Then I head to the kitchen, where I KNOW there are dishes waiting to go into the dishwasher, something crusty from supper lurking somewhere on the countertop, and Gogurt trash to be thrown away. I turn on my stereo that's on top of my fridge and get to work. I have about 30 minutes before the first squirt rolls out of bed.
Then I head to the living room and pick up any mess in there that was done by little trolls in the middle of the night while we all were sleeping (I could have sworn I cleaned it before I went to bed). I gather all the supplies we will use that day and lay them out on the coffee table.
Around 9:00 am, Libby, 3, comes whining into the kitchen. I say whine because that's what she does 80% of the time. I try every trick in the book to get her to smile, and once I find the one that does it for her, we look for some clothes and I figure out what she'd like for breakfast.
Neely, 6, usually gets up about 15 minutes later than Libby. She gets up and goes straight to the recliner--pillow and blanket in tow. I say, "Well good morning, Neely!" in a really happy, high-pitched voice. She mostly smiles 90% of mornings unless she woke up on the wrong side of the bed, in which case she grunts and covers her head.
At this time, Libby is finishing her breakfast and I am preparing Neely's. Lucky for me, Neely and Libby LOVE cereal.
When it gets to be 9:30, I go see if I can round up Teagan, 7, who could sleep for 15 hours straight. She is definitely not a morning person--unless we're talking 1 o'clock in the morning. She puts up a fight 100% of mornings. It takes an hour after I first call her before she drags herself to the living room.
Neely, Libby, and I really try to start school around 10 am. Mostly we get it right, but sometimes it's 10:20 if we decide to put on day clothes.
Neely starts out with spelling, mainly because that is independent work, and I can use that free time to get Libby situated with something that will keep her occupied for a little while. After Neely does her daily spelling work, we do her math together. It always seems to be a short lesson because she knows it so well. It's usually during math that Teagan graces us with her presence.
There are days that I fix what she wants, but there are days when I am too busy with Neely that I tell her to pick something different this morning and try to get up a little earlier next time.
From 11:00 to 11:30 am, I will let Neely work on some kind of art project, or if she likes, she can choose some books to read from our extensive home library to log into her book log. Teagan and Neely have book logs and are rewarded once they reach a certain amount.
Lunch is as unpredictable as breakfast. Teagan likes pizza, Neely likes chicken nuggets, and Libby likes a little bit of both. On a good day, while the girls are putting together our timeline person, I will go ahead and stick their lunch in the oven so it can be ready when they are ready. While they eat lunch, I take my break on the computer and see what's going on the world of Facebook. Or, if I am going to blog, this is the best time to do it. If I'm in a good mood, I unload the dishwasher and load it back again with all the dishes we used for breakfast, and I choose a load of laundry out of the 10 loads I have waiting. I'm in a good mood about 3 school days a week.
The girls finish up and usually start playing Barbies, color, or some sort of role play where one of them is Elsa and the other is Anna (FROZEN). I know exactly when this happens because Libby will come running to tell me (in a very upset manner) that someone is Elsa and she's supposed to be Elsa. If the weather is nice, the girls go out in the back yard or ride their bicycles for awhile.
At this time (around 1 pm), I get Libby to help me pick up her mess in the living room that she created while we were busy with school work. Sometimes she helps, sometimes she doesn't. It's no big deal to me. Sometimes I have to put her down for a nap, especially if she wakes up earlier than 8 am. Naptime can be many different things. Some days she will do it alone, some days I have to be with her, sometimes the girls will go to their beds, too, and read until Libby falls asleep.
Between 1:30 and 2 pm we start back. It's usually the girls' choice as to what we we work on next. Science usually wins, so we read some out of the chapter we're working on and I do my best to have some kind of hands on example to go with the topic. Last week, we were working on magnetic forces. After we played around with magnets and saw and felt the attraction and repelling properties between two, I sent the girls on a scavenger hunt for things that were attracted to magnets.
It never fails during reading time that someone is fussing or talking. There are always questions to be asked by Neely, who is obviously not paying attention to the story if it's me reading. Her questions always pertain to something out of the blue. Libby will try to read along with one of the girls occasionally, or she will want to play with one of the girls while they are reading. In a perfect world, at my house, reading time would go much smoother. There some days where there are no interruptions, and I take notice and soak it all in!
Around 3:45 pm the girls will sit at the work table to work on writing. Once a week, they have an assigned writing, but most of the time it doesn't matter to me what they write about. This week we have been working on Valentine's letters after reading time. They completed four letters each to mail out to the special people in their lives. They worked really hard on them and decorated them with pictures and stickers.
Around 4:30, I remember that I need to get something going for supper. The girls have finished their writing's and are watching TV by this time. While I'm deciding on supper, I clean off their writing table. Around 5 pm, I figure out our meal and my husband is usually walking in the door when I'm halfway done. By the time it's ready (never before 6 pm) he's starving.
Everyone eats. It may not be all the same stuff, but everyone has something in their bellies. When I am done eating, whoever has finished will be the first to take a bath or shower. And usually when I call that person, she will pick up what they left on their plate when they thought they were finished, and start eating again.
By 7 pm, the first one is in the bath. Libby and Neely usually take a bath together because they like to play with toys in the bath. When I finish up with what I'm doing (could be the laundry I started earlier or putting dishes in the sink), I get to washing bodies and hair. I get them out and send them to the living room with daddy who has already been given their clothes. He gets them dressed and heads to bed. By this time, I am ready to pull.my.hair.out.
I like for the girls to get in some piano practice around this time. It varies as to when they do it, but this time seems to be easiest. While one is in the bath, the other practices.
Teagan gets in the shower around 8 pm, taking an extra long, relaxing, hot shower until she uses all the hot water. She sings songs and draws on the shower wall with all the bubbles she gets from washing her hair and body.
At 9:00 pm, I call for teeth brushing, but you would think the world is falling apart. I have, somehow, managed to let my children starve sometime between supper and this moment. So, we all go to the kitchen and snack until about 9:20 pm.
At 9:30, teeth are brushed, and the girls are making their way to their room. They each have their own bed in a large formal living room in the house. It's the size of two big rooms put together, and offers plenty of room for their beds and play area.
Teagan crawls into bed with her Kindle and lets me know that she will only read and not play games, Neely asks me if I will "please, pretty please" sleep with her, and Libby flat out refuses to get in her bed.
I finally get them settled close to 10 pm, and turn out their light (unless Neely is reading). It takes about 5 minutes for Neely and Libby to fall asleep, and I head off to the living room where I can sit down. I either surf the web, talk on the phone, or watch TV at this time.
Sometime between 11:30 and midnight, I go to the bathroom to take a shower or soak my achy muscles in a hot bath. But as I walk past the girls' room, I hear Teagan calling me. That little booger is ALWAYS still awake at this time. Sometimes I feel bad that she ends up lying in her bed for 2 hours and can't go to sleep. She is a natural night owl just like her momma. So, I always let her get up, and while I'm in the shower she watches TV.
After that (around 12:30 am), I start picking up dirty clothes and cleaning the kitchen (or living room depending on which room disgusts me more). If they both disgust me, I just sit down with Teagan, and we eat popcorn and watch reruns of "Good Luck Charlie."
Teagan and I try to get in the bed before my husband's alarm clock goes off at 2:45 am. If I don't go to bed before he gets up, I have a hard time going to sleep when he leaves.
I get about 6 hours of sleep at night before my internal alarm wakes me up to do it all over again.
We are ever-changing around here. We had a gradual move from a classroom type setting to the living room where it is more relaxed and fun.