Monday, December 31, 2012

Not Resolutions, per se...

But there are changes that I'm wanting to make, ones that I have been contemplating for a little while and that I would have been implementing regardless of the date, so here they are:

My best friend, Bree, and I are planning to do Scripture study together and separately. We plan to do Seminary reading assignments and then meet up together once a week and discuss them. We're hoping to get a couple more friends involved in it as well. It should be quite a bit of fun and teach us a lot.

I rearranged my house this past week. Partially to accommodate a few Christmas gifts and partially to change things up and get areas neat, straightened and organized. I plan to continue to purge (a MAJOR part of what I did this past week) and to continue organizing as well. I plan to tackle a particular area of the house each week. I think the first week will be the den, as that is where Hubby and I spend most of our time. We got the furniture rearranged in here, but now there are some items sitting around in piles that are now, well, homeless. And they need homes. They deserve homes. I'll post more about this tomorrow, complete with pictures.

I also plan to start doing meal planning again. It works out so well but lately I have really dropped the ball when it comes to doing it. I mentioned in my post from the early morning hours today that I plan to have the family sit around and pick out recipes that they'd like to try and we will incorporate them into a monthly meal plan. This way, I can set a meal plan for the whole month. We can always tweak it a little bit based on changes for that day, but even still, it's much more helpful to have an actual plan in place.

And I have been working hard to set aside some money for savings. I have a goal this year to save up $1200, which isn't so bad. That's a mere $100 per month. I know that I can do it! And the idea is to not dip into it for any reason at all. So far, I have $300 saved up, which really isn't much. But this new goal to save $1200 would put us at a savings amount of $1500, which would be wonderful to have on hand just in case we should need it.

Our chore system is going well. I have tweaked it here and there and may need to slightly tweak it again here soon, but it will be after some additional thought and evaluation and a discussion with the Hubby to see what we like about it and what we want to change about it. But overall, the kids have done extremely well with it.

We have skipped the gym and all associated activities with our membership since, oh, I don't know, July maybe? Something horrible like that. We fully intend to use our membership at least once a week starting this week now. I would seriously like to lose 40% of my body weight, but probably it wouldn't be practical nor safe to lose that much in a year's time, so I'd settle for losing 2% per month, each month from now until I am at that 40% lost mark. That's a goal that will take 26 months to accomplish. Just over two years. I'm okay with that. I have to be. It took me awhile to get to the point where I am now and it will take me awhile to get back to where I was. At the end of this year, I should have lost (according to my goal) around 12% of my body weight. Regular gym activities, eating more meals prepared at home and as a family and cutting out soda (even diet soda) should help these things out tremendously.

So that's my New Year's "Not Resolutions, per se" post. Tonight, we are going to have dinner, pick out some recipes, maybe bake some banana bread, then curl up on the couch with our pajamas on, watch a movie, eat some popcorn (none for me, thanks, I'm not a fan) and just spend time together as a family. Sounds like a wonderful way to start a new year!

Happy New Year

Yet again, another unintended hiatus from blogging. You know, I plan to blog regularly and I do really well with it for awhile and then something comes up and I miss a day. Or two. Or a week. And the longer that I break from it, the harder it is for me to come back from it. I wait for the perfect project or the right theme to come back to or whatever. And that frustrates me. I don't need a theme or a project to blog. I just need to take a few minutes whenever I want to and just sit down and write something. Funny, I shouldn't have to give myself permission to skip a day without feeling guilty. Yet, that's the way that I feel. I'll work on it though. :)

Well, I have lots to tell you all about to catch you up with life as we know it. Cephas is now a full-ranked Boy Scout. He has had his Court of Honor and received his ranks and is ready to begin working on his Merit Badges. Way to go Cephas! He has also developed a major passion for photography, film-making, production and videos.

Koren's birthday was October 6th (the day AFTER my last post here) and my brother-in-law married his fiancee that day. They had an absolutely beautiful wedding and a great reception - during which all the guests sang Happy Birthday to Koren. He also received his own personal birthday cake (made by the caterer). It was wonderful! He was embarrassed but he loved the attention too. And sweet boy that he is, he maintained that the best birthday gift this year was his newly acquired Aunt.

Oralee. Wow, she was all sassy and spice the last time I blogged about her and she has now settled down quite a bit into a very sweet and mostly compliant, helpful and caring person. She has also gone very girly girl in a not-so-little girl way. Not that she's six going on sixteen or anything like that. But she's honing in on her own personality more and her own sense of style. She prefers her hair long and curly (and she has very straight hair!) and she prefers leggings and wearing long layers that can mix and match to the little girl cutesie matching outfits. I hope that makes sense. She's just so much older in some ways than she was just a few months ago.

And then there is Jeriah. He is excelling wonderfully at school. It is just amazing how much he has changed and how far he has gone academically. No matter how much we questioned whether we were doing the right thing with him in regards to enrolling him in Kindergarten a year early, I am absolutely certain that we made the best choice for him. He loves it! He's reading on a mid-first grade level or maybe slightly higher. His math skills are around the same level. He has even done his sister's homework for her. (I thought it was an extra, skipped over on purpose lesson from school but apparently, it was Oralee's current homework assignment and she was VERY offended that Jeriah had done her homework!) His social skills are coming along quite nicely as well. We have all noticed some instances of him "scripting" some behaviors of other children. But as long as we can nip that one in the bud, we should be fine. Thankfully, he has an amazingly wonderful teacher and he'd had an amazing practicum student from the university working with him as well (she is gone now, though, and he misses her.)

Hubby's job is going well and all that. I'm still babysitting for his co-workers, although not nearly as frequently as I had been. Angel's mom and dad have gotten back together and now her dad is working at the same place as Angel's mom. Their schedules are mostly opposite, so they haven't needed me to babysit and the best part is that Angel spends her time with at least one of her parents.

I have an interview set up to meet with someone about taking care of her son part-time in her home while she is working. It's a great set-up. She lives close to me, the hours she needs me are while my children are in school and she has another provider as well for the opposite days who is able to be flexible and switch with me for days that my kids don't have school. I'm excited to meet both the mom and her son later this week. Hopefully, it's as good of a fit as it seems to have been so far via messages and such.

But for the most part, I'm really digging this stay-at-home mom thing. I'm getting better about keeping up with all of the daily tasks. The biggest thing has been consistency with the kids' chores and bedrooms and for me doing my daily and weekly tasks. I still struggle (constantly!) with laundry, but I'm pretty sure that I can overcome that issue soon.

I also had a huge lightbulb moment the other day while looking at some newly-acquired cookbooks to have the family sit down together once a month - most likely the last Monday of the month - to have each person look through and pick out at least two main dishes and two side dishes and one dessert to try out that month. I figure that would provide us with at least twelve full meals, so that would also alleviate the pain of trying to menu plan. Plus, if it is something that they pick out and choose for the family to eat, the kids are going to be more willing to try new foods and new recipes. Then, at the end of the new meal, we'll determine if we liked the recipe. If it was a hit, it will get written into my recipe book that contains all of our favorite recipes. If it wasn't so hot, I'll put a sticky note in the book that we tried it, when we tried it and note who didn't like it. Or something like that. Because our kids' tastes change so quickly, six months down the road, whatever ingredient they didn't like in the dish may be something that they now just LOVE. For instance, in the past few months, Jeriah has decided that he doesn't like ketchup, but that he loves mustard. A lot. His cheeseburgers? Mustard only. 100% of the time. No ketchup, no pickles, no onion. Just mustard only.

Okay, well that was a really random hodgepodge post about nothing and everything all at once. But hopefully, I'll get back to a more rhythmic timing on my posts. Until next time!