Category: Events & Holidays

Jan 04 2017

Fireworks after the Greenville Drive Game!

With a new year comes a lot of excitement!  The feeling of a fresh start in many areas of our lives, planning for future events and adventures, new goals, and more!  Everyday is a blessing!  While we welcome in the New Year don’t forget to reflect on the many blessings that you have enjoyed over the past year(s).  I encourage you to initiate a conversation with your family (it can be during a family dinner, game night, or any good time when everyone is present).  During this family time focus on these three things as a family to start off your New Year right.  This time together will make a positive impact on the hearts and lives of each individual family member and is worth it:

  1. Reflect back the fun memories and blessings of 2016!  Often the hardest part with this stage is getting the ball rolling.  Before the family time create a list of several good family memories to get it started.  Mention one and let others input their memories tied into that event as well as start adding their own memories.  Give everyone a chance who wants to talk the opportunity.  If there is a pause bring up a different memory to keep them going.  Before long you’ll be laughing and the kids will be bringing up memories connected to the event or new ones that you forgot about.  This is a wonderful way to end a year and begin a new one.
  2. Take a moment to think about the tough times over the past year! While the harder times are not easy to deal with or will bring back sadness or emotions they still have an impact on our lives.  Sometimes during these times of discussion you realize that a family member is still struggling with something.  Whether it is grief over a lost pet or loved one, anger, frustration, or something else.  This is a good time to gauge how everyone is doing and give you an opportunity to encourage each other or help those family members heal.  The love and support you receive from those around you can make an incredible impact on your life as you continue to move forward.  Knowing you are not alone, you are loved, and you have a team of people who want to help you can help the family member heal more quickly.  (Do not use this time to point out problems with each other, but to talk about harder times and to encourage.  Some topics made need to be tabled for a later and more lengthy conversation)  It will give you a good insight into your children and some ideas of what to help encourage them with over the next few weeks as they continue to grow and heal.
  3. Look ahead! As one year wraps up and a new one begins it is a great time to set some goals both personally and as a family.  Use this time to set family goals together.  There may be some activities that the kids have been wanting to do, but you have been letting it slip not even realizing that it was very important to them.  The goals discussed during this family  time should be family related, although they most definitely have a personal impact on each family member.  Write these goals down and review them weekly or monthly or regularly throughout the year to remind the family members of what is important to the family as a whole.  This also provides a lead in for each of the members to think about their personal goals.  It allows a great opportunity to have a group of people focused on similar goals and encouraging each other along the way.  Some family goal ideas (eat healthier, regular family game night, monthly date night with spouse and each child, daily family devotions, learn a new skill together, plan a family vacation, weekly family night, quarterly family service project, etc…).  Make a point to write the ideas down and either make a decision that day or within a few days on the family goals.  Type up a list, print it or email it to each family member so that they can be reminded of the ways your family is working together to create stronger bonds, happy memories, and improving lives.

Setting aside a time when everyone is together can be difficult, however it is important.  It can be during a family dinner, game night, or another time when the family is together.  Make sure it is a convenient time with as little distractions as possible.  A time when everyone is more relaxed (not hungry, ready for bed, or trying to multi-task while having this conversation).  The reflecting on memories helps create a happy bond, the tough times allow family members to see that they are not alone and have the support of people who love them, and looking ahead gives you the opportunity to improve and grow into a better individuals and family unit.  If you do write down the family goals please do your best to follow through as much as possible because these goals are important to the members.

Life has a way of staying busy.  Taking the time to spending reflecting on good memories as a way has a way of bringing everyone together.  It may cause some laughter, tears, and healing.  It is good to be reminded of the many blessings in our life and to realize that we are journeying through this life together.   Yes, we make mistakes along the way, but we can can make the best of it and have a lot of fun too.  Many blessings to you and your family this 2017 New Year!!!

