A day in the life

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

I thought you might be curious about what life is like at our house lately.  I know I’m interested in what life with children looks like at other people’s homes.  I loved when Tsh did this a few months ago and I’ve been meaning to share one of our days with you ever since.  I’ve actually been thinking that I should write one of these once a year, just to keep a record for the future for my family and I to look back on.

Please, keep in mind this isn’t necessarily a typical day as we are in the middle of  tax season, which at my house means long work days for my husband and a solo parenting gig for me.  I allow myself some shortcuts (hello, paper plates and no-cook meals), the housework becomes less of a priority, and the kids are given a little more screen time than usual.

It also is not normal for my children to sleep in as late as they did today, but our normal rhythm and schedule has been a bit off as I let them stay up later to see their Daddy each day. Also, just mentally insert “feed baby, change baby, rock baby” several times during the day, okay? I didn’t write it down every time that happened.

So, keeping those things in mind, today’s post is going to be a little bit different as I share with you a day in my life, specifically yesterday, April 5, 2012.

Rise and shine

Sometime around 3am, my three year old daughter wakes up from a nightmare.  She climbs into bed with my husband and I and goes back to sleep within a few minutes.  I lie awake for a bit longer and then, thankfully, drift back to sleep.

I’m awake again at 5:41 when the baby, who is eight months old, wakes up.  I nurse her back to sleep.  I can hear my husband downstairs in the kitchen getting ready for his work day.  In a few minutes, he comes upstairs and kisses me goodbye.  I lie in bed for a little bit longer before putting the baby into her crib, pulling the covers up on my three year old, and heading into the bathroom.

At 6:04 I’m dressed, my hair has been combed into a high pony tail, and I’ve washed my face.  I head down stairs, taking last night’s water and milk glasses with me as I go.  I let the dog out, load the dishwasher and run it, and make myself some coffee, grating in a little nutmeg.  Once the dog has come back inside, I feed him and then take my coffee and head back upstairs.

After a quick peek into the bedrooms of my other children, I sit down at my desk, open my Bible and spend some time in the quiet of the morning.

6:40 a.m. With Over the Rhine playing in my ears, I fire up the laptop, send out a quick morning “hello” to my knitting friends on Plurk, and then open up my calendar on my phone (which has my To Do list).  I have officially put on my editor’s hat for the morning.  I answer half a dozen emails, start this post, add some links to Sunday’s Link Love post, and outline Monday’s post.

Next, I read a few blogs, do some quick pinning from those to my Pinterest boards, and then I check in with the Simple Kids facebook page and remind everyone the Mother Bear KAL giveaway is almost over.  (Have you entered yet?)

It is 7:46 when I close the laptop.

What’s this?  Not quite 8am and no children yet awake?  I refill my coffee and pick up my knitting.  I’m working on a Simple Yet Effective shawl (pattern by Laura Chau) and I’m watching the Knit Girllls podcast.  I set down my knitting and send out an Instagram “good morning” just as I hear the pitter patter of little feet.

The first kid awake is Jillian, my 10 year old,  at 8:40am.  Max, Lucy, and baby Mia follow soon after.  After a quick diaper change and some potty time for my three year old, we sleepily head downstairs for a breakfast of cold cereal with sliced strawberries and bananas, buttered toast, and milk.

While we’re downstairs, I let the dog out again, refill the almonds jar, get green beans out of the garage chest freezer and move them to the kitchen freezer, and start dinner in the crockpot.  Dinner is going to be an experiment:  I toss sweet potatoes, chicken breast, honey from my brother NJ’s bees, and sliced apples and apple juice into the crock-pot and set it on LOW.

The kids finish breakfast and my oldest unloads and then reloads the dishwasher.  The kids play and look at old photo albums and Mia hangs out in her bounce-a-bout while I wipe down the kitchen counters, clean the downstairs bathroom, and let the dog back inside.

We head back upstairs and begin the flurry of getting the kids dressed, making beds, brushing teeth, and hair do creating that happens every morning.  My two oldest are independent in this, but Mia and Lucy, my three year old, need my full attention.

While she’s waiting for me to finish getting her little sisters ready, Jillian does her math review.

Everyone is dressed and ready for the day by 10am.  I sent my husband a quick text to say “Good morning” and then we start switching into homeschool gear.

Morning lessons and play

The two middles are playing in Max’s room, so the baby and Jillian and I settle in on the couch in our loft playroom.  I check over Jillian’s math and she does her children’s Bible reading.  Then we start on our main lesson.  The baby hang out in my lap and nurses and cuddles while Jillian and I read and do homeschool.

We continue with homeschool for about an hour and a half, with the occasional interruption from the younger kids and one change of clothing for my three year old.  Max is busy with a stack of construction paper, Ed Emberley’s Complete Fun Print Drawing Book, and some washable ink pads and Lucy is building herself a princess bed out of every pillow she can find.

I give Jillian a writing assignment and head downstairs to check on the chicken and sweet potatoes and fix a snack for the kids.

