I pray that I will wake up at 7, and so far, God has been an excellent alarm clock. :) This part of the day is similar to at home - I find coffee as quick as I can and settle into my favorite chair for some Jesus time. The kids don't wake up until 8 (usually!), but I have made a rule that if the door is still shut, they have to go back to bed.
Thank goodness for a French press and Starbucks! I don't even drink Starbucks at home. My sister spoils me.
The kids are up and scrambling to be the first to the kitchen to "help" me make breakfast. This morning it's muffins and fruit.
Breakfast is over, and if we're all dressed by the time the tutor arrives, it's a success! Rachel and Nathan retire to the salon for lessons. (Salon is the word they use for living room here. Makes their lessons sound swanky, yes?) The little ones and I head to the office for school.
We read a few books every morning that cover animals, poetry, world legends, and science. Then they have some workbooks that we do together. Drew is just in preschool, and Abby is in kindergarten, so my sister wants to keep school low key and fun for now. Luckily, they both LOVE it and always want to do more workbook pages than they're supposed to.
Drew is learning how to write his name. I love his bashful look.
Official school is over, but we hang out in the office for another hour or so...or for as long as they find coloring or another craft interesting! Today Abby was really into cutting out snowflakes. It hasn't snowed here yet, but we have plenty of snow decorating the office wall now. And lots of little pieces of paper to sweep up...
While Abby deluges us in a paper snowstorm, Drew and I color. He's a mutterer, always talking to himself or saying up the funniest things out of the blue. Here is a conversation we had while we colored -
D: Wawa, I dink da dish wanted da spoon just by himself. So dey ran away.
Me: Oh, that was kind of selfish, huh?
D: Yeah, that was a naughty wittle dish.
D: But I dink dat's just pretend because dishes and spoons don't have faces in dis world.
Me: But do they in another world?
D: Yeah, I dink dey do in anudder world. But not in dis one.
We move into the bedroom now. Only 1/2 hour left until lunch break, but we need a change of scenery. The kids play restaurant while I put another load of laundry in for Rachel. She does have a washer and dryer, but the dryer is slower than you can imagine (I think because it isn't vented to the outside?). The rack is more efficient...
Lunch! Rachel and Nathan break, and Rachel whips up some grilled cheese. We eat quickly, except for Abby who has decided that she doesn't like cheese. What? What kind of kid doesn't like cheese? We're gonna have to work on this one.
Time for a quick trip to the park! Rachel and Nathan's apartment has windows, but they all look out onto the neighboring apartment building. You can't really see the sky. I never realized how precious my view of sky, grass, and trees is at home. I try to take the kids outside once a day, as much for my sake as for theirs.
Nap time! Now I fully appreciate how precious these words are to young mothers everywhere! Abby is hit and miss on her naps; at 5, she doesn't always fall asleep. Nonetheless, she has to lay down for 30 minutes. I check email, read, journal.
The kids are awake from naps, and we play some games. Drew is quite the card shark - please note the sunglasses - and can beat me honestly at Go Fish or Memory.
Rachel and Nathan are done with lessons for the day. I help Rachel start dinner, and the kids run circles around the apartment. Okay, not every night, but a lot of nights. :) Nathan agrees to play their new favorite game: they are baby gorillas, or gruffalos, or foxes, or (insert any animal here that has struck their fancy), and he is the daddy. They lumber around making the appropriate animal noises and think it is the best thing ever.
After dinner, we put a little movie on for the kids and retreat to the bedroom with the laptop. Oh yes, it is time for the adults to enjoy some Downton Abbey! I introduced Rachel and Nathan to the series, and now we watch one a night. Even Nathan is into it. It's our nightly escape to a lovely alternate English universe.
Nathan gets the kids ready for bed. They sing a hymn each night before the Bible story. I love hearing small voices belting out "Dis is my Fadder's world" with gusto. It's precious. I head to the office to have my daily Skype date with my other half. Being away from him is the only bad thing about this gig. It sort of feels like someone cut my arm off.
I pull the couch out to a bed and sheet it up. Time to sleep if I am going to get up with the alarm. :) This couch is from Ikea, and it is very comfortable. Two thumbs up, Ikea.
And that's a day!