Category: Life Simplified

May 30 2016

Last week was crazy, but good as we celebrated a lot of great rewards that the girls had earned for all their hard work throughout this past school year including watching them graduate.  Thankful for our girls and their excitement to learn.  They had a lot of activities and times when it was tough to get everything done, but they pushed through it.  Jake and I are proud of our girls.

I have added a “kid goals” section to my list of goals.  Now that they are getting older and realizing the importance of improving and maintaining goals I want to be intentional about keeping up with their learning as they grow older.   Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to the kids. – was not able to finish with all the extra school activities this week, but read a couple of night
  2. Read 7 Stories from the Bad Pets on the Loose by Alan Zullo book to the kids. – read a couple, but not 7
  3. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids. – did a handful only
  4. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids. – hoping to pick this back up again this week
  5. Do devotions and prayer time with kids every night. – prayers yes, but it was really late a few nights so kept it short
  6. Plan one special activity with the family
  7. Play a Game with the Kids – we didn’t have enough free time in the evenings to play a game
  8. Spend time Monday –Friday helping the kids with Homework
  9. Attend After School Activities – attended all the activities including celebration / graduation meetings, regional Science Fair Competition & Awards, Graduation, Awards Ceremony
  10. Lunch Boxes & Book Bags packed the night before
  11. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s) – working on it, but still has some more to go
  12. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break – getting closer to finalizing everything
  13. Ride Bikes with the Kids – the extra activities took more time than expected
  14. Work on family projects togetherwe worked on several items together as a family including items in the house including the laundry room.  The girls LOVED helping paint!
  15. Brina & Karlie’s Graduation Ceremonygreat seeing the girls graduate!
  16. Brina & Karlie’s Award Ceremonythe girls received A LOT of amazing rewards!  Both received trophies, several certificates, award pins, medals, and more.  Once again we were blown away by how well they did and all they received.  Evidence that the hours they spent working on school work really did pay off.  They were part of several great groups and had a wonderful team of teachers / coaches.  We will miss this school that they have been at for 7 years, but looking forward to what middle school has to offer!
  17. Prep & decorate for Graduation party (Meet with people Mon / Wed) after school
  18. Take Brina to the Science Fair Competition – not only did we take Brina to the Regional Science Fair Competition – SHE WON!!!  FIRST Place in the Regional Science Competition so proud of her!  Way to go Brina!  She received a trophy, medals, certificates, and a cash prize!  She was shocked, but excited.  The last 3 months of baking cupcakes for her “Cupcakes on the Rise” Science Fair project were worth it.  We calculated that she made over 410 cupcakes by herself these past 3 months.  She’s gotten really good at making cupcakes!

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals – did so well this week with the exception of forgetting my fitbit at home on a day where I did a lot of moving around at work and after school activities.  Oh well…
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week – Jake took Brina to set up for the Science Fair over lunch on Thursday so I could work my regular hours, thanks Babe!
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list – I did get several things moving forward, but nothing completely crossed off so officially I cannot cross this off my list….

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day my laundry room is still being renovated, I was unable to get in to do laundry on my normal schedule.  Hopefully this will be complete or at least in a more working condition by the end of next week! 🙂  It’s going to look awesome though, Jake has done a fantastic job and the girls have pitched in and helped a lot too!
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Laundry Room Remodeling Work (get all of the subflooring cleaned and help Jake with getting at least 1/2 of it completed) – flooring is up and was stalled a little bit by another issue that caught our attention that needed to be fixed prior to doing more in the laundry room (thankful for a husband who can do so much).  Having an older home can have a lot of fun and unexpected surprises that take extra TLC! 🙂
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Find Bins / Containers / Baskets to put on shelves in Laundry Room once up) – I have some ideas, but waiting a couple more days until I figure out how the new laundry room layout will look like prior to committing to any specific bins/containers/baskets.  I want the items I get to be practical, efficient, and uniform as much as possible.
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Plant Lilly Flower and Blueberry Bush – weather permitting) – the laundry room took up more time than we expected as well as a couple extra activities with school and other events were more time consuming than we original planned.
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Give Skipper her vitamins) – Brina especially is good about keeping up with Skippy’s vitamins!
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Refinishing our Laundry room, tearing out the old linoleum and sprucing it up) – All the old flooring is up, we are starting to paint and work on other areas.  Looking better already, cannot wait until it is complete!  Will be very nice!

