My Self Control

I really really really can’t wait for school to start…even though i have so much to do.  I find it ironic that our next main topic of study is Self Control.  Why?  Because I am so far behind in everything that I need to get done!  Between cheer and football season, the crochet projects I’ve promised to people, the sewing projects I’ve promised to people, getting ready for the Back to School Back Pack Bash at my church, catching up on my grading, and then the regular Mommy chores…I am overwhelmed and out of discipline.

Do you ever get that way?  I am over-committed, on a regular basis.  And I need to get back in control because Children in Action is starting in September and I’m not ready for that either!!!!!

So how am I going to emphasize self control when I don’t have it????  First things first…I need to get back into a school routine.  And I have the bones of that done….I just need to really emphasize being disciplined.  I kept a fairly tight schedule yesterday and Barbie noticed.  But I got more done yesterday then I did last week!  I’m working on waking up early as well.  So we will be running a tight ship during cheer and football season so that I can get everything done.

Here is my schedule for school…Kind of;)

I’ll be waking up at 5:30 am: praying, stumbling to the laundry room to start the first load of laundry, grabbing a cup of coffee (or green tea) and then going to do my morning devotion.  Once finished, I’ll start my second load of laundry for the day, go wake up the kids, and then work out. (Yes, I’m trying it again!  I’ve stuck with it for 3 weeks this time!!!)

Once the girls are up and going, I leave them in charge for the half hour it takes me to shower.  They will make sure the boys are ready for the day and they are ready for the day.

Then I’ll cook breakfast.  We’ll have breakfast while I’m reading a book to them.  Our first biography this year will be about Adoniram Judson (he was a missionary in Burma).

We’ll finish eating and doing our kitchen chores then head to the living room for our Family Wisdom Search.  Quick note on our Kitchen chores.  Every one has their own chores and I set the timer for 15 minutes.  While they are picking up the kitchen, I’m folding and then starting a new load of laundry.  They all come and get their pile of clothes when I call them. Our Wisdom Search we only do for about 15 minutes as well.

Then on to our Wisdom Booklet, Music, and their Project Work.  While they are working their projects, I’ll be cooking our main meal of the day.  We all eat together, do Kitchen chores, and then I’ll have about 15 minutes on the computer to check facebook while they are being silly and goofing. 😉  Or arguing with each other, depending on the day. 😉

Next is English.  Barbie is completely independent in this except for grading.  BAM! and Kissy are on the same level, and the boys are all on the same level.  So I will take turns teaching while the groups are doing independent work.  Because of me teaching – this will be 1/2 hour.  This will also give them time to study for spelling, vocabulary, and dictation quizzes.  How they do on their quizzes will determine if they move up a minor level or not. 😉

And then Math for the kids – this is pretty much independent and gives me time to grade the work they have done so far…logging it for the children that have report cards. (If we study math that week as a school, the kids will have a break during this time)

After Math, the boys have a break.  They can choose to work on what they haven’t finished school wise or their chores.  But let’s be honest…they’ll play!!!!  The girls will be taking turns doing typing lessons.  On days they don’t have typing, they have the same choices as the boys (except for Barbie…she has SAT prep class).  What will I be doing?  Working on my “to do” list of the day.

Now it’s Super Clean Time.  We all work together cleaning one room of the house.  We get as much done as we can in 1/2 hour.  The kids hate this time…but they like it better than doing it individually.  We power through!!!!!

Then the girls will do their Independent Science while the boys take turns playing on the computer.  (If we have science as a school that week, the girls will not have science).  I will be working more on my “to do” list!  After about 1/2 hour everyone has free time!  Me too!!!!  This is when I get to crochet, sew, or read!    Then I’ll get our snack ready, and pre prepare anything we need for dinner.  We’ll have a snack…clean up real quick, and get ready for football!

When we all get home, we take turns showering, and eating.  We are doing a family wisdom search at that time as well!  I will tuck all the kids in…and then read myself to sleep!

After looking at all of that, do you see why I need self control??????

If I don’t, I will easily throw everything that needs to be done and play on facebook or computer games all day.  It’s way too easy to do!!!!!

Reading all of that made me tired!!!!  And it’s time for me to start cooking!  Gotta get on the schedule!  Have a blessed day all!!!!


Morning is Broken

I hate mornings.  No, I REALLY hate mornings.  It takes my brain several hours to figure out that my body is actually out of bed and moving.  But, with all of my hatred of mornings, I’ve realized that if I get up “early” than I have a better day.  I kind of figure that most of you hate mornings too.  After all, not all of us are like my little brother and Smarty Pants, bouncing out of bed to greet the morning with a loud roaring “Hello” and a huge smile.

