So, one can only feel sorry for themselves for so long. Today...I am over it! Tomorrow...I am praying that I'll still be over it, but one can never be too sure. So, just in case, I have given myself a good dose of work and planning today! Nothing can take me out the doldrums (is that how you spell it?) faster than some hard work for the body and mind. A sense of accomplishment is so good for the soul!
So, here's what I have been up to! Remember the Obedience Bugs system we have created for our family? Well, I am happy to report that it is actually working, even for Luv Bug! (We had thought it wasn't going to work for her, in the beginning.) Behavior's don't escalate like they used to due to a visual reminder of how the system works, and the positive re-enforcement is working wonders on all of our attitudes! (see my post entitled "Priority Review" for more information.) Well anyway, we decided to post a copy of the "Self- Government" cards, next to our "Strike" chart, to remind us as parents, of the best way to help our children learn to govern themselves. (Nickoleen Peck is truly inspired! I recently went to a seminar and heard her speak, and won a set of these awesome cards. Check out her book A House United.) The Obedience Bugs chart, coupled with the Bean Counter Game is also really helping us find some balance in our family government system.
I have created a "Job Training" certificate for each child to help inspire them to learn how to do chores. As they become "certified" in each chore on the chart, they get a sticker. This way, they feel a sense of accomplishment, and I have a visual reminder of what to be working on with each child. We figured that we couldn't be giving extra chores as consequences for a sour character, if the children didn't know how to do those chores, but once the kids start learning how to work and learning how to obey, then the we will better be able to teach them to govern themselves and to develop their "self -discipline muscle". It has been so great as a mother, to watch my children find joy and self-esteem through work and service! I am excited to work on "pre-teaching" with them this week, also!
Today the kids and I went through all of their toys again (where do they keep coming from?) and we did another toy purge! Do you know how cool it is, when the kids are actually HAPPY to get rid of toys??? It is seriously awesome! They went through and decided amongst themselves which things were junk or that they didn't play with anymore, and which things to keep. We went from two toy boxes in the living room, down to one. I am giddy with happiness and joy! We also talked a little more, about our plan to make birthdays more about awesome family experiences instead of all about toys! Each of the children are excited to find a fun museum to visit for their birthday celebrations this next year! I can't wait! Just our family, a great learning environment, a camera, a cake, and a toy or two.
I spent some time last night, printing up a "Structure Time, Not Content" daily schedule for our family. The schedule includes an outline for our morning routine, our evening routine, our weekly schedule (FEC on Sundays from 4 - 4:30 p.m., FHE on Mondays from 6 - 6:30 p.m., etc.) and topics for Pete and I to learn about in our couples weekly gospel study. We have also set aside some weekly, unstructured family time, some family reading time and have been sure to include scheduled free time each day. We will have a schedule posted upstairs and one posted downstairs, to help remind us about the things that need to occur on a weekly basis.
To top it all off...Pete and I had our quarterly Family Planning Meeting yesterday, where we reviewed the goals for last quarter, removed some, added others, and set a good plan in motion for the next 3 months. Here are the annual goals we came up with to work on as a family this year! (Our quarterly goals change as needed, to help us in attaining these goals):
* Learn to Work
* Learn to love each other and be peacemakers
* Find joy in being together
*Become like Jesus Christ
So...that's the plan! :0)