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Thursday, January 7, 2010


Back on New Year's day I was doing what everyone does at a new beginning and thinking about the things I'd accomplished in 09 and what I'd like to do better this year. I like starting off the new year with new commitments - nothing earth shattering, just intentionally thinking through where God has led me, and where I need to improve.

You've heard the phrase, "Aim for nothing and you will hit it every time." I totally believe it.

Last year my focus was "Anti-procrastination." A weird non-word that I chose to help me get off my you-know-what and get stuff done. Some might call it nesting in preparation for baby #3. Procrastinating less was a really unmeasurable goal, so I decided to make myself a whopper of a list of things I wanted to get done. Some things were really important and some were silly, but it all went into my list in any order that it popped into my head. I love lists, so this actually a lot of fun for me.

This is the original January 09 list with the notes I made during the year - I'm sure I accomplished more, but this is all I wrote down.

1. Work on creating digital scrapbook for 2008 and have it printed. working . . . DONE!

2. Choose name for baby girl DONE and it is perfect for her

3. Go to Charmingfare for a ride on Little Boy - Went but they don't offer rides any more. My big girl decided that "Little Boy needs to rest, he is old now" Too cute.

4. Find bedding for the baby -We still haven't set up her room, or even her crib. Good thing she is too little to notice

5. Read Kathleen books and at least one other great chapter book to the kids. Finished Charlotte's Web and Poppy (great reads!) Kathleen #3 and #4 done - I wonder if there are any more in the series? Also liked Indian in the Cupboard, Castle in the Attic, and Nim's Island.

6. Help kids clean their rooms thoroughly (they are pretty good about tidying daily but there is only so high a 3yo can dust on their own) - We started a new chore chart system that has been working wonders and as a bonus it gives me a full 20 minutes to clean upstairs each and every day

7. Re-arrange basement storage so that the kids have a place to run and swing on rainy days. Umm, started then abandoned - need to get going again

8. Use all of the Louisa's coupons before they expire in April Done, yummy!

9. Go swimming at the lake, even if I don't feel as if I look good in my bathing suit after having baby. It is 4th of July weekend and we have had rain for well over 4 weeks now. I hope the rest of the summer looks better. Swam in beautiful water by August

10. Decide on school plan for next year and Register for 1st grade Decided but need to register ... have paperwork ... - Registration done!

11. Bring a homemade dinner to a single friend for no good reason. Had friends over, even better

12. Get b&w photos made of baby's tiny hands and feet to match the other kids - finding frames would be a bonus. - Photos taken at 1 month, but finding 5 inch square frames has been difficult. Still working. Found it finally in December!

13. Plan end of year co-op field trip for March Owl show!!!

14. Take hubby to class at firing range Never got to it in 09 - tried to register for the spring of 10, but classes fill up quick. Drat!

15. Research cost of summer music class for kids - Too expensive. Maybe next year

16. Write "cut dog's nails" on every month of the calendar and make sure it happens. written down, we'll see if I stick to it. Sorta' working, sorta' not

17. Volunteer to clean the church at least once before baby arrives. Oops . . . never happened Happened 4 months after delivery. Better late than never

18. Have coffee with a friend I haven't seen in a while. Had fun!

19. Find a really good group of Christian moms and get involved. Attended Manchester HS group - okay but not great . Tried Nashua group - better, but the timing is always changing and a pain to figure out. Tried FIAR group, it was lousy - Hmmmm need to work on this one. Maybe I'll try Community Bible Study again.

20. Have the car tuned up - right now it needs an oil change, has a coolant leak, there is a glitch in the airbag, and something goofy happens in the transmission every once in a while. This probably should have been number one on my list, but I'll leave it here just 'cuz. Done! Nothing wrong was found - strange!

21. Become a more welcoming hostess - don't apologize about the state of my house when people drop by unannounced. (This has become a bad habit for me and breaking it is going to be hard) well that one wasn't very measurable was it :o)

22. Give myself the freedom to nap regardless of what "needs" to be done. - I did great with this after baby was born! I planned ahead to nap during her first nap of the day and the big kids were very cooperative.

23. Start a new habit of getting up and going to bed at a reasonable hour (when baby permits). I have not done this at all not because of baby, but because my husband likes to stay up late and I feel guilty going to bed without him. - still a goal

24. Spend time every day with God this remains an ongoing goal - the discipline of copying verses is helpful. I am required to focus on one thing at a time

25. Be more gentle in correcting the kids - don't let my own exhaustion/frustration/whatever color my reaction to them. This isn't exactly a measurable goal, but I'm writing it down anyway because I want to remember to focus on it. Yeah - still working on it.

