Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day in the Life of the Bergey Bunch

I'm thoroughly enjoying the 30 Days of Grace Parenting Tips series.  From the feedback I'm receiving, I think many of you are enjoying it as well. 

But I thought a little break might be fun, especially since I haven't been adding pictures to most of the posts, and let's face it---blogs without pictures Right? 

Don't you enjoy getting a peak into other families' daily lives? It's like sitting down to tea with a new friend-- through cyber-space!

This post is for those of you who have ever wondered what a typical day looks like in our house--- or for those of you who just enjoy pictures. (Cause there is a TON of pictures in this post.) 

I will warn you, however. I am not a professional photographer. 

All those cute pictures on my blog? My amazing sister took them. She's the family photographer. Not me. :)

These pictures are just quickly-captured-candid-moments of 

A Day In The Life Of The Bergey Bunch

FYI: None of this was staged. As a matter of fact, I didn't even plan this in advance. I did my best not to make it fake. (as evidenced by my make-up-less face. lol) Anyone can stage photographs to make their lives look perfect. :)

I get up, do my morning routine, and start waking children up. As soon as the youngest children are awake and pottied, they go to their highchairs to play until breakfast.

Nathaniel starts the morning with sorting laundry. Normally we do all of our laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays, but we spent Tuesday afternoon with my sister so we were a little behind. 

Wednesday morning is bath morning, so no one gets dressed just yet. :) 

The girls make their bed, Johanna fills the water cups, Ellie helps me fill the plates, and everyone heads to the table for breakfast. 

 On the menu for today---French Toast sticks, strawberries, and yogurt with granola on top.


Here's what my kitchen looked like during breakfast. :) 

The other rooms (besides the boys bedroom, I think) were pretty clean, though. 

Breakfast over, Johanna and Eliana head to the shower. Nathaniel starts his schoolwork and the four youngest stay at the kitchen table with toys and puzzles. (I keep them close when I need to clean---otherwise, they are making messes as fast as I'm cleaning them up!) I get to work on the kitchen, folding a load of laundry, and helping Nathaniel with his work as needed.

A certain little munchkin (Ethan, 3) tries to convince me he needs to get out of his chair while I'm folding laundry. Even though he IS adorable, the answer was still no. :)

Ahhh. A clean kitchen. I don't function very well in a messy kitchen. With 7 children, however, it gets messy several times a day and I'm learning to just go with the flow. Some days it's easier for me than others. :)

Johanna and Eliana finish their showers, do their hair, and start their school. 

 The youngest four (and Nathaniel, once he's done on break) watch a 20 minute movie. This gives me the time I need to teach a math lesson to the older girls and get them working on their school for the day.

School gets done in all rooms of our house. Here Johanna is reading on her bed. (She's reading English at a second/third grade level now and her math is up to sixth grade! So proud of her.)

I finish up with the girls, send them off to work, and make a nice cup of coffee for myself. :)

Wow. Nothing like keeping it real. I didn't take a shower because I it was bath day and I wanted to run on the treadmill here's the un-showered all natural Mommy look. LOL

The movie ends all too quickly and my quick break is over. My second cup of coffee gets cold as I forget about it and get to work on bath-time. 

I send the three-year-olds to the bathroom to undress. This is quite interesting to watch as they wiggle their little bodies and work all of their clothing off. (Yes, they are in their clothes from the day before. I am that kind of Mommy.

They will SO kill me for this picture later. Lucky for me, they're too young to care now and I think they are the.cutest.thing.ever. 

Everyone has to go potty before they get in the tub, because Mommy doesn't like putting her hands in PEE WATER. (Yes, they think it is funny to potty in the tub. I don't. Think it's funny, I mean. Well, I don't potty in the tub, either. Okay, I better just stop now.)

While the babies take a long bath (I think they played for about an hour!), we take turns watching them.

Johanna, Eliana, and Nathaniel continue their schoolwork, and Noah plays alone in his room.

Nathaniel takes a turn watching the babies play, while I tend to Johanna. She was disappointed about an upcoming event that she doesn't get to attend, and had a nice long crying session about it. It took me awhile to get her regrouped and realizing that I was not going to change my mind. 

Okay, back to bath-time. I lay out all three outfits on my bed, wash up the little ones, and call the older girls to help. We each dress one child, making it much quicker than if I was doing it alone!

Next up, hair time. I dry and "style" each child's hair. I keep all three with me in the bathroom so I know what they're up to. :)


A math question interrupts the hair party in the bathroom. :)

Johanna and Nathaniel find a quiet place to work on more schoolwork.

Everyone enjoys a snack of almonds.


The babies settle in for some fight over the same green spoon play time. (What? You thought my children never fought over toys? They're CHILDREN, not angels. :))

I solve the green spoon problem, switch over the laundry and start getting lunch ready.

