Hey y’all, guess what day it is… just kidding! It is a Wednesday here and that means the middle of our week. It is June also so we are not quite but almost halfway through 2018! Crazy, right? Where has time gone? I am sitting here enjoying a rare quiet moment as the kids are still sleeping. So many things are going through my head and there is so much to do. I’ve got some Chocolate Chip Muffins in the oven for breakfast, a cup of coffee, and a couple of delicious cookies from last night sitting here with me.
I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to figure out why my mouse wasn’t working. It was turned on and the red light kept coming on but my laptop wasn’t responding at all. Hmmmm….. then I remembered that I had put the little do-hickey thingamabog, you know the USB thingy, into my old laptop when I was working on the newsletter for our square dance clubs… duh! Silly me, but now it’s where it needs to be and all is good.
I thought I’d sit and take a few minutes to look over those resolutions I made a few months back. Do you remember them? If not you can click here. I never really got around to writing any really specific goals on paper but I did have a couple of general things I wanted to work on. I also wanted to see if there was anything else that I want to focus on for the remainder of the year.
Resolution 1: Getting Organized
First was to be more organized. We moved last September and then there was so much stuff going on with the hurricanes, kids, and life that I never really got ‘settled in’. You know that feeling when you can finally sit back and take a nice deep breath in and relax. Yep, that hasn’t really happened here yet. Things have been so disorganized and it has really been driving me nuts.
Living in a small house/cabin like this kinda reminds me of living in an RV which is something we’ve only done for a week at the most. It’s really fun at first but it gets old kinda quick. I knew that downsizing would be hard but I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be. When you factor in the bad weather and illness that we have been through it just made it that much harder. So I really needed to do something to fix the situation and I decided to start some ‘Kleaning Missions’ to tackle the problems one room/area at a time.
A couple of months ago I went through the bathroom. I took everything out of every cabinet, nook, and cranny in there and got the crap organized. There is still some work to do and still some things that need to go but at least I can find everything when I need it. You can read more about the bathroom mission here.
Then I moved on to the kitchen. It has been a work in progress too and there are still some areas that need improvement but it is functioning so much better. The biggest problem we have in the kitchen is the dishwasher… well one of the dishwashers. She is 11 and at the stage where she knows everything but wants nothing to do with helping out. Sighhh… gotta love it. Too bad she didn’t come with an owner’s manual… lol… we are just taking it one day at a time as I know that this phase will pass.
Next was my bedroom. It looked neat enough but the chaos was hiding under the bed, in the loft, and in the drawers. I gave it a good cleaning and took care of a few things that were bothering me which really helped out a lot in there. There is still work to do but we are tackling it in small sections.
Last week we were working in the Main Room, which is the original part of the cabin, but we really only focused on the Living Room section of this room. I have a couple of posts here and here that explain what we accomplished.
The room definitely looks a lot better and smells a lot better thanks to the wonderful cleaners I’ve gotten from Grove Collaborators. (Yes, that is one of those affiliate links right there and there may be a couple more sprinkled in this post.) We got rid of so much stuff from that little area it was unbelievable. I think I actually heard the house give out a big sigh of relief! Unfortunately I didn’t get rid of everything I had planned too as the kids found one of the bags and went through it before I could get it in the van. Oh well, one day at a time, right?
During this process of decluttering the house I have managed to get most of the like items in areas together. Most of my sewing supplies are in my bedroom. Most of the homeschool supplies have been shoved into the two cabinets in the Main Room along with art supplies and such. All of the books are shoved on the bookshelves and the office supplies are at my current desk area. You can see some pics of these areas at the end of this post.
This week I had intended to start tackling the homeschool and office area. I did manage to work on the office area a little bit. I am not completely happy with it yet but it is organized. The homeschool area has yet to be touched but, fingers crossed, I do plan to work on it some today.
This means I will need plenty of space to take everything homeschool related, and I mean EVERYTHING, out of the cabinets so we can sort it all out. I also plan to get rid of at least a quarter of the stuff I have that I haven’t used and probably won’t use. I have totes on my ‘Need To Buy’ list as I will be putting some of the stuff that we won’t be using right now into totes to store. We have a lot of kiwi crate boxes, STEM items, and activities that I really can’t part with but there is just so much out that we never get around to using it. I plan to store the items in totes so I can rotate them out every month or so. I will be doing the same with some of the toys as well.
