Saturday, November 10, 2012

Goals for November- Keeping Priorities

Wow- we've made it to November!  How quickly this year has passed.  Soon enough it will be time again for new yearly goals and I'm already mulling over some changes, but not until then.

This month and I guess specifically next week is going to stretch me.  The end of the school trimester was on Friday, which means that I begin teaching three preps (different classes) for the first time ever.  I have to say that I am really worried.  I'm not sure whether I have it in me to prep for so many different courses.  I have been really trying to come home at a decent hour and have been doing alright and I am afraid this will be a set back.

The photo above was taken at my husband and I's baptism several years ago.  I believe it is very symbolic of the burial of the old life and the beginning of a new life.  In my old life I filled up every little ounce of time with stuff.  Work(school at that point) reigned above everything- even God and family.  It was/is a constant battle to keep Christ and family number one and I know this month will be a challenge.

However, God says "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well."  (I still sing it in my head the old KJV way)  I will do my best to pray that He will help me let go and let God.

I have been learning so much this last month.  While I grade papers at school I have been listening to Andy Stanley's Future Family series.  You can listen to it here.  Seriously he has a way of really bringing to life and to this day and age verses that I have heard my whole life, but have never taken action on.  Right now my marriage is amazing because of many of the verses that I have put in action by God's grace and I want it to stay that way.  The good news is that I will have a student aid for the first time ever,.....however it was a student aid that I don't know and that no one else wanted.  I will trust that God will make her a suitable helper for me.

October goals wrap up:

1. Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 12:18, Hebrews 4:15-16, and Matthew 11:28 Colossians 3:23, and Ephesians 4:1-3.  Memorize 1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  I was glad that I memorized that last verse because it really spoke to me this month.

2.  Work out 30 min a week.  Done!

3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.   To the best of my memory we met up with each one of them.

4.  Get caught up with the read through the Bible in a year.  Back on schedule!

November Goals:
1.  Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 12:18, Hebrews 4:15-16, and Matthew 11:28 Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 4:1-3, and 1 Peter 5:7.  Memorize Proverbs 14:1 "A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman pulls it down with her own hands."  I know after being married so long that my husband's main love language is time.  The easiest way for me to tear down my house is to get caught up at work.  My focus this month is going to be keeping work in its proper place, which I think is a hard thing for any teacher because my work has faces.

2.  Work out 40 min a week.  I've already done this this week, so only a few more weeks.

3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.  This actually might be tricky with the holidays, but we'll see.

4.  Continue with the Read through the Bible in a Year.

5.  Create a money plan/goal sheet now that we are in the house.  I don't like just floating along without a plan, so we've got to sit down and figure out the new plan.  Because we had so many years of just saving where we had the same budget I think this has kind of through us for a loop- having a house with so many projects makes it difficult to create a set plan, but we do need to do it.

Good luck with all of your monthly goals!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Goals for October- We bought a house!

Wow!  It has been quite a long time since I have gotten a chance to write, but I carved out a bit of time to give out the great news.  We bought a house!  All of that saving paid off.  We did take out a small mortgage, but it is small and only a 15 year loan which we could pay off much sooner than that if we want.  Also, we got a killer rate and our monthly payment is extremely low (only a few more dollars than our cheap rent from before).

All I can say is to anyone out there who is sick of saving and waiting and saving and waiting, it is so worth it!    Right now we have a lot of freedom and no stress from the house.  If we hadn't saved it could have been very stressful.  Also, we bought a lot less nice of a house than the bank said we could so that we could have this freedom.

We bought a fixer upper foreclosure.  We'll probably stay 2-3 years, maybe a bit longer.  The house is perfect for us as an "in between" house.  It is meant to have an upstairs, but it was never finished.  The house had been empty 3-5 years, depending on which neighbor you talk to which means that when we bought it there were a lot of things that we just didn't know about the house.  I love it though:).

In the last two months we, and by we I really mean mainly my husband, have moved all of our stuff out of our old place (including both of us), moved into a family cottage for a month while we worked at this house, and moved into this house.  During that month he replaced the flooring in a third of the house (vinyl planking anyone?), most of the walls and ceilings were painted, everything was cleaned (huge project), vines removed, bushes removed, electric wiring replaced (some of it had been stolen while the house was empty), toilet and vanity replaced, lighting fixtures added, septic tank emptied (after quite an episode), plumbing lines fixed (they were broken everywhere because of improper dewinterization), what plumbing lines were originally there were cleaned (after that same episode-a story for another day), kitchen cabinets modified, appliances installed, and much much more.  I can't say enough thanks to both of our parents who really helped us out a bunch and of course none of this could have been done without my husband.

