Monday, September 21, 2015

This Week's Goals



Setting goals helps me determine the direction of my week.    

Last Week's Goals:
  • Attend two therapy appointments and a GI Dr. Appt with Eva this week.  This was one of my biggest priorities for last week and I am so thankful that I was able to attend all three appointments.  Eva has gained an entire pound in the last few months.  What a big praise!  
  • Eva & Eli start Co-Op this week!  I need to finish my Before Five in A Row syllabus and develop a plan for Co-Op days.  We have Co-op days on Wednesdays which is already our busiest day of the week since we attend church in the evenings and help coordinate the dinner.  I’m hoping to develop a smooth plan for Co-Op days this week.  I also need to change our weekly schedule to allow more days spent completely at home.  We not only survived our first day of Co-Op but we also had a great time.  Aside from getting lost on the way to Co-Op our morning went well.  I will be tweaking my plan this week for Wednesdays at our home by setting some more realistic expectations for the amount of work I will be able to accomplish as well as allowing ample time to arrive early at our destination.  
  •   Attend a Counseling Conference with my husband.  We both really enjoy conferences and I am really excited about spending some serious time together learning more about how the Gospel speaks into every aspect of our lives.  We have attended a number of conferences at this same church and each one has been phenomenal!  One of my favorite parts is the fact that the church is local to us so we get to sleep at home.  I am so thankful that I was able to attend the conference with the happy hubby.  I found myself personally challenged in my walk with Christ and more determined to root out pride in my own life.  
  • Sew a gift for my niece's birthday.  The kids and I had so much fun picking out fabric last week!  It had been forever since I had been inside a fabric store.    I sewed my niece a Colored Pencil Roll Up which I mailed to her last week for her 4th birthday. It was so sweet to watch Eli pick out the fabric for this project as he truly cared which fabric Zuzu would enjoy the most.  In the end he picked out an adorable Hello Kitty print.  
  • Start sewing a gift for a friend of Eli's.  It felt wonderful to sew (and finish) two projects last week.  I'm not sharing yet what I made for Eli's friend since I feel pretty confident that would give away the surprise.  
  • Read 4 chapters from Counsel From The Cross.  I only made it through 2 chapters so far but I am sure that I will be able to read more this upcoming week since I am headed to Florida!  
  • Exercise 3 times.  I was able to workout 2.5 times this week which isn't very impressive but it's a start!  
  • Attend a Ladies' Night Out Fellowship with the women from our church. Every time I am blessed to attend some time out with friends I always think, "Why don't I make that more of a priority in my life?"  I had a great time.  
  • Meet Beverly Lewis at our local library.  I have been a fan of Mrs. Lewis since I was a teenager and my mom was reading one of her books.  Friday night turned out to be so special.  My mom and I went out to dinner and then attended the lecture together all by ourselves.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Mrs. Lewis is not only a phenomenal fiction writer but she is also a wonderful speaker.  I really enjoyed listening to her.  
  • Invite a friend over for a play date.    I invited a friend over to play but we weren't able to get together this week due to my hectic schedule of appointments.  
  • Write two blog posts this week including a post about Evangeline's recent neurosurgery apt.  I only carved out time to write one other blog post last week but I will be writing about Eva's neurosurgery appointment this week.  For those of you who are wondering it went well and I was very pleased with the appointment.  
  • Spend an afternoon helping my Grandmother.  Thankful to have the time to honor my grandparents by helping them in this way.  
  • Work from home four hours this week.  I was able to squeeze in just over 4 hours of work last week.  I don't have childcare while I am working at home so these few hours are squeezed into the early mornings and a little during nap time after all of my other responsibilities have been met for the day.  
This Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, & Family

1.  My top priority this week is to enjoy a wonderful trip to Florida with my children, dad, and youngest sister.  It has been five years since I have had the opportunity to travel to Florida and I simply can't wait.  This week is sure to be packed full of fun!  
2.  Spend some time writing a love letter to my husband.  Unfortunately he won't be able to join us in Florida so I plan on leaving behind a small gift and a love note when I go.  
3.  Enjoy a nature walk with the children.  
4.  Attend 4 feeding therapy appointments this week!  

Homemaking
5.  Spread the rest of the compost by the back decorative fence.  Deadhead Black Head Susan flowers.  Decide on the number of mums that I hope to purchase when I return next week.  
6.  Work on sewing Evangeline's purse.  

Personal
7.  Write two blog posts this week.  
8.  Spend time reading my Bible six days this week.  I would also like to spend some time writing in my journal what God is teaching me.  
9.  Finish reading Counsel From The Cross.  

