I have finally had a chance to test out our schedule!  Monday (1/3/12) was a Federal Holiday so Matt was home and I was able to enjoy one last day of vacation-mode by going to breakfast with a friend and then our whole family headed to Ramstein for the day.  That meant we started our schedule on a Tuesday, one of the two days we have an alternate schedule.  It worked beautifully!

I woke up on time, though it was very tough to wake up at 5:15 am after having slept in until 9:00 (or later) for the past few weeks.  I had my quiet time with the Lord and then was able to write.  Funny story:  I try to post a blog once a day.  I have this secret, inner desire to post once a day for a  year, but don’t want to tell anyone so that on days I don’t post people won’t be thinking, “ooooohhhh…. she messed up!”  With that said, when I have written two posts on the same day I’ll schedule one for the next day.  Yesterday I was so far ahead that I posted twice!  The day before I had scheduled Pepperoncini to post and then manually posted A Cooper Farewell!  That was an error on my part, but eh.  No big thing.  I find it interesting that I was so far ahead of the game that I did that!

I got the boys up at 7:00 and they were dragging!  The previous evening’s bedtime had gone well enough, I suppose.  Bailey had to come to our room for something a few times but, for the most part, it was a normal bedtime.  Hayden, specifically, was dragging yesterday morning.  He woke up and came to the kitchen around 7:15, which gives him only 15 minutes to eat, as we have chores at 7:30.  (This isn’t really new, though.  I just took what we were doing and put it in the schedule.)

We had our family devotion at 7:45 and then I inspected chores, only to find that Hayden and Bailey had several parts of their chores they needed to come back and fix.  Both of these boys missed their first subject in school, which is a 15 minute block to work on their AWANA verses.  Carson had passed his inspection fairly easily, so he started school at the right time.

One thing that really helped us was to have each boy set his timer for each and every subject.  Instead of having to say, “No, you have a few more minutes before you switch subjects,” every few minutes they had to wait until their timers rang.  I think I need to see if they are all correct.  It seemed that one of them, not sure which one, kept ringing 5 minutes early… this morning at breakfast I’m going to set all three for 30 minutes and see if any of them are not keeping time correctly.  If so, I’m going to purchase higher-quality timers.  If a timer can’t keep time, what’s its purpose?!?

As I mentioned, it was Tuesday so we have two alterations in our schedule.  Carson has Piano practice in the afternoon, during nap time.  The only error I found on my schedule was that I had his practice set for 1:30 and, when 1:30 rolled around, I looked back at our emails to see that she comes at 2:00.  I guess I’d rather have made the mistake this way than in the reverse!  She came at the correct time and Carson did great at practice and he received glowing compliments.  He’s loving this!

Because of piano I only had 30 minutes built into the schedule to exercise on Tuesdays so I ran for only 2 miles.  I usually don’t exercise at all on Tuesdays so two miles is better than nothing!  This next part is going to sound so silly and will reveal just how lazy I am, but I’m going to share anyway.  I really don’t like drying my hair and doing make-up.  So, when I don’t have to go anywhere, I’m very tempted to shower and then look like a mess the rest of the day.  Yesterday I actually had somewhere to go so I had no choice but to get ready, but I have placed “Shower/hair/make-up/S&S” on my schedule so that I will actually DO that.  “S&S” means, “Swish and Swipe,” and is a Flylady term for, “Run a clean rag over your mirror, sink, toilet, and floor in 2 minutes or less every day and your bathroom will never be gross again.”  I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now and I feel so much better about my home when I’m faithful to this little habit.  Scheduling it in means I’ll do it, hopefully, every day instead of 4-5 days a week.

So, after my short run, shower, and getting-ready time (which I used to save until the last minute and had to rush) I had 30 minutes of free time.  Scheduled free time.  No guilt.  I caught up on a few emails and calls, and after that time was up I made dinner.  Because Matt has Bible Study on Tuesday evenings I will often cheat and make something simple… last night was Mac and cheese.  We followed our schedule and at 5:30 I sent Hayden over to the schedule to see what we needed to be doing.  They had all finished dinner and when he read that “Marching Orders” were next, they set about the task of getting all their items necessary for loading up the car.

This almost went well.  Each of them got their necessary items for AWANA.  Hayden got Parker’s milk, Bailey got my bag, Carson was supposed to get the diaper bag.  Part of the reason for the “almost” went well was because while I was in the back changing a diaper Bailey was in the kitchen swinging his AWANA bag.  This bag happened to come in contact with a bowl of milk Hayden happened to be carrying at the time an the entire contents poured down Hayden’s jacket front and all over the kitchen floor.  I had a freak-out, “What were you doing with a bowl of milk?*” and “What were you doing swinging your bag?” moment.  Not a proud moment.  We got Hayden’s jacket removed and his pants cleaned as much as was necessary, and loaded up the car.  In the excitement Carson just got in the car, hoping to avoid trouble.  He left his AWANA stuff on the table and the diaper bag in the closet.  I happened to see the AWANA stuff and grabbed that, but I didn’t realize until too late that the diaper bag had been left.  Carson ended up getting fussed at after all for not getting the things he was responsible for.  Poor kid.  (* To answer the question as to why Hayden had a bowl of milk, he wanted milk to dip his cookies.  I still wonder why a bowl and not a cup.  He claims the mess would have been made regardless of whether it was a bowl or cup.  I argue he might have had a better grip on a cup.  It’s neither here nor there at this point.)