I am glad we left off a large emergency fund because many of those items could have been really stressful because they were unplanned (although we in a way planned for the unplanned because with it being a foreclosed house we knew it would have issues).  Yet, those house problems just ended up being annoyances.

The house was a large disruption to my goal setting, but I decided that it was better that I help my husband and keep up with my job and that I could come back to my goals.

Here are my goals for October:

1. Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 12:18, Hebrews 4:15-16, and Matthew 11:28 Colossians 3:23, and Ephesians 4:1-3.  Memorize 1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

2.  Work out 30 min a week.  School is pretty intense this year because we went 1-to-1 and we have a new evaluation system.  Also, the house takes up a lot of time, so I'm pushing it down to 30 min and then will work it back up to 60 min again.

3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.   We'll see on this one.  It might be kind of tricky.

4.  Get caught up with the read through the Bible in a year.  I am nine days behind right now.  It was hard to stay on top of it at the cottage because I get emailed the readings each day and we didn't have internet.

For the moment I'm not making any money goals.  We have been keeping track of all expenses with the house in a spreadsheet and we had a budget made up.  Luckily, so far we are under budget.  Later we are going to go over everything that is left and make more specific goals.

Also, there are a lot of goals with projects, but those are for another day.

So, if you are sick of saving and waiting, I just want to encourage you to wait until the time is right.  There were lots of different times that we looked at houses and decided against buying.  We knew that it would put too much stress on us and our marriage.  I just found out today that another couple that is my age is getting a divorce.  I have no idea what their difficulties were, but I do know that financial issues can cause a huge strain and I am glad that we decided to live frugally so that we could reduce that stress.

Good luck with your future projects.  I'm hoping that at some point (it could be months) I can give you some before and after pictures.  They'll be worth the wait!

Monday, July 2, 2012

French Provincial Dresser Before and After

Early this summer my husband and I were driving around and saw this pitiful dresser on the side of the road. I immediately wanted to pick it up, but said nothing because normally my husband encourages me, with good reason, to only have one project at a time and I already had a table and chairs to work on at that point.

Luckily he pulled the truck over without me even asking:).  I was like a giddy school girl.  I wish I had a true "before" picture to give you.  This dresser had drawers that weren't together and all going topsy turvy.  It was a mess.  However, I saw potential.

I like painting furniture because it breathes new life into old stuff.  I also like it because I get to try new things and if I don't like it, it's not a big deal because normally I sell the pieces.

From what I learned online after picking up this free dresser is that it is a French Provincial style dresser, which was apparently a very popular style in the 70's.

It came to us with broken drawers, mismatched hardware, and it was dirty,really dirty.   I had to scrub off several stains and just the general scum that had accumulated over the years.  I wish I had a picture of the water after I cleaned it.  It was so gross!

Here's the closest thing to a "before" picture.  It had already been scrubbed down and most drawers were fixed and the hardware had been removed.

I had picked up plain white primer/paint in one for free at Ace Hardware several weeks back and decided that this was the perfect project for it.  I put three coats on in most areas and four coats in some where I thought the gold was still bleeding through.

I originally painted the hardware white, but I started running out of white spray paint in the middle of the project and didn't want to buy any.  Then I looked online and found a similar dresser with black hardware.  Luckily I had a lot of leftover paint from another project in black, so that worked like a charm!

Here's the final result.

It's crisp, clean, and perfect for a lot of rooms.

The only thing that I paid for were the two knobs and that was only about $5 total.

Best part.... I sold it on Craigslist for $75!  I'm going to stash the cash to go towards a used Clavinova.

What projects have you been up to?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July- Traveling Goals!

