*Let me warn you....this post turned into more of a book than a post! Sorry for the length, but I'm so happy to have all this information down as part of my journal!*
Today began at 6:30. Having a baby in the house doesn't often allow for sleeping in! But since Caleb was the only one up at that point, we lounged around in our bed and played with him for a little while.
At 6:45, we heard Sophie leave (she had to be at cross country practice at 7am and was getting a ride with a friend), and by 7, Matthew & Jacob had joined the party in our room, so up we got! I got beds made, changed Caleb's diaper and then got all the little ones dressed. By 7:30, we were ready to head downstairs for breakfast.
Breakfast in our house during the week is usually cereal, bagels or steelcut oats in the crockpot. On the weekends, fried or hardboiled eggs are a big treat. I rarely cook things like pancakes or french toast in the morning....we much prefer to have those things for dinner! Honestly, they're just a lot of work, and we usually don't have a lot of time- especially when sports are in full swing and we can have anywhere from 1-4 games in a day!
We were done with breakfast and had the kitchen cleaned up by 8:30. Zack had to leave at 8:45 to pick up Sophie from practice, and he was back with her around 9:15. I was excited to hear that she had run about 8 miles! Zack stayed outside to clean up the yard.....for the second night in a row, we had a huge storm with incredible winds, and there were, once again, tree branches down everywhere! I spent some time on the computer checking email.
Around 9:30, our home phone rang. We didn't recognize the caller ID, so we just let it go to voicemail. About 2 minutes later, my cell phone rang. It was a girl. It was a girl who wanted to talk to Josh. So I gave the phone to Josh! He was literally off within seconds, and he handed me the phone asking me to never answer it again!
Turns out, the girl was from school and has a locker next to Josh, and she and her friend wanted to know if he had a crush on one of them! Oh boy.....here we go! I explained to Josh that he is a nice-looking boy and that 13-year old girls tend to do these types of things, so he probably needs to get used to it and not get upset.
Then my cell phone rang again.
I answered it, heard a loud noise in the background and then the *person* hung up on me! Now I was mad! Well, not too mad, but I wasn't happy about the fact that they were playing with MY personal cell phone. I'm not even sure how they got my number.... maybe from the school directory? At that point, I told Josh that he should answer the phone if they called back and then hand it to me (I was going to let them know that I didn't want them calling MY phone and that Josh didn't have a phone). Fortunately, they never did call back, and it's a good thing because Josh said they would really make fun of him if he didn't have his own cell phone!
By then, it was 9:45, and most of the girls were upstairs, so I left the little boys in their care and headed upstairs to take a shower. It was cleaning day, and hubby had already gotten started on cleaning the bathrooms, and I didn't want to get too far behind him!
I was ready by 10:45, and then I combed the boys' hair and started a load of laundry. I had Noah take out the trash and then I got started on my cleaning.
Since the next 4 hours were spent cleaning, I thought this might be a good time to talk about our cleaning routine. I know that I'm always interested in how other families do it, so I'll share our secrets with you all!
KID'S DAILY CHORES:
We have a rotating schedule for daily chores for the oldest 4 children (including Allie as long as she lives at home). These chores are: laundry, watering plants, emptying the dishwasher and setting/clearing the table. The laundry involves folding all clean laundry and putting it away (I take care of starting all the laundry and switching it over to the dryer, and I usually fold the first load of the day because it's always darks and it's always the clothing that I don't want to wrinkle). The kids do one chore for one week and then the list rotates. During the winter months, when there are no outdoor plants to water, the watering week becomes a "free" week (they get a break!).
Noah is currently responsible for taking out the inside trash and recycle items, as well as placing the bins at the curb on trash day and bringing them back up to the house once they are empty. We will probably put him in the chore rotation when he's 12 (that's when Josh "graduated" from trash!) and Matthew will take over the trash ;D
MY DAILY CLEANING:
I am a neat-freak! Compulsively so, in fact! For me, daily cleaning involves keeping the house picked up at all times (no piles ANYWHERE), keeping the laundry going, cleaning up the kitchen after each meal, and keeping the floors as clean as possible. After dinner, I have a rather substantial daily cleaning routine that involves wiping down all the counters, using Windex on all the appliances and any windows or glass on the main level that need it (I hate fingerprints!), vacuuming the whole main level, and often mopping the kitchen area. I also wipe down the sink and toilet in the powder bath on the main level with a clorox wipe each day.
Because of my fairly extensive daily cleaning, we don't have to do as much weekly cleaning. We do clean all the sinks and toilets in the house every weekend, and wipe down all the mirrors. Occasionally, we run the vacuum on the upstairs bedroom level, but because of our fabulous carpet, unless there's actually dirt or crumbs we can see, there's no need! That carpet was SO worth the expense, and I love that it ALWAYS looks great!
