My Wednesday

This day left me with exactly zero creativity, so I am treating you to a rambling time line of the day.  Please feel free to wander off to more inspirational writing if you are feeling easily bored at the moment!  🙂

8-9:15 AM– Drinking coffee and writing answers for a phone interview with Mike Smith of the HSLDA.  I’ve been asked to talk about adoption and homeschooling, in brief segments to air at the end of the month on  a radio program called Homeschool Heartbeat.  I was given the questions a few days ago, but didn’t get serious about polishing my answers polished til…well…now.  And the interview is at 9:50. The two youngest girls play Legos and chatter at my feet while I alternately write and chastise myself for leaving the thinking til the last minute.

9:30– I hug the kids, tell them what to have for breakfast and what to do for the morning (pancakes, 10 problems of math, read and fill out summer reading checklists, bedroom cleaning) and run out the door in a rush to drive to my mom’s.  We don’t have a land line at home anymore, and it’s rarely a problem.  But cell phones aren’t the best for recorded interviews, so I’m off to use my mom’s phone. Once again I wonder if we should get our land line back, but for the 1 or 2 dropped calls a week it doesn’t just seem like a good way to spend $50 a month.  (BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask you all: anyone use Vonage?   Do you like it?)

9:40– Get to my mom’s and she’s nowhere in sight, so I sit down at the dining room table to run through my answers one more time before the phone rings.  The morning breeze coming in through the window makes me wish I’d made time to run this morning.

9:50- 10:30– The phone rings right one time and the interview goes well.  It is pre-recorded and the friendly assistant tell me ahead of time that if I flub up a sentence, it’s no problem to go back and do it again. It’s still a little nerve-wracking though.  Mom wanders through the room and mouths a greeting. I wave at her distractedly.  I say my bits with only one or two little re-do’s, chatting just a bit with the friendly host in between segments.  I heard him speak at a homeschooling convention in Boise a few years back and it is fun — and odd– that I’m here talking with him now.

10:30– Glad to be done with the interview, I find my mom and we chat a bit.  We’ve made a date to go for coffee, something we’d like to do regularly, but have done exactly twice this year, counting today.  Regular life doesn’t give us much time to talk uninterrupted, so this is a real treat.  We head for Moxie Java where we order coffee and tea, and share a muffin and some good conversation.

12:00 I decide I need to head back towards home soon and we leave the coffee shop.  All but 2 of the kids are teenagers, and I’ve got my cell phone, so things are probably OK, but I don’t really want to be gone the entire day.  Mom and I run to Paul’s so I can mail a couple packages, and we scan for sales briefly.  Large eggs unbelievably are on sale for 50 cents/dozen.  I buy 8 dozen and mom buys 4.  A bit of produce also makes its way into our cart.   We check out and head back to her house, still chatting briskly.  We really need to make time more often to talk, just the two of us.   She is such a precious treasure to me.

12:40– I walk in the door at home mentally steeled for chaos.  After all, I’ve asked the teens to do math AND keep an eye on their little sisters.  A tall order.   However, the living room is clean and quiet — hooray.  And when kids appear, they say that the morning went well.  Then they ask me when I’m leaving for the 6yo’s Dr. appt, which the calendar says is at 1. Yikes.  Looking at the 8 dozen eggs on the counter, I decide it’s a perfect day to have scrambled eggs and toast for lunch, complete with chocolate milk, which delights the kids.  We eat, I comb my little gal’s hair, and she and I head off after asking the bigger kids to clean up and then read a bit more.  (We’re trying to get the library books read before we go to the library again in a couple days, and some of the kids have not spent enough time reading in the last couple weeks.)