Income Earning Goals
10.  Spend two hours this week working from home on a project.  Hopefully I can do more but we do leave on Wednesday right after Co-Op!    

How did you do on your goals for last week?  What goals do you have for this week?  Let's encourage one another in setting productive, intentional goals this week!  



Friday, September 18, 2015

Frugal Things I Did Last Week: Vacation Edition

Eli & Eva at the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson. 
If you follow me on instagram you might have noticed that we were blessed to take a trip to Washington D.C. last week.  After a lot of debate we opted to drive so that we could stop and visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello along the way.  Here are a few of the frugal things we did last week!  

While I firmly believe that vacation is a marvelous time to splurge there were a few things that we did to save money last week.

While on vacation we tried to choose wisely which items to splurge on and which to pass on.  We chose to splurge on tickets to see Monticello even though we could only stay a few hours.  (It was well worth it.)  On the way home we stopped by the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson and were unimpressed by the appearance of the museum so we opted not to spend the $50 it would have cost to actually go inside.  We strolled the grounds, admired the old automobile, and snapped a few pictures.

We used our KY Farm Bureau Discount to save 20% off the cost of a hotel the first night.  Choice Hotels appear to be the best fit for our family since they are usually clean, contain nice amenities, and also provide breakfast the next morning.

I was careful to cancel all of Evangeline's therapy for the week in order not to incur any additional charges or inconvenience anyone.

I also wrote an actual letter to our insurance company requesting that they respond in writing concerning the number of therapy visits they will cover.  I want to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the mail in the coming months.  :)

I packed a lot of food to take with us which saved us lots of money.  We actually invested in an additional cooler for this trip and it definitely paid for itself.  We enjoyed sandwiches in the car for lunch for the first meal.  I took an entire case of water which we drank through before the end of our trip.  Knowing that we would not be staying close to a large grocery store I also packed lots Eva's Pediasure and other specialty food items.  Each morning we would pack a soft sided cooler which conveniently fit in the bottom of our stroller before heading out to explore the city.  I included healthy snacks and at least 6 bottled waters and even milk for the kiddos.  (It was incredibly hot while we were in DC.)

We ate breakfast in our room at the hotel when we were staying at a hotel that did not serve breakfast. I was successful making both tea and oatmeal with the coffee maker!

We picked up books at the library to use for schoolwork this week.

I picked green peppers from a plant we have growing in a pot on the porch to use in our chili.  

The kids and I stopped by Hancock Fabrics during their sale to pick up fabric for a project I am making for my niece.  I usually have a tendency to overspend at fabric stores so I was pleasantly surprised to leave the store for around $10.

The happy hubby was able to attend a conference at a local church. He was able to here Paul David Tripp teach and was so blessed.  It was nominally priced and we were so thankful not to have to pay for a hotel.

I made our monthly grocery trip to Aldi to load up on groceries.

We stopped by Goodwill on 1/2 price clothing day and came home with three bags of clothes and a cute pair of shoes for Eva.  This was great because all of a sudden Eli just outgrew all of his shorts and we are headed to Florida next week!  Thankfully I found three pairs in the next size.

What did you do to save money last week?


Monday, September 14, 2015

This Week's Goals

Eva is in love with her new cousin Paisley!  

Happy Monday friends!  It's time to set some realistic goals for the week.  Sharing my goals gives me such incredible accountability that I always accomplish more in my week.  We just returned home Friday morning after spending three wonderful nights in Washington D.C.  Many of my goals this week will involve getting our home back in order and attending a variety of appointments for Evangeline.  

This Week's Goals:
  • Attend two therapy appointments and a GI Dr. Appt with Eva this week.  
  • Eva & Eli start Co-Op this week!  I need to finish my Before Five in A Row syllabus and develop a plan for Co-Op days.  We have Co-op days on Wednesdays which is already our busiest day of the week since we attend church in the evenings and help coordinate the dinner.  I’m hoping to develop a smooth plan for Co-Op days this week.  I also need to change our weekly schedule to allow more days spent completely at home.  
  •   Attend a Counseling Conference with my husband.  We both really enjoy conferences and I am really excited about spending some serious time together learning more about how the Gospel speaks into every aspect of our lives.  We have attended a number of conferences at this same church and each one has been phenomenal!  One of my favorite parts is the fact that the church is local to us so we get to sleep at home.  
  • Sew a gift for my niece's birthday.  The kids and I had so much fun picking out fabric last week!  It had been forever since I had been inside a fabric store.  
  • Start sewing a gift for a friend of Eli's.  
  • Read 4 chapters from Counsel From The Cross.  
  • Exercise 3 times.
  • Attend a Ladies' Night Out Fellowship with the women from our church. 
  • Meet Beverly Lewis at our local library.
  • Invite a friend over for a play date.    
  • Write two blog posts this week including a post about Evangeline's recent neurosurgery apt. 
  • Spend an afternoon helping my Grandmother.  
  • Work from home four hours this week.  
  • Here’s to another fun, busy week in the Emerson household. What type of goals do you have for this week?
  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Easy Minion Finger Puppets


