It is hard to believe that it is the middle of April already! The arrival of April means that we are a quarter of the way through the year. I thought that would be a good time to look back over my goals for the year and see how I was progressing and what I needed to change to help me achieve those goals.
First, I am thrilled to say that I am rolling right along with my reading goal. I doubled my reading goal from 12 books in 2018 to 24 books in 2019. So far, I have read Book Girl, Becoming MomStrong, Uninvited, Just Open the Door, Girls Club, Building Family Ties with Faith Love and Laughter, Get Your Home Office Organized, and since the beginning of April I read Capital Gaines. (I want to note that I read the hard copy but I did notice that it is free on Kindle right now.) I enjoyed that book even though it is not in my normal reading genre. It was a nice evening read and very motivational. I am also continuing to read The Organized Homeschool Life, which is designed to done one week at a time. I plan to finish Caught Up in a Story and The Journey that Saved Curious George this month.
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I have done reviews of several of the books in the list above and I won’t repeat those here but I wanted to take a minute to talk about Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter. That was a book I found at a yard sale one day and decided to give it a try. I had not researched it or seen it talked about before. I am so glad that I picked it up. It was an easy read that was full of great ideas for building strong family ties. This is an area that my husband and I prioritize and it was great to have some encouragement and easy to implement strategies. The author talk’s about many components of building family ties from family mission statements, adding laughter to your lives, family dinner tables, and even serving others.
We set a family goal of de-cluttering 1,000 items from our home. That sounds like a crazy number but we are at 800 and hoping to make it to 1,000 by the end of the month. We haven’t even gone through our attic storage area yet, so I think we will set a goal specifically for that area and work on it after we are finished with the 1,000. It is amazing how motivating it is for the children to color in the blocks for each thing that they de-clutter. They are also finding it easier to keep their rooms clean with few things taking up space. I got the idea here but chose not to track it in as much detail as she did. We didn’t keep track of what we got rid or or where it went. We simply printed out charts that had blocks numbered up to 1,000 and colored in the block each time we got rid of an item. We did not count actual trash that we threw away each day or food that we consumed, but broken toys, toys no longer played with, old magazines, dishes we didn’t need, clothes that were too small or no longer worn, and other similar items have all added up quickly. It is amazing how quickly things seem to collect in our homes and I’m grateful to be de-cluttering and lessening the visual clutter as well as the time and effort it takes to keep things tidy. ( I also want to note that there is a big FREE de-cluttering challenge coming up! I will be sharing more details on April 23rd so stay tuned.)
Another family goal was for each of us to walk/hike 100 miles this year. I joined the NC State Parks 100 mile challenge and had planned to track our hikes and walks. I can say that we have not hiked as often as we hoped due to many local trails being closed due to hurricane damage, but we have been walking more often and have recently been able to get out and hike a few different trails. Now I just need to remember to track those miles. I have been very slack about tracking the miles, but I am hoping that with my renewed focus, the warm spring weather, and our trails reopening I can get to work on this goal and still make 100 miles by the end of 2019.
I have been continuing to work on my goals and focus of being still with God and being present with my family. I honestly, love the progress I’ve made at being able to walk away from the to-do list and spend time just playing with my children at some point each day. My two youngest and I have been getting outside four or five mornings a week to take a walk or just play int he grass. I have also enjoyed playing catch with my oldest son.
I started out the year spending some time each day copying out scripture verses and felt that it was a great way for me to spend time ‘being still’ and focused on God. With some changes to the baby’s schedule that sort of fell to the way side but I am working on changing up some things so that I can still get that time. I have also gone back to reading my Bible and doing a devotional on my phone. This allows me to do it quietly in my bed before the children wake up. My children seem to have little alarms in their heads that wake them up the moment I climb out of bed to try to have quiet time, so being able to have that time without getting out of bed is ideal.
All in all, I still have some work to do but I am pleased with the progress that we have made toward our 2019 goals. I am looking forward to reading even more good books, getting out on the hiking trails, and spending more time focused on the things that are important in my life. Have you taken the time to evaluate how your year is progressing? What things are going well? What do you need to work on?
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Deals and Freebies
Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale! If you want to give it a try, your first month is only $1 or you can get an entire year for $111. My daughter is getting ready to use a photography class from our subscription to help her learn more about her new (to her) camera.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Only A Few Days Left to Sign Up For the Free Independent Play Challenge:
It sometimes seems that the kids need you ALL. THE. TIME!
It’s okay to just want 20 minutes of quiet… so you can get things done.