With the windows open for maybe only the second or third time since Thanksgiving (don't tell me we don't have a change of seasons here!), I think it's time for some spring cleaning. I started with my blog. I finally learned how to do a collage picture--thanks for the link Kirsten! It's not exactly how I wanted it, but I've already spent more than a reasonable amount of time on it, so as with everything else for me right now it's a work in progress. At least it is farther along on the work in progress continuum than my house! I've got it into my head that I want to get rid of TONS of stuff. I've started on the Lenten purge about a month early, but it is slow going. The home in my mind and the one that we work, play, live, and love in everyday look very different. I think I just answered my own question. We LIVE in this house everyday. Four of the five of us probably spend an average of 20 hours a day in here maybe more. Remember HOME was my word of the year afterall. There's a fine line between making the house look nice and homeschooling three dynamic children. I'm in the throes of walking that line right now. Last fall I had the idea to switch around the two downstairs rooms (in the process we removed all the bookshelves from the room that we called the library). It worked. Now I am happy with both of those rooms. Our current focus is the loft. This room has never looked like I've wanted it to. This weekend we got rid of the huge falling apart particle board computer desk. I had been throwing away pieces as they fell off anyway, so it was surely a lost cause. We are now in the process of putting together two new adult looking (although still particle board...remember we are not rich!) desks up here. The consensus so far is that it "looks like a hotel"... this is a compliment. Well, it reminds Jonathan of the hotel business center where he did some schoolwork this fall when we were in Atlanta. Jonathan's neatness standards are not on the same level as mine and his periferal vision isn't that good either. If I close one eye and squint I see what Jonathan means, unfortunately I also see piles of books and stacks of paper, baskets of miscellaneous cr@p that has to be gone through, and all of the "nonessential" parts to the desks that have to be dealt with (like the drawers). Work in progress!
The new chore system is still a work in progress as well. When two of my kids are out performing until 11pm three nights a week (four this week for Phantom, plus Jonathan was involved with tech for two other shows this week, so last night was his only "night off" in about 2 weeks), schooling and chores bright and early in the morning isn't on their agenda. I want to make sure that they get the sleep they need and yet we need to get something accomplished each day...another fine line I am walking.
In the last few days I've come across suggestions about "unplugging" the TV etc. Jake's reading book had a cutesy sweet story about this adorable fake family who watches no TV. They have so much time for other noble pursuits. The story even mentions how memories come from people and not TV. While this is certainly more true than not, I have to say that when Madi was watching Family Ties yesterday morning and it was the one where Alex and Ellen first met (it has that Billy Vera and the Beaters song in it), it brought back memories for me...memories of myself at Madi's age, memories of my old friend and sometimes blog reader Bonnie, memories of young love. I know in this age of "courtship" young love is frowned upon, but call me "old fashioned" (hahaha) I still have a fondness for it. Not to mention in real life "Alex and Ellen" have been happily married for about 25 years and have four kids, where would they be without TV?!
Sometimes I think I'd like to be more structured, more black and white. Things like no TV and knowing what we're going to have for dinner every night of the week sound appealing to me. The thing is, I'm not very structured and I'm definitely more grey than black and white. In the book The Giver the characters aren't allowed choices because they might make the wrong one. This would certainly take some of the stress out of life. The thing is though it also took the LIFE out of life. So there, that's my excuse for why my kids are still in bed at almost 9 and my house is not a showplace. I'm not sure who's going to do what schoolwork today and I have absolutely no idea what we are having for dinner. I'll call em as I see em, stuff will get done today, we'll live a lot of life, and we'll make a lot of choices. We are works in progress.