Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This Week's Goals & Recap


Happy Wednesday!  I hope you are squeezing lots of life out of this week.  We have been having such a fun, full week.  Here's what we have planned for this week and a recap.  

Last Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, & Family
1.  Enjoy a great time camping with my family this week.  We had a fantastic time camping at Alpine Hideaway Campground in Pigeon Forge, TN.  The weather was lovely and we were also able to meet up with some dear friends.  
2.  Begin Five in a Row Volume 1.  We are rowing Madeline this week and having the best time!  Last year we worked through the entire Before Five in a Row and it was so delightful.  (Let me know if you would be interested in more details.)  I've always been a fan of the book Madeline and it was such fun to share with both of my children last week.  I'm hoping to share more about our Five in a Row adventures next week.  
3.  Be intentional this week to spend time talking with my husband each evening.  Practically speaking this means staying on top of my workload and choosing to make Brandon a priority.  Bingo.  I love my husband.  I am so thankful we were able to spend some time together especially since this week has been absolutely crazy.  

Homemaking
4.  Weather permitting I hope to spend time weeding and planting flowers in the garden.  Nope.  It was hot so I didn't even attempt it.  I'm such a wimp.  
5.  Spend time organizing financial paperwork and health insurance explanation of benefits.  I worked on this for a little while but I need to put this on my to do list for sometime in July.  
6.  Sew new skirt for Evangeline.  This week?  

Personal
7.  Begin studying a new book of the Bible.  I'm also hoping to journal at least two times this week.  I am starting Jen Wilken's Bible Study on 1 Peter.  I'm so excited!  
8.  Visit the chiropractor.

Ministry & Friendships
9.  Enjoy time spent visiting one of my dearest best friends from college.  It was a blast!  
10.  Continue working on VBS preparations and decorate my classroom on Friday.  VBS starts next week!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, & Family
1.  Take my children to Vacation Bible School at our church every evening.
2.  Finish rowing "Madeline" and begin our next book.
3.  Evangeline has two therapy appointments this week.

Homemaking
4.  Sew a skirt for Evangeline.  (The skirt is cut out and sitting on top of my sewing machine.  I just need about 20 minutes to sew it together.)
5.  Weed all 8 rows in the garden and replant any areas that did not come up as well as expected.
6.  Spend two hours on various household cleaning/organizing projects.

Personal
7.  Exercise three times.
8.  Complete Week 2 of Jen Wilkin's study of 1 Peter.

Ministry & Friendships
9.  Enjoy at least one playdate with friends this week.
10.  Spend time helping at VBS.  (I will be devoting a lot of time to VBS this week so I gave it two of my goal spots.)

Do you have any goals for this week?  Do your children attend VBS?  


Thursday, June 23, 2016

This Week's Goals and Recap


Well the week is half spent and I've neglected to share my goals for the week.  That's because we went camping.  Tent camping that is!  I did work on my goals on Sunday just like every week so I thought I would still share.  Happy Thursday!  

Last Week's Goals:
Marriage, Mothering, & Family
1.  Work on plans for Father's Day.  We treated the happy hubby to a trip to TN for Father's Day.  It was just wonderful.  
2.  Eva has two therapy appointments this week.  Check. 
3.  Enjoy a playdate at the zoo with friends.  It was fantastic despite the crowds!  
4.  Spend a day at home catching up with my children.  (I actually went out of town overnight to surprise a friend at her 30th birthday party on Saturday.  While I had a great time I really missed my sweet kids.)  I'm planning on spending lots of time outside playing and then enjoying some extended reading time in the afternoon.  I think I am going to try to make sure that we spend at least one day every week at home where we do not drive anywhere.  

Homemaking
5.  Plant another row in my garden and weed five rows.  Continuing harvesting lettuce for our table.  I planted three more rows last week.  We harvested lettuce and our first banana pepper which Eli proceeded to eat raw in the garden!  
6.  Catch up on laundry and cleaning.  Time permitting I hope to begin working on re-organizing part of the basement.

Personal
7.  Write two blog posts this week.
8.  Begin reading a new book.  (I'd love book recommendations for the summer months.)  I read Douglas Wilson's Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning.  

Ministry & Friendships
9.  Enjoy having friends over for dinner one evening.  We had a great time visiting with friends despite my casserole which just didn't taste the same as last time!  
10.  Spend three hours working on Vacation Bible School preparations.  It's almost here!  I finished reading through all of my lessons and making a supply list.  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, & Family
1.  Enjoy a great time camping with my family this week.
2.  Begin Five in a Row Volume 1.  We are rowing Madeline this week and having the best time!  Last year we worked through the entire Before Five in a Row and it was so delightful.  (Let me know if you would be interested in more details.)
3.  Be intentional this week to spend time talking with my husband each evening.  Practically speaking this means staying on top of my workload and choosing to make Brandon a priority.

