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Today I woke up filled with purpose and intent.  I had much to do, and I wanted to make sure that it all got accomplished.  I decided to keep myself accountable and tracked how I spent my time using this great online tool,  toggl.  suggested by rogue cheerios in her blog post about time diet.  I spent time organizing and decluttering the living room – and was quite pleased at how I came up with small tasks for my four year old daughter to accomplish.  My husband pointed out that the small tasks would help teach her cleaning routines, and help her not get overwhelmed.  I wanted to laugh, that was what I was trying to do for myself and the trickle down affect has already begun.

The entire time we were straightening up Emma kept asking for her “work”.  The moment I set up the table for her she beamed with excitement.   The night before she pulled out an alphabet chart and I quizzed her on her letter recognition.  She stunned me by knowing about 20 letters, and what she didn’t know Chase was there to help her along.  It was a great experience in team building.  Since I knew she recognized a majority of the letters I wondered if she knew how to write some of them too.  I KNOW she can write the letters in her name (although one letter is always upside down!), so I did an assessment to see which letters she could write.  I wanted to fall out of my seat when she correctly wrote 11, let me repeat, ELEVEN letters.  I haven’t spent much time working with her one on one.  It is common for kids to be able to recognize letters before being able to write them.  I felt truly chastened as I realized that although I’ve known for a while that my daughter was ready to learn how to read, I hadn’t taken the time to actually do it.  Heck, I have a college degree which focuses on reading.  Part of me feels guilty – I’ve expended so much energy lately on getting Chase where he needs to be that I didn’t realize that I was in essence neglecting Emma.  Today was a great wake up call for me.

My favorite part of the day occurred at night as I finally got our “Countdown to Christmas” project set up.  Last year as I did a search on Christmas Countdown activities I found a ton of ideas on pinterest.  The idea to wrap up Christmas books for each day really struck my fancy.  I decided to keep up the tradition and today I scrounged through the house and came up with 17 winter/Christmas themed books.  I typed up a question that related to each book and put the books in the order I want them read. I then wrapped the books up, with the help of Emma and Chase.  Each night before bed the kids will grab the book that corresponds with how many days are left before Christmas and we will discuss the question posted on the front.  Then we will read the book together.  Tonight I chose a book that talked about the birth of Christ and we discussed why we celebrate Christmas – and why we give gifts.  It was fun to ask Chase and Emma who, what, when, where, why, and how questions to work on comprehension skills.  I also had Chase help me read the words on a couple of the pages.  He mostly wanted to be read too, but I was proud that he tried to read on his own.  I love this tradition, and can’t wait to see how it evolves through the years!  (I will post an anthology and the questions to go along with them tomorrow).

Finally the kids were asleep, I had time to work on making my husband, Scott, his Christmas Eve Pajamas.  I then relaxed by looking at the pictures I had taken over the last couple of days.

All three kiddos putting up the Christmas tree and putting a train track around the base.  Dee is  with us so rarely (every other weekend is just not enough) and I love capturing moments of the three of them together!

All three kiddos putting up the Christmas tree and putting a train track around the base. Dee is with us so rarely (every other weekend is just not enough) and I love capturing moments of the three of them together!

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She wanted to make a snow angel. She had to go inside and warm up her hands afterwards, but she did it!!!!!

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Totally enjoying the first snow of the year.

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Chase has decided he REALLY loves to eat snow.

Finally, as I sit here writing I am surrounded with the peace that comes from being productive, and I feel blessed as I realize that I am truly developing orderliness as I study, ponder and pray on the topic of making my house a house of order.