Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This is WAR!

I am declaring war!!

I have put up with the HORRIBLE thing called CAR-LINE for TWO years.

No more!

And for those of you who do not live in Greenville, South Carolina..I am not sure how to even begin to explain car line.  For those who DO live here...no words are necessary.  It is AWFUL.

For the past two years, I had six children in three schools - what that means is 4 hours...YES...4 hours in the car sitting in a LINE, crawling along at a snails pace waiting to pick up my kids.  For this momma who is obsessed with time management, this is completely unacceptable.  In addition, for the past two years, I was working and so I literally was running all around all day long doing ministry work and then would rush to the school to then...SIT...in the car line.

That's it!  I have declared WAR on CAR LINE.

Car line will no longer get the best of me.  Car line will no longer be a monumental waste of precious time.  Car line will now be USED by ME to get things done!

I spent a few hours this morning getting my battle plan lined up.  Here are the results:

These are MY books.  In order to make this plan work, I need to be one of the first moms in the car line each day.  If I can pick up George, Lincoln and Anna right when they get out, we can make it across Woodruff Road (pray for me) to Isabel's school in order to get a good spot in THAT car line.  So, while I wait for the youngest three, I will take advantage of that time and read.

This is our Homework Helps.  The kids have homework pretty much every day.  I have filled the box with books (for all the Reading Logs that need to be filled out), loose leaf paper, crayons and colored pencils.  The pencil case has pencils, highlighters and erasers.  The two (very cool) plastic clip-boards open up to store some extra paper and a pencil.  These will all stay in the car and be used by George, Lincoln and Anna after we leave their school and sit in the car line (for about one hour) at Isabel's school.  We should now be able to finish all our homework during that hour.

Of course, you can't pick up kids after school without them being hungry.  So, I have put together an After School Snack Bag.  This will be filled each Sunday night.  The kids can eat their snacks in the car while we are driving or during our homework time.

Each one has a small bag with their name on it with snacks.  There are also other snacks that are free to anyone who wants them.  If they finish their bag of snacks, they will have to refill it and replace the bag on their own..or they do without a snack.

I also decided to use my afternoons while I am preparing MY lunch, to get the kids' lunches ready.  Simply put, I am just running out of time when I wait until the night before.  I found that getting their lunches ready while my leftovers are warming up to be a pretty stress-free experience.  I put aside all their food on the counter - and when they get home from school, they grab one of each....

and then grab their sandwich (they have their names on them because they all like different things) and any other cold item and then put them into their lunchboxes.  The lunchbox then goes in the fridge ready for them to grab the next morning.

Doing all of this has resulted in two things:

1.  Peaceful evenings.  We are CRAZY busy from 5:00pm - 8:30pm.  Band practice, drama rehearsal, football practice and volleyball practice are EVERY night.  For those not practicing, they are with me at a practice - so that needs to be a time where all our work is done and we can just do our things.  Once we get home, there are quick showers, pajamas are put on and we sit as a family in our living room to end our day in God's Word.  We do a daily devotional called Family Devotions by Josh McDowell which has proven to be a timeless treasure for our family.  We end in prayer and then the kids head off to bed tired...and peaceful.

2.  Organized, stress-free mornings.  One thing I can not put up with is chaos in the morning.  Maybe because I tend to be very quiet in the morning, I want all the family to be quiet.  If everything has been completed, if all the shoes are where they are supposed to be (in a basket in our front closet), and if all the socks are in the neighboring basket, mornings seem to run so much more smoother.  When the kids have their homework completed and in their backpacks, which are lined up neatly in the den, we tend to get out the door without any drama or chaos.

So, car-line will no longer be a waste of time.  We will use that time I/we are capture in a car to get things done!


Amy Shaw said...

i love this!! so helpful to know how other moms tackle this kind of thing!! love you!

Eowyn's Heir said...

Wow! Sounds pretty amazing! I did have two thoughts.. .and maybe these would be more trouble than they are worth, but as kids we were responsible for making our own lunches starting in 3rd grade. Took the responsibility off my mom. :) (but like I said you may find it's less stress on you to just do it at this point)

Also... what's wrong with riding the bus? Or with picking them up, especially the older ones, a half-hour or an hour later so you aren't wasting a ton of gas & time? (older kids could be doing homework at school) Anyway I love your ideas for redeeming the time. :)