Oh boy, we're almost at the start of a new year, which of course means a great time to make new goals. Money Saving Mom has some great posts about how to make your goals, so if you are having trouble you should head over here. I used her steps to make my goals for the year. Here is the break down of my goals this year (not including my teaching goals- that would probably add 3 pages ;) ).
1. Memorize at least 12 verses starting with Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
I decided on this verse because I have an extremely busy month ahead (my fault- if only I could say no), and so I believe this verse will really encourage me.
2. Read at least two "wife" books this year. I'm looking into When a Woman Inspires her Husband and Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of your Life.
3. Visit with each set of grandparents once a month. Visit each sibling (us driving) once in the spring and once in the fall.
4. Visit long distance friends over the summer.
5. Exercise. This year I am breaking it down by the month. Don't laugh when you read this- you have to remember that I currently don't really exercise other than the squats I do while my papers are copying at work (yes I am that crazy lady in the copy room). I'm trying to be realistic this year.
Jan: 30 min/week Feb: 40 min/week Mar: 50 min/week April: 60 min/week May: 70 min/week
June: 80 min/week July: 90 min/week Aug:80 min/ week Sept: 60 min/week Oct: 60 min/week
Nov: 60 min/week Dec: 60 min/week
6. We reached our small goal this last year and we are currently at 77% of our goal (2% higher than my goal!). My goal is to reach our big goal by October.
7. Use this website to choose a Bible reading plan for the year.
8. Tape my goals to our refrigerator (it isn't magnetic :( ). Revisit once a month online.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I am partnering up with Heavenly Homemakers' Gratituesday. I am so grateful for quiet times and breaks in the action. It has been a little over a week since school has ended. My first week I felt like I was still on the treadmill from school because I was charging through everything and going here and there. This week has been a bit slower. Although that slow pace seems weird to me, it is good.
I have started watching a video series on Christian counseling. I decided that I do so much counseling at school (even though I'm just a teacher) that I really would like more training. I am thankful that my church has this amazing free resource for me to use.
I have been reading books! They refresh me so much. They've challenged me on many levels. Each one pushes me a bit farther. Once again, these were provided free through my local and church library.
The main focus of my thankfulness for this week is my husband. He is very wise. Last year I just couldn't handle the thought of staying home over the summer and not having a job. Actually what bothered me most was the thought that I would have to tell people I was doing "nothing" and that they would have the image of a housewife that sat home and ate bon bons all day (which was not at all what I did last summer). My natural tendency has always been to fill my day to the brim with activities from start to finish.
However, this is not always good. My husband really really encouraged me not to get a job. At first it felt really weird. But then, all of the sudden in the silence of the day I would just feel the peace of God. It was wonderful.
This summer has been even better. Not that God doesn't speak to me during the school year, but it is the quiet of a summer day in the country that forces me to slow down and reassess my priorities and goals. Even Jesus took time away from the group to go off and be with God.
In summary, I am extremely thankful that my husband is much wiser than I and realized that I need the quiet of the summer to force me to quiet my spirit. God is doing things in my life that weren't always possible when I would try to hear his still small voice in the din of my life.
Money Saving Mom posted today that there is a $0.50/2 Milky Way Brand Bars coupon at Coupons.com. I've already printed it. One idea I saw at Recipe Girl I think will be especially yummy is to use them for Milky Way brownies.
Photo Credit: Recipe Girl
When I started teaching I fell in love with daily shower sprays. They were so easy and worked so well that I very rarely had to scrub down our shower.
The only drawback was the price. I searched online a while ago and saw that many people had posted recipes for homemade versions of this cleaner. I have never used homemade cleaner before, so I was a bit unsure whether this was worth trying.
Today I decided to try it. I mixed up a batch of this recipe and put it in one of my old daily shower spray bottles. I'll give you an update later to see how it works.***Update: It works GREAT! I've been using it now for several years. Saves me money and time scrubbing!***
The cost for this spray would be minimal for anyone, and was free for me. I had used a coupon a long time ago to get Cascade Crystal Clear (similar to JetDri) for free and had never used it. If this works I'll be so excited to use some of my stockpile of dish soap (we mainly use the dishwasher).
Have you ever used homemade cleaners? Did they work well?
Friday, June 10, 2011
Summer is finally here! My last day was last Friday and I am just now getting a chance to write. So many wonderful things have happened this spring and I hope that maybe I will get a chance to write about some of them over the summer.
Last year by the time spring break rolled around I was already making my list for the summer. This year I've been a bit more behind. I have been pretty much making my list as I go, which is normally not a good thing. I am hoping that next Monday I will create a big "My Summer Goals List" to post up here to keep me accountable.
