Retired nurse Lisa de Oliveira has lived in Denton for five years. She and her husband Glênisson have three kids: JJ, 21, David, 19, and Daniel, 13. Two of their sons are in college—JJ at Cornell University and David at Texas Christian University—while Daniel is an eighth grader at Olive Tree Academy, aka homeschool.
4:45AM Alarm goes off. I think, Hmmm, I’ll hit snooze and go to the 8:30 Camp Gladiator class. Then I remember it’s Wednesday co-op day—it’s the 5 o’clock class or nothing, so I drag myself out of bed.
4:55AM Head out to my CG workout at Bone Daddy’s. Even brushed my teeth.
5:05AM Bummer—missed the warmup lap, but I crank out a workout with my fellow Gladiators. Drive back home glad that I worked out to start my day.
6:10AM Quick shower and get dressed for the day. Darn, no yoga pants! Not a good look for the homeschool science co-op.
6:15AM No time today to sit down with my beloved cup of tea for devotional time. Next best thing: Listen to my audio Bible as I prep a fruit breakfast for Glênisson before he heads out to work.
6:45AM Wake up Daniel and implement our divide-and-conquer plan to get out the door: He loads car while I take care of food … yes? Deal! I pack lunch for Daniel—peanut butter and Nutella wrap. It’s his go-to lunch, but then I realize our co-op is a peanut-free zone … snap. I put the peanut butter wrap in foil for a snack later. Plan B for lunch: Grab some cheese cubes, slices of turkey, crackers, grapes, water bottle, and we’re good to go.
6:55AM Kitchen alarm buzzes to signal it’s time to leave. Yikes, I still need to do my hair! Daniel loads the car and heats up frozen sausage, egg and cheese croissants for breakfast on the road while I run a flat iron through my hair.
7AM Drive to Arrow Academics co-op while eating a breakfast croissant. On the radio: Proverb of the Day. Apply makeup en route at each stop sign and red light.
7:35AM Arrive at co-op to 16 great kids. Teaching general science today means two labs and a short presentation on simple machines. It’s a highlight of my week to get kids to love learning, especially science.
10AM Head out to one of my favorite portable offices: Dunkin Donuts. Yay, pumpkin spice is back. Grab my latte and planner to make my “Top 6 To–Do List.” I’ve been top six–ing my to–do’s since I was a sales director with Mary Kay. I can’t move to task No. 2 until I finished task No. 1. Easier said than done but it keeps me on task, except for that occasional—squirrel!
10:45AM Receive a text from my husband: “Can you join me for UNT alumni lunch in Frisco at noon?” No brainer. I text back: “ABSOLUTELY.”
11:11AM Find a minute to send my daily text to one of my peeps: usually either my husband, one of my three sons, my BFF or another homeschool mama. Today, I send my words of encouragement (my love language) to my sister in Boston.
12:05PM Excited to have a reason to meet my husband out for a business lunch. Usually he comes home or I meet him on campus to have lunch at Avesta.
2PM Peek at the Top 6 list and tackle what’s next: Follow up with six Denton Benefit League membership contacts and type up board report from a week ago.
2:40PM Need caffeine. Luckily, I’m meeting a prospective DBL member for coffee on the Denton Square.
4:05PM Pick up Daniel at Arrow. Once I see his big smile, I call for a generous hug for his slightly exhausted mama, chat with another homeschool mom who is nursing, potty training and teaching multiplication facts with her three girls. “Hang in there,” I tell her, “and don’t call for the yellow school bus yet; it does get easier.”
4:35PM Back home to put books away and grab a quick snack. It’s a quick turn-around before heading out for youth group.
4:45PM While Daniel eats his snack, aka the peanut butter and Nutella wrap from earlier, I make a quick dinner since I didn’t make time to start a Crock-Pot earlier—oh well. I’m thankful that I grilled extra chicken and zucchini over the weekend, so I pop the Uncle Ben’s brown rice packet into the microwave for 90 seconds.
6PM All three of us are out the door for commitments at church.
6:30PM Drop off Daniel to youth group.
6:35PM Glênisson and I meet one–on–one with an engaged couple for the eighth and final premarital counseling session that our church offers.
8:15PM Pick up Daniel and head back home—but not before a quick pit stop at DQ for a peanut butter blizzard.
8:50PM Daniel showers and gets ready for bed while Glênisson and I walk Sophie, our dog, and catch up on the day.
9:30PM Favorite time of day: Daniel hops into our bed, and Glênisson reads to us. Sometimes Daniel and I rub his feet to keep him awake, but tonight I fold laundry.
10:05PM Happy that Daniel still likes our nighttime routine of songs and prayers. I’ll take it for as long as he will!
10:15PM Watch evening news while scrolling through social media and trying to get my inbox back down to zero before lights out—I get to about 10 unread. Not bad. Still a worthy day to enter into my gratitude journal: “Thank you, Lord, for a full day of blessings.”
What she’s reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (with Daniel)
Best vacation Porto de Galinhas beach in northeast Brazil
Books on her nightstand The Life–Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, One Month To Live by Kerry Shook, Bible
Instagram she always likes My boys, Beth Moore, Tim Tebow
Favorite indulgence Chocolate peanut butter fudge from Buc–ee’s
What’s in her Netflix queue Who knows? My boys handle the remote.
Favorite movie Mary Poppins
First celebrity crush Shaun Cassidy
Favorite date night spot EG Steak
Favorite scent Styletto cologne on my husband
Best purchase ever College education
Words she lives by Seek first the kingdom of God.
Beauty product she can’t live without Mary Kay TimeWise Repair
What she does when life gets stressful Get in the car, drive with windows down and sunroof open listening to praise music
Motherhood in five words It is not for wimps.
Dream job as a kid Pediatric nurse—then I became one!
Self-care spot Captiva Salon & Spa on the Denton Square
Favorite cheap meal with the kids Chick-fil-A
How she and her partner met At church while in college
Something she learned this week “Respect, listen, help and appreciate others.” —Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford
She’s really good at Encouraging others
She’s really bad at Throwing overly ripe food out of my refrigerator
If she had to change careers, she’d be a Bed and breakfast owner
Image courtesy of Tasha Lee Photography.