Behind the Scenes – the details.

by Darla on February 7, 2010

in Life,Organization

Did you see it?

This blog believe it or not has moved around the world.  One of the goings on in our house has been taking care of details.  One of those details was this blog. Since the move to our own domain my husband, the geek, has been hosting my blog on a personal server.  As of March 31st, that all goes away.  For the past week or so, we’ve been researching options to host it elsewhere for awhile.  I did the research and came up with two likely candidates and Brian actually moved the content to the new host, so thus this blog moved from Doha, Qatar to the United States this past weekend.  Only one small glitch when they tried to figure out why a payment was coming from Qatar when the address was a US one.

It has been a week filled with little things like this.  I’m glad for the gift of time to make the necessary shifts.  One of the biggest has been relinquishing outside responsibilities this week. Do you ever stop to think of all the little things that you do?   Typically, I don’t unless the load has gotten too much then shutdown modes sets in.   So I started with a list and then began to notify or make arrangements for those things to be finished by someone else.    Some of those things were long term, like working with the young women of our church to tie off quilts etc.  It was to be the first week in March – more than likely the week the movers will come to pack (the big stuff) and ship it out.  When I went to make other arrangements the chair said the event had been moved to our family’s week of bdays.  That is definitely not a good week so it made it even easier to ask someone else to help out in my place.

Our last move was an experience in emotional, physical and spiritual burn out, not something that I ever want to repeat again.  It took me over 2 months to feel like I could breathe.  NO ONE wants a repeat of that kind of move, however; I also don’t want too much time on my hands either.   After looking at our family’s calendar for the next two weeks, I don’t think that is going to be a problem.  That said we’ve also taken steps as a family to address some of the biggest areas from our last move.  They’ve also become my gratitude for the week.

Gratitude for this week.

1. That we sat down together as a family to decide what things we would like to see and do before leaving Qatar either things we really enjoyed and want to do again or those that we just didn’t do yet.  This is the list.

  • Go to a camel race – scheduled
  • Host a family open house
  • Dhow sight seeing tour – simple
  • Go to the beach one more time (the kids and I) – water is warm this time of year it is the air temperatures that are a little chilly.
  • Tie Dye event for DHE and friends  (one will be a group bday party for the kids)

It has been a couple weeks since learning that we will be moving.  We’ve been blessed with wonderful friends that we enjoy spending our time with.  It isn’t possible to do everything that everyone would like us to do and finish the necessary part of moving.  It has started, the requests to do this or that activity before we go.  It was nice to have a standard and know that I don’t need to be swayed by the tides pulling me this way and that.  Our family has decided to participate in these activities and the rest may or may not happen.

Not knowing where we are going at the moment, there could be some downtime before settling in to our new home or it could be we will go directly there.  After considering our family’s schedule the next item on the list…

2. The stacks.  In our family there are stacks of paper and electronic cables etc that seem to collect in this drawer and that.  They are the frustrating moments of packing for me.  I forgot to go through them last time so at the last minute we just dumped them in a box and sorted it on the flip side.  For the most part, it was a waste of valuable pounds to stuff we didn’t really need.

Yesterday I started, it happened by accident, to begin the sort.  As the preparations are beginning for our next unit in history, it occurred to me that it would require some different preparations than before.  Last move, I got really busy and didn’t have alot of time to spend pulling all the children’s work together so needless to say the quality of work wasn’t very good nor the quantity and too much down time for them.  They got bored and then whined when they weren’t helping.   So how to address that need, I put as much of their papers into their files as possible rather than doing it on a weekly basis.

Their binders now go something like this.

  • Assignment sheet printed out Saturday for the beginning of the week with their next reading assignments with areas to check off.  At the end of the week it takes me a little time to check their work, update HST and issue the next sheet.
  • plastic pocket for miscellaneous pieces – we have stickers for their state cards and printable for their president card project.
  • Dividers numbered 1-9 to represent the 9 weeks of our units.  Behind each of these are the Student activity pages, student and teacher maps, supplements and writing helps that they will need.
  • Then a set of dividers 8 subject tabs for them to file their completed work.  We’ve labeled ours History, Maps, Literature, Writing, Grammar, Fine Arts (Art and Music), Math, and Science (or other).

Each of the children also have a couple additional binders too.