The main purpose of this post though has very little to do with any of that. My husband and I will have been married 3 years!!! this July. I just keep thinking how crazy that is because it has gone by so fast. One of the things that I believe has made our marriage as great as it is are all of the books/classes/online audios on marriage that we have gone through. I believe that we are naturally sinful people and without asking for God's help daily, we start only thinking of ourselves which causes us more pain. God's plan for marriage is perfect - "Submit one to another".
This summer though I think I'm going to be sneaky and not tell him the challenge that I am involved in. I am a huge Nancy Leigh DeMoss fan. This winter she did a 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge. Today is day 1. We'll have to see how this goes.
Part of today's challenge is to say an encouraging word about him to others. I will be singing at the nursing home today- so I'll probably talk about him then. However, it wouldn't hurt to say something nice about him on here.
I love my husband because he has had a lot of obstacles in his life and those obstacles are never going to go away. Yet, each day he pushes through and succeeds despite the obstacles in his path. And the best part is, he does it without drawing any attention to himself, there's no "look at what I did" when you are around him.
I challenge you to take part in this challenge with me. Whether your marriage is good, bad, or ugly I believe this challenge can only help things out.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
This year I am taking a slightly different strategy towards my spiritual growth. Last year, my goal was to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice by following along with this website. This was very good in the fact that I did get into the Word most days. I also once again was able to see all of the amazing connections there are through the Word.
However, this year I want to be more focused. Each month I will either have a book or some theme for the month. This month's theme was inspired by a New Year's Eve service/singing that I attended. The person speaking talked about how although there are so many great things to look forward to in the new year that bad things will happen. Things that hurt. Things that drag us down. Things that make us want to give up and curse God like Job's friends. But..... We must remember. Remember all that God has brought us through. Remember the blessings that He has given us. Remember what He has done so that we might be able to be called sons and daughters of God. Remember. Don't be like the Israelites who had miracle after miracle after miracle and yet would turn away all of the time.
This month I am focusing on the word "remember" as it appears in the Scriptures. If you search the Bible you will find it appears over 200 times! I feel like this has already been speaking to me in so many ways.
I also want to do more of a Bible study with my husband. We used to do one together fairly regularly, but then school happened and it seems hard to fit in, and when we do fit it in, it feels forced. For right now, we are going to be taking classes at our church one night a week and I will use that for our time. I'm still brainstorming on how to fit this in as an effective way for us to grow together and not just be a chore.
I also want to keep a prayer/ Bible study journal. I just need to go out and by the most plain Jane notebook. For some reason I love writing in the cheapy spiral bound notebooks, and I actually don't like the dolled up diaries. Maybe its because I'm a teacher. Who knows.
Finally, I want to memorize 6 verses this year. I know that is very few, but I really want this to be an attainable goal. I'm still searching for my first one. I know that it will need to be something about trusting in God to give me strength, since right now teaching is wearing me down.
I still want to make the goal to visit each set of grandparents at least once a month via any means (phone or in person). This was an amazing goal last year, and I'm afraid if I don't leave it on the list it won't happen.
Visit distant siblings at least twice a year at their homes. Right now while we are young and don't have kids, I think we should take more of an active role in keeping up relationships even if they are far away.
Have extended family over for dinner. Hopefully this will happen. I am scared half to death to cook a meal for other people, but I need to get over it.
Exercise three times a week. I have on permanent loan a really really really old treadmill. Seriously, it has no digital readings just a 4 ft long crank to make it go faster or slower. I can get it up to a fast speed walk, not quite a jog, so it is much easier for me to exercise even if I am not going overly crazy. I should be able to cram in 3 times a week.
Follow a housekeeping routine. I have been horrible at this recently. For a while I kept up with it, but now I am just surviving. I am thinking that for now I will focus on laundry on the weekends, bathrooms and kitchen maintenance on Monday/Tuesday and vacuuming/general house cleaning on Thursdays. Later I might break it down more, but for now I need to be vague.
Stretch often enough to where I can do splits all three ways again ( I miss that from my gymnastics days).
Buy a pedal for my loaned keyboard and practice playing again.
This sounds horrible, but reduce my responsibilities at work enough that I can get most everything done in 9 and a half hours all but one day a week.
Focus on strategies to deal with "joy busters," ie. other employees and occasionally students who don't even do this on purpose, but somehow just steal my joy.
Improve discipline in my classroom. Create a weekly schedule where the responsibility is more removed from me and is shouldered by more of the class.
