Monday, May 09, 2011


May is always a really busy month, with end-of-year activities for every child, a bunch of birthdays, Mother's Day, and gearing up for summer. I've got a couple of blog posts (including a guest spot and a Chicago trip report) in the works, but in the meantime, I've made a lot of progress lately, and I wanted to give a quick report on a few things:

1. Summer Plans
I'm determined that my kids will learn how to work this summer AND how to do it without fighting. I've divided up the workload into three different schedules (A,B, and C). Each schedule has what needs to be done in the morning, afternoon, and evening, along with three spots for checkmarks. The first is if it's done, the second is for if when it's done without reminders and the third is for when it's done cheerfully. The kids and I will be on three separate teams as follows:

June Team 1: Lillian and Allison
June Team 2: Joey and Sarah
June Team 3: Mom, Michael, and Eliza

July Team 1: Lillian and Sarah
July Team 2: Joey and Michael
July Team 3: Mom, Allison, and Eliza

August Team 1: Lillian and Michael
August Team 2: Joey and Allison
August Team 3: Mom, Sarah, and Eliza

Each team will rotate through a new chore schedule each week. We have about nine weeks at home this summer so by the time we go back to school, each person will do each chart three times. I'm planning lots of incentives, including privilege cards for Wii and computer time, plus other stuff I haven't considered yet (ideas?) for those who get all three boxes checked on every job. We've also got plenty of fun scheduled, with library time, movies at the theater, Family Parties on Fridays, swimming twice a week, and adventures like rockhounding and hiking. Add in a couple of Daddy Trips and family adventures and we're looking at a full and busy summer.

The theme for this summer is "Bartholomews Work Hard and Play Hard," and I've created a poster for our wall with two sides.

The first side says this, with large boxes for each dot here so we can mark off how much progress we make in each of our goals:

Bartholomews Work Hard At . . .

Service (3-5 projects)
• • • • •

Forest Clearing (100 hours)
•••••••••• ••••••••••
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•••••••••• ••••••••••

Running Miles (260 miles)
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••
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Helping Little Ones (Work Hours Babysitting)
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••

Running Races (5+)
• • • • • • • •

Learning from Non-fiction Books (60)
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••
•••••••••• ••••••••••

Reading Chapter Books (Allison & Sarah -- 20)
•••••••••• ••••••••••

Bat Cave • Clothing Shuffle • Garden Planted • Vans Cleaned Out • Garage Cleaned • Playset Put Together • Mulch in Front Flower Beds • Mulch in Side Beds • Mulch in Back Beds • All Windows Cleaned • Food Storage Organize •

The second side says:

Bartholomews Play Hard At . . .

Family Trip • Trek • Girls Camp •
Daddy Trips (2) ••

Parties with Friends (9)

Family Movie Parties (10)

Movie Theater Movies (9)

Library Crafts (9)



Swimming (30)
•••••••••• ••••••••••

* * * * * * * * *
2. Fitness Progress
I finally feel as if I've turned a corner with my running. I absolutely loved my five and nine mile runs last week, and though some of my other runs were a bit tougher, I'm starting to understand why some runners actually look forward to getting on the trail. It only took, oh, about eight weeks of training to get to that point, but really, I can see running as something I'll do for the rest of my life. I'm making progress in my fitness and my weight loss is also coming along. I'm down 20 lbs in about 2 months, which is one-third of my goal.

I also love that I'm no longer scared of hills. Seriously, I used to plan my runs so I would avoid them, but no longer! My nine-miler was mostly uphill for the first six miles and I found it invigorating. My first race is less than five weeks away and I can't wait. I'm also signed up for another half marathon at the end of the summer.

And I'm also pushing myself a tiny bit more than I had planned. I think I was in some sort of crazed state of mind, but I decided on sort of a whim on the very last day of registration to -- I can't believe I'm saying this -- sign up for the lottery for the St. George Marathon on October 1st. I worried and fretted about it, but DH said he'd support me and I figured I probably wouldn't get in anyway, but I just now checked for my name, and I'm in! Eek! What have I gotten myself into? (But while I am signed up and I've read two books on marathon running and checked into a dozen different training schedules, I'm also leaving room for this to be one of those interrupted goals I sometimes have. I've been feeling as though I probably won't get pregnant for a while, but I'm not doing anything to prevent it, and if it's a choice between a baby and a marathon, you know I'd choose the baby any day -- of course, that's probably also because I don't have any clue whether I really CAN run 26.2 miles. What was I thinking?!?)


Dan and Marci said...

Wow!! A Marathon!! You have definitely caught the running bug. You are looking good :)

Stacey said...

Im so impressed!! Congrats on the Marathon, that is one goal im not sure about yet :) for now im good with my halfs but im not counting anything out in the future! :) It would be fun to get a run in together at some point. Congrats again

Diane said...

Wow!! You are doing amazing! A marathon!! I hear St. George is one of the harder ones too. Good luck to you. I hope we can do some things together this summer too. We will be up your way a lot.

Maryanne said...

I think the chore plan sounds great! What jobs will they be responsible for? We've been working on increasing non-grumbling participation in family work and can use any help we can get. Your running is sounding awesome! Once this baby is born, I hope I can do the same (except I don't think my knees could handle a whole marathon-- they were bad even in high school!)

Kristen and Tyson Cramer said...

Way to go Christina! BTW, I keep noticing how great you look and never get a chance to say so. So, there, I've said it. And you have it in writing!

Cynthia said...

Started training for my first race today...I am sure there will be an interuption along the way but I am happy to get started. Have two races planned :)

I have total faith that you can succeed at your goal! Not only the running but the happy workers as well.

Joy For Your Journey said...

Twenty pounds down and training for a marathon!! My goodness, girl, you are an inspiration!! Good luck with your goals. I have a brother in law who ran the St. George marathon for 32 years in a row, but will miss this year due to being in Uganda on a mission. I think he will have a hard time not running--especially since last year he ran with 12 family members as well.

Good luck also with the summer plans. I always loved having my kids home during the summer and planning fun things for them to do--as well as reading and job schedules. I have since learned that they didn't love it as much as I did, but they learned to work and got a lot of reading in! :-)

Anonymous said...

Way to go Christina! You rock!! You are so impressive in so many ways! We will be in St. George that weekend. I will have to sto[p by and cheer you on. We will have to meet up with you on some of your swimming trips this summer.

lurel said...

Hey! I found your blog from your comment on mine ;) You can definitely do it! And in my opinion, you're extra amazing for doing it while still looking after 8 kids (though it sounds like they are pretty helpful, as is your husband :) ) Good luck! See you at the finish line!

Catey said...

How fun to find another mom of a big family who is running St George! I am super excited, I think I'll get nervous once it's staring me in the face. :)
And I did have to chuckle a little at your comment about being pregnant vs running the marathon....I told my husband last night that with all the excitement of getting in, having so many friends get in and gearing up to finally do a full marathon, with my luck I'll be pregnant again sooner than we plan and miss it! lol
It is great to "meet" you! :)

Jannet said...

I just found your blog thru a link on Segulla, and discovered the same morning you had commented on mine... I am really enjoying my stroll through the archives, you have so many good ideas and a wonderful attitude! Thanks for the inspiration. I am nearly motivated enough to go dust off my jogging stroller. Nearly. :)

KB said...

I love your summer plans. With summer just around the corner it made me start to think...what am I going to do? Thanks for the ideas. You are always an inspiration. Congratulations on the weight loss and the marathon! Great job!


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