{to have smooth days}

i have been focused on creating smooth days lately.
days that progress rhythmically, able to meet unexpected turns but
mainly moving along on a well worn path that we know well.
some things i am doing that allow for smooth days are:

  • ::dinner planned by 10am::
this is honestly a source of turmoil in our home.  i  have mentioned before that i am not
a great housekeeper.  i am a dreamer, an artist.  my head is in the clouds for most of the day.  my kids read, create and learn and my soul finds peace doing that along with them. when i got married i had no idea how to cook, clean, do laundry.  my husband, who became a father at the age of 15 and had been supporting himself and his son ever since, had to teach me.  i have learned that i need to schedule myself or things don't get done.  so when it comes to meals, i have to be ready or i just don't cook!  seriously.  i will wait around until my husband comes home and ask him to grill or pick something up from the store, and after a full day's hard labor, he is exhausted!  ideally, i menu plan.  i like to plan at least two weeks out and do one big grocery shopping when he gets paid.  but sometimes, especially when money is really tight, i can't menu plan.  we kind of just need to play it by ear.  and so i have found that figuring dinner out in the morning makes my day run smooth.  i know what i'm doing, i know if i need to go pick anything up and i know when i need to get things started. 
  • ::bible/book/walk::
i adore this time of our morning.  it's really centering for all of us, helps us to breathe and gives us focus for the day.  it looks kind of like this ~ after breakfast is cleaned up i sit at the table and light some candles, letting the kids know i'm going to be reading the Bible and our read aloud.  No one is required to come but usually they all do {well, except for Moses and Pearl... they are typically in the room playing}  we sit quietly for a minute, then i pray aloud, read a chapter of the Bible {currently Matthew}, read a poem or look at a piece of art, talk about the song and composer that has been playing in the background, then read a chapter of our read aloud {right now, Under Wildwood}.  Again, no one is required to come but mostly the kids want to.  they never want to miss a chapter of our book and most of them understand the importance of hearing the Bible.  on occasion, Ruth will be really into whatever game she was playing and opts out or asks us to come get her when we start the read aloud.  but for the most part, the kids come on their own.

afterwards, i put pearl in the ergo on my back and set out on a walk.  the other littles, moses, hannah and ruth, always come and layla and josiah come about half of the time.  i love this walk and the peace it brings to the littles.  they need the morning fresh air, a chance to use some of that young energy.  when i miss the walk {and therefore, they miss the walk}, we have quite a few breakdowns or freak outs from the 6 and under crowd before lunchnot to mention, i am more grumpy and more wound up.  nature is healing, rejuvenating.  i need it.  my kids need it.  and so, a morning walk for smooth days.

  • ::half hour quiet::
i am an introvert.  i need some time to myself, a bit of quiet, in order to get to the other side of the day.  we don't watch much tv but the littles enjoy a half hour show in the afternoon while i breathe and gather myself together.  it works out quite nicely.  layla will sit in the living room reading while the young ones watch something {usually wild kratz} and eat popcorn, and i pour myself a lovely cup of tea, grab a book {or two}, and sit in my bed reading.  i always feel so refreshed afterwards, ready to do whatever i need to for the second half of the day.

  • ::ten minute talk::
with six kiddos at home, husband and i don't get out much.  ;)  i constantly have stuff to talk to him about though, what with all my reading and dreaming, and he lovingly listens, offers advice, agreement or whatever. i need this time to connect with him and share my heart so we sit down outside for about ten minutes after he gets home and chat.  nothing fancy, just time to reconnect after our day apart, time to get on the same page.

so yeah.  these are my daily staples, the things i do in order to keep on, to breathe, to live smoothly.  a homeschooling life with six kids can sometimes take it's toll but when i have a focus, when i have my life lines and make family and self soul~care a priority, we soar. 

*what are some of the things you do for soul~care, to keep yourself going?*


  1. Love your centering in and planning and I also love the fact that you know you must take a small break in the day in order for you to continue. Good job and good internal 'choices'.

  2. Squeee!! I love your posts. What is the book you are reading in the bottom shot? Shawna from tie-dyeddoula.

    1. Harry Potter :) I haven't read it before! Layla read the whole series, then we all watched the movies and so I finally wanted to read them. Just in the first but I adore it.

    2. Ah! Nice! I haven't read them yet, either. Always scouting book titles to add to my list.Thanks!

  3. It's great to hear your voice in this space again!
    I so relate to your touchpoints for a soaring day.
    For me it is an hour of headspace and devotions before the kids wake up every morning, and yes, having a plan for dinner (!!), and a tidy-up time straight after breakfast before school, before lunch, and around 4pm in the afternoon. I'm not tidy by nature but mess and clutter make me hyperventilate. This way our house is basically tidy and visitor friendly (pastor's wife ....). And walks, oh yes, hurray for walks! Everything is better when we have been outside.
    Blessings on you and your beautiful family.

    1. I'm totally the same with clutter. If it's too bad I start to not be able to function... I try to get quiet /devotional time before the kids are up but I just cant get up before them because they are up so early!

  4. Your day sounds similar to ours ( I think we even have a plate like that!!!:) Our kids watch a movie at the end of the day and that fills up my introvert cup while I get a chance to make dinner and have a chat with Tani when he gets home. We also often have quiet reading and rest times after lunch and I might get a bit of knitting and reading done then if I'm lucky :) Unlike a lot of unschooling families we also have a bedtime schedule so the older kids get some time alone and Tani and I get an hour before bed together to talk over his day and he can listen to all my dreaming, thinking, ideas...etc... :)