Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Choosing Joy Today

Thursday has always been a tough day for me. I have no idea why, but I just can't seem to get the hang of Thursdays. After 41 years of practice, one would assume that I've got Thursdays down to a science, nay an art even. *One* would be wrong. ;)
For whatever reason, Thursday just doesn't want to be my friend. So, to combat this Thursday's irritations, annoyances and unwelcome surprises, I'm going to fight back, with a healthy (if mildly sarcastic) dose of humor.

~To the small child who sneezed in my face despite my repeated requests to cover hers, I say THANK YOU for the improved immune system you are helping me create.
~To the person who made me arrive late home from work, I say THANK YOU for allowing me to enjoy the first time EVER that Dan fretted about being late somewhere. 
~To the aforementioned child that has a serious case of what I call "Chronic Repeater-Itis" I say THANK YOU for helping me practice my patience level as I remind her (yet again) to stop repeating herself and give me a chance to respond to her request.
~To the teenager who thinks I'm old, prudish and irrelevant, I say THANK YOU for the reminder to thank my parents one more time for teaching me values, morals, endurance for the journey and respect for my elders.  And here's to hoping that he has *exciting* children one day that think HE is boring, prudish and irrelevant.
~To the young man who showed up at my door last night expecting a warm welcome and a place to sleep, two things come to mind. 1. THANK YOU for the reminder to be prepared for anything when being married to Hercules (I really should have been a Boy Scout) and 2, if you want a warm welcome and place to sleep, you really should let the lady of the house know you are coming. ;)
~To the expensive sport that one of my son's enjoys so much, THANK YOU for the huge bills that keep coming to remind me of why we are so careful with our money this time of year. Pantry challenge, anyone?
~To all the young 20-somethings that bring drama to my life, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a not-so-good way, THANK YOU for the chance to redeem MY young 20s by sharing a little wisdom with you. PLEASE listen to me. As my father used to say, "Learn from my mistakes, you don't have time to make them all yourself." (I am fairly convinced my dad was the smartest man that ever lived but that's another story altogether.)
~To the man whom I love more than anything and also drives me batty with his *surprises* and spontaneity, I say THANK YOU for keeping things fun after all this time and keeping me from becoming a boring old stooge who doesn't know how to have any fun anymore.
~To ALL the bad drivers everywhere, I say THANK YOU for keeping me on my toes and WIDE WIDE awake everywhere I go. 
     With heartfelt blessings and a healthy sense of humor to you, Thursday...thanks for keeping it real.
PS. If you, too, have a day that just gets away from you every week, share a comment about it with us!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: March 18, 2015

Outside my's a lovely spring day. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the birds are singing.

I am thinking...that a full morning to play with and update my blog is just shy of Heaven.

I am thankful...for a week off of work to regather the tattered remnants of my sanity, to soak up some quiet, to hang out with *just* my family, and to read read read.

In the kitchen...we are in the middle of a pantry challenge week and here's the line up:
  •  Monday: leftover buffet which included milet mignon, grilled chicken and pork roast, seasoned rice pilaf, jello, mashed potato biscuits, fresh veggies, salad, 3 different soups, hard boiled eggs and no bake cookies. And one of my family members actually commented that there was nothing to eat. Craziness ;)
  • Tuesday: Salad bar complete with mixed spring greens, spinach, croutons, cucumbers, shredded carrots, bacon bits, olives, 2 different cheeses, grape tomatoes and 3 dressing choices.
  • Wednesday: Red beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage
  • Hamburger Helper Stroganoff  (thank you, 10 for $10 sale) 
  • Friday: Game Night Veggie Tray, with chips and dip
  • Saturday: Homemade pizza and popcorn
  • Sunday: On the road for a gymnastics meet 3.5 hours away
I am pjs. At NOON :) Did I mention hurray for a week off?!

I am creating...this blog post, and then some lunch for my boys.

I am going...nowhere since David has borrowed the van. And I'm totally ok with that.

I am a house can so quickly become HOME. We've lived here 7 weeks and there are only 2 boxes left, and it feels like we've been here forever already. It just feels right.

I am reading...nothing yet today, but I downloaded several goodies on my Kindle for this week and I'll be digging into them as soon as I eat lunch.

I am hoping...that my children have as fond memories of being at home as I do of having them at home.

I am looking forward to...the rest of this week off, Rachel's arrival tomorrow, a successful gymnastics meet for David on Sunday, and for an upcoming week of field trips during Rachel's stay with us.

I am learning...that I am much too hard oh myself and my children and not nearly hard enough on pretty much everyone else. I'm working on balance this year.

From the learning rooms...Not much yet this week, as we've been interrupted approximately eleventy billion times. But we've managed a BrainPop movie of the week, some reading aloud from Farmer Boy, several brain games and worked together in the kitchen inspecting the progress of our science experiments, cooking dinner and hosting company. I had intended to pull off a full week of school (including curriculum studies) but with the coming and going this week, it's just not happening, so I am adding a bit of educational content where I can and just being ok with that.

