A Day in the Life of Me, Kendra Tierney, in Which a Lot of Things Happen and Often I Don’t Yell

by | Apr 8, 2014 | Catholic Living, Homemaking, Homeschool | 78 comments

a grandfather clock built by . . . 
my grandfather
(is your mind blown?)

Okay, you asked for it. Here it is. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

My days start at about 11 pm, since that’s when I can usually put Lulu down for an hour or two and attempt to accomplish all the things . . . 

4/1/14 11:06pm. I nurse Lulu to sleep while reading blogs and checking Facebook and returning emails on the iPad, then slip her into the swing in our living room. I go visit with the husband for a bit before he goes to bed. Quality time. We got it.

11:23pm. Meal plan for Lent is to clear out the freezer. I fish a bag of chicken bones out and put them on the stove to make stock for soup for tomorrow’s dinner. I’m thinking chicken and dumplings. Or maybe Chicken Corn Chowder.

11:28pm. I sit down at the desktop computer to blog with two hands. But, first, I check my email and comments and feed reader (yay! Christine had her baby! Nothing from Colleen. Does that mean she’s had the baby or that she hasn’t?!) and Facebook timeline. I feel a great need to keep my unread emails at zero. I like to respond to comments and emails right away, before they get lost under a new batch. I’m pretty meticulous about the blogs I follow and almost always read every post. I always scroll down to the last thing I remember seeing on Facebook. I don’t want to miss anything.

4/2/14 12:10am. All caught up on that, now it’s time to write. I should have at least an hour before Lulu wakes up. Normally I’d start working on my seven quick takes. I have a few concepts I’ve been considering for future installments. But, I’ve been nominated for a Leibster award. It’s an AWARD! I don’t want to put that one off too long. So, I start writing.

12:34am. Lulu wakes up. Ugh. Okay. Switch off the computer monitor, turn the stock down to simmer, pick up the baby. Be greeted by her adoring, adoring smiles. Less mad. I put Lulu on my hip and go floss and brush (one handed).

12:40am. Lulu and I sneak into bed. I latch her on and finish a few things up on the iPad (including this). I say my evening prayers and do my examination of conscience.

1:06am. Despite having the whole internet in my hands, plus a book I’m enjoying AND an itty bitty booklight that wakes neither husbands nor babies, I decide to go to sleep.

4:23am. Roll over. Nurse.

6:27am. Roll over. Nurse.

7:24am. Roll over. Nurse. Wake up, say morning offering. It’s better for me to get out of bed for my 15 minutes of morning prayer. But Lulu is wiggly, so I stay put. I only fall back to sleep for just a second in the middle there.

7:45am. Grab iPad. Check comments. Last evening I published the post about why I’m letting my hair go gray. Folks seem to like it. Cool. Check emails.

8:00am. I should get up. Lulu’s still wiggly.
I check Facebook.

8:03am. Lulu seems asleep.
I’m not done with Facebook.
I want to read Bonnie’s review of Noah. What an enigma that movie is. I haven’t seen the Christian blogosphere this divided since . . . Well, since Frozen. So maybe it’s always divided. I wasn’t initially planning to see it, but it have to say, I’m intrigued.

8:04am. My guardian angel helps by making the internet painfully slow. The page won’t load. I close the iPad and roll stealthily out of bed, leaving a sleeping baby and the iPad with it’s white noise app behind. Not exactly a heroic moment, but I’m up. I get dressed: jeans, sweater, nursing tank stays on, scarf — note to self: find a scarf that matches. I slip on my new slip on running shoes.

8:10am. In the kitchen, six kids are up. The big kids set an alarm and get up at 7:30, so by now the chickens are fed and watered, eggs are brought in, dishwasher is emptied, little trash cans are brought to the big trash can, and that’s taken out, and the recycling is taken out and sorted. Two kids are dressed, most are eating breakfast. They’ve made scrambled eggs. Daddy made a pot of oatmeal and cut up some fruit for them before he left.

Our wonderful, amazing, super-terrific housekeeper is here and folding laundry.

I start reminding people what time it is.

I check the chicken stock and turn the heat up on it. I check for other ingredients and decide to make chicken and dumplings. Know what we’re having for dinner before 10am. Check.

I put an English muffin in the toaster.

8:14am. I check iCal. Need to return library books. We lost a library book
months ago. Our kind librarians keep renewing it for me, but I finally ordered one from Amazon to give them. Now I just need to remember where I put it.

Frankie has speech therapy, Betty has a voice lesson, both at our house. I need to write a check for her teacher.

I notice that it’s JPII’s death day. D’oh. We usually celebrate that as Jack’s name day, since he is named John Paul after Pope John Paul II.* That means Jack gets to pick what we have for dinner. I ask him. He does NOT want chicken and dumplings or any other chicken-stock-based dinner. Blerg.

He wants Indian curry and rice. Okay. I need I to check for ingredients.

Back to iCal. Betty has softball practice at 5, Jack has a baseball game, also at 5. So, soup was never going to work anyway. We need a to-go dinner. Curry burritos it is. And I have everything we need. All planned. Still before 10am.

I turn the stock off to cool down and take my English muffin out of the toaster. Frankie wants it. I remind him how we ask for things. He asks for it. I give it to him and put another in the toaster.

