Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today's my birthday. I'm planning on a low-key celebration.Got a surprise gift card for Borders, and am going to go out today--alone!--and get a couple books and some coffee. I may even take myself out for a quiet lunch. My guy will hang out with the kids, while I indulge in some peace and solitude. Before going, though, I wanted to evaluate my list, and note where I am on each item.

1. Read through the Bible at least 3 times. 
I've gotten much more consistent in my Bible reading over the last 8 months, since beginning with the three year discipleship program, Metochoi. One thing I'm not happy with, though, is the program I'm following. It just feels too disjointed, reading only out of one section a day. I'm starting a new one today, and am planning on giving it at least a month to evaluate how I like it. I've printed the bookmarks, and plan on laminating them today. If I decide to follow this plan long-term, I'll likely make a set of ten ribbon bookmarks for my Bible.
2. Have a consistent quiet time, including Bible reading, prayer, and journaling.
This year I've gotten better (although not where I want to be) with consistent Bible reading, but tend  to be not be systematic with prayer. And journaling is something entirely new to my walk in faith. I've got a couple ideas rolling around in my head for ways to consistently incorporate them both into my daily quiet time. One thing I'm thinking about is digitally creating a journaling page for each week's Metochoi study. This would be a neat way to bring some different parts of myself together, my faith and my creative side. I'm going to try it this week and see where it goes.
3. Complete the 3 year discipleship course I'm in at my church.
My small group began in January with three of us regularly meeting every Sunday evening, and grew to four in spring. It's been a stretching experience for me, particularly in leading a group where I'm the youngest member. I love these ladies, and the time we spend in study, accountability, prayer, and just sharing our hearts, has become a highlight of my week. We're studying Romans using a study guide by John Stott right now, and once a month hitting a chapter in Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.
4. Establish and maintain a regular time of family worship with my kids, and my guy as he's available. 
Yesterday I ordered a book I've been wanting to read with the kids. They're off track right now, and that makes it easy to spend time with them. Once they go back on track at the end of the month, though, this will get tougher. We have Awana on Tuesday nights and small group on Wednesday, and between their school schedule, homework, chores, and music practice I'm already feeling  strapped for time with them. And yet, family worship time needs to be a priority. I'm considering doing it during dinner, since I often don't eat with them anyway. Am hoping to get this started this week.

5.  Go to the Oregon Coast for a few days alone with my guy.
We've been to Oregon as a family several times this year--a wedding, a funeral, a family trip--and I don't anticipate my guy and I being able to plan this trip until at least next year. It will require not  only funds for us to use at the Coast, but also coordinating the logistics of our kids being cared for while we're away. On hold for now.
6. Read through the Harry Potter series with the kids.
I have some of Rawling's books, but not all. Will be keeping an eye out at yard sales/thrift stores/book stores. I do have the first, though! I'm thinking I'll begin with it on Monday, and could reasonably expect to  complete the first book before they go back on track. It's pretty short, comparatively, and I'm looking forward to it.
7. Stay in close touch with my parents, siblings, and in-laws, as much as it lies in me.
Facebook has been an enormous help in maintaining some regular contact with my sisters. My brothers tend to not be very active online, so I need to make sure to write them somewhat regularly. I tend to talk with my folks on the phone a couple times a month. I want to actively work on strengthening all these relationships, though, especially with my siblings. I tend to think they'll be the primary focus of my next goal.
8. Establish the habit of sending a minimum of one snail-mail letter weekly.
I jotted quick notes in cards for a friend and my sister-in-law a couple days ago. Still haven't dropped them in the mail, even though they're addressed and stamped. Will drop them at the PO later this morning, and am bringing some supplies to write an actual letter to one of my brothers today.
9. Get to know my neighbors.
A couple weeks ago I finally--after 3.5 years of living in our home--met my neighbor who lives directly behind us. She's lovely! A Christian, which in our LDS-dominated neighborhood is a rarity, and just a sweetheart. We talked for almost an hour. Last week she came by and introduced me and another neighbor, who goes to her church. We chatted for a few minutes--I had dinner pending, and had to run. We exchanged phone numbers, though, and agreed to get together for coffee when my bigs are back on track. I'm excited to make some friends in my neighborhood. 

