5 Disciplines~Week 2 – Time Management

First let me begin with a Week 1 update:  My “Body Challenge” goal was to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks.  As of today, I have lost 1 1/2 pounds and I think if I eat one jelly bean I will gain this pound back.  lol!  So this means I must continue to skip my after dinner snack and exercise 20 minutes, 3+ times a week to maintain this loss and continue to lose more.  If you took the week one challenge and have an update – please leave it in the comment section – this is your accountability :)!

Now let’s move into week two’s Discipline –  Time Management!

One thing I have realized this week as I’ve tried to add in exercise is that it’s hard for me to find time.  Basically, it appears that I’m using all my time doing something I want or need to be doing – which means I have to stop doing something in order to add in exercise…which I really don’t feel like doing…so it’s easy to just think “I don’t have time.”   I have it – it’s just not how I want to spend it! :(

Elizabeth Elliot says in her book Discipline-The Glad Surrender:Time management, a highly developed science today, begins for the Christian with time set aside for God.  Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted.”

Here is why time management begins with our time spent with God…how will we know how to spend our time – what we should commit to and what we should say “no” to, if we are not in communion with God?

As God’s children we should be praying “Thy will be done” but often times we are praying “my list be done.” 

The mistake here is that we may put onto our own plate more than God would put on our plate  – and as a result raise our stress levels to extremely high levels.

Jesus says – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”~ Matthew 11:28,29

When our stress levels are high – it is nearly impossible to be kind, patient, gentle and in tune with our husband and children.  We are too busy to stop to care and there is absolutely no room for error in the day.  We need to guard our time so there is room to breathe – room to kiss booboos, read a mind stretching-soul inspiring book, soak in a bubble bath or linger long with your husband in bed.  These are gifts that God has given us to enjoy.

What gifts have you turned down from God because you are over-committed or pursuing the wrong things?

 “There is always enough time to do the will of God.”~Elizabeth Elliot

I love schedules.  God created us as creatures of habit and we see in creation a natural rhythm as the sun sets and rises day after day and the seasons change one after another every.single.year.

There are some things set into our weeks that we can’t escape.  We all have to cook, clean and do laundry.  So why not create a rhythm in our homes to accomplish the mundane, so we are free to enjoy fun, family and fellowship!  Here’s an example of my cleaning schedule:

This schedule guarantees that everything gets done at least once a week…truthfully…some of these things need to be done twice a week.  By about day 5 – the house looks like a tornado :(  I know this schedule cannot work for everyone (especially doing laundry just one day a week for large families) BUT it’s a good place to start.  And it’s time to be pro-active and think through what DOES work.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. ~ Zig Ziglar

Week 2 – Challenge:
1.  Sit down and look at your calendar.  Think about your priorities.
2.  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom as to what you should be doing with your time.
3.  Write out a list of what you need to get done this week – don’t forget to write in time with God!  (you can use the free printable below as a guide :) !)
4.  Every morning this week, look over your to-do list.  Pray and ask God for wisdom.  Add, take away or move things on your list accordingly.
5. Continue this discipline next week and the week after.  Soon you will find order and rhythm to your days and weeks.

5 Weeks 5 Disciplines – Time Management

Here’s last week’s printable if you need a fresh one for the new week:
5 Weeks 5 Disciplines – Body
Are you taking the Time Management Challenge – tell us in the comment section? 

If you have any time management tips, please share them!!! 

If you are a blogger – write about it, post this button in your post or side bar and then link-up below!

Walk with the King,

My 2011 Schedules for Cleaning, Meals and School

I recognize that not everyone enjoys living life on a schedule.  God has made us all unique with different personalities and preferences.  I personally thrive on a schedule as does the rest of my family.  But if this sort of thing makes you gag lol!  know that God made you differently for his purposes and that is what makes the body of Christ beautiful!  

My inspiration for my schedules is the Proverbs 31 woman.  Proverbs 31:27 says, “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idlenss.”  My schedule helps me to watch over all the affairs – or happenings – in my household.  And it keeps me from wasting time on things that may get in the way of my priorities.

