Apr 18, 2011

Are there typical days?

I decided to do my best to chronicle a typical day here at Swede Farm aka the Carlson household...

Up at 6, the scheduled time for everyone to get up. I actually had Tim get everyone up on his way out the door to drive a school bus because I was snuggling with baby Dixie. The idea is that the kids get up and have thirty minutes to get dressed, make beds and get to their rooms. It did not work so well for Seth and Judah today so they came to the table half dressed.

6:30 breakfast; cereal. While at breakfast we discuss the new seating assignments at the table because I am aggravated by the constant squabbling over who sits where. We also discuss tasks that I need done today (vaccinations for baby goats, fencing panels put up for the new hog pen and pictures taken of the baby goats that we still have to post for sale) and what school we will accomplish this day. Today is also the first day of a new schedule so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

7--morning chore time. I do my morning routines ala Flylady (make bed, get dressed for the day, take supplements, etc) and check emails.

8--Tim gets home and we discuss what needs to be done today and what milk customers are coming today. I also discuss with Katarina the errands that I would like her to tend to when she and Christin go into Houston today for Bible Study. Dixie is dressed as well.

9-under the new schedule, this is "street time". I am always frustrated when I try to find time for exercising so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and simply mandate everyone goes and plays in the street. Our road is two miles long and a dead end and I hope that I will be able to walk those two miles while the kids race/rollerskate/ride bikes. It works fairly well and we really enjoy the horses that come to the fence to greet us. Unfortunately Grace and Linnea haven't finished milking yet so they cannot join us. Katarina and Christin are likewise unable to come due to finishing up some last minute tasks in the cheese-room (bottling yogurt and unhanging chevre). So it is Sara, Tim and myself with the seven youngest.

10--We get back to the house after street time just in time for our friends who are working on the new milk parlor to pull up. The kids call them "Nana" and Grandpa" so there is great excitement. Tim and I chat with them about the work they hope to get done that day and we admire the new milkstand that was delivered last night while we were out for some adult time. I walk into the house to be told "Caller ID says that US Govt" called while you were in the dairy. Who is US Govt?" It is the post office calling to tell us that Emma's chicks are in so she and I hop in the car, pick up chicks and supplies in the bustling metropolis of Waller and return home in time to get kids back on track in their school work.

11--Grace, Sara and Christin are drawing blood on twenty-some-odd goats for pregnancy tests while Kate finishes up in the cheese-room. I try to print up the lab submission form for the blood and the printer will not work. At all. It is even flashing error codes at me that I have never before seen. I reboot everything to no avail and think some very uncharitable thoughts towards the printer. I hand write the form as best as I am able.

12--I try to redirect kids to school (hard when Nana and Grandpa are here) and try to keep Tim on an even keel when he discovers that the two plus hours of work he did on the budget yesterday are gone, poof, vanished, eaten by the computer or in cyber-space or...something. I never do get a clear answer on where things might have gone wrong because Tim is not happy and I decide it is better to not even try to understand lest I make the situation worse. I give Emma directions regarding lunch VS dinner and we get out an email to the Vet Science 4H group notifying them of a meeting change. I try diplomacy with the adult children who have decided after two decades that each is anathema. I fail. I am somewhat comforted by Linnea's offering of dewberry pie--the berries picked herself, the crust handmade by herself. The Bluebell ice cream on top was not made by herself but I suspect that was because she felt ice cream churning beneath her.

1--lunch. Leftovers, well done. Emma has an affinity for cooking things on "high" and wandering off.

1:30--I give history reading assignments to Sara and Linnea on early American colonies. I am exasperated by Tim who is napping where he took himself in a bad mood when he realized he would have to redo his budget work of yesterday. He is spared by word arriving that our milk customer is here. I go to greet the customer and she informs me that she will need change. I decide this is a valid excuse to drag Tim out of bed (being a bit spiteful here) and tell him that he must get up and get change for someone. He grumbles but gets up to do so. I walk back out to our customer to be told that she has inadvertently locked her keys in the car. I am also told that Nana and Grandpa are ready to leave for the day--and the driveway is blocked by the car with keys locked in it. Oops. I feel horrid for our customer. Tim looks and we end up calling AAA. We decide to also have Katarina's car that has been languishing in need of repair towed to the mechanic while they are here. Tim gives me last minute directions for little league tonight and leaves.

2--we wait for AAA. The deck is pleasant to sit and swing and chat on. Laundry is piling up in the house--my big project for the day. Grandpa has requested some fence rerouting to better facilitate his work on the new cheese-room so the girls are working on that instead of the hog pen--their big project for the day.

