A Day With Us

Welcome, Morning! Another bright and extremely hot day is underway. It's 8:30am and there is some banging going on the other side of the park where a house is being built. I zoom my camera in. I can see construction workers looking out of a window space.
While David gets ready for work (a little late this morning, but he has a flexible schedule that way), I cozy back into bed with my scriptures. I have the goal to read the Book of Mormon twice through before Zach comes home from his mission and I'm half-way through a 90 day reading challenge. After my scripture study, I change into work out clothes and go through a strength-training routine. David heads off to work.
Meanwhile, Marissa and Marcus are both awake and reading in their beds. They always start and end their days reading. I've trained Marcus to read his scriptures before he dives into his latest book, and he's making me proud by sticking to that routine. We've decided that is one way we can show our Heavenly Father that He comes first in our lives. 
As it's Monday, which is not a day Darcie volunteers at Westfalia orphanage, she is sleeping in. She volunteers on Wednesdays and Fridays so on those mornings she is up by 7am and leaves in a taxi with other youth from our ward (church congregation) around 8:15am. Please visit her blog often to read her beautiful posts, which include lots of pictures of the precious children she is serving.
Sometimes the four of us eat breakfast together, and other times we eat in shifts. Today we help ourselves to cereal or bagels when we're hungry. We're excited right now to have a rare breakfast cereal in our house. It's only found on occasion in one or two specialty shops, and it costs a small fortune. David brought home 4 boxes of Rice Krispies for Valentine's Day and I gave each child their own box. We'll see who makes theirs last the longest. (It won't be Marcus.)
After breakfast (and after I've showered and dressed for the day), Marcus and I decide to tackle his bedroom. By now it's 10:30am or so. This isn't the "before" picture. It's the half-way-through picture. Imagine the green container, topped with all of the items on the bed, in the corner where the table is (the table was in the middle of his room). It was a cluttered, dusty, dead-mosquito disaster and I couldn't stand it anymore. So we set to work vacuuming, re-arranging and organizing. While we work, we watch and listen to several Liahona Junior class videos on my laptop.
Otherwise, we'd be in my bedroom watching his videos together on my bed. The reason we are usually in my bedroom is that it's the only air conditioned room in the house and it's so muggy and hot here right now that everyone flocks to my room for relief!
Marissa and Marcus are both distance-students through Liahona Academy. I can't tell you what a blessing Liahona has been and continues to be for our family. Marissa is completely self-governing with her high school classes and assignments. She can watch her classes live or recorded. This is her 3rd year with Liahona, but it's Marcus' very first. He is in their youngest distance class made up of 5th and 6th graders throughout the U.S. and in 3 countries (Peru, Germany and Italy). Check them out at their I'm a Mormon Kid blog. They are an awesome class and I love their teacher, Sister Rowley.
 It takes us longer than it should have to clean his room, but it looks amazing now that it's finished. All the while I've kept laundry going and did some housework (which is why it took longer; Marcus slooowed way down when I wasn't there to constantly keep him going.) Our maid, Claudia, will be surprised to see it on Wednesday. (Yes, I have high hopes he will keep it clean 'til then!) She was supposed to work today, but one of her boys had an asthma attack, so she took a sick-day.
We even cleaned out his closet which had been piled to the ceiling with stuffed animals and books and toys. Now his clothes can actually hang in peace. 

Marissa drew these pictures for Marcus for his How-To-Train-A-Dragon birthday party last December and they are on Marcus' bedroom wall. I think she is a wonderful artist. 
Marcus loves his new table and chair which we got him over the weekend. It's cheap lawn furniture, but perfect for his needs. Now he can study in his room which is the 2nd most refreshing room in our house, given it's location, away from the rays of the sun, and the fan sitting in the window. 
 
Now that his room is up to my standards again, we break for lunch. Lately the girls and I love to have chef salads for lunch. Marcus sticks with his usual- Top Ramen. Time now: 1:30ish. 
Marissa has been baking cookies and brownies in the kitchen all morning long because the missionaries from our Church are coming over tonight for family home evening (family time where we focus on the gospel). I forgot to take a picture of her in the kitchen, but she watched some of her classes at the dining room table so she could stay close by. After lunch, I move my laptop to the other side of the table where Marcus has set up some supplies he needs to start on a project.
He starts to make a history paper-mache puppet which is supposed to represent Thomas Edison when he's finished. This project is found at a website called, Instructables.
 (I can't remember why Marcus changed t-shirts, but he did.)
We try to get away with using the only liquid starch we could find here, but it wasn't sticking to the styrofoam ball, so we end up going the old-fashioned way of flour and water. This is the first layer and we need 7 altogether. 
We think the head resembles Dobby (Harry Potter) at this time.
As Marcus works, I read him 2 chapters from the book we're currently reading together.
Marcus loves cats so it's no wonder he likes this series. Marissa reads them, too.
It's now around 2:30pm and Marcus is ready to get some exercise and swim in our pond pool. Over the weekend, he talked his dad into buying him an inexpensive snorkeling set. He has me toss pool rings in so he has something to look at on the bottom of the pool! 
I use this time to relax on a lawn chair and watch him in action. He swims for a good 2 hours.
Meanwhile, Marissa continues on with her studies and Darcie is on her bed watching something on her tablet. (I should've taken some pics of my beautiful girls. I will next time.) 
 
David returns home around 5:30pm, earlier than usual because we have to grocery shop tonight as he will be at the mine site the rest of the week. So we all hop in the car and decide to eat out first at one of our favorite local restaurants, La Lena. We order our usual- rotisserie chicken, served with French fries and a garden salad. Then we shop at Wong, which was just around the corner from La Lena. We arrive home minutes before the missionaries are due to arrive (8pm).
(This is not a great picture, but I'm still figuring out the settings on my camera.) We serve the elders apple juice and lemonade. They do an activity with us and then David drives them back to their rental house. They leave with zip lock bags of the cookies and brownies, plus cans of root beer or grape Crush. (2 of the elders are Latino and they don't like the taste of root beer.)
After that it's time for bed. David packs for his trip, including some snacks to eat in the mine camp. Then, lights out and goodnight world!
 
And that was/is, more of less, a typical day with the Madsen family!  

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