Saturday, March 8, 2008

Updated lists

As an ongoing process of finding a system that works for family responsibilities, I've decided that we're going to "pass jobs down" primarily at birthdays and half-birthdays. Well, at least the Big Three's birthdays and half-birthdays, because it's convenient. :-/

MA & MS have birthdays in early February. JW's is in early July. So, they're exactly six months from each other. Thus, we'll "pass jobs down" in February and July.

So, the week of MA & MS's birthdays, I took a good look at the lists and determined what MS could take on new and what he and everyone else could pass down to the next youngest (MA had several empty slots to fill; don't know what I'm going to do with the jobs she "outgrows" in July, since ZL will probably not be ready to take them on).

For example, MA added putting away dishes (which she was excited about) and an allowance deposit, since she's now five, and several other odd jobs. Since JW was taking on the play area (which he does a meticulous, albeit slow, job of) as well as the family area, I dropped putting away dishes from his list and kept it on MS's, instead of passing that on to JW as I'd intended. MS is a very detail-oriented by nature (as is MA), and so, learning the homes for all of the miscellaneous kitchen items that go in the right-hand dish drainer was not a problem for him (mostly). It would be a great challenge for JW, so I chose to wait until he's older to train him in that. Just an example of how I hope to train all of the kids in doing all of the jobs around the house, but I want to take into consideration their giftings and preferences in how soon they learn certain things and how long they're responsible for them.

Bedtimes had been a particular challenge for a while, so we moved the boys from reading in the living areas at bedtime (which had kept them out of the communal bedroom and let the others settle in) to their beds with reading lights. For now, ML and I take turns sitting outside the door to their room (usually doing stuff on a laptop) while they settle in, which they have come to really like. This keeps the popping out of bed and training away from such limited to a shorter period of time, rather than dragging it out over two hours. So, they boys' bedtime lists reflect this. Also, to help with bedtime, we've been more consistent about getting the kids (and ourselves) up earlier in the mornings. So now, MS turns the alarm on each evening and off each morning along with turning off their sound machine and on the light.

So, here are the adjusted lists.
- morning lists
- bedtime lists
- MS daily & weekly
- JW daily & weekly
- MA daily & weekly

Pop Playlist

Eventually, this will probably divide out in to Pop, Rock, and maybe an Alternative playlist, but for now, it's just grouped under Pop. I've been waiting until I had some time to spend on this post, because I wanted to give the "story" behind each song, since most have a story. Since a certain blog-reading friend pointed out recently that I don't post often, I thought I'd take the time to post this list today (just teasing :-).

1. Firefly Main Theme - Sonny Rhodes: fairly obvious
2. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor: from an episode of Medium** (You can all collectively gasp at the fact that we watch that show. Would you believe that my mom recommended it?)
3. Bubbly - Colbie Caillat: On our family vacation this last fall, the pop (meaning, American) radio station that they had on in the restaurant each morning at breakfast played this song. It's catchy, and it reminds me of our vacation (which had its high points, although we will be returning to the Dead Sea this spring and probably not deviating from that tradition again).
4. That’s Not Me - Bianca Ryan: I discovered this song after seeing the Bianca Ryan YouTube video from America's Got Talent. I know it's just a cover she does, but I like the song and the way she sings it.
5. Where is My Mind? - Pixies: from the ending of a 4400 episode (I also heard it in another show, but I can't find anywhere on the internet where that was. Frustrating. ETA: Just figured out where it was. Not another show, but a great LOST fan video montage.)
6. Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel: After a date night dinner at TGIFriday's in the capital during which we sat next to a wall of record covers, I dug this song up on iTunes. I listened to my parents' record when I was little. I had the tape. I skipped the CD rendition. I have it in digital format.
7. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M: Would you believe it was a Sesame Street short that led me to get this song? I was looking up various Sesame Street shorts from my childhood to put on my iPod, and I came across a bunch of celebrity appearances, too, most of which are very fun, including R.E.M's "Smiling, Happy Monsters." :-P Then, I had to have the original, harkening back to my jr. high/high school days.
8. Lullaby – Dixie Chicks: another Medium episode
9. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen: re-introduced to this song thanks to the amusing "LOST Rhapsody" YouTube video
10. The Rose - Bianca Ryan: Another Bianca Ryan cover that I liked. Reminds me of seeing Beaches at the drive-in with my mom and a friend.
11. I’m Still Here – Johnny Rzeznik: from the sleeper Disney movie, Treasure Planet
12. White Flag – Dido: I heard this in the video store and remembered liking it, so I dug it up.
13. What I Like About You – The Romantics: I have no idea.
14. In The Sun – Joesph Arthur: from the alternate, alternate ending to Bourne Identity (took some digging on the internet to figure that out, if you can imagine)
15. American Pie – Don McLean: Not quite sure on this one either.
16. Eureka End Theme - Eureka: self-explanitory
*17. Who Will Save Your Soul - Jewel: I think I just like it. :-P
*18. Complicated - Avril Lagrine: ditto
*19. Extreme Ways - Moby: Bourne movie credits theme
*20. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants: Just fun. Plus, Micah sings it occasionally. :-)

