Monday, March 5, 2012

NBTS: A Day In The Life..

Our Worldwide Classroom

This weeks All Aussie Not Back To School Hop is suppose to be a day in the life of your family. I'm a bit late with our "A day in the life" post which is extraordinarily long & has absolutely no pictures in it. If you're game to read it go for it.  
A random picture having nothing to do with this post
At 645 I’m awoken by songs from the Scripture Seeds as my ipod goes off. It’s much more enjoyable to wake up to an ipod activated alarm clock then the old buzzing and screeching ones that still give me nightmares to hear in movies and commercials. It’s my normal wake up time so the dog and I can sneak out for an early morning walk before we begin the day.
Due to knee problems I’m only able to take him out half as often as I use to, but anything is better then nothing. I sneak into the boys room to get the dog and find that Morgan is all ready awake. He knows I’m headed out so he only waves & I wonder if he’ll decide to read more of his Flat Stanley book, or if I’ll come home to a huge invention spread across the lounge room.
The dog and I return, after only minor rabbit chasing, just before 8 & I wrap up my morning exercises with an old fashioned tummy routine. The tape is led by a guy that Mr S usually enjoys mocking, but he’s still getting ready for work so I’m spared the excess mocking tones and possibility of Mr S throwing out his hamstring again.
Morgan hasn’t made an invention of managed to read any of his book. Instead he has some very detailed game going on between himself, Woody, & a few army men. Apparently Buzz wasn’t invited. It seems incredibly complicated involving a deck of cards, various math abilities, and a pile of homemade silver coins. 
Jayden wakes up while I’m in the shower, & I discover him sitting on the couch looking like he could use a considerable amount more sleep. After checking that he’s feeling okay I rush around the kitchen attempting to make Mr S’s lunch but lamenting more over the fact that no one has put the mayo away properly & trying to desperately resist the urge to throw caution to the wind and clean up the pantry someone has trashed.
We all see Mr S off as his carpool pulls up around quarter to nine & I remind the boys that they won’t be full until lunch time if they don’t eat something else besides the pear they ate while watching Dad play Angry Birds. A morning ritual in our home while he awaits his carpool ride, & the boys are usually right beside him offering bits of advice and information about lift, drag, & thrust.
They both lament that they don’t know what to have & I’m reminded again that I should put the breakfast menu back up in the kitchen. Morgan settles for peanut butter and jelly, but Jayden refuses because we’re out of the sugar-free jam. He settles, instead of a “ham” sandwich which really means vegetables because he can’t stand luncheon meat. This of course results in a 20 minute chat while we all eat breakfast over why he calls them “ham sandwiches”.
Morgan, mind elsewhere, pipes up with, “Obviously, Mom, it’s because you put ham on your sandwich.” 
“Obviously Morgan, except Jayden doesn’t ever put ham on his sandwiches!” 
He looks up & laughs, “Oh yea, I forgot that.”
I remind both boys that it’s a school day and they need to deal with their morning chores when breakfast is over. Jayden is distraught when he realizes it’s his day for dishes & even more so when he realizes he overslept and has no free time before chores. I ask him not to whine.
When he rephrases his request for a bit of free time before chores without whining I agree, “But only a small amount because we have a lot to get done today!” I don’t bother to add that I need to run across the river today and pick up a couple of items at the Health Food shop that’s having a sale.
The boys run off to enjoy another round of something in the lounge while I finish my breakfast and check my email. I have a few messages that need answering, & I take a quick moment to check in with a message board I help out on. After that I type up a quick email to I love the company, but am highly disappointed that after getting halfway through with the very last book in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter the book just up and ended. I’m convinced there’s a technical issue, like the company forgot to upload the other half of the book so I could download it.
I lament to them that I am desperate to know exactly when Miss Potter and Mr Heelis are going to tie the knot & how on earth they are going to pull it off. I resist the urge to point out that I’d also like to know a million other things that are left hanging because the book is, after all, only halfway through. Instead I google Mr Heelis to be sure I’ve spelt the name right and am delighted to see a small picture of both Heelis & Miss Potter pop up.
