Monday, January 21, 2013


So...this month, I am not doing too well on the resos...oh wellll....there are 11 other months! The hallway is half painted...thanks to Joe still being down for the count. But it will be done...maybe today???
I have been thinking about my cleaning and purging, and trying to figure out what I am drawn to when I look for inspiration. I like clean...not a lot of clutter...I like little whimsical bits (colored frames, words on the wall, etc.). So I went through half of the kitchen yesterday-the eating and table area, and tried to make it look "clean"...took off the tablecloth, made a place for keys and sunglasses in a drawer, not out on a counter, cleaned out my kitchen baskets that get stuffed with mail and receipts and I have an empty one ready for a new home. Organized my home binder. Cleaned out part of my closet. Filled up a trash bag-LOVE that feeling! Now, I feel like I am on a roll.
Starting the boys on their plan tomorrow. They will have a container of quarters on their dresser. For the first week, they get to keep their daily quarter if they make their bed before school and do their homework before bed. Last week, they were so bad about getting homework least 3 mornings, they were finishing in my classroom. Then, the next week, I will add a "zone" that daily needs to be cleaned to keep their daily quarter (like bathroom, or family room, or playroom,etc...). Starting small! Will keep you posted. Hope to have 4 things they have to do daily.
Anyway...hope our new work pans out. Still trying to get more home stuff done before the end of the month. Today, off to replace fridge filter and buy a new flag pole for front of the house. And take my kids on a McDonald's date and park time. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Wish I had a magic fairy to clean up my house!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 2

Checking in here-hello, Marie (a new friend and reader!) did I do? It was back to work this week for me. And...Joe was laid up pretty much all I didn't do as great as I wanted. I did clean a bit each day and felt that if someone came over, I wouldn't be scrambling around. Please tell me I am not the only one who feels that way! So, this week I will try to stay even more on top of my cleaning schedule. Didn't get to painting or taking down the Christmas lights (that's my man's job), but we'll do that this week. We don't have plans any evening except Monday.

I thought a lot about my resolutions, and even though keeping a chart worked well for Gretchen Rubin in her book, it's not working out for me. Though I do find myself mentally checking things off. I also starting keeping track of my gratitudes with an app on phone. On track there. I took facebook off my phone-what a time waster! No, I am not getting rid of my account-that's how I communicate with my bunco group and new book club-and I love looking at my friends' and family members' photos, but I really don't need to read about so and so's sore throat or trip to wherever. I don't miss it. :-)

Haven't started a chore system for my kiddos yet-hello, back to work and swamped with report cards AND common core training-feels like we've been back for ages! But, have some ideas. I really am interested in this plan from the 71toes blog. (Love her photos, too!) I want something simple and motivating. I also like this idea which was inspired from Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma which is about a mom was trying to get rid of the entitlement her children felt. Except Kay Wills Wyma was rich and paid her kids LOTS of money to make their beds. This quarter idea is more doable! Ha!

Tip-if there are blogs you find yourself interested in, subscribe to the email feed and save yourself some time. I subscribe to about 6 and when the email comes in, if the topic doesn't interest me, I delete it. I rarely get on the computer anymore (even though we are now a 2 computer family! We bought the kids an inexpensive laptop for Christmas. It stays out in the family room and they take turns. They love it!) so I don't blog surf, but just picked the blogs where I got the most ideas. I like: How Does She, Simple Mom, Make & Takes, Eighteen25, Teaching in Room 6, Busy Kids=Happy Mom (links are on right hand side).
I really am digging this idea of starting my resolutions slower...instead of jumping in all at once. Yes, I am wanting to get to more stuff...but I need to go slow to see changes. And as I drive by the packed gym...whoo...hopefully it will be cleared out a bit by people quitting by Feb.
Leave you with some pinterest inspired ideas for your classroom/ my class, we did a mug exchange and hot cocoa, and we decorated "Christmas trees" instead of gingerbread houses for our Christmas celebrations! Easy and fun! I even had some of the kids friends over the day after school was out for a Christmas tree decorating event, too.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I am blogging again!

Can you believe it? Several posts in one week! Whoo-hoo! am I doing with my HOME focus? Pretty good, if I may say so myself. I've cleaned out a few areas, thrown away things, rearranged Kendall's room, looked online for the the new bed we are buying her (probably Ikea), bought paint for the hallway-ready to start painting, found a color for the boys room (Behr's Cloudy Day), cleaned a lot, figured out what other small projects to do...and now tomorrow it's back to work. I will try to keep to my cleaning schedule as best as I can.