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Dec 25 2016

Joy Garland:

Photo Credit

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Nov 09 2016

Orchestra - Karlie's 1st

Karlie’s First Orchestra Concert

Recently, we were able to go to Karlie’s 1st Orchestra Concert at school.  It was a lot of fun watching her play in front of an audience.  She has only been playing for about a month so it was neat to see her use her skills.  Proud of the hard work she has put into it.  Thankful for an opportunity to see Karlie play!

Karlie's 1st Orchestra Concert

Karlie playing a duet at her 1st Orchestra Concert

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Karlie playing in one of her group performances!

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Oct 31 2016

At the beginning of last week I was in Kansas visiting family so I wasn’t able to get caught up on my weekly goals list, but I am back home now and have hit the ground running again.  There is a lot going on day to day for all members of the family and it takes extra thought as well as organization to stay (or attempt to stay) on top of the activities around the house.  Thankful for a family that pitches in to help.  All of us enjoy working outside too.  When we get in gear and start working on projects around the house and yard we can get quite a bit accomplished.  The girls are a huge help and blessing.  The animals are usually wiped out after them being home a little bit more over the weekend with all the TLC they get.  They are great about feeding, combing, cleaning up after, and playing with their pets too.  Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Read the chapter book National Velvet by Enid Bagnold to the kids – there was not extra time to get this finished, hoping to get through the rest of the book soon
  2. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids. – wasn’t home all week and didn’t have time most evenings to go through these
  3. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids. – didn’t get these done this week
  4. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night. – every night while I was home I did, but there were a couple nights while I was away that they were in bed before I talked with Jake
  5. Plan one special activity with the family – Pumpkin Carving & Family Halloween Celebration Night
  6. Play a Game with the Kids
  7. Spend Quality time with each family member
  8. Coordinate and review schedules at beginning of week to confirm all obligations, appointments, and other activities
  9. Figure out the Remaining 2016 Quarter PTO & Holiday Schedules (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc….) – working on it
  10. Coordinate pick up & drop off at airport in KS
  11. Pack for Trip to KS to Celebrate my Dad & Niece’s Birthdays
  12. Spend quality time with Extended Family
  13. Plan Family Halloween Celebration

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 (in person or on phone / hangouts when traveling) – did when I was home, but only did IM & Texts while traveling
  4. Attend Robotics, Tailgating Student Council Party, Diggers, and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments
  6. Schedule & Meet for Jake & I to have a  1-on-1 Discussion time with each kid – did it the one weekend, but last weekend we did not because I was not home
  7. Pick a Date Night for the Kids – going over our schedule, did a family night, now to plan another date night!
  8. Prep in advance Homework, Review, Permissions & other School Items prior to traveling

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8+ glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day) – didn’t get 10,000 steps everyday
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week – was not consistent when traveling
  4. Appointment(s)
  5. Get full nights rest & take immune boosting vitamins so don’t pick up any traveling sicknesses

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization  – Maintain and Clean
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Outside Project – Remove Fallen Tree & Fix Goat Fence
  4. Update Project List – need to review & update again
  5. Add any new contacts, addresses, and special events on the calendar
  6. Confirm October Family and Individual Calendar(s)
  7. Follow up on calls and items that need my attention following traveling –  have a few more calls/emails to follow up on

Business Goals

  1. Get caught up on blog posts – running a little bit behind, but hoping to get some headway this week
  2. Work on a few special projects – made some progress on a couple projects but didn’t really complete anything big
  3. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options – looking at some options

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal
  3. Be a blessing to someone specific
  4. Let Lindsey know that I will not be able to attend Ladies Bible Study this week – let Linda know at church the week before that I would be traveling
  5. Read next chapter in Biblical Femininity (2nd edition) by Chrystie Cole –need to finish the book

