friend over for dinner. (While the term ‘girl friend’ is technically true, she is also one of the H-S family and A.’s very good friend, so it doesn’t seem quite accurate to just say girl friend.)
4:53 I finally figure out a topic and plead with A. to change the music to something that allows me to think
5:07 Allow the masses to watch their hour of video before dinner. Much running and shouting ensues.
6:00 The article is done, HG is cooking dinner (Thursdays are one of her nights to cook), A. is still having trouble with the cake, and friend arrives.
6:10 I start to work on some outlines which are due for a conference J. and I are doing. I can’t say more than that because it could endanger the participants. That makes it sound all very exciting and interesting. That’s my life. Not.
6:11 I get frustrated with the computer and B. fiddles with it so I can see everything I need to see.
6:30 P. leaves for church. Now that she is going to be in high school she can start to learn to volunteer with the sound team. M. decided to start training her sooner rather than later.
6:40 J. comes home
6:50 Dinner. A dinner which is much quieter than usual. We decide it is because M. wasn’t there. She has a way of making others loud. Singing only broke out once.
7:30 Everyone (meaning those younger than P.) head upstairs to get ready for bed.
I thought about detailing the whole day, but really, if you even made it this far, you’re probably done. Everyone had stories read to them. Everyone made it to bed. A. finished her cake, but not without a bit more angst. P. and M. made it home and P. enjoyed learning about doing sound. I finished a book and started another. Just another ordinary day.