I really enjoyed reading Chandelle’s post recently and have had a few questions about what things are really like, so last week I journaled our day with words and pictures.

I roll out of bed at 5:40. It’s still dark and quiet and lovely. I strain off my morning iced green chai and add the photos I edited yesterday to the home dairying post. I hit publish.

Thirty minutes later the papa is up so I read for a bit in the last of the quiet while I listen to nothing but the sound of the shower.

Just before seven I hear a little voice: "Can I get up please, mama?" says our 2.5 year old. I lift him (and his blankie) out of his crib, and he snuggles close, still too tired to be up. I put him on the chair next to me at the stove as I heat a cast-iron skillet to fry leftover oatmeal into oatcakes. The boys and papa gobble them up with butter, raw honey, and frozen blueberries.

Sometime between frying and flipping I start a load of laundry.

Just before eight we send off the papa and the youngest and I begin folding the laundry from yesterday. Our oldest helps me put it away and while doing so starts asking about butterflies: "Do they make butter?" So I put a book about butterflies on hold at the library.

I set up the boys with blocks and books while I take a quick shower. I cook and eat my breakfast while the boys have a snack and by 9:30 we start school. Our youngest colors while I help the big man with workbooks – counting by 2s, writing, and reading. In between I edit photos to send to family and friends and send off a bio and photo for an upcoming blog project.

By 11:15 we’re almost done with school so I start in on this mess…

…while starting lunch. The boys are done with school so I send them out to the compost bin with a big bowl while I continue with chores.

At 12:00 the papa is home for lunch. He eats his lunch outside while the boys run around and I take notes on the recipe I am testing. He comes in, we chat about future plans and dreams and then he’s back to work while I photograph the recipe I tested. The boys come in, devour their lunch, and grab a book each while I whip up a salad dressing to test on the evening’s dinner.

By 1:30 we have sung songs and gone down for naps. Since there are many dishes to do and laundry to hang I decide preparing and planting another bed in the garden will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead I take the mandatory nap rest period where I work on or read blogs, read books, do some sewing or other quiet activity.

By 3:30 the boys are up and it’s time to start dinner and head out to hang laundry on the line. I decide it’s too late to start another recipe testing adventure so instead throw a sliced onion, 2 lbs of frozen brussels sprouts, 1/2 carton of mushrooms, and a few strips of diced beef bacon into my trusty cast-iron skillet, drizzle with an obscene amount of coconut oil (lard is waiting to be rendered), and season with salt and pepper. Into a 400 degree oven while we head out to hang laundry.

While outside I can’t resist the 60+ degree temperatures and the urgency of spring so I plant 4 rows of carrots.

By 5:30 the papa is home and it’s time for dinner – roasted vegetables plus a salad. The boys tear up two servings of Brussels sprouts and we all agree we’ll be growing lots of those someday. The papa goes backs for thirds on the salad, mostly for the dressing. I take that as a sign of recipe-testing success.

After dinner the boys head out with papa to help fill in last year’s makeshift root cellar. I sit down for a few to read and rest and then start in on dishes… lots of dishes.

By 7:30 I am about 2/3 of the way through dishes when a friend stops by. I stop what I’m doing to say hi and then help the boys with some writing and coloring. By 8:00 it is time for jammies and toothbrushes and songs. I put them to bed and join the political and theological discussion going on in the living room.

By 11:00 we all decide it’s very late. We say our good-byes and head to bed, knowing that tomorrow morning I probably will not rise before six.

And just in case this list didn’t show it…

  • Our home is lived in and pretty much never looks like a magazine.
  • At one point in the day I spoke disrespectfully to my husband and sought out his forgiveness.
  • Little ones help with chores which means at the end of the day a dirt pile may remain if mama forgot to sweep up afterward.
  • Laundry stays on the line overnight when I don’t hang it up until after naps.
  • The last of the dishes are done the next morning when a friend stops by unexpectedly.
  • Some days all we do is basic upkeep.

This is our life – full, messy, real – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in a magazine.

 

26 Responses to A Day In Our (real) Life

  1. Magda says:

    I love it!! I have long ago given up the idea of a perfectly kept house. I grew up in one (or I feel like I did) and I consider my mom a ‘perfect’ housekeeper. It took a long time for me to accept I’ll never be one – and be fine with that. Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. Ruth says:

    This is pretty much my life, too (except I’m homeschooling 5, and only the youngest takes a nap). Thanks for making me feel a little more “normal”! :)

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  3. Lydia says:

    Enjoyed the peak into your life. And yes, I think we all have full, messy, real moments in our lives- I sure do! But I admit, it is always comforting when others let me see that part of their lives.

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  4. Denise says:

    oh, I love it. every single second :)

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  5. Amy says:

    Hey Shannon, I LOVE this post!!!
    It seems there is so much (mostly Self induced) pressure to be so perfect. I often wonder how come everyone else can do but I can’t?!?!
    Trying to be interactive with our kids and not just be here, provide nourishing meals, continue learning, growing food and keep a clean home. How does one manage. Truth is most don’t at least i don’t think so and I love reading all the truth that goes into your blog. Anyone can paint a pretty picture but yours is real.
    Thank You!!!
    On another topic can anyone recommend a good book on using sprouted flour? I have recently bought a grain mill and I am using Kamut flour always sprouted and I am having a really hard time with it. Thanks!

