A Day in the Kraft House

Welcome to the “Day in Our House” project! We’re shadowing the regular, ordinary days of some awesome stay-at-home/work-from-home mothers. Read about the inspiration behind the project here!

Hi — I’m Ariel. We live in San Antonio and are currently in the process of planting Mission Community Church on the west side of the city. We’ve been in the city for 1 year, just bought our first home, and are getting settled into this awesome new community God has called us to! Here’s a peek into a pretty typical day for me.

7:45 I am up snuggling in my super comfy bed on my irresistible tempur-pedic mattress having some quiet time in the Bible and praying over our kids, my husband, and all of the wonderful things God has called us into. This morning I got a little extra time. I normally hear the girls calling me at 8:30 but today it wasn’t until 9. No complaints here!

9:00 These sleeping beauties are ready and raring to go. They know the rule is to stay in bed until someone gets them, so they are patiently waiting to be rescued. Karis is on top and Shannon on the bottom. The morning routine consists of getting dressed, going to the bathroom, doing hair, and making their way down to the kitchen. They like to match each other and today the theme is brown dresses!

We brought Shannon home from Uganda about a year ago. We are so in love with her and can’t imagine our family without her.

9:15 We are headed down to the kitchen to start doing some chores and getting ready for breakfast. Honestly, I move slowly in the morning — we all do — so I just feel like we are always a few hours behind the rest of the world! The girls start by letting the dogs out, feeding them breakfast, and then unloading the dishwasher with me.

9:30 I start making breakfast and I let the girls know they can choose to color and do art or help me. They choose a combination of the two.

I have to say, they are really super sweet helpers. Everyone gets artwork done and helps me crack some eggs and chop some tomatoes. Breakfast is one of my favorite parts of the day! Tea or coffee and something yummy! Lately, the girls and I are really into telling Bible stories during breakfast out loud in detailed narrative! It’s super fun.

My kids all wear “smocks” over their clothes when they eat so that’s why they our old t-shirts over their dresses, in case you’re wondering. It makes laundry day a lot easier. (Scrubbing out stains? Ain’t nobody got time for that!) Also, you may have noticed the deck construction in the back yard. Yep. That’s happening today too.

The girls are listening to me tell the story of when Daniel read the writing on the wall which progressed to the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. During this enriching time, one of the girls (who shall remain nameless) decided to complain about their food and then talk back to me very disrespectfully. There was discipline and repentance and reconciliation. (I don’t include this to embarrass my child but only to maintain transparency about what a day parenting young children really looks like for me.) During this time our trusty canine compadres are also learning about Daniel and reveling in the aroma of bacon.

10:15–10:30 we wash up, load the dishwasher together and clean the kitchen.

10:30 This beauty arrives on scene! Daddy just got home from a meeting and went to work upstairs. He heard this munchkin and brought her down to us.

The girls dance a little and sing with Dad. I throw some food on a plate for Teah. She is taken upstairs and goes through the getting dressed, bathroom, hair-do routine. Then she eats. There is a lot of cleaning and dancing and eating and music making happening and somewhere in there I run upstairs to make myself presentable!

11:15 We are ready to start the “leaving the house” routine. Everyone goes to the bathroom, gets their shoes out of the shoe bench, grabs their cup and is ready to go out the door. Today we are headed to the library. We have a VERY over-due book that got misplaced before we went out of town for 3 weeks and we just got back! Whoops. There’s real life for ya.

11:30ish We are all in the van and listening to this great Bible memory verse CD, that my awesome sister-in-law got me, called “Sing the Bible”. Love it.

Oh, and everyone is eating bananas. Because you know, they haven’t eaten for 10 minutes and now they are “SO HUNGRY!”

I can’t even — don’t get me started. I indulge them with healthy snacks when appropriate — but seriously?

I have a kid who knew literal hunger. These first world American kids have no idea. The word “starving” is like a 4 letter word in my house. Off my soap box now.

Who doesn’t love the library? Am I right? It’s just…(what’s the word?)…wonderful! The girls get to pick out books and practice writing their letters and listen to a story being read to them as they begin to foster that sweet, phenomenal, life-giving love of learning. Teah is currently educating herself about all the different whale species so she had to check out her favorite marine mammal book for the 2nd time.