Around the house...there are many things to be done like dishes, organizing the bills and cleaning all 3 bathrooms, but I've claimed today as my do-what-I-want day, so I've been ignoring the chores while I've blogged all morning, and will read all afternoon and possibly even put DT to bed early and watch a movie BY MYSELF, uninterrupted while the BIGS and Dan are at church this evening. And the glory will roll. ;)

I am pondering...the contents of my drawers and closets. Much of doesn't fit well, and even more is unattractive, dated or shabby. It's time for a true purge and possibly a few new (to me) pieces that are more flattering.

A favorite quote for today...
“Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom.” I will reduce, so He can increase.”
Jen Hatmaker, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

One of my favorite things...My "Southern Gospel Greats" station on Pandora

A few plans for the rest of the week: Relaxing, visiting with Rachel, attending David's meet in Rio Rancho, reading, playing games with the family and enjoying Game Night.

A peek into my day... 
The delightful sting of stars that Dan hung up for me on the patio to enjoy late night chats.

If you've enjoyed this post, and you also enjoy the simple things, take a peek over here to see more daybook entries and to join the fun!

Alone Again

...and just like that, I'm back to living alone in the land of men.

*le sigh*

Have a safe and enjoyable trip, Mom. I'll be waiting when you return to us!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Screen Free Month: March 2015 UPDATE

 Hi friends, just a quick update to let you know we're both still alive :) We've finally gotten over the cravings of the first week and are now more able to entertain ourselves. We've planted flowers, cooked and baked together, gotten a ton of school done, done magic tricks and science experiments, worked with Dan and Grma in the yard, played more card/board games than you can imagine, gone to bed on time and read like crazy. I could get used to this. :)
Derek is still struggling a little bit when he has no one to play with, but overall is doing quite well. He's riding bikes, making friends with the neighbors, jumping on the trampoline, reading in bed at night and playing with the dog.
I was horrified at how much I miss FB and chatting with my friends on there, but that is passing slowly. The other thing that I didn't realize is how much I had gotten in the habit of zoning out in front of the TV with Dan late in the evening. That one is proving to be a difficult habit to break. It's "spending time with Dan" and while that is his love language and isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's also a way of being together without actually having to put any effort into our relationship. So we're talking more, doing yard work together, moving boxes together and seeing our relationship improve along the way. I can live with that.
Anywho, no more time to blog as DT is waiting semi-patiently to play a game of Pirate Fluxx with me, so I must scoot. Have a wonderful day, my friends!
    Blessings, ~K~

Update: Well, I guess this is an update to an update, but I digress. It's the 18th and the past several days have been total failures in the Screen Free area. Dan turned the TV on this weekend and told DT he could watch with him, so Sat and Sun were total losses. Monday we did much better as T was over and they were playing together, but Tuesday necessitated Patrick watching him for a while and they played video games together the whole time. And Pat is currently watching him while I get some things done and I'd bet the whole farm they are playing video games again. RATS. But, life goes on, we will just get back on track tomorrow. Hurray for tomorrow. ~K~

Sunday, March 1, 2015

We're Going Screen Free This Month: March 2015

 Hi Friends, Derek and I are going screen free this month in order to break the addiction of screens (for him) and to make more time (for me).
       So often I find myself saying that I don't have time for ____ (fill in the blank), but the truth is that I often don't want to have time for _____. I thought that if I didn't spend so much time on Facebook, reading other people's blogs or shopping on Amazon/eBay/etsy, I'd have more time to do other spend time with my family, shop for and prepare healthy meals again, go for coffee with friends, read and hang out with Dan. Aaaaand, here we go.
     DT is not allowed any screen time except for an occasional educational DVD from Netflix, math apps on my Kindle and/or the BrainPop Jr video of the week. Yes, I realize that sounds like a lot still, but it will be less than 2-3 hours a week, and recently he's been watching more than that each day, and almost none of that was educational. (ashamed face)

     I am going to crochet at least 2 times per week, make sure I read at least one book a week, and write at least one note a week. I will be checking my email and doing my online banking, and I might even allow myself to blog a bit after DT goes to bed, but that's it. No mindless trolling of blogs, putting things on my Amazon wish list, spending hours on FB and the like. (Eek, I'm starting to get nervous!)
I will pop in once in a while and let you know how it's going. Wish us luck, or if you're really brave, join us!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's the Little Things: Gymnastics Season, Post-Move and Nearly Spring Break edition

