The picture above is of The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia


Monday, August 31, 2009

Manic Mondays are soon to become Marvelous Mondays

I did not realize how long it's been since I've written in this blog. Wow!! Life has been busy over here. I started schooling and my days are filled from about 9:30 am till about 4:00 pm. Non stop schooling. Actually we do take about an hour lunch break...a much needed break.

Monday's have officially become my "work day". On Mondays the kids and I are "suppose" to do some deep cleaning. I put this word in quotes because it has been such a battle the past few weeks trying to get my "agenda" accomplished. Mondays have been a bit unproductive. The kids are doing their extra weekly chores but I hardly touch mine. What must be the problem?

Last Monday was plain awful. I don't know what was going on with me. I think it was hormones or something. I felt so moody. Nothing was pleasing me.....nothing at all. I called my husband in tears and he sweetly suggested...."Drop your plans, it's a beautiful day today and take the kids to the park." And I did just that. We went to our local park and had the kids run, and run, and run, and run, and run, and run, and run some more. We came home and everyone was tired and not ready to finish all those chores I had planned. Oh well.

That evening I was still in a funk. My hubby came home from work and suggest again...."You need to go out and take a drive" I did just that. You know what I did? I drove, and drove, and drove some more. I then parked at a nearby soccer park and just prayed and read my bible. I wanted so badly for this feeling to pass. I felt so frustrated and I couldn't stand it. After sitting there for about an hour, I started up the van and drove some more. Here is my conversation I had with the Lord....

Me: I don't know what to do Lord. I have so many ideas, so many agendas, and I really don't like being momzilla. I am sorry Father, there is no excuse for me to act and behave this way. Lord I just don't know how to stop this......(then I heard silence and then I heard the Lord)

Lord: Oh No Chris....don't you go there.... you know exactly what to do. Don't tell yourself you don't know. You do know. What would you tell a mom in a similar situation.

Me: (I didn't say anything...just thoughts crossed my mind and then I responded) You mean I need to tell you what I would tell another mom? Ok, I can do that. I think.

I put myself in the place of ministry at that moment---I was talking to myself!! LOL I know that sounds sort of crazy but I had to "preach" to myself. And you know what? I was so pumped and saw everything so clearly. You want to know what I told myself?

Me talking to Me: Love comes before your agenda. There are going to be distractions. There are going to be things that interrupt all the plans you might have laid out for the day. But what's most important is that you are ministering to those children in your home. It is a ministry unto their spirit. Nothing else is more important than ministering to your children in a loving way. So what if you only get one job on the list done. Again loving them comes before your agenda.

Also you need to be led by the Spirit of the Lord....don't be distracted by computer time (ouch) phone calls from friends (ouch and ouch), or whatever it is that pulls you from doing what God has called you to do. You have a calling and it is to train up your children as unto the Lord. You will rise early and every step shall be ordered of the Lord. So when you feel like "checking your emails"....don't go near that computer until you feel the Lord is releasing you to do that. You will find your fulfillment will come from keeping the agenda the Lord has given you.

Wow....I felt so much better telling myself this. All the weight I was carrying was off my shoulders. Thank you Jesus for your loving kindness and tender mercies.

So....if you happen to have "one of those days", don't fret just "preach" to yourself. What would you tell a mom or wife facing the same situation as you are at that moment? You will be amazed by what comes out of your mouth. What is coming out is the Words of the Lord to you and your situation.



Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you Micromanage your kids? I think I do!

I decided to do a little research on Management :O -- The ins and outs on managing a large group of people with different personalities. Who better than a large family like my own. --

I found this interesting article on the Dangers of Micromanaging...oooo...ouch!!!. I tend to do this alot!

I will highlight some of the interesting points I found and relate it to my home life. FUN!!

The Dangers of Being a Micromanager

You may wonder exactly why being a micromanager is bad for your business (Oh no!!!). On the surface, it seems wise (it sure does) to make sure that your staff is doing a good job, to pitch in and help with a project now and then. It seems to demonstrate a solid work ethic and set a good example for the team. What could bewrong with that? (Yeah, what could be wrong with that?)

Well, if you’re a manager, there’s a lot wrong with that.

