And now for the part you've all been waiting for...

Don't you love how I pretend like there are people reading my blog? Isn't it pathetic, but in an endearing sort of way?
Well for the one, maybe two, of you who have been waiting with baited breath, here it is: an exhaustive account of the Huskey household becoming scheduled.
I'm just going to assume, with this post, that you have read up until this point about how I want to start scheduling each day to manage my time more efficiently. When you read about those things, you instantly say, "oh, I need to do that." But then the minute you finish reading, you look around trying to decide what to do, you feel overwhelmed, and excuse your unscheduled-ness for the time being. Trust me, I'm still doing it, so I know.
If you are anything like me, you don't have overwhelming inspiration to get organized and plan out your days.

If you read around some "large family" or "christian housewife" blogs you will see the category of "time management" thrown around quite a bit. This is because time management is not just some random helpful idea for raising a family. It is a biblical concept that reflects Godliness.

Ephesians 5:15-16
 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but
as wise making the most of your time, because the days are evil."

I hope that if you are teetering on the edge of becoming a cleaner, more organized, and more efficient person that this will tip the scales so that you fall over the cliff  violently screaming to your death becoming the new "you." 

It is not very helpful, ultimately, to have no real starting point in this huge endeavor. It is also no very inspiring to me to read the blogs of people who have perfected their own scheduling. It took probably twice as many days worth of work for me as it should have, trying to figure out precisely what the heck I was doing. I knew where I wanted to end up but I had no clue how to get there. 
So let me save you the troubles that I endured and cut right through what I did right (throwing in a little of what I did wrong) to start on the path to SCHEDULEDOM!!!

I know that's not a word.

I had originally started with a short list of basic things that I wanted to get done throughout the day and inserting them into time slots on a spreadsheet. That is another blog, here. It worked out well, but after only a few days I found that we were sort of sliding off the radar around lunchtime. I also had a major problem - after I looked at the schedule of a few friends, I realized that the quick list I had made did not include the things that were really important in our family. And that is something to be expected - when you first start out, you are going to have to start small and perfect (to the best of your ability at that time) each schedule you write out. You can't really expect to write out this huge amazingly perfect schedule the first time. You need to just start with the basics, and as you notice time slots that aren't working out or things you need to incorporate, do it.

Another method I used at first was writing one column for our schedule. It was a basic outline of what EVERYONE was supposed to do. After looking even more into other people's schedule for reference, I realized how much more efficient it was to write out separate columns for each family member. This is especially true if you plan, at any time, to have one or more person doing a different task than anyone else. Yes, I meant that as a joke. You will see, as you write it out, how many times throughout the day the family branches out and accomplished tasks separately. 

Another problem with the most vague schedule is that it was just one simple schedule that accounted for the whole week. Upon re-vamping the schedule I have introduced a variation by day-of-the-week. There is a schedule for monday, wednesday, and friday; and there is a schedule for tuesday and thursday that has minor variations - Josh puts the children to bed and reads to them tuesday and thursday, and we alternate for M-W-F. Just little things like that were incorporated into the new schedule. 

There are many things that I didn't think to put in the first schedule - bible time (yeah... you don't even have to say anything. I realize what a fail this is), one-on-one time with each child, school time, alone time  for Josh and I... So I worked hard at filling the new schedule with as many awesome and purposeful tasks as I could cram into a day. 

Also, we are going to be planning meals from now on. I have started a collection of recipes, and I will organize them for two weeks at a time to make bi-monthly meal plans. What I did was write my recipes on a 3X5 card (super original, right?) the way I like it - I cut out the ingredient list and incorporate that into plain-as-day instructions. So Instead of a recipe reading:

2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Combine egg and milk mixture with sugar and cream cheese mixture in larger bowl. Place in 9X9 baking dish and bake at 4 million degrees, or until the gunk catches on fire. 

It now read much more efficiently (for me) this way:

Beat 2 eggs and 1c. milk, and combine 2 oz softened cream cheese & 1 tsp. sugar separately; mix together and bake @ 4 mil degrees until burning. 

This isn't something that I suggest for everyone -  but if you are like me and want a no-nonsense recipe then obviously, you should try this. 
Anyways, flipped over each recipe card and wrote "Shopping List" - then I wrote each ingredient that we might not have if we haven't recently gone shopping. That way, when I flip through the recipes for the meal plan, I can quickly and easily write down a shopping list based on just the meals we are making for those two weeks. 

I haven't put this into practice really yet, because we are going to "go for it" once my mother in law leaves (tomorrow...I'm sad :(.....) but I am hopeful.

Another list I had to work on was craft/project time with the kids. I searched for two weeks worth of fun crafty projects for the kids, wrote them in a notebook under the dates we plan on doing them, and then at the top of each page wrote a shopping list for the materials needed. Since we don't have craft stuff, we are going to have to slowly build an awesome stash. In the mean time, I am trying to keep two or three projects a week using only stuff we already have, so the shopping list won't be outrageous. The really cool thing about crafts is that usually, if you need paper plates, you buy a 200 pack of them, use three, and then you still have plates for the next hundred or so paper plate crafts! Unless, of course, your husband thinks you would rather use up the plates you bought for crafting than do dishes....

I am still waiting to really put this schedule into practice, but so far, things look seamless. I know we will probably have to change a few things, but I am hopeful that we won't have to do a complete over haul or anything. 
We are still working on a weekend schedule, and I am being fought every step of the way. Certain parties do not think the weekend should have any structure, and certain other parties don't want to spend the weekend on Facebook or PS3 while the kids run screaming through the house naked. 

So, if I get around to the weekend schedule, I will share my tips and strategies in making it. 

Here is the new schedule ::

I will eventually get around to sharing the crafts we have planned for the next two weeks and when we figure it out, what we are doing in the education department. But for right now...we have a delicious dinner waiting so I must be off.