Wow!  June just flew by!  I got a lot of my goals accomplished, :but I know I could have done more.  I think I enjoyed sleeping in too much as usual.  Here's a look back at my goals.
1.  Memorize Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.  Keep memorized Matt 11:28; Hebrews 4:15-16; Proverbs 12:18, Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 2:10, Isaiah 41:10.
2.  Work out 60 min a week.  I have been doing really good at this and have actually been working out more- I feel great!
3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.  I was able to visit all, but one.  The one that I missed I thought we would see at something at the end of the month and then missed her.  I will try to go see her soon this week. However, I did visit with the other grandparents more than once:).
4.  Keep up with read through the Bible chronologically in a year.
5.  We are not at 97% of the goal because my school does lump sums in July, which I find odd.  We are currently at 93.9% of the big goal, which I don't think is too shabby.
6.  Follow Money Saving Mom's 4 weeks to a more organized home.  I definitely fell off the bandwagon on this one.  I did a lot of cleaning and organizing, just not by her schedule.
7.  Complete 3 goals from master summer goal list a day.  I actually completed 41 goals which is slightly less than than the needed 42, but close enough I'm counting it.
~Something that I didn't list, but am proud of is that I read through several books including Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place, which has been on my reading list forever.  I had seen the movie, but the book is even more moving.  I also read through 365 Nights which I would count towards my goal of two wife books this year.

This month is going to be crazy.  My husband and I will be out of the country for a significant portion of the month helping lead a missions trip with a large number of high schoolers.  I also have quite a few professional development days planned at school which messes with things a bit.  I'm going to try and list more specifics for this month.
1. Keep memorized Colossians 3:23, Matt 11:28; Hebrews 4:15-16; Proverbs 12:18, Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 2:10, Isaiah 41:10.  Memorize Ephesians 4:1-3 "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  I believe that our group is going to really face unity difficulties because it is so large, so I am hoping to focus on this verse to prepare for the trip.
2.  Work out at least 60 min a week while I am in the good ol' US of A.  Hopefully I will push myself to do more.  It has really been helping shape my thighs.
3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.  I am hoping to visit the grandparent that was missed last month early this month to make up for last month.
4.  Keep up with read through the Bible chronologically in a year.  I need to print out a guide to use while I am gone.
5.  Honestly, I'm not sure at all where we will be at the end of the month.  My husband will be taking a lot of unpaid days; I will be getting a lump sum of an unknown amount; we will be donating a very large unknown amount to help pay for stuff on the trip; so I will just be glad if we stay where we are for the month.
6.  Print out Money Saving Mom's 4 weeks to a more organized home and check through the main goals for the day.  I'm giving myself leeway that if I don't think it applies, then I don't need to do it.  Also, I can pick and choose days.  I want to work on this on "open days" in July (there aren't very many).
7.  Complete 2 goals per open day from large list.
8.  Post about painting lamps, table/chairs, and dresser projects.  I'm proud of how they turned out and would love to encourage someone to take the plunge into painting.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Goals for June- Switching gears

Wow!  May just flew by!  My time was filled pushing and pushing and pushing my seniors to not give up.  One student I spent hours and hours and hours with after school and it made the difference!  I think I was as excited as he was when he passed.  Pretty much May was a survivor month as I predicted, but it ended well. If you have ever noticed in most teacher movies the teacher's relationships with others (husbands/wives/kids) suffer due to their devotion to their students.  I really keep this in mind and think that I am improving on keeping a balance.  I've got a long way to go, but this was my best May yet.

Summary of my goals from last month:

1. Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 12:18, and Hebrews 4:15-16 memorized, and memorize Matthew 11:28.  Even though I pretty much already knew Matthew 11:28, having it as the verse of the month really encouraged me by bringing it into focus.
2. Work out 60 min a week.  I kept with this one, although one week most of the exercising was just house work.
3. Visit each set of grandparents once.
4. Keep up with read through the Bible in a year chronologically in a year.
5. Be at 91% of goal.  As of today (a few days into June) we are at 91.8%!

June Goals
I am a teacher which means summer is completely different.  During the school year I have a really bad habit of letting stuff and chores accumulate which means that I have to attack them all over a 10 week period in the summer.  This summer though will be cut down a lot because of a 10 day missions trip and at least 7 days of professional development.  This morning I have spent a very large amount of time writing down all of my goals for the summer.  I printed out calendars to put in my summer binder and brainstormed the best ways to attack everything.

First, I created a giant list of everything that I hoped to accomplish this summer and broke down the big goals into little chunks.  Next, I marked down days that I am not available due to professional development at school and the missions trip that my husband and I are going on with the high school students at our church.  Then I have to admit I just stared at the large list and the small amount of days and just sat and thought.  I tried to organize the goals and just wanted to give up.  The list was soooo long and there weren't near as many days this summer as I had hoped.