We recovered quickly, especially as I saw, once we were in the car, that we were doing JUST FINE on time.  Even with a catastrophic bowl of spilled milk, we were okay on time! The schedule WORKS!  Maybe next time I’ll remember that during the crisis and not freak out.  Maybe.

The only failure was that I am going to have to feed my boys more than Mac and cheese at 5:00 if I expect them to come home from AWANA not hungry.  They had to eat again, which is annoying.  Protein.  Must remember protein.

One of my favorite lines I have heard from one of the boys during the past week or so as we’ve implemented the ChorePacks was from Hayden:  “Mom, I think our rooms stay cleaner because we have it on our schedule.”  He gets it!  And he’s right.  Their rooms are staying cleaner than ever and it’s a joint effort:  They clean, but I inspect.  If either one of those two pieces were missing, the rooms would not be clean.

Here are three pictures I took of their rooms with my iPhone (simply because I was too lazy to put the CompactFlash card in my real camera then upload the pictures).  I didn’t move a single thing to make the rooms look neater.  If you don’t think this is a neat room, yay for you… you’re a miracle worker in the keeping-kids’-rooms-clean department and you should give yourself an A with TEN plusses.  I, however, don’t have that touch and we have to work really REALLY hard to get these rooms to this level of clean.

Hayden’s room. His bed was (more) made until he and Carson got up there to do Story of the World.

Carson’s room. He keeps those toys on his desk because that’s where he likes them. See? I can compromise! Parker’s toy was not in there when he finished cleaning his room. Parker left it there during his “Play with Carson” half-hour.

Bailey’s room. Why yes, he has decorated in orange duct tape. Like it? And like his brothers’ rooms, his room was cleaner when I inspected.  This picture was taken after he spent his half-hour with Parker and after spending an additional 15 minutes listening to Jonathan Park in here!  I’m pretty pumped it looks as good as it does!

So far I’m loving the schedule.  We’ll see how Day 2 goes!

To read the other installments in the MOTH series see these links:





MOTH 5 – You are here.




MOTH Update – 2014

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in brothers/boys, homeschooling, MOTH. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to MOTH 5

  1. A Proud American! says:

    How many ipods do you guys have? Instead of spending money on new timers, you could use the alarm feature on those. That’s what I use when I need a timer.

    • Jennifer says:

      We have plenty of iPods. I use that as my timer but the boys like to be able to watch the countdown and I don’t want them touching the iPods during school… so tempting. They are usually off in separate corners of the house working independently and I know they’re not getting a lot of fun out of the boring white kitchen timers I’m using. When I did my test I found that Carson’s was perfect and Bailey’s and Hayden’s rang 2 minutes early in the 30 minute trial. So, when I need them to work for 30 minutes I set Carson’s correctly and the other two for 32 minutes. (I’ve written on the back of each of their timers the correct number of minutes to equal 30. We’ll see how this works!)

  2. Pam M. says:

    Loved this post! You are so inspiring…even if I could never do MOTH, I am getting some really great ideas I can use!! And I like how you implement Fly Lady. I actually use a schedule for myself through her program, when I am not too lazy to do it. And yes!! Those are clean boys rooms! Way to go!
    PLus…secretly I hope to blog every day this year too:) Don’t tell…I also would like to put it into book form and use it as a devotional Christmas gift for family members…sh, don’t tell…but if you have any ideas about how to cheaply accomplish that I would love to hear them 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      What a neat idea! We can have secret dreams if we want to, right?!? I’ll keep my eyes open for publishing-blogs deals. I do have a friend who just had hers printed so I’ll see what company she used.

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  8. Sheri says:

    Loving your ideas and techniques Jennifer, but am looking (focusing) at the inspiration and ignoring the exhaustion (I’m feeling) at the dedication required! You could contract your services out to establish people in their home 🙂 I think you’ve nailed Most Detailed Person I know in my books!

    • Jennifer says:

      Why thank you! You’ve just convinced me I have you fully snowed! 🙂

      I think the reason this method is working is because I’m NOT naturally organized to this degree and it gives a step-by-step method on how to do what it is I’m doing. I read every single page of the MOTH book with a highlighter in hand (sort of) and I am spending a lot of energy making it work. In fact, I’m currently writing a post about that very fact… the energy it takes to do this. It’ll post another day. Until then I’ll let you think I’m highly organized and detail oriented and that I have all my ducks in a row.

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