Category: Family

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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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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Oct 11 2016

It was a wild week full of a lot of emotion.  Some co-workers and friends live near Charleston.  Thankful that Hurricane Matthew did let us a little bit so it wouldn’t do any more damage.  A lot of people will be cleaning up for awhile after it’s visit.  Our hearts go out to the families that lost loved ones, homes, and businesses as it went through.  It was really strange looking at pictures of flooded streets and places we have visited some many times like Battery Park and downtown Charleston.  Despite all the weather this past week there was a lot to be thankful for during our week.  You don’t have to look very far to find good in the world around you.  Blessed and thankful!

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 that I get to pick the girls up from school and hear about their days at school as well as their adventures after school.

Tuesday – Thankful that the girls are working hard on their homework projects at school.  Some evenings some longer when we are trying to get it all done, but for the most part they have a great attitudes about everything they have to do.

Wednesday – Thankful for a co-worker who willingly pitched in to help on a couple of items at work since my week was very busy.

Thursday – Thankful for Jake taking care of the girls, finishing dinner, homework, and other normal evening activities so I can go to to Ladies Bible Study

Friday – Thankful that the girls had a fun movie night at school and for a chance to go out on a date night with my Man!

Saturday – Thankful for an opportunity to rest for a little bit.  Grateful for answered prayers that Hurricane Matthew slowed down more, it was already devastating enough, but grateful that it wasn’t any worse.  A lot of people, homes, and businesses were impacted by it.

Sunday – Thankful for a place to worship and learn more.  Grateful that the girls have a chance to meet with kids their age and learn too.

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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Oct 03 2016

Thankful for some time with the family this week.  Jake had to travel again for work, but thankfully it was only 2 days.  We had a mix of work, school, and fun activities throughout the week.  Grateful for the opportunities and blessings in my life.

While it was a busy week and a lot got done at work and around the house not everything was accomplished.  Guess that’s why you set your goals high….it stretches you to get those activities accomplished in your life.  I don’t know if I was in a hurry or what I was doing, but forgot wear fitbit multiple times this week (of course those were my most active days so I missed that goal).  Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Brina is picking out our next chapter book to read together Brina picked out National Velvet by Enid Bagnold for us to read together
  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 – used Jake’s Father’s Day gift this past weekend and went to the Saluda Archery as a fun family activity (we all had a blast)
  6. Play a Game with the Kids
  7. Create Memories with the Family
  8. Spend Quality time with each family member
  9. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this week
  10. Coordinate and review schedules at beginning of week to confirm all obligations, appointments, and other activities

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
  4. Attend Robotics Club and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day) – forgot to wear my FitBit multiple times
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week – almost 5 times
  4. Appointments

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization  – Work in the Laundry Room – had some other items come up
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Clean & Organize Paperwork
  4. Speed clean & pick up the house 15 minutes a night
  5. Remove most of the Spring / Summer items from Closets – work in progress

Business Goals

  1. Update Work Notes
  2. Get caught up on blog posts – working on it
  3. Work on a few special projects
  4. Update my LinkedIn Profile
  5. Research a couple of items in regards to the blog
  6. Confirm the tasks my plate as I transition to a new team
  7. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal
  3. Attend Ladies Bible Study

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor – picked out some advisors we want to meet with
  2. Get our finances and budget back on track – getting closer to our goals
  3. Pay down debt we owe – paying it down, made 2 extra payments this week and getting closer to our goal
  4. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home) – went over our amount for the 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. Create Memories with the Family
  8. Spend Quality time with each family member
  9. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this week
  10. Coordinate and review schedules at beginning of week to confirm all obligations, appointments, and other activities
  11. Jake – Haircut

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
  4. Attend Robotics Club and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments
  6. Pick up Karlie’s New Glasses

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. Appointments
  5. Schedule our annual physical
  6. Haircut

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization  – Plan Out Organizational Goals for last quarter of 2016
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Outside Project – Tree Service Quote
  4. Update Project List
  5. Input all 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
  8. 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
  4. Update my LinkedIn Profile
  5. Research a couple of items in regards to the blog
  6. Confirm the tasks my plate as I transition to a new team
  7. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal
  3. Attend Ladies Bible Study
  4. Read next chapter in Biblical Femininity by Chrystie Cole

Financial Goals

  1. Pay all our bills that have arrived this week
  2. Sign up for our Open Enrollment regarding our 2017 Benefits
  3. Start gathering information on last quarter 2016 finances and 1st quarter 2017 taxes – realign goals where needed
  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)

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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Sep 17 2016

Glacier Bay National Park and New Holland Zaandam Alaska Cruise Family Vacation

 Happy Birthday Jake (AKA Daddy)!!! XOXO

I am just now getting our pictures updated from our last big adventure, so yes a little later than planned….  Our family was able to celebrate Jake’s birthday this year while on our Alaska Cruise vacation!  Thankful for an opportunity to spend time with the whole family.

We surprised Jake and had the chef on the cruise ship make him a birthday cake!  It was big and extra rich chocolate!  The crew sang him “Happy Birthday” in Indonesian which was really cool.  He was so thrilled that we made a big spectacle of his birthday celebration.  We were so full after the delicious meal that we ended up taking the cake back to the cabin to eat later that night after all the other activities that evening.

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SURPRISE!!!  Happy Birthday Handsome!

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 Celebrating Jake’s birthday with the whole family.

Thankful for a wonderful time together and for this amazing man who I get to live my life with!

Love you JACOB!!!  Happy Birthday!  Wishing you many more healthy, happy, and fun adventures!

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