Archive for September, 2007

Training kids is hard work

Oh My Goodness. I FINALLY got a working schedule, thanks to my hubby who knows more about those things than I do. I have a different schedule for each day of the week because we have different activities each day of the week. It starts at 7am and goes until 10:30pm. I have in my schedule school, chores, outside activities, meals, and free time. I put a copy of it on my clip board, add any other things I need to do, like calls to make, emails to send and to do’s that day that is not on the schedule. If I don’t get those things done, I will transfer them to the next day. All and all I feel pretty proud of this new completed schedule. There was sweat and a few tears in creating it but now that it is done I can relax. NOT!

Now the hardest part comes. I actually have to DO the schedule. What was I thinking? Staying on task is hard for me to do. Self discipline? Don’t have much of it. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Now I have this schedule that tells me what to do and when. Now if it is hard for me to stay on task, imagine how difficult it is to keep my kids on task. Oy! It is so easy to tell them to do something, walk away and expect them to get it done. Does that happen? Only in my dreams. It is much more difficult to tell them to do something and then stick with them until they get it done. I have to let go of my agenda and follow them around and prod and steer them in the right direction until it gets done. Then I have to give them lots of encouragement on a job well done. That part isn’t difficult, it’s just remembering to do it. I should have done this long ago, but as I have stated, I don’t necessarily have it down myself. It is hard work. When I feel like doing something else, I have this inner argument going on in my head. The voice of reason says, if you do this now, it will be easier in the future, the hard work will pay off and it will benefit my kids tremendously. The selfish voice says, but I would rather do this or that. I am trying really hard to listen to reason. I know it will be worth it in the end and when they are married and have a home of their own, just maybe they won’t have these same struggles that I am having.

Here is today’s schedule: It is supposed to be in columns but I can’t get it to adjust right. I copied and pasted. That could be the problem.

Susan Princess Pixie Peanut

7:00 AM wake sleep sleep sleep
7:30 AM get ready sleep sleep sleep
8:00 AM get girls up get girls up get girls up get girls up
8:30 AM breakfast breakfast breakfast breakfast
9:00 AM chores chores chores chores
9:30 AM school school school school
10:00 AM ** ** ** **
10:30 AM ** ** ** **
11:00 AM ** ** ** **
11:30 AM ** ** ** **
12:00 PM lunch lunch lunch lunch
12:30 PM chores-zone4 chores-zone4 chores-zone4 chores-zone4
1:00 PM Beth quiet time quiet time quiet time
1:30 PM ** ** ** **
2:00 PM ** play play play
2:30 PM ** ** ** **
3:00 PM ** ** ** **
3:30 PM travel Kids rock Kids rock travel
4:00 PM ** ** ** travel
4:30 PM ** ** ** Tap
5:00 PM ** ** ** **
5:30 PM ** ** ** **
6:00 PM Dinner prep ** ** **
6:30 PM dinner dinner dinner dinner
7:00 PM chores chores chores chores
7:30 PM chores shower shower bath
8:00 PM kids to bed bed bed bed
8:30 PM free time ** ** **
9:00 PM ** ** ** **
9:30 PM ** ** ** **
10:00 PM ** ** ** **
10:30 PM bed ** ** **

To Call To Do To Email


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I’m stumped

This is where I severely lack in skills. I can make a whole variety of things, jewelry, hats and scarves. I can cook and bake and teach my kids. What I cannot do with any amount of efficiency is create a working schedule for myself. After a poor attempt at school over the last three weeks I realized that I need to plan better. I need a schedule. Each year I am faced with the certainty that I need to do things differently. What worked last year will not work this year. I have to start new, with different expectations and different tasks. I can make lists. I do that well. But when it comes to putting it all together, I am truly stumped. I stare at the excel spreadsheet and type and delete and type and delete. Oh, I have different books and systems to help, but they don’t help. It’s a mental block. Someone said that having a schedule gives a person freedom. I have had a hard time seeing that as being true, but with homeschooling three girls, keeping a house with a husband, two cats and a puppy, I am willing to pursue this freedom people claim. I just don’t know if it will be this year.


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Motherly Advice

Do you sit on a public toilet seat?  I do not. I either use a cover or hover.  I was trained to do this from the time I could sit on a toilet.  My mother reminded me each and every single time we were in a public bathroom together.  I guess she figured that if she was with me it was her motherly duty to train me right in this area.  I remember being 18 and having her tell me yet again not to sit on the toilet upon entering the public restroom.  At the time I became angry.  I thought, after all these years of telling me the same thing didn’t she think I would actually learn this valuable lesson of life?  Instead of appreciating her care of whether or not I caught some dreadful disease from parking my behind on a germ infested surface, I became offended.  Throughout the years I continued to become offended.  No, the advice didn’t stop when ever we were together. This weekend my parents came for a visit.  I found myself with my mom in a public restroom and in passing came the  expected words, “don’t sit on the toilet”.  Now at 40 I can just laugh. I think for her it has become a habit.  I don’t take it personally anymore, and instead appreciate that she cares so much about me.  You may wonder if I have my girls trained not to sit on a public toilet seat.  Yes I do, and I am sure that when they are 40 I will be telling them the same thing–“don’t sit on the toilet”.