After listening to this entire series of books for the past two years I feel I am nearly on a first name basis with this couple & spent five minutes squinting at the picture because the sun is shining in my face and I can’t quite make it out. It’s the sound of, “Oops!” coming from the lounge room that reminds me I said, “Only a little free time!” thirty minutes ago & that I really must get the boys moving on their chores so we can begin our day.
With a few simple reminders the boys move through their morning chores of tidying up the lounge & putting away dishes. While they are busy I scrub their bathroom, start a load of laundry, make my bed, & wash the breakfast dishes. I remind them both to feed pets.
Morgan is responsible for his Guinea Pigs and the broccoli stalks in the fridge need to be used up so he takes them out. Jayden runs off to check both the outdoor water bowls for the dog. We have a fence that separates our front and back yards, so we like to make sure there’s a bowl on each side should the dog be trapped, unknowingly, on one side or the other. While they tend to pets I cut the chicken for dinner into nugget sized pieces. Jayden requested homemade chicken nuggets & I agreed to make them.
I round both boys up for school, & ask them to bring the iPad with them. Despite it’s “electronicalness” it’s a needed tool for our homeschool & we’ll need it from the start so we can begin our new Old Testament Bible lessons with the Grapevine curriculum. There’s much excitement over starting this as the boys watched me spend the entire day yesterday printing them out.
I check the schedule in the back of the book and am thrown sideways by a sheet I don’t recall seeing in the student books. After wasting 10 minutes looking for it, in which the boys busied themselves sharpening all their colored pencils, I realize the page isn’t missing it was for the next level up. 
As the boys are now wrist deep sharpening pencils I pull out the Memory Box and we race through our multiplication facts & follow it up with the verses today behind Daily, Uneven, Monday & 5. Jayden is keen to have himself videoed while he recites the passage from Luke we’ve been working on for several months. I oblige.
The boys, now done with pencil sharpening, are ready to begin our Bible for the day. Because we are just starting there’s a timeline of the entire Old Testament to do this week. I warn the boys going in that we are only doing 2 pages of it so they don’t become disappointed when I tell them it’s time to put it away for the day. I am determined to take the Old Testament as slow as we took the New Testament as I find they retain so much more this way.
After reading about each drawing on the timeline I leave the boys to their drawing while I start a batch of bread. I’ve been putting it off for weeks as I am no longer eating wheat & I couldn’t bear cooking it before. However, it’s a pain to run to the shop every few days for bread. The boys are still busy drawing so I take advantage of the moment and hang my load of laundry out and take down the dry load.
Morgan still has one more picture to draw so I hang up the shirts & fold the cloths. I take longer then Morgan and have to round them up to finish the last page of the Bible timeline for the day. It only takes a moment as they are quite eager having peaked ahead at the next set of pictures to draw.
After reading the information about the next set of pictures I dash off to check the bread & be sure I have the flour to water ratio right & be to be sure the bread maker is on the right setting. All is well so I return to the table with the kids and update my planner with their Bible for the week & smile faces for things we’ve accomplished this morning; Bible.
As the boys finish I ask them to put away their supplies & give me their spelling books so I can get ready for their pre-tests. Every Monday we have a pretest of their words & every Friday we have a post-test. I’m grateful for the pre-tests so we don’t waste an entire week working on words they may all ready know. It also helps me to know which words they’ll need the more practice with during the week.
The boys run for drinks and a piece of fruit while I copy their spelling lists for the week down on a long post it note. They love having their word lists on the post-it notes so they can move the list from page to page as they do their activities through-out the week. Jayden is done with his banana so I ask him to sit down so I can give him his pre-test. He agrees & Morgan takes apart a lego car while finishing his snack.
After Jayden takes his test, we correct it together & he rewrites the three words he misspelled. I go over the short instructions for his Monday paper & he sets to work while Morgan has his pretest. Jayden finishes his work and is sent off to have a bit of freetime {legos most likely} while Morgan wraps up his pretest.
Morgan often takes longer because he can now recognize when words are spelled wrong even if he’s not entirely sure where he went wrong. I’m happy with the progress he’s made in such a short span of time and simply wish it spilled over to his everyday writing of notes, signs, & cards. I can only imagine my own mother’s frustration with my spelling when I was that age..
