Tag: life

Dealing with Chores: Everyone gets Paid

I have been leery of writing about this since we have only really had a one week trial, well, a little over a week. But so far it is working. It is interesting to see what aspects are and what aspects aren’t. Also, Rachel is still out of town so that will change the dynamic when she returns but here goes.

You may remember, if you have read this site for anytime at all, that roughly 2 years ago we quit chores. No more chores. We were done. After that there were some whiny posts as I dealt with my own baggage regarding chores.

A lot has changed since then. I now work full time. The family is here all day without me, making messes without me here to clean up as I go. When Shamus isn’t working a lot he will do dishes or clean the bathroom and the kids pitch in occasionally but they are all busy with their own stuff and a clean house isn’t a huge priority to them. We still do Saturday Sabbath which is wonderful, and the house stays relatively clean because we don’t have a lot of “stuff” and we do have a pretty good system in place for that. The problem is that I work Sundays. Twelve hour Sundays. And Monday I like to rest and get caught up on computer stuff I missed out on at work. So coming home to a mess- dishes in the living room, dishes in the sink, random stuff on the table. Not huge messes but not neat, not calm, not clean, was getting frustrating. Working 36 hrs a week and then taking Grandma shopping each week and doing our own family shopping…well, I was getting cranky and exhausted. I was burning out. It isn’t that the family wasn’t getting anything done. They were but I was picking up the slack anytime it didn’t get done (I have higher standards of cleanliness than everyone else, except Issac- but he keeps his room and desk clean and doesn’t notice the rest), and most days it came down to me.

We needed a solution.  There were certain things we knew from past experience it had to be:

  1. It had to be elegant. Simple. Easy to implement. None of us have the energy or time to fuss with details. I hate lists and schedules. So does the rest of the family. So no lists, no schedules. No “standards”.
  2. It had to be something we could all do- no “kids get paid for jobs that parents do for free” (leading to cranky parents when kids choose not to help).
  3. It had to benefit everyone and everyone had to agree it was fair.
  4. It had to allow for various quality of work and reward accordingly.
  5. It had to be easy to figure out and make sure people got paid and work with when we couldn’t pay due to no money.

It was tricky to come up with something that would work for that list, but suddenly it all fell into place. We would pay per hour. That was it. For any work done to benefit the family that member would get paid. Each member has their own rate based on experience, quality of work, time taken to do work. After a lot of talking it out we came up with the kids starting at $5 per hour and myself and Shamus getting $10 per hour- I am faster and more experienced but not as meticulous, he is slower but super high quality work when he does it. Issac is like Shamus. Takes forever to do a load of dishes but every dish is perfectly clean, dry, and put away neatly. Es is more like me, hurried but doesn’t take long. We used “doing a load of dishes” as our measurement with the goal of “each family member earning roughly $2.50 for a whole  load of dishes. That is the job that needs done most often. That is the job that is most easily measured because we know how each person does the job. Each kid can up the quality/speed of their work and get paid more per hour. That is the only time they need to show us their work. They need to prove they have consistently upped the quality of their work in order to get a raise. Otherwise we have a sheet of notepaper on the wall and everyone just notes an estimate of time spent.  5 minutes sweeping the floor? Mark 5 min. on the sheet. An hour cleaning a room, or doing laundry, or shopping for groceries? Mark an hour. Whatever.

image8
This picture is from back when Issac was about 8. He is 12 now. I want to pat his head, the tiny thing. (He is now my height and about to pass me up.)

Yes, it takes trust, and we trust the kids and they trust us. It is up to them if they write something down or not. If they want to do something out of love then awesome. If they want to put down the time spent helping me take Grandma shopping then great. If they can’t remember exactly what time they started something and estimate, it is fine. No stress.

So how has the first week gone?