I think I have found out how to have a good morning (for me).  Obviously you’re morning may look differently, but one thing that won’t be different is that if you have a routine and stick to it every day, your mornings will go smoother!

My alarm goes off at 5:45 am.  I turn it off, bleary eyed and then I sit up in bed.  I have found that if I don’t sit up, I go right back to sleep!  I begin to pray, praising Him is a priority.  I thank Him for things that make my life easier (think microwave, stove, COFFEE!), and I ask Him to help me be the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I can be.

At 6:00 am my alarm goes off again.  That’s just in case I fell asleep while praying – hey, stop laughing!  I do that all of the time!!!

I stumble to the bathroom, with my eyes still closed.  Papi is usually finishing getting ready for the day. (The man doesn’t go to sleep until way after I do and still gets up at 4:30 am.  There are moments I hate him – just kidding) I grab a bunch of dirty clothes from the hamper, my glasses, and my cell phone and stumble my way into the laundry room; clicking on lights in every room.  (That makes Papi crazy, he turns off the lights as fast as I turn them on.)  I start a load of laundry (my first of the day) and it’s just past 6 am.

After I’ve started the load of laundry (I make sure the washer and dryer are empty before I go to bed for just this reason), I grab my first cup of coffee for the day and sit down in the living room with my bible, my journal, a pen, and my cup of coffee.  I read 5 Psalms, 1 Proverb, 1 chapter from the New Testament, and a bible study (either my Sunday School lesson or one of the myriad devotions I’ve gotten hold of).  By the time I have finished that and my first cup of coffee, it’s a quarter to 7.

I put my morning devotion things away and head off to the girls room at my first attempt to wake Barbie up.  She has clearly inherited my hatred of the morning sun.  I go back to the kitchen, refill my coffee, and write all of the information on the FAQ board for the day.  Our FAQ board is a marker board on which I write the menu for the day, the weather, Prayer Requests, Cleaning Goals, the date, and any special things going on that day that might change the schedule in any way. I also switch the wet load of laundry to the dryer and start a new load.  Yay!  I’ve started my second load of laundry already!

I then go and re-shake Barbie, gently announce to the other girls that it is time to get up, and head to the boys room to get them up and moving.  And this is when the insanity starts.  By now I’ve been up for over an hour, and my brain is starting to get the idea that WE ARE UP!  I sit down at the computer to check if I have any emails that need immediate action and check our bank account for the day (just a safety precaution).    For the next half hour I am calling children to me to check if they have their morning stuff done.  Barbie needs to wake up, work in her faith journal, shower, get dressed, make her bed and start her math.  BAM! needs to do the same (except for the math part).  Kissy needs to wake up, do her morning devotion, shower, get dressed, and strip her bed (if necessary) and make her bed.  The boys all need to wake up, brush their hair and teeth, wash their faces, get dressed, make their beds, and do their morning devotions.  It is utter insanity.  All of this is done with 2 bathrooms!!! 😉

As I see that everyone is up and moving in at least a semblance of alertness, I jump into the shower and get myself ready.  I also make my own bed.  Then I head back into the kitchen.  If Nana hasn’t made breakfast yet, or if she needs help, I dive right in.  Once breakfast is ready, I call the kids to the table with an officials whistle.  It’s loud, and that way I don’t scream.  It scares Simon our greyhound to death though, so I try to make sure he is outside.  We eat our breakfast the 7 of us, as a family.  Nana leaves for work right after I jump into the shower.  After I am done eating, I read to the children as they are finishing.  At the moment we are reading The Yearling.  It’s a great book about growing up in Florida waaaaayyyyyy back in the day.  As we are studying Florida in school, I thought it was apropos.  We’ll be going from this one to books about Christian Heroes and Martyrs.

After everyone is finished eating breakfast, then we do a 15 minute pick up.  They each have chores in the kitchen, and I’m folding the clean laundry and starting my third load of the day.  Whomever doesn’t have kitchen chores that day (they take turns) helps me by putting the laundry away.  After the 15 minute pick up is done, we all congregate in the living room with our Bibles and have a quick family devotion.

Exhausted yet?  That’s when we start school!  And that’s my morning folks.  I hate them.  But I find if they go smoothly, so does our day.

