Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
* My Strengths
* My Top 5 Personals Classics
* Areas I Need to Strengthen
* Skills I Want/Need to Learn
* Books I Want to Read
* My Mission
I have sat down, many times, and have done some real soul searching, about what my mission is in this life. Every time I have pondered this ever important question, it always comes down to one, main thing...PARENTING. Up until now, when I would come to that conclusion...I would continue on searching, with the thought "But, there MUST be more than that!" I know many other people who have a clear idea of their missions in this life, and many of them involve something more than being a parent. I myself, have a few talents, which I will say, I am pretty good at. I write poetry, I dance (not as much as I used to, but there is still much I can offer. Tap is my ultimate favorite, and I grew up competing, performing and teaching.), I am an all-around creative girl, and I ADORE the foster care community, and am still in a position of influence there. (I facilitate a foster parent support group, in my community, once a month.) In essence, I have been putting a bit of pressure on myself, to be MORE than my Father in Heaven needs/wants me to be. (Does anyone besides me, sense that I have been trying to "keep up with the Jones', a little bit? LOL) Umm...yeah! :) Well, I read a few things yesterday, that have helped me understand my mission more fully! Nicholeen Peck has inspired me, yet again! I remembered, that at her seminar (which I attended a while ago), she mentioned something she calls a "Master Mission." You've got to check out her book here. All parents have a "Master Mission." A "Master Mission", combines these 8, individual missions:
1. Feed the Hungry
2. Clothe the Naked
3. Heal the Sick
4. Comfort the Lonely
5. Teach the Ignorant
6. Liberate the Captive
7. Create Beauty
8. Preach the Gospel
All I have ever wanted to be in my life, is a wife and a mother. And those 2 things are, in fact, the MOST important things I could be doing in my life!! If ever I feel overwhelmed, (Who? Me? Never!), it's okay. :) I have 8 reasons to be overwhelmed sometimes! (Technically, if you think about it, I have 40 reasons to be overwhelmed. I am doing all 8 things for 5 children...who I adore, by the way!) LOL But, here's the really great part! I have a personal Savior, even Jesus Christ, who will never leave me alone with this awesome responsibility. In fact, He has given me a wonderful husband, who is a wonderful father to our children! Where much is given, much is required...and I have been given SO much! My family is pretty special! I am surrounded by some of my Heavenly Father's most valiant spirits! So in the end, if all I ever do in this life, is to feed, clothe, heal, comfort, teach, liberate, create beauty and preach the gospel...I am okay with that! :) And if my children learn to do those things, then my mission is accomplished! I have learned that I have the power to influence generations...through them! That's one pretty sweet mission! Wow! :0)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Ingredient #38- The Central Classic
Ingredient #17- The Field Trip
Ingredient #16- The Binder
Ingredient #14- Summers
Ingredients #'s 6, 7 and 8- The 6 mo. Purge, The 6 mo. "No!" and The 6 mo. Inventory
I will let you know what I learn! :D)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Chore Certificates- I made a grid or "table" with 10 boxes across and 8 boxes down, for a total of 80 boxes. (So far, I have about 75 chores on the chart.) At the top, it says "Chore Certificate for_______. Add in the child's name. In each box, I have typed in a chore, skill or duty that I would like my children to learn as they grow. (Color Coded by subject or area of the home.) These chores, skills or duties are as follows.
Morning and Eve. Prayers Tidy Room Groomed, Dressed, Teeth Brushed
De-Clutter Bathroom Clean Bathroom Sink and Mirror Clean Tub Clean Toilet
Rinse Dishes Wash Dishes Load Dishwasher Unload Dishwasher Clear Table
Wipe and Polish Table Sweep Floor Spot Mop Floor Mop Floor
Wipe Down Counters Wipe Down Cupboards Wipe Down Oven Snack Prep
Cold Meal Prep Hot Meal Prep Baking w/Mom Follow Recipe
Clean Fridge Organize Drawers Organize Cupboards
Sort Laundry Fold and Put Away Laundry Load Washer Load Dryer
Wipe Down Washer and Dryer Bring Laundry Baskets up/down stairs
Self Care Grooming (these are for learning to care for their own skin, nails, hair, etc.)
