Posted by: raisingmustardseeds | September 16, 2010

Humming along life’s path

This blog has been severely neglected.

But you already knew that.

I’ve been mulling over what to do with this blog and the frequency, or rather the INfrequency of my posts. Let me explain how my thought process has been and perhaps you’ll come to the same conclusion as I (think) I have.

School officially started a month ago, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to juggle all my responsibilities without dropping any balls.
This year, we have 3 who officially should be in school (Grades 5, 4, and 1). Then there’s the 4 year old boy who is in Junior Kindergarten but is in a hurry to be in Grade 1. And let’s not forget the 2 year old who thinks she has equal rights to all writing, cutting, drawing, and gluing implements. (I won’t elaborate more – you can let your imagination go wild here) Then there’s the 4-legged student who picks up any implement that has been carelessly left on the floor – her favourites are markers and wood pencils, AND needs to be let out for recess more often than the rest of the students.

MS dad has very valiantly agreed to teaching the 4 year old to read (their lessons are in the evenings), so that’s a big chunk taken off my plate. I am still trying to figure out what else I can farm out delegate to the daddy. The girls are quite independent in a lot of their work (something we are working extra hard on this year), but I still would like to keep on top of correcting their work each day so we can work on any issues right away instead of a few months down the road. That takes a little toll on my mental health at times, as you may have read here. 🙂

Then I have to figure out meals and housework. We started this year without my having put in place “new” chores for the children, so we are just going on what they’ve been doing this past year – but that needs to be sorted out asap as there is a huge discrepancy in the distribution of chores.

I also have to sit my derriere down long enough to figure out some meal plans so that cooking becomes more auto-pilot. Too frequently I find myself at 5pm wracking my brain to figure out what to cook for dinner, and sometimes desperately trying to hasten the thawing of some rock-solid frozen meat.  A child would come up while I’m at the stove with some raw food, ask what I’m making for dinner, and I’ll answer with all honesty – “I don’t know yet” or “Food”.  I tend to make up a recipe as I go along. So this needs to change somewhat – I don’t have enough brain cells to devote to thinking so hard about food. I need a piece of paper to tell me what we’ll be having for lunch on Tuesday and what’s for dinner on Thursday. Or something along that line.

And somewhere in the midst of the chaos, I have to deal with contractors of various shapes and sizes on different house projects. Getting quotes, making phone calls, doing research on the internet, making more phone calls. And most recently, having my patience sorely tested by the window company who took big bucks from us and tried to pass off these as the “latest, greatest technology in windows”:

Nice window huh? Like the bluish haze being put out by that window on the left? That’s a NEW window folks. Installed in July, along with 4 others and 3 patio doors. And the windows all look like this. Except this one is the worst. This is an ongoing saga, it is not resolved yet, but we are hoping and praying that this company will do the right thing and get this fixed to our satisfaction. I won’t go into details because it gets my blood pressure too high just thinking about what we’ve had to deal with, and I also want to wait until we have a final resolution before letting my feelings completely known about this experience, if I ever decide to, that is.

Let’s just say that the never-ending house projects that need to be planned for, decided upon, etc. etc. is taking up some real estate in the brain.

Now, what else needs to be squeezed into the 24-hour period. Ah yes, my husband, computer time – which includes emails, blogs – reading, and writing, and some serious on-my-knees time with my Lord. oh and sleep. Not necessarily in that order.

Big Mac & Maple

We haven’t even talked about face time with anyone else outside of our immediate family. No talking on the phone, no hospitality. And grocery runs, errands to be done outside the house. Letting my children see what’s beyond the boundaries of our as-isolated-as-you-make-it property. (OK – let’s get something straight here, right now….our children have their own 4-foot x4-foot pods, and I let them out one at a time to do school, and then they go right back in there. They sleep, play, eat, have their heads buried in books all day in those 4×4 pods.)

JOKE JOKE. I joke. Really. Contrary to popular belief, the children are NOT chained to the house. They do get to see people outside of their grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We DO bring them out to do fun things. We’re not THAT mean.

OK. So we don’t do it EVERYDAY, and so are not “socialized” to the extent of their peers. But hey, as you can see from the above, the child(ren) have no problem picking up bad habits, even if they’re not in the company of 30 other nose-picking, farting, burping mini-persons. Yes, I know I’m generalizing. Sorry. Let’s change that to: I want to save the other 30 well-behaved children from my stick-em up child. But this post is not about the why’s of homeschooling. I digress. I do that a lot. Sorry.

This tells you about the state of my mind. I get sidetracked a lot. Easily. Too easily. Very pathetic.

So what am I trying to say here?? Ah. Yes, juggling. Not dropping balls.

Conclusion after 1 month of school? I’m juggling, and dropping balls like nobody’s business. And I hereby confess to my thousands of readers 😉 , the biggest ball I’m dropping is my on-my-knees time with the Lord. I drop other balls too – like being with my children (really being with). I don’t think you have to scratch your head too much to figure out what takes up a big chunk of my time. It’s the very thing I’m using right now to type up this post.

