This Year’s Plans

As my husband of almost 20 (!!) years will tell you, the beginning of the year can be a little scary if you live with me. I am full of ideas, plans, and things I want to do. I make lists, I join classes, I find lots of ways to try to make our lives more meaningful and more fulfilling. And then, I lose track of all those projects and I fall off the wagon and I end up sitting there on December 31st trying to figure out what happened. But not this year.

What makes me think this year will be different? Well, for starters I have a planner that I adore that makes me think about my choices more concretely and helps me to plan and organize in a fashion that is more suited to my style (read, I can ramble on a bit and it doesn’t seem to matter given that it is paper). I’m using personal sized Life is Crafted pages from here. What I like about these is the review aspects of the monthly pages and the other pages that give me a place to put the books I read and the movies I see and so forth.

One of my goals is to write more. Thanks to a random mention on Twitter, I discovered the Magic Spreadsheet. More importantly, because I’m not quite at a point where I want the world to see how many words I write in a day, I found a personalized one that I can use for myself and only myself. I am using it and it is helping me to be aware of how much I am writing.

Right now, I’m writing in word, but I finally made the decision to commit to Scrivener this year and I can’t wait to get started with it. I’m hoping to produce some more academically focused articles this year, and I think this a tool that can help me do that.

As for the other things that I’m doing, well, I joined Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class and Cathy Zielske’s Move More, Eat Well Jumpstart at Big Picture Classes. I’m not expecting miracles from the latter, but a bit more consciousness on my part simply won’t hurt anything. I’m starting a year long cross-stitch project in a few days (Once Upon a Time Sampler, some scripture memory work from A Holy Experience, and some other things designed to help me find and focus on the goals that I need to pursue to fulfill the person I am supposed to be. I’m also continuing with Digital Project Life. I truly love doing this project and I think we learn so much from what we used to do and who we used to be even one year ago. I may suck at scrapbooking in a traditional manner, but put me in front of Photoshop and watch out.

Finally, I am tackling the house. Anyone who knows me knows that my house is something of a terror zone. So I’m working on decluttering and clearing, and making space for us all to breathe. We’re going to tackle some small projects along the way to try to make things more workable while we decide whether this house is still a fit for us or if we need to do something different. Only time will tell.

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February 3 in 30: Goals

3in30 Challenge

Positive Parenting Solutions

My goal here is to work on completing the sessions and worksheets. There are six sessions, total, and I’ve completed one, so I have five to go and this is the month that I’m determined to get through them and start applying the techniques that I’m learning.

Drink More Water

My plan here is to drink two 32 oz. glasses of water per day. So, it’s really more specific than drink “more” water, but that’s definitely more than I’ve been drinking and I’m hoping it will help to stave off my usual March bout with bronchitis.

28 Days To Hope for Your Home

Honestly, this could not have come at a better time. I cannot get organized. I cannot keep the house clean. I don’t know why these tasks seem insurmountable, but they do. So, this featured challenge is perfect for me. I’ve already done the first two days, and my wonderful husband did the third day without even realizing it for me because I have a cold.

This is the weekly link up page. Please go there if you’re joining in, want to see what others are doing and so forth.

 

January 3 in 30: Week 4

3in30 Challenge

Mind-Body-Soul Time

This really has been one of the best things that I’ve done for myself and for the kids. I’m getting know them a lot better (which, I know, sounds nuts given that I homeschool them and see them every day), and I think they both feel more valuable to the family as a whole.

Get the Kids More Involved in the Household

The Motivated Moms thing is going out of the window, today. It is simply not working for us right now. It has worked in the past, and I think when I get this crazy class behind me, it can work again, but there’s just so much happening, I feel like I have to find an “easier” way to manage the house. To that end, new chart being made tonight and implemented tomorrow. Hoping that with fewer things on it, we’ll all feel better able to manage the house and that we’ll all feel like we’re valued, contributing members to the culture of our family.

31 Days To Build A Better Spouse

I think this has worked for us in ways I couldn’t have predicted. Has it made P a completely new person? Of course not. Has it softened my attitude toward some of his foibles? You bet. So, I think this has been a win and something that I’m going to continue for the next month in a less structured way. Perhaps more praying in color or something like that.

This is the weekly link up page. Please go there if you’re joining in, want to see what others are doing and so forth.