8:19am. I remind everyone what time it is.

Kids who aren’t dressed get sent to dress. Everyone gets sent to make beds.

Anita can’t find her school dress and asks for help. I find it hanging over the foot of her bed. How could she be expected to find that?

I go get clothes for Frankie and change his diaper and dress him. He wants to put on his own shoes. I wish him good luck.

8:22am. I remind everyone what time it is.

I remind everyone that we always have to put on shoes every morning.

I remind the girls to brush their hair.

I do my make up. Frankie does his.

8:30am. I remind everyone what time it is. School starts at 8:30, but so far it’s just me and Frankie in the entry way.

8:32am. We’re all out front for the Pledge of Allegiance and P.E. Gus beats us all running laps, as usual. I used to be pretty confident that I could beat him if I really tried, but now I’m not so sure.

8:45am. Back inside for prayers.

Morning Offering, Guardian Angel, Memorarae, Gus recites the Act of Contrition in preparation for his First Confession on Saturday.

8:51am. We light a candle and Betty reads aloud a story from our Children’s Bible
. Gus is surprised that Jesus was healing leopards. We have a discussion about lepers.

I do a quick two minute guided meditation with the kids, then we have two minutes of silent mental prayer. Even that is usually too long for us <cough — Frankie — cough> to stay silent. But we keep trying. Today goes pretty well. We each choose an intention and a resolution for the day. My resolution is to remember to go to the library. Must. Remember.

9:06am. We blow out the candle, put the Bible away and start our school day. Anita and Frankie go out back to play. Betty and Jack go to the kitchen table where Jack will do her math lesson with her and work on spelling on the iPad and editing in his workbook. Gus and Bobby sit on either side of me at the dining room table to do math.

My main job is to tap the table with a pencil every time Bobby spaces out. So, every 15 seconds or so. Math is supposed to be finished by 10am. I remind everyone what time it is.

I eat my breakfast.

9:27am. Wow. Baby’s still asleep. I sneak to the bathroom the back way, so Frankie doesn’t see me. When I open the door to come out, he’s standing there.

Frankie: Mama, are you all done? 

Me: Yes, Frankie, I’m all done. 

Frankie: No Mama! I lika go whichu!

10:00am. We’re supposed to be done with math, but we aren’t quite. I remind everyone what time it is.

10:12am: Math is finished and corrected for Betty, Bobby, and Gus. Lulu is still asleep! Normally we would all sit down at the kitchen counter to do All About Spelling
together, but this week is our homeschool group Spelling Bee, so we head out to the front yard to work on our spelling lists.

Betty quizzes Gus and Anita, I quiz Jack, Bobby climbs the apple tree.

. Lulu wakes up. But she can wait a minute.

10:24am. Lulu doesn’t want to wait anymore.

I’m finished with Jack’s words, so I leave him to quiz Bobby (still in the tree) and go get Lulu. She wet the bed. And by “the,” I mean “MY” bed. Oh well. So many smiles. I will sleep on a pee spot for you, baby.

10:28am. Betty is done with quizzing the littles and comes to find me and Lulu. I quiz her on her words while I get Lulu changed. Anita arrives and insists that Lulu wear a fancy dress. Then she climbs up on the bed in her muddy cowgirl boots. The things I will sleep on for them . . .

10:39am. I get Betty, Bobby, and Gus going on the self-directed part of their school days. Bobby has copy work to redo. His handwriting has lately taken a turn from “lovely” to “Did you do this with your feet?” Hopefully the 4th time is the charm on “The Ostrich.”

I realize that Jack is missing. I find him still out front, hitting tennis balls with a baseball bat. Erg.

I don’t yell.

I don’t yell.

I don’t yell.

I yell.

I make a new resolution not to yell and steer Jack back to his school work.

. Despite my best efforts to put her off until next year, Anita keeps asking to learn to read. She follows me around with the book.

So, I read to Gus the directions on his new phonics workbook pages, then do one of the Hundred Easy Lessons
with Anita.

11:06am. Anita would like to do another lesson, but Frankie’s speech therapist will be here soon and I need to get the sand off of him. Bobby says he’s done writing the essay, but I don’t have time to check it now, so I tell him to do his geography page.

I pull some leftovers out of the fridge for lunch. Betty seems to be the farthest along on her school day, so she gets to make lunch. Other kids are disappointed. They should’ve thought of that before they . . .

11:14am. Miss Hannah (speech therapist) arrives. Betty is the one to let her in. This is very, very upsetting to Frankie. I tell him to knock it off. He does.

Jack is missing again. Betty thinks he’s at Dad’s desk doing his Latin. He better hope he is.

Miss Hannah, Frankie, Lulu, and I go into the playroom. Anita, Frankie, and Gus are reading and coloring at the dining room table, which is visible through the playroom doors. But mostly they are just wishing they could do speech therapy.

I nurse the baby and feverishly try to keep up with this note-taking.

11:38am. There’s Jack. I hear Bobby asking for him help on his geography page. Jack helps him, albeit rather sarcastically. It sounds like Betty is working on lunch. I see the housekeeper leaving, which means the house is at its daily peak of cleanliness. It’s all downhill from here. It’s almost time for the Angelus. I need to remember to do the Angelus.