Noon – time to go to put on my editor hat again

I have an editor’s meeting for SLM, so I set the kids up with their snack and give my 10 year old permission to turn on a movie on Amazon Prime on the Roku.

The baby and I head to my desk and my lap top and I snap a quick Instagram photo while I’m waiting for everyone to get to the meeting.  I spend the next hour and a half planning and talking with Tsh, Aimee, Nicole, Jamie, and Mandi.  Exciting things are in store for Simple Living Media in the future.  I love my job!

A quiet afternoon

After the meeting and business stuff has been covered, the other editors and I stayed on skype to chat a bit longer and catch up on personal stuff.  It is a nice benefit to working with people who are also your friends.

At 2 o’clock we say good-bye and the baby, who had fallen asleep in my arms during the meeting, wakes up from her short nap.

I make the kids lunch of black bean burgers topped with spinach, cheese, salsa, and guacamole  on English muffins (don’t get too impressed, half of my children picked the toppings right off) and a side of black olives and orange bell peppers.  I unplug them from their TV show and we sit down together to eat.

After we clean up lunch together, Jillian grabs a school book and we read together outside and the little kids enjoy some time playing in the backyard on this windy day. Jillian finishes her books and join in with her brother and sister and the baby and I sit on the step for a while.  Baby Mia seems really amused by the feel of the wind on her face and blows zzzzzrbrts back at it – silly baby!

Around 3:00 we come back inside and I set the 3 and 5 year old up for some quiet time in their bedrooms, something it is evident they need by the arguing that went on toward the end of our time outside.  They each have a pile of books and some music playing and the instruction that they don’t have to go to sleep, but they do need to be quiet and rest and stay in their rooms.

Jillian has made herself a snack of grapes and is listening to music and reading comics, enjoying some quiet time herself.

I put Mia in the sling and I get a bit of housework done.  I soak a hand-wash only shirt (what was I thinking buying that?) and wipe down the upstairs bathroom sinks and counters with my trusty spray bottle of vinegar.  I go check on the middle kids and notice Lucy has changed again (outfit #3 for those of you keeping track at home).

I rinse out the shirt and lay it flat to dry and then grab a large glass of water and sit down to nurse the baby while finishing up the KnitGirllls podcast from earlier in the day.  The baby is fussy, but never goes down for an afternoon nap.

At 4:30 quiet time is over and we make a snack together of milk and graham crackers. The kids build pillow forts in the loft and I decide to check in with facebook and answer a few emails.  As I’m setting my full glass of milk on my desk I spill its entire contents into the bag full of homeschool books on the floor.  Fantastic.  What can I say?  When I’m awesome, I’m totally awesome.

I spread the books out, wipe up the milk, and turn on some fans.  Then I send out a quick facebook and Plurk message so that others can laugh at my clumsiness.

By 4:45 baby Mia is pretty miserable (teething?) and we walk and rock and sing and cuddle.  Finally, shortly after 5:00 she goes to sleep and I try again to sneak in a little more time on the computer and answer more work related emails.

By 5:20 Mia is awake.  A short nap, but she’s in better spirits.

Mia and I go downstairs again and I check on dinner and do a quick pick up in the living room, re-folding the blankets for the couch, returning books to the shelf, and putting the blocks in the toy chest.

Around 6:00 I get a text from Christopher saying he’ll be home for dinner, a rarity these days. The kids are excited that their daddy will be eating with us.  With a little supervision,  Jillian makes the rice and green beans in the rice cooker and the middle kids help set the table.  I sit in the rocking chair with Mia and the big kids play in the living room until Christopher comes home.

At 6:45 Chris is home and we eat, late but all together.


7:30 pm the table is cleared and Christopher takes over with the kids for a little while so I can get some time to myself.  I update this post, check facebook, answer email, and resize a few photos.  It is nice to have some peace and quiet and a little time to myself after a long day.

At 8:30 we start the bedtime routine:  baths, pajamas, brushing teeth, and a story.  With Christopher’s help, we get all three big kids tucked into bed by 9:15.  Mia has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so I pack the diaper bag and set out clothes to get us ahead of the game in the morning.

Christopher, the baby, and I cuddle up for a little bit and watch some tv and Mia eventually nurses to sleep around 10:00.

I open up the laptop one last time today and set up this post for publishing tomorrow.  I treat myself to a cup of sleepytime tea and some toast while I work.

It is now  almost 11pm and I’m heading to bed.  Tomorrow, this will all start over again, with each day’s own twists and variations.  But Saturday, my friends?  On Saturday, I’m sleeping in!

So, how was your day? Have a great weekend, everyone!

