So, I did what any worried -- er -- good mother would do; I picked-up some books on it and began to read! The first book I read, within the first chapter, said that a busy homeschooling mom needs a housekeeper if she can afford one. I was sold. Funny, I don't remember much else from that book, but we do now have a housekeeper twice a month.
Because I don't know how a housekeeper could possibly get anything done with my sweet little
At the last minute, I decided to grab my old camera just in case... (Just in case, what? I don't know... but just in case...) It was a Divine nudge. Here's how it went:
Part 1: Inside Starbucks
In the car on the way to the mall, we reviewed our verse for the week, Phillipians 4:8. Many of our verses are put to music, so all 3 girls sang in the backseat while I drove. Listening to their 3 precious voices sing together has to be one of my favorite things in life!
Our first stop, as always, is to Starbucks for some hot chocolate and our history lesson. Sierra happily colored while we read together our history. That's about as long as Sierra can last in one setting...
Part 2: Outside Starbucks
So next, we moved outside where there is a nice little playground. And birds. And more birds. Yes, Sierra loved the birds, so we chased them. Sierra actually took this picture of the birds all by herself:
Meanwhile, the girls worked on their spelling and phonics.
And this little turkey found the slide:
Part 3: The Library
But, even the slide couldn't hold her attention too long. Soon it was time for a new setting. Luckily, the library opens at 10am, so that is where we headed next.
The constant change in location seems to be as good for the big girls as it is for Sierra. Of course, we did some reading in the library and then checked out a few books for the week.
Here's where it gets fun... Just picture this. I have a backpack on, which is my diaper bag. In front, I have my Bjorn with Malachi in it. Around my neck is my camera bag. And then on one arm I have my bag full of school books and supplies, while on the other I am carrying several library books. And, I am surrounded by 4 kids 6 and under. Can you picture it?
My 2-year-old decided she did NOT want to put her books on the counter for the lady to check out. Nobody was going to talk her into it, so I had my 6 year-old take them out of her hands for me.
Oh, the scream of terror as she laid down on the library floor, kicked and screamed, and had a good old-fashioned tantrum. Funny, it didn't phase me much.
I continued on with my checkout and ignored her until 3 library workers came rushing out demanding, "Who is this child's mother?" I smiled. "Oh, don't worry -- she's just upset because we had to check out her books. She'll be fine in a minute."
If looks could kill... One lady walked away. The second lady tried to comfort Sierra by stamping her hand and hugging her. The third lady asked if she could check out my books so I could pick-up my screaming child. (Right, because I had an extra hand!) I just smiled again and said no thanks, handed Sierra her books that were now checked out, and we all left happily and headed for the carousel.
Part 4: The Carousel
Sierra has 2 loves in life: carousels and lollipops. When you finish riding this particular carousel, they give you a lollipop so it is like heaven for Sierra.
I was so relieved to finally reach the carousel to unload all my "luggage," if only for a moment. As we were the first patrons of the day, I struck-up a conversation with the attendant, who ended up giving them an extra long ride. As we were talking, I noticed 3 long tables next to the carousel, loaded with cupcakes, frosting, and candy. Lots of candy. All sorts of colored frosting. I had to ask -- what was it for?
Part 5: The Cupcakes
It turns out, there was a FREE cupcake decorating demonstration for kids this day. I had already been pondering taking the kids to get a half of a cupcake because of THIS awesome post, but now I didn't have to... they were each allowed to make not one, but TWO cupcakes to take home!!
The first cupcake was to be an owl. Step-by-step they showed the kids how to make this:
Notice the green owl, (Sierra's), with the bite out of one eye and a bite out of the cupcake. Oh, and there were many candies consumed in-between. I think that was her third nose!
They even had the mall mascot, "Shadow," pay a visit! (I never knew there was such a thing as a mall mascot.) As usual, Sierra was freaked-out by it and refused to go near it, much less take a picture with it.
As for the ladies in charge of this whole production, I thought they looked a bit familiar, so I had to ask... were they on "Cupcake Wars?" The answer was "Yes!" How cool is that? I have only seen one episode of Cupcake wars, and that was the one. I embarrassed myself by asking if they came in second -- they were the winners! Open mouth, insert foot! But, they were super sweet ladies who didn't seem to mind. Perhaps they felt sorry for this crazy mama of 4!
Each cupcake got its own box, so I added a giant bag of 7 cupcakes to my collection of luggage. Oh yeah... and by this time, Sierra was quite tired and insisted on being held. I am quite sure I was a sight to see walking to my car. But, I couldn't help but smile. What a lovely morning! I couldn't have been more thankful that God nudged me to bring my camera. Or, that we had an impromptu cupcake-decorating session! Or, that Malachi was happy and mostly sleeping in the Bjorn the entire time!
Part 6: Coming Home
At home, we quickly made lunch so that we could dive into our cupcakes. Coming home from our Housekeeper Day school at the mall is always so wonderful. The house smells and looks so clean. I am lucky if it lasts an hour, but that first step through the door is heavenly!
We made lunch, put the 2 littles down for a nap, and then enjoyed our cupcakes. I may have told the girls 20 times to hold their heads over their plates so they wouldn't spill on my newly-cleaned floor. :)
I'm not going to lie to you; the afternoon was tough. Neither Malachi nor Sierra ever did fall asleep. But, I kept smiling. I was filled with joy as I thought of all the Lord had blessed me with that morning. We got through school -- even if it was all over the place! We were blessed with free cupcakes! I had a camera with me to capture it all. The house is clean. I could go on and on.
There is a quote I've been seeing on Pinterest lately that sums it up well. It goes something like, "Being grateful makes what we have enough." I am so grateful for my four blessings and the opportunity to learn with them each day... and that is enough for me!