12:04pm. Speech therapy is over. The therapist is going to recommend that services for Frankie be terminated in the next few weeks. That’s fine with me. Frankie will miss his sessions, but I was never really convinced he needed them, and he’s made a great deal of progress. 

12:12pm. We head out to the front yard for lunch. The kids eat while I read aloud from James and the Giant Peach. I do voices.

12:56pm. I eat what’s left over while the kids bring the dishes inside and load and start the dishwasher.

Time for naps, the bestest time of the whole day.

Jack has a job bringing in trash cans on trash day for seven houses in our neighborhood. Since the trucks have all been by, he heads out on his bike to do that. Gus tags along with him. Frankie wants Betty to put him down for his nap, so Bobby will put Anita down today, and I get Lulu. (I always get Lulu!)

1:04pm. Anita pinches her finger in the door. The world might possibly end. But somehow, with the help of a ducky-shaped frozen teether, it looks like she might pull through. Stories for Frankie and Anita recommence.

. Betty’s voice instructor, Mr. Kaviani (or, as Frankie calls him, Kani Kani) arrives, so I take over with Frankie. He wants ALL the songs. He only gets three.

1:20pm. The chicken stock is cooled down, so I move it to the fridge for tomorrow, and start the rice for tonight.

Jack gets home. He has accomplished very little of his school day so far. (I heroically do not yell.) I have him write out a list of everything he still needs to do for the day and tell him that he needs to complete each item or no baseball game and NO FEAST DAY FOR HIM. I resolve again not to yell. He says he can get it all done.

Betty is on track.

A quick review of his poetry and catechism means Gus is finished.

I check Bobby’s essay. Nope.

Frankie is shouting. I tell Frankie to stop shouting.

1:30pm. I’m off to nap. Lulu has fallen asleep in the crook of my arm. Hopefully I can lie down without waking her.

1:32pm. I cannot lie down without waking her. This is a great disaster.

I try to nurse her back to sleep. I think she will, then I think she won’t, then I think she might again, then I’m pretty sure she’s not going to, which is THE WORST. I don’t take a full night’s sleep at night, because of being able to do stuff uninterrupted in the middle of the night, so I count on a nap during the day to get enough sleep. Otherwise I get grumpy.

1:45pm. I turn on the ceiling fan for Lulu to look at, skootch her to the middle of the husband’s side of the bed, and let her kick for a bit.

I hear a bedroom door opening and closing. This is not allowed. I get up to investigate.

Anita is up and out of bed. She knows she’s caught, and bursts preemptively into tears. She wanted to put the teether back into the freezer, despite a hard-line Tierney Family policy against getting out of bed at nap time unless the house is on fire. And even then, you better be sure it’s good and on fire. Anita gets put back. The teether does not.

At least Lulu was already up, or I might have forgotten to not yell.

Frankie is quiet.

1:49pm. Lulu is tired of kicking already. She can wait a minute.

I kind of want her to get a bit upset so she’s more likely to fall back to sleep when I nurse her on the other side — my last best chance for a nap.

1:55pm. The internet is being SO SLOW. Will I never get to read Bonnie’s review?! Lulu is sufficiently mad. I change her diaper. Oh, no wonder she was mad. Oops. Trying nap again.

2:00pm. Forgot to say Angelus. Say it now.

2:07pm. Nap time isn’t working. I try letting her kick again.

Me: Lulu, you have a full tummy, and a clean diaper, and a fun ceiling fan to look at, and a delicious dress on which to chew. If you don’t want to sleep, fine. But why don’t you want ME to sleep? It’s very like the fable The Dog in the Manger. Do you remember that one? We may have read it before you were born. But this is very like that. 

Lulu: Wuh-AHH! 

Me: Whatever. Let’s try this again.

2:10pm. Nursing again. I’m pretty sure it won’t work and my whole day will be ruined and we’ll all be miserable. And probably this is what will happen every day from now on.

3:10pm. Oh. Good.

Lulu is still asleep so I check my email, lots of comments, yay! and try to check Facebook and blogs, but it does not please The Lord today to have my iPad get the internet.

3:30pm. I carefully slide away from Lulu and head out to see if any disasters have befallen us during nap time.

All is well.

Jack has left on his bike to go to the 4pm baseball practice before his 5pm game. His note says he finished his school day.

Anita is still sleeping. Frankie is up and he, Bobby, and Gus are having our favorite afternoon snack. I don’t mind if I do.

3:44pm. I work on Bible History and grammar with Betty and Bobby. They’re almost done for the day. This time I don’t make it past Frankie without being spotted, “You remembered Mama!” so I have some company in the bathroom.

4:10pm. I start making dinner.

4:15pm. Lulu wakes up. I’m not done.

Lulu supervises from the bumbo. Yay for already cut-up veggies.

We need to leave in 30 minutes. I remind everyone what time it is, and start them looking for shoes.

4:20pm. I coordinate with the husband via text message since we’ve got concurring sporting events this evening. He is going to come by and pick up one van with Anita and the boys to go to Jack’s game. Lulu and I will take Betty to practice in the other.

