A Day in the Life of a Baker’s Dozen

An Inside Look into a Typical Day of Extreme Parenting

large family life

One of the most commonly occurring themes on my homeschool posts is simplicity. A simple homeschool routine can make all the difference in the world, but I don’t want to give anyone the false impression that life in a super-size family is simple. Is that even possible??

So today I decided to write down what my day was like from the moment I woke up until right now as I’m writing this. Now obviously I couldn’t write down everything that happened or I’d never get this post finished…but I did write down just enough that you’d get a glimpse into a typical day at our house.

In order for you to have the proper perspective of what’s going on in the background throughout the day, as you’re reading what I’ve written, picture it on top of endless cries of, “Mom! Mommy! Mom, look! Mom can I have a drink? Mom, we’re out of kool-aid! Mom, he threw a sock at me…” 

Do you have that chorus playing in your head? Okay. Now  we’re ready to begin. 🙂 

7am- My alarm goes off and most of the kids immediately hear that I’m awake and come trampling downstairs. I walk into the dark living room and accidentally step on someone’s head. Oops! Sorry, Luke! Stop sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night!  I tell the kids to play quietly upstairs while I do some stuff on the computer…with Kenzie on my lap. It’s very hard typing with a 3 yr old sitting on you…

As I’m working on some blog-related things, Luke approaches me and asks if they can blow dry their Shopkins. What??? Apparently they made some homemade Shopkins out of some clay they made last night and want to try blow drying them instead of baking them. Umm..sure, why not?

Dillon comes walking into the dining room, bleary-eyed and tells me that his poison ivy that he got at the creek has spread everywhere. Sure enough, he’s got it on his face, his arms, his hands, his chest, and some right above his eye. Better watch that. He has a tendency to get cellulitis easily.

8am- The kids get impatient because I’m still on my laptop and start making themselves breakfast. In my defense, the reason I set my alarm so early is because the kids used to get up later, and this is supposed to be my ‘me’ time. Ahem.

8:15- I head into the bathroom and find Summer sitting on the toilet with Kenzie standing next to her. They’re both singing and looking at a book. Are you done going to the bathroom? Yes. Then can Mommy use the bathroom? She smiles, gets up, and they leave together.

I finally put some coffee on and soon hear Summer crying. Apparently, there are no more breakfast sandwiches left. I double check the freezer and find one. Mom to the rescue!

After Kenzie asks me for a drink, I realize that I can’t find any cups…anywhere. They must be in the same place as all of our silverware…

8:30- I start a load of laundry, then remember that I still have wash hanging out on the clothesline. I go out to take the wash down; it’s still damp from the morning dew, but it’s good enough. Summer and Kenzie ‘help’ me.As we’re taking the clothes off the line, Caollin, London, Bailey, and Luke all come outside and start trying to ride their bikes and scooters around us as we’re working. I shoo them away.

8:45– Aah…my first sip of coffee. Things are looking better already! I eat a quick breakfast and then discover London’s flip flops in the cats’ litter box. Kenzie!!

8:50- I break up my first fight of the day, which is over stuffed animals. Oddly enough, it’s Caollin and London, who are 12 and 10, who are fighting over them and not my little ones.

Kenzie and I head into the living room to fold laundry together.


9am- Time to straighten up before homeschool! I straighten and vacuum the living room while the kids work together in the dining room. London sweeps and mops the kitchen floor which still has remnants of flour on it from making homemade clay last night. Luke is conveniently hungry now that we’ve started cleaning. Nice try. The kids notice that Bailey is missing; we find him hiding upstairs. Grr…

9:15- I find some of the kids in the living room doing headstands. I wish I had that kind of energy!

Caollin approaches me, asking advice about how to write a blog post. I tell her what I know, which isn’t much, and she goes upstairs to work on one.

9:30- I break up the second fight of the day. This time it’s Luke and London over popcorn.

Summer comes running up to me telling me she needs soap. Why? “Kenzie sprayed cologne on me, and I don’t want to smell like Daddy!” Kenzie saunters into the living room with a big smile on her face and hands Summer a bar of soap.

9:45- I notice that someone has dumped all of the crayons, markers, and colored pencils into the bottom of a tote. As I attempt to fish some out, Caollin asks me to proofread her blog post. I fix some of it but don’t mention everything because I don’t want to discourage her. I leave some of it as is, and she publishes it. 🙂

10am- Time for school! *If you’re interested in exactly how we do things, you can find it here. If you’d like a closer look at our full curriculum, you can find that here.* We walk into the living room to start reading when Luke dumps an entire bowl of popcorn all over the floor, and he starts to pick it up. Just leave it. I’ll get it after we read.


10:35- Caollin comes running into the dining room screaming. Dillon is chasing her with a dead crayfish. Another day at the Sangrey house…

11am- The kids make their own construction paper quilts to go along with the story we’re reading, and they take turns going on spellingclassroom.com.


11:40- The littles are finished with their activities, so Caollin, London, and Bailey start on spelling, math, and silent reading.

