We have established an amazing routine in the mornings. It may have taken me eight months of being a parent of two to get it figured out, but starting in November, we seemed to have figured it out!
Our morning sets the tone for the whole day. A morning that is rushed, chaotic, or stressful makes for a day of me being short-tempered, tired, and cranky. Thefore, it is important to me that we start our morning off well.
Usually, Burkley wakes up early and goes downstairs on his own to find Daddy eating breakfast or otherwise getting ready for work. Daddy usually gives him a pre-breakfast snack like a bowl of yogurt or a small bowl of cereal or a fruit bar or something. When Cadriel and I wake up, we mosey down and I make Daddy’s lunch and we all see him off.
Then begins our morning just the three of us, the boys and me. Last summer, 2012, I decided I would make a hot breakfast every day. The way that looks has changed a bit since Cadriel’s been here because I was finding it hard to make a hot breakfast from scratch each day with a newborn. So, usually now I make an egg casserole on Mondays and portion pieces out throughout the week. This helps save on time. We also make smoothies (it’s so nice to get a veggie serving out of the way so early in the day!) and have some kind of carb—bagel, toast, granola, etc. On the good days, Daddy also leaves me some coffee. ;)
We eat together, and now that Cadriel is eating too, a big mess is usually made. But, because I eat fast and the boys are still chowing while I’m done, I bring out the Bible and we start our morning off with some morning devotions. We read a passage, discuss it, and then spend a little bit of time in prayer together. Then, before we get up from the table, we practice Burkley’s memory verses. After that, we check out the weather and use Burkley’s weather forecaster he made at our preschool co-op.
|The rainbow of rectangles along the ledge are all of his memory verses.|
Next comes Burkley’s favorite part. THE SCHEDULE! He loves this thing. I knew he would—he’s that type of kid (just like me!). I printed off a bunch of little squares that contain pictures of things we most typically do. I also made some blank ones for us to draw our own pictures on. I laminated them, so we use dry erase marker to draw, which works great. We sing the days of the week song and talk about what day it is and what we have going on in our schedule that day. He loves knowing what to expect in his day and I know it gives him a sense of security and control. I learned this when teaching—each morning in my classroom we’d go over our schedule for the day and some kids just needed that. Burkley is one of those kids.
After our schedule, this month leading up to Thanksgiving, we added leaves to our Thankful Tree on our chalkboard. It was fun to hear the things he was thankful for. This week we got a new (to us) stove. He added that to his tree. I hadn’t even thought to stop and be thankful for that. But, I truly was! Our stove broke last week (that stove is something I’m also thankful for since it was given to us by a friend a couple of years ago) and I’m thankful we got a new one just in time for Thanksgiving!
Starting in December, we are going to do the 1,000 Gifts challenge in lieu of the Thankful Tree. More on that in future blog posts.
After we do our schedule, the boys play in the playroom while I clean up breakfast. By then Cadriel is usually ready for his morning nap, so I put him to bed and then take a shower while he sleeps. Burkley usually either colors or gets some iPad time while I do that. After I shower and get dressed, I get Burkley dressed and ready for the day and by then it's usually time for the first thing on our schedule unless it's just a play at home day!
Mornings can be hard. What have you found helps your family get a great start on the day?