Monday, December 31, 2012

Purge, Pursue, Pray

It's that time again, when we make all kinds of promises to ourselves for the duration of the month of January...then we forget.  I've done've done it.  It's a fact of life.  

Last year, I took a different approach by making reminders, not resolutions.   I can't say looking back that I feel I was successful, because I didn't really have goals set in any of those areas.  It was like "no boundaries", "no fail".  It served the purpose of reminding me somewhat, but then the coats covered up the word CREATE and PRAY started falling off my alarm clock.  I can't tell you where the sign I hung in the bathroom got off to, frankly, because I don't know.  I just looked up one day and it was gone.  

I've been seeing lots of people talking about picking "my one word" that will sum up your goals or focus for the year.  To me, it can be in the same category as my reminders.  You can pick words all day, but if you don't make a decision to actually do something specific with doesn't really change anything.  

I couldn't pick one word if I tried, but I've really been thinking over the past week.  What would I like to see different in my life this week?  this month? this year?

Here's what I came up with:  (Caution: Honesty Alert)


My life feels over-run with unnecessary things.  I've gained almost 10 pounds this year, it's kinda crept up on me.  We've been really stressed, taken several trips, and had some major life changes.  I wish I was not an emotional eater, but alas, I am.  I resort to fast food/take out and processed foods for comfort

We're also the kinda people that sometimes say..."Don't get rid of that...I may use it one day!" about something we haven't seen or used in years.   We are pack rats by heredity, but it's time to get rid of some major things.   I was just planning on doing this alone, but then as I was talking to my family....they all got on board.  (YAY!!!)

So, as I was thinking about words to sum up some of my goals for the year...PURGE...PURGE....PURGE has been running through my brain.  

If we wait until later to do this it will never happen, so we are starting in the next 10 days with the following steps:  

-No fast food/take out/delivery for at least a month  We've been getting fast food way too often for us lately.  We are to the point where we just need to say "NO MORE"  Not never again, but for an extended period of time, so that we can reform our habits.  We'll break for birthday dinners.

-30 to 60 day bean challenge  Bean recipes everyday for a specific amount of time--still working out the details/recipes, but this will be coming really soonWe love beans in this house and they are so healthy for you.  This will be a great way to back away from processed food.  I'm really excited about this one!!!!

-12,000 steps a day goal


-10 day- 1000+ item giveaway/sell challenge We'll start this January 10th (or maybe sooner)...we're already brainstorming how we'll reduce and streamline.  I'm really excited that my family is pumped up about this one.  I know this will be just a drop in the bucket, and we'll probably not even be able to notice.  I hope we will though.  I imagine we'll do this several times this year.  

-organize "a place for everything and everything in it's place"  Our goal of getting rid of things does not come with a "no buy" clause.  If I need to buy something to help me get organized...I will. 


I've realized that in the past few years, my life has been more about "moments of escape".  You know, those moments when you sit down and stare at your screen and hope no one under 12 talks to you.  Now, don't misread this...I do not ignore my children's needs or even most of their wants.  Also, there is nothing wrong with using the computer.  I just want my "moments of escape" to be better used than sitting in front of my computer zoning out.  (I'd rather them see me working on things of value on the computer.)

This year I want to pursue my passions and hobbies in front of my children.  I don't want to be remember as the mommy whose face was always turned towards the screen. (One reason I'll never own a smartphone...carrying around a mini-computer all day?  YIKES!!!)

Music is my biggest passion.  It's one of the first things I push aside when I'm stressed, but the best reliever of stress I've ever had. 

-make that CD that my family has been asking about for years

-write some posts about how to teach music as a home schooler

-work through one Mandolin technique book


Blogging- I laughed at my husband when he said "Blogging IS your hobby".  I thought he was just trying to make me feel better for being on the computer so much.  But he was right!  I enjoy blogging, writing, sharing little glimpses of our lives, helping people, but I have lots of things to learn about the whole process.   I was just accepted to the Mosaics Review team, so I'm really excited to be able to learn some new skills that can apply to making my blog a better place... a happy place. 

-blogging more consistently with more substantial posts

-going through the Mosaics Review Team training

Crafts- I'm not an artist by any means, but I do enjoy craft making.  Collages, weaving, etc. 

-do a craft project once a month

Reading- I love to read!  I hope to do it a lot more this year, but really hesitate to make a goal regarding quantity.  

