i have 4 children, 2 are from a previous marriage and attend the local schools. greg gets them up around 5 to get the animals fed and watered. on days when they are not here, he takes care of the animals before heading off to work.
after nursing my 2 year old back to sleep, i creep out of bed around 6am. i make myself some herbal tea to start my day and get on the computer to try to get things done that i need to focus on before my 2 and 4 year old get up for the day. unfortunately, i get very distracted by emails and blog comments so i usually don’t get much done! while doing so, i oversee breakfast and lunch for the older ones and get them out the door by 7am. starting tomorrow, this early morning relaxation will be out the window as i trade in the free computer time for milking the goat. this normally takes about 10 minutes for the actual milking and another 10 minutes for processing the milk (straining and putting in a cold water bath to cool down). we have 3 goats that will freshen this year so it will take me about an hour when i’m doing all 3. i also try to record the previous day’s events in my gardening journal at this time.
generally, the older two leaving for school coincides with the younger two getting up so i make the 3 of us breakfast. on bread making days, i try to get the yeast proofing while i prep breakfast and have the bread dough rising by the time we are eating so i can toss it in the oven when we are through.
after breakfast and bread making, i try to get some laundry started. generally, i try to do 2 loads a day. this time of year can be tricky since we no longer use the wood stove but days outside can be cool and gloomy and rainy. however, we have great winds almost constantly from now until winter so clothes dry pretty fast, usually within 30 minutes to an hour which means i hang up the next load then remove the first load, folding as i go so i can take it right inside and put it away. i hate having laundry sitting around!
mornings are spent in a variety of ways…ironing shirts (my least favorite task and one i put off too often!) for greg to wear to work, watering the indoor plants, baking cookies or cupcakes, working on various projects and cleaning house. projects can be anything from my herbal roots monthly publication to starting seeds. i also do work on the computer and the laundry as needed. now that we’ll be in milk, i’ll add making mozzarella, yogurt and kefir to this routine. i am giddy with excitement thinking about eating fresh mozzarella again!
between 11 and 1 we have lunch. around this time, sage nurses down for a nap and it’s time for school. although not always, i usually wait until he sleeps so that jaden and i can work one on one without him trying to be in the middle of what we do. we currently are working on math using math-u-see, reading with ‘teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons’, copywork to practice writing plus books on the season we are in. jaden picks out books at the library and we read 3 or 4 of these a day as well. i let her choose art play: clay, water color, drawing and sometimes when we are doing a story from the keeper series for science, i help scult animals to represent the story out of clay. we also have a variety of language programs we use for french and spanish learning. muzzy is watched on the dvd at times and we have a few cds in french and spanish as well for them to enjoy. i also try to get them some show such as diego to watch to become familiar with the language as well.
after schooling, on nice days, we head outside to work on the garden. this time of year, we do a lot of cleaning up. i pull out dead plants/stalks and throw them in the compost. weeding the garlic and strawberries, mulching them and planting cool weather crops such as peas, kale, chard, radishes, cabbages, lettuces, spinach and carrots are also done now. also, i am usually tending to seedlings now but we are behind in sowing our seeds this year. i will hopefully get that done this weekend.
by now, sage has woken up and the two are playing and riding their bikes outside. i try to finish up my gardening and straggling laundry loads by 3pm and start doing the rounds with the animals. everybody has to be watered by hand. we fill buckets from the hose by the house and carry it out to the layers, broilers, goats and sheep, dogs and all the stalls in the barn for the goats and turkeys. hay is still given to the goats and sheep as the grass has just started returning. does and ewes are given a small supplement of grain to boost their protein intake. chickens are fed and during not critical gardening times, are let out to free range until dusk when we lock them safely in the coop for the night. right now i don’t let them out because they scratch up and eat all my seeds/small plants. we hope to get a fence around the garden soon so we won’t have to worry about this anymore and can let them free range all day long.
eggs are gathered and brought inside. since we are certified to sell graded eggs, i clean and grade them and get them in the fridge.
after the animals are taken care of, we straighten the 4 downstairs rooms (kitchen, dining room, living room and play room), picking up toys, sweeping the floors, mopping the kitchen floor and putting away blankets and pillows that made tents and beds for all the dolls and kids. once everything is picked up, i start dinner.
after dinner, i clean off the dining room table, sweep the floor, put away any leftover food and wash the dishes. if any food needs prepped for the next day’s meal, i try to do it at this point such as beans for soaking. sometimes i’ll make pasta dough and let it sit overnight covered to roll out the next morning. it is easier to roll out when it’s more on the dry side.
in the evening, greg prefers to watch a video. sometimes i join him, sometimes i take advantage of the free time (on the rare occassion that sage and jaden fall asleep early) and work on the computer, catching up on various things such as the checking account, articles, handouts for my monthly study group, herbal roots, etc. he usually heads to bed around 9:30pm while i stay up until about 11pm relishing the peace if all the kids are asleep.
this routine varies greatly…when my older kids are home, they relieve me of the animals so i only need to milk in the mornings. they are also in charge of dishes and straightening the downstairs. while jaden, sage and i still pick up toys, i generally leave the sweeping to them. and, on thursdays, we have a playday so not much gets done after 10am. i try to get our schooling done before they arrive but since we school year round, schooling 3-4 times a week works well for us and i don’t worry if we miss a day unless we are working on a tricky concept and then i may try to just review that one subject for 10 minutes.
weekends also vary greatly since greg is home all day and we have up to 6 kids here half the time. milking, laundry and cooking remain constant while everything else changes according to the need of that particular weekend.