Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back To School

I love this time of year! Today especially feels like fall is coming, since its cool and raining this morning. Yesterday was the official first day of school for my kids. Sarah went to school for half the day on Monday, it was 7th grade day, a day to let the 7th graders get a feel for Middle School. Shelby didn't go to school yesterday because a bomb threat was called into her school. You can read more about that here. Today both girls are in school, all day. I must admit I've been looking forward to having my days back to myself, but now that its happened I've had mixed feelings. Every school year reminds me that my kids are growing up fast, and soon they will be gone from my house, I don't deal with that reality very well.

Yesterday I had planned to go to the Temple, until High School was cancelled. If Shelby was going to be home, I didn't want to just leave her home alone. She was looking forward to starting school, and had planned her first day of school outfit, down to her painted nails and purple belt. Shelby's friends felt just as bummed as she did, so they decided to go out for smoothies, then to Target, then to the movies. I was left home alone, not quite sure what to do with myself. I watched Elder Bednar speak at Education Week, and it was amazing, totally made up for my missed Temple trip.

Now, I'm left with figuring out how to best use my time during the day. I could spend my day making sure my house is spotless and perfectly organized, but that isn't really how I want to spend my time.I want to feel that I am using my time well, but that doesn't mean that I need to be busy. I think its ok to do things I enjoy without being idle. This culture we live in seems to worship busyness.If I fill my days checking off long "To Do" lists does that mean I live a meaningful life? I don't think it does. I'm in the process of creating a general outline for my mornings, making sure I get up early enough to get my kids breakfast and out the door on time, that I exercise, and pick up the house a bit. Then, I'm going to label each day- Monday is laundry day, Tuesday or Thursday are errand days, Wednesday is going to be project day. I'm going through all the things that I want to do, but never make time for, and making time for them! I love to read, and I want to work on my kids "School of Life" books, I want to decorate. More than anything I want to feel that I use my time well, that at the end of the day I'm pleased with how the day went, and confident that my Heavenly Father is pleased, I want to avoid being idle. I do have more time on my hands, and it would be so easy waste away the day on all of my favorite websites or binge watching shows on Netflix.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What's next?

This past year has been amazing! I have done things that a year ago I would have thought impossible. I quit a job that consumed my life. I learned a lot about priorities and balance(that could be a whole post itself). Quitting meant I needed to find new options for my girls schooling. Thank goodness I had written down goals when I pulled my kids out of public school, looking back at our original plans helped me make some hard decisions. We decided to enroll them in our local public schools, and they are doing great. Next, we got serious about getting control of our finances. In April, I reread Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, and we started to work through the Baby Steps. Darren and I began budgeting TOGETHER, and using cash to pay for our expenses. Miracles happened! We were able to pay off all of our debt (except for the house) at the beginning of this month! This whole process has gotten me thinking about what it is I really want to be doing with my time. I keep having thoughts about blogging. I have a handful of blogs that I love to read, and find so inspiring, comparing myself to them I always come up short. Yet, the thoughts that I should be blogging keep coming. I guess we'll see what happens, but I'm going to give blogging a shot again.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Here's what I've learned this week!

The weight loss is not going as I would like, but I am determined to stick to my goals. I have been working hard at asking for support, and I'm not putting any false notions out there that "I've got this" because I don't. I know I've done it before and that leads me to believe I can do it again. Tiffanie is always there for me to lean on and I really appreciate that. Yesterday I emailed a friend that I admire, Becky has done amazing things with her life (you should check out her blog), she quickly replied and reminded me that this IS HARD! I broke down, which was so therapeutic. I have been trying to hold it all together and act like I can do all this, when the reality is that I can't do it all, all of the time. Sometimes I need help. That is a huge lesson for me. I am so grateful for my loving Heavenly Father that helps me through all of my struggles. I am grateful that to Him they are just as big a deal as they are to me.

I have been reading Daughters in My Kingdom. I just want to share a little something that I really enjoyed and could relate to. This is a quote from the daughter of Louise Y. Robison 7th Relief Society General President.

“When Mother went to President Grant’s office to be set apart, she felt sure he had been misinformed about her abilities, so she told him she’d be happy to do her best in whatever he asked her to do, but she wanted him to know that she had a limited education, and very little money and social position, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be the example that the women of the Relief Society would expect in a leader. She finished by saying ‘I’m just a humble woman!’ President Grant answered, ‘Sister Louizy, 85% of the women of our Church are humble women. We are calling you to be the leader of them."

I think she is awesome! I have loved reading this book, it is really giving me a love for Relief Society. It is an interesting calling to be Relief Society president, it is the most frightening calling I have ever had, but I also love it! The love that I feel for the sisters in my ward is overwhelming and I know that is because God loves them sooooooo much!

Monday, April 2, 2012

I have something to declare!

But I'm scared! Since I haven't blogged for over a year, no one will be looking here, so I feel safe, mostly.

First, mothers need to wake up to what is going on in this country and care about what is being taught to their children. I am not against public school, I am against people pawning off their God given right to educate their children. Public school is flawed, but parents should have a greater influence on what is taught to their children. One great way to increase their influence is to take what is taught at home and add their family values to those teachings. Just be aware, that's all.

Second, its time for me to step up and admit that I am seriously overweight. Obese even. My life has felt very out of my control. I have gained 50 pounds in the last year. I feel like I have been in survival mode. Now, a year later the house is still standing and my family is still here. Its time to take my health seriously. That is how I want to think of it, health, not weight not a number. Healthy living.