Esther worked 4.5 hours. She helped with several projects she would never have helped with in the past.  She worked harder in hopes of working her way up to $6 an hour. She also spent quite a bit of time figuring out the math behind how much she needed to save up for a game she wanted and helped her brother do the same. She worked till she had enough to buy the new game she wanted and stopped unless I asked for help for something, but it was still wonderful having a sparkling clean kitchen when I got home from work. She also learned a lot about how her sister and I, and pretty much every other person who has cleaned something only to have to do it again the next day,  feel about  cleaning the kitchen- “It is really frustrating, I worked so hard to get it really clean yesterday and already it is messy again and we have to do it all over again.”

Issac worked 2.5 hours and 10 minutes or something like that. Enough to buy a game he wanted and get his Roblox Builder’s Club for the month. He is talking about working a little each day so he can save up for a new computer but hasn’t gotten to the point of doing just yet.

Shamus worked 1.5 hours but  spent a lot of the time I was home and awake writing.

I worked 9.5 hours. That included some projects I had been putting off so isn’t really my norm. It was so much easier to do that knowing I was going to get some reimbursement for my time, that my time was important. I love serving my family, I have been doing it for 17 years now but it was nice to feel valuable, and also to feel like I wasn’t just spending money that needed to go to other things. The money I spend is “mine”. I can use it to buy people things but there is no guilt and no stress. (I recognize that I am working for my money “twice”. So is Shamus. It is more a system for divvying up money that lets everyone help out and feel valued. I am thinking in general I will end up closer to 4 hours a week, maybe 5, which is much more reasonable financially.

In general the house is staying cleaner- everyone knows how it feels to clean and have it messed up again and forming habits of cleaning up after themselves. The kids now have a real means of earning money towards bigger things, it is no longer in our hands, it is in theirs. Everyone is happy because we all have an easy way to get spending money. If we don’t have the money at the time then it will be “saved” until we do. I plan to finance my traveling out of that, as well as games clothes, treats, etc for all. This means we will likely, in the long run, spend less as a family than we normally do when money isn’t tight.

It will be interesting to see if this is something we can continue or if we find it is just too expensive or if it just falls to the way side. For now it is really working and we all are pretty happy with the results.

Addendum:

I neglected to add that I post jobs that need done to the door frame using mini post-it notes, which get tossed when a job is done (or for recurring jobs they get put in a pile). And for Sabbath prep I move the notes to the table so all can see what needs done an grab what they want to do.

It occurred to me that it is likely that, in the future, we could hire people for a set time for more regular job and have everyone sign up. For instance, “I would like to hire someone to do this job  each day and whoever wants it can do it each day or once a week or whatever. ” Or we can do a scheduled time each day more like a regular job. The possibilities are endless.   We could also offer an extra $1 an hour for certain jobs. For now we are keeping it simple and we will add to it as it is needed or as we figure out what works.

This has all already lead to a conversation about how  Issac would like to save us money by not charging. I pointed out that even better he could do more jobs and even if we are paying him, by not paying me he will be saving our family $5 an hour. He thought that was pretty cool.

Unschooling in the House

A random list of unschooly things going on in our household over the last few weeks (partially pulled from my twitter/facebook accounts) and including the learning Shamus and I are doing since it all goes together that way.

 

Issac is:

