Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Sadly, it's time to start bidding goodbye to summer. Did yours fly by as fast as mine did? It makes me tired just thinking about it. So here we are, on the brink of fall. DH started back to school this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights he will be occupied elsewhere. Thus, I thought it time for us to get back onto a household schedule. Elijah is 4 1/2 and ready to start learning some preschool fundamentals. Grace is a sharp little cookie and loves to learn, so I'm giving her the same material as Elijah. Emma is walking and learning to play a little bit more on her own. Though most of her playing is destructive, if you know what I mean (think rolls of toilet paper unrolled and drawers of clothing dumped out).

This week, we have started roughing out a daily routine that incorporates the kids doing some preschool work and Mom keeping up with daily chores and weekly projects. The ideal schedule will balance cleaning, projects, school work and play time. So far, it seems like things go along pretty structured until 2 or 3 o'clock, and then picks up again at bath time (7:00). It goes something like this:

5:20--7:30 Mom up,
switch out load of laundry,
make coffee,
get dressed,
have morning devotions,
make breakfast for DH,
fix DH lunch.
7:30--Kids up,
eat breakfast,
get dressed,
brush teeth,
make beds (they are learning to do this on their own)
8:30--Kids work on preschool work sheets and then color
9:00--Morning walk
Outside chores
Outside play time
10:00-Emma morning nap
Kids' computer time (preschool learning game)
Mom starts on daily chores. Each day I complete an assigned housework duty, i.e., Mondays wipe down kitchen appliances and oven, clean out fridge, Tuesdays, dust and clean all windows/doors, Wednesday clean bathroom, Thursday sweep & mop, Friday vacuum).
11:00-nothing specific here. Emma is usually waking up hungry by this time.
12:30--clean up after lunch and ready for naptime
1:00--2:30--naptime for kids, 20 minute naptime for Mom,evening project time for Mom
3:00--prep for supper (thaw out meat, frozen veggies, etc)
7:00-8:00--bathtime, storytime, prayers, and bedtime.
8:00--laundry, bath for Mom, computer time, bed by 9:30 (goal).

We are also starting a winter garden soon, so I will need to incorporate the work of that into the day.

What do you think? Any suggestions for the "empty" hours? I'm thinking of starting a craft or activity for one day of the week, and maybe reading time another. Usually this time is filled with the kids playing on their own and me working on something or visiting Facebook :).

I found this awesome site for homeschooling:
There are great worksheets for reading-readiness, which is what I am using for the kids this week. Next week, we will start on our letters and numbers, and that will require a little bit more time in the mornings, thus our schedule will adjust. I find myself wondering if I am putting a little bit much on them, but then I remember that next year I will be starting Elijah on kindergarten material full time and Grace on pre-K, so it will help me to establish a routine now rather than pulling my hair out next year wondering "How am I going to do this?"

You can probably see why we do not get out much, it's just easier for us to stay at home, and any kind of outing takes careful planning ahead of time. Spur-of-the-moment things are NOT good for us!

How is your fall "falling" into place?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It Is Finished!

My kitchen is now fully functional! Yeah! I've never had a kitchen this nice and I cannot stress how much I love it! After about 8 weeks of living kitchen-deprived, you can imagine how great it is to once again have a fully functional kitchen. No decorating has been done as of yet, but that will come in time. A visit to Target yesterday left me with a lot of inspiration in that area. It will be fun to see it all come together. Here are some pictures (finally).

If only we had some "before" pictures, you would really appreciate the transformation. It was BAD, folks. This kitchen was built in the 40s, and had not been updated very much since, besides about three layers of hideous wallpaper and faux green brick on the walls. Yes, green brick. Lovely. But now, it is a beautiful red and I am one happy Mama!! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Multitude Monday

Humans. To be the most intelligent beings on earth, we can be really stupid. No wonder God compares us so much to sheep in His Word, over and over. We're really stubborn, falling into the same traps time after time. Wandering away in the same direction over and over. Returning, weary and brow-beaten, determined not to repeat our mistakes. And yet. Here we are again, in this uncomfortable position, wedged between a rock and a hard place.

Listen. Hear the footsteps, those familiar, patient, searching footsteps. Before long, you'll see the crook of his staff as it swoops down, as he scoops you up and carries you back home again.

My place, the uncomfortable position I repeatedly find myself in, is the pit of discontented, negative thoughts. It spills over onto my children and my husband, and makes everyone around me miserable, but most of all it makes me miserable.

I'm so tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I'm so tired of my kitchen being torn out. I'm tired of not having running water. I'm tired of this, tired of that. Nasty, nasty, ugly, ugly.

So, I really, really needed this today. Love this quote she included in her post:
"In other words, you choose your life, that is to say, you choose all the conditions of your life, when you choose the thoughts upon which you allow your mind to dwell."
~Anthony Bloom

Right now, right here, I redirect my attitude and my thought life. Through Him that strengthens me.

#1. Today, I see the beauty in the imagination of the little girl, playing so intently with her Barbies that she forgot to stop and go potty.

#2. I see Jesus in two brothers in the Lord who came over to fix our pipes.

#3. I see strong, simple faith in the innocent eyes of a 45-year-old mind that never developed past 4 years, and count it a privilege to converse with such a mind.

#4. I look at an unfinished kitchen, and I feel the pride and accomplishment of a DIY job well done.

#5. I see that gleam in my husbands eye, and find joy in the arms of a man who gives his all for his family every day.

Can't wait to report back next week for another Multitude Monday. Care to join me?