Eliana works on a story she's writing while Johanna folds the next load of laundry.

 The youngest five go outside for a few minutes while we get lunch on the table. Turns out, it's a rather warm day and they come in with all kinds of plans for the afternoon play-time.

Here is how I prepare most meals. I set out seven plates, fill them while I'm cooking, and take them to the table when it's time to eat. Johanna always fills the cups and Eliana is in charge of bibs for the babies.

Lunch menu: Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, chips, bananas, and graham crackers for a treat.

Only six cups today, because one child "lost their sweets" for a week. (One of our family consequences.)

After lunch, each child has a job to do. The littlest ones stay at the table again while we clean up from lunch.
Alyssia and Gabriella LOVE to color! They beg to "coloring".

After jobs are done, I take a break and sit down on the computer for a half hour while everyone heads outside to play. They have so much fun playing spy and building with ropes and sticks.

Next on the schedule is nap-time. I call the youngest five into the house, set up Nathaniel and Noah (8 and 6) on the Wii and get the babies ready for their nap (potty, drink, diaper for the one that might wet her bed, etc). Normally, the older girls will read or play in their room during this time, but because the weather is so warm, they stay outside.


I put the babies down for a nap in the same room, so the other rooms are freed up for the afternoon.

 They ask me for "a story, Momma!" so I tell them Goldilocks and The Three Bears (complete with silly voices, which they LOVE). I turn off the light, turn on the fan, close the curtains, and sit down in the quiet room. Ethan needs help settling down, so I rock him on his bed for a couple of minutes. Then he whispers, "Mommy, I think I'll be more comfortable if I lay down." so I lay him down. They're all asleep soon.

(I took the pictures of them sleeping with my flash, so it looks bright in the room, but it's actually very dark!)

I LOVE this picture of Gabbey and her baby. She snuggles this baby every time she falls asleep....

It's now 2:30 in the afternoon. I turn off the Wii and send the boys outside to play with the girls, change my clothes and hop on the treadmill. Thirty-five minutes, 2.5 miles, and one sweaty mess later, I'm ready for a hot shower. NO, I didn't have the girls take pictures of me during this time. Sorry, but a girl's gotta have some dignity. :)

I call Johanna and Eliana inside. Johanna helps me fold the last of the laundry and we are both happy it is done until Friday. 

Eliana practices her violin.

Nathaniel comes inside and gets his violin out. We work on some music together.

The babies wake up, go potty, snuggle Mommy for awhile on the couch, and get a small snack. They want to play outside, so off they go, with their buckets and a pile of rocks.  

I need to peel potatoes for dinner, so I put Noah next to me to work on his reading flashcards.

 Johanna works on her penmanship. (She and Eliana are trying to copy the entire book of Matthew in cursive.) Noah works on his seatwork.

 The laundry pile, ready to be put away!

We have church on Wednesday evenings, so I fix everyone's hair, lay out the Bibles, quiet books, and music for church, prepare dinner, change Gabbey's clothes (since she got dirty somehow), help Nathaniel and Noah get ready for church, and put everyone's shoes on before they sit down to eat dinner.

Eliana and Johanna fix the plates and drinks for everyone's dinner.

On the menu: Leftover ham from Sunday's lunch, mashed potatoes, green beans and pineapple for dessert.

AND this is where the pictures end, although the day wasn't quite over yet. It just got too busy for me to grab the camera. :)

Brent arrived home. We finished dinner, scrambled to clean up the kitchen, loaded everyone (and all the "gear") into the van, and headed to church. Brent stopped at WaWa and got me a coffee----heaven!----and we listened to music the whole (long) hour drive to church. :)

Stayed after at church to fellowship while the children played with their friends, then started the (long) trip home. Brent and I tucked the very tired children into bed at 10 pm, sat on the couch for a few minutes, and dragged our own tired bodies to bed at 10:45.

There you have it. A Day In The Life Of The Bergey Bunch. Not very exciting, was it? Nevertheless, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into years, years turn into a lifetime of ordinary days. So I am thankful for these boring, sometimes monotonous days. They are the makings of a lifetime!


  1. I loved this post! An I have to admit I loved the fact that your children slept in their clothes.:) I also enjoyed the glimpse into your homeschool day. I loved the way the school work just fit in and around everything else

  2. Just out of curiosity, can I ask why you and your girls always wear skirts/dresses? Thanks.

    1. Great question, Amy. I grew up wearing only skirts and dresses so it comes quite naturally for me to do so now. We strive for modesty (keeping our private areas covered and not drawing attention to them) and femininity in our choice of dress. This has led us to choose longer skirts or dresses. I'm a girly-girl it suits me best. :)

  3. That looks like a great day to me. :-) Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love this, thanks! Where did you buy those bibs?