  • Spending large quantities of time playing Terraria and Roblox with friends online.  I love that my shy, introverted boy has found friends his age that are interested in the same thing and has found a way of playing that does not overtax his introverted-ness.  When he needs quiet he walks away from the computer (often leaving Skype open… need to work on that).  He has always talked through whatever he is doing and being able to talk to someone actually involved in what he is doing is a blessing.  He is still shy in person to some extent but this has REALLY helped him come around a bend.  He is no longer afraid of playing on the unschool kids Minecraft server (he was afraid people would talk to him and he would have to respond– he prefers building in Minecraft on his own projects.)
  • Issac’s reading and writing skills have grown significantly.  He is still nervous of typing/writing unless he can copy something but he just had me add youtube videos to his growing list of favorite movies to watch (found 3-2-1 Contact and Square One on youtube and he has been loving them.)  He is now confident that he can type in things he has written down, and confident that he can read what I write for him.  In fact, yesterday he pointed out that he is now putting closed captioning on on all the videos on Netflix that has it because he is enjoying reading what they are saying.  He also had me make a food chart/menu plan for him so he is more confident getting his own foods. It is not a legalistic chart, just suggestions so he doesn’t have to make decisions when hungry.  I love that he is confident enough in his reading skills now that he ASKED me to make him a food chart and it didn’t even occur to him to worry about being able to read it.
  • He continues in his fascination with all things science and math though I recently heard him declare that he was “no good at math” which is funny because this is the kid that uses math regularly without thought and has always thought of it as a game.  I think it was him repeating what he had heard both from his sisters (who are the same way– good at it but imitating what they hear and know is expected) and what he has heard on iCarly and on Ned’s Declassified.
  • Recently he has taken to wanting to watch kung fu movies with me (Jackie Chan and Jet Li with the occasional Bruce Li thrown in) which is another testament to his reading since they are mostly the older ones that have subtitles.  He also watches my Korean dramas with me (especially the ones with action) and no longer complains of subtitles there.
  • Doing tons of experiments with bubbles and various bubble solutions– trying to figure out how water tension works and why.
  • He is teaching me how to play Spore Hero– he takes great pleasure in this.
  • He is showing interest in maybe, possibly joining us in Just Dance 2 (took him a year to try Dance Dance Revolution) now that we have Kung Fu Fighting and Mambo No. 5.  He also loves the song Rockafella Skank but thinks the dance is too embarrassing.

Esther is:

Suddenly looking freakily like Uma Thurman.
  • Recording Minecraft lets play videos with friends that she has been posting on Youtube.
  • Designing a dragon from texture pack up in Minecraft so she could hav ea cool desktop background.
  • Spending lots of time learning about the ins and outs of the computer so she can personalize her user account on the shared computer.  This is carrying over into interest in designing websites.  She now wants me to install a wordpress website for her so she can learn to personalize it.
  • Reading, reading, reading.  She was going kind of nuts because she ran out of books– so we downloaded a whole slew of free ones from Amazon plus she borrowed the Eragon series from my brother.
  • Spending a lot of time drawing and painting– often beside me when I am working.  She is growing by leaps and bounds and is very comfortable in her artistic skin.  In fact I just shared this on Facebook:
    • Just saw Essie on chat say confidently “I am an artist.”   And she is. She spends a lot of her time not spent reading and writing and on the computer drawing and painting. She sits by me when I work, asks questions, and experiments.
    • The thing is she is just like I was EXCEPT she has the confidence to call herself an artist and behave accordingly. It took me YEARS to get that confidence (ps all the way, with all free time spent reteaching what supposed to learn in school but basically unschooled all summer). I internalized all the criticism I received in school and at home and despite drawing and painting from the time I was Essie’s age I didn’t “call” myself an artist until I was in my 30’s.
    • If that confidence and comfort with self (and love of the Lord) is all she takes away from our unschooling lifestyle, then it is WELL worth it.
  • Writing a Minecraft fan fiction novel  She read it aloud what she (with a friend who was spell checking it and giving ideas) had written and it was kind of shocking– it sounded like a real novel. Shamus, who is working on his 3rd novel went on and on about how her pacing was perfect, how she had a good solid voice, etc. Not surprising since she reads constantly but it was a huge jump forward from the last story she wrote (about a year ago.)
  • Using tutorials to teach herself Blender (3-d object creator/animator.) This is especially amazing because my husband and I both used Truspace to design avatars for a game years ago and Blender was too much learning curve.

 

Rachel is:

Essie and Rach voluneered to pull up old tiles and replace them-- because it "looked fun" and apparently it was.
  • Using youtube as a piano instructor for harder songs than learning at class.  Currently learning a relatively simple (compared to the full version) “Moonlight Sonata”.
  • Researching a doll found at the thrift shop in order to sell it on Ebay.  Finding out prices, finding out how much it might be worth, learning to photograph it for ebay, learning how to sell on ebay.
  • Writing a parody of a song for a youtube video.  Practicing singing the song, learning how to record it, as well as learning video editing.
  • Weekly babysitting– voluntary  1 day plus in exchange for piano lessons the other– the Friday one means she gets up, packs a lunch, and gets herself out the door on her own because lately I have been sleeping way later.
  • Taking lots of photos and learning how to take better photos.  She is considering using the money she has been saving to buy a decent camera.
  • Spending time with online friends; chatting, playing Words with Friends, and Tripletown.
  • Doing a lot more around the house on her own.  She is currently sleeping afternoon through evening so  I will wake up to find various jobs around the house done.  Which is really pretty awesome.

