Archive for the ‘cousin’ category

Living the Simple Life- Not Starting Out So Simple

February 3, 2008

     Inspired by several people close to me, I have started a process to make my life more simple and therefore, better.  Living in the busy chaos of life in these times seems to be unfulfilling at times.  So, maybe by going back to the way things used to be before my time- simple and focused- I can become more focused on the things I enjoy and have more time to spend with those I love.

     The first goal I had was to create a better budget system.  I used to do the envelope thing and I lovrd it.  Pretty much, at each payday, money gets put in each envelope which is designated for a certain thing- groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.- and then, when it’s gone for the week, it’s gone.  I loved this system because after the initial planning and aside from the weekly “stuffing the envelopes”, there is no thnking involved.  I know how much was spent or not spent and I know where the money goes each week.  Unfortunately, my dh didn’t really get into this system when I tried it after we got married.  But, thanks to his friends recommending it to him and the book by Dave Ramsey, My Total Money Makeover, we are trying it again.  This is week one.  We started Friday with my paycheck and the begining of the month.  it seemed to be the perfect time.  The only problem was my dh was having pizza cravings and cheap pizza just wouldn’t do.  So, $30 later, he had pizza- from a place he loves and I don’t like- and our envelopes were already off.  Trying to relax and understand this is going to be a hard thing to get used to, I wasn’t very successful at.  But, by later that evening, I had refigured the weekly envelopes to add up.  We’ll see how the rest of the week goes!

I just spent $20 on groceries for the week- $10 less than our budget due to the pizza.  When I make out a menu and really plan the list, I’m amazed that I can have well balanced, good meals every day for very little money.  When I don’t plan ahead, it’s amazing how much I spend on the junk I end up buying!  This week we are having chicken in the crock pot, burritos, spaghetti, pot pies, and taco bake casserole. 

The next project for the day is what I am sitting here writing to procrastinate for.  My cousing had the idea to eliminate so much laundry and clutter by limiting the amount of clothing for everyone in the house.  I am not that brave since I have to go to work every day and need to wear different clothes.  Also, I am not worried about the amount of laundry I contribute.  My son on the other hand has two very bad habits.  The first is that he would rather put clean clothes back in the laundry than folding them and putting them away.  This is one of my biggest pet peaves!  The second is that whenever he gets something out to wear, he gets every single thing out of his drawers!  I mean everything!  And, then it all gets thrown in a pile on the floor where it stays until we have to yell at him to clean his room.  So, by giving him only a fewn options of clothing, there will be a smaller pile on his floor and he will be forced to put it away or else have nothing to wear!  I am hoping this works!

My other project for the day is to update my son’s school work.  Usually this time of year, I am not in charge of his school.  But, due to my dh having heart surgery, he has not been keepng up with it.  So, today I am going to make sure things are on track and plan for this week of school.  It will be a review week- which we have periodically to make sure he is retaining the information.  Also, at the begining of the year I created our book of goals for the year and I really need to start checking them off.  I know some of them have been accomplished and others should have been accomplished and I really need to regain my focus on his studies.  Pretty soon, it will be springtime and school will not be as easy then- too many distractions!

Focusing on taking better care of myself is on the list.  But, as most of you mom’s know, it usually doesn’t ever make it to the top of the list.  I hear people always saying you should take time out for yourself.  But, what do I take that time out of?  I get up and go to work early.  No high maintenance or prep time for me, it’s usually the get up and go look.  So, doing anything in the morning only takes time out of sleeping.  Does that sound like a good idea?  I’m thinking no.  But, then there’s the evening when I get home.  Ok.  I admit it.  I’m lucky to get dinner made before I colapse for the night!  But, I guess that seems to be my only option.  But, it just seems that since I come home so tired, I am setting myself up to fail by planning to excercise then.  But, I’ll keep you posted.   

I had thought several weeks ago about having weekly goals to accomplish.  Two weeks ago, they were to eat at the table more and to play games more as a family- or at least with my son.  I’m making an effort on both of these but fell a little short this week and didn’t make any new ones for last week.  This upcoming week here are my goals.  Although they sound easy, sometimes, they are not easy in my world.

Goal 1- excercise 3 times this week

Goal 2- keep up with schoolwork checking

Goal 3- continue the first goals- dinner time 3 times a week and game time at least once

So, I believe these are all good things- things to make life easier.  But, getting them started- making myself do them- sometimes seems to be a hurdle I’m not too sure about!  


7 Habits

October 16, 2007

One of my ideas this weekend was to start a new class for Rafael.  Actually, for both of us.  So, Monday we began our study of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.  I think this will be a great time of learning and bonding for both of us.  I’m really excited about it.  In an attempt to improve on the outside as well as the inside, we will be watching a webcast, listening to an audiobook, and discussing things while I ride the bike and he walks on the treadmill.