*Added since original posting
**And in case anyone's worried about how much TV we watch, we will rent a season of a show, download it to our computer, and then watch it over a couple of months (deleting the episodes from the computer as we watch them). We don't have satellite, so this is the only TV we watch. :-)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Grief Playlist

My list of songs to minister to those in a time of grief, all of which have ministered to me over the years as I have processed and dealt with the grief of losing our son, WM, who was 7 weeks old (in 2000).

1. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Michael W. Smith: The ultimate admonition. Hymns touch a special place in my heart, and this one has a significant place in the grieving process.
2. Sun and Shield – J. M. Gulley: Written after the composer's college-age younger brother had suddenly died of heart failure. Powerful, especially given the context.
3. Praise You in This Storm – Casting Crowns: I don't take the opportunity to listen to Christian radio often, although I could use streaming internet to do so. One of the few times I have, this song was playing. Providential, I think.
4. Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman: This song was not debuted until a couple of years after WM's death, but it summarized so perfectly my feelings that it took my breath away when I first heard it. And of course I sobbed.
5. Held – Natalie Grant: There could not be a song more tailored to our loss. I was on the way to meet with a friend for coffee (in the States) when it came on the radio. I lost it. Fortunately, my friend understood.
6. Be Near – Shane & Shane: The cry of every believer in grief.
7. ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus – Carman: It is. 'Nuf said.
8. He’s My Son – Mark Schultz: While the circumstances are different than ours, this song captures the heart of grief and hope.
9. Outstretched Hands – Starfield: A cry from the depths of despair, where those grieving can find themselves
10. Come for Me – Charlie Hall: Patient, hopeful, passionate waiting for the ultimate Comfort of reunion with Him
11. Rock Solid (On Christ the Solid Rock) – Passion Worship Band: When all else is sinking sand
12. You Are My Supply – J. M. Gulley: Written for the composer's friend, who had just lost her one living parent
*13. Word of God Speak - MercyMe: The very essence of what is needed in the depths of grief
*14. We Love You, Jesus - Greg Long: I first fell in love with this song driving to and from my teaching job before MS was born. It is what I constantly strive for my attitude to be. We had it sung at WM's memorial service, as it was fitting.
*15. We Will Dance - David Ruis: A very hopeful song for me in the months after WM's death as I pictured the day I would dance will all of my children.
*16. You Are My Hiding Place - Selah: Our refuge
*17. Bring the Rain - MercyMe: A powerful statement of willingness to endure pain and suffering for his glory
(*18. I Will Carry You - Selah: To be released Fall '08. Written and recorded for Angela and Todd Smith while they were walking through the impending loss of the daughter she was pregnant with, as they learned that she would not survive outside the womb.)

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

*Added since the original posting of the list.