Everything in nature has a rhythm – seasons flow from summer to fall to winter to spring and then back to summer again.  The sun rises and sets and the tides come in and out on a rhythm. But even in nature there are storms, tornados, and hurricanes – unexpected happenings that interrupt the expected.  I know that my family will face storms and moments when the unexpected happens and our flow will have to flex.  

So I have discovered a tool that I am using for the very first time this year called “Managers of Their Homes” by Steven and Teri Maxwell. 

The Maxwell’s say ~ “Scheduling will not be the power of energy in your successful home management…any success in our homes comes from Jesus Christ around whom everything must revolve…We do not rely on the strength of our schedule but on the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.” pg2

So let me begin by sharing with you my weekly cleaning schedule that I’ve used off and on for 2+ years.  I have found that if the children and I do an hour or two of housework a day, I can maintain a fairly orderly home all week long without feeling like I’m cleaning all of the time.  (side note- if guests are coming this schedule changes and I clean the entire house top to bottom in 1-2 days so it is all clean at once)  I love the alliteration of this schedule which makes it easy for everyone in the house to remember what the tasks of the day are!

Cleaning Schedule:

Mondays – Menu and Market (we grocery shop in the late afternoon)

Tuesdays – Toilets, Tubs, Towels (Bathroom day!)

Wednesdays – Wash Day (we run and fold 6 +/- loads of laundry)

Thursdays – Dust

Fridays – Floors

 Next is the meal schedule (did you realize you are going to potentially cook 1,000 meals this year!  Might as well have an efficient plan right?) - which is similiar to the cleaning schedule with the alliteration:

Meal Schedule:

Mexican Monday

Tomato-ey Tuesday

Wild-Card Wednesday

Thrifty & Thankful Thursday

Fancy Friday (sometimes Fish Friday)

Soup and Sandwich Saturday

Simple Sunday (We usually eat lunch out - so dinner is light)

 

And finally there’s my personal daily plan that squeezes in exercise, devotions, homeschooling, blogging, social media, hubby time, real life ministry, friends and housework!  Here’s a sample of a typical day (but we all know that rarely are days typical!)

Weekday Schedule

6am – Wake, head to exercise at my local YMCA 1 minute away, come home and clean-up

7am – Devotions

7:30 – Email my Good Morning Girls and check social media

8am – Breakfast and Bible Reading with the Children

8:30 – Oversee Chores

9am – one on one time with each child doing phonics while the other child showers

10am – Classical Conversations (History/Science)

10:30 – Handwriting and Grammar

11:00 Math

11:30 – Computer Time for me, piano practice for Lexi

12 – Lunch

12:30 – Cleaning for me, free play for the children

1 – Classical Conversations Memory Work (Latin, History)

1:30 – Reading

2 – Computer time for me, craft or game time for the children

2:30 – Roomtime, Rest, Read, Write

3:30 – Cleaning for me, TV Time and snack for the children

4:30 – Dinner Prep, Children are my helpers where needed

5:30 – Dinner

6 – Dinner Clean-up as a family

6:30 – free time

8 – Family Reading, talking and prayer time

8:30 – Time with my husband

9:30 – Post Blog post for the next day, social media

10:30 – Read or rub hubby’s back

11:00 – zzzzzzzzzz

 

This is my ideal day and week – but we all know that life does not fit neatly into 30 minute boxes.  Daily there will be things that change the schedule such as homeschool group, gymnastics, football, Karate and piano lessons.  So we enter the school year in prayer and trust that God will be our ultimate guide each day. 

Do you have any new fall schedules you can share with me?  I’d love to hear about them!

 Walk with the King,

*High Fives to Nikki and Denice for sharing your schedules with me that I now use :)!
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Our Daily Homeschool Routine and Curriculum ~ Part 3 of 5


This is my children on the day all their boxes of homeschool stuff arrived this past July!!! It was a VERY exciting day!!!This video gives you a peak inside a typical homeschool day in our home. Every home will look different based on the ages of your children. Some of you will have little ones that need managed during homeschool time, others will have teens who are self sufficient. This is what our home looks like right now in this season of life. (and please, if you are a homeschooler – share in the comments about what your day looks like! I’d LOVE to hear about it!!! And if you have a blog post about it – pretty please link it up below!!!!)

