Starting the week on Thursday

Here is another written/unpublished post from 2012. Not only do I still do this, it has grown in it’s impact of our family. Just yesterday when Marc and I were talking about our days, I began by saying “Monday will be a much better day if these things happen.”


Years ago Marc and I knew this guy. We only knew John and Amy and their kids for a brief time, but something John told me impacts me every week. I must have been walking across campus on a Friday afternoon and John was walking in the opposite direction. We chatted about the weekend and somehow it came about to John’s plan for weekend success with his family. He didn’t come home on Friday until the work of this week and planning for next week were done. I had imagined getting the past work done, but not the future work.

When I realized that homeschooling on Monday mornings was a lot of wasted time waiting for me to get things organized, or that Saturday and Sunday had a lot of time committed to planning or worrying about planning, I remembered John’s approach to weekends.  Because we often have a field trip planned on Friday, or because we are so excited to be done with a week, I began to use Thursday afternoons as my planning time. (That also worked because we don’t have any lessons to get kids to on Thursdays.)

So on Thursday afternoons, I gather all of our binders and books and the calendar, and get each of the kids work planned for next week. If I have any extra stuff to get together or prepare. I (usually) have plenty of time on Friday to take care of it. So Saturday and Sunday are homeschool planning free zones.

I had gotten so used to Sunday night, Monday morning being the beginning of a new week, it took some very deliberate planning to change my internal calendar. But recently when I missed my Thursday planning, it was awful enough to remind me why I made the change in the first place..

Monday’s are totally different for us now. We do have a hard time making the transition from weekend to school week – who doesn’t? But two major things have been taken care of and make that transition MUCH smoother.

I don’t think that my schedule will work for everyone. I would never say this is how it should be done. But I would challenge you to look at your calendar and tasks and to take ownership of your calendar and make it work for you – not you work for it.

Looking Ahead – the NEXT decade

When I wrote my post about turning 40, what I was really thinking about was all the really cool things the NEXT ten years have in store. But I felt nudged to remember the goodness and fullness of the last ten years, before plowing ahead.

20’s – for me – were figuring out who I was and who Marc and I were together. We met, engaged, and married quickly – so we had some catching up to do (read between the lines – the first few years were reallly tough).

30’s – I loved my 30’s. I was no longer keeping up with the Jones’. I traded that in for keeping up with toddlers and babies.

The 40’s is going to be totally different kind of adventure.

My children will be legal adults in this decade. They will be making plans and pursuing their own future. The process of choosing college or trade schools or whatever will be gone through three times. I will be almost done this part of our homeschool journey.

I will walk with them through crushes, first loves, and heart breaks.

The kids will become more and more independent – what I have been working for over this past decade, and I’m sure I will need to remind myself frequently that THIS IS THE GOAL.

I will have new stamps in my passport – probably we all will.

Missions trips will happen – as a family and as individuals.

I will go through a year of Algebra two more times (Caleb is almost done Algebra) giving me the distinction of having learned Algebra four times in my life.

Marc and I will celebrate our Silver Anniversary. Maybe we will take our do-over for our honeymoon (did you know he got chicken pox on our modest little honeymoon?).

I will write and read more. Will I get my Masters? and in what? What other training might I pursue?

Will I be moving more into my own ‘career path’ or join my ‘career path’ with thefundraisingcoach – working together on something we both love and feel passionate about?

I bet I’ll have a new address – we like to move – but I don’t have any idea where we will move to.

I wonder who I will meet? I wonder who I will pray with – what miracles I will get to see?

I wonder how my heart will break, what disappointments I’ll face, what obstacles I’ll need to overcome.

I am so excited for the changes and adventures of this next decade – to think about who I will be-coming as I continue to grow up. Yay for the 40’s!


FiveMinuteFriday – Dive

Five Minute Friday My first FiveMinuteFriday post of 2013. Got a word and five minutes and feel the rush of just writing. For more info and to join the fun head over the LisaJoBaker’s site.

This week’s word: DIVE.


Perched on the tip-top of the snowbank on the top of the hill, ready to go, to lose herself for a short but limitless flight to the bottom of whatever her imagination has chosen today. She doesn’t spend too much time planning the route or stabilizing the sled. I used to. Just enough to get herself into it and propel forward. Diving down the shallow hill and the deep story that she has constructed. It is never a simple trip down a hill with her these days – it always starts with ‘pretend like’ and ‘then imagine if…’ She’s a very organized pretend play-er.


Oh the things I could learn from her quickness to dive in – to whatever place she finds herself. Water, snow, story, emotions (the pretty and unpretty) – it’s all or nothing with her. It is a wonder that she hasn’t had any trips to the emergency room in her almost 8 years.

