A Day in the Life of... All Natural Joy
Back to a 'A Day in the Life Of...' we have Amber from All Natural Joy joining us today. Amber blogs about finding joy in motherhood and enjoyment in being a mom. You will see from her post below that she puts a positive spin on some of the mundane and dull tasks we may have in motherhood.
Read about her typical day homeschooling her 7 kids below and then be sure to give her a follow at her Facebook page: All Natural Joy.
Hi I’m Amber and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a day in my life with all of you. I blog at allnaturaljoy.com and I would say my life is pretty typical but I guess from the outside looking in people think that I live a crazy life!
Mostly because I have seven kids and I stay at home with them and homeschool. I adore my kids and love every minute of being home with them. They are so precious and the time goes fast, so I’m grateful to have the privilege of being with them everyday! It never gets old.
Growing up, I always said that I wanted to have ten kids so I guess I’m well on my way! The funny thing is, although I have a large family, I like order and I don’t like noise and chaos! But that doesn’t mean I always get it! Being a mom of a large family means I have opportunities to become more like Christ everyday. It means laying my wishes aside for that of my family. Still, though, a little peace and quiet never hurt anyone!
On the other hand, I hate sticking to a schedule, so you might say I’m pretty spontaneous. (I know! It doesn’t make sense to me, either! How can I love order and not like a structured schedule?) As a result, every day at my house looks a little different. And although I love the idea of a routine, I think that being spontaneous and flexible has made my kids very willing to ‘roll with the punches.’
One of my downfalls, if you will, is that I am a complete night owl who wishes she was an early bird. That poses some problems in my non-schedule, but I make it work! I am always tempted to stay up way later than I should because that’s one time the house is super quiet! (Don’t get me wrong, I do love the hustle and bustle that comes from having a full house!)
So, a typical day at my house doesn’t start with me up at the crack of dawn with all of my housework done, waiting for the kids with a full breakfast on the table. (Though, I think that would be so awesome!) But I also don’t sleep in past 7:00. I’m just usually tired from staying up too late the night before!
My day usually starts with my three-year-old getting out of bed way earlier than I think he should. He is an early bird (unlike his mommy) and also doesn’t sleep much during the night. (He’s one of those kids that doesn’t need a lot of sleep.)
(My precious early-bird three-year-old)
I wish I could tell you that I have already been up for three hours ready and waiting, but the sad truth is he is really what starts my day. His first words are always I’m hungry! Which makes my toes curl. But he so crazy cute I can’t help but smile! Why are they always hungry anyway?
So through sleepy eyes, I turn into an early bird anyway. Together we walk down to the kitchen and get something for him to eat. We chat about things three-year-old boys like and I try to sneak in some bits and pieces of the gospel. It’s so important to seize any opportunity I can! One by one, the rest of the kids join us and everyone gets their own breakfast. (Believe me, my kids love cereal over a breakfast buffet, anyway!)
After everyone is fed and clothed we head up to our school room to start school.
(I somehow manage to shower and get dressed somewhere in between breakfast and school.)
We open our school day with prayer and a time around the Bible and then I start teaching.
This year I have five students in school. My oldest is in 11th grade and my youngest in kindergarten. And I have kids in several of the grades in between.
Once we are finished with Bible then my oldest son studies on his own. And I am around to direct him if he needs it.
Then I teach my middle three kids while my two younger kids play together and my baby naps. Once I get the middle kids well on their way with their schoolwork and all my teaching is done, then I teach my youngest daughter kindergarten, which includes Phonics, Math, Handwriting, and Reading, among other things.
The kids and I usually spend from about 8:00 am until noon on school and my teaching.
|(Me teaching with my baby who decided not to take a nap that day!)|
Then we come back down to the kitchen for lunch.
My husband, who is a pastor, joins us from the office so we eat lunch together as a family. After we are finished eating he reads our worldview curriculum and we have a time of talking with the kids. (I LOVE hearing their hearts on some of the relevant matters going on in the world today. It’s so neat to see them apply Scripture truth to current events.)
Then either my husband or I put our three-year-old down for a nap and the big kids do their Quiet Time, freeing my husband and me up to have some time to talk, usually over tea or something special that I make in my blender (usually a smoothie.) I am madly in love with my husband and cherish the moments to spend talking to him about each of our days.
The rest of the afternoon is spent on everyone’s individual projects. I usually spend my time blogging and helping the kids with their independent school work. Most recently, I am finishing up writing a book, so my time has been more directed toward those efforts.
When the afternoon is concluding, we all come together for a meal again between 5:00-6:00 (remember we aren’t too scheduled!) If I’ve done a really good job, I’ve been careful to prepare ahead of time and have a healthy, delicious dinner waiting for everyone. Some days we end up eating leftovers, but we still eat together, something my husband and I both feel is very important. We have a great time talking and visiting with our kids and hearing about their days and what they learned or were challenged with.
When we are finished, we clean up our dinner together (which is also a fun and bonding time) and then spend time doing Family Worship, which is my favorite time of the day. Together we read Scripture and discuss it. Then we sing praise songs and hymns and close in prayer when we are finished. We spend time talking with the kids, hearing their hearts. We recap the day and take time out just to be together and reflect on God’s Word and His goodness to us.
When Family Worship is finished, it is time to put the ‘littles’ to bed. The big kids stay up a little bit later and either work on projects, play board games, or spend time with my husband and me.
After everyone is in bed, I either spend time blogging or talking to my husband. And as I mentioned before I usually stay up way too late and wake up tired to start it all over again the next day!
This is a typical day, but we are crazy and sporadic. As a ministry family, at any given moment our day could change. And that’s why I hold loosely to a schedule. Sometimes we are called on to help someone in need and other times things we didn’t expect pop into our schedule. We must always be ready to serve however God wants us to. In doing so, we have found ourselves in some pretty crazy situations, teaching our kids that
‘The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’ Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
|(One such crazy incident where we found ourselves completely out of the plan of a ‘typical day!’)|
So as you can see, I think my day is pretty typical. Others do not! But I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I am one blessed mama!