I will share with you our curriculum choice in the video below. Some of you will be disappointed with our family choice – you will be surprised to find that we do not use Christian curriculum. This is one reason I hesitated to do this series…this post is sure to upset a few of my faithful followers who I love and care about. In July, I shared about our curriculum here and the comments were ugly.

(updated note: – since this post – we have changed curriculums and we now use Classical Conversations, Saxon Math and the Rod and the Staff Resources for the 2011-2012 school year.)

There are tons of awesome choices for curriculum out there – we each must do our homework and choose the one that works best for our family. One reason we chose this one is because my oldest sister – who I adore – used this curriculum for 7 years with her 3 boys and she loved it. She currently works as a virtual High School Math teacher for our on-line school. Be assured, there is no shortage of spiritual teaching in our home. I will talk more about this on Friday. But for now – here’s part 3!
I mentioned above my chore pack system. If you’d like to see the video covering that – click here.


Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting and homemaking)
Walk with the King!
I am linked up at Titus2days (Time Warp Wife), Raising Homemakers, and Works for Me Wednesday. I heart Homeschooling

 

Tasty Tuesday: How I Menu Plan

Last Thursday I shared my Daily Schedule and My Weekly Cleaning Schedule. Today I want to share with your my Menu Planning Schedule.

As we get life in order for the fall, creating an organized meal plan is a piece of the puzzle for me. The average woman will plan, shop, cook, and clean up over 1,000 meals in just one year!!! So for me, finding a system that works, is efficient, and stays within our budget is important.

I use an Excel spread sheet that I just literally plug in the meals and voila – it’s quick and easy! Often times I leave the breakfast, lunch, snacks and desserts the same and just change the dinners. I hang this chart on the fridge and I find that it resolves all meal time dilemmas. And I must admit “candy” eating is not on the chart – but we do eat it. The chart is too big to plug into this blog so click on this link to see an example of my “Meal Plan”.

In Excel I have created a couple of pages titled Meal Plan, Grocery List, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert and Snacks. As I make my meal plan, I just click to my breakfast ideas or lunch ideas and plug them in for the week. I also look at ads for the best deals and what coupons I have.

But I also want to share with you a Meal Plan that one of my readers (Denice at Living Spring Drops – who also happens to be a Good Morning Girl) uses. She commented on my Daily Schedule post with this meal plan and I LOVE it and am going to give it a whirl this fall as a guide.


Here is what she wrote:

I am a scheduler but with 5 children ages 17 to 6 it doesn’t always go the way I schedule it. I get in Menu ruts. So, to help me stay creative but stay structured I came up with this:

Mexican Monday

Tomato-ey Tuesday

Wild-Card Wednesday

Thrifty & Thankful Thursday

Fancy Friday

Soupy Saturday

Sandwich Sunday



Mexican is anything from tacos to cumin-lime chicken, burrito, black bean soup, etc.

Tomato-ey is anything tomato based, from the obvious like pizza and spagetti, to bruchetta or tomato soup.

Wild-Card is my freedom day. I can do leftovers or another Fancy if I like.

Thankful is something ALL my kids truly enjoy AND isn’t very expensive…like mac & cheese with hotdogs.

Fancy is our night for grilled salmon, marinated london broil, and en extra special dessert.

Soup and Sandwich speak for themselves….but sloppy joes, BBQ, and pbj grilled have all been had.

Sooooooo, this helps my menu and market jobs go by faster!!! Then I’m not sitting around staring at my menu sheet with writer’s block!!! :)

**************

I love it Denice! Thank you so much for sharing such an excellent tip!
Walk with the King!



I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. And Raising Homemakers Link Up. For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Our Back-To-School Daily Schedule

Let me just be honest, I love a schedule. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a day that I have perfectly stuck to it. But I have found that creating routines and a rhythm in the home creates peace. It also helps me to keep my priorities a priority and accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished in the day.

