15 minutes better :: 7

Here are my ‘improved’ moments for the day!

–Sat with my 5 year old working on her math a couple pages longer than I intended. She just got a new FIRST GRADE math book and was so sweetly excited about doing math like a big kid that she didn’t want to quit. Oh, how I’d love to help her stay enthused about math!

— Spent a few minutes talking with my 9 year old about his math frustration. Listened a bit and discussed what he could do to feel less stressed next time. I can be too quick to lecture –my standard answer is to just tell my kids to bull their way through the work, whether they love it or not. But sometimes kids just need me to slow down long enough to acknowledge their frustration .. and to connect with them. (smacking my forehead) Duh! This is where one of my greatest strengths (my efficiency) can sometimes get carried so far that it can be a liability. Of course my kid needs to know I love him more than he needs to learn his fractions. I’m glad I remembered that today.

— Read the kids a chapter of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ at lunchtime– I actually began this habit a few months ago, so it is now a part of our normal day. But I wanted to mention it to you because I’ve found it to be a great way to catch everyone all together. Being able to listen while eating helps the youngest kids be less squirmy, too. Everyone is enjoying Little House.

–Spent 3 hours this afternoon helping my ‘tween’ girls pick new bedspreads — we were going for something that blended but was not identical, and it was quite a task. But FOUND something– and ate chocolate, and chatted, and had a lot of fun.

–At bedtime I spent a few of my precious (little-kids-in-bed-but-hubby-not-comatos-yet) minutes helping the girls figure out the dust ruffles for their new bedding. Apparently they don’t have such contraptions in Ethiopia. Sensible people.

How’d your day go???

(And by the way, thanks for the feedback. I’m going to keep doing this ‘feature’ at least for another week!)

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  1. Danced in front of the computer with two youngest daughters to Christian hip hop, while eldest daughter took videos – yikes! And sons looked on in amusement 🙂

  2. Bit my tongue when I wanted to lash out at hubby. 😉

    After your week is done with this, how about just throwing one or more of your “15 Minutes Better” posts in as you experience them? That way you won’t feel pressured to post them or feel like they’re getting boring to us (which they are NOT to me, Mary!), plus you can be sure you’re keeping them fresh. Just my thoughts….

    You might even want to make a button for your sidebar and place links to all your “15 Minutes” posts.

  3. Michelle Dunn says:

    I’m new to your blog and will follow it very closey indeed…but I have to say…

    I have no idea how you deal with 10 kids!! I have my hands full with own own 3 blessing!! It’s amazing to see though and I’ll be bookmarking this blog now!

    Trying To Have a Baby – A Mother’s Story

  4. I concur with the above commenter – I’m not a mom yet, or even married yet, but I love these posts. They don’t get boring to me at all!

  5. Iffen you could share a bit of that “efficiency” gift, I’d love to have some.
    I get distracted by all the little details on the sidelines and rarely seem to head straight toward the finish.
    I would have a hard time describing only 15 minutes to better.

    No Dust Ruffles on the bed is a good sign of being sensible. Your middle girls are learning many things in their new world.

  6. hmm. Bill came home at lunch and told me his stroke symptoms were back in full swing and he didn’t feel good, which always hits me hard and worries me, even though we were told this would happen. I can honestly say that I did not practice my 15 minutes, as I allowed this to drag me down into silence, depression and pent up worry. Bill on the other hand was busy, talkative and seemed none-the-less-for-wear, which I should have taken a cue from.

    Will try and do better today, with my head screwed on correctly.

  7. I actually read to my youngest last night-a ‘better’ because I have the flu and don’t want to do anything.

    I agree with the others- 15 minutes as a running/occasional thing would be great. I love the ideas I’ve been getting and love that I can look at my own life and realize that “Ooh! I did do something good today!”

  8. I have tried to leave comments a few times recently and they all disapper. HMMMM! Anyway I love this idea. I really enjoy your blog. I will not try to tell you about my betters because they keep disappearing. Boo Hoo.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  9. You inspire me Mary. I need to focus on the happy, little things right now.

  10. I read to the children at lunch time as well. It’s the perfect time to try something that’s a bit of stretch as opposed to bedtime when everyone is tired. But, I can count it as my “better” today since we had gotten out of the habit in the past couple of weeks. Our house is under renovation and it had been easier to let everyone eat lunch in the basement (where the temporary kitchen is) than to have them all drag their food up to the dining room. But, drag our food we did and got back into our reading habit.

  11. I agree that this is helping me focus WAY more on the positive things right now. And not really just focusing on them but actually creating them in my day.

    This happens to be very needed in my life a the moment and I’m glad that you’ve inspired me to create little opportunities like this in my days!

    Today when I was walking through the room he asked me to dance with him to his Bob and Larry Sunday Morning songs. On my way to fix dinner my first instinct (why??) is alway to say no but I forced myself to take a 5 minute break and boy was it nice to connect and laugh with him!

    Heidi

  12. Mary- We love the Little House series! I wanted to let you know that I have a free Little House in the Big Woods Lapbook up on my site. Your kids might enjoy it, we had a blast with it at our house (there’s a video up there explaining how to put it together) but basically, you read a little section of the book, then you complete the activity in the lapbook….and by then time you’re finished you have somthing tangible you can keep to remind you of the story.

    It’s geared towards younger children (early elem) but you’ve got plenty of those running around haven’t you! It’s lots of fun, and really a relaxed style of learning I think!

    Just thought you might be interested?

    In Christ,

    Valerie