Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a stay at home mom with seven children all living with you? Now add that you are a blogger, an Etsy Shop owner and auction buyer, organizer and resale person (buying abandoned storage units like on the TV show, Storage Wars) with a hobby farm of animals (rabbits, poultry, dogs, and cats) to care for! I can't remember the last time I said, “I'm bored.” There is never a dull moment!
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A Day In The Life Of My Family
This post was created in the Fall of 2017, I now (February 27, 2021) have eight kids, with my oldest three being adults. My oldest two graduated from homeschool. My third and fourth children are doing high school, my fifth child is a 4th grader, my sixth child is a 2nd grader, my seventh child is a Preschooler and I have a 23 month old daughter named Megan that loves to color and play. I am bringing this “back up to the top” on my blog because it is a great memory for me. You might benefit from reading my daily schedule, which includes homeschool below. My current schedule is very similar today.
My husband, Mike
First, a little about each member of our family. My husband is Mike. We met at a local technical college from where we both have an Associates Degree in Marketing. We weren't interested in each other until Graduation Day in 1994. We married in 1996. We have seven children on earth and four in heaven. I accepted Christ as my Savior in 2004 after a miscarriage. My husband believed in the same year and we were baptized together in 2005 and became members of a Bible teaching church a few months later. Mike is an amazing man full of wisdom, patience and integrity. He puts others first before himself, is a man of faith and a great example to everyone he comes in contact with. He enjoys sports trading cards and sports memorabilia and occasionally watching a movie, when time permits. He is a New York Yankees fan, you can tell by our sons' names. He is also a fan of the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers, being the home state teams. He sells television advertising to local businesses, works the family storage unit business and resells sports cards online. He works very hard to provide for all of us.
All of my children were homeschooled from Grade K up. Marissa was the only one that went to a public preschool before I decided to home school. I don't have anything against public or private schools. My brother, Corey, is a teacher and Coach and he does an amazing job. I am also friends with public and private school teachers who are wonderful. I just want my kids to learn what I believe about Creation, which is taught in many materials from Answers In Genesis.
I am writing this in 2017. Marissa, my oldest daughter, is 18 years old. She graduated from home school this year, still lives with us, and owns a rabbitry and sells pedigree show rabbits that people can show at national ARBA shows, fairs or 4-H showing events. Marissa offers discounts to 4-H members. She also has other animals she cares for and hopes to own a private nature and game reserve someday. When my younger children have a question about animals, I look at her and she usually gives the answer. I would have to look it up. She keeps all those animal facts in her head somehow. Marissa is very patient, kind, and mellow (I hardly ever hear her complain or get upset). She is an artist and sells her own items with me at craft shows, an animal lover, an aspiring author, and a Lego Ninjago fan.
Mattingly (named after New York Yankees player, Don Mattingly), is our 16 year old son. He is presently taking driving lessons from a local driving school. Mattingly (we often call him Matt) is basically a technical genius. Once he learned to read, he started teaching himself everything he wanted to learn about. I go to him first if some kind of electronic item is not working for any family member and he can usually figure it out. He also taught himself online how to fix my dishwasher when it broke once. We bought him a coding program from Youth Digital so he could learn even more for High School credits. He is funny, outgoing, friendly with all ages of people and very tall. He usually has a smile on his face and lights up a room of people. He enjoys playing Minecraft and other video or online games and board games, and hanging out with friends.
Mercedes, age 14, has a very joyful personality. If she is not smiling or content, I worry about her because she usually is. She was happy as a baby too. When my Mom died and she was only 6 months old, her smiles helped my grieving process tremendously. She lives up to her name (it means “mercy” in spanish) and she has mercy for all. She has a heart for animals, especially dogs, which I think is ironic because after a dog jumped up on her as a 3 year old, she didn't like dogs for a time. She has trained dogs in obedience and agility and competed with them. She learned this from 4-H, Petco dog training, educational videos, books and online learning. She even bakes her own dog treats to train with. She is very crafty and an artist and often helps me in my Etsy Shop or selling at local craft shows. She loves to read and is also an aspiring author. She thinks like an engineer and if something needs to be built, rebuilt or is broken, she can usually figure it out and help us.