 

Shamus is:

  • Playing a game I am not allowed to talk about because it is still in Alpha and he had to sign an NDA, but I can say he loves it.
  • Working on his next book (which I get to read and LOVE)– a completely different setting from this one.
  • Writing stuff for the Escapist.
  • Recording Spoiler Warning.
  • Redesigning a website.

Me?

Oh yeah, I chopped my hair off-- about 10 inches.
  • I am working on illustrations for Shamus’ book.  (You can see them on my Facebook page if interested: https://www.facebook.com/ElasahArt)
  • Editing the final revision of Shamus ‘ book.
  • Formatting Shamus’ book.
  • Attempting to keep the house in order for showings and fix up what we are able to fix.
  • Feeling like I need to share things more online…so I am trying to do that.
  • Helping Esther with some art questions she has.
  • Helping Rachel figure out how best to record.
  • Helping Issac with computer questions.
  • Reading James A Owen’s Imaginarium Geographica series which is prompting all kinds of thoughts about classical writers.
  • Reading a 1920’s girl detective story I found for free for the Kindle.  Very fun.  Prompting much thought about the changes in language and slang from then to now.

Where We Are: September 2011

This month (and the end of August) has seen as much busy-ness as our summer though of a new variety. We are prayerfully considering what direction we should be heading financially (have money to live on for the moment and had hoped to save up and live on it longer by bringing in more income but that all but stopped when the check finally came. Good thing God knows what He is doing (and He obviously has us trusting Him completely in this) because we have no idea. Well, we have some slight direction, and the Lord is kind of herding us in a certain direction that we are getting more and more comfortable with but the logistics of it all are still kind of out there and we don’t feel free to share yet. Still no money for the house payment and we are just waiting for the bank to kick us out– packing things up that we don’t need so we can simplify significantly is what we are focused on at the moment. Due to our awkward financial circumstances (no steady income, no savings, everything pretty unstable) they aren’t willing to work with us (not that I blame them.) So we will see what is around the next bend.

Idlewild 2011
The kids on a ride at a rare trip to Idlewild park (carload days are awesome.)

In the meantime, still doing GAPS– in fact we are being more rigorous with it while we are here so we can kick some more food allergies (which will simplify things down the road.)

P1090397
The youngest son of a friend who sheltered with us during Hurricane Irene.

We are still unschooling (and yes, the kids are still learning way more than they ever did when workbooks were a way of life for us).

We just got a package
The kids opening the box of Magic: the Gathering cards friends sent us-- our living room is overrun.

 
We are focusing on doing the next thing, whatever that is, as the Lord guides us. Right now that means I will be painting, purging excess stuff (and God willing having a yard sale, taking my grandmother shopping several times a week, helping Shamus with his projects, and more time to spend with the kids; chatting with them, being with them, loving them where they are. Shamus is currently working on his autoblography which when done, God willing, will become an eBook memoir.

If you would be praying for wisdom and direction, especially regarding our finances and where the Lord wants us but also regarding spiritual things He is showing us recently, we would heartily appreciate it.

I-CU

Intensive Care for the Christian Unschooler– this is a weekly meme (you post the questions to your blog each Wednesday that you are able, using one of the buttons here to link  over to the CU blog, add your site to the linky at the bottom there.)


