I'm sitting in the corner of my couch listening to the comfortable sounds of my air conditioning. It's the calm before and after the storm.
A group of church ladies just left my house. I just fed them a healthy breakfast casserole made with hash browns, cheese, yellow and red peppers and eggs from my daddy's chickens. There was plenty of coffee to go around. And as always, I made sure that there was real butter under the butter dish and honey on the table.
We have a Wednesday tradition. It started as a Bible Study at McDonald's, but it has morphed into a breakfast and Bible Study at the Parsonage (aka my house). It's a little more work for me, but I've decided that the ladies feel a little more pampered and it gives those who are strapped for cash an opportunity to feel included.
And The Muffin mopped my floor this morning. I do have my ulterior motives in all this.
In just a bit, I have to do some busy work for an event we are having at the church Friday evening. Not to mention some last minute planning for our BIG start of school day coming up shortly.
Recently, I've had to put myself in time out and give myself a big talking to. I'm instituting "office hours" for all the things I have to get done during the day. There have been too many late nights. And too many "come to Jesus" talks from The Muffin and my momma about taking better care of myself.
I really do know better. A girl can't live with a suite of chronic illnesses this long without knowing better. But it's hard to get off the hamster wheel of "busy" and "bad habits" once you've been riding for a while. Trust me, I know.
But I bet my bippie (whatever that bippie might be) that there are those of you out there, be ye homeschool mommas or my favorite librarians, that are tired of the ride.
It's time you know about "The Rules."
"The Rules" are also known as "The Be Good to Beke Rules." Those of you who have read my blog for any number of years might have heard me refer to them. Only they really don't just have to do with just me...they apply to my whole family. These are habits and practices that deal with the health and wellness of "us."
It's what works for us. You can take or leave them. But they help this homeschool family stay focused and this momma stay alive.
1. The only beverages I will purchase consistently are water, milk, and buttermilk (The Muffin is a lifer). I will also buy almond milk for me to use in my oatmeal. I will also purchase Crystal Light to keep up in the cabinet and I will make tea for the fridge. I do buy tea bags and coffee. If there is pop/soda/coke in this house...these people will drink it. These people will have cavities. These people won't drink water. The end.
2. I don't buy junk food in any form except for popcorn and a bag of tortilla chips weekly. I'm mean like that. People think I'm so mean that they bring my son Ding Dongs. This is the thing. I gained 600 pounds last year just buying Girl Scout cookies in front of the Walmarts last year. Sometimes I made a healthy treat for my family. But my son knows. He sniffs out stevia.
3. I let Josiah pick out whatever fruit and how much fruit he wants. However, I decided if he wants sugary cereal he can purchase it himself. I'm mean like that. I got tired of the spaziness. And the trips to the dentist. It's amazing what the boy considers worth his money. Same with candy. Try it. You'll like it.
4. I will buy fast food for him on Mondays when he is done with his co-op class. Then The Muffin takes him out for their "Dad's Day Out" for a Big Mac. I bent the rules yesterday when we were out for Chik-Filet. Cause it's Chik-Filet. As for myself, there are only certain things I will eat at certain fast food restaurants. This helps me stay accountable.
5. Because of our busy schedule and Josiah's age (he's 16), I purchase things he can make for himself for breakfast and lunch. But I have done so for a few years now. When he was younger, I made up pancakes ahead and put them in the freezer. In fact, I used to add baby food to his pancakes to add more nutrients to them. Now he will make himself an egg. He also likes frozen burritos or peanut butter sandwiches. He also likes salads or sometimes will make a quesadilla. The quesadilla I taught him how to make in the microwave years ago. I also try to have salad stuff made up in the fridge.
6. We have never enforced a bedtime (homeschool privilege). However, we get up when we get up. If you stayed up until 1:00am playing a game on your Kindle that is not my problem. Blurry eyes and a foggy head is your problem. As is your dirty laundry. Boys in my house learn to do laundry early.
7. During our busy seasons, I keep supper as simple as I can. I will use my slow cooker a few times a week. Right now, The Muffin is grilling once a week, but I am having him grill 2 kinds of meat. We are using it for a few meals. One of my easy favorite meals is a can of refried beans, one-half link of chorizo sausage, one-half onion. Fry up the onion with chorizo, then add the beans. Chop up lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips. Chorizo sausage isn't the lightest product in the universe, but it will make you want to smack somebody. In a good way, I promise.
8. We talk about what kinds of things we are doing to keep ourselves active. The Muffin and Josiah ride bicycles for long distances. I do cardio rehab several times a week. Josiah used to be on a swim team. Your family could take walks together. The point is to be intentional with movement. Even throwing dance parties in the living room could be a good time. Provided there aren't any broken bones! Gotta move!
9. We also talk about ways to keep ourselves Spiritually focused. We all have personal devotions. Built into our School days are devotions and Bible reading. We are faithful in our church attendance. This isn't too hard. The Muffin is the pastor. We make sure we find people to connect with and talk a lot about encouraging one another. It's easy for all of that kind of stuff to fall into a routine. But it needs to be so much more. You know what I mean.
10. Be good stewards of your time. Don't be afraid or ashamed to say "no." This is a tough one. Especially because when you homeschool some folks will take this to mean that your time will be more flexible. You got to stand your ground. You will also have to make yourself accountable for how you are using your time. There is nothing wrong with letting that phone go to voicemail or not checking your social media pages. Or putting up boundaries. Like me with my "office hours."
So there you have it. I'm pretty sure I have numbers 11-20 floating around somewhere in my head. But this girl as stuff to do. I got to stick to my own rules!!
I am joining up with friends from The Crew for the 5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Blog Hop. Take time to read their stuff.