What Does a Day in the Life of a Family of Eight Look Like?

Want a peek at a day in the life of our family?

I know some of you {secretly-wink} think I am “crazy mommy” trying to manage life with six children all ages seven and under. Others of you {secretly} think I am “super mommy” who can teach math, make lunch, switch the laundry, respond to emails, rescue a Lego from the depths of my toddler’s mouth, quote the most appropriate Bible verses, listen to the-most-detailed-ever-dream that my little girl had last night, and more… all at the same time, with a smile on my face, a song in my heart, hair and make-up neatly in place, a baby on my hip, and a book balanced on the top of my head. :) :)

I’ll give you a moment to take that all in… ;)

Our kids
Please don’t think that I am crazy. I’m really not (most days)! ;) I find it an absolute blessing to be the mommy of these six incredible kids. Yes, it gets busy and loud and over stimulating for my introverted-likes-everything-to-be-in-its-place self, but I honestly can’t come close to expressing the many, many joys of being a part of this family. I’m not crazy! Blessed, honored, loved, humbled… but not crazy (usually)! {And, yes, I do know where babies come from. And, no, we’re not going to have our own TV series. :) Just in case you were wondering.}

And please, please, PLEASE don’t hold me up on that “super-mommy” pedestal! I stumble and I fall and I need God’s grace and forgiveness and strength daily. hourly. momently. There are some things that God has gifted me to do well, and there are (many) other things that I down right stink at. One look in our laundry or family room, and you will see that all the things you THINK that I get done are just hidden behind closed doors (and out of camera range)! I really do not “do it all”!!

On “Our Family Schedule” I can get everything to look all organized and amazing, but that’s just because there’s no room to write down…“ stop to remind little ones that we don’t jump on the couch… clean up the third cup of spilled milk before breakfast… find the smelly/moldy Sippy-cup hiding in the closet, or under the couch, or behind the bed… leave breakfast table for the fifth time to lovingly (& as quickly as possible) guide daughter’s heart to Jesus (& pray hard that the grumpy attitude would fly far, far away- never to return)… beg older daughter to watch baby so I can use the bathroom…” For, on paper I can put everything in nice, neat boxes (thanks to Microsoft Word). But off of paper, real life happens, and I can promise you that there is not one day that goes exactly as I had planned or hoped. Some days are better, and some days I’m just thankful to have made it through the day with everyone still alive! I’m so grateful for God’s continual guidance, strength and grace!

Holding Hands
No matter the amount of kids we have had (well, really even before kids), it’s always been a juggling act for me to balance everything. The “structured/organized” side of me has found a “schedule” to be very helpful with this, and the “creative” side of me has collaborated to make it much more of a ROUTINE! It truly has made for happier kids and a happier mommy, than when everyone is running around, wasting time not knowing what to do or where to be. {I use the times to give me an idea of how everything could work together, and then although we (for the most part) do not go exactly by the times listed, I keep them there to give others (babysitters, grandparents, and you) a better idea of how things basically work in our home.} Please know that this is what works for OUR FAMILY! YOU and YOUR family are probably wired very differently, with different personalities, values, interests, and dynamics. Your schedule or routine or lack-there-of should be right for YOU and the family God has blessed YOU with!

I share this schedule to give you a peek into our day, hoping that it will be helpful to some of you. It stems from days of trial and error as well as hours and hours of prayer. Yet, I hold it loosely, knowing that although it is working great for us right now, it could very well change tomorrow. Overall, I want God’s plans to prevail!

If you click on the schedule below, it should take you to a larger version of our family schedule!!
Alyssa & Elliana are 7 & in 2nd grade, Kayla is 6 & in 1st grade, Isaiah is 4 & Annabella is almost 3 & in preschool, and Ariya is 1 (my “tag along”)…

Schedule 2012-2013Schedule 2012.2013

Do you have any questions???
Or any great ideas to share with me???
I’d love to hear from you! :)

 

