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What is contentment?

What IS contentment??? ~Is it having everything you ever wished for to come true? ~Is it having the perfect husband, kids or house? ~Is it...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I just love a great photo op, don't you? My nephews spent the night last week and in the AM, this is how I found little Titus. Just precious~
Mr T. asleep in DT's reading nook.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's the Little Things



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 WHOLE day that doesn't require me to leave the house. WOOT, it's been way too long~
  • It's a nearly completed to do list, and it's not even dinner time!
  • It's a cozy evening planned, complete with a handsome hubby, a comfy couch and blanket, a movie and possibly even a fire if the temp drops a little more.
  • It's a gap toothed smile from the little one.
  • It's a dryer full of fresh, warm clothes.
  • It's fresh bread on the counter, just pulled from the oven, filling the house with it's wonderful aroma.
  • It's a church whose heart is to serve the community around it.
  • It's a handsome hubby that still loves me after all the years we've put in together, all the ups and downs, and all the craziness and chaos we've created together. (that's not a small thing, but is deep on my heart today)
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!

Homeschool Room Re-Do

I am so excited to share this post with you! The first weekend in Sept (yes, I know it's November) Dan went out of town to pick up Patrick who had been spending a few weeks in IL with my parents. I asked my sister Karen to watch David and Derek for a few days so I could have a much needed break from parenting, homeschooling, being the mama taxi and meeting the needs of my husband and family. (hey, everyone needs a break now and then) I made my lists, prioritized them, started over, made more lists, made more lists and MORE lists, and before long, I had way more planned than I could get done in a MONTH alone. So I settled on one large project and made it my focus. Our school room had been needing "something" for a while. It was crowded, cluttery, disorganized and discouraging to be in for any length of time. "Something" needed to be done. So I endevoured to do that particular something. *winks*
Once all of the Man Crew was off to their adventures without me, I settled in with some music, some snacks, a new Gaither DVD, and my camera. I'm sure I annoyed everyone on my FB friends list by posting every 5 minutes for a few hours. I am not used to being alone (as in, it's been 10 years since I've been alone for more than a few hours~ seriously) so once I got the hang of that, I got down to business. I started with the pre-requisite BEFORE pictures that looks like this *cringe*



I hope this is a No Judgement Zone :) I know. Clutter clutter clutter. Anywho, after that, I just scooped up every single thing in the room and drug it to the LR. I piled all the papers, and books, and games, and manipulatives on the couch, chairs and floor and started going through every single thing. THAT took 2 full days. It was slow going but so worth doing. I pulled almost 1/2 of the things out to either be put into storage (boys old school papers and projects) sold on eBay or to homeschooling friends, or just be tossed, tossed, tossed. It felt GOOD! I cleaned the room, the furniture and the walls. I also rearranged so that the room was more open and airy. So, here is the fruit of my labors. 3 days well spent in my opinion. The boys are able to find all of their things at a moment's notice. Plenty of things went to other families to bless them. The room is clean and useable, we almost never have to LOOK for somewhere to sit down our papers these days, and that's ALWAYS a good thing!


Oh, and we even finally had room for all my encouraging posters, informative reminders and seasonal decorations.
I know, I'm a super dork to get so excited about a clean and well organized space, but I'm ok with that. :) Being able to effectively corral our homeschooling 'schtuff' has always eluded me, so it's a big deal. LOL
     Blessings, ~K~

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 9



Today's focus is to break our goals into manageable piece, small steps, attainable mini-goals. This is a great plan, and one that I struggle with. I LOVE to just dig into a project with both hands, all my gusto and boundless enthusiasm. However, I often fall on my face a few days later since I'm exhausted and the rest of my life is a mess. Sooooo, I guess I'm in the right place and in good company. :) This challenge is so wonderful for me, even though the past day or two hasn't gone very well. Here we go:
Assignment 1: Small Habit (go for a walk as soon as Dan leaves for work on the weekdays)Goodness, another day that I didn't get it done. Dan had the day off, so we slept in and then hit the ground running since we had company coming.
Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack
Terrible. It was game night and by the time everyone was gone, I was too tired to care that the kitchen was a mess of leftover veggie trays, empty soda cans, half filled glasses and chip crumbs. *ugh*
Assignment 3: Mega-Project:Never even went in there again today, but I'm thinking I'll have time on Saturday. Here's to hoping I can make it happen tomorrow. Today's assignment was to be digging through 3 boxes and either getting rid of things, setting them aside for eBay/Freecycle or packing them carefully to be taken into the garage. That was yesterday's assignment as well, so I am now 6 boxes 'behind'. A tad discouraging, but like I said, tomorrow is another chance.
Thanks friends for enjoying the journey with me. Here's a link to getting started if you are interested.
http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/10/30/21-day-self-discipline-challenge-kick-off-link-up-here/
     Blessings, ~K~