. Twelve Indian curry with veggies and rice burritos are wrapped in foil and in the oven to stay warm. Shoes are on feet. People are dressed appropriately for the day and activity. Schoolwork is finished, though I never did see that ostrich essay again. We do a flash-tidy of the house. I change the laundry.

I check my make-up and put on big girl shoes for going out and seeing the people.

4:41pm. Gus says it’s starting to rain. While that may not be a problem in some parts of the country, here in LA, if it rains, everything is cancelled.

There is texting.

It looks like just a passing shower. Everything is still on. Betty and I get everyone buckled into the appropriate vehicle.

4:55pm. The husband arrives home. We kiss hello and good bye, then jump into two different vans and are off.

5:01pm. I drop Betty off at practice. Lulu and I head for the library. WITH the book I need to return AND the book I need to replace both in the car. Pat self on back.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to say a family rosary tonight after the baseball game, but you never know, so I start saying a rosary in the car. I accomplish the library, get some new books.

5:46pm. Back in the car to pick up Betty, I finish the rosary.

5:52pm. At the park, I get Lulu out of her seat and nurse her under my scarf (most useful accessory ever) as I walk over to Betty’s practice field. They finish practice, and vote on their team name.

6:08pm. Back to the car with a full baby and a Northridge “Rebel.” We head to the other park. This is the first year we’ve done sports at two different parks. I miss NOT doing sports at two different parks.

6:16pm. Arrive at Little League field. I greet the husband and the other kids, who react as if I’ve returned from a polar expedition rather than the library and another park. It’s nice to see them too. We say grace and count to forty and eat dinner and watch the game.

7:04pm. The game’s over, we lose. It wasn’t our day. The husband loads Jack’s bike into one van and stays with him for his team meeting. I take the other six kids home. It’s getting late, so we say one decade of the rosary in the car on the way home in case we don’t get to it tonight.

7:11pm. At home, we unload the car of people and stuff.

Betty brings in the dinner bag and unloads it.

Bobby hangs up all the raincoats we didn’t end up needing.

Gus cleans up all the sports equipment in the car and all over the front yard.

7:14pm. The kids are awfully dusty from the park, so I draw a bath and put the first shift of three littles in.

I ask to see completed schoolwork and there is remembering of things that they thought for sure were done but maybe might not actually be completely done. So they go check.

7:25pm. First shift out of the tub and into jammies. Next kid in.

Daddy plays the “smash ’em, steamroll ’em, tickle ’em, poke ’em” game with the boys while I dry Anita’s hair. Teeth are brushed, prayers are prayed. Daddy puts Frankie to bed.

7:40pm. Last two kids take shifts in the tub while I read stories to Anita and Gus. They’ve chosen to sleep in the guest room bed together tonight. They are threatened with relocation if there is talking.

8:00pm. Lights out for them. Lulu has fallen asleep in my arm.

I check the kids’ schoolwork. I find some things Jack has missed. I am assured that it was an oversight and that he’ll have it done in a jiffy.

“The Ostrich” is not getting better. Bobby gets sent to bed early. He’s sleeping in the boys’ room with Frankie tonight, so that he can get up with him in the morning. The big four take turns with him.

8:34pm. I start trying to tidy the kitchen one handed, then regret it, because I wake up the baby.

8:38pm. Jack is done. For realsies this time. He heads to bed (actually, a sleeping bag on the floor of the guest room) to read until 9pm.

Betty holds Lulu so I can finish the dishes, which are not one of the things I can do one handed. I take a quick look at Facebook. Yay! Colleen had her baby! WHY is the internet so slow today?

I cut up a cantaloupe for the kids to have in the morning.

8:49pm. The dishwasher is running and the counters are wiped down. That will have to do for tonight.

I take Lulu and send Betty to bed. There’s an empty bed on either side of her in the girls’ room tonight.

I go get changed into my jammies, even though I won’t be heading to bed any time soon. If I don’t get to it before she falls asleep on me, I end up sleeping in my clothes — in the boot-mud (and whatnot) that’s in my bed. But not tonight. Tonight, it’s jammies all the way.

9:00pm. I remind the big kids what time it is.

I turn the iPad off and back on again. The internet now works fine.

I read Bonnie’s review of Noah. Now, it’s a well-known fact that Bonnie and I don’t always agree about movies, but I like what she has to say. I’m tempted to see it. But I don’t much care for epics. And I require good guys. And it’s Lent. So, probably I won’t.

9:14pm. Lulu gets wiggly, so I sit down at the desktop computer to nurse her and while away the next couple of hours catching up on emails and comments and Facebook and my blog and other people’s blogs while the husband works on our taxes and provides for our family by doing stuff on his laptop.

And sometimes I ask him stuff and he answers. And sometimes he gets me a snack.

11:04pm. I attempt to put Lulu into the swing . . . 

And that’s it. That was my day. In twelve pages of handwritten notes that I have now typed up and blasted into the internets.

Seriously, I can’t imagine anyone just read this whole thing. There’s no way anyone read this whole thing.

I could say anything I want down here. No one could possibly still be reading. Ummm . . . here, how about this:

*It turns out JPII DOES already have a Feast Day. It’s October 22. Don’t tell Jack.