During the summer, when we have yard work to do, Zack likes to get the boys involved and he is currently teaching Josh to use the weed-eater! He's not ready to entrust the riding lawn mower to anyone yet (and secretly I think he just loves doing it himself too much!), but he does take Jacob with him EVERY time he mows!
(Which is what we did today!) This is the time to clean the whole house. We used to do it weekly, but with around 7000 sqft, it's just too overwhelming to do every week! And since we keep up with our cleaning on a daily basis, we don't need to do it as often. This cleaning involves thoroughly cleaning all the bathrooms (to include removing the toilet seats and scrubbing all parts....if you're the parent of a boy, you understand the need for this....and we have 5 of them!), dusting the entire house, vacuuming all floors, mopping the baths and hardwoods, wiping down both kitchens (cleaning out microwave, fridge, etc), and wiping down the laundry room.
I am responsible for all dusting, cleaning the kitchens and laundry room and cleaning all glass in the house. Zack takes care of cleaning the baths and doing the floors.....what a guy!! Up until now, the girls have been responsible for taking care of the little kids while we work (playing with them, feeding them, etc).....it's just easier for us that way. But we are finally at the point where we realize it's important to get the kids involved in cleaning so they can learn techniques and good habits for life. We are now beginning to have them follow us around and help out, and we are planning to make a rotating schedule for bi-weekly cleaning very soon!
One of the chores will still be to help watch the little kids when the cleaning is being done, so someone will get to do that each time......
And Emily actually helped me out with something I've been meaning to do for a long time.....
And Emily actually helped me out with something I've been meaning to do for a long time.....
Sophie took some time to organize our game closet....also on our "to-do" list for a long time now!
He looked so uncomfortable that I stuck a towel under his head! I didn't dare move him as I didn't want to risk waking him.... I still had lots of work to do and was enjoying the quiet ;D
The weather was nasty out yesterday.....rainy mostly and a high of about 77 degrees....so everyone was stuck indoors. We finished up around 3:30, and then hubby decided to drag out the carpet cleaner and clean a couple of rooms AND touch-up some of the paint on walls as well! Since he was going to be busy, I decided to take Sophie, Emily, Josh & Caleb out to get Sophie's cross country shoes (she has to have "spikes" for racing). Allie stayed home with Matthew, Jacob & Noah....they watched some old movies!
While we were out, we swung by Target (again) to pick up some bread for dinner, spiral notebooks, and coffee. I wanted to make some more of Pioneer Woman's iced coffee (decaf this time!) since I've been enjoying it every day and it's so nice to have it on-hand and ready to go.
We arrived home around 5:30 to the smell of fresh paint and clean carpets....did I mention my husband is a super-hero?!?! I quickly started water boiling for dinner (spaghetti), chopped veggies for salad, and threw some bread in the oven to heat. We enjoyed a nice family dinner and then cleaned up the kitchen for the FINAL time that day! I even had to drag out the vacuum cleaner again because we had bread crumbs and parmesan cheese all over the floor!
After dinner, the kids went outside. The weather had cleared and they were able to get out their bikes and ride around. I stayed inside to make my iced coffee, but quickly realized I had a problem! The recipe calls for a pound of coffee, but my bag of Starbucks coffee was measured in ounces (12 to be exact!). After spending about 30 minutes googling, tweeting and facebooking trying to figure out how much coffee to use, I finally enlisted the help of Sophie (my whiz-kid)!
Through some simple math, teamwork and bouncing ideas back and forth, we finally got it figured out! In case you're interested, 1lb of dry coffee equals about 53 ounces or about 6.5 cups!!! Or maybe you already knew that, and we're not very smart ;D
I love this recipe though! It makes a ton of yummy coffee that stores in the fridge and lasted me about a month! You simply mix the coffee grounds with 8 quarts of cold water, cover and let it sit overnight, and then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and fine strainer! So simple, even a 3yr-old can do it ;D
By the time I had the coffee ready, it was shower and bedtime for the boys. We cleaned up outside and then brought the boys in to start the routine. Since it was a Saturday night, Zack & I had a Netflix movie we wanted to watch, so we hurried the boys along ;D Showers, teeth brushed, stories read and prayers, and then hubby and I settled into our own room to watch a movie while I nursed Caleb to sleep!
AND THAT'S IT!!!! The end of a week of posts about daily life in a family of 10! I'm so happy to have it all journaled and look forward to reading it when I finally publish my blog into a book! Thanks for reading :D