Lately it’s been a little challenge to get the kids to WILLINGLY help out. Here’s an example:

Me, going from room to room to wake up the kids and inform them of the morning plan – “Up and at ‘em kids” hoping my up-beatedness would transform their sleeping minds into immediately productive beings, “there’s work to be done today and time’s a wastin’!”

This is nearly the last day of the year and the kids are on Christmas vacation… in both body and mind… so it’s extra hard to motivate them, especially this early in the morning. (if 9:30 is early)

During a normal week, we would have had a family meeting so that everyone knows the plan in order to avoid surprises, but these weeks are different with schedules a little messed up.

After patiently explaining (OK, not so patiently after the 3rd time) that we are going to work this morning to get a couple of jobs done, I finished my coffee and went outside to shovel snow. “They just need some time for breakfast and to wake up” I told myself as I enjoyed the bitterly cold morning as I shoveled snow. When I came back in 15 minutes later, NOBODY was even thinking about getting ready… one was playing on his ipad, one was reading a book, one sleeping on the couch and the others were nowhere to be seen – by plan, I think, they were absent. I took a deep breath to calm myself, then, mustering up all of the patience I had left I reminded them of our mission. The details are too complex and lengthy to go into here, but 15 minutes later we were all aboard the van. As I drove to work, I planned a little overdue meeting in my mind… “better late than never” I thought to myself.

Margie was already working when we arrived in the bus, so, as she finished up a chore, I told the kids to hang tight so we can have a pow-wow.

“Sorry to have sprung this work-bee on you kids this morning, but since we haven’t had a meeting in a while, how can we communicate this to all of you in the future, when we need to help out here, so that it doesn’t come as a surprise?”

“You could just tell us” Darlene suggests.

“It’s not always so easy when you’re all scattered” I reply.

“You could get us all i-phones” Andy pipes in. This goes ignored as he was just trying to be funny. On second thought, maybe he was serious and thinks the new-age way to communicate would solve the problem.

Mom says, “I think we just need to have some more willingness to help out when asked. Just keep in mind that YOU all need and ask for help too, so you should be willing to help others out when asked.”

OK, mission one was accomplished since we were all on the same page and ready to work. The rest of the morning went pretty smoothly as I worked on this blog entry.

Bruce & Joyce

Bruce and Joyce operating the tabbing machine as a team.


Bruce, as I caught him candidly applying labels later on.


Calvin sorting through the mailing trays.

Darz & Mom

Darlene and Mom working on computers… Darz, up-dating the mailing list with changes.


Julia, running the booklet maker.


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