Sunday, March 16, 2008

The nest, the work, the tooth

I found a great site on forcing branches, so I used Bradford Pears and Redwoods. They are now blooming in my kitchen, complete with a nest from Jerri. Yes, Jerri redeemed herself and found the nest that she thought had already gone to Good Will. I wish I could post a picture!! I took some, but my computer is not detecting my camera for some reason, and I'll have to figure that out tomorrow. I'm too tired right now.

Speaking of Good Will, my sister has been given the opportunity to do something really neat. She will be giving free haircuts to the children at the local shelter. What an amazing ministry!! Julie is so multi-talented. If you need a hair cut, a cake decorated, a personalized portrait, interior decorating, fashion advice...she's your gal! Someday I'm going to make a fortune being managers for Julie, when she is a famous artist, and my other sister Amy, when she is a world renowned author. Oh, yes, there is talent in my family!

Which brings me to yet another point. How many things can a person do excellently? Looking at my sisters, you'd think that a person can do MANY things and excel at each one. But in my personal life, I find that I can only do about two things really well at any given time.

On the days that I keep the kids on schedule and we get lots of work done, and do it well, I find that I can either keep my house decent or do something crafty. If I try to do "crafty" things with our art time, then we get excited and carried away...and the house goes to pot. On the other hand, I can do lots of crafty things on our days off, and still keep the house decent, but we aren't worrying about school work. I can also trade art for decent exercise, or playdates, or baking afternoons...but I can't do it all.

I just asked some trusted friends about this. They seem to have it all together. You know who you are, with your working Home Management Binders. :-) I'm getting there, oh, yes, I'm getting there. Off like a herd of turtles, as my Mom used to say.

This is about what my day *should* look like:
dishes 2x a day, which takes me a total of 30 minutes (kids unload and put dishes away)
do laundry 2 x a day, which takes me a total of 30-45 minutes (kids help fold and put clothes away)
math 1 hour (yeah, it shouldn't take nearly this long, but it usually does!)
reading 1 hour (Isabelle and Ethan reading aloud)
My Bible time 30 minutes, although I usually start prayinga nd don't spend the whole time reading. Isabelle read sthe Bible aloud, too, so we discuss that.
Bible with kids 30 minutes
handwriting and spelling 30 minutes
geography 20 minutes
history 20 minutes
art 1 hour (heh heh...I have a weakness for art, and we don't always cap the time at an hour)
music 30 minutes (during which time we do "crazy dancing." This is not exactly the typical "music appreciation" or instrument instruction time)
PE 1 hour (read: run and play in yard or park)
cooking, 3x a day takes a total of 1- 1 1/2 hours, longer on days that I bake, too
vacuuming 1-3 x day 20 minutes each time (I have a crawler, so frequent vacuuming is absolutely necessary!)
phone calls 30 minutes, and I only answer when I have to, I really prefer email
bills 30 minutes (this doesn't deserve color!)
walking 20 minutes
night-time reading to kids 20 minutes
baths for kids 1 hour!! Yes, to bath all four it take AT LEAST one hour.
time with Fred depends on what he wants to do. We like outdoor activities, like walking, biking, fire pit, etc. And he likes for me to watch movies with him, so I usually fold laundry at the same time. Then he makes fun of me for not being able to sit still. Hehee.
computer ?
sleep - whatever is left

So, my question to you is how do I fit more in? Or do I try to fit more in? Suzanne just posted about this, too. Would God give us these desires do be artistic, to want to learn and do, if He wasn't going to let us fulfill them? Is this a matter of patience? Should I just wait until my kids are grown before I try to fulfill any of my artsy fartsy urges? Or should I just try to include them more? I can decoupage with them, but sketching a serious picture isn't at all easy with four kids underfoot. And, yes, I can use my evening time to do that... but then "therapy" (blogging) would be out. And if I don't do at least half of my household chores at night, then I take time away from the kids the next day to accomplish those things.
Oh bother, as Eeyore says. How do you know what to do and when and how much?

Quick prayer request, too: My tooth is KILLING me, I mean I seriously just want to grab pliers and yank the sucker out. I think it's abscessed. Pray for healing, or pain relief, and pray that the dentist will take immediate action tomorrow. Thanks!!


Jerri Dalrymple said...

Girl, you have it so much more "together" than you realize. I could never accomplish what you do with those kiddos underfoot! You are an amazing mom and your kids will always have that to hold near and dear to their hearts, and trust me, they will! You will never be perfect...not here in this life anyway. We all long for the perfection that God created us for...but it won't happen here! Sometimes sad, I know. But just think what we have to look forward to! Also...enjoy all that energy you have while it lasts. I think each year we grow older we seem to lose a little bit more of the "energy bank" that we once had! :0)

Ann-Marie said...

I hope your tooth is feeling better soon - mouth pain sucks (ha, ha - pun alert!).

Yeah, so reading your post made me feel guilty. I take SO many naps and chill out in front of the TV when I'm not at work. Guilty, guilty, guilty...

Jerri Dalrymple said...

I feel guilty, too. I don't do projects with my kids hardly at all. I used to when they went to PS. On breaks (Christmas, Spring, and Summer) we'd craft like crazy. These days I'm just glad to get their school work done! I feel bad though, b/c they LOVE crafts and would do them all the time if I provided... more pitfall, LOL! J/K!

Dionna said...

So sorry about your tooth! Hope it's fixed and you are getting pain relief really sooon.

Ann-Marie said...

I forget to say last time how great I think it is that you put so much thought and work into how your home is presented!

We've lived in our house for seven years, and yet people routinely ask us if we just moved in!

Maybe you should start a decorating business!

suzanne said...

this requires more of an answer than i have time for right now, but i completely agree. and i agree that you have it more together than you think. i have an artsy fartsy side too. and i use it when i can. but i let the house go when i indulge that side of me. and i skip some "official" school work when i do. and either bring them into it, or just take a skip day and work harder another day. i'm currently working on a quilt for my girl and then will do each of them one (an ongoing project!) but remember christmas for me? i took the whole month off to get my presents done for everybody. and i let the house go a bunch too. and sometimes i let blogging go. either on my end or reading or commenting on y'all's. i don't know, i think it's important.

but i always feel guilty too!

Just what are those Woods up to? said...

Wendy, like they said, you really do have so many things going and you manage them really well. I've always thought of you as someone who can handle waaaayy more things than me in any given day. You are always an inspiration to me! Love you!

Anonymous said...

You could just cut down your sleep time to 2 and 1/2 hours a night =) I wouldn't worry about doing more. You are doing the most important things...
You could send your kids to public school (NO I'm NOT serious!!) THEN you'd really feel guilty =)

Jerri Dalrymple said...

Amen, October! I second that one! :0)