Morgan & I correct his spelling test, he’s delighted to see he only got the “jail” or “outlaw” words. I’m impressed too & ask him to only rewrite those words. I’m about to tell him to do his Monday page when he asks if he can do the Tuesday page instead. I agree, but point out he’ll need to do the Monday page on Tuesday then. He agrees and gets to work. 
After spelling Morgan takes the iPad and goes off into another area of the house to read his Flat Stanley book while Jayden and I work on his Language Arts. On Mondays that consists of some required reading & copywork based on the book he read. Morgan should be doing some too, but his Language Arts book hasn’t arrived yet.
Jayden hates copywork. Writing isn’t most certainly not his strong point, & his despondent the the paper I printed for him today is too narrow for his large handwriting. I talk him through writing a few words & then pull out a tablet of Crayola Writing paper which has extremely large spaces for the beginning writer. He loves it and wants to use that paper, so I agree that tomorrow he may finish the copywork on the new wider paper.
Morgan comes rushing out from his reading in a panic, apparently the ipad hit 10% and he was worried it would go flat. Before hand he managed a chapter and a half before he noticed the low battery signal. I make a mental note to remind Mr S to put the ipad on the charger in the evening after he’s done testing his apps.
I jot down in my planner what we’ve accomplished so far. The boys manage to build a “robot” out of the bean bags & pillows in the lounge room in the two minutes it took me to jot things down. I take advantage and grab medicine for a migraine that is coming on fast and furiously. While I’m in the kitchen I shape the bread into loaves and pop them in their pans for their final rising.
The boys are quickly rounded back up & I hand them a notebooking page with a colouring in picture of George Washington on one side & a place for notes on the reverse. I tell them they can color the front side while I read to them from the I Grew Up To Be President book. I make sure to let them know they won’t be able to color it all in today. After we read the pages from our selected book we affix a picture of George Washington to Alexandria, VA, on our US map. I let the boys lead the way looking for both Virginia & Alexandria.
The boys pack away their notebooking pages until tomorrow & I tell them they can be “free” until lunch time. Lunch can often slow us down, but we have some cooked chicken in the fridge which I reheat for the boys along with a quick baked potato, some frozen peas, & strawberries. I make myself a quick salad & dig out a blueberry yogurt. I also manage to toss the bread in the oven.
Jayden, who’s complaining of being really tired because he didn’t sleep well last night, asks if we can watch an episode of Phineas & Ferb with lunch. I agree and ask him again if he’s sure he feels okay, he interrupts this to mean he should inhale deeply through his nose to indicate he’s not stuffed up. 
I hand him his plate of food instead & locate an episode of Phineas & Ferb on the laptop. It takes forever to find one he hasn’t watched all ready, but I finally succeed, much to both boys delight. All though by now the bread is actually done! After we’re done eating everyone clears their dishes to the dishwasher.
I’m still hoping to accomplish a science lesson today & read our Klondike Gold Rush book. Not to mention that errand we still need to run! We settle back in at the learning table & I read the science lesson for the day. We’re wrapping up the second half of the 1st chapter in Zoology 1. 
The boys find some of the animal instincts listed in the chapter quite amazing, & I have to agree with them. Morgan chooses to copy a few of them down for his notebooking page & then retires to the desktop to find out about Biomes while Jayden and I work on his science crossword puzzle and he narrates to me for his notebooking pages.
Morgan has trouble finding exactly what he’s after, and we reword his search and find an appropriate link. I read out the pertinent information and we copy the needed bits of information to his notebooking page. He’s satisfied with the job done, and I’m content that he knows the information. We move on to his crossword puzzle which keeps us both jumping to see how much we remember! We shout out “All Kings Play Chess On Fine Glass Sets!” so much Jayden asks us to stop until we remind him it’s the “key” to remembering animal classification.
Jayden has reached a breaking point, however, and his apparent lack of sleep seems to be catching up with him. I leave him to play with the beanbag chairs, pillows, & stuffed animals. Halfway through the crossword he decides to lay on the school area floor and read a book from the Bible shelf. He’s full of questions about the various drawings & eventually goes back to his beanbag game until he miss judges him jump and gets hurt.