Basically, micromanaging is involving yourself too directly (yep I do this way to much) in what your staff should be doing instead. By definition, a manager is tasked with — yes, you guessed it —managing. That involves coordinating projects, solving problems, dealing with other managers, and developing relationships with clients. (homeschool planning and teaching; disciplining the little boogers; loving on my hubby and ironing his work clothes; loving and building good relationships with my kids)The manager has to ensure that a certain quantity of work gets done, and normally that work is much more than one person could ever do alone ( you better believe it with a large family I can't do it alone....I tell this to my kids lots). Therefore, the manager supervises a team of people to help them carry out that work.

However, if a manager’s time is consumed with micromanaging, there's no time for all the other managerial tasks on his or her plate (maybe this is why I feel behind many times over). Quite simply, it is damaging to your business to micromanage. (OUCH!!! and double OUCH!!!)Here are some tips to keep in mind when tempted to manage to the nth degree:

  • There’s more than one right way. As a supervisor (mom) you need to prepare your employees (you mean children ;) to complete projects successfully, and to be clear from the beginning about the results you expect from them. Then you should stand back (WHAT??? Stand back....could this actually happen!!) and let them carry out their designated tasks in the way they see fit, (I can see the dust bunny sitting on the couch and jumping for joy) coming up with their own solutions. Remember that employees (my kids) need to do things in a positive way, but not necessarily in the same way you would do them (Yeah, you're right about this). This does not mean that communication is closed down — you still need to touch base from time to time, to see how projects are progressing (Ok, I can see them hardly doing anything but playing around--could they actually progress in a timely fashion without me hovering over them), and to check if the person has any questions. But he or she needs freedom to work within an open framework, to learn and grow (yep, yep, and yep). The end result is a strengthening of your firm. There’s no way your staff can develop and the firm can flourish if you are always there to meddle in the project and demonstrate the “correct” way to accomplish a task ( I do exactly this with my 15 yr old--the meddling mom!!)
  • It’s about trust. Your employees have to believe that you trust them to do a good job (I don't think I do trust them to do a good job...I guess this is bad :o ). But how can they do that if you’re always hovering over their shoulders, diving in to rescue them from themselves? If it’s inevitable that your staff’s decisions will be second-guessed, they will begin to feel frustrated and powerless (picture of my son when I come in to meddle). In addition, your employees (children)will learn that they will not be held accountable, and will soon stop trying to make any decisions at all.
  • If something’s wrong, fix it. If you have an employee who is indeed constantly doing things incorrectly, it may be time to clean house ( this is my goal....HELLO) and hire someone who can do the job properly (That would be nice!! Hey honey, I need a maid, babe!! This article said I need to hire someone). But first, see to it that your employees are fully trained and know everything they need to know to do their jobs well. Be certain you're communicating the duties of the job clearly (I confess sometimes I am hasty with my bad). Finally, keep in mind that some employees want to be micromanaged (I have a few children like this....hmmmm.....interesting). Just as you need to stay out of their way, your staff needs to remember the importance of making decisions on their own. (we have to work on this deal)
  • Beware of burnout. If you insist on meddling in a project, creating frustration and lack of accountability in your employees,(creating frustration in ALL OF US) and still attempt to shoulder all your other managerial responsibilities, you’re going to get tired. Really tired. (This is me on a daily basis....frustrated and fed up) And eventually, tiredness will progress to exhaustion and complete burnout (That's it!!! I quit or their fired!!!). At which point, you won’t care about micromanaging anymore. But at that point, of course, it will be too late (Not with Christ...there is always Redemption!!! This I do know. :D ) Don’t let events progress to that point.

The bottom line: a good manager is one who prepares, and then trusts employees, remembers that he or she is part of a team, (mi familia) and leads by example, not by doing everyone else’s work. Your staff will appreciate your efforts, and will feel a greater sense of personal accomplishment. And in the end, your business (my HOME) will thrive (Yes!!! \0/ I want this).

It was so much fun dissecting this article and relating it to my home managing skills. I learned about what not to do. It is going to take LOOOOTTTTSSSS of practice to not get FRUSTRATED with the little details they didn't take care of. Oh....LORD have Mercy!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home School Schedule--Morning

Thought I'd type out some of my thoughts on how I will schedule this school year. Here it goes:

5:00 am

My wake time. My goal is to wake up as soon as the alarm clock goes off. I tend to hit the snooze button about 3 or 4 times. I have found that if I don't rise right away, I fall back to sleep into a heavier sleep and go into what I call hibernation, my second sleep. There are times I wake up at 4:30 without an alarm clock and trick myself to sleeping another 30 minutes until my alarm goes off. If I do this, I feel sleepier when the alarm goes off at 5:00 or there are times I don't even hear the alarm....jeeez. I have told myself that if I wake up anytime in the 4 o'clock hour I need to rise. This is the Lord waking me up. I need to obey!!