We get home at around 12:30 and its upstairs for the girls. They play and I warm up lunch and straighten the upstairs a bit. At 1:00 we are eating our left-over green beans, potatoes and burgers.

As former competitive athletes, Michael and I LOVE the Olympics! So I give in and the girls and I all watch some volleyball while we eat together.

We finish up, the girls clear their plates to the sink, wash up and head upstairs to brush teeth and begin the nap-time routine. It’s all pretty repetitive: brush teeth, use the bathroom, grab a pull-up if it applies to you, and lights out.

1:45 Everyone is sleeping/quiet. (Yes, that was my closet you saw Teah sleeping in. But if I didn’t keep a kid in there it would be such a colossal waste of space, now wouldn’t it?!)

Karis knows the deal — she has to lay quietly resting until the CD of lullabies by JJ Heller shuts off. Then she can whisper to me and I will take her out for more quiet time downstairs while Shannon finishes napping.

In the meantime, I get to exercise! One of my fave parts of the day! Today it’s a cardio ballet workout. So good!

There’s the horrifying state of my bedroom and a little “first position” for you. I don’t have a set workout routine. But I find that if I rotate cardio one day and strength the next that works well. When I feel I need a recovery day I usually throw in a yoga/pilates day. It could be running or dancing or kick-boxing for cardio and any type of weights or resistance training for strength. I love YouTube. That has really spiced up my workouts because you can find new workouts so easily!

Right about the time I finish (2:30ish) little miss Karis is ready to be retrieved. She comes out wanting another banana. She gets her snack and I get my protein shake. Then we snuggle up to start Heidi together!

She champions through almost the entire first chapter. Then I let her watch one episode of a show while I grab laundry, check emails, return a phone call about a job offer (I’m interviewing for different nursing positions in the area) and double check some paper work for our foster care license. We’re hoping to have our first foster child in a few months! After checking my email I realize I needed to send some extra info to our social worker and get all that business squared away!

3:45ish Teah gets up and I wake up Shannon so we can all get outside and play before we have company for dinner.

We go out and play in the cul-de-sac, riding bikes and scooters and running around. At 4:30 we are expecting 2 families for dinner. They are close friends and ministry partners. My sweet chef of a hubby does lots of cooking and meal prep for us (AMAZING, I know) so he had the pulled pork going since last night.

Everyone pitches in some food, we grab some paper plates and just embrace the fellowship and noise. The kids haven’t seen each other in several weeks so they are playing and jumping to their heart’s content! One family has a new foster baby that we are all loving on. It’s a precious time.

(That picture is totally going in their wedding slideshow in like 20 years…right? O.M.GOODNESS!)

At 7:30 we say good-bye and then the girls take some probiotics and other things and begin their final ascension.

Karis drinks this stuff straight! She is cra-cra! But it’s great for the immune system.

And it all happens again: brush teeth, bathroom, jammies, book time, Bible time, prayer, singing, beds! In the picture below Michael is showing the girls the gorgeous antique mirror he had just hung for me in the afternoon. It was given to me by my mother-in-law and it was her grandfathers. LOVE IT.

Karis awkwardly posing after the girls cleaned up all their books.

At 8pm they are down. (We normally aim for 7:30 but there was grace tonight since we were enjoying friends.)

And now we are getting our Olympics on! They have seriously have thwarted my productivity in the evening. But it’s once every 4 years!

Tonight consisted of Olympics, emails, researching curriculum for Karis and Shannon who are starting homeschooling for kinder and pre-K, cleaning and dressing our dog’s leg wound, eating delectable nachos made by my personal chef, and ending the evening — as always — with tea. The evenings are usually a creative time for me — painting, building, making signs or light fixtures, sewing, you name it! Unfortunately, I felt a migraine coming on so I settled for laying down and watching “The Office” with Michael before crashing around 11:30. Once tucked into bed we end with praying together and thanking the good Lord for His tremendous grace in all things, and for blessing us with this sweet priceless family.

Minus the migraine, that’s a typical day in the Kraft household. Thanks for coming along!

Want more? Read “A Day in the Fink House