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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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was mostly an ordinary day this year.  We recently returned from an out of town trip to celebrate a parents 50th anniversary.  Errands still needed to be run, basketball still needed to be practiced, allergies still had to be dealt with…and so on.  So we did what had to be done.

There were flowers and card, greetings and eating treats.   I was able to honor our mom’s and aunts, though some a little late.

I wanted to relax more and decorate, but I guess I wanted to do the other stuff more.  Hopefully I’ll get to relax and splurge another day to celebrate the occasion and enjoy my family more!  I’m positive I will.

How was your Mother’s Day?  Hope everyone had a good one.

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?

 

 

De-stressing

I have been needing to de-stress/re-energize lately.  So instead of overeating or continuing to struggle to get things done,  I will …

Tidy up, I always feel better after I do this.

Slow down, physically and mentally.  Give yourself some time.

Put on comfortable clothes.

Review the past week to remember the fun things.

Check my calendar, where I should have scheduled de-stress/refresh activities scheduled every few weeks.  I might have an activity to look forward to in a few days.

Plan the next scheduled fun activity.

Review goals and plans.

Read travel blogs or travel posts I’ve saved on Pinterest to explore different places that interest me.

Read motivation posts I’ve saved on Pinterest.

Learn to play on the keyboard.

Read a fun book or a book on an artists or composer I’ve always wanted to read about.

Learn to draw.

Look out my backyard.

Bake.

Drink some tea.

What activities help you de-stress or re-energize?

 

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude and Contentment

In April …

I want to eat out more,  instead I will cook something I enjoy, or snack on something I enjoy.  I will eat only foods I reasonably like,when hungry, and when I have time so I can appreciate my food.   I will think about paying off our house and our yearly vacation.

I want to travel more, instead I will read about the places I want to visit.  I will look for inexpensive activities I can enjoy during our yearly vacation that I can look forward to.

I will enjoy and appreciate my family’s presence, their humor, and their singing.

I will be grateful for my kids basketball practices and games.  I will share in their victories, improvements  and their defeats.

I will enjoy and appreciate my children’s growth and their end of the year ceremony, at the end of the month. I will enjoy and appreciate all the moms and kids in our co-op, the program itself, and the opportunity to homeschool (which I also try to do throughout the year).

I will be grateful and appreciative of my faith as I celebrate Easter.

How are you planning on practicing gratitude and contentment in April?

 

 

 

Wants and Gratitude

It’s so hard be be grateful sometimes.  There is always more we could do, more we could have, more we could be.  Dreams are good, goals are good.  As long as we don’t forget the good that is in front of us already.

I have a great view outside my patio door.  Instead my mind wanders to  how I can change or fix up my home.  It wanders to exciting vacations and being able to casually  eat out.

So I need to remind myself to look for and enjoy the good that I have already.  As for the wants, I need to figure out if they are really that important to me to make them a goal, or if they are just an automatic reaction that needs to be stopped.

How about you?  What have you overlooked that should be enjoyed instead?  What wants are important enough to set as a goal?

 

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?

 

 

A Simple Valentine’s Day

Our simple Valentine’s Day celebration consisted of a favorite dinner at home and inexpensive but pretty flowers. We did allow ourselves extra cookies and drinks that we normally try to limit.  We are planning to eat out to celebrate when we aren’t so busy so we can enjoy it more.

The 2nd grader exchanged valentine’s at their Classical Conversatios homeschool class.  We just gave out candy, though I wanted to make a simple heart to go with it.  (He ended up wanting to work on his weekly class presentation more than usual this week, so we spent our time on that instead of the cards.)

We didn’t do crafts or baking even though I wanted to.  We did use the occasion to give my 7th grader a lesson on planning affordable dates  even though he won’t have to think of it for a long time.  I stressed the importance of coming up with things they both would enjoy.

How was your Valentine’s day?

 

Ways We Saved

These past few weeks I..

Read parts of finance ebooks from the library.

Worked a little on taxes, bills and paperwork.

Decluttered some books and organized toys.

Only bought $6 youth shorts (Sam’s Club) and didn’t buy any other clothes or homeschool books, just used what we had.

Packed snacks instead of using the vending machines.

Added sides and variety to dinner to decrease eating out more.

Researched simplified homeschooling online.

Some joys were…

Eating simple comfort foods like soups, muffins and hot tea.

Appreciating my family’s presence and their company.

Enjoyed the company of the moms at our homeschool group.

It helped to to eat better, sleep more and stop to enjoy nature from our backyard.  Reading some blogs on frugal living helped inspire me, along with the finance books.   I organized toys and decluttered books so I could have some order and not feel so weighed down.

Having some routine, reviewing the day, and asking myself if this is how I want to be, helped.  And stopping the negative thoughts and replacing them with  “it’s not so bad” or gratitude helped.  Once we say no to things, gratitude comes easier.  And if it’s his will, I think asking God for help, helps a lot.

How are you doing with your saving? What simple joys have left you feeling satisfied?