Rambling about reality

Blame it on the hot, hot heat. We have been staying indoors a lot which gets me thinking of activities for my kiddos. Also, the school year is approaching {not for my kids yet, they are 2 and 3} but as a teacher-at-heart I think about what my kids could be learning next. Monkey is on the verge of reading, she can do most three-letter words, but gets frustrated pretty quickly. She also has been practicing counting to 20. Bear could use some work on colors, counting, the abc's, ect.  My goal is to be intentional about planning activities that are both fun and educational for them this school year. I have come across several wonderful sites bursting with activities for toddlers. I just need to whittle them down to what would be realistic for us to accomplish. There's the key word: realistic. I would love to devote hours to playing with my kids in meaningful ways. I think this is possible. I know it has to be intentional. It isn't just going to happen on its own. I'm sure I don't need to remind any of you moms that there is laundry, and dinner, and fires to put out, and grocery shopping, and budgeting, and husbands.... yikes. Before you know it the day is gone and the kids have watched three hours of tv. {That doesn't just happen at my house, does it? I'm just being real.} Here are some practical ways I am going to try to be intentional over the next few months so that I can make my goal of teaching by playing with my children realistic: {1} Get up early. My kids get up around 6:30am. I make them stay in bed until 7, but they rarely fall asleep. So if  am going to spend some time with the Lord - which I need everyday it has to be before they wake up. I say I need it everyday because without the grace of God I cannot be the mom to these kids that He desires me to be. I come with filthy rags, He makes what I bring to Him into something beneficial.

{2} Go to bed at a decent hour. I have issues with this one. Between 9pm and 12am is me time. I use this time to blog, read, work on commitments outside of the family, drink decaf coffee... me time. I'm going to have to prioritize me time and go to bed so that I can do {1}.

{3} Plan ahead. I am a sort of last-minute planner. I have a basic idea of what I would like to do, but I am always coming up with improvements down to the wire. I get a little stressed sometimes. It would serve my family better to have a plan, a do-able plan, and stick to it. The Dude calls it the 80-20 rule. If you're running out of time, do the most important 80% and let the other 20% go. This is hard for me, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I get that from my dad. But I think he's right. I can't do it all, all the time.

{4} Be organized. Have all of the materials for the next activity in a box ready to go. That way I won't spend an hour trying to put everything together and feel the need to turn on the tv.

{5} Pray. I am learning to be completely dependent on God. He is personal. He cares. I want to involve him in every area of my day. From coffee to dishes to kids to cooking.

This post served  me well in helping me organize my thoughts. Perhaps it will serve you well too. Either way, thanks for coming along!

Elizabeth Ann