I have been practicing this schedule recently and tweaking it and I am sure it may get a few more tweaks by the end of September but here is an idea of what our days will look like this fall.

5:30am – wake and go for a run or do Pilate’s

6ish – Quiet Time

6:30 – Write/Post blog post

7-7:45 -Facebook, twitter, emails, surf Blogs

7:45 – Breakfast / Devotions with children

8 – Begin school with Alex (Math,Phonics)/ Alexis does chores and free time

8:45 – Begin school with Alexis (Math, Phonics) / Alex does chores and free time

9:30 – School with Alex (Language Arts) / Alexis participates in Alex’s school time

10 – Recess for kids (play outside if weather permits) /Facebook, twitter, email

10:30 – Snack / School with Alexis (Language Arts,Handwriting)

11:15 – School with Alex (Phonics,Handwriting)

12 – Make Lunch and eat

12:30-1:30 – Free time for Kids / Clean, facebook, email

1:30-2:30 – Finish School with kids (Art,Music)

**Note: History and Science done all day on Fridays

2:30-3:30 – Quiet Roomtime for kids / Clean, read

3:30 – Snack & TV time (usually Curious George) / Facebook

4-5:30 – Kids have freetime/ Clean, make dinner

5:30 – Family Dinner

6 – Chill

7:30 – Begin bedtime stories and talk time on each child’s bed

8pm – Write the next day’s blog post

9pm – Chill with my man

10ish – Fall into bed for some beauty sleep lol!

Through out the week I will insert different activities for the children such as baking together, swimming and gymnastics lessons, flag football practice, women’s Bible study group for me and other fun things like play dates and trips to museums.

You may notice that showering is missing in there. I’m not sure where I’ll put it lol! During one of the school breaks I’ll squeeze it in. This schedule is simply a goal. In an ideal world, everyday I would have my quiet time, exercise, post my blog, homeschool the kids all of their subjects, clean, give my husband some lovin’, and interact with my blog readers. But we live in a fallen world – so this will be our goal each day.

And for those who haven’t seen my cleaning schedule let me just throw this in there too:

Monday – Menu and Market (Grocery Shop)

Tuesday – Toilets, Tubs, Towels
Wednesday – Wash (Set timer and rotate laundry every hour)
Thursday – Dust
Friday – Floors

If you are a “scheduler” have you written yours up yet? Please share it in the comments section. If you are not a scheduler, do not let my methods frustrate you – this is NOT for everyone. Different personalities really hate this type of thing and flourish under flexibility. God wired me this way and wired you that way – each for his own good purpose. This is what makes the body of Christ beautiful. God uses us all for his glory!

Walk with the King!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

My New 2010 Weekly Schedule!

It’s a new year – it’s time for a new weekly schedule! A while back one of my readers, Nicki, shared her weekly cleaning schedule in the comments section of of a post titled “Smiling At Home”. I loved it! I saved her comment and when I pulled out my shiny new 2010 calendar, I also pulled out her schedule. As I wrote birthdays, important phone numbers and other information into my new calendar, I also added this schedule along the top, above the days of the week.

My 2010 Weekly Schedule

Mondays – Menu and Market Day
Tuesdays: Toilets, Tubs and Towels Day
Wednesdays: Wash (laundry day)
Thursdays: Dust
Fridays: Floors

I am very excited about this NEW schedule!!! It’s easy to follow since the task matches the first letter of the day. I will not follow it rigidly – so if you bump into me at the grocery store on a Friday – do not be dismayed! I use my schedules as guides to be sure I get everything done every week.
It’s easy to write a schedule -the hard part is following it! It takes discipline, diligence and eagerness to get it all done every week. I am reminded of Proverbs 31:13 which says “she works with eager hands.” Do you have eager hands today? We must role model this eagerness for our children and train them to have eagerness also – the home is a classroom for our children and mothers – we are the teachers. So pursue an eager spirit as you take care of your home today.

If you have a weekly schedule – please share it in the comment section – you never know – it might become my 2011 schedule lol!!

Walk with the King!

