Monday, January 26, 2015

{Planning Forward} February



{Planning Forward} February
Good morning, friends!  Happy Monday! Are you ready to look forward to February with me?

I spent some time today with a Household Organizer sheet walking through my bathroom, which is the room we'll be concentrating on in our Monthly Home Blessings in the month of February.  I jotted down things that don't show up on the Home Blessing list for the month.  Things like "take clothes to Goodwill" ( There's quite a pile in there!), and "go through gloves, coats, shoes" since that bathroom is right near our back door and serves as a makeshift coat closet. : )  I'll talk more about the Monthly Home Blessings in Part II, but first let's go through our Monthly Reminders!

First let's look at our calendars.  Be sure that February's paydays are marked, along with any scheduled appointments or deadlines and special days.  Don't forget Valentine's Day!  Do you need any cards or presents?  Or to schedule a special date with your husband?  Mark that down now!!  Then schedule a day on your calendar early in the month to write all of your anniversary or birthday cards and/or wrap presents.  Don't wait until the week of, if you can help it!  Write a little "M" on the calendar a week or so before the special day, then make a note of the date and the card to mail on your Reminder Sheet.  If you get them out on that day you may be early, but if you happen to forget or miss the mail, you'll still have a day or two before you'll be late!! : )

Now look ahead to March.  Are there any special days that you will need to buy or make cards and/or presents?  Make a note of them on your Monthly Reminder sheet so you can pick them up this month.  You'll have everything all ready when Planning Day rolls around again!

Think ahead for the next three months.  Are there any appointments that you could make right now?  Haircuts, Pet Grooming, Car Maintenance, Dental visits... even Date Night!  Get them on the calendar now!

Next comes our spending and savings goals.  Do you need makeup?  Does Ted need a new pair of winter boots?  Is there a special missionary offering coming up in a few months at church?   Is there a sale on an item you have been watching?  Make your goals and then track your spending through the month to see how you did!

Finally there are practical Purpose Statement goals...

1.  What is your quiet time plan this month?  What passages will you read?  When?  How often?  Will you memorize any Scripture?  Read a devotional book?

2.  Which aspect of your character will you work on this month? Gratefulness?  Trust?  Replacing anger or irritation with patience and love?  What verse could help you?

3.  Which relationships will you focus in on this month?  Will you make time to have coffee with a friend?  Have a date with your husband or a special Mom and I time with a child?  How about making a meal for someone or writing a letter to a relative or missionary?

4.  How would you like to improve your home this month?  Do you need to wash the bathroom walls?  Or repaint them?  Maybe you need a new throw rug, or to clean out a closet.  Or even to remember to take out the recycling on the right day!

5.  What projects head your list for the next month?  Making a quilt?  Trying a new recipe? Researching honeybees?  What is the next step in each of those projects?

I'm always amazed at how much more I get done if I write it down.  Often I don't complete it all in one day, but if I look over the list regularly I really want to complete them so I can check off the little boxes!! :)

PART II of the post today is a preview of the Monthly Home Blessings for February.  We will be working in the bathroom this month.  I'm going to concentrate most on my small bathroom, but I hope to be able to work on them both!   Here are some things we might need...

Shower Curtain Liner
Toilet Bowl Brush
Old Toothbrush
Microfiber Cloth(s)
Cleaning Supplies

As we get to the end of the month we'll spend a day or two dusting and decorating.  Look around and see what would make your bathroom special without going out of your budget.
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Is there something you could make?  Or could you save some money this month to buy some special hand soap?  Update the towels?  Refresh the paint?  Or brighten the room with a throw rug?  I'm sure you can come up with a wonderful idea!  

I'll see you back here Saturday with Week Five of our Home Bless-A-Thon!

Blessings!

Tricia

Here's a Happy Monday prompt for today:

Planning forward helps me to ...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

{Home Bless-A-Thon} Week Four



Hello friends!  We are on Week Four in our Home Bless-A-Thon!  It's a happy week for me, because I think my oven is fixed.  I can plan OVEN meals this week, and I also got to wash the sides of the oven and behind it when the repairman had it pulled out.  Yay!  It works AND it's clean!! : )

Here are our challenges for this week, drawn from the Weekly Home Journal and Monthly Home Blessing pages in our Classic Home Journal line. I hope you'll join me!

WEEKLY REVIEW

First, let's do our weekly review.  I'm going to:

1.  Read through the goals I've set for the month/quarter/year and then make some notes of things I would like to be reminded of this coming week.

2. Transfer any appointments or special reminders on my monthly calendar to my weekly pages. I think I need to make some anniversary cards this week to add to my card box...