Unload Groceries Wipe Down Pantry and Shelves Organize Canned Food Grocery List Prep
Help w/ shopping
Help plan FHE Memorize A of F (articles of faith) Scripture Mastery Read w/Parent
Write w/ Parent Learn Primary Songs Learn Hymns Personal Scripture Study
Tidy Backyard Pick Weeds Work in Garden Sweep Porches (front and back)
Spray Off Porches (front and back) Mow Lawn Rake Rocks
To Go Routine (everything to do before we go somewhere) Answer Phone Take a Message
Tidy Garage Deep Clean Fridge Clean Out Van Church Duties Keep Commitments Babysitting Lead Music Play Piano Play Guitar Public Speaking (obviously, this is our Misc. section)
The children receive a sticker in the box of each chore they have been "certified" in. This gives them that sense of accomplishment, while also helping me to remember which child needs to be taught how to do what. Another purpose of this chart will be to stave off any complaints of "I don't know how to do it!" Their chart will prove otherwise, and as parents, we will have a positive response to that complaint..."Look at your Chore Certificate! It says that you are an official and certified "Bed Maker", etc.!
Time Not Content Schedule-
Here, you will have to picture a simple schedule format, which we found as a template that someone had shared on MS Word (where you can click on "New Document"...instead, search through "schedules" down the left hand side and find one that will work for you. If you don't have MS Word, I am sure you can find something similar or create your own.) :) We have 4 categories listed on our schedule, and while it sounds complicated, it's very simple. We wanted a place to see a "basic" schedule that applies to every day (obviously, there will be little changes here and there), and we wanted to see our Weekly Schedule, and also a Morning Kidschool List and a list of topics to choose from for our Weekly Couples Gospel Study. So here's our schedule:
6 a.m. Mom up, prayers, scriptures, grooming, tidy room, etc. (Kids also up on Weds. due to early therapy)
6:30 a.m. (Flush lines, and un-hook feeds for babes)
7 a.m. Kids Morning Routine (prayers, beds, teeth, dressed--Baths if needed)
(7 :30 a.m.--Breakfast for kids on Weds.)
8 a.m. Breakfast/Clean Up/ Morning Meds./Life Skills (On Weds. Therapy Begins)
9 a.m. Kidschool (this is where our Morning Kidschool List comes in as follows: Prayer, Pledge, Song, Scripture, Devotional, Shout Out/Motto. These things are listed in a small box off the right side of our basic schedule.)
10 a.m. Family Work til' Noon (lunch time) (on Weds. til' 11:30- lunchtime due to more therapy)
12:30 p.m. Nap time for the Babes/ Quiet Time for 7 and 5 1/2 yr. olds)
1:30 Free Time Begins and lasts til' 4:30 p.m. (or starting at 2:30 when therapy ends on Wed.)
4:30 p.m. Dinner Prep for Kids (quick clean, wash hands, set table)
5 p.m. Dinner/Clean Up
6 p.m. Unstructured Family Time for 30 min.
6:30 p.m. Family Reading Time (30 min.) if on Friday--Family Game Time for 1 hour
7 p.m. Bedtime Routine: Obedience Bugs (affectionately called Bugs and Kisses at our house, since they get a Hershey Kiss if they earned their bug for the day), Hoorays (we take turns cheering each other on for jobs well done that day), Beans (add more beans to our Bean Counter jar), Prayer, Scriptures, Brush Teeth, Jammies, Med.'s, Tuck In
7:45 p.m. Hook up babes to feeding pumps (tube feeds to start no later than 8 p.m.)