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One of the things I have been learning about my husband is that when he has a home project to do he doesn’t like to do it by himself.  Sometimes he needs my help, but most of the time he wants my company.  He is gone everyday at work and when he comes home the last thing he wants to do is go into the garage or outside to work on a project by himself. He wants his family with him. I can understand that. So I have been making an effort to be the helper he needs.

That brings me to this weekend. On Saturday he needed to work on the roof, getting the rest of the moss off and power washing. Well, since I can’t be much of a help with that, and I needed to be outside I decided to weed the garden.  There were a lot of weeds that were taking over.

As I started I noticed that there were probably about three or four varieties of weeds.  I also noticed that some were easier to pull than others. I started with easy ones.  As I was crouched down and grabbing them by the core stem and gently wiggling and pulling them out I noticed that I had a certain satisfaction when they would slide easily out of the dirt.  As I continued on with the easy ones, I started thinking about how similar these weeds were to our sin.  I wondered if God feels that same satisfaction when our sinful weeds slides effortlessly out of our flesh.  How satisfying when we can recognize our sin quickly and repent of it before it takes a strong hold onto our lives.

After  a while I finished the easy weeds.  Wow, what a great feeling to see the garden bed clear up of the ugly weeds and see the fruit of plantings have space to grow and mature.  I moved on to the weeds that were more difficult to pull. They needed more coaxing, a shovel to loosen the dirt around it, a tighter grip, but eventually they came out.  As we let our sins hang on to us it becomes more difficult to let go. Maybe it takes us longer to recognize it, or maybe we are just stubborn and are unwilling to let it go. Either way, it will take more effort for us to loosen the roots of it and pull it from our lives.

Finally, it was time to tackle the tough weeds. Now these were the ones that not only had roots that went deep, but these had thorns on it too.  Thankfully I had my gardening gloves on. I definitely needed the shovel for these and more effort and more persistence.  I scratched my arms up but finally I got these out too.  These are the sins that have been with us a while.  They are the sins that truly hurt not only us but the people around us.   Anger, envy, gossip – all these and many more hurt ourselves and the people we love. These can also have deep roots.  They can cause us pain as we try to remove these from our lives.

Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t allow these big thorny weeds to take over our flesh? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying if we could pull them out while they are still small, with shallow roots?

Lord, help me to recognize my sin quickly before the roots grow deep.  Help me to want to let them go, to repent, so my life can be free of hurts caused by yours truly.  Amen.

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First Day

 How did it go?  I’ll tell ya!

Got a late start in school despite getting up early.

Chores didn’t get finished.

School didn’t get finished.

Went to get groceries and run another errand.

Came home for 30 minutes and then off again for Choir for Princess.

Stayed with her for the entire 3 hours because of first day jitters.  Had my other two with me. They did really well, despite having nothing to do.

Got home at 7:20pm.  Crammed frozen waffles into my kids.

Had 7:30 appointment here with a real estate agent.

Put the kids to bed about 9pm.

It was a crazy day and overall I am not that satisfied with how it went.  But thankfully tomorrow is a new day.  I know we have some kinks to work out so I won’t let myself get too stressed about it.

It is 9:14 and I will sign off to eat dinner.


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Am I ready?

Tomorrow is the big day. It is the beginning of a new school year.   This will be my 6th year of homeschooling and frankly I am astonished.  How can five years under my homeschooling belt have gone so fast?  I go into this year with much anticipation and a little bit of anxiety. I am excited to learn new things along with my kids, to see the excitement in their faces when something they have struggled with clicks, and  to teach my third and youngest child to read.  I am anxious about whether or not I will teach them all they need to know this year, or if I chose the best resources for learning, or the possibility of squelching their love for learning instead of nurturing it.

The rest of our books come this week, but we have enough to get an easy start.  I have organized their notebooks and created a place for all our books near our table.  I have made the schedule for tomorrow and will finish it when the rest of our books arrive.  I have chores assigned.

Could I have done more to get ready? Yes. I wanted to do more.  I always want to do more and each year we start school I feel like I’ve missed something.  But each year we just jump in and it all amazingly comes together.   So, ready or not, here we come!

Happy New School Year!


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One thing I have not succeeded in is training my girls to do chores consistently.  I certainly have them unload the dishwasher and fold clothes etc., but we don’t have an established routine in which they know what to expect to do.  So often times when I do ask them to do something I get a lot of complaining and whining and words like, “it’s too hard”.  Well, I walked in my daughters room the other day and saw this:

And when I asked my daughter to put the books on the bookshelf and came in a bit later I saw this:

Obviously she got a little distracted.

I have been working on yet another chore system. I purchased these index cards from Homeschoolestore and I printed them off on my computer.  I decided that I really need to get this finished so we can start the new school year right.  With a system. I only hope I can make the system stick.  The hardest part for me is assigning the chores and deciding on what everyday chores to have each child do and what and when to do the weekly chores.  If you haven’t it picked up already, I will confess that I don’t clean on a schedule. I clean when something needs to be done and most of the time it is when we are having company! LOL

Today was the first day we used it. I started slowly with just putting in the morning routine and a few things in the evening. The girls were so excited.  They were so inspired that the messy room above is now clean. And the best thing is that older sister helped the younger ones get it cleaned up. They even swept the wood floors.  Not bad.

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