Monthly Review and Goals

April and May just flew by.  April goals of gratitude and slowing down were mostly met.  And then came May, and allergic reactions, and then more and more allergic reactions.

Basketball is not progressing as well as I had hoped, defeat became too frequent, and we are learning hard but important lessons from it.  Lessons like work hard, even though no one else seems to need to.  We are seeing improvement, but the amount put in is so much. We are  learning most things come with a sacrifice.

Gratitude is now a habit.  When things get tough, I usually remember to be thankful for the things I used to take for granted.  Most of my days are now filled with praise of the good God has given us.  I credit the gratitude habit to slowing down, figuring out what I really enjoy and od course prayer.

The finance research is finally sinking in.  I am reading finance/frugal  blogs daily.

Clothes were mended.  Six dollar tops and a pair of clearance pants were purchased at Target and Walmart for my birthday.  Quick meals along with different meals were made.  Eating out is mostly rare and for emergencies or a rare treat, though we still eat at Sam’s Club 1-2 times a week.  Book, toy and home purchases are rare.

We continue to save for emergencies and retirement housing. Again, slowing down, figuring what is most important to us, gratitude and reading finance blogs, helped me spend wisely.  We were able to enjoy a movie, dinner out a few times and a plane trip to visit family to celebrate a 50th Anniversary.

Homeschooling and education research continues, with high school (and then college) approaching after this coming school year.  The information is slowly sinking in.

June and July goals will be organizing and decluttering the house and paperwork and preparing for the next school year which begins in early August this year.    We will go to the  doctor’s and the dentist’s.   The finance and homeschool research will continue.  Basketball will continue.  The seventh grader will be taking the Stanford-10 test again in mid-June.

We will probably go to the movies again, and also go to the community pool a few times.  The 2nd grader will continue to spend his time on the Kerbal Space Program video game, building rockets, in addition to comics, Legos and music.  The 7th grader continues with his video games, books, comics, music and YouTube. We will take our yearly vacation in September as usual.  Legoland is the latest plan.  I would like to do more, like tennis and theater classes, but I am delaying them until we are more organized/decluttered.  I have read the importance of being organized for better finances/earnings so I plan on comitting to that first.

How did you do with last months goals?  What are your goals for this summer?

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Contentment and Knowing Yourself

We spent the last few weeks dealing with allergic reactions, so we are behind.

I did manage to continue searching for the things I really enjoy.  It’s been a long process, going from what I think I would really enjoy, to realizing they were just things that most people  really enjoy.  Sightseeing etc. sounds nice, but I wouldn’t give up other things for it.

I have found I get enjoyment from clothes.  It really cheers me up wearing clothes I like. I think next I enjoy learning most of my kid’s school subjects.

It  cheers me up to decorate my home, enjoy my backyard view, and take my time to do things most people would rush through.

Everyone is different.  It’s so important to find out what you thrive on and to spend your time and money on those things.

I think it’s okay to enjoy these things as long as they don’t interfere with living out our faith.  God created each of us with different interests.

How have you found what you thrive on?  What are the main things that you really enjoy and that cheer you up?

 

 

Monthly Review and Goals

March was a mixed month.  I didn’t cross much off my list, yet I felt I moved forward a lot.   I am so thankful to God.

We continued with our usual.  We added in more basketball practice.  We mostly met our savings goal.

I was able to decide what program to put them in next year for school.  They will both continue with Classical Conversations (homeschool).

The second grader was selected in the lottery at a good charter school, but we declined.  He currently seems to be learning so much at home in his free time about topics from the presentations in his Foundations class.  I didn’t want to take that away.  I also looked over what they are covering next year (American History) and it looked fun.

I learned some info about transcripts for the high school magnet school applications and that it wasn’t a problem, so I decided to continue homeschooling my 7th grader.  He is pretty high up on the waiting list for another charter school’s lottery, but he wants to continue with Classical Conversations, so that’s what we are doing.

I haven’t made summer plans, other than continuing to homeschool through it (except for a small break).  The gym will be packed, so it makes sense to do school then.  We will either be reviewing or getting ready for the following year.  I would like the older one to  take the PSAT 8/9 in the fall.  I would really like to go the library.

I have been sensing a need to be refreshed.  I go along with the flow (which restaurant, which vacation) most times.  I have forgotten what I truly enjoy and what will refresh me.  So I spent some time on that, and will continue figuring it out.

I am not getting enough done, despite my best efforts, so I have been researching that.  I have to decide what needs to be done first that will make the most difference towards reaching my goals.  I need to limit my to do list, which is burdening me.  I need to set myself up for good habits by planning for resistance.

So I have a lot of reflecting and planning for April.  Hopefully that will move me forward.

All this downtime from activity has caused me to move slower. All this necessary reflecting has caused me to turn to God even more.   As a result I am able to notice and appreciate my family more.  I am so grateful for them.  It has truly been a blessing to be able to appreciate them.

How about you?  How did you do with March?  What are your goals and plans for April.