  1. Blythe Fike

    I read the whole thing!!! It made me laugh, like, 30 times. So funny. Plus, I like imagining your life when you're not having parties or small, intimate gatherings.

  2. Rebecca Baxter

    Kendra, I am a big fan of your blog and I read it religiously, all the way from Australia 🙂 can I just say that I'm exhausted after reading this! Wow! I'm very impressed, a bit awed and quite intimidated. What an amazing mum/wife/woman you are! God bless 🙂

  3. E

    I read the whole thing, too! Amazing! I've always wondered how you homeschool all those kids and have a a baby! God's grace flows abundantly.

  4. Hannah D.

    Wow! I'm newly married and nine months pregnant with my first and I want to grow up to be you and do it ALL! (Minus the vacuuming).

  5. Sarah

    Sounds surprisingly similar to my days, except I tend to yell a bit more! I love your musical beds idea – that the kids aren't stuck in the same bed each night and that they take turns caring for the little ones in the morning! What a great idea. Also, you have inspired me to embrace my grey. My mom was fully salt-and-pepper by my age (34), and I have been sporadically coloring my hair the past six or seven years. I went reddish around Christmas, and sooo wish I hadn't because this growing out process is taking forever. But my husband loves the idea of my naturalness, and he's the only judge that matters.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. This is my first year homeschooling, and I'm exhausted and tired and sometimes miserable. It's nice to know people can survive, and actually flourish doing this. May God continue to bless you and your family. And curry burritos are going to be made for our split baseball fields evening tonight!

  6. Amy

    I read it all too 🙂 I love that you started it at 11:06 pm. I also am chuckling at how many middle-of-the-night comments you have here. Must be lots of nursing mamas… And oh my, you are so together!!

  7. Amelia Bentrup

    Wow….thanks for this! It makes you seem so "real" and your day sounds a lot like mine (except for the staying up super late, the naps and the housekeeper), but I can so relate to the Facebook and trying not to yell and kids who can't quite remembered if they finished their school and the dinner on the go. I love how well you incorporate prayer into your day

  8. Tammie Everly

    Kendra~I'm exhausted just reading about your day. May God continue to bless you all!

  9. Jennifer

    It took me two overnight nursing sessions, but I read it all! What a treat to have insight into your day. My favorite (read: most relatable) part?

    2:10pm. Nursing again. I'm pretty sure it won't work and my whole day will be ruined and we'll all be miserable. And probably this is what will happen every day from now on.

  10. Ashley Sue

    Loved this! Maybe it's the nosy Miss Marple of my personality but I love in the day of… Stories. I'm really glad to see someone else have the love of uninterrupted night time work. I've spent the last three year feeling guilty over my late nights!

    I'm playing catchup on my favorite blogs since we got caught with a stomach bug all last week and more snow!

  11. Kayla @ Number One Petersons

    I read the whole thing. I'm so glad you wrote it all out! I've been really having a hard time figuring out my day (I only have one kid! How is this so. Hard?!) and I've been jonesing for "day in the life" posts from every blogger ever.

    Some question: why do you count to 40 after grace?

  12. Anonymous

    I read the whole thing! I love, love, love seeing how other people's lives work. Mostly so I can be an awe of their aweseomness and realize how much more organized I should be.

    • Anonymous

      Good gravy I need to proof read! Commenting between emails at work will do that to a person.

  13. Camilla

    I read this whole thing instead of eating breakfast, so now my 38-week-pregnant body is about to collapse. From hunger, and from exhaustion reading about your day! Whew! But so fun! Thank you for sharing this glimpse of your life. It was a good substitute for breakfast!

  14. Monica McConkey

    Wow…what a day! I read the whole thing too and our lives are quite different! You've got the kids so well organized already…it's just going to get easier as they get older. Lulu sure looks happy at the baseball game. So cute!!

  15. Rachel Parker

    I totally read the whole thing, and WOW. You are busy, lady. I have a feeling if I did this mine would be like: "spent 2 hours reading the internet at work. answered an email. spent two hours looking for something to do. answered 3 emails." So I'm just not going to do it so I won't ruin the illusion of me being busy, hahahaha.

  16. Meg Anderson

    Ok read the whole thing! This makes me realize that Im ready to have some "older kids" in my house. My oldest is six right now, but man, it sounds nice to be able to stay in bed a little in the morning and come into the kitchen to dressed kids, chores done, and breakfast on the table!
    Did Jack go to baseball all on his own while you were in your room for nap time? You guys must live in a safe area to be able to let him do that on his own. I would worry about doing that here, but maybe Im just not at that point yet (cue older kids) and my idea would change down the line!
    You do a great job of keeping it all together!

    • Kendra

      I think it's safe, but of course there's no guarantee. The husband and I just want to be able to trust our kids to do things on their own. So we do.

      Pretty much no one else in LA does. But we do.

    • Anonymous

      I am only 25/26 so my childhood wasn't so long ago and I remember being able to do many things by myself, or with my younger siblings. I remember walking about a mile to school when I was in the third grade and my brother was in Kinder by ourselves.
      I am not sure if I would allow my son to do that now. But, he is only 4 (almost 5). Maybe things will change when I see how my son is as a 10 or 11 year old?

