Monday, March 13, 2017

A Day in Our Life with a 2, 4, 8, and 10 year old

It's that time of year again when with others at Simple Homeschool, I record an entire day and everyone can see the craziness that is my life!  You can see previous years HERE and HERE

Cast of Characters:
My husband Nicholas
Claire - Age 10
Chandler - Age 8
Fiona - Age 4
Declan - Age 2

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

6:40am - I wake up to the pitter patter of Declan's feet coming up the stairs to our bedroom.  Nicholas has overslept and is still in bed.  He takes Declan back downstairs to get his cup and start the TV and gives me a few minutes to wake up.  Fiona soon is up the stairs as well, but she wants to snuggle in bed with me.  This is her special time of the day and I hate to mess that up.  We cuddle under the warm blankets.  She starts chattering at me.

6:54am - We head downstairs.  Declan has his juice cup and blanket and is watching Ninjago.  I get to talk to Nicholas a few minutes while he is getting ready and my water for my tea is boiling.

Sleepy babies
7:16am - After changing Declan I take my phone and tea and snuggle in the recliner with Declan and Fiona.  Nicholas heads to work.

7:25am - Claire wanders downstairs and snuggles with Zelda the cat on the couch while she wakes up.

7:42am - I get up to refresh my tea and put some food in the slow cooker for tonight.  Chandler stumbles out of his room and comes to get a hug.  I put a load of laundry on in the basement and come up to find Claire already started her schoolwork.  It's not a bad day for her, just journaling, English, spelling, math, cursive, and writing out a times table.  I check on the Littles and they are playing in Fiona's room.  I change Declan's diaper again. 

Schoolwork in her pajamas

Fiona's messy room!

8:05am - Chandler makes himself breakfast and sits to watch more Ninjago.  I throw a bagel in for Declan and Claire sweet talks me into making one for her.  I check with Fiona and she says she's too busy playing.  I stop to help Claire with her math.  Fiona runs out of her room completely naked yelling, "It's Naked Girl!!"  I hustle her back into her bedroom to get dressed.  Declan is sitting in his cozy coupe eating his bagel.

The boys!
 8:24am - Fiona heads outside to visit my mom who lives behind us.  I finally start on my own breakfast.

8:35am - My mom is meeting someone to take our extra rooster so she brings Fiona back - apparently Fiona just went down there to ask for more breakfast.  I make her some toast.

8:41am - I finally sit down with my slightly cold breakfast.  I try to have a good breakfast on Wednesday because we are on the run much of the day and I won't have much time for lunch.  I have a chicken apple sausage with eggs and wheat toast with homemade apple butter.  Claire comes over and goes over the chores she has done so far today.  She trying to earn enough tickets so she can watch a YouTube video here and play Minecraft at Chandler's gymnastics lesson later (Our ticket system explained HERE.)  Declan comes over and starts begging for the eggs off my plate.  Chandler starts his schoolwork with a cursive handwriting app on the tablet.

Little breakfast thief
 9:03am - Fiona starts yelling that Declan messed up the tent in her room.  I head in there to fix it and Mom gets back and we talk for a few minutes.  She heads out to feed our rabbits and chickens (we share them) and I go to take a shower.

9:40am - I hear fighting and get out of the shower.  Break it up and go get dressed and finish getting ready.  I help Chandler with his math and start to head down to get the laundry when I realize I need to change Declan's diaper again.

Chandler hard at work
Claire watching Minecraft videos on Youtube
9:53am - Head down to get laundry to hang it out on the line.  Send Claire to take a shower.

It's a disaster, but they are having fun. 
 10:02am - Head back upstairs after sorting laundry and getting another load ready.  Find Declan with a pen and hope he didn't write on anything.  Finally go out to hang laundry.

10:22am - Mom helped me finish hanging the laundry.  Come in and help brush teeth and hair for all the kids.

10:27am - I pack a snack bag for gymnastics and get eggs ready to bring a friend,  Claire gets her stuff ready to entertain herself during gymnastics and her library books together.

10:40am - We head outside and put everything in the van.  We stop out back to check on the rabbits because we have new babies and another doe due.

Baby bunnies!

Hagrid the rooster and one of his ladies

Our sweet Gimli boy

Claire and her chicken Blondie!

My Mom with Kaylee the chicken

11:00am - Get everyone loaded in the van and head out.

Claire loves being in the front seat now that she is 5'.
Back of the van!

11:15am - Get to gymnastics, but walk across the road to see Poppy (my grandfather).  He is in the nursing home/rehab center across the street from gymnastics for a few weeks due to a blood staph infection that requires daily IV antibiotics.  He enjoys seeing the kids, but they get a little wild in his room so we head back across the street to gymnastics.

12:00pm - I tear Chandler away from where he is talking with his friends to start his gymnastics class.  Our gym has a weekly homeschool class and they enjoy seeing their friends and Claire, Fiona and Declan get to talk and play with the siblings also waiting during class.  And I get to talk to my fellow homeschool moms.  It's actually pretty nice.

