Wednesday's Journal ~ Day in Our Life

As promised in this post, I want to share what a real day looks like at our house. I didn't choose this day (Wednesday, September 15th) for any particular reason. In fact if I wanted to paint a better picture I should of told the story of a day when all goes according to plan. But this is our day, unvarnished and a little crazy.

6:45 Get up after a very weird dream. Head downstairs, no one else is up yet. Load the washing machine, make my one cup of coffee for the day. Sit down with my journal and Bible.

I was lacking a morning photo from this day so I grabbed this from later in the week. 
All the other photos are from the actual Wednesday.

7:15 Chat with Damien. Brienne is up and snuggly.

7:30 Start baking muffins (making up the recipe as I go) with Brienne. Remind whoever is within earshot I'm doing lightly colored laundry, so please go get them for me. Brienne starts stripping her dirty clothes off.

8:00 I kiss Celine awake (she must of missed her 7:30 alarm) and notice Brienne's little piles of mess that need to be picked up. Remind Brienne to tidy her bedside table.

8:15 Muffins are finally in the oven. Celine is out of bed and checking the weather online, deciding if it's a t-shirt or sweater kind of day. We all line up, literally, to kiss Damien as he goes out the door to work. Time for my morning computer reading - RSS & e-mail.

9:00 After eating muffins while all doing our own thing (reading, computer stuff and lego play - since the kids do all the vacuuming I've finally decided they can eat our morning meal where they like) it's time to snuggle on the couch for reading practice with the younger two. They complain they are still hungry (were too distracted playing to focus on eating). Too bad, they can finish eating later, absolutely no eating on the couch. Celine does typing practice.

9:20 Ack! I forget to start the washing machine. Close the lid and get it going. Will have to hang this load before lunch instead of during our usual chore time. Outside. Time for some physical activity on the trampoline, mommy included.

9:40 I'm done bouncing, exhausted. Kids convince me to let them stay bouncing. Twist my rubber arm. This morning is a school prep block for me so kids need to create their own activities. I like them to be outside for my sanity and their health. I go inside, drink a huge glass of water. And fill it up again for the morning.

Instead of finishing chores, which was the plan after bouncing, I start right in on my school prep. Need to find some more books for Celine to read, my constant challenge. I am still in my favorite pj bottoms, my cozy mermaid blue socks, and my new-to-me green goodwill sweater. Thinking sometime before lunch I should truly get dressed. 

10:30 The kids are back in after an hour of intense physical activity. Brienne is sulking because Laurent pushed the (empty) rain barrel on her. No damage done.

Now we will finish our morning chores. Celine does the math to divide the remaining muffins (I baked 18 altogether, how many do we each get?) Celine chooses the chore music this morning, Johnny Cash, and we all bop to the beat while working. I bandage Brienne's trampoline rug burn with salve and a gauze.

11:15 Chores all done, mostly lots of dish washing. Laurent is drawing, Brienne is typing (with Celine's help) the story from her reading practice book on the computer. All of this is self-directed activity as I'm back in the Sonlight Catalog finding book titles for Celine to read.

Celine surveys the options from the Sonlight catalog

12:00 I could read book titles & descriptions forever but I really must make lunch now. I decide to get dressed. Damien pops in for 10 minutes on his lunchtime walk, we talk about the weekend's hike. Lunch is leftovers from the last few days mixed together as fried rice. Take what you've got, dump it in the pot... Celine looks over books I've chosen and select a couple titles she is interested in.

12:30 We're sitting down to eat when the mailman delivers a couple packages. Lego that Celine has purchased with her own money and a hiking shelter for a review article Damien is writing. (Free backpacking gear is just one benefit of our blogging gigs). I quickly check my e-mail. We collect ourselves again to eat. The kids are listening to Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" and I do my best to tune that out while I read my own book.

1:00 Inspired by my book I do 5 minutes of Shaker research on the computer. On a whim (a reminder in my e-mail actually) we walk over to the farmer's market, one block away. But my fridge is full from our farm share and the garden so I take photos instead of buying vegetables.

1:20 Back home I see the wet laundry basket sitting on the back step. Ack! I forgot. We quickly hang the laundry and then head inside and do the lunch dishes.

1:45 After a rather chaotic lunch "hour" I sit down at the computer, with a cup of herbal tea, for my writing time. Kids are playing with lego in the same room.

2:50 I hit the publish button on this post. Yes, that post took a whole hour to write (1/2 hour write, 1/2 hour edit, give or take). The kids are still engrossed in lego. I start chopping vegetables for supper. I barely get the cauliflower washed when I need to make a quick snack - popcorn & apples before heading out for errands.