On Weds. evenings after babes feeds are hooked up, we will have Couples Gospel Study for 30 min. (This is listed in a box on the right side of our basic schedule) Gospel Study Topics include:
Faith Charity Joy Nature of God Atonement of Christ Sacrifice Service Obedience Fasting and Prayer Baptism Sacrament Repentence Creation Exaltation Free Agency Gratitude Immortality and Eternal Life Forgiveness Grace Happiness Inspiration Justice and Mercy Love Light of Christ Marriage Reverence Worship Zion
Our Weekly Schedule is a list of things that need to occur on specific days of every week. For example:
Sunday: Church from ___ to___. FEC from 4-4:30 p.m. Mentor Sessions (5-10 min./child) One hour total...til' 5:30 p.m.
Monday: FHE 6-6:30 p.m.
Tues., Weds., Thurs.: Family Reading Time 6-6:30 p.m.
Friday: Family Game Night 6-7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Date Night from ____to ____.
Obedience Bugs Chart
Create a Grid with enough boxes down the left side, for each child in your family, and 3 boxes to the side of each. This will give you a box down the side, for each child's name, and three boxes NEXT to each child's name, enough to allow for three strikes for each child. I created the strikes to look like the symbol from the title of the movie "Ghostbuster's"...a circle with a diagonal line through the middle. You could really use whatever shape you wanted to. On MS Word, there's a place to "insert shape", where I just placed enough on one piece of paper, so that everyone has their own. The important part, is that each child be assigned their own color of strikes, to match the color of their name down the side. This way, it's easy to see from across the room, if you need to remind a child to check and see how many "strikes" they have. This helps in our family a lot! Sometimes, a glance at the chart is all it takes to turn a child's behavior around. So the idea of course, is three strikes and you're out...or three strikes and then you lose your Obedience Bug for the day. (see post titled Priority Review, for more info.) We laminated our chart and the strikes...cut the strikes out, applied sticky-back magnet to each box and each strike, and created a paper strip with magnet on it, to store strikes that haven't been given. It hangs on the wall in our kitchen, which can be seen from our living room. Viola! It is working great for our family! When the kids earn their Bugs and Kisses at the end of the day, they choose which color cotton puff "Bug" they want and put it into a ziplock bag. (Eventually, I'd like to have small, plastic jars for each of them to keep their bugs in.) On Saturday evenings, we count their bugs and if they have collected 7, then they get to choose a "Great Reward"...a small candy bar or other treat.
If I can get my computer to cooperate later today, I will share these items with you! Until then, I hope these descriptions help you see in your mind's eye, what the plan is! :D)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
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)
Monday, July 19, 2010
1. I grew up dancing, competing and performing. I took dance at my aunt's dance studio and loved it. My favorite is tap, and I even used to teach lessons. I also used to teach country dance lessons and loved that too! I have thought about maybe starting a little dance class on my back porch or something, if the interest is ever there. My favorite place to dance though, is still in the living room with my husband and kids, gettin' down and being silly!
2. I write poetry. I wrote my first poem when I was 9 years old, in third grade, about Christmas. I have dreams of becoming a published poet, someday, which would be pretty great! I will share a short poem, here. I wrote this poem when I was a Beehive advisor in young women's. I wrote it to go along with a lesson about prayer.
Invitation to Pray
In a land called Hurry, there lived a fair maiden;
Whose life was so busy, with chores she was laden.
Each day would begin just the same as the last,
She'd jump out of bed and right into her tasks;
With no thought of her Father who watched from above
with His arms full of blessings to give her with love.
Trough her day she would carry the stress of days gone,
Too concerned with herself to help others go on.
In the hours of dusk at the hurried day's end,
she came in from the world really needing a friend.
But too tired from rushing about here and there,
she went off to bed without even a care.
As she woke the next morning to start her routine,
she noticed something she'd not before seen.
A beautiful scroll in the shade of pure gold.
It was tied with a ribbon of red, bright and bold.
As she read what it said she fell straight to her knees;
An invitation to pray from the King of all Kings!
As she spoke with her Father of wonderful things,
she felt joy that only a quiet prayer brings.
