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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time Management







Time Management and parenting have got to be oxymorons.  Whoever thought that a mom can wash dishes, do laundry, bathe children, cook meals, pay bills, teach children, bake for hubby's boss, make beds, clean toilets, wash the dogs, and still look pretty - was right!



Time management is not taught any more.  It is not something you just learn.  I have been using a 15 min-at-a-time schedule for my three home schooled students.  Every Monday after co-op we come straight home and print off 4 pages of this schedule.  In pen, Mom writes the things we HAVE to do that cannot be changed.  This would consist of doctor appointments, church, scouts....  Then in pencil, the children go through their syllabi and schedule out their work for the week.

For instance, if my youngest (10yo) knows that it will take her at least 30 minutes to do page 45 of her math book, she schedules 30 minutes to do one math page.  Later in the week, she schedules 15 minutes for us to grade and go over her math assignments.  We also take this time to correct anything that is wrong.  Then we enter all of the zoology, history, literature, reading, vocabulary, awana study time, banjo practice, piano practice and even leave an hour or so open every day (usually late afternoon) for make up work.  This is set aside for finishing anything that was not completed in the allotted time earlier in the day.


On this schedule we also include time for chores, fun time, going to grandmas, leaving grandmas, birthday parties, field trips, and anything else that may need to get done.


The great thing about these paper schedules (I have tried a lot in the past!) is that the children do it themselves, so they are held accountable for their own time and work.  Also, if something comes up - emergency dr appt, some one is sick, surprise trip.... we can erase and reschedule.


At the end of every 15 minute period, I check what is done (not so much for my high schooler, but more for my 4th grader), initial it was completed.



After an assignment is completed by the kids, they simply highlight that time segment, whether it was 15 minutes or an entire hour, to show that it was done.  This gives the kids pride to see how much they finished in their day and where they need to schedule more time for certain subjects.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pinterest Project - Wall decor/ earing holder

Having 2 girly girls, we have a lot of jewelry.  Whether it is bought or made, it needs to be organized.  After a few Pinterest searches, we came up with an idea that was very Cindy-ish.




We started with a trip to Hobby Lobby - I always loose an hour of my life and a few hundred dollars when I walk into that place.....

My decorator picked out several wooden hoops (for cross stitching) and 5 different fabrics.  The fabric had to coordinate with her electric blue room, with her, as well as with each other.







When we got home she cut each fabric to fit the hoop.






She did that with all 5 hoops - each hoop was a different size.



Cindy liked the hoops because changing the fabrics would be easy to do if she wanted to change things around in her room.  Just so that these fabrics would be able to be re used if she decided to go back to them, we left a bit hanging over the edges.





There was a lot of left over fabric




We salvaged as much fabric as possible for future projects







All done







Then, we used command hooks to hang them on the wall.





Time to start hanging up the earrings.





She separated the fish hooks from the straight backs





And her small earrings from the pearls.






She is very pleased with the way this turned out.  Now we need to paint this wall!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - Fire Inspection

After weeks of classes with Arrow (I won't even discuss the classes at previous agencies again), we are told that it is now time to get a fire inspection done.

Great.  No problem. Hubby's best friend is a fire Marshall. He cannot do the inspection because of some kind of license, but he knows what is going to be inspected.

With the second agency, we were told that Houston is slow to get to these types of inspections and they can cost $3-500. Depending on the inspector.  So, hubby gets on the ball and requests an inspection as soon as we learn this. We know it will need to be done, so why wait until we are told to do it. That could slow us down.   He puts in a request with the city and we go about our classes.  We leave that agency,  still no news about an inspection.

We start with arrow. We still know we will need the inspection but have still not heard a thing from the city.

In May, we are still in the middle of classes with Arrow.  I am at the church for am event my children are involved in and start talking to one of the security guys, like I always do. Somehow the topic of adoption comes up. Security Man starts telling me the story of how he and his wife adopted their son. Such a sweet story.  Then i mention needing a fire inspection and ask if he knew anything about it (he is a full time fire Marshall).  I just wanted some advice.   Maybe a number to call some one direct and get them to come out soon.  Then he mentions that he is licensed to inspect. Yea!   But can he inspect in my city and county?  Yes!   I was so relieved! I set up a time for him to come over and immediately text Hubby to let him know it is taken care of.

We had planned on Security/Fire Man coming out in 2 weeks to do our inspection.  We get Hubby's friend over to do a 'pre inspection,' and  spend the next 2 weeks cleaning the garage,  under the sink, laundry room. ...  There is nothing like a home inspection (of any kind) to make you doubt the safety, and cleanliness of your home - as well as your ability to do a good job of both.

After an unscheduled delay, the big day came. I had spent the last month scouring the Internet for advice, tips, checklists. ... What every may make this go faster. Depending on your city/County depends on what is looked for. Some require you to provide the forms,  some inspectors have their own. I printed some - just in case. 

So, Mr Security/Fire Man comes (with his k9 - took forever to get the kids to leave the dog alone and let Mr Man work) and brings his papers and looks around the house.  The kids knew what was going to be looked for and immediately too Mr. Man to their rooms to see the smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and emergency ladder. They were even ready to climb out the window to demonstrate their knowledge of how to use the ladder!    That was not necessary. He checked the water heater (nothing stored around it) and the laundry room. Done. Really?  

2 weeks of panic filed cleaning and we are done..... OK. I guess that's good. We passed. He gives me a copy of the report and leaves. He is not even or of the drive way and I am scanning the document to email over to my case worker.


1 inspection done. 1 to go. Now we need to get ready for the home study. ......