Homemaking
4.  Weather permitting I hope to spend time weeding and planting flowers in the garden.
5.  Spend time organizing financial paperwork and health insurance explanation of benefits.
6.  Sew new skirt for Evangeline.

Personal
7.  Begin studying a new book of the Bible.  I'm also hoping to journal at least two times this week.
8.  Visit the chiropractor.

Ministry & Friendships
9.  Enjoy time spent visiting one of my dearest best friends from college.
10.  Continue working on VBS preparations and decorate my classroom on Friday.  VBS starts next week!

That sums up my goals for this week.  Since many of my goals involve mundane tasks like organizing paperwork and cleaning I'm planning on listening to some podcasts or audiobooks.  What are your favorite podcasts?  Do you have any goals for this week?





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Frugal Things I Did Last Week


Ahh summer!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!  It's also the most expensive time of the year (well aside from December).  In an attempt to save more money this summer I'm going to resume the Frugal Things posts.  Here's what we did this past week to have fun and save money:

On Monday we stayed home all day and simply had the best time.  We played outside for hours, read stories together, and just really enjoyed being at home together.  I think it can be easy to think that in order to have a great summer we must be going somewhere each and every day.  Some of the best memories from my childhood involve days spent entirely at home.

We enjoyed a fantastic time at the zoo with friends.  I am so thankful for our zoo pass which we make good use out of.  We packed our own food and drinks.

The happy hubby and I finally flipped the mattress on our king bed.  When we purchased our mattress we made sure to buy one that could be "flipped" to extend the life of our mattress.

On Tuesday evening we had some dear friends over for dinner.  Not only does this save everyone money but I personally think it is just much more enjoyable.  (Especially if there are children involved.)

We enjoyed harvesting lettuce and a variety of mint.  I enjoy infusing my water with a variety of mints that I grow (mostly in containers).

I picked up a free cooler (with wheels).

I used 9.00 in Kroger money.  Since the machine occasionally gives me Kroger Bucks to spend on my next purchase I usually divide my groceries into 2 separate transactions.  (I also often purchase items where I need to be reimbursed.)  I only frequent Kroger about once per month so I found it annoying to have to return just to spend my Kroger Bucks.  This has been a great solution!

We were invited to a last minute cookout at a friend's house.  We took a large container of homemade pasta salad and juice rather than stopping at the store.  I also appliqued a bag with an initial for one of my son's friend's birthday.  I knew that the family loves to read and thought he might enjoy having his own personalized monster bag.

I planted another three rows in my garden with seeds.

We donated items to charity and received a receipt for tax purposes.

I made popsicles and cooked the majority of our meals (except for date night).

I picked up an inter library loan book from the library instead of just purchasing the book.  I'm really glad I didn't purchase the book because it ended up being a disappointment.

I roasted a chicken in the Crockpot which I used in a number of meals this week.


I am so thankful for such a fun, full week!  What did you do to save money and enjoy summertime?  

Monday, June 13, 2016

This Week's Goals


Happy Monday!  I hope your week is off to a great start.  Last week was an absolute blast filled with two out of town trips (camping and a trip to see friends) so this week I'm focusing on things at home.  I don't know about you but I have so many projects around the home that I save for the summer months when I have just a little bit more time.  Hopefully I can begin working on a few of those projects while squeezing in as much fun as possible.   I'm also planning a day that we just spend playing outside and diving into a ridiculously large stack of library books.  

Marriage, Mothering, & Family
1.  Work on plans for Father's Day.
2.  Eva has two therapy appointments this week.
3.  Enjoy a playdate at the zoo with friends.
4.  Spend a day at home catching up with my children.  (I actually went out of town overnight to surprise a friend at her 30th birthday party on Saturday.  While I had a great time I really missed my sweet kids.)  I'm planning on spending lots of time outside playing and then enjoying some extended reading time in the afternoon.

Homemaking
5.  Plant another row in my garden and weed five rows.  Continuing harvesting lettuce for our table.
6.  Catch up on laundry and cleaning.  Time permitting I hope to begin working on re-organizing part of the basement.

Personal
7.  Write two blog posts this week.
8.  Begin reading a new book.  (I'd love book recommendations for the summer months.)

Ministry & Friendships
9.  Enjoy having friends over for dinner one evening.
10.  Spend three hours working on Vacation Bible School preparations.

How did you do on your goals for last week?  What goals do you have for this week?  