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. Thanks for the peek into your day. I always enjoy seeing a glimpse of other’s lives. My sister is here this week so our days have been different from usual. My daughter is having a blast with her aunt.
    Steph´s latest post: In Christ Alone

  2. I loved reading this, Kara. I swear, if I could get a Ph.D. in “How families spend their days,” I would. I don’t know why it’s so fascinating to me. One thing I notice when looking at the daily life of a homeschooling family is that you get to follow a natural rhythm for your family rather than having to stress about getting everyone out the door in time for school every morning. That must be heaven.
    Jaimie´s latest post: Corn Syrup Paint

    • Thanks, Jaimie :-)

      I tell you, it is nice to watch the school bus drive down our road every morning at 7:15 and know we didn’t have to rush to put anyone on it. :-)

      Today we had places to be in the morning, but I have learned to add an extra hour, at least, before we have to be out the door because it is a little circus-like getting us all ready to leave at once.

      You should write a day in the life post sometime. I’d love to read it!
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: A day in the life

  3. Love the look into your day! And I totally get the long days with hubby not around. He works and is a full-time student in Seminary so some days are reeeallly long. We really share the load, so we he isn’t available I feel it.

    I have to say, I loved the idea of grating nutmeg into coffee. Going to try that! :)
    Johanna´s latest post: Easter Celebration!

  4. Just started following you on Instagram too so I can continue to see the fun in your day. The thumbprint book looks cute, I may have to get that for my 3 year old who loves projects.

    How did the dinner come out?
    Emily @ Random Recycling´s latest post: Natural Egg Dyeing with Kitchen Leftovers

    • Dinner? It turned out okay. The sweet potatoes ended up on the mushy side, but no one complained. I think the chicken might have liked some cinnamon or other spice, but we all ate it and enjoyed it.

      The thumbprint book is a lot of fun! I bet your library has it. Ours has quite a few Ed Emberley books, but the thumbprint one is our favorite :-)
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: A day in the life

  5. Oh I just love your day in the life post – stunning idea!!! So fun!!! Other folks lives always look so wildly interesting and restful… mine less so!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Sunday Snippet: Se7en Make Palm Sunday Palm Leaf Crosses

  6. Loved this, Kara!
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: 7 ways to source your summer produce outside the supermarket

  7. I’m like Jaimie, I love to read about other family’s days! It is just interesting to me how the ebb and flow goes. I bet it is also nice to look back and see that you actually accomplished something.
    Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s latest post: My favorite blogs for busy moms

  8. Where do you get washable ink pads??? I’ve been looking for some for my kiddos!

    • Ours are from Educational Insights. We have red, orange, and purple. I have to say though that our experience with the purple is that it is more like 99% washable, as all the kids still have a slight purple tinge on their fingers, even after washing. I think they were around $3 an ink pad, a little pricey, but they work well.
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: A day in the life

  9. Loved reading this, Kara! Totally do it more often.

  10. Good grief! You know how you can walk by something in your home every day and not really notice it? I just noticed that our entry rug is still our CHRISTMAS rug!?!

    Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: A day in the life

  11. This is fun! I also love Over The Rhine! :)
    Liz @ The HomeStyle´s latest post: {Review} “Press Here”

  12. Amanda Shaw says:

    What a great idea! I’m impressed by how productive you manage to be, computer-wise, with four kids! I have three and days and days can pass without booting up the old laptop. :)

  13. Great read! Thanks for sharing! It is so nice to read that other’s days look about the same as mine. I do wonder how you manage to sneak in a little “me” time for yourself. I can not seem to manage that around my house! :)
    Debbye´s latest post: How Yoga Can Help Your Baby or Toddler Sleep

  14. Tanya W says:

    I loved reading this post!! I’m amazed at how much you are able to get done on the computer in a typical day and also get other stuff done too! I really enjoy seeing how other people’s days flow in comparasion to mine. I agree with a previous commenter that your morning is far more relaxed without having to stress about getting kids off to school. Must be lovely :)

    I think an Ed Emberley book is in our future!! Greg would *love* that!!!

    Where did you get your recipe for black bean burgers?? They sound yummy and like something everyone in my house might eat. (like your house, certain children in mine would pick all the toppings off!!)

    Off to get lunch ready. Tax season Saturday here for us so no Daddy home :) Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

  15. Thanks for sharing. I love peeking into other’s lives, especially those who homeschool as we are in our first year of homeschooling! You are an inspiration to me…maybe I’ll get the camera out and snap a few pics of our day.

  16. I really loved reading this as well! It really is so interesting to go through someone’s day. You always get me so excited to homeschool. Hey! How did the dinner turn out? I wanted to copy if it turned out well.
    Vanessa´s latest post: Authentic Tacos (that we had for…Easter)

  17. Hi love!
    Thanks for the wonderful glimpse of your day and the pictures of the kids!! I enjoyed every minute and felt a little famous through NJ’s honey. I can picture every moment in your lovely home.

    Tomorrow, I get to play hooky from work and stay home for a glimpse into our daily life. Ha!

    Love you!

  18. Nicole @ Simple Homemade says:

    Loved this, Kara! It encourages me by showing me what real life looks like for your family. Maybe I’m going to be okay in my homeschool venture next year after all!
    Nicole @ Simple Homemade´s latest post: How we remember and repurpose children’s artwork


  1. […] ($9.95) – for those of you who asked about my family”s black bean burger recipe from my Day in the Life post, this is where you”ll find […]

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