      You have to let kids do somethings on their own or you will end up with more of the kinds of kids I went to school with- kids with the inability to do a thing for themselves.

      Kendra, your kids are so responsible, You should be proud (I am sure you are). I know plenty their age and older who cannot fix themselves breakfast and cannot be counted on to dress themselves or do chores or even do schoolwork unsupervised. Makes me a little terrified for our country.

    • Meg Anderson

      I totally agree with all of this. Making it my new goal to make my family life and my kids a little more Tierney! Keep the parenting posts coming, we have already implemented a lot of your discipline ideas and routines!

  17. Hannah Gokie

    I definitely read the whole thing – how could one stop halfway through? Thanks for letting us peek into your lives. They're my favorite kind of blog posts – and remind me that everyone really is quite different!

  18. Elena aka happy homemaker

    Wow, you accomplish so much in one day. I feel like such a slacker. Also, I need to reread your posts on how to raise your kids because they seem so well behaved and seem to do so much without the constant reminding. Good job!

  19. Genevieve

    WoooooWwwww! I can't lie…. I skipped some parts but I'm sooo exhausted just reading your schedule! You're indeed a Rockstar supermom And a machine! My question is do you incorporate your many prayers throughout the day because your parents taught that to you at a young age or did you start that when you got married or when you had your family? I've been thinking how prayer becomes habitual with practice but also how teaching kids at a young age… even though they may not pray or even consider themselves a practicing Catholic when older… If they see their parents pray, the imagery, the habit, maybe not even its meaning… but it somehow gets engrained in them and they never forget it. By the way, my husband Nick and I truly enjoyed meeting and conversing with you, your husband and family after mass. Til next time!

    • Kendra

      Thanks Genevieve. It was really lovely to meet you and Nick!

      Incorporating prayer into our daily lives has been a slow process over many years. It's not something either my husband or I grew up with. I didn't even learn how to pray the rosary until after we were married! It started with a priest recommending that we start the day with the morning offering, and we've just been slowly adding things one by one since then.

      I'm actually working on a whole post about this, to be published over at Carrots for Michaelmas sometime soon.

  20. TheFiveDays

    Read it, and now my I have to really run or my son will be late for school. Thanks so much for taking the time to write all those notes and share this. There is much I can learn here!


  21. Agnes

    I did, I actually read the WHOLE THING. OMG. I'm speechless. If I could describe this post in one word, it would be: howdoyoudoitall?????????? haha, no but seriously. I must save this post and refer back to it when I have babies of my own…because you seem like quite the expert! Cook, homeschool, pray throughout the day, drive kids to activities, and have a little Lulu that needs your attention all the time. You're amazing! God bless!

  22. Elizabeth@SuperSwellTimes

    I read every word and feel adequately worn out from the experience. I think it's so swell (dare I say, super swell?!) that you let your kids have so many opportunities to do their own thing independently. I remember being really impressed with myself/empowered when I started getting breakfast in order for me and my younger brother.

    • Kendra

      Thanks Elizabeth! I do think it's so important for kids to actually be useful. That's where the right kind of self-esteem comes from. Not the "trophies for everyone" entitlement kind, the "my family actually needs me" kind.

  23. Allison xoxo

    I read the whole thing and now I'm exhausted. Kudos to you for keeping the family on track and getting things done in the midst of appointments and games and practices. Hope you get your nap today. 🙂

  24. LAinAZ

    I read the whole thing 🙂 I'm a new mom with a 7 week old and I also want to grow up to be you. I read all of your posts and I hope to bring as much of our faith into our home as you do.

    I have already started trying to avoid our church cry room but it's difficult when he's crying. So far I have only given in once! I try to think "what would Kendra say?"

  25. Grete

    Kendra, Are you naturally a night-owl or is that something you've adjusted to as a mother of nursing babies? Is staying up late something you've always done, or just since you've had older ones who can get up on their own in the morning? I am much more of a morning person. I like to be able to get up before the kids to have some time to prepare for the day in quiet. But, with a baby that wakes at night, I can't seem to get moving very early in the morning. I've been thinking alot about how to best use my time in the day. Still working on it.

    • Kendra

      I'm naturally a morning person, but my introvert finally triumphed over my morning person and this is where I've ended up. I just need some quiet, uninterrupted time over the course of the day, and once my big kids weren't napping anymore, that wasn't possible until late at night. They just can't not need me for something if they can see me. And somehow, if I get up early, so do they. So, this seems to be working for now.

  26. Christine

    Wow. My favorite part was when you get downstairs, and the kids are already there, eating, dressed (some of them), and with some chores finished!!! I pretty much can't wait for this day 🙂

  27. Falling Owl

    You have a wonderful life but Holy Cow I need a nap after reading this! The indian burritos look delicious. Great dinner idea.

  28. Amy R. in Texas

    I am not exaggerating (or being sarcastic) when I say that was a page-turner and cliff-hanger for me. It's a much more detailed answer to, "how does she do it"? I read every word with great interest.

  29. Lisa

    Read it, loved it, commenting on it (first time) – smiley-face

  30. Amy Caroline

    How do you get by on so little sleep?? Sigh, I wish I could. I was up till midnight last night and up at 7:30, I feel like the living dead, lol.