Fiona, Declan, and friend
Chandler waiting for his turn on the trampoline.
 12:40pm - Maybe I spoke too soon.  I spent most of today chasing Declan.  We had open gymnastics earlier this week so now he knows the fun available out there and it's been a battle keeping him off the gym floor!

1:07pm - Leave gymnastics and head home.  Everyone is rushed in the door and given lunch.  Claire makes herself a bagel, Chandler has a peanut butter sandwich, Fiona and Declan have hummus and crackers.  I quickly eat a yogurt and cheese stick.  My mom comes up and she will watch Fiona and Declan while they nap.

1:38pm - Claire, Chandler, and I are back out the door.  On Wednesdays we go to the next town 20 miles away and meet Claire's Orton-Gillingham tutor at the library there.  Chandler likes to go too and look at books and play on the computers.  I am so grateful that Mom doesn't mind hanging out at my house, because that means I don't have to chase Littles the whole time, but can sit in the quiet.  I usually journal, read, play on my phone, cross-stitch or crochet, or work on my school planning and/or records.  On the drive over we listen to our History textbook on CD.  Today we learned about the English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell.  We then got into the philosophical discussion of religious freedom, what that means, and what "hearing God's voice" means.  When we get to the library Claire heads in with her tutor, Chandler settles at the computers and I find my favorite comfy seat.

Such a beautiful library in this town. 
Chandler on the computer.
Claire in the study room with her tutor.
My comfy spot.
Working in my planner/homeschool records.  I love this planner! 

3:56pm - Claire's tutoring finished at 3:15, but I ended up talking to her tutor for a while discussing the rest of the year and the best next step for her.  I tear the kids away from the computers, check out their books, and we leave the library.

4:09pm - Stop by the day old bread store to get bread for the rabbits.  During the winter when we can't give them armfuls of fresh grass we give them a half a slice of the grainiest bread I can buy.  They like it and it's a good extra calorie when it is cold.

4:41pm - Get home. Immediately deal with Littles who apparently missed me "SO MUCH!!".  Shred the pork that's in the slow cooker and put the BBQ sauce in.  Bring laundry off the line and let Fiona and Declan play outside.  Begin folding the laundry along with all the baskets that have been sitting waiting for me the last few days.  Deal with Chandler and Fiona fighting.  Claire and Chandler have been doing chores to watch a Minecraft video on Youtube including getting eggs, emptying the dishwasher, straightening the living room, etc.  They sit and watch.

Being silly.

5:29pm - Put potato wedges in the oven.  Finish folding laundry.  Realize Fiona and Declan have taken all the pillows out of their bedrooms and are piling them as a huge tower.  I don't really want to know why.  Stop them and clean that up.

That's a lot of laundry.

6:00pm - Take school papers and file them. Get a text from Nicholas that he will be home in one hour.  Go through some papers.

Claire and Chandler watching Minecraft videos on Youtube. 

6:13pm - The kids finish their video and I tell them to set the table.  I'm getting tired.  Gotta keep moving.  I check dinner and start putting Fiona and Declan's clothes away.  Claire puts her laundry away after she is done setting the table.

I love it when kids are happily doing chores! 
6:29pm - I put my own clothes away and Chandler is chasing Fiona and Declan around the house with his remote control car.  They think it is hysterical.

Run Fiona!
6:35pm - I sit for a moment on Facebook and Declan comes to me to tell me his diaper fell off.  Then he runs away laughing and I have to catch him.

6:38pm - Start pulling dinner out and hear a scream.  Declan ran into the door frame while running.  After a few snuggles he seems fine.

6:50pm - Sit down to eat.

Everyone happily eating!
7:00pm - Nicholas texts that he is on the way and we all stare out the front window as we are eating waiting for him.

7:09pm - Nicholas walks in the door!  The kids are done eating.  They go play and Nicholas fixes a plate.  We talk as he eats.

7:31pm - We start cleaning up from dinner and I wash the dishes.

7:40pm - Nicholas gets a call that his step-father is in the hospital with his heart issues.  He quickly puts the Littles in pajamas, changes out of his dirty work clothes, and goes.  Chandler gets in the shower.  The Littles decide to watch Ninjago.

8:00pm - I sit at the computer and start to type this up.  Claire and Fiona are fighting over the recliner.  Chandler gets out of the shower and sits on the floor.

Everyone looks comfy!
8:31pm - Everyone disappears and I realize they are all in the boys' room.  I warn them that everyone needs to be calm because it is almost bedtime.

8:43pm - Declan asks to "nuggle chair".  Fiona, Declan and I settle on the couch.

8:54pm - I start the kids on brushing their teeth and getting in bed.

9:06pm - Nicholas walks in just after the kids are tucked in and prayed for.  He goes around to give them all kisses and I put on pajamas.  He reminds me that we need to type up his bill for the week.  I type it up for him and fight with the printer to get it printed out in a readable fashion.  Nicholas and I talk and he tells me what is going on.

