Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I LOVE the beginning of a new year! Henry and I chose January 1 as our wedding date because of my ridiculous obsession with it. I have this thing for new beginnings, when I feel that all things are new.

I don't think it is isolated to the start of a new year. I love the start of school. I can remember even as a little girl the excitement of a new school year.....the new bottle of glue, the fresh notebook paper, the nice sharp pencils. Ha! That sounds crazy but I love everything about new things.

It is also this thought that refreshes me when I think of the blessings of the Lord. How I always need a new morning, another helping of mercy, a "do-over." A verse that sticks with me is Lamentations 3:22-23The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness.

Big praise there!! Thank you Lord for new beginnings and then more new beginnings when I've messed those up too.

I am a list maker and a goal setter. I'm the person who reads blogs and ebooks about goal setting every year. I ponder on goals. I scribble goals. I finally come around to what I think I'd like to work on. According to many people who know far more than I do, Crystal at Money saving mom (who I think is my personal friend) and Zig Ziglar (Henry's friend), the benefits of setting goals are astounding.

I had a little trouble going between goals and dreams as I whittled the pool and the RV off of my list. (Boo!) But this is what I came up with for 2016:

Goal #1 Spiritual Goal: To live as if living for the Lord

My plan includes: Faithfully doing a daily Bible study, Joining a midweek Thrive class at my church and taking the kids to Kidzpointe, Hosting a once a month friend group to grow Christian friendships, making Sunday a day of rest

Goal #2 Family Goal: To grow closer

My plan includes: Making sure we eat at least three meals each week SITTING DOWN together, Having a date night with Henry at least once a month, either Henry or I having at least an hour of one on one time with each child each week

Goal #3 Health Goal: To feel and act with more energy

My plan includes: Read books that inspire me, Focus on a positive attitude, Walk at least a mile each day, implement healthier eating habits

Goal #4 Financial Goals

Our plan includes (this is a team effort): using cash for most purchases during the month, saving at least 3 months expenses, replacing Henry's vehicle, and continuing to fund at least one vacation this year
Even cash envelopes look more appealing with pretty titles!

Whew!! So....I have a lot of work to do. What's that they say? A goal that is not written down is just a dream! I HAVE GOALS!

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winning Christmas Presents

I probably do not want to know how much money I have spent on presents that were tossed to the side and never looked at again.  They usually can be found later in a pile with parts of tape and wrapping paper still hanging on!
This year, I felt like I knew the girls a little better and they have more definite likes and interests.  Compared to years past, I didn't spend as much money on Christmas gifts.  However, we got several things that seem to be a big hit with the girls!
Most of my purchases were made on amazon.  I LOVE me some Amazon Prime!  One of our favorite gifts that the whole family is enjoying is the tile lock scrabble game that we got.  We have played it multiple times a day.  The twins can't spell well yet so playing with them might make you want to throw it through the front window   requires a little patience. :)  It is especially fun for LG.  Henry and I may or may not have played a game alone after the kids were in bed last night.  I told him that we were going to make awesome old people!
Hands down, the most favored gift of all the girls is a cardboard box!  Shocker!  This one actually comes in the form of a playhouse and it has been a HUGE hit!  The girls love them.  I ordered them back in the summer when they were on for $19.99 but I would probably pay amazon's price now that I know how much they love them.   They have decorated them and love to hang out in them with their toys and play.  
Of course, we had to throw in some babysitters  electronic devices.  But once again, amazon came through with $35 kindles.  Henry downloaded a program called freetime which allows him to set a time limit, as well as an on and off time.  This has really taken care of the five more minutes that some kids (not mine, of course) might argue about.

So, it's time to begin my Christmas shopping for next year!

HO, $ HO, $, HO $ 

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tidying Up!

I'm currently going through the KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.  I'm listening to the book on audible.  I've actually re-listened to a few chapters to make sure that I am soaking in the information.  I'm really encouraged and optimistic.
Before beginning, you have to imagine what you want your life to be like once your home is tidy. This is your vision and the "why" for going through the process.  I have written my list and it sounds heavenly.  I will drive into a carport that is free of any tools, no junk, no I'll put this away later anythings.  My entry way will be uncluttered and my house will smell clean and fresh when I enter.  My flat spaces that now seem to be a catch-all will be free from anything that catches my eye.    This is KEY for me and I know it.  If there are things in piles I cannot relax.  It always makes me feel as though there is more to do and I won't be able to get to it.

Progress has been made.  I've been using her principles to adjust my way of thinking.  I don't look for what I will throw away so much anymore but I group everything and look for what I will keep.  I will keep those things that bring me joy!  JOY!  So far, I have (with Henry's help) emptied the linen closet and cleared out anything that is not purposeful.  It feels great to open that door and peek in.  I have also purged tons and books and craft supplies.  The method states that you should do one category at a time and that totally makes sense.  Otherwise, you will always feel like "I just did this!"  So far, I have done the categories of clothing, books, and linens.

