Monday, January 27, 2014

when things come up

I Was Planning On Posting This Weekend, But Then I Got Sick.

And Then My Husband Spun off The Road and The Car Needs Repaired. (But He Is fine, Thank God!)

And Its 0 Degerees. Every. Day.

Obviously i'm Not Getting Out Of ThE House these days.

So here's A Little Note From My husband's Phone To Explain My Absence.

And For Some Reason It Capatilized Every Word, Except i'm, Which Would actually Be Appropriate.

So I'll Be Back With A Real Update And Pictures As Soon As It Works Out!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Blue House :: Week 1

Sunset view from the front door this week.
By God’s grace, the move went very smoothly. Nevertheless, it was still stressful. Of course, that was to be expected.

We’ve made more progress than I had imagined, but as I predicted, I still felt/feel overwhelmed by how much there is still to do.  Obviously right now my mind is constantly occupied with thoughts of how to improve this home, things to do, things we need, etc., etc. The other morning I read in Luke, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (17:33) I don’t know how to do this. I feel like I’m trying to create a life - one I’ve pictured in my head and one I feel God has inspired me to, yet I keep leaving Him out.

And while I still don’t know how to practically apply this to my life, I received some basic instruction on how to live in 1 Peter 3:10-11: “For ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.’” Shocker: this is something I really need to work on right now.

It all goes back to love: loving others and loving Christ by seeking Him and trusting in Him. I don’t need some grand act to “lose my life”; I simply need to be faithful in the little things.

This week I hope to do some real cleaning, organize our closet and the laundry room, get back into routines with the kids, and trust God for the strength to do what I can, and let go of the rest.

While I work, I pray I can keep this quote in mind: “Work with vigilance, simply and naturally, without anxiety, with joy and happiness, with a good disposition. And then divine grace will come.” St. Porphyrious, Wounded by Love pg 144
Here's review of the progress. I'm sure you'll be able to tell, but just in case, the first picture is the before, the second is after. :)


We've made an entry way on the side of the living room.

My desk in the sun room. Needs some decluttering!





In case you were thinking we were unpacked. Nope!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

How I Plan: Part 4

On the last post, I walked you through planning a whole month at a time. That’s the easy part. The hard part is following through with the plan. Here’s what I do.

Using My Plan

On Saturday or Sunday, I review the week coming up and try to plan more specifically when I will do the things I hope to get done.

Each night, I plan the next day. In MinimaList I have three lists all together that comprises my “planner sheet.” The first is the list for the week I’m in. Next to that I’ll have a list for the day at hand. Thirdly, I have a list for the weekly chores for each day of the week.

When I go to plan my day, I review the week, and the chores for that day. I have categories for my day: My Morning (before the kids get up), After Breakfast, Quiet Time, Afternoon, and Evening.

As I complete a task, or a day ends, I can make that item look crossed out or I can simply delete it. If it’s a daily task, or in my week lists, I just cross it out. Later, I can uncross it.  That way, I don’t have to add it again at the beginning of a week. Here’s an example of what I am looking at when I’m done planning a day (for me these are side by side, but I don't know how to make it that way in blogger... sorry!):

January 5-11
5 - pitch-in @ church
6 - Theophany
7 - Peter
8 - go to Robin's
9 - email people about address change
10 - Move! / ladies night
11 - Will has camp

work on post
go to Robin’s
email Emily
order boots
work on post
do family post
listen to talk with Will

Daily Tasks
Sunday - make dessert
Monday - empty trash
Tuesday - counters & sink
Wednesday - water plants/dust
* evening - plan menu/make shopping list
Thursday - clean chairs/mop/kombucha
Friday - clean bathroom
Saturday - vacuum
* evening - write menu on board

Let me point out that all of these lists are simply guides. I don’t always do what is on the list. Sometimes because something more important comes up or I simply decide it doesn’t need to be done. Sometimes it’s because I’m lazy. But, it’s on the list so eventually it will be addressed either by getting done, reassigned, or deleted. But not forgotten.

For example, instead of working on a post this morning, I choose to read blogs. Just means I have more to do when I do go to write. And I didn’t dust on that day because we were about to move. The lists are just there to guide and remind me so that I can make the best use of my time.

Also, I want to mention that certain routines such as laundry, things with the kids, etc. are built into our days so I don’t have to add it to my list. If I am working on a new routine, like I am with My Mornings, then I add that routine, step by step, to the list so that I stay on track. Once that becomes ingrained, I will only list things specific to that day.

Wrap Up

I realize this may seem really rigid to some people. For me, having all that I want and need to do on list somewhere, frees up space in my head, and really, my soul. I can relax. That’s not always an easy thing for me to do. And I’m such a dreamer and achiever, that I’m always thinking of things I want to do or work on. If I don’t have a place to put them, then it clutters up my inner life!

This system has really given me a freedom and helped me be more productive. With all that I want to add to my plate of the next few years, I know I’m going to need to be really organized. With this system, I feel confident I can do that.

How do you plan? Do you have a need to have an organized plan or can you fly by the seat of your pants?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How I Plan: Part 3

How I Use the System to Plan My Month

Last time I explained the three components to my system: Month to Month files, lists, and a calendar. Now I’ll explain how I use them to plan my month.

The bulk of my planning happens at the beginning of the month. I try to carry out this plan throughout the month, therefore accomplishing most of my goals. Because I have a General Checklist for each month in my Month to Month system, I know just what I need to do for that month and what my goals are. I try to spread tasks and jobs out throughout the month.

Getting ready

I usually plan my month on a Sunday afternoon during our quiet/nap time. Right now it takes me about an hour. I pull up my To Do list for the month in Evernote on the computer. I have MinimaList open on my tablet, and I have my calendar.

In MinamiList, I make list for each week of the month like this:

January 5-11
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 -

I also make a To Do list, and a list for gifts.

Now I'm ready to plan!

The Planning

1. Review the month. In this step, I review scheduled appointments, things going on with my husband, birthdays, feast days and church services, etc. I add all these events to my week lists in MinimaList. So it might look something like this:

January 5-11
5 - pitch-in @ church
6 - Theophany
7 - Peter
8 - go to Robin's
9 -
10 - Move!
11 - Will has camp

2. Plan from the General Checklist. My General Checklist for the month (kept in Evernote) is broken into three parts: Seasonal, Monthly, and 2014. Seasonal tasks are those that need to be done specifically that month or season. Monthly tasks are things I like to do each month such as write to the kids, plan birthday gifts, and organize photos. The 2014 (or current year) list has projects I hope to do that month.

Here's part of the January List, for example.

Set home goals for the year.
Review Month by Month system, adjust any lists, and delete any files that are no longer relevant. Look through paper files as well. 
Take care of gift returns.

Update family blog.
Write Mia. 
Write Michael. 

Organize food binder, make stock lists, shopping lists, etc.
Start card making
Start a family art time

I simply start at the top of the list, and put a task either on a specific day (for example, I like to write to the kids on the day of their birth so Mia is always the 18th) or at the bottom of the week I'd like to do that task. I assign them one by one into my MinimaList lists until I get to the bottom. Some of them I can do right then. Some just get put in the To Do list if I don't know where to put them.

And I'm done!

Next time I’ll walk you through how I put this plan into action to get things done!