Of schedules and plans....

I'm in major planning mode right now...trying to infuse some new order and organization to our schedule and our home as well as make time to devote to special holiday activities and planning. Yesterday I spent the afternoon setting up a file crate (well, in my case, file basket :)) system similar to Dawn's. (If you've never visited her blog, By Sun and Candelight, treat yourself sometime...lots of good reading on nature studies, organization and planning, "Real Learning", etc.) I worked on a game plan for this week, planning lists for school, home, cooking, etc. I had my schedule all planned out for today...which included a list of things to do *last night* to get ready for the day, as well as getting up at 5:30 this morning (which I used to do all the time, but which I have gotten lax on lately).

But this has been one of those days when I am reminded that schedules and plans are *tools* that we need to make work for us, rather than letting them control us. There has to be a balance between flexibility and discipline in our planning. I struggle *greatly* with that balance. When I have a good schedule planned, I tend to either be very inflexible, or just give up completely when normal interruptions come and not get *anything* done. I'm working on that...learning the discernment to know *when* to allow flexibility in the schedule, and the discipline to get back on track and keep pressing on after interruptions or adjustments.

Today is one of those days. Billy had promised the kids we would have a game night this weekend. We used to have game nights at church and with friends often, but haven't in a long time. The kids have expressed *often* lately how much they miss those. So...despite his *not* being a game player (I grew up in a game-playing family...Billy didn't)...he decided to start teaching the kids to play Scrabble this weekend. And then...the weekend got away from us...lots of interruptions...and it was Sunday and we still hadn't had game night.

So...church ran late last night...we stayed a little while after to visit with friends...had to make a stop at the store on the way home...so by the time we got our snack supper fixed and started playing it was after 9:30. But we did. We divided up into teams (boys against the girls...Gracie was actually supposed to be on the boys' team, but since she fell asleep 2.5 minutes into the game, we decided not to count her :-D) and began our children's introduction to the world of cutthroat Scrabble good sportsmanship and creative wordsmithing.

The kids loved it. (The girls beat the boys 248 to 214, in case you were curious.) We finally began getting people in bed just before 11:00. (Ack!!) Needless to say, I didn't finish my list of *Sunday night before bed chores*. (Nor did I get up at 5:30, although it wasn't a *lot later than that.) But it was well worth it. And I am determined that even though my finely-honed schedule is quite skewed at this point, we're going to get back on track today and have a *really* productive day. (Can you tell this is somewhat a pep talk to myself? So far this morning, the dog has had an accident in the kids' room, *and* gotten sick from eating grass last night...*not* the way we wanted to start off Monday!!)

I'll be back with Monday Meanderings, Menu Plan Monday, and a few other notes later today...got to go play catch up!

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