3.  Bring forward any unfinished to do's to a new "To Do This Week" list.

4. Look through my menus for the upcoming week and jot down when to take out meat, make things ahead, etc.

5.  Remind myself of my saving and spending goals. 

5. Schedule time to work on this week's Monthly Home Blessings.

MONTHLY HOME BLESSINGS
Week Four

It's an easy week!!

Continue gathering tax information.  Your W2's and 1099's should be arriving this week, if they haven't already.  Be sure to put them together in the file you've already made!  And don't forget to schedule a tax appointment if you need to!
* Look ahead to next month.  I'll have a special post on this on Monday, so I'll see you then!!  Be sure that you have the blog in your reader, or sign up for the emails, so you don't miss a post. : )

Thanks so much for joining me on my journey this year!

Blessings!
Tricia

Monday, January 19, 2015

{A-B-C's of Gratitude) Beauty

I've been in 'a mood' today.  Not necessarily a bad mood.  Just one of those moods that even if what I've said has been said with a laugh, it still had a sting.  "I'm so glad you got that fixed!  Why didn't you do it before?" One of those moods that has found fault with God's timing just because it wasn't my timing.  "I can't think of one more crock pot meal.  Will our oven EVER be fixed?" One of those moods that shows itself in being complaining and envious. I wish my home looked like the one on that Pinterest board!  Then I saw on my to-do list that I needed to write this blog post and I saw the theme I had jotted down.

  Beauty.
  
My first thought was all the beautiful things that Jenny of Elefantz has been making for her home these last few weeks in her year of Gentle Domesticity.  "But I don't have  t-i-i-m-e," I said with a whine.  "And I don't even know where to st-a-a-r-t ," said with another.  But then, somewhere deep in my spirit, I heard...  

True beauty overflows from within.  

And I stopped.  Because what I'd been overflowing with all morning was anything but beautiful.  Oh how convicting!! "I'm so sorry, Lord!"  And then I heard... 

True beauty begins with gratitude.  

And that pinpointed what was lacking.  In everything that I had been "cantankerous" about this morning (which is a kinder word that my true heart condition deserves...) I had chosen to dwell on a grievance, real or imagined, and usually petty, rather than to be thankful for the love and care of God and my family and show it by tone of voice, my words and my actions.  Putting on makeup and doing my hair, picking up the house and folding the laundry, making a new beautiful table runner and lining my pantry shelves with pretty paper could never have made my home beautiful while my heart condition of ingratitude was overflowing into ugliness.  Oh what a lesson!

It's time for me to begin again.  This time with a grateful heart.  

Join me?

Here's a Happy Monday Prompt for today...
Today is beautiful because...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

{Home Bless-a-Thon} Week Three




Hello again!

Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes?  Here we are three weeks into the new year already.  Just like in the 28 Day Challenge, it seems that the third and fourth weeks of establishing new habits are the hardest to persevere through, so don't give up, ok?  Especially because this week's tasks are easy.  YAY!!

Here are our challenges for this week, drawn from the Weekly Home Journal and Monthly Home Blessing pages in our Classic Home Journal line. I hope you'll join me!

WEEKLY REVIEW

First, let's do our weekly review.  I'm going to:

1.  Read through the goals I've set for the month/quarter/year and then make some notes of things I would like to be reminded of this coming week.

2. Transfer any appointments or special reminders on my monthly calendar to my weekly pages... There's a birthday to celebrate at my house this week!  I'd better be sure the presents are wrapped! :)

3.  Bring forward any unfinished to do's to a new "To Do This Week" list.

4. Look through my menus for the upcoming week and jot down when to take out meat, make things ahead, etc.

5.  Remind myself of my saving and spending goals. 

5. Schedule time to work on this week's Monthly Home Blessings.

MONTHLY HOME BLESSINGS
Week Three

This week let's...

Check and/or change the furnace filter.  Put on your shopping list to pick up another so you'll have it available the next time it needs to be changed.
Check and/or change any outdoor lightbulbs. Again - be sure that you have a supply of lightbulbs available when these burn out!
Continue gathering tax information - W-2's, receipts, property tax records, 
end of year home business records, etc.

Thanks so much for joining me on my journey this year!

Blessings!
Tricia

Monday, January 12, 2015

{A-B-C's of Gratitude} Attitude

Image credit:  Word Art Wednesday

Happy Monday, friends!

One of the things that I want to concentrate on this year in my life is gratitude.  I would like to choose gratitude over complaint not just in the big things that I encounter each day, but in all the little daily things that tend to ruffle my feathers.  I would love it if the first thought I had in any situation was a charitable one, the first word on my lips was a gracious one, and the first prayer of my heart was a grateful one.  And all of that begins in my attitude.  Beginning my day with a prayer of thanks to the Creator, seeing each task as a little prayer of praise to His goodness and care, sharing with others all that He has given us in Christ, watching and rejoicing in each obedient action of those around me, and treating others with as much love, forbearance, and kindness as I would like to have shown to me.