Be less of a perfectionist. Worry less about what others think.
Continue reading education blogs. Continue organizing all materials.
Create a sub folder.
Read a book on small business.
Read a book on investing.
Read a book on discipline.
Reach our "small goal" of money for our house by September. We are currently about 73% of the way there.
Reach 75% of our big goal by the end of the year. Right now we are tentatively planning to build in 2012. We might push it back to 2013, but we'll just have to see. If we do end up building in 2012 then this year we might actually start buying things for the house. That money even though it is spent, will be counted in our percentages of money saved towards building a home, since the items such as lumber are to be used on the home.
Continue giving to our local church and charities.
To revisit these goals once a month on this blog and force myself to review and revise based on how we are doing.
Well there they are. I have many many other ideas especially for the summer, but this would be way to long if I wrote them all. Hopefully I will be able to get things under more control at school so that I can take back my time and be able to get some of these other things accomplished and write on here more often. I'll let you know how things go though, at least once a month (or at least that is my goal ).
Saturday, January 1, 2011
I am so thankful for this blog, if only as a way to keep me accountable to my goals. As you may remember, last year at about this time I wrote up my Goals for 2010. I have looked back at that post countless times. This year I might just print it off my future post on Goals for 2011 and post it near my fridge for easy access. Here's the wrap up on how each of my goals went:
- I did actually read through the entire old testament once and the new testament twice. This was quite the under taking and I have to admit that I would get very behind and then play catchup. Either way, it really kept me reading and studying the Word. I find that reading through the entire Bible helps me see the amazing way that everything is connected.
- My husband and I took a class at our church last spring, but I have to admit that after a while we quit going. We didn't realize that it was a DVD series and it ended up causing more marital strife than what it was worth. I would end up staying to late at school and then we would be running late which would cause lots of stress for my husband. I only include these details because I want others to know that sometimes a good thing is not a good thing for everyone. Anyway, this last fall we did successfully go to a class that was wonderful for us. I had to rearrange my schedule at school, but then it worked and was a blessing!
- The BEST goal of last year was to visit with each set of grandparents at least once a month. This has completely changed our relationship with some of our grandparents. I know this is not doable for everyone, but I highly suggest investing this bit of time. I admit that we might have missed a visit to grandparent every now and then, but even though we missed some we still visited many times more than we did the year before. I can't even describe how wonderful fulfilling this goal has been!
- I still have not had extended family over for dinner:(. Just called me a scared Sally!
- I did read The Millionaire Next Door and would highly recommend it to anyone!
- I didn't do such a good job at exercising twice a week. However, this summer I ran a lot and actually ran up to 3 miles without stopping! Woot woot!
- I did not take any Master's classes. There are many reasons for this that I may write about at some point, main thing is its ok that I didn't take any.
- I did read How the Brain Learns Mathematics. It was fairly interesting.
- I don't know whether I have tried one new hands on lesson a week. This year I have been teaching new classes, working with other teachers who have taught these classes to create a new curriculum that takes into account the shifting order of classes for students, we are in the process of textbook adoption so there has been a lot involved with that, I have been improving my communication with parents, working on my classroom website, and also revamping how we assess our students. Furthermore, due to budget cuts my classes have nearly doubled in size which makes me wary of things that require a lot of moving around (not enough space!). Needless to say, all of that has been taking TONS of my time, so I always do my best to create "curious" lessons, but whether every week there is a "hands on" lesson, I don't know.
- I did not take any online Spanish classes. I have taken quite a bit of Spanish, so a lot of the online stuff was a bit too low level. I've really been thinking about investing in a few used Rosetta Stone disks. We'll see though.
- I did not really do any of my blog goals. Somewhere through the year I realized that I was taking up husband/family/student time to write in this blog. I decided that I needed to reorganize my priorities, and so this blog is completely back burner. I can definitely see myself doing more with it in the future, but for now, it is really a way for me to be kept accountable:).
- My husband traded in his small truck and this really really old truck and finally bought his dream kind of new truck. It is exactly what he wanted. He had been looking for years for this truck (he was looking at this truck when we were dating!). We're lucky in that he does not have to drive very far to work, so this truck should last him a long time. It will be handy in the future when we build our house. Needless to say, we did not technically meet our financial goals:
- 2010 Small Goal: 89% Actual: 72% Started at: 48%
- 2010 Large Goal: 59.3% Actual: 48.4% Started at: 32%
- Good news! Being the math person that I am I calculated the cost of the truck as a percent of the goal, and figured that we actually were saving at a higher rate per month than my goal rate. I consider this goal met!