Wednesday, June 5, 2013
the rhythm of a day in our home...
Morning comes early in our home. Brad and I rise around 5:30am to start our day out together in the Word. This quiet time spent together and with God first thing in the morning has done wonders for our relationship and our family. It helps both of us to get focused on the cross and gears us up spiritually for the day. It is also a great time to connect since the rest of the day Brad is away at work and the evenings are often busy and not very conducive to any deep conversations.
After our quiet time, I make Brad's oatmeal and pack his lunch. Then I start a load of laundry, make the bed, let the chickens out, water the gardens, and do any other quick clean-ups or chores that need done. Then I spend about 45 minutes to an hour checking emails, updating my blog, etc. During this time, the kids usually get up, get dressed, and do their chores. I also get them their breakfast during this time.
After that, we start our schoolwork. During our official school year, the entire morning and part of the afternoon is spent focused on our schoolwork. So much of my time is devoted to teaching Ian and Lily (Sergei goes to school.) However, during our more laid-back school days (such as summer), we spend the early morning doing math and English review and reading. And then much of the afternoon is spent outside or doing small crafts or pursuing other interests that the kids have.
Time outside is spent tending to the gardens, playing with the chickens, riding bikes, hiking through the woods, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, or whatever else we feel like doing. Sometimes (when I'm lucky) I'll grab my current yarn project and sit out on the deck and work on it while the kids play.
I usually start dinner around 3:30 or 4:00, depending on how time-consuming the meal is going to be. Hopefully by this time, I've got a game plan, but often I do not. I always love when I keep up with my meal-planning because it's so much less stressful when the four o'clock hour rolls around! Because we've switched to a mostly plant-based diet, meal preparation is a bit more time-consuming for me mostly because there is more thought put into everything I put into a dish and also because there is often a lot of chopping and prepping of the vegetables. I believe that as I get more knowledgeable and experienced with putting together plant-based meals, this will get easier and require a bit less thought, become more routine.
After dinner, we all work together to clean up. The boys do the dishes. The other three of us work on clearing the table and putting the food away. After dinner, homework is finished up, board games are played or books read together during the cold months and during the warm months, we often head back outside for the evening. We finish up any other outside chores that we have such as making sure the chickens are fed and put away and all toys and bikes have been put away, and then we head in the house between 8pm and 8:30pm (sometimes a bit later during summer.) The kids get ready for bed, and then we have our time of family devotions before everyone heads to bed.
Brad and I typically veg after the kids are in bed and after I've cleaned up the house a bit. We'll read or watch an episode of something on Netflix. Many times, this is the time of day when I find time to knit or crochet. But sometimes we're just so exhausted that we head to bed (as was the case last night.) :) Of course, during the harvest season, my days are packed with picking, washing, canning, and preserving the harvest. These days are much busier, and Brad and I are often up late working and go to bed completely exhausted.
So we're just a normal family with a few animals and some really busy days. My time is consumed with teaching and learning and cleaning and cooking, but I'm really so very thankful that I can be at home with my kids, teaching them and taking care of our family and our home. That's been such a blessing to our family.
One thing that I've found is wonderful and really helpful is limiting television exposure. We have a television with basic programming (no satellite or cable) and we do have Netflix. The younger two enjoy Curious George and Arthur, which they often watch. And we all enjoy Leave it to Beaver which we sometimes watch in the evening or on a rainy day. So we don't totally shun t.v. but it is really restricted, as are video games. Doing this really encourages our kids to be kids. To head outside and explore. To play with their Lego blocks or dolls. Or to read. And to be together.
Really, I try to keep things structured in our daily life, but not stifling. And especially during this time of the year, we're really in and out of the house a lot. House duties sometimes get a bit neglected, to be honest, because I'm so busy with the gardens or just plain old enjoying the warm, sunny weather. I think that routine and rhythm are important for me and for our children, but I also really like to feel like there is flexibility and every now and then we can throw caution to the wind and run with something.
I'm joining in with four other bloggers for this homesteading series. You can check out their posts below...
Daisy at Maple Hill 101
Tammy at Our Neck of the Woods
Staci at Life at Cobble Hill Farm
Meg at Little Homestead