3:20 No time to eat popcorn at home. We portion it into paper bags and hop in the car to go to the (within walking distance, but no time to walk) hair salon for the girls' haircuts. Veggies sit uncut on the counter.

5:20 Home again. Late. Tried to squeeze in too many stops - hair cuts, monthly trip to the grocery store for a few items and a quick stop to the liquor store for vodka (herbal tinctures and vanilla extract in the works). Damien's at home already waiting for the car to drive to his urban oasis running spot. Realize that I could have bought vodka at the grocery store. Ugh.

5:30 Hoping to get supper on the table shortly after 6pm I change the menu to pancakes & fruit. The ultimate, easy comfort meal which is much needed after the super stressful visit to the hair salon (You don't want to know).

6:15 Pancakes are done and most of the dishes were washed as I cooked. Damien gets back from running and we start eating. The kiddos scarf down more pancakes each than either Damien or I eat. It's the maple syrup I tell you.

6:45 I dash out the door with Brienne to meet with a couple buying club members who are taking over my duties as treasurer. I wonder why I choose to chronicle a day with so much dashing out the door. Some days I stay home exclusively (my favorite) and others I might go out once but rarely three times!

7:45 Home again and a little lighter having passed off that responsibility. Laundry is still on the line. Sigh. I knew I'd pay for forgetting it first thing this morning. I take it off the line and go inside to put away the toilet paper, pasta sauce, salsa and other sundry items from my grocery trip.

8:00 Time to hang out and just chill. Damien continues working on much needed computer maintenance (like a disabled search function on FIMBY). Laurent is building a lego transformer, Celine is contemplating her new lego, and Brienne is writing in her journal.

8:45 After a brief chat with our tenant I read and snuggle with the kids. We are currently enjoying Ragweed.

9:15 I shoo the younger two kids off my bed and into their own. Celine sets her own bedtime. I brush my teeth and contemplate going to bed now myself but decide to check my mail and RSS.

9:45 I wander around the internet a bit, following links on blogs. I struggle with feelings of blogging and professional incompentency and give myself little pep talks before sinking into blog-envy. Notice that so far there are only two comments on my Simple Homeschool post and think maybe something is wrong with my writing. Maybe I'm too obtuse? Not hip enough? Not providing very useful information?  

10:05 Tired of my self-doubt I make the conscious decision to walk away from the computer. Try to read a book but I'm too distracted by my blogging insecurities.

10:15 Give up reading, turn off my brain and settle down for sleep.

This day was not very average, but then what day is?

I usually:

  • do my morning computer time before breakfast (not during), as the family is slowly waking up and getting dressed  
  • cook vegetables for supper
  • check my e-mail and RSS after supper
  • have bedtime read-aloud earlier than 8:45
  • have constructive and creative time on the computer before bed 

I don't usually:

  • have such a busy lunch time
  • leave the house on 3 separate occasions (ouch)
  • need to de-stress my family after a trip to the salon (ouch again)

It was an unusual day, but that in itself is to be expected. Somedays life just gets a little messy.

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  • Claudia

    Claudia on Sept. 22, 2010, 10:36 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing this peek into your world, Renee! As a new homeschooler I always like to get a sense of how other homeschooling families set up their days (or maybe I'm just nosy! LOL).


  • Samantha

    Samantha on Sept. 22, 2010, 12:43 p.m.

    Out of all the blogs I subscribe to, I have always enjoyed your posts the most. Thank you for sharing one day of your life with us. Makes my life feel a little more normal, and less alone in this journey of homeschooling and being a mommy.


  • Danyel

    Danyel on Sept. 22, 2010, 1:15 p.m.

    Renee, you have a most wonderful blog! I found you a few months ago and check your blog every morning while I am drinking my one cup of coffee of the day. Your writing is beautiful and your thoughts are insightful. I am a homeschooling mom of 2, mother of 4. Your video on homeschooling was just what I needed! Please know that you're inspiring to me. I love your realness, and your blog always make me feel uplifted, never like I am not accomplishing anything. So many other blogs can so that. You know the "She has 4 kids, one a baby and she gets all that done?" While sitting there in your jammies, just hoping for one quiet moment. Keep on blogging! I would miss you. Have a wonderful day!


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 22, 2010, 3:10 p.m.

      Thank you so much Danyel. I am so glad you feel uplifted. For us mothers, taking care of home & our family's health & well being is difficult enough, never mind trying to homeschool, craft, and do everything you see people writing about. Be gentle on yourself. Don't compare yourself to others. (words for me and for you)

      I sometimes feel like blogging is the new Martha Stewart syndrome. There's a whole lot that goes on "behind the scenes" of bloggers' lives that you don't get to read about. 

      Don't worry I intend to keep blogging. Yes, I have my insecurities but I love writing and love this kind of interaction.


