life lately {4 a.m. and daily life edition}

Ah. Life is wonderful. :D Wonderfully full, wonderfully busy, wonderfully messy... and it's all wonderfully hard work.

Right now my hands are free {!} and I'm excited to get a chance to write something. It just happens to be 4:06 a.m. and I've been up since 2 a.m. when a certain little girl had a nightmare. The baby is sleeping but I'm completely awake. :/ Something terrible always happens when I am startled in the middle of the night- I never can go back to sleep. In this case, maybe it's a really gift because the extra alone time is a good thing. :)

I may not make any sense at this hour, but at least this time I get a chance to share some of what life has been like lately! :D

This picture sums up every weekday pretty much since we started school:

My life from 8-3 these days is holding two babies while homeschooling. :) Someday I hope to show you, but in our new house plan we built a den connecting to the schoolroom so I could sit on a sofa and nurse the baby while reading with children and it has been one of the best things ever. If I sit in an office chair all day holding a baby my back kills me! Comfy couch = big win.

Many of the other hours of my day are {of course} spent being a short-order chef/baker/food plater:  :)

I usually keep it pretty simple unless I get a craving for a good cookie. :D The other day I made some citrus butter cookies {from the Pioneer Woman's first cookbook} and improvised with lemon and lime essential oils. I have no idea what the original recipe would taste like but these were pretty good:

I don't know how many times I've said it now, but somehow after 12 years of motherhood I'm still shocked at how much my kids can eat. We go through a loaf of bread in one meal and that's without me eating any! :D

Of course, lots of food= lots of dishes. I have to say though, I'm super blessed to have this view in the daytime and a husband and son who do the dishes after dinner. :D 

It's still very warm around these parts- even for November, so we've spent more hours outside during lunch and right after school. I'm glad for the 75-80 degree range, and when it gets down to the 60's every now and then we {Texans} pull out the scarves and boots. We may be sweating but hey it's almost Thanksgiving and we're going to wear fall clothes, by golly.

Oh, and is it just me, or does homeschooling make you love daytime appointments too? Even if it means taking everyone to the eye doctor, it feels like field trip... :D 

Probably the two questions we get asked the most when we go out are "Are these all yours?" usually followed by "Do you want to have more?"

The look on almost every single face is complete surprise when we answer yes to both. :)

Is this season easy? No way, man.

Does getting in and out of the car feel a little like torture? Yes, if I'm being honest.

Is homeschooling tough? On its best day.

Is all this daily, tedious, exhausting effort worth it? 

When I see these precious faces I instantly know the answer...

Yes, yes, and YES.

It's not only worth it-- it is truly a blessing from the Lord Himself. :)

I'm so thankful for this crazy, busy, awesome life as a mama/wife/homemaker/chef/teacher/housekeeper.

Not to say I'm not totally looking forward to the day we get a 12-passenger van. :D

{p.s. you may never think that will happen to you... just wait until you have 6 kids :P}