Now each day in the morning, she kneels before standing,
seeking wisdom and knowledge and great understanding.
At night she prays too, thanking Him for her day,
and excited to hear what her Father will say.
Copyright Ranee Hansen 2004 Please do not copy or use without permission
3. My great grandmother has always referred to herself as a "kitchen table architect", and I like to think that I have received some of her wisdom. I am a pretty creative girl, and love coming up with new ideas to make life fun and easy! I like giving gifts that are homemade or that I have put together, for others.
4. I absolutely ADORE my and husband my children! They are amazing and wonderful and so strong! My kids are my heroes and my hubby is my knight in shining armor. If I am smart, I will try to soak up every bit of wisdom and love that they have for me! I am so blessed to call them mine!
5. I have a secret "bucket list" (you know, stuff ya' wanna' do before you kick the bucket), that includes things like: take a cake decorating class, take a painting class, visit Nauvoo and take the whole tour ( Mr. Man went on his mission to Illinois, so he would be the perfect tour guide...plus he's HOT! Did I just say that??? Yep, I did!), learn to sew and quilt better than what my "kitchen table architect" skills allow, become a chef or baker, etc.
6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hilary Weeks ! Her music is so uplifting and inspiring and I sing it at the top of my lungs in the bath or when I am home by myself. She has a qwerky side to her too, which is so fun! I once saw a video of her singing a song to the tune of "My Favorite Things", where she just kept listing "Naptime, and bedtime, and naptime, and bedtime" over and over again! It was great! I also LOVE Cherie Call! My 2 favorite songs of hers are "Delivery" (I think of Cuddle Bugs birth mother) and Prayers in a Car. (Oh, and also Family Tree, and a song entitled No. Seriously...WAY GOOD!)
7. I am SO grateful that I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I have known from a very young age, that the gospel is true! I am grateful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to have a personal relationship with Him, so much so, that I always feel like He is listening only to me! Sometimes I talk to Him, when I am driving home from somewhere by myself. (see Cherie Call, above) (Eyes open, of course). I know He hears my prayers and sometimes I picture Him cracking up at all the zany ways of Ranee. I am confident the Heavenly Father has the BEST sense of humor, EVER! I am ever grateful for my life, as hard as it is sometimes, and for the joy and the learning and the movement of it all. With a life like mine, I am definitely not standing still. I just keep striving to stay on His path!
So here are some of my very favorite blogs to read! (There are SO many more!) Check them out!
Cinder Mountain Scholars
Life with 8 Children
The Lazy Organizer
The Baker Bunch
Nie Nie Dialogues
So, you blog authors get to pass this along to some of the blogs you love - here are the Steps:
Step 1: Thank the person who gave this to you
Step 2: Write 7 things about yourself
Step 3: Pass this along to some of the blogs you love
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I have decided this past few weeks, that my life is hard! (I know...oh BOO HOO!) Many people in my life have told me that I CHOSE for my life to be hard, by doing foster care, adopting children (some of whom have special needs), home schooling, etc. I have adamantly disagreed with that statement. Life is just hard. It is supposed to be this way...for each and every one of us! We are meant to learn hard lessons and go through the Refiner's Fire, to become who we are meant to be. I am of the opinion that I could have made completely different choices in my life, and it still would have been hard. I can honestly say, that my attitude toward adversity in my life, has usually been "What can I learn from this trial, so that it will not have been in vain?", or "Love conquers all!" But lately, I haven't had such a great attitude. I have been feeling sorry for myself and my circumstances, and I have all but stopped trying to find the joy in life. It hasn't been fun! It has been downright miserable and discouraging some days. Frankly, I am just plain tired! And I find that there are a lot of questions going through my mind, at any given moment. For example:
Why do I feel like life is always getting away from me?
Why can't Sundays be easier for our family?
Why the need for constant tweaking of family systems?
Why can't life slow down for 2 seconds?
Why does life have to be so hard for some of my kiddo's?
