Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Long Time No Blog

     Hey, it's been awhile.  How are you?  Things are quickly getting into routine around our house.  But as soon as a routine is established you know what happens. Something comes up to mess it up.  Just to see if I can relax and go with the flow. 

     We started school last week. A bit late for what I like but life happens and this year that's what worked.  We eased into it and I have to admit it was the best start we've ever had!  Monday we had a girls day shopping in the city and eating lunch out. This was at my girls request, that's new. Tuesday we began school work and started the day with singing, prayer and Bible reading.  We are working on memorizing Psalm 1.  Wednesday was a regular day. Thursday was pretty normal too. Somewhere in there we baked banana bread.   YUM!  And Friday was a field trip. 

     The field trip was fantastic!  There were people in costume and in character who do this all summer long and they were amazing.  So much fun to see tents, watch them bake and cook, practice drills, fire canons and even fire muskets.  The girls loved making candles by dipping the wicks into pots of melted wax.  They also loved the homemade caramel and the sweet corn dipped in butter. YUM!  Spending the day with friends made it just perfect.

     This week started smoothly and then today we hit a few glitches.  Things keep going wrong.  But we're pushing through and we'll make it.  I'm not sure what I will do about the computer discs that aren't working. Perhaps Tim can fix them.  We do need Spanish and Typing in their schedules!  Dd2 forgot to put the water on to boil so lunch is late.  I'm having no success finding the Sonlight resources I want to use for their reading this year.  Just little things that are adding up but so far everyone is dealing with them and keeping a good attitude.

     The biggest success so far, and it's early days, is the adding of one chore to their morning routine.  Their day begins like this:  wake up, get breakfast, get dressed and put your jammies away.  Go brush your teeth and hair.  Make your bed.  Do your job.  The oldests job is to wash any pots in the sink from the night before (she hasn't figured out yet if she does it the night before there aren't any the next morning.) and to start a load of laundry.  Considering she now owns about 1/3 of our laundry I think that's fair. The middle one is responsible for the upstairs bathroom.  That includes the floor, the sink, the counter, the toilet on the outside (I use the chemicals on the inside for now.)  and the mirrors.  The littlest one is responsible for feeding and watering the dog and making sure the entryway is tidy.

     Last night the little one scolded her daddy for nearly putting his coat on the railing instead of hanging it up.  It's amazing the ownsership they have taken with these jobs.  Suddenly it matters that shoes aren't returned to their room, or dishes aren't in the dishwasher or clothes are on the bathroom floor. SUCCESS!! The very best part besides them learning to care for a home is that it has lightened my load significantly.  Considering last year one of my biggest struggles and frustrations was the state of our home and my exhaustion in trying to keep it clean this is a major bonus!

     I should tell you it's not spotless.  It's cluttered with books in every room. Yes. Every room.  There is still too much stuff and in some rooms it is over flowing.  But, the floors are getting swept and mopped. Things are getting put away and my kitchen isn't a disaster. I do hope to keep this up and then to slowly add more chores in after school work is done to also work together in keeping our home a nice place to be.  Tomorrow we have people coming and that is usually an excellent motivator for cleaning. 

   My goal for this year in homeschooling is to focus on character. There are some specific character issues with each child and I am choosing to find opportunities to develop positive character traits.  I can say the same of myself.  Discipline, diligence, a positive attitude, and a sense of gratitude for what we have are all on the list.  One of the ways we will be working on this is to serve more.  Our first opportunity starts tomorrow!  We will be baking treats to take to a local soup kitchen.  Once a month or so we will stay to help serve.  I am so excited about doing this I keep talking about it.  I'm not very good at doing things in secret.  Hopefully that doesn't come across as pride. Hmm, I will have to ponder that. 

    Our second opportunity I have some work to do first.  I want our family to get involved with the seniors who are residence bound.  I'd like us to adopt a few that we will visit on a regular basis and develop a relationship with in order to serve them and bring them joy.  That one is going to take more effort, thought and care than the former.  Baking is easy! Building relationships is worth while but more challenging in the long run.

     I think that's a long enough post for now.  I've missed blogging and have started different entries many times over the past few weeks but haven't taken the time to sit down and write.  Perhaps I'll make that part of my weekly diligence challenge.  Have a great week!


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