What would it look like if I adopted even 25% of her lack of caution? There have been times when I (we, really) have done that. Maybe our life of homeschool and independent work looks like that to some people. But we always get used to the water we swim in, don’t we? And then it is time to dive a different way or into different water.

Imagine if….


During September and October, ‘strengthsfinder‘ kept crossing my radar with a creepy frequency. It might have been easier to blow it off if Living Your Strengths wasn’t sitting with a group of books on the top shelf of my small bedside bookshelf.

Yesterday, I made a commitment to myself (and some friends) to read at least fifteen minutes a day – not including my morning Quiet Time (and to write at least fifteen minutes a day). (And, yes, this post is in part killing two birds with one stone.)

So, as I wondered WHAT to read during my midday, it was kind of a no-brainer to pick this up. It was a no-brainer, but it was a lot of work. I don’t think it would be overstating it too much to say that I HATE tests and assessments like this. They give me so much anxiety.

The only one I had experienced before meeting Marc was the Myers Briggs (INFP/J – in case you care). But, Marc. Ohh Marc. He loves personality and gifts and skills assessments. LOVES them. So I have met a lot of them since I met him.

In his defense, he doesn’t make or ask me to take all of them. And he really tries to understand why these are so hard for me. And I don’t know why they are hard for me except that every time I get the results I feel disappointed. Which is pretty much not the point at all of these things. You are supposed to feel great about getting to know yourself better, have eureka moments, and a sense of liberation and clarity. I just feel stressed out and disappointed, usually.

So I began reading Living Your Strengths yesterday and finally submitted to the factthat I should probably take the assessment if the book was going to be all that helpful to me. The book came with a code, but I was pretty sure that Marc had used it for himself. I researched and found the cost.

Marc encouraged me to just try the code. And true enough, it had already been used. When I went to create an account so that I could buy the assessment – the site wouldn’t let me. ‘My username had already been used.’ I have a standard and fairly unique username that I use for these things – so I figured I would just try the ‘forgot my password’ and to see if an email found its way to my inbox.

It did. I created an account three years ago. AND I took the assessment three years ago. I TOTALLY cannot remember taking it, and I can’t think of why it would have been forgotten so easily. BUT, that’s the way it is. And it felt like a ‘get out of jail free’ card for me. And Marc could only grin because he thought he remembered me taking it but decided it was best to let me figure that out myself. (Smart man).

So my results, my top 5 themes:

  • Empathy
  • Connectedness
  • Adaptability
  • Strategic
  • Responsibility

What does that mean? Really, I have no idea. That’s why I’m reading the book. Maybe in reading the book, I’ll actually remember the results this time around.


A couple weeks ago, this was Caleb’s FB status. We had uncovered Small Pillow in a box as we were continuing the clean-out of the basement.

Small Pillow was one of those kind of silly Baby Shower gifts you get. But when it is your first baby, you don’t realize that anything is silly because it is all very serious. It was an itty bitty pillow with a place to write all the important information about your baby on it – name, size, birthdate. (I still need to look at it if you want to know what the boy weighed and how long he was.)

It went into his crib. It made the transition to BigBoy Bed. It began to go everywhere with us. If there was a sleep that needed to happen, Small Pillow needed to be there. Not to sleep on, not even to cuddle with, but just kind of to hold. Unless extra cuddling was needed.

I repaired Small Pillow once. This time, it had a big tear down the center. Threads too thin to even handsew it back together.

“Caleb, it might be time to permanently say good-bye to Small Pillow.” (It has been in storage for probably over 2 years.)


“We can take pictures of it. Would you like to do that?” (I do not hold onto anything. When I am old, maybe this will cause me grief, but I am the picture of NOT sentimental. We have moved too many times to hold onto things – or to let them hold onto us.)

“Can you fix it?”(Whose son is this? Last month we got rid of a chair that we have had all his life – the Green Chair. The chair when I was too angry to deal with him wisely I would say ‘Go sit in the Green Chair’. We took pictures of that, too. And let’s not forget when we got our new car this winter – saying goodbye to the only car he remembers.)

I looked at it. Played at the seam. “No, Caleb. It’s really not fixable.”

“Mom?” (sounding much more like the boy that I used to call L’il Man than the YoungBecomingAdult that I live with) “can we try to put it in a frame?”

Melt my heart.

Caleb let’s go of things pretty quickly and keeps a tidy space. He’s not a hoarder. But he see’s one or two things that maybe they are worth holding onto – at least a little longer. Maybe where I see ‘it will hold onto me’ as weight, Caleb see’s it as buoyancy. And again, my child is teaching me something that has the potential to change my heart.