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 8



Today's focus is to keep your goals IN SIGHT, not in your head, tucked away on a list somewhere that you never see, or under a pile of clutter that you never get around to cleaning up. Thursday started out tough for me and only got more hectic throughout the day. To be honest, it was what I generally call a 'train wreck' day. Nothing went right, nothing of much value got accomplished and I was quite discouraged about it. However, I want to be authentic about my journey towards discipline, so here are my 'results' for the day.
Assignment 1: Small Habit (go for a walk as soon as Dan leaves for work during the week):
FAIL: Had a little one here that we do NOT turn our back on, let alone leave the house while they are in residence. I will report that I did get that walk in later in the day, so I suppose that means it's only half a fail? LOL, I didn't do it in the morning, but I did eventually get it done. I suppose I can deal with that.
Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack
HUGE FAIL: Woke up to a messy kitchen. I had been out and about the evening before and I just went to bed instead of spending 10 minutes setting it back to rights. Very discouraging after doing so well up until now.
Assignment 3: Mega-ProjectFAIL: Never even went into the project room Thursday. I don't want to talk about it. LOL!

Thanks for coming along on the journey with me, even on the days when I fall off the wagon and subsequently get run over by said wagon. :) If you are interested in joining us, look here for today's assignments and how to join. http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/07/day-8-where-are-you-going/
    Blessings, ~K~

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 7



Hey everyone, this day is just getting going, but I wanted to pop over and say that today's challenges http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/06/day-7-avoiding-negativity/ and motivating chapter in "21 Days to a More Disciplined Life" http://crystalpaine.com/21-days-to-a-more-disciplined-life/ really touched me. The focus for today is breaking negative thought patterns and especially using the phrase, "I'll try" Why is this negative? Because you are admitting defeat before you even begin. Oops, that strikes a little too close for comfort for this mama. I 'try' to get everything done each day, but all too often, LIFE gets in the way of living. :) I am working in this area by practicing my option to say no to things that don't fit in my life, but I still have a ways to go before I can claim success in this area. So, with that in mind, here are today's challenges.
Assignment 1: Small Habit: Got up and went walking soon after Dan left for work. Even found myself running a good portion of my walk route. That, coupled with last night's leg workout, has me pretty sore today. I think that means I'm doing something right. Come on scale, MOVE on down!
Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack:
Woke up to a shiny kitchen again today. I could get used to this :) Didn't inspire me to bake for the boys, but did make packing a lunch for Dan much easier as I wasn't pushing around dirty dishes, wiping crumbs off of everything, or getting stuck to the counter.
Assignment 3: Mega-Project:
I am still a bit ahead on this. Tomorrow, I'll have to get back to work on it. :D Today's project was to find, collect and label our 5 gallon buckets that we use for extra pantry storage. The popcorn bucket was in the Mega Project room, the flour was in the right place, but the others had all been dragged off to be used as stools elsewhere around the garage/yard. So they've all been collected, labeled and put back in the proper place. I know my spare room was the project, but the garage is getting a lot of love in the process. I can live with that. Hee hee!
This project/life discipline challenge is really really really just what I've been needing. I've been desiring to change, but hadn't put that in motion yet. Thank you Crystal for the book and thank you Mama Bear for creating this challenge!
    
Blessings,
           Kristy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~Day 6


Hello again, friends! I know, I know~ 2 blogs in one day, what ARE you going to do with yourselves? Ha ha ha! As stated in the last blog post, I goofed up and got off track with my daily challenges, so I am playing a bit of catch up. Today's post from 'serving joyfully' is found here http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/06/discipline-day-6-realistic/  and it's a good one. Discouragement can get the best of us when we are having an 'off day' as everyone does now and then. The important part is to get back up, stop beating YOURSELF UP (as the world is glad enough to do that for you) and move on.
Today's challenges are all about Being Realistic and since this is something that I struggle with, it's especially poignant today. Join me!
Assignment 1: Continue with Small Habit: Up and out for a walk in the sunshine as soon as Dan left this morning. I'm glad I picked this one. Gotta make this habit STICK!
Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack:Hello, shiny kitchen! Lovely
Assignment 3: Mega-Project step 6:
Today's goal is to list things on Freecycle to make a little room in the garage. I need to tumble a few pieces of clothing that have gotten dusty, snap a few pics and get them up there. Don't want to fall behind. I'll update when I have it all accomplished for the day. :)
UPDATE: Got everything posted on Freecycle and even have a few 'takers' already. Bye bye stuff, go bless someone else's house!
It's still not too late to join the party. Check it out over here http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/10/30/21-day-self-discipline-challenge-kick-off-link-up-here/
     Blessings,
          Kristy

