Monday, September 1, 2008


Today is officially our "last" day of vacation. Dad goes back to work tomorrow, and the rest of us must get the house back in order so that we can get back on a regular schedule next Monday. My younger siblings will be starting school then.

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the work we've done in the past three weeks:

Our first project was painting all the window shutters. The change to white really brightens up the exterior of the house.

Then we stained the deck. Aren't these little feet adorable?

The most time-consuming project was the kitchen. Here are the boys and Dad putting up new drywall after the old stuff has been torn out.

After such an irregular schedule for almost a month, it's hard to get back into things. I've become completely thrown off. Everything from doing dishes and making supper to waking up at the proper time have suddenly become difficult. Ugh.

But today is the day to sit down and write out a schedule for the new school year. Even though I'm no longer in school, what the rest of my family is doing affects me. My life and activities are woven into the school schedule.




Honestly, do y'all have any suggestions for creating a schedule that works? From past experience, these are a few things I've learned:

~ Don't write micro-detailed lists. They are impossible to follow, and discouraging.

~ Do have a written schedule. Leaving it all in my head makes it easier to disregard it.

~ Do balance physically active things with "head work." It healthier for the mind, body, and spirit.

~ Do make a list of priorities; things I absolutely MUST do. Then list things I WANT to do, that I believe will improve me. Then make a third list; things I'd LIKE to do for fun. Then sit down and work things into a blank schedule, starting with the first list, and not moving to the second list until the entire first list is incorporated. I've never yet made a schedule that had room for all the things on my third list, but that's okay. Sometimes I even have to leave out things from the second list.

~ Do put the written schedule in an easy-access place. If it's buried in a top drawer under old letters, papers, and hair brushes, it will never be used.

~ Don't make a schedule without involving mother! It just won't work. You'll end up planning to go somewhere when she needs you at home.

~ Do leave blank spaces on the schedule, for those things that always pop up.

~ When doing things such as sewing, computer-time, or reading, when it's easy to loose track of the time...KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME!

~ Pray before creating the schedule.

~ Put similar activities on the same day, so it is easier to dress for the day; for example, if I know I'll get hot, sweaty and filthy doing a certain garden chore, I will plan to also clean the rabbit cages that day, since I'll already be in work clothes.

~ Don't fill a schedule with things just for me. Leave room for time to minister to others. Leave time to bake something for someone. Leave time to watch the little ones if Mom needs to go somewhere. Ask in advance, if practical, so I can accurately plan for as many of these things as possible.

Okay, now I've made myself sound like a know-it-all, I suppose. The truth is, I'm not. Even if I was, that's nowhere near as good as being a DO-it-all. Doing it is my problem.

And here I am, typing on the computer, when I have some other things to do. I'd better go. But I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on making schedules, and sticking to them. Remember, all this is so that we can obey Ephesians 5:15-17:

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."


Sarah said...

The newly painted shutters look so nice, Amber! Great job!

Just this morning I was thinking about schedules as I need to rework mine and get back into following it! With these thoughts in my mind, to come to your blog and see this post was encouraging! The points that you shared will be a help as I set up my schedule again and attempt to stick to it. ;) So thank you for sharing!

Amber said...

Thanks, Sarah. It took longer than I thought it would, but I was pleased with the end results.

It's it neat how God will bring certain subjects to our minds over and over again? I hope your schedule works out well. Thanks for the encouragement.

Leah said...

You made some very good points on scheduling Amber, things that I think I've learned at one time and then tend to forget. :) I don't know of anything to add to it except for the verse that helps me to stay focused in life.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:33)

Amber said...

Thanks, Leah. I needed that verse.