Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday, May 7, 2010

My List of Things To Do

In no particular order, here is my "To Do" List:

1. Organize Office.
2. Update checkbook, and bring finances up-to-date.
3. Create a budget and debt-snowball plan.
4. Set up household chores for kids.
5. Establish daily/ weekly routines.
6. Finish going through clothes totes and closets, and purge and store.
7. Clean the garage.
8. Begin exercising regularly.
9. Lose weight.
10. Have a little fun with my kids everyday.

Now. Where to begin?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who Stole the Month of December?

Wow. Can't believe it is already the 26th of December. Christmas, at least officially, is over! There is still a week of vacation for the kiddos, so the fun will go on for a bit yet.

It's funny how immediately following Christmas, every year, I go into this hyper planning/organizing mode. I'm trying to remember to just relax for a bit more and enjoy the season, and the family and friends that surround me.

No, I wasn't able to get the Wii this year. It is going to be one of my goals for next year- save up to buy one, with cash. I really, really want one. It's kinda funny, actually.

We had a great Christmas. It felt very relaxing for me this year. Could be because it is only the 5th year out of the last 9 that I wasn't 8+ months pregnant. Could be because I kept the shopping and buying to a minimum, and then there isn't so much to wrap, either! I also didn't do ANY baking. I decided that the more I bake, the more I eat, and I don't need it. Guess what... we didn't miss it, not a bit! Was very nice to simplify a little bit.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas Corner

One thing I've learned from past Christmas experiences is that the more I procrastinate, the more I end up spending. I am really trying to go into the holidays with a solid plan, and be well-organized so that I know exactly what I have, and what I still need. I also want to make sure that I take the time to really think about what to buy, and give thoughtful, mindful things.

There is also the dilemma of balancing the gift-giving with remembering and fostering the true spirit of Christmas in my family and myself. I really hope to be able to spend some more time this Christmas gathering together with my hubby and kids to build traditions and create memories. Without adding additional stress or craziness. I think the key to all of this is planning ahead and organization. I'm looking forward to it!

One thing that I am really hoping to do is to buy a big "family" gift, and skip most of the smaller gifts. Even though I think we have been fairly modest in what we usually give already, I am hoping to cut back even more. We really don't have money in the budget for a big ticket item, but I am really hoping that I can somehow find a way to come up with the funds on my own.

What is it, you ask? Well, I am really hoping to be able to get a Nintendo Wii plus Wii Fit. In addition, we currently do not own any kind of TV or monitor (other than the computer), so we would need to get that as well. Plus, I don't want to buy all of this without having some kind of functional, lockable cabinet to store it all in. Used is fine.

Other than that, the kids will probably get one gift from Santa, and then practical, useful items: Pj's, socks, underthings, toothbrushes, etc. that I hope to shop for deals on.

I will keep you posted on my efforts!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Managers of Their Chores- Update

I received the Managers of their Chores kit in the mail on Friday and spent most of the day yesterday reading the book. I really like the approach that they take with teaching chores to your kids. They often reference a Biblical basis for doing chores, and although I appreciate that perspective, it does get a bit over-the-top for me. What I really like about it is the tone that they promote. There is a chapter for each Mother and Father to read and take to heart the instructions on a meek and mild-mannered approach to instilling responsibilities in the children. In addition to this instruction, there is a step-by-step process and very detailed information on how to establish a long-term habit of routine chores in your home. I am excited to get started.

The first step that I am going to take is to simply sit down with the children and explain to them that there are going to be some changes in the way we do things around here, and that we will ease our way into them slowly. We will review some of the reasons it is good to have chores to do:
1.) Read and discuss the Biblical references
2.) Discuss how even at a young age, responsibilities and chores are preparing them for when they are grown-up.
3.) Discuss how it is my hope that this will help to bring about a more peaceful atmosphere in our home.
4.) Remind them that by working together it will create more time to spend together as a family.

I will briefly show them the system that we will be working on, and then ask them for any input on the chores they would each prefer. This is recommended in the book, not as the deciding factor in who does what, but as information to take into careful consideration when determining each child's chores.

It is my goal to begin implementing a morning chorepak routine this week.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Living

At the risk of taking on too much at once- focusing on too many things and accomplishing nothing- I am also going to commit to adopting healthier eating habits for myself and my family.

I think I am finally ready. While life is busy, and stressful at times, there is never the perfect time to do this! In the last few weeks and months, I have slowly been "getting there" mentally. There was a time when I think I was pretty good about limiting the sweets we kept on hand in our house. It was not a daily event to have a sweet snack. Lately, we have somehow morphed into a constant state of scrounging for the next sugary treat. It has got to stop.

Today, rather out of the blue, my 7yo told me, "Mom, I think you should try to lose 16 pounds by Christmas." I don't know what prompted this comment, or where he came up with that amount, but I am taking it as a sign. It's a rather daunting goal for me, considering that I have gained 20 pounds in the last 7 months. It is time to get serious. Life is too short to waste any more precious time.

I am still trying to figure out how best to fit exercise into my life, but I am going to give myself 1 week to come up with that plan. For this week, I am going to focus on getting my eating under control. I am going to "count points", Weight Watchers style, and track them in my journal. I also really want to focus on eating healthy, nutritionally dense, foods; lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables. In addition, I need to work on cutting my coffee habit, mostly because I "have" to use flavored creamer. Too many unnecessary calories that I can't afford! I am going to try to drink herbal tea in place of my after-supper cuppa java to start with. Then I will work from there.

Wish me luck! I will try to post my progress here each Saturday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Routines and Organization

I have heard it said more than once that children thrive on routines. I also know that it is the lack of strong, established routines that often cause our family life to feel so out-of-control. I need to work on this. While I don't want it to be so ridged that we can't (every once in a while) just throw the routines out the window and be spontaneous and have fun, I do want to have some systems in place so that my children can experience a better atmosphere to grow and thrive.

The first thing that I am going to focus on establishing is a working "chore" system. Believe it or not, some of my kids have been requesting this! "Mom, you should make a list so that we know what each person has to do every day and then we can put a smiley face by it when we get it done." Along with this, I want to incorporate an allowance system. Teaching them that, as members of our family, we are all expected to do certain things. (Ex: make our beds, carry down our own laundry, pick up toys) In addition to those tasks, they can have the opportunity to earn money by going above and beyond. (Ex: matching up the socks and putting them away, cleaning and wiping out the dish drawers) And I want them to each have their own place to keep their money- some for "saving", some for "spending", and some to put in the collection at Sunday School.

A while back, I came across a kit of sorts to help establish a system of chores. I stumbled on it through A Prudent Homemaker's recommended reading list. It has been on my mind ever since, as I have mentally wrestled with the idea of having to spend money to set up a "Job Chart". Seems so simple. But, everything I have tried in the past has petered out, or sometimes never even made it off the ground. I have decided that today I am going to order MANAGERS OF THEIR CHORES. I will keep you updated on how it all works out.