Comments

  1. I like how you try to have game time every evening before getting ready for bed. Where we have disconnected our cable to our television that may be a great way for our family to try to close the day. We have story time and thel ikes, but time spent playing a game or something like that sounds like a good addition to our daily rutine. I am learning as I grow that I am an intravert as well and that I really really like organization and rutines. I make a list of what we do in what order and hang it by the computer for the kids to see along with me. Many times they will look at the daily list to see what subject comes next and have bene known to remind me when I get caught up in my crafting things or blog reading. They are great reminders. *big smile* Have a great day and thanks for shiarng this with all of us. Oh, our son who is seven has always been an earily riser, if we are up and doing most anything he is up moments later. His normal wake up time is 5:30am and when he is awake, he’s up and kicking right away. Our five year old daughter will lay in her bed slowly waking up before she gets out of bed at 7am if she isn’t interested in seeing what her brother is playing in the room that shares a wall with her own. *smile* Differen strokes for different folks. *big smile* It used to frusterate me because I thought, “devotions before everyone gets up so I can focus” yea! Not happening. BUT! sitting at the table doing my bible reading and journaling while they are doing their Reading and Phonics seems to work for us. I have even been known to do my reading aloud to give them a glimps into what I am doing. Like I said, different strokes for different folks. *big smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

    • I’m so blessed to read of how you are able to get your Bible reading in while your children are working on their Reading and Phonics. What a great time and a wonderful example for them to see you spending time with God!! :) Jessica

  2. Your schedule looks great!! It is an encouragement to see others moms with full, happy days!!

    • Thanks, April! I always appreciate seeing how other moms work everything into their days as well! Hope you’re having a great day! Jessica

  3. I am curious to what your sleeping arrangements are with the children. Do any share a room? Thanks for sharing your schedule. It is lovely on paper :-) and I am sure it helps keep things flowing in real life too.

    • Hi Karen! Our sleeping arrangements have changed quite a bit over the years, but one thing has stayed the same- all (except for our little boy) share a room. Right now our twin girls (age 7) share a room, Kayla (6) and Annabella (3) share a room, Isaiah (4) has his own room, and Ariya (1) shares a room with us. We have contemplated a number of different sleeping arrangements (as we would love for our room to be “ours” once again), but have been slow to proceed as we’ve been waiting to see what ministry opportunity God has next for us, which most likely will mean a new house with new rooms (although we’ve been thinking that for over a year now). Our original plan was to move Ariya into the “little” girls’ room, and just put a bunk bed in place of Kayla’s twin bed… but, (once again) are hesitant to purchase a bunk bed when that might not be the best sleeping arrangement in the near future. We’ve also thought of putting Ariya in with Isaiah… or putting the 3 oldest together and two youngest together… or moving Bella’s toddler bed in with the older girls and moving Ariya in with Kayla, but we’ll just wait and see. ;) How’s that for an answer!? :) Have a great day! Jessica

      • what do you do for quiet time? do they stay in the same rooms? I am just wondering bc we have 3 little boys ages 4,5,6 and for nap/quiet time I have to find other rooms to put them in or no one gets a nap :-) they all sleep in one room at night but for naps that doesnt work. We have a similar schedule with naps/quiet times for everyone bc I also have older children that I homeschool as well. I was just wondering if you had to separate yours too or if yours somehow manage to take their naps or at least have quiet time in the same rooms.

        • Nap/quiet time is different at our house than night time, as we have the same “issue”, for naps, nobody can be in the same room together, or (usually) nobody takes a nap. :) Really only the littlest 2 still nap, and they are each in their own rooms. Isaiah (4) will sometimes fall asleep, but usually just reads/plays quietly in his own room. Kayla usually has quiet time in our guest/play room, and our twins are usually together for quiet time- sometimes they play together and sometimes they play separately on their beds or even different sections of the room. We’ve had to get pretty creative at times. In our old house one would have quiet time in the hallway. :) But quiet time often does get done with more than one child in a room… sometimes even all three of our oldest girls, although they usually need a couple extra reminders to be quiet. :)

  4. Do you have a post with your meal ideas? I would love to see that sometime. I find I spend way too much time in the kitchen- since I like cooking. With homeschool starting tomorrow for our first year I am hoping/planning to be less in the kitchen :) Loved seeing your daily schedule!

  5. I am really enjoying your blog! A friend of mine told me about Heart of Dakota and your blog. After researching HOD and reading through some of your blog posts, we decided to go with HOD for this year! I am soooo excited! I have 4 kiddos ages 1, 3, 5, & 7. I really like your daily schedule and am thinking of doing something similar. It really looks like it would work for our family with a few changes. My only question is when do you clean your house like vacuum, mop, dust, clean bathrooms, declutter, organize….These are things that I seem to have a difficult time finding time for.

