Category: Travel & Vacation

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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Nov 09 2016

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Welcome Home signs made by Karlie over the last couple of trips

Thankful for my girls.  I love to travel, but it is always wonderful coming home again.  Grateful to Jake for taking care of the kids while I was away.  They had a great time together.

Love that the girls are so sweet and thoughtful.  Their adorable signs to greet us upon our arrival home whether Jake is coming home from a work trip or me coming home from a trip to visit extended family.  Love our girls!  I am blessed!!!

p1730052cSign made by Brina while I was traveling!  Love my girls!

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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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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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Sep 17 2016

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Pool and inside deck area on the ship!

Once we were back on the New Holland Zaandam cruise ship after exploring the town of Seward, Alaska we were able to check out more of the ship.  The girls were thrilled to see all the cool activities and places on the ship.  They couldn’t wait to try out the pool deck, play a little bit, and try out the different foods as well as fun activities that were coming up that week.  Thankful for the opportunity to spend this time with the family.  We had a blast spending time together.  It was a wonderful family vacation!

Alaska, Alaska Cruise, Zaandam, New Holland, Wildlife Conservatory

Testing out the courts…..they had fun even in the rain! 🙂

Cruising on the Alaska Trip - New Holland Zaandam - Summer Vacation

 Brina enjoying her first dinner on the cruise.  She found out that although the window views were nice at dinner it was a little chilly and she needed her jacket!

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Our first night on-board the ship and heading to dinner!

p1680531cBrina and I trying to stay warm at the evening meal.  We were trying to get used to the cooler weather after coming from the 100 plus degrees we were having that week in South Carolina!

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Jake and Karlie having fun at our first dinner on the cruise!

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