12:15- By now, Dillon is complaining about his poison ivy again, Luke is running around the house, and Summer, and Kenzie are crying. I have no idea about what…

12:30- Lunch break! Dillon starts soaking his hands in cold water to relieve the itch, and Luke reads his first book to me!! Success!! He’s so excited because it’s been a bit of a struggle for him. Thank God for homeschooling. 🙂

12:45- I do my personal devotions and eat a quick lunch.

1pm- Chore time! Luke volunteers to clean all the food out of the fridge (which stopped working yesterday) in exchange for a slurpee. Done! Bailey starts throwing a fit because he doesn’t like his chore. I don’t like to label kids, but I’m guessing some might classify him as an overly sensitive child. His fits are quite frequent. Sigh.

I finally get dressed, then head downstairs to fix the sofa cushions before my husband gets home from work. Good thing I did…someone crushed a piece of pound cake and shoved it between the pillows…

Now Ireland is crying because Caollin took the last Hot Pocket. (In case you’re wondering, I did make them lunch. My kids are always hungry. Always.) Not to worry, though. London finds one for her later. 🙂

1:30- Daddy’s home!

Caollin goes out back to take the laundry off the line while I call the doctor about Dillon’s poison ivy. Doctor’s closed for lunch. Whatever happened to the answering service??

1:50- I start another load of laundry. I come upstairs from the laundry room and find Kenzie swinging from the rod in the hall closet and Ireland sitting on the dining room table. Where is my husband?? Ah, he’s in the living room playing World of Warcraft while Luke and Dillon watch. Caollin, London, and Summer are all busy watching Bailey on spellingclassroom.com.

2pm- Time to start school again. Bailey and London finish up their spelling (Caollin’s already done), and we read the second last chapter of Peter Pan, for which they complete a notebooking page.

Finally get in touch with the doctor’s office. Dillon may need to be seen. The nurse is going to find out and call back. Please, no! She calls back shortly- she’s going to just call in a prescription. Yay!


3:20- School’s over! I spend 20 minutes on hold at the pharmacy to find out the prescription hasn’t even been called in yet.

3:40- I check my blog, email, and send messages to two of the nicest ladies I’ve ‘met’ in the blogosphere- Jen, from Practical, By Default and Camie, from Happy Hearts Homeschool.. Their blogs are definitely worth checking out. (Hint hint!)

4pm- I find Ireland, Summer, and Kenzie in the dining room with the entire box of Captain Crunch dumped into a chip and dip platter. I take a deep breath, turn around, and see hot pink kinetic sand dumped all over my sofa. I clean off the sofa and start to straighten up again. By this point, I’ve already sent the kids upstairs to clean their room because it. is. horrifying. I fold the laundry that Caollin brought in earlier and start another load. As I walk into the living room after coming out of the laundry room, what do I see?? Kinetic sand dumped all over the living room floor. I’m quickly starting to lose my patience. I go outside, hang up more clothing and bring the dry stuff back in. (In case you’re wondering, our outlet for our dryer caught on fire two weeks ago, so until we buy a new cord for the dryer and my husband rewires the outlet, it’s the clothesline for us…)

4:30- I realize that since the fridge is broken, I have no idea what I’m making for supper. The freezer still works, but you can’t very well thaw meat out without a fridge, can you?

4:45- By now I’m completely exhausted and tell Kenzie to come sit with me so we can watch Toy Genie together. Laugh all you want. Her videos relax me like nothing else can. 😉

4:48- (I’m not even kidding…) My husband asks me to make him chicken noodle soup. So…I do make him some…which he eats 45 minutes later.

4:55- I sit down again, and, to be honest, I’m starting to get grumpy.

5:05- Dillon comes in the house and is excited to show me the leech that is sucking on his thumb. Get. it. out. of. the. house. now.

5:15- I call the pharmacy- again- and find out that his medicine has finally been called in. I find some pizza rolls in the freezer and shove them in the oven. The kids are very happy with what we’re having today.

5:45- Supper time!

6pm- Dillon and I get ready to leave to go get his prescription and some shampoo. Wait…what’s that on the floor in front of the door? You guessed it…KINETIC SAND! Oh. my. gosh. I hurriedly pick it up and we leave. I’m gone for 40 blissful minutes with just one child- and he’s 16. You can’t see me, but I’m smiling.

6:40- We’re back, and it’s time for evening chores. The kids are fighting against this tooth and nail, but I’ve had it, and they know it. They try to take some of my irritation off of them and inform me that the boy who lives next door was throwing cheese puffs and peanut shells into our back yard. Ireland tries to stick up for him and says, “But, Mom, we ate all the cheese puffs he threw over.” Apparently my kids are turning into dogs.

7pm- Tonight is garbage night, but I have no older kids to help me take it out. Dillon has poison ivy blisters all over his hands, and Devin and Arianna are with Brendan at my mom’s house. The younger kids are all dutifully trying to help me carry the trash out, but Luke made one of the bags too heavy when he cleaned out the fridge. I tell my husband he’ll have to get that one. As he’s walking through the dining room- that was just cleaned- the bag rips open and trash flies everywhere. Everywhere. I may have had a meltdown at this point. My husband cleaned it up. 🙂

7:15- I’m just done for. I plop myself down on the sofa and start watching Toy Genie again. Don’t judge me. Ireland, Summer, and Kenzie are jumping all over the living room. I give them an ultimatum: sit down on the sofa quietly or go upstairs. They sit for a while, until my husband goes to bed. Then they’re wired again.