January 3 in 30: Week 2 & 3

3in30 Challenge

Mind-Body-Soul Time

Still managing this quite well. Most days both kids get one on one time and they seem to be thriving with it. Clearly one of the better decisions I’ve made. Need to keep this going for them and for me.

Get the Kids More Involved in the Household

We have been dividing the chores each week and the kids have attempted a couple of them. Ben is making huge strides with keeping his room clean and remembering to put his clothes in his hamper. We’ve had a few glitches with toys in the living room and with some of the more involved chores due to my work schedule being way more full than I anticipated this term. We may have to rethink the Motivated Moms part of this and create something that is more doable for us in this season of our lives. Worth the thought.

31 Days To Build A Better Spouse

I’m keeping this up well. Mostly in the morning with the daily office, but sometimes I don’t get to any of it until the evening. I’m trying to be more precise with it and more determined in my focus. We’ll continue to see.

This is the weekly link up page. Please go there if you’re joining in, want to see what others are doing and so forth.

January 3 in 30: Week 1

3in30 Challenge

Mind-Body-Soul Time

We have managed this. There have been days where the ten minutes turned into thirty minutes, but otherwise, both kids are getting some one-on-one time with me where their interests dominate.

Get the Kids More Involved in the Household

We sat down and divided up the chores, but then we got swept up in some household craziness and didn’t get as far with the chores this week as we’d hoped. We’ll divide the chores again tomorrow and see if we can make a better stab at finishing things next week.

31 Days To Build A Better Spouse

This has been going really well. I’ve linked it up with my Daily Office readings and just plug away a little every day. I have to believe that it will ultimately have an effect even if it doesn’t seem to be in the beginning.

This is the weekly link up page. Please go there if you’re joining in, want to see what others are doing and so forth.

January 3 in 30: Goals

3in30 Challenge

Mind-Body-Soul Time

This is a concept described in Amy McCready’s Positive Parenting Solutions class (and her book, If I have to Tell You One More Time …).  The idea is that you spend ten minutes of uninterrupted time with each child, each day, that is child directed. That means the child chooses the activities and so forth. My goal here is to ddo this with each of my kids every day this month.

Get the Kids More Involved in the Household

My goal here is to use the Motivated Moms chore chart to help divide the household workload and to help  them learn new skills. I think this is going to be interesting and hopefully helpful to all of us in maintaining the house.

31 Days To Build A Better Spouse

This is a challenge going on this month based on a book by the same title. I’m hoping that joining into this will help ME think more about P and his needs as my health issues seem to be heading toward resolved..

This is the weekly link up page. Please go there if you’re joining in, want to see what others are doing and so forth.

Please note this is the first post written using my new keyboard hooked up to my iPad. I’ve tried to catch all the errors, but if I’ve missed any, I’m sorry.

 

Time Off and Laundry

It’s weird to be off for as long as I have. I haven’t taught anyone (except Ben) anything since November 10. I finished course development work on the 16th of November and gave birth to Katie on the 17th of November. I’m starting to work on my organizational plan for the first term back because I know I’m going to have to have one. People look at what I do and think it’s fabulous because I can “do it whenever I want.” This is not precisely true.

Every place I work has deadlines inherent in their scheduling. This includes my house. Thinking about schools, though, they usually have two separate deadlines. One they call the “best practice” deadline and one that is the absolute, we’ll be calling your house if you don’t have things up deadline. The best practice deadline is not always, in my opinion, realistic for the kinds of classes that I teach, but it works to at least increase the stress levels for the instructors and make us work that much harder to attempt to meet them.

So, I’m spending this last week of downtime attempting to craft my organizational plan for returning to work while still in recovery from a rather difficult birth experience. I’ve learned a great deal about the frailty of the human body and what happens when it actually reaches its legitimate limits.

I’m also doing laundry. Somehow, we’d forgotten just how much laundry a newborn can generate. Today, she had a diaper that suffered “epic fail” and soaked everything within a few feet of her, poor child. However, laundry is spinning and I’m going to make more of my favorite fudge (Nigella Lawson’s fudge from Nigella Express). I use semi-sweet chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and good vanilla. Melt it all together. Pour into a 9 x 9 square pan lined with parchment paper. Cool. Cut. Freeze. Use as a pick me up whenever the grading starts to get me down (or the really late nights with a very small girl).