Snow Days, Slow Days

Well, we survived the Blizzard of 2019 and the kids have been home from school for the past three days.  On Tuesday the weather was beautiful – a warm 68 degrees and we were outside without coats.  And Wednesday we had a raging blizzard with hurricane force winds.  I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced wind like this before – howling wind, all day and night.  The windows were plastered with snow making it difficult to even see what was going on outside.   

Anna has been sad school was cancelled and James has been bouncing off the walls with excitement.  Thankfully I checked out a TON of books for the kids at the library while I was there on Tuesday.  I’m so glad I did!  The kids have spent quite a bit of time reading which has been great.   

I’m also thankful that Kenny has the ability to work from home.  Many people traveled to work Wednesday morning while the weather was still okay, ignoring the advice of the weather forecasters.  And around noon when the weather turned terrible it either took them hours to get home or they ended up being stranded on the roads.  I’m so grateful Kenny decided to just stay home and work for two days.  Not only was he safe at home, but we were able to have more meals with him and overall spend more time with him.  

What have we done with all of our time at home? 

Baked cookies and homemade granola…

Anna helped me tack up the hem of her colonial costume for school…

The boys worked on fixing a tablet…

The kids played Forza…

We found the “Little House on the Prairie” TV series on Amazon Prime!

The kids played chess…

And we made snow ice cream!

One day I made ham and bean soup with cornbread for dinner.  Since we were home all day it was a perfect time to soak beans and have it cooking on the stove all afternoon.  I felt a bit like Ma Ingalls making this meal.  Of course, how they endured a blizzard was quite a bit different than what we experienced this week.  We’re so thankful for the comforts we have today, but I do appreciate the slowing of life when weather hits and the making of a pot of soup to remind me of how grateful I am.    

We enjoyed plenty of down time just playing, reading, and hanging out too.  And of course we all helped shovel snow! 

 

Why Goals?

More snow this past weekend!

After posting the other day about the goals I completed in February, I started thinking about why I feel the need to post a list each month of items I check off a list.  What is the purpose?  And several reasons came to mind.  

First, it keeps me accountable!  If I fail to post each month about goals I finished I doubt any reader is going to contact me and ask about it.  But it matters to me.  If I start something, I want to finish it.  Just making the plan to post each month about the items I finish is enough to motivate me to continue working on things and crossing them off my list.

Secondly, finishing something makes you want to finish something else.  The feeling you have when you complete a task or chore starts to snowball into the desire to finish the next thing.  That feeling of accomplishment and pride in a job well done is such a rush and motivates you to start working towards the next goal.  It’s a bit like making healthy choices.  When I choose to exercise in the morning, I’m given an adrenaline rush which increases oxygen and blood flow throughout my body, giving me an alertness I otherwise wouldn’t have (isn’t our Creator amazing?).  It not only helps me focus and finish tasks for the day, but it makes me want to make the next healthy choice.  If I walk in the morning, I’m more likely to eat healthy foods for lunch.  Because my body feels better after eating healthy foods at lunchtime and isn’t sluggish, I have the necessary energy to complete my work for the day and finish strong.  One good decision gives us the motivation to make the next good decision.  

And third, when James and Anna are reading through their mother’s thoughts in years to come, I hope it encourages them.  Getting things done is a struggle for everyone – there is always so much more to do than the time we have to do it.  But learning how to make small goals – thinking about the end result you desire and taking steps to get there – is such a valuable lesson.  Maybe they’ll see my struggle for getting things done in the words here and walk away with a plan of action that might help them.  

While life really isn’t just about whether we complete our to-do lists or not, we do have a responsibility to do the work right in front of us that the Lord gives us to do.  For me, keeping our home is part of my work so making goals to help me complete that is what’s working right now.  

How do you set goals to help you accomplish tasks or projects?  At home or at work?  Share what works for you and it just might help someone reading!  

 

February Goals

This past month I didn’t finish everything on my list I wanted to, but did accomplish a few things.  These extra goals I’m making every month are in addition to the usual work which often makes it hard to squeeze them in.  And the things I’m doing to take better care of myself – quiet time in the Word and walking every day – all take time each day.  So, I’m trying to give myself grace and notice that overall I’m using my time better.  

Decorate for Valentine’s Day and celebrate with family:  I decorated around February 1st so we could enjoy the decorations all month.  And we did have a wonderful evening of fondue together!

Fix burlap wreath: The wreath I planned to use on our front door in March needed some repair.  I’ve been putting this off for ages and once I finally got the glue gun out and just took care of it, it was finished in minutes.  It’s crazy how I procrastinate some projects thinking they’re so time consuming when really, many of them could be finished in the amount of time it takes me to think through it and put it off, again.  

 

Have piano tuned: I had this done while the kids were in school a few weeks ago and later discovered that Anna doesn’t have any memories of the piano being tuned!  Apparently I keep scheduling that while they’re in school.  I found these old pictures from 2016 – the kids LOVED watching the tuner work.  Next time I’ll have to schedule while they’re home – what a great learning experience!

Schedule physicals for Kenny and myself: We have been between doctors for awhile now and have finally chosen who we’re going to switch to.  Appointments made!

Find tray for keys: We’ve had an area on our bar where we drop our keys that continues to collect random clutter.  Often the solution to clutter is to make a home for the item that belongs there and it will help prevent other things from collecting.  I looked online for a tray of some sort that would work and finally decided to just shop our basement.  I have shelves of not only decor items to swap in and out, but also serving trays and platters, etc.  I found this lovely ceramic tray that belonged to Kenny’s grandmother.  In the past we’ve used it for serving food, but I decided it was the perfect size for our keys.  Now they’re corralled and we definitely leave fewer items laying around.  I love that I didn’t need to purchase anything new plus we’re reminded of generations past while using it.