While doing this we are also trying to keep up with our regular chores, or contributions, as I have been calling them lately. I like that term much better. The FlyLady missions for the week are centered in Zone 2 which is the kitchen. I have been trying to keep up with these as I want to stay on top of keeping the kitchen clean and organized. These missions include scrubbing the counter tops and the sink, cleaning the trash can, and giving the floor some much needed attention.
So all in all I’d say we are making great progress with this resolution so far. When we get a couple of our upcoming projects completed I think it will help out a lot with this too.
Resolution 2: Losing Weight/Eat Healthier
Another resolution was one that I think a lot of people have. I really wanted to lose a little bit of weight so that my clothes would fit better. I have also been trying to eat healthier and feed my family healthier foods as well.
Luckily we were able to make a big frozen vegetable purchase from Southwestern Produce a couple of months ago. We had to buy a new freezer as well but it was so worth it. (Our old one gave out after the transformer blew earlier this year.)
I love being able to walk out on the porch to pull out something for dinner. I also keep a few big bags of frozen produce in this freezer and then rotate them with some of the ones I have in the chest freezer that is out in the wash shed. We have a variety of berries, fruit, peas, beans, okra, corn, and other vegetables. I’ve just placed an order for a couple more items this month too.
Don’t forget that we have our own little pallet garden, which I have been sharing a lot pictures of in various posts, as well. This means lots of fresh veggies. We have been enjoying a variety of tomatoes and peppers so far. Soon we hope to be eating some lettuce, cucumbers, and squash (If I can ever get them planted.) from the garden as well. Not to mention that walking back and forth to the garden has been a bit of exercise for everyone too.
Exercising has been another matter altogether. I did buy some line dancing DVDs with the hopes of using them on a regular basis and learning some dances to teach to others. I have not even watched the first one yet though. We have been to many, many square dances at our clubs and other area clubs. Since we switched one of our club nights we have been free to visit a lot more and meet so many new people. Did you know that square dancing can burn between 200 – 400 calories per half hour?
As far as weight loss goes I have been fairly successful in that area too as I have lost about 20 pounds since April. I’m not bragging by no means just stating facts. I had tried the Xyngular program which worked really well but I was having issues keeping my blood sugar up so I’ve since quit the program. It did help me to make some diet changes that have contributed to my success.
I was really sick in February with kidney stones and a kidney infection. That put me out of commission for a while. I am still dealing with some of the side effects from the antibiotics I had to take during the period. (One of the side effects is the doctor bills.) Overall I have improved a lot and feel much much better. The 8 day challenge and cleanse I did with the program made a big difference in the way I felt.
Here’s a before and after:
The picture on the left is from April and the one on the right is just a couple of weeks ago. I know you can mostly see just my face but you can really see the difference.
Resolution 3: Be a better mother, friend, and person
I think everyone wants to be a better person, at least most of the time. I am continuously striving to be better in every way that I can. We all feel like we have failed in one area or another at some point. I know that is how life goes but I am just trying to find ways to improve myself and my relationships with others.
This may be debatable depending on who you talk to. I have had some situations, as some of you may know from past posts like this one and this one, where you just really need to step back and evaluate if relationship is healthy and if it is really worth keeping. In doing so you may find that people you had close to you were actually doing you more harm than good.
In my opinion, I feel that I have made some improvements in this area as well. This has been a multifaceted task though. Not only am I a Momma to 9 precious kiddos, but I am also a sister, daughter, partner, aunt, teacher, and friend to many others.That means a lot of people depend on me for many different things and my roles are constantly changing. I also have a lot of people I communicate with for club activities and such which means that I have had to come out of my shell in so many ways.
Relationships are constantly changing as we grow and mature so that means I need to be able to adjust to these changes and be willing to change myself too. I really need to take time to listen carefully to those around me to make sure that I am doing the best I can for them.
I do my best to stay positive in every situation and let go of things but I know I still have a lot of areas to work on. I have always been told that I must have a lot of patience but here lately I have a child who has just about used up every ounce of patience I have left in my poor body. (And contributed to several of the gray hairs that have been popping up.) This is not a good thing at all so I am working on trying to step back and evaluate the situation and find solutions that work.
