Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Housekeeping

Personal Life

Yesterday was our 26th anniversary.    When my husband and I were first engaged we used to talk about the day when we would have been married longer than we had lived apart.  That day actually came about 4 years ago for me and 2 years ago for my husband but it never gets old, does it?  Perhaps we will get old but our marriage partakes of eternity, for better or for worse.  I love that "for better or for worse" that came with our marriage promises because it is like a covenant.  God blessed our marriage and made it fruitful and I trust that He will continue to be with us and that we can reflect that commitment through our own commitment to permanence.

This week also is the week that our second-born turns 23.   So now I have two kids older than I was when I got married.    This boy has been going to college locally and staying at home but this year he will be moving up to Oregon to transfer into university there.

Last Monday I talked about progress and plans.   So here's the update:

The Homeschool

We finished Paddy's K12 year and are now officially in summer break.   I love the freedom of that milestone even though (1) "school" has been trickling to a close for some time now and (2) we usually continuing learning all summer, doesn't everyone?  But it does mean a change of pace..... more time outside, some travels and visits, larger blocks of time to devote to bigger projects.    I love this kind of thing.  My challenge is to bring my poor kids alongside my immersions rather than just escape into my happy little world of organizing or crafts or writing or fitness projects or whatever.

I said I was going to plan.   Well, I did, sort of.   What I realized is that I am going to want to observe my kids and make lists.  I don't want the summer to just drift by.    In relation to that I was just revisiting some posts by Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things.   She writes beautiful lists.

(I like this post because it reminds me how important it is to observe one's kids as they are rather than through a prescriptive haze of what I want them to be or what I want to do with them -- I often forget to really look at them and be with them).  So in order to plan I want to write lists.  I am trying to approach this in an intentional and intuitional way, rather than a comprehensive way.  When I think of something, I'll just write it down.

Last Monday, I wrote about my 15 year old being in some respects "ready to graduate".  Erin asked me what I meant by that, what I thought showed that a kid was ready.  I thought that was worth a whole post so I'm thinking about it, but right now let me say I was thinking in minimalistic terms.  Not so much what is theoretically optimal, but at what point a person basically has "enough" competence to go with.   In the past an 8th grader was considered basically educated in that he had the tools to go on with.  That didn't mean that learning stopped there but that in some respects it could start there.   I think you can have the basic academic skills in place by the time you are about 12 but there's a new cognitive level that seems to fall into place at a slightly older age than 12.   In history, it was the rare 12 year old who could go out into the world and make his way, but many 15 or 16 year olds were able to do just that.   So that is the way I was thinking of it, but this is already getting too long so I do hope to write that post and also would like to hear comments on whether that seems true or not.


  • Less time on computer (all of us).
  • Develop a  flexible daily rhythm for summer that includes reading time, writing time, and time outside.
  • Gathering for family meals (and less eating between meals). 

The House

  • I planted some more seeds!  Now I have lettuce, onions, green beans, and spinach.   I also bought some strawberry plants at the mountain nursery.  I already talked about that.   Our deck is covered with boxes of various sizes and shapes.   So this week I hope to remember to water them and in general take care of them.  Aidan is really interested in the process.
  • I also got the clothesline and bought some paint supplies.  
  • This week I am going to start painting the entryway.  That should interest Aidan.  
  • We have several appointments down in town in the next couple of weeks. ... dental, therapeutic, and organizational (to do with Aidan's case management as a disabled child).   That will get a lot of things out of the way at least for the next few months.  
  • I'm going to extend my curriculum closet goal, which I was procrastinating on, to include a general inventory and organization of all our books.  The kids' bookshelves out in the loft particularly need attention, as they always do this time of year.    I plan to bring a notebook and make lists of what I might want to use next year and what we might need.
  • We have a lot of junk outside under our deck that we want to bring to the dump, so I'm going to start the process with that this week.   
  • Also, I want to tackle the garage.  
  • I also want to get the kids started raking the yard and piling needles and so on.  Fire breaks are important up here in fire country.  My husband is going to get a permit for burning the slash.    Aidan will love this too.
All this may take me through the next two weeks.

The Kitchen

  • I did start making breakfast the evening before at least part of the time.  This works well because it's hotter in the house so evening's a better time to bake. 
  • We didn't do lunch on the deck but there is always this week.    We did spend more time out there because there is more out there to do.  
  • Renew my old meal rotation.   Basically I used to have a rotation that went something like this:
Meal Rotation

Monday-- Mexican food -- tacos or burritos, Mexican salad etc. 
Tuesday -- grill or slow cooker, depending on season, with grilled or steamed vegetables.
Wednesday -- pasta and garlic bread and side meat. 
Thursday --   stirfry and rice
Friday  -- meatless -- usually some kind of fish.
Saturday  -- some kind of sandwich thing, and a salad or potatoes
Sunday  --  pizza

Occasionally -- leftovers, or breakfast for dinner.

This routine worked well because I could vary it depending on what we had around the house.  For example, you could have chicken quesadillas on Mexican night, or pork enchiladas with green sauce, or just ground beef tacos if you're in a hurry.  I still sort of use the rotation mentally but it's nice to have it laid out so there aren't so many decisions. 

Health and Fitness

  • Bad food week for me last week.   My downfall is the evening.   Perhaps a habit of no food after 6 pm might be good.
  • I used to exercise in the afternoon and evening but now those are the hottest times of the day, so I should plan to bike and read in the morning.
  • I am really trying to lost those extra pounds without using scales and food journals but I am not sure if I am going to be able to make it work.  

Other Plans

  • I've decided it would be better to do my writing either before the kids get up or else later in the day.  When I work in the morning it has a  bad effect because the kids sort of run wild and the house falls apart while I work. 
  • Look into Boy Scouts for Paddy.
  • Start writing out calendars for later summer and fall.   With kids involved in various things more planning is required.  It's complicated because a lot of things have a Plan A and Plan B, so it's hard to keep in my head.
  • Get beach permit.  
  • Combine Morning Time with deck time?
  • Return K12 supplies and equipment.  
  • List discarded books for sale or trade, or put in box for Goodwill or library sales.


  1. Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on graduation:) btw what is a beach permit?

  2. Hi Erin, I meant a beach pass -- you have to pay either by visit or for the season.

  3. this helps us cath up on YOU :)

  4. happy anniversary! I love everything you wrote here! Especially the summer habits (ditto!) and the meal rotation. I'm so bored and numbed by meal planning right now. I go through phases like this and then I get re-inspired. So that meal rotation really helped me!

  5. Chari, I love that you would read this and write a reply from Hawaii!

    Faith, I'm glad you liked the meal rotation -- yes, sometimes I love experimenting and sometimes I like just having something I can count on, so having a basic outline helps with that!


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!