Tuesday, April 30, 2013

21 Days and Counting on Habit Forming: The Post in Which I Explain Why I Have Paused Blogging

Wow!  I realized today that it has been 21 days since I last posted here.  In case anyone has been wondering where I am or if I am still alive, let me explain:

Since the New Year began, I have been extra busy with contract work to help finance our family necessities.  In order to make time for this work without completely throwing my life-balance out of whack or reducing my already lacking sleep further than it already is, some things had to give.   Blogging was one of those things.

I decided I would continue to post at least once a week, but no more than that unless life-balance allowed me extra online time for writing.  Obviously that did not happen often!

Work demanded more attention.  So did a growing realization that multi-tasking is not working in our home.  The kids, my marriage, our house, my prayer life -- just about everything -- suffers when I fail to decide what my priorities are at any given moment and, then, to give those priorities the fullest attention and energy that I can give to them.  

Online time just has not rated as high on my priority list lately -- not because I don't crave it and don't love sharing and learning online, but because I need to honor my call as mom, wife, homemaker, homeschooler and partial provider before blogging.  Slowly, since the new year, I became convicted about the fact that blogging is important to me (and, hopefully, my blog is valued by some readers!), but that it cannot be as important as other things that sometimes get less-than-full attention when I am swept up in blogsophere.  Thus, my step back to once-a-week blogging over the past several months.

And what about my more recent complete 21-day stall? 

Well, the third week in April, my husband and I decided to take the kids on a road trip to visit my husband's family.  That meant shuffling work contracts about before, during and after the trip, particularly after, since I got far less work-from-(my in-law's)-home done than I had thought I would.

In fact, it took me the entire last week to catch up on what I had committed to doing for work while we were away, yet did not manage to complete until we got home.  Okay to catch up on that, and the inevitable laundry, mail, bills, homeschool swing of things... The list goes on.

Finally, this past weekend, I sat for a moment and smiled.  It seemed that things were back to normal here -- or whatever "normal" had become before we left to visit my in-law's.  So, I almost got online to break my blogging haitus.  However, a child called.  A need arose.  A priority asked for me to choose it over blogging.

A pause.  A prayer.  A realization:  It is not time for me to begin blogging regularly again yet. 

Some say it takes 21 days to build a habit.  For me, it appears to take longer.  I know that if I begin my blogging habit again right now, I will impede the necessary habit-forming that other areas of my life demand.  There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to accomplish all that I have committed to doing for others -- as well as that which I have committed to doing (and being!) for myself and for our Lord.  At any given moment, many things call, but only ONE thing at a time can get my full (or nearly full) time and energy.  That thing must be one that is fully ensconced in my call to motherhood.   And, frankly, as much as I love blogging and interacting with other bloggers, blogging cannot be a top priority for me right now.

So, please know that I am alive.  I am well.  I am here.  I am missing writing more frequently, as well as reading others' blogs more regularly.  I hope to get back to doing so before too much longer.

However, for now, I have to maintain discipline.  I need to allow a habit of discerning priorities and attending to them to form before I indulge in the delights fo blogging again.

Wish me luck.  Lift my commitment in prayer.  And, until I am able to write again here, feel free to browse old pieces, to leave comments with your personal wisdom and advice, to make requests for topics you'd like to see me write on when I am able to return to blogging more regularly, etc.

Thank you!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Altar Gang is a Hit!

What do Easter baskets, a boy hopping down the hallway, three children that took forever to get to sleep one night and a boy sniffing along the altar this morning after Mass have in common?

Among the things that Luke, Nina and Jack found in their Easter baskets this year, were Glory Stories and Altar Gang Cd's.  

Who knew the Altar Gang would be such a hit?
Since then, not a day has gone by without the children (especially Luke) listening to one or more of the CD's over and over with rapt attention and, at times, raucous giggles.  In fact, the Altar Gang seems to have become woven into the rhythm of our days for the time being.

My cue, some mornings, that Luke is awake has been the sound of his shuffling feet and then the Altar Gang character voices emanating from the boys' room.

Then, later in the day, the Altar Gang characters enter into lesson and play time.  The kids ask questions about vocabulary words they have heard; we talk about faith and character truths related to the CD's'; Luke and Nina illustrate visual scenes they have imagined while listening to the CD's; and, of course, there is lots of dramatic play!

Luke as AJ the Aspergillum
The dramatic play began early last week when Luke cracked me up by hopping down the hallway , asking, "Mom, who am I?" only to answer his own question before I could respond to him.  "I am AJ.  I am AJ!  I AM AJ!"

And bedtimes?  Well, it sure is difficult for excited children to fall asleep, so I am about ready to forbid the Altar Gang from the sleep-time CD collection.  But, not yet.  For, as I wrote on my personal Facebook page the other day:
You just cannot go in and be the bedtime ogre when you hear three children joyfully avoiding sleep by dancing, singing and storytelling along to their Easter bunny booty... It is cracking me up.  Keep selling fun, faith-filled CD's Holy Heroes!
So, now you can see how the CD's in the kids' Easter baskets inspired Luke to hop down the hall and he and his siblings to spend hours listening, learning and playing this week.  You also know about how the CD's have affected bedtime.

But what about the sniffing along the altar?

Leave it to Luke and his imagination....

This morning during Mass, the heater at church was knocking.  When Luke heard it, his ears perked up.  He wondered if it was Skiff and AJ, the main characters in the Altar Gang, perhaps trying to get back into the church after some adventure.  Thus, Luke began inspecting the altar, looking for the altar cloth, the candles and whatnot.  He wondered why our church has no consecration bells.  His mind synapsed with Altar Gang story-inspired hypotheses, which led to Luke sniffing along the altar after Mass for smoke, looking for clues that might indicate a mystery such as the one in We've Been Wronged?

Ah, yes.  Our boy (and his siblings along with him) may not have been as centered on the Eucharist as I would have liked this morning, but they were most certainly interested in the altar.  I'll rejoice over baby steps as they are taken!


What CD's (or other resources) have ignited your child's imagination lately?


(If you receive this post via email and cannot see the linky, be sure to actually click over to the blog to read browse the rich catalog of ideas there.)

Please note: Links to Holy Heroes in this post WERE NOT affiliate ones, but now they are, because WE LOVE HOLY HEROES AND WANT TO SUPPORT THEM while helping ourselves a little, too!   Links to Amazon within this post and others are affiliate ones. Should you choose to click through one to make an Amazon purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. This does not cost you anything, but is a choice we thank you for making. Anything we earn from Amazon goes straight back into training up our children and to much of what we share with you here. 


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