  • Nicole

    Nicole on Sept. 22, 2010, 1:32 p.m.

    Thanks for the honesty. Lately I've (who am I kidding - most days) I wonder if I should continue blogging. After all, there's a whole lot of mums's out there who seem to have it more together than I do. (And I should be better organized really, I've been at this long enough!) But I think the writing helps me and maybe someday down the line, will help others on this journey to know it can be done (and how fun homeschooling really is).


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 22, 2010, 3:04 p.m.

      I agree. If you enjoy doing it you should definitely keep writing. And you'll have that journal to look back on yourselves. None of us have it all together. I think we all have different strengths and aptitudes, I happen to be good at organization and home management but I am weak in many other areas - like being relaxed, slow and calm and going with the flow.


  • Melanie

    Melanie on Sept. 22, 2010, 2:15 p.m.

    Renee, it is refreshing to hear the ups and downs of someone's day, and to know that we all have insecurities about ourselves, myself included. We all think someone else has it more together and their life is "perfect", when in reality we are all learning as we go and each have our fair share of ups and downs and resulting insecurities. Thank you for bringing "realness" to your blog.


  • Francesca

    Francesca on Sept. 22, 2010, 2:20 p.m.

    Thank you for this post, it's interesting to see how other people spend their days (or one of their wednesdays!). I'm impressed that you bake breakfast, I don't like to start my day with a messy kitchen and a sink full of dirty dishes, so I bake only on weekends and on "special occasions".
    I'm interested in the typing practice: how do you do it? Touch typing is one of the most useful skills I learned (honestly), but I don't know how to teach it to my kids. Any advice? About your post on homeschooling, I think those co-authored or multi-authored blogs are very useful sources of information, and probably get a lot of traffic, but, unless it's a controversial topic, readers are rarely motivated to leave comments because they don't feel a personal connection.


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 22, 2010, 3:03 p.m.

      No worries. I don't bake everyday. Damien can't tolerate gluten so I don't bake a lot at all. Our breakfast menu looks something like this:

      Monday - oatmeal

      Tuesday - rice (eaten like we eat oatmeal with chopped nuts, fruit and dried fruit)

      Wednesday - muffins, I make up recipes to varying degrees of success (Damien eats fresh fruit & nuts)

      Thursday - rice or oatmeal

      Friday - pancakes

      Saturday/Sunday - baked apples on our non-hike day, oatmeal on our hiking day

      Sink full of dishes - tell me about it!!

      We use Ten Thumbs for typing practice. Celine is the only one doing that. The other 2 need to get the basic handwriting & cursive figured out before they "graduate" to typing. The program comes in dif. languages but I don't see Italian in the list, but maybe??

      Thanks for your encouragement about my SH blog post. You're probably right but sometimes I feel like other writers  (on the same blog) get lots of comments and I'm not so then I wonder why. And because I want to provide useful info. and become a better writer and think about what the reasons might be. I appreciate your insight though since you too write for a blog like that. 


  • Kika

    Kika on Sept. 22, 2010, 2:21 p.m.

    I also love your posts/blog - and supremely enjoy posts such as these which allow me to peer inside someone else's life and get a real/honest picture even if it is of an atypical day. I have plenty of those. Right now it is 8:15 am and while I type (in my pj's, coffee at my side), my son is playing guitar (loudly!) along to his favorite band, my middle child is waiting for help from me and my youngest is somehow still sleeping... in my bed, of course. Somehow this 'messy', noisy, colorful life makes me happy to the core but doesn't necessarily fit into a perfect "day in the homeschool life" scenario... or does it?!


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 22, 2010, 2:36 p.m.

      Kika, I love this picture of your homeschooling morning, made me smile. And like you say I think these unusual days are actually rather usual, in that they are messy, a tad chaotic and full of life!


  • debbie

    debbie on Sept. 22, 2010, 4:43 p.m.

    love this view of your normal/abnormal day. i wanted to pass on a book recommendation to you for that celine might enjoy - Louise Erdrich has written a trilogy about an Ojibwa girl and her family and tribe, on the shores of Lake Superior. we loved this a couple of years back, and i've been thinking of a re-read this winter, now that the girls are older. i believe the girl goes from being 9 to 12 in the books, and it does not shy away from the hardships (long, hungry winters, sickness, and the influence of the white trappers and settlers), but all told in a way that was easy to talk about and handle. the character herself, and her relationships with her family (in particular her grandmother) are wonderful...The Birchbark House is the first, followed by Game of Silence and then Porcupine Year.


  • Naomi

    Naomi on Sept. 22, 2010, 4:58 p.m.