“This week we want to…” prepare for a yard sale and figure out ways to get enough money to go visit friends that are moving soon and get enough together to go to the science center before our membership is over.
“The kids are…” enjoying Issac’s new scooter, struggling with the fact that we are tight with money again and can’t do all that they want to do.  Issac is adoring the Green Electricity Snap Circuit Kit he bought with his Christmas money (he saved it till now).
“I am learning….” more like relearning.  I am having to place everything in God’s hands, again.  WHEN am I going to learn?
“I am struggling with…” trusting that God will provide.  There are things that really need to be done this month (I mean yeah, they don’t have to but this is our last month our our science center membership and we would like to go at least one more time, we have two different friends moving in the next month (1 3 hrs away, the other 5 hrs away) both of which my oldest really wants to visit before they move because it is likely once they move we will never see them.  And honestly I have no idea where the money will come from to do any of that since we are that place– the car needs inspected this month, and we are coming up empty–we are back to waiting for provision for the basics let alone for road trips.  He has provided thus far and I am trusting that He will continue but…I am nervous and I really shouldn’t be.  I KNOW He is Jehovah Jireh.  I KNOW He has provided in the past.  I just wish I could get the rest of me to remember and accept instead of worrying.  Yes, I am struggling with panic– we are in the month the house foreclosure can take place and it is scary sice we have no backup plan and what we thought God was doing hasn’t happened (and suddenlyShamus switched gears from the book to programming and we were hoping that would get finished soon.) So…trusting Jehovah Jireh.

Apparently my lack of sleep these last few nights is also getting to me even though I “feel” fine– not tired or anything.  Just irritable and anxious.  I think Mandy might be onto something there.  I think a lot of that is a shift in what I am eating–still eating GAPS but out of some key components and so haven’t been eating according to my cravings, which means I often just can’t be bothered to eat (eating plenty, just meh.).

“This week is the first time….” hmmmm, trying to think of first here.  I guess it is the first time I have had a Facebook Bible discussion group– which is amazing and awesome and relaxed and beautiful and EXACTLY the type of Bible discussion group I have always wanted.  No schedule, no real plan, just lets study what God has to say about this word and everyone posts as they feel led.  Beautiful.

I am grateful for… (Yes, I added this one, will probably add it to the whole list on the group blog.)  God’s provision.  Yesterday we needed milk from the farm (and eggs and meat and cheese ) and since they are only open Tuesday and Thursday evenings (well and Sat but we don’t do Saturday stuff) I needed to go if I was going.  I had been praying all day because we didn’t have the money to go and get what we needed and really were low on groceries.  And then a friend gifted us with enough to go!  So we went and it was such a blessed time.  Rach and I stopped and visited my step-brother to give him his birthday gift which we have been carrying around for over a month.  We were able to spread the cash out to cover plenty of milk and meat plus lots of eggs and cheese and bananas (key on the GAPS diet).  We were able to check the gift cards that a friend sent us for Chili’s (we have had gift cards sent in the mail before that something the postal service did demagnetized them and they didn’t work so always check them before purchasing anything) and the gift cards are good so hubby and I get a date night!!!  Anyway, it was an evening of one blessing after another and it was amazing and awesome and God is so good!   And then we had enough in our gift fund to give to another friend in need which was also a blessing– I love being able to help others even if it isn’t much.  God has blessed us in such amazing ways that I want to pass on those blessings!

Oh, and both girls wrote essays for the Gaming Angels girls Computer Camp contest and I am proud of both of them– they did a beautiful job and each essay is so unique and really shows their personality and thought processes.

A gentle reminder

Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest.
Proverbs 14:4

My desk is a mess– multiple coffee cups, several salad bowls and water glasses, watercolor stuff, paper work and receipts.
The kids rooms are trashed (although the daily service is working and they are slightly better each day). Books are everywhere though at least now they are in piles, most of the clothes have finally made their way to the laundry–clean and dirty alike, paper and writing utensils are everywhere as are all the little girl trappings– stuffies left from plays and other productions, nail polish and hair things set up like a beauty salon..
In the living room sits a box full of Christmas decorations (I finally took down the last bits), Wii motes and yoga mats, blankets and bean bags left out after movie watching, a laptop sitting on, and papers strewn about the midi keyboard.
Issac’s room there are legos and race tracks covering every inch of the room, mixed with books and boxes (used as needed for every building project under the sun. )
The kitchen is covered in dishes left over from meals, cd’s of audio books, and my paints and paintings in progress.
In the bathroom are the results of Rachel’s latest hand cream/epson salt concoction, some dolls and doll clothes left over from a recent doll resort, hair clippers from a recent trim, plus numerous damp towels and clothes on the hooks– left there just in case I need to go out and hubby is sleeping. The laundry room is overflowing with clean and dirty clothes and the back hall is full of snow things hanging to dry.

