Simple Living: Creating a Routine (Lessons 8,9,and 10)

     These last few days' lessons have been things I have already been working on.  This is nice, because I don't feel overwhelmed with a bunch of new things on top of my already hectic life.  It is a nice breather.  My last post was about managing my time, and in this one, I am going to get more into what our routine looks like. 

     Really quickly, the book I'm reading is here and I'm going through 30 days of trying to balance my life out so things are simpler, run smoother, and I feel less frazzled.  Chapter 8 is on managing libraries, not just books but also DVDs, CDs, and collections of the sort.  I refuse to pare down my book shelves because I use them, my kids use them for homeschooling, and I can't make it to the library all the time.  I also really like the feel of a book in my hands, so I have not made the switch to a Kindle or such for reading.  

     Chapter 9 was on money management, which is actually what started this 30 day quest I am on.  My husband and I sat down and did our budget right before the 1st of the year, and I don't need to go over it again so soon.  Done and done.   If you need resources on debt management, the author suggests Dave Ramsey's site, which I also adore.  We have used it much in the past and I highly recommend it.

     Chapter 10 is on routine.  I see this as a huge part of time management, but I suppose this deserves its own chapter.  Thinking about our routine is great, but there are so many variables that I have a hard time making real changes to it at this point.  For giggles, this is what my day looks like on a "school day":

6:30 am: wake up, change diapers, help everyone get dressed, make coffee (if I am lucky!), make my husband's lunch  

8:00 am: possibly drink coffee, maybe eat breakfast, feed my kids, do some dishes while the baby is contained in his high chair. 

9:00  am: start school, my first grader does phonics and handwriting, my preschoolers do handwriting, fine motor skill work, and we read a story and talk about it

9:30 am:  Math for everyone on their level plus memory work while I bounce the baby because he is getting tired

10:00 am: nurse the baby and put him to sleep. Try not to fall asleep myself.  Remember that I have coffee waiting for me and fight my eyelids.  Listen to my older kids run around playing

11:00 am: do laundry, clean up toys that are strewn everywhere, try to clean up breakfast, get snacks for kids who are starving, take my Princess to the bathroom, change the baby, do more dishes and have the kids help with morning chores

12:00 pm: lunch and check my emails while everyone eats.  Drink my coffee that is no longer hot.  

1:00 pm: change diapers again, potty trip for my princess, quiet time for one hour (blog, clean, nurse the baby, try to figure out what is for dinner, do more laundry,  chase the baby while he tries to eat everything off of the floor

2:00 pm: have the kids clean up their quiet time areas, and promise a television show on Netflix when they are done

2:30 pm: make snacks, put on a show for the kids, start prepping dinner if I need to,  fold laundry, plan an afternoon activity which may include science if we are up to the task that day.

3:30 pm: Neighbor kids come over to play, try to supervise while I finish what I am doing (see above) 

4:30 pm: send the neighbor kids home, have the kids do evening chores, change diapers/trip to the potty/call my husband to see when he will be home to join the madness

5:30 eat dinner, do dishes, kids play until it gets dark outside.  

6:30 pm: baths, storytime, evening cleanup if the house is crazy, put away laundry, Bible time when daddy gets home, diapers/potty trip, brush teeth, tuck ins and prayer time.  

8:30  My first moment to talk to my husband and actually hear him.  This time is precious but I'm usually exhausted by now.  

Sometime between 10:30 and 12:30 I make it to bed. 

     Now, I don't know how to make this routine any better...I feel like it just is what it is.  While we are in this season of busy-ness, I cannot really do much but pray, go with the flow, and trust God to make it work.  I love my kids and I love my husband, but this life is so crazy sometimes.  I can't make the diapers, the dishes, or the laundry any less, nor can we stop eating, bathing, or learning.  I look forward to the day when my kids start being able to do certain things themselves, but for now, I love the extra snuggles, the baby giggles, the sweet conversations about future spouses and life as a grown up.     

     What does your routine look like?  Especially if you home school, I would love to hear from you!

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