Saturday, December 10, 2011

Random Thoughts

Have been too busy to post anything lately - completely missed all my Thanksgiving stuff. May be able to get some Christmas stuff up...but that's a strong maybe.

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed, under-prepared this year, even though I thought I was doing well! A few glitches hit us, then down it all came :(

So what I really want to do is catch-up. I'm paying someone to tidy up outside, and I'm paying to get my carpets cleaned. Dropped some things I was going to make from the list and bought on-line instead. Trying now just to concentrate on making our Christmas special - as in special TIME with the kids, not about the presents, or the decorations being perfect, but doing more significant things with the kids instead.

Today we made beautiful Christmas cards for Nanny (my Mum) - totally gorgeous. Lots of time and effort and LOVE was put into them - I know she will love them :)

We have also been talking about Jesus and Joseph and Mary a LOT! One thing that has really struck me this year is how strong Mary's faith was. Here is a young lady/teenager pregnant, barely betrothed to Joseph, who in turn was considering canceling the engagement upon news of her pregnancy. Was she scared? Overwhelmed? As a mother I know I had so many thoughts going through my head about my unborn child, but imagine knowing you are to give birth to the Lord. Giving birth to God's only son. AMAZING! (I have this card sitting on my desk right next to my computer.)

Lately, I keep having dreams with lots of angels in them. I know there is a message there somewhere, just can't quite hear it or remember it when I wake. They are all beautiful dreams - so ethereal. I'm sure if God wants me to hear the message He will make it loud and clear. For now I'll enjoy these beautiful dreams and make sure I'm always listening.

My kids are also asking amazing questions - like "If we make Nana a Christmas gift, how can we get it to her?", (they want to give a Christmas gift to their late Nana). We decided a song would be a better gift :) So the next question was - "Do spirits hear? Because you have to leave your earthy body here, and our body has the ears! Only your spirit can go to Heaven.". {Oh, Lord, please guide me and help me minister to them. I know I have so much more to learn. I am ready.}

My eldest sang in the school's Advent Lessons and Carols night. She did an awesome job. She has been practicing at home (and school) for weeks. It was kind of starting to drive us all NUTS, because she would sing one carol constantly, relentlessly, always, everywhere, everyday, day and night!!! But, I guess, at least she was prepared! We talked a lot about CONFIDENCE - she is so shy and quiet. I was worried she would just freeze up there and not sing at all. But she did awesome - we could even hear her :) So proud of my little angel.

My house is a complete mess. I clean and clean and clean everyday. There has not been a day it has looked clean though.!!!! Seriously considering hiring a maid for the day...seriously!

Totally LOVE flannel sheets - why, oh, why had we never purchased these things earlier in our life! Although, it does make it VERY difficult to get out of bed in the morning {especially the cold mornings}. I purchased mine from Target - on clearance, or course! They are dangerous - have almost missed a few morning deadlines because of them!!!

Should be exercising everyday...instead have been enjoying hot chocolate every evening ;) Oh, well...there is always the New Year's resolution.

Think that is enough. Love a little extra today :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Daily Schedule

I took all last week "off" to sort out my house, and get to some of those nagging things that always seem to just want to hang around, all in preparation for my new daily/weekly schedule. I'm pretty excited with it so far. It is achievable, manageable and has some great things to look forward to do each day.

I must remind myself that I am just one of those people that needs a daily schedule - I forget things so easily, and I need a schedule to stay focused. Achieving something in my day, especially as a stay-at-home-mom, is so important to my mental well-being. At work, I was always able to set goals, achieve them, and feel good; but at home it is so easy to lose that with all this craziness of having kids involves.

This new schedule took a while to get set up, thought out, organized, revised, categorized, typed-up, printed out, edited, and, finally, approved and ready-to-go!

Basically, I have an excel spreadsheet for each day, printed out and stored in a folder. Each day consists of:

Top 5 to dos
For School
Kids' Extra Activites
Kids Daily Lesson
Daily Routine (from 5:30am to 10:30pm)
Today's Chores
To Wear

I have a weekly spreadsheet for all meals - I print out 4 and schedule out a whole month at a time.

And I also have a spreadsheet that lists at the kids' lesson plan (have two month's worth).

On my daily sheets:
- the top 5 to do are the top 5 things I want to achieve today.
- For School - I list anything we need to remember for school that day (like change for the lemonade stand, hand in homework, etc)
- Appointments - must write these down as I make them - so forgetful!!!
- Kids' Extra Activities - gymnastics, ballet, playdates, etc
- Kids' Daily Lesson - these are short little things I put together to do with the kids - can be a craft, reading a book together, etc
- Daily Routine - list it all out so I know when to leave to get somewhere on time
- Today's Chores - I do a room each day - 1/2hr to 1hr max - this is in addition to general pick-up/tidy-up
- Blog - trying to plan :)
- Exercise - list it out, tick it off = feels good = more motivation to keep going
- Me - yep! ME! reading, do nails, put on face mask and listen to music, etc - this is my time and I'm scheduling it in!
- To Wear - this is to try to break free of the exercise pants/t-shirt/sweatshirt outfit that I love to wear around the house and thought looked great out of the house too. But alas, it does not!! So I need to make an effort and Pinterest is providing tons of inspiration :)

The Monthly Meal Planner
- has breakfast for the girls listed (I'm a cereal girl, husband eats a banana)
- lunch to pack for girls for school
- dinner
- and one dessert for the week

Most of my recipes come from the internet - I print them out and categorize them into Vegetarian, Meat, Chicken, Fish, Dessert/Other. My weekly plan is:
Monday - Vegetarian
Tuesday - Meat
Wednesday - Chicken
Thursday - Fish
Friday - leftovers/ take out
Saturday - Casserole
Sunday - Casserole leftovers

I know it probably sounds confusing but once it is all set up it really works well. I have not included my spreadsheets on purpose, because every time I see someone else's example it does not work for me. So I think it is important to sit down and work through what will work for you.  This is just a brief outline of what works for me. And I hope it helps me work through some of my issues, and maybe helps you get started on your own path to an organized schedule :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Decorations

The kids are super excited about Halloween - they get to trick-or-treat properly this year since both are now old enough to know what it is! LOL! We managed to squeeze in a few small Halloween decorations. Wish I got more done, but seem to be SO busy lately! Too crazy!