All too easily, this machine sucks up my time. In the morning, during the day, in the evening. What do I do on it? Oh, I don’t know…just about everything. Some of it required (like researching big time on whether those windows SHOULD be looking like they do), some of it frivolous surfing on nothing important. It’s like an addiction. Open that laptop and drink in all the information the internet has to offer. It’s gotten so bad that my children are surprised if I’m NOT on the computer. Really bad.

I’ve seen this coming for a while now. I’ve just been in serious denial. And it’s 100, ok maybe 10 times worse than when we made the decision years ago to pull the plug on cable. Cable was easy. Shut it down, no rabbit antennae. End of story.

Internet – not so cut and dry. We can’t just shut it down completely. I have to practice self-control. Argh. Painful.

But alas, I think I need to practice what it says in Matthew 5:27-30. I know, I know that’s a little severe. That passage is talking about adultery.

I’m looking more at the “if your right eye causes you to sin, cut it off, and cast it away….” part. In this case, my computer time is causing me to slack off in the other more important areas of my life right now, so the logical thing for me is to severely limit the number of times I open this laptop in the course of a day, or cut it off completely??? Minimum would be a severe limit – to be determined still.

And what about this blog? Well, as you’ve probably already noticed – I haven’t been updating it as regularly as I once used to. I had to remind myself why I started this blog – as a journal of sorts. Not to increase readership, or make this into a paid hobby. There are plenty enough of those good blogs out there already. So with that sorted out, it was easier to step back a little. The one big thing that steered me in this direction was this thought: How do I want my children to remember me years down the road? Would I be happy if they remembered that “Yes, mummy was a great blogger, and she was glued to the computer all day long” or “Yes, my mummy was great. She loved spending her days with us, and us with her, doing everything together.” I think it’s a no-brainer. I am certainly not saying that the mummys who are great bloggers are not great mummys. There are some who do both, most admirably. I’m just not one of those at this time. I will still have to figure out how much and how often I’d like to update this blog for my purposes. I haven’t figured everything out. But you get the idea the direction I’m headed.

In the meantime, I’m open to any suggestions or words of advice from those of you who are able to practice more self-control than I. 🙂

And thus endeth the lor li lor saw (chinese dialect for someone who drones on and on) lady.


  1. I hope you will be able to have more fun with your kids in real life and “fast” on this blog 🙂 Sure, I enjoy your humor but I think you will be happier not spending so much time on your PC, because I am trying to wean myself off it too 🙂 Right now, I rather be on the PC than talking to my husband who is sitting right next to me. sigh!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Regina! Trust me, you are not the only one preferring to be on the PC. 🙂 I think there are many couples and families who are doing the same thing. Sitting in the same room, but all doing their own thing on their PC, iPod, blackberry, or whatever other gidget gadget that seems to swallow us whole.

    Saw your latest pics on Hannah – she’s adorable 🙂 Love the toothless grin!

  3. Hi there, you may find me a stranger reader.. think I was introduced to your blog by a friend of a friend some years back.

    It’s interesting to read about what you do with your kids, and I’m amazed by the amount of energy and the patience you have managing such a big household (at least by Singapore standards), and homeschooling on top of that! While I’m a full-time working mum, your homeschooling and childraising ideas are quite useful tips that I try on my boy where I can.

    While I hope you can continue with your blog, of course I do understand where your priorities lie. Just wanna say I think you’ve done a great job so far. May God continue to bless you and your household! 🙂

    • Hi stranger Trina!,
      Thanks for popping by! I appreciate your encouraging words! I am trying to figure out how to balance my time and hopefully will find a good compromise in terms of updating this blog!

      Glad to be of some help! But trust me, what you see on my blog is only a teeny tiny slice of our life! It is definitely not all rosy.

  4. Maybe you can just write down on your blog things about your children mostly since it serves as a good journal. I found out that I just can’t write down baby journal thoughts anywhere else except on my blog, maybe cos it’s boring to write it on paper, with no one else sharing in it. LOL. just remember to back it up periodically!

    I think there’s a feeling of “freedom” to escape from family and routine life whenever I use the PC, esp the internet brings me to places I cannot go in person. eg. Canada through your blog. haha.

    thanks, she’s growing so fast, I really cannot imagine how you manage 5 kids! I want 5 too but now, my husband is thinking – 1 is the best. Love one and only one kid. Sigh.

    • Yup Regina, that was my initial reason for starting this blog – because I’m lousy at keeping a hardcopy journal. Thanks for the reminder – I don’t think I’ve ever backed anything up. Too trusting of WordPress?!

      Hey shall we trade? – you ship me chye tow kway, and I ship you snow?! hahaha Just kidding.

      You know, there were times when I couldn’t imagine having more than 1 child? How to “split” the love between children? How could I have more love to give? But trust me. You can, and you will love all your children, no matter how many. If anything, you will feel so much love, that you think you’re going to burst. 🙂

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