Sunday, April 5, 2015

April Happenings and Goals

I actually LOVE this design and it was one I've looked at before and not really liked. And I LOVE the header, but I hate that the quote turned out so blurry when I uploaded it. I think it's just too small. Anyway, I'm glad I got one more header with warm sunshine-y pictures in NYC (although three out of the five were taken on the same day and the other two are indoors). I took the cross picture today and I just cry every time I look at it.

March was nice. We spent a lot of time inside, once again. We had some really fun moments here in the apartment and we enjoyed some of our museum memberships. The highlight was a visit from Cookie and Con, though!

April is just truly bittersweet and there's no other way to describe it. On the last day of the month we'll be moving home. I need to write a whole processing post, but in the meantime, we have some fun things planned:
- Holy Week has come and gone. Because Graves had a little infection, it wasn't exactly what I planned, but the most important things were still true, of course.
- We're planning to really make use of our Museum of Natural History membership (it's the last one we bought, so it's the last one to expire).
- We're celebrating both kids' birthdays. We did a little something special for AP on her day and unfortunately Peyton's working on Graves's. I think we'll pick a day to celebrate him and when we get home, we may throw them both a simple little party.
- We're loading up the moving cubes on the 15th and after that Peyton is off work until he starts back in Mississippi.
- So we'll have two full weeks to enjoy the city. We have a little list of things we haven't hit yet, but I need to modify it a bit.
- One thing we've been telling AP we'll do is spend a day (or part of one) riding ALL the trains that go above ground. She thinks that's so cool, and to be honest, I do too. I love seeing different neighborhoods and feeling the different vibes so I may insist we get out and walk around some since we'll be trecking all over the boroughs.
- Another thing I have up my sleeve is a plan to visit some playgrounds we've never tried. Again, I'm a nerd and *I* like visiting interesting and different playgrounds, so that will be fun for all of us. I even found this resource for "destination playgrounds" in each borough and I'm going to sit down and look through them all before we visit any.
- We're planning to go visit our friends in Long Island one more time before we leave.
- And if that's not enough, Mockingbird is this month! It truly changed my life last year (not an exaggeration) and I'm so thrilled that we'll be able to make it again this year.

Here were March's goals:

1. Establish patterns of prayer. I did this somewhat. It's pretty simple, actually. Mainly I'm just trying to pray at the beginning of times when there are natural pauses in my day- in the morning when the kids play independently and I do chores and check in on the computer and get ready for the day, in the afternoon at naptime, and then when they go to their rooms for the night. (Faith)

2. Pray for Peyton and the children every day in more meaningful ways. I've been trying to do this more. I haven't really thought of an "prompts" (like praying for Peyton when I put on my wedding ring) but I have been working on praying more specifically and passionately for them. (Family)

3. Plan a few fun things to do while Cookie and Conrad are in the city. We definitely did this and had a great time. We went to two museums, the library, Prospect Park (briefly), and a handful of restaurants. And they weren't even here for forty eight hours! (Relationships)

4. Meal plan each week and get back in business with weekly food challengesI dropped the ball on this miserably. Peyton and I both agreed once we started packing things up that we just need to do basic dinners and eat through the staples we have on hand. (Health)

5. Finish the book I'm reading with Peyton and start and read One Writer's Beginnings with Mallory. Peyton and I also both decided not to finish the book we were reading and pick it back up later so we could focus on some specific things we've been wanting to read from the library. But I start and finish the book with Mal. (Education/Edification)

6. Make a trip to Ikea and do not spend money on anything "extra" this whole month. Almost. I ended up ordering a duvet cover for our bed (that we really don't need) but was literally ten dollars with the family discount because it was on clearance. They didn't have it in the store and so it was another ten dollars to have it shipped, but I feel like it was still such a great deal. (Finances) 

7. Most nights, be off the computer by eleven (twelve at the latest). I actually did better about this in February than I did in March. I'm not sure why it kept catching up with me and I did get off early a lot of nights but not every one and not even almost every one. (Simplicity)

8. Tell the children and Peyton, regularly, specific things about them that I am thankful for. I did work hard on this and I don't know how much it mean to them or if they even noticed (I don't think they did, but it can't hurt to have those little affirmations tucked into their subconscious and the point wasn't to draw attention to it) but it made ME feel great. I really think I enjoy life more when I'm encouraging other people. (Joy/Gratitude)

9. Figure out what we're doing about our floors in Mississippi. We've been working on it but we haven't made a concrete decision and I'm trying to make peace with it possibly not being done the minute we get home. (Additional Goal)

10. Figure out (extra) curriculum for next year. I thought some about this and sent Peyton some links for some science stuff (he's our resident science instructor) and I'm considering doing some sort of app or videos just to introduce a foreign language (likely Spanish). There are four or five supplementary things I think I want to do and I'm going to post on my homescool blog about them at some point (probably after the move, though.) (Additional Goal)

Bonus Goals (these are goals that I ended up setting over the course of the month)
- Read all of Where the Sidewalk Ends with the Children.
- Make significant progress on packing. 

And now April goals (which I'm keeping pretty basic because we want to enjoy NYC in our last month here and MOVING). Also, alot of them are mental things to have me deal with all that:

1. Engage in Bible study consistently. I wish I could say I was better at this. I'm not. I want to be. I do have some other book goals this month, but I want this at the forefront. (Faith)

2. Pray for our extended family. Now that I've gotten a little more consistent with my prayer time, I want to make sure I'm praying for those closest to us regularly. (Family) 

3. Mail a thank you to Aunt Beth for sending the children money for Valentine's. I actually already had them dictate it to me and let them color on it. I just need to get it in an envelope and then in the mailbox. Why is that so hard? Hopefully this will be crossed off the list on Monday. (Relationships)

4. Practice patience. This isn't a very tangible goal, but it's on my yearly list and I can think of no better time to work on it than this one. (Health)

5. Finish A Family of Readers and For the Love. This could easily not happen and I'll be okay, but it's a goal. (Education/Edification) 

6. Do not make a single impulse purchase. Hard, but I'm going to really try to do this. (Finances)

7. Allow myself space to think and breath this month as things get chaotic and crazy. Refuse guilt over the things we aren't able to make time for. (Simplicity) 

8. Daily express thankfulness over at least one thing. (Joy/Gratitude) 

9. Pack everything to move home- obviously this is non-negotiable, but it's fun to know I'll be able to scratch one thing off! (Additional Goal)

10. Get out the calendar and plan for the last two weeks we're here. (Additional Goal)

Here's to April, a month of bittersweet, a month of saying goodbye, a month of very last times. May it be a month where we focus more on the sweet than the bitter. Where we remain patient with ourselves and with one another in the chaos and disorder and sadness. Where we treasure each moment and look forward with glad anticipation for this next life, knowing we had no more time to spare for this one. Where we remember that- though we may never live here again- the plans for return visits are plentiful; the friendships here are valuable; and the vastness of experiences had, the amount of lessons learned, and the levels of transformations that have occurred are immeasurable.  

1 comment:

Mallory Pickering said...

You might enjoy using the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer that center around certain times of day. Daily prayer office.