    • Kendra

      I seem to function just fine on less sleep than other folks. Maybe it's hereditary. My dad never slept that much when I was growing up and I've got a couple of kids who really seem to need less sleep than the others.

  31. Michele Chronister

    My Therese's birthday is October 22…and I was so bummed she wasn't born on a feast day. Then it became JPII feastday the next year and I was so pumped!!!!

  32. Kirsten

    You go girl!! I loved this post. It was super inspiring to me. I would love to hear about some of your "on the go" recipes for dinner. We are out in the early evenings frequently and coming home at 7:30 to eat dinner is no fun. It totally messes up the night time routine (meaning, we don't have one!!) Again, I loved this, thanks for sharing your day!

  33. Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    These are my comments: I loved your day and I love the linens I could glimpse on the beds. How's that for creepy!? Thanks for sharing this fun post!

  34. Amy

    I loved that the kids were already downstairs when you woke up! I'd love it if that were me someday, because I like sleeping in 🙂 Mostly I'm just training my 3 year old and newborn to sleep till 9 like I do.It works pretty well, too.
    I totally related to the peeing in the bed incident. Baby smiles make up for just about anything! (Wouldn't be able to deal with mud in the bed, but we are shoes-off-in-the-house sort of people)

  35. Nanacamille

    I read the entire post but it did take me all day since I had a busy day at Birthline. Love seeing Tierney clothes leaving for others kids. Read a bit more and to Target for bathing suits for all 9 goods and one for me too. Home to finish reading. It's absolutely this busy when we are up there for a visit. It's not possible for 2 normal parents to keep this schedule. They must really be super heros in Clark Kent clothing.. I'm tired just reading it. Way to go Mr&Mrs incredible.

  36. Colleen

    Whew! You do not get enough sleep! I have to say, your olders seem exceptionally helpful — that's what I hope I have someday.

  37. Janelle Horn

    I read it all too! There is something so interesting (and encouraging!) about getting a glimpse into someone else's mundane, hectic life! Great job cataloging all you do in the span of one day! One quick follow up question- could you share that Indian Curry burritos recipe? Pleazeee?!

    • Kendra

      The Indian Curry burritos are really good. They are also quick and easy since they break my "everything from scratch" policy. It's steamed rice, onion + red bell pepper + peas sauteed on the stove in some oil or butter, and these Madras Lentils available at Costco (or from Amazon).

  38. Rosie

    Kids making lunch! Kids making breakfast! Kids putting toddlers in high chairs! Lulu sleeping forever! We're slooooowly getting there – the problem is that my 4.5yo thinks he can do ALL the things, so I'll find him in the kitchen having mixed together sesame oil, crushed crackers, banana chips, and a very carefully-measured 1/4 cup of flour because he's convinced he's making a "sesame oil cake…" I let him bake it and made him eat it as his punishment, and that seems to have done nothing but convince him that he's allowed to use the oven now. Sigh.

    • Kendra

      I think this is my favorite kids and food story ever. Hilarious.

      We are constantly reminding Gus to ask for help. He's pretty sure he'd be a terrific chef if I just stopped stifling him.

  39. Mrs. Amen

    Read to the end, and yes, 25.8069 is the square root of alllll the evil (one of my favorite memes ever. Big kids doing helpful stuff are my favorite type of big kids. I don't have any of those. Big kids, that is. I am going to borrow all the American Heritage Girls from our parish that are trying to earn their presidential service awards next year. They shall become my big kids doing helpful things until I have some of my own. Seriously though, the girls have to get service hours and doing helpful things for me counts. I am envisioning thrice weekly showers in my future if this pans out.

    • Kendra

      Now THAT is a good plan. I always recommend that people have an eight year old girl before they have a baby. But no one can seem to manage it.

  40. Anonymous

    So I am confused a bit….do your children have their own beds? One sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag or was that a special circumstance?

    • Kendra

      We have enough beds for everyone, but they aren't assigned to anyone in particular. And sometimes they pick to sleep in sleeping bags on the floor!

    • Anonymous

      Interesting. Will that change as they get older and require their privacy?

    • Kendra

      I'm not sure. I guess we'll determine that as they get older. But my initial reaction is, who says they "require" privacy? Didn't college students and unmarried young people used to always have a roommate in the room with them? Didn't families get by just fine all in one room together? I share a room. And I'm a much better person than I was when I had a room to myself. After all, "it is not good that man should be alone." Right? :0)

    • Sophie שרה Golden

      Since I was an only child, I used to visit my aunt for Summer vacations, who had 4 children at that time; it was the happiest days of my childhood – sleeping on the floor, helping out everyone and never feeling lonely.

      So agree with Kendra in all, who I see becoming famous and touring old Continent of ours too some day ;0)

    • Anonymous

      I agree that they don't have to have a room all to themselves but sometimes a young person/teenager needs a place to be alone….to think quietly/ study without distraction….that sort of thing. While I share a room with my husband too there are times that I want to be alone….I secretly enjoy the rare times when he goes out of town. LOL. Maybe I am just projecting my need for "alone time."

  41. Abby S.

    This (entire!) post just made me giggle! Love to see 24 hours in the Tierney house.