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 5



Well, apparently, I goofed (more likely had a computer glitch) yesterday when I said we weren't doing Sundays. So now I'm scrambling a bit to catch back up. Today there will be 2 posts, one from yesterday's challenge (that I thought was today's) and up next will be today's. If you are interested in reading the day 5 challenge post, it can be found here. http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/05/discipline-day-5-anticipating-obstacles/
So our challenges for day 5 are/were:
Assignment 1: Continue with Small Habit:
Got my walk done in the early morning sunshine today. Felt good. I can even do walking lunges without being sore for 2 days now. Guess that means it's time to dig out the hand weights :)
Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack:Woke up to a clean and shiny kitchen today. LOVE it! Makes it much easier to prepare a nice breakfast for myself and the boys when it's not a cluttery mess. Also really aids in getting Dan out the door with his lunch in a timely fashion.
Assignment 3: Mega-Project step 5:
Well, to be honest, now that I need to re-arrange my 21 steps list again due to the misunderstanding, I am not sure if I've done this step or not. I will check my list, re-order and then post an update later. Isn't that what we are learning about today? LOL, the obstacle being that I thought we weren't working on Sundays and now I'm behind, but since I was ahead, I might not actually be behind. Ooo, brain cramp. I'll check my list and let you know!
UPDATE: Just checked the list and I'm pleased to announce that I'm still on schedule. Yesterday's task was to start an e-Bay selling shelf in the garage to place all the items we want to sell. I have a nice clean shelf just waiting to be used once I start digging through boxes. Yippy for not letting that obstacle get the best of me!
Play along and join us over at www.servingjoyfully.com if you want. It's not too late :)
     Blessings,
        Kristy

Monday, November 5, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 4



Hello friends, we are to Day 4 of the 21 Days...Challenge (we are skipping Sundays) and today's challenge is all about taking things one step at a time. You can check out today's post by going to http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/04/day-4-one-thing-at-a-time-a-blog-makeover/. It gives us 3 steps to work on today
Assignment 1: Follow through with small habit:
I got up and walked first thing after Dan left this morning. Although it was chilly and my nose felt a little nippy, it felt good to get out there and be doing the 'right' thing first thing in the morning. I also felt like I accomplished much today because instead of lingering in front of the computer screen for an hour (or two *gulp*) I just got started with the rest of my day after a quick perusal of my e-mail and an even faster check in on FB.
Assignment 2: Follow through with “life hack” habit:
My life hack it to clean the kitchen every night before bed. I am LOVING this one. It's so great to get up to a shiny kitchen instead of last night's dinner dishes still laying around and all the counters being sticky and covered in crumbs.
Assignment 3: Mega-Project:Officially, I am quite a bit ahead on my steps for this, so I'm taking the day off. But the task that was slated for today was to work in the garage for a while trying to make some more room. I wasn't as successful at this as I had hoped to be, but was still pleased with my time spent in there moving things around. Over all, I'm rather pleased with how the whole project is coming along.
Today’s Assignment: Make a list of habits:

In the interest of being very, very (read this as PAINFULLY) honest, I just don't think I can add one more thing at this time. I'm already adding working out, cleaning the kitchen, staying on task with schooling, setting stricter boundaries for myself so I'm not a continual doormat, and daily personal Bible study (not just what I'm doing with the boys for school) The last 3 I already started before this challenge came up and I don't think I can add any more without burnout and failure, so I guess my habit is to say no when my plate is full *winks*.
If you are interested in joining the challenge, or even are just wondering what on Earth I am talking about, check out the e-book that started it all and the blog that started this challenge over at http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/10/30/21-day-self-discipline-challenge-kick-off-link-up-here/
     Blessings,
            Kristy

Saturday, November 3, 2012

21 Days to a More Discipled Life~ Day 3



1. Follow Through on yesterday's "small thing"
~DONE, or more accurately, I don't have to go walking on the weekends, so I guess PASS is more like it :)
2. Life Hack: Pick one bad habit to break or one good habit to add
~I'll be adding a quick tidy of the kitchen to my evening routine. This is something that I've really been good at in the past, but has kind of fallen to the wayside in the hectic summer we had and I just haven't gotten back to it. SO, onto the daily docket it goes! And just in time to make a new habit for the holiday baking mayhem!
3. Complete Step 3 of the MEGA project
~My job today was to take all of the empty boxes in the room, break them down and cart them out to the garage where they actually belong. I'm fighting for space in there since Dan has so many projects going on as well, but they need OUT of that room, so I made it happen. Shhh, don't tell Dan I moved some of his things. LOL!
If you're wondering how to join, or what the fuss is all about, check out http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/03/day-2-discipline-in-the-small-things/ for links to buy the e-book that inspired the challenge, and/or join the fun!

