I’ve said all summer that I was already looking forward to school starting again because we need the schedule.  Now it’s upon us and I’m realizing the work involved in getting us all back on schedule!!!!!  Now don’t get me wrong, I love starting back to school, ordering the books, buying school supplies, a few new outfits for the kids, and opening a brand new planbook, but the work involved in getting six schedules worked out in a manageable fashion has me spinning.  I’m learning to prioritize – my schedule, then the teens, then the youngest kids, then activities for the toddler.  If I’m off track, then everyone else will be.  I’ve also considered sitting down with my two oldest and explaining the process:  “By the 15th of December, you must have ___# of math lessons finished.  Your individual work time (meaning not family learning time) will be from ___ to ____ during the day.  Work it out.  I’ll check your progress each week and you must have it finished or privileges will be removed….”  Takes some of the burden off of me, gives them opportunity to show some responsibility, and is more like the real world.  The two littles and the toddler do fine with whatever I come up with.  I’ve been saving bookmarks of do a dot worksheets and pre-school pages for the toddler, so he will have plenty of “school” to do.  If I try the “TPY” = Teenager, Plan yourself – I’ll let you know how it goes.  Wish me luck, I’m trying to have the first semester planned out by Friday.  Hopefully my last four packages of books will arrive before then.

Getting close to laying the floor in the kitchen.  This week is moving out the pantry cabinet and the chrome rack that holds much of our food.  Have decided to do a great big purge in there before we move stuff.  I have lots of things that aren’t being used regularly, that I purchased thinking they would be nice to have.  Now, having a vintage saladmaster hand cranked food slicer/dicer is pretty cool, and if the world came crashing down and we had to live off the grid, it would make chopping large amounts of vegetables easier, but a knife would do the same job and take up 1/15th of the space….. Ooh, this kind of thinking could be revolutionary.

I’ve been painting.  Not all originals, but I’ve taken some samples of things I like and done my own twist on them.  I can’t get my photos to load right now, so pictures will have to wait.  I’m very happy with how things have turned out.  In fact, after painting for a couple of hours yesterday (bliss!!!) my children joined me at the table.  Well, they wanted to create too, so we got out a Dover coloring book that was full of “stained glass” drawings of birds.  They are heavy lined black drawings on some type of vellum paper.  We drew and colored for an hour together, and there was no squabbling, lots of “please pass the”, and encouragement at how beautiful everyone’s drawings were.  I could have cried it was such a beautiful night.  Plus, I have their beautiful stained glass birds as a keepsake.

Gifts List 8/9/11:  Stained glass birds colored in peace and love, painting time, rain, cooler temperatures, visits from friends and family, SM’s sweet words of encouragement on the phone, simplifying life, back to school jitters, new school supplies, blessing my children and being blessed by them in return, being married to my best friend, my craft room full of possibilities, getting to use my gifts to beautify my home, didn’t get struck by lightning last night while trying to get towels off the line in the rain!, Luke calling her “girl Dee” instead of Aunt Dee – thanks Kasey for marrying a Kayci and confusing your nephew!, realizing how small the world truly is, Tess & Sophia already working on math for the year and being so excited about it,  the possibility of a brand new planbook, and the smell of new crayons.