Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Goals and Happenings

I was really kind of sad to see last month's look go. It was one of my favorites in awhile. I really like this month's alot, though. I love the color of the header, although it came out a little darker than I meant for it to. I seriously fell down a rabbit hole yesterday looking at quotes on Brennan Manning's GoodReads page.

February was pretty low key. We just couldn't bring ourselves to get out a ton. We did really try to make use of our museum memberships. Our children's museum membership ended at the end of February, so we went three times. We also wen to the Museum of Natural History (twice, I think?) and to the Met once. I was pretty proud of us for all that! At both The Met and the children's museum we got to enjoy some Chinese New Year's festivities. Peyton was working the weekend of the actual holiday or we would have made a trip to Chinatown.

Looking at March:

- Our Met membership ends next and we realized when we took the kids for the Chinese New Year's programs that they really do enjoy it more than we realize. It's hard when it's competing with the Natural History Museum AND the kids' museum, though. Now that we don't have the option for the kids' museum, I think we'll try to hit it up a few times.

- We have a few other museums and activities planned that we want to try to get in, but nothing that isn't really flexible.

- The biggest and most fun thing is that Cookie and Conrad are coming for a weekend! I'm so excited and cannot wait to see my baby sister!

Here were February's goals:
*See last month's post for how I break down my monthly goals based on my yearly ones*

1. Start my day with a devotion. I really did well with this. Starting out my day with Brennan (Manning) is one of my favorite things. (Faith)

2. Finish the book I'm reading with Peyton and one I'm reading by myself. Also, start a new book with my friend Mallory. Um, I fell short on all accounts. Mal and I started our book this week and I'm about half way through with the other two. (Family and Education/Edification)

3. Have someone over for dinner at least once. Nope. We did attempt with one friend, but it never worked out. I really want to keep working on this. (Relationships)

4. Search for, and surround myself with, inspiration. Yes! Words and music mean so much and it ALWAYS serves me well if I actually make time to make them a priority. (Health)

5. Teach the children a hymn in addition to other memory work. I taught them (well, Annie really- it's hard to get Graves to focus) "How Deep the Father's Love" (modern hymn movement counts, right?) I thought it would be fun to do something with "love" since our memory work for February focused a lot on it to go along with Valentine's. It also works out perfectly leading up to Easter, of course! (Education/Edification)

6. Figure out exactly what I'd like to purchase (within an allotted amount of money) before we really dive into mega savings mode when we get home. I actually ordered the last few things today. I'm still planning a (small) trip to Ikea before we leave but that's IT. It feels good to let go of something that has the reigns too tight on me. (Finances)

7. Examine ways to better manage my time and make a to-do list EVERY day. I did this EVERY day that Peyton worked and some days when he was off. I don't think it's as important on his off days right now anyway. We don't do as much school and he helps out so much and those either become "off" days in a way for me, too OR they are packed to the brim with city activity.  Overall, I think it's helped so much with keeping track of my time and where my day goes. (Simplicity)

8. Think about "What is Saving My Life Right Now", write post and link up, and read those of other's posts. I did this and it was such a great exercise. (Joy/Gratitude)

9. Call Minnie more regularly. Eh, I didn't do great.  I felt like we caught up JUST enough and I'd really like it to be much more than that. (Additional Goal)

10. Begin to box things around the apartment that we won't need (e.g. books, off season clothes, ect.). While we haven't made a huge dent, we did start! Peyton and I boxed up most of our books and the kids and I picked out their favorites and then boxed the majority of theirs, too. We need to take advantage of the library while we're here! (Additional Goal) 

Now onto March Goals:

1. Establish patterns of prayer. Now that I've been making my daily lists, I have a routine for most everything. A specific time when I check Facebook or read my morning devotion or plan school or do dishes. It makes sense to pencil in specific times of prayer. I certainly still want a spontaneous prayer life as well, but I think this discipline will be helpful. (Faith)

2. Pray for Peyton and the children every day in more meaningful ways. Obviously, this can work together with the first one. I used to pray daily for Peyton when I put on my wedding band. I'd like to come up with some kind of reminder like that for him and for both the children so I'll be more consistent. I'd also like to put some more thought into specific ways I want to pray for them. (Family)

3. Plan a few fun things to do while Cookie and Conrad are in the city. They aren't going to be here long, but I want it to be a fun time. I know they want to go to the Museum of Natural History (which is really all of our favorite), but I want to figure out a couple of other neat things to do. (Relationships)

4. Meal plan each week and get back in business with weekly food challenges. We've been doing okay with meal planning. We basically totally fell off the wagon with the food challenges. Here's to hoping back on! (Health)

5. Finish the book I'm reading with Peyton and start and read One Writer's Beginnings with Mallory. I didn't even include the other book I'm reading because I just want to be reasonable here and set the bar low. (Education/Edification)

6. Make a trip to Ikea and do not spend money on anything "extra" this whole month. Whew, I know this won't be easy but I'm ready to start something big. (Finances) 

7. Most nights, be off the computer by eleven (twelve at the latest). Peyton and I actually made a little agreement that I could buy a significant number of books off my Amazon wishlist if I'd commit to this (which seems silly because apparently I struggle to get through one book these days). Anyway, I've been working on it already and its' been really good for us. (Simplicity)

8. Tell the children and Peyton, regularly, specific things about them that I am thankful for. I want them to know the things that they are and do bring me great joy and I tell them far too infrequently. (Joy/Gratitude)

9. Figure out what we're doing about our floors in Mississippi. One thing Peyton and I decided we WOULD (finally) splurge on this year is getting the bedrooms in our Mississippi house refloored. The carpet is AWFUL and really needs to go and has for years. We both really, really wanted to just match the hardwood we have in the living room and halls now that we know we'll be there at least for awhile. Well, that specific wood isn't even made anymore. So we're trying to figure out options. Apparently trying for an exact match isn't a great idea, so we may try something that is very obviously not the same wood but that "coordinates". Minnie is going to help us with some of the legwork so we can see if we can order it before we get home (so we won't be moving stuff into those rooms and then right back out). (Additional Goal)

10. Figure out (extra) curriculum for next year. I know exactly what I'm using for math and English, which is the bulk of our school day, excepting read-aloud time. But I also know I want some supplementary materials. In the past, we've used Five in a Row and worked through some critical thinking books. I've enjoyed both, but I'm also thinking about adding in some science and I know Peyton would love for them to learn a foreign language (which is SO daunting since neither of us speak one). I just need to evaluate because it's first grade and 4K and my point in homeschooling is definitely not to make things overwhelming. (Additional Goal)

Here's to March, a month that tentatively marks a trajectory towards Spring. May it be a month where we notice (and celebrate!) Northeastern Winter things for the last time, where we find the quite beauty in the first hints of Spring, and where we celebrate the respective end and beginnings of the figurative seasons of being a city family and being a (once again) suburban family. 


reb said...

That is one of my -favorite- quotes, ever. :) Brennan Manning has some great ones! For curricula, have you looked into Charlotte Mason at all? There's a free one online at Ambleside Online (http://amblesideonline.org/).

Sarah Denley said...

Reb, you're the second person I've heard mention Ambleside this week! (Well, I saw it on another blog I read.) I'm really happy with what we use for our core- Logic of English and Right Start math, but I've been interested in digging more into Charlotte Mason's philosophy. When we lived in MS, we had oldest in a two day a week supplemental program and there were several families who were really into Charlote Mason! Thanks for the tip =)