Financial Goals

  1. Pick up groceries & run errands for family prior to traveling
  2. Pay all our bills that have arrived this week
  3. Follow up with the Bank regarding a couple of incorrect charges – need to call Bank about couple of items
  4. Update Quicken Accounts – working on it, most accounts updated now
  5. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor – getting the dates confirmed
  6. Get our finances and budget back on track – had a few extra non-regular expenses this week
  7. Pay down debt we owe – made another extra payment this week
  8. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home) – went over the budget amount this week

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Read the chapter book National Velvet by Enid Bagnold to the kids
  2. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  3. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  4. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  5. Plan one special activity with the family
  6. Play a Game with the Kids
  7. Spend Quality time with each family member
  8. Coordinate and review schedules at beginning of week to confirm all obligations, appointments, and other activities
  9. Figure out the Remaining 2016 Quarter PTO & Holiday Schedules (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc….)
  10. Family Halloween Celebration
  11. Start Planning Thanksgiving & Christmas Schedules
  12. Christmas List Ideas for Family Members

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 (in person or on phone / hangouts when traveling)
  4. Attend Robotics, Student Council, Diggers, and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments
  6. Schedule & Meet for Jake & I to have a  1-on-1 Discussion time with each kid
  7. Pick a Date Night for the Kids
  8. Review & Study for upcoming Tests, Homework, Projects, & other School Items for the week
  9. Pay for November Homework Center & After School Activities

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
  4. Appointment(s)
  5. Read regularly for at least 15 minutes each evening

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization  – Summer Clothes put away & Winter Clothes put in closet / dresser
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Outside Project – Blow Leaves
  4. Update Project List
  5. Add any new contacts, addresses, and special events on the calendar
  6. Confirm November Family and Individual Calendar(s)
  7. Follow up on calls and items that need my attention
  8. Download all pictures from latest trip to Kansas, Karlie’s 1st Orchestra Concert, Halloween Celebration, & other Recent Events

Business Goals

  1. Get caught up on blog posts
  2. Work on a few special projects
  3. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options
  4. Start planning Holiday events

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal
  3. Be a blessing to someone specific
  4. Ladies Bible Study Social Dinner this week
  5. Read the rest of  Biblical Femininity (2nd edition) by Chrystie Cole
  6. Initiate B.L.E.S.S. activity at work and do it personally with kids the month of November

Financial Goals

  1. Pay all our bills that have arrived this week
  2. Follow up with the Bank regarding a couple of incorrect charges
  3. Update Quicken Accounts
  4. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor
  5. Get our finances and budget back on track
  6. Pay down debt we owe
  7. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home)
  8. Pay November Monthly Bills
  9. Plan out budget for upcoming Holiday Celebrations & Events

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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Oct 31 2016

Happy Halloween, Pumpkins, Pumpkin Carving, Jack O Lanterns

Karlie’s Pumpkin glowing after she finished carving it!

We had a fun family Halloween celebration the weekend before Halloween.  Since Halloween came on a Monday night (also a school night) we decided to celebrate as a family over the weekend.  Once again we gave the kids the option to dress up and go trick-r-treating or to stay home and have a family Halloween Celebration together.  They choose again to stay home celebrate by carving pumpkins, playing games, and having fun together as a family.

Both girls picked, designed and/or created what they wanted on their pumpkins prior to carving.  Karlie went with a more cute and traditional pumpkin face with a BOO underneath while Brina chose to do a Mare with her baby foal.  They worked hard cleaning out and carving their pumpkins.  The pumpkins turned out super cute too!  Thankful for a time of celebration with my family.  Hope you had a safe and Happy Halloween too!

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Brina’s adorable Horse and Foal Pumpkin all a glow!

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Working hard on carving their pumpkins

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Opening the package from Grandma Kay, PopPop, and Nana

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Sweet Halloween treats from Grandma, Nana, and PopPop!  Fun and tasty surprise!

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Karlie is excited about her chocolate covered popcorn ball from the Popcorn Factory!  Thank you Grandam, Nana, and PopPop!!!

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