Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Pattern To Share and A New Plan

Ahhhhh, it's good to be getting back into the old swing of things. Writing here always makes me feel so good, it's a wonder how I can get too busy to do it. Hopefully that won't happen anymore.

I've been asked by a dear reader if there is a pattern available for the crocheted throw I made awhile back (it is actually a throw but I called it a blanket as I made it for Gabe and for his little body it's a blanket!) so I thought I would share with everyone in case others were curious and were wanting to make the throw as well. So here are all the fun details. There IS a pattern for it, but I followed it fairly loosely and changed it a tiny bit, such as not using the blue in it. The pattern is free and it can be found here. This was the first actual throw I've done so it is very beginner friendly. Any trouble I had I simply jumped on over to YouTube and searched for how-to videos on particular stitches I was having trouble with. YouTube is great for beginner knitters and crocheters. I highly recommend it! In the future I promise to share more details about what I'm working on so anyone who is interested can try it also. I'm actually in the process of crocheting another throw for my daycare girl who I will be giving it to for Christmas. I will share that in another post.

Something else I have been working on is a new plan for the house. I'm very big on lists and writing things down, and I've found that I am much more productive if I write down my goals for the day or for the short term. It really helps me organize my mind. If you are someone who tends to get flustered and overwhelmed like I do, try writing everything down. I am all about being more productive these days, especially with how busy I've been so today I started jotting some plans down for things I would like to change and/or implement. The list will no doubt grow, but for now I think it's a good start and I'm going to incorporate it into our days beginning today.

-Early to bed. This is something I have always struggled with, and something I know I need to work on changing. I've *always* been a night owl, but the problem with that is most days I don't have the luxury of sleeping in, and I'm one who absolutely needs at least 8 hours. 9 hours is the best case scenario and leaves me feeling totally rested and energized the next day, which equals me being much more productive. Starting tonight I'm going to try a 10:30 bedtime and see how that works out for me. If it enables me to get up earlier then I can also start my day with a personal and private Bible study, which is a great way to start the day.

-Get ready for bed. Yet another thing I struggle with. I'm very much in the habit of going to bed at what I think is an okay hour, and then lying awake for the next 60 minutes which actually puts my bedtime at an hour later than what I had intended when I went to bed in the first place. Instead, if I go actually get into bed a good 30 minutes before my intended bedtime, and do something like read or crochet or listen to music, I will wind down nicely and come my actual intended bedtime it will be much easier to fall asleep right away. My plan here is also to make sure that everything I need to get done after dinner, such as tidying up and the like, are done ahead of time so they aren't cutting in to my getting ready for bed. I will also do this with Vaeh, as she tends to stay up until about 10:30pm reading in her bed. Now I will tell her she can go to bed 30 minutes early and have reading time and then lights out, and if she doesn't choose to do that then it's lights out right at bedtime.

-Earlier dinner. In order to succeed with the first two things on my list, an earlier dinner time is necessary. A typical dinner time for us is between 6:30 and 7:00pm. My last daycare kiddie leaves at 6:00pm and that is usually when I start dinner. This has caused a lot of problems for us in the past, mainly because Gabe is a very slow eater. More often than not he is still eating at 8:00pm which is his bedtime. Starting today we are going to have dinner at 5:00pm and while we are eating my daycare kids can have a snack so they aren't feeling left out. By the time my last daycare child leaves we will be done dinner, and even if Gabe takes a bit longer to eat it won't matter. After that, my evening is free to finish other things up.

-Family worship. This is something I have heard many families do, but never tried it myself. We would read bedtime stories together when the kids bedtimes were at the same time (which used to be 8:30pm) but now that they have different bedtimes it has become harder to do story time. With family worship in the evenings, set at a time well before bed, we will curl up on the couch in front of a fire and I will either read from the Bible or read Bible stories to them and then we will have prayer time together. This one I am really excited about starting. Not only is it important to pray and worship with your family, but it is a special bonding time that I'm really looking forward to having.

-Weekly movie nights. As a family we watch quite a lot of movies together at home, but we don't have a scheduled movie night, so when our movie nights do happen they tend to happen spur of the moment and it ends up not being as enjoyable as it could be because things get forgotten and feel rushed. When we decide to watch a movie, we rush through dinner and then we're too full for popcorn during the movie, then we aren't sure which movie to watch and we just don't get settled, and before we know it the kids are up past their bedtime because it took us too long to get it together. A planned movie night will give us time to do just that, plan it. From time to time, if the movie is worth it in my opinion, we will venture out to the theater on our scheduled movie night.

-Chore charts/things to get done. In the morning I will sit down and write out (in the form of a list of course!!) what needs to get done each day and our goal will be to accomplish the things on that list first in our day. Each of us will have our own designated things that need to get done. I'll have to be a bit creative with Gabe, but I think this is a great way to instill responsibility in to them, and show them that we all need to work together to help things run smoothly in the house. I'm also going to do up a chore chart which I will make at the beginning of each week, where Vaeh and Gabe will have daily chores, or jurisdictions as the Duggars call them, that they will be responsible for. It will be small things such as sweeping the kitchen or tidying the bookshelf or getting together dirty laundry in the house. When they complete a jurisdiction they will get a reward certificate or slip that they will collect and can cash in with me each week or two. They will be able to cash them in for money to put in their piggy banks, or they can cash them in for a special activity that will have a designated slip value (ie: game night with their choice of game will cost 5 slips/certificates/dollars, whatever I call the reward, lol).

So that is what I have so far. I'm really eager to get on this as just reading it I feel a great sense of peace, that this is going to help immensely.
You may have noticed these last couple of posts have been quite picture-free. I've greatly neglected my poor camera along with everything else and have hardly taken any pictures these last few months. I'm making it a priority to take more pictures so not only can I tell you about what's happening around here, but I can also show you, because that is just a lot more fun. I'm also considering adding some video posts to the blog once in awhile. We will see how that goes.



  1. Mandy, your post reminds me of a ever present call to simplify my life. Often we hear how important it is to budget our finances and that is important, no doubt but like our finances we are also called to budget our time. When I allow stuff to consume my thoughts often days go by without spending time alone with the one I need most - Jesus Christ! I admire the stand you've taken, thank you for the encouragement! God bless.

  2. Carl- I feel blessed that I was able to encourage you! Thank you for taking the time to say so, and I hope I can be an encouragement to you again :) God bless you as well!

    Steve- Thank you for the invite. I'm now following your blog :)



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