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails – few more need to be completed
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention – a couple of days got away from me with all the activities last week, hoping as we get into rhythm with the new summer schedule I can tackle a few more of this necessary items
  4. Work completed for clientshave a couple more projects to complete
  5. Notes typed for work – I got them started (kids and other family activities took priority this past week.)
  6. Folders Labeled for work – I actually got a decent start of this one.  I finished some of the categories that I was doing, but have a handful more to wrap up before I am officially done. 
  7. Desk drawers organized – getting closer….does that count?!

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor – have a couple I need to follow up with this week
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt – made another extra payment
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget – went over with the graduation party celebration and other big activities that filled up our week

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein to the kids.
  2. Read 7 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. Do devotions, reflecting 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.  Attend After Work Activities
  9. Lunch Boxes packed the night before work & other planned activities
  10. Prep for upcoming Family Adventure(s)
  11. Prep & Figure out Schedule for upcoming Summer Break
  12. Ride Bikes with the Kids
  13. Work on family projects together
  14. Start packing suitcase for next family adventure
  15. Daily 15 minute “Speed Clean” for entire family to keep the daily clutter under control

Kid Goals

  1. Have kids do 1st week in Summer Workbook(s)
  2. Encourage Kids to read independently at least 30 minutes a day
  3. Sign up kids for the Easley, Anderson, & Greenville County Summer Library Reading Programs
  4. Sign up kids for Barnes & Noble and other similar reading programs
  5. Have kids work on our approved educational websites to encourage growth (at least 2 hours for the week)
  6. Have kids work for at least 1 hour on this week on improving their typing skills
  7. Each kid finish creating at least 2 blogs posts for their Fun with Sis blog
  8. Spend time Monday –Friday encouraging the kids to find creative ways to learn and grown their skills
  9. Kids start packing suitcases for next family adventure
  10. At least 30 minutes of outside play, fresh air, or activity time a day

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  2. Keep up with my FitBit Goals
  3. Do yoga at least 5 times a week
  4. Go to my Appointments Scheduled this week
  5. Update Counting My Blessings and Other journal entries daily
  6. Tackle some lingering projects on my “to do” list

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. All laundry for the week washed, folded, and put away in one day
  2. Weekly Dinner Menu planned out for the week
  3. Clean House (Focus – Laundry Room Remodeling Work Completed
  4. Organize Chaos (Focus – Refill Kids Snack Bins – hope to focus again on the laundry room in the future once further along)
  5. Yard / Garage Cleanup (Focus – Plant Lilly Flower and Blueberry Bush – weather permitting)
  6. Pet Care (Focus – Replant grass in Goat pen)
  7. Repairs – (Focus – Refinishing our Laundry room, painting and laying new flooring)

Business Goals

  1. Work on ideas for upcoming blog posts
  2. Respond to Inquiry – Business Relation Emails
  3. Keep up with the day to day items that need my attention
  4. Work completed for clients
  5. Notes typed for work
  6. Folders Labeled for work
  7. Desk drawers organized
  8. Do at least 5 blog posts this week
  9. Catch up on Hootesuite
  10. Upload pictures from last few weeks and update

Ministry Goals

  1. Meet a friend or family member for Breakfast or Lunch
  2. One-on-one quality time with Jake (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  3. One-on-one quality time with Brina (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)
  4. One-on-one quality time with Karlie (talking, date night, or doing an activity together)

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Financial Advisor
  2. Payoff Other Outstanding Debt
  3. Pay Bills & File Paperwork
  4. Go grocery shopping one time this week and stay within budget
  5. Sell, giveaway, donate, or through away items no longer use
  6. Take items to the recycling distributor
  7. Make meals with items from pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to use up what we have and eliminate any extra spending

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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May 09 2016

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

SURPRISE!!!  I’M BACK!!!  Yes, I am still alive and kicking (in case you were wondering)! 🙂  The past few weeks (umm….months really) it has been a little wild around our house.  All good stuff, but a lot of transitions, adjustments, work, school, travel, and everything else.  Also, was experiencing some technical difficulties with my blog and my IT person was super busy so I didn’t want to bug the daylights out of him.  Now that everything seems to be back up and running smoothly again, it is my desire to get everything back up and moving along for you.  A big shout out to those who have commented, emailed, called, texted, and checked in with me to make sure I was still alive during this little blogging siesta.  A huge THANK YOU for being patient and hanging in here with me as my family made some adjustments.  Will have to share more about what has been going on these past few weeks….lots of good stuff and a very full calendar!  It gets easier and quieter as the kids get older, right!?