  • Science binders – We are working through Apologia’s books with the Live and Learn folders.  These take up more room so we have dedicated binders for these.  I started printing out all the Modules and lessons for their books that they will need through the end of the year.  Again they can work at their own pace rather than waiting for me.  These will go with us.
  • State and President notebooks for Samuel – he will file the pages in his regular binder as these aren’t necessary until we unpack.  The girls are making cards and putting them on a ring for both of these projects.  While easy to transport, I also need to print up additional supplies and put them in the pocket file in their binders so they don’t run out.
  • Activity notebooks:  Each of the kids have an activity notebook for goal oriented programs they are working towards completing;  Samuel – cub scouts should receive his wolf badge before we leave, Ginny – Faith in God and Rebekah – Personal Progress.  These will go with us.  Ginny’s binder will move to Personal Progress as of March 22nd, so that is something that I can start preparing now too.

I also have a binder to two wait maybe three.  Yesterday, I started looking through them to see what was necessary and what was just hauling around paper.  Too much paper was the verdict.  I eliminated most of the paperwork and combined two binders into one.   There’s one binder left to sort out but this is my personal binder for my goals and ideas.

The Mom’s School binder has…

  • Summaries of what will be covered in our history unit for the week – great for our group discussions.  I use this sheet at the end of the week to facilitate our group discussions.  It is great to see what they have learned and it helps to solidify the information in their minds in the telling.
  • copy of the reading assignment sheet for all the kids,
  • supplements that are part of the program or helps that I’ve printed out to complete assigned projects.  For example, the kids need to make a display poster but they haven’t done it before and I haven’t either so I print up directions for doing this and stick it in my binder on the week we start this project.  Typically, I work through these things with them during our morning group lesson but they can also just look at the directions on their own if need be so they don’t need to wait.
  • writing assignments – IEW Source Paragraphs
  • master list of projects/activities for the unit.   This will also be good to have as we are shifting from one place to another everything will be in there and no need to spend time on the internet or try to figure out how to print without a printer.

Generally, this is what I do most of the time.  Being on the road for part of our unit will require more care in the preparations.  I’m grateful for the epiphany to start this yesterday and have most of it finished.  There are a few details that need to be taken care of but that will happen over the next few days.

3. Friends and helpers – shifting of responsibilities.  I need to say something about this particular area of my life and to show how God prepares us and sends people into our lives, with emphasis on DHE the homeschool support group.  This is something that I’ve been doing for the last 4 years sometimes well and other times not.  This fall it became quite important to delegate (not really an option before), get information out on the web for our group (website), so that families could get answers about homeschooling in Doha before they arrived without spending hours on the phone or email answering questions and to change our email group to a format that was more secure with flexibility to take the group where it needed to go (Big Tent).  The website went up in October as well as the shift to Big Tent for our email connections.  The activity in our group has shifted and the activity is exciting.  Three ladies have come into my life that will be sharing the responsibilities and they are learning each other’s jobs so that they can cover for each other.  Their focus is to put themselves out of work.

  • Someone to learn and administrate the DHE (Doha Home Educators Support Group) – Done.
  • Someone to learn and update the DHE website – Plan made to get with her today to finish up the details and move the site from our server.
  • Someone to act as Newcomer welcome in addition to the mom’s night activities – check.
  • Someone to help out with the young women quilting project – check.
  • Hand over my service responsibilities in a local fellowship – secretary and phone keeper – check.
  • Kept my responsibilities for the cub scout Blue and Gold banquet to a minimum – help set up and make a side dish.
  • A friend has been asking to help out with our home school – so Friday we set up for her to spend time with the kids for an hour or so Wednesday and maybe Thursday afternoons.  She will cover art and music and whatever she is inspired to share with them.  What a blessing she is in my life and I’m going to miss her.  This will help the kids to have productive things to do with their time without my needing to participate if life gets busy.  It will keep the time from being too heavy on her hands as well.

4. My husband and his priesthood authority.  This week I received a blessing.   What a comfort those words are to me.  My thoughts have gone to them again and again as different situations have arisen and they give me hope.

5. The address problem with our insurance company has been corrected.  We can now submit the form for electronic transfer and on to reimbursements.  YEAH!

6. Brian had a 2nd interview with a company in Burlingame, CA and his resume was presented to a company in TN.

7. There is hope for our shipping company concerns and other areas after Brian met with HR last week.

There are so very many more things to be grateful for but top on the list are the prayers.  We feel them and appreciate them.  Thank you.

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