8pm- Bailey informs me that it’s 8:01. I gleefully cry out, “Ireland and Summer, time for bed!” Kenzie is already asleep on my lap, and after some protests, the girls go upstairs. I glance over to my left and see that Luke has fallen asleep on the sofa. Sigh. Four down…

8:45- The phone rings; it’s Devin and Arianna calling to wish two of our cats a happy birthday. I forgot all about it. Oops. Brendan asks me some questions about his financial aid form for school.

9pm- Dillon announces the time, and I send the rest of the kids to bed. Dillon asks if I want to watch a movie. We turn on Deep Impact, but he’s asleep within minutes, so I head over to my laptop and start this post at 9:39. It’s now 12:02, and I am still writing it, but I’m almost done!

As I close this post and get ready for bed, I just want to say one thing. Keeping track of our day today has been hard for me, but not in the way you may think. Normally, I don’t think twice about all that I do everyday. This is my life, and I love this life. I think that focusing on all that has to get done has shifted my attention off of others and turned it more on myself. I honestly believe that that’s where the grumpiness came from today. If there’s one thing I want to take away from this experience, it’s this: I am happiest when I am doing things for others without giving it a second thought. It’s so much easier that way.

If you’re still reading this after the 2413 words I already posted, God bless you! Thank you for your patience and sticking through it with me. I hope you enjoyed a look at this day in the life of a baker’s dozen!


Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

39 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Baker’s Dozen”

  1. Awe! Thanks for the mention. You’re so sweet! Your day was hilarious! I shared the trash bag explosion part with my daughter and she was laughing outright. Our house is so quiet and dull compared to yours. I do miss having littles. What a blessed life you live, Shelly. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a three yr old who I include if she’s interested. I haven’t graduated any kids from homeschool, yet, because our oldest wanted to go back to school for 11th and 12 th grade. So…our oldest daughter will be graduating this year, so she’s our first future homeschool graduate. As for driver’s ed, for insurance reasons, our kids don’t drive until they’re 18, so we only have one child who drives, and his army recruiter trained him more than we did!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! It’s always interesting seeing how a typical day goes for someone else, even if you don’t typically jot down everything you do (which I think would become tedious over the course of a day!) I follow you on Instagram and the flip-flops in the litter box were the hook! You have a fun family! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I thought my day was hectic. Considering as a work outside of the home parent, when I am at work my environment is more controlled, I get a 30 min lunch break before heading home to the madness, I can say you have your hands way full while in Teacher/ Psychologist/Nurse/ and principle roles. Thanks for showing the realistic picture of your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AW first of all thanks for the mention! 🙂 I love our chats, they are the highlight of my day, especially when I get to reply from work lol Although you get stuck deciphering the texting spelling errors called phones. This was a great post showing that all of us have our struggles, messy and crazy life but we love it. We really do. And hopefully, others see that too. Plus us mom’s know what you didn’t write down so you have much more going on that said . Your children have an amazing mom, and someday they might just say thanks for all you do. In the meantime-Great job Mom!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I only have the two, but I completely know what you mean by: “hungry all the time”. It is amazing how much food we go through. Thanks for keeping it real. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pheh! That sounds like quite a day. I once cataloged our day and realized (even with just three boys) I am so much better off NOT keeping track of everything I do! There is just something innate about doing for others but when I’m AWARE of how much I’m doing it makes me feel that much more tired and overworked.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wow! what a day you have and you sound so positive. I’m amazed that it took until 4.55 to say you felt a little grumpy!! It would of been far earlier for me i’m sure. I’m truly blown away by how you juggle it all and the kids seem super happy. Well done you:) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
    Mainy – myrealfairy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a day! Appliance breakdowns are my worst nightmare, it throws out the entire routine. (I say this as if I have a good routine, but you know what I mean!) I loved the bit about the kids doing headstands – if I had a tenth of my daughter’s energy I’d be a different woman, lol.

    Thanks so much for sharing over at #FridayFrivolity!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am exhausted just reading about your day. Do you wake up everyday at 7am even though you homeschool? I had to get up at 7 this morning and it was the first time since school got out that I have been up that early and let me tell you…Monday starts school and then it’s up at 6am everyday because I hate to be rushed. 4 kids to get ready and get to 3 different schools by 8am. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink and hope to see you Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe it or not, the main reason I wake up so early is to link my blog up to all the linkups I do. We don’t start school until 10am! I will wake up later when we’re not doing school, though, because I don’t have to worry about finishing my blog-related stuff by a certain time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Awe, bless you. I loved reading about your day! The kinetic sand, cheese puffs, fights…all of it. It sounds like a typical day for us!

    Liked by 1 person

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