I have been reading a lot of books and articles on parenting like’Daily Encouragement for The Smart Stepfamily‘, ‘The Love Dare For Parents‘, ‘Parenting Isn’t For Cowards‘, and ‘The Family You’ve Always Wanted: Five Ways You Can Make It Happen‘ as I do face a lot of challenges. In addition to having a large family and being a special needs mom I am also so very busy. I have found that I have had to simplify things in many ways to keep from being overwhelmed. An overwhelmed, stressed out Momma, is no fun to be around and I know that.
Along with the parenting books I have been reading books like ‘Cleaning Up The Clutter‘ and ‘The 15-Minute Organizer‘ and to learn ways to organize all areas of the house and life. I have also been revisiting some old books on my bookshelf like ‘Gospel Centered Mom‘, ‘Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God‘ and ‘Pressing Pause 100 Quiet Moments To Meet With Jesus‘ to refresh my brain and find encouragement when I so desperately need it.
Most important I know that I am role model to my kids and others around me so I always have little eyes on me. I strive to be the best I can be everyday so that they can learn ways to overcome obstacles and deal with difficult circumstances they many face in their own lives. If I have a bad day I am learning not to beat myself up and to just try to learn from my mistakes when I can.
I also know that to be the best I can be I need to take care of myself. This means physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I need to make sure I take breaks and get enough rest. I also need to make sure I am eating right which is something I am still working on as I often forget to eat and can go all day without a single bite. Some people may not agree with me on this one but I also know I need some time away from the house and the kids every so often. While we do try to include the kids in a lot of things it is nice to be able to enjoy a quiet dinner or to go to a special dance with my honey.
Overall Progress and New Goals
All in all I feel that I have made a lot of great progress on these resolutions. I plan to continue to work on these resolutions throughout the year. I also have a few other goals that I am working on for the remainder of the year.
These include paying off some debt. I, like a lot of people, do have some credit card debt. I also have quite a few doctor bills that I am working on getting paid off. I am doing this by trying to save money whenever and wherever I can. I also have a fairly strict budget that I try to stick to. I’ve been trying to weed out unnecessary expenses as well to save a little money and have a little bit more to put towards paying off bills.
I have already paid off a couple of smaller bills and debts so I can put that money towards some of the larger ones and slowly whittle them down. Our routines and meal planning help us to stay on track and keep unexpected emergencies and expenses at bay for the most part.
I would like to get my savings built back up as well. Trying to pay off debt and have a savings can be difficult to juggle but I’m trying. Things like a new laptop, a new freezer, and unexpected doctor visits have made a huge dent in my savings but I’ll get it built back up.
I also have some plans to revamp our homeschool routine and area. I have made a few changes to it this past year but we still need to test it out a bit before I do a post on them. The new schedule we had was working great until I got sick in February and then it just kind of got set to the side.
We would also like to have more family fun time. We do have family outings to different places. We do have a camping trip planned for later on this month. I love camping and so do the kids so we should have a lot of fun. Plus we’ll be visiting with some family which will be a lot of fun too.
Yesterday, after lunch we had a semi-spontaneous outing. I say semi because I know that Mr. Awesome had planned to go out and I just thought it would be fun to make it a family outing. I was wrong…. it wasn’t a lot of fun. It was a very challenging outing to say the least but we did manage to get what we needed.
Another kinda big item is getting this house decorated. (You can check out my Pinterest Boards for some of the other ideas I’ve saved.) I really want our house to feel like home. It has been a while since I’ve really been able to decorate a home in the way I wanted too. A lot of the decorations that we currently have are ‘leftovers’ and don’t fit with this house. This one is farther down on the list than the others as several projects need to happen before I can truly get to work on this one.
I’m sure there are a ton of other things I’ll be adding to the list but for now those are the most important ones.
I can hear the patter of some little feet and the rumble of some not so distant thunder outside so I better get off of here and get started. I need to get the muffins out of the pans and pour some milk to go along with them. I also need to grab some laundry and head out to the wash shed before it starts raining, again. I’m really trying not to complain as I know that we really do need the rain and my garden sure does appreciate it but it really has been quite the damper for getting motivated. And right on cue I hear the sound of rain drops hitting the tin roof… the laundry may have to wait a bit as I don’t want to drag out my rain coat and rain boots right now.
Did you make any resolutions for 2018? How has your progress been?
Have a wonderful day!