Thursday, September 3, 2015

September is the New "January"

Whoosh...and August has passed, just as fast as I knew it would. And we're into September.

For me, this signals a bit of reflection, and a whole lot of change. Every year.

See, I've never been much of a January/New Year's resolutions kind of girl. I do set some goals. I dream. But, more than anything, in January, I hunker down in order to survive winter. I keep doing what needs done. I continue the rhythms that I started way back in September.

September is my time for assessing and change. September is my time for new. New schedules, new activities, new ministries, new focal points. September is all things back to school, all things efficient, all things organized. Or at least the attempt of all things efficient and organized.

September is the end of summer fluidity, and the beginning of regularly scheduled activities.
September is the carefully orchestrated dance between activities, school, life, and everything else.
September is the hot days, intermingled with the nip of fall.

Here's some of the things I am looking forward to as we embark on September...

The reading of some "self-help" books. (Lisa Pennington's Mom Needs A Do-Over, and Susan Cain's Quiet) The reading of all kinds of Greek books-both mythology and history. Freckles is reading to me, which is fun and benefits us both.

The start of school. Well, we started yesterday, actually. We are having a kind of "soft" start. Which is rather like a soft opening before the grand opening. We are doing 3 days of school this week, and 4 (because of Labor Day) next week. So, we will technically be in our third week of school before we put in 5 days. It is a nice easing in to the schedule, and I think that will be helpful. (frankly, it was either the easing in option, or the not start until the middle of September option. I figured that easing in was more practical.)

The culmination of my summer training as I participate in the two events I've been working towards-the triathlon and the half-marathon. The end of September signals the start of my "resting" months.

More time to write. Though not necessarily for another week or two. I still have to put in some heavy training this week and next. And some of that training will be happening in the afternoons, after school, when I would normally write. But, I really am looking forward to writing again. I've got thoughts swirling around. Lots of thoughts swirling around.

Teaching Sunday school. Yes! I've agreed (actually-volunteered) to teach the 6-7-8 year old class at our church. I am quite thrilled. It has been a couple years since I have regularly/formally taught kids. I am teaching LC's class. I don't think she was originally too excited about that fact. But, after some contemplation, she told me that she thinks I will be a good teacher. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Pal! We are starting in Genesis for the first semester. Such great stories. I can't wait!

Bible studying via Bible Study Fellowship. This is my 19th year attending BSF, and I am excited that we are going to be delving into the book of Revelation for the first time. I take two kids with me, Mr. Hippie takes another one, and my s.i.l. takes Meres. I love that we all are studying the same passage even though we attend three different classes.

So these things will all fit into their days and nights, and fill the calendar squares repeatedly until May.

I'm also instituting some changes. Not many to our schedule but more to the how's, why's and wherefore's of it all.

Our how daily/weekly chore system is getting an overhaul. The boys are being promoted out of the dish routine, but will be taking on the vacuuming and dusting full time. This is no longer my chore. Excepting my own bedroom. I'm going to continue vacuuming and dusting that.

LC is stepping up to the plate (pun intended...snort...). She will add loading of the dishwasher to her regular unloading routine. But, she will have Meres to help her on this. She also will be scrubbing the dishes too big for the dishwasher, and Meres will be the resident dish dryer. LC will also be helping with some of the dusting-particularly her room.

LC is also relinquishing her emptying the garbage chore. Meres is our final garbage ma'am. She thinks its great. Meres is also now on towel folding duty.

I will continue the bathroom cleaning and floor scrubbing. And I am the laundry girl. And the cooker girl. But, I feel like my load is considerably lighter. I can get my cleaning done in 1-1/2 hours. Not bad.

I also am planning to get the kids involved in dinner making. Not exactly sure yet what this is going to look like. I am envisioning a salad maker, plus each getting a chance to help with the entree.

Are you excited by the possibilities of September? And somewhat overwhelmed also? The blocks of life and schedule that have to fit fairly exactly each and every week, from now through May can be rather daunting. But, I've included some helpful links below that will enable you to maximize your new January...aka September...

Cleaning Schedule: This girl has some gorgeous printable cleaning schedules. And she has some great tips for getting into a good daily/weekly rhythm...(here)

Chores for Kids (by age): So practical. Our kids are capable of doing far more than we think. Printable chart. (here)

To-do Lists: Daily (here) or Week at a Glance (here) Personally, I follow more of the week at a glance format myself. But I also put a couple extra things at the bottom of most weeks, things that need done, but I don't exactly know when I will get to them.

Exercise: The advent of kids in school, means more daytime availability for many of us. And with the cooler temps, fall is a great time to get back into a good exercise rhythm. Shazzy Fitness does hip-hop dance routines that shape what the Father gave you (their tagline. Makes me laugh...). Check them out here.

Meal Planning: after the loosey-goosey, easy-peasy, come & go-ness of summer meals, I bet you are itching to get into a good meal planning routine. Which is great. But, if you don't have time to plan, shop, and then cook, I've got a great solution for you! She Plans Dinner takes the planning out of your dinners, emailing menus, pre-assembled grocery lists (!!), and recipes twice a month. There is a deal going for Barefoot Hippie Girl readers. Use the code "backtoschool" to save 50% on any menu plan! (here)

Well, go get 'em, girls!(and guys)