Category: Organized Chaos

Feb 05 2020

The big apple and beautiful plant on my desk!

These past couple of weeks I have been in a bit of a funk…. Some little unexpected things happened that I let pile up and bother me. Instead of letting these incidents roll off of me and turning my focus towards the many blessings in my life I let these little disappointments and inconveniences capitalize too much of my energy.

All I have to do is look around me to how truly see blessed I am and yet at times I struggle with being content.  My negative attitude is not benefiting myself nor those who are in close proximity of me (family, friends, co-workers). In reality it is probably pretty toxic to myself and those who have to be in my presence.  While my life is not even close to being “perfect” mostly because I manage to mess it up more than I care to admit, it really isn’t bad by any means either. There are a lot of people that are going through far more challenging situations.

As I was thinking about some of these recent events, situations and incidents that got me into this little funk I was reminded of big apples and beautiful plants.  I know it sounds random, but sometimes it’s silly little objects that help bring clarity and focus to my messes of life. Often times these objects remind me of the person who thoughtfully and gave or made them for me which in return makes me smile.

My husband will randomly get me something that he knows I will enjoy.  An apple is a common fruit found in my work lunch, one day he surprised me with a very large apple as my work snack. It made me laugh because the apple was so big it barely fit in my lunch bag and ended up being part of my snack and lunch.   I love all kinds of plants and flowers, however, I have a black thumb which means it is a miracle if I keep a plant alive for a year or more (yes, I have managed to even kill a cactus….). One day he brought home an adorable potted plant for me.  I took it to work and had so many files on my desk that day that it ended up finding a home next to my monitor and in front of my main work space.  He is thoughtful and knows how to make me smile. The photo above is the day I had the big apple next to my beautiful plant. While these are just two visual examples of ways I am reminded of him and the many blessings in my life there are many more if I take a moment to look around me.

Unfortunately, there are many days when I am busy with tasks that I overlook the big apples, beautiful plants, and the many other little reminders of the multitude of blessings in my life. Some days I get sucked into tackling a variety of “to do” items or choose to focus on disappointments which tend to weigh on me instead of working hard while appreciating the positive blessings all around me.   It’s time to break out of this funk and remember who really is in control of my life.  When left up to myself I get off track, my focus is not on what truly matters in life, and I am not the easiest person to hang around.  I am ready to get back on track, anybody else ready?

A few ways to encourage us to turn our focus towards positive blessings:

  • Look – What do you see around you that makes you smile or brings are certain special person to mind?  You probably have more blessings than realize you once you take a few minutes to look around and think about it.
  • Relax – The to do list is always growing, don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.  You can relax every once in awhile without being considered lazy, it’s actually healthy for us.
  • Breathe – Take a few deep breaths, it helps clear your minds and relaxes your body
  • Focus – Choose to focus on the good parts of your life.  The hard times and inconveniences will come, but they do not have to monopolize all your time and energy.
  • Time – Spend quality time with family, friends, and people you love. Life really is short, make a point to invest time in people.

Here’s to a life full of many blessings!  May we always remember what’s truly important and if we forget hopefully we’ll get back on track quickly.

Dec 31 2019

Learning about the Hershey Chocolate Company

Our family recently visited Hershey, PA.  It was a short visit, but we had a lot of fun.  The Hershey Story Museum was very interesting. It was neat learning about Milton Hershey and the history of the Hershey company.  We made delicious treats in the Chocolate Lab, took a stroll downtown ,and went in a few small shops.  Thankful for the an opportunity to visit this beautiful area. Maybe next time we go through town we can check out more fun family activities.

Mr. Hershey’s deposit on his Titanic ticket, he ended up not going because a business matter came up.

Inside the Hershey Museum is beautiful especially around the Holidays!

Hershey’s Cut Glass Torchere

Hershey’s for Health anyone!?

You can get tickets for the Chocolate Lab and make delicious chocolate treats!

Pick up a tasty treat at the Santry Cafe at The Hershey Story Museum!

It was cool clear day so we took a stroll in downtown Hershey.

You can see the Hershey Amusement in the background behind Chocolate Avenue!

The street lights are giant Hershey kisses!

Hershey grounds complete with bushes!

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!!!

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

Oct 17 2016

The week started off with the Columbus Holiday on Monday and the girls off school for Teachers Professional Training Day.  They had a blast spending time at home, playing outside, and enjoying their day off school.  We participated in a fun activity that evening instead of cramming in homework.  Jake got the more relaxing….put the model airplane together activity and I got the play a game with added instructions such as jumping jacks, stretches, squats and more (it has been awhile since I have done that many jumping jacks)!  Thankful for an opportunity to live life with my family.  Some weeks seem really busy when you look at the schedule and all that needs to be done, however, taking those extra minutes here and there to relax and play always brightens our day and creates memories together!  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
  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 American Kennel Club DVD Board Game
  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 PTO & Holiday Schedules (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc….) – figuring it out

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, Diggers, and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments
  6. Schedule & Meet to have 1-on-1 Discussion time with each kid (discuss week, what’s going well, what needs improvement, and focus on each kid as an individual without the sibling being in the room)
  7. Pick a Date Night for the Kids

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day) – wasn’t able to hit my goal every day
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week – it was a tough week with yoga
  4. Appointment(s)- Massage, Annual physical

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. 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 – did some, but have a few more to go
  8. Speed clean & pick up the house 15 minutes a night

Business Goals

  1. Update Work Notes
  2. Get caught up on blog posts – hoping to make more headway this upcoming week
  3. Work on a few special projects
  4. Research a couple of items in regards to the blog
  5. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options – been hard enough to get the “normal” day to day items accomplished

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. Follow up with the Bank regarding a couple of incorrect charges – trying to figure these out
  3. Start gathering information on last quarter 2016 finances and 1st quarter 2017 taxes – realign goals where needed
  4. Update Quicken Accounts
  5. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor – work in progress
  6. Get our finances and budget back on track – getting better
  7. Pay down debt we owemade another payment
  8. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home)

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. 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)
  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
  7. Pick a Date Night for the Kids
  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)
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week
  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
  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

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

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
  5. Read next chapter in Biblical Femininity (2nd edition) by Chrystie Cole

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
  4. Update Quicken Accounts
  5. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor
  6. Get our finances and budget back on track
  7. Pay down debt we owe
  8. 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