Since this is an experiment and I will be continuing to figure it out as I go along, I’ve decided to take you along on the journey with us.  So, beginning today, I’ll be sharing the class plan and our experiences with you.  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, too!

Monday: My son created his mission statement.  I am going to do this again at the end of the study.  I’m curious to see if it will be the same or different.  I will do the same myself.

Here’s the link if you want to follow along.

Tuesday: We listened to the beginning of the webcast found here- 

Then go to this one- “March 2007 – The 7 Habits with Todd Davis and Gary Richins”

We listened to the first 10 minutes or so.  They talked about the program and 2 key terms.

1) Effectiveness- “Getting the results you want today in a way that allows you to get them over and over in the future.”  Doing something that will make a difference not only right now, but also in the future.  I used the example of getting him to do his chores.  I could yell at him to do something right now.  But, it probably wouldn’t get him to do his chores 2 weeks from now.  But, hopefully, by developing a plan that we both agree on see chore lotto below) hopefully, we have an effective way of getting chores done.

2) Paradigms- “The way we see, understand, and interpret our world.”  I used the example of the movie Crash.  Depending on the age of the child, this may or may not be a good movie for them to see.  I was lucky to have a cousin who had the edited version that was acceptable for him to watch awhile back.  So, he had seen enough of it to understand that paradigms are basically, our perception of the way people or things are based on our culture and experiences. 

We ended there.  I thought that was enough for day 1.  It is bringing up some interesting conversation.

American Youth

August 30, 2007

I just got back from an overnight trip.  Since I wasn’t driving, it was the first time in forever that I had a chance to spend some quality time reading!  Usually, I have 50 million other things to do and even if I do sit  down to read, I am interrupted either by someone or the thought of something I think I should be doing.  But, yesterday and today, I had a chance to do some guilt- free reading!  It was wonderful!

Awhile back, when I went to vidit my cousin, she gave me a book.  Her friend wrote it and he even came over and wrote in the book for me.  How cool is that?  So, when I got home, I opened “American Youth” and started to read.

I couldn’t put it down at first.  Each page made me turn to the next wondering what would happen next.  And, the great thing about it was that I was quickly through several chapters.  As I said, unfortunately reading for fun doesn’t have a permanent time slot in my schedule.  So, I loved that it was a quick read- not that it wasn’t deep or thought provoking- just simply written to be understood.  So, then, quickly came a twist in the plot that set me back.  I think that’s what made it take so long for me to pick up the book again.  Not that it wasn’t a good book- I just had to digest it- take it in.  You see, it’s about a boy about my son’s age.  And, the reality of it all set me back.  My son is a good kid- really I am blessed.  But, a tragic event can happen to anyone.  And, the after effects- the quick spiral downward from there- was something I am glad I didn’t read about until  I had a chance to digest it all.  In the end, the resolution was good- realistic and not a fairytale. 

I’m glad I had the chance to read it.  I think it’s something, as a mom, that gives me insight into the pressures a boy can face.  And, for a teen, how easily things can spiral down without even noticing they are moving.  So, even though at times I was kind of freaked out as a mom, I was also grateful for an opportunity to peek into the mind of a teenage boy.

So, thankyou Phillip LaMarche for sharing with us all!  And thankyou Annabel for sharing with me!


July 9, 2007

Escher Allen Hine

Born July 2

9 lbs 2 oz

Isn’t he adorable?  He’s my cousin’s son and also my godson!  I can’t wait to meet him!

Welcome to the World!

July 2, 2007

This morning I got the phone call I had been waiting for!  My cousin called to let me know she was at the hospital and would be having her bouncing baby boy at any time.  So, here is my message to you both!

It’s amazing how much you can love and care for someone you’ve never seen- haven’t even found out your name (although I’m voting for Escher!)!  You are blessed to arrive as a member of a wonderful family- both immediate and extended!  Your parents have been anxiously awaiting your arrival and continue to impress me with through thier parenting adventure with your big brother.  So, I know you have really lucked out by having great parents to take care of you- even though you’ll wonder sometimes when you are older and are amazed that you know so much more than them!  (Just wait a few years and they will suddenly get smarter!)  Speaking of big brothers, I know he has been anxious to meet you and I think he is definitely up to the big brother role.  I can’t wait to see pictures of the two of you together.  You are already so loved by so many people- family, friends- and I can’t wait to meet you!  So, welcome to the world!  I hope you and your parents are all doing well!  See you soon!  We love you!