Daybook, End of January


Outside my window: dawn.

In the school room: Last week we returned to sanity.  When I allowed 15 minutes/day of “screen time” to be had each day once all the work was done, my days became hostage to the screen.  All day long, the boys were pushing to finish their work more quickly to get to their screen time.  Any time I suggested (or commanded) a hike or trip to the park to maximize the mid-day sun, they were pushing back.  Hard.  Once the screen time was done, they were begging for more chores to do to “earn” more time (hence the beneficial Cinderella effect) but couldn’t find anything else they wanted to do.

Now that I have moved the screen time to the weekend (accumulated at the same rate, but all had on the weekend), we have our days back.  We took a hike, we went to the gym, we played with friends, we did art, and the children are spending their free time reading library books and playing board games  again.
What I’m hearing:  precious silence.


In my prayers: my friend Mark, hospitalized with pneumonia.  Mandy (she has surgery tomorrow).  For refugees all around the world.  For grace to receive and to pour out on  my children.  Every day.


  • for the aforementioned board game bonanza.
  • Sam, who is so faithful and hard working.
  • for SweetP’s desire to send shoes to children and field workers in south Asia (more on this as it develops).
  • dinner swap.
  • for the courage to submit my writing this week.
  • for our priest, who pours grace on us every Sunday.
  • last weekend’s run (even if my GPS did me wrong).
  • our hike.


In the kitchen: Crockpot honey-mustard chicken, rice and pears for lunch.  We’re still working of my 3-meal/day meal plan I wrote in December.  It has streamlined the mental gymnastics I do over feeding six people twenty-one times a week , and M loves to go to the meal calendar to see what’s cooking.

On my mind: I didn’t share my New Year’s resolutions here, but one of them was to spend the time I need to recognize and cultivate my job as a mission.  To doctor well, I need time to study, to read, to call other doctors about my patients, and to refill the energy it takes out of me.  I’m not doing so well yet, and I hope to make some changes this week.


3 thoughts on “Daybook, End of January

  1. Oh how I love that picture of dawn 🙂
    I really enjoy when we have days of board games too. I would love to get my guys to just do screen time on the weekends, but, I think I would be waging WWIII if I tried that. So, do your children have no screen time at all during the week {no tv or any kind of game}? I can honestly say they were much happier before the world of video games entered our lives! Two of my children get mean after playing at times and when they do play, it really doesn’t sound like too much fun 😦 Any tips for decreasing screen time?

    • Oh, Ann-Marie, great question! We have struggled with this, too. For me, it has been much easier to say “none Tues-Friday and x amount if behavior is good the rest of the week.” I know it’s not a perfect system, but when I give it an inch, it will take a mile. Maybe we should host a blog forum and see what others have tried.

  2. Annie, what is a three day meal plan? Could you give an example?

    Screen time is a struggle at this house too. We have had to revamp our system recently and are currently trying a system that sounds like a variation of yours. Screen time is available between times x and y. Take it or leave it. Times x and y depend on the schedule of the day. Homework and daily jobs must be done and inspected first. I hear you when you say, “give it an inch and it will take a mile.”

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