Why do I always feel inadequate as a wife and mother?
Why am I so focused on the negative things, lately? Ugh!
Why do I wake up some days and think "Wait a minute, Huh?, What?"
Am I the only one who feels this way?
You get the picture. Why, when I try so hard, to be cheerful and happy about the day to day things, do I still get so discouraged? Have any of you ever felt so unqualified for life, sometimes? Cuz, I gotta' tell ya', that I have asked the Lord a time or two, if He is really, truly sure that I am the right woman for the job! I know He answers prayers, but sometimes life gets too crazy to hear all the answers! It's very frustrating! I guess my cup is just running on empty. And it is SO hard to think that there might be another person in this world who understands! I think, for our family, that life is kind of like one big trial! You don't get a break from the chronic health issues of a child. You don't get a break from doctors appointments and therapies and medicines and treatments. The "Every Day Grind" repeats itself again the next day. It gets hard to keep going! Thank heaven for a wonderful husband who keeps my fridge stocked with a never ending supply of dark chocolate, or I just might go crazy! :D In fact, I am pretty sure I have been to "Crazy" a few times. It's just not as fun when you go there by yourself. Anyone wanna' come with me, next time? :0)
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Ladybug will be seeing a rheumatologist this Friday, to address issues of chronic pain in her limbs, and other issues that have plagued her life. We are praying SO hard, that this appointment will lead to some answers and some help for her! While we are always grateful for test results, etc. which tell us what the problem ISN'T, we are particularly praying for answers that will lead us to understand what IS happening to her. She has been poked so many times. She has had at least 4 or 5 sleep studies. She is fed through a G-tube and doesn't eat much by mouth at all. She has had so many tests and doctor's visits and hospital stays...we have honestly lost count. Many have asked why we don't just stop all the testing. We actually had decided to stop testing her for a little while, but it is truly heart breaking to watch her struggle with all of these issues she has. As parents, we can't just stand by and do nothing. We want to get to the heart of the issues, so that we can help her have the best quality of life, possible. And we also know that faith without works is dead. We are trying to do our part, so that we can ask in faith, for Heavenly Father to pour out His measure of blessings upon her. Please add your faith to ours, for our sweet Ladybug!
Wiggle Bug had an earlier than usual appointment with his orthopedist today, because he has been having pain in his hips, hamstrings, knees and heel cords, etc. As many of you know, he (along with Ladybug and Snug-a-Bug) has Cerebral Palsy. I didn't expect to hear the answer to doctor gave today, for his pain. He said that his heel cords, and hamstrings are tighter, by far, than they were 9 mos. ago when he last saw him. The range of motion in his ankles is completely gone. He said that it is likely that Wiggle Bug will need a surgery to lengthen his heel cords and possibly one of his hamstrings, or at the least, he will need Botox injections to help with the tightness. We would ask for your faith and prayers for this sweet, little man! He has also dealt with many physical challenges in his young life, and we pray that the prescribed stretching that is to be done in physical therapy, will help the tightness and range of motion in his limbs, to improve and give him some relief from the pain, so that surgery won't be necessary. His little body amazes me! From birth, he has been such a fighter...having had heart surgery, cranial surgery and other surgeries, and being G-tube fed, etc. His birth mother was told he wouldn't live to be a year old. He is certainly meant to be here, that's for sure!
Thank you for your love and prayers for our family, and in particular, for our 2 sweethearts! Your love and support are a strength to us!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
* FEC (We like to call it a family executive council) We need to put this into habit.
* Our 3 month Family Planning System (for planning goals and making them happen) We need to review this and see what we've accomplished and what is left to work on!
* Regular study of our Central Classic- The Book of Mormon (it's not happening regularly)
* Kidschool (We need to structure our time even better)
* Job Training (or chore training) is actually going quite well. It's time to move on to some more job training!