1:30– The appointment is quick.  Walking out of the office afterward,  my daughter informs me that we really do ‘need’ some new pool toys.  All but one have sprung leaks, which has caused conflict during swimming time lately.  The dollar store is right across the road, so I impulsively say OK.  I’ve been tossing around an idea for a pool float that involves sewing pool ‘noodles’ into some turquoise polyester knit fabric that I bought a couple years ago sheerly on the basis of its color. Not sure if the idea will work, but her suggestion is all the encouragement I need to run to the dollar store for the foam tubes.  Also at the dollar store I buy oil and a blow-up pool ring that will probably sprout a leak in 3 days.  But hey, it’s only $1 and I’m feeling indulgent.

2:30 — Back at home, the kids are pleased that we got back relatively quickly.  Some of them are reading and some are just sitting around looking bored.   I get out the sewing machine to see about sewing the pool noodles into the fabric.

3:15  Within 45 minutes, I’ve got something that looks like a little turquoise canoe, and I’m itching to see if it will float.  So I coax all the kids  into their swimsuits (except one kid who opts to run instead as her exercise for the day), and out to the pool we go.

My 6 year old is in the pool in no time, and we soon ascertain that the canoe floats, kind of, about 8 inches below the water.  Not a total success, but not a complete failure either.  She and the 9 year old spend the next half hour taking turns riding and paddling around in it.  I scheme to make another, this time with full size pool noodles, not the dollar-store variety.

4:30– The big boys  (19 and 16) get home from work. The younger kids sit in the sun on the asphalt driveway getting dried off, and I lock up the pool and head inside to think about dinner.  I get sidetracked watching this video with one of my 13 year old sons– interesting stuff.  (A bit later in the evening, I spot this critique of the video we watched.   I still think the video has valid points, but so does the critique.  Hmmm…more to think about.)

5:30 — I’m peeling shrimp with one of my kids while another child cuts cabbage and yet another sets the dinner table.  The little girls are playing Barbies nearby.  We are surprised to discover a tiny crab in the midst of the shrimp we are peeling.  Poor little thing, says my 13 yo daughter.  We don’t know what to do with it.

6:00- 6:30 –Amanda and her husband Ben stop by to drop off the minivan that they borrowed for the move last weekend.  They just bought a house and they’re getting all settled in.  We talk for a few minutes before they leave, and I head back inside to finish dinner:  garlic shrimp, rice, cabbage slaw, applesauce, bananas, and peanut butter rollups for the kids who hate shrimp.  Sometimes I make them suffer through a bite or two, but tonight I decide to let the shrimp-haters eat peanut butter, and save the shrimp for the people who appreciate it.

6:40-7:00- We’re finally sitting down to eat.  John isn’t home from work quite yet but everyone else is home, and it is nice to see the faces gathered around the table.

7:-7:45  After dinner our 15 and 13yo daughters roar through the dishes.  My 9yo suggests we play a game, but — I’m shaking my head now as I remember this– I have it in my head to scrub my tub.  I grab a couple extra cloths and ask the little girls if they want to help.  They cheerily agree, and pretty soon all three of us are IN the tub scrubbing away and chatting cheerily.  (I think I owe that child a game, don’t you?)

8:00 –John gets home from work, changes, eats dinner, and goes outside to check the irrigation water.   PJ time for most of the kids.  They brush their teeth and veg out on the couches reading until John gets inside to read to them.  They’re currently reading a really fun story about a boy who grew up as a missionary’s kid in Peru.

8:40 -9:15– While John reads to the kids, I lace on my running shoes.  I want to run ‘around the block’ which since we live in the country is a 3 loop. But it’s heading toward sunset, so I run upstairs to see if I can coax one of my big boys to come keep me company.  My 19yo obliges willingly– my 11-minute miles will be an easy pace for him. I am pleased to have his company, and laugh when he asks if I mind if he listens to a podcast as we run.  I don’t think I’ll be in the mood to chat much anyway.   We do the loop in 33 minutes, exactly what I predicted, with just a bit of talking along the way.  The sun is just disappearing beyond the horizon as we run back into the driveway.  I’m whipped and my shins are exceedingly unhappy.

9:15-10:00 — Back inside I get a cool shower and some advil– I’ve run 8 miles in the last 3 days, which I fear is a bit much.  My shins are killing me before I get in the shower, but have settled down well once I get out.