Maris (named after New York Yankees baseball player, Roger Maris), age 12, is a “double rainbow” baby born miraculously after two miscarriages. He is a happy, comical guy who loves to watch movies or play video games (when “eye time” allows), play board games, go hunting and fishing (although he doesn't like to eat fish!), loves the great outdoors and really enjoys eating out when possible. He is the best protector of our youngest, after Dad and Mom. He is usually the first to rush in and save the baby from trying to climb steep stairs if the gate wasn't shut properly or saves him from heading out the front door if it wasn't shut. I think he would be a good bodyguard or security guard or police officer or something, but he hasn't really chosen a career path at this point. He is usually the first to try new foods and combinations of foods. Some he comes up with himself and the family might think it looks gross and then they try it and say, “wow, Maris, this is actually good!” He is very patient. Being a middle child, he rarely gets to go first or pick first unless it's his turn to pick a game for family game night and he rarely complains.
I prayed for Miranda, now age 6, for about 5 years before she was born. All my children are a gift from God to me. She is just such a miracle because I almost died having Maris and doctors told me not to have more children so my husband had two vasectomies as the first did not work. Then, God healed me completely and my PPCM (basically pregnancy induced heart failure) was resolved to the point where the head of Cardiology wrote it in a letter for me to give to life insurance companies. My husband had a reversal and we became pregnant with Miranda. I was not worried as I felt the Lord gave me a verse, Psalm 118:17 “I will not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” All that time, I wanted another child and just gave it to the Lord every time the desire came as I could do nothing about it. Finally, she was born. A miracle in real life form that I couldn't hold right away because she leaked blood into me through the placenta and had to be rushed away to another hospital, with my husband, and was placed in the NICU. God allowed me to be with her the very next day, even after having a C-section after 6 pm the evening before. She is a second mom to our youngest and wants to hold him, offers him food, and babies him all the time. Every day, we hear her say, “come to Sissy” to him. She is usually happy and smiling and loves to play school with her 5 year old brother, where she is the teacher. She loves animals and loves to do crafts and help in the kitchen. She is like a mini me.
Mason (named after New York Yankees player, Jim Mason), age 5, is very good at keeping himself busy. He enjoys putting together Melissa & Doug floor puzzles, playing with Thomas the Train Wooden Railway trains and tracks or playing outside as much as possible. He loves rabbits (although he is allergic to them) and kittens. He likes to test the boundaries at this stage of life. After having many children, I am not surprised by this and know how to give consequences, which he does complain about very loudly. The noise doesn't bother me, nowadays the quiet does! I love that he still likes to be cuddled and sit on my lap, so I am usually holding both him and my youngest when I sit in the rocking chair, unless Mason is busy playing something else. He is also my singer! I enjoy singing and I have been trying to get all my older kids to sing with me and they just don't care for it. Mason sings, even without me, and remembers songs I sing and repeats them. He sings alphabet songs he learns from ABCmouse.com too. He is not very fond of doing paperwork, but absolutely loves abcmouse.com and calls it his “school on the computer”. It really does teach him so much, and I am so happy to know he is learning, having fun and not getting into mischief so I can focus on teaching another child or children at the moment or nursing the baby before his nap. We have had this online learning program for some years now. Maris started using it when he was young. ABCmouse.com is subscription-based, with no advertising, pop-up ads, or links to other sites. Children can learn and explore with their parents, or on their own (depending on age and ability, their advertising says for ages 2 through 8), in a safe and secure online educational environment. I can have three kids using it all for one low price of less than $6 per month! If you want to check it out at no cost, you can click here or on the ad below to get 30 days free.