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  6. sara says:

    great schedule!

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  7. Wonderful! I enjoyed reading every last line.

    Thanks for sharing a peek into your home.

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  8. Real life is so much better than anything you could find airbrushed in a magazine. Thanks for being real.

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  9. Quinn says:

    Love posts like this! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your days :)

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  10. Angel7 says:

    Home-life was not intended to be picture perfect–heaven will be the only perfect place :) Magazines depict what life is like in a storybook.

    http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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  11. Flo says:

    Thank you for posting this. This looks a lot like our home. I love it. Homeschooling, dishes in the sink, counters full, cloth diaper on the line, and clothes on the back of couches.

    Life moves… By God’s grace, we move along with it.

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  12. Amanda Rose says:

    This post is awesome. Thanks!

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  13. gail firenze says:

    You sound so normal. Always remember you’re doing the best job in the world and that is raising healthy happy children. God, I’m sure, is smiling down on you and your family and saying well done Mamma.

    Blessings Gail

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  14. Sanq says:

    Lovely post:) so wonderful to read, thank you!

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  15. Regina says:

    Love reading every last line!!! What an amazing day of accomplishment! Those tasks will never end, but the memories you have made for your children make it all seem worth it:)

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  16. sara says:

    Well i loved this post..much more honest than some i have read..bit like my home..love seeing into your day..thank you.
    sara

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  17. Our days are very similar, except we have six blessings with another due in September – so homeschooling at times, extends on and off throughout the day.
    We also use Rod and Staff for the early years:)
    Our home is comfortable, neat for the most part, but always in the process of upkeep – something needing attention.
    we are blessed to now have dear husband home as we work out of our home and homestead while living very modestly.
    Wait until your children get older and can help with the dishes. They each have certain days and meals and it is such a help.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

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  18. Jill says:

    This post has brought tears to my eyes. It takes me back to when my kids were little, I homeschooled all 4, and my house would get that “lived in” look.
    I always felt a certain pressure, since homeschooling was still not a very popular thing to do. I would make jokes, like, oh, we’re the odd family on the corner. But you know, despite some of the hard parts, I don’t regret it for one nanosecond even. I remember asking why all the neighborhood kids wanted to play at my house, and it was because we had so much fun. We were always playing games, doing experiements, cooking or collecting a new animal. The one thing I wish I’d had, blogs like yours, more support from real people. I’m so glad so many are so willing to share their lives. In fact, I’m thinking of leaving the dishes until the morning. Yeah!

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  19. And so it goes with life, we clean a little, dirty what was clean, and cook a little. Then before you know it, it is time to rest, so we can do it all again tomorrow. Life is lived that way everywhere, only the flooring is different.

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  20. Jessie says:

    thanks for sharing your day!

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  21. A beautiful life Shannon.

    I was wondering about your laundry (smile). I can’t hang laundry that late in the day because it won’t dry. But I have been known to leave it out on the line overnight (or nights) and when it finally came off the line, man oh man did it every smell heavenly. Little blessings for tasks not quite accomplished on time.

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  22. I really enjoyed hearing about your day. Seems that you use up every spare minute. We’re a home schooling family as well and have seven children, one of which has graduated. It’s always inspiring to hear what others are doing.

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  23. amber says:

    I’ve never read your blog before this past week and I just want to comment on a small (yet huge) statement you made – about speaking disrespectfully to your husband and seeking his forgiveness. I truly believe God used you to speak to me about this because I have felt heartsick and convicted ever since reading this (which sounds bad but I take it with joy). My hubbie and I are “late bloomers” in marriage, he being 41 and I being 36 when we got married (first time for both of us). We both knew getting married at an older age would have a different set of challenges, especially for me, learning to be submissive after being on my own and taking care of myself just fine for years. While he is probably not aware of it, I’m in full knowledge of how often I have had very rebellious and even almost hateful thoughts sometimes when he is trying to (what I perceive) “control” me. He is doing nothing of the sort of course, he is a dear sweetheart, but rather my own nature that is wanting to justify my rebellous attitude. You commenting there really opened my eyes to my faults in this regard and caused me to really pray about it. And as always, God is rewarding sincere repentance by changing my attitude and heart. So thank you very much :-)

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    Shannon Reply:

    Amber – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment. I have had so many scenarios just like the one you are describing… where you read or hear something and are deeply troubled and convicted on your own behavior and sin. It is a blessing for me to read your honest assessment of your relationship and struggles. You are not alone so lets keep praying that God would turn us towards Him and open our eyes to how we should be interacting with our husbands. Thanks again for your comment!

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  24. wille mitchell says:

    I love it.

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  25. Sophia Origer says:

    Shannon~Loved this!!! What an honest and real look at family living. I am 45 and have felt that I was never going to obtain the “perfect home” look. I also appreciated the very real comment about your husband. I have done this myself and instead of asking forgiveness, I will debate myself and my faith just to justify what I had done. From reading your post, I realize I should have just gone with a simple apology and prayer. Thank you!!

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