Mondays are often difficult in our household-Tim is back at work, the house (whether it started out clean or messy) needs attention throughout the day, the relaxed feel of the weekend is GONE, and there is usually school to be done.
Today was no different. I am working through the plans for our school this year. I have almost all of the materials gathered (the stack of books in the living room is growing–not sure where we’re going to put everything as the shelves are ALREADY full), I know what subjects we’re going to study, and have a tentative schedule in place. It’s exciting to see the collection of books from Sonlight sitting on the table. I’m trying to organize the instructor’s guide and plan out how we’ll fit in all of the subjects. It’s a hectic, slightly stressful time as the summer draws to an end and the year of school rapidly approaches.
What happened to my plans of losing those last 20 pounds? What about the rooms I still want to paint/decorate before the summer ends!! You can be certain that I haven’t finished decluttering and organizing the house. We never did complete the astronomy book we were studying — why did I think we would devote the summer to it? If I can’t keep the house clean in the summer, what is going to happen when we are working full time at our schooling?? AHHHH!!
Adding to all of the unfinished projects is the the general, overwhelming sense that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with five children and a big house. Everywhere I walk there are piles of things that need my attention (whether they are big, small or dustbunny size). The children’s rooms NEVER stay clean. For that matter, I can’t keep my bedroom tidy and picked up. The garage is a continual challenge in housekeeping. And none of this even addresses the outside! Let’s not talk about the lawn or the weeds or the maintenance/clean-up that should be happening around the house outside.
At one point in the morning I called a friend, unloaded some of my frustrations on her, and ended with a desperate plea, “Tell me that a good cup of coffee will solve all of my problems!” I’m not sure about the logic in that (and I hate to think what it reveals about my current coffee addiction). Taking immediate action, I fixed a STRONG cup of coffee, added in lots of milk and sweetener and sat down with the children to do some reading. In the midst of all of that I found life was, indeed much better. We read some of our Bible devotions, did a chapter in our Young Peacemaker book, and then started the first reader in our Sonlight 5 book (Seabird).
From there the day took a very cheerful turn. I remembered that my passion and joy is in teaching and working with the children. When I get too preoccupied with the house and all the work that is never ending/always repeating I become discouraged and overwhelmed. Sitting down with the kids, discovering new books with them, seeing them delight in fresh ideas and watching them grow and learn is probably among the greatest joys in my life as a mother.
The rest of our day was busy and crazy (as usual). The house was still messy, there was/is still much work to be done and there were still arguments and disagreements among the children but somehow, in the mystery of God’s working, I was renewed. I had new peace and was able to face the rest of the gorgeous summer day with a smile.
It was a bright, sunny day!! The children played outside, I had several lovely conversations on the phone, did many loads of laundry and even started dinner early. Tim came home just after lunch and finished his work day here at home. Around 4:15 pm I started fixing pizzas and by 4:45 pm we were on our way to the pool. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at the pool. Tim baked the pizzas and delivered them to the pool.
We ate dinner there at the pool, visited with friends, and relaxed. Tim brought a Sabatini book and I worked on my chore cards for the kiddos. We went home around 7 pm. Tim took care of the night time routine and let me go for a long walk with a friend. It was wonderful to get in fresh air, exercise and good girl/chatting time!
Tomorrow Rachel has her piano lesson in the morning and then we have friends coming over for the day. We’ll be busy entertaining and playing. I’m sure we’ll head to the pool again in the afternoon. We have been very spoiled to have so much pool time this summer.
There you have it, the ups and downs of a typical Edgren summer day. All pictures were taken today.