In everything give thanks.  For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thess. 5:18

Blessings!

Tricia

Today's Happy Monday prompt:

God has shown His love for me today by...


Saturday, January 10, 2015

{Home Bless-A-Thon} - Week Two



Hello friends!

How have you done on your to-do list this week?  Were you able to get your planner in order?  (Don't forget that there is a sale on the Beautiful Life Management and Simplicity starter sets in the shop if you need an update!) Write a few thank you notes?  Take down any decorations?

DD and I spent yesterday afternoon taking down the Christmas tree and packing away the decorations until next year.  Then came the inevitable I-need-to-change-around-the-livingroom-itis, so today finds my house all cozy and back to normal-ish.  There's snow outside and it is brrrr-y cold and I'm ready to snuggle in for some winter cross-stitching after I get my work done for the day.  I love this time of year!!! : )

Here are our challenges for this week, drawn from the Weekly Home Journal and Monthly Home Blessing pages in our Classic Home Journal line. I hope you'll join me!

WEEKLY REVIEW

First, let's do our weekly review.  I'm going to:

1.  Read through the goals I've set for the month/quarter/year and then make some notes of things I would like to be reminded of this coming week.

2. Transfer any appointments or special reminders on my monthly calendar to my weekly pages.

3.  Bring forward any unfinished to do's to a new "To Do This Week" list.

4. Look through my menus for the upcoming week and jot down when to take out meat, make things ahead, etc.

5.  Remind myself of my saving and spending goals. *** I've done well so far, but it has only been a week!! :)

5. Schedule time to work on this week's Monthly Home Blessings.

MONTHLY HOME BLESSINGS
Week Two

This week let's...

* Finish taking down Christmas decorations, if you haven't already
* Label file folders for the year's receipts (Or update your chosen records management system. You could also take time to shred and/or file last years papers!)
* Start gathering tax information - W-2's, receipts, property tax records, 
end of year home business records, etc.

Thanks so much for joining me on my journey this year!

Blessings!
Tricia

Monday, January 5, 2015

{Happy Monday} Back to the Routine



I'm taking a deep breath this morning and beginning again from the top of my list...

Up and dressed
Bed made
Laundry Started
Dogs Fed
Hair and Makeup Done
Dogs out
Breakfast and coffee
Quiet Time
Stitch for half an hour
Switch laundry...

You get the picture. Back to the routine.  Routines give structure to our days and a framework for our goals.  That "stitch for half an hour" is a goal of mine this year.  I have a project that needs me to stitch in the daylight and I usually don't sit down to stitch until the evening.  So I've added this little step into the flow of my morning.  A quiet time with the Lord and then a quiet time of stitching.  A time to think, rejoice, listen to sweet music or pray as I begin my day and while it is still somewhat quiet around my house.

Have you thought about how you will be fitting your new goals into your days?  Can you glean a few minutes here and there from your computer time and use it more productively?  Mark out a block of time on your calendar?  Or even set a reminder alarm on your phone?  Be sure to write down your new aspiration and read over it every day.  I think part of the reason I don't meet many of my goals is that I simply forget about them!  Perhaps you'll even want to tell a friend what you plan to do and why so they can encourage you to keep going when you want to give up.  My daughter is a great helper in that way.  I've made a goal to stay away from sugar for the next two weeks, to break the holiday "I can have a little" that turned into "I can't stop"! If I make it for two weeks without any sugar, I can have dessert when my husband and I go out on a special date.  So now, when I am wavering  and wishing for chocolate, all she has to say is... "The dessert will be worth it!" and I remember why I'm doing what I'm doing and I can carry on.  Do you have someone like that in your life?  If not, try using a chart like our Mountains of Success pages to chart your progress, or cross days off on the calendar that you met your goal.  A small reward at intervals can be nice, too.  After my dessert (smile!!), I'll set my next "no sugar" goal for another small chunk of time - maybe a week or two? - and then I'll "reward" myself with a cup of coffee with a pump of syrup or going out with my husband for a scoop of frozen custard.  By breaking it into manageable pieces, "Stay away from sugar for two weeks", I encourage success, rather than cultivating failure by leaving it too open ended and vague, "Eat less sugar this year."

Well, my dears, it is time for me to get back on schedule, so I'll leave you with your Happy Monday prompt for today...

The next thing on my schedule today is...

And I'll see you on Saturday with our next Home Bless-A-Thon update!

Have a lovely week!

Tricia