So, your turn.  What does your morning look like?  Do you hate mornings as much as I do????

Monday Wash Day

A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Matthew 8:2

Papi sweats.  I know, I know, all men sweat, but Papi really sweats.  His clothes when he comes back from officiating a game, or coaching, or a pick up game of baseball, are literally dripping and wet with sweat.  In any other household, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem.  After all, clothes get washed, right????  Well, here’s the problem.  I do anywhere from 20 to 24 loads of laundry per week…so it doesn’t always happen that clothes get washed immediately.  I try, but it is a LOT of laundry! And we live in Florida.  Home of vicious, biting, fire ants.  For some reason, they are extremely attracted to sweat.  So here I am, Ms. Goodwife, grabbing a bunch of clothes out of the hamper to take to the laundry room and getting bit on my hands and arms by fire ants.  Not a pleasant sensation, I assure you.  So I create a new “household directive”.  Any sweaty clothes Papi has must go DIRECTLY to the laundry room, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  And he does it, because he is a sweet and kind and considerate hubby.  The ants go away for a couple of days and I’m a happy wife.  Then I go for a run (ugh, I hate running).  And put my sweaty clothes in the hamper in our bathroom.  Yep, you guessed it, flooded in fire ants within hours.  Ah Hah!  It’s not just HIS sweat, it’s ANY sweat that’s the issue.

Now this got me thinking.  Follow me here, because I know that the connections my mind makes are not always easily followed by others.  God is the ultimate laundry machine. (Oh, you can’t get to heaven – come on you Southern Baptists – sing it with me!) He takes all of our sweaty, dirty, fire ant filled souls, and cleanses them.  He scrubs our very hearts until they smell as sweet as a freshly washed blanket. The cool thing about God, though, is He doesn’t have to wash us again and again.  Once He washes us, we have a stain protector on that nothing Satan throws at us can get through.  See, Jesus says in John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” We are clean!  Just hearing and accepting His gift and we are Clean!!!!!

If you have not already received that gift, I beg of you, please, receive it today.  Let Jesus wash all of the dirty laundry in your heart. He is waiting, ready and willing to cleanse you.  He will take the Fire Ants (fear, rejection, anger, gossip, and anything else that stings) away!!!!

If you have already accepted that gift, rejoice!  You have stain protector!  You have assurance that the gift can NOT be rescinded! 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you MAY KNOW that you have eternal life.”  Someone give me an AMEN!!!!

Laundry day

Now, if you are a mom who is struggling to get organized, here are some tips for your Monday chores:

1.  Make your bed before you get going in the morning.  In fact, unless you have babies or a hubby still in there, make it as soon as you rise.  If you have children in their own beds, have them make their beds before they leave their rooms in the morning.  Kids as young as 2 years old can do it with some encouragement.  No, it won’t look like you did it….and no, it won’t be a routine right away.  But if you emphasize making the beds as you rise for a couple of weeks a wonderful habit will be formed!

2.  Get all the dishes into the dishwasher as you dirty them.  Start the load as soon as it is full and keep the counters and the inside of the sink wiped out.

3.  It’s Monday, Wash Day, so get all the laundry from every room of the house and start washing.  As the clothes come out of the dryer, set aside any clothes that need to be ironed or that need to be mended, you will get to those later in the week.  Your children, if older than 2, should be able to put their own clothes away (except for hang ups), so LET THEM!!!

4.  I had a revelation a couple of years ago.  I was at one of my girls’ soccer games, and as humans will, entered a conversation half way. Somehow the discussion came around to laundry.  Someone made the comment, “You must do a lot of laundry.”  (This is where I entered the conversation.) Another lady commented that she did 3 loads a day.  i stated that I also do 2 to 3 loads a day (did I mention this was a while ago?) The woman who had asked the question looked at me and asked, “How many kids do you have?” This should have been my first clue that I was going to be handed something and it wasn’t the PuPu platter. I answered, “3”.  (Yes, this was a really long time ago) She looked at me and said very bluntly, “She has 9.” Um, reality check anyone?  I did the same amount of laundry as a lady with 9 children!!!!  So I made a decision, I went through all of the girls clothing and took them down to less than 20 outfits.  I donated all of the rest of the clothes to a local charity.  My laundry was down to 10 loads per week and I got a great tax write off (they had a LOT of clothes). So today, if your laundry piles are WAY TOO big to get done in one day, start purging clothes.  Have one pile of “give aways” beside your ironing and mending piles.  You’ll love the improvement, I guarantee it.