9:41pm - We settle down to watch an episode of Smallville (no judging!).  I enjoy a chai latte and Zelda the cat on my lap.

Pretty Zelda!

10:31pm - Nicholas and I head upstairs to read in bed a few minutes before passing out.  Good night everyone!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Freezer Debacle

In the beginning of February I realized that our big upright freezer was thawing.  We took everything out and put them in the freezers of our 2 refrigerators, plus coolers with ice.  All the freezers got a good clearing out and our chickens were very happy.  We washed and oiled the seals and crossed our fingers.  The next day the freezer was blowing warm air and 50 degrees - obviously the frozen food was the only thing keeping it cold in there (when I discovered it the freezer was at 30 degrees).  The repairman was not able to come for a week so I decided to focus on eating down the freezer.  By the time the repairman came, ordered the parts, and came back to install them I was seriously impressed with how much food we had in the freezer!  I decided that only new food would go in the repaired freezer and we are going to eat everything else first to keep the food rotated.  We have now had our 26th meal made almost completely out of freezer and pantry!  Yes, really!  And still more food waiting to be cooked!

Some meals made with our freezer stash:

Day 1:   Slightly freezer burned pot roast thrown in the slow cooker with onions, gravy and herbs, noodles and frozen corn served with it
Day 2:   Veggie Stir-fry, potstickers, and rice. With random berry cobbler for dessert
Day 3:   Frozen ravioli and garlic bread
Day 4:   Country Fried Steaks, mashed potatoes, milk gravy and mixed veggies
Day 5:   Roasted a turkey, with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, biscuits, and cranberry sauce
Day 6:   5 quarts of formerly frozen homemade stock, a number of half-bags of formerly frozen vegetables, and the leftover meat from yesterday's turkey (plus a pound of elbow macaroni, some fresh veggies and spices) to make a delicious pot of soup
Day 7:   Last of the homemade stock to make Egg Drop Soup and served rice with it
Day 8:   A whole roast chicken with choice of leftover mashed potatoes or leftover noodles, gravy, and 2 types of veggies
Day 9:   Nachos using frozen taco meat
Day 10:   Fried fish, mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage and a bag of oriental steamer veggies.
Day 11:   Pigs in blankets and mac and cheese
Day 12:   Tacos
Day 13:   Pack of sausage that was in the freezer became sausage gravy, biscuits and eggs
Day 14:   Mexican Stuffed Shells
Day 15:  Chicken nuggets, potato wedges, sweet potato frie, mac & cheese, frozen veggies
Day 16:  Kielbasa, baked potatoes and sautéed cabbage.
Day 17:  2 bags of frozen ravioli and parmesan/garlic toast
Day 18:  Chicken on a Stick (chicken marinated and skewered and usually grilled, but today was baked), rice and veggie stir-fry
Day 19:  Baked flounder with fresh herbs, Brussels sprouts and fettuccini al' aglio
Day 20:  Grilled the pack of two steaks and package of Italian sausages from the freezer, I made homemade baked mac and cheese and frozen green beans with it
Day 21:  Kielbasa and shrimp skillet (both from the freezer), bowtie pasta and Italian bread
Day 22:  Pancakes and bacon from the freezer
Day 23:  Sesame Chicken, rice, and frozen veggies
Day 24:  Pulled pork sandwiches made in the slow cooker all day with a pork butt and homemade yellow BBQ sauce (no tomatoes for my allergic husband!), potato wedges and frozen veggies
Day 25:   Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni with frozen green beans
Day 26:  Hungarian Goulash with beef, egg noodles, frozen corn, Italian bread

Monday, March 6, 2017

Open Gymnastics

We had our homeschool co-op’s open gymnastics this morning and everyone had SO much fun!  Especially Declan!  I am exhausted.  He was everywhere all at once and zig zagging from everything that interested him.  Oh my goodness!  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chandler is 8!

8 years ago right now I was hurriedly getting discharged from the hospital so I could follow my hours old newborn baby boy an hour away to the  NICU. I could barely walk, but was frantic to make sure he was stable. Now Chandler is a funny, engineer-brained, video game enthusiast. He can be a challenge, but he is also the first to hug me when he wakes and says the day doesn't start until he's had his hug. Earlier this month we took him to see the LEGO Batman movie and he said it was the "best birthday present EVER!"  And we celebrated his birthday early with family putting his and my uncle's birthday together.  Today he enjoyed his birthday watching video game walk throughs, spending almost 2 hours at the park and enjoying his request of dinner at Dairy Queen. So he's had a whole month of birthday festivities!  Happy Birthday to my Chandler!
Getting ready for the movie!

Declan didn't want to be in the picture.
Ice Cream Cake!

Blowing out the candles
I have a picture of Chandler in this shirt.  That's crazy.

LEGOS from Grandma and Poppy!

Minecraft book from Mom and Dad

Nicholas and Declan at the park!

Declan loved the slides

He's hard to catch for a picture!

There we go!

The Medium Blizzard that he couldn't finish.  ;) 

Fiona and her ice cream

And proof that I actually exist!  Haha!