Monica and her husband Jim, an independent sales rep for foam insulation, live in Irving with their eight children: Weston, 22; Joseph, 15; Timothy, 11; Christianna, 10; Elaina, 10; Victoria, 8; Alonna, 6; and Joshua, 3. In addition to home-schooling the kids, Monica owns and operates an organic food service that delivers fruits, vegetables and groceries to homes and businesses throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
5AM I sneak into the bathroom, hoping I don’t wake my husband. I read my Bible, pray and review a dream board full of things that are significant to me: each child, my husband, our future and anything we are hoping to accomplish. I squeeze in a few T-Tapp moves while I am getting ready. My showers are always ultrashort because I am racing against time before everyone is up.
6:30AM My husband is up and on his way to the kitchen. We work together to finish off laundry from the night before and get breakfast to the table.
7AM The children all get up. I love waking Joshua, my 3-year-old. He’s full of kisses and compliments. I get him ready while everyone else buzzes around. We all enjoy a steamy bowl of oatmeal with shredded coconut, maple syrup and a dollop of natural peanut butter.
7:30AM Jim makes me coffee. He drinks a green drink and I finish off a quart of water. As the children finish, they visit a little and then begin the cleanup process. Weston and Joseph help with a few outside chores while Christianna and Elaina wash dishes and sweep. Timothy and Victoria wipe tables. Alonna and Joshua put away their things and Jim whisks Joshua away for another potty stop. We break to brush our teeth and then gather in the living room for Bible study.
8:30AM We open up to the chapter of Proverbs that matches today’s date and read through and discuss the chapter. Each family member reads a verse (the youngest two repeat after me or their daddy). Then we move to the New Testament and read and discuss a chapter there. We finish with prayer and have a brief discussion about the day’s activities. Jim hides away in his office to get some bids turned in for foam insulation sales.
9:30AM My school-age children are now in the schoolroom for the day. They join together to go over piano cards, sing a few songs and review scripture they have memorized. Everyone gets busy working on assignments. Joshua plays in a playpen.
11AM Timothy is learning a new song on the piano. Joseph heads to the kitchen to prepare a snack lunch. Today it’s sliced pears, sliced cheese and Ak-Mak crackers. We all like that! We all work together again to pick up the kitchen. Then Joshua is on to new activities with Victoria and Alonna. They’re having a blast stacking and unstacking plastic cups.
12PM The youngest three go swimming with Weston and the others are back in the schoolroom. I check their work, then work through math problems with Joseph.
1:15PM I head outside to enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes before taking Joshua to nap.
1:30PM A friend comes over every Friday to spend time with Timothy, Christianna, Elaina, Victoria and Alonna. We call her Dearie. Right now, she is teaching the children about U.S. presidents and geography. She volunteers to help two times each week and is a true gift from God. I visit a few minutes with Joseph and Weston and then sit down to work on ordering food for our next delivery.
3PM My children are busy with Dearie. Joseph is playing Wii, the baby is asleep and Weston is finishing up details for our family business before heading off to a conference. At this point, I am on the homestretch! Now I just need to make sure we have dinner ready around 5. My grandmother always encouraged me to start dinner in the morning, so this time I have beans, rice, meat and trimmings (cheese, salsa, chopped tomato and onion) ready. I just need to pull a few things out and have Joseph warm things up at 4:30. I check Facebook and upload pictures of the kids doing sweet things. Today my pictures are of Timmy reading to Alonna and Joshua and of the two littlest ones playing in the hamper. I shut my eyes for a few minutes and lie down while listening to a podcast that encourages me.
4:30PM Joshua wakes up and I take him to the potty, then I take him in to see Dearie.
5:15PM Dinner is ready. Afterwards, we decide to watch Ben Carson’s movie Gifted Hands. I move in and out of the room putting away and wiping things. I sit down and snuggle Joshua and Alonna and then a few more kids come over to get some snuggle time.
9PM By this time, all the littles are in bed. I take a few minutes to finish up food order details. Jim is settling down and ready for pillow talk. I make some notes for tomorrow: Since it’s Saturday, the children will only do light reading, piano lessons and simple chores. Tomorrow I’ll get up early, but not at 5am. I love Saturdays!