I'm blogging here so that I can look back and see all of the progress that I've made!

Happy decluttering!
The craft closet - it's not perfect but it has come a LONG way!  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It's Worth It

It feels as though all of my posts lately (all two of them) have had a common theme.  The theme being that life rushes past quickly and I'm trying to savor it.  I'm trying somewhere between the loads of laundry and load of homework to nurture these children that I've been given.
I was texting (because I can do that and supervise homework and cook chili) with a friend a few minutes ago.  She has three children under the age of five, including a two month old.  She's tired and she's often overwhelmed.  Because, well, because she is a mom.  I was telling her that I totally get it.  This parenting thing is hard.  I added that it is hard. And wonderful. And tiring. And beautiful. And worth it most of the time.....except when it doesn't feel like it is.
Then they grow up and they don't call or text as much as you'd like.  You don't lay your eyes on them as much as you'd like.  You think back to how much you did when you were busy and how you kept going when you were tired.  You realize that you'd do it all again even if you knew that they might not remember all of the details.
Hopefully they have an understanding that your life became so much about them the moment you knew about them.
I often describe parenting as a "hard gig."  But I know of nothing else that could be done from pure love when all other resources fail.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Let them eat candy

Image result for free clipart halloween candy

So, it's Halloween.  It's pouring rain today so trick or treating was moved to last night for our parish.  The girls dressed as Elsa, Cinderella, and Rapunzel.  Tinkerbell and Ariel waited in the closet but missed out on the fun and weren't needed for backup.  Everyone fit fine without too many itchies or complaints. 

Today, none of the girls wanted breakfast, or lunch, or supper for that matter.  The garbage cans have had a steady supply of candy wrappers so I haven't worried that this was anything to worry about.   Nobody needed a temp taken or any tummy medicine.  I have refrained from fussing.  I have learned a few things about this ever so hard parenting gig over the years.

The most important doesn't last long.  All of the special moments are just that.  They are but a moment, a second, a memory if you can capture them somehow to remind yourself of the event.  Even though I know these things, I press on at a hurried pace through this mere blink.

I was tagged on facebook today by a friend who has a son the same age as Haigan.  She hosted Halloween parties for years for their little group of friends.  She had posted a picture of the group ready to trick or treat from six years ago.  They were tiny....and excited.   I faintly remembered what child might be mine as I looked over the masks and group of characters.  Recognizing his shoes, I spotted my skeleton.  As I sit typing,  this same little boy is off to a party with friends.  He just texted that he was safely there.  Thank you, Lord.

As I rehung costumes today, I saw a tiny jack o lantern suit in the corner.  I have had it for 20 years since Holton wore it for Halloween.  It feels as though I excitedly ordered that twelve month size pumpkin suit yesterday.  But.....he is at his own house tonight.  I've tried luring him over with food and sweet tea.  He says he may be able to come by tomorrow.

So........ Let there be candy for every meal tomorrow.  It really won't matter at all.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Today is brought to you by

I haven't written here in over a year.  This is not because I don't think of a million things that I'd like to post about.  My mind is always on overdrive and going in a million different directions.  (If ritalin had been popular when I was in school, I would have been visiting the nurse before lunch every day for my dosage.)  It's not because my life has been boring or lacking events to note.  It is simply because I AM TIRED!  And I'm tired of being tired!   My facebook status at this moment states "Today has been brought to you by the letter TIRED!"  Isn't that ridiculous?  I'm tired of complaining about being tired too!
I'm 41 going on 70!  It's 8:48 and I'm gettting a little nervous that I might not get in bed early enough to wake up by dark:30 with a smile on my face to greet 114 pre-teens with the appropriate morning niceness. Is that a word?  Niceness.  It is now.
What bothers me most is that I am missing out on so much of my life and I CAN NOT for the life of me figure out how to slow it down, take it all in, be present in the moments.  I can't quite figure out how to live out all of the quotes that I've posted through the years that spoke to my heart.  At what point do you stop chasing and stop racing in the rat race and just say enough is enough.  I'm changing the course of this ship.
I wake up panicking because somebody's uniform is in the washer and it needs to be dry before they leave.  It is nuts that my first thoughts are of something that I'm behind about.....because I slept!  I'm sure some of this forever long to do list is normal for most people.  I know that only the glamorous goes public on social media.  I've never seen anyone cleaning a toilet in a selfie or posing in front of a sinkful of dirty dishes.  I know that life is busy for most people.  I get that I'm not some crazy exception to the rule or super woman.
I'm just soul searching for some really intentional ways to slow mine down....for the sake of my self and my family.
I'm going to write about it until I figure it out.  Because that helps, right?   :)