Wednesday, February 29

Just 6 Things

I write 6 things on a post it note every day. 


It's a fun game I play to measure how productive I am!  I know to some of you non-list makers it sounds like homemakers anarchy, but it has been working for me.  I read about the idea on a simple mom post.  I couldn't find the post to relink it for you, but the jist is "go easy on yourself".  I like that motto for today's modern domestic engineers.
There are so many things which all of us, in our occupations, do every day that are just part of the regular routine.  For me, that is: homeschool, house chores, meals, clean up, pick up, etc.  But, finding those six things that either MUST get done above and beyond the regular, or the things which would really BLESS those around you, or making sure to include time for the things which FULFILL you is an important part of a well rounded, productive day for me.

Here are a few past post-it notes from last week:
clean bathrooms, nature study with kids, work on co-op class, finish bday present for friend, bread, make dinner

haircuts, make groc list, laundry, paint stripes on boy's wall, look up guided reading on google, read through puppy book

I try to keep a balance and make them as specific as possible... (like wash laundry, put away laundry) that way if I get more done than what I've written, it's just icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, I need to add "pick out a birthday cake to make myself" to a post-it in my near future!  Shameless, shameless plug for birthday wishes!

Tuesday, February 28

oh bla dee

A week goes by!  And life goes on.  I feel like there have been a lot of posts like this lately.  But, indeed, we do life pretty fully!

Plugging away is the mantra here.  Soon we begin to celebrate THE birthday (ha ha, mine!), trips south and then trips more south (souther??).

Thursday, February 16

Slow Morning :: Late Start

I've been surprised since we moved how a house can really dictate how you run your day.

The biggest example I can give to this is that in our former place, we always, always, always went UPSTAIRS to release the kids from bed in the morning.  Which means, they got dressed before coming down and had a jump on chores.  Otherwise, it always seemed like working backwards to shoo them all back upstairs to get dressed without direct supervision.

In our new place, the space is tighter and there is more amoeba like movement across zones.  Kids get up and make their way to read on the couches sometimes before I even climb out of bed.  PJ makes his way to my room for a snuggle before the clock strikes 7 am.  I love this and am hesitant to give it up as he's our "last baby". 

It could be the kids are getting older (NO!) or even that we don't really live in an area (like on camp, or in a neighborhood) where "drop by's" happen.  But there is a more relaxed feel to our morning these winter days.

It is nice in many ways, but then I have to continue to adjust the mindset as we move along.  For instance, I look at the clock and it's noon and we've just finished our core work!!!  Then I say, it's okay, you have all day for this, and my heart rate slows!

But for now, I sit here by the window with my coffee.  The kids and I are still in jammies (yeah, it's 9) and we're having some time with our annual American History review watching:

I can see sunshine and grass through the snow, so it's hard to tell myself winter IS NOT over yet!  We'll enjoy the relaxed feeling of this season while it lasts!

Monday, February 13

mello yellow

I am a woman of few words recently.  It's not for lack of thoughts in my head (unless I consider the paint fumes I'm pretty much inhailing on a weekly basis.)  Anyhow, enjoy the pictures while they last, I say.  Soon there will be no more of home and children and you'll be forced to endure more soap box ranting!!! 

Wednesday, February 8

The Wedding Path

Some day we imagine Lena walking down this path as her "wedding aisle".  If it weren't for the highway, it might have worked out!  Maybe traffic would really stop for her that day!

Friday, February 3

Woke up, got outta bed, ran a comb across my head....

I always enjoy the SimpleHomeschool series titled "A Day in the Life". It is fun to see how many ways there are to be homeschooling families.  I highly recommend anyone thinking about schooling their kids at home to give a good hard look at the list of others who post along with me today.  It helps to find a family you can identify with and think "Yes, that could work for us."

I hadn't planned to post this year, as I did last year, but the thought occurred to me early enough in the day.  So I thought, yes, that would work today.  Let me tell you, though, if you don't keep at least a few notes, a lot gets lost through the course of the day!  But if we stick with mostly major points, then no one gets bored to tears!

After a few night time kid checks (due to recovery coughs/colds) the alarm went off at 6:10am.  I didn't hop up for it, though.  Paul and I were up a bit late the night before (uh, by late, I mean 10:30...ooohhh).  Many of you know that as your kids age and go to bed later, you have less and less of that glorious evening time to work on stuff you'd like to work on!  That's a spoiler alert, for all you parents of young tots!!!!

Lingered in bed, spent time in prayer.

Got up at 7, fed and watered dog.  Two kids were already up and lounging.  Reading morning devos and new library books.  I let the little guy sleep as he was up a bit at night coughing.

Took the opportunity to do a quick workout tape in the basement while Dad does devos, breakfast, and kids follow suit and start chores. Before I start workout, I throw a coat of paint on a bathroom door that will be hung back upstairs when dry. Puppy & PJ make their way downstairs as I'm stretching and give lots of hugs and licks.