    • Jessica, Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! How fun to meet you! I pray that your year will go well also!
      About cleaning… I’ve been asked this quite a bit lately and will hopefully be doing another post on it soon, but here’s a post from a couple years ago that shows a little of how things worked for us at that point- https://www.ourfamilyforhisglory.com/2010/09/keeping-clean-house/ Some has stayed the same and some has changed, as we’ve added one more to our family, but my other children have also gotten older (and make excellent helpers). My house is not spotless by any means, but I go a bit “batty” with things all out of place and/or messy. :) So, although I too have trouble finding time for it all, the main times I do cleaning is during our kids morning chore time (about 20 minutes), right after I lay everyone down for nap/rest time (about 20 minutes), and right after the kids are all in bed (about 20 minutes). I also de-clutter as I go and clean up the kitchen right after meals. And, I take a week about twice a year to really focus on cleaning. ;) Hope that helps a little! I look forward to getting to know you more!

  6. I’ve been meaning to come back here and thank you for sharing your schedule. It was helpful to see another family in action with HOD. We jump into full swing on the day after Labor Day and I’m excited to learn alongside my girls.

    Happy Homeschooling!
    ~Addelah

    • Addelah, Oh how fun to hear how you will be using HOD! I pray that you’ll have a wonderful year, and I look forward to hearing about it as you can share! We’re just about to move, but once we get settled, I hope to post a new schedule. :)
      Have a wonderful week!
      ~Jessica

  7. Michelle S. says:

    Would you possibly be willing to share your blank schedule template?

    • Hi Michelle. I don’t actually have a blank schedule template. I used Microsoft Word and added tables, and each year I change it just a little until it’s “morphed” into what it is today (actually, I have yet to make a new one for the year). But, I’d be happy to email a copy of the original if that would help. Maybe it would work and you’d be able to edit it!? Let me know if you think that would be helpful.
      Many blessings,
      Jessica

      • Michelle S. says:

        That would be great! I can definitely work with your old schedule and would appreciate it so much!

  8. What kind of vacuum do you have? That may sound strange, but I at one point had an email conversation with you and trying to keep it together with HOD, lots of children, and housekeeping…..I think you mentioned that your children were able to use your vacuum to help…….a Shark maybe, or something???? I’m looking for something to replace my current one, and desperately want something that works on hard surfaces that my children can help out with. Hopefully this finds you can you can help me! Anyway, love your blog, such an encouragement!

    • Heidi, you make me smile. :) It was a Shark- I don’t remember the actual kind- but it was very lightweight and had a battery attachment, and the kids could do it all by themselves. We don’t have very good luck with vacuums though (maybe it’s all the long hair!?)- so we’ve resorted to just getting the cheapest ones we can find and using them until they stop working (which is usually the same amount of time as more expensive ones lasted in our house). We’ve taught the four oldest how to safely plug and unplug the vacuum – and it’s the most fought over chore we have. :) I’ve heard really, really good things about the Oreck Vacuum if you’re looking to invest in something (and if you have better luck with vacuums)!
      Have a wonderful week!
      ~Jessica

  9. I know it has been a few years since you’ve shared this schedule but find encouragement that it is still helping mamas out there! Do you have any updates? Anything that still works or didn’t work and has changed over the years? Going into next school year 2016-2017 starting in August and already planning : ) I will have an almost 7, almost 5, 3 1/2, 1 1/2 and baby due in November. I will be starting BLHFHG with ky oldest (we just finished 2 years of LHFHG!). My second oldest sat with us and listened to most of the bivle/history stories and joined in on the art/science activities and I just had him do workbooks at his own level but now I’m kind of regretting that as he’s not ready for BLHFHG and I don’t know if I should re-do LHFHG again with him? And my 3 1/2 year old I’m debating doing a piecemeal ABC curriculum or BFIAR which I’ve done in the past with the other two but I’m also considering LHTH as I just love HOD! With all that being said I appreciate this peek into your schedule as this is my first year really needing to do individual times with each kid and not sure how that will all look. A quick question, do you find any time to exercise/work out ( that is aside from playing with the kids already!)? Thank you again!