Mitchell (another Yankees player named after Bryan Mitchell), age 1, is another “double rainbow” baby (born after two miscarriages). He is such a happy, content little fellow. He is almost always smiling. He is very good at riding in the car (maybe because he always has someone sitting next to him to entertain him?), which is good because it seems to take at least 30 minutes to wherever we go. I am still nursing him. He loves to hear Mason and Mommy sing and will do a little dance or turn around in circles while we sing! Everyone adores him. He does aggravate Mason once in a while when he messes up a train track, removes puzzle pieces, knocks down a block tower or pushes the off button while Mason is on a computer learning game. He is very curious and loves to be tickled and have siblings “blow raspberries” on his belly. And he in turn tickles us and blows on our skin too. He loves to play “cooking” in his toy kitchen, which is in my kitchen, especially while I am cooking.
Well, that's my family. Now I will talk about what an average day is like for me. I am 44 years old and I didn't start drinking coffee until this year! (I went to a “coffee tasting” and found I liked the Highlander Grogg flavor.) I am an artist and love to craft and sew. When I am grieving or sad, art just flows out of me and I am often praying for comfort while working. I don't have any problems with anxiety or depression and I am not sure if that is because of Jesus (who helps me tremendously with all things) or because of crafting (because I know believing friends that still suffer). A woman at a craft show once said to me, “My mama spent a lot of money on yarn to crochet, but she told my papa it was cheaper than depression medications!” So that had me thinking that maybe crafting is therapeutic in some way. Always an animal lover, we have always had pets in our home and now have many outside too. I also have four jobs: blogging, Etsy shop owner, 2018 Homeschool Reviewer on the Crew of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and the family storage unit business. I make items for Etsy and work the storage unit business on weekends.
I wake up and have some tea or coffee with breakfast and vitamins and work on my blogging business in some way. I will write posts, educate myself more on blogging or home business, update my website with new ad links, promote with social media, etc. My husband will give me a kiss when he wakes up in the morning. He's a keeper!
My husband kisses me, then leaves for work and puts my Etsy items and his Ebay items in the mailbox or takes them with to drop off at the post office (if there are too many to fit in our large mailbox). I shower/get dressed, etc.
I do a load of dishes that didn't get done the day before. My oldest four also do dishes, but most of us prefer the dishwasher. So the dishes that don't fit sit on the counter until the load is finished and the next person puts them in. (I don't want to gross you out, just being real here.) I would recommend two dishwashers with this large of a family. It seems like the dishwasher is always running. I make my own dishwasher detergent to save money, the recipe is here.
I will then do a load of laundry with my homemade laundry detergent. That recipe is here. My oldest four children wash their own clothes once a week and bedding once a month. My oldest two children also each wash a load of towels per week. The laundry schedule I am responsible for is like this: Monday – my husband's and my clothes, Tuesday – Miranda's clothes and cloth diapers, Wednesday – Mason and Mitchell's clothes, Thursday – bed linens (one bed per week in rotation of parents', Miranda's, Mason's, and Mitchell's, unless needed earlier), Friday – towels and cloth diapers. It also seems like the washer and dryer are always running. Sometimes life gets busy and we have to catch up on Saturday.
Everyone eats breakfast as they wake up. The children do their chores after they eat. I help the younger ones to get what they need while I am busy doing what I mentioned above.
I read my Bible and devotionals or Bible Study work and pray while the little ones are eating breakfast.
I dress the youngest and look at the home school schedule and get needed items out for the day.
I teach home school while my adult daughter works with animals and does her chores. The schedule varies on different days, so I will assume this is a Thursday.
- 10:00 a.m. – I teach Miranda Math, while Mercedes learns more about the dog business, Maris works on a comprehensive curriculum workbook on his own and comes to me with questions once in a while, Mattingly reads, and Mason and Mitchell play.
- 11:00 a.m. – I teach Miranda and Mason Sing, Spell, Read and Write, Maris works on Teaching Textbooks Grade 6 Math on the computer, Mattingly works on his Youth Digital coding program on the laptop (until 11:30, then it's his turn to make lunch. My oldest makes two meals a week, the next three each make one meal a week), while Mercedes reads her Health book.