After workout, I come upstairs and crack a few windows to let in some fresh, mild winter air.  As I meander through rooms checking on progress of kid chores, I put away laundry (mainly to find the clothes I'm rewearing from yesterday).  I put PJ's jammies away and think of tonight when he'll slip them back on and I can "check out" as caregiver even now as I'm "on duty".  I opt again to wear a makes me feel like a girl and I'm kind of tired of pants.  The tights and slippers complete the ensemble! 

I get ready for the day as I assist with chores and help PJ on the potty.  He sits there a long time.  As he does, I take the chance to straighten up the bathroom.  I warn the kids that after they finish chores, they can either play or hit the couches with free reading time, but I'll be a little longer than normal because I'm still getting dressed and haven't eaten breakfast.  Paul is out the door and it is 8:10.  I get tea and toast and am excited that there is homemade bread to slather peanut butter on!  I check my computer for my morning updates of the world I watch and the house is strangely subdued which is glorious.  I credit it to new library books.

PJ continues to play like a quiet little angel which though unusual, I take full advantage.  I hit the couch with the big kids for our morning meeting, of sorts.  It's 9 am.  A bit later start than usual.  I prefer between 8 and 8:30, but as I am in charge of this outfit, and no one else to answer to, I say to myself, it's great this way, too!

We hit the school table about 9:45 and as PJ has peeked in and out here and there, he is still playing on his own like a rock star.  Usually he needs more re-direction and has an active, and vocal, part in our couch/table time.  I go through writing, grammar, math and nature study with Lena.  Jack works independently except when he shows me something he has done or needs help on computer math.  Lena and I finish about 11.  She is a bit of a dawdler today as she watches Jack do typing practice on the computer.  Probably in part, too, because I keep getting up from the table to put laundry away or do a bit of pick up as she works.  I also had the laptop on the table, which distracts me and therefore, I'm sure, her.  I'll try better to keep it away tomorrow.

Jack finishes up odds and ends as PJ and Lena start a fort in her room.  Creates a mess, but occupies them until lunch is ready at noon.  Tortilla pizza today is a hit with everyone. 

As it is quite mild, and the dog needs exercise, I bribe all with a sucker if they'll go outside and muck around a bit with me.  Jack also has a load of wood to bring to the small barn to begin drying out.  It is fun, we make it outside nearly an hour.  I take the chance to finally take some portrait type pictures for our school pictures this year.  They are 4 months late, but I just never found the exact perfect moment for good ones like last year, so we went with what we had today!

We're back inside around 1:15 and PJ & Lena help me give Scouty her monthly bath while Jack finishes his chapter book.  Pup gets a treat and the littles and I hit the couch for me to read to them.  PJ goes off for a nap around 2 because he's been fighting a cold and we have AWANA tonight.  He gives in easily to sleep. 

I head to my comfy chair with coffee and spend some time crocheting, writing, correspondence.  Jack and Lena are firmly planted reading and coloring, respectively.  Until about 4 we'll just hang out, paint, play games, and rest.  If there are leftovers from the morning we need to work on, we'll wrap that up.  I'll pop in and out with painting the door, and any other projects I'm working on for home or hobbies.

At 4 the kids choose media time.  They vacillate between tv (Phineas & Ferb) and Wii football.

Dinner is right at 5 tonight (beef sandwiches and tater tots) and we all go to AWANA to participate/help.  Straight to bed for kiddos when we get home and then a good hour or two to hang out with the hubs.  We talk, do computer work, craft, house projects...just chill out!  Love it! 

I'm grateful for every hour of the day, each with a different season and feeling it brings.  The busy hours that lead to the quiet ones and back again.  Finding the balance for each home is a challenge, and I try to flex with the seasons as they come and go.  But the balance in our home right now is good.

Every day isn't as peaceful as smooth as this one.  But I love just being home with the kiddos, and I'll take each day like this one with gratefulness and appreciation!

Wednesday, February 1

like Tiffany

Our recent art project was to replicate (loosely, I'd say) the art of stained glass, from the book "Great American Artists for Kids" which we've been working through.

Here you can see Jack drawing the glue lead-like lines.
The glue did spread more than we thought, so we made a second drawing with lines as thin as possible, and also simplified the design.

I always try to stress at the beginning of a project with kids, though, it won't look exactly like the picture.  Saying this, it seems to help kids know that their best effort at art work is wonderful.  Especially when the tools are sort of hard to work with, like watery glue!!

After letting the glue dry overnight, you can go back with glue/water/paint mix that colors in the outline areas.

It took up our school table for more than a day, but it was fun, and produced a nice end product.  I cut the edges of the plastic wrap stained glass, and framed it with cereal box cut outs.  Cool!