First, as part of my internet de-clutter, I will soon be permanently closing my other blogs. That means I will be copying posts from those that are important to me over here. Last night, I reduced the amount of blogs in my reader from 86 to I think 23. Wow! It feels nice to not feel "obligated" to read so much. :)
Second, I spent some major time in the Word today. I read all of Ezra and am about halfway through Nehemiah. I have obviously been thirsty for the Living Water! I have been working on reading through the bible from cover to cover, and I can't tell you what good it's done my soul to just spend so much time getting to know my Lord better!
Also today, we started our first major project around the house. TOYS. I was listening to a CD by Michael Pearl recently, and he was talking about how we always want our kids to "have it better" than we did, but a lot of times, we do them a serious injustice by making things *too* easy for them. This is evident in my own family. Our boys have so many toys, so many that they don't even play with. I know that having clutter around all the time definitely affects my attitude, so, it has to be the same way with kids, too. Plus, our (as in, mine and dh's) kids have no idea what it means to work to earn things. Dh and I accept full responsibility for this. It shows in my oldest when he whines every time we give him something to do that's "too hard."
So, I came up with a plan. We took every single toy out of the older two boys' room today. I did leave ds3's teddy bear and a couple of stuffed animals ds8 likes to have for bed time. But everything else went.
See the empty bins? Everything except for ds3's books are gone (we didn't take ds8's books, they're just kept on the shelves in the dining room with the school stuff).
This was not done as a punishment. I had already gone through about a month ago and culled a bunch of toys. I still felt they had way too much, though, but couldn't figure out what to get rid of (mostly due to feeling guilty because most of them are gifts from relatives). So, I thought I'd combine a lesson in getting them to work for what they have (thus, they will be able to appreciate it better), and figure out what they *really* want, and what they don't really care about. I moved all the toys to our laundry room (and they KNOW not to touch them!).
I will randomly ask each boy which toy they would like to earn. They will each pick one toy (or set, for instance, Legos, or something) and we will put it on the kitchen counter. Depending on the toy, I will choose a job for them to do (*outside* of their normal chores and duties) to earn it. For instance, the bigger or more complex (or in real life, more expensive) the toy, the bigger job they will have to complete to get it back. The boys know (um, obviously I'm not doing this with the 10 month old LOL) that I will *not* keep nagging them to get the job done, they cannot whine, complain, or anything else, they have to work nicely together (if I have them working on the same project), and the job *cannot* be done sloppily, it has to be done right and to my (or hubby's) satisfaction. Hubby and I haven't set a time yet, but after a certain amount of time (2 weeks? a month?), whatever's left in the laundry room goes.
So, I set them to work on their first job this evening. Ds3 barely got started when he decided he didn't want to earn his toy. So, I put it back. Then, when ds8 was almost done with the job, ds3 decided he wanted to go back to work. I told him no, he would have to wait until I gave them another job, that it wasn't fair that ds8 had to do most of the work and for him to get the same reward. He was not happy about that, but oh, well! It's teaching him that if you don't work, you don't earn the things that you would like to have.
In other news, I felt like the worst mother in the world with what happened after that. I realized that we were almost out of milk, so we had to run to the corner store to get some. As we were leaving the house, I checked to make sure the kids were clear of the door, while holding ds10mo. It didn't do any good though, because as soon as I turned and shut the door I heard a blood-curdling scream. Ds3 had grabbed the door frame as he was walking down the steps and got his hand stuck in the door (the other side from the handle). The knob was already locked, so I had to unlock it to get his hand out. :( Poor thing. The fingernail on his middle finger was purple, so I got some ice for him and we headed off to the store (it's so close it took less than 10 minutes there and back, and I just had ds8 run in to buy the milk) after a few minutes of hugs and kisses. Luckily, when we got home, I observed that it wasn't swollen, just very purple. So, I kept it on ice and gave him some infant's Tylenol to help out with the pain. He's sleeping now, but he is going to be so sore for the next couple of days. Poor guy. :( If you think of it, please keep him in your prayers for a speedy recovery.
Yikes, this post turned out longer than I expected! I will continue to post updates on our journey as I have time. :)