Back-To-School – Weekly Schedule and Routine

I have recently joined the twitter world and am posting my tweets along the left side bar. One person I follow on twitter is Kay Arthur. Saturday when she tweeted, she said “be rigidly flexible”…”be intentional”.

This sums up for me what a “weekly schedule” – or for a more affectionate term – a “weekly routine” should be. It should be intentional – by nature it’s rigid, but in reality it is flexible.

This week – most kids are going back-to-school and all of their activities are going to change the flow of our week. So as we assess the different days of the week and see that some are busier than others – we must also assess what day is best for grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, or outings. If we wait until Monday has begun to make these decisions most likely we will procrastinate and be stressed out by the end of the week – and end up trying to accomplish a full week’s worth of tasks on Saturday!

So I sat down and wrote up my new fall schedule/routine! Here’s mine:
Sundays – Church
Mondays – Clean up from the tornado that hit over the weekend!
Tuesdays – Outings and errands
Wednesdays – Cleaning
Thursdays – Grocery Shop

Fridays - Laundry Day
Saturdays - Watch Ohio State Football

For some, organization does not come naturally, I feel that I fall into that category! Now you may say, “no way – you LOVE schedules so you must do this naturally” – but honestly I have read many good books, systems, websites and CD’s to come to this place in life (as my mom and husband can testify – in my younger years, I was apt to over book myself and be completely stressed out – now I accomplish much more but with ease and joy). If you regularly feel overwhelmed by all you have to accomplish in a day, week and month – then I’d suggest you pursue learning the skill of organization.

It may seem like a lot of work to put a routine into place but in the end you will save a lot of time and guess what you get to do with your free time!! Relax and cuddle with your chicks and nuzzle with your hubby. Enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Walk with the King!

http://www.womenlivingwell.org/

Back To School – My Daily Schedule

If you have read my “about me” page, then you have read number 17 where I say “I love schedules – I love typing them up, living by them and dreaming of the next one!” So I am excited to say – “no more summer lazy days – it’s time for a NEW SCHEDULE!!!! Hooray!”
Why do I write out my daily schedule? Because it keeps my priorities a priority.

What are my priorities?
1. To have a morning quiet time

2. To be sure all of my husbands needs and wants are met

3. To train my children in the way of the Lord

4. To home school my children 2 1/2 hours a day

5. To keep a clean and orderly home.

6. To get enough rest

7. To exercise daily

8. To keep up with this blog

So how am I going to squeeze all of this in every single day? I have a plan – I call my plan – my daily schedule. The reality is life happens and I will not be able to stick to this schedule perfectly – but my schedule is my guide and it keeps my priorities a priority.

So here is our Back-to-School Daily Schedule:
6:30am – wake and have my quiet time

6:55am – post my blog (which is written the night before), email the Good Morning Girls, Check Facebook – post a status, read my favorite blogs.

8am – make and serve breakfast – read the Bible with the children while they eat their breakfast

8:30am – Do morning chores along side the children

9am – School begins

10am
– free / play time for kids while I exercise

10:45am
-School time

11:45am
– prepare lunch

12:00pm – Serve lunch

12:30pm
– free/play time

1:30pm – finish school work for the day

2:00pm – kids rest time/room time while I check email, Facebook and blogs

3:00pm Snack and television time for kids – while I do housework

4:00pm
– free time / housework

5:00pm – make dinner

5:30pm – serve dinner

Family time

7:30 – Story time

8pm – bedtime for kids

Chill time for mommy / Write the next morning’s blog

9:30pm -10:30pm- time with my husband

10:59pm – bedtime (my goal is to go to bed while there is a ten on the clock and to get up while there is a 6 on the clock – this guarantees 7-8 hours of sleep every night – 7 days a week)

Through out the week I will insert different activities for the children such as baking together, swimming and gymnastics lessons, flag football practice, women’s Bible study group for me and other fun things like play dates and trips to museums.

Have you written a fall daily schedule? I’d love to hear about it – feel free to share it in the comments section. To see my spring schedule I posted last March go here…

Walk with the King!