    You're right, reading A Day in the Life posts is fun! And I can certainly relate to unplanned crazy days. Not that anyone plans a crazy day, lol. Maybe I'll try one of these for my own blogs...


  • Candelion

    Candelion on Sept. 22, 2010, 8:16 p.m.

    I haven't been very commenty lately, but please know that I read all of your posts and especially enjoyed this one =)


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 22, 2010, 8:18 p.m.

      Hi hon, I've been wondering about you lately. How you are doing and if you're still in school? So nice to hear from you! If you are still blogging, please send a link.


  • Rana

    Rana on Sept. 23, 2010, 3:23 a.m.

    Renee, Were you peaking through my window? This sounds like a typical day in our house. Up and moving, lessons, computer, playing, heading out to the store or other appointments, constantly forgetting the laundry. I love getting a look in other families lives just to let me know that I am not alone. We all deal with the same or similar issues: raising a family, employment pressures, keeping everyone healthy and happy, and home organization. It's just nice to see and hear it.


  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Sept. 23, 2010, 4:08 a.m.

    I love reading day in the life posts, but no one ever seemed to comment on mine, so I haven't done one in eons. When I participate on frugal boards, before blogging, I used to participate in the daily thread for gratitude and for our day. It helps to see a day laid out, in general, or with a theme (like tasks done to be frugal). Nicola


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Sept. 23, 2010, 11:04 a.m.

    I LOVE your blog Renee! I really appreciate your honest, down-to-earth writing. I posted my own schedule on my blog last night and here I am already 3 minutes late for turning off the computer. ;)


  • daffodil lane

    daffodil lane on Sept. 23, 2010, 5:53 p.m.

    You have such a gift for posting real life. It isn't fanciful and doesn't seem to be 'glorified' or exagerrated. You tell it like it is, which is super refreshing. You are very organized, which is inspiring, especially when you share those posts of how you accomplish that. Your posts never disappoint, and I have learned tons from them. With such a variety of topics too, I haven't come across anything that I haven't found interesting. Great stuff, consistently. Thank you for the time you spend doing it and for sharing bits of your life.


  • Wendy

    Wendy on Sept. 24, 2010, 7 p.m.

    Thanks for this peek into your world. It's nice to see a dose of reality in blogworld. Pancakes are one of the best easy dinners out there!


  • Amanda

    Amanda on Sept. 24, 2010, 11:48 p.m.

    Although I haven't commented much lately, you know how much I love your blog! Don't be discouraged! I once wrote a post listing all the things I'd done on one day, because it was mid-afternoon and I felt I hadn't done anything - once blogged it appeared I had actually done many things! Ah, the life of a SAHM/homeschooling family! I'm quite sure I could not come up with a post detailing a "typical" day - not one of them is ever the same as another! Variety is the spice of life, right?! :)


  • Charity

    Charity on Sept. 25, 2010, 9:37 a.m.

    As a homeschool mom with 4 kids ranging from 1 - almost 10, my biggest struggle is that read-aloud time. We do so much reading aloud during our "school" time, that it seems that our just for fun books get neglected (and by just for fun books I mean things like Peter Pan, Little Princess, or Paddington). What advice do you have on making this a priority and something to be enjoyed, rather than a chore?


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 30, 2010, 11:39 p.m.

      Well I don't have much advice but I will be sharing soon about how our family has "done reading" through the years.


  • Brandi

    Brandi on Oct. 18, 2010, 10:44 p.m.

    Having just read your 9/15 post, I am surprised you would question your blogging ability... I wasn't expecting that. I have not read a blog before and happen to stumble across yours just this morning when I was looking for a lip balm recipe (I went and purchased the ingredients to yours ~ thank you for sharing! :) ). I was so happy to see you make soap, too. I do as well, but I have not been as adventurous as you have been! Anyhow, I was looong a ranch wife and my husband and three children and I lived far from town. It was customary to pump water, wash clothes on a washboard (really), read by propane lights and go to town only once a month. I believed I was so lonely; and perhaps I was... Yet we moved to town 5 years ago to get "real jobs" and I long for what we had. This blog has been so very refreshing... a richly meaningful blessing. Thank you for sharing your life, blemishes and all (though I certainly don't see it that way). I'm confident I will visit frequently! Keep going!!!


  • Sarah

    Sarah on Jan. 14, 2011, 3:29 p.m.

    Just followed your link to this post on Simple Homeschool's Q & A. Thanks for being so candid. Now that we have our first little one, I find myself often having "Ack!" moments and have often commented to my husband, "I'm so sick of not having a brain anymore!" Looking at your day though, reminds me that those "Ack!" moments really aren't a big deal in the grand scheme of things! Looking forward to your day-in-the-life post on Simple Homeschool!


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