The great news is that we have come up with 2 new things that are helping with praising and obedience in our family! The first one is the Bean Counter Game. We have a large pickle jar and a gallon ziplock bag of pinto beans. We have been having fun awarding beans for great behavior, great acts of service, silly fun, memorizing articles of faith, scriptures or songs, and everything in between! I love it because it reminds us to focus on the positive things we all say and do! It's working really well! The second thing we have created, is a system for rewarding obedience, that we call Obedience Bugs. ( This idea originated from an idea my friend Nanette uses with her family. We just tweaked it to fit the needs of our family, and made it our own. Thanks for inspiring me, Nanette!) We bought some multi-colored craft cotton balls and the kids each have their own container with their name on it. If they are obedient for the day, then they can earn an Obedience Bug and a Hug or a Kiss (Hershey's). Obviously, there are 7 possible Bugs for the week. If they struggle through the day, and are not obeying well, they earn a Strike. Once they get 3 strikes for the day, they lose their Obedience Bug and their Hershey candy for that day. (We will have a little board where we keep track of strikes for the day.) If they lose even one of their obedience bugs, they forfeit the "Great Reward" (their choice of one thing chosen out of a treat bag) that is given at the end of each week. BUT they still have the opportunity to earn a Hershey Hug or Kiss on a daily basis for the rest of the days in the week. We thought about basing the "Great Reward" on one day at a time instead of a full week, but decided that our main goal is to inspire our children to be obedient every day in order to earn a "Great Reward". Throughout the day, when one of the children is struggling to be obedient, I can remind them to look at their Strike Chart to see how close they are to losing their Obedience Bug for the day. We will officially start this on Sunday, since it's the beginning of a new week. I will keep you posted about this works out for our family!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I have been learning more about 2 great ingredients in Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. The first one being Summers (Ingredient # 14, pg. 94), and the second one being The Cleaning Time (Ingredient #30, pg. 121). " Summers are for family, especially work projects, evening work and family activities." As many of you have probably done, we have re-vamped our daily schedule, for the summer. It is just too hot to play outside in the afternoons, so our children have play time in the mornings while breakfast is prepared, and then after our meal, we have family work and chores and then continue on with the rest of our day. I was happy to read that "Summers are a good time to sweat..." Good...we have that one covered! Whew! One concept that I had failed to see before, is that in the summer time, evening work is really important. Evenings are also for inspiring. (See more in ingredient #12, pg. 85) "It is still a good idea to have a great book going, through perhaps only one to four evenings a week instead of six or seven like in winter." The trick must be, to be able to make time for each of these things. Evenings at our house are filled with bedtime routines, medications being given and tube feedings being started, but even in our own small way, I know that we can add an evening cleaning routine to be inspired by! I am going to give some more thought to this and see what we can come up with! In reference to The Cleaning Time (ingredient #30, pg. 121), there is a part that speaks specifically to families that have young children only. It says "Get the children to pick up all their projects immediately when they finish and before moving on to anything else-run it like a Montessori classroom where there is a spot for everything and children must put things back before getting out anything new." We have done this in our home, and have found it to be quite successful. Our children are learning to take turns choosing activities, and to be patient when it is someone else's turn to choose. Our oldest recently turned 7 years old. We have seen him take small steps toward exploring what a Love of Learning looks like. In Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning, it says"...Love of Learners need to be trained to do jobs well, so we recommend that Mom be released from cleaning and instead be given a training and supervisory role only..." We recently devised a way to keep track of "Job Training" in our family. I still work alongside the children, but I came up with a simple chart, with the names of the children across the top, and the chores listed down the side. As I have trained the children in each specific chore, I just check off the box below their name. This way, we are able to see at a glance, which jobs a child can handle by themselves, and which jobs they still need help with or have yet to learn. In keeping with our decision to teach our children self-government, we have also come up with a list of "extra chores" and "major maintence's" for helping them learn to govern their behavior. "...cleaning time can can be a fast, efficient chore that you get out of the way without much concern. The key is getting in touch with what makes sense for the size and makeup of your family." What ingredients have you been studying lately?