  42. Kelsey Shade

    This is so inspiring, Kendra. I only have two blessings in the home now, ages 3 and 1 (and a 2 year old in heaven), but I long for a large family like this one day. Thank you for making it all look doable, by the Grace of God of course. 😉

  43. Jenn Miller

    I read it all! About half-way through, I was wondering if I should get your cell number, in case I needed to be reminded what time it was… 😉 I can't imagine logging everything in a day as detailed as you did. Congrats! It's quite impressive! Oh, and do you remember what words each kid is working on for spelling, or do you have a list you keep somewhere? Just curious….

  44. Mary

    "In the kitchen, six kids are up. The big kids set an alarm and get up at 7:30, so by now the chickens are fed and watered, eggs are brought in, dishwasher is emptied, little trash cans are brought to the big trash can, and that's taken out, and the recycling is taken out and sorted. Two kids are dressed, most are eating breakfast. They've made scrambled eggs. Daddy made a pot of oatmeal and cut up some fruit for them before he left."

    This gives me hope. I have a 4 and a 2 right now, so mommy has to do pretty much everything. We're working on our older son getting himself dressed and bringing down the trash from the bathroom. He can do it, but still requires prompting if it isn't going to take an hour.

  45. Kate

    Reading through this (and I made it all the way through :)), reminded me of the evening my husband made the mistake of asking me what I did all day because there were baskets of laundry sitting around, the kitchen was not cleaned up from lunch and dinner wasn't on the stove. So I spent my negative energy writing up what I had done that day in detail…i.e. each time a diaper needed to be changed, the baby nursed, some disaster averted…etc. I stopped at about 1pm because writing it was exhausting me, lol. I handed it to him though and he remembered not to ask that ever again. It is also the first piece of advice he gives every new father. I understand how difficult it was to put this together, so thank you very much for doing so!

  46. Maria

    My MIL and I both really enjoyed "I don't yell. I don't yell. I don't yell. I yell." Ha ha! She (my MIL) gave me an inspired idea to help with that – she recommended that I put a sacrifice bean in the bean jar for myself for every time I want to yell, but don't.

  47. Anonymous

    Hi there! My name's Theresa. Former mostly-lurker, currently occasional commenter who cannot for the life of her figure out how to make blogger tell people my name instead of my blog name or give a picture (please forgive me.) Regardless and formalities out of the way, I just wanted to let you know that I had this post up in the background on my computer during an exceptionally rough day at work and it lifted my spirits. I loved how very long it was because no matter how many times I kept coming back to it for 30 seconds at a time, there was still more to read! So thank you for your diligent note-taking. It made my day. 🙂

  48. Anonymous

    I love the root of all evil question! And of course I read the whole thing too, who would be able to stop with such excellent writing? I only recently discovered your blog Kendra and there are so many posts I want to read (so many) which means I I've been terrible at getting to other people's Answer Me This. Ah the dilemma your excellent blog causes.

  49. Sandy

    I can't tell you how many times this post made me smile! Oh, and giggle! Just subscribed.

  50. Ashley Anderson

    Woah. This was so many things for meto digest. And so many things I've read about but can't put into place with just 3 4 and under. However, I really believe in making kids useful and try my best to empower my biggest to do all he can. You really served up the modeling & mentoring here in this piece. Thank you for sharing! I'll definitely be thinking about bits & pieces from this for a while.

  51. Melissa

    I read the whole thing! You do so much in a day. I am so impressed. This also makes me look forward to the day my kids are old enough to help so much.

  52. LKLimberg

    I came across your Insta account a couple months ago, which lead me to your blog, which I am now spending excessive amounts of time reading – and this post may have just changed my life. Curry burritos?!?! Yum! Why have I not thought about that before. I'm now trying to think of every possible meal that I can wrap in a tortilla and turn into a burrito. Fan.Tas.Tic. [PS – your family is adorable! thanks for sharing your days!]

  53. Michelle

    Love it! Now I'm going to have to do a post about what I do in a day, but since I only have one baby (okay two, but one is not yet born) it won't be nearly as fun. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Vanessa

    Thank you for this detailed post. I salute you! I read the whole thing! I NEEDED detail because my schedule was falling apart. Reading yours made me realize I survive through *almost* as crazy days as this…I just did not have a schedule and I need one…because my daughter forgot what to expect. She needs a checklist! Do your older kids have checklists or assignments written somewhere everyday? I gotta do that.

    Thank you!

  55. Emily

    Kendra, so funny—l saw your Instagram post on your painted chapel (I’m the one who thought you didn’t have kids-ha!) and your gorgeous laundry closet!! And your other deep/artistic/funny/beautiful posts on Instagram, and I was so inspired. I kept thinking about how I needed to figure out how you do it all. (I only have six kids, and I hardly ever take/have time to do art/decorating/chickens!) I just so happened to google MODG and read one of your blog posts about it without even realizing it was you until the end!! (SO helpful!! Thanks for the hacks, by the way!) Then l saw the link to this article—God answered my curiosity about how you do it all without my even asking Him!! He’s so good. 🙂 Loved it; it was hilarious and edifying! As a French Dominican, Sertelange, said: “Genius is long patience.” And virtue and holiness!!! Your patience is inspiring!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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