It is my goal to stay on top of our dinner menu once again.  We have found a good rhythm for the most part (now that school is wrapping up for the year, ha).  We are finalizing several details regarding our summer schedule, but overall I hope to be available and more up to date in the blogging world.

It is nice to have people who help keep me accountable and organized throughout my week.  It is encouraging to know that other Moms have to work through all the balancing fun of family, work, home, and a multitude of other activities that I seem to experience.  If you have it all figured out, let me know because I would love to be able to get my ducks in order, have a positively balance life in every area plus a happy family and clean house (at least longer than 5 minutes).  If you haven’t reached that level yet, no worries, I am there with you.  We can do our best and   I am going to give it my best shot to stay on top of everything and organized so here we go!!!!  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree): Crockpot Roast, Mash Potatoes & Brown Gravy
  • Tuesday (Seafood or Soup Entree):  Tilapia Fillets, Italian Herb Bread
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree): Sweet & Sour Chicken, Steamed Rice
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): Mesquite BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Green Beans
  • 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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Sep 17 2015

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Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet is in the kitchen.  The items that don’t fit in the medicine and first aid tackle box are placed on the bottom shelf in baskets to keep everything organized.  The cabinet is high enough that the little kids cannot reach it, but is accessible for adults.  We have been using this method for awhile now and it works really well for our family.

There are 3 different Medicine baskets on the bottom shelf (from left to right):

  1. Miscellaneous
  2. Fever & Miscellaneous
  3. Cold & Allergy

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Medicine organized in baskets on the bottom shelf

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Sep 10 2015

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 Our Medicine & First Aid Tackle Box

I like tackle boxes, but probably not for the same reason as most people.  Some people like them to store their fishing supplies, I like them because they make great storage containers.  We have had this medicine and first aid tackle box for many years.  It has worked very well in storing basic medicine and first aid items.  The medicine and first aid tackle box is stored in our medicine cabinet in the kitchen.  It is within easy reach if you need something, yet not at a level young children can get access to it.

The top of our medicine and first aid tackle box contains items we only use once in awhile like wrapping, bigger bandaids, poison control items, burn gel, spare thermometers, and a few more items.  The 3 containers with the white stickers is the section we access the most often which we go into further details about what they contain below.   The front right side of the tackle box contains our thermometer and an otoscope (we had kids with a lot of ear infections and this tool has been a huge help for our family).  If you have a kid that gets frequent ear infections an otoscope is well worth the investment!

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Items in our Head & Stomach Medicine Container:

  • Tylenol 8 Hour
  • Excedrin Tension Headache
  • Naproxin
  • Tylenol Extra Strength
  • Excedrin Migraine
  • Ibuprofin
  • Children’s Tylenol
  • Children’s Ibuprofin
  • Gas X
  • Anti-Diarrhea
  • Draminine
  • Tums

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 Items in our First Aid Container:

  • Eye Drops
  • Antibacterial Cream
  • Drawing Sauve
  • Nexcare Clear Waterproof Bandaids
  • Advanced Healing Bandaids
  • Fun “Kid” Bandaids
  • Small Bandaids
  • Sheer Bandaids
  • Medical Tape
  • Antibiotic Bandaids
  • Large Bandaids
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Gauze

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 Items in our Cold & Allergy Container:

  • Cough Drops
  • 4 Hour
  • 12 Hour
  • Kids Cold Medicine
  • Adult Cold Medicine
  • Kids Allergy Medicine
  • Adult Allergy Medicine
  • Decongestion
  • Mucinex
  • Day Time Cold Medicine
  • Night Time Cold Medicine

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 All 3 containers placed in the Medicine and First Aid Tackle Box

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 You can see all 3 containers are labeled – Head & Stomach, First Aid, and Cold & Allergy

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 The containers are in the Medicine and First Aid Tackle Box and ready for when they are needed.

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The Medicine and First Aid Tackle Box are on the middle shelf of our Medicine Cabinet.

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Sep 03 2015

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 Organized Family Vitamins

We store our family vitamins on the top shelf of our medicine cabinet in the kitchen.  Each basket contains vitamins for our family members.  Jake and I have our own baskets, but Brina and Karlie share a basket containing all their vitamins.

Once a week I get the vitamins down and refill everyone’s individual vitamin containers for the entire week.  This system has worked pretty well for our family over the past couple of years.  Plus it keeps all the vitamins organized and in one location.  I picked up the baskets on clearance at Staples (they were sold in packs of 3 or more and were a $1 or less).  If you cannot find them at Staples I have seen them around at other stores as well.

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 Our medicine cabinet with the vitamins on the top shelf.

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