Time. . .

 Posted by on January 3, 2013  4 Responses »
Jan 032013

 . . .it is precious, it goes by way too quickly, and we only have a certain amount of it.  How am I using my time?  Am I using it to glorify God?  {So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31} A few months ago, I was quite convicted by the way I use my time. . .especially how much time I spent on the internet.  I wouldn’t have said I was “addicted” to Facebook, but I would catch myself sitting down to the computer “just for a minute,” to see what was going on. I also read quite a few helpful blogs. . .some spiritual, some on homemaking, some on photography, some that belong to friends; and I also love Pinterest.  None of these things in themselves are bad, but I was not using them in the best way.

 About that same time, I watched a web seminar on life balance.  The teacher showed us her daily schedule.  It was amazing!!  I will never be as detailed as she, but I knew it was time for me to make a schedule of my own.  One thing she mentioned that stood out to me was that when we get distracted from what we are working on, it takes about 10 minutes for us to really get back into the task we left unfinished.  For me personally, I know that I would waste precious minutes deciding what I should do next, and if I couldn’t decide fast enough, I would sit down to check FB or something while I thought about it. . .well, I’m sure you know where that usually leads. . .30 minutes later, I’m caught up on everyone else’s life, but still hadn’t decided what I needed to do next with mine!

 This has been SUCH a huge help to me over the last weeks!!  There are times I am not able to stick to the schedule, but when I can, it helps me keep my mind on track.  One advantage to all this is that I don’t have to feel guilty about my computer time, because it is in the schedule!!  I have three times a day that I can sit down, and enjoy catching up with the world.  At one point in my struggle, I thought maybe I should cut out FB or some of the blogs I read, but I know it is important for me as a Mom to continue growing and learning from others, and it is wonderful to feel like I can connect to far away friends and family members that I can’t see in person.

I was also careful to schedule in times when I can play or read with the boys.  Maybe this isn’t a struggle for you, but I am such a task-oriented person, that I can forget to slow down and spend fun time with my kids.  Also, I purposely put in time for reading for myself!  No kids books allowed during this time !  At one time, I was months behind on the magazine subscriptions I had been given, and I was having a terrible time reading any books.  There are so many books out there that are helpful to me in this stage of life, that I felt it was very important to schedule reading time in.  Plus, I needed a “down time” for me.

 To help me with the “what chore to tackle next” dilemma, I scheduled each  day to have its own task.  That has been a HUGE time saver for me!  I no longer have to think about which area of the house needs help the most; each area has its own day.  Adding 15 minutes of  deep cleaning and organizing to each day has been a life changer for me.  I will have a difficult time completing spring/fall cleaning for my foreseeable future, but doing a little at a time is SOOO helpful!  It doesn’t seem like much time, but it is amazing what you can accomplish in it!

  Another resource that has been a huge help to me over the last few years is a book called Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney.  In it, she encourages her readers to start their day early. . .as in around 5 am early.  As I read that, I thought I could NEVER get up before 6:30 or so.  As you can see by the picture below that I took some time ago, my day used to start at 6:30.  Well, when my husband’s job changed a few months ago, he started leaving for work by 5:45.  If I were going to be up to kiss him goodbye, my day needed to start at 5:30.  It has been one of the best habits I have ever formed in my life.  My children do not get up until 7:30 or 8; so I have quite a bit of time in the mornings to get my day started off right!  Now, don’t get me wrong, getting up that early is NOT easy; it is a daily struggle; but it is a struggle that is worth it.

 One thing to remember is to be careful not to make the schedule into THE SCHEDULE!!!!!  Too often, we search for another list or formula  to follow, rather than depending on God’s grace to help us do what He calls us to do.  Having the best-laid schedule in the world will not help me in the long run if I depend on my own strength to accomplish the tasks before me, and then become prideful at all that “I” finished that day.  This is not intended to be something that everyone in the house has to follow to the exact second, making everyone within the house completely miserable {no, son, I cannot help you go potty right now; I will in 11 more minutes when my 15 minutes of organizing is done}.  Please don’t do that to your family 🙂  This is to be a flexible guide that will help us use our time in a way that will bring the most glory to God.

 Now, go make out a schedule, and tell me how it works for you!

  ~ Written by Amy @ JerAmy

Evernote App

 Posted by on October 21, 2011  No Responses »
Oct 212011
Evernote logo

Have you ever wished for a note taking application that would work with all of your digital devices?  That would automatically synchronize your notes between computers, smartphones, tablets, and laptops?

What if that same application could also be used to make notes from web page clippings, audio notes, photos and videos?

Meet Evernote.

I have used many note taking applications on & off through the years.  None has been as easy to manage as Evernote.  I can make a new note on the Windows or Mac  computer, edit it on the iPad, and view it on my iPhone.

Evernote functions as a digital file cabinet.  You can create multiple “notebooks” into which you can create notes.  The notes can be text, photos, audio files, and many other file types.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading »

Tech Tools

 Posted by on September 2, 2011  No Responses »
Sep 022011

DailyInfographic.com hurricane cutaway diagram

The above graphic is one pinned on my weather board. Fitting for recent hurricane activity as well as tropical disturbances as we head into this weekend. I’ve also added the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, Hurricane Center and Underground Weather resources. You can view those here.

Not only can Pinterest be used in all the ways shared this week, it can also be an organizational tool for technology. Having just joined Pinterest this week, I plan to expand my weather, technology, ham radio boards. Plus, I can catalog books worth reading and iPhone apps. My wife has collected technology items on her tech/blog savvy board.

What’s your favorite use for Pinterest?

-Steve keeps busy with five children and a job in information security. He also has a second job as principal of the Hodgepodge homeschool.

Technology Habits

 Posted by on July 22, 2011  1 Response »
Jul 222011

Managing the explosion of technological devices making their way into our homes needn’t be a daunting task.  Here is a compilation of technology management posts–both from around the web and from our own archives.

SkyAngel TV ~ Steve – Tired of the vast television wasteland?  Having trouble finding decent programs to view with your family? Enter SkyAngel. SkyAngel is an IP-TV based subscription television service.  The content is not delivered via satellite or cable–it is Internet streaming video.  The vision behind SkyAngel is wholesome family-oriented programming. For more information, read the Dove Foundation review.

-Steve keeps busy with five children and a job in information security. He also has a second job as principal of the Hodgepodge homeschool.

We welcome ideas on good technology use habits.  How does your family promote God-honoring technology use habits?

The privilege of computer time

 Posted by on June 15, 2010  3 Responses »
Jun 152010

In the past weeks we’ve gotten lax on our computer habits. We’ve been out of school. Been through a round of summer time sickness. We’ve let the boundaries slide. I noticed as we got away from our habit that the grumpiness moved in to stay. All our habits mesh with and compliment one another – so other areas were affected.  Time to go back to basics. Settling into what has worked for years. What is expected by everyone.

No computer until after 4 pm. If jurisdictions and summer jobs are done.

But MOM!! You say? Continue reading »