I've discovered as I make this journey through life that it's not the huge things that make or break your day, week, month or life. It's the little things. So in honor of the little things, list a few with me that made your day, week, month or life brighter or sweeter.
  • It's a sing-along on the way to Phoenix, while the teenager drives so I can crochet the miles away.
  • It's that same teenager not only knowing that the hubster and I have a "Song" but knowing all the words and singing them...loudly :)
    And knowing the words to such songs as diverse as those recorded by DCtalk, The Cathedrals, Tim McGraw, SheDaisy, The Martins, and Kansas. Makes a mama feel like she did something right along the way.
  • It's finishing a tough meet when he just wanted to go home. (actually a HUGE thing, but it still makes the list)
  • It's adding members to the house hold that truly ADD instead of just taking up space. 
  • It's Dan and I playing the first game of pool together since my dad died. In our new home. In our new and improved rec room. On the same table that Dad played his last game. That was bittersweet. 
  • It's finding just enough tea left in the pitcher for that all important glass to sit on my bedside table. 
  • It's making more time for fun school activities, not only to keep Derek's interest, but to make the lessons stick, and to create loving memories of school together.
  • It's taking a month away from screens to have more time to just BE. 
  • It's my Danny-boy doing the dance of joy with me over a new kitchen faucet. That was way better than the new faucet!
  • It's a daughter-in-love calling to say that a simple note of encouragement came at just the right time. 
  • It's walking away from the 'old house' one last time.
  • It's watching Hercules crawl through the new doggie door while encouraging the puppy to follow him. Bwuahahah! 
  • It's a teenager with a new driver's license. Oh boy...
  • It's that same teenager with a car of their very own. OH BOY>>>
  • It's a clean kitchen early in the morning. **happy dance**
I like the idea of this style of post. If you like it too, add your little things! I'm making it a goal to focus on the positive this year...Join me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Goals Update: Mid-February

Hi friends! I wanted to update at the end of January, but at the end of January we were buried under a fresh move to a new house and so it just didn't happen, as did many of my goals. Here is a (hopefully) quick update.
Personal Goals: include, but are not limited to:
~Losing 20-25 pounds this year with portion control, walking/elliptical/cardio, and more veggies. NO, and I don't want to talk about it right now. LOL!
~Writing a letter a week. YES!

~Read a book a week. A book for me, not a read aloud with the kids, or an educational book, or a book I feel like I *should* read. A book that I want to read, for personal pleasure or a how-to book on a topic I am interested in reading. (yes, I'm a speed reader, so this really should be no problem)
Only made it through 3 so far, but I'm gaining speed. I am out of practice it seems.
Spiritual Goals:
~Read through the Bible in a year. Haven't even started yet, is that bad? I have been keeping up with the readings for our sermon series at church.
~Be active in our BREAD group on Facebook. Commented or shared several times already.

~Be more proactive/mindful in my prayer life. Praying more in general, and for specific needs of friends at the *right* time and enjoying my prayer time more.
~Get more comfortable saying, "How's your walk with Jesus this week?" And, "How can I pray for you today?"
  Not comfortable yet, but trying to say it more often anyway.
Couple Goals:
~Read a book about marriage 3 times a year. Not yet.
~Go on an actual date with Dan every 8 weeks (I am trying to be reasonable) Does going to look at water heaters without the kids along count as a date? I sure hope so ;)

~Re-read The 5 Love Languages and become fluent in Dan's language. Haven't re-read the book yet, but done a good job of spending more time speaking Dan's language of quality time together.

Financial Goals:
~Stay on top of the bills (I totally stink at this, so it's a challenge) So far, so good.
~Create an emergency fund of $1000. Well, I had some money saved...

~Complete the 52 week money challenge (I should save $1378 by increasing the amount I put in each week by $1) Doing really well on this one. I've save the proper amount each week so far. Yeah!
~Keep our grocery budget at $150 or lower each week, which will be a trick with our current household size of 7.
Not doing well on this one yet, but with the move, I expected a higher grocery bill for a few weeks. Should be back on track this week. Schooling Goals:
~Finish the year on time...don't get bogged down by every little distraction. On track to finish by end of June.

~Find ways to keep DT's interest instead of just slogging through the work each day. Science experiments and other hands on activities are really helping.

~Help D figure out what he's doing this school year (He's barely started school for the year yet. *le sigh*) and what he wants to do after this year. David and I have had a few great chats about life after high school, how to survive high school, and what how to get where he wants to be.
~Encourage P to continue to be self motivated to get school done. He's managing his own schooling this year. I'm really pleased!
Pat is maintaining his momentum in school even though he says it is boring. He must be a 10th grader or something :)
Family goals:
~Re-insitute FAMILY game night, not just 'everyone' game night. I'm missing homemade pizza and just my family around the game table. I can manage games with DT, and home made pizza, but haven't yet successfully gotten everyone to the table for a meal and a game at the same time. I'll keep trying.
~Watch less TV and do more activities together outside. One super awesome thing about a move is the disruption to our normal routine. We've been working on projects around the house, building on a room, and settling in, and so there has been much less TV watching, and for about 10 days, we lived with Internet. Glorious.

~Spend some one on one time with each child every week. (I tend to get caught up in the herd mentality since there are always so many here, but that lets my own children fall through the cracks, and that's not ok)
Again, I am doing much better on this with DT than with the others. Teenagers are wily.

I am encouraged by the success of some of my goals, but disheartened about the absolute flop of others. However, I am granting myself grace in that we moved just 3 weeks ago, and I know I can do better as the year goes along.
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