It is easy to think of these things as mess and clutter. And yet, I am reminded that these are signs of success, of learning, of activity and thought.
Everything left out in the girls’ room has been recently used and is the result of a project. Rachel’s hammer is sitting out because just a little while ago she used an old Chubs box (those plastic lego brick style diaper wipe boxes), a pen, and bits of paper to make a voting box– which entailed hammering a hole in the box for the votes. Books are piled everywhere because Essie always has a book, or her laptop. Audio books also lie strewn because Rachel is always listening to one. Their floor is always covered in paper and pens and other wiriting utensils because the girls are always drawing, designing, writing, or creating something.

Issac’s room is covered because he is constantly in the process of building or designing something new. Today he designed a war game using the weights to build cannons and gaming dice to figure out who wins each round. Race tracks cover his room surrounded by stuffies, Legos, K’Nex– all built precisely to the enclosed directions, and then adapted and added to, surrounded by books and boxes.

The kitchen is cluttered and not so clean because we ate and ran today as right after lunch we headed to the pond to test out the ice and Rachel’s new ice skates. The food we took along got dumped on the table because we had some other project to do when we got home. The audio books are there because we have been listening to classic books while I work on an acrylic painting and the kids either eat or do projects at the table. There is a blue IKEA bag full of snow things on the floor so we can easily take them to the pond tomorrow. A workbook (Issac’s) sits open where he left off coloring and doing activities (because he wants to, for fun, not because it is a rule.)

The bathroom is less than ideal because today Rachel made a special hand cream using various essential oils and Epsom salts to help our hands with the cold dry weather and aches that accompany the RA. This led to a discussion of books that I own with recipes for such things as well as which herbs work best for what, and future plans for me to teach her how to melt bees wax, olive oil, and coconut butter together for creams. She and Esther also had a beach party for their dolls a few days ago and today she had a spa day for the doll that she took skating (she designed skates and clothes adapted from other dolls for her so she could go along but then dropped her in the snow so she needed a bath).

The laundry in the laundry room is a sign that the girls finally remembered to give me their dirty (and some clean) clothes and that I have finally begun to get caught up on washing.

The living room proves that Rach, Essie, and I watched part of Rozencratz and Gildenstern are Dead this morning, which lead to much commentary on Shakespeare and humor and later watched The Golden Boys (a fun and interesting period piece) (both watched on the living room laptop). Issac also spent some time replaying Mario Sunshine, enjoying that he can finally read a lot of what is on the screen, and this morning Rach finally brought me the other Christmas box so I could take down the rest of the decorations. Oh, and several books are strewn about (because they are being read) and the piano music is out because it is being used.

The hall is evidence that there has been much snow play (and ice skating) as are the rather salty spots on the floor where people keep stepping with wet boots no matter how hard they try to avoid it.

The fact that my desk is cluttered is evidence that I have actually gotten some work done recently.

We may not have an immaculate house- though it is much, much cleaner, and staying cleaner now that we have instituted the 5 minutes upstairs 5 minutes downstairs rule. The kids are actually beginning to enjoy cleaning up and going well beyond the 5 min I require. It is never going to be perfect, or even clean to most people (though I do keep clutter to a minimum so that we don’t have so much to fuss about.) However, the mess is evidence of living and life, of time well-spent, of fun had, and mistakes made. More conversations and time together happen because we aren’t fighting over who is supposed to be doing what job and why isn’t everything perfect. Learning is going on at every turn without coercion and fuss. We all have time to pursue our interests without constant nagging and whining. We are greatly blessed.

