These three weeks that S and B will be in Music Camp are my time for really delving into organizing, cleaning and preparing to start up formal studies the week after we get home from vacation.
So far I've:
1) Gotten a new planner, MomAgenda, which I really like! http://www.momagenda.com/products.cfm?cID=17&pID=48
2) A new fridge-magnetic blank weekly schedule: You can see a picture of it here: http://www.robinmaguire.com/new/rm_ed_main.html?category=Everyday&subcategory=Party%20Imprintables
3) I also have a blank to do list pad stuck to the fridge for jotting down needed groceries as we realize we need them, reminder to myself, etc.
4) I got a desk top file box (pretty bamboo, so it looks nice on my desk) where I can file things according to child or subject matter.
5) I've cleaned out the fridge and the pantry and the bread drawer!
6) I have mostly cleaned or somewhat organized my books in the study, but this is not quite done completely. Hopefully today will be the day to finish that up.
7) I've cleaned out the mud room and gotten all the many shoes and gloves, scarves etc cleaned and sorted. Many went into give away. That is another errand I need to do, a trip to Good Will. Though I just remembered that the National Children's Center Truckis coming by on Tuesday. So nix Good Will for now.
8) I cleaned through the dining room credenza and now 4 out of five children have their own 'cubbies' Josh's cubbie is really a milk crate (same as he used last year). Will has once section of the credenza, Sean - another and Becky the last section. Hanny will have to keep her books up in her room. I want to help her organize her room a little so that she doesn't keep loosing her books as she did last year.
9) Organization Binder: I've also cleaned through my O.B. - took out the old calendar and updated the daily chore schedule. I also stole, lock, stock and barrel, Willa's list for seasonal things to do, http://heartofhome.blogspot.com/2006/01/seasonal-job-checklist.html
10) Yesterday on the way to Mass, R and I (and H too) talked about how our morning routine will go. R wanted to meet daily with the teens at 7:00 a.m. While I admire the spirit of this, I think it is entirely unrealistic, as the only thing that gets dear R out of bed at that time is a)a plane flight or 2)a meeting with clients. Nothing else is important enough to give up his sleep! Not that I want to discourage him or anything. But I said that I thought it would be wonderful and so incredibly helpful if he met with the teens on Monday mornings at 7:45 a.m. to go over their duties/deadlines/activities for the week. We'll see. I really want to hand oversight of the older teens over to him.
11) Also yesterday, I got up early and decluttered the kitchen island and table. I was feeling so disgusted at how junky and dirty everything looked. Then in my mind I just focused on keeping those two spots clear. Everytime I walked through there (which is all the time) instead of ignoring it or thinking that I'd take care of it later, I would pick up one or two things. I unloaded the dishwasher so that everytime someone had a dish or cup I'd tell them to put it into the dishwasher right away. I also called backed J and H to clean up after themselves. I was so pleased! The island and table looked so good all day!
12) This inspired me to make up a Habit of the Week and tape it over my desk to remind me and others. The sign says: Habit of the Week: Regular Tidy Up Times. Then it goes on to say when those tidy up times should be: a couple of minutes each morning in the bedroom to make beds and neaten. A general tidy up time before or after lunch in the kitchen and family room. An evening tidy up time (kitchen, family room, basement) and finally, all the things that accumulate on the stairs should be taken up as everyone goes to bed.
13) We got our quarter cow on Saturday. So I won't need to buy beef for the next 5 months or so. That forced me to clean out the freezer in the garage. So I feel very togther about that! It is so satisfying to open the freezer and see one big box of ground beef and one of roasts and one of steaks, etc.
14) I've definitely been better about mail: throwing out the junk mail right away, sorting it and making R aware of what's come in that he might be interested in. Alas, we did not get through all the mail on my desk. And he is leaving for San Franscisco tonight for the week.
Today: finish the study, do a recycling run if necessary, work on chapter. Also we need to finish learning the Greek alphabet before we go on vacation. So that means we need to learn 6 more letters this week and the final six next week. So I'm going to focus on that.
Alright, it is past due time for me to get B and S up, pack their lunches, feed them breakfast and get them off to music camp. They stayed up so late last night though. Rick wanted to finish reading the sequel to the Mysterious Benedict Society before he left on his trip. I dread trying to get B up.