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Archive for October, 2009

Scheduling

Before I became a stay-at-home mom I was a production manager. I would make timelines and schedules and charts and graphs and Xcel spreadsheets. One thing I have learned is that running production for a company is very much like running a home. You have deadlines (you need clean clothes by Sunday morning and meals at certain times), things to produce (laundry, meals, obedient children), budgets (at least most of us do), and if you have children, you have people you can delegate to. It is like a little company! I felt right at home. Until I realized that I am not very disciplined when I am not being paid to organize and run everything. I have some very productive days and then I fall off of the house-running wagon. Everything gets messy.

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It really does only take about a day for things to get this way. Then I spend the next day or two catching back up. This is what my house looks like when we are on a schedule.

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Yes, we use folding chairs. I just can’t bear to pay for nice chairs… Anyway. Why is it so hard to stick to a schedule for more than a day or two? I am so tired of letting things get messy so that I can rest and then wear myself out again the next two days catching up with everything. I believe that God wants us to schedule things so that the house runs smoothly and so that we have more time to be involved in others lives. When giving instruction on how gatherings of the church should go, the Bible says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Cor. 14:40 I think that God wants our businesses, houses, and lives run the same way-orderly.

I have tried several different schedules. At first I forgot that the people I had to delegate things to were all under the age of 5. I had jam-packed the schedule with all kinds of things that I would like to get done, but it was impractical to say the least. Then I tried just scheduling chores, school, and meals. This really is not very much of our day at this time. I have a first grader and a pre-schooler. School takes 1-2 hours depending on what we do that day. The problem with this schedule was that there was too much time to get sidetracked or distracted. I would forget to prepare lunch or dinner and realize a little too late that it was time to feed everyone and there was no food ready. I tend to get involved in whatever project I am working on. SO this latest schedule has several things that I think will make it better:

1. It starts at a reasonable time of day. I am not a morning person and I have to stop pretending that I will get up at 4 and run three miles and cook 3 meals and mop the kitchen before sun up. Can anyone relate? 🙂

2. Timing. I have a better idea now about how long it takes my children to do things because we have tried several schedules. Yes, there are teachable days where it takes two hours to get chores done. That is just life with kids, but for the most part I have a good idea about how long it takes us to do things. I also left three 30 min time slots blank at intervals throughout the day. This allows us to catch up if we fall behind or combine the time to run errands or do something fun if we stay on schedule.

3. The must-do important stuff is all scheduled-including meal prep! This saves my sanity. I do not have to worry about whether or not I am forgetting something that has to be done because if it needs to be done, it is on the schedule.

Now all I have to do is follow the schedule. Simple right? Probably not for me, but I am praying that God will give me the determination to stick with it. I know I will be glad I did!

Let me know what you do for scheduling. Do you schedule and to what extent?

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I took my mom to Rite Aid

I know, I know. Not really much of a girl’s trip, but I hadn’t had a car to get out of the house in three weeks. So of course, we went to Rite Aid. My mom has not shopped in Rite Aid and when we walked in she said, “Wow, it is really quiet in here!” The people who work there are also really friendly and there are never any lines. I know that your Rite Aid might be different, but around here everyone seems to go to Walgreens. Here is what I got. I paid $4.46 in tax and after rebates it was all free. Pretty cool. So I am set on cough drops, saline solution, lip care for the winter, and some allergy/sinus stuff. Oh yeah, and some of those heat pads that you put on your body. I have never tried those before, but will let you know how I like them. I get plenty of aches carrying 20+ pounds of baby boy around every day. 🙂 100_0195

The nice manager at Rite Aid gave me their ad that comes out tomorrow so I could see what the deals would be. I didn’t ask. She just brought it to us. They are having L’Oreal make-up products on BOGO. Mom and I have clipped coupons the past couple of weeks and we have some $2 off coupons for L’Oreal make up. You can actually use 2 coupons since you are getting two products. So we plan to use $4 of coupons on them with the BOGO deal. Should be a pretty good deal.

