I have occasionally heard about companies hiring special trainers for things like efficiency, Covey-type optimistic management styles and the like, and even ethics principles. But never humility. I think that boss should get some kudo’s for listening to his employees’ complaints while still trying to work with the comptroller. Most biz owners would have simply a) blown off the complaints or b) fired the person outright, rather than try to find a decent solution. Veeeeery interesting business owner you have there. Maybe make him a batch of cookies sometime, for being a decent, balance-seeking human being. Sounds like one.
My six year old is an awesome reader and is playing multiplication games on the ipad. He is also playing games on it too. He keeps himself busy doing many things, not just the ipad. My ten year old uses hers to text and make videos, not so much for math games anymore.
It was in my shoe room, I mean spare bedroom, but I have had to move them to make room for bedroom/nursery for my daughter. The thought has crossed my mind to buy a bigger house eeek… but I’m praying this move my daughter has suckered me into agreeing to, is temporary. I purposely purchased the house I have now to accommodate myself, my puppy and my shoes.
I love what Mark said in her paragraph about downsizing her house. My idea of simplicity is, at bottom, a search for contentedness. I want to identify the things I *NEED*, and then remove everything else, keeping in mind that “need” covers all areas of existence, not just physical things. (So I feel like I “need” my home library, because reading is how I re-energize myself from stress.)
I like ideas that remove conflict. We were continually not getting dishes washed because they’d all stack up so fast and then we’d feel overwhelmed. So instead of us yelling at each other every day to get it done, I removed all the extra dishes, so that each family member had one plate, bowl, cup, and silverware set, and saved out two large microwaveable plates, a large pot, and a large frying pan, and two microwavable casserole dishes. That’s pretty much it. So even if we don’t get the dishes done this meal, there’s not much there, and it’s fast and easy to do.
We had a summer wherein it was exorbitantly expensive, and we’d used the electric oven a lot. So higher cost on running the oven, and higher cost on the AC working overtime to cover the heat that got into the house. So we simplified for a month to see how it worked: we only used the microwave and the toaster oven (that my folks bought us for Christmas). That was three years ago, I think, and it worked so well that we’ve only used the oven twice since then, and I think it was for large trays of Christmas cookies.
For me, simplicity also involves time. I want to know that we as a family have plenty of time to comfortably be together just hanging around the house. Keeping track of a dozen schedules and running here and there, even if we’re all together in the car, is NOT simple for me. Being dedicated to the weirdness of not spending money helps, of course, because it reduces the number of shopping “errands” that seem necessary.
I have my degree in early childhood development, and the part that interested me the most was the amazing power behind environment design. Those classes explored how carefully thinking out the positioning of each item (typically furniture or a category of learning toys) would create a room that allowed the children to explore and learn independently with the least amount of struggle. I have a disability that means a lot of normal home activities are a struggle for me, so I applied what I learned about environment design to my home, and it simplified enormously the steps that I have to take to accomplish things. Basically, it’s taking the idea of ‘don’t arrange a sofa directly in front of a door’ just a bit further than interior design.
So. Simplicity to me is ease of living, and what it takes for me to be contented in my life. Accessed through careful management of time, environment, money, and taking the time to be self-reflective and recognize what it is that you, as an individual, and your family, really needs.
I have a 3yo and an 18 mo; Little boy gets up early so we usually go downstairs and hang out on the couch and play on the iPad. I am consistently amazed at how FAST he “gets” the apps in terms of vocabulary, numbers, matching games, etc.
Little girl is older so gets it even more — she grew up with Mickey Mouse and Elmo on the iPad and is smart as a whip.
At one point I even contemplated getting another iPad so the kids would each have one to play with but realized it’s better if they learn to take turns and share. iPad apps have come a long way IMO.
Trust me though they still play with pens and paper and glue sticks and bubbles, blah, blah, blah. The iPad is just another tool in their educational arsenal.
Mo’ joe, mo’ betta. Be sure to add lots of cream and sugar for the full effect. I once got to talking with a fellow tea enthusiast, and we talked awhile about our favorite types of tea. But then she said “but you know, at the end of the day, the flavor of tea doesn’t actually matter. After all it’s really just a vehicle for caffeine and sugar. The flavor is just a nice touch.” Alrighty then. I guess she’s got her priorities figured out. I’ll hang onto the notion that flavor is a tad more important than that. But maybe not by much.