My mornings recently have been a lot busier than usual, because I’m preparing to launch a new design for my main business, Music Teacher’s Helper. I’m really excited about it because it will make the program look much more updated and clean. We’ve also simplified the interface so it should be much easier to use, especially for those just signing up. I think our customers will love it!
A Time for Work
But I’ve had my share of stressful work-days as well, mostly due to self-imposed deadlines to try and get the design finished and launched before an upcoming music teachers conference. I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately pouring over the site, and continue to find more little things I’d like to tweak and improve, or small bugs that should be fixed. Then there’s all the copywriting to do.
Yes, I outsource most of my work, and could probably outsource more of it. I tried my hand at programming again this morning, and actually got quite frustrated with it. Maybe I’m just out of practice, but it sure wasn’t enjoyable like it used to be. I’m really glad to have two wonderful programmers helping me out there. I still enjoy writing, though, and no one knows my business as well as I do (yet), so I’m handling the copywriting for now.
So, what happened to the Brandon that only works 5 hours a week? Well, that’s still usually the case. But last week I worked almost 18 hours, and will probably be close to that this week as well. Work is always more enjoyable when you’re excited about what you’re doing, and can envision great results. And then I tend to do more of it…
However, I consider my greatest work the time I spend with my kids, much of it in “play”.
A Time For Play… and Learning
Play is most enjoyable for me when I just let it happen. We’ve had a lot of fun with our kids recently. We put together a foam Valentine’s house sent to us by Grandma Alli. Jen and the girls made caterpillars out of egg carton shells, and dolls & fairies out of cereal boxes and paper, which they seem to enjoy even more than store-bought toys. We’ve taken walks, ridden the bus to town, played computer games together, and even spotted some poisonous cane toads in our backyard!
One night during dinner, we were talking about how the house we’re living in would make a nice restaurant. The girls took the idea further and were getting excited about running their own restaurant. So after dinner, we decided to start one!
We wrote up a menu and the girls decorated it. They got to choose all the dishes, which Emily insisted we write in both English and Spanish. The girls setup tables and chairs with table cloths and centerpieces. They brought out their stuffed animals to be the customers. And Emily and Marie each took turns being a customer as well as a waitress. Jen was the chef. And I was the manager (and a customer once). We had a great time, and I think the kids learned a lot as well. We all helped clean up when we “closed”.
One of these days, maybe we’ll make a nicer menu on the computer, add some prices, and help them learn to count the money. Play makes learning so much fun, especially when it’s driven by the kids. (Much better than memorizing facts you don’t care about for a test you’re being forced to take.)
Our Kids Are Bloggers
Emily and Marie each also have their own blog now. Emily is 6 years old and is typing all of the posts herself. She uses the built-in spell checker in Firefox and also asks us for help when needed. Marie’s blog just launched, so she doesn’t have any posts yet, but will have one soon. She’s 4 years old and will be dictating her posts to us until she wants to type them. Their blog addresses are:
www.emilyinthejungle.com – Emily
www.ridingabutterfly.com – Marie
If you feel so inclined, go ahead and leave them a comment. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.