    1. These bibs are from Ikea. They are not the best "quality" ever, but they are the BEST I've found for keeping the children well covered and they're very inexpensive. We have two sets---one set stays in the van for meals out. Thanks for reading!

  5. I loved it! Also liked that you teach them to clean their rooms (properly) and keep the house neat. So often with a large family the house can look trashed! I help a family with 7 kids and find the school work time a LOT to keep up with. Way too many people asking for help. I love how you work it into your housework - great idea!

    I feel like I know your family even better!

    1. Thanks, Amy. I am a bit of a perfectionist and have to constantly try to relax. We have alot of people in a small space and there just isn't room for mess all the time. We clean up several times a day and try to keep it under control that way.

  6. I read your blog all the time although I don't comment very often, I really enjoyed your day! And I love your closing paragraph....

    There you have it. A Day In The Life Of The Bergey Bunch. Not very exciting, was it? Nevertheless, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into years, years turn into a lifetime of ordinary days. So I am thankful for these boring, sometimes monotonous days. They are the makings of a lifetime! ......

    I'm now an older Mom with almost grown up children of my own and I remember days like this when I was a child, just being with my Mom and doing just ordinary stuff, but you know those are the days that I look back on now with fondness and love, because those days, me and Mom (just like you and your children) were making 'Memories'

    Kaz UK

  7. The best of blogging are ones like these! I have loved seeing A Day In The Life Of The Bergey Bunch.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Great post, it's so fun (and enlightening;) to see a peek into your day. I appreciate you being "real". Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Selina,
    Thanks for sharing your day. It was fascinating, really. I have a few questions for you. Do you sit down at breakfast and lunch to eat with the kids? I only counted 7 plates or did you eat something else? And do you use paper plates and paper cups?

    1. Thanks for the questions--and thank you for reading! :)

      Yes, I do sit down at all meals with the children. It's important to me and I've kept everyone together for all meals since Ellie was born. BUT now that we have so many little ones all at once, it is harder for me to actually EAT my meal when they eat, because it is inevitable that I will need to get up from the table several times. So, for some meals, I sit with the children, talk with them, help them eat, and read to them (devotions at breakfast, school lessons at lunch). I eat my food either before or after they eat. :) I'm trying to lose the 5 pounds I put on over the holidays, so this particular week, I didn't eat the same thing as the children. But normally, I fix one thing for everyone. No short order kitchen here, lol. We do use only paper plates for breakfast and lunch. Glass bowls and regular cups, and sometimes glass plates for dinner. I use paper cups for snacks or yogurt, but not drinks as each child has their "own" cup that lasts the whole day. I don't have a dishwasher---and Brent encourages me to stick with paper plates for the time being. :)

    2. Not sure I was completely clear---I SIT with the children for all meals---I just don't always EAT at the same time. Sorry for the confusion!

      We always eat dinner together. :)

  10. Loved this post, Selina! Love seeing how you manage it all and that you keep a clean house while doing it :)

  11. I have to admit I was a bit tired after reading about your day. You amaze me!! I have loved your parenting with grace series and now I really love your family even more. Thanks so much for being so candid about your day. Maybe I need a little perfectionist in me...

  12. Wow, I'm impressed and we have 10 kids (2 are grown) and we are adopting #11 and 12. You're a lot busier than I am, but mine are now older and I don't homeschool.

  13. I am so wow-ed by how much you have to do and how much you get done with 7 kids!
    I do have some questions though!

    Do you make it a rule that the children must sit down at a certain place when they do their schoolwork? Or is it free and easy? I find the idea of homeschooling very fascinating and very adjustable (I am studying to be a special ed teacher so the adjustability is a plus!)

    Also, do you have a rule that all the food must be eaten before they can leave the table? Or do you make exceptions when you know they are full?

  14. You've definitely got the routine down, my friend :) I tell you, I admire your 2:30 tread mill run - if I don't get that done before 6 am, it's not happening :) Thank you for a dose of your reality! You had me laughing so many times. Mama's work is never done :)

  15. This sounds a real amazing and much inspirational blog in regards to Adoptions. International Adoption agency

  16. Thanks for sharing. I need to do a post like this, except I'm afraid I'd have to share about some strong willed moments we're having. But it is reality and I'm thankful still for the opportunities God gives to try and try again!

  17. Que alegria ver uma familia servindo a Deus em seu dia-a-dia. Apenas foi triste ver as crianças mostradas sem suas roupas e juntas dessa forma :(
    Eu sigo orando por voces, por suas preciosas vidas e pelo trabalho amando e salvando orfãos no Sul da Africa.


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