Health and fitness
10. Get to a healthy weight. 
I'm currently going low carb, and am down 14.8 lbs from when I started working on losing weight. Have a long way to go, but am at least going in the right direction. I'm in a contest with an online group of friends right now, and find that surprisingly motivating. My competitive side emerging.
11. Get into a regular routine for fitness.
I've actually been doing pretty well on this over the last few months. The online competition has required regular exercise, and I've been alternating between 30 minutes walking and 30 minutes on the recumbent bike. When the kids go back on track, I'm planning on going to the rec center and using the weight  machines 2-3 a week. I took a class at the rec center earlier this year, to learn how to use the machines properly. My guy did weight training way back when, and he's going to help me get started on the appropriate settings for the machines so I can get the maximum benefit.
12. Use the C25K program when I've lost enough weight to safely start running.
I'm still too heavy to feel comfortable thinking about starting to run, but as I get stronger--and lighter--I'm planning on starting this program. I've seen a couple friends successfully become runners, starting from being similarly sedentary. I want to do this. Right now, I'm thinking of starting it in the spring.
13. Complete a 10K race.
This is a long-term goal. After I've worked through C25K, I want to see if I can push further. 
14. Find a hair style I love.
In the last year, I've let my hair grow pretty long. My guy prefers it long, and I recently got it cut in some long layers, so it's not just laying limp. I want to start putting a little time into my hair in the mornings.  
15. Find the skin-care routine and products that work for me, and maintain.
I have no plan on this, beyond being more regular in using what I currently have. Need to see how my skin reacts to daily care, and go from there.
16. Take daily walks with the dog, weather permitting. 
This should be simple, on the days my guy is home. I just need to get up a bit earlier. I don't like taking walks with all the kids--it defeats my goals of getting exercise, since they dawdle, and their incessant chatter doesn't allow me any peace or time with my own thoughts. When my guy is out of town, as he often is, it gets a bit more complicated.

17. Harvest and preserve a vegetable garden yearly
We put in a late garden this year, but I didn't really put in any effort into it. We harvested about three cherry tomatoes, and that was two more than we deserved. I need to clean up the garden this fall and get it put to bed for the winter. Will plan on doing that over the next couple of weeks.
18. Plant bulbs in the fall. Enjoy them in the spring.
I'm looking forward to getting some bulbs in the next month.
19. Tackle our front yard. Grow something pretty.
This project I'm likely going to plan on for the coming spring.
20. Make our bedroom a pretty, peaceful haven.
Last week I tidied it up a bit, but our room is a long way from being where I want it to be. I'm going to take this slowly, though--partly because of money limitations, and partly because I didn't get the home decorating gene and I'm unsure about how to proceed. I'll likely end up completely copying a room I like from a magazine, so I should start looking at pictures and taking notes.
21. Paint and decorate our home.
This will also be a longer-term project. Right now I'm going to start looking through magazines and clip pictures I like. 
22. Create a master menu list, monthly menus/shopping lists, and consistently use them.
I have several different versions of this. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to work on compiling them and coming up with a 4 week menu plan. 
23. Master living in my budget.
Ugh. An ongoing struggle, and something I want to learn to do joyfully. Will require prayer.
24. Maintain a clutter-free and tidy home.
This is an area I've struggled with over the years. As I work towards this, I'm going to think about incorporating the routines of a program, maybe Flylady, perhaps something else. I've never successfully kept up my house to a level of cleanliness that I'm proud of, and I'd like to be able to change that.

I'll come back later to finish the rest of the list, but for now I want to go out and enjoy my birthday!

25. Use up my current paper/product stash for my scrapbooks.
26. Get all the children's baby and school albums current, as well as our Christmas album and our family album.
27. Scrapbook albums of me and my husband before our marriage, and complete our wedding album.
28. Make the move to primarily digitally scrapbooking.
29. Set up my own Library of Memories system for scrapbooking
30. Use up my current yarn stash for my knitting.
31. Knit a hat for everyone in my family (husband and kids).
32. Knit other cool stuff. Lots of it. Document on Ravelry and eventually scrapbook.
33. Make quilts: for each new baby in my extended family, for each of my children, a memory quilt of my father-in-law as a gift to my mother-in-law.
34. Start singing again.
35. Cross stitch a beautiful piece for our bedroom.
36. Something with the ladies in my church. This needs some thought.
37. Volunteer at the kids' school.
38. Volunteer at the local PRC.
Reaching Beyond
39. Go back to school. Eventually (after 40) get my Bachelor's degree.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah - Let me know which Harry Potter books you need. Perry has all of them!