-keep a reading log to chart what books I've read this year


I've struggled this past year with a consistent devotion time.  My prayer times have gone to pot.  I wait until I'm falling in bed dead tired and then fall asleep when I try to pray.  Not the best formula for cultivating a relationship with God. This is one of those goals that is kinda unmeasurable...can you ever pray enough?  I just know I want to be consistent!

-using my prayer book will be a good start (Now, where did I put that?)
-reading more devotional type material
-going to bed earlier
-seizing the moment--if I find myself suddenly alone or it's quiet....pray or read my Bible! 

If you've hung in there this long, thanks for sticking it through.  I'll be reporting back on here with little progress reports in the months to come.  



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Summin' it up

This year has been a stressful one, a year of changes...some good, some not-so-much:
  • Testing
  • Parole hearing (in the case of my brother's killer)
  • Wedding
  • 20th high school reunion
  • Repairs on the house---multiple times in multiple months
  • Friend changes
  • Dr. visits--my foot, Daniel's eyes and PT, regular dentist, eye and checkups
  • Co-op and co-op ending
  • JP's promotion and subsequent change in schedule for us 
  • etc., etc. 

Now, don't get me wrong, we've had some great times this year.   The best thing about having a blog is being able to look back over the year and see all the wonderful things we did and accomplished.  

But I've been thinking a lot over the past few days about how I really want 2013 to be different. (I'm sure I felt that way last year, too)    I don't want 2013 to be defined in my mind as "stressful", "wearying".  

I want this year to be a year of change in me not just around me. 

It really struck me that this is the last year I can actually say "I'm a 30-something mom...."   In 2014, I'll turn the big 4-0!  As I was talking over this new year with my husband, I mentioned this to him. I was hoping for words of comfort, but he offered me none.  Bummer!  

I've seen a lot of people picking out a word of  focus for their year.  Well, if you know me, you'll realize I'm not a person of few words.  So, I'll be sharing soon the 3 words that I picked for my focus this year.  I'm really excited and looking forward to what this year will hold for me and my family.  

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Family Spectacular

On Christmas Eve, we were presented with The Family Spectacular. The program included: music by Tera and Daniel, and an original adaptation of The Christmas Carol- "Ebesneezer Scrooge"  Tera was the  writer and director.  Daniel starred as Ebesneezer Scrooge; Michael as Little Scrooge and Tiny Tom; Mazey as the Marley the Puppy Ghost and Tera as narrator and beggar girl.   Our experience was complete with program and peanuts!  I plan on keeping an original copy of the script and program to pull out for our grandchildren! 
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 

May you and your family experience true joy and peace this blessed Christmas season! 

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent- Dec. 22-24 is getting busy in the final preparations for Christmas.  I am snuggling, laughing and watching Christmas movies instead of blogging.  So, I'm finishing up with this last post before Christmas. 

Truth in the Tinsel:  
The Wise Men and  a beaded Cross

Advent Calendar (Dec. 22)
Symbol:  X-Mas/Chi-Ro symbol
Scripture: Luke 1: 30-33
Activity:  Go see lights
 (Michael totally cracked me up in his get-up)

Advent Calendar (23rd)
Symbol:  Straw
Scripture: Isaiah 40:3-5
Activity:  Walk around the neighborhood to see lights 
(It was raining, so we had to put this one on hold)

Advent Calendar (24th)
Symbol: Manger (from our nativity set)
Scripture: Luke 2:7, 11-12
Activity:  Put out reindeer food

Jesse Tree (22nd):  Joseph
Matthew 1:18-25


Jesse Tree (23rd): Mary
Luke 1:26-38


Jesse Tree (24th) :  John the Baptist
Luke 3:1-20


The last advent candle has been lit, we are ready to celebrate the birth of our KING!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent- Dec. 21st

Truth in the Tinsel: Stars

Jesse Tree:  Zechariah and Elizabeth
 Luke 1: 5-25

Advent Calendar:
Symbol:  Frankincense (cotton balls with frankincense oil)
Scripture: Matthew 6:19-20
Activity:  Bake cookies
We had some friends over for art projects and our 100th Day of School Celebration

We made hand print signs to send to the Helping Hands project for the surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School.  For information on how you can participate, check out their website- The Helping Hands Project

Time capsule ornaments
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We did buttons and thumbprint "inchies" project.  Our own versions or various projects we saw on pinterest. 
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Each of the kids played a Christmas piece on the piano or flute to share with the group. 
Lots of talent! 

Now, school is done...time for baking, wrapping and being together with no more commitments...aaaahhhhh!!!!


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