Third, I LOVED GENERAL CONFERENCE! I got more inspiration out of Conference this past weekend than I think I have ever in my life! I feel I was given inspiration about what my daily study should be. I am calling it my Daily Devotion; here it is:

1/2 hour scriptures
1/2 hour Daughters in My Kingdom
1/2 hour news
1/2 hour Making of America
1/2 hour exercise

Here goes the next chapter of my life. Fabulous by Forty!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gathering Inspiration

This month a group of bloggers are writing for 31 days about things that they are passionate about. I have loved reading these blogs. You can check them out if you'd like by clicking on one of the top two buttons at the right, they are just two of many women that are writing. These women are writing about finances, decorating, photography, living simply, entertaining, enjoying Fall, and grace. Its like inspiration for the taking.

I haven't known what to write, because my thoughts are all over the place. I read something at this sight today that helped me put things into focus. This amazing woman is writing about 31 days of grace. I have spent the afternoon thinking about grace. I know that I need it, and want it in my life, I think we all do. But what really hit me today was how much I need to share grace. People are good, and everyone is trying to do good, more than good; we try to do the best we can. That is enough.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Living Joyfully within My Means

I have had this post bouncing around in my head, and I hope to that I can find the right words. This topic could be a series of posts for me, because it has been the focus of my life probably since I became an adult, but very intensely for the last couple of years.

I am learning the joy of providently living. It is not easy. There are two things I do when I am feeling stressed, the first is eat, and the second is shop. I am awesome at budgeting, meaning creating a budget. I keep track of everything I spend, writing it down in my checkbook register and adding it to my budget. Now, following that budget is a whole other issue. I have done hard things in my life; loose 108 pounds, check (yes, that was hard and its still a struggle to keep it off, but I did it), pull my kids out of public school to home school and face the stigma and judgment of others- again hard, but I did it. Follow my budget, now we are talking about something really hard.

Over the years I have come up with a lot of little tricks I use to "float" my money. So what the bank says and what I know to be real are two very different numbers. Well over the past couple of years I started to get real. I took an honest look at my debt and what needed to happen to start paying it off. I watched some great videos and used debt calculators at this site. Progress has been slow (which, honestly, frustrates me-I have realized I do have an issue with patience and wanting instant gratification) but the balances are getting smaller.

Here is the biggest lesson I have learned. More money isn't the answer. I wish it were, but it's not. The answer is a wise stewardship over money. In September I made a serious commitment to get back on track. The reality is a huge leap of faith. I have to trust that because the council to live providently comes from prophets of God that I will be guided in this trial. As I have tried to harder than ever to live frugally I have been blessed with inspiration.

Food is the area of the budget with the most flexibility. We have a freezer full of meat, and my storage room is stocked. So, we have been living primarily off of what is already in the house. The goal: not to go grocery shopping at all, live completely off of what we already have. That didn't work. We have needed a few runs to the grocery store. Here is what has happened. With careful planning I have been able to order from a local food co-op, a couponing trip, and bulk food order. I have been blessed with inspiration and energy to make meals at home, really cutting what we have spent on eating out.

I know this has been a long post so I'll end with a scripture that really touched me.
"...take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than rainment?
"For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." 3 Nephi 13:25, 32-33.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Keep Moving Forward- Happiness is this Right Here

About six months ago I started p90x with my sister, Tiffanie. It was painful and hard. To make ourselves feel better we started making fun of the teacher/creator of p90x Tony Horton. We now have a bunch of "Tonyism" that we say, things taken from the workout videos to motivate or maybe it was even just mindless stuff that Tony would say. One of those is "Happiness is this right here." Tony says it during a stretch at the end of a workout. Tiffanie and I started applying it to Diet Pepsi and cookies, and other related unhealthy things. The thing is I have found myself thinking it at other times lately; like when I'm spending time with my family and we are enjoying being together. I caught myself with this thought in my head, and realized that, Yes, happiness is This Hight here.

I've been working very hard lately at listening to the Holy Ghost. Trying to understand the will of my Heavenly Father for me. It has been hard, but I am learning so much. I have often felt a desire to write down the lessons I learn, because they are small lessons. I am a great believer in the scripture; "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". I don't want to forget these small lessons, and I want to better recognize them. So I need to be writing them down. I have been trying to decide what to do with my blog, should I just delete it? Its mostly become a big bookmark for my favorite sites, I rarely write. The more thought and prayer I've put into writing about things and what to do with my blog, I've come to realize that I need to be writing those lessons here. I've been hesitant to do that because it may turn people off, but so few people read my blog, and these are my lessons that I want to write down for me, and possibly to share with future generations. So that is what I'm going to do.

Keep Moving Forward is the name of my blog for a reason. The reason is; that is all you can do. Keep Moving Forward. I struggle with so many things; my weight, money, parenting (which includes educating my children at home), my callings in Church. That I can get pretty hard on myself when I don't measure up to the standard that I feel I should. All I can do is Keep Moving Forward.

I hope you will join me on this journey I am on, its so much more fun with friends and people who care about you. I am making no promises about how often I will write, I am working toward at least once a week. The topics will be varied because that is life and the lessons are in everything, the goal is to see the lessons and decide how to apply them and enjoy the journey.