Roxanne: I wake up every morning at 6 am because the sun has been up a little while and because it's the only time I have to exercise and shower without little helpers. :) My husband and I run a children's home in Central America. We have two biological children 11 and 8 years of age and 4 foster children 14 months, 12 months, 8 months and 7 months of age. So, if I don't exercise, shower, get dressed, put on make up and pull my hair back before they all wake up, it may never happen. Praise God, we have two wonderful women who help us most days. Around 7:30 am all the babies eat breakfast, which is usually eggs and beans or cereal, fruit and yogurt. I try to eat something sometime during all of that too. It's usually standing up or gobbled quickly in between the bites I'm feeding at least two children, sometimes all four. Then it's time to clean up trays, faces, chairs and dishes. At 8:30 the older kids and I start home school. During that time, a baby or two always crawls in and wants to play with the computer, our papers and our books. Then it's time for lunch. That's a fun time with food and drinks going everywhere. And, obviously lots of screaming. Who can eat lunch without screaming? After cleaning all the dirty faces, chairs and trays, I work on my other job, co-director of the  children's home. That is full of paperwork, emails and research. Our workers leave around 3.30 or 4 pm, so fixing dinner is always full of interruptions too. Someone always needs a bottle and there are always two or three diapers to change while chopping, cleaning, and cooking. The babies eat first, because it's easier to feed  them and then eat, than it is to try to eat and feed babies. Dinner is followed by bath time. Bathing four babies, changing them and getting them into bed with a song (Jesus Name Above All Names) takes about an hour. I forgot to mention the laundry, sweeping and mopping. That has to get done sometime in there too. I am more than grateful for the two helpers God send me, because without them, there is no way I could do anything but care for six children and the house. My work is tiring, picking up lots of toys, food and dirt on the floor, changing diapers, teaching big kids lessons about life and doing my best to listen to God and He shows us how to run a children's home. There are other things that I can't put into words, the hours at the bank trying to run an errand, the long slow lines at the grocery store, the power outages, the days without water, or the days with water, but it's so muddy I'm not sure it's cleaning anything. But, it's all taught me so much that I wouldn't change a thing. I've seen people live with great joy who have so much less than me- dirt floors, a river as theirwashing machine and shower and no electricity, that I realize my "trials" really aren't trials at all. God proves Himself faithful on a daily basis to provide for us monetarily, emotionally, physically and spiritually. He's grown me in ways I could have never grown in the States, so I'm thankful for it all, because He is always with me.

Sorry if this is hard to follow, but I just tried to write about a normal day. and throw in the other hiccups that may occur. I didn't really want to focus on the "hard" times because God always sees us through them and He teaches me in them. I think the hardest part about our life may be the things we go without, a store close-by, the ability to get fast-food, consistent electricity, clean water, but I am by no means the only person living this way. There are stresses missionaries feel that are also hard to put into words, such as, are we performing enough for our supporters? People also judge you by how your children act and if your marriage seems perfect. They can be quick to judge how efficient you are without really knowing what it's like to live in your country. All that said, we have so much more than almost all of the people who live in this country, and God is teaching all of us such amazing lessons, that I can't really complain. I am blessed far more than I deserve.

 

Phyllis: My days are pretty much the same, and yet nothing's ever the same in them! How is that? Usually we get up, eat breakfast, and start homeschooling. We do "Morning School" first, which is everyone together for read aloud and shared study. Then we separate and work through lists, with the older three bouncing back and forth to me when they need help or alone for what they can do independently. (That doesn't go as smoothly as it sounds in writing.) Then lunch. After lunch the youngest still has a nap. Others go to music and/or art school, or if it's a day when they stay home, they have a quiet reading time, too. After quiet time and outside lessons, sometimes we still have more to finish from the morning. In the evening it's just supper, baths, bed, unless we have some other event going on. And like I said, nothing is ever the same in our days. There's always something to stir things up and make life... interesting. :-)

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