Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Better Me Monday...or Tuesday!

It is time for my February goal update!  (Just in case there is anyone who cares!  haha!) I recently had some time to evaluate my life a little bit.  I realized, not for the first time, how incredibly task oriented I am.  I am really driven by my to-do list.  The huge problem with this is that I tend to make my to-do list an idol.  I really don't like that about myself.  The Lord is really working on me in this area and in doing so is freeing me from my people pleasing, workaholic, performance driven tendencies.   This is painful for me, but God is so good and faithful in my life.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to repent and be healed!  Praise Him!  Anyway, so during this little retreat, I made a to-be list instead of my typical to-do list.  And then I evaluated my goals for this year in light of that to-be list.  Here is what has come out of that:

My To-Be list: (in no particular order)
1. I desire to be an excellent manager of our home
2. I desire to be a woman totally dependent on the Father as evidenced by having the mind of Christ
3. I desire to be an attentive, patient, and wise mommy
4. I desire to be HUMBLE
5. I desire to be an available servant of the Most High and a minister of the whole gospel as He leads.  

Now, it seems that I have things on my goals list that may or may not have anything to do with accomplishing those "to-be's"  and so I think they need to be revised.  

Personal Goals: 
1. Write 3 blogs a week.  This is an ambitious one.  I want to write a personal blog, a ministry blog, and an adoption blog every week.  Well, This was definitely too ambitious and as it turns out really doesn't accomplish anything on my to-be list.  Not saying that writing blogs isn't a good thing, or even a great thing, but when it comes to my list of priorities, I only have time for so  much.  At least for now, I'm gonna try to pursue the best thing. So, I will write blogs as things happen that make me want to blog.  I'm still gonna try to keep up some discipline in this regard, but this goal is gone. 
2. Learn French.  At least some French.  We are going to be doing it as part of home school and it will be good for BabyJ who will be joining our family this summer (we think). Check - this one we're doing.  Not as quickly as I would have liked, but I know some greetings, about the weather, and the names of some foods.  :)   I'm keeping this on as I really believe that it helps to accomplish goal number 3 for our newest son, BabyJ.  
3. Read 2 non-fiction books a month.  Later I will be listing those books.  So excited about this oneSo far I've read 2 this year and am working on number 3.  I'm gonna change this goal to a goal of reading certain books that will help me with my to-be list.  Such as a couple of adoption books, christian non-fiction, etc.  But I'm letting go of the number.  That number actually looms over my head and discourages me.  
4. Consistently get enough sleep. Sleep in when I can, go to bed early when I can, take naps when I can.  I am a better wife and mommy if I have slept.  I need to be a good steward of my body.  I'm still trying really hard at this one.  This is a non-negotiable.  I am doing much better at this than I have ever done before.  

Ministry Goals:
1. Set a curriculum for teaching sewing to the girls at the orphanage and get the two older kids involved there somehow. This one is done!  Yeah!  I found a couple of books in Spanish that I'm gonna use.  I don't have to do much planning, now.  This serves to-be number 5.  I am going to continue to seek His wisdom as to the best way to play this out.  
 2. Home school the kids with consistency,  attention, and pre-planned activities for LittleK to do. Less spontaneity in our schedule so I'm not frantic to get done by the end of the year. So far so good!  I'm sticking to this much better this year and it helps that the curriculum is better for both BoyD and me, and although I'm not changing this goal, I do want to clarify it.  I will do school, but I'm gonna lighten up about getting it all done every day.  Having a brilliant son who doesn't want to work has caused more problems for me...actually, the problems are caused by my sinful nature, lack of patience, lack of wisdom on how to handle it.  So I'm working on me in this regard.  Better said, I'm stepping aside and asking the Lord to work on me a little bit. (To-be number 4)
3. Get out b-day and anniversary cards each month.  Whew.  We're just totally taking this one off.  I've failed at it already and I realize that this doesn't directly relate to my to-be list at this time.  This his hard for me to let go of!  I have perfect person syndrome!  I want to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect friend.  And I'm NOT, so I fail and feel like a failure.  That is my pride, friends, rearing it's ugly head.  YUCK!  So, I'm gonna submit my imperfections to the Lord and thank Him for revealing them to me, and thanking Him for His grace that covers them, and I'm gonna walk in FREEDOM from perfection...as the Lord perfects me! 