10:00-11:00 —  John heads to bed– he works early in the morning– and my 15 year old daughter and I sit up watching ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ on Netflix.  It is my wind-down TV on the evenings that John goes to bed early.  We exclaim over the dresses and groan over the rude relatives who keep trying to impose their opinion on the poor lil brides.

11:00 — 15 yo is off to bed,  but my 16 and 19 year old sons and I sit at our laptops in companionable silence for awhile longer.  I’m needing to write a blog post.  This one.  But I delay for awhile, putzing around on facebook and pinterest.

1:30 AM.  Now that I’ve written about the day, I know why I was so tired when beginning this post…it was a busy day.  Must. go. to. bed.   Goodnight!

PS– remember to tell me about vonage if you have tried it?


  1. girlsmama says:

    We’ve had Vonage a couple times. It was worthless with our current cable internet, all that’s available where we are right now. It was great with our fiber optic internet in our last home. Their customer service is really lacking.

    Overall I would say it depends on the reliability/speed of your internet. But, it is not a land line. You will not have the “quality” of a land line. I think it’s comparable to a cell phone.

  2. grangramma says:

    We got Magic Jack and at first the party I called said we were cutting out a lot. We decided to increase our speed on the computer and now it works great. We like it because you can import the same number you had on your land line.
    It only costs $20 a year, but the cost to increase the speed of our computer was $15 more a month….still cheaper than the $35 a month we were paying. You can also call anywhere in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for free.

  3. Check out My husband just set us up on it after much research of the various options.

  4. We tried Vonage and did not like it at all. The sound quality was poor and any time the power was out or the computer down we had no phone. With a child in the house it always made me nervous so we ended up going back to the land line for around $40 a month. I recently called the phone company to drop our caller ID in attempt to cut the bill as much as possible and mentioned to the rep that we never use the phone and only wanted it for emergencies. She offered us the “measured service plan” which is $6.10 a month (with taxes the bill is $14). The measured service gives us 5 outbound calls a month and unlimited inbound. Obviously we could make more than 5 calls but would be charged. I don’t think this plan is anything they advertise and you might need to ask for it. We live in New Hampshire, not sure about other areas of the country. My neighbor recently had a massive heart attack, he is alive but very lucky he survived, had his wife waited even 1 more minute to call he would probably be dead. I don’t want anyone in my home having to search for a cell in an emergency so think we will be keeping the land line.

  5. I can’t wait to see the kids using the new float toy. It looks like a kayak the way it folds around them. Great work on that one!

  6. We had magic jack. It doesn’t work if the computer isn’t logged on, and it doesn’t work on a computer with multiple accounts on it. We sent it back.

  7. So funny that you shared about Divided–I just watched it this past week. While I thought it made some good points, I am not a personal adherent of the Family Integrated Church culture–which was an underlying theme throughout (patriocentrism, for example.) The minute the video started and I saw who was behind it, I knew exactly what it would be. 🙂

    Bottom line, parents should NOT abdicate all spiritual instruction to a youth leader or Sunday School teacher. Youths ARE leaving evangelicalism at an unfortunate rate, but not because they spend two hours a week playing crazy games with Christian peers. 🙂

    Loved reading about your day, and you seriously inspire me with all you get done!

  8. My husband has done a TON of research on phones and we switched to Ooma about six months ago. It’s FREEEEEE! You have to buy the box and it works like Vonage or the others in that it uses your Internet. So the box plugs into your cable modem and then you plug your regular home phone into the box.

    We found a refurbished box from Fry’s electronics for $99 and we continue to see them various places online and otherwise so you may have to be a bit patient on that end but it saves you over $100 vs. new.

    Then all you have to pay each month is the taxes and FTC fees which amount to a little under $4. Seriously!

    It’s great quality, we’ve had NO problems. Free long distance in the U.S. and pretty good international rates if you need those.