I am a determined person above all else, so I figured there must be a way.  It came to me.  KISS- keep it simple silly.  I have about 80 goals for the summer and about 35 weekdays to attack them (although probably less because I normally go on a few day trips to visit old friends).  I decided not to include weekends because they are normally full.  Rather than being specific (I will attack goal 3 on day 23), I decided that I wanted flexibility.  I will shoot for 3 goals a day per open day in the summer.

Here's my list for June
1.  Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 12:18, Hebrews 4:15-16, and Matthew 11:28 memorized.  Memorize Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
During the summer it is so easy to want to be lazy.  I agree that a time of rest is needed after the crazy school year.  However, I know that I get tempted to use that as an excuse to be lazy much longer than needed.  This verse will help keep me going.
2.  Work out 60 min a week.
3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.
4.  Keep up with read through the Bible in a year.
5.  Be at 97% of goal?  This month is a bit confusing.  I am now working at a school that allows for lump pay over summer which means I should be getting quite a bit this month.  However, we will be donating a large amount of money to pay the taxes for the students on the missions trip.  I am unsure whether we will be paying that this month or next.  This is my best guess for where we should be.
6.  Follow Money Saving Mom's 4 weeks to a more organized home series.
7.  Complete 3 goals from summer goal list every open day (not a professional development day).

Feel free to add links to your goals in the comments section.  I would love to read them!

photo credit: Inkyhack via photo pin cc

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Goals for 2012: Busier May!

So I'm posting a bit later than planned for May, but I am posting- go me!  This is just about the busiest time of the year for a teacher.  My life has been consumed with pushing my students to not give up, and I have been staying late after school tutoring (until 6 sometimes) helping students fill the hole they have dug themselves.  I have to have compassion though, because I know in my life I have dug some big holes and I always appreciated those who helped me get out of them.

Church has been really, hmmm, I don't know how to put it, maybe deep for me lately.  My husband and I are going on a missions trip out of the country for 10 days this summer and we have been helping prep the kids for the trip.  This is a huge step for us to take (10 day trip), plus we are leading kids, so I feel like we are being stretched, but in a good way.  I think that God is going to do something big with this trip.  It's exciting and scary at the same time.

I chose the picture above because I feel like it really describes my life right now- although maybe the couple should be running.  We have been looking at houses and I have been looking at summer jobs/training and the future is unclear.  I've been working hard trying to get our assessment methods updated at school.  This requires some new software that costs $$.  If you would like to donate click here.  There has just been a lot of things happening in education and even specifically at my school that could be very good, but could also go the wrong direction if not done right. I know that God will be with us, whatever happens.

Summary of April's Goals:
1.Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 90:12, and Proverbs 12:18 memorized.  Memorize Hebrews 4:15-16. 
2. Work out 60 min a week.  Completed!  However, I did count certain home maintenance things- weeding as exercise.  I figure that if I am feeling it the next day, that definitely should count!
3. Visit each set of grandparents once.
4. Keep up with reading through the Bible chronologically in a year.
5. Be at 89% of the big goal.

May's Goals:
1. Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 90:12, and Proverbs 12:18, Hebrews 4:15-16 memorized. Memorize Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest."  During this crazy month, I have a tendency to try and do it all.  I get really frustrated when I can't.  I know a song that talks about this verse and it really speaks to me.  It is not that God wants us to do nothing, but really that he wants us to give our cares to Him.
2. Work out 60 min a week.  This can definitely include house work, because this time of year means lots and lots of weeding, bush trimming, etc.
3.  Visit each set of grandparents once.
4.  Keep up with read through the Bible chronologically in a year.
5.  Be at 91% of the big goal.

Photo credit: Click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Goals for 2012- Busy April!

If you were wondering whether I fell off the blogging bandwagon again, don't worry!  Last week was spring break and it was greatly needed.  We traveled out of state and I decided that the week was exempt from my yearly goals.  It was so incredibly relaxing and was so good for my mind and my marriage.

While on break I was able to read two books which I would recommend to anyone.  My husband and I are high school youth group small group coaches and a book named Sticky Faith was recommended for us to read.  I really sympathized with the stories of youth that didn't know what to do with doubt when they were in college.  If it wasn't for a book called Reaching for the Invisible God I'm not sure where I would be.  I hope to apply much of what I have learned.

