Aug 23 2016

It was a crazy fun week as we spent fun time with friends visiting from Maine, the girls starting Middle School, and adjusting to the new work schedule.  Thankful for the amazing blessings in my life.  You don’t have to look very far or hard to find something to be grateful for in your life.  It can be a simple smile from a stranger to sharing laughter with a friend or spending quality time with someone you love.

I want to be accountable to you so the following are snip-its of some of the things I am thankful for this past week.

Counting My Blessings – Week In Review:

Monday –Thankful day off work and spend the morning with our friends from Maine.  In the afternoon I was able to hang out with the girls and have fun on their last day of summer.

Tuesday - Thankful that Jake went with me to take the girls to their first day of Middle School.  Glad that their first day went smoothly for them.

Wednesday - Thankful that when Jake travels he takes the time to talk with me and catch up.  It’s not the same as having him at home, but it is always great hearing his voice and chatting about our days.

Thursday - Thankful picked up the girls right when school got out and went “clothes” shopping for new school shorts.  Grateful they are growing, but it doesn’t take long for them to grown out of their shorts.

Friday – Thankful for safety as we traveled, it was rainy and was slowed down multiple times by car accidents, but everyone arrived back home safely.

Saturday - Thankful for a quiet and productive day at home and around town with the family (first Saturday in a long time that we were not traveling or running around with a lot of activities going on).

Sunday - Thankful for a husband who enjoys and is a great cook.  Love it when he pitches in around the kitchen and house.  I am one spoiled chick with him around.

What are you thankful for today?  I encourage you to take the time to write down a few blessings that you have in your life today.  It will help cheer you up and turn your focus on the amazing blessings you encounter each day.

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Aug 22 2016

My delicious Tuna & Spinach Salad made by Karlie

A few days ago Karlie was in charge of making the family meal.  She made a super delicious meal.  For my meal she put together a Tuna, Spinach & Tomato Salad.  When I sat down for dinner this beauty greeted me.

I love how she displayed the tomatoes around the edges of the salad and the 1 spinach leaf on the top of the tuna fish salad mix she put together on her own.  It was amazing!  Thankful for a thoughtful and sweet kid who made a delicious and healthy meal.

She made tuna fish sandwiches for the rest of the family, which based on their reactions turned out really tasty as well.  Thanks Karlie for a great meal!  Love you kiddos!

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Aug 22 2016

http://www.blessingsmultiplied.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/4088699532_ae44f04b7dc.jpg

It has been a whirlwind of activities around our house this past week with getting back from Alaska, work, transitioning the kids to a new school, friends visiting, and a large amount of other fun activities going on.  Thankful to be back home again and getting started on a more consistently (and somewhat) normal school again.

Since this week we have a mix of activities on the agenda including school and work we’ll make it simple and easy.  I based our menu off some items that we need to use up from our pantry.   Hopefully once we get into our new regular routine I will be able to catch up on more long term projects around the house and yard again.  Our menu is going to be simple and easy.  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree):  Beef Pasta Casserole, Steamed Vegetables
  • Tuesday (Seafood, Soup, Salad, or Sandwich Entree):   Homemade Individual Pizzas, Salad
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree):   Chicken Vindaloo, Homemade Naan Bread
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): Pork & Vegetable Stir Fry, Udon Noodles
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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Aug 22 2016

We are officially on the new school and work schedule starting this week.  The girls are now in middle school.  It has been a little bit more of an adjustment, but they (and their parents) are doing well.  Looking forward to seeing the schedule get into the new normal rhythm.  I a positive there will be a lot of fun and exciting events as we fly through these next few weeks.

Thankful for a great summer.  We had a lot of great opportunities to catch up with family and friends across the county.  We were able to cover a lot of territory over the past couple of months.  Last week we had close friends staying with us for a few days which was awesome.  Grateful for friends who check in on our house and pets while we were traveling and that work was flexible with the slightly insane schedule.

I am hoping to get back up, running, and staying on top of things more regularly with the house, blog, and personal goals.  You should be seeing some of our fun adventures over the summer break.  Hoping to ease back into some of these items so I am not over committed as I gear up for a busy week.  Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading The Forgotten Filly by Karle Dickerson to the kids  -  the kids loved this book and were looking up more books by the same author or if this one was part of a series
  2. Read 7 more Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids – these are fun, short stories that make the kids giggle.  We actually saw one of the locations where one of the stories took place when we were traveling through Alaska!  Very exciting!!!
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids. – somehow this set got placed in a random spot and didn’t go through it until later in the week
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kidsthese have been a fun learning tool for me too
  5. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every nightalways love hearing the neat things they are thankful for in their days
  6. Plan one special activity with the familyspent time with our friends that were visiting from Maine
  7. Play a Game with the Kidswe did a Nerf war with friends while they are visiting all adults and most of the kids participated (Savannah slept through the whole Nerf game)
  8. Create Memories with the Familythankful for great memories and special times together – I took off the girls last day of summer to hang out with them and our friends from Maine
  9. Spend Quality time with each family member – the girls did a slumber party with Bradley this week so we did not do one-on-one time with everyone this week
  10. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this weekcraft time and science experiment fun over the weekend

Kid Goals

  1. Spend time Monday –Friday encouraging the kids to find creative ways to learn and grow their skillslots of fun learning and being creative as well as attending the first few days of school
  2. At least 30 minutes of outside play, fresh air, or activity time a day – didn’t get this on a couple of the school nights

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water, wear FitBit, and do yoga (or at least stretch out) each day – I didn’t get all these goals accomplished this week.  Had some technical issues with the TV for yoga while Jake was out of town with work.  Did well on the water and decent on the FitBit though.

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Focusing on my Family not the “to do” list

Business Goals

  1. Focusing on my Family not the “to do” list

Ministry Goals

  1. Quality time with my family

Financial Goals

  1. Focusing on my Family not the “to do” list

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Pick out a new Chapter book to read to the girls and start reading it
  2. Read 7 more Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids.
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  5. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  6. Plan one special activity with the family
  7. Play a Game with the Kids
  8. Create Memories with the Family
  9. Spend Quality time with each family member
  10. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this week

Kid Goals

  1. Do Homework Monday – Friday
  2. Pack Lunches and Prep for the next day
  3. Spend one-on-one time with kids each day

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day)
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Give Skipper a bath this week
  2. Speed clean & pick up the house 15 minutes a night

Business Goals

  1. Update Work Notes
  2. Get caught up on blog posts
  3. Work on a few special projects

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor
  2. Get our finances and budget back on track
  3. Pay down debt we owe
  4. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home)

I think it is important to share and encourage each other as we seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.  I want to live intentionally not just hope all my dreams and goals come true.  When I focus on small steps of improvement I am able to see results as I get closer to my goals.  Some weeks I get closer to the goals I have in my life and other weeks a take a few steps back (life happens, emergencies occur, people get sick).  Once the goals are written down and shared it provides a guideline for what I aim to accomplish this week.

Why Share My Goals?

  • To keep me accountable
  • To share a piece of my life with you as I strive to be a better Child of God, Wife, Mom, Friend, Homemaker, Entrepreneur and the many other roles I have each week
  • To have my goals consistently written down so I can gauge progress more accurately
  • Create healthy habits in my life
  • To encourage you to share your goals with me as you continue to grown and learn

How did you do this week on your goals?  Feel free to share or link to your list of weekly goals.

The picture above is one that I created for my own purposes, however, The “SMART” acronym was originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results

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Aug 20 2016

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Photo Credit

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