Friday, November 2, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 2



Hi there, it's day 2 of the challenge to be more disciplined. Today's topic is that discipline is a process and not something that magically happens overnight with LIFE ALTERING results. (If only, right?) So today we have 2 small assignments.
1. Pick one small task, do and commit to the follow through
~I need to get back to my daily walking as I've been rather lackluster about it now that it's getting cooler overnight. It's so nice to just crawl back under the covers once Dan is gone for the day. Or worse, go straight to the computer and spend far too much time on it. If I get up, go walking and get GOING, I am so much more motivated by the 'extra' time I have and use it for a much better purpose than staring mindlessly at the screen. So, I'm committing to walking all 5 of the weekdays.
2. Do step 2 of the MEGA project
~Yesterday I went into the back room, stood there and just acknowledged the huge mess that it is. I took a picture and shared it, and also counted the boxes as best I could. (45 boxes~ ouch) Today's project is to set up an e-Bay mailing shelf in the closet so that as I sell things, I don't have to be digging through piles of junk to find a box, bubble wrap, or the scale. I've got one started in there, but alas, never followed through with it. So, since I intend to sell a good amount of things over the next month or two, I need to be set up for that.
If you want to join in, here is today's post at Serving Joyfully http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/11/02/day-2-self-discipline-is-a-process/
There you will find links about Crystal's book that inspired the challenge, and links to the sign up page and the daily challenges. ENJOY
     Blessings,
 
         Kristy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ Day 1



The challenge: To become more disciplined in my personal life. As Crystal pointed out, discipline is a choice (ouch) So if I am the problem, then I am also the solution. Touche. So our challenges for today are to
1. Do a small task that's been bothering you
~For me, that was filling the salt shaker. I know, minuscule and ridiculous to put off. BUT, filling the salt shaker would use up all the salt I had in the pantry container as well, so I had to go to 'deep storage' to retrieve more salt, fill the pantry sized container and then fill the salt shaker. I know, no big deal, but I've been putting it off until today when I realized that not only was the salt shaker low, it was completely empty. Oops. So off to deep storage I went...blah blah blah, and poof, it was done. total time taken? 5 minutes
2. Take your huge plan for the whole challenge
~For me that will be cleaning out the spare bedroom for my parent's arrival) and break it down into 21 manageable pieces. I don't think I'll do that here just yet, as a few steps still need to be tweaked, but I'll share all 21 steps sometime soon, I promise
3. Do the first thing on that list.
~For me, that means going in there and taking a BEFORE picture, and taking an honest look at how much is in there and how it will best be tackled.

OUCH, worse that I had hoped. This ALL needs to be taken out, sorted and dealt with, and also OUT of this room. Eek!

So there you have it, my DAY 1 Challenge and how I'm taking care of business :)
If you are interested in joining the fun, check out the How-To's over at http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2012/10/30/21-day-self-discipline-challenge-kick-off-link-up-here/ 

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life~ the WHY



Welcome friends! For the next 3 weeks, I'll be joining a challenge with some friends to read and apply the book '21 Days to a More Disciplined Life' written by Crystal Paine, otherwise known as the Money Saving Mom. I'm joining this challenge because despite all my wonderful plans, hopes and dreams, life/laziness often gets in the way and I end up feeling defeated and discouraged. I'm hoping that this will give me some great ideas in the way of practical tips and setting realistic goals for myself that are manageable.
The challenge for the first day is to come up with the WHY I'm participating. I guess it's because I always end up setting myself up for failure by either tackling these HUGE goals that aren't broken down into manageable steps, or I just fail to allow room for life. I find myself thinking, "If I could JUST have 3 days without the kids to get my life in order" or "If we just took a week off of homeschooling, I could get so many projects done" or something else along those lines when in truth, I need to just be more disciplined in my regular daily life so that I don't need a vacation from my life in order to organize my life. Does that even make sense? I hope so, because it's all I've got. HA!
Anywho, if you are interested in joining the challenge, you can purchase the book here at http://crystalpaine.com/21-days-to-a-more-disciplined-life/, and then join the challenge over here at http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Hope to see you along the way :)
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