3--we wait for AAA.

4--AAA comes and goes. Customer leaves. Nana and Grandpa leaves. I am left with just enough time to direct that goat waterers be filled and fill some mineral feeders. Dixie discovers that she really likes the taste of goat minerals and is shoveling it in by the fistful when apprehended. Timothy and Noah get ready for little league. I come inside to tend to Dixie and write more of this post.

4:30--trying to give Sara and Emma directions for dinner and get out the door. In the midst of doing this I get several calls in succession that the caller ID identifies as "payphone". I didn't know that those existed anymore but apparently those that are around do not work very well because I answer both times to only hear clicks. I suspect Tim is trying to confirm details regarding this evenings activities as he had mentioned having failed to charge his cell phone.

5--I arrive at Timothy's little league practice. I call home and get Tim who says he will be meeting me here at Timothy's practice so that I can take Noah to his game in the next town.

5:30--Tim arrives at Timothy's practice. We touch base on some things and he offers to let me just go home to try to redeem some of the day since he can tell I am pretty discouraged regarding my inability to get anything accomplished today but I decline, figuring there is likely to continue to be interruptions at home and at least if I stay I can watch Noah's game. I head for Hempstead with Noah, Judah and Dixie. Tim and Timothy are to join us when practice ends in Prairie View.

6--waiting at Sonic for a snack for Judah, a slush for me and ice for the ice chest. They are taking forever and if they don't hurry up Noah will be late.

6:15 arrive at ballpark. Noah refuses to leave the car to walk to the field by himself so I scramble to grab Dixie and purse, knocking over my slush. The cup breaks, spilling red cherry slush on the light gray carpet in the new van. Yay.

7--Tim and Timothy arrive. Tim reminds me that we have a conference call in half an hour regarding the upcoming hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday.

7:30 conference call. At this point we are planning to be at the Capitol on Wednesday with all twelve children in tow. What better way to teach them how their government works than to use something near and dear to their hearts (or at least their livelihoods) such as raw milk?

8:10 on our way home. I call to ask how dinner turned out and to see if there was any that they could save for us and was told that no one had eaten yet--dinner was not ready. I have been gone for over three hours and this was a 30 minute meal to prepare. I am somewhat less than thrilled and distinctly feel a headache coming on. I send word that I expect to walk in the door and be served dinner with every dish in the kitchen washed. Cranky mommy of the year award nomination coming I can just feel it.

8:25 I am met at the car with a bucket baby--Seth in a large feed bucket. He is in a splendid and super sweet mood and Sara is likewise--not as common and very nice to see.

8:30 I hit the door to see Emma bustling in the kitchen and no food on the table. Humph.

8:38 I am told that dinner is being served. I am also told that the hog pen did get worked on and that Sara did manage to get most of the babies vaccinated. We also got an incredible yield from the milk that we turned into chevre the last two days--well over one and a half pounds from each gallon of milk. It is a bit soft, but that is the way that it goes, this time of year with the extra high butterfat of Spring. Sara brings Dixie in and shows me that she has learned how to give a "high five". She is growing up too fast and is too sweet. God is good to have granted us this sweet baby girl after all the whirlwind of the boys. Tim checks the mail and we discuss a discount offer for a membership at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Grace is excited.

8:45 Dinner bell is rung (really, we have an old-fashioned triangle that is clanged to let everyone know to come to the table). Katarina and Christin are on their way home but not yet arrived. This leaves only twelve around the table instead of fourteen. As we finish dinner I state that I need four things. Tylenol. Water with which to wash down said Tylenol. A nice hot cup of tea and...chocolate. Instantly I have people committing to providing each thing I need--save for the chocolate. No one knows of any in the house. Momentarily Katarina and Christin arrive home--and Katarina comes bearing chocolate.

It has been a tiring and frustrating day but in the end I have only been home for minutes and although I see much to frustrate me, I see more that blesses me. Seventeen year olds who adore their toddler siblings. Teenagers who work hard for the family business. Ten year olds who enjoy playing with their brothers so mom and dad can tend to business calls. A table full of good things to eat, made by a dedicated thirteen year old and pie made by a creative fifteen year old. Family members who offer to help relieve each other's load.

God has been very good to us, indeed.


goatldi said...

Is there more? I should think all our plates should be so full!

CamsShel said...

next visit, we need to make CERTAIN that Joe and Emma are not assigned to cook alone...we might have to replace your home. 8-)