Happy New Year

newyear2013Happy New Year!  I pray 2013 finds you well and enjoying the company of family and friends.

If you are like me this is a time to reflect on the passing year and make plans and goals for the coming year.  One of my goals in 2013 is to blog more often.  I took time off last year to focus on areas in our life that needed extra attention.  I hope to share what I have learned here on this blog.  So in the next few weeks you will see posts about the areas in my life I want to be more intentional, disciplined and focused.

The first areas is a very tasty one–menu planning.  Menu planning is not as intimidating as you may think.  Sure you may feel a little overwhelmed at first and most likely it will take you a while to put a menu together.  But believe me that it is well worth the effort.  First you will reduce stress never having to worry about what to make for breakfast, lunch, supper or even snacks.  Secondly, you will know what you buy from the grocery store.  And finally because you will have a specific shopping list to shop from you will save money at the grocery store and you will insure that what is in your pantry is what you need to make all your meals for the month.

I have included here my menu for Jan 2013 Menu.  I got this wonderful idea from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Check out her menus for more ideas and a great Italian flavor.  As you will notice my menus are a little different.  My family eats a plant-based diet.  More on that in a later post.  Finally my menu is a word document so you can edit it any way you like so that it will meet your family’s needs.  Or better still you can come up with your own menu plan featuring your families favorite recipes.

I pray you have a happy and tasty New Year.

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Day 2–Beautiful Life Management 28 Day Challenge

 

Today was a day of interruptions.  I don’t handle those very well–interruptions that is.  I always joke with my husband that my life looks perfect on paper and then life happens.

It all started last night when I stayed up late helping with a project.  To my frustration my alarm rang this morning and it read 6 am instead of 5 am.  I must have been hitting snooze for the last hour.  I snuck in a hurried Bible reading and rushed to get ready for the day before the kids were up.  I was not able to get a hold of my thoughts until nap time.  That is when I saw the error of my wrong thinking and attitude.  Instead of realizing that I had started my day interrupted and I simply need to make adjustments accordingly I was just frustrated that everything was not working out as I had planned.  Sigh…  In the end I was able to ask for forgiveness of God and my family for my frustrated attitude.  As I get ready for bed I see that I was able to get most things done.  I got my workout in later in the day (and the kids joined in which was fun), wiped the bathroom as I washed my face and brushed my teeth for bed and my kitchen sink is empty and wiped clean.  Although I did not get to the big pile of “to file” in my office, I did clear all paper clutter throughout the house–kitchen, front door, computer desk and school done box.

What I learned today and what I am thankful for today is interruptions.  It was a good, hard lesson I learned today.  I would love for my life to be neat and orderly with everyone falling into line with everything I have scheduled and planned.  But God gave me a minister husband with an unpredictable schedule, and 6 children–I don’t need to say more;)  The thing about interruptions is not the interruption itself but how I handle the interruption–rejoice in my interruptions.  So I will continue to pray and ask for grace to handle each interruption with patience and love, always looking for God’s will.  This was my strength today: Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Isaiah 41:9-11
Click here Dodge Family Routine for Tuesday to see what I hoped my day would look like.  We did make a valiant effort to get as close to the schedule as possible.

Beautiful Life Management 28 Day Challenge

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a wonderful company GraceWorks.  They sell beautiful planners specifically geared towards the wife, mother and teacher.  Two amazing resources Tricia offers for free is the Planning to be a Blessing booklet and the Beautiful Life Management 28 Day Challenge.

Beautiful Life Management

I have taken Tricia on for the 28 day challenge.  Today is day one.  It was a very good day.  In part from planning ahead but also from the encouragement that Tricia offers.  And to keep you accountable she has you email her everyday, she offers encouragement and tallies your points.  There are prizes at the end.  Prizes even motivate adultWinking smile

The thing that kept us all going today was my Dodge Family Routine for Monday.  I just recently added a wide format printer to my office and just love that I can print an 11 x 17 page.  All day the kids kept referring to the poster for what was next and the little ones kept asking anyone that could read to tell them what was next.  It was a great motivator and a visual reminder of what was next.  The schedule also flowed well for us because I even figured in free time and down time.

All in all it was a very good day and I am excited to see what will happen in my home in the next 28 days.

Gardening

I have not shared much from my garden this year.  Unfortunately due to our weather here in the northwest we have not had a very nice spring or summer growing season.  Now for the first time as we are heading into fall our weather has taken a turn for some pleasant and good for growing temperatures.

A few years ago I tried my hand at fall and winter growing with surprising success.  I will try it again this year.  Here is a great tutorial that shows some ideas and plants that are great for fall growing season.

I also found some great help at Lowe’s.  In fact, they had a great display with all the seed packets that grow well in the fall.  Check it out at your local Lowe’s.

Happy gardening.