I thought I'd try and write out this Monday May 1 since unlike most days, I kept a record : ). This was a quiet, mostly-at-home day with no baseball or music, which makes it unusual. Most days we have some outside-the-house commitment or other.
I woke up about 6:30 am with the spring sunshine just brightening the room. We have had a lot of wintery weather here so it's nice to be able to jump out of bed without freezing. I spent a while sitting at the computer while the little ones continued to sleep. After a while I got back into bed and cuddled with Gabriel while he slept on.
Aidan was the first one awake, as usual. He usually comes over and starts talking to me, repeating his favorite phrase of the moment, "The office by the kitty at the S's house saying Meow!" He brought me his favorite book of the moment: Are You My Mother? and I read it to him, then got up and went downstairs with him to start the day.
Kieron was awake and reading and followed me downstairs. He wanted to show me the stretching exercises his dad had showed him and show that he was doing them the challenging way. He gets his own breakfast on Mondays, and while he ate, he read Harry Potter, showing me how far he had gotten in the book and then interspersing reading with a verbal play by play of the action taking place. Raphael asked for cereal and then poured himself several more bowlfuls. He asked for juice. Then he wanted to go out to the deck and sit in the sandbox, but he didn't stay for long; too cool, still.
Kieron asked, "What does it mean when you say 'ages ago'?" He explained that the character who said that (in a Tintin comic) had said that something went by "ages ago" when it was really just a moment past. He enjoyed that bit of comedy.
The other kids were waking up and so was my husband. He was getting ready to go into town and shop, so I made a shopping list up for him. Monday is our cleaning day so the kids each attacked their own set of chores from a rotation chart. They do this pretty much automatically.
I made a fire and changed laundry loads -- Monday is when I try to do the bulk of the laundry including changing the sheets and towels.
By now, Brendan came out of his room and we did his "overview" -- I made him some hot chocolate and read a few sections of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" to him. Also, I got into a conversation with Therese about twaddly educational resources. She gave her opinion on curricula that she thinks are too contrived or obviously "educational" -- somehow it got to Bible studies, I don't remember how. I did some more laundry and vacuumed upstairs and down, while Francis watched over the little ones.
I went upstairs to check on the little ones who had the waffle blocks out. I took a bath and while in there, heard Therese saying to Raphael, "That's GOOD!" When I came out, I found that Raphael had "read" the entire Are You My Mother? to her (reciting from memory). He did it again for me. Not bad! He has a very good memory.
I sat on the bed for a little while to read some of Brendan's book -- he started writing it just after he turned 15 and has now just finished his first revision -- it is over 600 pages long, an action-and-adventure oriented fantasy story. We are printing it out in stages and the whole family likes to keep up with the serial releases, even his older brother who is south in college.
By now it is after noon. My husband comes home and the older kids go to work unloading and putting away groceries. They help me get the little ones ready to go out the door and into their carseats. Putting the Henry V soundtrack on the tape deck, we head off on our weekly trip to the library and the local grocery store, where they can get a candy bar or other snack. The older teens watch the little ones play on the bridge in front of our church while I go into the library with Francis and we come out with a haul of books and a couple of DVDs we had requested from the county system.
Then to the market.... then home, discussing Harry Potter and how writers live and work. A few minutes after we get home, the afternoon sun is streaming into the windows and everything is sooo quiet. I realize that they are all sitting in various places around the house, reading! Except Desales, who is using a big piece of cardboard to make a target.
Sean has figured out the new air pump his dad brought home, and has inflated his football, so later on the two teenage boys go out to practice their passing with the target Desales made. That evening I find the target inside and pretty much shredded, so I guess they got a workout. Therese is walking and listening to music and keeping track of distance with her pedometer, so she can record it for the Walk to Rivendell.
Today, my husband has been trying to "final" the computer game he is working on, so he has been requesting the kids to playtest it on different computers at different times of the day. This adds an aura of excitement to the atmosphere since it's not every day he has a game almost ready for release!
It is late afternoon now. Brendan and I watch what looks like a baby Douglas Squirrel in a tree. I try to use the binoculars but can't get them to focus enough to be useful. Desales reads about bumblebees from a printout from the Internet -- to try to find out what kind of hives they have and why they usually seem to fly solo.
We have some dinner and the kids do their after dinner jobs. Paddy and Aidan spend some time playing online Veggie Tales games. They know how to type words into the Google search engine, with a little help. Aidan knows all the letters and Gabriel knows quite a few of them. Paddy spends some time coloring things in on an online game and talking about the colors.
I read some more of Brendan's book and then read a Veggie Tales book about numbers, and shapes, to the little ones. They are getting sleepy now -- Paddy wants to nurse and Aidan goes to his youth bed and settles in. While they are dozing off, I read Winnie the Pooh to them.
Of course, as always, there were all kinds of other things going on. This is the expanded version of the notes I kept in my notebook.