For Shannon’s Works for Me Wednesday post, I prepared a post featuring our family calendar because it’s SUCH a big help for me. I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE that today’s featured topic is supposed to be TOYS! So, let me just say that my calendar is a Mom Toy! Without it, my kids wouldn’t make it to play dates, concerts, meetings or plays. Without it, our life would be total chaos. So, my calendar isn’t a KID toy…. but it’s a Mom Toy that the kids wouldn’t want to live without.
With my family of five, there are always people going in different directions.
I’ve had a calendar of some form for as long as I can remember. I still have all of them. I’m not a packrat …. but I don’t keep a diary. Keeping my calendars is kind of like keeping a diary. I have my HUGE Ziggy calendars from my high school years. I have calendars from the 90’s and I have last year’s. These calendars remind me of days past. They have recorded lost teeth, moves and children’s bouts with diarrhea (you never know when you might need to let the doctor know when a virus actually began and you KNOW all those days run together after about the fourth day!).
When we only had two kids and they were small, a cute little pocket calendar worked well. It slipped into my purse and stayed with me all the time.
But as we grew, so did our activities. So, this is the calendar that works best for us right now. Though I have to admit, if I can’t fit all of our daily life into any given 2×2 square, then something has to be eliminated.
I have a pocket that keeps anything that needs to be handled today. It might hold a grocery list, a receipt from a store for something that needs to be returned or a post card from the dentist for an appointment that needs to be changed.
I use the Stephen Covey Day Runner calendar pages that fit into an 8 1/2 x 11 ring binder. As soon as a new calendar comes out, I purchase it. I go mark all of my birth dates and anniversaries so that I don’t miss any of them. (No, this doesn’t get the card or gift INTO the mail, but it gives me a heads up so I know who needs celebrating soon.)
If the item isn’t large enough to place two holes for inserting into the binder, I mount it onto a larger sheet and stick it in there. I cut out newspaper announcements of things we might want to do (like an outdoor concert or a craft show downtown) and tape them to a sheet of paper. As more information comes along, I might add it to that sheet of paper.
I have sections for Augusta Tech where my son & I are attending school (it has the school schedule with holidays listed), Camping (where I put places we want to camp soon and confirmation of registrations), and Veritas, our co-op information and annual schedule as well as the phone roster. I have had sections on soccer, rowing, theatre productions and other activities that we have been a part of. Any activity in which we participate that has information that I need to keep up with has a section of its own. Naturally, our family calendar is an ever-changing work of art… or piece of work, depending on how you view it.
The only big NO-NO with our calendar is you NEVER write in pen (except when marking birthdays or other important things that I would never want to erase), because life happens and things change. And my kids know, if they don’t write it down, I won’t know about it/remember it so there’s a good chance it won’t happen. They’re great about making sure it stays up to date.
There is a zippered pouch for pencils (for writing things apt to change) and red pen for marking things that I don’t want erased (like when the dog & cat get flea meds …. or when a child is disciplined).
I even have a section for discipline. It’s just too hard to keep up with who is in trouble for what. My Joy is notorious for arguing about when she gets off restriction. Honestly, I just can’t keep up with when “two weeks” from now might be, so I write it all down on a chart. Yes, the seventeen and nineteen year old still get disciplined …. not often enough, mind you, but it happens.
I have one fun little sleeve for my own personal inspiration. It might have photos, a sweet note from a child or an ad pulled out of a magazine. From time to time, it holds a photo or some craft project that inspires me or a verse of scripture.
This calendar goes everywhere I go. It goes on every trip and is thrown into the car along with my purse on most outings. It might look cumbersome, but it’s just a part of the family. It’s like a diaper bag when you have babies – it goes where we go!
So, that’s our awesome family calendar.
So, there’s our family “toy.” Actually, something similar would make an awesome gift for a close friend that you know is scattered.
It certainly works for me!