By 330 we’ve finished science & cleaned up all the bits and bobs we have out. I  decide it’s time to go run that errand before it gets any later. We head across the river and pick up a few necessities for the month: deodorant, toothpaste, & things of the nature. I snag a chocolate bar for the kids, sugar free & inquire about a large bag of flour for my mother-in-law, but they are out of the later much to my disappointment. They promise to order me one and I tell them I’ll be back on Friday to collect it.
Before I pay the boys ask if they can get a box of Aussie Animal crackers, they are wheat free but not sugar free. I agree & they snag a bag of chocolate covered pretzels, also wheat free but not sugar free. We decide, after paying, to take both down to the beach across from our old house. As I make the drive Jayden asks me if I forgot we don’t live there anymore & I can’t help but laugh.
We sit on the shore tossing rocks and discussing what we miss from our old neighborhood. I’m surprised by the things the boys mention, like daily walks on the beach {which sometimes they weren’t too keen on}, or playing on the stairs in the old house. We all agree we don’t miss the annual invasion of mice. We only stay for a short time before someone squeals that they need to use the loo.
When we get home I debate reading to the boys from the Klondike book that I still wanted to tackle today, but I decide they need a well earned break and agree they can have 20 minutes of video game time before we decide what to do next. When the boys video game time is over the resume a lego game that is strewn across the lounge room.
Before I can decide if I’m going to read to them the phone rings and it’s Mr S so I actually answer it, a rare occasion in this house. He wants us to meet him town for a dinner outing with his brother and a workmate. I agree, but ask him to ring me when they are on the road so I’m not sitting in the restaurant alone.. again.
It’s now quarter after five & I figure we have just enough time to read Gold Fever before Mr S gets home. We read about Dawson & some people who became famous while working there. We decide to skip trying to tie the knot until tomorrow because we’re not sure where a plank of wood is that will be long enough for the project. So, I pick up our current Klondike read aloud and am all most through a chapter when Mr S rings again to let me know he’s on the road. I ask if they are popping in here before they go or not, & after a short discussion with his brother {the driver} they agree they will stop in so we can all ride in the same car.
I manage to finish off the last of the chapter before they pull in, one chapter less then I had aimed to read but better then nothing. The boys race around to put their shoes on and round up a couple of things they hope to show their uncle while he’s here. It takes us fifteen to twenty minutes to locate all shoes, have the boys change to long pants, & round up long sleeves, but eventually we’re on the road again.
We enjoy an evening out on the water front eating dinner and chatting with friends. There’s much laughter as stories are shared around the table & utter confusion for the Aussies over things like Sliders & The Waffle House in general. We stay long enough to see the local cruise ship about to head out to sea before packing it up and heading home.
It’s quarter after eight by the time we get home & eight thirty by the time we see Uncle off for the night. Both boys have showers, gather library books, & give out goodnight kisses before climbing into bed at quarter to nine. Only fifteen minutes early, compared to normal. I had hoped to have Jayden in bed sooner then that after his complaints of being tired all day, but hopefully the extra fifteen will be better then nothing.
Notes:  It’s been a busy day for us, but not too out of the normal. There were a few times during the day when I had to remind children that speaking rudely to each other or myself wasn’t permitted, but that can also be pretty normal. We rarely have days when people are in any form of serious trouble. 
We didn’t get to math, mostly because of the many interruptions during our Bible session, a cranky 8 year old, the migraine that took over earlier in the day, & an unsightly interruption from our neighbor that doesn’t bare repeating. We are, for the most part. completely back on a full time schedule & the only thing lacking from todays was the math lessons. Over all I’m quite content with the amount of work we got done.
Dinner, in our home, doesn’t normally happen until 7 or later because of Mr S’ current crazy work schedule as he and his workmates rush to finish this project they had hope to release before the end of last year. Eating out at between six thirty and quarter to seven was actually eating semi early for us. 


Stacey said...

I really like your calendar that you posted today on A Day in the Life post. Where did you get it?
Here’s our adoption websites. Please help us get the word out:
(Watch our YouTube video)

Kendra said...

Stacey, I bought it second hand at the library for .50 :)

Dawn said...

Yea...I can relate. {{hugs}}