The alarm rings at 7am. We probably don’t need to wake up so early to make it to school at 8:30, but it is our first week, and our first experience with “morning school”. It is March and autumn is beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. I kick myself that I didn’t go to bed earlier—life happens on a later schedule here and I haven’t yet disciplined myself to go to bed early. I wake up the two boys, one in 5th and one in 4th grade, who attend a local school, and move on to my chores, amazed at how productive I can be when the house is quiet.
Ray walks them to school, and then we have our prayer time together. I do some more chores and then it is time to go out with the two little ones. Today we will go to the butcher shop and spend a little time at the park. We find that the butcher is closed. He hasn’t been open for a while and I am left to wonder if he is out of business or just on vacation. We go on to the park. The kids start to play and I mentally think over whether I have time to go to the grocery store to pick up some meat now, or if I can squeeze it in later on. I decide to put it off until later, and watch the kids play as I work on my Spanish vocabulary cards. I am have been trying to take things at a slower pace as childbirth quickly approaches.
We swing by the corner store on the way back home where we pick up some milk. We continue on to our house, stopping briefly to chat with a neighbor about my upcoming birth. By the time I get home I need to make lunch. I run out of time and ask my older daughter to finish preparations. I rush to walk to school to pick up the boys, since it is nearly noon. It is about a 0.7 mile walk round trip. The boys tell me about their day as we walk home. I am happy the homework load is light for the first week, allowing us to get adjusted to our new schedule. We come back and I ask my older daughter to get the 5 year old ready, as she must be at school at 1pm because she is in afternoon school. Ray takes her, allowing me to eat my lunch and put the toddler down for a nap. I then take a short nap and do some quiet activities of the computer. Eventually I get up to run more errands, do household chores or maybe go to a doctor appointment or attend a mission meeting. I see what homework the boys may have and help them with it and check in with the teenagers, who are doing homeschool. We will find out soon what afternoon classes our boys who attend school will have—the school hasn’t finished making the schedule yet. We don’t know how many days they will be staying late, or what subjects they will study in the afternoon, or when the classes will start, but I enjoy not needing to pack any lunches while it lasts. I pick up Christina from school at 5pm, likely talking with a few neighbors on the way, usually about the upcoming birth, or fielding questions about whether we plan to have any more children. As I have just entered my 9th month of pregnancy, I have to give myself pep talks about how healthy the walking is for me. I start the dinner preparations after returning home. We typically eat between 7 and 8pm. On many nights various children will have either ballet or karate, and on Thursdays we have our church prayer meeting as well. Our youngest set of children go to bed at 9pm, followed by the elementary aged children at 10pm, and then parents and teenagers by midnight, as another day ends.
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