Family Goals:
1. Take each kid on a date 1 time each month.  We don't have to spend $, we have to spend time.  This is a very good goal that I've failed at.  Brandon and I are changing this one up a bit...we are trying really hard to spend 10 minutes alone with each kid 2X/day.  That is 1 hour a day with dedicated kid time.  This is going really well.  
2.  Be a flirtier wife.  :)  Amen...going pretty well.  I'm gonna keep this one intact!

Homemaking Goals:
1. Create and maintain a mending basket. A place where I keep all things to be repaired, and a time each week that I set aside for mending. Ok...I did get all the things to mend separated and on a visible shelf.  So, I'm on target with this goal.  I'm gonna keep it for the sake of to-be #1.
2. Have some homemade gifts on hand for surprise hostess/birthday/thank you gifts.  This goal needs to be quantified a little bit.   I loved this goal, but I'm striking it for now. It is a good thing, but not the best thing.  Doesn't fit with my to-be list.  

Social Goals: Both of these I'm keeping...they go to to-be numbers 1-5.  Speaking of this, I need to call the girls and get them together!  We even had our first Spanish couple's study and it was fun.  
1. Meet once a month with my Gringa girl's Bible study for prayer and encouragement.  
2. Have a Spanish couples Bible study weekly or bimonthly.

Friday, February 08, 2013

I'm Not a Very Good Homeschooler

Geez its hard to admit that.  Really hard.  I mean, I want to be good at it.  I dream of being good at it.  I have hopes that someday I will be good at it.

I don't know what to do with LittleK when I am trying to teach the other two.  I don't know how to keep GirlM quiet while I'm doing math with BoyD.  I don't know how to help BoyD get his work done with all the distractions.  I don't know how to manage BoyD when he needs an explanation but I'm in the middle of a book with the little ones.

It is a little chaotic around here during the school day and I spend as much time disciplining as I do teaching! (Probably an exaggeration, but it feels that way!)  I don't have oodles of patience and I'm not a laid back sort of mom.  I also realize that my precious angel children are not always precious angels.  :)

The reason for this blog post?  Is it to discourage anyone from homeschooling?  On the contrary.  It is to say that I wouldn't give this up for any peace or order or structure in the world!  And to say that if I can do it, ANYONE can!  If this impatient, anal, perfectionist-but-never-getting-close-to-perfection mama can do it, you can, too.

And to tell you that it is worth it.  To get to spend this time teaching, watching, interacting with, learning about, and discipling my children, is the greatest thing I will ever do. I will not miss their achievements or their failures.  What a gift!  Plus, I think the Bible says something about taking complete joy when you face trials of many kinds, because the testing produces endurance, and when this perseverance (endurance) finishes its work, I will lack nothing.  Not even patience and order.  :)  Bring it on!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Toy Storage! Help!

I hate toys.  I mean, toys are cool, but I hate them.  Specifically, I hate small toys or toys with small parts.  I am a relatively organized person and I like everything to have its own special place.  I like barbies to go together and little people farm stuff to go together, and stuffed toys to go together.  We have a lot of little bins all over the place where the toys go.  There are certain toys, though, that no matter how hard I try, no matter how routine we are, no matter how good my kids are at picking toys up, the end up ALL over my house!  In the washing machine, in the dog food bowl, in the kitchen sink, under my bed, in my closet, ALL OVER  MY HOUSE!  I really, really hate that.  The worst are all the parts and pieces to these little toys called Play Mobile.  I have stepped on more little tiny guns or belts or cannon balls than any human being should have to endure.  Oh, Little Green Army Men are also forming battle lines in every conceivable space.  I literally feel under attack!  For some reason, it is only boy toys that do this.  Legos, action figures, tiny pistols.


I need some suggestions.  I need some help.  I need a SOLUTION!  The only reasons we haven't thrown all these toys out is because they cost money and they are his favorite and because Brandon likes them! Haha!

We have the rule that one toy gets put up before another toy gets pulled out, and for the most part, they abide by that rule (I am ever vigilant!)  The problem is while they are playing. Their imaginations take them all over the house and that means that their toys go that way, too.

Is it reasonable to forbid the lego bridge in the garden, or the German front line out of the playroom?  Not sure.

Someone please help me with this loathing I have for toys.  Maybe we should just strip down to the basics: balls, books, a doll for the girl, and a truck for each boy.  Haha!  Clean up would be SO much easier!