I also helped her sign up for the Single Check Rebate Program. I don’t know if you remember rebate programs before computers, but they were a horrible pain. You had to fill out forms and mail things. UGH! Once you have an account with Rite Aid you just log in, enter your receipt info, and they process all eligible rebates for you. Then they send you an email when your rebates have been processed and you can go and with one click request your check. Notice though you can only request one rebate per month. So if you don’t wait till the end of the month, you won’t be able to get rebates on stuff later that month.

Here is what my mom got. After coupons and rebates she spent $9! Yay mom! 🙂

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Rainy Day Fun

It has been a very cold and wet fall for us so far. There have been few days for the kids to go outside. Finding things for the kids to do during these weeks often takes its toll on me and gives me cabin fever. However, these past few weeks I have not had the luxury of having a vehicle. So I have been looking for other things to keep us occupied. 

 

The girls like to play Guess Who and Hi Ho Cherry-O, but I can only play those so many times. They are still young enough to need a little help playing these together. I also keep several of our big items that family have given us put away in the garage so that I have something fun to pull out when the weather doesn’t cooperate for weeks at a time.

 

I have an inflatable ball pit and a Rose Petal Cottage that are just too big to keep out on a regular basis. (These are good items to look for at yard and consignment sales since they are expensive.) The kids are so excited when I get these out though. They play for hours! Here the girls are telling the “delivery boy” that he can’t come in the house. Poor baby boy! He needs a brother. He had knocked their house down twice already at this point. You don’t need a sheet over the top of it, but the girls like to back it up to a wall and angle it so that they have more space in their house. And then they want a sheet to cover the open part of the roof.

But who couldn’t use some new rainy day ideas? Kimberly at Raising Olives is giving away some perfect rainy day toys from Hasbro. Check out Kimberly at Raising Olives  and leave a comment to win Giraffalaff Limbo and Scatterpillar Scramble. She also has one of the best descriptions of dealing with Sibling Squabbles biblically that I have ever read. I encourage anyone with children still at home to read it. Or if you have little ones in your future to print it out and save it. You will need it! 🙂

Baby boy always makes these funny faces when I stick the camera in his face! He doesn’t look like himself to me when I see him in pictures.

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Garden Update

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I have lots of little tomatoes. They are about the size of my 5 year olds fist. They just aren’t growing much. I know the cold and rainy weather is not helping them grow. If it will stop raining anytime soon, I plan to clear out the garden for next year before it gets too cold. Fried green tomatoes anyone?

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Curtains

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For those family members that don’t know- I got my curtains hung! ( I figured anyone else probably doesn’t care…) The long ones on the left were a wedding present from a dear family friend. I made the valance from some scraps that were left over after the pillows were made. I didn’t have quite enough material and had to buy some red to go at the bottom and for some of the tabs. I think that it ties my “steal” of a red chair in nicely though. Sorry I don’t have pictures of the process of making them. I made them while I was pregnant with baby boy. I get a little crazy about projects when pregnant! Anyway, the curtains are up. Now if I could just get the trim painted…

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surprise, surprise. The black widow killed a small black cricket I caught yesterday. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I may have killed two birds bugs with one blow. I caught the cricket awfully easily. He was in the house and I think he was dying from the bug spray on the door frame. So spidey may be dying shortly from the cricket. Not that I will be sad to see her go. It will save me the trouble of deciding how to kill her. Not sure what the kids will think. Half-pint is attached to spidey and overachiever gets attached to the “scared” bugs we feed her. I am really ready to be done with all the extra drama. Not to mention explaining to my visiting relatives why we have a black widow in a jar on my kitchen counter. So the next time I post about spidey maybe it will be her obituary.

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Homeschooling

Friday I tried something new for half-pint during our home school time. It was an idea I got from MyFriendConnie at Smockity Frocks. So I wrote the numbers 1-12 in an empty egg carton and gave her some pinto beans to count and place the appropriate number of beans in each little egg bowl. (It was such a hit that overachiever had to try it.) Half-pint would jump up after every time she placed a bean and run in circles around the house or dance a little bit before placing the next bean. At first I thought it was just because she was having so much fun. Then I got suspicious. I figured a quick trip to the bathroom might fix the fidgety problem. No, she explained, her imaginary friend, Emily, was making her get up and run after every bean placed! LOL Well, turns out that it was the pee-pee ballerina incognito! If you know what I mean.

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