The other book really rocked me at my core over break.  The Jesus I Never Knew made Jesus really come alive.  I've always secretly preferred the later books in the Gospel to the Gospel itself because they were written fairly plainly.  I specifically picked this book because there were so many things that I struggled to understand in the Gospels.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.  It has made me love my Savior even more.

A recap of last months goals:
1. Keep memorized Eph 2:10.
2. Keep memorized Isaiah 41:10
3. Memorize Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
4. Memorize Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

5. Work out 50 minutes a week.  Once again I relied mainly on youtube and hulu.  I found an amazing workout for my legs.  I haven't made it outdoors yet.  I'm a little nervous because I found out that some of my students live closer than what I thought.
6. Visit each set of grandparents once.
7. Keep up with the Read through the Bible in a Year Chronologically.
8. Be at 85.5% of the big goal.  We actually made it to 87.75%!!!!

This month:
1.  Keep Eph 2:10, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 90:12, and Proverbs 12:18 memorized.2.  Memorize Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. "
3.  Work out 60 min a week!  This one is going to be tough, but I have to remind myself that it is only 10 min more than last month.
4. Visit each set of grandparents once.
5. Keep up with the Read the Bible Chronologically in a year.
6.  Be at 89% of the big goal.  My husband does not have many side jobs this month, plus we went on vacation, so I'm keeping the goal reasonable.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Goals for 2012- Stretching myself in March

February is coming to an end and March is opening up calling me to stretch myself.  Next month I will stretch my goals out over 5 weeks and will try to challenge myself even further.

Results of February Goals:
-Memorize Eph 2:10
-Keep memorized Isaiah 41:10
-Exercise 40 min/week
-Keep up with Read the Bible in a Year Chronologically plan.
-Visit each set of grandparents once.
-Be at 82.25%

Ha cha!! Take that goals!

For March I'm taking it one step further.  Here's the list:
1. Keep memorized Eph 2:10.
2. Keep memorized Isaiah 41:10
3. Memorize Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
4. Memorize Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
5. Work out 50 minutes a week.  Thank goodness for youtube and hulu!  I love looking up new videos.  Maybe this month I will head outdoors, probably not because I hate being cold.  We'll see.
6. Visit each set of grandparents once.
7. Keep up with the Read through the Bible in a Year Chronologically.
8. We are currently at 83% of our big goal.  Our goal for this month- 85.5%!  My husband's side jobs have been making us reach this even faster than expected.

My last word before I sign off to go after my other goals for today is I would encourage everyone to make really small goals if big goals have not been working for you.  I am loving working out each week only because I don't have to do it that much.

This is the first year that I have stuck with my workout during the school year.  I believe it is because I started with a wimpy 30 min a week in January.  Each Saturday would roll around and I would look at all of my goals that were checked off except that exercise goal.  I could never justify not meeting all of the week's goals just because I refused to do something for 30 minutes, so I would quickly attack it on Saturday.

In February for several weeks I continued to put off all of my exercise minutes until Saturday, but this week I actually broke up the time over several days.  This is a slow way for me to switch to exercising on more than Saturday.

Good luck with your goals this month!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Goals for 2012- February

I run my goals on a four week cycle, so I consider it February already.  Here is the update from the last four weeks.

First, I am amazed at how motivating it is to have my goals posted on our refrigerator.  I feel like I have to accomplish them because everyone that comes over can see them clearly.

I was able to successfully fit 30 minutes of exercise into my week.  It was difficult, but it was such a low goal that on Saturday I kept on feeling like I can't give up on this, so I would do it.

My Bible goal has been really interesting.  I'm reading through the Bible chronologically and it has been eye opening to see what things were happening around the same time.  I read through Isaiah and learned so much.  I never realized how old that book was.  I successfully memorized Isaiah 41:10 and I'm amazed at how many times it has come to mind during the day.

Also, we successfully went and visited all of the grandparents.  I am so glad that we did, because we almost didn't visit one set and then we heard how lonely they had been.

Finally, we are at 80.08% of our big goal!  We made it by the skin of our teeth.

February (next 4 weeks) Goals:
1.  Keep Isaiah 41:10 memorized.
2.  Memorize Ephesians 2:10  "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
3.  Continue the read through the Bible chronologically in a year program.
4.  Exercise 40 minutes a week (it's so embarrassing, but this will definitely be the most challenging).
5.  Visit each grandparent once during the month.
6.  Be at 82.25% of our big house saving goal.


Related Posts with Thumbnails