5:15 am

Once I am up, I will not dress right away. I just walk in my jammies to the kitchen and make coffee and breakfast. I then turn my computer on and listen to a sermon which usually last about 1 hr. This is my bible study time. I so enjoy this time and the Lord always ministers to me. After the sermon is finished, if I have extra time (depends on when I arose) I will pray. If I don't get my prayer time after my sermon, I pray while going to the bathroom, showering, or when I do laundry. I chat with the Father all day. He is my best friend. He hears us moms, knowing our time is filled with ministering to little people.

6:30 am

By this time, I have dressed myself in my spiritual clothing and ready to minister to my little people. But first, I must dress myself. This time is when I groom and clean up my room--Groom and Room is how I put it.

7:00 am
Now I am back in the kitchen making breakfast -- some sort of hearty breakfast. I am in need of some ideas. What tends to happen on many occasions (almost every morning--LOL) the children eat whatever they want. Sometimes this means I am making three different breakfast!! I know, I know....why do I allow this?? Lack of management. Ouch!! My goal is to make a menu to be posted on the fridge so we all know what's for breakfast each morning. So could you help me out a bit and send me some recipes and ideas for breakfast. Thank you!!!

7:30 am

Time to wake the children!!! During this time I will wake the children and get them going. The older children know what to do during this time. I require them to be dressed, groomed, and bedroom picked up. While they are hustling along, I am dressing the little boys and grooming them. Also helping them make their beds. Hoping this doesn't take longer than 30 minutes. :)

8:00 am

At this time the children will sit down for breakfast. While they are eating I will tend to the baby. Dress her, feed her and play a bit. It takes the children about 10-15 minutes to eat. I tell them as soon as they are through with breakfast they need to commence their kitchen chores. When kitchen clean up is over they begin their morning chores.

8:30 am

This is when our family will begin morning chores. I have Chore Packs set up so they all know what to do. I've been having some issues with the children not doing their chores in a timely manner. They tend to dawdle way to much. I am thinking of consequences to administer for lack of timeliness or diligence. I was thinking of taking privileges away. For example: No free time, or computer time. Any suggestions???

9:00 am

Our outside time!! I plan on taking the little guys outside to play at this time. I am guessing some of the older children will still be working on chores. So for those who are choosing to be diligent they will get to play outside before school starts.

9:30 am

School start time!! This will be my preschool time with Kole and Ephee. I plan on 30 minutes of teaching time.
  • Read a book
  • sing some songs
  • learn colors, numbers, and letters
  • activity time (I am planning on using my oldest daughter to take over since she loves crafts)
10:00 am

Galen's one-on-one time: This year we will be using A Beka Phonics and Math. I am planning on sitting with him as he works.
  • Review Phonics
  • Teach new material
  • He does a worksheet (I will sit with him)
  • Review some math
  • He does a worksheet (sitting with him)
  • Handwriting
10:30 am

Quick snack and break for about 10 minutes

10:40 am

Shiloh's one-on-one time: We are using A Beka Phonics, language, handwriting; Pathway Reading and Math u See. I am not sure yet how much time Shiloh will need. I let Shiloh choose how he wants to structure his time with me. There are times he wants to do math and then there are times he wants to read first.

11:15 am

Tsavah's one-on-one time: This year we are using mostly A Beka with most of the children. I am not sure how much time Tsavah will need. I am guessing about 30 minutes of teaching. This will be Tsavah's first time doing History and Science. She will be in 4th grade this year. I will be evaluating how much time she will need during the first few weeks of school.

During the morning time I will be rotating the little boys around with the older siblings. I will sneak in a few minutes here and there during "school time" to lay Ephraim down for his nap, feed the baby, and changing diapers. Justin is pretty much on his own and his daddy checks his work in the evening times. I am planning Moriah's one on one time with me after lunch clean up time. I am sure there are going to be kinks that I will have to work out. We'll see!!!

I am praying for a fruitful and productive year.

My next post will be of my afternoon. This is the time where I need more structure.

Until Then...