Friday, June 3, 2016

May Reads


I think you can always tell if I have been on a trip during the last month based on the size of my book stack!  I did indeed go on a wonderful late spring break trip to Florida at the beginning of the month. Reflecting back on the past month's reading I am reminded of wonderful evenings spent reading along the beach and early mornings reading on the covered porch that overlooks a lake.   

Own Your Life: Living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love by Sally Clarkson: This book is simply fabulous and exactly what I need for this season of life.  Especially now that summer break has officially begun.  One of the things that I really want to focus on this summer is my walk with the Lord and evaluating different priorities in my life.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago I actually started journaling through the questions after I read the first few chapters.  I knew that this book had the potential to really pierce my heart and that's exactly what it did.  God radically used this book to lovingly speak to my heart about a myriad of things.  The 25 pages of journal entries are a testimony to just how powerful this book is.  I am so thankful at how God has used this book in my life the past month.  Clarkson does an excellent job speaking with such warmth and encouragement.  It felt as though I had my own wise mentor speaking to me on every page.  I simply cannot recommend this book enough. Own Your Life is probably my favorite book this year!

Reaching Milennials by David Stark: As a millennial myself I felt like the author had a good understanding of what makes millennials tick.  I really appreciated his critique of the subculture that often develops within a church.  One of the biggest dangers of this little subculture is becoming too comfortable or too busy doing church activities that you don't develop relationships with unbelievers.  Unfortunately I really felt like Stark missed the mark when it comes to this book.  If we really want to reach millennials then where we really need to start with is prayer.  This was completely lacking in the book.  The entire tone of the book also really annoyed me.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Bethany House.  All opinions are my own.

surprised by motherhood: everything i never expected about being a mom by Lisa-Jo Baker: I loved reading this down to earth book about a lady who never planned on having children.  She shares about loosing her mother as a teenager and what it was like to grow up in South Africa.  So much of her book is spot on.  "One, motherhood is hard.  Two, motherhood is glorious.  Three, motherhood is very hard."  This memoir was a beautiful story but the organization and flashbacks in time did drive me a little bit crazy.  The last quarter of the book just didn't seem to fit with the rest and almost undermines its message.  Overall it was a nice read but not one I hope to add to my personal library.

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski: I have no earthly idea how this book ended up in our weekly library bag!  It was intriguing enough that I did find myself picking up the book and reading the entire thing one afternoon.  The book itself is actually very good and tells the story of young Mary who is captured by Indians.  Although she later could have returned to live in the settlements of the white men she chose to stay with the Indians.  I'm fairly certain that I read this book as a child because it was so familiar.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time by Arianna Huffington: One of the things that have probably changed the most in my life over the past decade is amount of sleep that I get each night.  For years I thought I only needed six hours of sleep and I spent years and years only sleeping six hours.  Almost every night of college I went to bed at midnight and woke up at six.  This continued throughout seminary until I became pregnant with my first child.  All of a sudden I was exhausted and realized I couldn't keep pushing my body to such extremes.  Since then I have grown up and realized that six hours isn't enough sleep.  Huffington agrees wholeheartedly and I found her book insightful and amusing.  A good portion of her book includes the sleep habits of highly successful and famous people.  Not surprising at all, many successful people sleep eight hours a night and go to bed early.  I thought it was really interesting to hear how many companies are now installing nap rooms and encouraging their workers to take an afternoon siesta.  After a terrible bout with mono in college I also changed my attitude towards taking a nap.  I absolutely adore them now and think they help increase my overall productivity.  Huffington also included many good tips for people who struggle with falling asleep at night.  Sleep plays a vital role in a person's overall health and I hope that more people will realize its importance.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.  All opinions are my own.

A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine: I heard it said once that for every modern day book you read (or two) be sure to read a classic.  I've noticed lately that I have been slacking in this area so this book was my attempt to get back on track.  There is so much wisdom to be gained by reading fellow believers who have gone on before us.  I especially enjoy reading the Puritans.  This was my first introduction to Joseph Alleine and it was great.  The title might be slightly odd to us in 2016 but remember this book was first published in 1671.  This book was such an encouragement to me personally and a great reminder of the importance of sharing the Gospel with others.

Children's Read Aloud
Attack at the Arena (Imagination Station #2) by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker:  My children and I are all enjoying reading through this series.  (I only wish our library had them.)  In this book Patrick ad Beth end up in ancient Rome where they must find a special cup.  Along the way Beth is enslaved to the emperor.  This was a great introduction for my kids on what life was like in Rome.  If you aren't familiar with these books they are easier to read books (2nd grade) that are similar to Magic Tree House books.  Personally I enjoy them a lot more than the Magic Tree House books.  We read most of this book while on vacation snuggled up at night after a packed day at the beach.

What books did you read last month?  Do you tend to read more or less during the summer months?