Jenni Jensen is a mom and wife. She and her husband Michael have four children: William, 11; Grace, 10; Andrew, 6; and Nora, 5 (who has Down Syndrome). The family lives in Frisco.
6AM My alarm goes off and I hit snooze. I lay there with my eyes open thinking I am going to run out of time to do everything I need to do, but I can’t get up.
6:05AM Shut off the alarm and let Roxy, our dog, outside. Drink a big glass of juice – that was breakfast!
6:15AM Look at myself in the mirror and think I am going to exercise today. I let Roxy in and ask her if she wants to wake the kids. She barks and runs up the stairs into the kids’ rooms and licks them until they start complaining about what time it is.
6:30AM Everyone is finally downstairs.
6:50AM All of the kids have eaten except Nora. She wants to get dressed first.
7AM I am still wishing Nora would sit down and eat, but now I am settling for her keeping her clothes and shoes on. I pack Andrew and Nora’s lunches and check the backpacks for anything I may have missed from the night before. Yes, I find the uneaten food that of course went bad overnight.
7:15AM I have to give Andrew his asthma and allergy medicines as I have for years. He asks every morning, “Why?” and “Do you mean I have to do this every day?” as if this is new to him.
7:20AM I ask them all if they have their homework. Of course, they have a good reason why they haven’t started yet.
7:25AM I have to find Nora’s shoes one more time. The bus is waiting outside! I get her shoes on and grab her backpack. She decides she doesn’t want to go today so I have to pick her up and carry her out the door as I hit my head on the doorknob and utter something not so nice under my breath.
7:30AM I feel like half my day should be over! I help the kids get the rest of their stuff done. Grace and Andrew leave for school while she complains about how slow he walks and he is shocked that he has to attend school every day of the week. I am thanking God for school! Next, Will. This is when he has the most to say to me. I try to listen to him talk as I think, I need a shower. I hear him, I watch him and I tell myself, Listen!
7:50AM I get in my bathroom, close the door and take a deep breath and think, I am blessed!
9AM I am ready to go to my volunteer job at Believe & Achieve, which is a day-hab program for adults with special needs. On Wednesday we work at the AMC movie theater in Frisco teaching them different things like assembling or folding boxes for popcorn and soda.
2:15PM I head home while listening to 10 new messages all related to my big life project, Hope Park Frisco! This is a park that I am raising a lot of money for, and designing and building with the four other moms. We are hoping to build this park as a community-build project in November of 2012. Hope Park will be a universally accessible playground.
2:50PM I pull up just seconds before the bus! My boss, Nora, gets off and tells me, “I eat!” Every day she says the same thing and every day she expects the same thing, yogurt!
3PM This is my busy time. Calls to return, think about dinner, fold the laundry that I had to wash twice because I forgot to use detergent the first time. Andrew and Grace come home from school excited about their day.
3:30PM The doorbell rings and it is my partner in the park project with her two kids. I forgot it’s music lesson time!
4:30PM Everyone says their goodbyes and I check my messages. I return calls and texts while I clean up after Nora and the music class.
4:45PM Someone needs to cook dinner! Oh yeah, that would be me! I check the freezer for chicken and veggies. I explain this is not a restaurant and they need to try everything.
5:20PM I tell everyone to finish (or start) eating. Drew says we forgot to pray. So we pray.
6PM Usually someone has soccer, baseball or tennis, so my husband and I juggle who is doing what. I have a park meeting in a half-hour.
7:30PM I go in the house and only Will is home. They all went for frozen yogurt and ran some errands.
8PM I tell the kids that it is time for books and bed. Grace likes to read to the little kids and play school, so they do that for a few minutes as I get their jammies ready. We climb on my bed with Mike and Roxy and we cuddle for a few minutes.
8:30PM Bedtime. Mike and I get everyone upstairs for bed. Say prayers, tell them we love them and lights out.
8:35PM I talk to Mike about our day and the kids. He talks about work, I talk about the park.
9:10PM I look in the mirror and think, I had a great day! Even though my roommates are difficult I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. Except I wish I would have worked out!