26. Send birth announcements before baby turns 6 weeks old DONE - hooray for e-cards!

27. Pick peaches and grapes from the backyard and make preserves for my adorable husband who LOVES homemade jam (plan ahead and find babysitter to watch the little one so I don't drip on her) Peach harvest was non-existant, but made grape, strawberry and elderberry

28. Organize and label the 3rd floor bookshelves - an ongoing struggle

29. Choose paint colors for the entry, stairway, and master bedroom entry and stairway done but I still haven't figured out the bedroom

30. Make window treatment for the entry and upstairs bathroom - I've had the fabric for a year now. Entry done, and I decided not to make the bathroom one

31. Sort through dresser drawers (and TOSS old and unmatching items.) Done

32. Spend time every month teaching the kids how to sew A is loving this time, enjoying Keepers crafts together

33. Reorganize my closet and get rid of as many maternity clothes as possible immediately before baby arrives (no wearing sloppy sweaters just because they are on top of the pile) Done - Jen will enjoy the extra maternity clothes

34. Read five books that inspire and encourage me as a mom Homeschooling at the Speed of Life by Marilyn Rockett, No Ordinary Home by Carol Brazo, ADD friendly ways to Organize your Life by J. Kolberg & K. Nadeau, Making children mind without loosing yours, Teach like your hair is on fire by Rafe, I also started "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker" but never finished it.

35. Take a bubble bath every Sunday evening Abandoned after baby

36. Say no to participating in church steering committee after the baby arrives - and don't feel guilty about it. Okay, this got SERIOUSLY harder after our pastor left . . . But ... I - DID - IT !!! For a while, okay not for long enough, but I did it. Sorta'

37. fix the doorbell so it will actually ring DONE!!! - Requested this as a valentine's gift from my sweetie

38. clean out the 3rd floor storage room (toss, don't just rearrange) Well, it's better than when I started, still working

39. Start a project on the loom just for fun, and allow kids to experiment on it. Lots of fun, but next time I'll use cotton rather than wool

40. learn how to use Photoshop - Trial and error method has been productive but difficult, bought a manual I hope to read soon

41. Make cookies and stick them in the freezer as a special treat for after the baby arrives. DONE!

42. Buy an under-sink towel holder for the kitchen. DONE!!

43. Re-think the flower bed in the front yard and write down plans for 2010 - I don't think I'll be able to do much gardening this year. Found a great list of perennials in a magazine - need to file it appropriately so I can find it next spring

44. Sign the kids up for two sessions of swimming lessons Done - they loved it! Now I'm thinking of allowing them to take lessons again in the spring

45. Be consistent with nature journaling with the children - start doing Friday Picnics again Being very organized helped with this - now I need to make a rotating list. Participating in weekly nature challenge is fun

46. Read bible to the kids daily. Again, solved by preparing ahead. We have done great! Peter asked that I find a bible study for A that focuses on communion - not sure what I will use - "Leading Little Ones" was okay but basic - looking for a more in depth study.

47. Finish Genesis Bible Study I started last year Failing miserably :o( I think I'll just ditch it for now

48. Detail clean the car (bleh! I hate this job) Done! The kids helped polish the leather and wash the windows. Would like to shampoo the carpets soon.

49. Update Christmas binder for next year - sorted, now needs new gift list made

50. Plan 2 summer day trips that are baby friendly Sheep & Wool Festival didn't go, Museum of Science and Charmingfare (fun!), Next year = Indian museum, hiking in mtns, Beach, Aquarium

51. Have the kids choose a story from Bible and print it out for copywork got a new handwriting font from Robert - with pics from google images these have been could be really cute!

52. Get the taxes done for 2008 before the end of March (no way do I want to be dealing with a newborn and doing taxes at the same time!) Uggh - waiting for a missing form from the school district . . . DONE now!!!

53. Get baby girl clothes back from sister, wash and organize baby stuff Done - ready and waiting!

54. Remind sister to return car seat and buy a new (girly) car seat cover Done, but they don't sell covers anymore, so I just washed the old one

55. Try a new housework system - Print out cleaning calendar and try it - is it better than Flylady? printed, doesn't seem to be an improvement . . . tried the FIAR declutter thread but spent too much time on the computer - Still love Flylady, but maybe I'll try Motivated Moms

56. File or trash loose papers piled in the 3rd floor storage room DONE!!! I can't believe it!

57. Let the kids cook a meal (with help) once a month - Wrote it on the calendar so I would remember to let them help - They are beginning to have very good knife skills

58. Pre-assemble and freeze meals each month Freezer is full!

59. Forgive myself for whatever I don't cross off this list

So for this year the word that kept popping back into my head was "One"- a weird word, I know. I guess I'm good at choosing weird things to feel inspired by. I decided that I really want to do better at focusing my energies on priorities first - One at a time, not trying to do everything all at once.

As much fun as I had with the list last year - this year's word is exactly the opposite. No lists, no big goals, just focus on doing the "one" task at hand well.

I recently heard this quote "Don't go through life so busy that you miss the most important things." I have no idea who said it, but I think they are on to something.

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