Are you looking for a fun, simple weekend activity to do with your children?  Try this simple minion finger puppet activity.  This idea was not my own (hooray pinterest) but I did want to share it with you all since we had such a fun time making the puppets together.  We actually made these puppets as a special Mommy, Daddy, Eli activity while Eva was taking her nap one day.


Supplies Needed:

  • Yellow Kitchen Gloves (I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree for $1)
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Black Electric Tape (also purchased at the Dollar Tree)
  • Google Eyes and Adhesive to attach the eyes.  I used Craft Glue


Simply cut off each of the fingers and the thumbs from the gloves.  Even the happy hubby got in on the fun!


Attach electric tape around each finger puppet.  I cut each piece of electric tape in half in order to make the tape thinner but you don't really have to do that.

Minions in Progress
Attach googly eyes to the puppet and add a face.  

The minions that Eli made.  
I was thrilled with this simple activity that scored major points with our Minion loving boy!

Friday, September 11, 2015

August Reads


The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst: I really enjoyed reading this book especially during the last month as I have tried to balance my daughter's recent diagnosis of having a brain malformation with the never ending demands of being a wife and mother.  The sheer amount of appointments that I have attended while meeting with different physicians and therapists has made me constantly re-evaluate my priorities.  I have had to say no to a lot of great things this summer in order to prioritize Eva's current health needs.  (I do think that I would benefit from reading this book during any season of my life.)  I gleaned a lot from this book but I believe it is really lacking in encouraging women to serve in their local churches.  The author encourages women to choose their best yes in their lives but it really felt as though she was freeing women from many of their responsibilities in life.  I could easily see a woman reading this book and deciding that she should no longer serve at her local church.  She would keep coming but would stop no longer teach Sunday School or attend on Wednesday nights etc.  When one's life is too full I do agree that you need to say no to many other good things in your life but I truly believe that as a Christian you need to make it a priority to continue serving in your local church.  Every one's life is busy but we are all called to be a part of the body of Christ and that involves serving in the church.  

Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic by Kent & Amber Brantly: This book chronicles the story of Dr. Kent Brantly who contracted Ebola while serving as a medical missionary in West Africa.  I followed the story in 2014 when Dr. Brantley was evacuated to Atlanta, GA and rejoiced when he made a full recovery.  I loved reading more about the Brantley's life and how they continue to help the people of West Africa.  I will say that I did find the first few chapters a little slow but after that I couldn't put this book down.  It was such a page turner even though I knew that Dr. Brantly would live in the end.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.

Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family, A by Mary Ostyn: My sister-in-law handed me this book the last time I saw her and I knew I would love it.  As someone who grew up in a large family I love reading books about raising a large family even though we only have two children.  Do you want to know why?  Women who have large families have things figured out by sheer necessity.  They simply must develop great systems in order for things to work well in their families.  I want to have excellent systems in place in our family so I have more time carved out to be a fun mom who gets to actually have fun with her children.  Out of the handful of books I have read about raising large families this author definitely struck me as a mom that has a lot of joy in her life.  I thought the book was packed full of great tips and advice.  She has tons of creative ideas and was just the type of woman that I would love to have over for a play date.  Even if you never plan on having a large family I would still recommend picking up this book.

Mary On Horseback: Three Mountain Stories by Rosemary Wells: I was delighted to discover how much both Eli and I enjoyed this biography which I read aloud.  It shares the true story of Mary Breckinridge who founded the Frontier Nursing Service in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.  Ms. Breckinridge devoted her life to serving the lives of people in rural Appalachia where there were no doctors or nurses in the 1920s and 1930s.  I was vaguely familiar with Mary Breckinridge since my college roommate just happens to be from the small mountain town of Hyden, KY where Mrs. Breckinridge worked.  This book was such an inspiration and a perfect biography to read to young children.

What books did you read last month?