My three year old LOVED the skeleton - or as she said - "that's the cutest baby skeleton ever!" Hmmm????

So Halloween night was eventful {to say the least!}. After picking up my oldest from school, we arrived home with enough time to relax, tidy up a little, before heading to a local church for their Fall Festival. I went to put something in the recycle bin, in the garage, when I discovered that the door would not open. It was stuck, kind of like it was locked but I could move the handle. So I pulled the door handle apart, but couldn't get the bolt out - it was COMPLETELY jammed. I am telling you that door was so lucky it had a steel core because by the end of it I was ready to rid it all apart! I had to give up. The girls were so disappointed at not being able to go to the Fall Festival {my car was stuck in the garage}, so I decided we would go trick-or-treating on our street instead. That was fun, although a little quiet.
We then headed down {walked} to a closer church for their trunk-or-treat. CRAZY! Felt like I was in a cattle candy feed line! The girls scored big but {unfortunately for them} won't really reap much of their harvest.
Back home we were all tired and hungry, but had to pull the door off at the hinges first - why? not sure - husband just seemed to think it was the most important issue to deal with first! Meanwhile, my 5 year old waited by the front door holding our candy bowl, waiting for trick-or-treaters! Thankfully we had one lot come by.
After dinner we got our groove on to a little Monster Mash - the girls were hilarious! That, and a little wine helped improve the day. In the end, my girls were happy, and that's all that really matters to me. I am thankful I don't have worse things to complain about. But I'm ready for a new start tomorrow :)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where I Work

I pulled up to work yesterday and realized what a unique place it was, so I thought it would be fun to share it with you, especially when this is the first image I see:

They are just casually riding up the road.

Past Pearl's Dance Hall.

Our corner.

The cool stairway.

The awesome Pearl Dance Hall building.

Heading home.

Next time I'll take some interior shots of the office.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What to Wear to Work Wednesday

I'm back to work part-time. And when I say part-time it really is only for a few hours one day a week at the office PLUS numerous hours per week at home. So the part-time bit is really just in reference to time I actually show my face to other adults... who work... in the real adult-working world...out there.

So, as a result, workout capris and a t-shirt are not really going to cut it. I need inspiration, and a major wardrobe overhaul! Hence this post - What to Wear to Work Wednesday!

Last week I was FREEZING in the office. How easy it is to forget all about the office environment, especially when the men outnumber the women! So I'll need layers, and lots of them! Maybe even sneak in my Ugg boots ;)

Here is {my} inspiration board (via Pinterest):

I love stripes, and have the perfect top. I'll pair it with a black cardigan/sweater thing. I can wear jeans to work (we work in a creative field). I have a slightly similar ring, black earrings, black bag and boots. I think this will work. Maybe I don't really need a wardrobe overhaul, just more ideas on how to pull it all together. LOVE pinterest for this! I'll see if I can get a pic of me - no guarantee I'll post it, but we will see ;)

P.S. Here it is...excuse the photos, etc, etc.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fishing in a Tutu, and other weekend musings...

Monday was busy, so this post is a little behind, but here it is anyway:

Ever seen someone fishing with a tutu on?

Well, now you have! I think I could accurately describe both my girls as "tomboy princesses!"

We had a relaxing weekend at the lake "cabin". I finished the flooring in the bedroom and tore up more carpet to reveal lino underneath it. I do not like carpet. I really do not like the very ugly brown carpet we have, so I am very pleased with my progress. The husband is looking a little concerned. Guess he is just not sure when (or where) I will stop. Not sure when or where I will stop either. Really need to make a plan (that I will somewhat stick to - hehehehe!).

Before - the ugly brown carpet.

Close-up of very ugly brown carpet!

Carpet gone - looks better already.

Pulling out the million staples - uugghhhhh!

Vacuum :)

Done ;)

Love it! It looks SO MUCH BETTER, it smells so much better and it will be so much easier to clean. WHY. DID. WE. WAIT. SO. LONG????? (weird, huh?)

Hallway and bathroom are next....

In other news...we had big storm Saturday night - mostly lightning and rain (thank you Lord - we really needed the rain). The lightning always scares me the girls, so not the best rest that night, but we all slept in, so that was nice. We always worry about the big trees we have right next to the trailer - they will have to come down, unfortunately, just not safe :( boo! So I really need to start thinking about more landscaping - natural, hardy and pretty.

Grandparents new puppy was locked away for most of our visits over there - the girls were not amused! Poor puppy hurt his knee last weekend, so he is on "bed-rest". Girls still not amused! Puppy gets in the way when everyone is eating. Girls not amused! Not amused at all :( Hopefully puppy will be allowed out of exile next weekend. So these photos are from last weekend:

This photo shows my 3yr old being chased by the puppy. We were laughing so hard - you have never seen a kid run this fast EVER!

From the top pic to this, this is all I could get of her! I really wanted to get a pic of her face - so priceless!

Grandpa and both girls running again with the puppy.

Grandpa's dock - feeding the catfish.

What a pretty Autumn day.

Busy weekend. Busy week ahead!