I'm just going to do the best I can-I am reading an awesome book called:
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead-and it's a slow go because it's a lot to take in (I keep finding myself rereading passages and thinking about my own life). Brene Brown is dismantling the common conceptions out there that we women have to do it all (be sweet, super mom, super wife, super thin, etc). She says no one can do it all-duh-but we need to be vulnerable and admit it, and just do the best we can. No sense in feeling shame. LOVE it! Don't let those voices tell you that are failing as a mom, as a wife, as a women...just do what you can and be who you are. Well, those are my words-what I am taking away from her book. It's freeing. I admit, I don't have it all together. I wish sometimes I did, and I do sometimes pretend I have it all together-but I never have, never will. I know I am a good mama, but I am not super mom. I cuddle with my kiddos all the time, read to them daily, help with homework, tell them they are loved ten times a day-but I also let them watch too much TV, don't make them take baths and showers every day, serve them mac and cheese from the blue box at minimum once a week for dinner, clean up their toys too much (instead of making them), and the list goes on. I'm on the computer right now while they are playing video games...ahhh, that feels good!
Not sure where this post is's been hijacked by this book! Have you read this???
So...anyway, this year, along with my monthly focus and resolutions, I will try to be the best I can, but not beat myself for not meeting my expectations.
Here's some Christmas and New Year's pics to share. Aren't they cute kids???

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Day 2 in the books!

Ok, so here's how my first month is playing out. *Cleaning schedule-I made one a few months ago and even laminated it and stuck it to my fridge. I did follow it for a while and found my house was much neater...then life got in the way. I hate the big mad rush to clean when someone is coming over-I want people to come over anytime and not be worried the toilet has a ring around it or the carpet has papers strewn all over or the sink is full of dirty dishes...please tell me I'm not the only one with a house like this! So, I want to keep a neater house. I printed out Clean Mama's schedule: click HERE for your copy.

Day 2-not started...BUT I did clean out and rearrange the pantry yesterday and I've been spending lots of quality time with the family. So, tomorrow I will start!
I plan to keep track of my resolutions through a chart system-Gretchen Rubin said that worked very well for her in The Happiness Project, so I printed one from HERE.
So, there you not so splashy start. But it's a start, right???
Leaving you with some pics of my babies from December (student of the month, Kendall's dance & singing recital, and my boys actually posing together-believe it or not!).

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 Resolutions

Wow! 2013 is here! Happy New Year! I love the new year-new start, new beginnings, hope for the upcoming year... I always make resolutions, but like most people, don't keep them much after March.
This year, I started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (see right before New Years. Perfect timing! I have decided to pattern my resolutions after her happiness project.

*Each month, I will focus on one area of my life (preferably one that will make me happier). Each month will have a set of "resolutions" to start trying to live by. When the month is over, I will start a new area of focus, but continue to do the resolutions from the previous month.

*January is HOME. I plan to *stick to a cleaning schedule *do a few home projects that have been put off (make benches for the playroom table, paint, polish the doorknobs, get bark for the front walkway) *set up a chores schedule for my children *declutter

*February is ENERGY. I hope to *go to the gym or run 3 days a week *drink more water *eat healthier (cut out soda, snacks, sugary foods) *get more sleep (8 hours a night?!)

*March is HOBBY TIME. I want to focus on leisure activities-what is fun to me. Gretchen's book about her leisure time-what makes her happy was fascinating to me. She discussed that some of the things we do for "fun" aren't even really fun for us. Her new rule of life (well, one of them anyways) is: what's fun for some people may not be fun for others. Food for thought... *focus on my photography, practice!!! *do more scrapbooking-catch up on boys' school albums (though "catching up" stresses me out, I do enjoy the creative process) *read about creativity *set up office to be more efficient for Joe and me

*April is FAMILY. *implement family night weekly *check in/tweak chores schedule *Put phones away more often *start Technology Sabbath (something I read about recently in Sunset break from Friday night sundown to Saturday night sundown (personally the computer/ipod/iphone/tv situation drives me crazy!)

The next months include:
*I am working on the specifics of those months, including mailing birthday cards to friends, starting bi-weekly date nights, doing some of the pinterest projects I've pinned, join a Bible Study, family volunteer activities, etc...

I thought if I blogged about how I was doing, it might keep me more accountable. Even though there are only about 2 of you out there reading this...:-) That's OK. I blog for me. ONE of these days I will make my blog book...maybe July's resolution???

Anyone else read this book? What are your resolutions???