- 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
- 12:30 pm. – Mattingly cleans up from lunch, then reads his Health book. I nurse Mitchell before his nap. When he falls asleep, I read to Miranda and Mason. Miranda and Mason can do quiet activities like puzzles, fun activity books, coloring, or look at books while I am nursing Mitchell or reading to them. Mattingly reads his Health book. Mercedes and Maris have reading at this time.
- 1:30 p.m. – I teach Miranda History and Health during this hour. Mason does ABCmouse.com on the computer. Maris does writing. Mercedes and Mattingly listen to an audiobook curriculum of World History. A very old one that is still on cassettes! I found it at a curriculum sale I was selling at.
- 2:30 p.m. – I teach Mercedes and Mattingly Creative Writing, Miranda does the ABC mouse program, Maris reads his Health book or I will read to him if Mercedes and Mattingly are writing at the moment. Mason works on his Comprehensive Curriculum workbook next to me so I can pause reading to the others and tell him what to do next.
- 3:30 p.m. – The children put away home school items and we go outside to play.
We get back to chores, which (if it is winter here in Wisconsin) may be shoveling snow, so my husband can pull in the driveway after the advertising job. We always have hot cocoa after a tough job like that! I watch the little ones, throw in a load of laundry and fold the dry ones I am responsible for. I put away all but Miranda and Mason's as they can put the folded items in their own drawers. I wash yet another load of dishes. I clean one room. This rotates as I only have time to clean one room a day on weekdays. On Saturday, or if a guest is coming during the week, the whole family does “clean a room” and we rotate which room we get. Each room has a laminated check-off list to check with a dry-erase marker to be sure everything is done. When chores are done, the kids can have free time.
I call “tidy up time” and I start making supper while anyone who has items out to play with puts them away and gets ready for supper.
Mike comes home and we have supper at our large dining room table that seats 10 that has one high chair and 8 chairs around it. We add a chair or two if we have guests.
Supper is put away and another load of dishes is put in the dishwasher.
Family Game Night – We try to have a game night once a week. We take turns choosing who gets to pick the game. On this night, it is Mason's turn and he chose Mousetrap. He was the winner so he gets to have the plastic Mr. Moneybags in his room on his dresser until someone else wins a family game night. If he wins several weeks in a row, it stays on his dresser longer. Sometimes a Wii Game will be chosen. We adjust all games to be 8 player games and figure out a way to have one winner. For example, in Candyland, we use Lego minifigs as characters so we can all be on the board.
We have the smaller children get pajamas on and brush teeth. (My children have sensitive skin so we don't do baths every night, but when they have baths it would be during the game time above.) Then we do “storytime”. Mike or I will read to the children. We read verses from the Bible, up to two children's storybooks (they take turns choosing), part of a chapter book, and maybe some homeschool reading, if time. We pray (we take turns so only one child or me prays out loud per evening, then my husband finishes).
We hug everyone goodnight and tuck the smaller kids into bed while older ones stay up to read their Bibles and other books.
After getting my pajamas on, I nurse Mitchell to sleep and cuddle with my husband and go to sleep.
This Section updated in February 2021
So, when I was pregnant with Megan, we moved into a larger home with an extra bedroom. Four days after moving, I had a kidney stone and was in terrible pain. The pain sent my blood pressure up so high that I had a C-section and Megan was born that day, about a week early. After two successful V-backs, and lots of unpacking to do, I really did not want a C-section, but God got me through it. My older kids were such a blessing in helping me unpack. I was 45 years old when she was born. A blessing during the pregnancy was that I no longer need to see a heart doctor or have echocardiograms done for future pregnancies as it has been so long since I exhibited symptoms of PPCM (basically pregnancy induced heart failure). She took to breastfeeding right away and still nurses for naps, bedtime and cuddle time now at 23 months.
As of today in 2021, all eight of my children are living at home with us. Two of them have jobs outside the home and two work our family businesses. My oldest is 21 and my youngest is 23 months. I feel like I am living in the best time of my life and am trying to slow time down to enjoy it even more, which is impossible. This week, we came back from a large family vacation with an indoor waterpark. We try to get there at least once per year. So fun!
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