 

 

Monthly review and Goals

Time to check in. I can barely remember what happened in February.  We were busy with basketball games and our weekly Classical Conversations homeschool classes.  I was able to stay focused on my goal of kindness by thinking of the kind people I admire.

I was able to enjoy something, however simple, every day.  Continuing a simple schedule and decreased spending has continued to help with that, along with making the time to notice nature more.

I was able to delay my needs (till the end of the day, etc.) to give my children the attention they deserved, most of the time. Continuing to sleep well, eat better,  along with paying attention to nature, slowing down, and setting aside some time to destress has helped.  I spent some time researching homeschooling and college.

I was able to mostly keep God in the center of my days.  Having some time to reflect helped. Long days also had me seeking his help.  I borrowed a Bible Study ebook and read it only for a few days.

I dug out some of the paperwork for our taxes.  I continued to spend time researching saving/making money along with  researching investing.  I was able to save more than usual, by continuing to make do even more with the clothes I already had, and decreasing eating out and convenience foods with fairly simple and healthier homemade meals. Continuing to read how others saved, helped.

Habits helped.  When I would be tempted, the habits of eating healthy, going to sleep early, doing chores at certain times, going to the gym with the kids, because “it’s good for us”, would push me forward most of the time.

Should I have decluttered more?  Finished our taxes already?  Have our summer school plans set already?  That would have been nice.  But then I think our quality of life would have suffered.

What about our March plans?  It looks like I am ready for and badly need a planner, so that’s in my list.   March should be easier as there is a short break in basketball and the seventh grader no longer has weekly presentations.  I plan on working with the second grader more with basketball (he is not progressing as well as I want him to).

I would like to prepare for the start of basketball practices again and the end of school year busyness that happens in April.  I need to research school plans for our summer and the following year.  Eighth grade is a critical year.

I would like to plan for the rest of the year.  I would like to find a Bible Study book that I am drawn to.

How was your February?  What are your plans for March?

 

 

Faith First

I admit it.  It hasn’t been easy to keep my faith first.  It’s lately stayed in the background.

Saving money to be a good steward was easy.  Simplifying my wardrobe and home decor to be a good steward was fairly easy.  Home decor was planned to create an environment that would make it easier to draw closer to God.

But then it became harder.  I spent too much time on a putting together a  pleasing  wardrobe.  And then there is the joy I get from my wardrobe.

I guess it’s just one of the many things I need to work on.  So while I do find joy on things like that, I will make a point to find joy in God instead.   Concerning my wardrobe, I will aim only to be neat and presentable (which I was not ready for until now).

As I work towards my goals, I need to remember they should not be my goals first.  I should seek his goals first.

That doesn’t mean I don’t research and plan and work hard.  It means I pray about it, listen and read the Bible first, then do what I can.  And what I can’t do reasonably, I leave to God.

What areas do you struggle with when you reconcile your faith to your goals?

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Joys

Yesterday I made time to slow down and enjoy…

A simple favorite meal…

A slow song in my head….

The excitement of and a discussion with my youngest child….

I plan on making time, enjoying, savoring and being grateful for three simple joys of mine everyday, to live out a “well-lived” life. 

Simple joys are different for everyone, so it’s necessary to figure what brings the most joy to ourselves. They can even be something like wearing a favorite bracelet or greatly admiring something you saw. They are the  good simple things, when everything in front of us is bad.  

What simple things mean/matter the most to you? What simple things do you greatly and deeply enjoy? 

A Life Well-Lived

It varies for everyone and it may also vary throughout one’s life.

In the past it has meant enjoying family and friends, traveling, having a good job,  purchasing a house,  serving others,and numerous other things.

But lately my goals have been for security and  that requires sacrifice. For me, gratitude seems the answer to fill that gap.  Gratitude can give me a life well-lived.  Gratitude allows me joy in my family, in the kindness of friends, in a tasty meal, in  a piece of art or music.  They differ for everyone, but they are the little things we easily overlook every day. If we don’t overlook them, take time to enjoy them,anđ are grateful for them, then I think my  life will have been well-lived.

What about you? How are you living life well, while aiming for your goals?

Not So Simple New Year

Happy New Year!  This new year I am striving towards kindness.  I am learning that it is much easier said than done.

Lately it has been harder for me to be kind.  Before, injustices were easily overlooked, because of kindness. I don’t know the cause for the change, and it really doesn’t matter. What is important is that I face this head on.  My faith requires it.

And so I focus on kindness and suffering while I remind myself that I am receiving God’s blessing and in the end the least shall be first and the first shall be last.

How about you?  What are you working on this new year?

 

 

Simple Christmas Greetings

Are you ready for your simple Christmas?  We are almost ready.  We have been lighting our advent wreath, listening to our more religious carols, and reflecting on and discussing the Christmas Story.

I think our hearts are prepared.  I think they are prepared to serve, celebrate, enjoy and connect with each other and our Savior, all to honor him, all in his name.

Merry Christmas to all!