Unschooling Snapshots: Random

Obviously (if you read my Tweets) things are rather busy around here. The kids have each been taking turns going for the day with Pappap to help at the cottage and work on the treehouse–lots of hammering going on.

Tree house coming along.

Shamus has just finished a big project that has he has been obsessing over just for fun, and the kids have been obsessed with it as well.

Esther watching Daddy's program.


And if you are at all interested in that sort of thing you can read about how he devveloped it here.

Daybook: August 11

Photobucket

Hosted by Peggy @ The Simple Woman

Outside My Window…Is a bright, sunny, chilly day.  Brr.  What happened to August?

I am thinking…that I seem to FINALLY be over all the sicknesses (first the cold/sinus infection, then a crazy stomach flu or whatever–no  one else got it so I think I ate something wrong–whatever it was I lost quite a bit of weight over it.)  And now I have tons of work to do to get caught up after being sick for a week and on vacation for a week before that.

I am thankful that…I have work to do, a cool day to do it, that the kids are playing happily, that my husband seems to finally be getting over the stupid cold thing.

From the kitchen…is blueberry pie, on plates, on the table, staining my kids and their clothes.  We made it last night and they ate it for breakfast.  Will post the recipe and pictures later (per request.)

I am wearing…my new favorite jeans, a black t-shirt with white cutout flowers and a hoodie–did I mention it is COLD.

I creating…a website in my head which I want to get on the computer soon, several sites for my kids, who also want to blog, another children’s book in my head and a little on paper, a new look for the girls’ room (Deb is an absolute inspiration when it comes to decorating while I am way more practically minded and only buy “useful” things), more work than I can possibly do in the near future but since I have been unable to work  for several days due to illness and vacation I am full of ideas.

I am going…to the store to pick up a cd holder for all of our movies–another idea inspired by Deb.  The kids HATE putting movies in their cases and I HATE having DVD’s everywhere.  Also going thrifting looking for actual curtains for the girls’ room and a bedspread for Rach.

I am reading…Thornyhold by Mary Stewart, again.  It is the book I reread when I want something light that I can read and put down at will.  I need some new books to read.

I am hoping…that my husband will be completely over this plague soon.

I am hearing…the fan, cars go by, my husband cough.

Around the house…there is still laundry to be  done and rooms to clean and tons of work to be done–being knocked out of commission for several days does that.

One of my favorite things…August (my husband’s and my birthday are within a few days of each other, and then school always started right after.)  A new pad of watercolor paper (which I desperately need to order).  Projects that take up all my thought.  A trip to the library with the kids.  Seeking out our fall wardrobes at the thrift shop (I love fashion mags and figuring out how to adapt thingss to our own personal styles and do it for super cheap.)  Watching movies with the kids (Rach and I have been watching the new Dr. Who–I LOVE that she shares my love of cheesy sci fi and can’t wait till she is old enough to watch Cowboy Bebop and Firefly with me. :))

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Fixing a friends broken website, working on my new site, getting the kids sites up and running.  Organizing around the house, getting caught up on laundry.  Working on new book idea, working on hubby and my joint project.  Making a set of paintings for a friend.  Getting the rest of the photos from our trip posted and organized.

Here is picture thought I am sharing

The Deadliest Disease

We have a nasty disease that runs in our family.

It is  very, very dangerous and very contagious.

It can be life threatening if not beat and it takes special measures, a strong constitution, and lots of grace to beat it.

It has killed the most healthy of adults, destroyed even the sweetest childhoods, and destroyed many marriages.

It opens the door to many other diseases including cancer, depression, heart attacks, and general poor health.

It has killed my grandmother, my grandfather, my other grandfather, my great grandmother, it helped to ruin my parents’ marriage, it has destroyed most of my dad’s relationships with family members.  On my mother’s side it has done plenty of damage, taking out most of my grandmother’s sisters, destroying their relationships with one another, and leading to the majority of those still alive being on anti-depressants.

My husband and I were alarmed to see the symptoms in our children and are taking steps to stop it in its tracks.

Yesterday we took drastic measures, declaring a 24 hour fast which will likely extend beyond the first 24 hours if we see it continuing.Read More